The Island of Misfit Monsters (TIMM) 1: It Begins
Updated: Aug 3
I wanted to save the finale for the Road to Hell campaign for a full day. This, of course, required that we all orchestrate our days off for some time in advance. As such, we started Beth's campaign.
For reasons I'm sure relate to a certain masochistic tendency, she had us pick monstrous creatures to play. Alex chose to make a Bugbear Slayer. Christian (With DM oversight) created a Half-Ogre Samurai. Clint chose a Minotaur Bard specializing in bagpipes. Dan went with a Lizardfolk Aasimar Oracle.
And as for myself . . . well, I went for a Human Zombie Lord Cleric specializing in Lightning and Trade but with a particular flair for Necromancy. That way I can make my own friends! As evidenced by the skeleton I had following me around as the group met.
So the cast as it sits: The DM: One Herder of the Feline played by Beth Loutzenheiser The Healer: One Senile Aasimar played by Daniel Boyer
The Glory Hound: One Half Ogre mutt played by Christian Parsons The Bad Influence: One Bugbear miscreant channeling Alex Blancarte
The Tone Deaf: One caterwauling Minotaur played by Clint Jensen
The "Popular" One: One semi-sentient zombie played by Brandon Thompson
The Aggravated: One Halfling skeleton, also played by Brandon Thompson.
As the campaign starts all but the Zombie are on sort of a graduate program from Monster Reform School. Personally I think work furlough might be a better description. Having proven that they probably wouldn't eat any villagers, they were sent out to perform whatever good deeds they might come across, while chaperoned by a teacher.
That last would probably be more encouraging if not for the fact that their chaperone just happened to be one elderly Lizardfolk Aasimar suffering from senility and suicidal tendencies. Sometimes he could regale you with intricate historical facts of thousands of years ago. Sometimes he didn't remember the town they'd just left. Often times they had to keep him from wandering off by himself. It was a regular question as to who was truly the keeper and who the kept.
This became evident immediately when a child from a town they'd recently passed through found the group to tell them that his Grandfather had a job for them. The Aasimar immediately began arguing that their was no town where the kid indicated they should go. Fortunately, the rest of the group's memory was more reliable, and they agreed.
As it turned out the old man wanted the group to get the crown of a king dead for a thousand years. The castle was on an island. As it turned out, this king had a rather self centered child. And by self centered I mean evil. Once this had become blatantly apparent, the king decided that the best solution was to send his son away for a year. Cause, neglect tends to work so well?
Unsurprisingly the son came back a year later, summoned a demon, killed the court, and his father and then . . . nothing. Nobody new what happened after that. And now some old geezer wants the slain king's crown.
Apparently sense motive wasn't much of a skill focused on in Monster Penitentiary, because they all agreed with little questioning involved. They did note a series of strange books on the old man's bookshelf including one entitled 'Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra'.
On acceptance of their quest, the old man then gave the group a Folding Boat and bade them farewell. Personally, I can't help but wonder if he was just trying to do in a group of monsters with an impossible quest.
The boat ride across the lake to the island was fairly anti-climactic, accept when the Aasimar decided he'd go for a swim. In the carnivorous fish infested waters. Luckily he had scales.
The first thing the group noted as they approached the island was that they were apparently not alone. There were two other boats, in various condition, set aside the rotting dock. This prompted an immediate search of the surrounding area. All the group found was a nice set of bagpipes stashed under the dock, in remarkably good condition. The bagpipes, not the docks.
They'd barely uncovered this new 'treasure' when a Rock Crab (name: Fragglerock Crab; I have no idea why) wearing a strange bracelet waded out of the water and attacked them. The bugbear, deciding he liked said bracelet, cut the Crab's arm off. The Crab immediately transformed into a male Oread. A one armed man. The Bugbear then decided that he didn't really like that bracelet after all.
The group moved immediately to remove the bracelet and jam the arm (which had also reverted to its original form) back onto the body. Some minor heal magic later and good as new! No need to involve the police, savvy?
Fortunately, the Oread was more grateful to be free of the curse than he was angry at his temporary dismemberment. He identified himself as Fred The Bard. Yes THAT Fred The Bard. He further identified the bagpipe as his. Killgore pointed out that possession was nine tenths of the law. This prompted a short playoff for ownership; it did not go well for Hermin.
More importantly, Fred informed them that he and his crew had also been given this same quest by the same elderly man. Clearly their attempt had not gone well, but he was not aware of much more than landing on the beach. He did state that he'd come to the island with three others, one being his wife. Again, he wasn't sure of what happened to them.
He'd also made it clear that he was ready to be rid of the island. After wishing the group good luck, he set sail on one of the boats.
Meanwhile the group had suddenly become aware that they were being watched. A few perception checks later revealed a robed figure spying on them from a bush near the water's edge. The moment the figure realized it was caught it grabbed its skeleton friend, hopped a magic disk and headed out to the open ocean.
For the remainder of the night they would catch it watching them. Any time they attempted to coerce it to join them it would shy away. But, as it seemed to lack any hostile intent they quickly let it fade into the background.
The next day the group headed inland through a forest where they quickly came to the walls of an ancient castle. As they pondered the neglected structure a figure approached from behind.
As it turned out, the robed figure had followed them inland. And so entranced was it by the walls that it bumped into the rear most of the group, the Aasimar.
This time the group was able to coerce it to remain. But that was all it was able to do. One did ask its name. It seemed to have great trouble remembering this information. But eventually it was able to tell them that its name was Prince Adam.
The group eyed the 'Prince's' skeletal companion uneasily, but being a group of monsters, took their new companions in stride.
They then headed into the massive courtyard. There they ran into a series of Wolf-In-Sheep's-Clothes. They did fine for a while, but eventually Adam's skeletal friend was killed.
Deciding to call it a day, the group repaired to just outside the walls to rest. Adam being a zombie, agreed to take all the watches. Strangely enough, the group took this offer in stride. And while they were asleep Adam got to work.
He found the corpse of a Halfling that had had even worse luck with the WISCs than his previous helper had had. One that had actually managed to get implanted with one of their eggs. Needless to say, his chest needed a bit of piecing back together.
A few mending spells later and it was ready for a casting of animate dead. But, since Prince Adam had gained a level he was able to give it templates. In this case, he gave it the Skeletal Champion and Arcing (Modified from Burning) Skeleton templates.
It should be noted at this point that the zombie was operating under the rules for White Necromancy. It should also be noted that he failed his special diplomacy check. But, as it turned out, the former Halfling had been another member of the Oread's foursome. Unlike the Oread, he very much wanted revenge for his death and was willing to join the group. It was not mentioned that he was basically taking vengeance for poor garden maintenance.
It should also be noted that he was a bit annoyed that Adam had chosen to make him a skeleton instead of a zombie.
So it was that the group awoke to their new friend (whom only the Aasimar had realized was a zombie) conversing with yet a new skeleton. This one, however, had four levels of Ninja under his belt as well as a lot more personality than Adam. Yes, I'm playing both characters, which has been confusing. I need a hat or something to indicate which one I'm speaking for.