The Island of Misfit Monsters (TIMM) 5: Side Effects are not the Responsibility of the Attending MD.
Updated: Aug 3
Welcome back to another edition of Monster Mash Inc. As I'm sure you recall, the last session ended with the Cupcakes staring at every adventurer's greatest dream: A great big Pile-O-Loot.
There we were in the middle of a room of fantastic treasure when a funny thing happened; the loot shrank considerably. And by some miraculous coincidence it just happened to have every piece of equipment the group wanted. No muss, no fuss, no unending arguments.
Sort of made the world's largest knapsack irrelevant, but okay . . .
Once re-outfitted, Yoric decided it was time to explore the door formerly known as the red door. Everyone else opted to continue exploring that floor . . . the pussies.
Well, all but Jimmy. He didn't so much as vote as follow Yoric to see what the spokesman for anorexia was up to. Yoric wasted no time opening the door, revealing a portal in the doorway. The group was able to determine that it was a permanent teleportation circle, and that it lead somewhere in a five mile radius, but nothing more.
Clearly a scouting mission was called for.
Nelzask offered his 297 ft rope again, which was considerate when taking into account the previous trimming it had received. Yoric grabbed the rope, said 'Think well of me!' and tied it to the end still wrapped around Jimmy. He then shoved said zombie through the gateway while everyone else was busy working out exactly what was happening.
Fortunately, Nelzask played along; he gave it a good five count before yanking their canary back onto this side of the portal. Killgore closed the door immediately, whilst casting a glare at Yoric. Any derisive remarks designed to go along with that look were cancelled, however, as he noted that the door's color had reverted back to red.
All argument as to the impropriety of Yoric's actions was set aside as the group listened to Jimmy's report of some sort of well furnished bedroom.
Still the group didn't want to check it out, the Minotaur being the most vocal opponent of exploring said scary bedroom. It seemed dangerous. It was dark. It was midday. It kept at it until Yoric told it not to get its udders in a twist, at which point it lost the faculty to speak.
Meanwhile Rhiltix pointed out that they had one set of remains they still needed to bury. In the end Yoric accepted that argument, although somewhat grudgingly. However, before leaving he opened the now red door. Just a little experiment. Instead of a portal to an unknown bedroom they found only a corridor, much like those they'd been wandering all day.
They'd barely made it into the hallway when Hermin suggested that they should finish searching the rooms on this floor before making the trek to the graveyard. Ostensibly so they could cut down the back and forth. There was much grinding of teeth from Yoric's direction.
They'd managed to explore they entire perimeter of the 2nd floor already, leaving only the center areas designated 'here there be monsters'. As it turned out, this section was broken into three rooms.
The central room (because starting at one end is boring) was a well equipped, recently used alchemist's lab. Nelzask found a metal # with two circles at opposing ends, that Jimmy immediately insisted was his. They also found some sort of alchemical extract that Rhiltix recognized as a substance that would stop the aging process. Yoric immediately began collecting as many vials of the substance as he could.
Recognizing that there were simply too many vials to carry he opted to combine them in some of the large beakers stored in the room. Sadly, he managed to spill the first vial on his left hand. The compound immediately ate half of it away. Apparently it was not as good at preserving unlife as it was at preserving life.
For most groups, at this level, effecting repairs of that magnitude would present quite a quandary. Cure spells may sew a severed body part back on, but they don't recreate them. (And they also are't very helpful to the undead). The group was too low level to use any spells that would. It was suggested that they use Make Whole on the hand, but sadly that only works with objects.
But then we remembered: We are the DELICIOUS CUPCAKES!
If Make Whole only works on objects, Nelzask reasoned, then they'd just have to make the hand an object. So he pulled the remains of the hand bodily from the skeleton and presented it to Jimmy: one hand-ish shaped object. A ten minute make whole, followed by an inflict spell and Yoric was as good as new.
Warning: Do not try the above at home!
The eastern of the three rooms contained a scene out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Most of the furniture scattered about was in various states of ruin. Their were burnt bits of bodies and bones strewn about a pit in the center. The only intact items in the room were a desk in one corner and a tarped mirror in another
By this point the group had become quite paranoid about entering such areas, as they always seemed to contain angry spirits. Yoric was elected scout unanimously. Muttering about keeping whatever he found, he explored the room. Of course, he found nothing. Eventually his sifting brought him to the mirror. He pulled the tarp off, revealing carvings of demons along the wooden frame. He decided to smash it just to be safe. As it turned out it had been a Mirror of Life Trapping, a trap the DM was none too pleased to watch ruined :P.
He also found a locked compartment in the desk. Nelzask quickly ripped the desk apart (remember Half-Ogre; not exactly known for patience) revealing a lock box. After several attempts to smash the mini-safe Yoric used Disable Device to open it. Inside they found a large quantity of Onyx gems. Jimmy immediately laid dibs.
For a moment it appeared that he might just have an argument on his hands. Those stones were worth money. But who wants to deprive the guy that can resurrect you to unlife of the very thing he needs to resurrect you to unlife?
In the end they agreed. But there is a big difference between agreeing and being amicable about it. So Nelzask insisted that Jimmy had to come into the room to get them. Until that point he'd only hovered at the entrance, never stepping even one rotten toe inside. The zombie's pleas that he was forbidden to enter were summarily dismissed by the group until he finally screwed up his nerve long enough to dart into the room, grab the box of rocks, and dart back out. He spent the next few minutes in wonderment that he hadn't been immediately punished, though he couldn't rightly say who'd told him he couldn't enter the room, or what that punishment might have been.
Meanwhile, Yoric and Nelzask had found a drop down stairwell mounted in the roof. Climbing it led them to the roof of the castle. There they found a strange metal cage with a large metal mast set atop it. Finding no immediate value in said cage, they returned to the group and checked the westernmost of the three rooms.
It turned out, this room had once been Jimmy's. There they found a journal and a notebook detailing an experiment that seemed to involve lightning and the cage on the roof. Jimmy immediately snatched them from the finder's hands and began caressing the cover. He quickly flipped through the pages of his journal but it was clear that it was no more to him than an interesting story about someone else. They also found a large mithral net as well as another stairwell leading to the roof. This time the entire entourage was able to ascend. They quickly followed the instructions in the notebook, including the addition of the metal # they'd found in the alchemist's lab. Unfortunately it was a clear day, which lowered the odds of lightning hitting the contraption considerably.
So, Nelzask hurled Yoric up to the mast. The skeleton caught the mast and activated his electric aura. The electricity was funneled through the cage to two needles dangling in a bottle. Jimmy immediately performed a quick set of actions that ended them with a Jar of Lightning.
Yes really. It makes sense if you don't think about it . . .
Anyways, neat science experiment complete, the group descended the stairs. Remembering that the only stairwell they hadn't tried was the one they'd found on the North West part of the floor, they headed that way. Fortunately, they sent Yoric to scout ahead. He found several Giant Black Widows and one Drider. The area they'd infested was covered in cobwebs.
He snuck back up, undetected, and told the group. They started the fight by igniting the webbing. Jimmy hucked his jar of lightning down the stairs, hitting one of them. The rest of the group followed the ranged splash weapon. The spiders were stamped out in short order.
Or were they?