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Many Alternate Doors, No Exits in Sight (MADNES) 5: All The King's Horses

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Welcome to Australian McDonalds Mate . . .
Yep, they look like that

Welcome back to another day of whatever the hell comes through our heads. Uncensored (mostly), unfiltered (for varying definitions of the word), unsane (like insane, but not).

{Player's Note: As we leveled last time I think it important to note that there is now a level discrepancy in play. The DM has allowed for a modified Gestalt system, wherein anyone choosing to gestalt drops from the fast to medium xp track. This has the odd effect of having the gestalting characters advance ahead in character level, but fall behind in class level. Both are now character level 4 and class level 2 in two classes. Don't worry, being that they are on a slower track they will fall behind quickly. The way the two tracks are set they will be one character level behind, and 3 class levels behind. Unless they add a prestige class . . .}

Now rested, the group gathered to discus their itinerary for the day. Loki was quick to suggest they check the stables, to see if the horses pulling the ghost carriage were the ones they'd found there previously.

The rest agreed . . . because Loki's version of logic had worked so well in the past I guess?

They made it back to the Gardener's Tunnel without issue, and entered the appropriate door. Where they found a foursome of hooded figures attending the horses. Apparently some inconsiderate prick had harpooned one of them. Two were on either side of said harpoonee, one was at its head, and one was manning a wheelbarrow full of . . . construction parts.

Okay, it was a wheelbarrow full of meat. They watched for a short time as the one with the wheelbarrow passed lumps of meat to the one at the horse's head. From there it was either applied to the front of the horse, or passed to the attendants on either side.

They quickly closed the door and wondered what they should do. Loki was in favor of watching. The Muscle voted on attacking, because that's what The Muscle does. Hazel was against a confrontation. And Nebula was undecided. As the group became split on a course of action the DM added the screams of the horse as it was stapled together Goblin Surgeon style.

That apparently decided Nebula, who voted for attack. Loki rolled his eyes as the group prepared their assault. Then the door was reopened. This time the wheelbarrower immediately noted The Cupcakes' presence. He gave a shout to his comrades and ran down a set of stairs at the back of the stables.

The other three exited the stall and advanced on the interlopers. One pulled out a wand of daylight and fired. (Ban Assault Wands) Loki and Hazel found themselves blind, but The Muscle (plus one modified Undine) returned their charge. Those three were quickly hacked to death before Loki was able to regain his sight. (Hazel did so one turn earlier due to a better second save.)

{Player's Note: It was at that point that the die I'd been using went to jail. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you!}

As each of the three were killed they collapsed into puddles of green goop that slowly sifted through the floorboards to the lower area. And it doesn't take a genius to recognize that as a not good thing in this rather messed up campaign.

The group hurried down stairs. Thor led the charge, stopping in the darkness of the cellar. Steve passed by him (having the alternate racial trait granting low light vision) and began searching the environs.

Loki stopped on the stairs a turn later (What? He's got short little Gnome legs.) and spread his dancing lights about. While not always a certainty in this warped place, in this case they worked as advertised.

First, there was a small anvil set on a stone pedestal, nearly hidden by various barrels and mounds of hay. In the center of the room, the green goop from the fallen . . . whatever they are, had formed together into a sick looking green orb that hovered directly between the roof (previously known as the floor) and the floor.

Oh, and over in one corner, the last . . . product of our DM's warped imagination was slowly hulking out. Well, it seemed to be getting bigger and bigger, anyways.

Not wanting to see the end of that particular transformation, Steve charged, striking it. It returned the favor, knocking him to less than half HP. The other two melee characters rushed to support him. Hazel attempted a channel but found the magic absorbed by the orb. Loki conjured a one way mirror between Steve and the Quasi-Hulk with silent image.

As the Muscle and the Monk attacked, Loki shifted his attention to the glob, missing terribly with every shot.

{Player's Note: Down another die}

Fortunately QH didn't last much longer. It fell into another pile of goop. A pile of goop that immediately started roiling towards the orb. Thor stalked over, took one look at the orb, and then began emptying out a barrel.

Knowing his brother as he did, Loki was certain that Thor's first impulse would have been to pop said bubble. But then we would have had two piles of goop on the floor, possibly moving towards each other.

Instead, he took the now emptied barrel, scooped said orb into it, and walked upstairs. The goop immediately began to lift into the air. Loki then emulated his brother (something he will never admit to no matter how hard you twist the thumb screws) by emptying another barrel and placing it over the top of said levitating goop. He then began piling random items on top of the barrel, child construction style, to ensure it stayed put.

Upstairs, Thor had given into his initial impulse and stabbed the orb. It fell into a pile of goop that seemed to be trying to head down through the bottom of the barrel. Fortunately they were well constructed barrels. I'm certain that will come back to haunt us at some point.

Those threats dealt with, it was not time for the most important phase of the day: Loot! Sadly they didn't find much. Steve was able to discover that the alter the anvil was on swung to the side, revealing a wrapped pole like item secreted underneath. Thor found the harpoon he'd speared the horse with tossed carelessly onto the top level of the stables. It took casting a rope laden Gnome over a rafter to get to it, a maneuver that was probably as demeaning as it was fun. Once reacquired, Thor designated it his Lucky Harpoon.

Meanwhile, Steve had come upstairs with his package to unwrap it. They found a well made Partisan (with the stats of a halberd). Thor being the only one able to use such a weapon, it went to him.

They then trooped back to Mayfer to inquire on green goops, hidden Partisans, and Hulks. He had no answer for any. However, when they began to complain about lack of loot he suggested they check out the Dwarf cemetery. Cuase that's not creepy at all, is it?

(We had to call the session at that point due to a headache.)

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