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Many Alternate Doors, No Exits in Sight (MADNES) 59: Filmed Before an Undead Studio Audience . . .

Is this how I look when I watch a movie?
and they don't look pleased . . .

Welcome back to this final episode of Alex Blancarte's MADNES. When last we left off, the group had entered their final objective. At the base they'd found a check in book, that Hazel had happily filled out. (You know her obsession with stationary) They'd talked their way out of a fight with a Lamia Matriarch, predominantly by virtue of Hazel's insanity. And they'd killed some color golems; apparently, whomever had created them had not taken the range of firearms into account when designing their agro range.

Which meant it was time to keep movin on up. The staircase emptied out in a large, tall, circular room, strewn with dead bodies. In the center was the Mind, a large glowing sphere of marble. As the Cupcakes entered Little Shit descended from above. Though he talked much shit through the fight, he accomplished very little. {Player's Note: I haven't seen a DM roll that bad since . . . well, since the last time I DMed . . .}

The few hits he landed with his incorporeal scythe did do massive damage. But it was nothing Hazel couldn't handle. In between bouts of healing, she also placed the artifact the liche had given her under the mind to absorb it. Little shit did not take kindly to this, and redoubled his efforts to cut a path through to the artifact. But Steve stood his ground defiantly.

About half way through the fight one of the corpses began speaking, asking if they needed a little help. It took a moment for the group to realize it was actually their current employer, the liche, asking through the dead man's mouth. Hazel quickly agreed to accept its help before the others could say anything. A moment later all of the dead bodies moved to the room's perimeter and stacked themselves, creating a wall.

The guys couldn't help but notice that this wall also blocked their exit. Hazel merely clapped her hands in approval, because she's clearly insane.

As the failed attacks, and accompanying bon mots, continued, their new undead audience laughed, and even clapped once; an act as grisly and disturbing as the rest of the campaign. At one point, Frank commented on how poorly little shit was doing. In response, the Liche pointed out, through one of the corpses, that he was missing his body, his mind, and his soul. Frank agreed that this evil god was doing alright even as the realization of who they were actually fighting dawned on him.

Sensing the group becoming more serious, the Liche offered to help again, this time for a price. Frank and Thor both shouted 'NO!' before Hazel could accept. The Lich kept trying, saying all he wanted was a book he knew they had. A book they had left with some Gnomes. Of course, this information only stiffened Frank and Thor's resolve that they not accept the proffered help.

Besides, considering Little Shit's penchant for missing his targets, it wasn't long before he was brought low. The mind was absorbed into the vase like artifact. The wall of undead collapsed. The tower began to crumble.

Thor strode to the wall and hammered a hole large enough for them to fly out. They headed to the Lich's mausoleum to return the artifact, as agreed. Once there, the Lich greeted them, and asked one more time after the book, offering to maintain control of the undead in his city in exchange. Which honestly didn't sound like anything he wasn't going to do anyway. I mean, have you ever heard of a Lich without an undead army?

When they still refused, he asked only that they take it up with their superiors. In return he offered a teleportation back to their army, and a teleportation scroll that would bring them back to him.

This they agreed to, and the next thing they knew, they were being debriefed. To Thor and Frank's shock, their commanding officer agreed to the exchange, stating that the book should be returned to its rightful owner.

Frank objected vociferously, and when that failed, departed. He said he was going to claim his horse and go in search of evil doers and corruption across the land. A Punisher.

Thor left as well, saying he was off to find what he needed to resurrect his brother Loki and prepare for Little Shit's eventual coming. They would, no doubt, cause much chaos as they protected it: Avengers

Which left Steve to babysit Hazel, who was looking forward to returning the book to the Lich. The poor bastard. Of course, Steve was also hoping to get his hands on a power stone for Adam.

They used the scroll, returned the book, and waited for a reward. The Lich patted them on the head, told them that Maiphere wanted to see them, and closed the door.

Somewhat crestfallen, they made their way through the undead, who seemed to be going about a normal day's business, without issue. The only strange thing was that, if they got to close, the undead would recoil as if having seen a ghost.

Odd as that was, it did not impede them in any way from reaching their destination. Once their, Maiphere gave Hazel the directions to a dragonkin egg being held by a Dracoliche, as well as how to retrieve it. He then told her to try and be a good parent to him. The two of them departed immediately: Future adoptive parents.

How very disturbing . . .

The End.

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