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Many Alternate Doors, No Exits in Sight (MADNES) 46: You Can't Win Without a Plan, but . . .

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Or with this guy on your team.
. . . but you can lose with one.

Welcome back. When last we left the DCs, they were in the midst of an eating contest. Fortunately, it was interrupted well before they would have been rendered useless by a messenger in the form of a pile of worms inside a cloak. Because . . . reasons.

It introduced itself, saying it had a message to deliver from . . . a mutual acquaintance. Apparently Zha'luskie's spies had finished their reconnoiter and found quite a few obstacles.

At this point being completely inured to such minor oddities, the group gestured for it to explain without even slowing their eating. Though that did slow a bit as it began speaking.

On the first floor was a colossal Salamander. But not like a normal salamander, of course. Aside from it's size, its fire effects were more a fire/acid combination. Melty Lava, what fun!

Below that floor was a group of innocent people who'd been strapped inside of some sort of automatons that were using their bodies. Sort of a chocolate and peanut butter situation with hostage and target all rolled into one neat package. How intriguing!

And well above, near the top of the tower was a room with an angry Angel and Sphinx with some sort of chains on them. Apparently the chains were dictating their actions: puppet and puppeteer all in one. Quite disturbing.

Above that was the stone heart that Frank had suggested burying under a mountain. And, at the very top was the little green creature that was apparently behind it all. You remember him; he's the guy that Loki couldn't keep up with in the hidden tunnels of the castle. {Alright, you can stop now, Alex.}

So that was it. All they had to do was take out an enormous, modified salamander, rescue some hostage/enemies, free an enraged Angel and her Sphinx pet, sever the heart from the castle, and oh yeah, kill a Tonberry. Not much right?

Having delivered its message, the worms abandoned their cloak and spread out on the ground, disappearing in all directions. Hazel, upon recognizing the fine workmanship of the cloak, immediately called dibs.

They went to report this information immediately, only to be informed that Noblesword was still in the midst of her power nap. They left a message indicating what they had learned, to a guard who seemed to get greener and greener about the gills as they spoke, and left.

So, without any supervision, the group started to make plans. Frank decided to alter Thor's Quicksilver bag idea into a grenade. All he needed was a type 4 BOH and a bunch of holy water.

Which meant it was time to go shopping. Well, for Thor and Frank anyways. Hazel was intent on cleaning her new robe, and Steve drew Hazel duty. (What; he's good at it . . .)

After asking around a bit Thor and Frank were eventually pointed in the direction of a merchant outside the fort's gates that dealt in fine custom leather made items. Apparently his smell had gotten him banished to that less than profitable zone.

And, when they found him, they could confirm that he was rank. The uncharitable could probably have claimed that his smell was due to the fact that he was a bugbear. But that's racist. He claimed it was because he tanned the skins he used 'the traditional way'. Don't ask.

In the end Frank purchased a BOH made from a lion's head with the help of funds from the group. And yes, its mouth was the . . . well, mouth of the bag. The merchant also warned that anyone but the owner trying to use it might just find themselves one manipulator-pod shorter than they were.

Frank also secured a deal for other items in exchange for the skin of the salamander they were to fight. Thor then made a deal for some better armor in exchange for its head. After that they went down to the river, filled the BOH and went back into town.

After a bit more shopping, a guard approached, beckoning them to join Noblesword. Apparently she was done with her little nap.

When they arrived, she complained about how long it took. Clearly this Dwarf was an even worse riser than most. (Is it still racist if it's true?) The group pointed out that they had left messages, and that she hadn't given them any orders and she quieted down.

She then destroyed all their 'careful' planning by informing them of hers. The army would surround the tower. Frank would attempt to draw the collosamander out, and the army would slaughter it.

That was as far she got before Frank and Thor spoke up about how they'd promised the skin of said army sized prey to the merchant. With an exasperated sigh Noblesword agreed to let them have it. When she heard of Frank's idea she sent him to get the water he'd collected blessed.

The rest were tasked to helping get the army ready to march. Fortunately there wasn't much left to do before they began.

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