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The Island of Misfit Monsters (TIMM) 14: When Walruses Attack

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Seems so innocent just sitting there, doesn't it?
Not sushi again . . .

Welcome back. When last we met the Cupcakes had a King's treasury worth of gold burning a hole in their pockets. They sailed north for three days before coming to a port city they deemed large enough to spend such loot.

They also ended up staying a few days, so Aria could get a few wands made. The others all pursued their own vices while the waited.

Lucious dined at a different 5 star restaurant every night, relishing in the lack of rat to eat. Except the one establishment that actually had rat on the menu. He left in quite a huff, ranting all the way. It started with 'If I wanted rat I'd dine in the sewers'. It got progressively worse from there. I'm fairly certain the server cried. I'll have to check with the DM.

The Minotaur got drunk and was kicked out of a china shop. He woke up with a hangover and a passive aggressive post it note pinned to one of his horns.

Kilgore lost what little money he hadn't spent on gear gambling.

Nelzask thought he'd sample the alternative lifestyle of hobo; he slept in the street. Traffic went around.

Aria split her time between watching the boat and pestering the crafters making her wands.

Once the allotted days had past, the group reassembled on the boat and set sail. Again, their passage was uneventful. Apparently the local sea life had put a bulletin out on them.

When they reached the island there was a slight discussion on where to dock. The dock they'd originally used was not deep enough for their newest boat. the beach they'd towed a megalodon to also suffered from this issue.

They could, of course, have dropped anchor and used the collapsible boat for the to and fro, as they had last time. But really, where's the fun in that?

So, with only slight DM prodding, the group settled on a cove to the north of the island. That being the cove with a sinister cave in it. No, really, it said so on the map they were given. 'Sinister cave here' with an arrow and everything.

Not that that stopped us. Who knew? Perhaps 'sinister cave' was map code for 'evil lich son's bedroom'.

They landed only to find Jareth, once again waiting for them. Lucius asked him if he wanted to have another hootenanny. Some . . . rather racist words regarding devils were offered. Jareth then warned them that the prince was coming. They had ten days before he'd arrive. Apparently his goings on were like clockwork. A mistake the D.C. were certain to exploit at some point.

Frustrated by the lack of heed payed by the group Jareth left. And before they could ask him about the cave, which they all agreed was quite rude.

Lucius, by dint of having the devil's dark sight ability, was elected scout. Then they rolled stealth. Lucius did not go first (Have I mentioned my dice hate me?). Killgore did. Then again, its entirely possible that Lucius muffed his stealth attempt because he's much happier letting someone else be the trap triggerer. You just never know with that guy.

They got about half way down the rather long tunnel when Killgore suddenly began speaking to a voice in his head. Based on inference, they were fairly certain it wasn't one of the normal voices that cohabits his mind. This one appeared to be a guest.

As they continued each in turn heard the voice in its head, warning them away. Not that they heeded it. What; just because whatever it was could invade their brains, sample their surface thoughts, and creep them out, you thought they'd stop? Hell, Lucius does all those things, and they consider him an ally.

Of course, their resolve did seem to soften a bit when the reached a bend in the tunnel. Nelzask peeked around and reported that the tunnel widened past the limits of his dark vision. He then volunteered to scout it out.

Lucius quickly seconded this plan.

I'm sure by this point you'd be quite surprised if anyone in the group spoke up against this plan. After all, blind, ignorant, confidence (with just a spritzing of luck) had worked for them so far. Why change a winning recipe? I mean, do you see anyone trying to reinvent Coke-A-Cola, or Colonel Sanders' fried chicken.

Well, okay yes, they did. But how did that turn out?

My point.

Look, I'm just saying, the Delicious Cupcakes are slightly smarter than those people.

Actually one of them did speak up. Nelzask suggested he tie his ever diminishing (294 ft to be precise) rope around the Bugbear's . . . robust waist. Then they sent him in like a crudely made wind up toy.

Or the universe's first remote control Bugbear. I'm really not sure which is worse.

As Killgore went, he noted an increase of bones covering the floor. He picked his way through them as carefully as he could. A surprisingly wise choice, really.

As his trek continued to lengthen Lucius peeked around the corner. Whether this was to check on his progress, or simply to get a good view of his possible demise we'll never know. What we do know is that he was able to see the entire cavern. Killgore had just past a large circle carved into the center of the floor. At the other side of it was the skeleton of a massive dragon.

About this point the voice warned Killgore to stop, claiming he was in danger. This led to a flurry of Q and A's that proved ultimately pointless. The voice was quite elusive when it came to questions about its purpose, origin, capabilities, etc. Eventually Lucius, annoyed by the non-answers, asked "well can you do any tricks?"

As the rest of the group glared short swords at their resident Devil, a field of force raised from the circle, effectively trapping Killgore. Lucius immediately gave the signal to reel Killgore in, but alas, it was too late.

Zornesk tugged with all his strength, yanking the oversized goblin back to the edge of the circle. He slammed into the wall of force about five feet off of the ground. Suddenly their minds were filled with a hissing laughter, and the rope was cut short. Nelzask staggered into the wall of the cave and Killgore slid back to the floor. The half ogre then reeled the remaining 288 feet of rope back in.

[Player's Note: I'm going to get that thing under 200ft before this campaign is over.

What? It's good to have goals.]

Eventually the group was able to get the voice to release their smelly scout, on no small part because they'd provided it with its first laugh in a long time. They also managed to learn that it belonged to the dragon skeleton at the end of the room. No it wasn't captive. Yes it did leave on occasion.

It also mentioned that the Prince usually brought something when he visited. This perked their interest. They were able to learn that the Prince occasionally showed up to gain insights and wisdom from the creature. Its feelings towards him were rather ambivalent. It hinted again about visitors leaving things.

Lucius informed it that he did not accept ex post facto agreements and Dimension Doored out to the beach. Everyone else haggled some acceptable bribe. Once outside, Killgore began crafting a crude sign, warning trespassers of the fee.

The group then headed back to the forge. They had everyone there pack up and move to the ship in preparation for leaving. Of course, the Dwarf insisted on dragging his forge along. In the end it was easier to give in. Besides, they had a Half Ogre to do all the heavy lifting.

Once moving day was over it was back to clearing towers. They decided to leave Jareth's tower for the moment, instead working clockwise around the yard. The bottom of the next tower looked much like the previous one. Except the hole in the center appeared to be iced over.

And it was cold. The group slipped its way up the spiral staircase to find another blocked door. In this case, it was less chalked by goblins than simply frozen over. Nelzask made short work of that as well.

Once he made it up the stairs of course. It was quite entertaining. Not the most dextrous one, that.

Once opened, the group was treated to an entire huddle of walruses. Giant Walruses.

Giant angry Walruses.

But, despite their size, they weren't much of a challenge for the cupcakes, who waded through them with ease. Ironically, they avoided the center which, from this angle, appeared to lead into a vast ocean. All thoughts of breaching the ice from the bottom were forgotten.

The next floor was more of the same, except that the Walruses just happened to have the Advanced Template. Apparently they were moving up in the ranks.

They also seemed much more interested in using their charge attack. An attack that everyone avoided with ease . . . except the one person most likely to be able to avoid it. No matter how I sweet talked my dice they consistently left him like a deer in headlights. Except these particular headlights were not attached to a Ford Super Duty. No, these were connected to at least ten tons of bouncing murderous blubber. Good thing he has Improved Evasion.

Well, I guess that's more of a less bad thing. But, between the fact that they were immune to trip (negating his primary focus) his bad attack rolls, and his lackluster trio of fireballs on the previous floor, it was safe to say he was getting a bit annoyed.

It didn't help that he was the recipient of far more trample attempts than anyone else either. While he'd used abundant step to traverse to the opposite side of the room (his habitual pointed reminder to the group that he didn't need them) the others had stayed grouped up at the entrance. Aria had immediately caught wise to the new game and ordered the group not to kill the closest walrus. In effect, they used the massive collection of future lamp oil as a meat shield to prevent any other trample attempts.

The next floor had yet more blubbery trample engines. And a half man half walrus. While the group dealt with the riffraff Lucius Dimension Doored (because he's stubborn) over to the boss and began having a one on one. Again, he could not be tripped, but the massive man walrus (is that a malrus?) couldn't hit him. The fight devolved into a lot of whiffing and cursing. Eventually the group cleared the king's bodyguards and approached. one hit from Nelzask and The Walrus dove down into the ocean to avoid instant death.

Whilst the others caught their breath, Killgore decided to explore the next floor. He found nothing but two pearls, which he quickly concealed. As he descended back to the group Lucius immediately caught a whiff of something suspicious and went to interrogate the Bugbear. Realizing it was caught, Killgore slight of handed one of the pearls into Lucius's clawed hand. A sly wink and they went right on. No need to tell the others . . .

The last floor had nothing but a group of female walruses and their young. Of course, not even the cupcakes would see such a group as a target.

But that didn't mean they couldn't have a little fun . . .

Nelzask roared an intimidation check in the hopes of . . . well, I'm not really sure what he was going for actually. It worked, as far as the adults were concerned. They dove down into the ocean and vanished. But their young thought it was a game of some sort. They rose up and roared back. Nelzask thought it was cute.

{Player's Note: I helped the DM work out the specifics of this intimidation check. I figured 1 HD, so one point in intimidate. Figure, a +1 Charisma modifier, max. And +10 for the sheer number of walrus cubs. Then the DM rolled an 18.}

The rest of the group panicked and fled downstairs. In their defense, they were looking at a couple score of Walruses their size or bigger, all rising up an roaring at them. Nelzask thought it was hilarious.

After much bickering and veiled threats, they returned to the boat. The Dwarf informed them that the Wal-man was in fact one of the Prince's experiments. However, never having been that bright in the first place, he seemed happier as he was.

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