Archive for March, 2011

Enough of these ****ing snakes on this ****ing plane!

she couldn't help being born that way

As the centaur returned to the tavern, she found that the rest of her party were enjoying drinks and general chat- except the minotaur, who was uncomfortably looking at the medusa across the table from him, specifically her snake hair, and was instead taking his mind off it by flexing his muscles behind the cleric- and it wasn’t long before the party decided it was time to get some rest ready for their journey back to Sigil the next day.  The minotaur was first to settle down for the night, hiring the honeymoon suite again and giving the spare key to the cleric who appeared to be developing a slight scent and elongated facial features.  Before he could get up the stairs though, Zarok the Magnificent suddenly appeared on top of the bar giving the dwarf a fright- the dwarf narrowly avoiding taking a chunk out of Zarok the Magnificent’s legs.  Zarok the Magnificent decided he’d hang around for a bit, interested to see what Sigil may be like, and so the minotaur headed to his room, leaving Steve the monkey to talk to Zarok the Magnificent, sharing their traveller’s tales and having a laugh at the expense of the minotaur, and Boris’ shadow was having some fun testing his newfound strength draining abilities on a drunk high elf patron.  Meanwhile, the medusa shifted into her snake form and had some fun swimming in the dwarf’s beer, but when the dwarf looked ready to smash the snake she shifted back into humanoid form, collapsing on the bar unconscious from the potent alcohol she was swimming in.  At the insistence of the landlord, the dwarf dragged the medusa over to the comatose elf, and unknown to the rest of the party the medusa’s snake hair started snapping at the elf, eventually resulting in its death.  The dwarf retreated to his room, as did Steve and Zarok the Magnificent, and the centaur made herself comfortable by the fire, watching the cleric trying to come to a decision about where to sleep.  Leaving the honeymoon suite key on a table in the bar, she instead decided to hire a different room down the hall.  Last to bed was the halfling, swiping the key from the table but not about to test his luck against a minotaur waiting for a special guest, he also slept by the fire.
Morning came, and those in the bar area were woken first by the early morning patrons and the local lizardman police, who investigated the fallen elf and discovered the snake bites, though luckily the medusa had already made her hasty escape.  Unluckily, the minotaur happened to be heading downstairs as he caught the lizardmen dragging the elf out complaining about the ‘high frequency of snake attacks lately’, leading the minotaur to decide the party should leave this place as soon as possible, with all its scalykind.  Everyone sat around, having breakfast as they waited for the centaur to finish whatever errand she was on- in this case being picking up her brand new bow and refilling her feedbag.  On her return, the party set off to find the portal back to Sigil, picking up the dwarf’s cart on the way.  Unfortunately, the way was blocked- the gate leading to the dwarven mountains being blocked off, apparently due to increased dragon attacks.  After some convincing, the lizardmen agreed to let the group through, though first they would have to sign agreements saying they wouldn’t hold the Rundeen Consortium accountable in the case of injury, death, or loss of limbs as a result of fire damage, biting, acid damage, or for some reason large falling stone objects.  The party signed as best they could, and passed through, the solid wooden gates slamming shut behind them.  Ahead, where there used to be fields of vineyard there was now just scorched earth.  Hurriedly, the party passed through the plains and into the mountains where they would be safe, temporarily.  Luckily they passed without incident, but when they approached the mountains they noticed a large scaly creature laying on a rocky precipice.  the shadow of Boris went to investigate, finding a sleeping feathered serpent.  The shadow checked it was definitely sleeping by using his strength drain, but unfortunately the attack only served to wake the creature up, causing it to show itself to the rest of the party and telepathically ask the centaur what they wanted and demand they stop attacking him.  The centaur managed to convince it they were just passing through, and to show there were no hard feelings the Couatl gave the shadow a point of healing- which of course served the opposite effect on the undead creature.  Once satisfied the party meant no harm, and mildly amused by the minotaur’s disturbed look, the serpent flew away to the sea once they passed.
Continuing further, to the point where the centaur and cleric had met the Cheliceras- strange spider like creatures with tuning fork antennae and the ability to drain blood- the party could hear a strange noise coming from a nearby cave, sounding like singing and banging metal.  As the noise got closer, it was clear it was a pair of dwarves singing a song, causing the party’s dwarf to be compelled to sing along (Hi-Hoooo).  On noticing the group, the dwarves stopped singing and adopted a guilty look, asking what the group wanted.  The party learned that as far as the dwarves knew, there hadn’t been any recent dragon attacks but they had been spending a few days at the new mine they’d established, where they’d found a valuable vein of ores, causing them to be in their merry mood.  The party stopped for a moment to discuss a couple of things, letting the dwarves continue on their way, and when the group continued their next obstacle was a fork in the road- one way leading along the coast, the other to the dwarven town.  Deciding they didn’t need to waste time at the dwarf town, they continued still further- though unfortunately, the centaur had a momentary lapse in judgement and missed the point where the portal once was.  Luckily the shadow of Boris and the cleric recognised the area, but the portal was nowhere to be found.  Informing the group that when they first passed through, the portal was created by drawing a chalk door on a wall in an alleyway, the minotaur decided to try using his lucky piece of chalk to draw a door on this side, at the point where the scent of the cleric stopped.  Nothing happened.  He drew a trapdoor on the ground, and still nothing happened.  He started drawing the finest door he could, complete with handle, hinges, knocker, and even doorbell, but still nothing was happening.  Meanwhile, Zarok the Magnificent used a Detect Magic spell to find a more reliable place to search for the portal.  Indeed, the portal appeared to be directly next to where the minotaur was drawing, and so Zarok the Magnificent tentatively knocked on the wall.  Still there was no reaction.  He tried the elvish word for friend, out of some vague last hope, but nothing happened.  The group waited for a while, trying to decide what the problem was, and the shadow decided to be useful by looking inside the wall- of course, all he could see was darkness.  He poked his head out from behind the wall, taunting the minotaur and Zarok the Magnificent, and sure enough the portal opened- it seemed the trigger was simply one of the original party touching it.  Naturally, Boris’ shadow was first through the portal followed by the others, but strangely the other side revealed the living room of a small house, where before it had been an alley.  Briefly searching, the shadow poked his head through a couple of walls, only to discover a rather attractive Tiefling showering in the bathroom.  He informed the others, though the majority had already left, but the halfling decided to take a peak out of curiosity, opening the door to the bathroom as the shadow informed the tiefling that she had an intruder.  Finally getting her attention, she spun round and her first instinct was ‘shadow!’, and rushing to the other room she saw the party.  Recognising the cleric, she asked why they were not attacking the shadow, and the cleric informed Kylie (the tiefling guide they had become acquainted with several times before) that the shadow was in fact Boris, and that he was quite harmless.  Kylie was satisfied, and invited everyone in to sit a while as she got dressed, then she could explain a couple of things.
The party obliged, and when Kylie was done she told the group that Sigil was in chaos at the moment, hence the portal opening in her living room as it was hidden from the main population, and all portals ot the prime material plane were sealed off.  Several planar breaches had popped up over the city, and whilst they had been controlled relatively quickly, the Lady was somewhat incapacitated- ‘ill’ for want of a better word.  She volunteered to show the group to the Lady’s palace, if only to give the party a reference point to work from, letting the newcomers see what Sigil was like.  The medusa druid wasn’t too impressed, stone buildings as far as the eye could see, but the minotaur was awed, as were Zarok the Magnificent marvelling at the magic that must have been involved in the construction of the place, and the halfling marvelling at the amount of people he could pickpocket.  Advancing through the workshops and craft district, past the ruined temple, and through the lawful area of courts and prisons, the party eventually arrived at the palace to discover chaos in the form of various protesters, and a muster point for adventuring groups that were being given slips of paper before being sent through portals that were popping up all around.  Kylie bid the party farewell, after directing them to some nearby sites including the bank and the city’s favourite magical item shops.  The group attempted to deliver the report of their mission to the Lady, only to be stopped by the Lady’s ward, informing them that the Lady wasn’t receiving guests due to her vulnerable state.  Instead, he would take the contract written by the yuan-ti and return with a reward.  The centaur wasn’t happy with this, having spent so long getting the bit of paper, but eventually let the creature go about his business, and sure enough he returned with a bag of holding containing the party’s reward, which would have to be divided at the tavern.  Deciding to waste no time, the party headed to the tavern, discovering more about the city on the way, passing through the kobold neighbourhood, the goblin neighbourhood, the orc neighbourhood, and finally the demon neighbourhood before eventually arriving at the tavern they used as a base of operations- the ‘Cloak and Dagger’.  Immediately the centaur headed to a back room to divide the reward amongst the party, settling on 1000 gold for herself, the cleric, and the orc who was waiting back at the pub despite him not doing much, and the rest would be divided amongst the newcomers picked up during the mission.  Meanwhile, Boris’ shadow negotiated with Gretch, the dwarf who stayed at the headquarters, to collect the earnings from the brothel and arms shop.  The witch, who had also stayed at the tavern, noticed the dwarf and mistook him for the previous dwarf, attempting to dress him in the new suit she’d made out of the winter wolf pelt.  The dwarf was not impressed, feeling naked without his armour, but after some convincing (read: being picked up and held upside down) by the minotaur, he eventually agreed to wear it- indeed it would give him benefits, namely a resistance to cold, assuming he wore the hood as well.  Once more, the group headed to bed, ready to explore the city the next day and pick up a mission to claim the reward being offered for ‘healing’ the Lady- a promise of a reward that money can’t buy.
Sure enough, in the morning the group went shopping.  First stop was a new shop that Kylie mentioned- Osborne’s Emporium, run by halflings and claiming to be purveyors of a multitude of unique items used in various crusades by various heroic figures.  The minotaur managed to find a new axe better suited to his needs, and as the halflings told him the tale of the weapon he started fazing out but bought it regardless, it being the perfect weapon for taking on the Shadows he was now aware were his enemies- an undead bane ghost touch greataxe.  Steve got an upgraded bow, too- also undead bane, and psychokinetic at the encouragement of the centaur.  Speaking of whom, she still had the queen of Narnia’s short swords to dispose of, and figured these would be the most interested.  Indeed they were, but they needed some sort of authenticity and a good story to go with it.  Sure enough, the swords were beautifully made and had a symbol that was probably the queen’s insignia, so they offered to buy the pair at a rather poor price, though justified due to their non-magical nature.  The centaur noticed that the swords were given to a hardworked halfling who was told to write up a convicning story about them, something icy to do with Narnia.  After depositing some money in the bank, the party reunited by the palace and approached the creature in charge of the muster point.

How do you even get flying volcanoes full of lava? I guess a wizard did it.

The group were told that adventuring parties were being sent to various sites in an attempt to find the source of what plagued the Lady, and whichever group was successful would receive a reward that money can’t buy.  At the party’s curiosity, he informed them that other than the touchstones that were being investigated, other groups had been sent directly to the plane of Shadow in an attempt to stall the shadow forces and stop them from breaching Sigil in the Lady’s weakened state, but because of the party’s weak experience they would be sent to one of the touchstones.  After listing off various planes that had been covered so far, including the plane of fire, plane of earth, Bytopia, and the grey wastes, he eventually settled on one that the party should be able to handle- a small demiplane that they had lost contact with.  Apparently, it used to be one of the floating islands of Netheril, but when the ancient civilisation was destroyed this particular island merely floated off into space becoming a demiplane of its own.  The minotaur, centaur, halfling and dwarf insisted they were ready though the others decided they could do with more supplies, so the quartet were given mission proofs so they couldn’t cheat the system, and were sent through the portal which gave a spectacular view of the island before settling in the middle of a deserted city.  As the party entered, their employer quickly added that the touchstone was inside the volcano, and the portal was sealed with no return.
The minotaur, centaur, and dwarf were left in the city, with the others still in Sigil, picking up supplies for the mission.  On investigating, the city was definitely deserted and anything of value had already been looted, leaving just a couple of skeletons.  The volcano was clearly in the centre of the island, and there appeared to be a crypt built into the side of it, so it was decided that that must be the entrance to the dungeon.  The graveyard outside was a bit creepy in the silence, and the halfling noticed a couple of the graves looked quite fresh compared to the rest, but they advanced to the crypt.  Searching inside, there was nothing but a stone statue of a snake and a couple of important looking stone tombs, one of which was broken by a tree that had collapsed the side wall.  The centaur looked at the statue closer for any secret passages, and noticed that it was in a curious position- it appeared to be looking outside, through a window, at either a tree or a particular grave.  As they were about to head outside, they noticed the graves were being disturbed by something arising from inside- six mummies to be precise.  They advanced slowly to the crypt, with the minotaur slamming one of the doors shut and the dwarf blocking the other, hoping to lure the undead inside.  Unfortunately, the mummies appeared to be intelligent enough to figure out the plan, and merely waited outside- proving easy targets for Steve and the halfling who climbed through the collapsed wall and onto the roof, firing bows at the creatures below, but neither were doing much damage and it proved a tricky position to fire from.  After some waiting, the trio inside knew the undead were laying siege to them, so they had to bring the fight to their foes.  Charging down the door, the minotaur ran into a barrage of slams, one of which got a lucky glance on him which stung a little.  Hacking at the creatures, the minotaur chopped through them one by one with some ranged support from the centaur and the would-be-snipers on the roof, and some clubbing of his own by the dwarf, the mummies were eventually felled- though unfortunately the centaur managed to trip, stunning herself, and by unlucky coincidence so did the dwarf.  Once the mummies had crumbled to dust, the minotaur paid some attention to his wound which was starting to get a bit pussy and rancid, and soon he was feeling extremely poorly.  The centaur identified it as Mummy’s Rot, a dangerous curse that if left unchecked could result in the minotaur crumbling to dust just like the mummies, leaving the minotaur to run screaming for the cleric to heal him- who had luckily just turned up through the portal.

Important notes:
Party back in Sigil, prime material plane sealed off.
Osborne’s Emporium introduced, a halfling-run magical item shop that has good items but high prices, thanks to their creative bard team.
Party starts their mission to save the Lady, hoping for an extra special reward- something along the lines of a Wish or Miracle.
Players who left early are encouraged to buy potions, things to remove curses, things that will help against undead and constructs, things to protect against volcanoes, and before arriving at the dungeon the cleric will be given a scroll of Tenser’s Floating Disc- told it will come in extremely useful, and use it wisely.

Coming Soon:
A guide to Sigil, for any readers unfamiliar with the planar metropolis.

The Naga Nuisance

The night passed uneventfully, but as dawn came, deep in the jungle, the elven village was under alert as one of the guards at the outpost ran into the village crying out about a naga war party attacking.  The yuan-ti that were occupying the village helped mount a defense, ready for the naga, and the leader of the elves decided the best people to help would be the party he travelled with before.  Using his ring of communication, he managed to contact the Rundeen Consortium who said they would send some reinforcements as soon as possible, but there was no response from the rest of the party.

It's a matter of time before these guys show up

Wasting no time, the half-elf found the resident yuan-ti wizard and got him to teleport them both back to town, successfully arriving in the tavern where the centaur, minotaur, and dwarf (and Steve the monkey) had just gotten up for breakfast.  The dwarf and minotaur instantly readied their weapons, but the centaur assured them it was alright by running up to and hugging the half-elf, recognising him as the former party member.  Brief introductions were made, and the half-elf told them his village was in danger and that he would tell them the details on the way, as the yuan-ti had no more teleports prepared.  The minotaur charged blindly ahead, knowing the centaur could catch up easily once she learnt of the problem, and the dwarf hurried on too.
As they left, the half-elf told the centaur that there were naga attacking, and mentioned some details about the naga.  They lived in their own village about a day away from the elven village, and generally kept to themselves unless hired by other yuan-ti tribes to help in their petty disputes.  Interestingly, nagas could be good or evil aligned, though the local ones were believed to be evil, their attack confirming as such.  Satisfied the half-elf had told her all she needed to know, she ran on, relaying the information to the dwarf, and then to the minotaur.  It didn’t take long for the half-elf to catch up with the dwarf, and after a couple of hours running the centaur ran ahead to the yuan-ti village to make sure there was food and drink waiting for the minotaur.  Shortly after, the minotaur arrived and collapsed with fatigue, drinking the ample supply of milk which unfortunately only made him feel worse, and they decided to wait for the others.  It took a while, but eventually the half-elf and the dwarf arrived, only to be told they were continuing on straight away, much to the dwarf’s annoyance.  They carried on, heading towards the elf village with the mass exodus of yuan-ti that were going to help, and the journey passed uneventfully though the rain was proving irritating as it sucked at the party’s boots.  On arriving at the elven village, the dwarf managed to get stuck in the thick mud and had to be pulled out, and there were little signs of battle- merely a couple of bodies, but more surprisingly was the fact there was barely anyone left in the village.  Quickly finding a cleric tending to the wounded and asking what happened as he cured the minotaur of his disease, he informed the party that the naga arrived but didn’t ‘attack’ as such.  Instead, the yuan-ti appeared to switch sides as did several of the elves.  He believed it to be a form of mind control, but more than that he could not say.  He volunteered to go with his leader, as he felt himself to be stronger willed than the ones that were taken, and so they continued to follow the trail left by the naga, noticing that it was the same direction the previous elven leader had teleported in.
The dwarf was dragged on his tower shield, as it proved quicker than waiting for him to pull himself out of the marshy terrain, and once more, things were quiet- any jungle animals frightened off by the large group that passed through before.  Unfortunately, when the party were ready to settle for the night a couple of creatures approached- a pair of spirit naga, snake-like creatures with human heads and red and black stripes, speaking in a foul language that none could understand.  The elven cleric called out to them, asking what they wanted, and in common they said that they were the second party to pass through their territory, and asked what the group wanted.  The party attempted to get some information from these naga, but to no avail, all they would say was that they were forced from their village by these naga newcomers and that they had ‘tainted’ it, and when questioned as to why they wouldn’t move on the naga rather stupidly said that they intended to make dinner out of the group, and so the fight started.  One immediately turned invisible, but couldn’t hide it’s passing through the thick jungle undergrowth, and the party concentrated fire on the other, who proceeded to fireball the party whilst they were clustered in a large group.  It couldn’t do much more than that as it was pelted with arrows, and when the minotaur attacked it was too late for it, save for a couple of lucky misses thanks to it’s displacement spell.  Instead, whilst the minotaur was distracted, the invisible naga rematerialised in a position where it could catch the gaze of the centaur and the cleric, putting the cleric under it’s spell and convincing it to heal the naga with his wand.  Despite the added healing. it still didn’t last long and when it was killed the party settled down for the night once more, the minotaur gathering more heads in the process, having been told he would be paid ten gold per naga head- and just in time too, as the naga seemed to be regaining consciousness.  Just as they were starting to sleep, except the minotaur who was on watch, another invisible creature was heading towards the party.  It didn’t seem to notice the minotaur watching it as it circled the sleeping group, and it was slowly getting closer which eventually resulted in the minotaur attacking, waking the party in the process.  The invisible creature activated a displacement spell on itself, and attempted to retreat, but to no avail.  The party had trouble hitting it, but when they did it was killed easy enough.
Morning came, and the half-elven leader wasn’t feeling too well, having contracted a disease during the night.  Before heading on, the party discussed their options, as all were starting to get sick of the jungle and incessant rain.  The minotaur reasoned that he was only here for money, and his primary job was to deliver the eggs to the yuan-ti, and as far as he knew this mission was a freebie.  The centaur acknowledged this, but she also knew the main mission was to befriend the yuan-ti and the best way to do this would be helping to retrieve their people that were seemingly taken as slaves.  The dwarf was slightly torn, as he knew the naga could be good or evil, and although he knew the elves to be good he also knew the yuan-ti to be evil.  Eventually they came to the consensus that they would contact the cleric they left behind in town to get her to bring the eggs to the yuan-ti village, and meanwhile they would carry on tracking the naga, noticing that the trail was starting to turn back on itself and therefore away from the naga village they thought they were heading towards.

Even the dwarf (eventually) decided against attacking this thing

It took a few hours, but eventually they reached the end of the trail- back at the yuan-ti village, much to the annoyance of the minotaur.  As they got closer, they could see their marks in the trees- two large snake-like creatures that shined a brilliant white, reflecting various colours as they shimmered in the sunlight that broke through the canopy.  On ground level, there were various yuan-ti and elves fighting off other yuan-ti from the village, though taking care not to be particularly aggressive.  Meanwhile, many other yuan-ti were just standing around in some sort of daze.  The centaur volunteered to step forward and attempt to talk to the iridescent naga, who were willing to talk if only to tell the party to stay away, that they were on a mission from their god.  As the party was largely being ignored, there was a stirring from inside the village- emerging from the yuan-ti elder’s hut came the leader of the yuan-ti, a grotesque multi-headed creature known as the yuan-ti anathema, carrying a gargantuan falchion and looking extremely annoyed.  The entire village spread to get away from the anathema, several yuan-ti running in terror, and having noticed the crown the naga wore as the source of the mind control, the centaur knew the crown had to be removed.  The minotaur attempted to charge the tree the naga was in, hoping to dislodge it, as the centaur ran to get a good vantage point to target the crown- the other naga teleporting away as it spotted the anathema.  The anathema advanced further in a blind rage, swiping at an elf and getting within range of the minotaur to cause an aversion affect, making the minotaur terrified of any scalykind creature and compelling him to be at least 20 feet away from one, dead or alive- including the naga skins in his backpack.  The centaur managed to successfully target the crown, damaging it enough to trigger one of it’s magical effects- a repulsion field, trapping all creatures within a hundred foot radius which included the anathema.  Fortunately, the naga saw it was beaten as the creatures it had previously controlled were running in terror and so it plane shifted out of sight, dispelling the repulsion field as soon as it generated it.  Unfortunately, the anathema was still on a rampage.  The centaur and dwarf quickly ran for cover as the anathema took out it’s stress on a yuan-ti that got in it’s way, and after a few minutes it eventually slithered back into it’s hut.  The minotaur managed to overcome his aversion, though was still uneasy about scalykind, and so blindly ran straight through the village and headed back to town, as did the cleric who had arrived with the eggs.  The centaur bravely decided to stay behind, as the yuan-ti that gave them the mission agreed to write the contract stating they would share any information on the shadows that they came across, however it would have to be signed by the anathema.  A few hours were given for the anathema to calm down, and it was sedated with the dinosaur eggs so was willing to sign the contract, leaving the centaur to dash back to town where the party could be gathered in the morning and she could head back to Sigil, hopefully convincing the others to come with her so she may get some reward for new recruits.

Important events:
Yuan-ti mission is complete, party now needs to return to Sigil.
Yuan-ti will now pass information they receive from their spies regarding the shadow threat.
Celestials may have problems with the party interfering with their plans…

Jurassic Larks ///

(It may require some imagination, but those /// in the title are meant to be claw marks.  Just sticking to the theme.)

Minotaurs aren't known for their sexiness...

Once the party had finished their various errands in town, mostly consisting of selling trophies and praying to respective gods, they retired to the usual tavern for the night.  Whilst having their evening chat, a dwarf walked in, heavily armoured and already slightly tipsy.  He decided to buy a round for the party to get to know them, always willing to make new friends, and the party reluctantly obliged, slightly distrustful given their current experience with dwarves.  It didn’t take long for the group to start getting tired, and so the minotaur was first to bed- enquiring for the largest bed in the inn, as he was having little luck with smaller beds recently, and so he was offered the honeymoon suite.  Jumping at the chance to spend more time with his ‘horny bird’, he hurriedly accepted and attempted to coax the poor cleric to go with him.  After some persuasion, she decided she would go to his room as it was free, and she wouldn’t necessarily have to sleep in the same bed as him.  On arriving in the room, Steve quickly retreated to a secluded corner on top of the wardrobe and the minotaur set things up to welcome the cleric, including ordering some grass and cheese from room service.  When she entered, the minotaur attempted the traditional courtship dance, much to the bewilderment of the cleric.  Much to the cleric’s relief, she noticed a comfortable looking chair in the corner and so decided to sleep in that, which the minotaur was happy with- until she fell asleep and he carefully lifted her into the bed next to him.  Meanwhile, the medusa reverted to lizard form to sleep amongst the thatch of the roof, the centaur curled up in the corner of the bar, the halfling slept in front of the fire, and the dwarf got the room next to the honeymoon suite.
During the night things were relatively quiet, save for a bump from the window of the honeymoon suite.   Waking the residents of the room, the cleric’s first surprise was finding herself in the bed when she started in the chair.  The minotaur quietened her, and indicated there was something behind the window.  Throwing the curtains open and punching through the window, the minotaur grabbed hold of the would-be intruder and threw him into the room.  It was evidently a very panicked tiefling, dressed in traditional black thieves garb with various lockpicking tools strapped around his waist.  On being questioned, it was evident the tiefling could not understand.  The minotaur tried speaking his native language, giant, very slowly and loudly but still to no effect other than waking the dwarf next door.  Deciding to deal with him in the morning, the tiefling was tied to the chair with the curtain ties, and on the cleric’s insistence was turned to face the wall.  Leaving the cleric with no choice but to spend the rest of the night in the bed, the minotaur was most gentlemanly and let her sleep peacefully.
Morning approached, giving the centaur and halfling a rude awakening as the early morning patrons entered, as well as the medusa who was woken by the general noise of the street traffic.  As soon as the minotaur woke, he dragged the still sleeping tiefling, with the chair, down the stairs and out to the Rundeen Consortium to report him as the rest of the group had a hearty breakfast.  On arriving, the Consortium was as empty as the first time it was visited, with the same lizardman on reception.  He saw the rogue, and indifferently told the minotaur to leave him and he would be dealt with.  First shaking him to make sure he had no loot worthy as a reward, the minotaur was satisfied and left him, returning to the tavern for a well deserved breakfast where the day’s agenda would be discussed.  The medusa informed the party that she was waiting for a weapon to arrive, so she would be waiting for that, which the minotaur and centaur were happy with as they had something they wanted to sort out anyway- though making sure to leave Steve with the druids for the day, at his insistence; leaving the cleric, halfling, and dwarf to look after the eggs that had been retrieved.  The medusa had plans of her own, however, deciding to babysit the egg with the possibility of hatching it and raising it as her own, much to the cleric’s annoyance.  Realising she wouldn’t be able to convince the medusa otherwise, the cleric decided to spend the day selling some of her curative spells at the fighting pits, as the dwarf decided to get some work for the day as doorman for a brothel and the halfling did what he did best- pickpocket the market goers.
The centaur and minotaur decided, rather selfishly, to go hunting more dinosaurs by themselves so they could split the profits between just the two of them.  Heading back to the river leading to the dinosaur plains, all was quiet save for another quetzlcoatlus flying overhead.  Continuing further, they could make out a tyrannosaurus shaped creature in the distance near the watering hole and so they headed towards it.  Getting closer it became evident that the creature had noticed them, and was heading towards them, when it turned out to be playing tricks on their depth perception- what they had previously thought as a tyrannosaurus was discovered to be considerably larger, and gaining on them quickly.  Deciding it was too late to turn back, the duo stayed to fight, the centaur knowing she could run if things got too dangerous for her anyway.  Sure enough, what was now evident as a gargantuan Spinosaur, as shown by the sail down its back, proceeded to stomp on the minotaur which was tiny in comparison.  The minotaur attempted to fight back, but misjudged its hit and merely succeeded in knocking himself out for a couple of rounds.  The spinosaur, not being one to turn down an easy meal, quickly swallowed up the unconscious minotaur as the centaur continued to attempt to run rings around it, though taking an unfortunate trample in the process.  After the game of cat and mouse (or lizard and horse), the minotaur regained consciousness to find itself in the spinosaurus’ gizzard.  Attempting to climb his way up to the mouth where he was more comfortable, he couldn’t get a good enough hold but managed to cut with his axe on the way back down, leaving a large gash that he could escape through- though despite this opportunity, he instead decided to stay in the safety of the dinosaur’s insides whilst also avoiding the various acids by squeezing himself into the space between the throat and exterior skin.  Whilst proving limiting in his movement, and he would still be taking damage from the muscle action of the throat and wound attempting to close itself, it was the safest place for him to be and indeed he was injuring it a lot, taking breaths whenever a wound was opened to the outside.  The dinosaur, knowing it couldn’t keep up with the centaur and knowing it had to do something about the beast in its throat, started running to the river where it submerged itself, doing some added injury to the minotaur with the increased pressure of swallowing some water.  With them both in serious trouble, the dinosaur started clawing at its own throat trying to squeeze the minotaur out like a bizarre form of dinosaur acne, but unfortunately it fell with the final mighty blow of the minotaur, and as it toppled it took the minotaur with it, landing on top of him and making him fall unconscious.  The centaur quickly rushed to the minotaur’s aid, force feeding him a couple of potions, and after hastily extracting a couple of teeth and removing its sail as a souvenir they retreated back to town, considerably battered and bruised and slightly regretting their decision.  Selling their trophies for a considerable price, though slightly disappointed at the price for the sail which they sold to a shipwright, they decided to head back to get some rest.  The rest of the party’s daily missions had come to an end, and so the duo told them of their expedition and that their quarry still lay in the plains, so they all decided to claim the rest of the teeth and anything else they could manage between them, bringing a wagon with them to get as much as possible.
Unfortunately, scavengers had already arrived at the carcass- a pack of raptors, that quickly turned on the party when they approached, relying on their strength in numbers (a total of fifteen).  Sure enough, they got a few lucky hits in, including a flying leap from the dwarf’s tower shield to the centaur fifteen feet away, though none so lucky as the hits done to each other by the party- notably a double knockout as the dwarf and medusa both lashed out at the same attacker but only hitting each other.  Unfortunately, this resulted in the raptors targeting the fallen characters, bringing the dwarf to within an inch of his life and the medusa beyond hers, killing her.  Don’t worry, she gets better (as ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ has shown, readers worrying about the safety of protagonists can lead to medical problems, so probably best to keep you at ease now).

Could a Pterosaur support someone's weight? Who cares!

As the battle blazed on, the quetzalcoatlus and its rider that had been watching the party since abducting the caravan decided to swoop in, snatching the cleric as the elf rider leapt from its back, diving at the minotaur though unfortunately misjudging and stunning himself on a rock.  The minotaur was not impressed with the taking of his ‘horny bird’ and charged at the creature, successfully incapacitating it’s wing, though giving the cleric an unpleasant flashback to a large flying leathery creature falling on top of her.  Before the elf could be killed, with it’s final ounce of strength it threw a pearl from its necklace, engulfing friend and foe alike in a fireball and then teleporting away.  With all their foes finally destroyed, the party healed their wounded members and started harvesting body parts, including the medusa’s head and foot for resurrection.  With a plentiful haul of teeth and claws, the bloodied party once again returned to town, hoping to never deal with dinosaurs again, at least not any time soon.  Before recovering for the night, the trophies were sold, though with a poor value mostly due to the increased supply, and the cleric proceeded to get the medusa raised at the temple (told you she’d get better).

Important events:
Vengeful DM is released, thanks to attempted metagaming (it doesn’t matter if you try to justify dinosaur hunting for money, when you’ve already said ‘if we kill more dinosaurs we’ll level up quicker’)
The medusa died, then got resurrected.
Grant’s aspiring dwarven defender joins the party, and almost gets killed.
The minotaur almost dies, and the centaur would have died with another hit.
The cleric almost dies, in a similar fashion to before which may result in a running theme.
The Jurassic Larks arc is completed (hopefully).

It should be noted that in this case, the metagaming worked- the players did indeed gain a level from their encounter, though it was partially earned.  Further punishment may be required…

Jurassic Larks II: The Lost Wagon

After stashing away Boris’ head into the wagon and harvesting the tyrannosaurs for more claws and heads, the relentless rain briefly relented.

That's not a spell, he just has a good sense of timing

This left the centaur and the minotaur curious as to why they had started to sparkle, as had the crumpled heap of Boris’ body.  Initial thoughts were that they had become vampires, but they quickly realised that was ridiculous and other effects started to develop- for starters, the minotaur was starting to shout involuntarily.  Shortly after, the centaur started smelling strongly of fruit (much to the minotaur’s delight) and became covered in a layer of dust.  Before either of them could discuss what was happening, a strange man suddenly appeared on top of the wagon in a puff of smoke.  Slightly disoriented, he quickly recovered, announcing himself as… Zartok the Magnificent.  He thought it was a big deal, but no-one else seemed to particularly care, and of course his presence immediately after the mysterious magic sand’s effects shifted the blame directly to him.  Luckily he managed to convince them he meant no harm, and arrived very much by accident but would help where he could.  Whilst the conversation was taking place, a headless shadow appeared from Boris’ mucus-covered body (another magic sand side effect), creeping up the side of the wagon and eventually diving inside trying to find his head.  This was Zartok the Magnificent’s first opportunity to prove himself by throwing a Continual Light spell inside the wagon, exposing the dwarf and drow still unconscious from the drugs they’d been helping themselves to, but also exposing a very clear shadow scrambling in the light though strangely unaffected.  Wary of the shadow, due to their primary mission against creatures of shadow, the centaur and minotaur waited for the shadow’s action- which was to take the shadow of his head and apply it to himself and after some gesticulating it proved he was the shadow of their former comrade Boris.
Now introductions and reintroductions had been completed, it was decided that they should split up to find the T. Rex eggs.  The centaur, with Boris’ shadow attached, tracked the T. Rex that had been chasing the stampede to find it’s nest, and indeed she found it with a single undamaged egg, the others having been scavenged upon by tiny dinosaurs.  Meanwhile, the minotaur strapped himself to the wagon to pull it along, having lost one of the horses previously.  Heading back towards the watering hole, they eventually regrouped with the astral deva and the cleric who had been resting in town, and the minotaur discovered the other effect of the magic sand- that when he held his hands open, streamers and confetti would come out, which would be his new toy for a while.  As the mission was relayed to them, the party became aware of a lizard sprinting across the desert towards them- not a dinosaur as might be expected, but a regular lizard who nonetheless seemed intelligent enough to attempt to communicate with the party.  It scratched a message in the sand, that unfortunately the minotaur couldn’t understand but knew it was communication of some sort and so informed the others.  With his great powers of observation, Zartok the Magnificent identified the writing as saying ‘Hi!’ in common.  Casting a Comprehend Languages spell on himself, he was able to communicate with the lizard and relay information between it and the rest of the party, and after a rather complicated conversation it was established that the party were looking for T. Rex eggs and the lizard may be able to help them find some.  By now the centaur had returned and put the egg safely inside the wagon, and was told that the lizard could show her to more and it would be quickest for her to retrieve them whilst the others headed back.  Reluctantly the centaur agreed, and with the lizard on her back (still with Boris’ shadow, which was now sleeping as shown by the shadow ‘zzz’ coming from his head) followed the lizard’s directions to the next nest.  On the way they encountered the herd of Gallimimus which were spooked by the fast-moving object amongst them, and by an unfortunate stroke of luck some velociraptors took this as a chance to do some hunting.  The centaur and lizard could see they were surrounded, so quickly headed back to the party shouting about being chased, the centaur leaping over the minotaur for protection.  The raptors were coming up quick behind them, and attempted to circle the party for a tactical advantage but not before Zartok the Magnificent flinged a Fireball at them before encouraging the others to protect him.  The minotaur raged as he went to combat one of the raptors, as another leapt at the centaur getting a lucky strike on the lizard still on her back.  The lizard slipped off and reverted to its true form- a young Medusa.  The raptors didn’t pose much of a problem, indeed the minotaur managed to catch one of them charging at him by scooping it up with the killing blow of his axe on another.  In a momentary lapse of judgment the medusa dominated the creature that attacked her and sent it to attack its packmate, that had just fallen- so the raptor took its command as to attack the minotaur.  Whilst the raptor was slain immediately, there was the problem that the cleric recognised medusae as an inherently evil species and had spotted the creature seemingly commanding the dinosaur to attack the minotaur.  Luckily the medusa managed to convince her that it was an accident, and that she was the lizard that had helped them out moments before, and this time the party decided there was safety in numbers when looking for Tyrannosaurus eggs, especially when the rain was starting up again.
Sure enough, it didn’t take long to discover what was very definitely a T. Rex nest, as it had one laying on it with another next to it.  They didn’t appear to have noticed the party, so the group decided to attempt sneaking up on it, leaving the caravan behind temporarily.  The medusa druid started summoning a storm for the battle, utilising the rain to her advantage, and when everyone was in position she called a lightning bolt to hit the creature on the nest.  The minotaur insisted that he needed to face the larger one alone, as a rite of passage for something or other, which the party were happy to comply with as one would be enough for them.  Sure enough it didn’t take long for the cleric to be badly injured and retreat whilst healing herself, the minotaur was sticking to his old tactic of jumping down the dinosaur’s throat, and in an attempt to be useful and emulate the minotaur, the astral deva attempted to do the same- only to find she wasn’t quite big enough and so got swallowed whole.  The centaur and cleric did their utmost to free it, but it was too late- the acid was too strong for the deva to resist and so she disintegrated, melding back into her celestial plane.  The battle was heated, with the druid summoning several monkeys to distract the creatures, but the party did notice a quetzalcoatlus swooping down and making off with the entire caravan, flying into the distance.  The cleric made sure to summon her eagle to send after the flying lizard in an attempt to track it, receiving the information once they had finished.
The T. Rexes were eventually both felled, with Zartok the Magnificent teleporting away halfway through the encounter, and the minotaur was able to hand-on-heart say that he had slain a huge dinosaur with his bare hands and no assistance, despite the other dinosaur’s attempts to get the monkeys off of its head by bashing them against its partner.  Cutting open the female T. Rex that had swallowed the deva showed no sign of its meal, but investigating the nest revealed one lonesome egg.  Further inspection of the female showed that it was ready to lay another, so both were claimed and carried in skins.  As there was a bit more cover in the form of bushes here, the party decided this would be a good place to rest, and the centaur would investigate what had happened to the caravan.  She ran past Boris’ head that had fallen on it’s flight, and found a large hill that the eagle had said was the creature’s destination.  On investigation, there appeared to be a manufactured path leading up the hill, lined with lit torches.  Wearily advancing, the top of the path led to a clearing where there were more torches and clearly the caravan lay there too- unfortunately it was surrounded by some odd looking elves.  On inquiring about the wagon the elves seemed unfriendly, only telling the centaur to leave their sacred place, and seeing she was getting nowhere she complied, heading back to the party.
The rest of the night passed peacefully, and when dawn came the druid and cleric did their prayers as the minotaur went out hunting more dinosaurs, telling the others to meet him back at town.  Without the wagon slowing them down, deciding the dwarf and drow could save their own skins, the return journey was significantly quicker.  On their way they noticed one of the flying creatures overhead (but not the elf riding it), and found their way to the stream that had now become a forty foot wide river.  The centaur had no problem crossing, able to jump great distances.  The druid, likewise, had no problem- able to wild shape into a more convenient creature that could ride on the cleric’s eagle.  Not far behind was the minotaur, who had successfully dispatched his foes taking some injury in the process, and when he reached the river his solution was to chop down a nearby tree and use it to probe the water as he carefully waded across.

Steve had already caught up on the local news

Regrouping, the party returned to town, and upon entering noticed another group setting up a wagon for their adventures.  They appeared to be mostly halflings, looking very optimistic about their adventure though one shady looking one seemed more reluctant.  On being questioned, they said they were going out to hunt dinosaurs to prove themselves to the Rundeen Consortium.  The minotaur attempted to explain it was dangerous, and he would sell some of the eggs they had acquired, but the halflings were too excited to comply, wanting to have some fun and prove themselves properly.  The shady halfling knew his party wouldn’t last two seconds, and it took very little convincing for him to join the increasingly bestial party.  With a couple of hours left before rest, the party sorted out a couple of things whilst they were here- the halfling helping to find a place to sell the excess eggs, the centaur found some sex toys for use with Boris’ head, and the minotaur headed to the druids to retrieve his monkey.  Upon approaching he noticed the monkey playing cards with the druids, and winning.  The monkey introduced himself as Steve and made it clear that he would be happy to accompany the minotaur but if things got too rough then he would retreat to a safe place, and so the minotaur went to get some equipment for his monkey in the form of some armour that could turn into a suit on command, and a bow for the monkey’s use.
Important events in gamer terms (a new feature that highlights significant changes):
Dwarf and Drow are still on drugs, due to player absence.
The Magic Sand everyone got covered with takes effect, with the following effects:
Centaur: Dusty and fruit-smelling (wearing off)
Minotaur: All noise is one category louder (worn off) and streamers and confetti come from hands (still active)
Boris: Covered in Mucus, ambulatory shadow.
Dave’s new character: Zartok the Magnificent, an upper class cowardly wizard is introduced.  Has intermittent functioning teleportation boots.
Matt’s replacement for Boris is introduced: a chaotic good medusa druid.
The Astral Deva Paladin is killed, only able to come back with True Resurrection due to Outsider nature.
Caravan is taken by Quetzalcoatlus, meaning dwarf and drow are taken away as is one egg and several body parts of dinosaurs.
Minotaur gains some kills that contribute to the requirements for a prestige class.
Caravan is discovered to be in the possession of dinosaur worshipping/riding elves.
Ed’s replacement for the Astral Deva is introduced, a halfling rogue.
Steve the Monkey is Awakened, he now has Intelligence 18 and is working towards becoming a Chaotic Good Ranger (favoured enemy: human, due to humans being his captors and slavers).
Steve’s equipment includes armour that can appear as clothes on command, and a holy longbow (treated as non-proficient weapon until he gets his first level of ranger)

The Head of Vecna

Now as gamers many of my readers are probably aware of the Dread Gazebo (if not I’ll post it another time), but this story had me laughing even more than that anecdote.  Here it is in all it’s unedited glory:

“From Steve Jackson Games website….

Many years ago (back when we all were still playing D & D), I ran a game where I pitted two groups against each other.

Several members of Group One came up with the idea of luring Group Two into a trap. You remember the Hand of Vecna and the Eye of Vecna that were artifacts in the old D&D world where if you cut off your hand (or your eye) and replaced it with the Hand of Vecna (or the Eye) you’d get new awesome powers? Well, Group One thought up The Head of Vecna.

Vecna, causing chaos from beyond the grave

Group One spread rumors all over the countryside (even paying Bards to spread the word about this artifact rumored to exist nearby). They even went so far as to get a real head and place it under some weak traps to help with the illusion. Unfortunately, they forgot to let ALL the members of their group in on the secret plan (I suspect it was because they didn’t want the Druid to get caught and tell the enemy about this trap of theirs, or maybe because they didn’t want him messing with things).

The Druid in group One heard about this new artifact and went off in search of it himself (I believe to help prove himself to the party members…) Well, after much trial and tribulation, he found it; deactivated (or set off) all the traps; and took his “prize” off into the woods for examination. He discovered that it did not radiate magic (a well known trait of artifacts) and smiled gleefully.

I wasn’t really worried since he was alone and I knew that there was no way he could CUT HIS OWN HEAD OFF. Alas I was mistaken as the Druid promptly summoned some carnivorous apes and instructed them to use his own scimitar and cut his head off (and of course quickly replacing it with the Head of Vecna…)

Some time later, Group one decided to find the Druid and to check on the trap. They found the headless body (and the two heads) and realized that they had erred in their plan (besides laughing at the character who had played the Druid)…The Head of Vecna still had BOTH eyes! They corrected this mistake and reset their traps and the Head for it’s real intended victims…

Group Two, by this time, had heard of the powerful artifact and decided that it bore investigating since, if true, they could use it to destroy Group One. After much trial and tribulation, they found the resting place of The Head of Vecna! The were particularly impressed with the cunning traps surrounding the site (one almost missed his save against the weakest poison known to man). They recovered the Head and made off to a safe area.

Group Two actually CAME TO BLOWS (several rounds of fighting) against each other argueing over WHO WOULD GET THEIR HEAD CUT OFF! Several greedy players had to be hurt and restrained before it was decided who would be the recipient of the great powers bestowed by the Head… The magician was selected and one of them promptly cut his head off. As the player was lifting The Head of Vecna to emplace it on it’s new body, another argument broke out and they spent several minutes shouting and yelling. Then, finally, they put the Head onto the character.

Well, of course, the Head simply fell off the lifeless body. All members of Group Two began yelling and screaming at each other (and at me) and then, on their own, decided that they had let too much time pass between cutting off the head of a hopeful recipient and put the Head of Vecna onto the body.

SO THEY DID IT AGAIN!… [killing another PC]

In closing, it should be said that I never even cracked a smile as all this was going on. After the second PC was slaughtered, I had to give in (my side was hurting)…

And Group Two blamed ME for all of that…”

I hope you found that as hilarious as I did, and on the topic of Steve Jackson I highly recommend anyone with a sense of humour to check out the game Munchkin and it’s various spin-offs.

Jurassic Larks

They said they were druids anyway

After a much needed rest, the party decided to take care of a few things in town, meeting with Boris and a curious drow in the process.  Boris was shown the magic sand the party had received from the fey, and told him of the mysterious properties it had, and, of course, Boris conveniently happened to sneeze the sand over everybody else.  Nothing seemingly happened, but it was believed the rain may have been delaying the effects.  Whilst Boris had been doing some investigating, the minotaur had heard of a druidic ritual that would be of benefit to his monkey, so he went to seek a druid out.  Curious, the dwarf tagged along too, mostly with his own agenda- to find a potent drug for his personal use.  Upon finding Gwydion and the Druid (whose other past-times are balloon modelling), the minotaur was told that his monkey would have to stay with the druids for at least a day, and when he awakes then it is highly probable that it will be less inclined to follow orders and may indeed start issuing orders of it’s own.  The minotaur was satisfied, and proceeded to hunt out a new axe, as his old one was getting a bit small and awkward to use, leaving the dwarf alone with the elven druids.  He showed them the leaves he had gathered, and was indeed told that they had mild hallucinogenic properties, but they would be more potent if mixed with some of the druid’s stash.  The dwarf agreed to try some, buying a pestle and mortar to mix the leaves, and mixing them with some beer because water would be a bit boring, and as he tried the mixture the whole forest seemed to come alive, a swirling mix of colours and sounds.  He then promptly passed out for the next few hours, which the party saw as an ideal opportunity to convince the stoned druids to graft a pair of dire tiger tails onto him.
The party decided enough time had been spent in town, and so they loaded up their wagon, equipping it with a couple of goats and some vindaloo that Boris mixed with some of the druid’s drugs to act as scent masks/tranquilisers/laxatives for the dinosaurs.  Unfortunately, one of the goats took a bite of one of the vials and after a couple of seconds fell down dead.  The dwarf was still comatose, but the party graciously decided to load him onto the wagon, with the dead goat placed in a suspicious position beside him.  The party also ‘forgot’ to shut the flaps leading into the wagon, so once they were out of the city and the dwarf woke up he noticed he was getting some very odd looks from passersby.
This road appeared to be quite busy with merchants, heading to the North, and one of the groups the party encountered before turning off for the dinosaur plains seemed slightly familiar.  They said they had just picked up some eggs from the plains for a couple of clients who would remain anonymous, and warned the party that the plains were extremely dangerous.  Boris contemplated ambushing this group of hunters and stealing their eggs, but soon decided against it, having noticed they were apparently unscathed, looked battle hardened, and there were eight of them.  Something about the elf amongst them seemed familiar too, and he wondered if it was the same elf he had been investigating- the one that had killed a previous party member in the fighting pits- but he just didn’t know the elf well enough to be sure.  The dwarf on the other hand, who had got into an unsanctioned brawl with the elf, thought this elf probably was the same one, as much as he could tell the difference between elves, but decided it would be a bad idea to start a fight when they still had dinosaurs to get through.  The party continued their journey, turning off the road and into the rainy plains.
The dinosaurs were visible in the distance, and it appeared that the group could take some shelter in the shadow of the cliff that provided a barrier between the jungle and the plains.  Naturally, the centaur scouted ahead looking for any dangers or a place to rest for the night, and came across a small waterfall coming from the jungle, creating a stream that led off to the sea.  When the party caught up they didn’t see the stream as much of a problem, but with the constant rain then it could pose a slight problem on the way back.  regardless, they had no choice so pressed onwards, with only slight difficulty getting the wagon up the steep slippery bank on the other side.  Regaining their breath, the party took in the view from where they stood.  Various dinosaurs were roaming the plains, some long-necked herbivores, a couple of triceratops’s, and as a majestic symbol of the party entering the dinosaur’s domain a huge Quetzalcoatlus soared over the party from the ju-
‘Kill it!!’ shouted Boris and the dwarf in unison, firing a bow and Khelgore’s Firebolt at it respectively.  They definitely caught it’s attention, but it would take a while for it to do anything as it had to turn it’s flight to respond.  As it turned the party prepared themselves, the centaur able to run underneath it to get a clear shot, aiming for it’s vulnerables (a slight problem when fighting a lizard).  As it started to swoop in the minotaur managed to throw a grappling hook around it’s wing, throwing it off it’s course which was to land on the wagon and instead fell onto Boris, destroying one of the wagon’s wheels as it slammed into it, and it was quickly killed.  As the dwarf cut it open, it’s stomach acids burst over him and when it was evident that there were no items inside it, it was strapped to the top of the wagon where it’s wings could be used as a shelter from the rain, and luckily there were a couple of spare wheels that could be used on the wagon that were attached whilst the centaur went back to town to stock up on healing potions- the cure moderate’s seemed extortionate, but there was a bulk discount on cure lights so four crates of them were bought and taken back to the party with a bag of holding.
Advancing a little further, the party decided to rest for the night, leaving the live goat a distance away from the camp with a torch attached to it.  The dwarf and the drow rested inside the wagon, sneakily having some of the drugs that were available.  During Boris and the minotaur’s watch, they were aware of the goat bleating followed by dull thuds on top of the patter of the rain, and looking at the puddles they could see ripples coinciding with the thuds.  Looking towards the goat they could just see a shadow of a large bipedal dinosaur, that promptly ate the goat and the torch within seconds.  After spending a few moments eating the goat, it started to sniff as the centaur was woken and informed of the creature.  The Allosaur seemed to have picked up the scent of something, and was heading towards the wagon slowly, attempting to see something in the darkness.  It quickly became evident that it had discovered the smell of the corpse on the wagon, and before it could get too close the party ambushed it.  Confusing everyone with its bizarre acrobatics (apparently when it grabs its foe with its bite it can attack with its hind legs, presumably by standing on its tail), it caused considerable injury before it was eventually felled.  This one was turned into burgers for later consumption, and so the party continued the next day.  Following its scent, they found their way to a watering hole where there were a couple of triceratops, but they seemed harmless so the party filled their waterskins and continued on, felling a couple of trees to use as stakes against charging dinosaurs.  Unfortuantely, the noise of the falling trees attracted the next member of the Allosaur’s family, who fancied playing tag with the centaur.  Ignoring the hastily constructed defenses and trampling over the dwarf and one of the horses pulling the wagon, the Allosaurus was again quickly dispatched.  This time the party decided to leave the corpse where it was, so it wouldn’t attract unwanted attention, and they decided to set up camp about a mile away, still within visual range and under the shelter of a large tree.  As Boris climbed the tree, he noticed a large nest on the other side, and on investigating it was believed that this was the Allosaurus nest, with no sign of any eggs.  A trap was laid in case any youngsters returned, but the night was uneventful and at dawn the last Allosaur was spotted around the corpse of the other, making sure its meat wasn’t wasted.  The party were slightly cautious when it started sniffing the air, but luckily it was distracted by something towards the watering hole and left.
Believing themselves to be safe, it was decided to chop this tree down so there would be more stakes available for use- though apparently not learning from past mistakes, the crash of this tree- a tree bigger than twice the size of the previous ones- flocks of birds took flight and roaring could be heard from all sides.  Sure enough, a dull rumble was heading towards the party and they decided to make a hasty retreat, though not hasty enough as a stampede of human-sized dinosaurs ran towards them, unmistakably followed by a T. rex.  Although the centaur stayed as still as possible, Boris decided that shooting one of the Gallimimus may buy some time, distracting the Tyrannnosaurus from their presence.  The minotaur helped fell a Gallimimus, and the T. Rex had caught up, whereupon the minotaur decided to charge straight for it.  With the stampede changing direction, and a target heading straight for it, the tyrant lizard decided to take this seemingly easy lunch, biting at the minotaur, though it was soon proved that the minotaur was a little more than it could chew.  Clinging to it’s tonsils and hacking at the roof of it’s mouth, the minotaur knew he was in a good place, safe from the snapping jaws and unable to be swallowed.  The Tyrannosaurus started thrashing, throwing it’s head against Boris in an effort to dislodge the beast in its throat but to no avail.  Fortunately for it, it’s hunting partner soon appeared behind the party to help, though unfortunately the minotaur was too much for it and it didn’t last long before it collapsed to the ground.  The other lizard knew it could do nothing to help, and so it took its attention to Boris- within seconds swallowing him whole, as Boris readied his sword to cut his way out, for death or glory.  Unfortunately it proved to be death.

Something like this

Having dispatched the first T. Rex, and wearing its head as a makeshift suit of armour, the minotaur wriggled himself free and got ready to take down the next- jumping straight into its mouth, where sure enough he got stuck.  The Tyrannosaurus started writhing, ending up on the floor, and its gag reflex got the better of it, leaving it mostly helpless.  The minotaur was further lodged in its throat, making it harder to swing it’s axe but attempting it nonetheless, but unfortunately that left it in direct line of fire for the regurgitated remains in the lizard’s stomach.  First came Boris’ sword, which just made matters worse, lodging itself in the dinosaur’s throat an inch in front of the minotaur.  Next came much acid and Boris’ other sword, giving the minotaur a nasty gash in his shoulder.  Finally, with even more stomach acid, came a rumbling from the pits of the creature created by the vials of vindaloo Boris had on him, and from the eyes of the minotaur all was black until Boris’ face appeared, tongue hanging limp from his mouth, slamming the minotaur in the face.  Finally it was too much for the T. Rex as it fell lifeless, eventually suffocating on the creatures in it’s throat, and so the minotaur surgically removed himself from the lizard, and just in time as when he was clear, leaving a dinosaur with a human head, there was a tremendous rumbling from its insides as it exploded from the combination of chemicals and vindaloo, expelling Boris’ limp lifeless body across the plain and into a very uncomfortable bone-shattering heap.
Deciding they should probably return to town and get better prepared for facing dinosaurs, the party started setting up their wagon once again, as a break in the relentless rain becomes evident, and so the mystery of the magic sand will soon also become apparent…

%d bloggers like this: