- Garrus Ironside, Male Dwarf Cleric
—Templeton Demarko, Male Human Mage
- Lupin Damakos, Female Tiefling Rogue + Willow, Cat Animal Companion
—Asari, Female Human Guard
- Amidaeus, Female Elf Rogue
—Daisy, Female Human Berserker
- Henrick, Male Human Warlock
—Rex, Male Human Guard
- Egad, Male Orc Bard
Editor’s note: Hopefully, we will finish Darby’s Mini-Adventure when everyone can reconvene once more. Until then, we return to the Crimson Empire Saga. To give everyone equal time, the four main PCs are each playing an additional sidekick: Darby-Garrus/Templeton; Brianna-Lupin/Asari; Mikki-Amidaeus/Daisy; Phil-Henrick/Rex. Sidekicks are slightly augmented NPCs from the Monster Manual, so you may notice they are slightly weaker with fewer abilities than the PCs. I also join the fray as the PC Egad the Orc Bard (see Dungeons and Darkness).
As they prepare to enter the next chamber, two columns, sculpted into beautiful women, raise their swords. They inform The Heroes that in order to proceed to the tomb, they must answer a series of puns about Thanksgiving/Food (Each answer will have an adjective or noun of a country/city/locale that it derived from).
HORRIBLE THANKSGIVING/FOOD PUNS
1: Parisian Patatoes.*
2: Fowl Country.**
3: German Hot Dog.***
4: German Meat Patty.****
5: Easter European Weenie.*****
6: Holey Milk Product.******
7: Stuffed Breast.*******
8: Morning Pastry.********
9: Three Colored Ice-Cream.*********
10: Toasted Checkered Pancakes.**********
11: Parisian Burnt Bread.***********
12: Pork Belly North of the Border.************
13: Fried Testicles.*************
The pious power takes a terrible toll on the Brides; it also gives The Heroes automatic healing each round. The immediate reaction forces the Malevolent Matrons to take two turns of unanswered damage.°
The Heroes each take on an Awful Apparition, each attacking in their own unique manner. Garrus anchors himself in the middle and maintains his awesome aura.
Using Willow to flank, Lupin dispatches one quickly with her baker’s blade. Templeton unleashes lightning, while Henrick cast spells to capture the spirit’s soul shards. Amidaeus, Daisy, Asari, and Egad get physical with the Phantoms. The 102-year-old, Rex, wheezes and charges with his halberd, striking the ground as he misses. Finally able to react, the Brides lift off their heads and hurl them at The Heroes.
The explosions flood the chamber with necrotic flames. As the Bride’s heads begin to reform, the smoldering Heroes continue their battle with the Bridezillas.
Hard of hearing, Rex misunderstands Garrus command and destroys the final apparition. A fuming Garrus is upset at the loss of a prisoner.
With the Radiant aura gone, Wanda is able to enter the room once more. The Heroes rummage through the coffins coffers and find much gold and potions.
Garrus is intrigued by the strange inscriptions and ornate crypts the Brides left behind. The Cagy Cleric copies the ruins and creates a magic disk (Tenser's Floating Disk) to haul two of the coffins back to the United Center for further inspection.
With a wave of Wolfram's hand, the walls in the rear of the temple begin to take shape. Two Stone Giants emerge from the walls and march menacingly toward The Heroes.
Before The Heroes can react, the Stone Giants hurl huge boulders at them. Not only do the Boulders cause physical damage, they also cause an aura that slows The Heroes. Amidaeus is run over by a giant and Rex is smashed by a colossal club. Things are looking grim for The Heroes as the Twin Terrors advance on them.
Suddenly, the room goes dark and the slow zone disappears. The Heroes are able to flee through the doorway. Lupin leaps out of her coffin and joins in the exodus. Hendrick turns into a swarm of bats and flies toward the portal. Lupin scoops up Willow and teleports as far as she can.
Suddenly, a sword plunges through Wolfram’s chest. The mysterious stranger who claimed he was Lupin’s father (see Familia Paternal) is standing behind Wolfram.° Holding him in a headlock, the wicked wizard is unable to concentrate on The Heroes.
Henrick is hesitant. He believes that they can take Wolfram on and debates on unleashing Zööl again (see Past Tense). However, seeing his friends escape/flee through the portal, Henrick’s bat swarm also flees.
Realizing that everyone is leaving, the remaining Heroes begin to rush toward the portal. Templeton and Rex try to hold off the giants.
The Wayward Wizard shoots a bolt of lightning into one of the Giants. The Towering Terror responds by raising his mighty pickaxe and swinging it toward him. “Not the Face!” Templeton whimpers, as the pickaxe cleaves into his skull. Templeton’s dead body slides off the axe into a heap on the floor.
A wheezing and gasping Rex raises his halberd once more. He knows that if he can only strike his ginormous foe in the right place, he will destroy him (I told Phil if he rolls a natural 20, the giant will be destroyed). A swing and a miss. Rex is rewarded with a crushing blow from the giant’s club, leaving him prone and near death.
But now, now only Rex remains to battle the twin Converging Colossuses. Rex stands up, he will not die on the ground like a craven dog.
Surrounded by the Towering Terrors, Rex lifts his halberd once more. If he can only perform his whirlwind strike, he can take out both enemies in one decisive blow. (I told Phil if he rolled a natural 19 or 20, he would destroy them both). Rex swings and misses (rolled 17).
With a surge of energy (action point) Rex swings once more (natural 19, and the table goes wild!). The Giants are cleaved asunder. Their massive body weight and height combined with gravity causes the Vivisected Villains to crumble to dust as they strike the stony floor.
Rex is a true Hero. A Hero who accomplishes astonishing feats of daring do; not for glory, fame, accolades, laurels, or rewards. Rex is a Hero because he does what needs to be done when it needs to be done. A man who always rises to the occasion.
His bones and armor creak and clatter as he steps through the mystic portal and returns home. He hopes they’re serving tapioca for dinner tonight.
To be continued? ? ?
° These events were inspired by Drama cards. I am so glad players are, finally, actively using them. They get at least one per pun, usually two a session, so they each have quite a few.
* Parisian Patatoes: – Parisian = French; patatoes = fries—French Fries.
** Fowl Country: – Fowl = Turkey—Turkey.
*** German Hot Dog: – German = Frankfurt—Frankfurter.
**** German Meat Patty: – German = Hamburg—Hamburger.
***** Easter European Weenie: – Eastern European = Poland; weenie = sausage—Polish Sausage.
****** Holey Milk Product: – Holey = holes; milk product = cheese—Swiss Cheese.
******* Stuffed Breast: – Breast = chicken—Chicken Kiev.
********Morning Pastry: —Danish.
*********Three Colored Ice-Cream: —Neapolitan.
**********Toasted Checkered Pancakes: —Belgium Waffles.
***********Parisian Burnt Bread: – Parisian = French; burnt bread = toast—French Toast.
************Pork Belly North of the Border: – Pork belly = bacon; North of border = Canada—Canadian Bacon.
*************Fried Testicles: —Rocky Mountain Oysters.
Next: Chapter 37 - Family Reunion
Previous: Chapter 35 - Secret Agendas