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Age of Worms #20: I Had Expected The Octopus, But Never The Catastrophic Crushing Corridor Conundrum

In a missing chapter, our heroes’ investigation of the doppelganger who tried to frame Ensorcella led them to an abandoned loading dock and warehouse called Sodden Hold. They found and imprisoned some doppelganger guards, then journeyed deeper into the complex.

In this thrilling conclusion to our Age of Worms chronicles. Noway Amagonadai hits it out of the park and gets a grand slam. (-GM)

4th day of Sarenith, 4741 AR

Suddenly my subtle sixth sense stirred softly. I was not alone…

The doppelgangers, being sniveling cowards, had retreated into the watery depths. We were wisely wary when water was involved, so I scouted the sea in solidarity to solidify our success. The pool was about 30 feet deep, but depth is devilishly difficult to devise down here, and I had a feeling that I was much deeper as I swam into an underwater cavern.

Suddenly my subtle sixth sense stirred softly. I was not alone. I ceased all movements in the hope that whatever was wandering wouldn’t notice me. As I watched, a large many-tentacled abomination slithered into the cavern. Given its size, it could only be either a giant squid or an octopus. A cave could create claustrophobic confinement for a squid, so it was almost certainly an octopus. This was good, as my village had some experience in dealing with… hmm…

It seems I need to choose a plural form of octopus. I had not expected this, as this adventure only contains one octopus. I never should have referenced the past, but the mistake is irreversible now. The Grammar Nazis smell controversy in the air, and they will stop at nothing until the issue is resolved. If I don’t choose the right form, they will blitzkrieg me out of existence. I have three options: octopuses, octopi, and octopodes. Octopuses seems to be more of a casual form, emotionlessly affixed with the usual rules to save time. At first glance it seems fine, but it emits a slight air of wrongness when you think about it too much. Personally, I have no trouble with a few skewed syllables, but if a Grammar Nazi peers in too closely, chaos could commence. It all depends on how perceptive they are. There’s also octopi. This form sounds more comfortable, and has the added bonus of the special pause given to words that end in a vowel. However, it has one notable flaw: it has been claimed by the Grammar Nazis. While complying to their rules might seem to be an effective way to avoid their hostility, nothing is ever that simple. There are factions within the Grammar Nazis, and some seek to destroy all controversy instead of enforcing their captured words. These Nazis will see the compliant form as a beacon of corruption, and few can outrun a radical Grammar Nazi. And finally, octopodes. This form has always confused me. If you’re going to have an s at the end, then why not just use the casual form? Despite its confusion, this rarely used form may be my best option. Being from a much more obscure section of english, few Nazis will know the term well enough to pounce on it. Unfortunately, all these advantages cause one major disadvantage: a somewhat unique form of Grammar Nazi is trained to catch civilians who wish to choose the easiest way out of the battlefield. If I am too obvious in my avoidance, these border Nazis will find me. A horde of Grammar Nazis appear on the horizon, many equipped with Panthey’res. I don’t have much time left. Should I expose myself to perceptive Nazis, radical Nazis, or border Nazis? Or perhaps there is a way to set them all against each other and escape in the fray. It’s my only hope.

This was good, as my village had some experience in dealing with octopusodesesi. I pulled twice on the rope tied to my waist to signal danger approaching, and went in.

Herbert must have sensed my plight and cried out to the others. I could almost sense him tugging at the other end of the rope with all of his reptilian might, guiding me to the light.

The octopus’s watery yet tearless eyes slided in my direction, and I knew it had spotted me. I readied my hammer, but it was too quick for me, quicker than most octopusodesesi, and it ensnared me in its tentacles. I knew it was pointless to try and fight back, so I dropped my hammer and tried to blind it with my magical shield. Alas, the octopus had the eyes of an octopus, and blandly blinked to block the blinding blight. But all was not lost. My foiled trick did succeed in distracting it enough to not notice my companions using the rope to pull me, and the octopus I was attached to, out of the cavern and up to the surface.

I had not actually expected them to react to my tugged warnings so efficiently. It must have been Herbert. I have always suspected that we had an empathetic link between us. My suspected suspicions suddenly solidified as I realized Herbert must have sensed my plight and cried out to the others. I could almost sense him tugging at the other end of the rope with all of his reptilian might, guiding me to the light. Herbert was a very good tortoise, almost as good as poor Mack.

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Age of Worms #18: Exeunts and Alarums

When we last left our heroes, they had defeated devilspawn that they had just belched forth from their mouths before a delighted theater of Kintargo’s finest. The party’s hunter, Quinn, continues the tale. (-GM)

2nd day of Sarenith, 4741 AR

The play reached its end, and the crowd erupted in a roar. My companions and I bowed, and even Herb took a knee. It was truly awe-inspiring. After the performance we were invited by a local celebrity, Valeros, to go and party at his mansion.

Valeros

The rest of the group left right away but I had to stay back and pray for a new bird, as my old one sadly perished protecting his master. He proved his name, Valor, ten times over.

Anyway, back to Valeros. It was rumored that he had a part of The Rod of Seven Parts. One seventh isn’t much, but we’ll take what we can get. Once we came to the party, we ran into the obstacle of getting into his back rooms. The entrances were guarded by uhhh guards. We didn’t see this one coming. We thought the guarded doors would be unguarded by guarding guards. Luckily there were no gardeners, or we really would have been in trouble.

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Age of Worms #17: When Can We Go Back to Our Populist Revolt?

The party, having made themselves outlaws, find a novel way to get out of their predicament… (-GM)

29th day of Desnus, 4741 AR

I awoke to find myself in a small house with an inquisitive-looking fellow watching over me. Apparently the crowd had carried me to safety after Barzillai Thrune’s guards defeated us. We were wanted criminals now and had to lay low for a while. I decided to work on Herbert’s new armor while we planned our next move.

Since the establishment here was all about devils and trickery, we assumed corruption was rife here. Our suspicions were confirmed when we learned, via an underground figure named Grandmaster Torch, that the guard captain would let us “repent” for our assault on the guards by submitting ourselves to the authorities and paying for the healing expenses plus a “convenience fee”, totaling to 7,000 gp. Pricey, but our chosen manner of procurement was simple — rob a bank.

The director, Robahl Nonon, was initially very unsatisfied with our performing abilities…

There were three guards at the entrance to the bank, who stepped aside when the roc-riding hunter, Quinn, said he was making a withdrawal. We waited outside, but we could see him going up to the kitsune teller.

“I’m here to make a withdrawal.” said Quinn. When the teller asked for an identification, he unsheathed his blade and said “I believe this is all the identification I need.”

It was easy work to dispatch the guards and retrieve the 8,000 gp we deserved. When we walked out with our prize, there was a crowd of commoners that cheered for us. We threw them some gold and platinum, and they cheered louder. Everything was going according to plan. With the masses at our backs, we would be able to overthrow these infernalists. Easily.

But there was still the matter of life imprisonment. We turned ourselves in and for our escape plan, we decided to participate in a bloody play known as The Six Trials of Larazod.

The director, Robahl Nonon, was initially very unsatisfied with our performing abilities, but over the course of the rehearsal week, we advanced to mediocrity. Sunaki was playing the wizard due to his spellcasting abilities, I was playing the the comic relief due to my endurance skills, Roger was playing Larazod due to his relative normalness, and Quinn was playing the torturer due to his physical build. There were two other actors in the play; one playing some sort of lordling and the other playing the judge.

Visbaronetess Delour Aulamaxa, the singer-narrator of our play

We got through the first few trials okay, and the one with the acid beast hardly scathed me. They have started to get more challenging, however. After the trial where a bunch of imps attacking us, I wasn’t sure I could hold out for another fight. Only time will tell.

Signing off,
Noway Amagonadaithisthyme (Nate)

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Ensorcella, human sorcerer (vortex dragon blood) 6
Noway Amagonadaithisthyme, oread ranger 6
Quinn, human hunter 6
Roger, human slayer 6
Sunaki, human cleric of Desna 6

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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Age of Worms, Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles

 

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Age of Worms #16: A Really Long Battle

Our last session was unprecedented: a single massive battle that played out in waves in which our heroes almost lost several of their number. Roger recounts what happened. (-GM)

16th day of Desnus, 4741 AR

guardsAfter Mr. ‘God Emperor’, as the late Hans Grüber called him, retreated back into the fancy opera house and his cronies started attacking the protesters, I realized that I should get to a distance where those thugs couldn’t club me. I used my good old rope of climbing, attached to an arrow, to rappel up to the roof of the palace.

While this was happening, I felt the air crackle with power and my ears popped. I turned to see Hans’ hand’s enveloped with lightning, his sword pointing threateningly towards one of the thugs whose nose had started bleeding. That poor man looked like he had some regrets about serving as a guard. I jumped onto the roof, and arrowed a guard about to whack the tortoise Herbert. Herb then bit off his foot and screeched indefinitely. I admired his fighting spirit.

Suddenly, a shadow fell across the battle. I saw a large bird-like creature dive out of the sky and bite an arm of a guard, who started screaming and fell over. The bird’s rider had a long, magical pole topped with a wicked-looking blade, and he used it to ventilate the chest cavity of the guard in front of Hans. Hans seemed to trip, and a loud popping noise was heard: Hans had fallen into the fountain and electrocuted himself. I shook my head. This is what happens when one is not careful when using magic. I personally stay away from spells and the like, and only use it to enhance my bow and armor.

electrocution

Hans seemed to trip, and a loud popping noise was heard…

Anyway, Noway and Sunaki were hacking away at the remaining guards, while Ensorcella’s beautiful hands had turned into sharp claws, and she was slicing and dicing them quite well. This, combined with regular passes from our new bird-riding warrior and a hail of arrows from yours truly, turned it into a rout. Suddenly though, two more guards with heavy plate armor stepped out of the palace and charged our party. A combination of arrows and the large claws of the bird were enough to take out the first, but the second attacked Noway. More came out, and it turned into a general melee, with the crowd scattering more by the minute. We were winning the fight against the armored soldiers, even though they were proving to be quite tough.

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Age of Worms #15: Stooping Low in Kintargo

kintargoThe campaign takes a drastic turn when the party flees Diamond Lake and goes to Cheliax’s city-state of Kintargo, where the people chafe under the rule of a new governor. The party engages with the locals before setting out to find Marzena’s friend. Hans Grüber narrates the tale from his, well, unique perspective… (-GM)

16th day of Desnus, 4741 AR

The devil descended through the cloud of fog. I heard cries of pain from within and I began to sprint towards the rest of my friends. Suddenly, the bumbling dorf dwarf Noway ran out of the cloud screaming.

“Come back here you rat bastard!” I yelled to him. Sadly, it seemed that his cowardly heart had taken control of him. He wasn’t coming back. But I pressed onward into the cloud.

I found the beast and worked with Sunaki to hit it. Roger was bleeding out on the floor, so we needed to end this fight fast. Frightened by our aggression, the monster fled, but we knew the one in town would come looking for us.

It was time to leave Diamond Lake and go to Kintargo, where Marzena had a friend who might know more about the Age of Worms and where we could deliver the lizardfolks’ agreement to Cheliax.

The journey was long and tiring, but I eased our passage using horses conjured with magic. Once, in the desert, we saw some giant scorpions. However, from my knowledge of scorpions, I knew to stay away from them.

Finally, we arrived in Kintargo. There was a long, sweaty line of commoners trying to get into the city. We pushed past the stinky peasants, saying we had urgent news. But then again, anything is more urgent than their worthless lives. I hate the poor. But sadly we have to deal with them time and again. We pushed past the guards as well, and they left us alone for a few gold. Who said this city was lawful?

As soon as we got into the gate, we were assaulted by the scent of some STINKY children. I instantly wanted to end their lives. It would practically be doing them a favor. But, even though this city was corrupt they wouldn’t look away from blatant murder. I decided to kill the child later, in private, like any god-fearing man. Sadly, the rest of the group seemed to be entranced by the young girl. Nasty pervs. She offered to “lead us around” and of course I tried to refuse the obvious prostitution, but once again my allies fell for her childish charm. She led us around, then we got to a bank after being robbed by her and her dirty stinky smelly friends. I hate dorfs.

However, soon we found the stinky peasants organizing a riot. They wanted more money, those lazy bums, but they weren’t willing to work for it. They wanted to refuse the new God-Emperor Barzillai Thrune and his decrees. Just looking at them made me gag.

Naturally, the God-Emperor wasn’t even going to listen to the sniveling whelps. They were below dirt compared to him. They even tried to attack him! At this point, justifiably, he sent his militia to kill all of them. I understood his intentions, however I was part of the crowd he wanted to kill. So now I got a chance to get rid of my blood lust. This would be fun.

-Hans Grüber (Zack)

aria-park

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Ensorcella, human sorcerer (vortex dragon blood) 6
Hans Grüber, elven magus 6
Noway Amagonadaithisthyme, oread ranger 6
Roger, human slayer 6
Sunaki, human cleric of Desna 6

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Posted by on February 18, 2017 in Age of Worms, Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles

 

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Age of Worms #14: Our Upheaval Gets Squashed by Satan

In a missing chapter of our tale, the party returned to the lizardfolk to conclude the peace agreement, to find the tribe’s druid Hishka tipping them off to an ambush by their warlike chieftain. The party won and party transferred to Hishka, who asked them to help him convince the dragon Ilthane’s kobolds to no longer guard the lizardfolks’ eggs. The party debated whether they should keep the large black dragon egg Ilthane had left as “insurance” against an attack from Ilthane later. The oread ranger Noway narrates. (-GM)

12th day of Desnus, 4741 AR

marzena

Blackwall Keep’s wizard, Marzena

Yada yada stuff that should have been written in the writeup that Sunaki never wrote.

At this point most of Ilthane’s fanatics had been driven out, but we still had to deal with the kobolds she’f sent to guard the tribe’s eggs. All we had to do was let them go on their way with Ilthane’s egg, but nooo, the others wanted to keep the egg as a bargaining chip for when Ilthane came back. They had no idea what they were going to bargain for, they had no idea what they were going to do if the egg hatched, and they were completely oblivious to the countless ways their plan could go wrong, of which I have already informed them and need not restate.

Eventually we resolved to just kill the kobolds and figure out what to do with the egg later. Hans and I made a web of silk and vine to ensare them, so most of the fight was just me whacking the ones that crawled up to us and Roger shooting the stuck ones until they resembled pincushions.

Toward the end of the battle, the dragon egg which the others were so convinced was dear to Ilthane’s heart burst open, revealing these worms that crawled into the lizardfolk eggs and turned the babies into zombies. Eventually we got rid of all the monsters but many of the eggs got destroyed.

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Posted by on February 8, 2017 in Age of Worms, Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles

 

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Age of Worms #12: Diplomacy for Dummies

lizardfolk

When they came out again, there were many other guards and a muscular lizardfolk covered in tattoos who was clearly a Lizard Scion.

Our party, seeking the wizard Marzena for more information about the strange worms, gets involved in a dispute between Cheliax and a tribe of lizardfolk. The oread ranger Noway narrates. (-GM)

4th day of Desnus, 4741 AR

Imagine you’re in a battleground. On one side there’s a tribe of lizardfolk. On the other, there’s a camp filled with worn-out human soldiers. The lizardfolk have shown open hostility towards anyone associated with humans, including yourself. The humans say the lizardfolk won’t listen to reason. The lizardfolk attack you. Who do you side with? The answer may surprise you.

I conveyed all of this to the rest of the party, and Sunaki said, “Well we know their base is in that misty place because they retreated there after the battle. We should go in there and get rid of their fanatic leader.”

This all seemed good so far, so I chimed in with, “To do that, we have two options: we could go in by ourselves straight toward the center, where the leader will probably be. We only kill the lizardfolk that get in our way, and dispatch the leader as quickly as possible. This way could stop the fanaticism, but it could also make them hate us even more. Whatever the outcome, they’ll be much less organized if we succeed. We could also rally up the humans and march into the mist, and then the leader will probably show up because of the big final battle that will happen. This would definitely get rid of the threat but it’s risky because we don’t know how many of them there are.” Finally, we were thinking things through with common sense. It was all going so smoothly until Hans Grüber said, “Wait. This has to be a peace mission.”

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Posted by on December 31, 2016 in Age of Worms, Campaign, Pathfinder Chronicles

 

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