Our last adventure had seen the kind-of tragic death of Ack'Basha, and the PCs finally escaping the Minotaur empire of Tholia, to return to their quest to find the ultra-powerful Libram of the Ten Spheres, hidden in some kind of dimensional puzzle inside an abandoned tower of the Azure Order.
-"Look, someone went inside the tower while we were gone. Maybe the Dutchmen?"
"Y'all remember the Dutchmen, right? The ones we abandoned here?"
"Isn't that weird?"
-The PCs enter the first room of the tower, and find all the Dutchmen, hung from the ceiling, very dead.
"What the fuck happened to them??"
-There's a flash of light, and suddenly a Minotaur appears! This one is dressed in the uniform of a Police Interrogator and he happens to be in the midst of strangling Morris the Thief, who had been left behind in Tholia.
"Wow, that's convenient!"
-Bill tries to cast Control Fire at the Minotaur, but fails. Fortunately, he doesn't activate his mercurial side-effect either, because every time he casts Control Fire he runs the risk of opening a rift into the outer void!
"Did you tell the other PCs about rift effect? ...no, never mind, of course you didn't; that was a stupid question."
-Morris is shocked to see the other PCs alive, as well as Zeke.
"Yes, my friend; I am alive. The Lord saw fit to spare me even though he allowed Ack'basha to die, I don't know why."
"I do, it's because G.O.D. doesn't want me to be happy."
-"Fishman, why don't you cast Chill Touch at the Minotaur??"
"Because if he does it too often he'll go blind"
-"This Minotaur was a state torturer... he's a MinoStasi!"
-The halfling manages to wound the minotaur with a critical to the Minotaur's reproductive organs!
-Bill does a large spellburn, and Sezrekhan gives him the opportunity to drain the spellburn from one of his friends instead of himself. He chooses the Fishman. Unfortunately, the drain is so much that the fishman is left immobile from STR loss!
"He's flopping on the floor.. like some kind of fish!"
-The feral Halfling comforts the fishman "shh.. it'll all be over soon"
"Oh god! Guys, don't leave me alone with him!"
-After dispatching the Minotaur with Bill's massive magic missile, they move on in the tower, and soon run into a giant wasp!
"Guys, I can't move so I can't cast spells!"
"That means you're about as useful a spellcaster as always."
-They kill the wasp-thing, and move on, with Zeke volunteering to carry the Fishman, much to the Fishman's frustration.
"He ain't heavy, he's my brother!"
"You can't even remember my name!"
-The halfling stabs the next wasp-thing in the reproductive organs. Apparently, halfling crits always go to the reproductive organs.
-"The wasp-thing attacked, but missed Chu, Chu times!"
"I thought we weren't doing that!"
-"I can walk again, and I'm back to full hit points!"
"You're level 2 and you have 4 hit points? This is you at your best?!"
"Yes, but he can always protect himself with Ekim's Mystical Mask!"
"fuck you guys!"
-The PCs reach the fountain room, where they had previously had a lethal encounter with a water weird, only to find that the weird's fountain has been magically frozen.
"Someone did this.. some spellcaster."
"Surely this isn't Ack'basha's revenge from beyond the grave?"
-The PCs then get to the room full of giant Seagulls; the halfling immediately stabs one in the balls.
"Do seagulls even have balls?"
"To a halfling everything has balls!"
-"This whole tower is like a puzzle; we have to do it in order."
"We probably already screwed it up, like room 6 was probably actually room 9 or something."
"That does sound like what an asshole wizard would do to fuck with people"
-The PCs get to a room with some ominous statues.
"I'm going to step right into the statue room to see what happens."
"See? It's just like the rest of your life!"
-"Bill only has magic that kills people"
"No! I can also seal doors!"
"Even your door-sealing magic kills people."
-Bill has made a sequester that covers the entire tower, to stop the random minotaur attacks and secure the place, as well as providing himself with a small army of animated armors for extra help. Possibly out of a sense of guilt for having temporarily paralyzed the Fishman, he makes the password the Fishman's name! This soon proves to be a problem, because none of the other PCs remember what it is (or at least, their players stubbornly refuse to pronounce it).
"The halfling will carve the fishman's name on his arm"
"Dude, that's just an 'X', do you even know how to write?"
-They eventually get into a room from which there is no exit, aside from a 40' tall wall covered in shit; someone at the top has been using the hole at the top of the wall (and thus this room below) as a gigantic toilet.
"How the hell do we scale that?"
"You could scale it with spider climb, but you'll probably get some interesting skin diseases"
-Bill starts to levitate along the shit-wall, but halfway up he discovers the giant wasp-thing nest! He drops back down, and casts Control Fire to light the whole fucking wall up.
-This attracts the attention of a group of Giants in the room above! The Fishman (now recovered from his Bill-induced Spellburn-paralysis) decides on a clever ruse, on account of the fact he can speak Giant with Comprehend Languages.
"Who is down there?"
"It.. it's me, Giant Giantson!"
"..that checks out. Well met, Giantson, but why are you in our toilet?"
-"Have you the company of any wizard, Giantson?"
"Because we would slaughter them, to free ourselves from this accursed tower!"
"That's good, just so you know I'm definitely not a wizard just pretending to be a giant!"
"That's good to know!"
-"Have you seen any others of our race?"
"Once, it was awful!"
-"What caused the fire at the bottom of our latrine? Also, why are you at the bottom of our latrine?"
"that was me, sorry, it was something I ate!"
"You are a firebreather like myself?"
"Sort of, but it comes out the other end!"
"Then I shall call you Giantson Fire-Farter!"
"...sure, why not?"
-The fishman learns that the Giants are trapped in the tower by some kind of spell, that prevents them from being able to find the exit. Instead of offering them some kind of help to reach the fairly easy exit, he immediately blames it on Bill.
"Then we must find this 'Bill', and destroy him or die trying!"
"I'm totally with you on that!"
-"My friend, ask the giants if they have heard the word of G.O.D."
"Oh yeah, totally."
"Then we can reason with them as brothers in the Lord!"
"No, they totally hate G.O.D."
-"Hey, I heard you mention Bill to them?"
"Oh yeah... I told them you're a really swell guy!"
-"By the way, you aren't wearing minotaur underwear, are you?"
"Why would we wear such a thing?"
"Just curious.. um.. I have an odd fetish!"
-The PCs convince the Giants that their only option is to jump out the (5th story) window; they then proceed up the burnt wall and when they look out the window, they see the Giants have indeed jumped, survived the jump and then fought and survived (albeit horribly injured) a vicious battle with a whole bunch of Minotaurs that had been teleporting in this whole time just outside the tower (on account of the Sequester spell). They decide to move on.
-They move on to a room that has two windows, next to each other, that seem to look out at exactly the same point in space.
"Hey, let's two of us put our heads out at the same time and see what happens!"
"That sounds like an incredibly stupid idea."
"Yeah, but.. don't you want to know what would happen?"
-Chu and the Halfling both look out the window at the same time, causing an explosion, both are horribly injured.
-"I'm OK. I'm going out the window"
"Are you sure? You look horribly injured!"
"Let him go, the halfling clearly knows what he's doing."
"I don't think any of us know what we're doing at this point!"
-The sequester spell alerts them that someone (they assume the giants, crossed the sequester threshold (and presumably died horribly due to the traps that spell lays).
"They Might Be Giants?"
-The PCs eventually get to a room that actually requires going out the window and climbing down to the next floor in order to continue completing the magical puzzle. They are now all required to say the Fishman's name, much to their annoyance.
"You all have to say it if you want to get back in without triggering the Sequester traps"
"So do you!"
"I'm the GM"
"but Zeke has to say it."
"Oh fuck you."
-They reach the remains of a library, which still has a number of interesting books: "Magical Tower Building for Dummies", "Transdimensional Antechambers: A How-To Guide", "Pocket Plane Wizardry", "Elemental Husbandry In 10 Easy Steps", "Feng Shui For Your Tower", etc.
"Were any of them written by BOLT-0?"
-The halfling guilts Zeke into being the first one to climb down to the next window, and when Zeke is hanging from the window he tries to murder him! By sheer luck (or Zeke might think the grace of G.O.D.), Chu is quicker and punches the halfling to try to knock him out. Unfortunately for the Halfling, Chu criticals!
"You hear a nasty sounding snap as the halfling's neck breaks"
"Is he still alive?"
"well, when you try to turn him over to check, his head falls off, so no."
"Shit! What do we do now?"
"Throw the corpse out the window?"
-They've completed the puzzle-tower, and now it only remains to climb to the top of the tower. Zeke, who had gone down first thanks to the halfling, decides to rush up the last magic window to try to get the book before Bill can get his hands on it! The Fishman follows after him.
"I can't allow Bill to give Sezrekhan the Libram!"
"Because he's evil!"
"How do you know he's evil?"
"He hired you!"
-In this moment of extreme tension, as Bill is trying to murder Zeke from the window below with spells, while Zeke is threatening to burn the book rather than letting Bill get it, the Human Alcoholic stumbles back into view at the bottom of the tower.
"Hey guys! I'm still down here! I took a shit and it was the size of a log! I think it was all that minotaur meat!"
"For fuck's sake.. there goes our dramatic tolkienesque moment of climactic tension."
"This is why we can't have nice things."
-"The dimensional hole is closing. I'm going to throw the book back in, the energy of the castle is spent and this way it will not fall into Sezrekhan's hands, or anyone else's! It will be out of reach forever! My friends, Bill might kill us, but we have to do this! The alternative is unthinkable!"
Unfortunately for Zeke, Morris has snuck up to the top of the tower too; he decides to choose a side: he backstabs Zeke, knocking him out!
-"Bill! Don't cast cloudkill! I have the book! I'm with you!"
"Is Zeke dead?"
"Hey you guys!! The halfing is down here too. He doesn't look well!"
-Morris panics, worried Bill won't trust him and will kill him just in case, so he throws the book off the tower toward Bill.
Bill lunges for the book, frantically trying to catch it as it falls. Bill was tied to a rope and Chu quickly grabs the rope, frantically straining to save both Bill and the book.
"Hey you guys! That bush over there is poison ivy! Make sure you don't wipe your asses with it! I learned that the hard way!"
-Bill saved the book, Chu saved Bill, and the Alcoholic managed to hilariously ruin every dramatic moment at the climax of the adventure.
-The group heads back down. Morris and the Fishman claim that Zeke is dead, although Morris knows that he had only left Zeke unconscious.
"I assume he's going to die anyways."
"No. It's Zeke. G.O.D. has cursed me so that he's unkillable."
-Bill has to get out of the magical valley to contact Sezrekhan.
"This should be far enough."
"Ok, but don't look behind that rock! You definitely don't want to see what I left over there, it's huge!"
-Bill does Invoke Patron, with all the rest of the gang standing behind him waving and trying to get his attention.
-Bill is having a serious talk with Sezrekhan, meanwhile the alcoholic's voice is heard from behind some nearby bushes.
"Oh god, this is poison ivy too! Not again!"
-"With the Libram, I will be able to rise to the Crown of Creation and take control of G.O.D. himself! You reward will be that when I defeat Nikos, he will die knowing that his destruction was thanks to you!"
"OK, but please don't tell him if you fail!"
-Sezrekhan also agrees to bring Bill back from the dead if his current body dies.
"Of course I will do this! You have pleased me!"
"Really? Man that feels weird."
"And of course, I assume there will be no more fuckups from now on!"
"Sir, you probably assume wrong."
-Bill also tells Sezrekhan he wants to destroy Tholia. Morris overhears this.
"So, did Sezrekhan say you were allowed to destroy Tholia?"
"Yes, he said he doesn't give a shit about Tholia."
"Really? You like that idea? But you're from there!"
"Fuck them all."
The alcoholic chimes in "I think I was there once..."
"You're from there, you crazy drunk bastard!"
-"I want to go to Highbay."
"I want to go see Anthraz."
"I want to go destroy Tholia!"
"I think I need to go to a hospital, you guys!"
And with that the PCs, having given the Libram of the Ten Spheres to Sezrekhan (possibly dooming the world to his dominion) teleport off to Highbay, which they eventually agreed would be their first stop for some well-deserved rest. They leave behind Zeke, alone and unconscious on the top of the tower, with days worth of travel through humanoid and giant-weasel-infected badlands between him and the nearest civilization.
Has the party seen the last of him? Probably not, frankly, given how incredibly lucky he's been at surviving so far.
Stay tuned next time for more DCC adventures!
Currently Smoking: Raleigh Volcano + Argento Latakia