Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ballad of the Pigeon God #9: Welcome to the Brimming Stein

When we last left our party, they had just encountered Echelon's long lost mentor in a remote logging village.  He was recently legless and running a local inn.

Our cast of characters:
Echelon - a pigeon loving priest of an eastern god of the sea, escorted by his charmed wolf, Pathfinder.   He recently discovered a telepathic link with his animal companion.
Mohammad -  Echelons mentor, long thought dead, but now discovered alive and legless in a remote logging village.
Rolf Wolfsblood:  Bald-headed barbarian from the Plains of Galmar
Kane: Student of Eastern mysticism, controller of water.
Ashe - highly skilled elven ranger
Maloran Alberhold - human fighter, ladies man sans charisma.
Talis Makolin - a rakish bard avec charisma
Velandro - a pious priest of Akana.
Dag -  Kobold who was rescued by Velandro.  He and his family are now following the party.

35th of QuaDec 1070, Village of Lansluck, Kingdom of Crosedes 
Rolf: "Mohammad runs the Brimming Stein!!!!!!"

After rustling the Dag Family yet again, the party dropped their gear on the porch of the Brimming Stein,  Mohammad told them  about how the inn might be haunted.  Rolf wandered off to buy a warhammer at the trading post, and came back to have Kane translate the scroll given to him by Princess Argenta.  It appeared to be a title to a sailing ship called "The Tanaroa Dream" located in Hydincall Harbor, as well as a treasure map to islands located far off the coast of Crosedes, possibly even near the distant Senzar Empire.  Rolf demanded Kane promise to keep the contents of the scroll secret to the other party members.

36th of QuaDec 1070, Village of Lansluck, Kingdom of Crosedes
Everyone had hideous nightmares overnight.  All the dreams involved a giant red human eye.  The group spent the day looking for secret doors within the inn, trying to rationalize a reason for the bad dreams.  Echelon and Rolf even dug a giant hole behind the inn, with Dag helping carrying dirt as the reached ten foot down, only to turn around and fill it back up!  Confusing!

Echelon was talked to many of the locals about the inn ("The Chicken Lady" was expressly noted in Rolf's papers). The village had been a fort a decade ago, before a hobgoblin attack burnt it to the ground.  The Brimming Stein was built over the former jail, so definitely nothing good could come of that.

Velandro discovered that yet another ancient monastery to Akana lay just across the very wide river. He paid someone ferry him and the Dag Family across.  The whole kobold family, Dag especially , could be caught imitating the prayers and rituals Velandro was conducting

Kane and Talis went to the hall of records.  They came up with some miscellaneous info about the previous owner of the inn.   Talis went out looking for mountain village peasant girls to philosophize with and did not return with Kane.

Later that night at the inn there was another occurrence.  The guests were instantly covered in blood! The group escorted the guests out and searched for Mohammad, who was nowhere to be seen.  They broke into his room to find a huge hole in the wall, peering into another dimension, but no Mohammad.

Echelon, Kane and Rolf stepped through the hole into a stone forest.  They fought twisted images of Mohammad, a young child, and undead swordsman.  They dispatched them, but destroying the child image made Rolf visibly shaken.)  Further down the path they found a cave full of hairy spider-people and had to kill them viciously.

Ultimately they found Mohammad, strapped to an altar which was protected by "Baraxus the Destroyer,"  a multi-armed, half-spider, half-human self-professed God!  After a fierce battle, the god fled further into the stone forest dimension and the trio came back through the hole in the wall.

With the combined powers of the clerics, the portal was sealed and Mohammad vowed not to open the Inn again, instead turning it into a mountain shrine for Temple for Shang Hai Shing, his (and Echelon's) god.

1st of HepDec 1070, Village of Lansluck, Kingdom of Crosedes
Talis showed up in the morning and apologized for his absence. 

3rd of HepDec 1070, On the road from Lansluck
Velandro returned and told everyone about his journey with the Dag Family.  After many dangerous encounters, they reached the Akana monastery, only to find it overrun with feral animals and undead! After a second telling of their tale and good night's sleep, they set out for Eding  

8th of HepDec 1070, Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
About five days out, everyone could see smoke  of to the distance and upon their arrival, they saw a man laying in the middle of the road, his clothes smoldering.   Kane summoned water onto him to awaken.  He looked like a green-skinned elf, but spoke in a language nothing like that of the elves or any humans.  Out of charity, the party fed him, healed his wounds, and gave him some new clothes.

10th of HepDec 1070, Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
While making a stopover in Eding, the Bell of Chardastes still in the possession of Echelon to be returned to the Archbishop in Hydincall, the party discovered it why it seemed so warm for winter:  It was actually early summer of 1070!  What the group thought was a two month diversion was, in fact, seven long months away!

Lord Athelstane refused an audience with them.  He would wed Lady Iris in mere days, and had no time for deserters to the faith.

The fact the their weird traveler friend could make any alcoholic concoction burst in flames... and taste better, made things only slightly bearable.

11th of HepDec 1070, Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
Next morning everyone came downstairs to find the traveller speaking Trade Prythax!  With no accent, the man introduced himself as Kannex of Cymril.  A magical experiment in his lab must have transported him to Crosedes, but he still had no idea where he was in relation to his home (and no one had ever heard of Cymril before.  The group suggested that he accompany them to Hydincall, where the Bell could be returned, and he could inquiries at the Magic University.  Kannex agreed.
Upon reaching the outskirts of Eding, the see a young boy running down  a hill from a small manor house.


The boy leaped into Echelon's arms.  "You're alive!   Wanna see your house?"

Echelon was confused.

12th of HepDec 1070, Village of Eding, Kingdom of Crosedes
It took the better part of the day for everyone to catch up to what transpired over the previous seven month.  Carthon was a man of his word, and when Echelon did not return (and Athelstane sent another band of adventurers to unsuccessfully retrieve the bell), he sold off Echelon's collection of passenger pigeons, and bought property.  He wed Jenny from the militia and decided together to raise Timmy.   In honor of their fallen friend and employer, it was decided that all three would take the surname D'Echelon.  Since he wasn't dead, Carthon welcomed Echelon and his friends to stay.  "This whole estate was paid for with your money.  By the way, we still have a pigeon coop by the barn,..."

After years on the road, Echelon was finally home.

DM Notes: Another touch and go adventure, but the party worked together and defeated a supposed god!

The adventure was  "Brimming Stein" by Lester Smith in the Pulp Dungeons - Uninvited Guests collection, from Corsair Publishing.

Next #10 - Wedding Bells!

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