Rainbow Royale

39: Coda

Doc walks up to the boss, as the mage tries to hold him – but his new deathless type negates the spell. As the mage looks in horror Doc smashes him with the greatsword. Doc and Barrosh get a few hits in before the mage pulls out power word stun again and holds the group in place. Archer’s silhouette approaches from far off.

Archer circles once and flares in to land in the courtyard. He exchanges words with the boss. The boss reiterates that he promised great rewards to the last men standing, and as far as he’s concerned the party has earned their victory. He’ll pay them with their heart’s desire and everyone can walk away. The party takes a moment to confer (while still bound) and decides to jump the boss. As they try to surprise him, the boss pulls out time stop. Suddenly it’s fourteen allies versus just one hasted, blurred, mage armoured, mirror imaged, flying archmage.

Doc and Fairweather use their teleports to get in on him, smashing him back to the ground and grappling him. Doc’s sheer faith in Krod pulls the bad guy into his fist’s path. As the boss summons a pair of large elementals, Barrosh engages one and Tarim time hops the other. Alric and Nathan support the party with fire shield and healing while Steeleyes works on a short ritual-like spell.

The boss throws up a wall of ice that cuts him off from the party and damages Fairweather and Doc, then heads back up into the air. Archer does his best to fly up and divebomb but misses and nearly plows into the ground. Tarim throws telekinetic maneuvers at the constructs, knocking one down for Barrosh and Nathan to finish off. The party grinds down the BBEG for a few rounds before Doc, with Barrosh’s assist of a thrown ring of jumping, and Fairweather leap up towards the boss. Fairweather gets in some healing before Doc commands the boss to come with him. Doc then slams bodily into the boss, knocking him through a dimension door to the top of the keep’s main tower. Over Steeleyes’ telepathic link he orders the group to knock the tower down.

Barrosh and Steve fly up to the top of the tower, using his breath weapon to attack the boss, while Fairweather teleports behind and grapples on to him. Tarim uses his true seeing and a bit of ingenuity to guess at the resonant frequency of the tower’s stones before hitting it with a tuned sonic energy bolt, knocking out the tower’s support and leaving it sliding towards the ground. Nathan and Alric chip in on the tower damage. Steeleyes opens a gate, offering his diadem as payment to a beholder who brings his eye lasers to the fight.

The boss reaches out and disintegrates Doc, leaving him with 2 hit points, and speaks a power word heal to bring himself back up. On the next turn he teleports across the keep and throws reverse gravity on the falling tower. Most manage to get out with teleports of their own, but Barrosh and Steve try to fly out of the effect, leaving Steve spiralling into the air and Barrosh slamming into the middle of the courtyard’s circle.

The boss starts throwing prismatic spray and rainbow sunbeam around, then drops a magic item to summon a swarm of elementals. Tarim nails the group with hail of crystals and wipes the adds. Doc hitches a ride on the beholder, which flings him directly at the boss dealing massive damage. Archer and Barrosh crowd in as well, as Fairweather tries to get a beholder ride of his own. The boss drops sunburst knocking Fairweather unconscious and Tarim to the edge of function. Tarim pours healing potions into himself and Fairweather. The boss phase shifts out of the group, dropping another elemental swarm, before getting pincered by Doc and Archer. Another hail of crystals and the beholder’s rays knock out the elementals, and a blinded and enraged Archer takes the boss’ head off and nearly knocks out Doc as well.

As the boss falls, his body charges up with a brilliant light before exploding with a massive shockwave. In reaction, Steeleyes and the beholder plane shift away, Alric throws up his sanctuary, Tarim time hops Barrosh, and Fairweather puts Leomund’s tiny hut over himself and Tarim. The blast vaporizes Nathan, nearly murders Alric, and scars Archer permanently. It also hyper-charges Doc’s radiant aura. Fairweather and Tarim drop their spells and watch in horror as Doc glows brighter and brighter, finally ripping apart into constituent particles and rocketing skyward to the gloury of Krod. The walls have been knocked down, the magic circles obliterated, and the fight is over.

The group immediately thinks through the mindnet that Archer tried to betray them, and might do so again. Tarim calls on the power of the psicrown and dominates Archer, forcing him to kneel and be his mighty steed. As Doc’s blue ghost and Larry Merman look on from the ramparts, Clancy and the orks from Horks crash in, take a look around, and start cheering. Fairweather points at Archer and yells “GET HIM!” Barrosh charges, the orks charge, Fairweather charges, and after a few short seconds the dragon is swarmed under by orks and Barrosh drives a greataxe into the base of his skull.

Fairweather and Tarim retire to live with the thane and his Lady Kailea. Fairweather becomes the thane’s private bard and spymaster. Tarim and Kailea are study partners, learning magic and psionics, possibly sneaking off together from time to time. Fairweather and Tarim end up accidentally common-law gay-married through an unfortunate loophole. Barrosh goes to live in Horks for a few years before settling down as a near-permanent fixtures at Mr. Bulldops’ whorehouse The Fourth Mast.

38: The End is the Beginning is the End

Seven coloured golems, fourteen thousand soldiers, and the big bad evil guy all try to converge on the party.

Alric and Nathan cross the streams with fire and water and start to make a steam cloud to obscure the party from the army. Barrosh wades in on the golems and starts eating damage. Fairweather pulls back the key and tumbles through the crowds to the keyhole on one of the spires. The key causes the spire to start turning rainbow and white from the base up over about 15 seconds. Fairweather starts running from tower to tower activating the keyholes. As the towers turn completely white, they lose cohesion, fall in sludgy messes to the ground, and their corresponding coloured soldiers (but not the golems) also splat and die.

Tarim and Kate fly up above one of the golems. Tarim engages her bracelet of friends, calling Doc out from the inner rainbow dome and sending him plummeting towards the golem, which he hits sword first. Steeleyes links everyone but Doc in a mental web that lets them communicate. (Doc’s Krodstian faith-power interferes with the web and leaves him out.)

Partway through, Tarim spots keyholes on the back of each golem’s skull. Telling the others through the network, Doc uses dimension door and misty step to warp, grab the key from Fairweather, warp back and slam it into the keyhole on the red golem which immediately goes still as the rainbow-white shockwave passes through it. Doc points to the violet tower as Fairweather warps in and grabs to key to keep moving, with Tarim throwing up walls to keep him safe. Tarim is meanwhile throwing health potions literally at the party members, healing them bit by bit, and at one point pouring four health potions down on Doc’s head.

The collapsing towers nearly take out Barrosh, but he recovers and uses the new wall of goo to corner and kill four of the seven golems. Fairweather completes his circuit of the spires. Doc tries to throw the red golem, but it starts walking towards the violet spire. Instead he rams a random key from his pocket into its head and prays to Krod. The power of Krod and Doc’s faith empowers the key and gives Doc a vision of the golem with command words written on it. Doc is now riding a golem, which he orders to KILL THE RAINBOW WIZARD.

Meanwhile, the central dome goes all disco-ball, firing off prismatic sprays and rainbow sunbeams. Doc stops a sunbeam with moonbeam but the dome deals huge damage to Steeleyes, Barrosh, and Doc. Just before the last tower falls, the BBEG drops a meteor swarm on the party. Doc is knocked into dying status. As the party reels, the two remaining golems slam Doc into the ground, bringing him to the edge of death. Tarim time hops him ahead. The red golem punches the central dome and splats immediately.

The tower falls. In a flash, all of the constructs, all of the colour is gone, and just the party members and BBEG are left. BBEG stands up and freezes everyone in place but himself. He takes an arrogant moment, walking up and considering each of the players in turn, stealing Fairweather’s electric sword and some wizard supplies, before waiting in the spot where Doc will reappear. When he finally does, the BBEG stands over him for a long minute as Doc bleeds out on the ground. Eventually he reaches down and cuts Doc’s throat.

He releases his hold on the party. Fairweather throws up Leomund’s tiny hut over Doc’s corpse. Tarim tries to run and heal him. Barrosh rages and storms the center. Staring at Tarim, the BBEG throws hold person at Barrosh and fails. Taken unaware, Barrosh gets three deep cuts into the man before he can pull out power word: stun. He also holds Fairweather. With Barrosh stunned he starts cutting at his throat, adding a rainbow veil cutting off Tarim from the group.

Fairweather’s tiny hut starts to glow, then shatters apart in a shockwave of silver light, erasing the rainbow veil and breaking the holds as it passes over them. (It also full-heals and restores the party.) Doc strides out from the broken hut, glowing faintly, headed directly for the BBEG at the center of the circle.

37: War Pigs

group heads in towards the inner dome

Tarim fires up True Seeing

Outside the dome: seven coloured spires, jaggedly arching up and over the inner dome
inner dome 120’ diameter
between inner dome and keep wall, ranks and ranks of lantern soldiers, standing in formation next to their matching spires, unmoving
spires have no entrance/exit, just a big iconic keyhole near the base
inside the dome: seven coloured golems, inner ritual circle with BBEG in the very center

Doc drops in at the base of the inner wall, near the blue tower – shatters a small entrance through the outer wall – rest of team arrives nearby

Fairweather remembers the rainbow key from long long ago – Tarim and FW head off into town

Barrosh and Doc (and Alric etc) hold against the wall for ~15 minutes – Doc gets overwhelmed at first but Barrosh fights to him, and Doc teleport-rams his way back up, while the wizards throw fireballs and force walls
Doc lands in a pile of the terracotta soldiers, splatting a bunch of them
Silvereyes mentally warns “best be careful, I think you’ve pissed him off”

Fairweather brings Tarim back to the tavern where the key was, just ahead of a flying patrol
Tarim throws up detect psionics and they walk a grid
Tarim finds an alleyway that registers, the flyers all pile on Fairweather, who blasts every one of them to paste with thunder wave
Tarim’s true seeing immediately detects the pocket dimension in a building wall holding the rainbow key

Just as FW and Tarim meet up with the others, the great dome voips out of existence
BBEG steps out of his inner ring (braided silver and gold 30’) and says some snarky stuff then dismisses them
Doc hops on Sven, Tarim hits detect psionics – BBEG is the source of the construct hive-mind
FW and BBEG trade quips
BBEG walks back into the circle and snaps his fingers to raise a new, smaller dome
Doc airdrops from Sven, opens a hole in the dome with moonbeam, and gets trapped inside with the boss

FW teleports to the base of the small dome and slams the key into it – it hits as if hard glass, reacts with a light-show but no opening efffect
Tarim time-hops the closest golem while Barrosh covers the group moving towards Fairweather
BBEG blasts Doc with a prismatic spray, briefly blinding him – Doc summons Battlecat and blindly fires both cannons – both bullets turn to plasma as they hit the dome and blow outwards in bright colours
G and I golems approach but whiff, as the terracotta soldiers close in

36: Lost Complex

The party, their pegasi, and the various horks and hangers-on proceed in through the rainbow barrier. Just in front of Doc, a man-sized gate opens above the road ahead and disgorges Soyo the tiefling warlock, shoved through a portal by his Elder God and stumbling facefirst into a puddle. Doc struts up and tries to make friends with him. He literally casts friends on the whole party and starts leading them up the road. Tarim bitches at him about not being the one to mind control people, but they go. The party heads up into the air over the keep, leaving the orks to approach the gates.

Above the battlefield, the group can see the keep and its three curtain walls, guarded by thousands of constructs, including larger artillery throwers and the like. A group of two hundred or so foot soldiers is advancing away from the wall towards the orks. Likewise, a pod of blue harpy-like flyers is ascending towards the flying party. The mages start laying down fire with cloudkill and fire elementals, while Doc throws himself into the middle of the pod, using his ring of the ram to spin up into a Death Blossom. Sven catches him on the other side. Soyo picks off targets with eldritch blasts and Tarim throws energy bolts and ectoplasmic cocoons. Alric scores a direct hit with an alchemist’s fire cocktail as well. When the harpies close, Fairweather gets swarmed under before triggering a thunder wave to clear some space. As the party fights, Alric’s nameless pegasus takes a crit and goes down, with Mark and Fairweather trying to follow but tumbling into a spinning fall. Tarim throws a healing potion. It doesn’t do much. Mark and the other pegasus manage to pull up after the party members clear the harpies off their backs.

As the battle concludes, first Doc and then the others survey the battlefield. The orks and Clancy have moved to a position in rough ground against the cliff and are using the terrain to hold the attacking force off. On the walls, the red artillery throwers are in place and preparing to fire. Inside the innermost of the three walls – where a large rainbow dome shimmers inside a cloud of glittering sparks, partially obscuring the inside wall, while the great spire of light shoots up from the middle into the heavens – Tarim spots a circle of coloured spikes, or monoliths, or something, rising up from the base of the dome and converging at its highest point, the pillar of light.

Doc steps from Sven’s back, dropping towards the ork-construct battle. Fairweather yells at Sven who swoops down to pick up Doc again, with the aim of progressing as quickly as possible towards the big-bad-evil-guy. The party flies in towards the dome at the center of the keep…

35: The Final Countdown

Fairweather heads down into the hold of the Wild Card to catch up with Blackwizzle, who’s tied up along with the goblin and escorted by Fairweather’s fighter. In the process of trying to get Blackwizzle to go along with them, Fairweather holds a knife to his throat, finally breaking his resolve after all the beatings and captivity, leaving him sobbing on the deck. Feeling bad, Fairweather takes him to the dock, buys him a small catamaran, and sends him off into the sunset, possibly never to be seen again.

Meanwhile, Doc asks Krod for guidance as to what to do with the goblin. Somehow he actually gets a vision, where Krod at least wants him to offer a fair fight. Doc drags the goblin up to the main deck before cutting his ropes, whereupon the goblin latches on to Doc’s throat and tries to choke him out. Struggling, Doc gets leverage and powerbombs the goblin, smashing his skull into his spinal column and paralyzing him. Doc tries to run him up the flagpole but the knot parts and the corpse smashes into the deck. Doc kicks him overboard.

Tarim, engrossed in the strange letter, makes some excuses about having to meet the wizard who wrote it, and disappears for almost a week. The group sails from Hanging Bay to Pirate Bay and eventually to Stove, picking up their hired forces alcottage ong the way. They roll into Stove, where they’ll wait for Archer, with twelve thousand soldiers and more than two hundred twenty boats. Tarim reappears with a totally hardcore wizard-guy, complete with robe and crystal staff and blind eyes made of metal or something. After waiting the whole day, they try to find a whorehouse by asking around at bars. A cloaked man approaches them and tells them to go outside of town to the House of Secret Relaxations.

The group finds a cottage-like house set up against the cliff base, just north of the town itself. Fairweather goes for the doorknob. As he touches it, it tries to hold person him and speaks, telling him to knock first. He knocks. The door opens into a gorgeous reception room with the madam behind a desk. Fairweather, as Duke “Duke” Dukeman, gets the group in and asks for whores. Apparently this is a special place, with personalized services. Tarim goes back first, and the madam sends in a very young, first-time whore. Tarim and Trisha learn some things together and fall in love, promising to reunite after the big boss fight. Doc gets taken to a half-empty room and introduced to a part-human orcish woman, and the two hatefuck for five hours until she finally passes out, leaving Doc triumphantly smoking a cigar. Barrosh ends up in a room with a single bed and many couches. Eventually a whore comes in… and another… and another, until Barrosh is surrounded by seven whores, and descends into bliss.

Finally, Madam Sarah approaches Duke Dukeman, expecting to take him back to a room, and is completely taken aback when Duke says “I hope it’s you.” She stops, startled and blushing, and Duke smoothly talks her into closing up the magic door out front and taking him back to her very own bedroom in the back.

The next morning, Doc wakes up still drunk, and the rest are totally blacked out, through bliss and alcohol and the drugs slipped into the booze in this place. The three zombies are escorted to the reception area and stripped of all their cash. Doc manages to fumble a fistful of dragon treasure out and pay off his escort to keep the rest. Archer walks into the house, speaking with the madam as an old friend, then asks for the room.

In short, Archer demands the return of the green orb, makes sure the party has actually gotten an army, and informs them they’re going in first, right now. Fairweather refuses to budge and angrily leads the party out of the whorehouse and back to the boats.

The party and their fleet head south to Piper’s Rill, arriving mid-afternoon. With some quick scouting they decide to sail with the bulk of their fleet into the main mouth of the bay, towards the outer rainbow sphere, while the mercenary troop transports and a 25-ship pirate escort cut through the eastern strait into a nearby bay to land troops. The party decides to take to the sky with their pegasi and the hired wizards, while Clancy leads the crazy orcs and Fairweather’s soldier across land to meet up at the base of the sphere.

Flying above the melee, the wizards check out the sphere. Steel-eyes does some kind of spell that makes his eyes glow, then has some kind of mental conversation with Alric, who relays the details of the sphere to the party: seven layers, negated by opposing spells or at least elemental energy types, and wayyy bigger than it’s supposed to be. So big that it probably can’t be entirely dispelled like normal, but might come down in sections instead. The group decides to hit the base of the sphere so ground troops can come in behind them.

Nathan throws out a chain lightning to clear the LZ and the party hits the dirt. Surrounded by a wall of fire, they start dismantling the wall. Barrosh tries his ice breath on the red shell but it isn’t enough, so Alric takes down red and orange with cone of cold and gust of wind. The shells break open in a geodesic triangle shape about forty feet across, with one edge roughly parallel to the ground. Nathan takes some reminding about what he’s supposed to do, and ends up threatening Fairweather with disintegrate before using it to destroy the yellow shell. The green shell is supposed to be broken by passwall, but no one has it; thankfully the massive construction of the sphere has given it some extra vulnerability to similar effects, and Doc’s dimension door is close enough to take down the shell, although he takes some backlash. While Alric and Nathan bicker over what kind of force spell to use on the blue shell instead of magic missile, Doc stands up and triggers the ring of the ram, smashing the blue shell inwards. The penultimate shell, indigo, needs a daylight spell. The closest anyone can think of is Doc’s radiant smite. Doc swings at the shell and takes it down, but in the process is driven briefly insane by visions of Krod and violence and entire lifespans in a few seconds. He goes catatonic while the group pulls him out of the way, then smashes Barrosh’s nose with a sucker punch. Eventually he comes back to reality. Alric tries to dispel magic the violet shell, as the constructs push in through the fire. His first attempt falls short. Steel-eyes steps up to help him somehow, and together they dispel the last veil, with Alric brutally ripping it out of place and throwing it into the bay.

With the way open, and Clancy’s orc death squad only moment behind, the group summons their pegasi and heads into the blasted city of Piper’s Rill, fully loaded and ready to take down the man at the middle of it all.

34: Pigs on the Wing

The group sends the newly-captured boat back to Stove as they fly off on their own. On the way, Doc and Sven spot a shiny off in the distance and head off without mentioning it to anyone. Doc finds a cave at the top of a crag. In the mouth of a cave is a polished silver medallion with a bust on it. A trail of treasures leads into the mouth of the cave. Making his way into the cave, Doc avoids a pressure-plate trap, resists a mental attack, and makes his way through a maze to open the final door: dragon hoard. Mounds of cash and jewelry, statues, art, whatever, and in the middle a green-and-gold dragon claw pedestal with a softball-sized emerald sphere. Doc ganks the orb and the claw and heads out.

Meanwhile, the group realizes he’s gone. As they fly on, there’s a great thunderclap and draconic roar, then a huge crack as the crag off in the distance splits in two. Doc and Sven come tearing out of the mouth of the cave, Doc carrying two cloth-of-gold bags, one with the orb (wrapped in cloth) and claw, the other a random bag of bling. On the way he shows the orb off to Fairweather, who explains it all to Barrosh.

The group flies back into Stove where the Wild Card and the other boat are tied up to the pier. Alric comes to meet them with letters from both of the wizards he’d contacted. One of them, Nathan, delivered a small swan figurine that’s apparently a boat or something. The other… well, half the time he’s coherent, and half the time… he sends letters consisting of random formulae and geometry and incoherent paragraphs. Tarim fixes on the letter and takes it back to the cabin to start deciphering it.

Doc takes Alric off in private and shows him the orb. Alric pretty much shits himself, warning Doc never to let Archer see the orb. After arguing with the group for a while and refusing to explain why it was so dangerous, Alric throws up his hands and leaves.

The group heads for the boat (once Doc figures out to throw the Quall’s feather token into the water), grabbing Tarim and calling Alric along the way. Alric sits in the back with arms crossed. Doc pokes him with the dragon orb. Alric glances at the rest of the party, then passes his hand across Doc’s eyes, turning them pure white. He whispers for a solid minute then restores Doc, putting him to sleep instead. Alric grabs the orb and hands it to Fairweather. He has re-written Doc’s memory so that the silver medallion was the center of the dragon hoard, not the orb.

As the group approaches their destination, Fairweather slyly trades the orb for random crap before throwing it off the side of the swan-boat.

The boat lands at a small island with a single farmhouse in the lee of a ridge. An ancient man in a patched, star-spangled robe and bent wizard hat toddles out on a cane calling for Alric. The wizard, Nathan, invites the group inside his house, which is full to bursting with arcane books and alchemical supplies. Eventually the group gets around to explaining that they want to hire Nathan to fight a war that he doesn’t even know is happening. Eventually he agrees and grabs his stuff, then goes outside and summons a fucking massive black horse with flaming eyes and hooves. He asks for fifty astral diamonds and not one less. The group wisely acquiesces.

They head back to Hanging Bay to find their last objective – a fighting navy. As Barrosh and Doc argue over the diamonds and pretty much everything else, Fairweather bails and finds a mercenary company, asking to hire all of them for a week. He gets quotes a million GP. Returning, he shows Doc where to find the mercenary group. Doc and the mercenary trade words at gunpoint, Doc talks the guy down to 600k, Fairweather finds a money changer while the guy refuses to drink on the job. The group takes their last 25 astral diamonds to the Golden Fold.


Group wakes up Orc Hungover, all the pegasi are too.

Group heads back to Stove and sends the orcs via war canoe. To open the way, the group asks for some bombs. Goblins gingerly bring them a half-dozen globes of green liquid.
Pegasi head for Stove. On the way they spot a pair of ships. One is the Clearwater Riptide, with the three pirate captains on board. Fairweather throws up an illusion to hide them as they bomb the ship. Doc hits the metal guy in the face with a bomb and Fairweather nails the cat lady, starting fires. Barrosh and Sven try to dive-bomb but clip a rope and crash directly into the fire. Doc joins the fight, slamming into the crowd of sailors advancing on the intruders and using BattleCat to hold them back. Slowly he mows them all down with great swipes and thunder smites. Barrosh takes heavy damage from metalman and cat lady. Metal man goes magnetic and draws in all the metal on the ship. When Fairweather blows Captain Craighlynn off the side of the boat and thunder waves the metal guy, something breaks and he starts heating up, and heating all the metal in a 30’ radius.

Tarim heads for the other boat screaming about how “they’ll all die unless you help.” A robed man comes out onto the deck and basically says “fuck it, somebody shoot that horse.” Tarim throws all of his mental might at the guy and totally demolishes his defenses, dominating him entirely (rolled a 41 total). It’s Kaizen, returned as a psi-lich and having recruited Horza and psychic revivified Craighlynn and Yalson. Tarim orders him to stop the fighting and make the other ship surrender. Kaizen orders the ship to turn hard and head for the Riptide. As the fight winds down, the other ship finally comes aside, the metal man overheats and falls on the deck, burning his way through to the hold, and Fairweather starts another deck fire. The crew and the party evacuates to Kaizen’s boat.

Tarim orders Kaizen to bring him all the valuables. He does… so Tarim tells him to put them back. But he does take Kaizen’s phylactery…

32: Back in Black

After stocking up on grog by buying a brewery, the party flies for Horks. There are multiple pirate sightings along the way. Two of three towns they pass are under the rainbow exclusion spell.

Upon arriving in Horks, a cliffside cave-town in a bay, a hundred orcs boil out to meet them with bows and axes. When they hear “grog” they at least let the party land. Tarim senses a weird psychic fallout in the area. Half a dozen orcs move out to meet them, including the tribe’s shaman. Doc challenges the shaman to a fight, along with Barrosh. The shaman takes his feather cloak off. Doc dances the haka. The shaman shifts into a giant wolverine and attacks.

Doc and Barrosh beat on the guy for a while before he heads for a rocky plateau to continue the battle. Tarim saves Doc from getting pinned with a readied telekinetic maneuver. Barrosh super-jumps to the plateau, while Doc just intercepts the wolverine with dimension door before accidentally burying himself in a crater with the ring of the ram. The wolverine’s plant growth spell locks Doc under four feet of matted roots and earth. Doc responds by using his ring as a jet to propel him upwards, calling for Krod’s help. Tarim’s psionic senses go nuts as Doc flies upwards, then the crowd goes wild, screaming and drumming.

Barrosh leaps from the hill and drives his fist into the wolverine, knocking him back. When the wolverine tries to spear him, Barrosh grabs his skull and drives him to the dirt. Doc rejoins the fight by yelling “DOGPILE!” Finally, they beat the shaman into submission and he reverts to orcish form.

When Doc emerges from the overgrown grass carrying the shaman, the crowd is silent, then shouts with him as he pumps his fist and yells “WAAAGH!” Doc’s blind monk friend leaps down from the hilltop. When Doc proclaims his plans for the orcs – “TO THE GREEN PLACE” and “WAR!” the monk says “Finally, you are ready.” Doc’s paladin powers flood back and his alignment shifts to CG. The monk proclaims him the new orc leader. The tribe gets Orc Drunk for the rest of the day and Doc and Tarim show the blind monk, apparently a former priest of Gruumsh who willingly put out one eye then lost the other, what Krod looks like.

31: Shopping Cart Rally

The group reconvenes on the Wild Card, with the dreadlocked goblin tied to a chair in the hold. Doc and Clancy have a talk about the possibility of hiring orcs as elite troops. Clancy’s from the mainland but he’s got a cousin in a tribe of orcs in Horks, on the northernmost inhabited island under the dome. They’re tough sea-faring raiders and would be great as special forces surgical-strike type guys. Clancy wants to pick up 50-300 of the best for a strike force.

Fairweather and Alric talk about wizards – turns out Alric was basically a wanderer, not the guildy sort of mage. He knows a couple of people that he can send wizard-grams and hopefully hire on for the cause.

The party decides to head out tonight for Horks by way of Stove, an iron mining community towards the north. They’ll take Clancy and the pegasi, leaving Stubbs in charge of the Wild Card to follow them in the morning. Should take about a day and a half of sailing if the wind holds.

They fly off on the pegasi for several hours in near darkness. Towards the end, Kate and Tarim up front pull up hard as Kate spots an approaching mountain. The group scatters. Kate and Tarim come about, but only barely, and Kate’s wounded wing folds up under the stress. Tarim’s levitate power saves them. Doc falls the fuck off of Sven with the ring of feather fall so he just glides gently downwards until Sven picks him up. Steve points out the way assuming this is a certain mountain and sure enough within 15 minutes they see city lights.

As they approach Stove, the group decides to land on the beach near the docks like civilized people. They leave the pegasi behind after Doc demonstrates his whistling ability. Over the course of the night, Tarim meets a weird bald guy in the shittiest armour shop that tries to sell him shiny black crystal armour, but Tarim bails. Fairweather and Barrosh hire Gustavson Foundry for two thousand suits of armour in one week, as well as acid-resistant scale mail for Barrosh and studded leather of quickness for Fairweather. Tarim gets some neat bracers of friends, too. Doc first heads for the foreign-looking armour shop where in the back he meets Papa and his two sons. Papa pulls out the most overbuilt set of plate mail ever. Doc pays a diamond to try it out. Pablo, the elder son, directs a knife thrust into a chink in the armour but it is pulled right into one of the strong plates of steel. Doc decides to show off his ring of the ram as a test, but first he directs it at a cheap set of armour – and misses, punching a huge dent in the wall of the foundry. After some shouting and sword-waving Doc exits the foundry with no new armour.

Barrosh and Fairweather take a walk with Gustav to find a money-changer who accepts astral diamonds. It’s midnight, though. Nobody’s open. When the group finally reconvenes, they all end up back at the creepy guy’s shitty armour shop where Doc takes command of the creepy guy and orders him to bring out all the armour. After looking over all the armour that fits him, Doc buys a breastplate of command and a set of blue dragonscale plate.

The next morning, the group settles up with Gustav to the tune of 200k, leaving roughly a million in their coffers. If they can hire up a small navy, a band of orcish special forces, and a bit of magical support, they just might have a chance to survive…

30: The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

The crew reassembles on the Wild Card. Fairweather’s lackey has been banging the prostitute for basically the whole week but it looks pretty consensual, so there’s that. With Barrosh in charge, the party gets set to go.

Tarim and Kate, flying over the boat, see Archer incoming from the city. Archer drags them in to land on the boat, with Alric riding on his back. While Doc stands on the prow, Archer says he wants to know how things are going, and that Alric has something to show them. Alric eventually produces a collar like the one he’s wearing. Apparently he and Kailea tried to remove his power-restricting collar and couldn’t, but they copied the enchantment, and maybe the party can slap it on Rainbow Douche to cripple him. Archer reiterates his two-week deadline and peaces out.

The Wild Card sails to a pirate enclave half a day to the east. Doc, Tarim, and Fairweather race ahead on Sven, Kate, and Mark. They drop into a stable where they try to leave Sven and Mark with a goblin who’s mucking out the corner. Doc throws him a ruby and walks away. They storm into a pirate castle-fort, with Tarim charming the pirate leader and Fairweather throwing in prestidigitation for some kind of pyrotechnics. Tarim also levitates the bag of rubies. The pirate leader listens, and is willing to raise an army of ten thousand men – for 250k gp. He comes back to the boat to see the cash up front.

Tarim and Kate take off back to the boat, while Doc and Fairweather head back to the stables. There they find a half-dozen goblins, led by one with a dreadlock bald-mullet, hanging on Sven and Mark. Doc tries to intimidate then and fails horribly. The fight breaks out. Most of them pile on to Doc and start stabbing through his armour as he tries furiously to knock them off, with Mark’s help. Sven still gets held down, hopping in circles with two goblins on one wing. Tarim and Barrosh hear the fracas and head in as quick as they can. As the fight rages on, Fairweather and Barrosh start blasting them into walls with thunder and frost, Tarim cocoons a bunch of dudes (although failing repeatedly on the leader), Doc gets stabbed a bunch, and eventually Fairweather, Barrosh, Mark, Steve, and Sven bail and head back to the boat. Tarim and Kate try to cover Doc’s escape. Frustrated, Doc blasts down the whole stable, burying all but the dreadlocked leader. Tarim has to pour a potion down his throat to keep him alive, before taking off for the boat. Finally Doc’s thrown greatsword cracks the goblin in the temple and he collapses. Doc grabs him by the collar, ties him to a rope, and drags him back to the boat, not giving a shit whether he lives or dies – which he barely doesn’t. Doc throws him groaning onto the deck of the ship.

Fairweather brings the pirate commander up on the boat and motions to Barrosh to show him 250k in diamonds. Barrosh blankly pulls out the whole wallet which Fairweather quickly nabs and pulls out some diamonds. The pirate accepts the offer in surprise when recognizes the diamonds, and promises not to steal stuff (probably) and to produce ten thousand pirate soldiers one week from now.


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