Shorty's Avengers

The Pre-Betty Saga: Chapter I
The Fylphi Days!

DM:

Player Characters:

Non-Player Characters

  • Shorty
  • Tallie (Voice Only)
  • Salvana “Mistress” Wrafton
  • Lord “Dirty Cheating Bastard with the Clap” Padraig of Winterhavenholdfell
  • Other inhabitants of Winterhavenholdfell

Scene I: The Ambushed Cart.

The three passengers of the cart awaken abruptly to noises of a battle outside. They hear their favourite guard, Shorty, cut down viciously. Tallie’s cries disappear into the distance. All is silent.

One by one, the passengers worked to remove the hessian sacks from their heads, and their hands from the manacles that bound them to the cart. Then, they ventured outside. They were greeted by a scene of carnage: the prison guards that had accompanied the Prisoner Transportation Cart lie dead, their bodies strewn across the dirt road. Bryony crouched by some scuffed footprints, ascertaining that Goblins were behind the assault. Munchkin carefully dressed in Shorty’s bloodstained leather armour and picked up a shortsword, preparing himself for the world outside Harken Penitentiary; Bryony beckoned Munchkin to the cart, and requested his assistance. “Could you help me cut a cloak from this cloth? It’s awful cold…”

Fylphi watched in amusement as the two struggled with the awning, before noticing his own semi-nakedness. Harken Penitentiary had never been known for its fashion: loincloths all around, and a modest piece of cloth for the ladies’ uppers. “I don’t like the look of these woods,” he called to the others. “Goblins don’t usually leave scraps, neither. There should be a town around here, by the looks of this road. We should move on.” The rest agreed and they began their walk, following the direction the cart had been travelling, leaving their beloved Shorty’s body by the side of the road.

They introduced themselves on the walk, exchanging short words on their histories: “Bryony”, an Eladrin Wizard, had taken the punishment for her mother’s crime of stealing a loaf of bread, and she seeks aid to return home; Fylphi, a half-Elf Paladin, had gotten into a fight defending the honour of a young girl, and had been imprisoned for it; Munchkin, a Dragonborn Warlord and part-time chimney sweep, had dust allergies. Eventually, they reached a junction in the road with a sign: to the left, Winterhavenholdfell; to the right, the Trade Road continued to the Baronies. Deciding quickly, the group moved on to Winterhavenholdfell.

Scene II: Winterhavenholdfell.

“Oi,” said a gruff voice as they neared the gates, “state your business!” The guard at the portcullis eyed them suspiciously. Bryony took the lead, by bluffing her way through a conversation and letting them into the town. Their first port of call was a blacksmith, they agreed, to remove the remains of the manacles from their hands and feet. Thair seemed to buy Bryony’s story about being a group of travelling performers who had accidentally lost their manacle keys, and he sold a few weapons to the group for good measure. Fylphi agreed to buy him a drink for his troubles.

The next stop was the Wrafton Inn, to get some rest and lunch after their arduous journey. Salvana Wrafton, the owner and Innkeep, agreed to let them stay in exchange for work – Munchkin’s valiant haggling skills made themselves known in this exchange. Fylphi and Munchkin would wash dishes in exchange for three rooms.

While the negotiations were nearing finalisation, Bryony entered her own challenge: charming the local Lordling with her “wimminly wiles”. Munchkin, chuckling as the Lordling drunkenly preened over such attention, leaned across and whispered in his ear – “She’s yours for the night for a very reasonable 100gp.” After money had exchanged hands, Bryony (unaware that she had been sold by her travelling companion) left with the Lordling and set off for his “apartment”. The duo question Salvana on recent events and local history, learning about the Keep in the forest and the rumour of Cultist activity. Having nothing else to do, Fylphi and Munchkin retire to the kitchen to begin their chores.

Bryony lives up to her reputation over the next few hours: she gets Lord Padraig so drunk that he passes out on his own sofa, then she steals many of his material possessions and returns to the Inn. She manages to procure a spellbook, a brooch, some robes for herself and some clothes for Fylphi, and some other menial accessories.

Meanwhile, Munchkin and Fylphi had noticed a locked door at the rear of the kitchen as they finish their dishes. They retire to the bar once again, joining in with a drinking game and purchasing Thair’s drink for him. Then, they retire to their rooms. Fylphi realises how hungry he is, so he immediately returns downstairs an sits at the bar, eating Toad Stew and waiting for Bryony to return. Munchkin – lacking low-light vision – refuses to sit in darkness. He finds a candle, and attempts a carefully-placed flame from his Dragon Breath, to disastrous consequences.

Scene III: Slapstick Bandits.

Bryony had returned to the Inn moments before the explosion, but both her and Fylphi knew the source of the catastrophe the moment it occurred – they exchanged a frustrated glance, before following Salvana Wrafton up the stairs. Somehow Fylphi got ahead of her on the stairs, and peeked into the Dragonborn’s room before she got there. Not only was the outer wall missing, but fire was creeping through the rest of the room around a guilt-looking dragonborn with wax puddled at his feet. Ducking back into the corridor to prevent the owner from gaining access, Fylphi attempts to distract her while Bryony performs a Sleep spell. Unfortunately, the Sleep spell also strikes Fylphi square in the face, sending both targets to the floor.

Munchkin walks out from his room and slaps Fylphi awake (taking the half-elf down by half of his total health), and the group moves downstairs to the woman’s lodgings. Fylphi carries Salvana downstairs, following the crashing noise of Munchkin breaking down the door at the rear of the kitchen. However, he is interrupted by a guard who had wandered in to investigate the explosion. He hastily bluffs his way through a conversation, and points him towards the Dragonborn’s lodgings upstairs (knowing full well that it wouldn’t buy them long). As he lays her down on the bed, Bryony notices arcane markings around a mirror – she hastily copies them down for later studying. Munchkin hears the guard’s cry of surprise and the ensuing thundering of footsteps, and decides to hide under the bed…

Fylphi and Bryony don’t even get the time to decide on hiding places because – as the guard enters the kitchen – the dusty gap beneath the bed gets the better of Munchkin, and a monstrous fiery sneeze rips apart the building. The guard flees. The group works to put out the downstairs fire, and the group begin the leave the building, Fylphi carrying Salvana out – Bryony, however, decides to go to bed in her lodgings, unaware that the upstairs of the building is still alight. From outside, Fylphi and Munchkin see the mob bearing down on them, and return to the safety of the building. They search out Bryony and escape the burning building from an upstairs window, dropping into the town near the fortified wall, and sneaking out into the night.

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The Pre-Betty Saga: Chapter II
The Fylphi Days!

DM:

Player Characters:

Non-Player Characters

  • Bastar’ the Torturer
  • Splug (Voice Only)
  • Tallie (Voice Only)

Scene I: A Name is Formed.

Walking toward the Winterhavenholdfell crossroad, Fylphi (now wearing silk clothes stolen from Lord Padraig’s house) makes a confession; he isn’t a paladin and never has been. In fact, he is a rogue with a natural gift for bluffing and stealth. He had posed as a paladin to gain access to the Harken Penitentiary, and a prisoner inside. Having come clean, his cover is now blown and the group is more wary of him. As they reach the King’s Road, they remember their favourite guard (who was always grouped with their second-favourite guard). They remember the carnage of the battle, the smell of blood and the feeling of isolation as they escaped their shackles. They remember the look on Shorty’s crumpled face, and the sound of Tallie’s angry shouts fading into the distance; they make a pledge to avenge Shorty.

As they enter the tree-line they are ambushed by a group of Kobolds, led by their Priest. They are easily outwitted by the newly-formed Avengers, who pick over their bones like vultures: a medallion displaying the symbol of Orcus is taken from the Priest’s corpse and worn as a trophy by Byrony; Munchkin picks up a light shield from a fallen warrior; Fylphi slips on a meagre slab of leather armour over his stylish silken clothes. They continue through the forest, eventually reaching Shadowfell Keep.

Scene 2: Entering the Keep

Shorty’s Avengers creep towards the Keep and, sensing no outer defences, sneak inside. The upper floors of the Keep had collapsed decades ago, and the ground floor opened up like a maw; they realised that whoever were behind this, whether it be Cultists, Goblins or Kobolds, they had been very busy digging.

They crept down the slope into the first basement level, where a large semi-excavated room greeted them. A deep hole took up the most of the room, and they spied a goblin guard facing away from them, throwing food scraps into the pit. The scurrying sounds and the smell informed Bryony that there was a swarm of rats at the bottom. They snuck down the steps into the room and pushed him into the pit to be devoured by the rats, before moving on.

They crept through dank corridors, avoiding guards, using Bryony’s Magelight magicks when the going seemed safe enough to not draw the attention of Shadowfell Keep’s current inhabitants. Using their ears and noses to navigate the Keep, they followed a queer smell to an antechamber with three doorways leading off it – they tried one door to reveal a storeroom, which they immediately looted and used as a base for a short rest. They retreated to the antechamber and listened at the other two doors: behind the eastern door was silence, but the room beyond the northern door was occupied. They set up an ambush.

Scene 3: The Ambush

Munchkin stood in the storeroom and clattered around, smashing his fists into boxes and shelves. The double-doors smashed open and out burst the Goblin Torturer and his minions. Fylphi and Bryony attacked from the shadows either side of the doors: Bryony used her magicks to maneuver the Torturer into the centre of the room, hiding behind the open door; Fylphi bobbed in and out of the shadows, slicing at the minions. A goblin sharpshooter dropped his hand-crossbow upon death, and Bryony used her Mage Hand to pick it up and shoot at the Torturer (with a high level of inaccuracy).

The duo used their abilities to push the goblinoids into the line of the open storeroom doors; Munchkin let out an almighty roar, and sneezed due to the dust billowing around. The sneeze exploded as a powerful Dragonbreath attack at the goblins, charring them in an instant. They moved into the Torture Chamber and took stock of their loot: Munchkin peeled the Bloodcut Hide armour from the Torturer’s corpse and took a rusty spear from the Torture Chamber’s weapons rack; Bryony gained a dagger, a bunch of keys and any money that she could scavenge from the pockets of the fallen soldiers; Fylphi gained the heavily-worn Shorty’s Leather Armour and the hand-crossbow.

Barred the doors, posted sentries and slept until fully rested, the first extended rest since leaving the prison almost 22 hours ago. On the second day of their new lives, they awoke to the sound of a whispered argument between a goblin and a familiar voice.

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Pre-Betty Saga: Chapter III
The Fylphi Days!

DM:

Player Characters:

Non-Player Characters

Scene I: Tallie and Splug

As soon as the Avengers stirred from their slumber the whispering stopped. They creep over to the cells and notice, for the first time, that two of the three cells are occupied. At one end was a semi-naked goblin wearing Y-fronts, a pinstripe waistcoat, a top-hat and a monacle. At the opposite end of the cells lie a crumpled figure that began groaning as soon as the Avengers come into view. Munchkin and Bryony retreated to interrogate the goblin, while Fylphi watched over the human figure.

The goblin, it turned out, was an extraordinarily good cards player. His comrades had imprisoned him for “cheating” the entire unit out of their rations. His name was Splug, he told them, and would pay handsomely for the chance to accompany them to the exit. When he finds out that they weren’t escaping, he offers to give them information in return for gold or jewels. He tells them that Balgron “the Fatts” McFatronfell, leader of the Clan of Goblins that guarded the Keep, was resting through the door that led east from the antechamber. Splug also informed them that they would not be able to beat whatever was at the bottom of the Keep. Being a lowly soldier, he said, he had no more information to give. However, he rejigged his offer of accompaniment to include the rest of their stay at the Keep for a small sum of the loot they would gain.

Meanwhile, the groaning figure’s condition was deteriorating. Fylphi had thus far failed to pick the lock to the cell and called to the other Avengers. They recognised the figure as Tallie, the prison guard that had accompanied them and had been dragged off by goblins. Just as they recognised him and called him by his name, he regained consciousness. He expressed disbelief at their survival and, when questioned, informed them that their transference from Cairngorm Penitentiary to the Gravelstoke Correction Facility had been because of their ineptitude at everything. His condition took a sudden drop as he lost consciousness again. Bryony feystepped into the cell to try to revive him and Munchkin used his healing skills to try and stabilize the guard, but blood spurted from his face and he turned into a zombie. Bryony, stuck in a 7’ by 5’ space with a rabid zombie, panicked.

Munchkin, recalling the ring of keys that he looted from the Torturer, tries every single key before finding the correct one; by the time that the door had been unlocked, once-Tallie had already been put down. Exiting the Torture Chamber, they politefully declined Splug’s offer and wished him good luck.

Scene 2: Balgron and Kruthiks

Once back in the antechamber they tried the eastern door and found it unlocked. They proceeded through the corridor beyond into the territory of the Goblin Chieftain. Spying a small brass bell on a table surrounded by goblin guards, Byranaetr used her mage hand to grab onto the bell’s clapper to prevent it from ringing. Then, the Avengers began their assault on the Cheiftain’s lair. The goblins are surprised by the silenced bell and easily fall to the group’s tactics. They head towards the Chieftain’s chambers to witness him fleeing through a secret door, before more guards pour from nearby rooms. After making short work of the guards they follow Balgron. They find him in an excavation area, making his way across planks that join the tiny platforms. A group of workers nearby are alerted to their presence by their guard-drake in an encounter that would haunt Munchkin for years.

They take out the guards (after Fylphi falls down into the pit in an extraordinary display of his dexterity) and corner Chief Balgron on a platform. He initially refuses to cooperate, however after Bryony waves the medallion she stole from the Kobold priest outside the Keep he quiets down and becomes much more pliable. He informs them of a shadow beneath the Keep and tells them a little of its history, as well as the Passphrase that the goblins are working with; “And life fails in the dark.” It isn’t too long before he comes to his senses and clams up again. Bryony uses her Mage-Hand to remove all of the planks joining the platforms and to snuff out every light-source in the room.

Shorty’s Avengers descend into a natural cave and discover a Kruthik lair – after Fylphi falls into a pitfall and is ravaged by a hungry Kruthik, the group retreat back to the caves and find a locked room containing a natural spring. And a Blue Slime. Bryony (now revealing her true name as Byranaetr) leaps to an island in the centre of a pool and blasts the slime with fire spells, while Munchkin hacks away and uses his flame-based breath attack to whittle its health. Eventually they defeat the slime and loot the skeleton of another unfortunate person that fell prey to the slime. Munchkin gains a Shield of Protection, Byranaetr gains a healing potion, and Fylphi gains some silver pieces. They read through some scrolls in a message cylinder and discover that the slime had been sent as a “Plan B” for the messenger by “Chief Krand of the Bloodreavers”. After taking stock of their near-deaths in this area, they backtrack through the caves and continue deeper into the Keep.

Scene 3: Aecris and Fear

Engaging goblins that they could defeat whilst avoiding guards that they could not, the Avengers descended into a crypt filled with sarcophagi. They walk towards an altar and are surprised when the coffins disgorge reanimated skeletons. For each skeleton they defeat, another is released. They fight for hours, until their strength wavers and Munchkin drops to one knee before the altar and offers praise to Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon; the remaining skeletons immediately crumple to the floor. Fylphi finds a secret drawer in the altars containing three small dragon statues.

They walk through to the next room in the crypt and find the final resting place of Shadowfell Keep’s last Paladin-Knight. The marble sarcophagus burst open to reveal the lingering spirit of Ser Keegan, who interrogated the Avengers on their intentions. Byranaetr and Munchkin passed his tests of valor and might; however, Fylphi failed to win over the spirit, and had to bluff his way into the Paladin’s approval. Munchkin gained Ser Keegan’s longsword Aecris, a weapon that had been passed down through generations of Bahamut-paladins since the Dawn Age.

Having received Ser Keegan’s blessings, the Avengers moved through the crypt. The Magelight cast a glow across a mystical rune in their path: in a surprising display of dexterity, Fylphi and Byranaetr managed to leap across it; Munchkin managed to fall flat on his face in the rune. A scream escaped from the rune as it disappeared. Munchkin, overcome with terror, fled into the darkness and spent the next quarter-hour walking in circles by following the left wall. After being rescued by his companions and battling through a horde of zombies, the group descends to the next level of Shadowfell Keep’s basements.

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Pre-Betty Saga: Chapter IV
The Fylphi Days!

DM:

Player Characters:

Non-Player Characters

Scene I: Goblins, Spiders and Rest (oh my!)

As they descend they are met with a group of goblins that require a Passphrase – after successfully reciting the phrase, the group is then asked the purpose of their visit. Trying to bluff their way through the encounter fails and the goblins attack, along with their spider (much to Munchkin’s chagrin). They defeated the guards and continued to battle their way through the McFatronfell Barracks until Byronaetr feystepped through a portcullis into a room filled with goblins and the Goblin Warchief, Bill Reaver. After killing the goblin troops and the Warchief, with Fylphi claiming the Warchief’s Vicious Shortblade, they took a short rest and then continued on throug the Keep.

Taking a turn further down the excavated tunnels they came across a gelatinous cube which devoured Munchkin before being sneezed apart from the inside. Around the corner they encountered the crypt and lingering spirit of Ser Keegan who recognised the budding honour within Sergeant Suom’Beth Letrah, and passed the legendary blade Aecris Chromabane to him. With the old knight’s legacy accompanying them, they continued their search for Hgih-Priest Karamac.

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Rough
The DM Workspace

Confronted by two goblins and their pet spider. Had a brief rest in a store room. Snuck into goblin barracks and dispatched some troops, then sneaked around behind more troops. Bryony feystepped into danger through a portcullis and into a room with a hobgoblin Warchief. Fylphi acquires his vicious shortsword. Munchkin is eaten by a Gelatinous Cube. He kills the cube from the inside with a sneeze. Fylphi finds a safewing amulet in a chest, then find Ser Keegan: Munchkin gains Aecris.

Enter area with statues: Fylphi is trapped by angels, Munchkin is forced into the range of the warrior statue by the dragons, and Bryony casts a fire spell to smash the vases. Munchkin smash! Fylphi escapes the cherubs and disables the warrior statue. Move into the Ghoul Warren; Karamac’s Clay Scout (homunculus) escaped, SA kill all zombies and the ghoul, before following the homunculus into the Cathedral of Shadow.

The group kill the vampires, Orcus underpriest and Dark Creeper and climb down the chains to the Hall of the Shadow Rift (Bryony takes Fylphi’s safewing amulet to make the jump to the chain easier). After descending they fight the skeletons that protect Karamac and try to stop the ritual. Bryony uses her knowledge of the arcane to slow down Karamac’s progress with his ritual, while Munchkin uses his knowledge of religious chanting to weaken Orcus’ hold on the area. Fylphi shares out the Bahamut statues he found earlier, which they use to stop the ritual for good. Munchkin lands the killing blow on the High-Priest, only to witness the hand of something huge reach through the closing portal and drag Karamac through to the Shadowfell. The Avengers loot the room.

They return to Winterhaveholdfell and witness Salvana being taken into custurdy. They visit Valthrun the Prescient at his request and are given a quest – to investigate the ruined Minotaur city of Sharuun Khel in Thunderspire Mountain, and bring back tales of wonder for a dying man. Shortly thereafter, Fylphi left the Avengers Nd was replaced by Betty (a much better addition to the team, after Fylphi’s bungling attempts at dexterity), and they were hired by Lord Ernest “Dirty Cheating Bastard with the Clap” Padraig to investigate the Bloodreaver clan, a group of slavers. Leave for Sharuun Khel

In Fallcrest, Nimozoran the Green agreed to impart information on their quest (given by Valthrun) in return for a favour – information on the mysterious activity around Kobold Hall. There, they were reacquainted with two previously encountered characters (Splug and Ninoran) while clearing out Kobold Hall of it’s kobold inhabitants and their Draconic overlord attempting to raise his former master. Upon returning to Nimozoran’s tower in Fallcrest with information on Szartharrax, along with Nimozoran’s missing wall-plaque, Shorty’s Avengers were granted access to limited information from the wizard’s library about Saruun Khel, the ruined Minotaur city beneath the mountain known as Thunderspire. They were also sent (by means of a teleportation circle) to the valley leading into the mountain.

Upon entering the labyrinthine city they encountered a halfling called Wendel being trapped by members of the Bloodreaver clan – the Avengers were quick to jump in and rescue the poor lad, and they escorted him back to his Aunt’s Tavern/Inn in the 7PH, the civilised centre of the inhabited labyrinth. From there, they met Gendar, a Drow from Down Under[dark]; Brugg, an ogre and enforcer of the laws of the Mages of Saruun that seems to enjoy pushing around certain members of the Halfling community; a “wandering” halfling bard called Berrik that seems to have some kind of rapport with Wendel’s aunt; a sage called Saint “Tumbles” Vadriar that was cursed somewhere in the labyrinth, whose curse forbids him from telling the exact nature of the curse; and a guide Terrlan Darkseeker who was cursed with Lycanthropy somewhere in the labyrinth. They heard of a female Dragonborn warlock recruiting people for an assault into the Underdark (probably not the best place to be doing this); Clan Grimmerzhul, a group of Duergar that have been mining and trading in the area; and the Deepgem Mining Company, a group of Dwarves looking for treasures from the Minotaur civilisation that tore itself apart 500 years ago (the Avengers also noticed some mining equipment belonging to the Deepgem Mining Company seemingly abandoned in the cisterns).

They defeat the aberrant Grick (or Griek), the troglodyte maulers Sully and Craig along with their Ritual Caster Dick. Managing to ascertain that the troglodytes were attempting to bring down the ceiling, the Avengers notice that parts of the rock have been transformed into cheese. Mining into the cheese with her Ghost Hand, Bryony “the Byronator” Lightfingers manages (at the suggestion of her associates) to widen a crack to the underground river coursing through from the 7PH above. Paying no mind to the obvious danger they had caused, and continuing on, they return to the 7PH having successfully cured both Terrlan Darkseeker of his Lycanthropic curse and Tumbles of his “Sylen’an Twichi” curse.
They returned to the Halfmoon Inn to find out about the Cheese Ceiling from anybody who knows about rituals or curses – this anybody happened to be Tumbles. During the conversation, they piqued the interests of a fellow patron (who is known as The Belgos, real name unknown). The Belgos joins their group, and they leave the Inn for the Chamber of Eyes. On the way out of the 7PH, they notice Tumbles and Berrik speaking heatedly about the disappearance of their associate, the female Dragonborn warlock Surina. Upon much stumbling around in the labyrinth, they finally find the Chamber and break in, decimating the troops of the first room of the Bloodreaver compound.

Current time & date: 2.50pm; 3rd of First Reap, 100 AN (After Nerath) called the Year of the Unshackled Dentist in the last printed Nerathi Almanack. It is five days after the death of Shorty and the escape of the first Avengers.

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