Chaotic Crew:Campaign/Chapter 15
Bah. I'm the last one IC again. :p.
Wolfgang: "Y'know... this switchboard chair is pretty comfy. I wonder if it's a Styleron..."
Eleihoff: "Was the dog fed today? It looks hungry."
Wolfgang: "Feed him the ecochair. Say, anyone got..."
Wolfgang sips his Starmucks Frappuccino chocolate and finishes his makeup for the scene.
"As we join our heroes, we find them facing down one of the seven ancient terrors of myth: The horrific Demonic Plush Hound of the Apocalypse!"
Eleihoff: "Aww...I think he's hungry."
The demonic plush hound, wrapped in a wreath of flames, opens its mouth.
"Die, die, die!"
Wolfgang: "Does anyone have a giant-sized toddler to beat the stuffing out of the demonic plush toy, here?" Wolfgang draws his weapon, leaps out of his chair, and yells, "Eat my shorts... wait, why didn't anyone tell me it had a flaming mouth?" He attacks!
With a mighty (wimpy) roar, Wolfgang springs up into the air...anime-style action lines rush past him in a blur, as he raises the trident overhead. He falls directly in front of the hound, driving the trident's prongs deep into the creature's nose as he lands. The dog lets out a startled yelp, and whimpers, pawing at its muzzle.
Eleihoff: "Ah, my puppy!"
The hound growls and tries to retaliate, baring its (surprisingly sharp) felt fangs and taking a bit at Wolfgang. Thinking quickly, however, he turns the trident handle perpendicular to its mouth, using it to block the creature's attack.
Wolfgang: Immediately after blocking the maneuver, Wolfgang's trident begins to morph... disappearing, it seems, until one might notice that his right hand now has a metal gauntlet on it. He looks at it, nonplussed. "Oh, come ON! You give me a longsword when I'm trying to defuse a bomb, but a gauntlet when facing a demonic puppy from heck?!?"
Reginar places the tip of the magic pen on the wall, but says, "Are ya sure ya wouldn't rather have me help ya fight, laddie?"
Wolfgang: "Your call, Reginar... use your best judgment." He then mumbles to himself, "I can't believe I just said that..."
Reginar: "Well..." Reginar hesitates, then places the silver shrimp fork back in his Bag before saying, "What do you think I should do, Grandpa?" He reaches in and pulls out...
...a small, handheld straw whisk broom.
Credance: "A broom?!
Credance: "What the flerk?!!
Reginar: "Well, laddie, I'm more thinking we're meant ta beat tha stuffing outta tha puppy and then clean up tha mess afterwards."
Eleihoff: "But...my puppy!"
Wolfgang: "Then beat stuffing, and I'm not referring to the type shoved down the throat of a plucked turkey."
Reginar shrugs, tucks the pen and broom into his belt, and pulls out his crossbow.
Credance: "Look, this is how you grab something useful.
Credance whispers to the air and seems to reach her hand into it.
Credance: "*what she pulls out are 3 giant golden beetles with red glowing eyes.
Eleihoff: "But...my puppy!"
Wolfgang: "If you want your puppy, you gotta paper train him, Eleihoff. My responsibility is to our team, not the fire-breathing felt stuffed monster!"
Reginar: "Well, lad, if you can think of a way to keep yer puppy from killing us, I'm definitely willing ta hear it."
Eleihoff: "I'm not sure if fire would be effective against it..."
Eleihoff chants an incomprehensible phrase, and then pulls out a bit of powdered iron from his spell component pouch. Then he blows it at Wolfgang...
The cloud of iron filings swirls around Wolfgang, getting all in his armor and up his nose...eew. He sneezes violently, and suddenly rockets up to twice his normal size.
Wolfgang: "I think I got a nosebleed..." WACHOO!
Wolfgang: "Whoa... hey, this is cool! Time to kick some butt!"
Reginar: "Looks like yer all grown up now, laddie!"
Wolfgang winds up his fist, and tries to lay one across the demon puppy's jaw. "Considering I was already the tallest member of the team, Reginar..."
Wolfgang: "Whoa! I missed... I need to aim lower."
Now towering over the hound, Wolfgang cracks the knuckles on his gauntleted hand, hauls back, takes a swing...and misses, spinning around awkwardly as the dog simply ducks beneath his punch.
Wolfgang: Of course, after the whiff, the CLW gauntlet morphs again, leaving him staring at... a punching dagger. A large punching dagger, but still a punching dagger none the less. "Come ON! Please give me something worth swinging! I'm the size of a house, and all I can get are these tiny weapons!"
Taking advantage of its crouched posture, the dog attempts to bite Giant Wolfgang on the ankle. However, his teeth simply impact on Wolfgang's leg armor, failing to dig into the flesh. The dog whimpers.
Wolfgang: "SIT! STAY!"
Reginar: "Guess we'll have to try to pin him to tha floor!"
Reginar fires his crossbow at the demon puppy.
*THWIP!* The crossbow fires, flinging its pointy, death-bringing cargo directly at the hound. The bolt slams directly into the space between the creature's eyes...and just sort of stops there, sticking out like a rather unimpressive splinter. The hound blinks in annoyance.
Reginar: "Or we could just use him as a pin*cushion*. That works too, I guess..."
Wolfgang: "Tell me about it." Wolfgang grumbles at the crossbow bolt now protruding from the monster.
Wolfgang: Credance frowns a bit, shaking a little. "Uh... can we... uh... reason... with it?"
Wolfgang: The three celestial beetles surround the creature and attack!
Reginar: "You'd have to ask Elei, lass... it's his demon puppy."
Wolfgang: Credance casts Spiritual Weapon.
Wolfgang: ...a randomly morphing weapon drops in and attacks.
The beetles rapidly move 'round and surround the hound, using their annoying buzzing and powerful alliteration techniques to distract it while they move in for the kill. Unfortunately, the "kill" in this case mostly just ends with one of the bugs clamping its pincers into the dog's ear. It yelps and claws at the back of its head with its hind leg.
At the same time, an ethereal warhammer springs into existence and tries to smash the dog over the head...however, as the dog scratches itself, its foot thumps against the hammer at the last moment, knocking it aside.
Eleihoff: "Oooo!" Eleihoff says as the hammer springs into being. He almost steps towards it, but then remembers that he's in a fight.
Eleihoff instead displays his fancy footwork as he maneuvers over so none of his party members are blocking his view of his puppy.
Eleihoff then he begins...waving his arms around randomly. Then he chants something incomprehensible as motes of light flare into being and hover around him, dissolving into a white mist.
Reginar watches in fascination.
Eleihoff lets loose the spell...which seems to fizzle out, the lights vanishing as nothing much happens. Eleihoff, however, seems strangely pleased with himself.
Eleihoff: "Pretty colors..." he mumbles to himself.
Reginar: "...Lad?" Reginar says a bit warily to Eleihoff.
Eleihoff: "Did you see that? So many colors!" Eleihoff responds.
Wolfgang attacks with his punching dagger. "For heaven's sake... HIT this time!"
Reginar looks between Eleihoff and the spot where the spell fizzled a few times, then says, "...Colors?"
Eleihoff: "Yeah! The colors...are everywhere!" he gestures at the area in front of him.
Wolfgang attempts to punch the dog in its stomach, but gets distracted when a bit of dog slobber drips down onto his head at the last second. Ick.
Wolfgang: "Colors? Since I can't hit this flippin' dog, maybe I out to smack you in the head so you'll see some real colors."
Reginar looks at the area Eleihoff is gesturing at, which is most decidedly devoid of colors, then simply says a bit gamely, "Of course, lad. Such... magnificent colors."
Eleihoff: "EVERY color is there!" he says enthusiastically.
The heck hound snarls menacingly at Wolfgang as he swings his punch dagger at it ineffectually. It inhales sharply, then hunkers down and lets out a fiery blast of rolling flame from its mouth, straight toward him!
Wolfgang stands there smoldering after the flaming attack. "Y'know... I'm tired of become Barbecued Wolfgang..."
Wolfgang glares at his weapon as it changes into a crossbow, then looks up just in time to see the flames rolling at him. He heroically leaps out of the way, then breathes a sigh of relief...until he realizes that his hindquarters are on fire.
Wolfgang: "...My biscuits are burning! Fire'n hot! Great horny toads, that smarts!"
Wolfgang pats his butt out of fire.
Reginar: "Just be thankful he didn't toast the front half of ya, lad!" Reginar moves to add to the demon puppy's pincushioning.
*THWIP!* Another bolt hits the canine above his right eye. He doesn't seem very concerned.
Wolfgang: "I'm not a marshmallow!"
Credance whispers under her breath, praying to whoever happens to be in range for assistance. It soon arrives with gusto...suddenly, she jerks her head up, eyes glowing red, and barks out an incredibly loud word in an incredibly obscure and forgotten language.
It sends out a sonic shockwave that passes by most of the party, but leaves Reginar and the hound reeling in pain.
Reginar says in a very confused voice... "Did anyone get tha number of tha bus that hit me...?"
Eleihoff: "Wait...where'd the pretty colors just go?"
Eleihoff frowns at the area in front of him. "I miss the colors."
Reginar: "What do ya mean, lad? I see lotsa pretty colors now..."
Wolfgang: "There WEREN'T any colors, Eleihoff!"
Eleihoff: "Then I'll just have to make more colors..." Eleihoff says, then begins speaking gibberish while doing some sort of jerky dance.
Eleihoff continues this odd tango as more colors appear and dissolve into mist around him.
Cree: What a rush....
Eleihoff points his fingers menacingly at the hound. Suddenly, its flaming aura flares up...and is replaced by a softer glowing aura not unlike a fluorescent light bulb.
Eleihoff: "See? Colors!"
Cree: Did it just turn pink?!
Wolfgang cocks the crossbow and shoots the heckhound at POINT BLANK RANGE! "Eat wooden death, you flaming demon dog."
*THWIP!* Wolfgang pulls the trigger...and is flabbergasted as the crossbow bolt comes loose from its clasp and rolls off the end of the barrel without hitting anything. D'oh.
Reginar: "Pink?! By the sacred hammer of Moradin! It's a female dog! What a bitch, I tell ya!"
erases the whole "miss" message.
Wolfgang pulls the trigger...the enlarged crossbow bolt springs forward. In a really spectacular slow-mo sequence, it pierces the right edge of hound's breast, exploding out of its side in a shower of flaming plushie stuffing.
Eleihoff: "Gah! My plushy puppy!"
Wolfgang: "We'll get you another plushy puppy! This one's going down!"
The hound whimpers, staggering around in a decidedly injured manner. Still reeling from Credance's spell, it can't bring itself to move.
Reginar simply weaves in place going, "Pink, pink, pink, ow, pink, ow, pink pink..." while holding his hand up to his head.
Wolfgang: "Reginar, pull yourself together! I swear, if I hear one more word about pink..."
As Credance gears up for another prayer, the "giant" beetles continue to swarm around the plush canine. One of them suddenly swoops down and buries its pincers in the dog's plastic eye, prying at it until both eye and bug tumble off. The heck hound howls mournfully.
As it does so, the spiritual weapon looms behind it, transforming into a scythe. The blade raises...for just a split-second, you could swear that you could see a ghostly robed skeletal figure holding it, its fleshless skull grinning the haunting grin of the dead.
Then, there's a sudden, split-second flash of light. The scythe disappears...the hound sits motionless for several moments, before the halves of its body, cleaved neatly in two, slump over to either side.
Eleihoff: "...my plushy!"
After a beat, fountains of artificial stuffing spray out of the corpse, putting on quite a display of plushy gore.
The furious battle over, the Party stops to catch its breath. The beetles fade out of existence as the summoning spell wears off...Reginar blinks and seems to recover somewhat, but still looks rather out of it.
Wolfgang: "...stupid crispy crunchies... flaming death... crossbows when I need greatswords... I QUIT!" Wolfgang storms back to the control panel and smacks open the manual to scan it fast.
Eleihoff walks over to what remains of his plushy, sits in the fluff and pouts.
Reginar picks his crossbow up off the floor and waves it around drunkenly. "For the Royalty! ...wait, what happened?" He looks down at the stuffing mess, then says, "Do ya need my broom?" He holds out the small whisk broom.
Eleihoff sulks amidst the remains of his former toy, gobs of stuffing landing all over him.
Eleihoff decides to calculate exactly how to use the staff to reverse the effects. "Come on, give me my plushy back!" he whines as he pounds the staff against the fluff.
Reginar goes over and uses the broom to start sweeping up the stuffing in a sort of half-there stupor.
Wolfgang: Having finally returned to your normal size (and brushed the puppy "gore" off of you), you set about trying to understand the complicated technical instructions in the manual. It takes a few minutes, but eventually you manages to get far enough into the introduction to realize that there's actually not much to it - the Switchboard is supposed to be run by an automated drone, summoned by a command sequence entered on the console.
Wolfgang carefully examines the manual once again to confirm the sequence, then enters it on the keypad.
Wolfgang: ...or equivalent.
*DEET DEET DOOT DEET* After deciphering the incredibly annoying and buttheaded copy-protection codes, you enter the sequence into the console. Nothing happens.
...for several moments. Then, from somewhere high above, a soft whirring sound is heard. A small metallic creature, resembling a legless Modron with a propeller protruding from the top of its head, hovers down from somewhere within the twisted mass of cables.
Reginar arranges the stuffing in neat and tidy little piles around Eleihoff and the remains of the demon puppy as he sweeps.
Wolfgang: It hovers to a stop directly in front of you, blinks, looks at the bound SORCERER and the remains of the plush toy, then addresses you in an incredibly snooty accent. "Ah, I see you've taken care of that DREADful mook at last. I've been waiting for DAYS for you people to show up."
Eleihoff continues pouting, sitting on the floor with his arms and legs crossed.
Eleihoff: "...can YOU fix my plushy?"
Reginar offers, "It's pink."
Wolfgang: "Well, I'm..." He glares at Reginar at this statement. "...glad we could help. Now, if you'll excuse us, we need to take out the garbage." He rises from the console with a dark look, and heads for the unconscious sorcerer.
Eleihoff: "...maybe HE can fix my plushy."
Cree goes over and hugs Elei like a mother comforting a distraught toddler.
Cree: There there, we'll make it all better when we get back home to the church.
Eleihoff sniffs sadly. "Okay..."
The hover-creature extends a pair of long, spindly arms with long, spindly fingers, and makes a shooing motion towards you. "Yes, PLEASE do. It's going to take all the concentration I can muster to fix this mess, and I can't possibly concentrate with your kind here bothering me." He says "your kind" as if talking about a social disease.
Reginar: Finally, after a while, Reginar blinks, looks a bit more like his normal self, stares down at his sweeping, and says, "...when I said we should beat the stuffing out of it and clean up afterwards, I wasn't really being literal..."
Cree: May I ask what happened?
Wolfgang: "We won. We kicked plushie. We're going home. And I'm taking a vacation."
Cree: I was asking the, um, device.
The hover-creature turns to look at Credance. "Ah, you're with the Church. This ghastly fellow bursts into my office one day, locks me up in the attic, and starts abusing my precious control board!" He frowns. "How DARE he!"
Eleihoff: "He also had this staff," Eleihoff says as he waves the staff in the air.
Reginar: "Ah, laddie... be careful with that."
Cree: Be Careful with that!!!
---SOME TIME LATER---
The head cleric of the church is waiting patiently, when suddenly the portal vibrates. The Party emerges from within, the captive SORCERER slung over Wolfgang's shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
Eleihoff tries to drag the remains of the plushy along with him.
Eleihoff steps out of the portal last; several heaping armfuls of tattered plush cradled in his arms, along with the single plastic eye that came off earlier.
The cleric stares in disbelief. "You're back!"
Reginar: "Aye, that we are. For the Gods, we have brought victory!" Reginar raises his crossbow in a triumphant gesture.
Eleihoff: "...can you fix my plushy?"
Wolfgang: "Yes, we're back."
The cleric smiles. "This is wonderful! This is the perpetrator, I assume?"
Cree: Oh sweety, here we can summon you a real one.
He then glances at Eleihoff. "...That's a plushie?"
Eleihoff: "...it was."
Wolfgang: "Yes, this is the perpetrator."
"Excellent." He waves his arms and mutters a Create Water spell...a globule of water appears and splashes against the sorcerer's face, causing him to snort and squirm as he suddenly wakes up.
Eleihoff pokes the SORCERER with the non-business end of the staff. "Can YOU fix my plushy?"
"GAH! Wh...wha?" He blinks, then scowls. "WHAT THE PHU--HEY! Let me GO!" He thrashes around, but can't get free.
Wolfgang: "Go ahead and question the rascal. The only thing I want to know is what he thought he was accomplishing by messing with that... switchboard."
Eleihoff pokes the SORCERER again. "CAN you fix my plushy?"
Wolfgang throws up his hands at the mention of plushy yet again. "...I'll be in the next room."
The sorcerer blinks, then grins evilly. "Why, of course I can! All you have to do it release me..."
Eleihoff: "..." Eleihoff pokes him harder this time. "Fix my plushy."
Wolfgang leaves the room to find someplace quiet to sit.
"Ow." He scowls. "Look, shorty, I can't do anything while I'm chained up like this, and somehow I doubt your buddies are gonna untie me, so..."
Reginar: "We'll ask him about the plushy later, lad."
Eleihoff: "Then tell me HOW to reverse the staff's effects." Eleihoff pokes him once again.
"Why should I? What do I get out of it?"
Eleihoff: "I'll stop poking you." Eleihoff continues poking.
"Ow, ow, OW! ...okay, OKAY!" He sighs. "Just point the staff and twist the knob on the bottom end. Now, LEAVE ME ALONE!!"
Eleihoff: "Yay! Thank you," Eleihoff says as he turns back towards the remains of the plushy.
Eleihoff points the staff at the fluff and twists the knob without stopping to think.
Reginar gets in the stance of someone ready to leap behind the nearest piece of furniture if need be.
An orange glow envelopes the pile of plushie gore...
...there is a loud *FOOP!*, the sound of a video tape rewinding, and suddenly, Ieth's plush puppy is sitting in his hand, looking as cute and evil as ever.
Reginar relaxes, with a hint of a sigh.
Eleihoff: "Yay!" Eleihoff squeals as he drops the staff and squeezes the plush.
The staff clatters to the floor noisily. *CLATTER!*
Puppy: "Arf! Burn, BURN!"
Eleihoff grins widely as he continues cuddling his plushy.
Reginar: "Now, then, if ya want to get back ta telling us why ya were messin' with tha gods' Switchboard..."
Eleihoff: "...what else can the staff do?" Eleihoff asks curiously.
Wolfgang yells from the other room, "Eleihoff! You can talk about the blasted staff later!"
Eleihoff: "But...I wanna know how to animate an army of loyal minions!"
Wolfgang: "Reginar, does your grandfather have a roll of tape?"
---SOME MORE TIME LATER---
The entire congregation of clerics, along with most of the people of Worldstown, are assembled in the church's massive gathering hall. Up on the stage, the head cleric is giving a speech, as the Party stands behind him.
Eleihoff struggles to keep his eyes open as his head droops down.
Wolfgang nudges Eleihoff with his elbow. Hard.
Eleihoff: "I'm awake!" Eleihoff whispers urgently to no one in particular as he jerks up.
"Thanks to these brave individuals..." he gestures behind him. "...the evil sorcerer Breakwind's evil plot to control the Switchboard and cause chaos throughout the realm, in order to lower property values and buy out the old mine for cheap so he could claim the hidden oil reserves on the land and make a fortune, was thwarted."
"These four great Chosen Ones..." He blinks, then turns to whisper to Wolfgang. "...wait a minute, weren't there five of you before?"
Eleihoff chuckles quietly upon hearing the word "Breakwind"
Wolfgang: "He... uh... died in our noble cause." He whispers back. "Don't worry about it. But, if your deity asks, just say it was a poof."
Eleihoff: "Or maybe a foop."
Wolfgang: "Oh, it was definitely a poof. The foop was only 'cause you guys couldn't take another poof."
"I see. Ahem." He turns back to resume his speech. "There four great Chosen Ones have saved our land from the ravages of theological miscommunication. The last of the zombies in Cityville have been re-buried, the Modron occupation force in Fieldsboro has been driven out, and the population of Villageburg has been released from their slave pens and returned to re-take their city from the warring anarchists."
"As proof of our eternal gratitude, we, the people of Worldstown, wish to bestow upon you our highest honor..." He produces a small wooden case, which he opens to reveal a quartet of golden medals. "...the Kris Cross!"
Wolfgang tries to smile like it was something easy, but instead ends up grimacing, remembering all the antics of Eleihoff, Reginar and Credance... Yeah, definitely time for a LONG vacation.
He hands a medal to each member of the Party.
Wolfgang dons his medal. Oooo, shiny.
Eleihoff: "...is it magical?"
"No. But, as heroes of the town, it does entitles you all to free goods and services from any business in town."
Eleihoff: "Oooooo..." Eleihoff says as he stares at the shiny medal.
Wolfgang: "Oh... like a Distinguished Scholar Straight A's card."
Reginar holds his medal up to the Bag and says, "Look, Grandpa, a medal! Maybe once we show this, we can get assignments in civilization. And a squad. And some beard regrowth potion." Reginar strokes what's left of his still slightly char-damaged beard.
"Also..." He snaps his fingers. "...we offer you this additional reward..." A cleric pushes a wheelbarrow onstage, with a beachball-sized cloth sack sitting heavily on it. "...a huge sack of money!"
Eleihoff: "Is the money magical?"
As if to punctuate this, the wooden wheelbarrow promptly collapses beneath the sheer weight of its load, the bag slamming heavily onto the stage. *THUD!*
Wolfgang bows to the cleric. "Thank you, my good holy man." He then stoops down to attempt to pick up the sack.
Wolfgang: You give a mighty heave, but the bag won't budge. Looks like you'll have to change this out for larger coins later.
Eleihoff: "...is the sack magical?"
"Anyway..." the cleric looks around. "...well, I suppose that's about it. Okay, all of you, time to leave. Go on, shoo." He makes shooing motions with his hands. "You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here."
The crowd grumbles, but slowly begins to file out.
Wolfgang: "OOF! Uh... yeah, we'll have to... ouch... pick that up... uh, later..." He puts his hand on his back and groans.
Eleihoff: "But...wait! Are either the money or the sack magical?"
The cleric raises an eyebrow. "Er...no." He then looks at Wolfgang. "Sheesh, I feel for you, buddy."
Eleihoff: "...was the wheelbarrow magical?"
Wolfgang: "I've had to deal with him since the beginning of this plight..." He shoots a pained look at the cleric, then smiles. "Good news is it's OVER!" He skips out of the church to get a wheelbarrow.
Reginar puts an arm around Elei's shoulder, and says, "Lad, let's go for a walk, shall we? Away from the poor cleric and Wolfgang."
Eleihoff: "Will we find anything magical during the walk?"
Reginar: "I'm sure we'll find something."
---EVEN MORE SOME TIME LATER---
Somewhere deep below the church, locked away in the deep, dark, dank dungeons of doom (well, okay, not "of doom"), Breakwind sits in his cell, sulking. He looks up, as a guard cleric approaches.
"Mail call, shorty. Some big guy left this for ya." He pushes a brown parcel through the food slot, then leaves.
Breakwind grumbles. "Mail? Who the hell even knows I'm here?" Glancing half-heartedly at the label, he grumbles, and tears open the package...
---THE END...FOR NOW...---