Cheif Rasso, Lizardman, chief of the Ixtabi tribe of the Marshes of Gnomon Heath (Audrey)
Jhana Firemane, Centaur Mare, a defender of kith and kin and the Centauri way of life (Erica)
Moritz Gaines, Male Gnome, a sneaky streetwise mage with a little too much ambition(Sam)
Tam Dhu, Male Human, a street rat born in the streets of Teleptherion (Derek)
Noor Tempo, Female Human, daughter of a T'san merchant prince (Susan)
[Gene's Character], Male Human, destitute pan handler last seen on the streets of Teleptherion (Gene)
Boss Nay, Male Human, hulking black skinned spiritualist (Gene)
Shnook Muggins, Male Rook (or Birdman), a wandering mage (Jeremiah)
Aurora Blackmoor, Female Human, an urbane artiste of Parendi descent (Leslie)
Simon Soane, Male Human, a writer of travel guides and graduate of the college of hard knocks (Ray)
The Story so Far....
Episode 1 "The Blind Monk"
The story begins, as these kinds of stories so often do, in a bar. The name of which is well known in the city of Teleptherion, The Blind Monk. The story begins in not just the notorious Tavern and Inn but in the legendary "basement" of the tavern where all sorts of forbidden entertainments can be had. Tonight we are enjoying the musical stylings of a trio of skeletal musicians whose performance sounds somewhat somnambulistic. The bar is well attended and their are patrons of all shapes and varieties every where you look. Our heros have all arrived independently having not yet been introduced to each other. The air of the large room is abuzz with conversation, laughter and bellowing. Everyone is having a good time.
Near the center of the room a rather animated conversation a abruptly explodes into vituperative recriminations. It turns out that one of the participants is a rather well known figure in Teleptherion, the Right Reverend Edmunde Terwilliger. He is arguing about religion, the existence of Heaven and Hell, and the shape of the world with a rather stern looking character dressed in plain clothes but whose military bearing is unmistakeable. As the conversation gets more animated it appears that the Reverend Terwilliger has completely lost him temper. He has two bodyguards who are about to intervene just as our intrepid heros get involved.
Terwilliger's adversary turns out to be a Commodore Pommeroy, a retired officer of His Mogul Sovereign's Navy. With the slightest suggestion of an ironic smile, he enlists the aid of our intrepid heros to escort himself and Reverend Terwlliger's party to the very edge of the world in order to settle a wager that he has just concluded with Terwilliger. The group agrees after making basic introductions to everyone involved.
Episode 2 "Journey to the Edge of the World"
The next day the group sets out. They plan to get to the edge of the world somewhere near Tear Falls, where the great Gnomish River plunges into the abyss, by way of the great Gnome city of Pismo. This path will take the party through Centaur country a prospect that Jhana Firemane hopes will give her the chance to see her kinfolk again.
On the way a couple of interesting things happen. They are beset upon by Owl Bears but even stranger still the Yellow Moon which had gone through one of its random blooms several weeks ago is losing its thistles like a great yellow dandelion which has gone to seed. Surprisingly, one of the thistles does a thing which is exceptionally rare, it makes landfall! Of course the group goes to investigate.
By the time they arrive the great thistle has already germinated and a small sapling has already taken root. While the group marvels at the sight of it Chief Rasso tries to engage the tree in conversation. To no avail. Shortly thereafter, the party comes across a grisly scene. It looks like a young gnomish boy has been slaughtered by goblins. They take a few of the boys personal possessions, bury his battered body, the Reverend says a few quick and they resume their trip to Pismo.
As they walk past part of the river that leads from the Seas of Gnomish to the Tear Falls they encounter [Gene's Character] who is drifting along, nearly drowning as he fights to retain his last remaining possession, a bar of soap.
Episode 3 "The Justice of Centaurs"
On the way, as they are passing through Centaur country, the party encounters a group of Centaurs dressed in platemail. It is Jhana Firemane's nemesis, Farl Longshanks! At his feet lays a dead Centaur. Soon accusations fly and shortly thereafter combat is enjoined. When all is said and done, Farl and his minions are defeated. Farl, the ringleader, is captured and taken to the Centaur Village, Jhana's home village, where justice is made to prevail. Jhana leaves Farl in the care of her countrymen. She makes arrangements to testify at his tribunal when she comes back this way after completing her present assignment. Farl is left in the care of the shaman, Moonshadow, who promises to see to it that justice is done.
The next day, the party continues on its way to Pismo. But before they are a day away the thundering sound of hooves is heard coming up from behind them. It is Jhana's cousin, Swifthoof. Swifthoof urges the party to return quickly as Farl has invoked a little known Centauri tradition of immediate trial allowed to him as a nobleman.There is some dissension within the group as Terwilliger reminds Jhana that they have contracted the party for immediate escort to the Tear Falls. Jhana decides to go back on her own and catch up to the party afterwards.
Jhana returns to the village after the tribunal is under way. She gets their just in time to testify against her nemesis. He is found guilty but amazingly enough he gets only a slap on the wrist! It turns out that Farl has recently struck a deal (with Terwilliger!) to tighten the bonds between the Centaur Kingdoms and the Imperium which means increased trade with humans. This is something the Chief greatly desires. The Shaman and the Chief exchange confrontational glances. The Shaman prefers the old ways of self-reliance.
Immediately following the trial Jhana quick marches back to the party and their charges.
Episode 4 "Pismo"
Eventually, the gang reaches the huge and cosmopolitan city of Pismo! Moritz has kin here, his Uncle Rolly and his Aunt Tiz. They extend to the party the hospitality that Gnomes the world over are famous for but everyone chooses to go their own way. Moritz stays with his Aunt and Uncle but Tam Dhu spends the night on the streets. Jhana elects to rent a cell in the city jail. Some of the members of the rest of the party stay there as well but they separate the female prisoners from the male part of the population. Jhana has to spend the night in the "ladies" prison. In the cell adjacent to her is a female mutant human with cloven feet, Estella Lovejoy. She tries to trick Jhana into letting her out but Jhana doesn't fall for it.
The next day the party makes an effort to find the family of the boy they found murdered by Goblins on the road to Pismo. They go to the night watch and making inquiries regarding missing persons. Sure enough there is a missing boy who fits the description of the body they buried. The father is a highly reputed Tinkerer. Sure enough, one look at the salvaged personal effects confirms the worst for the Tinkerer and his family. The group reveals the location of the body to the poor Gnome and go on their way.
Later that same day, the city is attacked by a roc! Of course, our group of heros pitch in to drive the huge bird off. It is a hard fought battle with many casualties but eventually the roc gives up its attack and flies off. There is great consternation among the Gnomes, however, for it is highly unusual that a roc should attack the city. Up until now they have kept their distance from each other and each has been willing to suffer the other's proximity.
After the battle with the roc, the night watch are shocked to learn that during the confusion Estella Lovejoy was sprung from prison with the help of friends on the outside.
Episode 5 "Close to the Edge"
Finally! We arrive at Tear Falls! Ceremoniously Reverend Terwilliger and Commodore Pommeroy walk to edge and look. Behold! There is no Tier Below! Terwilliger is at first flabbergasted and then apoplectic. For a long while he raves shaking his fists at the great cosmic void. "It's invisible! Yes!!! That must be it!" In the end his goons must intervene to keep him from falling over the edge.
Our party of stalwart heros continues to poke around and... lo and behold! The wreckage of a Gnomish ornithopter! As they examine that someone notices a shout from down below. Upon further investigation it becomes apparent that there is another Gnome trapped below. He's trapped with the wreckage of his ornithopter in the nest of the roc! Moritz repairs the broken ornithopter and flies down and, after taking a few practice runs, flies down to assess the situation.
It turns out that the stranded Gnome is just another child. His ornithopter has crashed into a single huge egg which has now gone bad and the smell of rotten egg is everywhere. The gnome has a crevice that he can safely hide in when the roc is at its nest. He is emaciated and dehydrated but otherwise unharmed. The problem is that Moritz is helpless to save the stranded gnome his ornithopter can carry only one. (And only one Gnome at that!)
The party doesn't have nearly enough rope. How will they rescue the Gnome child?
Episode 6 "The OMSS Gallant "
One of the members of the party notices Commodore Pommeroy surreptitiously gazing into a sympathetic communication crystal. Before long a Liberty Class warship, the OMSS Gallant, makes an impressive entrance as it rises up from below the rim of the world! It was apparently summoned here by the Commodore who appears not to be as "retired" as we were led to believe. The naval vessel secures the gnome child and then picks up the Commodore and his party. Then the roc appears!
The roc's attack is relentless and suicidal, she is no match for a Liberty Class ship. In the end, the roc is done in my a spell from Tam Dhu, it becomes entangled and loses its ability to fly. The last that is heard from the roc is its pathetic scream as it tumbles into the embrace of oblivion.
Throughout all of this, Terwilliger seems to be in shock. He has said nothing since his rant after being so utterly disappointed. He has a cold, distant look in his eyes. What's even more disconcerting is the desperate looks on the faces of his goons. One of them is even overheard saying "I've never seen him like this."
Later that night while on watch [Gene's Character] notices a spider-like metal creature crawling along the hull of the airship. He seas it crawl through a portal that leads into the quarters where Commodore Pommeroy is asleep. After the cry is raised our heros find themselves in Pommeroy's quarters overturning the bed and other furniture in the room. Eventually, the creature is cornered and destroyed. It turns out to be made out of some kind of clockwork mechanism. It also carries a deadly poisonous sting. The broken pieces of the assassin bug can be used to determine who made it--it could be used to determine who sent the damn thing into Pommeroy's quarters.
Terwilliger is accused. Oddly, he seems his old self again. "Accused? Of what? Bad sportsmanship?" A fight breaks out. During the melee [Gene's Character] tries to throw both Terwilliger and Pommeroy over board! And he very nearly does it. But in the end he is apprehended and thrown in the brig. Terwilliger is also arrested and thrown into a holding cell. However, [Gene's Character] conceives of a plot which he hopes to be able to escape. He berates the brig officer to one-on-one fist fight. The officer agrees but they will fight inside a ring of airman armed with rifles. The fight begins. [Gene's character] wins the fight. But when he refuses to go back into his cell he is shot and killed.
Episode 7 "Castle Gastropod"
For the next couple of days, the OMSS Gallant makes its way Spindlewards to give our adventurers a head start on their journey. Eventually, Pommeroy and the Captain of the Gallant part company as the ship has to take Terwilliger back to Tark to be tried for treason. Before long we are back in Pismo again to tie up a few loose ends.
Ezmir Logjonkey is the Gnome tinkerer who built the assassin bug that targeted the Commodore. This lead is never followed up. Jhana follows up on Stella Lovejoy and finds WANTED posters declaring a reward for her recapture. While they are in town they are accosted by the father of the boy whose body they found on the road to Pismo. He is still overcome with grief but he thanks them for what they did. He found the make shift grave the party had found and he also found the Flying Disk that the boy had stolen from his father's workshop. He gives it to the party as he can't bear to look at it--it causes him too much grief.
The party continues on their way back to Teleptherion to finish off what is left of their obligation: to return Commodore Pommeroy safely to his home. Before long they come across a path of devastation, the trees have been crushed as if by a great snake, leaving in its wake a trail of dried slime. Speculation leads the party to believe that the path may lead to a nearby Gnome village. They may be in peril! The endeavor to follow the trail.
After a long time of following what is, after all, a very easy trail to follow, one of the members of the party notices a small keep on a nearby hill. A second look reveals that the castle is moving! Furthermore, what at first looked like a hill, is, in fact, a humongous giant snail! What's even worse is that the castle is flying a flag. The flag of the Burning Shields tribe, a notorious tribe of thieving, murderous cut throats. The party resolves to take the keep by force. But before they can do so they come across another party of adventurers who have also been seeking the colossal slug, the author/adventurer Simon Sloan and his faithful side-kick, the artist, Aurora Blackmoor. They quickly join forces.
It turns out that a giant snail can move pretty fast due to its size. There is a long running battle wherein Tam Dhu, Simon and the Commodore attempt to grapple the moving castle and climb up the exterior walls while Moritz attacks from the air. The problem is that they just don't have the proper equipment and the attack goes nowhere even though it goes on for quite a long time. Finally, out of frustration Jhana simply just charges and attacks the great pseudopod of the giant snail itself. Although she manages to hit it she doesn't do enough damage to actually wound the huge creature. However, having sensed the irritation to its sensitive parts, the gigantic gastropod stops and retreats into its shell. A short time later, the surprisingly few Goblins left in the ramparts are dispatched and Castle Gastropod is taken. Although the castle itself still holds many mysteries.
Plumbing the dungeon like interior of the castle, our heros learn of the great necromancer, Enoch Hark. He has a familiar, a huge hairy spider named Eezgrob. There is a portrait of Enoch with the hideous thing perched atop the necromancer's shoulder. They also discover, Boss Nay, a huge black-skinned man with white dreadlocks, imprisoned within. He is a prisoner of the Burning Shields. It has been many years since Enoch Hark lived in this castle.
After clearing out the denizens of Castle Gastropod our troupe finds themselves confronting the necromancer's familiar in the lowest level of the dungeon. To their horror it turns out that Eezgrob has grown to huge proportions after all these years. It is now a huge, hairy, poisonous spider. After a life-and-death struggle Eezgrob is thrown down. Also in Eezgrob's lair is a strange device a bit larger than a coffin. The party correctly concludes that this device is the necromancer's time machine. Tam Dhu in a fit of mischievousness sends it along to some random destination in the space-time continuum.
But who is Enoch Hark? Why does he want to kill one specific boy child born in Teleptherion on a specific date a few weeks into the future? Indications are that Enoch headed to the city some months ago and that date is fast approaching. According to Hark's rantings "this world of infinite suffering" will come to its welcomed end.
Episode 8 "Home Again"
At last back to the City again! The Hunt for Enoch Hark continues after WANTED posters for Jhana's "friend" Estella are found pasted on the walls here. But this time she is not alone on the poster. Along with hers there are rewards announced for three of her cohorts: Thela Hun Gingeet, the leader, Bernard Longfire and Samwell Lollinglass. They all appear to be mutants and they refer to themselves as "The Undisciplined Gang". The party is well rewarded for services rendered to Commodore Pommeroy, he pays for Terwilligers share of it as well, he includes a handsome tip, and he tells them: "If you ever need anything... come and talk to me." They part ways in very amicable terms.
The hunt for Enoch Hark continues. Aurora stakes out an address written on a scrap of paper found in Castle Gastropod that turns out to be an Office of the Registry where official records and documents are housed for the city government. The others stake out nurseries in the three different hospitals in the city, if Hark is looking to kill a baby in a couple of days, that might be a likely place for it to happen.
Aurora's stake out yields nothing. She has spent days staking out that place. Could the address be a red herring? Meanwhile, the rest of the party that has staked out the hospitals (they have borrowed a set of communication crystals from the Commodore) finally gets a break when a rather odd hirsute man is seen stalking off with large bags loaded down with something bulky. He seems to be an orderly at Angel's Mercy Hospital. When he leaves the building that night they tail him. Unfortunately, the man notices that he is being tailed and flees. There is a prolonged pursuit which ends with the upsetting of a literal apple cart. The bundles are recovered: dirty diapers? The suspicious man gets away after he is seen escaping down a manhole cover. Enoch Hark is hiding in the sewers.
With this new angle the team enlists the help of an engineer to help them navigate the treacherous tunnels that lay underneath the city. After a long search they come across another man, a little hairier than most, and when they approach him--he turns into a half-man/half-rat creature and bounds away with an ear splitting screech. Suddenly, a horde of giant rats seemingly crawl out of the walls and pipes of the sewers. The fight is on. And it doesn't go so well for our protagonists until Tam Dhu summons a hidden and unpredictable whammy from the fabric of magic and summons his own horde of street cats! The tide of battle quickly shifts and our heros win the day!
Unfortunately, they have lost the trail of their quarry....
Dejected and defeated our heros feel like they have lost. The day of the child's birth approaches. On the eve of that day, the weather even takes a scary turn for the worse. Evil clouds roll in before nightfall. The wind kicks up. Before long the sleet and the hail comes. Our heros wonder despairingly how they will spend the last few hours of the world's existence. It is a very dark and cold night. All seems lost.
But the sun does come up on the morrow. How can this be? On a hunch Aurora decides to continue her vigil as she staked out the Office of the Registry. Nothing happened that day. Or the next. The city seemed to just fall into its usual routine of business as usual. But on the third day a rather hairier-than-usual man appeared at the Office. He went inside. Aurora followed him. After a clever move, she pulls a gun and gets the drop on him. They now have a captive. What was he going after? A list of the 27 male children that were born two days ago within the City. Birth records.
Soon babies start dying. They are rather horrific and grisly. It's better not to go into it. It slowly leaks out to the public through sources like the Times of Teleptherion. Details are sketchy at first... our heros know better. Sooner or later the law enforcement community catches up to our indomitable group. Right after that, our group become suspects! After all, they've been making some interesting queries at places like midwives offices and such. Maybe they're more than just persons of interest.... As incriminations are made Simon Sloan steps out and points out to the inspector the real scope of what's at stake. In the end, the Inspector relents and lets the "suspects" go. He even offers to help. If he can.
The babies that are dying are the babies on the list. Newborn infants. Very suddenly. It's horrible. Five go in one night. Seven the next. The list is getting shorter. The party tries to focus on the surviving babies but it's getting harder and harder just to find them. People are fleeing the City. Especially those with newborn babies. So the group returns to staking out the hospitals. They have to break up the party to cover three different hospitals. But it pays off. Tam Dhu and Moritz spy one of the rat-men and the pursuit is renewed. The rat-man links up with a buddy and they flee into the sewers with our heros in dogged pursuit. They are distracted by a Noxious Cloud which is dealt with handily by Moritz' summoned bodyguard. But then they were beset upon by the very rat-men they were pursuing. A fight followed. In that fight Tam Dhu was killed. And as he lay there dying there was a strange time distortion event happened [aka a Fate Point] was spent and suddenly it was like it never happened! The startled rat-men ran off again. And Tam Dhu and Moritz went after them.
Episode 9 "The Streets of Teleptherion"
Using the strange communication crystals. Terwilliger is free again. He seems to have escaped justice. (In fact, the charges were effectively dropped by Commodore Pommeroy in deference to his former friend. Terwilliger is now on the streets running a somewhat demented prophecy that the end of the world is at hand. etc etc
The Conversation with the White Wizard
Episode 10 "Onwards and Upwards"
On the way, as !
Episode 11 "The Tinkerer's House"
On the way, as !
Episode 12 "Onwards and Upwards"
Episode 13 "The Island of Tong"
On the way, as !
Episode 14 "The Temple of Aazagog"
Episode 15 "Abduction!"
Aftermath: The Wedding of Boss Nay and Iaru
Episode 16 "A Lecture on Basic Airship Design and Operation"
On the way, as !
Episode 17 "You're in the Navy Now"
Episode 18 "Repo Man"
On the way, as !
Episode 19 "Assault on Castle Darkmunder"
On the way, as !
Episode 20 "The Maiden Flight of the OMSS Bible Black"
The Gravitas Mines
Episode 21 "The Tower on the Blue Moon"
On the way, as !
Episode 22 "Lost in Space"
On the way, as !