It was a quiet day, or as quiet as a day can be in a monastery dedicated to the god of eccentricity. Bill “Primus” Sikes peeled the last banana and groaned. Thirteen thousand, nine-hundred, and ninety-nine similar peels sat piled beside him and even his expansive halfling stomach was beginning to strain uncomfortably from the a ton and a half of fruit it now contained. Hesitantly he moved the fruit to his mouth. It had been a command from the abbot — they needed 14000 banana peels to cover the road which Zagyg’s new acolytes would be running as part of their initiation. Fourteen thousand banana peels meant fourteen thousand bananas.
Just as Bill was about to shove the last banana in his mouth the abbot appeared. Abbot Ernest was short, even for a halfling, but made up for his slight stature with subdued and stately garb. He wore ballooning pantaloons and a fine doublet slashed in purple corduroy and pink velvet, fine shoes of purple leather with elegantly turned up toes, a matching purple half-cape, a large floppy hat of pink velvet, and, most prominently, he wore Zagyg’s holy symbol proudly displayed on a medallion on his chest. Bill quickly averted his eyes from the medallion lest he be stricken as mad as his god.
Abbot Ernest took a banana peel from the pile and placed it on top of Bill’s head. “Good, good, tomorrow’s ceremonies will be quite fun thanks to all your hard work Brother Sikes. Now, I have two more tasks for you…not related to the initiations but equally important…” The abbot spoke with deep gravity and purpose, alternately opening and closing one eye and then the other to get a better perspective on Bill. “First, Brother Sikes, I must ask that you make sure our latrines are full, a task which I believe you are uniquely suited for.”
The abbot paused, acknowledging the look of relief on Bill’s face before continuing. ’Secondly, I am assigning you a holy quest! A QUEST! The mortal remains of our Lord Zagyg lie interred beneath his tower which lies on the outskirts of the city, you shall go to the tower and fetch his remains, for Lord Zagyg as informed us that he wishes his body to be fired out of a cannon held by a giant with two thumbs on each hand. You are free to keep whatever other holy relics you can find in the tower catacombs."
Bill nodded his assent, shoved the banana in his mouth, and ran for the loo keeping his eyes carefully fixed on his feet lest he catch a glimpse of the holy symbol.
Several hours later, after having relieved himself, Bill sought out his three companions in the faith. Brothers Tilliam Well, Wedge Potts, and Semilroth the Verbacious sat in the common room of the abbey playing at dominoes. Bill sighed with relief when he noted that none of them were so pious as to wear their holy symbols openly and sat himself down at the table. He quickly described the holy mission given to him by the abbot and, after brief discussion, the four halflings decided that they should set off that evening.
As his friends went to gather their belongings and supplies, Bill carefully camouflaged himself. The brothers had agreed that they should approach the tower by stealth so as not to attract the attention of any “takers of opportunity”, so Bill carefully glued three wispy pine branches to his back and made himself a hat and hood of dried, fallen oak-leaves. Confident that he would now be indistinguishable from the surrounding shrubbery, Bill grabbed his crook, collected his sheep, Dolly and Parton, and ran to meet his friends at the abbey gate to set out on their great adventure.
As they neared the ruins the party came upon a large stone falcon, nearly seven feet tall and leaning precariously against a tree. Tilliam and Semilroth immediately decided that they should try to move it, with the unfortunate results of Tilliam being pinned under the thing when it slipped away from the supporting tree. After some ineffectual straining to move the thing the party managed to dig Tilliam out and proceeded on their journey.
Roughly two hours after leaving town the party came to a deep chasm crossed by a very narrow and treacherous-looking stone bridge over three-hundred feet in length. On the far side they could see the walls of the keep of Castle Greyhawk and the three towers beyond, silhouetted against the bright gibbous moon. Deep in the chasm, nearly a hundred feet below, they could see the banners and watchfires of a large encampment of orcs.
Screwing up his courage, Bill led the way out onto the bridge, driving Dolly and Parton before him. The going was slow from the start and Bill had to fight hard not to look down. Not more than a quarter of the way across Dolly the sheep looked down, froze, and began bleating loudly. Bill, thinking fast, created an illusion of tall stone walls rising on either side of the bridge and fine green grass on the far side. Thus calmed, the sheep allowed Bill to drive them to the far side with no additional interruptions.
Just as Bill and the sheep reached the far ledge, he heard Tilliam spluttering behind him. He looked back to see Tilliam wildly gesticulating towards the far side. When Bill turned back around he saw a massive ogre bearing a long hook-like pole weapon barring his path. The beast roared and Tilliam quickly translated that it said something about mutton. The party offered up Parton and the beast, smiling greatly at the free meal, turned and let them be.
Sliding inside the curtain wall, the four halflings and one sheep made their way quietly towards the central tower, maneuvering around the various dilapidated buildings that marked the old castle town, trying to avoid the large group of ogres they could see encamped within. As they crept past the ogre camp, Tilliam peeked through the window of a half-collapsed building and noticed a massive pile of coins and gems accumulated by the ogres. Wedge quickly boosted Bill through the window, who proceeded to begin filling bags with the loot and passing it out the window to the others.
As Bill passed the second bag of treasure out, he accidentally knocked over some of the coins alerting the ogres. Tilliam quickly set Dolly the sheep on fire, sending the beast bleating and running out away from the four halflings. Seeing fresh, and self-cooking, meat, the ogres quickly turned away from the sound of scattering coins and went rushing after the sheep. For good measure, Semilroth conjured a number of horses into the ogre camp using his wand of communal mount. The ogres thus distracted, the party crept away, laden with treasure and quickly made their way to the entrance to the tower dungeons.
Through a towering archway in the base of the tower, the party found a set of wide stone stairs spiraling down into the darkness. With Semilroth and Tilliam bearing lights and leading the way, they carefully made their way down the stairs. As they passed the first landing, a massive iron portcullis dropped from the ceiling behind them, sealing them inside. At the third landing another portcullis also closed. Thus trapped with no way to go back, they pressed on.
At the fourth landing Tilliam spotted a number of long, green, clawed arms peaking out of the back wall. Not wanting to tangle with whatever was attached to the arms, the party made a mad dash down the stairs. Tilliam tripped and went skidding and screaming down the stairs and through the wall of the next landing…into a room filled with corpses. Once he recovered from the shock and stopped screaming, Tilliam noticed that the skeletal corpses were both not moving and were clutching a vast array of valuables. He quickly gathered up piles of gems, stripped the corpses of their finely made armor, tied a rope around a large chest, and dragged the loot back out of the illusory wall to his friends.
Now well armored and feeling as rich as kings, the party descended the last few flights of stairs. Only one more turning of the stairs from the bottom, Wedge, bringing up the rear, stepped on something. He felt the stair give slightly under his foot and the party heard the sound of breaking glass. Within moments the stairwell began to fill with a thick cloud of gray-green vapor. Semilroth opened his mouth to scream again, taking in a lung-full of the poisonous mist and dropped dead on the spot, tumbling down the stairs. Seeing this the others bolted for the bottom, trying hard to avoid breathing the gas and plowing right over a number of caltrops that someone had spread over the stairs. Wedge managed to kick Semilroth ahead of him as he, Bill, and Tilliam tumbled the last fifteen feet to the bottom, smashing hard into a heavy wooden door.
Once they had recovered, the group thanked Zagyg that the poisonous cloud appeared to be lighter than the air of the dungeon and was rising up the stairs away from them. Catching their breath, now that they could, they paused to take stock of their situation and strip Semilroth of any useful gear.
Experience: 3500 each
- 2300 copper pieces
- 1700 silver pieces
- 290 electrum pieces
- 770 gold pieces
- 9 gems
- Small Red Spinel (50gp)
- Large Deep-purple Amethyst, Flawed (50gp)
- Small Red and White Sard (100gp)
- Large Pale-yellow Citrine (500gp)
- 5 Fire Opals (1000gp each)
- 2 Delicate Glass Vials
- Potion of Clairvoyance (1 dose)
- Oil of Impact (1 use)
- +3 Heavy Wooden Shield (small sized, bears the symbol of a staff surrounded by acorns)
- +1 Chainmail (small sized)
- +2 Splint Mail (human sized)