Apple Pancake Gang (re: Pathfinder)
- During the dead of winter on the coast of the Kessan Sea the travelers came across the village of Appleton. As the sun set the grey sky turned black and an icy rain began to fall and the cobblestone streets were quickly becoming slippery. A 7 foot tall hairy humanoid stepped out from behind a burned out shell of a building and grinned at them before ducking back and disapearing into the night. After a short and fruitless search for the monster the shivering travelers started looking for shelter.
Thus began the adventures of the Apple Pancake Gang! dun dun dunnnnnnnn!
Sir Caleb - Human Paladin level 1 - Wes.
Tenor BlackHeart - Human Fighter level 1 - Oleg.
Roland the Red - Human Cleric level 1 - Donnie
Non-Amé - Human Monk Level 1 - Ben
Mange the Fierce - Human Barbarian Level 1 - Scott
Mir Zephyr - Human Sorcerer Level 1 - Charlie
Mange wandered off by himself and snuck into a stable and slept in the hay loft, the rest...
A ray of light from the shuttered window of the Slutty Apple Tavern spilled out into the night letting the party see the sign and once inside the smell of warm cider filled the place. The sleepy bartender glanced up, Zephyr's nobleman clothes and rapier and the ancient ornate half-plate of the paladin made him smile. Caleb looked around the place, other then the four fisherman quietly drinking hot cider in the corner it was empty. The place looked run down but it was spotless, it would have to do. The barkeep served them up some hot cider and Caleb demanded food, the barkeep winced at the indignation in the paladins voice when he told Caleb all he had was apples. "No, I want real food!" shouted the paladin. Roland the Red calmed his friend and assured the barkeep that apples would be just fine. After his 3rd mug of cider Caleb agreed with him, the apples were very, very good, better than any he had ever tasted before. Even the taciturn Tenor loosened his leather armor and might have smiled for a moment before regaining his usual somber composure.
Once everyone was warmed up and settled in the only sound was the crackling fire and the barkeep offered up a story...
Appleton was once a prosperous port town known to sailors, merchants and pirates far and wide for the best brothels on the Kessan Sea. When the storm destroyed the red-light district killing most of the residents it was just the beginning of the bad things to come to Appleton. Common practice in the area is that when a graveyard fills up they plant an orchard on the old one and start a new graveyard. They filled a graveyard that next day after the storm and thats where the apples had grown. Some say their ghosts still haunt the orchard. After that trade fell off some, then there was a fire that destroyed the warehouses and shipyard and the plague that killed most of the fisher folk.
Now Appleton is just a sleepy backwater fishing village at the edge of some ruins, home to an inn, a tavern, a blacksmith, a stable, an apothecary and two dozen fishermen and their families.
Caleb tossed the barkeep a gold for the drinks and a nights stay in the common room for the travellers, since it was only a half-copper per drink and apple, and a copper per person to stay in the common room, the barkeep was overjoyed. Letting his greed over ride his caution around nobles, the half drunk barkeep asked Caleb if he had any more gold coins, Caleb cautiously asked why and the barkeep said he wanted to trade three of his coins for two of the paladins. Caleb agreed and afterwards the barkeep started laughing and said he wouldn't take those cursed coins back and neither would anyone else in the village. Curiosity piqued, the travellers studied the gold coins, they had a trident on one side and a fish-like head on the other. When asked, the barkeep stated that the merchant guild had a large house north of the town ruins and payed for everything in the oddly marked gold coins and seemed to have an endless supply.
In the morning chill they wandered around a bit and talked to a woman sweeping the front of the Traveller's Inn about goblins snatching children and travellers and about a reward poster offering 500 gold pieces for the return of a missing woman to the merchants guild. The party traveled through the ruins to the merchant guilds fortified manor and as they approached noticed the guards odd looking wide-eyed unblinking stare. Their queries were met with silence until Caleb threw the pair a gold coin each. A third coin tossed to the guard on the wall above set him running for the merchant. A few minutes later the double doors swung open and a well dressed, ugly, wide-eyed man asked what he could do for them. They asked about the missing woman and were told she was his sister and she went missing a month ago and hadn't been heard from since. Roland asked the merchant about his wide-eyes and the merchant asked them if they had ever seen a porcupine and then waved to his crossbowmen lining the walls above. As the guards fired bolts at the retreating travellers, Roland thought it might not be best to ask merchant lords about their deformities.
Next the party decided to set up an ambush for goblins and try and capture one and ask if they knew about the woman. Stinkfist and Zephyr were to be the bait and sat next to a campfire as it started to rain again. The others crouched 30' away shivering in the cold behind a leafless bush. A goblin snuck up beside Roland and asked him what they were doing. Startled, Roland shouted and the goblin took off running. As Roland was catching up the goblin yelled back at him "you know I'm going to lead you over a pit right?", Roland kept running and fell into an old pit half filled with dead leaves and mainly injured his pride. As Zephyr and Caleb helped Roland out of the pit a score of dire rats burrowed up out of the ground from a long forgotten cellar and swarmed the all black clad Tenor. The fighter was over whelmed and the rats swarmed over Zephyr and Stinkfist, the rest made it back in time to barely defeat the frenzied rats, but not before one of the locals had run up with a rusty cutlass and stood over Tenor fighting off the rats gnawing on him.
Diseased and wounded the party went back into the village and the fisherman who helped Tenor demanded to be paid back, "find out whats tearing our fishing nets and I'll put in a good word with the apothecary" the fisherman said. After the apothecary refused to treat them since they were covered in bloody filth they decided to go down to the sea and wash off. Tenor began climbing down the cliff face to the sea and the fisherman leaned over the edge and said "uhhhh, there are stairs if you want to follow me down instead." Tenor climbed back up and followed him, his climb did reveal an opening in the cliff though, the fisherman told him it was a cave used by seabirds to nest in.
Once down at the sea after washing off the fisherman told Tenor "you might as well check out the nets why you're here", Tenor agreed and got on the fishing boat with everyone except Zephyr. Zephyr went back up to the apothecary who refused to cure him without 100 gold, the broke and plotting Zephyr returned to the docks with the idea of selling the warriors armor if they did not return from the sea. Two hours out the fishermen cast their nets and not long after something began to pull at them from below. Tenor tied a rope around his waist and fearlessly dove in, Caleb tied the rope to an anchor.
Tearing at the bottom of the net was a fish man who stopped and showed shark teeth to Tenor in a less than friendly grin and began swimming up toward him. Tenor frantically pulled on the rope and Caleb threw the anchor over the side, as it pulled him down into the icy darkness Tenor cut himself free and the fishman stabbed him with a trident. Caleb and Mange dove into the water to aid their comrade as Tenor swam towards the surface, the fishman stabbed them with his trident as well. Caleb tried to stab the fishman with his hammer for very little effect as the other two awkwardly stabbed with their swords. The fishman showed his teeth again and pointed to his left, approaching fast was a gray torpedo shape. Tenor stabbed the fishman one last time and as it began to sink lifeless into the depths he swam down and pulled it back up to the surface. Caleb climbed back onto the boat and Mange caught the trident floundering with a weapon in each hand. The shark bit Mange in the head adding to his already impressive collection of childhood scars from fighting with his seven older sisters. As the shark circled in for another taste, Mange dolphin kicked his way to the surface and the others pulled him out of the water.
Horrified and happy the fishermen cheered and Tenor ripped the teeth out of the fishmans head on their way back to shore, the skipper told Caleb that he owed him an anchor. Once back in Appleton the apothecary did what he could to ease the diseased party members but said he could not cure them without a last ingredient that was rumored to grow next to a tower in the Grey Woods.
The next day they set out towards the forest, when they reached the edge and were setting up camp they heard some horrific screams and decided to investigate. A hooded man approached whispering something before throwing back his cloak to reveal his grey pallid skin, glowing red eyes and sharp teeth as it leaped towards the party. A second one jumped out of the dark on the other side. As their filthy claws tore into various party members it left them paralyzed, Zephyr recognized them as ghouls.
Lost in the woods and running low on food the party was attacked several times by pairs of ghouls, a trio of lumpy creatures made out of crap that told fart jokes (the monk killed one with his unarmed attack and earned the name Stinkfist). And they were ambushed by bugbears who dragged Mange off into the woods, the last surviving bugbear ransomed the location of the bleeding barbarian for 100 gold. The party agreed and Caleb spat on the bugbear in frustration. The next few nights the bugbear tried whispering to whoever was on watch but they always sounded the alarm and it ran off. Finally, lost and starving, when Roland and Mange were on watch they spoke with the bugbear without sounding the alarm.
The bugbear said he would leave obvious signs in the woods showing them the way to the red tower if they would leave the paladins armor at the tower when they were done exploring it. He also said he would throw in a boar. So the next day after Caleb ranted for a bit about how there was no way in hell he would leave his armor they discussed it and decided to cut the bugbear in for a share of the treasure found at the tower instead.
The next few days after no word from the bugbear they followed his trail signs, fought a boar, fought some more ghouls and finally came to the red tower.
Thus ends the first exciting installment of our dysfunctional heroes and their rise to power and glory!!! (and they all made 2nd level)
Sir Caleb - Human Paladin level 2 - Wes.
Tenor BlackHeart - Human Fighter level 2 - Oleg.
Roland the Red - Human Cleric level 2 - Donnie
Non-Amé Stinkfist - Human Monk Level 2 - Ben
Mange the Fierce - Human Barbarian Level 2 - Scott
Mir Zephyr - Human Sorcerer Level 2 - Charlie
Salrr Garr - Human Rogue Level 2 - NPC fisherman following Tenor (Jim)
HP Lovecraft describes things way cooler than I can...
On the way to the merchant guilds small keep through the town ruins
"enormous number of crumbling, worm-eaten, and supposedly empty houses along the abandoned waterfront"
The merchant who spoke to the party
"His age was perhaps thirty-five, but the odd, deep creases in the sides of his neck made him seem older when one did not study his dull, expressionless face. He had a narrow head, bulging, watery-blue eyes that seemed never to wink, a flat nose, a receding forehead and chin, and singularly undeveloped ears. His long thick lip and coarse-pored, greyish cheeks seemed almost beardless except for some sparse yellow hairs that straggled and curled in irregular patches; and in places the surface seemed queerly irregular, as if peeling from some cutaneous disease. His hands were large and heavily veined, and had a very unusual greyish-blue tinge. The fingers were strikingly short in proportion to the rest of the structure, and seemed to have a tendency to curl closely into the huge palm."
"He was evidently given to working or lounging around the fish docks, and carried with him much of their characteristic smell."
--- In Maps_Gods_Stories I_ATE_BREAKFAST wrote:
> Well, I plan on switching to Pathfinder when I run next, there are a few
> things that I like so far.