Heroes and Heroines
Live Action Roleplaying
Source: Marius The Magnificent
Four mini-Auxiliaries rowed hard, pulling the long boat through the surf and to the beach. In the boat with oars in hand sat Piper and Jackal, a pair of scouts – one experienced and highly regarded by the mist walkers, the other on his first mission. Behind them was Horrick the Hardened, another new Auxiliary his eyes dazzled by the marching soldiers of the martial guilds, and Johan the strong, an aspirant to the temple of light and caster of much healing on our quest. Riding behind them and rounding off the mini-Auxiliaries were Cobble, a stout warrior with a mighty sword arm, and Lokay, the evil power using dressed all in black chap.
Near the back of the boat were a pair slightly more Auxiliary than mini, first a grizzled old legionary fighter named Perod, the other a representative of the hospital in the shape of a white clad angel of healing – Agatha.
Last in the boat overseeing the landing operation was everyone’s favourite hero – Marius. How did Marius come in such dangerous proximity to physical labour I hear you ask? Well let Marius tell you…
The famous green skinned beauty of The Protectorate, Pipsqueak, a gentle soul (who’s kindness to all is legendary) was asked by a certain guild to go away for a few weeks on ‘business’. After some time it became clear that this ‘business’ that a certain nameless guild had sent her on had gone terribly wrong. All that Marius can say was that she was certainly sorely “Mist” by Marius who was willing to “Walk-er” all over town to find her (stopping in pastry shops to check she wasn’t there).
Thankfully some vital information had come through to us, that Pipsqueak had been taken captive by some Pirates and was going to be handed over to the evil and foul young Miss Spindle, who had taken out a large bounty on her in a fit of jealousy (Marius assumes she asked her magic mirror who the fairest in all the land was and didn’t like the answer). Immediately springing into action the on duty Auxillaries were summoned and teleported to a ship off the coast of some Islands somewhere. Thankfully Marius happened to be in the Auxiliary barracks as Lord Artimus had been mentioning remedial classes and Marius’ name in the same sentence.
On this vessel we were briefed on the situation and tasked with the retrieval of Pipsqueak, a mission close to Marius’ heart, in addition some member of the guid responsible for the mess in the first place gave us some ransom money which they entrusted with their ranking member, the scout Piper, who was nominally leading the mission under the supporting advice of the Legionary and highest ranking Auxilary present, Perod.
In addition some old guy from the anti-undead path of the temple of light was there, clearly recognising Marius’ magnificence at Zombie Slaying and very kindly fondling Marius’ staff to imbue it with some extra power against the undead (not that we expected to meet any). He also gave us some lovely elixers and a very sacred artifact of strength to the young good sphere user, Johan. All in all he left Marius with a very positive view of the good sphere (just sayin’ Angel…a few supporting buffs from the evil sphere to regain Marius’ interest?)
Suitably buffed, we were loaded into a jolly boat (jolly uncomfortable in Marius’ opinion) and had to row ourselves (well, the mini-Auxiliaries had to, Marius is well known for his unfortunate allergy to manual effort) towards the shores of the island upon which the city of South Haven, a notorious pirate hideout, was located.
Our landing went well, although we were all bothered by a terrible infestation of giant crabs who’s snippy claws and googly eyes made the landing difficult, luckily Marius had brought his wackiest stick and a stick of garlic butter and after a short but fierce engagement we dined on a fine crab salad (minus the yucky green stuff)
Having cleared up our crabs the mission came across a young lady in need of our assistance. Her pointed ears betrayed her elvish nature, but of a type of elf that few have come across and lo! Her beauty. Her pale skin flawless, her eyes like the moving depths of the ocean, her smile like the flitting sunlight across the waters surface, her name like the gentle caress of waves upon the shore…”Elara, Elara”, her green hair reminding Marius of someone…we had the nagging feeling there was something important we should be doing but never mind that, such a woman should surely be given the chance to see Marius in magnificent action so onward into the Pirate Island we pushed to allow Marius the chance for some brave action (purely in the cause of persuading Elara to return to the protectorate with us you understand).
Pushing inland we stumbled upon a small glade where a trio of pirates awaited. Foolish and foppish looking chaps were these, they accosted us and asked our business. Naturally we told them we were pirates on pirate business but it appeared someone had warned them of our approach and they became suspicious and made us pass a series of tests to be allowed to continue, first the quiz, which of course we passed with flying colours. “I think there fore I…” (The answer of course is due to the original is in ancient Elvish and is Cogito Ergo Sum, but just as Marius went to provide the answer a small crab pinched his toe and he cried out “Arrrrrr” which seemed to please the pirates no end).
The next was “Why are Pirates so great” which we answered with a chorus of “Because they Arrrrr.” Having passed the quiz we were then challenged to perform a pirate jig, so we lined up and performed an excellent rendition of the classic pirate jig ‘we are drunk pirates’. However the treacherous sands under Cobble’s feet gave way and his Achilles heel proved to be his Achilles heel as he collapsed to the floor in pain. He bravely offered to guard the boats while the party continued and to find us later if he could.
Shorn of Cobble’s sword arm we pressed on into the village of South Haven, as wretched a hive of scum and villainy as is to be found this side of Havdan. As we walked through the narrow and stinking streets pirates of all types (i.e. both those with one and those with two peglegs) watched us with suspicious eyes, we knew that one false step would seal our doom. Luckily the mini-Auxiliaries were up to the task and following the sound of music we stumbled upon a desperate looking crew dancing and playing music in the streets under the steely gaze of their ferocious and ugly looking captain. Her name, as we discovered, was captain Grace, and she and her crew sailed on the ship The Bountiful. We were forced to come up with a name for our own boat which we called the Danish Pastry, naturally they assumed Marius was the captain and it would have been too dangerous to abuse them of this notion for to do so may have been suspicious, and here suspicion means danger.
Once again we were called upon to prove our pirate credentials via a dance off. First up Captain Grace and her crew performed an excellent four piece pirate two-step which we were forced to follow. Nominating our four best dancing mini-Auxiliaries (indeed our only four remaining mini-Auxiliaries) they put their heart and soles into meeting the incredibly high standards set by Captain Grace’s crew, and meet it they did with a dance for the ages. This led the crew of the Bountiful to engage in friendly conversation and they let slip that they had, in their captains’ quarters, a dagger of necromantic power and their ship was now crewed by Zombies under the captains’ command. Could this be a plot by Malice to bring the Pirates under their influence? A responsible party of Auxiliaries would be honour bound to investigate such a situation, so being completely irresponsible we ignored it and continued our quest for whatever it was we were here for, to entertain Elara or something.
Resolving to seek out the mayor of the town near the centre of South Haven we approached some finely dressed pirates and enquired after the mayors’ whereabouts. Foolishly these scum thought we looked like easy marks and decided to attack us for our gold and items, so we were forced to dissuade them through the use of fatal force.
After checking the bodies for gold and information (okay, mainly for gold) we finally met the mayor, a handsome man of middling years, with an honest face who wears the responsibility of his office seriously. Of course it is but a ruse which Marius easily saw through, however Piper and Perod fell for his deception. None the less a promise of information leading to the whereabouts of someone or other, well at this stage Marius was too busy telling Elara about his exploits with the Well of Lost Souls (she is a very good listener) and lost track of what the boring mayor was saying. I assume he agreed to something relevant to our mission but we had to get the necromantic dagger out of the hands of Captain Grace. And something about cats.
Setting off for the Bounty the mini-Auxiliaries had to navigate across some narrow walkways over the water. There we encountered a fierce guard, a cunning pirate of Captain Grace’s crew which we could tell by his coloured bandana of black with white spots (each ship has it’s own colours, white with red dots, red and white stripes, etc). He gave us a great battle but in the end we were able to best him and disguise ourselves with his clothes.
Putting our cunningest and most pirate looking mini-Auxiliary (Jackal) in the stolen garb we pretended to be decorators ordered by Captain Grace under the direction of Jackal the pirate sailor. We progressed along the wharf where we encountered another guard whom we had to trick, alas she was too cunning for us but she did make two errors, letting slip that captain Grace’s last name was Starbound and then forgetting she was on a narrow wharf so that when was clear she was too tough to fight Jackal and Lokay pushed her off into the water.
Carrying on we passed an old pirate fishing, nothing too strange other than he had a small cat curled in one hand. One of our party tried to pet the creature, but his hand passed right through it, a mystery indeed. Stepping around this conundrum we passed another two guards who, thanks to our knowledge of the captain’s last name we were able to fool - lucky for us as they looked tough indeed.
Passing these two pirate guards we came to a large and imposing ship, three towering sticky up bits, a darkly painted main boaty bit, plenty of ropes for swinging off, some fancy half naked merman sculpture at the pointy end, and a washing line was strung up with recently laundered pirate underwear drying. This was the dread ship “Bountiful” we sought and indeed on the deck…zombies.
We rushed on board and laid to the foul creatures while Piper raided the captain’s quarters for the dagger (which we later discerned was made from pure, refined, and 100% vegan Necronium). During the fight Marius himself took on three Zombies while the rest of the mini-Auxillaries, boosted by the return of Cobble, swarmed the others. During the battle Marius discovered a new tactic to defeat these slow moving and stupid creatures, running around the monster at the same speed it can turn, laying mighty blow after blow against it. A tactic that worked magnificently until Marius got too dizzy and had to hit another zombie until he felt better.
Having had our fill of Zombie slaying (Who am I kidding, one can never have too much Zombie slaying, like pies or buyers of Marius’ books) we rested for, although Johan’s healing powers kept us in the fight they were not enough to prevent Horrick the Hardened from needing to be revived by an elixir as he fell late in the battle to a particularly cynical and evil blow from a Zombie.
Completed our rest while the elixir took hold we pressed onwards, eager to get the promised information from the Mayor so we could finish our mission and show Elara the joys of Angels and Demons and Angel’s signature cocktail. Heading back to where we thought the mayor might be encountered, we found a curious pair of nervous fellows, hungry looking, and desperate. With gentle persuasion they told us their tale however since the mayor had shown up Marius strode forward to talk to the important man and left the unimportant peasants to Perod and Agatha.
The Mayor was happy to see us and grateful for our removal of the dagger from the hands of Captain Grace. He offered to dispose of the dagger for us and, while Marius had terrible misgivings of such action (indeed tears were streaking down Marius’ cheeks as he handed it over), the mission was under the auspices of the Mist Walkers and their representative, Piper, seemed to have no problem with this, Perod likewise made no objection, so reluctantly Marius handed the dagger over, hopefully no harm will come from this and it had the advantage of keeping the dagger out of the hands of Lokay who seemed very interested in fondling it.
In return the Mayor informed us of a foul slaver, one captain Finn, who was said to have recently acquired a special new slave. Eager to show the enchanting Elara how the Protectorate hates slavers we trooped towards the distasteful slavers sales yard where we pretended to be buyers interested in a special purchase, however our attention was distracted by a crude hut in the middle of the yard where a foul stench and strange noise emanated. Despite our best efforts to discover what was in the hut we could not get close due to the eagle-eyed guards who kept us away, however when Captain Finn, the slaver, returned he questioned us about our healer, Agatha.
We confirmed that she was not-a-healer and he asked if our not-a-healer could look to an unusual patient. True to her hospitaller oath Agatha allowed herself to be led into the crude hut to discover the patient was…a cow! Our not-a-healer examined the beast and discerned it was diseased so attempted to not-cast a not-a-cure-disease spell which worked and the beast emerged into the light perfectly healthy again.
In gratitude they miked the creature and the pail of milk looked so delicious we all had to take a deep drink, leaving us with a spot of milk on our noses.
Suddenly a guard rushed into the yard warning of approaching Hissard, as quick as lightning the slaver packed up his wares and raced off, leaving us facing a vicious pair of Hissard who strode up to us and identified Marius as the most important magic user present. With their shields up and swords snicker-snacking and hitting the poor squishy mage flesh of Marius. While Marius is magnificent at almost everything, especially undead re-killing, for obvious reasons the Hissard have proved problematic for him, it is remiss of the legions to allow these foul creatures to remain in Idenia, although perhaps we could show them the way to Enchantica. Marius having been swiftly taken down a wild battle ensued at the end of which the mini-Auxillaries persevered.
Behind the sales yard was a path leading to the main stockade of the slaver. We hurried along the path and attempted to trick them into letting us in but they proved too astute so resorted to plan B – we hit them until they were dead, although it was not easy, Marius having his throat slit in the first few moments and luckily being saved by Johan’s quick thinking and good sphere powers of healing. During the battle we rescued their captive slaves from Eeep (and then hunted the slaves down, recaptured them then freed them again. Don’t ask why, just brush it under the carpet marked “Weird magical stuff”). However most telling was that we discovered Pipsqueak was not amongst them! Where could she be, who could have led us down this false path?
Having poured more elixers down various members of the mini-Auxiliaries, we encountered a poor Pirate Gnoll, who seemed afraid of Piper who was cuddling a small cat she’d picked up somewhere. He told us of these cats that had taken over the minds of his crew (how ridiculous, cats taking over people’s minds – FEed thE NexT CAT YoU seE FREsH FiSh or CATastroPhE wilL beFall yOU – a tall tale for sure) but his other words chilled us further – “Beware the Mayor, he’s behind this, he cannot be trusted.”
Worried that maybe the Mayor couldn’t be completely relied upon to keep his word to rid the world of the Necronium Dagger we hurried to his palace where his personal guards tried to turn us away. Being forced to vigorously engage in weapons led negotiations with them we found a secret way into his lair, through a stinking sewer under his abode, but first we had to lift the grate blocking the way. With a great heave-ho we pulled (aided by our three lovely and not mysterious cats), and then after many strength spells were cast another great heave-ho and the grate gave way, revealing a terrible beast on the other side, it’s four sucking tentacles drawing it’s prey into the hideous and repulsive looking mouth where their life was drained away in moments. The only way to slay the beast was to chop off the four sucky appendages, but this proved very difficult and body after body fell to the beast, our healer Agatha only just able to keep our party alive while Johan used his shield to protect Marius as he threw Lightning Bolt after Lightning Bolt at the beast. Having exhausted his selection of spells and having shorn the beast of three of the tenticles, the party swarmed the last tentacle and with a chop from Cobble, a slice from Horrick, a bash from Johan, and a stabby stab from the glamorous Elara and her finely shaped pokey stick the creature shuddered to a halt and expired. Searching around we were set upon by another tentacle beast, the ferocious and deadly Pip-squid but thankfully some quick thinking from Marius saved the entire party with a quick squish from his boot.
Moving up from the sewer we emerged into the Mayors’ house, there we spied him and his treachery was revealed. There he stood with the stunningly gorgeous and innocent Pipsqueak held captive at his side, of this poor damsel in distress – Marius raced over to her but was repulsed by the evil Pirate leader and a tricksy evil power spell which kept Marius from his beloved. With a cry of “Pipsqueak!” and “Marius!” the two were kept apart, but worse Pipsqueak was about to be handed over to the evil and hideous hag – Miss Spindle. Worst of all we couldn’t kill Miss Spindle due to diplomacy stuff.
Quick negotiations ensued followed by discussions and eventual agreement that went something like this. “Give her to us”
“How much you got?”
“But first we give her to Miss Spindle”
“She needs Pipsquuek for something.”
“Oh no you don’t”
“Too late, I already have [Evil laughter]”
“That’s it. Get them.”
By which time Pipsqueak, that most gentle of souls had stabbed Miss Spindle with pain venom, the giant cat creature had taken over the minds of several people, giant birds were involved, Pirates everywhere and the Pirate Mayor used the dagger to summon a Zombie to chase Pipsqueak down and take her from us. Needless to say it was chaos.
Thankfully the mini-Auxiliaries prevailed, Pipsqueak was rescued, ransoms were paid, and we all escaped down the sewers and to the beech where we hopped in our boat (or someone’s boat at least) and the mini-Auxiliaries rowed us to sweet freedom (Marius unable to row due to having to hold Pipsqueak’s’ hands).
All in all a very successful mission achieving the greatest treasure of them all - Lots of Dragons. And Pipsqueak’s safe return. HOORAY!
Marius gives his thanks to a fabulous set of mini-Auxiliaries, many on their first mission and all who were very brave, as well as to a fabulous set of monsters, villains, NPCs, and plot points. You guys worked so hard and absolutely rocked!
Lastly Thanks to David and Tasha for an entertaining story with Pirates, cuddly baby squids, cuddly cats, and ZOMBIES!