Heroes and Heroines
Live Action Roleplaying
Source: Humphry Butler
A Summer Solstice Cocktail Party.
All Hail King Scruffles.
To: The First Thieftaker, Elder Brother Harrigan, Guild Leader of the Mistwalkers.
It was my pleasure to represent the guild on a recent Auxilliary mission to escort the Ambassador of the Pale Duke to a meeting hosted by Hero Angel of the Protectorate. As befitting a guest of such stature, a large honour guard was provided, although to ensure this was not interpreted as a threat the guard was made up of lesser experienced members, although included amongst their number was my employer, the esteemed Sir Lance Brayford, to ensure that there was a representative of suitable rank to do the ambassador the correct homage.
Also included amongst the numerous auxiliaries were:
Cephus Joudemayne, the Spiderling Ssaprina, and the rat-like Skritgnaw who made up our scouts (alongside this humble person). Mr Skritgnaw was most ferocious and hardworking and please allow him to continue to live.
Rivalyn, Ziggy, and Dougie McFife who were our healers, alongside Rivalyn’s best friend Mr Scruffles who became the de facto leader of the party.
Brok the Druid, Jack the Plank (a pirate), Martinez (a warrior), and of course Sir Brayford who all provided great assistance in the security of our mission as well as additional healing, protections, and a myriad of other helpful skills.
Lastly but not leastly the esteemed Mr Mugwump who, despite using the powers of the evil sphere (which Sir Brayford finds rather distasteful), was most helpful to our cause by bravely leaping upon our enemies to deliver diseases and cause wounds as well as chasing after enemies with his twin axes and indeed at one moment sacrificing his spirit strength to do so in a particularly difficult moment for us. In addition, he was exemplary in his service to his master, our host, the Hero Angel.
I feel it may benefit the guild to know the following pertinent information about the events that transpired on our mission.
While awaiting the arrival of the Ambassador we met a gentleman who was being chased by some bandits. We took steps to secure his safety and discovered he was an explorer or ancient civilizations. Before we could question him further however the ambassador, Castilian Veilshredder, and his escort, Sir Runemaster, arrived and we accompanied him to the meeting place where Hero Angel had set up a magnificent cocktail party to welcome his eminence.
It was a pleasant evening; Mr Angel was the perfect host and even the uncooperative weather didn’t prevent Sir Brayford from enjoying himself. At one point I did accidently find myself preparing Sir’s drink just on the other side of a thin wall from where the Darklands Ambassador was in discussion with a representative from the Iron League about improving trade without the Protectorate and as well how the Protectorate forces in the local area were less than impressive. I also found that during the evening the Ambassador did mention how Amythest Province used to be a part of the Darklands during the age of the occupation of Stygia by those forces. It is possible they cast envious and greedy eyes over that part of the world once more.
Another important part of the evening was learning Mr Angels’ secret Pornstar Martini Recipe. I will share here as I feel this can become a great tool for the Mistwalkers as the sweet flavour can mask other ingredients one may wish to add to it.
35ml Vanilla Vodka
15ml Passoa Liqueur
10ml Vanilla Syrup
1 Whole Passionfruit
15ml Lime Juice
50ml Prosecco or Champagne
Scoop out the passionfruit and add the flesh to a mixer, add the other ingredients (except for the Prosecco) and shake with ice. Strain into the glass, then top up with the Prosecco. Garnish with ½ a passionfruit and a…creative embellishment of your choice.
After several of these, and many other drinks the party wound up in the wee hours of the morning as the post-Solstice sun was preparing to rise, ruined only by some Duregar who had complaints about a banging in the ceiling.
As I was preparing Sir Brayford’s hangover cure the next morning some bad news landed. The Darklands Ambassador had vanished! Along with him, a member of the Shadowlands had also failed to show up. As luck would have it though there were three members from the Triumverate that had arrived in the night and one of them had seen the Darklander arguing with two other figures.
It seems our mission had turned from one of a simple guard mission to that of a recue party.
Angered by his masters vanishing, the Darklander Escort, Sir Runemaster, went to search and returned with a young lady wearing an Oaklands tabard. She claimed to be of the resistance to the rule of the new Lord of the Oaklands (Emperor Mandolin) who was busy crushing internal dissent and closing the passage of any news from that area. She claimed to have seen a place in the woods where there had been a scuffle, however before we could investigate there was a loud sound in the house and a bank of Ska Silvani burst forth from a tunnel under the floorboards to complain about the existence of other Ska Silvani. Alas they were most forthright in their complaints and had failed to wipe their muddy feet, so we were forced to slay them all. Mr. Angel asked us to investigate the source of the problem which we did, tidying up that particular loose end. The large number of Ska Silvani were making their way south to slay those of their brethren forced out of the Oakwoods. We made sure they would not disturb the Duregar again by killing them all. I feel this was a most efficient end to the problem and ensures that no persons (and their muddy boots) would need to register any further complaints of any description. Mr Cephus was most effective with his bow and there was many a fine ranged weapon duel between himself and similarly armed enemies.
Back to the more important matter at hand, the lost of an honoured house guest. The Mistwalkers in the party searched the woods and found indeed where a scuffle had taken place and something heavy (a body?) had been dragged off by two others.
This tallied with what the Triumverate chap had told us so we surmised this was the Ambassador who had been dragged off. We tracked our quarry to where there was a standing stone. Mr Mugwump informed us of these stones strange powers and so carefully we approached, although the vicinity of the stone was crowded with strange creatures which seemed to attack with a mix of different powers, alternatively doing physical, power, or magical damage, or seeming to cast some random effect which could be from a trip or flash of light to a curing of one’s wounds. It seemed very random.
Eventually we were able to clear the area enough to get close to the stone and I scurried forwards to investigate it, while the others most kindly dealt with more of the magical beings that had arrived.
Placing one’s hand upon the stone a most strange creature appeared before us, dressed in Purple and with what appeared to be a long beak giving it a most avian appearance. It challenged us as to why we had dared to approach the stone and I hope that it wasn’t beyond my station as I took the liberty to explain our mission. Saffron, as he later introduced himself, then most kindly took care of the attacking creatures on our behalf before he explained the rules of travelling through the stones.
These rules are:
Mr. Saffron confirmed that 3 high powered individuals had passed through, one unwillingly. When it had discovered them Mr Saffron had expelled these individuals from the network. When we asked Mr Saffron told us that he could take us to the same location, as long as we paid the price – this price was to tell him something about ourselves and he questioned each of us in turn (in order so he could keep track of us in the network he told us) and also he gave us a device to summon him when we found these high level persons.
Suitably prepared, we went through the stone and found ourselves cast out in a hot, humid, and fetid jungle. Mr Mugwump felt immediately at home and it was a pleasure to see him so cheerful. I am concerned his life is a tough one back home so I am glad he has had some moments of such happiness. All Hail King Scruffles.
We searched for some tracks and set off towards where we thought we might find our quarry but we found ourselves challenged by some dreadful reptile-like people who asked us to leave. Despite our best efforts to negotiate a solution sadly they attacked us and so we were forced to defend ourselves. Having done so Mr Mugwump was most involved in the combat and both dished out great wounds and (in his words) “lovely diseases, oh yes I did.”
Alas in return he had also received many injuries and having greedily seized his prize, the skull hat, from our attacker’s leader, he collapsed from blood loss. Mr Dougie was most efficient in reviving him using an elixir and his kilt waftings.
Recovered we carried on, Mr Skritgnaw and myself scouting ahead where we spotted a movement in the bushes, we came upon a clearing where a troop of soldiers wearing a green tabard with a white rose upon it were resting. When they spotted the Protectorate symbol they accused us of being from a rival house and then they attacked us. While they did so, a shambling shrubbery covered in strange flowers wandered up behind us with unknown intentions.
Knowing that the guild is seeking new reagents for potions, Ssaprina and myself tried to pluck the blooms from the wild bush with a deft fingering here and there, but as we deflowered the bush it gave us a little prick, greedily sucking us dry (of blood) and leaving us exhausted and weak in the knees.
Having plucked a bouquet from the plant, we proceeded to hack it to pieces as it wouldn’t leave us alone.
Advancing through the jungle we found more patrols, these with a red rose upon a blue tabard. Whilst I am sure it is good to be proud of the protectorate symbol I advised the others to hide their own roses in case they accused of also being from an enemy of theirs. As I was only wearing Sir Brayford’s symbol I went forward first to discuss with these people for passage. During this discussion we discovered that this land believed that all descendants should receive an equal share of any inheritance and so over the past 239 years the land had been divided into smaller and smaller pieces, the ‘kingdom’ we had just entered was the Kingdom “Casa del Daiblo”, and the land we had come from “Casa Florenz”. Casa del Diablo was a Kingdom approximately 50m x 20m and had upon it the princely sum of 4 chickens (3 after dinner) and some grain. Casa Florenz was of a similar size and there Mr Skritgnaw and myself had he same idea, as it appeared we had conquered Casa Florenz, their wealth was now ours and we negotiated with the Hetman of Casa del Diablo to give them that land and all associated chickens in return for safe passage through to the next kingdom, Casa Montego, a larger kingdom (it has a pig) where Casa del Diablo had arranged a peace treaty.
Leaving these strange people to their newfound larger kingdom we came to Casa Montego, where at the castle we met with the newly crowned king of the land who had been granted a vision of our coming where we would be allies and help him in his dreams of conquest. In return he promised to give us information on the people we were searching for.
Not wanting to join in some tin-pot rulers plans for conquest we had to formulate a counter proposal and here Mr Scruffles took the lead in the negotiations, proving himself to be a bold and skilled diplomat that would have made Lord Farakeen himself proud. Mr Scruffles persuaded the King to give us the information and to hold a feast in our honour, as well as to write a poem extolling Mr Scruffles’ mighty personage. The King agreed in the face of such a skilled negotiator and asked us to bring back their most prized delicacy, crocolisk steaks, for the feast.
Before we left we found out more about where we were. It was known locally as Krakkikhan and is located upon where the jungles meet the mountains, near where a great desert stretches out into a burning hellish expanse. The Kingdome had been founded 239 years previously by the first King and Queen who had sailed there from across the great ocean. When the King had died the Queen could not bear to see any of her children left without a share of the kingdom, so it was divided equally between them. Each time a ruler passed on it would be divided between all the children of the subsequent generation, eventually being split into the tiny chucks we see today, each with maybe 3 or 4 people at most in it.
This made us realise this land is most certainly ripe for the old maxim of divide and conquer and so we hatched a plan, Mr Scruffles offered his hand in marriage to the King and then if the King would have a…shaving accident…then the sad Mr Scruffles would find himself King and with the largest army in the area. We could then negotiate mergers with the surrounding kingdoms until we had annexed a sizable enough area to create the land of Scruffle-Topia.
This was an excellent idea, however the King wanted to see our hunting prowess before he committed to anything and thus we set off on a crocolisk hunt.
En-route to the crocolisks we chanced upon some strange grey beasts that seemed to command the undergrowth to ensnare our legs. These foul beasts attacked without a sound, their razor sharp claws and teeth seeking to rip into our poor defenceless flesh. Leaving them dead we discovered a nest of crocolisks which we butchered for their steaks that we carried back to the castle and the soon-to-be betrothed to Mr Scruffles. On the way back we discovered some remarkable things about the grey creatures we had encountered earlier.
After we made it back to the castle more creatures attacked and here I have good and bad news. In the battle there was much bravery and heroic actions but most specifically Mr Mugwump was entangled to the spot while isolated from the rest of us. While we tried to defend him as best we could, we were outnumbered and Mr Mugwump was felled, although even at the last he died grappling his opponent casting a ‘cause mortal wounds’ upon them.
We had exhausted all our elixirs but luckily we had upon our persons a resurrection scroll which was used to bring him back from oblivion, I am very glad that his spiritual strength was strong enough to return him to this world. Upon his return Mr Mugwump appeared remarkably happy, for in his afterlife Asmodeus had spoken to him, and praised his devotion to causing diseases, therefore he would unlock his ability to bond to his talisman. I am very happy for Mr Mugwump that this has all worked out well for him.
In even worse news, despite the scrumptious feast cooked by the finest chefs of the Kingdom, and very specifically Mr Mugwump who it turns out is a surprisingly good cook, the King then rejected Mr Scruffles offer of marriage, what a dreadful cad! We were ready to avenge this insult by razing the kingdom to the ground, but thankfully Mr Scruffles was in a forgiving mood and made do with information of our quarry and a promise of a love-poem.
Leaving the upstart (clearly ill-advised by his chief of staff, a shrew like miser who failed to grasp the big picture of Sruffle-Topia), we set off through the jungle, bringing three lands under the rule of King Scruffles and then into the desert to an abandoned way-station where we could rest and then find our missing Ambassador in the morning.
Setting off through the sweltering heat we came across a band of undead who Sir Brayford swatted aside with ease, then more undead around the way station which caused us quite some trouble in a wide ranging scattered battle against Zombies, Skeletons, Spirits of wounding, ghouls, skeletal warriors, and other undead by the score. Ms Ssaprina and myself tried to engage the zombies while the others took care of the rest, however the battle was so wild, tough, and fast moving that I found myself opposite Mr Mugwump taking on a skeleton that neither of us could hurt but at least we could occupy it for a while. I saw Mr Brock most magnificent with his staff, Mr Martinez with his sword and shield, and Mr Dougie, Mr Ziggy, and Mx Rivalyn (and Mr Scruffles) were just legendary keeping everyone alive while being chased by all manner of abominations. Sir Brayford was naturally in his element destroying undead as well as assisting those of the group who had fallen prey to the ghouls paralytic touch - it has done me a world of good to see Sir so happy.
At long last we had just one zombie left, a shambling mound of foulness that stank to high heaven. It seemed to move faster than a normal zombie, perhaps the desert air was good for it? And it also struck with a greater power than a normal zombie, indeed when I used my leg to parry one of it’s strikes it broke the very bone and it was only thanks to Mr Brocks’ excellent bone setting skills that I was able to be on my feet in time to face the next dreadful challenge.
Undead slain, and completely exhausted, we approached the way station. Upon the door was a sign that declared that the Sultan Gultpa Fing had annexed the waystation under the flag on the Night Clan Gnolls. Ignoring this we entered to find the station had been annexed by a giant spider. And not a nice one like our Ms Ssaprina. I went to fetch the extra large broom, but while I was getting it the creature had poisoned many of our number and dragged them inside to devour later. We couldn’t lure the creature outside and so we were forced to engage it in its’ lair where it would use a myriad of tricks to trap us. A most intense encounter but at last it lay twitching on the ground and I was able to brush it outside. There was a great deal of cleaning of cobwebs needed as well.
We rested there in that spooky waystation while the desert night was filled with strange noises which included a knock at the door. It appeared the Night Clan wanted their Way Station back, but we were using it and Mr Scruffles was in a bad mood so we drove them away to make sure they didn’t get their muddy feet all over the floor.
Morning arrived and we were all enjoying some porridge that Mr Dougie claimed to have found, although he didn’t elaborate where, when more Gnolls attacked. Since we wanted to move on anyway we decided to leave the waystation and followed a long trail through the desert which wound around and around, twisting and turning as if to throw us off the track, however Mr Cephus was in his element and kept us on the right path until we came to the Gnolls castle, in front of which were three figures, one wrapped in a carpet was probably the Ambassador, another the Shadowsland representative, and the last the Explorer we had rescued at the very start of our adventure who we discovered was a 300 year old scoundrel named Henry Walton!
Well two of these people were very nasty but I did have a little something up my sleeve for such an occasion. I hope Sir didn’t think I was being too forthright when I strode up to the Shadowslander and informed her that “I have someone who wants to talk to you.” With that I pulled out from my pouch a device for the summoning of Portal controlling hepathic creatures, specifically Mr Saffron.
Forthwith he appeared and was not pleased to see the Shadowslander and Explorer. The Explorer muttered something about having made a deal with this creature, but it informed him that they had broken the rules and where henceforth barred from travelling through the stones. It seems they will have a long walk home, for despite their puissance they fled before us while we made sure the Ambassador was okay. Mr Mugwump even left them with a lovely disease for their troubles.
Those troublemakers chased off we gathered together and summoned one last time Mr Saffron to take us home, just in time to serve Sir Bradfords’ tea.
Thank you to a very hard working crew of monsters, every elixir was drunk, every potion and scroll and scrap or resources used to get past you! Thank you for your patience while David recounted in excruciating detail every disease that Mugwump delivered during each battleboard pause.
Thanks to Assistant ref Mig and the lady who made all the magic happen despite our best efforts to derail the plot and instead found the kingdom of Scruffle-Topia – the amazing-super-master-chief-head-ref Alex!
All Hail King Scruffles.
King Scruffles is still awaiting his love-poem.
Don’t make King Scruffles mad…