Wasteland Campaign

Trials of Limbo

Timeline: 34 AQB, Day 6

As we stepped through the doorway, we saw a thin sheet of water covering stone floor as far as the eye could see. The Guardian told us that the clue was “Look inside.”

We tested the sheer scale of this room. I walked as far as I could without losing sight of my comrades, but no change in the scenery. Dan sat down and began to meditate. Korbin began to bottle the water from the ground once he learned that it seemed to heal his wounds. His little rat began to gesticulate wildly and pointed to something in the air. I used my jetpack to get up there, expecting a concealed pathway, but landed safely on the ground.

Finally, Dan opened his eyes and told us to go to sleep. Like, look inside our eyelids? I guess changing perspectives through sleep could work. So I laid down in the water and tried to sleep. When I opened my eyes, the water was gone and the asteroids and lit pathway had returned.

As we were about to open the door, the door disappeared to reveal a group of Slaads that ambushed us. Suddenly, a grey Slaad flew into the air and shot a fireball at us. Dan trapped most of them in Black Tentacles, while Korbin and Dan kept them from escaping. The rest of us concentrated on taking out the grey one. We spread out to avoid another fireball. I animated my ball bearings and pummeled the creature alongside Kronk’s summoned cat creatures and Dan.

We mopped them up and stepped through the door to find whirling pathways even more confusing than before. They seemed to go on endlessly and we explored for a little while. I saw that there were grooves on the tile, but assumed that they were a stylistic decision. Finally, I got frustrated and tried prying up the tile. Lyc skipped up to me from the other connecting pathway and I told her to try to pry one up. She flung that thing so far into the sky, I can only assume that she had one that was already loose.

Beneath the tile was a space that seemed to extend past what was possible into a meadow. We gathered the others and told them what we had found. Off in the void, Korbin was drifting away with his feet firmly planted on a tile. We managed to get his attention and we all hopped down the hole. As we landed on the meadow, the hole where we had come from closed seamlessly into the sky.

It seemed we had passed all the trials, but where were we now? Still in Limbo? On another plane? Where is the time machine? And what would we do now?

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Limbo Rock

Timeline: 34 AQB, Day 5-6

As we were resting in the room that Dan created, we began discussing the events that had just transpired. But soon, the spell would expire and we would be crushed by all the rubble.

Suddenly, a large drill-mounted vehicle burrowed up through the ground and the most bizarre little gnome popped out. With teeth filed to razor points and an unkempt beard, the creature was wearing naught but an obnoxiously high-collared coat and a star-spangled hat and thong. He told us that Dan, a different timeline Dan, had just met with him and told him to come rescue us. Fortuitous.

Presumably, we must have somehow escaped another way, perhaps with casualties. But with this, Dan had circumvented that. Perhaps paradoxes were harder to trigger than I feared. We didn’t have long to worry if this “El Chuch” was trustworthy as the room began to groan under the weight.

All he seemed interested in was coming along for the ride. I suppose that’s the least we could do in return. Apparently, he was able to direct us to our next location, we had to go back to the time machine because the time machine couldn’t be used by two versions of us at the same time without causing problems, which seems fair. Morael’s phylactery isn’t going anywhere.

Over night, the vehicle carried us to a cliff where a swirling vortex of energy awaited us. As Korbin and Dan rocketed through the portal, we began to hear a commotion. The rest of us managed our way, through rope bridge or jetpack, to get through the portal to the other side. What I saw was nothing short of astonishing. Korbin and Dan were fighting some kind of large frog humanoid creatures that I remembered as Slaads. That could only mean that we were in Limbo. I had thought we had merely teleported across the wastes, but to another dimension entirely?

The land was erratic and twisted, it seemed to not follow the laws of physics at all. Bits and large chunks of rock would float through the air as easily as a cloud on the wind. After defeating the creatures, we saw a man in the distance at what seemed to be a gate. Hopping from floating landmass to the next, we arrived with little difficulty. He introduced himself as the Guardian of the Gate and warned us that there would be three trials. The first one would “challenge our perspective” and no magic or technology would help us move through the area.

We passed through a door to see a gap in the pathway before us. On the other side lay yet another door with a stairway leading from below. But the gap was blocked by a vertical sheet of crackling energy. I threw a rock at it to test if it was an illusion, but the rock sizzled and rocketed back towards the ground in front of me. No go on that front. As we puzzled on how to get past, Dan walked off the edge of the cliff and seemed to go around the other side, eventually walking up the stairs on the other side. “Change your perspective,” huh? The rest of us followed and my stomach lurched as the ground suddenly flipped me to the correct orientation.

We came upon another Guardian, though he seemed a bit more dim. He let us through the gate, and asked if he could come with us. Eh, what the hell. Couldn’t be worse than the rakshasa. As we passed through the doorway, we saw what seemed to be a spiraling horizontal pathway. As we walked, the gravity shifted so that our feet were planted even when we would be upside down. As much as the concept of “upside down” means in a chaotic place like this.

Soon, we came upon another group of Slaads waiting in ambush. Dullards as they were, it wasn’t difficult to spot them. El Chuch created an illusion of a giant Slaad that began roaring and urinating all over the place. Crude, but effective as the Slaads began to run and cower. Except for one, who shot a fireball at the illusionary Slaad and croaked out what I assume were orders to attack to the others. As the battle raged, we managed to destroy all but the spellcaster, who we had knocked over a cliff and had all but incapacitated.

In front of us lay another gate, and two more trials would await us.

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Well, That Could Have Gone Better

Timeline: Same Day

Ketyl’s POV

The fight was going pretty well on my end, but then Kronk disappeared in a burst of moonlight. Uh oh. Despite my best efforts, I was beaten to a pulp and all went dark.

I woke in the middle of the restricted section with Lyanna kneeling over me. Enna was right next to me, with her hand on my collar. I don’t know how, but I guess she must have rescued me somehow. Inside my hand were two mysterious stones. I guess I must have grabbed them before I went unconscious.

I looked around and saw dozens of those creatures and apparently we were also enemies of that wizard guy now? It’s been like two minutes, what the hell happened? Apparently, he was betraying us and trying to find out how we travelled through time. We couldn’t remember where the compass was, so he was getting rather frustrated.

I guess this was bound to happen eventually. Once Dan created his rope trick, I scrambled up the rope. I would have attacked the guy, but he seemed to be immune to magic. I dispelled the domination effect on Cheera and she went to help Korbin restrain the guy so that he’d die in the explosion.

I did my best to keep them alive, but those two are just determined to fight to the death. The castle was shuddering around us, it could collapse at any second. Also Lyc turned blue for some reason.

The rakshasa told us he would see us soon and teleported away. The castle began to collapse, but Korbin and Cheera managed to make it into the extradimensional space without dying.

I honestly didn’t think that was going to work out.

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Oh, THAT’S Why We’re Fighting

Timeline: 34 AQB, Same Day

Ketyl’s POV

As we continued blowing up the control room and killing the guards (sorry, Fireballs aren’t exactly non-lethal), the lights went dim and the sounds of clanging spread through the air vents. As we mopped up the morons in our room, a portal opened up in front of me and we stepped through to help finish the ones harassing the rest of our party. Dan quickly hit some buttons on a console to lock all the doors in the facility to prevent any more Guardians from swarming our destination.

The old man, who apparently actually WAS a mage, told us that these devices were limiters to the Arcane Engine’s power. By damaging them so thoroughly, we had very little time to get the right book before the complex would explode from the latent arcane energy. Yeah, that sounds about right for our group.

As most of our party began to prepare to teleport to the library, a plan began to form in my mind. That treasure room I came across last night couldn’t be guarded by more than one platoon at worst. If I played my cards right, I could get a few artifacts before the whole place blew to hell! Intrigued by my plan, Kronk offered to join me in the heist. Got to love this guy.

The mage, surprisingly, offered to send us over there as a distraction while they got the book. Pretty helpful of the old guy. As we stepped through another portal and rounded the corner, we saw that a group of Guardians were busy fighting off those creatures Cheera described to us. I grabbed Kronk and used my own magic to jump through a dimensional rift into the vault. Using wizard and warlock magic is easy, you just have to say the right words. But my magic is harder to explain. How can you explain to someone that you just feel music inside of you and then things happen?

Unfortunately, there was a group of them protecting the treasures in the vault, which seemed to be in many alphabetized and locked boxes lining the walls. I quickly spun a lie about how we’d run in here thinking we could be safe from the creatures and maybe even the explosion. They seemed to buy it, but weren’t willing to leave the vault to go help their comrades. Guess they weren’t going to make it easy for me. Hey, I tried to do this the easy way. I looked to Kronk and nodded towards the guards, and he summoned more of his bears. Got to love someone who’s willing to jump headfirst into my plans for once. You and me, Kronk, we’re going to be best buds.

Hopefully, the others were having a little easier of a go than we were. After all, they had more than just the two of us. Surely, they could handle themselves, right?

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Wait, Why Are We Fighting?

Timeline: 34 AQB, Days 4-5

Ketyl’s POV

We decided to rest for the evening, as it had been a long day. During the night, however, Cheera reported to me that she had seen some of the Guardians being incredibly secretive about hiding dead creatures that had infiltrated the facility. Further, that these same creatures had been warped by magic. This aroused my suspicion, so I snuck out of our room and took a look for myself. This cloak’s ability to aid my stealth has saved my hide more than once, I don’t think I’ll ever part with it. I found none of the creatures she spoke of, but I did find the Guardians searching for more of them. I also took a look at the vault, from the outside, of course. Two guards, big motherfuckers, at that. And the vault looked like it would need quite a bit of time to get through. Even if I managed to kill the guards on my own, reinforcements would get there before I could purloin anything. Too dangerous a heist on my own. I returned to our room.

In the morning, I remembered Orin’s warning about Louis Arizona being one of our future enemies and tried to do some research on him. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything I didn’t already know. I decided to do some research on stealth techniques and found some ways to maneuver past the blind spots of aberrations. Situational, sure, but perhaps it would come in handy someday.

Apparently, Korbin had gone on a tour of the facility at some point and decided he wanted to challenge some old mage they were keeping prisoner to see if he was hiding his true strength until the right moment. Or something. Honestly, it seemed like a foolish endeavor. If the mage WAS hiding something, he wouldn’t risk being discovered because some brute tried to fight him. He’d just pretend to be weak until the brute gave up or the Guardians stopped him. As a historian, the mage would be too important to put in any real danger.

So, I went along with the others to view the fight anyway from the viewing room. Who knows, maybe it’d be entertaining. Almost immediately, it became apparent that the old man was not going to publicly reveal himself as Korbin smacked the crap out of him. For all eyes, he seemed like just an ordinary old man. Then suddenly, Korbin dropped prone and began clawing at his chest, claiming that the old man was controlling him somehow. I could tell that Korbin was faking it, but for what purpose? The Guardians sent a patrol downstairs to control the situation.

Kronk seemed to have some kind of plan, so I followed him out and downstairs to a room where there were control panels. There were a few guards, but Kronk hinted to me that I should get them out of there. Odd, but ok. I tried to convince the guards to go as reinforcements since any mage that could take down Korbin had to be powerful. A few of them left, but there were still some of those elite-looking guards that I saw at the vault. And then Kronk summoned bears to attack the control panels, knocking out the systems protecting the library from infiltration. Oh, ok I guess that’s what we’re doing now.

An arrow whistled past my cheek, and I saw Ethel had taken position as well. Dan didn’t seem to approve of Kronk’s plan, but bound up the majority of the guards and one of the consoles in uncomfortably oily looking tentacles. Cheera and Lyanna were downstairs next to the cell, so I can only imagine the mayhem going on down there.

So, I’m hoping that WE aren’t the reason that the library eventually gets destroyed. That would suck. I pulled out my lute and began to strum out a few chords as my magic began to swell within me.

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Fighting and Reading and Junk

Cheera’s POV

Golly G! That is a very large vulture! Those are very large eggs! I don’t want to kill this Momma vulture and take her eggs but we need it to get assistance from Mr. Kip ☹️. Korbin is very aggressive but he’s doing the best!
OH MY GOD A GIANT SCORPION!

…Oh, it’s just one of Mr. Dan’s magic illusions, I can’t wait to get as good as magic as him soon! The guy who turns into a bear turned into a bear again! Yay! Bears are awesome! Holy moley, he’s gotten really strong lately, I bet he’s been training with Korben, they’re great friends, I want a training partner as cool and good at teaching as Korben!
Oh, ow, big birds peck really hard. Okay, I’m going to go over to those eggs now, Auntie would be super sad if I died again. Even if Ashava brings me back again it’s not a very pleasant feeling IMHO.
Okay, eggs on board. Check. Mrs. Liana on board. Check. Korben killing the momma vulture. Check! Ummmm…. Mr. Korben is eating the egg…. I guess he needs the protein?
Oh man this cart is going fast! Whee! Auntie would love this! Man we are so fast! These silly hyenas, don’t they learn that we aren’t people you can easily fight! Especially me and Me. Korben! We’re like the best hack and slash duo ever!
…. OH NO THERE IS ANOTHER VULTURE.
Oh look! I think that’s Mr. Kip’s restaurant. I wonder if I can yell loud enough for Mr. Kip to hear
us coming down the hill?
Is that Mr. Kip? OH MY GODDESS HE KILLED A VULTURE WITH A WAY OF HIS HAND!
Awesome!
Man, I can’t understand Mr. Kip but I understand food and he must be a really great, very kind, good hearted person by the way his food makes me feel reenergized! I’m so sad Auntie missed this meal, maybe we can have it again!
We got leftovers!
This library is awesome! These guys in suits aren’t the most exciting people, they also like their
rules alittle too….
LOOK AT THIS STUFF ISN’T NEAT! HOLY COW THIS COLLECTION SEEMS COMPLETE! THIS LIBRARY LOOKS LIKE IT HAS EVERYTHING! LOOK AT THESE TOMES, LEARNING UNFOLD, HOW MANY WONDERS CAN ONE LIBRARY HOLD?!
Oh, probably should have sung that to myself. Quietly. In my head.
Okay, gotta do research for this Phylactery thingy.
….
…. Oh books on magic weapons, what if I can get the Enchantress sometime cool. Like a crown? Oooooh.
DWARVES ARE SO COOL! Like the ones we saved on the mountain! I want them to make the Enchantress sparkle! Sparkle more!
I went to go watch Mr. Korben fight the guys, he’s so good at fighting really good! I should take notes! I am very proud to be his teammate!

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Libations and a Library
Probing Personal Questions

Timeline: 34 AQB, Days 2-4

Ketyl’s POV

The vulture hadn’t noticed us yet, so I began to hatch a plan to snatch those eggs. Before I could do anything, Korbin greeted the bird, alerting it to our presence. How did this guy survive this long in Shao Khan’s army without learning the benefit of a surprise attack?

The vulture came at us, revealing the eggs in the nest. They were far too big for any of us to carry, but Kronk managed to find a cart nearby that we could use to transport the eggs back down the hill. As the battle raged, we managed to get a few of us to move the eggs onto the cart. As Korbin landed the killing blow, he began to devour the vulture before immediately attacking one of the eggs we needed. Seriously, what the hell? Dan managed to identify the problem as a mind-affecting curse emanating off that gnoll weapon that Korbin picked up. Kronk managed to get it away from him, bringing Korbin back to his senses just in time for us to hear the cry of another vulture heading towards us!

Hurrying, we pushed the cart down the hill and began to careen wildly past the different gnoll camps. I wonder if those dwarves made it out ok? Probably not. Korbin’s driving skills were keeping us from smashing into the rocks around us, but we were having trouble outrunning this buzzard. Dan, in another sound tactical decision, strapped his jetpack to the back of the cart and blasted us forward. By the time we reached the bottom of the mountain, we could see Chez Kipp before us and the vulture nearly on top of us. Skidding to a stop in front of Kipp himself, we saw him wave a hand, obliterating the giant bird in a blaze of fire far outstripping anything I had ever seen.

Seeing that we had only retrieved two eggs, Kipp started speaking to Dan in a language I didn’t understand. After a quick conversation, he brought us in for a feast beyond any words I could describe. To even attempt to describe the food I enjoyed that night would be an insult. Also, it’s best not to ask what exactly your food was made of when it comes to Kipp’s cooking. Over the course of a few days, he took us to the edge of the library of the Guardians of Lore, a cult of magic-hating warriors formerly led by Morael himself before Gullycloak revealed him to be a Lich. Kipp gave us some leftovers and a delivery to help smooth our meeting with the Guardians, given that they were still distrustful of magic-users.

Unsurprisingly, even after we disclosed why we had come, the Guardians were unwilling to let us just search the library for information on Morael’s phylactery. Further, they had apparently been searching for decades and had found nothing. Either these guys are incredibly incompetent or they’re not looking in the right places. Once we got in, I realized the difficulty immediately. There were at least several castle floors packed to bursting with books. I asked if there were any areas that the Guardians hadn’t searched yet, and they replied that there was a restricted area that we were not allowed into, even with supervision. Typical.

Dan seemed to be onto a lead, so the rest of us began researching topics more personal to us. Korbin spent his time training some of the younger Guardians, even beating up their teacher. Or so I heard from Cheera later, who had taken the time to watch the fight.

But would we be able to find information that had eluded the Guardians of Lore for a little over 30 years? Our quest was beginning to become more complex by the minute. Find out when I next summarize our journey!

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Climbing Make Me Hungry

Sometime after breakfast, but before lunch.

Korbin’s POV

Wow. I am hungry. I wasn’t dreaming of prime rib when I made us hold a vote for a leader of our group, but now it’s all I can think about. Dan answered yes right away while the others waffled in their answe…. oooh, waffles! Maybe with a side of bacon and lamb chops covered in scrambled eggs and syrup. Dan seems like a pretty good leader so far. He hasn’t offered us any meal breaks yet though… He did let us roast several gnolls. Reminds me of Roast Mutton. Mmmmm. With leeks, and turnips. We fought something else, I forget what it was… Dogs? A big gnoll maybe? That wouldn’t make any sense. Can’t eat a gnoll… Can you? I don’t really remember why this was important. I know we’re going to eat eggs. Maybe I’ll eat a vulture too. Then Kipp will cook up a meal for us. Yumm, I hope there is beef steaks, and potato stew. Chopped liver with mustard sauce and marshmallow cream. Pasta heaped on top of sushi rolls and rare cooked meats spilling out of a bowl made of macaroni. Chicken wings smothered in Lemon pepper sauce and dripping with fresh chopped garlic juice. Pork belly biscuits, tenderloin, and manticore tail sizzling in an oversized pan filled with virgin olive oil. Deep fried Goblin chef, and baked cheera cassarole. I’m so very hungry. It would be wrong to eat Dan, He’s our leader, but I suppose after everyone else has been eaten there is no one else for him to lead…. I wonder what magic man tastes like…

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On the Grassy Gnoll

Timeline: 34 AQB, Same Day

Enna’s POV

All of a sudden there was a flash of moonlight, and I found myself in a wooded area with my fellow time-travelers. After catching me up on when we were, everyone told me that Dan Mysterio was in charge now; I was very skeptical about his leadership abilities. As befitting a Gob Vegas showman, he can be flashy and charismatic, but that doesn’t mean he should be in control of our group’s destiny. I wish I had been around for the vote.

From a distance, we watched a canvas being set on fire, driving out several gnolls that were huddled underneath. It wasn’t long before we could see our previously invisible fire-wielding heroes: Korbin and Cheera! With little help from the rest of us, they killed all the gnolls and set about freeing a pack of chained dwarves, who gifted Cheera a magical breastplate for her trouble. I admire her bravery and strength, but she foolishly puts herself in harm’s way too often. True, she has Ethel to look out for her, but one should always look out for themselves and rely on no one else. It’s the only way to ensure survival.

We left our location, all of us unnerved by the sounds of baying hounds that seemed to be ganing on us, and ran towards a cliff, where I could see the enormous eggs that we were meant to bring back to Silotown at the request of some diner owner. Yes, this was our task. Maybe I should ask these people why we do these crazy things more often, but I often just feel glad that I’m not having a scrape by on the streets of GV these days.

However, we had to fight several more gnolls, a large dog, and someone who seemed to be in charge of the gnolls before we could get to the eggs. Inspired by what I saw earlier, I decided to conserve some arrows and cast a fire spell, setting three of the gnolls alight. I changed position so that I could better watch them writhing in agony. Unfortunately, I got a little too close to the boss and ended up on the ground, unconscious. When I came too, I swear I could feel the healing warmth of some kind of divine spirit. Maybe there is something to Lyanna’s constant ramblings about Ashava. Weakened by my brush with death, I managed to kill a single gnoll with my rapier before the end of our battle.

We could hear the baying hounds getting closer again…I hope we can move those eggs in time. Dan handed me a jetpack and told me I could use it 4 times. What kind of plan did our “leader” come up with?

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Out of Gnoll-Where

Timeline: 34 AQB, Same Day

Ketyl’s POV

I was starting to get upset at having to constantly divert our mission. I’m starting to see why Kipp didn’t just do this himself. We can’t keep wasting limited resources on every Tom, Dick, and Harry that needs our help. But Korbin is so obsessed with saving people that it’s getting in the way of saving the world, ironically. Cheera is similarly motivated, but she’s also eager to please. This makes it easier to wrangle her out of danger, which I’m sure relieves Ethel to no end. After arguing about it for a while, Korbin suggested that we actually elect a leader to make the hard decisions. He claimed that his status as a soldier would force him to follow orders, if they make sense anyway. I agreed, if only to speed these useless arguments along. We’ll see if it actually works out.

I nominated myself, naturally, but the others nominated Dan Mysterio and Cheera. Cheera isn’t exactly leader material as she’s too naive, but she at least has a good heart. Dan, while his morals seem loose enough to make the hard choices, is difficult to trust at best due to his unpredictable nature. Ultimately, the vote went in Dan’s favor and I didn’t have much choice but to trust his judgment.

Surprisingly enough, he did an ok job of steering us past the worst of the hazards. He did give Cheera and Korbin a chance to save some enslaved dwarves. Luckily, we managed to ambush some gnolls there were trying to ambush anybody trying to save the dwarves with some judicious use of invisibility and fire.

Since we managed to actually have a plan this time, I can’t be upset. And perhaps the dwarves’ somewhat suicidal promise to free any other slaves on their way down the mountain would serve as an adequate distraction.

We managed to avoid a few more unnecessary fights, and made our way nearly to the top where we were confronted by yet more gnolls, some kind of demon dog, and a much more intimidating gnoll-like creature. We made fairly short work of them despite some initial difficulties at crowd control. As Korbin cut down the beefier one and took its admittedly very evil-looking weapon, I felt a slight twinge of uncertainty. I couldn’t figure out what the feeling pertained to, so I let it pass.

We managed to finally reach the top. As I began considering how tall this mountain was, my initial plan to use Feather Fall might not cut it. It would only work for 600 feet. While this would allow us to do a snatch and grab, it might not get us all the way down. I didn’t have much time to think about it as we suddenly saw the largest vulture I had ever seen in my entire life.

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