Wasteland Campaign

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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The Gang Gets Drunk

Timeline: 34 AQB, Day 1-2

Ketyl’s POV

As soon as we stepped out of the machine, we heard a cry for help over the hill. Korbin sprinted off while the rest of us took our time to get there.

By the time I got there, I saw Korbin, Kronk, and some injured man on top of a boulder across from a bunch of angry-looking orcs. They yelled at us to get to higher ground. I knew better than to ask twice with that kind of warning.

I didn’t have to wait long as a giant purple worm-like creature with ridges along its side burst from the sand. Apparently, we were going to take down the creature in order to help the orcs?

After a fairly quick battle, we learned that the orcs were going to take the worm to some restaurant where they were promised the greatest meal of their lives. So we followed them, hoping to join in and maybe get some info on where we had ended up in relation to the library.

When we got there, it was none other than the famous restaurant, Chez Kipp! Both admired and feared throughout the wastes for his visionary and horrifying approach to cuisine, Kipp was the owner and also a former Silotown Savior. After talking with Dan, Kipp treated us to a wonderful feast and wine pairing on the house. I’ll admit that I haven’t had good wine in a long time, and I let myself get carried away. As much as I look down on Korbin and Ethel for their addiction to the drink, I can certainly see the appeal in losing yourself for an evening. At some point, we lost track of the orcs we had arrived with, but those ribs we had were unlike anything I’ve ever tasted, so I guess I wasn’t really paying attention anyway.

I don’t remember much of what happened after that, but I woke up in the morning with a splitting headache. Luckily, I was treated to a nice Bloody Mary to relieve my hangover. We were told that Dan had bargained a deal with Kipp that if we got some eggs for him that he’d take us straight to the library, make us a meal and even an extra surprise if we got more than two eggs.

So we decided to go to the mountain where the Roc eggs could be found. Besides the Rocs as threats, there were also quite a few Gnolls to contend with, but we could sneak around them with the aid of some spells. We were doing pretty well for a while, until Korbin saw some slaves being forced to work and tried to free them. Our argument over the inconvenience of helping out every random person tipped the gnolls off to our location and we had to kill them. Korbin managed to free the slaves, hopefully it won’t come back to bite us later.

Luckily, I don’t think the entire mountain found out, so we still have a chance at pulling off this caper.

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What do these eggs have to do with a library?
35 years ish after I failed to save Shao Khan, but also, like a week ish after...

Korbin’s POV

Wow,
What a day. I’ve never had so much trouble getting to a library. I usually just get up from sleepy nap time, and think. “I didn’t drink enough last night, I should go check out ‘Art of War’ from the library, and read it for the 50th time while getting drunk,” Then I would go to the library and do just that.
We met the googly eyeball guy again, and he seemed more confused than me. I’m not surprised either. Everyone trying to explain everything to him all at once.
That part was boring. You know what isn’t boring? Making friends and riding on the top of giant purple worms! Yeah, I saved this guy named Ankleak (did he just make up that name because the dudes Ankle was Leaking blood), and then joined forces with my new best buds, The Sporks, a rip roarin crew of fun and food loving Orks armed to the snaggle teeth with spears! (did he just… whatever) I gave Ankleak some money and sent him on his way home. Hope he makes it. Then we dragged this big worm to someplace that still wasn’t a library. Seemed like Dan Mysterio was really excited about the Goblin and his food. I just wanted to go hang out in the special room with my new friends the Sporks, but the goblin cook said No. Later we ate some really yummy food. I wished my friends the Sporks were with us at dinner…. So, then Dan said we have to get these big eggs and the Goblin will take us to the Library. Seems like an unnecessary diversion. I’m no longer certain whom the commander of this cadre of Ashava is anymore. I first assumed that it was none other than the lovely Alanna, but sharing in several battles has proven her to be a lousy commander. She is quite lovely though. The old woman who fears death could be a natural leader, but she is too fond of her drink and threatening her companions, the one who changes into creatures is too removed, and doesn’t seem to fully understand the gravity of this quest… I also, do not fully understand the gravity of this quest. Why not simply go back in time and Kill Moldark? Anyway, without clear leadership this group constantly debates tactics, even though none of them truly understand the meaning of the word. Perhaps when we get to this library I shall get them each a copy of “Art of War.” Oh, they finally finished arguing about whatever it was, and now we are sneaking up a mountain to steal eggs. I tell my friends that we must free some slaves that we see. They are being tormented by some dog faced brutes that don’t look like they will make friends. My friends start to yell and argue again. Nobody could see me roll my eyes now, because the singy songy one made me invisible. Their fear of death even with the knowledge that Ashava will bring us back, clouds the beating of the blood in their veins. I wonder how they can even know the choices they make are the right ones with so much interFEARence. Haha, that was a good one. I don’t listen to the others, I listen to my heart.

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Robo-Town
It’s a long one

Timeline: 50 years AQB, several days pass (then we hop timelines)

Ketyl’s POV

As we screeched to a halt, our two druids and Lyc (sobbing profusely) disappeared and were replaced by Korbin and Cheera in a rush of darkness.

We decided to rest for the night after that terrible battle. Dan forged a note from the Kobolds claiming that they were completely safe. I also learned a startling, yet ultimately very anticlimactic revelation about Dan’s true Elven name.

We opened the train cart door to find a massive metal wall with lasers and fire-spewing dragon heads. We tried to send Dan in, flying and invisible, to get past the defenses, but he was nearly shot out of the sky. The others went to the front door and had much better success. Once we explained the situation, we were taken to a decontamination station to prevent infection by worms. As we were passing through a morbid trophy room, we learned that the entire town was run by a copy of one of the Saviors’ mind, Orlaaz’, which controlled the defenses and all the robots we saw through a massive mainframe. Apparently, the plague and the wars had killed most of the Saviors and all the townspeople, leaving only robots and a few Saviors left.

Eventually, we asked to see Gullycloak, but were directed to a ghastly skeletal Devil-like creature known as Roren. I had heard of his sexual depravity, but it was even creepier than I had imagined. He told us he would help us secure a meeting with Grimsbone, Gully’s enforcer, in exchange for Korbin’s help in finding a “sub” that would stay with Roren for 2 years for… well, you know. They signed a contract that would take effect in any timeline in 30 days if Korbin didn’t fulfill his vow using their blood.

Soon, we were whisked off to a meeting with Grimsbone, who demanded a trial by combat in order to meet Gullycloak. After we passed the trial, we met Gullycloak, and he didn’t recognize us. After some convincing, he gave us two possible choices on were to go next.

He told us that the plague came from Morael, and that Gullycloak had been searching for info of the location of Morael’s phylactery, but that it had burned in a fire in a library 15 years ago (in 35 AQB) and he gave us the coordinates. If we could find out where the phylactery was, we could go back further in time and then destroy it so that the plague would never happen.

He also told us that the greatest bard of all, Ziggy Stardust, could have more information for us to go on, but that he had disappeared without a trace 25 years previously (in 25 AQB).

He then gave us the location of Orin’s digging site where the time machine was supposedly buried, before Gullycloak collapsed of undisclosed illness and died before ascending to become Ashava’s right hand. He told us that he would go back in time to inform us of our destiny the first time, giving us a nice little time loop.

We then headed to Orlaaz’ workshop, where we were given a hot air balloon that ran on hair for some reason. We also got a few of his prototype inventions, including a megaphone for me so that I could spread my song to a wider audience. Talk about lucky. So we travelled for a few days to the dig site and met up with Orin.

He seemed very confused, so I guess this was the first time in his timeline that he met us. After we explained the situation, and that he would probably be stuck in the time machine forever in order to save the world, he reluctantly agreed to help us.

Finally, we decided that we would go to 34 AQB, or one year before the library would burn down, to give us more time to find the info. We climbed into the machine, and off we went!

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Kobold Tower Blues

Time frame: 50 years AQB, Same Day

Ketyl’s POV

I hear the train a’ comin’, it’s roaring through the sand
And I only seen the zombies a’roamin’ ‘cross the land,
I’m stuck at Kobold Tower, without a bike to drive
But those zombies keep a coming, will we all survive?
When I was just a baby my mama told me. Son,
live to fight another day, don’t help those who can’t pay.
But we had to find that silo, so we could save the world.
When I hear those zombies moaning, I see our fate unfurled.

In SIlotown, there’s rich folks eating in a fancy dining hall
They’re probably drinkin’ coffee and having a big old ball.
We were slinging spells and arrows, far as the eye could see
But those zombies keep a comin’
And that’s what tortures me…

Well that train, it finally landed
So you know what we had to do
We said “Lyc, push that button,” “Ok, since you told me to!”
Firing into the sunset, to the Kobold’s dismay!
And we let that lonesome whistle blow their screams away…..

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More Worm Zombies!

Time frame: 50 years AQB, 2 more days pass

Ketyl’s POV

As we were cleaning up after the battle, Korbin appeared in a burst of moonlight.

We tried to explain what had happened but he didn’t quite seem to get it. He and I determined that it would take 12 hours to repair the car. Partway through the day, we were beset by more zombies.

Most of us tried to get Korbin to avoid fighting them, but he was particularly bull-headed (heehee) so we just let him go after them. Eventually, he realized they were a true threat and asked for help, so Kronk and I helped him out so he wouldn’t die again. Lyanna cured him of his worm infestation.

We managed to avoid another attack by the zombies and finished the car. Throughout the day, we blasted through a horde of zombies, nearly losing Cheera overboard after she lost her balance.

We also came across a tree surrounded by some weird people who were bent on protecting it and tried to get us to eat its’ sap. Pretty creepy, so we moved on.

Finally, we came upon a bunch of Kobolds from the gang Cobalt Lightning. They claimed that they were trying to repair some kind of fast-travel train station that would get us to Silotown instantly. Apparently, their leader, Qohan, had left a long time ago to destroy the zombies and never came back. He was also very emotionally unstable, apparently. We agreed to protect them from any zombie attacks. If we can get out of this green-sky hellscape faster, sign me the hell up.

Sure enough, we began to see zombies on the horizon and fought a few of them off, but we had many more to defeat since the repairs could take an hour or two more.

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Cultists and Hair-Fueled Vehicles?

Time Frame: 50 years A.Q.B., 1.5 days pass

Ketyl’s POV

We headed out into the wastes and quickly came upon a drum that allowed us to move more quickly through the wastes. We now had a little less than two week’s journey to Silotown. We came upon some really tough undead that spit worms at us but we managed to defeat them. We also came upon a man who claimed to be from Rennin, also a ruin by now.

I guess that means mother is definitely dead by now. She wasn’t young before having me in the gutters of Rennin, the drugs didn’t help with that, and more than 50 years had passed since I had seen her. And then all this… perhaps Dad is still alive somewhere considering how slow elves age, but there’s no guarantee. Mom had told me how he had always kept her on her toes with his magic tricks before he became cruel. I don’t want to even think of the implications of a man like that having charming or ensorcelling magic. I hope the bastard is dead.

Part of me still wants to see Rennin again, but we had to keep moving. We have a larger mission than my childish parental issues. They would just laugh it off as a “Cat’s in the Cradle” situation anyway.

Eventually, we met up with one of the Silotown Saviors, Razzo, who tried to get us in on a deal to buy some ghosts and dune buggies, but his prices were way too high. He told us of how he kept ghosts prisoner until they performed services for him, even ghosts of children. I considered purchasing a few so I could release them once we had safely reached Silotown, but I couldn’t afford to be generous… plus perhaps they’d be saved if we saved the world anyway.

After a night of sleep, we set out on the path again. We came across a strange vehicle, and found that it was powered by hair. Next to some skeleton with a cowboy hat and a sheriff star pinned to his jacket. A note signed ‘D’ said that he clearly didn’t make it to where he was going, so we could take his stuff.

After some work, we managed to get the vehicle moving. I was taught how to drive it by Kronk, and I was doing pretty well for a while. It was nice feeling the wind blowing through my hair after the dry heat of the wastes. Unfortunately, I crashed it into a ritual full of what looked like cultists. They seemed to be stuffing corpses full of insects, presumably they were at least partly responsible for the undead menace.

Unsurprisingly, they did not take my offer of peace and attacked us. Without Korbin there, we had nobody to draw the attacks of our enemies. One of them was so powerful, using magic like I had never seen. That sleet… even the blistering heat of the wastes were nothing next to the chill freezing my bones. After we managed to beat a few back, he disappeared from existence. I had assumed that he had teleported away to report to his superiors, perhaps even Morael. How foolish I was. He had turned himself invisible, just as I had with the frost giants.

So stupid of me not to consider that possibility, and it nearly cost several of our party their lives. Even with the blessing of Ashava, we will not keep getting lucky forever.

Forgive me for going off track mid-fight, but something has been nagging me for a while. A time travel paradox happens when something is changed in the past that would affect someone’s present situation. For instance, say one or more of us died for good. We would complete our quest as normal and set ourselves up for the future to preserve the time loop. We would do this by setting up a “prophecy” with all of our faces, presumably with an artist so that our faces are recorded on that scroll. Let’s call them group A and our current selves group B. The original members of group B saw all of them depicted in that painting. But if one of group B dies for good before they can be depicted in the painting, then it changes their whole reason for going on the adventure, causing a paradox.

Further, say everything goes off without a hitch and we save the world. What happens to us? By saving the world, we’ll have negated our whole reason for going on the quest as the world would never have needed to be saved.

And even if we somehow don’t cause any paradoxes that destroy us or our family or whatever… the people of the future, Iona, Razzo, all the people in the monastery… by changing the present, or their past, we would be wiping out this version of them. While there aren’t many people left, changing the events of the timeline will effectively be genocide on this timeline. Sure, we’ll be saving many more people in the process, but does it excuse effectively killing all of the remaining people of this world? This is a far heavier burden than I anticipated, than any of us could have anticipated.

I guess we don’t really have a choice or any way around it. Not everybody can fit in that time machine and they’d be effectively trapped in it like Orin currently is. I can’t say I understand all of it, but we’ll have to do it, morality concerns be damned.

Sorry, had to get that out of my system.

Anyway, I managed to get rid of his invisibility with my faerie fire and took him out without much fuss. We mopped up the last few and took a look at our vehicle. A part of it had broken off in the crash, hopefully it could still run. We searched the bodies of the cultists for any clues and only found some gold and some scrolls.

No clues, a possibly broken vehicle, and a whole lot of time between us and Silotown. This would be a long trip.

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