The Red Hand of Doom

Of Mechnamagica and Marvelous Castles...
Boots fufills his destiny

“They say that there was no gnome more famous than Bristlecogg Fizzwangle, who invented the Automatic Doohickey and patented the Calibrated Sprinkling Whizzcog, but I say there was: my great-grand pappy, Boots McCabe.

Boots was a small-town salesman, going town to town with his wares when he was caught up in all that ‘Red Hand’ business. Before he could say ‘Underclock the steam pressure valve before its pascalization red-lines,’ he was a hero and Tiamat had been kept out of our world. Being the canny salesman he was, he parlayed this instant fame into a booming line of cleaning supplies, including ‘The Boots McCabe Patented Rust-Away,’ and conquered the market. Along with some canny investment with money owed to him (and reluctantly paid, I might add. What a tight-fisted old miser that Lady Khaal is!), he soon had the funds to pursue his lifelong dream.

Those who were rebuilding Drellin’s Ferry were the first to spot it, what looked like a full-sized castle mounted upon huge, iron spider legs, lumbering across the plain. Boot’s Marvelous Traveling Castle was a sight to behold, traveling the length and breadth of the land, baffling elves and confounding dwarves. Some claim that Boots walked his castle right off the map, and still wanders in it today, searching for new riches and new places to see. Others, like myself, feel the castle still exists today, though Boots has left it after a long lifetime to pursue another mechanical wonder. I believe he said something about a ship that could travel below the water…”

-From “Tinkers and Twizzwingers” by Ethor Wobblecogg, inventor of the MechnoOven™

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The End
...

Thanks so much for playing. thanks for coming when you were sick, when you were well, when you were bored, when you were excited, when you had other things to do, when you had free time.

But overall, thanks for playing, thanks for not complaining, and most of all, thanks being my friend. =D

I hope you all had a great time. I know I did. Sighs

Now to start writing a campaign for the Fall semeseter…. I’ve started to garner attention as one of the few people who GMs a lot up there.

“And they all lived happily ever after. The end.”

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Chapter 13
Excerpted from "Auntie Grub - The Complete Fairy Tale Collection"

“And there was a thunderous shout as the armies trudged through the city streets. Our heroes, huddled around the church heard them long before they could see them.”

“And a terrible thing it was, too, for the second time that night, they stood with their backs to the wall – no retreat or escape possible. A line of hobbs that stretched to the city gates was forming, and through every nook and cranny, they began to squeeze.”

“With that, the Battle of Brindol came to a climactic end. Oh, but you little children are too young to hear of such nasty things. You are too young to appreciate the terror as Wyrmlord Kharn stepped through on the backs of a dozen and one giants, along with the Zug Brothers, a hundred or so terrible monks!”

“But our heroes, Valashinda, Siddartha, the returned Thar, Boots, Armenian, Doppy, and Diaz would not tremble in the face of fear. They took their enemy head on! And they smashed and crashed and crunched the bones of the hobgoblins by the -“

“Oh, I am so sorry, little childrens. You are much too young to hear of the giants dying as poison seeped into their veins, or Kharn’s flesh sloughing off in big chunks. You would be scared to death if I told you about the soldiers cowering before the tidal waves of soldiers. Why, if it weren’t for the will to fight and the good speeches, they would all be dead!”

“Ahem. Well, skipping past the scary parts for you little kiddies, the heroes won the day, but the brave Lars was injured. With his dying words, he made Valashinda promise that he would ‘Tell me about the fighting.”

“Yes, sad, but the battle was won. The Red Hand of Doom, with its leaders dead, quickly turned to the wilds, and became the disgusting creatures and nasties you see there today, and when little children misbehave, they take it as their cue to come back to town and finish the job. Rotten little hobgoblins.”b

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Chapter 12
"Interview With a Legend," circ. 1893

“There are those who say that the Elsir War was just a fairy tale, that it was fictitious. The latter part is completely untrue. But this was no fairy tale I had ever read.

There are those that say that I could not possibly be a thousand years old, that me being the same Hans from Brindol is impossible. But my life was certainly extraordinary.

I am sure you know all about the Cappidocean Accords, and the Khitomer Licensure. But you asked me to comment on the Battle of Brindol.”

Pauses, takes a drink

Valashinda and his group think that they did such a great job. Well, they did; they did their best, and they did a lot of good. But they were not there. They cannot possibly comprehend being on the front lines was like.

Blood. There was blood everywhere. It coated the streets, it coated our armor. Some of the Lions could hardly see, there was so much blood covering them.

I do not know much about Hobgoblins, but they have a LOT of blood.

I remember they were everywhere – they climbed over the walls, poured through the houses, jumped from above, crawled from below. We took heavy casualties, but we only because they were in the middle of a fanatical riot. If they had been thinking clearly, we would all be dead.

I saw them fall to traps, and the ones behinds them fall to traps. They threw themselves to the spikes to make a ramp so those behind them could have better leverage.

I… I remember seeing Captain Ulverth, covered in blood, removing a Goblin’s head with his bare hands. I remember seeing the Scimitar fly overhead, destroying the giants who were breaking the walls.

I hear they were also able to kill the two dragons… but then again, I never saw them.

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Chapter 11
An unfinished journal entry

Winter was coming All through the vale The snow was turning To a deadly hail.

The frost burned their noses Iced over their toeses (?) Shattered their roses And struck down their poses.

Give up they could not Or the Ghostlord, in his rot And withering flesh, would jot Their demise in a… something else that rhymes with ‘not’.

“And when they finally reached the Ghostlord’s Lair They were frozen in their place, did naught but stare For the lions surrounded the place, it would ne’er Prove prudent to assume the fight would be fair.

Their first foe, Varanthian Proved more than a threat She guarded the only way in The Horde hedged its bet(s)

A first battle won A victory at cost The lions grew quiet They climbed past the frost

Yeah, I didn’t finish this one. Making the entire post a nursery rhyme was too ambitious.

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Chapter 9
Excerpted from the journal of King Llawan IV

(You know, I never got to start the campaign with the one line I wanted to use… “Once upon a time…”)

“The heroes were tired, and they were hurt. Their injures had taken a grave toll on them, and all they wanted to was rest. They would not be given such a luxury; there was too much at stake. The world watched with piercing eyes.”

“Four days later, it is said, the party finally arrived at Brindol. But poor Siddartha had been inflicted with the worst and the most atrocious diseases; the terrible status of undeath. Yet it was not a lifestyle he abhorred; no; in his rush to fix one mistake for another, he had gladly allowed the curse of undeath upon him.

Brindol was a city, similar to any other in Avalon. However, it held Hope, and it was a symbol for the Vale to rally behind. Long before the heroes had set foot withing sight of Bridol did they know that this was where the final battle would be fought.

But the final battle was not today; after fucking around in Brindol and meeting the Captain of the Guard, Lars Ulverth, Siddartha finally revelaed his ghoulish nature, feasting on the bodies of the fallen.

An elven woman had the happenstance to witness him; she was not granted the liberty to witness anything else.

(The next two pages seem to be stuck together with either blood or strawberry jam and are unreadable.)

”...did not falter or waver in their cause; despite the greed, bloodthirst, and madness that ran rife in the group, Boots McCabe and the rest of the party refused to falter, sending the gold along with their hopes and dreams.”

(The final page seems to have been torn out.)

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Chapter 8 Sidestory
Excerpted from clay tablets in an abandonded Temple of Yollanda

The following two excerpts were located in the late 18th century near modern-day Worchestershire.

”...but Ramos was growing old, and even the Eldest Dragons wanted to rest. And he would choose from his scions three; the noble Bahamut, his lover the kindly Tiamat, and the ambitious Darigaaz. One would be the next of the Ur-Dragon.

From them, Ramos saw in Darigaaz nothing but power, unbridled ambition, and destruction; he would leave Dragons in power, but naught else.

In Bahamut, he saw a world of law, good, and order; but that was not his way, and despite his good intentions, Bahamut was passed over.”

“And in Tiamat, Ramos saw the perfect successor. Tiamat was knowledgeable, wise, kindly, but most of all, passionate; she would keep creation in good hands.”

“But Bahamut, in his honor and pelf, was enraged. That a dragoness could recieve such an honor was one thing, but that she would be passed over for the noble Bahamut? It was inconceivable! And so Bahamut tricked Tiamat into signing away her position as the Ur-Dragon forever.”

“Tiamat was enraged, too; she went to war with Bahamut, and creation was singed in their fighting. Darigaaz was slain protecting his friend, Bahamut. The world burned.”

“In his last effort, Ramos rose from his seat of power to combat Tiamat. He took Darigaaz’s body, and threw it to the bottom of creation; there he formed the world below, a dark maze of catacombs and fire, mirorring Darigaaz’s soul.”

“Then he banished Tiamat from this world forever; never again could she come to the physical world of you and I.”

“And finally, he wordlessly stared at his favored son Bahamut. Ramos was ashamed at Bahamut’s actions; but his power was spent, his body battered and bruise; he was near death. And there would be no punishment for Bahamut.”

“Ramos bled, and there was fire.” “Ramos wept, and there were seas.” “Ramos touched, and there was life.” “Ramos smiled, and there was day.” “And Ramos fell, and there was night.”

“But all was not lost, for in his sacrafice for peace, Ramos became the physical world; the one which you and I walk on today.”

“But last was Bahamut; the remaining Eldest Dragon. He chose a life of solidarity rather than regality; promising he would never again set foot on land, he took to the skies. Never again would he meddle directly in the affairs of mortals, never again would he try to seize control. The Ur-Dragon was dead.”

“But Tiamat would not go so easily; she knew her former lover, Bahamut had destroyed the position of the Ur-Dragon as well as her chance for power. Her passion overtook her; and Tiamat vowed her revenge.”

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Chapter 8
Excerpted from, "Tales of Auntie Grub", circ. 892.

“And it was then that the brave heroes were cast into the air by the brightest light they had ever seen. Strange enough were the circumestances; and stranger still were the strangers strangely confronting them!”

“And it was in that mysterious time-out-of-time that they all met themseles. Each to its own spoke of personal, selfish glory and single-minded goals; but every one of those conjurations spoke of the same thing: the destruction of evil Tiamat and the salvation of Elsir Vale – the salvation of all of Avalon.”

“Valashinda was the first to see his subconscious; and he was told to become a god by killing Tiamat.” “Diaz thus spake that he would live as a legend; striking down all those who stood in his his way, be it the Red Hand or anyone else.” “Big Oliver Shakespeare was finally sitting down in the afterlife, preparing to eat away his sins.” “Siddartha’s mind told him to turn his back on the world of the living to escape the Devil’s Due, to cross and save the Vale.” “The brave elven warrior had spoken; he was to exact revenge on the Red Hand and Tiamat’s minions.” “And Boots…. well, nobody knows what went through Boots’s mind.”

And when the brave young warriors woke up, guess where they were? Why, little did they know it, but they had arrived at my fair abode!

Oh, and we spoke at length, we did; we traded shinies and stories; but that itself is a tale for another time. But most important, even more important than learning of Old Maid Tiamat, they learned of the tiny, simple crystal they held in their hand; no rare gem, no fancy bauble, but the very soul of a Lich; why, the Ghostlord of Fugue, even!”

“And it was then that the party, beaten and bruised, would go to the south, to return and bargain with the terrible Ghostlord. Only Siddartha dissented, who wished to keep the phylactery for himself; not out of anger or spite, but out of a misguided sense of wonder at holding the terrible trinket. The weight of a lich’s soul is a terrible one, and a lesson he had yet to learn.”

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Mazes, Mysteries, and Monsters
What the hell is a gigapede?
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Rhest (Part 1)

“The weary party, having reached the town of Rhest, soon came in contact with the goblins occupying what was left of the town. Through skillful debating, Oliver Shakespeare convinced one of the goblin Warlords to organize an uprising, to overthrow High Lord Saarvith.

Having secured this manner of destroying another of the High Lords, the party had to conceal itself until the appointed time. Submerged within the water of the town, they bid their time, until the goblin revolutionary force left for the uprising. Following behind the force, they waited for the chance to strike.

When the revolutionary force struck the Town Hall, it was found well-defended, but no match for the combination of the goblins and well-equipped adventurers. Saarvith was nowhere to be seen, and with his force in shambles, the adventurers took this chance to rid the world of still another goblin Warlord. Thar was at the forefront of the battle, and was thus struck by the Pscionist’s mental twisting.

Thar suddenly turned upon her companions, slaying one and grievously wounding another, as well as a prisoner who had seized the opportunity to break free of the dungeon. When Thar broke free of the mind grasp, she turned her rage at that control into battle fury, and slew an Ettin that was attempting to escape. This fury continued with the slaying of the goblin Scionist, aided by the party’s mages, who bombarded him with fire and lightning. The Pscionist slain, the party then turned their attention to finding Saarvith and ending his miserable reign…”

From the annals of Torsin Brightstar, Ministrel to King Wulfric

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