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Hackmaster episode 37

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 10 months ago

The Moonlight Affair

Party tensions were already high when Noddy decided to introduce yet another thief into the mix, a charlatan named Dingwold. Dingwold was Noddy’s protégé, and therefore subject to the whims and fancies of that paranoid Halfling. Poor lad. But with the addition of Dingwold we now had three party members clamouring to pick every lock we came across – Noddy, Dingwold and Captain Moonlight. Three thieves seemed too many and Captain Moonlight’s position within the group hierarchy was already looking a little shaky after that whole murder-of-Jeeves thing.

 

We were, as you might recall, in Cricket’s woodland grove hovering around a magic box stolen from gnomish bankers. We decided to knuckle down and come up with a cunning plan to get into the box, steal the gold therein, and then escape with our lives. However, cunning planning took a backward step when a few calculations revealed that Hero Tops posting as Captain in the guards of Frandor’s Keep lasted all of one day before he got the boot. Which some of us found hilariously funny.

 

Cunning planning took a further backward step when Hero Tops, never one for planning at the best of times, decided to just open the damn box.

 

The box was empty. And no bigger on the inside than it was on the outside.

 

The party promptly reached the only logical conclusion. I had stolen the real magic box and had replaced it with another, identical but non-magical box which I had miraculously managed to find while flying over the swamp. I reacted in the traditional manner and attempted to cut Captain Moonlight’s nose off. To defuse the situation, Noddy apologised on behalf of the party (although he later refused to say what he was apologising for) and I eventually put my petite rapier away, which was just as well for the Captain.

 

We attempted to knuckle down and figure things out. But were distracted by the sight of deer and a lion wandering peacefully into the glade to sip from Cricket’s stream. Realising that there was a stream, Noddy immediately donned his magical hip-waders and started wading.

 

Deciding that further planning was a waste of time, we settled down to get a good night’s sleep. Except for Noddy. Who, as has been mentioned previously, is paranoid. He had got it into his head that Captain Moonlight wanted him dead so decided to watch the gnomeling until he was sure he was asleep. Captain Moonlight did not go to sleep. Concerned about the hawkish attentions of Noddy, he became slightly paranoid himself and eventually decided to disappear and find somewhere safer to bed down. As soon as the smuggler disappeared, Noddy apparently began screaming that he was under attack. I slept through this, so am not sure if it actually happened. I am sure if one of my companions was actually screaming for assistance, I would be the first to hear and leap to his defence. Anyway, the hidden Captain Moonlight allegedly began muttering death threats towards ME, presumably in relation to the earlier misunderstanding about the box. “Pull his little wings off” were the words an anonymous party member later relayed to me. Hero Tops, in his usual straightforward manner, told the Captain to shut up and everyone except he and Noddy went back to sleep.

 

As dawn caressed the horizon with her rosy-fingers, Captain Moonlight returned to camp covered in twigs. Noddy immediately charged him with his obsidian broadsword, mime-slayer, drawn. I swooped down to disarm the thief and Aseravb cast a spell which caused the thief to drop his blade. With the threat of bloodshed averted, we sat down to resolve our differences peacefully.

 

We failed.

 

Hero Tops decided to see if the magic of Cricket’s glade was affecting the operation of the box. We traipsed after him and discovered that the box did indeed become magical once it was outside the woodland nymph’s realm.

 

No-one apologised for calling me a thief.

 

Hero Tops opened the box and I fluttered inside. There I found a large drawing room and a giant called Sean, who very helpfully set up a ladder to allow the others to climb down inside. Big Ears, whose girth is almost as large as his fat mouth, managed to get stuck. It took us some time to pop him out again. While Hero Tops pushed and Noddy pulled on the healer, I chatted to Sean. He asked me whether I would like to make a withdrawal and when I said “yes” he tried to shove me in a sack. I leapt daintily aside. Sean grabbed Noddy by the legs and swung the screaming Halfling at Hero Tops. I drew my petite rapier and stabbed Sean in the stomach, causing vast amounts of damage and some internal bleeding. The giant responded by growing even larger and sprouting both horns and wings. He lobbed Noddy aside and picked up a more lethal looking weapon, a big arse sword. So I whacked him again. Hero Tops decided to chip in and together our rain of mighty blows slew the giant/demon/doorman.

 

We looked in Sean’s sacks. He had four of them. All were magical and, like the box, seemed to be extra-dimensional devices. Inside the first was rubbish; inside the second were rows of ledgers on shelves; inside the third was a huge pile of silver and an old man working at a desk; and inside the fourth were rows of safety deposit boxes.

 

For some inexplicable reason most of the party decided to climb into the bag full of rubbish. Hero Tops was the exception has he tried to open a safety deposit box by whacking it with his sword. But only dented his blade. He whacked the box again and, surprise surprise, dented his sword again.

 

Meanwhile, Noddy rooted around in the rubbish and was set upon by a four-armed bloke who wailed and screamed and appeared to lack both clothing and reasonable standards of personal hygiene. Big Ears, who was watching from the edge of the sack, immediately leapt in, but failed to raise the alarm. He was promptly attacked by a second of the flailing, wailing multi-armed blokes. Luckily for the two stumpier members of the party, Aseravb then raised the alarm and Hero Tops and I charged to the rescue once more. Two more of the weird creatures clambered out of the rubbish as we joined combat and Hero Tops was hit by several meaty blows which rendered him unconscious. Then I was hit! ME! Arggggh! The pain, the pain! I was reduced to 35 hit points, but despite my wounds the thoughtless Big Ears decided to waste his healing on HT, who had a full SIX rounds before he would have bled to death.

 

Despite my wound, I fought on and eventually the four quad-limbed, screaming psychos were reduced to four quad(or less)-limbed, dead psychos. At which point the rubbish itself came to life and tried to attack us all. We scarpered.

 

We clambered out of the box to seek healing in Cricket’s glade. As we left, Captain Moonlight decided he would climb in. He cleverly decided to ignore the rubbish and instead had the cunning idea of making straight for the silver. He snuck past the crotchety old man at his desk and pocketed a handful of coins. As he tried to leave the old man suddenly came to life and yelled at the smuggler, mentioning something about a “withdrawal slip”. The Captain ran for the ladder and clambered upwards, noting as he climbed that the coins so recently deposited in his pockets magically vanished.

 

Having refreshed ourselves in Cricket’s glade, the rest of us climbed back into the box. While the bulk of the party made for the silver-filled sack, Aseravb decided to search Sean’s room for booze. He found some whisky.

 

I decided that I should help Asheravb shample the whisky. Thosh giant cupsh were pretty big. Whilst I wash inveshtigating, Captain Moonlight attempted to queshtion the old man. For shome reashon thish involved a knife. And a fight. Thish wash a little too mush for me, sho I decided to arresht the Captain, the old man and Noddy. They reshishted. I disharmed Noddy, thish was a shpectacular shuchcess, only for shome reashon the Captain droppshed hish weapon rather than Noddy. It wash all very confushing. There were too many bloody people. All thosh bloody … whadda ya mean I hit the wrong one… you hit the wrong… where wash I?... damn kidsh… I need a lie down.

 

I think I'll cross out that last bit.

 

While I was busy with duties too secret and important to record here, Captain Moonlight and Noddy somehow conspired to kill the crotchety old man. Despite this, they still found that any money they took from the pile disappeared as soon as they tried to leave the box.

 

Big Ears noted that the old man had yet to record a few sacks of silver into the ledger he was working on, and we found that this could be removed from the box. We thought that if we couldn’t remove the rest of the COINS, we could possibly remove the base metal. We decided to hire a metal-worker to come and do a little melting for us.

 

As we settled on this scheme, we noticed six cute little bunnies skipping across the glade towards us…

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