So, the Shard Hunters adventured in their First Mini Adventure down a pathway going towards the location of the next Shard. They stopped at an overturned cart (that looked exactly like their own) and saw nothing of note beside a mysterious blood trail (which was not Goblin). Cautiously (well, partly-cautious), the group followed the blood trail to an abandoned house.
Cascaedia had decided to walk alongside the group in the stream which ran parallel to the path, but, as he did not formally declare that he was no longer in water-form but had returned to human-form, the DM remarked that Cascaedia was not with the group initially at the table, that he had instead been lost in a lake, to which Mower protested:
“I AM NOT IN A FUCKING LAKE”
After the issue of lake/no lake had been discussed ‘ad infurium’, the group decided that after exploring the house to the fullest and finding nothing but dust bunnies and detritus, that they would eat a meal at the fully-functioning dining room table. Soon enough, they heard mysterious noises outside…
The group in real life looks outside and they see a mysterious figure walk past the window in the real-life dining room… And the mysterious figure was Liz!
Jeremy remarks “Poor Liz, waiting around outside all that time whilst we were dicking around”
Crockett, who was making a guest appearance as well, had just roused from sleep and asks, “Did Liz get any scones or anything?”
Jane, hearing only part of this query, “Oh, they’re on the table in the living room”
Oh, tables, Cruel reminders of Brykenia (Liz’s character from back in the day could not succeed on an athletics check to jump onto a table, it was the first DnD Insider Joke)
Completely at a loss for what to do now, the fourth wall having been shattered by a teensy hammer, the group looks around at each other, until Ron, who was in cahoots with David for this episode, volunteers that “Maybe we should go look outside?”
“We should go outside, then?”
“Yes, we should ALL GO OUTSIDE.” Ron says, then racing downstairs to the basement and returning to meet us on the steps of the RZ hotel with lovingly-crafted cardboard weapons. A short sword for Cascaedia, a Cloud-style two-hander for Karasht, and two curved blades for Mu-Ahn. (Dekuuna, your faithful scribe, does not have a cardboard weapon. He fights with only his fists—BA)
Jeremy: “We’re LARPing. I’m so embarrassed. Can we get out of the front yard?”
Ryan: “Did you know that Erik was in a real LARP troupe once?”
All: “He was?!”
(And so we lamented Erik’s absence, trapped in the foul dungeon of RSL’s)
Ron (laughing): “Seriously, I think we picked the busiest time in Worcester”
Cars drive by, looking at us as if some circus side-show had been misplaced.
Ryan: “But guess what I have in my car!!”
Ryan emerges with a totally-befitting black opera coat, and dons it.
Ron decides to loot Liz’s bag which had been left on the stoop as she assumed her position on the lawn, menacingly clutching a frog and looking quite fierce. He finds Liz’s glasses, which he dons and is awarded a +1 bonus to perception by the DM as long as he continues to wear the glasses. Also in place on the lawn is Crockett, who is having a grand-ol’ time with that creepy puppet thing that David loves. There’s a solid five minutes of obscene puppet gestures, and then initiative order begins
And then Jeremy needs his cards
And then we all need pencils
And then David needs his white-board
And then…we start for real, rolling David’s giant red D-20 (purchased at PAX, of course).
We begin to move down the steps, counting steps as squares. After attacking both of the enemies for a round, it dawns on the Shard Hunters that they had never really ascertained that these fellows were hostile. Dekunna takes pity on Xanadu and asks what is going on and is given a sob-story about how he (Xanadu) had only been protecting his frog friend from the mean and clearly violent Shard Hunters who had been attacking him. Dekuuna asks for Xanadu’s word that he would not be attacked if allowed to walk by, which Xanadu gives…
And then attacks Dekuuna.
Oh, so naieve and trusting! That’s right, character, development
We valiantly strike out at our opponents and walk around the side of the house, where suddenly there are no more enemies… We continue to walk around until we reach the kitchen windows, where we are attacked by Drou raiders, who shout at us that we have stolen their shard (the black shard, in Mu-Ahn’s possession) and they are coming to get it back. But they all die, slowly, and laboriously.
In the midst of battle, Ryan hears the dulcet tones of steel drum music coming from what seems to be the crazy-backyard neighbor’s house. I come back from getting sweatshirts for Liz and I (it’s gotten cooler outside), and we hear it again, right near the house! We traipse into the front yard, still in our “battle gear” and discover A SHAVED ICE TRUCK! This is clearly the most awesome thing ever. AND, for the price of an extra-large, you got a FREE lei. To think, there are other people whose jobs involve dealing with idiots and wearing Hawaiian shirts! They also had a “flavor wave” station on the side of the truck, allowing you to mix-and-match many different flavors of sugar syrup and add as much as you want. And, they even had sugar-free styles (but Crockett was still in the backyard, so he missed out) Liz and David got a Cotton-Candy popsicle and a ChocoTaco respectively,
With shaved ice in hand and ultimate happiness radiating from our hearts (or at least mine, since shaved ice is one of my most favorite things ever), we vanquished the Drou raiders and then entered the house, ate chili and delicious rolls (totally unbiased recounting) and then retired to the game room for a rousing match of Halo. Later, reunited with the group after Halo, Jane and David played (old-school) Tetris competitively and then Jane and Jeremy played Dr. Mario with Ron and David serving as sports commentators, with Crockett as the “man in the field” who was sitting on the rug playing Minesweeper. After a tense series of “THIS IS THE LAST GAME” games, Jeremy switched off the Nintendo system and David and Jane went downstairs to play a game of Scrabble with words including “triaged” “voids” “cuvee” and “ilk”, which Jane denigrated into “milk”, because it was a 20 point word.
Good times were had by all. If I missed anything, feel free to add it in, or if I totally botched the recounting of things.