Monday, January 16, 2017


The story so far:

Although only recently met, Ur-lag the bizarre orc-human hybrid and Vallech, the Tiefling disciple of Terak seem to have become firm friends. Despite Ur-lag’s abrupt entrance into his breakfast, via a random portal, Vallech put it upon himself to introduce his new friend to the city. Being tourist and tour guide quickly transitioned to adventurer though, as Vallech’s lieutenant had a favour to ask. Lieutenant Lokan was old friends of the Girando family. For several generations, the Girandos were a prominent trade family credited with some of the earliest pacification of the Copian Kobolds, but have fallen on hard times. The current matriarch of the family, Annabella was determined to restore her family to fame and Vallech and Ur-lag were to feature in her plans. She had discovered the location of the famous lost zoo of Ping Feng and, lacking any appropriate minions to plunder it, asked her friend Lokan to find her some appropriate mercenary types to collect some animals from it to display. The socialising classes of the city have lately taken to promenading with exotic creatures and if the rumours were true, the zoo would provide Annabella enough wondrous creatures to slingshot her popularity among the people who matter.

Ur-lag and Vallech followed the lead, which turned out to be in the form of Gudge, an oafish manservant who was purchasing all manner of strange foods at a shop in the city. They followed him straight into the Zoo, after dispatching some Myconids they stumbled across in the caves on the way. The Zoo doors closed behind them and the two heroes were trapped in the Zoo. Seemingly not fazed by this they proceeded to explore the Zoo. Excitingly, a dead tree was encountered first, as well as just a flash of blue in their peripheral vision. Buoyed by their first find, they entered a series of twisted corridors and discovered a gigantic, prismatically shelled snail. Easily bypassing the snail’s glacial pace, the companions rounded the corner to encounter a golden haired monkey, caged, and seemingly uninterested by the duo. In further corridors, a hypnotic toad was discovered, but Ur-lag and Vallech moved on before it could have any influence on them. Soon, in another cage, they came across a gigantic, four headed turtle, one head at each cardinal point and with an intricately carved shell. The top of the shell revealed a toothed maw and the pair wisely chose not to come too close to the creature, even caged as it was. 

A chained blue tiger was found next, and although it yanked at its chain, it was unable to come close enough to the adventurers to attack. The next room was covered in a magnificent (if you’re a fungal creature) fungal bloom and part of it attacked the heroes. This turned out to be a foolish move on the part of the fungus, as it was put back in its place by its prey. Finding another route back to the entrance hall, their route was blocked by colourful peacock. It looked ordinary until it confronted Vallech and Ur-lag, whereupon it unveiled its mirrored tail and revealed itself to be a Narcissus peacock, both Vallech and Ur-lag felt they were the centre of the universe, and that they were the most important things in it. They quickly shook off the worst of the Narcissus’ curse , and turned back into the heart of the Zoo.

The first sentient creature the pair had seen since they followed Gedge into the Zoo was a firefly woman, she spoke in Abyssal, a language that, thanks to Vallech’s devilous upbringing, he understood. She pleaded for release, explaining that she had been captured. Good Samaritans as they were, the benevolent adventurers decided to free her and Ur-lag broke her chains with an almighty blow. Vallech instructed her to try to escape, but earlier having found the doors barred to them, she would have to wait at the entrance.

The pair continued to explore the Zoo and soon came upon a long straight corridor and along it, bounded a strange construct, an animated candelabra that looked humorous and fanciful, but its motives did not match its visage. It attacked with greater ferocity than its small stature would suggest. Nevertheless, the candelabra was downed, its flames snuffed. Around the corner and up some stairs, the former candelabra enclosure was found, a fetching illustration of a dining table with room for the candelabra. Although encaged, the door swang freely open.

To be continued . . . 

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