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Sawdust's and Puzz's Bad Day RPG Thread!

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I'll post the misadventures of our heroes from the Artifact Dice Kickstarter here. Feel free to post pics, discuss the adventure, and speculate what's to come!

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Here are the updates from the last two days 

Funded!

Thanks to everyone for joining us on this "dicey" adventure! We've already funded and we couldn't be more thrilled to finally get to share this project with the world. We have so many awesome things planned for this campaign starting with the launch of our interactive Puzz Longbeard and Sawdust's Bad Day RPG adventure. Here is the welcome blurb in case you missed it in your KS message box:

We’re excited to announce something very special that will be happening during the Artifact Dice KS! Every day the project is open we will be running a live RPG campaign through the Kickstarter that all backers can participate in. Backers will be able to vote, roll dice, suggest actions, and otherwise completely control our heroes Puzz Longbeard the ranger and his animal companion, Sawdust, by posting in the comments section of the KS. Instead of Stretch Goals we will be unlocking all sorts of new goodies through this campaign! What this means is every time Puzz and Sawdust discover new loot and treasure during their adventures our Backers will also get loot and treasure! The more people who contribute their dice rolls and suggestions the faster everyone accumulates new stuff! So make sure to share the project and get new people on board. We will be doing an update every day that summarizes what happened to our heroes the day before and gives backers new choices and challenges! 

Without further ado let us begin our story....

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Puzz Longbeard’s and Sawdust’s Bad Day

Small animals fell from their nests in shock as a thunderous bellow shattered the silence of the forest. Puzz Longbeard drew another giant breath of the cool air and gave an even louder yell into the morning mist. Puzz had always been proud of his hollering and had never met another ranger, lumberjack, or anyone else for that matter, that could do it as loud or as long. It was important to let the world know you were awake and he found it an invigorating way to start each morning. Looking around he searched for his companion Sawdust, finally spotting him with his head inside a log in a failed attempt to muffle the noise. “C'mon you coward, it’s finally time to harvest the bloodwood trees we planted a few years back. He walked over and in one swift motion pulled Sawdust from the log and swung him under his arm.

They made quite a sight as they walked through the ancient forest. Although Puzz was human he had often been mistaken for part giant. Standing at over 6 feet tall he had a barrel like chest with ample dark curly hair poking out of a threadbare green shirt. A bow was slung across his back and in one hand he held a massive axe that was nearly as tall as he was. Under the other arm hung a scrappy orange dog with a white belly. Large ears flopped over the dog’s eyes every time Puzz took a step and around the dog’s neck was a piece of bark tied with a string. It had been a gift from the local Orc tribe after Puzz had defeated their champion wrestling bear. The bark was carved with the word Sawdust although neither knew this, due to one of them being illiterate and the other being unable to see it.

Puzz smiled as they walked down the familiar trail to the bloodwood grove. He had been a ranger in this forest all his life and knew every part of it like his own soul. To make ends meet he occasionally harvested the rare trees that grew here and sold them to a small company near Mi-chee-gan. Apparently, they made good money turning large pieces of wood into smaller pieces of wood. This time they had sent a pigeon to request some blood wood for an impressive price of 5 barrels of Jerky. That much Jerky would last Puzz and Sawdust almost a solid month. Bloodwood grew in one of the deepest parts of the forest and he hadn’t been there in years but, for that kind of trade, he was willing to make the hike.

The two of them walked like this for most of the day, coming upon the bloodwood grove as twilight began to fall across the forest. The trees seemed eerily silent so Puzz began singing as he chose his tree and brought his axe over his shoulder, preparing a mighty blow to the base of the trunk.

He tightened his grip on the ash handle and breathed deeply, thinking of the sticky blood like sap that he’d soon have all over him when something heavy fell on his shoulder. Glancing behind him he saw that it was a red squirrel. Being the friend of all woodland creatures, except of course bears, he reached over to rub its head. Shrieking, it sank its fangs deep into his fingers and he yowled as he shook it off into a nearby pile of leaves. Cursing he lifted his axe to once again strike at the tree, but felt Sawdust cower against his legs and whimper. Catching movement out of the corner of his eyes he looked up and saw dozens of squirrels. As he continued to look up he realized something was wrong. They seemed larger then they should, with deformed overbites causing fangs to sprout up around their mouths. Their eye’s glowed with red malice and instead of chittering they all seemed to be making a hissing sound like steel rubbing together. As one they all screamed and fell upon him.

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What happens next is up to you!

• To defeat the dire squirrel swarm we need you to roll your dice at home! If 20 backers can roll higher then a 17 and report it in the main comments section Puzz and Sawdust will stave off the attack. Remember to describe Puzz’s or Sawdust's attack along with your dice roll.

• Want Puzz or Sawdust to take some other action? Vote to take the story in a different direction. If one type of action (like running away) gets more votes it will be worked into the story!

• What happens next? After successful dice rolls are reported you can suggest our heroes' next action. Wherever the story goes during the day will be written into tomorrow's update. Don't forget to search around for Treasure and Loot! 

PLEAQSE MAKE SURE YOU COMMENT IN THE MAIN COMMENTS SECTION, NOT UNDER THIS UPDATE. Thanks!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dogmight/artifact-dice/comments

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Chapter 2: A Dire Situation

 
 
 

I can’t believe I’m typing this but we had almost 200 backers and nearly 300 comments on the first day! That is one of the most insane starts to a project we’ve ever had, and I would like to thank each and every one of you! Our Campaign within a Campaign has been a huge success and so many people joined in the fun to save our heroes Puzz Longbeard and Sawdust from the vicious Dire Squirrel attack! Here is what our heroic backers achieved last night

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• Blood Wood Dice was unlocked after Backers were able to defeat the swarm of Dire Squirrels. This will be a new wood option for dice and the project page will be updated today.

• Backers helped Puzz discover a mysterious magical item that is hidden behind a powerful illusion spell. To unlock this magical item our dynamic duo will need help. We will need 5 people to post either on our Forums, Twitter, or Facebook of a pic of whatever they think magical wood looks like. Make sure to post it with the Hashtag #PuzzesMagicalWood if you do social media so we can find it! We’ve already had multiple posts on our forums and need only 3 more to unlock the secrets of this magical item. You can post on the forums here: dogmight.forumflash.com/topic/195-puzzs-magical-wood-ks-posts/

• 2 lucky Backers received Odin’s Blessing due to amazing role playing in the campaign. Who might receive such an honor today?

Chapter 2: A Dire Situation

As Sawdust reared back from the oncoming horde of Dire Squirrels, Puzz released a mighty roar in defiance of the swarm and their unnaturalness in the grove of trees he'd planted years ago. As he let loose his cry, he swung down with his ax at the nearest dire squirrel just as it tried to bite his faithful, if frightened, companion. His ax separated the skull of this unfortunate creature from its spine as it connected with a crunch, sending specs of blood to the nearby bloodwoods. Awoken from his fear by the skull flying past him, Sawdust growled menacingly before launching himself into the fray to knock a dire squirrel from one of the nearby tree branches as it prepared to jump onto Puzz from above. As the swarm of Dire Squirrels fell upon him Puzz lifted his axe high into the air and yelled “Sawdust drive them to me”. He began to turn with his axe in circles faster and faster until he blurred like a hairy tornado. Sawdust snapped and growled as he drove the squirrels into his master’s attack.

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Puzz laughed as he yelled “is that all you’ve got you mangy tree mice?” but his laughter died in his throat as the dire squirrels fell back and began acting strange. They swarmed all over one another, standing on each other’s shoulders and locking teeth to tail. Until, as one, they all stood into what looked like a giant deformed hairy beast. A squirrel with jet black fur and blood red eye, who stood as the head of the creature squeaked “Bring me their nuts!” the monstrosity roared with an unholy sound of a hundred enraged squirrels and charged. Swinging it’s massive forearm into Puzz, it threw him against one of the bloodwood trees and the axe fell limp from his hand. Looking up at the hurt human who had been his charge all this time, Sawdust reached deep into his canine heart, digging deeper and deeper until he felt the ancient feral instincts honed and sharpened by his ancestors. Growling furiously, he leaped on the monstrous squirrel, pulling it to the ground and off his charge, his helpless human unable to react to what was happening. His fans digging deeply into the monster’s flesh, he whipped his head from side to side, warm blood running from his mouth, until he finally threw the malicious creature to the side knocking many of the squirrels out of formation and causing them to flee. Raising himself up to his full stature and deepening his growl, he moved in front of Puzz, making sure to shield him from the monsters as best he could. As the monster charged again Sawdust made a great leap and tore the large black squirrel from the shoulders of the beast, thrashing it like his favorite toy back home. The other squirrels instantly fell from formation and fled injured back into the treetops and away from our heroes.

Puzz lifted himself back onto his feet and rubbed Sawdust’s ears “good job buddy, you’ll get an extra treat tonight” he said. As he examined the dead squirrels around him, he realized there was no blood on his axe, just a clear liquid that seemed to have no taste or smell. With concern he turned back to the bloodwood tree and finished what they had come here to do. After tying it up a few bundles and stashing them under a nearby log he decided to do some more investigating. Dire squirrels were a story used to frighten children and he was more then a little disconcerted to discover they might actually exist. Looking around he noticed Sawdust eating something at the root of a nearby tree. Reaching down he discovered it was an old baloney sandwich that he must have left here some time ago. “Share and share alike buddy” he said as he tried to pull some of the treasure away. He quickly reached his hand back from Sawdust’s mouth to avoid a well timed snap and he felt it brush against something ice cold. It seemed to be coming from a knot in the tree. As his fingers moved over it, it snapped off causing icy daggers of pain into his palm. He quickly transferred it to his rucksack to ponder over later.

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Sawdust looked up at his master’s quick movement. He hadn’t meant to actually scare him with that playful snap. That’s when he noticed something strange in the tree tops above. In the coming darkness of night he could see a slimy green glow coming from the treetops and leading away into deeper parts of the forest. It was the same direction those bad tree mice had gone. Turning his head to look at the sight of his victorious battle he could see more of the green glowing slime all over the bodies of the bad tree mice. His master hadn’t seemed to notice it at all and Sawdust thought that was very strange. Walking over he dipped his paw into the goo and smeared it on his master’s leg.

Puzz kept pushing Sawdust away from him as the dog seemed to be set on smearing his snot all over him. “That’s disgusting bud even for you” he yelled as he tried to dodge another swipe. Sawdust growled and barked, looking up into the trees. Puzz followed his gaze, looking up into the treetops against a starry sky but saw nothing. “Looks like the trail ends here bud, lets get back home” he said as he turned and picked up his axe. He gave a yelp as Sawdust drove into him, knocking him to the ground “what the hell?” he cried as he saw Sawdust rip his bladder of Lumberjack juice from his waist and sped into the dark forest. Puzz scrambled to his feet and started chase deeper into the dark shadows of the forest…

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Posted (edited)

Drat!  Cutoff the text.  I think I may have found some early pictures of Puzz.

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Edited by Barb Bliss

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Chapter 3: Humphrey and the Haunted Village

 
 
 

Yesterday was another amazing day where we blew past 20k and welcomed another 61 backers to our adventure!

Things heated up yesterday for our dynamic duo, but the backers pulled them through with almost 300 comments! Working together, backers were able to unlock the Red Heart Boulder for everyone!

PUZZ NEEDS YOUR HELP TODAY!

To unlock today’s stretch goal, we need 30 backers to make a comment. See the details below!

Today we are inviting all backers, new and old, to join in the fun and help our heroes discover the source behind the monstrous corruption that is turning the forest into a dark version of itself!

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Chapter 3: Humphrey and the Haunted Village

“Give me back my Lumberjack Juice you mangy mutt!” Puzz yelled as Sawdust ran into the gloom clutching the leather bladder in his mouth. Puzz took off after him through the trees, muttering many curses and threats about how warm dog fur was inside boots.

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When Sawdust finally slowed down, Puzz ran up and snatched the bladder from his jaws. “I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately, but you’ve got to remember who’s in charge here Sir Mutt” Puzz wheezed. He flipped the cork out of the bladder and drank deeply while looking at his surroundings. Sawdust had led him to the gates of Hoof Town, a small village of Yak Folk that they had both lived in years ago. In fact, Puzz had found Sawdust shivering in his namesake as a puppy right behind the old Hoof & Ale Tavern. His best friend Humphrey still lived here in fact and the town had always been a sort of sanctuary to them both. 

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It was hard for Puzz to reconcile the happy bustling village he remembered from last time with the wreck he saw before him. Instead of cheery lanterns twinkling in the darkness, there were dark gaping holes of broken doors and smashed windows. The drunk Yak drinking songs that always came from the Tavern were silent this night and even the animals seemed to have a hushed quality. The same eerie mist clung to ground and weaved in and out of doorways in a way that seemed inconsistent with the slight breeze.

Creeping forward on silent paws and feet, the two of them slowly stepped down the main street. The destruction was even worse near the center of town and there was a constant presence of slime and mist. Heading towards the Hoof & Ale Puzz searched for signs of the Yak folk but could find only confusing tracks and abandoned items. The whole place seemed to have turned into a ghost town overnight and had no trace of bodies or blood.

The Tavern was proved to be the worst scene of chaos. They must have gathered here at some point before….what? Puzz thought to himself as he surveyed the room. Table and chairs had been turned to rubble and broken ceramics covered the floor. The only trace that Yak folk had been here were deep hoof shaped scrapes along the walls and floors and a giant broken horn embedded in one wall. Puzz walked up and pulled the horn out, wiping the slime away with his shirt. The horn was curved with massive black sections that would have curled around the side of the head. Near the tip of the horn was a golden ring that caused Puzz’s stomach to do a flip. The ring belonged the Humphrey and had been a gift from Puzz when they were children. He had found it in the woods just in time for Humphrey’s name day ceremony and the Yak had worn it ever since. He held the horn out to Sawdust and asked, “can you find him?”.

Sawdust took a strong wiff of the horn. It smelled wrong, like the smell of rot in food, but underneath he could smell the Yak who had always been kind to him. Casting his nose to the ground he led Puzz to the back of the building where a giant hole gapped in the wall. Through that hole he led them, out of the building and through winding streets of mud. Until they reached an old shop that smelled like metal.

Puzz looked up and saw they were at the Hoof & Iron, Humphrey’s blacksmith shop. He could tell that something horrible had happened here as well. The strong oak door that normally greets customers to the shop, swung on one hinge slamming open and shut...open and shut...the noise seemed too loud in the dead silence of this ghost town. The windows reflected the moonlight like a blank stare and the slimy hoofprints turn into spots of broken tinder as the trail lead up into the darkness of the shop.

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Sawdust and Puzz crept forward, up the small wooden porch and towards the swinging door. They managed not to step on any of the loose or warped floorboards and nothing creaked to give away their steps. When they reached the front door Puzz put out a hand and stopped it from slamming shut again. But the thump...thump....thump noise continued. Inside the shop various farming equipment and iron tools were on display. Buckets of nails, screws, and tacks lined the walls but many of them had been knocked over. The cashier's bar was covered in an immense amount of slime but looked otherwise untouched. The wall behind the bar was made from a leather curtain that blocked the sight of the forge behind. Slime dripped from that curtain as it swayed in the gentle night breeze. The unnatural mist was seeping out from behind the curtain into the shop. The sound seems to be coming from the forge but Puzz couldn’t see what is causing it. Sawdust sniffed and whined quietly, moving behind his master, and peeking out from between his legs at the stirring curtain.

As Puzz pushed the curtain to the side with his axe he could see the forge is running hotter then he'd ever seen it. The steel around the iron was starting to warp and curl away from the flames. A figure with his back turned to Puzz is hunched over the anvil pounding rhythmically with massive blows of an enormous hammer. He called out Humphrey’s name and it echoed around the chamber.

Upon hearing the words cross Puzz's lips, Humphrey turned his huge body toward the ranger. His visage was unnerving and Puzz barely recognized the Yak he once was. His face was twisted and bleeding, while the green ooze puddled below him. The same ichor spewed out of his broken horn. Every muscle in his body was tense and twitching uncontrollably. His, normally dirty but well cared for, apron was inside out and covered with the unholy slime. In his hands, artist's hands that once were used to create works of art, he held the traditional forge tongs. In his other, a massive hammer. Caught in the clutches of the tongs was a sword, or at least, a wretched example of what could be called one. The hunk of metal was red hot and smoking as it cooled and hardened. To the normal design, Humphrey had added massive gnarled spikes, that sprouted out of the blade in a chaotic fashion. The overall silhouette resembled a strange, spiked club more than the perfectly balanced swords this smith is known for producing. For the briefest of moments, Puzz thought he saw a glimmer in the eye of the Yak he once knew. The feeling lasting only an instant as the unfamiliar beast before him dropped his hammer to the wood floor with a boom and flicked the mangled sword out of the tongs and into the smoke-filled air, then caught it with his other hoofed hand, his skin sizzled as the molten blade comes to a rest. The tongs fell to the ground as the monster that once was Humphrey lifts the blade above his head and let out a tremendous roar, kicking his right foot into the sooty ground like a bull about to charge….

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Puzz looks around for something to help his friend!

We need people to list 30 ingredients to quickly create a cure for Humphrey!

Backers can submit one ingredient each.

If Puzz and Sawdust succeed, then we will unlock the Whitetail Antler and Amber with Jet Inlay Dice!

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Chapter 4: Old Friends and New Enemies

Puzz and Sawdust frantically gathered the 30 ingredients together and started dumping them into a sheep's bladder they had scavenged earlier. Worrying little about correct amounts or mixing order, they shook the bag repeatedly while adding more of the disgusting ingredients together. When they were finished, and unfortunately covered in some of the mixture due to overzealous shaking, they rushed back to the forge where Humphrey was charging walls and screaming. Ducking under a massive swipe from the misshaped sword Puzz thrust the entire bladder into Humphrey’s mouth. With his overgrown fangs Humphrey bit down on the bladder, releasing the horrible smelling concoction into his mouth. With a scream that turned into gags Humphrey began thrashing on the ground until he fell with a thud that shook the dirt floor. After minutes of screaming he fell silent and limp. The Yak's skin was grey and lifeless. Sawdust bit onto the one remaining horn and lifted the large Yak’s head up to prevent him from choking further. Puzz knelt beside his friend and poured more of the purple green mixture into Humphrey's mouth and softly lifted his bottom lip to help him swallow it down. Puzz and Sawdust waited…

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As he lay there Humphrey's skin began to brighten, and his breathing suddenly started again with a large gasp. He coughed and opened his eyes, trying to focus on his surroundings. Then he crawled to his knees and began vomiting large amounts of goo mixed with flecks of purple and green. He cleared his throat, looking for a moment like he would be sick again and turned to Puzz, "What the hell did you make me drink?" he sputtered.

Humphrey stood up and brushed off his apron. Realizing he had it on backwards, he took it off and put it on correctly. The act seemed to have a calming effect on him and he turned to his old friend. "I’m not sure whether to thank you or ask you to finish me off right now…but I suppose thanks first”. “Do you remember anything?” Puzz asked. “I remember the last member of the hunting party we sent north to investigate what was happening to the wild game coming back. He was screaming nonsense about monsters and not to trust anyone. Soon after we found him dead by his own sword. Everything was quiet for a time but then our milking goats started behaving strangely and then some of the elder folk. Then people started dying in strange ways….and then nothing….”. Humphrey seemed disturbed as if he had almost startled himself with his own memories. “Is everyone gone then” he whispered. “Everyone is gone but maybe not everyone is lost” Puzz told his friend with a hearty slap on the back. “We have a cure now and can make more of the stuff. We should head north and see if we can stop this unnamed horror.” “Come with me and lets see who else we can save” Puzz said as he held out his arm. Humphrey grasped it with his own, nodding his giant shaggy head. “There was an extra map of our hunter’s route when they left investigated the Green Death up north. The elder kept it in his lodge, but I must warn you, the Elder was one of the most infected. He fought it off as long as he could to help the others, but it didn't end well. I don’t know what we will find if we venture in there.

Puzz nodded “sounds like you need a weapon” he said, looking around. Humphrey grinned and pulled back an ash stained sheet that hung over the large cabinet. In it was one of the largest weapon’s Puzz had ever seen. Humphrey grabbed the massive war hammer with both hands. The hammer was truly enormous, too large for any human to wield. The caps of the hammer were worn but still looked strong. The sides were expertly carved with scenes of great Yak Folk battles. Humphrey held the large head of the hammer close to his face and whispered, "C'mon lovely. Let's do this. One last time." Puzz nodded his approval and the two of them set out towards the elder’s house.

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The short walk to the elder’s house felt longer than it should. The devastation in the village was more apparent here. The houses, once well kept and solid, were swaying on their foundations. The walls often covered in the green slime. What wasn’t coated in the ichor were covered in blood. It seemed that those who didn't transform due to the necrotic poison clearly had met an equally unpleasant end. However, there were still no bodies to be found anywhere, which Puzz thought, was almost worse.

When they reached the red tapestry that acted as the door to the elder’s private quarters, Humphrey went in first while Puzz and Sawdust followed quickly behind. The scene before them was gut wrenching. The once small but stately hut had now taken on a much different feeling.

The once fine, hand crafted furniture had been torn apart and rested in pieces on the ground. Not one item looked untouched. Even the pots and pans had been taken from the cupboards and were thrown about. Books were ripped from the shelves and many had their pages torn out. The scene here was one of pure chaos. Whatever had done this had no goal other than that of pure destruction. Nothing moved. Nothing felt solid. The ground beneath the party's feet shifted underneath them as they walked over the broken pieces of someone’s life. The only thing that appeared to be untouched was a door in the back of the room. It was closed and the floor in front of it was oddly devoid of the chaos that filled the rest of the room. Puzz reached out to open the door….

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Chapter 5: RhinoBears and Cranky Druids

The hidden door opened with a haunting creak, revealing a small staircase leading to a darkened cellar. Puzz noticed movement immediately. Peaking his bearded head down first, he saw the Yak Folk Elder, or, at least what was left of him. The Green Death had clearly taken hold of the once proud leader of the village. His face was wrenched, his body broken and distorted, and he was covered in open sores that weep with bright green ooze. On the wall in front of him, the inhuman Yak Folk scrawled maniacly. The words seemed illegible. Before Puzz could decipher them, the Undead Elder turned and faced the intruders, picked up a rusty shovel from the corner of the cellar and rushed the hidden door, barely missing Puzz's head with a mighty swing. Sawdust, brave as always, rushed down the stairs and hid in a corner. Puzz and Humphrey followed the pup and faced the Elder, both landing heavy blows. Humphrey thought he had taken the monster out with a massive hit to the head with his maul, Titanforge, but the Undead kept on fighting. Puzz ended the battle moments later by cleaving off the arm of his foe, leaving a mess of green ooze on the floor.

As our heroes searched the room, what at first was thought only the scribblings of a madman turned out to be something more. The words were the same phrase repeated over and over in various styles and sizes. "The light will save us." In the middle of the words was the picture of a Lighthouse shining brightly. On the face of the Lighthouse was a symbol, a simple sun with a triangle in the middle. Neither Puzz nor Humphrey had seen the symbol before but Humphrey thought the picture depicted a Lighthouse on the shore of the Northern Sea, a two day trip from the village.

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They also found a small chest with some treasures and a pack of loosely organized papers, including the notes the Elder had kept on a young Puzz as he grew up among the Yak Folk. (this find unlocked Puzz's character sheet!)

After loading up on supplies, our heroes headed into the woods. The trip was uneventful on the first morning, the only potential threat was a herd of infected elk. Then, as night fell, the party was attacked by a strange infected beast that had the huge body of a bear and the head of a rhino. The battle was fierce as both Puzz and Sawdust fell into single digit hit points. Sawdust, worrying little about his own health, jumped on the back of the beast and chomped hard with his, now steel enhanced, bite attack. Puzz finished the RhinoBear off with a powerful swing.

Not an actual pic of the RhinoBear but close. Not an actual pic of the RhinoBear but close.

As they cleared the body from the camp Humphrey noticed that the beast had a tattoo under the fur of his rear leg that matched the Sun and Triangle symbol the Elder scribed on the side of the Lighthouse. As they inspected it, they heard a cantankerous voice yelling at them from the woods. The owner of that angry voice was an equally angry human druid in his 90s. After lightly berating the group for even entering the infected forest, the Druid told the party what he knew of the cause of the Green Death. It appeared that the operator of the lighthouse, Krill, may have been experimenting with dark magic forces. The Druid had seen many of the animals around the Lighthouse morph into disgusting beasts and had even witnessed one of the hybridized beasts exiting the lighthouse itself. He had tried to find his friend, Krill, but there was no sign of him. The Lighthouse appeared locked up and abandoned except for a soft green glow at the top of the tower from which the safety light once shined.

Now, our group of heroes must decide how to proceed. Shall they:

  • Charge the Lighthouse head on.
  • Watch and the lighthouse to gather intel.
  • Abandon the forest altogether.
  • Something else entirely.

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Chapter 6: The Lighthouse Keeper

Puzz, Sawdust, and Humphrey crouched at the edge of the forest and looked out over the rocky landscape where the lighthouse stood. Tide pools were hidden by jagged looking rocks and slick seaweed was scattered around, making their approach even more dangerous. The powerful lantern that normally sent light out to sea was emitting a green beacon. Whenever the light passed over water it almost seemed like the ocean and tide pools themselves were glowing with unnatural light.

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“Let’s circle around to the back,” Humphrey said, “There might be a better way in then charging the front door." He eyed the open lantern room at the top of the lighthouse warily. They circled around the lighthouse, trying to stay away from the glowing tide pools and the circling green light. Every time the light passed over them, a wave of nausea and wrongness swept through them and each tried not to think about what the light might be doing to them. At one point, Sawdust slipped into a tide pool and yelped as if something bit him but they could find no trace of a bite mark on his paw and kept moving.

Crouching behind the ledge of a tide pool, they looked out over the back of the Lighthouse. Two cellar doors attached to heavy looking stones were closed tight against the ground. In front of the cellar lay what look like a dog, its body rising and falling gently in sleep. Puzz, being an expert at doggie desires, picked up a nearby piece of driftwood and tossed it as far as he could away from the building. As the dog sprang to its feet with an almost unnatural speed and took off after the stick a gray fin sprang from its back. Puzz recoiled as he saw the dog’s head had been replaced with a shark’s gaping maw and its finned tail waved back and forth in the ocean breeze. It exhibited a speed and grace that seemed counter to its unnatural form. The trio sprang to action and charged the cellar as the sharkdog spun and let out a horrible gurgling howl. Puzz grabbed the cellar doors, every one of his muscles straining as he tried to lift the heavy wood. Humphrey pushed him out of the way and with one massive shaggy hand lifted the door. Sawdust and Puzz half stumbled half jumped into the open black pit before Humphrey jumped in himself, closing the doors behind them. A hard thud and yelp could be heard from the other side of the door.

Lighting a torch, Puzz looked around the dim root cellar. The supplies that were down here had begun to rot and the smell was terrible. On the floor were hundreds of journals piled haphazardly on the floor. The salty air had already started to deform and warp the paper of many of them. Lifting a red journal near the top of the pile, Humphrey opened the curled and spotted binding. Inside were entries written by the lighthouse keeper who lived here, all signed with the name KRILL. In the first few entries Krill wrote about finding a of deformity on the glass of the lantern and how the light seemed to get greener every night. He talked about trying to clean the lantern and cutting his hand on the glass. After that he seemed to feel sick and his entries made less sense. Krill began to write in more erratic scribbles, speaking about sharks biting his dog…or the dog was a shark and was biting himself. Then talking about how the lighthouse was connected to other planes and he was a shark swimming through realities. Humphrey closed the journal when the entries became unreadable. “I think this may be bigger then we think,” he told Puzz, showing him the book. “We need to head upwards to the lantern room, I believe that’s where we will find Krill… or what’s left of him.” With a nod Puzz went to the ladder that led up into the lighthouse. “Let's go then,” he said and opened the door in the ceiling.

The door led to a living space that looked like it had once been loved and cared for but now laid in shambles. Deep scratches were embedded in the walls and led up the spiraling stairs towards the lantern room. As Sawdust sniffed the broken pieces of a desk he suddenly jumped back and barked. When the others approached they saw an elaborate looking dagger resting in the rubble of a desk. The dagger had green crystals that seemed to swirl and glow with an inner light. Being careful not to touch any part of his skin to the sinister looking blade, he held up the orb of light he found in the forest. In the red light the dagger seemed to transform into a key with the images of two wolves and two ravens intertwined. When he took the orb away it looked like a dagger once again. Carefully using the cloth of his shirt to touch the handle he slipped the dagger into his pack.

Above them the sound of an inhuman roar was followed by shattering glass. They all looked up into the spiraling darkness of the stairs and wondered what awaited them at the top.

Our heroes moved stealthily up the rickety staircase, avoiding detection from what awaited them. After a long, slow climb, they approached the opening to the final floor. The creature above them squawked and yelled, "Where is my key!" A dull, sickly green light filtered down through the opening. Puzz, never without the mirror he used for beard grooming, used it to deftly view what was above without revealing himself.

The source of the green light was the lighthouse lantern, its normally bright white light used to ensure the safety of sailors now overtaken by the green hue. The lens used to project that light still spun, creating a dim ray of grey green. Puzz then saw the source of the noise - a sickly, older dwarf moving rapidly around the room. This dwarf, clearly the remnants of the lighthouse keeper, Krill, had fallen prey to the Green Death which morphed his body in grotesque fashion. Below the relatively normal dwarven torso were the extremely long legs of an ostrich, acting as stilts for the normally short man. His arms were transformed into 6' long vipers, each with an independent head and vicious fangs.  

Not an accurate representation of Krill's face, but that is one scary ostrich. Not an accurate representation of Krill's face, but that is one scary ostrich.

 Our brave group quietly retreated, planning on luring the beast to the lower level, away from the light. Once securely on solid ground, they yelled at Krill, luring him with the promise of his beloved key. Krill responded quickly, leaping down the entire height of the lighthouse, landing in the middle of the adventurers. A wicked battle ensued, Sawdust taking vicious bites from the viper arms, but our heroes prevailed when Humphrey landing a critical blow to Krill's head. 

They headed back upstairs to extinguish the vile green light affecting the land around them. As they did, the antique dagger began to glow a warm yellow light of its own...

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#SaveSawdust

Thanks to the quick work of our amazing backers, Sawdust the dog might pull through this latest encounter. After having 30+ comments on our last update, our Heroes will get advantage on all their rolls in the current encounter. We will be starting the campaign today around noon EDT, come join us for the action!

Don't worry, Sawdust is not unconcious in this pic, only sleeping.
Don't worry, Sawdust is not unconcious in this pic, only sleeping.
 

P.S. Love the #SaveSawdust movement in the comments!

Now, back to our story….

Chapter 7: Stay Away from the Light

Upon returning to the green light of the lighthouse lantern, the dagger our heroes had found earlier began to glow a warm, yellow light of its own. After some experimentation, Puzz noticed that the evil green hue would recoil from the dagger’s benevolent glow. Tentatively, he touched the blade to the glass of the lantern, expecting disaster. It did not occur. The green light continued to shy away from the blade. The form of the dagger began to shift back and forth between the form of an archaic key and the weapon itself. Puzz pushed it in further, feeling little resistance. The yellow glow grew and overtook the green completely. Then it stopped. The yellow light faded quickly, the green regaining its strength. Soon, the room filled with the green hue, our heroes could feel the light and the thickness of it surrounding them.

BABOOM!!!!!!

A huge explosion occurs and our party finds themselves thrown through space at a rapid pace, the green light still the only thing in sight.

Then, silence.

Sawdust is the first to awaken. He finds himself on top of a tower 200 feet tall and his companions unconscious next to him. As he looks around, it is clear he is not in the same world he was. The sky is a darker, greenish grey and the clouds rush by at an amazing rate. He looks down from his precarious location atop the tower and sees a foreign city below, one that is in ruins. Circling the city in a ring is a collection of other towers, 20 in total. 14 of the towers are exactly like the one Sawdust sits atop of. The other 6 have glowing green lights on the top of them. In the center of the city, a massive ziggurat stands. A steep staircase up half one of its faces stops at an enormous steel door.

Creepy, eh? Creepy, eh?

Puzz and Humphrey wake after a gentle nudge from Sawdust. With no way down the immense tower, Puzz pulls out the Magic Orb of Light to look for a secret door. As soon as the Orb starts to glow, the outline of a small opening appears in the floor. Sawdust starts to bark loudly. Puzz turns to see that, as the orb began to light, the top of the ziggurat lit up as well, glowing a ray of sickly green, shining directly at our heroes. They pack the orb away and scatter down through the secret door.

After descending through a series of discs magically floating aloft, our party enters the streets of the city for the first time. Shadowy figures appear off in the distance but Puzz and Co. begin to explore the city. As they do, one of the lights shining at the top of a tower is extinguished. Humphrey postulates that another world may be currently under attack from the green light.

The group enters the remnants of an ancient tavern, looking for food and water and mead. While Puzz and Humphrey search the ruined kitchen, Sawdust is attacked by 2 Shadow Demons. They rush to aide their canine companion and find him unconscious on the floor, 2 shadowy figures floating above him.

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Can they save him in time?

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