Let’s hear it for the YMCA


OK, so our story starts with an ambassador from House Tumdurgul. It seems he wants to go for a short wander to meet some mates of his from another house out in the wilderness, and he doesn’t really fancy doing it alone, so he requested some hard-nut head-bashers to go with him and make sure he didn’t get mugged and beaten by any of the more unpleasant denizens of Orin Rakhatha. Unfortunately he must have made some pretty powerful and unpleasant enemies within Wolfhold, since the guards he ended up with were the YMCA – Yana’s Mentally Challenged Adventurers…

The YMCA, on this particular excursion, consisted of the following:

  • Yana, obviously, our big boss Gypsy lady.
  • Anoushka – Jana’s sister with a quite disturbing attitude to the dead.
  • Gillipo – A horrifying dismembered baby’s corpse carried by Anoushka, and second in command of the YMCA.
  • Jynx – The small, cute, fluffy Half Ork of death and skull smashing.
  • Jarred – Splendid Gentleman, and our one and only mage...
  • Ssissor – Lizardy grey sphere healer and talented power leech.
  • Elbow – Goblin scribe and a high quality, all-purpose feed for small rodents.
  • Edge – Scouty type of some sort or other.
  • Sly-like-fox – Underdressed barbarian who likes to dance and shake her buttocks.
  • Arrol – Highly trained warrior… no idea what he’d done wrong to get put with us.
  • Squire Arithis – Another highly trained warrior who seemed to be being punished.
  • Crone – The oldest lady ever to wield a cat and slippers in combat.
  • Democritus – Our rescued friend from the Labyrinth of Xenos.
  • And of course, myself, Dibbler – Wannabee Hospitaller and high class butcher to the very finest houses in all of the Valley Alliance. On a side note we are currently having a clearance sale on some truly delicious sausages, come over to the Valley Alliance tower and try them for yourself. Mention this report and we’ll scrape the mould off them for free!
  • We also had that shifty scout known as Walker with us…

It all started in a pleasant enough way, as these little excursions usually do. We had been told to rendezvous at a Dai-fah-dyne Inn, where we would meet with the Drow Ambassador. After walking all day, I was beginning to think that a warm room, some beer and a nice sausage or two would be lovely, and so it was annoying to be greeted by our scouts, hastily returning to tell us that there were gruff voices on the path ahead.

We dealt with this in the traditional YMCA way, which involved preparing for imminent combat (since diplomacy is disapproved of by Jana, who considers it boring and pointless) However, our initial contact with a group of gruffly voiced Drow all seemed to be going nicely. They even stepped to one side for us to walk between them, which seemed very hospitable… until they started beating us violently that is…

With the Drow dispatched, our wounds healed, and arguments about who was an incompetent leader and who had small genitals finally resolved, we continued on our way.

With the Inn just around the corner, by our reckoning, we encountered a group of Gypsies, who were camped out in the woods. The Gypsies had a ward up around their encampment, and guards. The only people able to breach the ward were Jarna and Anoushka (both Gypsies themselves) and, for some reason, Ssissor. While inside the Gypsy encampment, they were treated to a vision, which neither could remember properly, but seemed to involve two babes, and a prophecy.

On arriving at the Inn, we were greeted by a Dai-Fah-Dyne fellow named Muhammed Hammed, who bid us welcome, and tried to charge us extra because of the number of guests we had. He was instructed in no uncertain terms as to the exact location where his request could be inserted, and with this he bid us welcome to his Inn.

Inside the Inn were four boxes, one with a Wolfhold symbol on it, one with a Dymwan symbol on it, and two more with some kind of Drowy symbols on them. We were unable to open any of the boxes except for the Wolfhold box, which contained a letter, telling us that the ambassador would be joining us the next day.

Additionally when we arrived, there were two Drow, hanging around and looking sinister in that sinister way that Drow have. They were apparently from house Gurthel, who’re apparently not a very nice group of sinister dark elfy types. Anyway, they collected their letter, and wandered off into the night.

It needs to be said at this point, that this was truly one of the finest Inns in which I have ever stayed. There were certainly no rats at the Inn, or even any rodents of any sort. They must have a particularly effective cat, since it is very rare to find a Inn as free from rat infestation as this one was.

Having explored the fine Inn, we got ourselves better acquainted with beer, food and such. There were several incidents during the evening where people in the party received wounds, and contracted diseases. It is hard to guess where they were coming from, since there were certainly no rats, even giant ones, which could have been doing this… the mystery continues…

During the evening we were visited by a Dymwan fellow, who insisted in allowing his undead to wander aimlessly around among us, causing distress among the YMCA (except of course for Anoushka, who adopted a glazed expression and stared at them in a faintly aroused way… disturbing…) The Dymwan collected his note from the box, and departed.

After the Dymwan had left, and we had some completely un-rat-related events, we were visited by a large number of Gypsies, including the Gypsy king. He told us that we were to find an item for him, and that in return he’d give us some hard cash. Nothing motivates the YMCA quite like a fistful of gests (except, of course, for the opportunity to murder somebody and TAKE their gests) so we agreed.

We were also given a note by the Dai-Fah-Dyne, who offered us money to translate it. We gave the note to Elbow, who failed miserably, and then passed it on to Squire Arithis, who proceeded to spend every waking moment of the next few days working on it.

After much beer and Gillipo related insanity we all turned in for the night.

The next morning we were rudely awakened by a hoard of undead swarming through the building. Fortunately most people were up and about, but due to the fact that we were spread out across the building we were subjected to quite thumping, and a large number of our group were left paralysed or seriously injured as a result. Outcome: I used half of my power before we had even left the Inn.

When we were healed up, and looking less mangled, we started out for a watery place, where we had been told we could find the item that the Gypsy King wanted.

On arrival, we met a gentleman in a black and red tunic who we had met before. I do not remember his name, or what he was doing, but he chatted to us for a bit, and then wandered off past us. We continued, and then met some weird, fishy undead things, which we turned into a fishy smelling pile of corpses without too much difficulty.

We traversed a rocky cliff face, and arrived down on the beach, where we spotted a load more of the fishy undead things in the distance. Needless to say, we closed on them and took them apart one by one, the crone cackling evilly with every one that fell. After the fight we were feeling fairly mangled, so I used the rest of my remaining power, and some that I transferred from others, to heal the wounded. We then had a long winded discussion about whether to meditate or simply do a bit more power shuffling. The power shuffling won, and we moved on up the beach to find a defensible position in which to do this.

Having found a rock which was vaguely defensible, I began transferring energy from other members of the party to myself. Whilst doing this, more of the fishy folk, along with a Dymwan and several undead appeared. I was deep in concentration at the time, but apparently Elbow decided to fight one of them alone. When I came round from transferring power, Elbow was looking particularly mangled and required most of the power I had transferred to put him back in a fit condition to face the necromancer and his undead horde.

Face them we did…

Not well, it has to be said, but we did actually face them… Half way through the fight I was chased around by a particularly sprightly ghoul, and paralysed, which was particularly unpleasant for me. When I regained movement, the party… or what was left of them at least, were still being beaten around by the undead while the necromancer looked on in evident amusement. Half the party were lying on the ground not moving, and the fight had moved over them so I was unable to get to them. This worried me greatly, since I was aware from Sly Like Fox’s shouting that several of them needed elixirs to bring them back to the world of the living.

Urging the warriors on with promises of what Jana would do to them if they let her slip away, we eventually bettered the undead (though the Dymwan wandered off up the beach before we had the opportunity to do anything unpleasant to him. This gave me the chance to reach the fallen. Four required elixirs, including Jana, Ssissor, Crone and Anoushka. A difficult decision had to be made, and I immediately elixired Jana, since as group leader, it needed to be her who made the decision concerning who lived and who died. With Jana on her feet, she made the obvious choice that Ssissor needed to be elixired, since he had healing. It was then between Crone and Anoushka. Bravely, Jana remained impartial, despite the fact that it was her own sister dying. She chose to elixir Crone, since she had more power. With Crone elixired, Anoushka was resurrected using a potion from walker, and we all went off to meditate or read our spell books…

When I came back round again from meditating, all fired up and ready to heal, the party had decided to go murder the Dymwan in cold blood (as is often the case with YMCA) Without further ado, we wandered off in search of him, with Anoushka tripping over everything in sight.

As we rounded a corner, we found 2 wards – 1 containing 2 dirty great big things which looked like gollums but could have been anything really, and one with the Dymwan inside. We quickly ascertained that we couldn’t get to the necromancer, and that anybody carrying a weapon couldn’t enter the ward with the Gollum thingies in, which basically left me to go in with the gollums. On entry, I discovered I had to complete a puzzle. Now puzzles have never been my strong point, I have difficulty assembling toast in the morning, and a multi-part complex puzzle like this was WAY beyond my abilities. Even with the help of Arrol, stood outside the ward verbally abusing my incompetence and suggesting things in equal measure, it took me the best part of an hour and a half to complete it. Of course the completing of the puzzle was interspersed with random party members entering the ward and being horribly beaten about by the Gollums until they retreated again, but this barely requires mentioning, since it is to be expected with several bored homicidal YMCA members around.

With puzzle eventually completed, we beat the necromancer into greasy pieces, and took his box of stuff that the Gypsy king wanted.

Next problem – the box was trapped (as seems to be the case with all boxes)

Fortunately there was a severed hand next to the box, which we used to open the box, avoiding the cleverly placed trap, to gaze in awe and wonder at… the next box… a box within a box… how annoying… We set to work on this one, which unfortunately the severed hand would not open, and even more unfortunately triggered a trap which knocked out Elbow.

Once this box had been opened, revealing yet another box, we got more aggravated. Arrol triggered a trap, doing a huge amount of damage and leaving him with only a small amount of life left. Opening this box revealed yet another box, which triggered a trap leaving Arrol without life at all – though not actually dead.

When it came to the last box in the sequence, we knew what to expect in terms of traps, since they seemed to be increasing evil sphere invocations a rank at a time. Next simply HAD to be a touch of death. Fortunately Anoushka had died earlier, and was consequently able to ‘take one for the group’ without further damage to her spiritual strength.

Inside this box was a shrunken head, which immediately caught the attention of Anoushka, Walker and Arrol. Unfortunately, Arrol and Walker picked it up first, and became like little gibbering children, insisting on playing stupid games and chasing each other. Crone also picked up the head, but her sanity seemed unaffected, probably due to her senility.

With gibbering idiots in tow, we returned the way we had come, fairly unhindered until, rounding a bend close to the inn we discovered a huge crowd of Halmadonians. Now normally I have no problem with Halmadonians, they seem perfectly reasonable when dealing with users of the good sphere, but unfortunately, with a party composed mainly of evilly aligned individuals, things didn’t seem quite as friendly as usual.

The Halmadonians demanded that we hand over the artefact that we were going to give to the Gypsy King, and told us that we had 5 minutes to do so or we would all be smashed into little pieces. We quickly retreated a short way, and arguments ensued about whether we could ‘ave ‘em or not. Being low on healing, and having 2 of our mightiest warriors gibbering and playing catch we decided that maybe it would be a better idea to give them what they wanted and worry about the Gypsy King later.

We approached the Halmadonians again, and told them that they could have it. This was when we realised that we couldn’t find the shrunken head that was the object of the Halmadonian Captain’s desire. This seemed to anger him… quite a lot in fact, since him and his men started advancing slowly. It was then, after a frantic search, that we managed to find the head, which we duly gave to one of the Halmadonians, warning him about what had happened to Walker and Arrol. Immediately the head was transferred, the Halmadonian who took it started acting like a child also, which was a relief.

With this, the Halmadonians left us to lick our wounds, and we returned to the Inn without further incident.

As we arrived back at the Inn, we saw the Drow ambassador waiting for us outside. However, as we approached, we witnessed an assassin slay both the ambassador and his companion before disappearing round the building and away. The assassin appeared to be the man who we had met earlier in the black and red tunic. We ran to assist, but by the time we arrived the ambassador was dead, and we had no means to resurrect him.

Back at the Inn, where there were still no rats or any other giant sized vicious vermin, we had a brief interlude of quiet, where food was eaten, drinks were shared, and a pleasant time was had by all. Muhammed Hammed agreed to resurrect the Drow ambassador, but only if he were allowed to attend the meeting with the Drow and do it there, where the Drow could witness his goodwill, and hopefully would be impressed enough to use his Inn in the future. We could do nothing to dissuade him, and so it was agreed that he would accompany us and do the resurrection at the meeting.

After a few hours of peace, we were told by our guards that there were lights and movement some way out from the inn, and we decided that now would be the time to go and interfere with whatever was going on.

After several minutes walk we came across more gypsies, having what appeared to be a meeting by candlelight. They were discussing whether the two babes, presumably the ones mentioned in the earlier vision should be allowed to stay, or whether they should be killed. There appeared to be some argument, with opinions divided as to whether to allow them to stay or kill them. Eventually the one they called the Gypsy King (though he looked nothing like the Gypsy King we had seen earlier) decreed that the babes should be exiled, and the meeting was called to a close. As we watched, all but a few left, and those remaining decided to kill the Gypsy King. Due to the fact we were unable to interfere with the proceedings we decided that this must have been a vision.

As the vision faded, a group from the Labyrinth of Xenos appeared, with a white drone and several baby minotaurs. They appeared to be about to pass, but as they walked by they noticed Democritus, and turned on us. In the ensuing chaos, Democritus was surrounded and knocked unconscious. The Labyrinth of Xenos then started to drag him away. Deciding that Democritus was too valuable to be taken (after all, we could melt him down and make a fortune one day) we pursued and rescued him from their clutches.

Having healed Democritus up, we returned to the Inn where there were certainly no incidents with giant rats. Somehow Anoushka acquired a skeleton, which she immediately christened Gillius after the skeletal remains we had found on our previous outing. She proceeded to play with the skeleton all night, and was very upset when Gillius, the scout we had rescued previously turned up unannounced and resurrected. She proclaimed that he was “not as attractive with his trousers on” and sulked until he left… with this disturbing display out of the way we drank a lot and passed out.

The next morning, we set off to find the Drow group who we were to present the ambassador to. Part way up the path we encountered a group of Drow from a rival house, who we immediately laid into with gusto. During the fight I was chased down by one of the Drow, and after a severe beating all went black.

This is the last thing I remember before I was awoken, cold and afraid in the Valley Alliance, only to be told that I had been slain during the fight. Apparently the YMCA were successful in bringing the ambassador to his meeting, and everything went smoothly.

Dibbler. Wannabee Hospitaller and High Class Butcher to the Finest Folk in the Towers.