The Ballad of Stank Rankins and Tremors Bacon
CMA-Award Winner, Stank Rankins
The heroes go chasing waterfalls and meet Krump, a great dancer and a bugbear, but not an infected one! Nice! Someone for Nahk to chat with. Krump regales them with stories of the heyday of bugbear life, just going on raids, hanging out, but then the water started getting poisoned, and that was no good. He prays to Murgatroyd as they take refuge in Livius’s tiny hut and KB takes watch.
Cas gives Krump the ring of water walking after having some nice talks with him. The gang then ranks themselves on stink for some reason:
From least to most stank:
- Nahk, weirdly
- Abe, which tracks
Gotta catch ‘em all
The heroes head to the human settlement where Abe, Sora maybe, Hobbes probably, and Livius I think are led into the disused castle. Meanwhile the rest of the gang hang back in the tall grass with Krump and watch as the miners head down a path to the mines and the rest of the people return to their work, herding goats and llamas.
The humans then sort of box in the heroes while awaiting their leader, and the humans are no longer humans and are rakshasas. Yikes! Their leader, the Bakasura comes out and has a chat.
The Bakasura smells the sirablood on Abraham from the various explosions earlier that day (and again, Abraham and hygiene are canonically not a match). They start talking. Not sure where the conversation went exactly, but the ebbs and flows basically led the Bakasura to overhearing what the heroes were saying, by using detect thoughts because he’s a rakshasa and that’s their main move, and the Bakasura also reveals that he can smell Hespero/The Hidimba on them, and they lay it out on the table:
- We’ll bring you some devils ore and sirablood
- Sure, I’ll tell my miners to stop work so that the water stops getting tainted by the sirablood and driving people crazy
- We’ll continue working to free the demiplane
- And I’ll stop mining because that’s the main reason I’m excavating: to find enough sirablood to find a way to escape the demiplane
- And maybe we can work together or whatever when we’re on the other side
- Sure, but after 7 days, I start mining again
The heroes also learn that the rakshasas keep reincarnating since they are trapped on the demiplane and aren’t returned to hell when they die.
You’re not locked in here with me, I’m locked in here with me
The heroes decide to check out what’s going on at Krump’s village. They find his chief just has gone totally bonkers and so have some others, but the heroes manage to kill the infected and free the bugbears that locked themselves in a cage to avoid a worse fate.
At some point KB hurt Krump on accident and Krump said, “I thought we were friends!” But they sort it out.
Quotes I don’t have places for because I don’t remember where they went
- “No I’m 25, you flatter me.” – Casimir, probably
- “If I die here I die in real life.”
- Abraham Doubtfire
- Featuring Hobbes as Tremors Bacon
- “Call me out by your name and I’ll call you out by mine”
- “That’s so ranger.” No idea why, none of you are rangers.
- “Don’t toss too many salads!”
After arguing about what to do next (What if we trap the Bakasura in a pokéball? If the rakshasas just reincarnate, maybe we can grind them for XP) The heroes head down to the mine. The rakshasas look at them suspiciously but they agree to let the heroes check out where the ore hits the water table.
The foreman Bulotros guides the heroes down the mine. Miners are still hard at work here in spite of the Bakasura’s promise. Bulotros tells them that
- The miners are kind of a caste of people below the rakshasas
- They are working together toward the common goal of mining enough sirablood to escape the demiplane
- He likes math!
Abe exposes himself as a flat earther.
But he also found a fresco, after his uncle disappeared mysteriously, that showed the Hidimba, who is the rakshasas’ leader, holding a skeleton and a human by a chain and the Bakasura prostrating at the Hidimba’s feet. Beside the fresco was a dark void.
Wow, wish Batty White was here
“I forget nothing,” Abe says, forgetting Nahk and Hobbes’s names. He pushing into the void, hearing whispers, feeling weird fleshy stuff everywhere, and finding himself unable to proceed.
The heroes daisy-chain/humanoid-centipede themselves deeper into the magically dark cavern. Sora is confronted with careless whispers of, “What is it? What does it want.”
Livius finds himself face to face with Kaldred (but not being able to see the face), a rakshasa-related monster that is surprisingly easy to talk to. He goes along with Livius and is like, “You can get me out of here?” ignoring Hobbes’s mild protest of, “Maybe we shouldn’t release a monster into the world.” Kaldred crunches down on a rakshasa that was in the room. Like some kind of giant monstrous version of Alf eating cats: Kaldred eats rakshasas.
But it’s cool because the monster isn’t able to leave for some reason. Kaldred doesn’t buy what Livius is putting down, especially since he is talking about bringing the rakshasas down to help him get out, so Kaldred whips him across the face pretty nasty.
The Picnic Plot
The heroes come back up and come up with a plan. They take a short rest picnic on the hill above the mine entrance, in full view of the rakshasa guards. After the hour is up and the guards and miners start leaving, in an effort to lure the rakshasas into the dark void to have Kaldred eat them, Sora tells the rakshasas that she heard some water in the mines below and followed it, only to find herself in a dark inky void. That she had been separated from the party. The rakshasa uses detect thoughts and becomes suspicious.
They wrangle Bulotros to corroborate Sora’s story. With a dagger to his throat, the rakshasa warns Bulotros not to lie “Because I’ll know if you lie” and asks if what Sora is saying is true. Bulotros, with terror in his eyes, says, “No.”
It is sunset on day 34 since the Battle of Aurochs Island, the first engagement in the Argoti-Mineosi War.
The heroes are on a hill looking over the entrance to the Bakasura’s mine.
Three islands left: Nistora, Dorost, and Charatos.
All three keys have been retrieved.
The dogs are on the ship.
Malory is on the material plane with Hespero
You have four solid cubes with keyholes and a ring of seven keys:
- KB has one of the pine wood cubes
- Livius has the cube made of bone found in Iskos Valley Village’s elders’ hut
- The Alchemist has one of the pine wood cubes, the obsidian cube found at Natalya’s tomb, and the ring of seven keys
You are on a demiplane, and Zulon has been on the material plane for three full days.
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