The Dungeon Run - Episode 1 Through the Portal

The Dungeon Run - Episode 1 Through the Portal

"The Beginning" is the first episode of the series. It introduces us the the 5 main characters, Siv RedThistle (Jarred Kjack); Fahima Tadhg (Jessica Lynn Parsons); James Quillus (Morgan Peter Brown); Uggo (Ron Ogden); and Lily Dumblestuck (Katie Michels).

DM/GM Intro

"It started as a simple dungeon run. Five individuals all starting over, all starting new lives in an unfamiliar town. They answer a call for adventurers, a scroll hastily tacked to a signpost invited them to find treasure in the abandoned lair... AND treasure they found indeed, though their guide was quickly and unceremoniously killed by a trap of his own making and one of their number caused an explosion which destroyed part of the dungeon itself casting him over the side of a rushing waterfall, and terrifying Acid Spitting Dragon Rats stood in the way. Our band of neophyte adventurers persevered, and perhaps even began trusting one another. Ultimately, in the depths of the Dragon's Lair, they found an item of unquestionably magical origin. What is it, and how will they free it from its crystal prison?"
"A plan is formulated and the team agrees to meet here, at the inn at "The Gentle Oak". And so, our story begins like many stories begin... in a tavern. This tavern, sitting in the shade of an oak tree is a place for weary travelers and local citizens of Kippleturn alike, to socialize over a decent mug of ale or a tankard of wine. It's a rustic wooden structure, loosely separated into two sides. On the left, the grey cobblestone floor with large rectangular dining tables, where customers enjoy tufts of bread dipped into thick stews. And on the right, a wood planked floor with square tables for drinkers and those conversing in whispers and chunks. The smell of cooked meat and spilled beer mixes with pipe smoke and a hint of perfume. It's nearing dusk and the pub is beginning to fill with colorful patrons. The mood is light, behind the bar, Rhal the barkeep serves up mead and smiles in equal measure. Before long, the bell on the tavern door jingles, and the first of our adventurers enters." 

Character Introductions

The massive six-foot six-inch frame of Uggo squeezes its way through the entrance, as each of the tavern patrons stops a moment to take note of the towering green Orc. What they see, these tavern patrons who interrupt their meal to get a look is a crop of black shaggy hair neatly top knotted, revealing a chiseled friendly face, shining green eyes set low within their sockets and leafy green skin that compliments his sharp, almost human-like facial features. This is the face of Uggo, a contradiction among orcs.  He stands tallest among them, but he is more barrel-chested than he is muscle-bound. Many would call him huggable. There's something enigmatic about Uggo - perhaps it's his unusual friends, or perhaps it's simply his disposition. For an orc, he often overcomes the initial reaction to his appearance because when you talk to him, more than once you realize how human he really is.

Uggo makes his way to a square table at the back and plops himself down.

The doorbell jingles again, and in bounds Lily Dumblestuck, a slight 22-year-old Beach Gnome standing at just three-feet, three-inches tall. She has strawberry blond hair, a freckled face, and olive skin. Her eyes are blue-green like the shores of her home island of Bingle, and her walk is chipper and upright. She is generally smiling and making eye contact with everyone she sees. She wears a teal vest with gold accents over a white dress.

Lily speaks with the barkeep and tells him about how she saw two people die while making eye-contact with them, which really made her grow up.

A bell on the door announces the presence of a new entrant to the room, and swings open again to reveal a flash of red curls. It's Fahima Tadhg. Fahima is a Fire Genasi but appears mostly human. She's 18, and pretty small and light due to her fire genasi genetics. She has dark golden skin, amber eyes, Harry Potter-style round black glasses, and long thick curly red-orange hair that crackles and twists like fire when she casts spells or experiences intense emotions.  She's dressed less like a wizard and more like she's ready to go tomb raiding, in brown pants, knee-high waterproof boots, a tan button-up shirt, and a long brown coat, with a spell-book stuffed in her backpack, and a dagger in her boot.

Fahima spots Lily and Uggo drinking. She admits she’s never had a drink and starts chugging Uggo’s beer. Lily shares she has a hospitality background and warns Fahima against drinking too much too fast.

That familiar jingle chimes again as you hear the door swing open, and in stumbles James Quillis. James is a tall, human, male in his 30s. Fair skinned and a little on the scrawny side, with shaggy hair and a small pair of eyeglasses poised on the end of his nose. His sloped shoulders and shrunken posture might suggest that he has some experience at making himself look small and harmless. His eyes dart nervously around the room as he cleans his glasses with the end of his cloak. He spots his teammates and hurriedly joins them in the back.

Fahima shares she learned a new spell that can help the party if they fall from a great height again, and Uggo responds that he wishes he would like to learn to read.

The bell on the door doesn't jingle, and few people in the tavern even notice the door open and close, as a tall, lanky cat man makes his way into the room. Siv RedThistle glides in with the grace of an Olympic gymnast and a skilled hunter, all rolled into one. His long, lean, golden body has barely an ounce of fat anywhere on it. Iridescent shimmering green eyes scan the room from beneath his flowing red headscarf and hood. Hidden within all this guile and grace is an oily roughness, comprised of old patchwork leather straps, a curved knife, and several tiny scars from years of sleeping in the streets.  Yet, despite it all, the rare warm smile of a curious Tabaxi escapes his lips. And if you look quick enough, you might catch him sneaking a crust of bread into his pocket to be nibbled away by a small mottled brown house mouse.

Part I: The Gentle Oak

Siv tells Uggo he has a gift for him that he will give to him later. He also shows the team a bow he had just acquired.

James tells the group there is someone, a wizard in yellow, on their way to meet them about the magical item they acquired from the Dragon’s Lair in Episode 0.

They spot a large man dressed very nicely, who has a big yellow flower on his lapel. James approaches him, and learns his name is Dufo Hims. Dufo explains he is a proprietor of fine perfumes and offers them samples. Uggo tries a sample and finds it's very sickly sweet and potent. So much so, in fact, that it imposes a negative to Stealth Checks. Despite this, Uggo loves it and buys some.

The door slams open and they see a frazzled young boy in long yellow robes and a big yellow hat rush in. He introduces himself as Suth. He tells the party he is there in the stead of his master, Torvalt the Timid, who can help them with their magical item. He asks to see it, but the party doesn’t quite trust him. Fahima sculpts a miniature of the item with conjuration magic to prove they have it. Suth says he knows his master would love to study it and can free it from its crystal encasing. He explains it is his master’s charge to “make sure nothing evil prevails in this world, and to maintain a balance.”  He has magical means of transporting the party to Torvalt.

Then, the party hears the door jingle very loudly. Time seems to slow down as all at once, they see an arrow whiz by their field of view. Kobolds begin to pelt the tavern walls with arrows and kill a patron. Lily stands up on the table, looks the kobold in the eyes, and casts vicious mockery. Then, Uggo rushes at a kobold with his massive war hammer and smashes down vertically on his head. The kobold squishes down like stepping on a can and dies. James pulls an inky black orb out of his cloak and casts Hex on a kobold. He then casts Toll the Dead, and the sound of an ethereal bell goes off near its head. The sound is so terrible that he screams and blood starts coming out of the kobold's ears. He crumples and lands on the floor. Fahima turns to a kobold out of the window, pulls fire from her hair, and shoots a Firebolt at it, taking it down. Meanwhile, Siv takes a sip of his beer while surveying the fray. He sets down his beer, leaps over the bar, and mid-tumble, shoots an arrow at a nearby kobold. He kneels down to assess the damage to the barkeep. The party becomes aware that the kobolds have lit their surroundings on fire, and the tavern is starting to burn dangerously quickly.

Suth whirls his hand, and spinning tendrils of silver wisps break through the back wall. A shimmering portal on the back wall appears. Siv picks up the barkeep and heaves him over the bar in an attempt to pull him out of the burning tavern. Lily casts Cure Wounds on him, which heals him enough to take care of himself. Siv then grabs Dufo and leaps through the portal, but Dufo fails to make a dexterous jump and gets caught halfway through. Uggo grabs Lily and jumps through the portal. Fahima attempts to shield Suth from attack, but he is caught in the shoulder with an arrow. He falls to one knee, and portal closes, horrifically chopping Dufo in half. Unfortunately, Lily had locked eyes with his upper half that had gone through the portal, and watches him die.

James and Fahima continue to fight in the tavern, acting as a shield so Suth so can recast the portal. They both successfully leap through.

Part II: Torvalt the Timid

"The first thing you notice... is the smell. Like freshly cut pine, loose dirt, and pollen. You also notice the smell of the bisected Dufo. It's sickly sweet because he's a perfumed man. Behind you, past the portal, tree stumps litter a green field as if a forest had been cleared. Below your feet, burned patches on the ground seem to be the birthplace of new plants; grass and other small flower buds. Above you, dark clouds linger. Just ahead seems to be a small area cultivated for growing herbs. Poppies in a small cluster lead your eye down the hill to a clearing below, where you can see some tents clustered around a stone campfire."

Lily, traumatized, sings her first song at 30:38:

"Look me in the eye, I see you die.

Never look a Lily in the eye.
Look me in the face, it's a big mistake.
Cuz when you see me your life they take."
Very shortly after, James and Fahima fall through the portal. Following them, Suth's arm, face and head come through the portal. James and Uggo try to pull him through, but a gnarled claw pulls him back. He shouts "get to Torvalt!" before the untimely closing of the portal, which chops off his head and arms. James pukes at the scene. The party stashes Dufo in the poppies and puts Suth's body parts in a sack. They appoint Siv as the holder of the party gold.

Uggo names his maul after Lily because he finds her strong and smart, and his maul "breaks brains."

The party wanders down into the camp where they see a cluster of tents and a stone campfire. The approach the largest tent and meet Torvalt the Timid, a tall grey man with an immaculately well-kept beard, wearing a long white high collared waistcoat underneath a draping cream-colored sash. Adorning the neck of that waistcoat is a circular golden symbol that looks like arches over a teardrop shape (The symbol of The Natural Order). Torvalt tells them the mission of The Natural Order, which is to work in secret to investigate anomalies all over Aïn, and to restore peace and balance of the world. He tells them about The Wardens, which are creature that have protected the realm and have done so for generations. He fears they are gone or have been captured.

He sends them on a mission to investigate a mysterious structure, which he thinks is a Lodestar of Old. Meanwhile, he will investigate their magical item. Torvalt recognizes Fahima as a genasi, and tells her she, of all people, would know what a Lodestar is. Fahima looks mostly human, so she reveals to the party she's part genie. They have never heard of such a being before. Torvalt tells them that the Lodestars are home to The Skychildren, and are built as beacons in the sky for all manner of Good creatures. Torvalt reaches in the sack of Suth's body parts, and grabs the ostentatious earring Suth was wearing. He says the party can use it to communicate with him.

When the party beds down, James goes back to Torvalt's tent and asks him if he's heard of another member of The Natural Order, Hermile Fesh, who resides in Terlis. James says he says is like a father to him. Torvalt promises he'll make an attempt to reach out to him and connect the two while they investigate the Lodestar.

Part III: Discovery of The Lodestar of Old

The party wanders through the woods, and find the immense structure Torvalt told them about. The episode ends with the premiere of an incredibly detailed 3D model that looks like a castle turret that has fallen on its side.

Other songs that appeared in the episode:

In the Eye song time stamp (2:02:00)

“Look me in the eye,

I see you die
Never look Lily in the eye
Look me in the face, it's a big mistake '
Cause when you see me, your life they take”
Bedtime Song time stamp (2:48:22)

“Go to sleep, go to sleep

There's a man in the poppies
Go to sleep, go to bed
We will all rest our heads"

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