Lost Souls

Fungus & Flagons

The party plays a tavern game...

Thundersday, 9th of Nerth, Year 3033

As pandemonium begins to break out between the party and Willow, Korag-Gora, carrying Alonwyn, rushes away from the altercation. Magnus shouts in pain as an arrow pierces the flesh of his thigh

Willow, without missing a beat, pulls a small pouch from her belt, revealing a strange, white powder. Tossing it into the air and sending a cloud of foul-smelling dust into the nostrils of the party, Lilith and Kvothe find their magics rendered useless, transforming Kvothe back to his normal state from a giant badger. Willow explains that the dust is the spores of the “spell-jammer”, a fungus known to dispel magic and quell magical abilities. Lilith, now panicking without her abilities, flies directly up into the air, above the crowd of agitated gnomish workers and soldiers. Alistair remains hidden from the crowd, hiding in the shadows of the barracks.

Meanwhile, hundreds of feet away, Korag-Gora unties Alonwyn, who says they should have stayed with their friends. She asks him to come with as she heads back down the road, but Korag-Gora refuses to head back to Mushburrow.

Back in the village, Magnus, dropping his daggers, gritting in pain, holds his hands up and pleads with Willow, asking her to hold on and not attack anymore. Willow slowly lowers her bow, eyeing the halfling with suspicion. As this happens, a shrill cry rings out from beyond the crowd of gnomes.

An old, hunched gnome, flanked by Raff, an exceptionally large giant badger, and Barkley, emerges from a large toadstool mansion on the other side of the plaza. The gnome is withered and hunched over, leaning on a walking stick adorned with the shape of a large toadstool on the end, with a long, thin, white beard. As he cries out, he begins coughing and hacking a wet and unpleasant cough.

The gnome orders his men to stand down as Willow attempts to explain the strangers’ crimes. The old gnome waives away their crimes, saying that they are of utmost importance to them and that he wishes to speak with them on the morrow about the “rotheads”. He then orders Magnus to be imprisoned in the dungeons as collateral, so that the party does not leave or do anything stupid in the meantime. He then invites the rest of the group to stay at the local tavern, the Turgid Truffle, and to enjoy their time in Mushburrow. As Magnus is restrained by gnomish guards, the boss turns and disappears into his mansion once again.

Raff goes up to Magnus as he is being restrained, and begs him for forgiveness saying he couldn’t speak up or the Boss would know that he had made a deal with them. He promises to get Magnus out of the dungeon, but to go along with it for now. The guards lift Magnus above their shoulders and carry him through the barracks down below Mushburrow to the dungeons. Barkley reunites with the party, who apologize to the pooch for losing track of him.

Shortly thereafter, Alonwyn arrives in the village center again to find the party missing Magnus. Lilith and Kvothe explain what happened while she and Korag-Gora had abandoned the group.

Willow approaches the party and apologizes for attacking them, but explains that she has to uphold her duty to protect the village. She also expresses her hatred of Magnus.

She explains to them that the boss of Mushburrow is named Gazrik Capwink, and that he is consumed with hatred for the myconids, who he sees as enemies of the gnomes because of the death of his son, Gimble, due to their poison spores. She says that Gazrik wants to wipe out the myconids completely, and that he wants to interrogate the party for information to help in this endeavor, or possibly enlist their aid.

She begs the group to not give Gazrik any information, as she is against the xenocide of the myconids, and wants to find a peaceful resolution. She suggests they lay low and leave Mushburrow in the middle of the night.

After hearing this troubling information, the group decide to reunited with Korag-Gora and try to coerce him into joining up again. They find Korag-Gora waiting statue-like at the gate to Mushburrow, and are able to persuade him to follow them back with the promise that they will leave the village soon.

Meanwhile, in the dungeons below Mushburrow, Magnus is locked in a cell. Magnus persuades Raff to make the guards allow him to keep his belongings, but Raff tells the halfling rogue to behave himself and disappears to go attend to the Boss once more.

Once the guards clear out of the room, a solitary gnome guard is left sitting at a table. Magnus, still bleeding from his leg wound, yells out to the guard that he requires magical healing from his companions. The guard does his best to ignore him, but Magnus continues to harass the gnome, who reveals his name is Stimmy. Finally, he gives in, and disappears to find the party for Magnus.

Alistair, interested in the towering, hollowed tree stumps billowing clouds of water vapor, decides to approach the complex and see if he can get any information from the workers. As he approaches, passing groups of gnomes and roving badgers pulling carts of supplies, he comes to the entrance of the left structure. Stopping a passing gnome worker, Alistair inquires if he can learn about some of the mushrooms they farm here, as he is searching for a specific one. The gnome, looking somewhat irked to have his work interrupted, says that if he comes back later that evening, the archivist would speak with him about it.

Stimmy emerges from the barracks and nervously asks Alonwyn to heal Magnus. They go down through the tunnels to the dungeon and Alonwyn uses her divine healing to mend the halfling’s arrow wound. Raff shows up and is surprised to see the entire party in the cell with Magnus. In an effort to make it up to the party for letting them down, he offers drinks at the Turgid Truffle, wanting to have a good time and blow off some steam. Magnus, now freed from the cell, decides to stay in the cell to avoid causing even more trouble for the party. Also, he says he wants to keep Stimmy the Dungeon Keeper company, much to the gnome’s distress.

Finally, the group gives in and follows Raff back to the tavern as the sun begins to set. Outside the tavern, Raff hypes the group up for a round of “fungus & flagons”, a drinking game of chance with some stomach-turning consequences. The party does not seem enthused, but after some convincing, they agree to come inside. Korag-Gora refuses to enter, as his shield won’t fit through the door, and instead elects to sit on the ground. Disappointed, Raff challenges Korag-Gora in an effort to spark his competitive edge, but the goliath cannot be swayed.

Inside, the Turgid Truffle is abustle with activity. One of the only buildings in Mushburrow accommodating for larger humanoids, a few human mercenaries can be seen drinking alongside the many gnomes. A gnomish bard plays a lute alongside a drummer. A large truffle hog is splayed out on the floor in front of the bar, its body heaving as it sleeps happily despite the din of the barroom.

Raff calls to the barkeep for a game of fungus & flagons, much to the cheers and applause of the room. A table is prepared with a spinning, circular apparatus upon which six metal flagons are placed and filled with ale. The barkeep produces a small box, and upon opening it, a hideously foul stench greets the nostrils of the party. Using tongs, he pulls a glob of what appears to be a putrid, fungal growth from the box and, before anyone can protest, drops it into one of the flagons and gives the spinning surface a good whirl.

Now in the dark as to which flagon contains the disgusting fungus, the six players (in this case, Alistair, Kvothe, Lilith, Alonwyn, Raff, and a gnome named Trilby) take turns selecting flagons and gulping down the entirety of the liquid therein at once. The rules are simple – everyone puts in a gold piece; when someone loses the contents of their stomach, they are out of the game; the last one standing wins the pile of gold, unless the person who gets the fungus manages to keep it down!

Kvothe, taking a bold strategy, decides to use his druidic magic to detect poison within the flagons to identify the one containing the toxic cocktail. Grabbing the one containing the fungus, sure that his stomach will not fail him, he tosses it back, and is met with the foulest flavor ever to grace his tongue. Choking the noxious mixture down, he feels his stomach turn, and promptly vomits. Next, Trilby the unfortunate gnome accidentally chooses the fungus as well, and is eliminated when he eliminates his dinner. Soon after, Raff selects the fungus and runs outside to puke, Korag-Gora watching the pathetic display. Finally, Alistair ends up with the fungus, but is unphased by the horrible taste. The warlock acts his best to be disgusted and hold back his vomit, putting on a convincing enough display to convince the crowd of onlookers, and wins the game thanks to his undead stomach. As everyone prepares the next game, Alistair slips out of the tavern and heads back to the mushroom “factory” in search of the archivist.

Back in the dungeon, Magnus torments Stimmy with a game of “five-finger-filet”, winning some easy gold with his dexterous skills as the poor gnome self-inflicts a hand wound in the challenge.

As Alistair walks through the dark, quiet hub of the village, he looks over to the manse of Gazrik, and sees a silhouette peering from the dimly-lit window. Undeterred, he slips into the shadows and continues his way to the factory entrance he visited earlier.

Back at the tavern, a new game of fungus & flagons is beginning. Unexpectedly, Korag-Gora enters the building and approaches the table. Grabbing all six flagons at once, he pours the ale down his throat, jaw wide, ale pouring down his huge chest. The crowd watches him in silence and awe, and the barkeep sheepishly mentions that they hadn’t even put the fungus in yet. Korag-Gora silently leaves the tavern.

They start a new round, this time only Kvothe and Alonwyn along with four other gnomes named Fuddydud, Boddynok, Stabnik, and Fwoozel. After much gnomish vomit being spewed, Alonwyn finds the fungus, and through a critical moment of intestinal fortitude, is able to stomach the heinous fungus and win the game. Now having ingested quite a lot of alcohol, Lilith and Alonwyn start dancing and making merry with the gnomes as the bards play their gnomish jigs.

Now only Kvothe left with a thirst for fungus, a final game is started, this time with the same gnomes and a new challenger named Ankle. The game is long and arduous, with many gnomes projectile vomiting on each other in a disgusting and pathetic display, but Kvothe is able to pick up the win and secure the gold as the other gnomes drop like flies.

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