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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campaign

    Background - I'm running this at my job as a teen librarian, as an introductory game. I'm also a newbie GM. In theory, the theme will enable players to drop in and out easily. I'll be posting transcripts of my brief campaign journal (about one page a session), ranging from newspapers to letters and reports of each day's dungeon crawl.

    The name of the city and queen are (ahem) borrowed from Rich Burlew's "New World" campaign setting, though probably nothing else will be. I was desperate for a name and needed one on the fly ...

    Redwater Gazette
    Day 8 of our good Queen's reign


    Adventurers Retrieve Royal Regalia

    It was announced this morning that the items necessary for Her Majesty’s coronation, that is the sword, crown and scepter, were successfully recovered from the Royal Tomb yesterday afternoon by a team of adventurers. It is tradition to trap and guard the tomb, so adventurers were necessary to clear and prepare it for the king’s burial.
    “I selected four local experts for this task,” said Prime Minister Bartram. “They were a thief, a warrior, a magic-user, and an elven visitor. Her Majesty is pleased that the valuable magical artifacts were recovered intact.”
    The coronation is expected next week.

    Goblins discovered in Royal Tomb!

    Goblins have infested the tomb of our ancient kings, reports a guard who spoke anonymously.
    “I saw them adventurers coming out. One of them was cut up pretty bad. They said there was goblins back there and they’d been in a fight!”
    “This is an outrage!” thundered Speaker-of-the-Commons Williams. “Monsters in our holy sites! I want a full investigation into the guards and these so-called adventurers!”
    The Prime Minister stated that the goblins were all slain or fled, and that adventurers would be assigned to follow up and determine whether there is further danger to the city. He added, “We’re hiring, at a high rate of pay.”

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - a rookie XD20 campa

    Report on Events of Day 9
    By Lord Bartram, Prime Minister


    Review: On Day 8, four volunteer adventurers entered the royal tomb complex to “untrap” it. (Note: Must replace the Stone Golems they destroyed.) They discovered a small tribe of goblins which had looted the first king’s tomb and stolen the royal artifacts, but defeated and drove off the goblins and recovered the sword, crown and scepter. (Thank the Gods!) The goblins appeared to have entered from the city sewers, through a broken wall. Two of the adventurers (a student mage and visiting elf) volunteered the next day for further investigation, and were joined by a Guard chaplain and two prisoners — a warrior and a necromancer. (That last really sticks in my craw. We should have executed him.)

    Events: The party entered the city sewers as close as possible to the royal tomb complex, and quickly found the broken entrance to the tomb. They then explored other areas, and encountered a giant snapping turtle (!), three undead skeletons (!!) and the escaped goblins, all dead (!!!). They also report that at least one area is overrun with large, diseased rats. Several of the party sustained severe injuries, and were all knocked out at one point by gas. They appeared at the palace gate early this morning, much to the guards’ surprise.

    Worrisome thoughts:

    • Why did the Golems not respond to passwords?
    • How did the wall to the tomb break so that goblins could get in?
    • What killed the goblins, and why?
    • Where did the undead creatures come from?
    • Where did the live, oversized and horribly dangerous creatures come from?
    • What’s with the gas being introduced into the sewers?

    Must recruit more adventurers to find the answers!
    Last edited by JenBurdoo; 2015-09-05 at 09:38 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - a rookie XD20 campa

    The Redwater Rag
    All the Gossip Fit to Print

    Day 10 of our Queen's Glorious Reign! Huzzah!

    Who Are the "Troubleshooters"? - Anonymous guards and scribes report the formation of a strange new unit of the Palace Guard, the so-called "Queen's Own Troubleshooters." An odd squad, to be sure, and we think an incompetent one, as they often appear with fresh injuries. In the past three days a dozen different men and women have been witnessed in company, but none have all been seen together. They range from a student at the Royal Wizard's Academy and an ambassador from the Elf Mountains to mercenary soldiers, including a wild woman from the Orc Islands. Even -- Gods forbid -- a necromancer and an assassin. What is their deal? And just what is the government trying to force on us?

    Is the King a Ghost? And Who Killed Him? - Priests in the Royal Chapel report hearing voices while the King lies in state. Dire warnings and desperate pleas are typical of the lines spoken. And strangely, the bodies of the assassins were immediately destroyed and not even identified. One of the guards thought they might have been orcs, but he wasn't sure. Are the Orc Islands involved? Are we going to war?

    Pickpockets in Marketplace - Fourteen people reported valuables stolen yesterday, at about the same time the so-called "Troubleshooters" were present. When will the police deal with this crime wave?

    Scruffy People Everywhere - The so-called "Troubleshooters" were seen yesterday in the market place, at the palace, in the nobles' quarter and at the Wizards' Tower. Tramping all over the place without so much as a by-your-leave, they are rumored to be investigating the King's death. They made purchases at a weapons shop and gambled in the streets -- a waste of taxpayer money! Are Lord Briery and the Royal Wizard's Academy involved in the King's death, or are the investigators just idiots? Watch this space!

    Strange Goings-on at Mage School - The so-called "Troubleshooters" visited the Royal Wizard's Academy yesterday, in company with a mysterious hooded student known only as "The Mage." What's with her, and why is she so private? An unidentified prefect reports that the party visited the Magical Creatures and Death Studies offices, while an anonymous stableboy saw them teasing a harmless baby dragon. The warrior woman from the Orc Islands was seen frozen and floating out the front gate of the Tower. What is this world coming to?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Captain’s Log, the Good Ship Katie Quinn


    Day 11, noon – loading supplies for a journey to the Orc Islands. Our “special cargo” will be here tomorrow. Four of the crew are missing, possibly deserted. Must recruit more. Jim the cabin boy seems nervous, and Second Mate Smith is clearly unhappy, not sure why.
    Cargo manifest – Two tons grain, one ton fruit, one ton bricks, five hundred planks, ten thousand nails, three thousand rags, one hundred iron bars, one volume of “How to Construct Small Fortresses and Defence Works.” That sounds ominous.

    Day 11, 8pm – message from our employer – weather reports bad and pirates present on the high seas. Not a good omen. May the gods be with us.

    Day 12, 9am – Signed some new crew, a motley lot but beggars can’t be choosers. They were armed, which may come in handy, and one of them is an elemental mage – what luck! Special cargo loaded safely.

    Day 12, 10 am – Out Redwater Harbor, moving north along the coast at five knots. That mage is a wonder – she has wind magic and we’re going faster than I’ thought this old bucket could make.

    Day 12, evening – All seems well. Still sailing at a good clip. Clear skies. The new crew members are hard workers and have offered to stand watch tonight.

    Day 13, 8am – Jim is missing, possibly fallen overboard in the night. His mother will be heartbroken. And I have to write a report.

    Day 13, noon – An orc longship is approaching at high speed. Usually don’t see them out this far.

    Day 13, 12:30pm – the orcs just raised a black flag. All hands to battle stations. I hope the new crew are as good as they look. Gods protect us!
    Last edited by JenBurdoo; 2015-09-29 at 07:04 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Captain’s Log, the Good Ship Katie Quinn


    Day 13, evening – Well, that was an experience! I must tell our employer the waters have grown far too dangerous. I dread what the situation in the Orc Islands may be, if raiders are allowed to sail free on the trade routes.

    The longship attempted to ram us, but thank goodness we had the mage; she used wind powers to jig both ships and they slid alongside us. Luckily they were unable to latch on, but one of the adventurers, a fearsome dragonborn, leapt on board right into the middle of the orc-crew. In the meantime, the elf was sniping from the rigging, one of the clerics cast Sanctuary upon me and the helmsman to keep us undistracted, and the others held off the boarders from the bow. The Necromancer was using Spectral Hand, and the mage was using her wind powers to rock both ships and keep them apart. Everyone on both ships fell over at least twice, but the orcs and humans on the other ship were held off. Some of my crew saw amazing things down on that deck – the warrior was hacking through them like a man possessed, with magical aid and occasional bolts and arrows from his compatriots on our own deck.

    The last of the enemy was an orc shaman who gave as good as he got. The dragon born nearly had him, though, when the elf shot the orc through the eye. The dragonborn wasn’t too happy about that; said the elf “stole his kill”. After that the orc ship drifted away and the mage burned it to the waterline from a distance. I do hope there were no innocent prisoners aboard.

    The dragonborn warrior leapt overboard and was retrieved by the necromancer’s magic. I still don’t like that chap, but no doubt his spells are useful. The dragonborn brought a trophy with him, the shaman’s staff, and I don’t like that either. It appears to have death powers and shocks anyone who touches it.

    A couple crew were slightly injured, but otherwise no damage. The young sailor, Blade was so excited by the action he nearly fell overboard and had to be restrained. We should reach Sailor’s Haven in the morning.
    Last edited by JenBurdoo; 2015-09-29 at 07:05 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Hahaha these are great! Can't wait to see more of them, especially from that most honorable and trustworthy paper known as the Redwater Rag.

    Also, as a tribute to your group's brilliant name, I have an (originally) all-British Xenonauts squad known as the Queen's Own Troubleshooters.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Banned
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    I like the snarky reports on the group's shenanigans!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSASD View Post
    Also, as a tribute to your group's brilliant name, I have an (originally) all-British Xenonauts squad known as the Queen's Own Troubleshooters.
    Thanks for the vote of confidence, folks. More to come, next session is tomorrow.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Journal of Harz, Acolyte of the Fifth Circle
    Order of the Purple Dragon, Sailor's Haven, Orc Islands
    In the thirty-first year of the Great Dragon

    My tiny temple has been blessed! We were visited today by an actual relation of the Great Dragon Himself, a young but powerful half-dragon with a purple hue to his scales. He claimed he was a scion of the God; I'm not so sure but his blood is still holy and it was an honor to train him to use his lightning breath. He was weak at first, but a little concentration brought out a blinding light that filled the temple with power.

    His companions were heathens, but well-armed and polite -- especially the cleric, who could tell me little of his own God for he is its first follower. Being new to the trade, he had many questions about technique, which I answered to the best of my ability. It feels good to dispense my wisdom to newcomers -- while most orcs and humans here are already followers of the Dragon, it sometimes feels like I'm just going through the numbers. I feel refreshed!

    The other party members were an elf (hissss!) and three humans, two of them magic-users. One who smelt of death bore a Skull Staff! It was Yorx's staff, I recognized the scratches. He claimed he just "found it," but I fear for my old classmate. I did retrieve the staff for reconsecration. I did not confront him, for the half-dragon's sake.

    They enjoyed the sausages.

    There are many perils along the Sacred Way to the Mountain of Light. I granted them the use of a few of our weapons and potions. I saw the sign of the Dragon passing overhead tonight -- I pray it is a good omen, and that He will watch over his kin.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Banned
     
    Griffon

    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Quote Originally Posted by JenBurdoo View Post
    They enjoyed the sausages.
    Dammit... I need my sides today, and now you've gone and made me laugh them off

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Thirty-First Year of My Ownership of these Islands
    One hour's flight north of Sailor's Haven

    The sun rises bright and hot. I rise into the sky on thermals rising against my hills, and circle high in the sky. This is the season for pilgrims, and I wait for them to come from the south. I count seven small parties slowly making their way upcountry through my wasted lands.

    Below, I sight the bones of orcs and men -- males, females, and hatchlings. Standing over them, five dire scorpions, with bone-white chitin and gleaming dead eyes. I make to dive and avenge my creatures, they who worshipped me and died without my protection.

    But what is this? Another party, armed. Two elves -- tasty. A human warrior. Three human magic users -- a cleric, a mage and a necromancer -- followed by a dire leaping pack-rat, lifeless but animated by dark magic. And . . . . curious.

    A dragonborn. One of my own species, by the hue of his scales.

    I remain invisible and watch.

    The scorpions spring from the rocks as the group enters their nesting area. The warriors hack at their hard carapaces, while one of the magic users fireballs two of the monsters -- and the undead rat which has leapt onto one of them. One of the elves hurls his magical sword, splitting one of the scorpions. The other shoots a few arrows.

    They defeat the scorpions handily. A few are scratched up and all are clearly tired, but their youthful vigor and strength is clear.

    The cleric blesses the rat as they lay it to rest, and the necromancer raises one of the scorpions to replace it.

    In the night, the dragonborn experimentally casts a flame spell into the sky, illuminating the desert for leagues around. There is an altercation with the mage.

    I look forward to meeting them.
    Last edited by JenBurdoo; 2015-10-07 at 09:16 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Monastery of the Hills
    Thirty-first Year of the Great Dragon


    I, the Hierarchpriest of the Great Dragon, look about my small community as the sun falls. Ten of us live in this rude wooden building, with the light of the Dragon overhead on the hills. Tonight I walk out to view the sky for a sign of Its Holiness overhead, and what should I see but a ragtag group of … adventurers.

    There are also three traumatized children, clinging to the adventurers. The eldest tells me her family and other pilgrims were slain by sand-scorpions. One of the scorpions, arrows still sticking from its carapace, scuttles slowly behind its master, a necromancer who raised it. They are ragged and tired, clearly having fought a patch of jumping cacti. I ask their business.

    They wish to meet with the Dragon! I can hardly allow them to go up there. They are ruffians, and two of them are elves. One of them, a half-dragon, claims to be the Dragon's offspring. He spits lightning into the sky in a futile attempt to impress me. I let them stay.

    Perhaps this won't be so bad after all.

    After supper, most of the foreigners go outside to talk, while one of the elves stays alone to meditate. Excellent! I send three monks to secure him while I check on the other sacrifices. One of them has escaped. Scorch it! I alert the other monks, but the adventurers have found her. They enter and challenge me.

    Two of my monks, fleeing the elf I sent them to seize, burst into the room and the adventurers attack. The half-dragon charges, and I easily stop him with a Stunning Force spell.

    There is a general melee. They tire easily against our martial arts and struggle to enter through the only door, but two of my fellows are transfixed by arrows and two more impaled by an ice spike cast by their mage. I can hear more fighting outside. Their cleric heals the half-dragon, who charges me again. Distracted by arrows, I fall to his blade. I lie beside my leg, the half-dragon standing over me.

    Then the Great Dragon tears away the roof, and I gaze upon the scaly face of my god.
    Last edited by JenBurdoo; 2015-10-15 at 02:45 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    The campaign has collapsed (for the second time). It may still start up again, but for now it will end on a cliffhanger of sorts.

    Prime Minister's Journal

    Thirty-fourth day of our good Queen's reign

    It's time to face facts - the party I sent to the Orc Islands isn't coming back. Their ship, the Katie Quinn, returned after lingering longer than expected; her captain tells me they went searching for a dragon which has effectively taken over the islands. That's worrying enough, but the fact they haven't returned is worse. What could detain two warriors (one a dragonborn), an elven archer, a priest, a necromancer and an apprentice wizard?

    I think I just answered my own question.

    Back to the drawing board. Plans for the coronation are coming along well, but the chimney-sweeps' Guild has lost three of their members in the last week, and the University library shows alarming signs of sentience. Must find a new party. I shall write more later, provided we are not suddenly overwhelmed by a horde of dragon-worshipping orcs.

    Until another time,

    Lord Bartram
    Prime Minister of Redwater

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    The Redwater Rag
    All the Gossip Fit to Print
    Day 137 of our good Queen's reign. Long live Her Glorious Majesty!

    What happened in the Orc Islands? - A large party of men from the so-called "Queen's Own Troubleshooters" departed for the Orc Islands several months ago. They have not returned, and our anonymous sources report that they are missing, presumed dead. Is this not a sign that hiring ruffians to defend our nation was a mistake? What idiots couldn't deal with a bunch of scruffy orcs?

    Fires in Noble Quarter - An anonymous guardsman told our reporter that three new members of the so-called "Troubleshooters" went to investigate the mysterious fires that have recently plagued the Nobles' District of Redwater. Even more mysteriously, after they were done for the day, three houses had burned down, two of them to utter ashes. The third was still standing, but suffered severe water damage. Good work by our boys in blue? We think it suspicious that they "failed" to deal with the problem.

    Hideous monster blamed for attacks - One of our correspondents at the Royal Colleges of Magic suggests that the fires may have been started by a "salamander," a reptilian creature native to the Plains of Fire far to the south. This is a far-fetched explanation, but a possibility. Who is responsible for allowing it to terrorize the good citizens of Redwater? Are the so-called "Troubleshooters" incompetent, or is there a more menacing purpose to recent events?

    Are the so-called "Troubleshooters" incompetent? - Three men assigned by Her Majesty's Government (may Her Majesty live forever!) signally failed in their duty yesterday. Witnesses described an assassin-thief, who should have been limber, falling from a roof. Another who claims to be a monster hunter is thought to have collected evidence, but still failed to kill the mysterious fire beast. And the student mage who joined them caused severe water damage to a building while still allowing the creature to escape. Both he and the hunter were seen fleeing the area in abject terror, while the assassin reportedly stared down the monster and forced it to do his bidding with the power of his mind alone. What is his connection with this monstrous attacker, and is it benign?

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Redwater Gazette
    Day 138 of our good Queen's reign

    Four More Houses Burnt — Captain Brown of the Redwater Fire Watch admitted today that a crisis is growing in the Nobles’ Quarter of the city. He told a press conference that help is desperately needed. One-eyed Pat, Master of the Beggars’ Guild, added that his members will help “sweep” the city for fire hazards. Equipment and pay will be given any citizen who volunteers for the Fire Watch.

    Looting in Nobles’ Quarter — Captain Smith of the City Watch admitted yesterday that looters and thieves have been identified in the noble quarter of the capital. “It is likely they are adding to the danger by committing arson,” he said. Our reporter learned one such looter was caught by members of the Queen’s Own Troubleshooters yesterday, after an altercation and hostage situation. A man dressed in thieves’ garb and a young girl were both admitted to the palace infirmary, unconscious and soaked with blood. The Troubleshooters who brought them in were also injured, apparently by blades.

    Nobles Protest — The Duke of Briery demanded protection from the Royal Council for the valuables and safety of Her Majesty’s most gracious subjects. He added that unless the council acts, the lords of the capital would not answer for actions taken in their own defense. “My own dear daughter’s necklace went missing from her home yesternight!” he said. “Should not the City Watch or Queen’s Own have defended her rightful property?”

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfFighterGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Yay! You've returned! I look forward to reading more escapades of the Troubleshooters!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Date: 139th Day of Katrina II's Reign

    Facility: St. Mungo's Infirmary, Redwater Palace

    Attending Staff: Sister Valerie of the Order Hospitaller

    Patients: Unnamed thief, prisoner (Cracked skull, arrow in right clavicle, cuts from flying glass)

    Maisie DeShana, former noble, aged 10 (knife wound in throat, arrow through chest and back, severe malnutrition, assorted minor injuries)

    Vandle, warrior of the Queen's Own Troubleshooters, uncooperative idiot (broken nose, concussion)

    Details: A party of Troubleshooters brought the patients in. Magic and quick treatment saved the life of the little girl. The thief was in better condition and was interrogated; I had to step in and stop the warrior from browbeating the patient. I ordered the entire party out of the room and locked the door to the sickroom.

    The young lady was clearly terrified and attempted to escape, but was caught by the party mage and taken to the palace; I was impressed by the young man's patient attempt to calm her. I cannot say the same for his compatriots; the warrior tried to break down the sickroom door (Vandle is an appropriate name, isn't it?) and had to be subdued by nurse-warders, and the mystic thief attempted to break in from outside with a rope and grappling hook. In the process, he shattered the window, reinjuring the prisoner. I cut the rope and he fell on his head from the second-story ledge. I doubt it did much damage to his thick skull.

    Master Vandle was placed in a straitjacket and left in a closet to calm down, but continued to struggle, fell off the bed onto his face and broke his nose, which I reset before leaving him in "time-out." Gods save me from incompetent government operatives!

    Prime Minister's Addendum:

    Several Troubleshooters visited my office this evening to acquaint me with their progress on the fires in the noble quarter of the city. I learned they captured and interviewed a copycat arsonist. It seems he was paid to break into Lord Briery's mansion, steal a magical gem (which the Troubleshooters recovered and delivered to my keeping) and burn the building to cover his tracks. He could not remember who hired him (possible magical interference?).

    They also had in tow Lady Maisie DeShana, who has been missing for three months since her father was executed for treason, her brothers banished, and her sister married to Lord Briery. Her terror of being brought into my presence is entirely understandable. Lord Briery appeared at this point to demand his gem back; I refused as it is evidence in a criminal case. Miss DeShana attacked him, but the mage who had brought her subdued her, calmed her, and asked me to make him her temporary guardian. She will live in the barracks, as she clearly does not wish to be under her sister and brother-in-law's care. We shall have to revisit her case later.

    The salamander responsible for most of the fires has not been apprehended, but I understand the Troubleshooters drove it off in their encounter, and it has not been seen in two days.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Keeper's Report, Day 140 of Her Most Regal Majesty's Reign

    My Lords,

    Greetings. I beg leave to report the day's events. Severe damage was caused to the Menagerie and Gardens, but the Lesser Salamander (Flamasaurus Minor) was subdued by members of the Guard, including two rogues of the Queen's Own Troubleshooters. It was quite a sight to see!

    The creature appeared from nowhere, and damaged multiple structures in an apparent frenzy. Visitors were safely evacuated and a squad of spearmen arrived. They attacked at once, seeking to prod the salamander into custody. The beast caught two in its strong jaws, though I understand they will recover. I cannot say the same for one of the two blackthieves who joined them.

    While one thief seemingly tried to stare down the salamander, the other recklessly attacked. He was hurled into the nearby wall, stunned. Despite this provocation, the first thief (Trooper Sasuke) stood his ground and held the creature with his powerful gaze. I could feel the strength of his personality from a hundred yards. I sensed a battle of wills between man and beast, which, incredibly, was being won by the man. At this point the second thief struggled to his feet and attacked again.

    Once more, he fumbled his blows and was badly bitten by the salamander (he is presently unconscious and in critical condition). Despite this provocation, the salamander remained mesmerised. Master Sasuke maneuvered it into an empty cage, where it remains for your disposal.

    This was one of the most amazing things I have seen in my career. And mind you, I was first to study the courting dance of dragon-squirrels! I formally nominate Trooper Sasuke for a Queen's Medal, and enclose a magical pict of the incident for corroboration. I also wish to report four dead razorwings, six escaped llamas, and one oliphaunt which gave premature birth (healthy and whole, male, 305 kg).

    I remain, Sirs, your Obedient Servant,

    Jim Burns,

    Senior Keeper, Redwater Royal Menagerie ("All Creatures, Great and Small")

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    After-action report, Day 142 of Her Gracious Majesty's reign

    Sirs,

    At 1900 hrs yesternight, a report was received from fishermen of an unidentified ship sixteen leagues out from shore, sailing direct for Redwater Harbor. Sorcerers employed magical scrying to determine what they could, and found the ship was unmanned.

    At 0500 hrs, the bark Duchess Cecile observed the ship at close range. They reported no movement aboard, but a queer sound, like whispering or buzzing. Whilst the hull was of Redwater pattern, the sails were more similar to those of the Orc Islands. Markings suggested it might be the Princess of Redwater, which departed two years ago on a voyage of exploration but has not been seen since. The stern windows were shattered, but sight within could not be obtained.

    At 1100 hrs, three volunteers of the Queen's Own Troubleshooters took a sail-coracle out to the vessel, in order to stop it before it reached the Redwater Dockyards three leagues distant. These were:

    • Acting-Lance-Corporal Sasuke, QM, Mystic-thief
    • Trooper Chen, Warrior
    • Trooper Osiris isi mba, Apprentice Wizard (air discipline)

    As I understand it, the troopers were impatient to begin their mission. Apprentice Osiris attempted to teleport them to the deck of the mysterious ship, but this feat was beyond his beginning skill and all three were deposited into the sea halfway to their destination. Osiris was a poor swimmer, but the others supported him and reached the ship after an invigorating swim. They climbed aboard but found an empty deck. There were spent arrows in the bulkheads. Hatches were sealed with heavy locks and magical runes. Two of these were opened by force, and the distracting whisper-buzzing grew louder. Then green, rotting creatures rose from the darkness below.

    Though her firearms malfunctioned due to their dousing in water, Trooper Chen stood at the rear hatch and bravely grappled with the creatures. She managed to subdue three despite being assaulted by terrifying visions that may require psychiatric care. Corporal Sasuke destroyed three more at the forward hatch – his stern gaze seemingly riveted the monsters and made them easier to defeat.

    Trooper Osiris was gravely injured, his spells proving of little avail. The bloody slashes to his neck and arm may scar him for life. I recommend hand-to-hand combat training for sorcerers; magical "fumbles" are too common, it seems, for spells to provide protection under pressure.

    The ship now lies at anchor outside the harbor. I shall send more troops to investigate on the morrow.

    I remain your most obedient servant,

    Colonel H. Smith, Queen's Own Troubleshooters (provisional)
    Last edited by JenBurdoo; 2016-07-23 at 02:21 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Re: Queen's Own Troubleshooters ("Find trouble, and shoot it.") - A rookie XD20 campa

    Guardsmen's Log, Redwater Palace, Day 143 of Her Gracious Majesty's reign. Lady-Captain Fletcher recording.

    Ye gods, what an awful day.

    First little Princess Alexius had a temper tantrum and tore down three tapestries. Then the royal hounds got into the royal petting zoo. And finally, Lord Mayor Wrexham is catatonic, and conference room 2A is a godsawful mess. Bone and blood everywhere.

    I'm still piecing things together (the new magitek cameras are very handy!) but as I understand it:

    1301 hrs: Four members of the Queen's Own Troubleshooters (Lance Corporal Sasuke, Trooper Vandle, and a trainee mage and dwarf) enter the room with Mayor Wrexham. There is a small treasure chest on the conference table.

    1302 hrs: Mayor Wrexham explains that an unusual, possibly dangerous treasure has been found in the vaults, and he wishes the Troubleshooters to investigate it.

    1303 hrs: Wrexham leaves. The thief unlocks and opens the box. Inside is a small package wrapped in paper and string.

    1304 hrs: The thief and warrior unwrap the package to find a set of ornate cards and a few instructions.

    1304-1309 hrs: Everyone reads and discusses the instructions. The thief draws two cards in succession.

    1310 hrs:
    The thief's eyes widen with knowledge, but he sags in his seat, looking visibly weaker.

    1311 hrs: The fighter draws three cards. He visibly increases in age and experience, and what I tentatively identify as a belt of giant strength appears about his waist. A skeleton with glowing eyes appears before him, and three party members promptly attack it. He subdues it by crushing its skull with his bare hands.

    1312 hrs:
    Two more skeletons appear and attack the others. One is destroyed by the fighter, again by hand, while the second is destroyed by a fireball from the mage. The conference table is now afire and the room is filling with smoke.

    1313 hrs: The apprentice mage draws three cards. He, too, visibly increases in age and power, and a Cloak of Dimension Door replaces his threadbare travel cloak. He reaches into a pocket of the cloak and draws out what appears to be a deed to the abandoned Durham Tower on the outskirts of the city. How much luck can one guy have?

    1314 hrs: About this time, the dwarf draws a card, and a magnificent jeweled axe appears at his belt. Smoke obscures the room at this time and I am uncertain how many skeletons were present or who was fighting them. The fighter looks drunk on power; he pounds the floor like an ape, and punches a hole in the wall, apparently to release the smoke. LCpl Sasuke is leaning against the wall, nonchalantly eating a sandwich rather than helping. (I recommend his demotion.) The dwarf beheads a skeleton with his clearly magical axe, and the skull flies across the room and bounces off Sasuke's head. His sandwich is now all over his face.

    1315 hrs: Mayor Wrexham and two guards rush in. Wrexham looks stunned and demands an explanation. The Troubleshooters display the cards, and one of the guards curiously flips one over. He is attacked by a skeleton.

    1316 hrs: I regret to report that Trooper Rubram Tunicae was slain instantly by the skeleton carving out his innards with an axe. The mayor is drenched in blood and clearly terrified as Trooper Vandle destroys the last of the skeletons. Sasuke reaches for the deck to pack it away, but one of the cards slips out onto the table. He seems happy with the results.

    1317 hrs: The thoroughly contaminated magitek camera malfunctions at this point; it freezes on a nightmarish vision of the room filled with blood, bone, dust, smoke and ash.... bloody idiot Troubleshooters.
    Last edited by JenBurdoo; 2016-07-27 at 07:57 PM.

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