As detailed in the e-mail "Gotta Catch 'em All"

(Half Game Session/Split with Nobilis Game session)

The sultan wants to talk to us before we blow town. Seems he’s looking for something and wants us to keep an eye out for it. He’s always struck us as vaguely slimy, so when he asks us to keep an eye out for the final card in a deck of 8 cards that he has, called the “Death Deck”, we give a polite affirmation and then leave thinking “no way in heck”.

Before we leave town a guy comes to us to try and sell us some cards. While he seems a big eager to unload them, a decent appraise roll shows that they are worthwhile. Pox buys all 4.

The deal about the cards (Pun, see!): If you gather an entire set, they grant powers, reportedly. We’ll get a slightly better explanation later.

Seems the main purveyors of cards are the Darkmoon Carnival (I think I got that name right), a traveling band of carnies (who are not Halflings) who have recently passed through.

We travel from Movar to Lopolla (I believe I got those right) as we head west in anticipation of reaching the river that runs to the sea where we might book passage on a ship toward our goal. During this trip we are travelling in formation when suddenly in a fit of Monty Pythonesque pique, we are assailed by… a big fluffy bunny. A Giant Dire Rabbit comes at the part form the back and heads for Jenna. Pon Pon fireballs, singeing his fur (and sending up a heavenly aroma). Mathius magic missiles him for about as much. Mavin and Halo take up flanking and gnaw on the fluffy tail. Pox and Jenna try to dissect it. But the guy who gets the credit is… out Gnome NPC.

GNOME NPC: 1 Dire Giant Rabbit

We search around for its lair and discover that there are indeed two smaller ones. While we’re at quite a distance, Pon Pon smokes the two younger Dire Giant Rabbits with a fireball.

PON PON: 2 young Dire Giant Rabbits

Inside their lair is junk, refuse, bits of victims, some money (which I will add to the end total), and some cards of a different suit than the one the Sultan wanted. These are the 2, 7, and 8 of Beasts, the 6 of Illusions, and the 3 of Storms. There is also a copper ring with an aura of Abjuration.

We hit a town on the halfway point to Lopolla, where we have a peaceful night. Some talking with the locals garners some information about cards in the area. We leave the next day and travel the road. It’s not too far down this road when the folks at the front can hear talking in another language.

Jenna can hear Orcish and understands some of what is said. Seems they’re talking about the “stupid farmers” and their cards. We move up and end up face to face with a pack of them. As we’re approaching, Pox points out that we’ve countered Orcs before that we didn’t have to fight, that we could talk our way through this.

One of us was not listening.

When we see them, they aren’t orcs. They are 6 hobgoblins, 3 bugbears, and 1 ogre. They pause, we pause, and then Pon Pon decides to rain fire down on them. Pox rushes to try to interrupt him, but loses initiative. WHOOOOOSH!

PON PON: 6 Hobgoblins, 2 Bugbears

Pox calls out for the survivors to gather their dead and depart. The Ogre looks are the bemused smirk on Pon Pon’s face and charges him. An attempt to perform both an attack and an opportunity attack by Pox both fail, in fact the first fails so badly that it might be construed that he didn’t care to stop the Ogre. The ogre is… well… an ogre. He does a lot of damage when he hits, and any attempt to wrestle him down will fail. He’s in close, so not so much with the fireballs. Everyone still does their best to take him on. Pox finally gets in a good one on him and becomes the focus of attention. Mathius weakens the Ogre with ray of enfeeblement. The guards aren’t sure what to do about the foes so Mathius directs them to go after the bugbear that Jenna is actually already handling, but it gives them the opportunity to do something other than get killed, so they do so. The ogre misses pox, but the damage is stacking up. Finally, Pox cuts him open with a horrendous power attack hit.


Pox and Pon Pon (who is now down to just a few HPs courtesy of the ogre) have brief “discussion” which results in Pox smacking Pon Pon for some non-lethal damage, putting him out. He then asks Mathius to heal him.

POX: 1 Pon Pon

SIDE NOTE: As there is no healer in the party today, Mathius has been elected to carry the wand of healing that is normally Zuka’s. 3 Charges were expended during the day.

Looting them we find things. Turns out that according to our captive Bugbear, they were looting farmhouses. The last one, they simply robbed and then burned down with the people inside. Jenna and Mathius lobby to take the goods back to the farmhouse and see if there were any survivors. We find the house is gone of course. Some other locals tell us that they all died and we ask about relatives. We end up with the idea of donating their goods to the local church of their god, when we get to Lopolla (Or in the case of the cards, their cash equivalent). Seems the bugbears took some money, the 8 of warlords, the 4 & 5 of beasts, and 6 of storms. By now, Pox is a card short of having the whole beast set.

Before Lopolla, we come across the Darkmoon Carnival. It’s a reasonably decent place. They make their money by selling chances at games. Those who win the games win tickets and use them to buy stuff (cards)

One tent serves as a sort of battleground. Seems they are able to generate illusions to do battle. And by use of some spectacles, participants can see from the viewpoint of the illusions and control them to do combat. Basically, it’s a virtual reality combat arena, where people fight each other.

Mathius can feel the giddy thrill of gambling and tries to restrain himself. Ultimately, he decides to draw and see if maybe the gods really WANT him to gamble. Nope. The chariot (inverted) actually tells him he will lose. He ultimately leaves for a while just to not be tempted.

The others however play some VR games. Pox fights a guy, and wins. Finally Pox vs. Pon Pon takes place. Pox closes the distance and cuts him down.

POX: 1 Virtual Reality local Fighter, 1 Virtual Reality Pon Pon

The guy in charge proposes that they do it again, this time giving the wizard first shot. Warmage Pon Pon hits him with a stinking cloud. During the time that Pox gasps and trips around, he takes many fireballs until he falls.

PON PON: 1 Virtual Reality Pox

Mathius declines to participate despite the urging of Pox. His confidence level is low and he would rather stay out, not to mention wanting to stay away from the gambling aspect of this place.

Jenna wants in. She manages to draw a fight with a local rogue. They square off and she manages to use a borrowed ring of free action from Pox to navigate a webbed area while the rogue tries to pursue and shoot with his crossbow. She narrowly wins, and he politely but begrudgingly shakes her hand.

JENNA: 1 Virtual Reality Rogue

Pox wants his last card. So we ask around, wind up being referred to some woman who runs the carnival. When asked she will not divulge the origin of the cards. However the carnival expects you to win the cards rather than buying them. After some negotiation, Pox gets his card. The others spend their tickets on some random card draws, with varying results: While Jenna manages to draw 5 different cards of the same suit, Pon Pon is quite the inverse, drawing 4 of a kind.