many moons ago, our heroes met on the road anaisthesio. he was an older man, with a savage headwound, &they nursed him & helped him to the town of knocknanny. now, weeks later, he has healed somewhat, & strange memories press about him. not knowing who to turn to, especially in light of the terrible condition he was in when they found him, where his reliable self begins. to anaisthesio's limited experience, only damocles & lorelai are to be trusted! so he asked them to help him find his ancestral home, negate any possible dangers, & restore him to health! plus, ravenface was there to play anaisthesio! a special star in the heavens! & toughlad has obtained, through secret ways, the krull soundtrack! a rarity indeed! oh happy day!
or truly, a day of tragedy! they killed my dungeon, ma! i'm getting ahead of myself. the players accepted, bringing balthazar, their lost friend now restored, with them. bedwin remained behind, enmeshed in criminal politics or what have you. damocles' new "squire" mathio came in his stead; balthazar had words with his pet goblin, to see him no more (we'll see about that!) & off they went. along the roads, past barrows & ginko forests lined with giant ferns, sleeping in an abandoned cottage, all the while following the fickle recollection of anaisthesio. at last, they found a town!
they call the town dimple hill because of the crystal lake atop it. it is rounded by a wall, a wall doing double service as an aqueduct, & the only visible crops were black maize & spider-goats. they spoke toa celery stalk chewing farmer, who directed them to his son, who, with a ladder, got them up & over the wall. not stopping to speak to the townsfolk, they went up the hill, passing doors in the side of the road: doors to graves! atop the hill was the so-called upside-down house, standing along the pure waters of the pond. anaisthesio, drawn by memories, led them to the door.
at the door, it was touch & go. one of the massive wooden doors crashed down when knocked upon, & the smell of pigeon offal & refuse brought horrid thoughts of granny to lorelai's mind, so while the other's ran ahead, damocles & mathio calmed her. they passed the bear witha deer's head, used as a coatrack, & the headless deer, used as an umbrella stand, & entered the main chamber: a chamber notable for the massive, complicated, unique organ. an organ so advanced that there were punch-card programs to calculate & follow. anaisthesio's organ!
lets not dwell too much on what happened next. oh, lets dwell! i laughed my guts out, so lets have it here. anaisthesio played the organ, & like a madman! ten (10) successes (5 attribute, 5 skill, 1 specialty, 5 for the tool, rote for the programing). "rise" he said! "murderer!" he said! "awaken!" he said. when he was done shouting while peddling, pulling, pushing, prodding, playing, he was...unsettled. unhinged. upstairs the tromped! & as balthazar had re-assessed his judgment of anaisthesio, they went buddy-buddy. up into the loft! no, up into the higher levels! they will see the giant statues of the kissing crones, on wheeled geodes. meanwhile, below, the others examined the closets, filled with fur coats. ew! the floor here is covered in rat turds! oh, a secret door! so, without knowing it, the players managed to find, separately, to of the "monster entry" points! then, they began to shout about how they'd split up the party!
so of course, they were attacked. bargles, sometimes known as barghests. goblin rats, or what simon referred to as "roblins." swarms of rats, too! you know your mordicai likes swarms. it might not have been so bad! but no one told balthazar that indoors is not the right place to use incendiary grenades. nor is "your only exit" the right place to throw it. hah! now the carefully constructed house begins to burn! in the secret area damocles, lorelai, & mathio found, there is: a rubber suit with a funny mask, an oiled eelskin suit with a diving helmet, & a beekeepers outfit. also: rats! goblins! goblin rats! upstairs, anaisthesio made himself useful (for the last time) by pushing the planks the rats were scurrying across over, but tossing a bargle out the window. from there, it was doomed. while the place burned down around them, he sent balthazar on wild goose chase after wild goosechase. "in the upside-down house, up is down!" he cried. then they spent precious minutes moving statues, &...setting more fires. meanwhile, lorelai was almost devoured by swarms of rodents, almost dragged away, & damocles & mathio were stalemated by the sheer numbers of the enemy.
eventually: lorelai kicked, scratched, bit, & thrashed her way out a window, & climbed handily down. she helped mathio (who had made a rope of fur coats tied together) down with advice. the one-armed damocles was much slower, harder going. he almost didn't make it! but did. meanwhile, balthazar & anaisthesio were still struggling with the statues-- & when finished? nothing. nothing! balthazar was livid, & climbed down, only to watch the orrery burn, the theosophic library catch fire, the alchemical lab explode. sorry! he almost threw his last grenade at anaisthesio in frustration, since he had run out of loaded barrels. he lost his spare gun & his tomahawk to the fire. oh, burn fire! who was that goblin who ran past them, & who was he carrying? what poltergeist pulled lorelai's gaff? what was the purpose of the kissing crones? will they ever know?