Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wampus County - Small Packages of Death

The latest correspondence from Chauncy Woolstrike to his deadbeat Father.

Father,


Our Antagonists By Thurz of Deviant Art
First, I demand word of the valuable Artifacts I have entrusted you with, those frescoes were cut from the walls of an ancient tomb at great personal risk, in the very teeth of a murderous cult intent of using my vitals in unspeakable rituals.  While I am aware of the effort that you have taken to care for the children, and your constant need for funds - I too am in need of funds.  I have a business now, and am expecting an increase in custom now that I have made a client sharing arrangement with the local witch, as such a reserve of Capital is essential.

Second, Allow me to relate the difficulties and extreme privations that I face here in Wampus, so that you will appreciate the efforts that went into acquiring those art artifacts that you appear to have squandered in your usual way.

Recently my companions (Ornibus, Mr. Early, Mr. Iornwall) and two other adventurous individuals, one Slin Zade, a wizard of unknown pedigree, and some sort of squirrelly rummy named D'earf, set off to aid me in the collection of the skulls of several "Devil Fairies" and to aid themselves in the collection of lucre.  I also hired a Mandril bodyguard named Habenero Pete and Mistress Cobweb, the young lady we rescued from the cult, to act a gunbearers.



The destination of our Expedition was to "Crumbledown" a ruined boom town, leveled by war, neglect and an infestation of monstrous fauna, including devil fairies.

The trip was uneventful, but the destination was more impressive than I'd been led to believe.  An entire town, blasted and crumbled, being slowly reclaimed by a forest of brambles.  To the North West we noticed large insects, flying bugs about the size of a large dog, but luckily our interest, the domain of the Devil Fairies lay at the Southern edge of the city.

Rather than approach their lair head on our group (everyman is his own stratego in Wampus) began a stealthy approach from the East and soon came to a ruined tower.  One of the fortification's cannons lay twisted and smashed in the street before the ruined arch that had once held the tower's doors.  There was little of interest inside.  Three more cannons, twisted as if by a great force or incredible heat (though there was no sign of fire) sat in ruined carriages on the roof.  The only benefit of our exploration is that our band could clearly make out some magical signs on the roofs to the SoutWest.

Descending the tower we continued on, walking on the decayed cobble streets, and shortly after passing a large dry fountain Pete the Mandril let out a distressed shout.  Some sort of vine had began to grab at his legs raising welts.  The vines were quickly hacked away, and when the stones were lifted a squirming mass was hinted at beneath the sandy soil.  Rather than expose ourselves to further risk the band headed into the buildings on the Southern side of the street.  By hacking through walls, hopping across roofs and walking on foundations we soon reached the first of the sigil painted buildings.  My magical knowledge, and a quick consult with Mr. Zade indicated that the Sigils were not dangerous and the drunken lout offered to creep forward and investigate while the rest of us lurked in a building watching from windows.  As the stealthy little man skulked towards the building I wondered where the devil fairies might be hiding (a prophetic concern), but when he opened the abandoned inns front door and ran squealing past us I soon saw one of the little creatures.

Squat and built one a scale subtly mocking humanity the Devil Fairies that emerged from the inn's front door were clad in tight, bright red one piece outfits and masks. Similar to athletic jumpers, but clearly for diabolical ritual purposes, the creatures refused my offer of parlay and boldly asserted their negative attentions.  Well we had to settle the argument through the use of firearms and in the battle that followed five of the little brutes met their end (I have the skulls I need to meet my debts to the witch).  The battle was full of folly.  My shooting was good, as was that of the other members of the party, but when three more fairies appeared behind out line Ms. Cobweb was struck down, saved only by Ornibus's mysterious 'holy' powers.  Another of the diabolical dwarfs grew to monstrous proportions.  The winds of slumber, and Mr. Zade's similar incantation were both exhausted, but only half the horrible fairies were effected.  Or other new ally, the skulker, had his sternum smashed by one of the little beasts as well, and after the battle we were exhausted.  I recovered the skulls and a small amount of coin was found in the Devil Fairy lair in the old inn, but it was not a profitable expedition.

As you can see I am risking life and sanity in the pursuit of coin, and beleive it is not to much to ask for you to forward my just earnings from the bailment you were entrusted forthwith!

Your Dutiful Son,

Chauncy, Warlock at large, BTS
Basement Shoppe, The Rat House, Thistlemarch
Wampus Country


1ST CHARTER OF THE RAT HOUSE BASTARDS (DRAFT)

The bonds of comradely affection and mutual interest tying Mrs. Woolstrike, Jones, Early and Iornwall (The Parties) together, said parties have resolved to form the compact herein described, and ascribed to.  Each signatory of his free will, without coercion and unenscorcelled voluntarily and without reservations duly submits to the bylaws of this document and other bylaws as shalll from time to time be drafted in accordance with this document.

1. The compact formed by this document shall conceal its true names and purpose, which is the enrichment and health of its members from outsiders, but dealings among the members will be of a forthright and upstanding manner. "Rat House Bastards" shall not be used in company and instead terms of distraction, delicate upon the anxious ear will be used.

2.  All gains, by members of the compact, obtained with the aid and efforts of other compact members shall be split into equal shares regardless of the presence of the individual member at the final acquisition.

3. A fifth share of all fungible treasures and monies so gained shall be placed into a fund for the upkeep and expansion of the Rat House, satisfaction of group wants and general provisioning.  These funds will be saved, but may be used upon majority vote of signatories in good standing for agreed upon purchases and investments.

4. Magical and abnormal items discovered will be identified by M. Woolstrike, if possible, or at compact expense by outside experts if not.  After identification said items will be placed into the hands of the member deemed to gain the most benefit from the item and owned in fee simple by that member.  In the event that there is discord over the best recipient of an item, the individuals not interested in the item will decide by vote who should gain it.  Items unused shall be sold, ideally on consignment in the Shoppe established within the Rat House.

5. Each and every member of the compact is responsible for his or her upkeep and kit, though as gentlemen it may fall to the other signatories to correct and provision members who have fallen due to drink, affliction or sudden poverty.   Such kit shall include: Basic protective garments, 1 working firearm or other means of self-defense, A horse, mule or other mount, 1 liter of strong drink, 1 week of trail rations, 1 stout pole of 10' of length, a light source and no less than three flasks of oil.

6.  Items of general use, such as healing draughts or magical scrolls may be purchased by individuals and sold to the compact fund if reimbursement is agreed upon by majority vote.  Such items as healing tinctures and silver munitions will also be refunded as possible, if expended in support of compact goals, even when not used to the direct benefit of compact members (as in their use by associates or hired aides).

7. Hires - retainers and hirelings are in the pay of each individual signatory unless it is deemed necessary or beneficial to hire employees to aid the compact as a whole, when such group hiring is made funds from the common fund will be used.

8. Upon the death, affliction or magical transformation of a compact member funds, including special allotments collected at that time, shall be expended to return the disadvantaged compact member to health unless a unanimous vote of the other active members of the compact deem it unwise or impossible.  If the efforts of the compact are successful in returning the disadvantaged signatory to function, no sanction or debt will be incurred by that member.

9. In the event of a death, the decedent's burial will be paid from Compact funds and the decedents personal funds and  equipment will be deemed his personal estate.  Active members of the compact shall, as a sacred duty undertake the distribution of these funds to whatever beneficiaries the decedent so identifies or in the event of intestacy directly to the common fund of the compact.  Fund monies will also be spent for the creation of a monument appropriate to the decedents contributions to the common weal.

Should items of use be recovered from the decedent's estate and the majority of the compact deem them  not useful to the signatory's named beneficiaries they may be taken by another compact member for personal use.  recompense may be paid to the estate where agreed upon by the majority of the compact.

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