Strange #11: Tom Mallard is Going to Freak

I ran the curious case of Tom Mallard for the guys. This took a couple of nights to get through. Night one consisted of breaking into the house, completely ransacking the place (Yander’s even poked holes in the ceiling looking for a concealed attic), the theft of an espresso machine (Yander’s) and leaving a “double decker” in the bathroom (guess who?). Here’s the Estate memo from that debacle… Estate_Memo_6-10-15

After the characters found the translation key, they headed to Ardeyn for a quick dungeon crawl. Unfortunately R. Keith couldn’t make it for the game that night.

>LOG ENTRY #13958U
Dr. Chakrabati (our A-number 1 neato head-shrink and team mascot) has suggested that I try to make my logs more “accurate”, “rigorous”, and “reader-friendly”, in an effort to be a better team player, so here goes:

Yanders you F!*K!! Where the hell did you go? At least Skinner is off on one of Kathy Manners’ bullsh!t surveillance seminars (or so he claims—I’m pretty sure he’s off following The Scorpions on their west coast Indian casino tour). But Yanders said he was coming up to the last minute. When I went to his apartment to coax him into work, he answers the door wearing dirty sweats, no shirt and a hat that says “master baiter” with a picture of a fish hook. There’s a puddle of water an inch deep in the kitchen with a huge rusty pipe wrench sitting in the middle of it, plumbing tools scattered everywhere, and a huge disassembled espresso machine on the counter. Joey is inside on the couch with a skull-shaped bong sitting on the coffee table, his feet propped up, playing Xbox. Yanders says he has to jump in the shower and swears to me that Joey will drive him right over to the Estate, “in like 25 or 30 minutes.” I’m getting a contact high just standing in there, so I leave and go back to wait for him to grace us with his presence. No show… So, Mendal, Kyle and I decide to make a go of it without him.

We use the translation key to Ardeyn we found at Mallard’s house and appear in a pantry at the pub where the Estate operative works undercover. She is there and lets us know the “master” is a warlord who brought an army of sarks here years ago, unsuccessfully laid siege to the town and was vanquished to an underground labyrinth. So, of course we have to check out said underground lair. The first chamber has some multi-headed (like, human-headed) creature that looks really tough but we kill easily (Kyle is some kind of super bad-ass paladin in Ardeyn, so that helps….) We find some sort of teleportation chamber that sends us to a completely dead-end, no-exit room that contains only a polished skull. Mendal happens to be a death-eating Qephilim priest, so he partakes of a death-embracing ceremony with the skull that transports him out of the room, and Kyle and I follow suit. Another tunnel leads us to a infinite chasm, with a staircase and makeshift rope ladder linking the two sides of it, except it is guarded by several sarks (evil, almost undead Qephilim?) A nasty battle later, we arrive pretty beat-up on the other side, (right after rescuing Kyle from dangling above the infinite abyss on a safety rope, when he totally fell off the rope ladder. You’re welcome.)

This is the part where Yanders probably might(?) have been useful: we finally located a shrine where the “master” was doing some kind of arcane rite, guarded by a bunch of his sark minions and some animated stone golem-like statues with huge hammers. Did I mention we were already pretty beat-up? Did I mention the “master” is also Tom Mallard, the douchebag we are looking for? Kyle hucks a flash-bang literally into his eyes and he is totally blind, but the crowd of evil nasties in between us kind of slow us down. Then Mallard uses a cypher to open a gate that he is stumbling blindly to escape through. We all make a break for the altar to try and stop him. I’m just about to pull out my taser which I brought specifically for subduing him and I am suddenly struck completely immobile by what I see inside that gate: RUK. He’s working with the Hirudo. All the memories come flooding back to me and I have totally choked and let him go. I am so pissed at myself for my hesitation—I promise myself Mallard and the Hirudo won’t get another chance like that from me. It would be convenient to blame it all on Yanders’ absence, but I blame myself.

How’s that for team-play?

From the desk of R. Keith Yanders
So I’m getting in Joey’s  ’83 lime green Pacer when I get a call from Candy LaAnde on my cell. What does that skinny a$$ b*tch want?  She starts rambling on about some 7 year old love child given up for adoption and how she needs to talk to me and sh*t…………..Joey, turn this (well, whatever this hunk of crap is) around, I got a swimsuit model to visit.


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