Nerath Reborn

Seeking Information

Would you believe they put a man on the moon?

The village springs into action, with a contingent of men heading out to free the children at Peep and Blue’s camp, and the remaining people building a palisade and crafting weapons.

Speaking to Billy, they find that he was on a mission for King Wenceslas to determine the nature of the Rotten King’s foul plot – with his injuries, however, he will be able to complete his mission. The children volunteer to complete it, however.

Noting the danger they face in scouting the forest and the Rotten King’s lands directly, they seek another source of information – the Man on the Moon. Billy suggests they use the cow who jumped over the moon to reach him, and he’d heard that it had last been spotted in The Cat’s custody, somewhere in the sleeping kingdoms.

With a rough map in hand, they set out to the east, dodging patrols, riders of the Rotten King’s army. After a day’s hard travel, they escape the Great and Awful Forest.

Soon, they stumble across a fallow field, covered with high grass. At the edge, they find a farmer and ox, both sleeping deeply and unwakeable. As they travel across the sleeping kingdom, they find more such farms, and they stumble across the footprints of a giant… and a discarded giant-sized pair of high heels. Eventually, they find a castle, filled with sleeping people, and a scattering of skeletons in varied decayed garb. They bed down for the night, enjoying the protection from the elements afforded by the castle walls.

In the morning, they set out again, wandering the sleeping kingdoms searching for The Cat. They find a field of catnip, with a well worn path. Turning to follow the path, Chris cuts a bit of catnip and places it in his pack.

Soon, they see smoke in the distance – the first signs of life they’ve found – and they soon hear the sound of a fiddle. They find a shack, with a small field and a cow wearing heavy iron manacles. Chris sneaks into the yard and sets to work picking the locks on the manacles, while Bei and Charlie hide behind the cow… and Wilbur sneaks up to the shack. Within, he sees a human size cat playing a fiddle… stopping it’s playing only to admire it’s large, sharp claws.

The clatter of a falling manacle from the yard alerts the cat, who sets down his fiddle, stands and walks out the front door of the shack (on the opposite side from the children). Wilbur, seeing his opportunity, climbs through the window of the shack.

The cat spots the children with the cow and begins to approach them, calling for them to leave his property alone. Charlie steps out with his 8 ball… and Wilbur steps out from the shack, with the cat’s fiddle in hand. “I suppose this is of no value, then?” he asks, holding it as if preparing to break it. The Cat, caught between the two possessions, is frozen. Meanwhile, Chris has almost finished removing the iron weights from the cow.

The stalemate is broken when Chris removes the catnip from his bag, throwing it past the cat and Wilbur. Unable to resist, the Cat leaps after the catnip, Wilbur sets down the fiddle, and the children hop on the back of the cow, who jumps to the moon.

A few minutes later, they land with a “SPLAT” in gooey cheese. In the distance, the children see a hill with a green wall and a tower. Wading through the cheese, then climbing up the rocky hill, they reach the green wall and see that it is a hedge, with a wooden gate. The gate, however, has been boarded up – and Bei notices a thin thread reaching down from a loop at the top to the boards. While Chris sets to work disarming this trap, Wilbur wanders off around the edge of hedge, and thus being left behind when the others manage to pry an opening and enter.

Inside, Charlie, Bei, and Chris find themselves in a hedge maze, with sets of giant three toed footprints in the moon dust. Picking a direction, they set off.

Wilbur, meanwhile, returns to the gate and enters. He sees the other childrens’ footprints, but chooses to set off in the other direction.

After several minutes of wandering, the children find themselves only inching closer to the tower. Losing patience, Charlie pulls out a sword and begins hacking his way directly through the hedge! With several minutes of work, he’s able to speed their progress through the labyrinth.

Wilbur, meanwhile, discovers the source of the giant three toed prints… a giant mouse! Realizing that he smells strongly of cheese, he tries to distract the mouse with a flaming arrow to scare it away… which only seems to infuriate it further! Sprinting through the labyrinth, Wilbur spots a small hole into which he ducks, gaining temporary protection from the mouse.

With much more hedge trimming, Bei, Charlie, and Chris reach the center of the labyrinth. They find a small low house, with a tower attached at the back. From the tower, they see a bronze telescope projecting, pointed towards the Grimm lands. At the door to the house, they notice another trap, but one that seems to be malfunctioning. A steady drip of a pale fluid drops from the eaves over the door, prompting Chris to work at the lock from the edge. Just as he gets the door open, and the children duck in the door, Wilbur comes racing from the hedge maze, cackling wildly as a giant mouse chases him. He ducks in the door, and closes it behind himself.

The children find themselves in a house, well furnished but with a look of neglect. Wandering further, they find a library, with walls covered in books, and a spiral stairway in the back. Charlie cautiously takes the lead in climbing the stairs, while Wilbur begins examining books in glee.

Halfway up the stairs, Charlie comes to a halt looking face-to-face with a small dragon.

AAAGH!” they both scream, with the small dragon slithering around and racing up the stairs, and Charlie momentarily rocking back on his heels.

“They’re here, they’re here! They’ve come for you!” the dragon calls out as he races up the stairs. Charlie chases after, and at the top, runs into a door that slams in his face.


Wilbur realizes that most of the books in the library are journals, diaries of events going back to the 1800s. Skimming through, he finds chronicles of the exploits of brave hereos and horrible villains, all written in the same precise hand writing…


At the top of the stairs, Charlie knocks on the door and calls out to those inside, “Hello? We’re here, um, looking for the man on the moon. We’re looking for information to try and help out our friends in a village being attacked by Jack and some king…”

There’s no response.

After a few minutes of this, he decides to do things the simple way – he knocks the door down. Stepping in, he finds an old man standing with a heavy pan in his hand, ready to hit him. The man pauses, and sets the pan down, “Why, so you are! You’re the kids who dealt with Red Riding Hood! It’s OK boys, these children are friends.”

Two small dragons come slithering out of hiding, and curl up on piles of books. “I do hope my bookwyrms didn’t startle you too much. They were just looking out for me. I’ve been expecting a visit from one of the Rotten King’s ‘representatives’ for some time now – hence the traps.”

Speaking with the Man on the Moon, they find out about some of the Rotten King’s activities. He has acquired the services of a wizard, who he has set to work on several incantations. One of them seems to have increased the rate at which children from the Real World travel to the Grimm Lands, whom the King has set about capturing by hiring the services of Peep and Blue. He has also begun amassing an army, and fortifying his castle. He has also made a larger version of Peep and Blue’s encampment, with a key difference – the cages are installed with massive spikes in the ceiling.

Also, during their discussion, they see that he has access to the real world! At one point, he opens a large white box… and pulls out a cold beer in a glass bottle. They see an orange extension cord running across the floor to a door, from which a slight glow shows.

At this point, the children waver. Debating among themselves, they almost decide to step through the door, to return home. But in the end, they decide they must help their friends back in the village.

Comments

This is my favorite chapter so far. Man in the Moon, the Cow, the Green Cheese. Everything, love where the kids see the fridge and a way home.

Great Job!

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I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading these adventure posts. I had a great time running this mini-campaign. I secretly hoped to continue with a D20 modern game, set 10 or 15 years later with the children as adults, but, alas, between people moving and getting busy… c’est la vie, non?

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gmathews42

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