by Nataliya "Shader" Kostenko
So, here me and the dudes are, arriving outside some fancy mansion wondering just how deep the lore is. The note from the beautiful Fish Lady was dang mysterious, and when our adventuring squad met her in person she wasn’t any less mysterious. Dramatically, her son Shane took off his hood. I guess some of these cats already knew him, but I couldn’t even see the family resemblance. He and his Ma are all like “We need something super important, but we can’t tell you [fools] what it is. So, get in there [and maybe kick some butt or maybe just hit ‘em with some mad diplomacy].” Also by this point I wasn’t feeling too hot, because I guess someone struck us with some WHACK malediction.
So, squad plus Shane rolls in. Inside we got a real swaggy courtyard and a whole line up of guard boyz. I wanted to hang back ‘til the real action started but Katya and Asharn wanted to practice their diplomacy skills so we strolled up to one of them. We were all fast friends, and our new homeboy Hubert told us about how the chain of command works: it turns out, he reports to the Captain of the Guard, who reports to someone, who reports to the butler, who reports to someone else, who reports to someone else, who reports to the Lady of the house. We tried to ask him for the name of this house Lady, but good ole’ Hotdog just patiently explained that he reports to the Captain of the Guard, who reports to someone, who reports to the butler, who reports to someone else, who reports to still someone else, who reports to the stubbornly unnamed Lady of the house. Then I saw some Folkestoners start fighting the guards on the other side of the courtyard, so regrettably, I stabbed Humperdink and everybody got to throwing down.
After finishing off Hugo and his friends, we squadded up with errybody else again. Resident cool lady Freesia said we had two options: sneak or full frontal. Of course, I was ready to bust down the door, but here were K-dawg and A-hole, telling me they wanna go on a Secret Mission, complete with song and everything. So, the three of us took up the front, stealthily sliding into the nameless Lady’s DMs—her dangerous mansion. We didn’t even get through one verse of our sneaking song when more guards spotted us. Naturally, we booked it back toward the door, but it was too late and the bodies were already starting to pile up. In the doorway. Like, they blocked the doorway. We got raised, died, got raised, and died some more until we finally removed corpse squad from the door so reinforcements could ride in. Then they went down like it was real Shandar hours, but Shandar wasn’t even there (where even are you, Stabdad?). At this point Starbro (ps—Kite says where her money at?) assembled the Oaken troops and company to teach them how to properly breach a door.
Still mourning Hudson, we moved deeper into the mansion, properly breaching every door in our path. Next we hit up a tavern in which the party was lit. Gerald maybe Pony Crusher, maybe Bone Crusher (unconfirmed, too loud in room) was a mighty champion—lost every fight, but nothing if not mighty persistent. Asharn went in on every song, arm wrestling and real wrestling. The tavern patrons did shots, and there was a dance-off. Some troll-looking hater stabbed me in the leg like three times, but they didn’t let me throw down for real. After popping Asharn’s rib back in, we went further into the nameless Lady’s nameless mansion bowels.
I think next we found the guard barracks because the peeps in there looked like more of Huang’s buddies. They were pissed we got blood on their mattresses, but it was nothing a little medieval Windex couldn’t take care of. Alas, there was no one left to fetch the Windex because we murdered them all. While I was tearing it up on the battlefield, Hammond Cheese, Gywyth Sord, Freija, and some other homeboys were over at the mystical doohickey responsible for the malediction. Eventually they broke the spell and everybody felt way less WHACK.
Behind the next door was the Lady’s library, complete with dat old scroll smell. Next to the old scrolls there was a runway-ready Demon dude with horns and powerful cheekbones. The only thing cramping his style was a collar (whatever you’re into, dude…). It turned out, though, that he wasn’t into it. Ya girl the nameless Lady and/or her (inferior) cultists had him imprisoned there. We dug around in the scrolls for a while and found some useful info and some less useful info: stuff on Titania, a couple of nice sea shanties, and how to break out the horned man. By this time, the other adventurizzles cracked the flower puzzle on the door and on we rolled.
Demonbro had beef with some Auroran “cultists” who were also chillin’ in this mansion for some reason—so we went to their shrine. The cultists were ticked off that we brought their #1 fan with us; as is the way, fighting broke out. Asharn stood in the back the whole time, singing and drinking sea water to heal everybody. This fight was a good one, I wish Hussein could’ve seen it.
Finally, the real bass dropped. We were in the vault. As we entered the room, the Lord of the manor greeted us with hostility, since we broke into his house and all. Gotta hand it to this Lady, he honestly had no idea what was going downtown in his own home. She could’ve had so many affairs. Innocent as he was, though, he messed with this crowd, so we ended that sucker (that innocent, innocent sucker). Then, the Lady of the hour finally showed up. Her power-hungriness? WHACK. Her magic flower? WHACK. The way she sold her name to the Fae? WHACK. Folkestone and co.? They’re tight as FUCK. Meanwhile, on the less important side of the room, Katya was trying to join the guards. Unfortunately, Humberhumberhumbert wasn’t there to write her a recommendation, because I killed him. The Captain of the Guard (who reports to someone, who reports to the butler, who reports to someone, who reports to someone, who reports to the Lady of the Manor) came over and told her to drop and give him ten push-ups. Katya can’t even do one push-up, so Asharn stole her thunder and her job. The next minute, though, everyone was out of a job because Folkecompany had destroyed the Lady’s power flower and sent her back to Shane’s fish Ma.
Finally, we emerged from the manor and met back up with Lorelai. She dropped why we had to wreck this Manor Lady in the first place. Turns out, there was a skinless baby. And we were like “Dang, that baby got no skin!” He was Shane’s baby—a selkie born without his selkie skin. When we returned it to his Fishy Grandmama she was like “Thanx.” And we were like “We accept”.
And now she owes us a boon.
We arrive at the mansion
· Swords: out
· Humphrey: correctly named
· Guards: slaughtered
· Lady: killed
· Baby: skinned
We are forcibly removed from the mansion.