Wild Abandon

Pants-Off Dance-Off

Chapter 14

Six ravenous vargouilles unlatch from a gehreleth summoned by the party in the bowels of their ship, screeching as they swoop towards Grekas and Mye-kuhl Jancer.

The screams wash over both elves without effect, but the gnashing fangs that follow are a different story. They bite at any exposed flesh and tear at Jancer's Jacket of Scintillating Colors, but the necrodancer pops his collar and lets out a "Jah!", causing the jacket to explode in… well… scintillating colors. Two of the winged heads fall to the ground, dazzled by the prismatic burst. The gehreleth itself also suddenly collapses into a puddle of tar inside the ritual circle.

Pleedleplop, who heard the racket from down the hall, opens the door to see if they're alright, and his fish eyes somehow grow even wider as a vargouille tries taking a chunk out of him. He meets its open maw with a fist to the face (which is also its body), knocking the creature back into the cabin.

Another vargouille swoops right for Mye-kuhl Jancer's neck, but it slams face-first into a hand of magical force, which appears between it and the half-elf, who suddenly feels a tug, like something is drawing him elsewhere. He tries to resist, but fails, and suddenly finds himself switching locations with Grekas, who tells him to get outside and shut the door. He does!

He puts his ear against the door, and almost gets a frosty earful as a shard of ice lodges itself in the door from the other side. There's pounding from within the room, and more shrieks. One of Jaraltanth's workers walks past, their eyes wide, whistling like nothing's wrong. Suddenly, everything goes quiet.

Jancer opens the door to find Grekas standing in the middle of the ruined cabin. Most of the furniture has been ruined by jagged hailstones, and the vargouilles lie dead on the ground.

"Phew! Well, good thing this isn't MY room!"

Meanwhile, in the planar metropolis of Sigil, Rorik Law steps outside the City Barracks. Before he can go any further however, the astral streaker sent by Jancer comes fluttering up to him. He suddenly remembers that he has comrades, and though there are many mysteries for him to explore here—they won't be going anywhere. Rorik asks Enrico to ask the little messenger bird if it can show them a way back to their companions on the Prime Material. Several chirps and chirrups later, the streaker flies off through a portal, and Rorik leaps through after it… appearing several hundred feet above Brentil Keep!

He plummets towards earth, but luckily for him, he has a Ring of Feather Falling! He rubs it vigorously and touches down on the deck of the party's ship a few moments later, light as a feather. Jaraltanth comes up and asks him how he did that, and Rorik tells him about the mysterious, magical feather that he found as a boy, which he later had crafted into the ring that he now wears.

Grekas and Jancer emerge from down below, and are pleasantly surprised to find Rorik back. Jancer shows off the gehreleth they summoned (though it just looks like a jar full of black goop to Rorik), and suggests they hit the bar for a little R&R.

They head to a place called 'The Burping Bulette II', a comfy joint with a taxidermied landshark head over the bar, and start drinking. Some of the carnies come in to drink to the memory of the dearly-departed Scaly, and buy a round for the boys. Jancer returns the favor, and secretly gets each of them the house special: The Necrotic Heart-Restarter—a drink infused with Shadowfell herbs that momentarily stop your heart when you down them.

Whiskers evidently can't take his alcohol (or having his tiny rabbit heart stopped and restarted so suddenly), and falls unconscious. Actually… he might've legitimately died, no one's sure, because Jancer suddenly hops up on a table and starts strip-dancing in honor of absent friends. The tiefling priestess, Serenity, and Alasima Devantis, who had been discussing their shared devotion to Sehanine, begin clapping as the necrodancer picks up the pace, eventually joining him up on the table. Elspeth blushes and covers her face as she orders another round of ale.

Choke and Stroke convince Rorik to let loose a little, and Korgo Leadgut challenges them to a drinking competition, saying he'll even "eat the glass bottles" to prove how hard he is. Nylah and Shaela join in too. Meanwhile, Sporp (who left his elephant tied to the hitching outside) has already single-handedly downed four full bottles of alcohol.

The competition is quickly forgotten as Jancer turns Grekas invisible, and he and Serenity convince the high elf to get naked. Grekas invisibly shrugs and neatly stores his clothing inside a 'Leomund's Secret Chest' before 'Prestidigitizing' the stuffed bulette head to sing. Rorik sees this (in a manner of speaking), and figures, "Well, if Grekas is doing it…" The eldritch knight downs one last shot and strips, leaving only his helmet on, and pushes aside a dwarf so that he can get behind Grekas in a growing conga line around the room. Nylah tries to smack Grekas on his invisible bottom, but misses and ends up slapping a passing kobold waiter instead.

Maltravakis, the keep's dragonborn commander, pushes his way into the bar with some guards and tells the assembled merry-makers that there's been a noise complaint.

"A noise complaint? From who?"

"From ME."

Nylah casts 'Suggestion' on the commander, and it actually works—he wants to party too!

Rorik notices Elspeth and Ridak slip downstairs in all the commotion, and the fighter sends Enrico to follow them. The raven finds the dwarf and the half-orc in the middle of a sloppy, drunk make-out session. They head into a private room, and upstairs, Jancer can feel the horizontal tango in his feet.

The conga line spills out onto the street as Jancer leads it across the river to where the party's ship is moored. The party is so poppin' that even Pleedleplop is convinced to join in. Jancer is glad to see him having fun after stewing on death and destruction for so long—and the kuo-toa notes that, "like the ocean, we must always be in motion. That is what the Sea Mother would want."

The sound of the party draws the still-dancing zombie hook horror, Jimothy Jones in hot pursuit atop Peter the Griffon. The paladin leaps off his mount behind the grooving corpse and says a prayer to Ilmater for his one-time friend before punching a hole through its chest and ending its miserable unlife. He feels the pain of his action… and knows that he has done the right thing.

Nearby, Mye-kuhl Jancer finds the Prince of Tindomeel taking in the festivities, and, after some back-and-forth about the "quality" of the moves on display, challenges him to a dance-off. The Prince uses his mastery of illusion magic to create back-up dancers using a modified 'Phantasmal Killer' spell that Jancer combats with his own, 'Phantasmal Thriller'—getting Elspeth, Ridak, Sporp, and Pleedleplop to help him out. They find themselves evenly matched, but, as the necrodancer is quick to point out,

"At least my crew is real."

"Heh. Clearly you know little of illusions, my young friend—so long as one believes something, it's as good as the real thing."

"I'm sure this ain't the first time you've told yourself that, baby."

Afterwards, Jancer runs into Annie, the half-elf girl from the carnival. With her is her elven mother, who introduces herself as Liana Alamode. They discuss dancing and music, and Jancer tells Liana about the high elf hip-hop group he was a part of back in his 60s, giving her a copy of their debut album, 'The Night of the Long Knife-ears', on spinyl (bones enchanted to play music). Liana says she'll have to take a listen, and thanks Jancer for bringing a little life to their quiet little town. He notes that he can bring life to even the deadest feet, and points to the nearby sarcophagus, from which rises Saladesh the mummy.

Saladesh works his old bones, and, using his mastery over wind, creates a cyclone. The conga line spirals up the churning gale and everybody starts flail-dancing as they're blasted around and around inside the tornado. Some people get sick riding the whirligig, and puke, sending globs of vomit firing off in different directions as it escapes the air current.

The party swells from the original 88 to 112 as night turns to day, and the exhausted dancers continue their revelry until 8 the next morning.

Grekas summons 'Unseen Servants' to start cleaning up the mess from the night before, and points out that he really should get back to his official duties. Jancer asks if they can check out the telescope in his tower again, and the wizard is happy to oblige after the necrodancer offers to let him study the githyanki silver sword in return.

After a bit of fiddling, Jancer has an idea, and gets Rorik and Jimothy to help him take the telescope off its mount and point it, not towards a star in the sky, but down towards the village below Brentil Keep—which he thinks looks vaguely like a constellation. The hear a click as a light appears under Grekas's closet door.

A new room has appeared!

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