Virgin DM Monologues: Beatdown’s Dad & The Mystery Book

Welcome to the recap of the 29th session of my Eberron campaign, which took place on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010. When we last saw the party, they had saved Frank’s kobolds from a spell bomb that was turning them undead. After the lightning rail stopped in Fairhaven, an older man boarded the train and was dragging his trunk into the sleeper car room next to the party’s car. He threw open his arms the moment he saw the warforged Beatdown Machine and cried out his name.  It was Beatdown’s creator, Oros Trent!

…and Beatdown was not pleased to see him.

But like him or not, Beatdown had a lot of questions for his creator:

Where have you been?

I fled Karrnath during the War after several attempts on my life by assassins. I fled to Wroat, where I spent the rest of the War making infusions and laying low. Well, except for the bit of singing. Some call me a bardificer. Har har har.

What are you doing here?

Bards, we’re full of rumors, you know. Heard from someone who heard from someone who heard from someone that you had made your way to Sharn. That you were the bodyguard of Pilar Slowtongue. Guess you’ve moved up since the next rumor I heard was that you were guarding Lady d’Phiarlan and on the way to Korth. Thought I’d kill a few birds with one arrow, not that I can even fire an arrow. See Lady Tyasha perform at the Desmesne of Motion. See if I couldn’t bump into you. And determine whether people are still sore at me over the whole warforged fighting unit business.

Any idea why I deactivated for an unknown amount of time? [part of Beatdown's backstory]

I knew your unit was going to be taken out, if not by the enemies of Karrnath, then by the undead soldiers themselves and the necromancers who made them. I wanted to save you, to prove that you were the new face of Karrnath’s army. I only needed TIME to prove that, and wartime wasn’t the right time. I sent those tho trapped and buried you, along with a small device I fashioned that I could use to wake you up from afar once things had calmed down. I’m sorry, it’s just… there are bigger things for you, Beatdown. Bigger than the Last War. I can’t… shouldn’t say more.

Have you heard from any of my brothers?

Nearly all of them died. Thankfully, there were a few that survived and kept in touch. Unit B4 is my personal bodyguard, but I left him in Wroat to guard my lab. Unit B52 is captaining a fishing boat off the Eldeen Reaches. I believe he calls it the Rock Lobster. Units B13 and B37 work for a company out of Stormreach that serves as protection for research expeditions into Xen’drik.

He won’t speak more while the other passengers in the train are awake. He says he’ll get in touch with Beatdown again once the rest of the train falls asleep.

Jelly and Beatdown walk to the storage car to check on Frank, the kobolds, and Brick. They find them happily munching lemon bars. Brick has just asked Frank about the ritual he knew to rid the sacred grove of skippers (teleporting voles) and Frank has pulled together the leaves where he wrote down the components and such for the ritual he used in Xen’drik. He is sure that he can dig up the necessary components for Brick by the time they pass through Aundair on the way to Lady Tyasha’s appearance in Fairhaven next month. Since the party will be in Fairhaven a couple weeks, there will surely be a free day or two to travel to Brick’s homeland and save his sacred space. Just in case, Jelly copies the ritual down into her ritual book. Frank is well-intentioned, but not necessarily the most reliable person they know.

The train stops in Thaliost, the final stop in Aundair before crossing over the border into Karrnath, and Frank and the kobolds get off. Bleep gives Jelly a picture he drew for her: a crude but adorable picture of a half-elf and a heart. The party wishes Frank and the kobolds well in their journey to their new homeland.

On the way back to Lady Tyasha’s car, the party checks out the various new faces on the train, looking for suspicious characters or unattended bags. Everyone looks on the up-and-up. Even the single guy from the sleeper car is out and about, apparently wining & dining four young women in the dining car. He must be quite the charmer.

In the VIP car, Cyd, Jun, and Ulvein are playing cards and it appears Jun is cleaning up. It’s easy to have a poker face when you’re a changeling. In fact, you could have no face. The party discusses whether Beatdown could ever learn to play poker and the following is decided:

  • Beatdown could easily learn the rules of poker.
  • He could probably count cards & calculate the likelihood of his hand winning.
  • However, he is so lacking in social graces that he’d be a failure at all other aspects of the game.

Cyd goes all in but Jun has a better hand. Cyd storms off, lightning sparks flying from his head. He returns ten minutes later with a glass of wine and a letter, which he hands to Beatdown. It’s from Oros.

“I dared not say this aloud because there are ears everywhere. I will buy the farmer a feast in the dining car to get him of the way for our meeting tonight and cast a Silence ritual over the car so we can speak freely. B13 wrote from Stormreach to tell of a bard he met there. Erushkayan speaks highly of you, though with too loose a tongue. He was telling tales of his adventures to a ladyfriend, and described in some detail a magical book. Nearly had his throat slit by two Emerald Claw assassins, had B13 not stepped in. At any rate, if the book you possess is what I think it is, you could be holding a brighter future for Karrnath – nay! for all of Khorvaire! – in your hands. Eru said it was too bright for you to read. Allow me to help you read it. Bring it with you tonight. To the livestock car, just after midnight.”

The party has been in possession of this strange book for quite some time, and trouble has followed them ever since. If Oros does in fact know what the book is, the mystery could finally be solved. And sure enough, he does. As the party tells him more about the behavior of the book, the energies it had, the missing pages, the dreams that Brinn the wizard had while studying the final pages, and the way the book had changed once it was completed, Oros is practically vibrating with excitement.

He asks for permission to place his holy book on top of the book (which Cyd insists on holding). With a magical book of that type of power, Oros wants to be extra sure that he is right in his guess about what it is… he doesn’t want to anger the powers in the book and knows his gods will tell him if he’s on the right track. The party allows him to place his holy book on top of the mystery book, and as soon as the books touch, a light blue glow pulses out of them.

Oros begins to babble crazily. The book is from a legend of a legend of a legend. He wasn’t sure it actually existed, but it was spoken of in the Prophecy. It’s the directions on how to build a massive eldritch device, something which could destroy all the undead across many, many miles. Oros goes on about how his goal is to overthrow Kaius and return Karrnath to the people with a warforged army with more warforged like Beatdown to protect them.

While Jelly is keen to see fewer undead, she’s a bit wary of this whole government overthrowing, mass-genocide (if you can call it that for undead) idea. Oros admits he’s a little ahead of the game, but these things were spoken of in the Prophecy. Fang wonders whether or not this device will create a second Mournland. Oros gets serious for a minute. He’s not sure. He knows he could put the device together (he is an artificer after all), but more research will have to go into the actual plans, and probably by someone who knows the Prophecy better than he does.

As Oros is leaving the car to head back to his room, the lady-charmer from the dining car busts in, threatening to kill him. An epic battle ensues, which results in no less than eight attempts by the party to throw this baddie off the end of the train car. He kept saving and saving and saving. Then he summoned his lady zombies, which met their gruesome demise on Jelly’s blade barrier. FINALLY, Beatdown was able to shove the necromancer off the train.

“NO TICKET!” Beatdown said.

About e

Since 2008, E. Foley of Geek’s Dream Girl has been helping geeks from around the world find love. She writes amazing online dating profiles for her fellow geeks and guides them through the perilous waters of the dating scene and out the other side. She's totally proud to report that she's even caused a couple geek weddings! She lives in Maryland with DaveTheGame, her adorable cats, Mr. Peanut & Don Juan, and Titania, Queen of the Cocker Spaniels. (Email e, or follow @geeksdreamgirl on Twitter.)

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