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Adventure Log

This is the up-to-date chronicle of the adventures and exploits of the Focussed Group. The Adventure Log was maintained dutifully and without fail by Wyatt up until the Christmas episode. We thank them for their service.

Once upon a time...

...there were four adventurers who answered a simple Craigslist ad. In a small and dimly tavern on the edge of a vast desert, they met for the first time. They gathered together awkwardly around a rickety table to introduce themselves. There was Delle, a Taxabi, who excelled in sorcery and was a lucrative late-night streamer. Pappy, a horny micro-troll berserker with a penchant for rage, introduced himself to the group by showing off his chastity belt and speaking broken (yet charming) Common. Furn, the half Orc Druid, expressed her love for mud and other freaky things. The fourth member of this rag-tag team was Baja, a Dragonborn and untalented bard who played the bagpipes at inopportune moments. After their small talk, they confirmed what they knew of their mission: they were to capture the one known as “Sparrow."

Immediately after their introductions, Baja challenged a lutist to a musical duel and failed miserably. Delle, Furn, and Pappy turned their attention to a group of shady-looking bird people who had been annoyed by the terrible bag-pipery and seemed out of place in the tavern. The birds spoke in hushed tones and their watchful eyes darted around the bar, looking for signs of eavesdroppers. Since the party was looking for a “Sparrow”, they decided (with explicitly racist undertones) to approach the group of bird-people and ask them what they knew. It was then that Pappy the Troll decided to saunter over and make them uncomfortable with their own sexualities. The initial conversation was very one-sided, with the birds blocking every attempt by the party to intrude on their conversation. After a failed charming spell by Delle, the group of bird persons was officially spooked and fled the tavern into the desert. After a slight nudge by the hand of fate, our adventurers sped off into the desert after them. Pappy’s camel carried the little troll and Delle the Taxabi, while Baja shifted into his Primordial form (previously only used for tail-sucking) and carried Furn the half-Orc. It should be noted here that the camel was overjoyed to finally have a use greater than providing lubrication for Pappy’s chafing chastity belt.

After following the bird-people for several hours, the party came across their hideout: a small cave hidden by a large sand dune. Outside the cave were posted two sentries, bird people the party had not seen before. After a failed attempt at distracting the guards with a lacking rendition of “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac, the party was forced to attack. Upon slaying one guardsmen, however, the group was able to intimidate the other into leading the adventurers into the hideout. At daggerpoint, the group filed behind the guardsman into the cave where they stumbled upon another birdsman and someone who appeared to be a bandit superior. These bandits appeared to guard a large locked door, and were waiting for the Sparrow to leave in order to ambush her. After a brief dialogue and nearly another violent encounter, Baja was able to quietly cast a spell from which the party learned the door was just an illusion. After a weirdly tense moment in which the group simply walked through the door, the Craigslist team managed to squeak by the bandits and arrive at the center of the hideout where they met their target: the Sparrow.

It was revealed that Sparrow had been hiding from the bandits. They had discovered her whereabouts, after which she had been forced to cast countermeasures to keep them at bay. She stressed the importance of her escape and asked the adventurers to aid her return back to the resistance camp- she had vital information and needed to ensure its delivery. The adventurers agreed and they set about their way. With the cave collapsing behind them and Delle getting conked on the head by falling rock, the party made a daring escape out of the frying pan and into the fire. Upon reaching the outside of the cave, the group was met with another foe that nearly defeated them. If it hadn’t been for their new ally- who cast a teleportation spell- they certainly would have met their demise.

They awoke in a strange and dilapidated castle courtyard. After Sparrow and the party had collected themselves, the spy uttered those famous words: “Welcome to the Resistance.”

The castle was in shambles...

...and the adventurers Delle, Furn, Pappy, and Baja looked around the ruins with both confusion and curiosity. Where were they? There was little time to look around though , as Sparrow led them across the castle grounds into what appeared to be a posh modern throne room. The party introduced themselves one by one to a Drow woman claiming to be queen and a stoic Orc dressed in only bootcut jeans. In return for saving Sparrow, a key intelligence operative, the party was handsomely rewarded and for their skill were asked to join the Resistance. Their first job was to pick a new, less cliche name for the organization. The party wisely decided that the “Resistance” would be renamed The Focus Group and they now referred to themselves as The Focussed Group.

This first test was the easiest of the day. After, the party was ushered into a surprisingly modern classroom that had been set up and given the written portion of their entrance exam. Pappy, after receiving the lowest score of the group, got hit with a debuff potion as punishment in the next phase of the entrance exam, the combat trial.

The party was given another quick tour of the grounds as they made their way to the combat colosseum. The promise of a Fantasy Costco membership was enough to motivate and excite Pappy. In the colosseum, they were greeted by a human man in a ridiculous yet functional outfit who introduced himself as Mud Techno, a mercenary hired by The Focus Group to be a combat instructor. The party would be put up against the toughest creatures in the wildlands surrounding the kingdom: a bronze dragon Wyrmling (not a worm) and a chicken. The beasts put up a good fight (the chicken even managed to knock Delle out), but in the end they were no match for The Focussed Group!

The party was welcomed back to the throne room with warm smiles and gifts after passing all of their entrance exams. They were each given a bandana bearing an insignia of a hammer smashing a mountain, denoting them as Knights of the Wilds. Of course they were also issued their Fantasy Costco membership cards. They were officially part of The Focus Group! Unfortunately there is no rest for the weary.

Getting dabbed on was the last thing the party remembered before getting transported back out into the desert. Before their departure they had been briefed on the situation by Diana (Sparrow’s wife and chief of operations for TFG). The Kingdom of Petra was facing civil unrest and its ruler, Shin the Conqueror, was just ripe to be overthrown. The party’s goal would be to infiltrate the kingdom, defeat Shin, and secure the sustaining artifact of Petra. The artifact had many names throughout the centuries, and Shin wielded it as the Avalanche Glaive, a sparkling golden Thanos glove that gave him control over rock and earth. Back in the desert, the party mounted up and rode out of the desert and into the badlands. As they approached Petra, they could see that it rested on an enormous pillar of stone towering above the surrounding rock formations. The city itself was made of gleaming copper that almost hurt the eyes to look at under the desert sun. It seemed impenetrable.

The party’s quick thinking and observational skills led to them finding a secret, but slightly gross way in: the sewers. Furn was able to turn herself into a lizard and open the sewer grate for the rest of the party. Baja swiftly made his way up the sheer cliff face as well. It took Delle and Pappy a few tries to successfully climb the rope to the sewage tunnel.

After a brief but gross crawl through Petra’s sewer system, the party discovered an abandoned house they could sneak into without being noticed. Going unnoticed didn’t last long however as they busted out of the house and into the town square, and right in front of two guards. With some quick thinking and magic, Baja and Delle charmed the guards and made the guards escort the party to the royal palace. A few quick lies at the gate, aided by their escort Terry, and they were in and ready to kill a king.

The final showdown took place in the ornately decorated throne room. Shin had a formidable mastery of the Avalanche Glaive, throwing boulder missiles and dropping walls of earth on the party. Baja managed to wrench the glaive off of Shin’s hand, but still suffered the wrath of his punch when he got his glaive back. After easily blocking 3 Pappy Specials, it looked like Shin would cut our heroes’ journey short. Were it not for Baja using his primordial form to bind Shin, the party might have been done for. With one last rage-fueled Pappy Special, Shin was relieved of his head and his kingdom. The party snatched up the powerful magic artifact and Shin’s head (gross) and returned to their new home.

They were greeted with cheers and applause, quickly followed by disgust as they realized that they had brought a severed head back with them as well. The party decided they trusted the Queen enough to hand over the Glaive, for which she rewarded them by transforming it into four smaller magical artifacts so its full power could never be used for evil again. In the weeks following TFG’s victory, refugees from Petra began arriving in the wilds and setting up new dwellings and renovating the dilapidated kingdom. Our heroes also took some much needed time off. Delle worked on her streaming career, Furn hunted an impossibly large rabbit, Baja started a cult obsessed with finding the Florida Gator and named his new cult Gator AIDS, and finally Pappy attended fashion week and had his original design stolen and sold by a couple of male models he shared a night of passion with. But the time off can’t last forever.

The cannon blast...

...manned by a demonic Driver Gosling deposited our heroes in the midst of a great and terrible swamp. The land of Florida was a new place of thick smelly mud, strange gurgling sounds, and disgusting little tardigrades. Furn and Pappy felt right at home. Rolling and tumbling through the mud, they spent the first several minutes after their arrival in complete orgasmic ecstasy while Delle and Baja simply stared. You freaks, the mud seemed to whisper as half the party became so covered in mud they were practically unrecognizable. Delle was not enjoying herself. After an unforgivable amount of time, the party set off to find and eliminate the King of Texas.

A short while into their trek through the moist soil and slimy waters of the Florida swamp, the party was attacked by two gelatinous cubes! Unfortunately for these slimy bois, our favorite batch of rebels slew them quickly, even with Pappy getting temporarily eaten and acid burnt. After a short rest, the group set off again into the wetlands. Soon enough, the trees began to shift. The canopy was slowly taken over by an abundance of treehouse-like structures. High in the trees, these vaulted huts slowly grew into a whole network of rope bridges, buildings, and connected platforms.

Suddenly there was a voice that shouted down from the canopy. “Who’s there?” it questioned, “Y’all here to kill the King of Texas?” The directness of the question confused the band of misfits. They affirmed their intentions and were invited off the wet floor of the swamp into the lofty branches by Mara, an Elf, who offered her hospitality for the night. Breakfast came at six o’clock in the morning, and the kind Mara baked smoking hot swamp cakes from dirt and moss. They were hard and brittle, breaking easily under the hands of her guests. One by one, our adventurers tried the swamp delicacy and introduced themselves in full to Mara, the elven ranger. Pappy and Furn adored the cakes and ate them with gusto. Baja was triggered by the cakes, which somehow allowed him to share a sepia hallucination with the group. Mara noted the need for less shrooms in the recipe. Delle politely tried the swamp cake as well, but was disgruntled by the ingredients and didn’t find them all too appetizing. When Mara’s turn to introduce herself came, she revealed her life as a poor Floridian and railed at the injustices the King of Texas had wrought on her land. The “King” had also killed Mara’s parents- this mission was personal for her.

Mara Joins the Party!

With stomachs full of shrooms, dirt, and moss, the new team set off to topple the oil tycoon that had wreaked havoc on the region. Traveling farther into the city, the group witnessed abject poverty. The town was physically built like a pyramid, with the impoverished as the foundation. A small child begged the party for any sort of charitable donation, to which Belle responded by giving the child some gold (The boy promptly tried to eat the coins). Malnourishment was rampant, and the party was only further motivated to assassinate the King and restore balance to the city.

Finally the party reached the middle tier of the city- the locality’s main plaza. Here were four shops but, before they could investigate, they saw a bulletin.

mina note: put the gator pic here. doo hoo hoo

This provided the perfect way for the Focussed Group to access their target, and it was quickly decided that they needed to find presents for the party. Glancing around the plaza, they saw four shops, a Fantasy Williams-Sonoma™, Fantasy Adidas™, Fantasy GNC™, and a small restaurant specializing in swamp dogs. With a little commotion that luckily went unnoticed, Delle, Furn, Pappy, and Mara broke into the shops to steal presents for the King’s party while Baja stood watch. Slipping out of his grubby clothes, Pappy donned a tracksuit while stealing a pair of size 5 sneakers and the most obnoxiously large Ninja blender he could find. Delle grabbed a single-egg frying pan, Furn snatched a blender big enough to fit Pappy in, and Mara stole some erectile dysfunction pills (hoping to poison the king. The party also snagged some swamp dogs on their way out of the plaza, which made Delle sick.

Departing from the plaza, The Focussed Group was hit by a group of three thieves, who in a flash stole their presents for the King! Not the adventurers to allow blatant disrespect, they immediately chased the (definitely in need but still) assholes. Furn cast Entanglement, successfully rooting one suspect to the ground as Pappy unsuccessfully tried to wrap up another. Luckily, Pappy’s intervention did force the dillhole to drop some of the presents which were happily reclaimed. After a brief interrogation of the trapped thief, the group learned that the other thieves had taken the items to the lower quarter. After remarking that life would be easier if the gang these thieves belonged to had left an obvious sign over their hideout, they were greeted with a urine-stained cardboard sign outside the door of a pub in the lower quarter that read,

mina note 2: i dont even fucking know anymre man

The party, being highly intelligent and having never ventured into a drainage tunnel to shout the word, “PENIS”, only to flee violently at the possible sighting of a maybe snake, saw through the feeble attempts of the gang. Mara put on the alligator cloak of the entangled thief and fooled the bouncer, allowing the party inside. The room was hardly the picture of a bustling pub. Behind the counter was a bartender, with a lone man sitting at the bar drowning his sorrows in a tumbler of swamp bourbon. Scattered around the room were three more patrons, sipping their drinks slowly and contemplating the absolute insignificance of their lives as swamp bandits. Surveying the dingy tavern, the group found what they had come for: all their stolen presents and others sitting on the shelves behind the bar.

Mara tried to sneak past the bartender to grab the presents but was caught by his eagle-like vision. Luckily the alligator cloak-toting Ranger was able to deceive the man- she had only been looking for a lost contact. Just then, Baja cast Mage Hand, with which he lit the lonely man’s glass of swamp bourbon and sent it crashing into his face. Furn came in for a knockout punch but missed, whiffing the air in front of the poor man’s head. Our little troll then completed the man’s humiliation by pantsing him. As the other men joined the quickly evolving barfight, Pappy sent an unarmed strike into one of the patron's torso, knocking him back. Delle, who had luckily remained unseen, used her own Mage Hand to grab one of the stolen items just as Mara stood and drew her two shortswords. Dual wielding, she quickly knocked him unconscious with the flats of her blades. Furn, Baja, and Pappy continued to battle the half-drunken bandits as our feline Taxabi sneaked away to the door to deposit the gift for later. Not a second later, one of the fighting customers was thrown through the front window and out of the battle. Hardly thirty seconds later, the fight was over. Only the sad, pantless man and the barkeep remained alive.

Jolly with bloodsport, our merry murdering misfits traipsed from the bar, having gained a teddy bear as a spoil of battle from the stack of stolen gifts. Now it was the King’s turn.

The party faced no resistance walking into the castle for the king’s birthday, however they were greeted with a somewhat disturbing sight: a decrepit old man seated at a long banquet table piled high with rotting food. On each side of the old man an enormous red and black lizard creature feasted on the decomposing food. Baja immediately attempted to make friends with these lizards, to no avail. The party was greeted with a simple, yet cheerful “Guests! What’d you get me for my birthday?” Mara made no effort to contain her rage, a rage that wasn’t helped by Bungalow Jim not even remembering slaughtering Mara’s family. The elderly king, even with his magical lizard daggers, was no match for the party. After quickly dispatching his human form, the party had to reckon with the half reptile-half human monstrosity that now stood where the king’s body fell. But even this monstrosity was no match for Mara seeking justice. With one final stab of her short swords, the monster fell, and the party secured their second sustaining artifact: the Alligator Knives.

Snow had fallen...

...and our adventure returns to the adventurers playing White Elephant. Pappy receives magical saddle bags for his camel. Mara got a miniature white elephant! Delle receives a grooming multitool with the words, “Stay Groovy” inscribed on it. Furn got a pack of swamp biscuits! Baja received a small donut shaped rock, with his own face scratched in as an effigy of himself.

After their gift-swapping game, the gang finally turns in the Alligator Knives after prying them from Pappy’s (who had fallen unconscious, overcome with delight at the sight of the groovy multitool) soggy waistband. The leader of the Focus Group grants them magical items as payment along with 800 gold coins!

The Focussed Group retired to their apartments afterwards, hoping to get some more rest and relaxation. Their days were immediately interrupted by a series of knocks at the door. Baja and Pappy opened the door while Mara and Furn climbed out of the windows, eager to see their visitor, who turned out to be a tiny goblin child, dressed in thick winter clothing. The child, who called himself Boblin, explained how he had traveled all the way from Arbor to meet the Focussed Group, the heroes who liberated his kingdom. He begged for their help, explaining his entire family and hundreds of other goblins had been enslaved in the city. The party instantly agreed to help him but realized Delle was still in her room, not wanting to be bothered.

Mara and Baja eventually convinced the streamer to come out of her room and agree to help Boblin. Fully prepared, the Focussed Group decided not to tell the Queen about their mission and instead headed straight to Sparrow, who could teleport them, and Driver Gosling, who was undoubtedly doing something effortlessly cool and swoonworthy (as Delle found out). Driver agreed to help the adventurers and their new goblin child, being the casually antiauthoritarian kind of guy he is, and with Sparrow's help the party arrived back in the Kingdom of Wood via teleportation cannon. The city itself was somehow in even worse condition than the Focussed Group had left it in!

As the party explored the derelict city, Boblin explained how his family, along with a large swath of the city's population, had been enslaved and put to work in a sawmill on the outskirts of town. Is that what happened? They were enslaved? I'm not just making that up?

Haven't written this far yet!

Four months had passed...

...since the Focussed Group had first set foot in the Kingdom of Knowledge. Now with the illusion destroyed and Da Worm in their possession, the party returned to the Focus Group, accompanied by Sparrow and Driver. The situation back at the castle was coming to a head as refugees from across Fuckburg crowded for space and resources, displaced from the very homes the Focussed Group had tried to save.

The gravity of their current situation was lost on the party, however, who had just gotten back from a detour in the quaint village of Ice Hole. The town’s tourist trap charm was so appealing, so earnest, that the Focussed Group had no choice to believe that its close to six inhabited buildings and single attraction (the Ice Hole) held some sort of sinister secret. Unfortunately, despite all their investigating (Pappy interrogating the mayor, Furn flying into the Ice Hole as a bat, and Baja throwing a cloaca beer at an innocent if rude woman), the party only made it out with a menagerie of cheap, kitschy souvenirs for Boblin, the best little guy in all Fuckburg. Boblin adored his gifts and was overjoyed at his friends’ return.

Upon their return from Ice Hole, the party realized they had been kept in the dark for the entirety of their employment under the Queen. They neglected to mention Da Worm to their sovereign but disclosed its existence to Sparrow, who called a secret meeting that night. Baja, Delle, Furn, Mara, and Pappy arrived to find Diana, Driver, Mud, Boblin, and Sparrow waiting for them. The Focus Group employees shared what they knew: the Sustaining Artifacts were not what they seemed to be, and their removal from the Empire’s henchmen was having a destabilizing effect on reality itself. Furthermore, Delle revealed the message she had received with the mysterious neon lipstick, revealing it to be an invitation from Kiku Matsume, boss of the Catsuka crime syndicate and Delle’s ex-girlfriend, to Lucia, capital of the Kingdom of Light, a realm of eternal partying.

Together, the Focussed Group and their allies hatched a plan: in order to discover the truth about the world, they would infiltrate this party, interrogate Kiku, and find out what the Queen had been keeping from them. In order for this mission to work, however, they would have to slip away surreptitiously. Though each of their allies volunteered to journey to Lucia with them, the party chose to bring Driver along.

Before they could set out, the adventurers would need disguises. Sparrow debriefed the Focussed Group on the reigning philosophy of the rave kingdom, PLUR: Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. With those tenets in mind, the party started their makeover. Baja chose a massive cloak made entirely of fox tails, complete with a hat; Delle rocked a David Byrne-style giant boxy suit made of shimmering azure nylon; Furn gravitated towards a pair of cybergoth pants and a revealing FILA cropped hoodie; Mara donned a glittering disco ball-esque skirt and crystalline crop top, her hair done up in buns; and Pappy, remembering his tenure as a male model in the woods outside the castle, selected a mesh top, a photorealistic nude man chest crop top underneath, stunna shades, and enormous platform heels, leaving his chastity belt out for all of Fuckburg to see.

The Focussed Group was kitted out and ready to go! They met Driver (wearing leather straps and a thong under his classic jacket) at the Focus Group’s stables and began the long ride East towards Lucia, located within a lone black mountain. Within a few days, riding at full speed, the Focussed Group finally came within sight of the Kingdom of Light and the immense line to get into the party, stretching out for miles. Leaving their horses at the stables, the party queued up. As the Focussed Group made their way down the line, they realized they were one invitation short now that Driver had joined them. Thinking quickly, Furn used her Wild Shape to transform into a worm, prompting Pappy to put her in his chastity belt. The bouncer was none the wiser and admitted the dripped-out, swagged-out adventurers into Lucia. A dazzling neon lightshow greeted the party, deafening trance beats tempting them further into the citywide celebration. Each member of the Focussed Group received candy bracelets that could be exchanged for currency; almost as soon as they entered the city proper, everyone was presented with “party favors,” brightly-colored pills and tabs that caused the neon dragons and hypnotic music to take on lives of their own.

The hypnotic lights and sounds brought the Focussed Group to the epicenter of the action, surrounding a large circular stage occupied by several tabaxi goons in suits, most likely Catsuka enforcers. As drug-addled and spaced-out as she was, Delle recognized the next person to walk on stage instantly. Kiku Matsume, her hair done up in buns and her blazer cut open to reveal a massive koi back tattoo, began working the crowd, hyping them up to thunderous cheering. Kiku was there to make an example of someone who had been harshing the vibe, an elf being held by the Catsuka. In an instant, Kiku activated glowing hardlight claws and slashed at the elf's neck, spraying the enchanted crowd with blood. Baja, who was still somewhat conscious, stood horrified, and Furn cast dispel magic, attempting to lift the spell on the partygoers. All at once the crowd noticed the blood and panicked, prompting a violent reaction from the Catsuka. Kiku smiled devilishly at Delle, seemingly overjoyed she had made it to the party. Before Kiku could confront the party, however, smoke began to pour across the stage, and the Focussed Group was kidnapped, taken swiftly away from the danger.

The party had been rescued (temporarily) by the Obsidian Tigers, a revolutionary group with plans to take down Kiku and redistribute her wealth across the Kingdom of Light. Their leaders, a half-elf named Oober and a half-orc named Doober who were in gay love, admonished the Focussed Group for the collapses that had taken place in Petra and Arbor. In exchange for their freedom, Doober explained, the party would help the Obsidian Tigers free the kingdom without causing the city to dissolve into black goo. Without any other options, the Focussed Group agreed, and were assigned to take down Kiku's communication tower while the Tigers attacked the docks where the Catsuka received shipments. Having begrudgingly accepted their mission, the Focussed Group decided to head for Kiku's obsidian palace beforehand to try and get some information.

Upon arriving at the palace, an impossibly sleek pyramidal megalith, Pappy immediately tried a sexy dance to persuade the guards to let them inside. While incredibly effective, the guards were instructed to let the party in anyway, as they were Kiku's guests of honor. Kiku herself received the party openly, sneering at their ignorance, before dropping some real cryptic lines and heel-turning, ejecting the adventurers from her castle. With no more leads to go on and the drugs wearing off, the party headed for the communications tower.

Right away the party could see the tower was locked down tight, its main door accessible only through a keypad. First, the group debated whether or not they could break a window or scale the walls; eventually, Baja stepped up and managed to guess the password. The Focussed Group's victory was cut short when the tower's two-factor authentication kicked on, and the dragonborn was thrust into a DDR security machine. Baja danced the night away while his coworkers cheered him on, the rhythm carrying him to new heights never before reached, until he missed a step and the alarm sounded. Baja broke the window and the party ascended the tower in an elevator with Kiku's security forces hot on their heels. When they reached the top, the Focussed Group was met with several ghouls and a screaming flameskull that instantly blasted a fireball into the elevator. A fierce fight ensued, and the Focussed Group, though bloodied, eventually triumphed.

While the rest of the party caught their breath, Driver set to work hacking into the communications systems, preparing a broadcast. Pappy, his third-person speech mysteriously vanished, took the mic and delivered a heartfelt plea as the constant music stopped, begging the inhabitants of Lucien to try to remember before the Empire, to look past the celebration at the truth of their city. There was silence for a moment, and bright light as the neon faded; the filth of the city had been revealed, stained by refuse and blood, old and fresh. Panic erupted and spread throughout the city, and seemingly in response, Kiku's palace came alive, emitting black lightning that snaked across the city and began vaporizing innocent bystanders. The Focussed Group could see swirling, smoky forms tearing through the crowd. Driver shot out a window and Furn assumed the form of a giant eagle, carrying the party across the city to Kiku. Before they could get far, a bolt of black lightning struck Furn and the party began to plummet to the ground. Baja, thinking quickly, morphed into his primordial form and coiled into a spring, letting the party bounce and land safely.

The Focussed Group was now caught in the middle of the chaos, and they elected to sneak by any smoke monsters they saw. Unfortunately, Driver's uncharacteristic carelessness brought the attention of one of the monsters, which attacked. Despite its elemental absorption powers, the smoke monster quickly realized the Focussed Group was made up of merciless psychopaths who loved chopping things up and destroying and killing things.

Their enemy quickly dispatched, the Focussed Group made it to the palace and found Oober and Doober waiting for them. After Oober gave the party their health and spell slots back, they pushed their way inside. A hologram of Kiku awaited them, beckoning them into a deeper chamber. Inside a massive ballroom, the party faced a squad of puppet catboy soldiers, controlled by a nearby mind flayer. Mara and Pappy tore through the soldiers while the spellcasters aimed for the mind flayer. Before Mara could close in and take him out, however, the mind flayer used its psionic powers to scramble Baja, Furn, and Pappy's brains, rendering them confused for the rest of the fight. Eventually, Mara was able to punch the mind flayer so hard in the butt that its head exploded. Baja, freed from his confusion, discovered a magic ring in the mind flayer's pockets while Furn knife spammed in the corner.

The next room, a huge, ornate kitchen, presented a different challenge for the party. Inside were three cooking stations, one gold, one silver, and one copper. Nearby were three sets of cooking utensils, similarly gilded, alongside statues of an orc, an elf, and a tabaxi. Searching around, Pappy discovered a cookbook, which, after a long personal anecdote that had nothing to do with the subject matter at hand, explained:

Each kitchen has a unique chef. One chef only uses copper cookware, one only uses silver, and one only uses gold. Assign each chef to their station with their proper cookware. Ingredients: the Tabaxi and elf are jealous of each other and refuse to work side by side; the orc will only work at the silver station; the Tabaxi does not use gold cookware; the copper cookware works only with the gold kitchen; the orc works to the right of the elf.

After some careful deliberation, the party managed to assign each chef to their respective stations and utensils. The statues magically came to life, pushing Pappy out of the way while they cooked a five-star meal. The chefs took their steaming cloches into the next room, an obsidian dining hall offset by stark, dark oak chairs. Following closely behind, the Focussed Group watched in horror as a massive tuxedo-clad ape appeared. Before anyone could react, Bobo the Blood Ape slammed his fists into the iron table, removing a huge shard, which he then threw at Driver. The tiefling gunslinger was down in an instant, orange blood pouring from his right eye and the stump of one of his horns. Bobo fell upon the party with the divine wrath only a true blood ape could express. Fueled by vengeance, Mara and Baja landed excruciating blows on the ape. Baja was finally able to use his influencer knife, which lowered Bobo's defenses and also turned his right arm into cake.

The Focussed Group continued whaling on the ape until he lay dead on the ground, half-turned into ape cake, which Baja and Pappy both tried and kind of enjoyed. Mara, attempting to heal Driver, suggested he try it, to which Driver responded by saying he would probably rather die. Furn healed Driver substantially and the party moved through the next door, fearful of more blood apes but only encountering a nearly empty library. Only one shelf held a handful of scrolls. At the center of the library stood a pedestal, glimmering runes engraved upon its surface. I'm a little drunk writing this and I can't remember what the actual riddle was but it was day and night. kid cudi. im laughing again just thinking about it. Anyways the Focussed Group got that shit done and moved on.

Sunlight poured into the next room, a greenhouse of unmatched splendor, where enormous trees stretched beyond sight and the fragrance of countless flowers calmed the Focussed Group, lulling them into a serene rest. Baja began to play a calming song on his bagpipes, Furn tried in vain to identify some of the more exotic plants present, and Delle's eyes went silly mode at the sight of dozens of birds and butterflies. The whole party was able to take a deep breath before the journey continued.

Finally, the party made their way through the last set of obsidian doors. Pappy and Delle doubled up and pushed the doors open, while Baja snapped in time like a greaser, Mara swung her quarterstaff in threatening circles, Driver sliced the pie with his rifle, and Furn choked on her own spit. There before them, in front of a shattered obsidian throne, stood Kiku.

It was what surrounded Kiku that caught the Focussed Group’s attention. Each party member (save for Driver) recognized it instantly as a Shadestorm, yet none of them could remember how they knew that or what exactly the word meant. The Shadestorm rippled malevolently, white light moving like negative shadows beneath its unyielding surface. Kiku’s hands, enslaved to the rings, were blackened and charred by the Shadestorm’s energy.

Kiku, seemingly undeterred by the Shadestorm, challenged the adventurers, vowing to put an end to them. The Focussed Group responded in kind, attacking as one. Kiku’s power proved more than a match for their initial attack; using the power of the rings, the tabaxi crime lord absorbed the damage of incoming spells and summoned hardlight doubles to harass her foes.

The battle wore on, and each lightning strike and obsidian blade wielded against the party brought them closer to defeat. Mara, Pappy, and Baja held fast on the front lines, desperately trying to destroy the rings, while Delle and Furn provided support from a distance. At last, after Mara and Baja’s relentless assault, one through incredible amounts of physical violence, the other through crafty musical magic and some harsh insults, Pappy brought his battleaxe down on Kiku’s final hardlight shield and shattered it, destroying the rings and sending Kiku to the ground.

It was at this moment the Shadestorm grew to critical mass, threatening to tear the entire castle apart. Kiku, finally graced with a moment of clarity, pleaded with the party to sever her connection to the Shadestorm before it consumed her. After a brief team huddle amid the howling storm, Pappy and Furn executed a cross maneuver on Kiku, removed her arms, and shared a nice little homie kiss. Miraculously, everyone survived the Shadestorm unscathed. Now freed from the imprisoning influence of the rings, Kiku broke down into tears, her hands removed but her life spared.

The throne room, along with the long-partying city outside, fell silent, as Kiku regarded her situation and Driver laid down on the floor. The Focussed Group pondered what their next move would be. The nearby shards of Kiku's rings began to reform, sparking and morphing into one singular artifact, prompting a closer look from Pappy and Baja. The two deduced the artifact was largely similar to the worm they had found, but somehow different. Eager to learn more, Baja cast legend lore, and learned the worm was "a vassal of darkness, a paradox of evil, from outside and before." As Furn took the captured worm out of her bag to gauge its reaction to the ring, Kiku gazed in astonishment, muttering that "they had really done it." The party watched as the worm and ring began to gravitate towards one another, pulling across the obsidian floor.

Sensing Kiku's distress, Mara knelt down and asked the Catsuka boss for any information on the strange events coinciding with their missions. Kiku, sadly, had something akin to the same amnesia as the rest of the world but for a few exceptions: one, she remembered being entrusted with the Sustaining Artifacts as a means to combat the Shadestorm alongside Shin, the King of Texas, Megamind, and others. Kiku also remembered succumbing to the corrupting influence of the Shadestorm locked inside her artifact, divulging her current state was only because they had run out of any other options. The Shadestorm, it seems, had consumed every other continent on the planet fifteen years ago, leaving Fuckburg stranded in the Emerald Sea.

At this point Driver piped up from the floor, reminding the party their mission was unsanctioned and that he was unsure if they could even return to the Focus Group. This reminded Mara to ask Kiku what she knew of the Queen, which, mysteriously, was even less than the Focussed Group knew. The wielders of the Sustaining Artifacts, along with everyone else in Fuckburg, had no idea who the Queen was, where she came from, or how she came to power at all. In fact, they had no idea who the members of the Focussed Group were, as the party had completely blindsided them in Petra and Arbor, throwing their plans into disarray at every turn.

Somehow, the ring seemed to sense Kiku's actions, growing more and more agitated as she revealed more information. The party all ran into each other as they tried to bat the ring away with their staffs and other stick-like objects. Unsure of how to proceed, Kiku asked the party to take her with them; she knew how to get into the next kingdom, the Kingdom of Fire, and the mysterious laws one was expected to follow there. She also admitted, somewhat bashfully, that she no longer had a place to stay. After some debate, the party decided to smuggle her out of Lucien and head for Ice Hole. Before they left, Pappy decided to try and pick up the ring and use it as a septum piercing. The artifact instantly shocked him with a burst of lightning, showing him static images of chaos and destruction wrought by the Shadestorms.

On their way out of the city, the Focussed Group stopped by to see Oober and Doober, turning the city over to the Obsidian Tigers. They spent the next few days traveling back to Ice Hole, hiding in the wilderness from their former allies, awaiting the trials to come.

Weary from their travels and from cutting off Kiku's arms the other day, the Focussed Group at last stumbled into Ice Hole, finding only one inn open during the "holiday." While they were coldly received by the innkeeper, the party was met by their allies Sparrow, Diana, Mud, and Boblin, who bit Baja and ate one of Mara's glowsticks. I'm so tired and I haven't eaten anything in so long I'll do the rest of this later. Basically it was a gougar oooouhhhhhhh hhhuuuuuuu bggnbnnnnnnnnntttthhhhhhhhhfffffffff i wanna rocking roll all night and part of every day

This upcoming arc was announced May 7th, 2022.