A Little Bit Darker
The next go-to event was supposed to be Orc Mountain in Midsommer Faire, supposedly a great place for soloing good loot. However, if you recall, the last time the gang visited the Faire, they freaked out a vampire and teleported to a strange part of the forest.
Well, turns out, that teleport wasn't just a teleport - it was timeshift, too! They ended up near Starting Village, and after a short walk, made it back - to a much more fortified looking place. The guards eventually let them in, and the found the city decimated - no longer full of PCs or NPCs, in fact it seemed almost deserted. They sold the few rats tails to Skinny George, who as far as I can tell cooks them - in fact, his advice was to not eat rotting corpses.
The whole city was like that - some kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland, overrun by undead, with most of the population hiding in the church at night. A lot of the undead were coming from up north, from the village (or more likely, ex-village) near Orc Mountain. It seems that a minimum level 50 raiding party of 12 or more are appropriate for assaulting that stronghold... which our guys MOST CERTAINLY ARE NOT.
That said, there are a few quests that are more their level - for instance, Gerald Beerbottom (the half dwarf relative of some of the townsfolk) was last heard from three months ago, near the family farm; he's a bit of a survivalist, so he's likely hiding in the foothills of Orc Mountain... if he's still alive.
Cazeon, Dapper Dan, and Cutthroat Kenny headed north after getting some healing, and met a bandit. Refusing to surrender, they eventually managed to kill the six bandits, but it was a long, hard struggle that left Cutthroat Kenny bleeding out. Luckily, Cazeon got a healing potion to him. They got some decent loot, I guess, including a magic book they couldn't figure out, and a fancy helmet wrapped in fancy plush red velvet. Heading back to the church and Brother Thomas, they identified everything but said magical items. Cazeon, being Cazeon, put on the helmet and immediately realized that it was a Glorious Helmet, and that he should never take it off again. What a dufus.
After getting some more healing, and deciding that each character would keep the currency of their world, the three switched gears and headed over to Powder & Sword. They reappeared on the same island they had left, and this time, managed to cut down a tree and floated it to the ship. Smart! Almost as smart as investing in swimming and boating skills while in a pirate game! Almost, but not quite.
Once there, they headed back home, but were attacked by another ship - and, unfortunately, were sunk. Their little single mast ship too a couple good hits - and poor Kenny nearly got a cannonball to the face! Cazeon got off a lucky shot with a grappling hook, and the pirates that attacked them luckily didn't catch sight of them as they dived into the water and pulled themselves over to the ship. After a few near misses (and close calls!), they finally managed to make their way to the other ship - just as their own sinking ship pulled the rope taut! Climbing out, and hanging on, they watched a few pirates get thrown overboard as the sinking ship jerked the still-floating one to the side; Kenny stabbed two, and Dapper Dan managed to off another one, before Cazeon decided to intervene. He offered a fair trade - they wouldn't get killed, and in return, they would stop killing crew, which was likely expensive.
The Captain, Luci D'Ville, welcomed them aboard the Lucky Devil, and immediately set them to the few tasks they could handle - cleaning, mostly. Eventually, they arrived at the Virgin Islands, got some pay, and sent a friend request to dear Luci, who kept them all from drowning. After sinking their ship. Sigh. These guys.
Now, a couple thoughts. It doesn't sound like anything in Powder & Sword was particularly out of the ordinary, but that business in Midsommer Faire sounds pretty sus. I did a little poking around, and I bet what happened is that they managed to somehow shortcut straight into new content - Update 7. It's definitely a departure from the usually tame stuff MSF usually has, which I guess can be a good thing? We'll see, I guess. As long as they don't screw up Noir Detective, I'm good.