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The Tale of the Bootless Metalmen Plus One

In Bolry first were sighted the Bootless Metalmen, who marched onto Knottedham college in response to evident rumors of turmoil there. It has been noted that they wore boots at the time. They then traveled west for no apparent reason, and caused much uproar along the way until finally their desultory journey took them to the City on Archers' Day, just a few days after the Razing of that year. The companions worked together for a short time afterward, but then parted ways after their eldest member, Bobby, was slain.

Plot points/Scenes

The Arrival   The City of Bolry   Under Knottedham   The Attack of the Youngsters   Heading West   Encounters at Heathtown   Northward by Boat   Archers' Day


This story showed off a little bit of a lot of concepts. The characters beat up some elves, centaurs, gnolls, and merfolk, and managed to meet several dragons - an alarmingly large number, in fact. They kept to their self-assigned duty to deliver mail to The City, and at every turn they found greater and greater danger.



The players were recruits who shipped across from Criminy to help out in the Marsh, two of them being good and devout followers of I/O Media and the third tagging along out of familial obligation with his brother and uncle. They came to the suboptimal port at the mouth of the Currey, took barge to Bolry, and then realized they had no idea what they were meant to do. They went looking for trouble, and, Bloodmarsh being what it is, they found it. A lot of it.


There are tides and trajectories in play at every turn in Bloodmarsh, and folk who can't overlook the peril of others are going to find themselves very frequently side-tracked. The Metalmen arrived at Knottedham during an unusual flood, and, having delved underground to where the surging well was sourced, undid the machinations of Egregious Eddy to drain the flooding campus. Returning to the surface, they had hardly reported their findings when a trio of young scalies from Stonehome overtopped the college barbican and sought to break into the gold repository. Things only got worse from here. The rest of the adventure was a difficult slog through continuous conflict, with persistent nemeses and lots of sidetracks.

Rising Action

The players asked around and found that a large backlog of mail was due for carriage west along Westroad to The City. Looking at one another, and shifting in their new boots, the Metalmen decided that this was as good a way as any to improve folks' lot in the Crotch and set off west. Their prestige and enchanted equipment attracted notice in a few subsequent towns and they began to develop a tail of furtive mysties trying to get them killed. When they arrived at Heathtown they became involved with local conflicts and unwittingly slew one of the pups of Malignant Mel. This enraged that mighty being, and she took out her rage upon Heathtown itsself until our heroes ran back to claim responsibility and fight her themselves. She appeared slain and they shoved off for Pride along the river. Their smooth passage was not long, though, because they soon discovered that Mel's cognomen was no mistake, and she appeared in ambush together with Profligatro, one of the youthful dragons from back in Bolry whose honor had been stripped by his defeat at the Metalmen's hands.


Because of their delays along the way, the characters arrived at The City on Archers' Day with their local guide, a shifty Locathah called Barnes. The Archers' Day Razing, despite its common name, actually occurred two or three days before the holiday, so there was nothing the Metalmen could do to prevent massive loss of life during the surface blasting. Dragons still patrolled the sky and rooted through the ruins for edibles. No humans were in sight. But, come rain or shine or municipal extinction, the Metalmen had a package to deliver, and by I/O Media, they were gonna deliver it. They poked through the ruins of the Tower of Infinite Stucco and, with the help of the ranger's trusty enormous nightmare snake companion, they found an entrance to the Previous City and ventured therein while Barnes ran interference in Kobold guise.   The Metalmen devised a way to save the folk of the Waterholes, but had to return to the surface and draw the attention of the waiting scalies to promise them any chance of escape. The nonmetal ranger man had slid by accident all the way down the chosen escape passageway and awakened a sleeping critter of uncountable age, Moldy Amplicod, whose snoozing had lasted so long that he wasn't sure whether he ought to kill the little intruder. With a little fast talking, Forrest befriended the fellow and accompanied him out to the bay by subterranean passages yet unexplored, where they were forthwith greeted once again by the ever-persistent Mel. And so, while their ranger grappled with the difficulties of water and grappling and grappling underwater, the other two returned to the surface and pounded across the rubble of the street, being strafed the while by their enemies in the sky. Fortunately, at the same time, Roy's Rotters had made their entrance and were driving the flying foe before them with a hail of bowshots, with all the blessings which Archers' Day conveys.

Falling Action

Taking shelter on the coast and finally reunited, the majority of the invading scalies having been repulsed by the famously repulsive Rotters, the Metalmen breathed easily for about twenty seconds until Profligatro descended once more in rage upon one of their members. A fight seemed inevitable until Strangulon, the ranger's snake, suddenly spoke out in Draconic at surprising length. While none of the Metalmen understood, both Profligatro and Amplicod clearly did, and they looked at one another and flew off to the South.


The heroes returned to the mouth of the water cave with wood for the building of rafts, and then became sidetracked for what amounted to a few days before returning to Bloodmarsh with some major headaches and some new equipment.



The players decided they needed something they could do, so, asking around at Knottedham, they picked up some mail bound for the west and took off.



The Metalmen were bootless at the time of their naming due to their contact with a low pool of dragon bile. They were:   Bobby Singer, clerk of I/O Media and wearer of heavy armor. He was killed by Malignant Mel's final ambush.   Aarfield Walker, paladin of I/O Media and wearer of heavy armor. After Bobby's death, he founded the Aardmen and began his terrorist campaign which earned him his now common title, Aarfield the Apostate. He is presumed dead. If not, the reader may amend this for a 2100 lbAu cash award.   Forrest Walker, urban ranger and wearer of heavy sarcasm. He joined Roy's Rotters after falling out with his brother.


Strangulon, giant constrictor snake and linguist companion to Forrest. He was intelligent in a slow and restricted way, and picked up vocabulary continuously since he didn't have full command of any language to start with.   Fractuosti or "Fractal", a whelp of the Stonehome clutch and sister to Profligatro and Exigentron (deceased). She wound up bound to the Metalmen when they caused her to swear upon I/O Media to never harm another creature again. This prevented her from feeding, raiding, or fulfilling any of the mandates of her progenitors, and so she became outcast, destitute, and starved by the time she caught up to the Metalmen and begged help. They took to feeding her greengold in exchange for hauling their equipment.   "Wake Inspector" "Barnes" the "Noble", an unsettling but useful fishman who met them (under a pseudonym) in Heathtown. He was impossible to pin down on certain topics, but put his life on the line frequently enough to prove beyond doubt his loyalty if not his transparency.   The E.M.B.A.S.S.Y., a crew of four goblins evidently deployed on extermination duty who the Metalmen met at Heathtown. Their members were Twendy Threecy (leader), 1012F, Wono Wonby, and Elaven Fiddy Sigsby. They helped fight Mel the first and second times, but had an obligation to meet some authority named Toueit Touei and so departed after the ambush on the Broadsword.


Nelson Baxter, a hazy character whose name one of the party's cart's wheels began to continuously utter in lieu of creaking after a passage through a particularly potent HMZ. He was last seen by Forrest, half-buried in the mud wall of the Waterhole amid the skeletons and in something of a resigned meditative reverie. He spoke vaguely of his time, his penitence, and his duty, and wished Forrest good luck. He is presumed dead by now.


Malignant Mel, a Bronze of great age and determination whose machinations throughout the crotch were punctuated with evident deaths and surprise reappearances. She was slain, discombobulated, and dissolved in acid by Aarfield and Forrest some time after the Archers' Day Razing, though she slew their uncle Bobby in the process.
Plot type
Story founded on collected rumors.

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Cover image: by Oogalook
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