Tuesday, October 2, 2012

HMS APOLLYON - SESSION X - Chariots of Hellfire

The Desperate and Foolhardy Adventurers 

Quartle(Th/MU3) , Frogling water elementalist and former junkyard owner, with his familiar the Steam Beaver.

Elsjinn (Monk 3) - Tiny martial artist and diplomat.

Sir the Fist of Uther (F5/MU4/C5) - A man-thing of many talents.

Sem (C4) - Hammer of Victory, HMS Apollyon's newest shrine owner

Henry (Muder Ballad Boy 2) - Hardbitten delinquent and human gun show.

HENCHMEN: Pincip, Pikeman of Argos (Lvl 1 Fighter) , Krang the Unknowable, Former Dinosaur Hunter (Lvl1 Fighter)

So much mayhem, in service of more mayhem
Their Monstrous Victims

1 x  Flamethrower Corpse Chariot.
22 x War Dead Zombie Soldiers.


The Glorious Cargo Salvaged

3 Inch Field Gun Without Carriage - The Party recovered this item under contract with the Stewards acting as the defensive force while Engineer and Laborer team recovered the Gun. - 3,000 GP reward (2,250 retained/750 in expenses)

Subtotal: 2,250 GP/XP
Mysterious Objects Recovered

Necromantic Salt - Henry has 3 grams of this stuff, it's bad news. 50XP for being involved in such depraved folly.


Completed Steward's Cannon Recovery Mission without Steward or Engineer Casualties - 2,000 XP

Avoided Wraith Incursion by locking Substation Eastern Hatch - 500 XP

Witnessed the Apparent Destruction of the Merrow Dens - 500XP

Discovered and Triumphed over War Dead Expeditionary Group - 1,500 XP

Mapping XP - None

Subtotal: 6,750 XP

TOTAL:6,810 XP/2,750 GP

Per Surviving Party Member -1,135 XP/550GP
Per Henchman - 568 XP
Hired Adventuring Party - (Receive own XP for being on Mission, but 700GP of reward.
The Competitors

The Exalted Gear Brothers of the Ship Spirits - 11 Effectives, Led by Brazen Gear (CL 3), Turning into a battle hardened crew of religious warriors.  Penetrated the upper level, killed Skullface and his guard post using grenades and now possess his magical skull helmet. The battle brought them to some sort of cannibal cathedral, draped in gore, but despite their numbers and ferocity the Gearmen could not get past lines of heavily armored buck naked covered in glowing body paint and backed by arquebus and shotgun wielding bandits.  The Gearman hired an academically trained thurmaturge and were mostly able to counter the spells og the Buck Nakeds three casters (a triumvirate of weak sorceresses). There must have been at least 40 buck naked fighters though osays a Gearman musketeer.  The Sheriff himself is a huge man and wielded a wicked axe and submachine gun.  Brazen battled him and stunned him with magic before being forced back by the axe and spells.  Both groups were forced to retreat with heavy loses.

The Criminally Minded Hoodlums - Drinking and laughing in the bar, one (mysteriously called "Pindrop") is toying with a Merrowman hand.  They were seen investigating the dens after the party returned with the cannon.  Don't want to talk about much, but in an uncharacteristic fit of civic mindedness say that "The way through that pile is clear, though it shouldn't be..."  Now have frightened Merrowman hench-creature.

The Undesirables - Led by Miss D'Aubigny (Injured) - 4 Effectives, 1 injured.  Lost 3 members to the War Dead attack squad, all incinerated.  Were ready to amke enemies of the Iron Crow, but fence mending and healing efforts by the party prevented it.  Currently recruiting thieves, archers and gunmen.  Plan to search for Mr. Templeman, and any sign of the Sons of Vanderdecken.  Lulubelle is happy to trade spells with Quartle and has asked Beans (and Henry) to show her how to use a pistol.  The band chipping in to buy her a battered revolver.

Carousing Mishap 

Let's see failed poison save, carousing by "general depravity" - rolled a 9 out of 20 "Unholy Bargain (Supernatural), curse/boon gain 1/4 XP"

Henry, as the epitome of a Burrough's protagonist from Cities of the Red Night decides he must sample the delights of Sterntown's seamier side.  After several days of drinking and living it up Henry manages to find himself in a strange den, a series of cells carved out of the bulkhead, 70' up and looking down into pool of Frogtown.  His companions have long dropped out of the Murder Ballad Boy's quest for self-annihilation and Henry's purse is feeling lighter.  The elderly frogling proprietor of the dens appears with the pipe again, and Henry smokes something, a potent distillation of mad kelp, heavy metals and lichens that he has asked to have specially prepared. As Henry sinks into a torpor the frog watches him, an almost kindly look on his mottled orange and black face, while the frogling's small water aspect creates sparkling sculptures of fishes, octopus, sharks and crabs - each of which holds only briefly and then dissolves, to reform again moments later subtly changed.

Henry drifts off from the powerful psychotropics and is startled from his reverie by a booming voice.  All around him the world appears flooded with cold green water.  He is still aboard a ship, the ship, but now it is a fabulous palace of corals and brightly colored weeds, sunk deep beneath the unnatural sea.  The voice proclaims "I am the Leviathan, and I notice you Henry."  "You are not a fit vessel, you are floundering, and I will take you into my grasp - I who first swam the ocean of stars, you are honored." "Henry you will earn my favor by destroying a creature of fire and order, and I will show you a boon".

When Henry awakes the den is empty of anything, and his purveyor gone.  Henry loses all the money he spent on carousing, but gains 1/4 it's value in bonus XP.  Henry realizes that he has 2 months of real world time to destroy a devil or fire elemental and dedicate his victory to the Leviathan. If he does so he will gain a permanent bonus of +1 to his save vs Poison.  If he does not he will have a portion of his souls siphoned into the black depths of the Leviathan and lose a Wisdom point permanently.

Recon Team Crowbar

The band sometimes known as the Iron Crow is finally prepared to engage in one of the major tasks they've been working towards for the past few weeks - the recovery of the 3 inch gun they discovered a few weeks prior.  Several key members are absent, but the sea has coughed up a new recruit named Henry.  Some kind of debauched gunslinger who fits in well aboard the Apollyon and is recruited from a Rust Gate bar floor.

The Party decides to hire a recently formed band of adventurers, known as the Undesirables.  A motley group of inter-planar cast offs, the Undesirables were hired to  provide basic security to the team of 15 laborers, 1 Steward gunner and 3 engineers, while the party responded to threats and defended the interior of the Steward Substation - at least that was the plan.

Before leading the recovery team to the buried vault Sem, Sir and the rest decide to run recon.  They enter the Substation without incident, but the adventurers are disturbed to find a recently deceased Buck Naked warrior in the entry chamber to the substation.  Forging on the party notes that an unnatural cold permeates the entire Steward's station, but worsens to the East.  Without wasting much time the band searches the station, and discovers that they've feared the most, the Eastern hatch is ajar and there are the telltale salt trails of war haints on the floor.  Having encountered haints in the past when one lurched out of a companionway appearing as the glowing blue version of Quartle's Grandfather.  In the distance an ominous crash of metal on metal is heard.

Henry takes some of the magical necromantic salt, and being a psychonaut, puts a dab of the evil substance to his lips.  Henry becomes distant and begins to wave at, speak to and discuss vague ghostly figures that only he can see, he is lucky he does not suffer more severe consequences.  Returning to the Gun room, the party spikes its doors shut and summons the engineering gang and hired guards to approach through the open gun ports.

Schwerpunkt of the Dead 

The Engineering team clambers through the ports and seem almost heartened by the mess of unstable explosives.  The ordinance disposal engineers set to work quickly, spraying the pile of old shells with acids and water and setting up a steam producing boiler to further hose down the dangerous mass and dampen it through.

In the two hours it takes to render the old ammunition inert, the load metal sound is heard again in the distance, and thick cold fog that reeks of the sea begins to seep through the buried vault from the East.  The party is spit, with Sem, his henchman Krang and Quartle guarding entry into the Gun Room and the rest of the party watching the pile for Merrowman activity.

Sir casts invisibility on Henry, who is confused, but overjoyed, and begins to explore deeper into the vault.  As the cutting tools begin to whine and spark on the armored bulkhead between the cannon and the way back to the Rust Gates the sounds of combat and screams of terror come from within the heaped trash and debris of the Buried Vault.  War rages in the Merrowmen's caves, but not knowing what is happening and fearing an ambush by the creepy leech faced man-beasts the party holds their ground as the cool, salty fog envelopes the entire vault in thick mist.  

Henry notices a small figure flee from the rubble pile, a lone Merrowman, heading towards the Mushroom farm, his yellow saucer eyes filled with tears and terror. The party can't stop the creature before it makes it's escape, and are still trying to figure out what the strange creature means when a rumbling and crashing from inside the Merrow dens shocks the adventurers into action.  A strange machine, like a field piece piled with slowly shuddering corpses and with two huge boney arms made of bundled and fused skeletons bursts from the pile surrounded by zombies.  Most of the zombies are wearing torn bits of old steward and milita uniforms - striped blue and white undershirts, frogged coats stained with viscera and a few kepis with tarnished brass anchors on them. 

The party immediately acts, Henry stepping forward and blasting a zombie into sizzling rain with a bottle of holy water hastily upended into his shotgun. Beans, the flying monkey survivor in the Undesirables fires using two heavy pistols like a in a coordinated display of firepower and blows chunks from the thundering corpse machine. Sir casts sleep on the advancing undead mob, with a predictable lack of effect.  Quartle runs to the gunport and hurries down, while Sem begins a powerful chant, filling the party and their allies with divine power.  Sparkling red mote of the Victory Goddess' power dance about the scene burning away fog and distracting the undead hoard.  Sir the Fist attempts to turn the creatures and several zombies are driven back into the Merrow Dens only to be replaced by more.

Henry escapes the clutching hands of a wave of zombies and pours fire from his pistols into them.  Elsijnn studying the Undead War Machine, is disturbed by its uncanny movements and the way the dead are fused to the metal and cogs of the gun.  The Undesirables rush forward making a line only to be shattered when the cart sprays a goat of greenish unnatural flame from the mouth of the corroded weapon in carries.  Two drop to the ground screaming and roasting, while the Undesirable's leader, her arm afire retreats.  Of the hired band's front line, only the Batezu spear carrier and veteran Legionary remain in fighting condition.  Beans keeps firing, while the Undesirable's junior sorceress, still in fancy traveling clothes flips through through her small spell book, her sleep spell useless in the fight and her parasol an insufficient melee weapon. 

The battle rages, with the corpse cart attempting to break through and absorbing magic missiles, bullets and crossbow bolts in great numbers.  Finally after it incinerates one the Undesirable's musketeer and crisps Elsjinn , a combination of a lucky rifle shot from Henry (who has gun through two pistols, a shotgun and a bolt action magazine rifle during the melee), and a brutal head butting attack from Elsjinn cause the War Machine to Crumble, just as the line of zombies seems about to overpower the Devilkin and Legionary.  A few more rounds end the zombie threat and the injured bands tend their dying.

Two more hours pass without attack, the smell of burnt flesh and zombie filling the vault, until the Engineers winch the salvaged artillery down and begin to drag it back to the Rust Gates.

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