AFTER SESSION VIII
The value of electronic communication is established, Huxley's fate revealed and the realization that the favoritism of the gods is fickle. Purchases are made.
The following decisions were made via email as the party wrapped up it's Obelisk adventure and couldn't wait to determine what happened to Huxley after he decided to play with a broken laser weapon.
The party clusters around Huxley - he's living, but badly burnt, barely conscious and even divine power wouldn't keep him from serious scars. Not much more can be done and the night will tell if Huxley survives. (Note - system shock rolls would be perfect here – but were a waste of ½ a page in the Player's handbook)
|Raygun - Fabricated by Tom Banwell
As the party starts wearily back to their camp, a group of several giant men in top hats and frock coats led by a smaller man in a gleaming bronze scale and carapace appears. The strangers are moving cautiously past the graveyard pool when Grimgrim hails them in the name of the gods, principally Monstcrom and Jackal-mask. The armored man waves back.
It is Jackal-mask's promised warrior priest, the implacable Brother Scapula. His fighting tail of Plug Ugly mercenaries seem nervous, but the grizzled priest is calm facing down the bloodied party. After Grimgrim and Lemon explain the situation, Scapula agrees to provide some healing to Hux, and his golden Jackal-mask sparkles as beams of holy light from his eyes play over the fighter's injuries and Huxley's breathing returns to normal. Father Scapula proceeds to the Sepulcher with the adventurers, explaining that they can stay and help him put the remaining evils to rest. The priest notes that Grimgrim is favored by the Gods and that if he wishes to convert to Jackal-Mask's service he will be welcomed (Scapula even offers his own magical mask if Grimgrim joins). Scapula is willing to offer the rest of the party places as lay brothers and sisters (except the soulless elf, but even then he'll relent on his normal policy of burning at the stake). The party declines, but promises to take a message to Denethix and inform the temple there so that Bezonaught and Delfina can get their own representatives back to the Obelisk soon. Scapula is so impressed with the PC's that he even asks his god for a special boon (he normally only asks for combat spells) and removes the curse from Huxley.
Refreshed and healed by Brother Scalpula, the party sets out on the road to Lugosi, finding their attack lizards and horses miraculously unharmed, though peckish. They load Huxley onto the Bandit's stallion and the treasures onto the mule. Their last glimpse of the memorial grounds is Brother Scapula leading his men towards the small cottage the party ignored. Scapula is surrounded and led by a huge pack of corpse fleas who cavort and jump about the warrior priest like happy dogs.
The party rounds the bend just as the unearthly screams begin, but they do manage to hear the priest's booming voice thundering “Your graves await! Your vengeance is accomplished! Submit to the will of the Jackal-Masked Corpse Grinder!”
The path North is easy, and while Huxley recovers his strength quickly he will forever be marked by his flirtation with laser weaponry (-1 CHR). The party reaches Lugosi after spending a day camped at the lip of Southdeeps slime haunted hole and the town is much as they left it. Grimgrim asks about Dawn and says they've returned with her trinket. The bartender looks a bit down, but his face brightens when Drusilla sets a handful of platinum gears on the table and demands that he bring them a rare roast, the best he has, and keep the snake drink coming until the money runs out.
Dawn soon appears, and with a coquettish smile takes the bat broach from Grigrim. As she places it around her neck the farm girl suddenly seems more alluring, exotic and mysterious and her eyes flash towards Grimgrim. Maybe it's all the haunted snake drink, now an empty with a sullen undead snake in it, but when Dawn asks the party to hand over her Grandmother's spell-book (Lemon and Drusilla having copied out the unique spells) and Athame it seems a polite thing to do. Soon Dawn leads Grimgrim out into the night, while the rest of the party entertains the towns folk with drink and stories of their triumph. Even the local fist officers are soon joining the festivities, and the town's officer lets Lemon try out his revolver on a full bottle of fungus beer (Lemon hits it, and his desire for a gun is rekindled) in exchange for the price of a bullet or two.
The only dangerous moment in the evening comes when at the party's insistence Huxley throws the undead snake's bottle in the air and uses it to demonstrate his new sword's incredible sharpness. Luckily he strikes the bottle full on, despite his drunkenness, and the white blade cleaves cleanly through the glass and the furious zombie snake within.
The next morning, hangovers are cured with a hearty breakfast and the party finds themselves 350 GP poorer, but celebrated amongst the folk of Lugosi (at least for a few days). Grimgrim wanders in with a contented grin and explains that in the future when they stop in Lugosi they should say hello to Dawn who is setting herself up as a local witch woman. She's apologized for leading the PC's into a dangerous situation and not revealing the full details of the locket's power, but she will help them in the future, and she is a talented witch - one whose powers are just beginning to grow. She has offered to examine the party's magical plunder and they spend another day in the inn much more sedately, though Drusilla manages to chat with some local children, explaining how elves aren't likely to steal them from their beds because the elves around Denethix are weak willed (This is her trying to be nice – her charisma toward anyone who doesn't have libidinous designs is 6 [her player's decision]). Lemon hovers nervously nearby pretending to examine the spell from the crypt wall but really ready to intervene should Drusilla decide to make good on her child eating threats.
Dawn identifies Huxley's sword as a magical in the sense that it's Argonium and really sharp (Scimitar +1), Nell's new jumpsuit as Royal Copper (+2 Leather Armor), the strange circlet as able to distract attackers (+1 to AC, but not below AC 5 – it's just overkill at that point) and the leather robes as shamanistic Moktar robes that are magic but shouldn't be worn by non-Moktars. She also identifies the the Moktar necklace as mildly cursed and recommends it be sold for the gold content with a warning to melt in down. Dawn says she's helping the PC's for free this time, but will charge either in cash or service for future identifcation, and that she should soon be able to offer other witch magic for a nominal price. She kisses Grimgrim coyly and send the party on its way.
The party leaves Lugosi, promising to return for the festivals, a new ally, and several excited young townsmen ready to sign on with them as henchmen should they return.
The party has only been out of Denethix for ten days, but their super tells them that a couple of fancy looking toughs came around asking for them on account of their having evicted the “resplendant Exalted Brother Joohassanville's” 7th mistress", and bastard child. While Mr. Mud, the supe, doesn't seem especially gleeful that Joohanssanville will “turn you all to sausage” he tries to shake them down for a months rent in advance to save their house if they get thrown in jail.
The party makes several purchases with all their wealth.
Nell buys some poisons and finds a very expensive tailor that can turn the royal copper jumpsuit into something more like her dress (It's now + 1 Studded leather armor having been fitted over Nell's steel boned corset). The helmet is traded in as part of the price for the expensive alterations, but Nell looks about as fancy as anyone's ever seen in the Certopsian and one rich Denethix woman has even timidly asked her where she got her dress.
Grimgrim donates money to the Temple to speak to Monstcrom, who confirms that Grim is being properly metal, tells him to get a skull tattoo and promises to give him more “juice” in the near future . Mostcrom also confirms that Jackal-mask now owes him, but that Grim should pay the temple more money to do a service in the side chapel for Monstcrom and win converts. He also tells Grimgrim that he'd find it rather 'hardcore' if Grimgrim were to kill him a crystal jaguar and toss the head down in front of the temple's god's eye while looking casually angry.
Grimgrim performs a service while getting a skull with an ax in it's teeth tattooed on his arm by Lemon. It turns out pretty good, and Grim doesn't flinch or stop his oration to the bored crowd during the process. It was pretty metal and a few folk even enjoy the show.
Drusilla finds some elf made enameled plate armor – a strange reddish purple that has chartreuse curlicue detailing on the chest, thigh and shoulder plates (colors that elves apparently find badass, but pretty ugly to anyone without infravision). Drusilla doesn't insist on a moon motif (perhaps she is straying from her roots?)
Lemon and Drusilla also decode the spells they've found, but Lemon is still deciding what to get tattooed. Lemon buys an ugly iron revolver with 20 bullets and 5 silver bullets for it. He takes to wearing the gun tucked into his loincloth, crossed with his silver dagger and looking very intimidating.
Lemon decodes the spell from the wall of the ossuary. It's a strange archaic version of animate dead that is easy to cast (2nd) level, but only raises 1D4 HD of skeletons for 2D10 turns. It's author called it “Bone Dance”, Spells from the witch's spell book that are not specifically suited for a member of her witches bloodline are: allure, unseen servant and levitate. Lemon doesn't get any tattoos, simply writing the spells onto a parchment scrolls he keeps for that purpose. Drusilla also copies all four.
Huxley buys new armor, figuring that the bandit's plate armor doesn't really fit his style, and opts for a suit of shiny steel plate with cactus flowers and triceratops skulls acid etched on. He gets a decent trade on the bandit's armor, which is sound enough. It will take a week for the etching to get finished. Huxley also finds a local Moktar shaman, and using his poor Moktar to good effect, gives the robes to the cat with the understanding that they are meant as an offering on behalf of Goremane, who he hopes might be told that Hux is greatly ashamed off the mistakes he made dealing with the moktar. Goremane is the clan chieftain that Huxley offended while living in the Certopsian and who wants to eat his heart. The Holy Tom promises that should he have the opportunity to inform Goremane, he'll let him know that Hux is a friend of the moktars in Denethix (not that they are real moktar by most standards) and most apologetic. The Tom also mentions that he knows of a pair of trouble making moktars, barely out off kittenhood, who might be presuded to hire on with the players, and that if they survived, while learning humans can be dangerous, the local moktar community would be most delighted.
There is some discussion of buying magical weapons, but a through search of the bazaar turns up only a dubious Juju spear and a huge curved sword made of some kind of living monster jaw. Drusilla contemplates the sword, but decides that not only is it far too expensive, but far too unsightly.