Thursday, August 16, 2012

Junk dens of the Merrow Men - HMS Apollyon, Play Report III

The Desperate and Foolhardy Adventurers

Sir the Fist of Uther - Elven traveler from a distant world, priest of the god of magic and heavily armored.

Quartle - Frogling water elementalist and former junkyard owner, with his familiar the Steam Beaver.

Vorning Vess - Former member of the passenger class, exiled for suspected necromancy.

Sem, The Cleric From Beyond - A heavily muscled priest of an unknown god.

HENCHMEN: Pincip the loyal wrecker (saved last seesion), Mr. Dragitz - drunken, priactical lout with a sword for a left hand and a brace of pistols.

Their Monstrous Victims
2 Merrow Men - 242 XP
5 Merrow Men Soldiers - 180 XP

Subtotal: 422 XP

The Glorious Cargo Salvaged
6 Gold wire twists - 6 GP/XP
Keg of lamp oil -  25XP - Given to Guards

Subtota: 6GP/31XP

Mysterious Objects Recovered

Vial vile of Merrow Man mutagenic slime - value and use unknown, gloppy and green causes hideous mutations (20 XP)

Subtotal: 20 XP


First Encounter with Merrow Men - 150 XP
Cheesed off the Merrow Lord and almost killed his shaman, causing them to collapse their burrow - 100 XP

Mapping: 10 GP/XP to Vess for  good map of entry chambers and knowledge of Merrow Men provided to Mechamn.
Mapping: 25 GP/XP to Quartle from map guild for partial map and knowledge re Merrow Men to Cartographers.

Subtotal:250 XP


Per Surviving Party Member - 121 (Plus any mapping XP) 
Per Henchman - 60

The Competitors

The Exalted Gear Brothers of the Ship Spirits, led by Brother Brazen Gear C1.
5 Lvl 0 Men at arms (friendly)

Returned two hours after your group, with only 6 members and two bodies, one "gnawed by crawling death" and another with his head burnt and melted away "by some kind of brown fecal slime".  Came back dragging 500lb operational machinist lathe, 20lb copper pipe, a box of pistol cartridges and several bottles of decent frogling (kelp) aquavit.

Claim they went into the area of the mushroom farm, explored a guard barracks to West of entry tunnel covered in filthy red paint scrawling. Found some store rooms with a nasty black mold that was burnt away before it could release spores or anything. Found the booze in the storeroom.  A larger storeroom was looted completely and filled only with broken crates. On West wall of tunnel are gunslits and beyond an empty armory.  Corridor turns East and continues a long way, behind first North door was guard office and a fancy bedroom, but toliet overflowed with foul sewage ooze that attacked and melted armor.  Fled from ooze after one man died and found cartridges in trashed guard post with gunslits to entry corridor.

Further down East West hall opened another Northern door and discovered room of crawling death, pale hands that had mouths in the palm, some were large, and there was a nasty fight, but they killed and burnt them all.  Room was a old machinist workshop, and found lathe there.

Between the slime/guardpost room door and the workroom door the Gearmen found a short hallway heading North and terminating in a stairway.

They are congratulated for thier discoveries and battles and may be able to recruit more men to thier cause once the lathe sells.

The Junk Caves of the Merrow Men 

Buoyed by success and emboldened by the exhortations of Mechamn to find several missing scavengers and punish whatever slew a dozen more, the party is ready to set off once they size up the competition. Most of the wreckers that the party rescued last time have converted to the Church of the Ship Spirits and been outfitted as a squad of holy scavengers.  They're friendly enough and agree to share their information with the players' party when they discover it.  They also offer an exciting evening of scriptural readings and a vegetarian "feast" if the PC's wish to come by.

Seeking to expand their numbers the party hires Princips a former galley rower who Sir's healing saved last time.  Quartle equips him with a trident and leather.  Vorning, his upper class ways seeing hiring servants as reasonable and expected searches for a firearm owning retainer and manages to talk the old, one handed and drunken Mr. Dragitz into joining the expedition at a discoutned rate of 20GP and a vague promise to pay him off if the party hits it rich.

Setting off the band examines the giant cave in in the rust vault and ponders about its climability.  Then the party explores the the area where the attack took place, finding no bodies and one faint drag mark.  Quartle speaks to Princips about the attack, and he says he ran quickly and was struck in the back by a creepy little eel like man with a tooth studded club/sword.  The Merrow Men - and that's what it was, he assures Quartle, are cannibals and evil creatures that attack out of the darkness with some stealth.

Following the drag marks, Fist discovers a concealled wicker door in the side of the junk mountain and the party sends Quartle's elemental familiar, the "steam beaver" looks past the gate and finds it untrapped with a shored up tunnel leading into the trash beyond.  Quartle advances down the tunnel and using his henchman's trident find a trap wire at human head level.  The party sneaks under the trap but the drunken Dragitz shouts something along the lines of "Burr Yar! We're in it now, I'll blast down those buggers!" while slugging from his rum bottle.

The party continues to advance and Vess notices what appears to be a weak floor area crossed by I-beams.  As he approaches a hissing gibbering sills the air and a bottle of green goo shatters on his chest. He is burnt for a few points of damage but more disturbingly feels woozy and a strange lump begins to grow from his neck.

Three other bottles miss and while one splashes Sir it doesn't get through his armor, the others splatter harmlessly.  The attackers have murder hole like balconies on the walls, and Sem hurls a flask of acid into one, while oil is prepared by Quartle.  The rest of the party shoots into the Northern hole but sees only vague figures and misses.

Another attack by the denizens of the Northern hole is a failure and Quartles bottle of oil flies spectacularly true, engulfing the Southern defensive gallery in flames.  There are eight eel men within, creepy things and wearing strange armor.  Sem prepares to leap up into the Southern gallery, while the rest of the party directs their fire at the Northern.  A trident stab and a crossbow bolt end one more eelman and send the remaining three residents of the Northern galley fleeing while Sem smashes the skull of the one living Merrow man in the Southern gallery as he reaches for a bottle of green ooze.

In the meantime Vess has grown a boil on his neck with something pushing from within to be free.  Cutting the boil open Vess revealed a small baby arm, growing from his neck and clearly attached to him.  Quartle, being the most nimble performs surgery and removes the arm on the junk cave floor.   After a successful surgery,  a bandage rehabilitates Vess quickly.  the bodies are searched, and while most are burnt, the unburnt ones are discovered to be wearing a strange mail, made of some kind of living flesh with bone nodules and ridges throughout.

The party pursues the eelmen through twisting tunnels and catch the three at the edge of a deep crevasse as they attempted to convince two more of their number to lower  a board allowing them to cross.  The advancing party shot down two of the five creatures, but one escaped North and one runs North East, after dropping the board into the pit.  The party manages to grapple the board from the pit, and heads East, finding 4 kegs of oil and a room of mushrooms.  In the mushroom chamber a sickle made from a distended and warped living, toothy jawbone is discovered.

In the passage North East a fleshy mass of tendrils obscures the way forward, but proves simply to be disgusting, not a threat.  Becombatantsyond however is a large cave filled with Merrow men. About forty in all, though some are clearly non-combatants.

The party stalls, worried about the numbers they face, and that a column of flesh armored eel-men of martial bearing is moving towards them.  A drum begins to beat and the party lays a thick layer of oil behind the curtain.  When the armored column reaches it Sir casts sleep and Sem lights the oil creating a lake of fire. Only three Merrow men fall to the spell, and many most escape the flames without dying (albeit seriously burnt), so the party flees the maze leaving pools of oil behind them.

Having made thier escape the adventurers check the passage North from the long hall between vaults and find a pit in the floor torn by Crayhound claws.  They decide to return and fetch the board that rested across the Merrow Men's pit, but get near the pit room and are spotted by a guard.  He throws a spear, misses, shouts and is shot down.  It is too late however, the alarm is out, and a group of Merrow men, led by a giant and a robed creature quickly emerge from the tunnel.  The robed one attempts to parley, but is met with a magic missile from Sir.  A glowing fist strike the robed Merrow man shaman and he responds with a blast of bone splinters many of which rebound from Sir's magic ring of spell turning.  The robed shaman retreats an the party also leaves the caves.  As the adventures return to the Rustgate, dejected, a crash come from the junk caves and the entrance seals with a rumble.

Note: This was the first session where I actually had complete maps and notes - I think it ran smoother, though twisty tunnels are always hard to describe. If you played let me know your suggestions, and especially if the ambush seemed mechanically fair.


  1. Vess only needs around 3500 XP for level 2...

  2. Elves - they got problems - in my home game the elf is level 1 still while everyone else is level 3 and the cleric is 4.

    Still I promise there is at least that much treasure within 500' of the Rustgate.