Friday, October 12, 2012

HMS Apollyon - Session XI - The Eelman Connection

The Desperate and Foolhardy Adventurers 

Quartle(Th/MU3) , Frogling water elementalist and former junkyard owner, with his familiar the Steam Beaver.
HENCHMEN: Pincip, Pikeman of Argos (Lvl 1 Fighter)

Elsjinn (Monk 6) - Tiny martial artist and diplomat.

Sir the Fist of Uther (F5/MU5/C5) - A juggernaut of AD&D

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

Gimili (D6) - A Dwarf with a secret and infernal enemy

Vorning Vess (E1) - Necromancer recently returned from holiday, owner of a grenade launcher

Would you cross this to get at a dead guy's stuff?

Their Monstrous Victims

8x War Dead Zombie Thralls
1x Something Else Dead and formerly in a top hat

The Glorious Cargo Salvaged

7GP taken from the corpses of the long dead

Mysterious Objects Recovered

12 Merrow Men Fetish Idols - Carved mushroom stalk, molded bone and horn idols in the shape of 1/2 fish 1/2 human creatures.  Some have actual living eyes blinking and looking forth from them, others are decorated with pearl and gem chips.  All are strange and very slightly magical (something keeps those eyes alive)
May be sold for 100 GP Each, due to current uptown interest in art brut. May each be traded to the Merrowmen for a Potion of Scabarous Healing(Heals 1D8 - but requires a save vs. poison or it may have a minor mutagenic side effect)

The Merrowmen have 6 Potions of Scabarous Healing for Sale at 200GP each and would rather sell to you then anyone else.

Red Bones' spells are the following: Magic Missile(1), Dream Feast(2), Phantasmal Force (2),  Adrenal Overload (3), Motes of Protection (3) - he will trade for magic as he needs more spells badly.
XP 1,200 XP/1,200 GP

Ceramic Composite Breastplate - A white breastplate of a thin non-reflective substance, typical Marine gear without any markings beyond its evident strangeness, undoubtedly very ancient.  Small amounts of crazing and chipping from use, most carefully patched and filled.  The equivalent of a +1 Heavy Breastplate (AC 4), may be worn by anyone with a STR over 6 - fabulously light and strong.  It is worth 1,000 GP or so, but trying to sell it to anyone other than the Marines will take doing.

Ceramic Composite Flail - White three headed flail, made of some vaguely crystaline substance.  The smooth elongated oblong flail heads snap into socket on handle and thin cables of some clear substance unspool them when pommel is rapped sharply.  Each head of the flail is marked with a glowing cyan sigil - meaning chastisement.  The Flail is a magical +1 weapon and does 1D8 damage. It is worth 3,000 GP or so, but trying to sell it to anyone other than the Marines will take doing.
XP 500/4,000 GP value

Mysterious Sigil carved projection Orb. - A strange artifact that Sir's spells inform him only a bit about, it's suggested that the item creates a powerful ward against the undead, and anyone else outside of it - however the details are unclear. It's equally unclear what powered the device, but apparently it is now out of energy and needs to be recharged or fueled for additional use.

Using the item for magical research will increase the chance of discovery for any kind of protection spell by 40%, but likely destroy it.

XP 1,000 (for collecting the dangerous thing)/ Unknown GP value

Subtotal: 2,700XP - GP TBD


"Successful" Negotiation with Mr. Stexx - 200 XP

"Rescue" of the last refugees from the once proud Fisheye tribe and returned them to their "protector" in Sterntown - 1,000XP

Found the Merrowmen's "factory" and stockpile of tissue cultures (confirmed as such by Red Bones), escaped the cunning grasp of 3 War Haints - 800XP

Discovered a the Village of the Risen, and began investigation of the Port Medical Clinic No. 95 - 1,000XP

First use of Fireball on the Apollyon - 100XP

Recovered the Bones of the "Hero of the Buried Vault" - 100XP

Mapped multiple ways through or around the buried vault - 400 XP

Mapping XP - 100 XP (200 XP for cartographers) for completing map of Merrow Dens and Basic sketch of Village of the Risen.

Subtotal: 3,600XP


Per Surviving Party Member -971 XP/ 1GP
Per Henchman - 485 XP

The Competitors

NOTE: All of these events are randomly generated based on my view of the NPC parties goals and intentions - the NPCs face a random chance of success or failure in their endeavors.  This week they were amazingly successful. There is nothing left to loot up to the buried vault. 

The Exalted Gear Brothers of the Ship Spirits - 22 Effectives (4 Dead) Led by Brazen Gear (CL 4), A hardened band of Ship Spirit Fanatics, now sporting an intelligent bear convert - who've started camping in the Mushroom Farm with the intent to stay.  Gear has gotten a little strange, wearing a skull faced helmet that hides his sword slashed face.  With the aid of two other NPC parties they slaughtered the Buck Nakeds - and are showing people the Buck Naked's "Cathedral of Cannibalism", which is indeed a macabre pollution of what was once a large church space (for religiously minded ship workers) now totally descecrated by the cannibal band, with an altar covered in dried hearts etc.  They recovered some powerful items including a submachine gun and several rifles, a magic juju spear and a wand of Phantasmal force. The spear was given to the Devil in the Undesirables in exchange for a magical golden mace, and the wand is being sacrificed to cleanse the cathedral of demonic (they were sacrificing to Yeenoghu, and their numbers contained ghouls) taint.  The band is riding high on success and has managed to convince the Stewards to set up a strongpoint in the hall before the buried vault.

Mr. Stexx and Company - 6 Strong (1 Dead, 1 Injured) Besides harassing the players, Stexx was paid some large sum of money to fight the Buck Nakeds.  He apparently "sliced and diced" Sheriff Buck Naked himself, in an amazing display of agility, but is currently recovering from a submachine gun bullet to the lung all the same. The big puglisit he hung around with, named Stranhiem, was brought back dead, riddled with spears and bullets.  Stexx and his companions are absent from the Rustgates.

The Undesirables - Led by Miss D'Aubigny (SPC 3) - 8 Effectives.  Having recently added to thier number by hiring a Sea Witch, Harpooner and Levitihan priest, the Undesirables set out to to loot the space above the Auxillary Power area, and only participated in the massacre of the Buck Nakeds in the final moments, mopping up the Demon-witch concubine of the Sheriff and a band small (injured) band of ghouls she had with her during her escape.  Lulubelle the magic student may have the witch's spell book, but she is not talking. The Undesirables' trip to the office area above Auxillary power (entering through the side way that the party informed them of) was a true adventure, and very successful.  First they battled a might golem like creature made of wall beams and cast off parts of the ship.  It was a tough battle, but they prevailed.  The rooms beyond were filled with animated furniture, and in one they recovered the bodies of the missing Sons of Vanderdrecken (Aurius the Legionnaire now sports Full Plate Armor, though he his having an armorer clean it of all garish silver etching and adding SPQR to the shoulder in brutal brass letters).  Finally the Undesirables destroyed a dessicated corpse sitting alone in an ornate office, all the while buffeted by hellish winds, madness inducing howling and beset by more animated furniture.  The corpse held a magical mace of office and a fine automatic pistol (now in possession of D'Aubigny).  Gems, and a wealth of gold ceiling tiles were recovered.

The Thugs - 4 Effectives, (4 Dead). Bibi's catspaws the Flagon Bottom Boys, joined with the Gearmen to battle the Buck Nakeds.  They fought hard, but bore the brunt of a pack of ghouls released by the Buck Naked's Demon-Witch.  The survivors have a decent share of the treasure and are recruiting more hoodlums among Rustgates saloon fighters and knee breakers.  They are also investing in real equipment, oil flasks, ranged weapons, 10' poles and other assorted adventuring gear having learned that bar tricks, a jaunty bowler, eye-gouging and truncheons do not intimidate the living dead or demon worshipers in magic body paint.

The Factors - 4 Missing. A small band of mercenary scouts hired by the factors climbed the Southern ladder in the mushroom farm.  They have not returned.

Manu Stexx - Assassin

As the adventurers begin a quick jaunt to find out if the Merrowmen they have somehow contracted (they never signed anything Bibi just told them they'd do it for her and asked them to pick a reward [acceptance into the crew class and a way out of the Rustgates] and they took it) to deliver to the vice queen of the Rustgates, when  they spot a lone figure loitering by a lantern.  Elsjinn uses a spyglass to determine that the figure is the leader of the underworld's delver gang, a lean man wearing strange black armor made of a supple black oily looking material and carrying a pair of sabers at his waist. 

The Assassin has noticed them, and hails the party for a conversation.  He relates that he has been told to worn them, that members of the "Hereditary family of friends" are displease with the adventures' mission for Bibi and that if the Merrowmen were to die it would be best.  After a brief exchange of threats he reveals his name to be Manu Stexx and suggests that the party look him up if they ever need someone dead. Stexx climbs off into the heights of the junk pile blocking the buried vault and the party moves on.

Within the steward substation the Merrowmen's gong is missing and spear slaughter zombie corpses litter the entry room off the buried vault.  The party, suddenly cautious is unsure where to go and is set upon by a pack of five war dead zombies, which they are able to quickly slay, though not before Princips has one walk up his trident and pummel him to the floor.  However, with a quick heal from Semm the party is whole again.  Gimili swears he saw a figure in the shadows of the tunnel the zombies emerged from, but after the first couple of rounds it disappeared.  Sir wastes a pound of flour trying to determine is an invisible zombie master is lurking in the narrow corridor the zombies emerged from, but finds nothing.

Moving again the adventurers are started by a furtive noises of construction to the North, and investigating quickly come across a hasty barricade and a door with a crude eyehole carved into it.  Beyond are what's left of the Merrowmen, driven from tier homes by the War Dead expedition from beyond the junk pile.  According to the Merrowman shaman, the dead have been emboldened, because the spectral force the used to inhabit the substation is gone (it was destroyed by the party).  A quick arrangement with Madam Bibi's agents and a treasure caravan is smuggled past a pair of corrupt guards, only there is no wealth in the caravan, only the Merrowmen survivors, who are last seen being led into one of the many entrances to the Madam's establishment "The gilded exile".

Science of Flesh

Back in the hull the party decides to search for the "spa" noted on the wall of the tunnel beyond the Steward station's Eastern hatch.  The band finds a door labeled "spa access" up a long narrow gangway, and it is successfully picked. Beyond the door is a large room, with a sloping pool, filled with glowing green moss and strange lumps of pulsating, living tissue of several varieties. The walls of the chamber are covered in throbbing veins some as thick as an arm, Before the party can investigate this strange chamber, they must deal with three strange gelatinous figures moving through it and investigating the tissue blobs.  Each figure appears humanoid, and is made of glowing blue ectoplasm.  One notices the party as they stand gaping in the doorway, and the figure speaks to Vess, melting into a shape Vess recognizes as his Mother as it does so.  Knowing that he is being tricked, Vess still feels compelled to run to his mother/the entity and help it.  Vess, despite his lesser statute, is only barely restrained by Semm and as the burly Cleric manhandles the agitated Vess out the door, the other party rushes quickly after.  The blue creature rushes towards the fleeing adventurers, still wearing the patrician face of Vess's mother, but the party is able to hold and finally spike the spa door against its pounding and unnatural strength.

Not wishing to return to the Flesh Factory, now inhabited by War Haints, the adventurers move quickly to the East through the corridors behind the spa until they find a hatch that Quartle's map shows leading into the collapsed areas of the buried vault.  The hatch looks solid, and unbowed by the weight of collapsed rubble on the other side so the party opens it without difficulty, revealing a cave smoothed from the rubble, and strewn with small Merrowman idols.  Taking the strange artworks, Semm leads the band to a concealed door.  The door clearly leads out to an area beyond the junkpile that has so far impeded progress East.  Unfortunately the way on is guarded by a small pack of  zombies, but with Sir's  fireball the zombies are quickly destroyed including on that attempted to flea and hollered as if in pain.

Out in the open vault again the party sees a wide passage East and beyond finds another soaring vault.  The new vault is strangely filled with a park area, several stone storefronts, including a large one marked "clinic" directly to the North of the of the tunnel exit.  The most interesting feature of the new space is glowing, slowly rotating ring of warding sigils projected on the deck plates about 40' East into the vault.  A slumped figure rests within sitting on a decaying camp stool, and next to a used detonation plunger.  Clearly this is the individual who detonated the charges collapsing the buried vault, he is also long dead but surrounded by an enchanted panoply - including a white ceramic composite flail and a breastplate of the same material.  Fist tests barrier with a handful of  copper coins, and finds it largely impermeable, and Vess' experiments with his dagger result in a nasty shock.

Semm is undeterred and plunges through the barrier despite its efforts to stop him.  Scooping up the magical equipment of the ancient marine, Semm also collects bones of the man for later funeral services.  As he removes the spinning magic lamp the protective wards blink out and Semm can't figure the object out enough to restart it (it needs some kind of magic fuel/maintenance anyway) with no immediate effect.  While this is going on Sir investigate the windows in the second floor of the clinic, finding empty beds, a figure staring away from him, an armed and armored skeleton collapsed on the floor and more empty rooms.  He also notices that the area of the mushroom park is filled with the shambling figures of tens, if not hundreds of zombies.  

The party, deciding they lack time for further exploring and lack the firepower to deal with an undead hoard  returns to Sterntown.


  1. A necromancer with a grenade launcher? Sounds like someone's gonna get it.

    1. Perhaps - it's basically a wand with charges for a few stinking clouds and 3 area effect 2d6 - 4d6 attacks.

  2. Potion of Scabarous Healing(Heals 1d8 - but requires a save vs. poison or it may have a minor mutagenic side effect)

    What would those "minor mutagenic side effects" would be?

    1. Horrible boils, centipede legs growing out of the back of the hand - that sort of thing.