Sunday, April 9, 2017

DCCRPG - Return to Slither's End


Going Home


We took a brief break from the Sunken City Omnibus series of adventures last night to tie up some loose ends within the campaign.  Our characters have been through twelve adventures so far, and before moving on to Lair of the Mist Men I thought it only fair to give the players a turn to affect some change in The Free Company's adopted home base of Slither's End.  

The player characters first traveled to Slither's End in part one of The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk, and it was decided that the original members of The Free Company remained there when we started with the "B-Team" in A Gathering of the Marked.  So what happened to those members of The Free Company?  What have they been doing the last several weeks, before joining up a group of "marked mercenaries" from the swamps of the Sunken City?

Let's find out!

The Great SCOT Continues


The Free Company, our adventuring party happily enjoying the Great Sunken City Omnibus Tour, completed Perils of the Sunken City and last month moved onto the The Ooze Pits of Jonas Gralk.  If you're interesting in starting this story from the beginning, here are the previous tales:

This is an open door campaign, so we can always have new players join our group.  Here are our only rules from game to game:
  • Schedule five players for each event
  • Hold a sixth seat free for last minute additions
  • Players who complete an adventure have "dibs" on joining the next adventure
  • Players can bow out, and rejoin later with living or new characters so long as there is a open spot at the virtual table

As always, Die Rodney!

The Free Company Roster 


  • +Marc Plourde
    • Floyd Pink, Warrior
    • Mayor Razoul, Psion
    • Roge, Halfling Mariner/Wizard's Apprentice
  • +andrew lyon
    • Ssof Rehtaf, Cleric
    • Lil Hammy, Tiny Pig Paladin Statue (advances as Paladin)
    • Ferd, Dwarven Blacksmith/Wizard's Apprentice
  • +Craig McCullough
    • Garik, Warrior
    • Gordon, Halfling Burglar
    • Watson, Wizard
    • Anderson, Dwarven Stonemason
  • +Paul Go 
    • Wayne (or Worm), Thief
    • Imric, Elf
  • +Jonata Sodre 
    • "Screaming" Otto, Warrior
    • Steve, Guild Begger/Wizard's Apprentice
  • +Alex Perucchini 
    • Nicodemus, Thief
    • Gastronomix, Dwarf
    • Ezekial, Woodcutter/Wizard's Apprentice

Return to Slither's End


Since we were last in Slither's End the following has occurred for The Free Company:

  • In Lord Beecham's absence, Razoul the Psion was elected to the position of town Mayor.  Lord Beecham continues to flex his muscle over the region, perhaps to a sinister end.  
  • The Free Company hired some additional mercenaries to help protect their 107,000 coins (mostly silver) buried in the basement of the Gralk family home.  These are the "Marked Mercenaries" from the latest series of adventures (Floyd, Lil Hammy, Garik, Gordon, Wayne, Gastronomix, and Screaming Otto.)
  • Cleric Ssof Rehtaf has been working to convert the citizens of Slither's End to the ways of Aristemis the Insightful One, demi-goddess of true seeing, strategy, and wood-fired pizza.  

For last night's adventure, I went around the "virtual" table, and gave each player the opportunity to take control of the adventure and talk about their member of The Free Company.  Here's what we came up with:

Ssof Rehtaf & Razoul

Desiring a change of religious loyalty in Slither's End, from the chaotic snake-god Salissak to lawful, hearth protecting Aristemis, Ssof Rehtaf gathers the townsfolk together for a great speech.  After paying Mayor Razoul the permit fee for this kind of assembly, Ssof climbs atop the metal arm that was used by the prior mayor to lower poor citizens into the swamp waters as sacrifices to Salissak.  Ssof cuts the cage away, letting it fall into the water, and curses Salissak and his evil ways.  The act is so dramatic, that the majority of townsfolk instantly switch sides, and start to cry out the name of their new goddess.

That's when Salissak shows up.

The snake god slithers up the platform and demands praise and worship.  Nicodemus is the only party member to call out in favor of the snake-god, but once the rest of The Free Company decides to throw down, the thief follows suit.  

The battle is nearly a disaster.  Screaming Otto nearly drops his axe, and never lands a hit on the beast.  Razoul takes some wicked-bad psionic backlash causing his ears to bleed.  Gordon loses his axe after it turns to rust when it strikes Salissak.  At least Ssof is able to stand toe-to-toe for a while with the magical Fairystomper, but eventually a nearly-deadly tail swipe takes out the party's cleric.  

Fortunately for the group, Nicodemus and Gordon are able to retreat and lob arrows at the wounded snake-god, whittling away its health.  Finally, Razoul launches a telekinetic blast at the foul being that both obliterates the snake-god and gains the psionicist-mayor some serious respect throughout town.

At least Lil Hammy is able to revive Ssof at the end of combat.  

Once the battle is over, the town is freed from the bonds of Salissak.  Most of the town commits themselves to Ssof's new church of Aristemis (located in the town pavilion), but there are many who start referring to someone else as a god: Razoul.  

Behold, Razoul... the God-Mayor of Slither's End!

Following the battle, Razoul needs a well deserved break from public life, and takes a couple days off to rest his brain and heal the bruising from his backlash.

Nicodemus

After seeing both Ssof and Razoul get some power within the town of Slither's End, the great chaotic thief Nicodemus wants some street-cred.  So Nicodemus convinces God-Mayor Razoul to bestow the title of deputy mayor on him.  Fortunately for the town thief, this job also comes with the duty of being the chief Tax Collector for Slither's End.  

Nicodemus is informed that Vokas the Fire Mage, aka the "Man Ape", owes 400 gold pieces with of fines to Slither's End.  Vokas had gone mad over the past several years, and believed himself to have transformed into a giant, hairless, tailless, upright-walking ape.  This just means that he spends a lot of time walking around town naked.  Well it turns out that Vokas pays a weekly fine of 100 gold pieces for lewdness, and this has become an important part of the town economy.  It's said that most of the repairs to infrastructure in Slither's End are financed by Vokas' exposed rear end.  

Nicodemus assembles a team and heads over to Vokas' tower.  After picking the front door's lock, Nicodemus marches into the tower and finds Vokas tied up on the floor, naked.  Vokas claims that he was forced to "pay up" to Lord Beecham, who still claims to hold power over the town.  He also states that he has no money to pay the God-Mayor.  

Nicodemus wasn't going to return to the God-Mayor empty handed.  So the thief starts going through Vokas' magical items and steals a pair of magic fezzes.  The legendary Fezzes of Binding!  He places one upon his head, and tosses the other to Lil Hammy.  Instantly the two characters have a deep emotional connection.  The Fezzes of Binding allow each wearer to feel the emotions and surface thoughts of the other.  This leads to much tender hugging, and cathartic crying between the party's thief and paladin.  

It's awkward for everyone but the naked man bound on the floor.  

Watson

Flashback, two days prior...

Watson is working alongside Vokas the Fire Mage, pouring through the old wizard's worn tomes and newer editions of the Encyclopedia Great Cityica.  It is the party wizard's desire to uncover the mysteries of a bird-based patron, so that he can swear his loyalty and unlock the greater powers of screaming eagle magic.  

Also working in the tower as wizard's apprentices are Roge, Ferd, Steve, and Ezekial (Judge's Note: these roles were played by the other PC's during this scene.)  

The entire team of researchers work together to uncover the secrets of an ancient patron known as Aquilia, the Great Hawkheaded One!  It is said that Aquilia requires three gifts and offerings to bestow her magic upon a mortal:
  1. A guava
  2. A meercat
  3. A halbard

(Judge's Note: I let the other PC's come up with these items in "Mad Lib" style.)

The legendary ritual went as follows:  the petitioner must travel to the top of the highest mountain in the region, and then slay a meercat with a halbard while simultaneously eating a fresh guava.  

Once the ritual is uncovered, Watson thanks Vokas' team and leaves.  

That's when Lord Beecham shows up!  

(Judge's Note:  Lord Beecham now looks and sounds just like Xerxes from 300.)

The Lord demands that Vokas pays him for the lewdness fines.  When Vokas tries to speak out against the injustice, Lord Beecham unleashes a devastating kick to the naked Man Ape's groin.  Lord Beecham's goons (one of whom is played by Craig), slay all of Vokas' apprentices save for Steve, who declares his undying loyalty to former mayor.  Steve claims that he was tired, oh so tired, of constantly seeing the Man Ape's nakedness, and proves his worth to his new master by tying up Vokas.  

As he does so, Steve whispers to Vokas, that he'll return with help.

Steve never returns

Floyd

After all of the craziness that occurred over the last several weeks, we come back to Floyd pink, the Warrior and Marked Mercenary who survived the Gathering.  Floyd still has the Stone Demon's Shell, and he wants it made into a shield.  Yuri the blacksmith offers to create a fine shield out of the shell... for 1,000 gold pieces!

Floyd feels the price is too steep, so he asks for a trade.  Yuri thinks a bit, and then gives Floyd a perilous mission that could determine the fate of the entire Sunken City...

... a mission to hunt down and defeat the Mist Men!

Yuri claims that the Mist Men have been harming his blacksmithing business by capturing merchants along the southern passage of the Sunken City.  The lone survivor of the last expedition, a bizarre and shrill hunchbacked trapper named Mingus, successfully fought off one of the Mist Men, and gained his artifact: a silver tube.  It was said that Mingus could use the tube to track the Mist Men back to their lair.  

Floyd agreed to accompany Mingus to the Lair of the Mist Men as trade for the shield.  Accompanying Floyd were Gastronomix, Lil Hammy, Otto, and Watson.

After two days of travel the party arrives at Korik's Heart, a great hill that juts up above the rest of the swamp.  At the top of the hill is a cave entrance that Mingus says is the lair for which they search.  The trapper then bids the party adieu and heads back to town.  

While the trapper is walking away, the team hear him arguing with something under his shirt.  Mingus wore a giant cloak, presumably to cover his hunch.  But it appeared that Mingus was arguing with part of the hunch!  

"Hey, I know that guy!" the hunch called out.  "Watson!"  

Watson walks over to investigate, and discovers that Mingus bears the parasitic skull of Cedric on his shoulder.  Cedric demands that Watson free him from Mingus' shoulder, but the wizard doesn't seem interested in dealing with a mouth, lying skull.  Since Cedric's old host Nicodemus was back in town, Watson tells Mingus to look the thief up one he arrives.  


Adventure Notes


  • Salissak (Created using the Purple Sorcerer Dragon Generator)
    • Init +2; Atk bite +7 melee (1d12); tail slap +7 melee (1d20); AC 16; HD 6d12 (62 hp); MV 40 (slither); Act attacks d20, spells ; SP see below; SV Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +6; Al C.
    • Breath Weapon: Type (Poison gas); Save (Fort 16); Damage (1d16 or no effect with save); Shape (Cloud, radius 1d3 x 10’, aimed up to 90’ away)
    • Level 1 Spells: Color Spray, Ward Portal
    • Martial Power 1: Rusting hide. The Salissak hide causes rust in all normal metal objects. As a result, its treasure horde consists primarily of gems and magical items. Weapons used to attack Salissak crumble to rust upon touch (although magic weapons are immune).
    • Unique Power 1: Speak with muck melons (1/hour). Salissak can designate one animal and communicate effectively in that animal’s native tongue for the remainder of the hour. The animal still cannot communicate beyond the limits of its intelligence and physical abilities.
    • Unique Power 2: Swamp growth (1/hour). All swamp growth within 100’ grow to twice their current size in 1d4 rounds; targets within growth are entangled (half speed, -2 to attacks).
       

    Quotes?


    "Until we get the town budget balanced, I'm the closest thing that comes to law and order." - Marc discusses Razoul, the new God-Mayor of Slither's End.

    "Aristemis has come to rid them of your taint." - Ssof Rehtaf demands the town convert.

    "No no!  I'm the new guy!  I don't know anything about that!  I'm only here to work and cut wood!" - Screaming Otto screaming.

    "In the name of Aristemis, I vanquish this foul beast and cleanse this town of its... demon taint." - Ssof Rehtaf tries to land a killing blow on the snake god.

    "You need a permit for any grievances filed for... eh... uh." - Mayor Razoul tries to lay down some serious paperwork for Salissak.

    "Hey fruit loop, open the door!" - Nicodemus calls out to the Vokas the Man Ape.

    Andy (as Lil Hammy) - "We are the law!" - Lil Hammy
    Craig - "Andy now becomes Judge Dredd."

    "I don't like this man, he's so naked.  All the time he is naked!" - Steve to Lord Beecham, begging to join his crew.

    "Do you know that boil?" - Floyd to Watson, after the party discovers that Mingus bears the parasitic skull of Cedric.  


    In Memoriam 

    • Ezekial - Stabbed by Lord Beecham's goon
    • Ferd - Hammered to death by Anderson the goon
    • Roge - Stabbed by Lord Beecham's goon