Treasure, a tricksy door, and cross-campaign shenanigans.
- Brus Reckoner
- Male half-orc Inquisitor of Yog-Sothoth.
- John “Angel Eyes” Wilmarth
- Male Aasimar Cleric of the mad idiot god Azathoth.
- Fág an Bealach (Faugh)
- Male svirfneblin Brawler of archetype Mutagenic Mauler.
- Bill the Bard
- A lost male human bard with his donkey Bottom.
- Male hobgoblin rogue.
We had a very subtle session or two… ants took over a world, devils tried a last-ditch attempt to validate their existence and the players fell off two towers and narrowly dodged two planets crashing into each other. So they were looking for a change of pace.
As part of the frantic escape from the crashing planets, Bill picked up a large bag of sacrificial items. Bloodied and bruised, the PCs dragged themselves back through the tesseract of where Coin lived.
Coin was excited to see the PCs - a surprise given his usual noble demeanour. He welcomed them in and asked to hear what happened. The PCs told him about the ambush by kung fu monks, the horrific remains of Wu-Shi and their pyromaniacal rescue of the grandson Wu-Chi. They told him of the devils and the Formians and the planets crashing together.
Through this briefing, Coin learned of the efforts they had gone through to keep Wu-Chi mostly alive (they explained, while one of them helped him vomit up all the poison in his body), and now he could help Coin build the weapon to bring down Limen’s House. Coin explained that many of his contacts had gone quiet, and there was noise of a cult celebrating Limen who were now scouring the house for the PCs. This was in addition to the ferocious dragonkin that was chasing them, and any remnants of The Great Five, and The Others. Exciting times, but at least Coin and the PCs were up-to-speed on the plan.
Coin was troubled by the sack containing Wu-Shi’s corpse, but he had a point to make on that.
But enough of that, the PCs needed gear!
The PCs showed him the bag of loot and he looked through it. Amongst the jewels and gold pieces, there was a cache of weird survival gear - mostly cold protection, maybe something to protect the devil’s acolyte in space? It didn’t make sense to the PCs. Coin asked if it was okay if they put the gear in a crate… the crate they had received cold weather gear for their trip to the arctic. The puzzled a few of the PCs. John ‘Angel Eyes” took the initiative to jam a chess piece into the bottle of wine he took from the devil’s world and gave it to Coin.
But alas, Coin’s fences had gone AWOL so he had no gear to give or sell them. But the next step of their plan would fix that. Wu-Shi was known to be experienced in portal travel, but as Coin explained it, “Each time you go through a portal, you leave something behind. Wu-Shi had left too much of himself behind.” The players looked in the sack and said, “No, seems to be all there.”
They needed to settle his spirit in case he came back to thwart the plan. “But we’ve got his body, we killed him!” exclaimed Picklick. Coin said, “But didn’t he come out of the grave to attack you?” Picklick instinctively touched the scars on his chest, “Fair point.”
Coin continued, “I have a friend that owes me a favour. You need to take her this gift…” He produced a smooth box and gave it to them. “Give it and Wu-Shi’s remains to her, and she’ll take care of her.”
“Who is this woman?” asked Bill.
“She is Catrinda, a psychopomp.”
“Ah,” said Bill. He explained to the others, “Psychopomps are dedicated to guiding the recently deceased to wherever they need to go. Wu-Shi clearly has avoided this, so maybe this will put his soul to rest.”
Coin explained, “Catrinda is working in the city of Apogee, a vast metropolis. Your gold will be able to secure any item you need, making up for my lack of goods.”
Brus asked, “So we just give her this box, and what?”
Coin smiled. “She’ll know what to do.”
They left the weary Wu-Chi with Coin and headed off. Wu-Chi and Coin explained that it was a short trip to Apogee. Not immediate, but as good as can be.
The next realm they stepped in was the interior of a castle or stone building. The floor was knee-high in stagnant water and vines crawled along the walls.
Their solitary key pointed towards a flat wall with a stone face in it. There was a small metal plaque that had the original engraving on it scraped away and the words “Make him say ‘Open’” scratched in Gnomish on top.
“Make him say… Open?” wondered Faugh aloud. Suddenly the stone face snapped awake.
Brus the Simple
The PCs walked out into an alleyway and into a shining metropolis. The cobblestone streets were clean and well-maintained. They were in a merchant’s district of some kind. So they went shopping!
Picklick cased the place and tried to pickpocket shoppers. He also watched where their money was going - a young child escorted it back through the streets to places unknown, with many, many guards keeping an eye on him. Picklick decided to not cause an incident.
Unfortunately Brus was still feebleminded from the Formian attack. After not being able to find any churches (or religious things at all… weird), they cornered a priest-like man on his way to work. They charmed the priest with words and coin. As the man treated Brus they asked him about Apogee and where he worked. They were interested in his workplace Fulcrum Asylum, and the casual, polite racism that slipped out. Apparently people of Brus’ “type”, lived down in Nadir, across the bridge, away from the industrious folk. The PCs were quite interested in this politics, but the man wanted to be on his way as quick as possible.
Eventually, they left the market area and traipsed through the wealthy side of town, through cobblestone streets and eventually out towards estates and beyond. The found the graveyard just on dusk. The last few mourners for the day were leaving.
The PCs needed to find the Psychopomp, without being entirely sure what that entailed. Bill turned on the Detect Magic and could sense a strong emanation moving through the graveyard, but not what it was. John had (without telling everyone) stolen a Hat of Celestial Insight from the devils and could see someone where Bill was pointing.
John could clearly see a skeletal woman walking through the graveyard with a wilted bouquet of flowers. Incredibly beautiful, but, you know, dead. She was waving a hand over new tombs and saw them approach. After some confusion, Bill greeted her and she became visible. She towered over them and was silent.
Bill explained their mission, their relation to Coin and the dastardly deeds of Wu-Shi. He held out the puzzle box for her. John held out the sack of Wu-Shi’s remains. The Psychopomp Catrindra held her hand out and Bill got spooked. He didn’t want to touch her hand lest he get turned into a zombie or something! Picklick took it out of his hand and took over.
Catrinda took the puzzle box and with exceptionally nimble fingers clicked hidden levers and sliding panels. As she was manipulating the box, the PCs could hear grumbles and shouts from around the tombstones. With a final click, Catrinda opened the box and a loud chime sound could be heard. She stood stock upright, staring into the middle distance.
Roll for initiative.
A brutal fight ensued. Catrinda seemingly just wandered off the battlefield, ignoring everyone. The gravedigger emerged, shouting expletives or warnings or… something. He immediately pointed his shovel at Picklick and John, and the ground opened up below them. Picklick dodged deftly out of the way, but John plummeted into a pit spiked with the bones of the long-forgotten. At the same time, wrathful undead emerged from their graves to rip shreds off the PCs. Meanwhile the gravedigger and his badger companion tried to disable the miscreant PCs.
Wu-Shi had been dropped in the pit during the first round of combat and disappeared when the pit did. Maybe this counted as settling his spirit. Maybe it didn’t?
Meanwhile, Catrinda had walked a fair way away. Brus was outraged at whatever betrayal this was, and complained loudly about bagging up the psychopomp and dragging her back to Coin for answers. Whilst mindless, she wasn’t stupid and Greater Teleported away from these murderers.
Next week we’ll see what Coin has to say for himself and whether this situation is recoverable.