Last session we had three characters walk from a decrepit mine into a room full of cats. That’s the kind of stuff that will be commonplace for this group. And now there’s two new characters in the mix!
Our team from last week:
- Brus Reckoner
- Male half-orc Inquisitor of Yog-Sothoth and slayer of old ladies.
- John “Angel Eyes” Wilmarth
- Male Aasimar Cleric of the mad idiot god Azathoth.
- Fág an Bealach (Faugh)
- Male svirfneblin (smurf) Brawler of archetype Mutagenic Mauler.
Our two new crew:
- Bill the Bard
- A lost male human bard with his donkey Bottom.
- Male hobgoblin rogue
Last week our group of three had stumbled into the room of cats and after a little bit of investigation, we cut it short there. We attempted to use this safe room to have the old three and the new two interact and join forces. This bit was really nonlinear because I had a few plates spinning, and left much of the control to the PCs.
So first up we had Brus, John and Faugh who had their crazy story from last week about dragons, paladins and collapsed mines. At best one of those is True Neutral, so these guys had crazy covered.
Picklick’s player was incommunicado all week due to a broken phone, so we didn’t have time to clue him up. We agreed that he had hidden from pursuers and ended up in this room. The full story came with Bill the Bard (this is what I sent him privately via email, some spoilers excised and context added):
- You’ve walked into this realm through some door (prior story up to you)
- You found a key that wouldn’t open the door you came through, nor any of the other doors in the place.
- You guys [Picklick and yourself] are in the room of cats and have been hanging out for a few hours, wondering what to do.
- At some point a gnome came out of nowhere, running into the room, slipping a little on the (already) dead cat. He asked you guys about a dragonkin (which you had no idea about) and keys.
- You explained your dilemma, traded him your key for one of his.
- He promptly took your key, ran to a door that it didn’t work on, fidgeted for a second, opened the door. From “outside” you could hear something that was halfway between a giant bell ringing and a razor being draw along a metal edge. And the door shut behind him and he was gone.
- Later a catfolk woman came in similarly, asking about a gnome. You said whatever you like and she disappeared through the same door. On the way out she saw the dead cat, looked at you and said, “I’ll be back for you!”
- This new key of yours opens a door to what looks like the inside of a dingy, coastal shack (there’s nets and lures). But there’s a massive storm raging there, so you thought you might chill out here until it dies down.
So in summary
- You’re lost in a place you don’t really know and don’t know how to get out of
- Doors are working weirdly
- People are chasing people through doors that don’t work for you
To make the Bard character more flavourful, I drew up a list of about 20 different factoids and stories for the Bard to use. We had a large private Knowledge check session just before the game. I cut out the ones he got, and kept the ones he didn’t. He got most of my favourites, so that’ll be fun.
Introductions were a bit stilted because:
- The campaign itself is weird
- Pretty much all the PCs are Chaotic Something
- Bill the Bard had a few things to juggle (secret knowledge, interpretations on things)
We managed to stumble through a bit. They found a wax envelope in the guts of the crushed cat. Picklick licked the gore off the envelope and opened it as though I’d be so evil as to put a trap on it (MUHAHA). Inside was a note.
Bill the Bard noticed the name and said:
Hmmm… Limen… Limenology… that’s the study of doors, archways and… portals.
There was some discussion about a Paladin (though there was debate about whether the holy guy dressed head to toe in plate metal was a Paladin), and discussion about foxes and kitsune.
People also noticed a cat was purring on a mat in the shape of a weird symbol that also popped up as a glyph on a door:
This was understood as an obscure symbol to Yog-Sothoth, which got the Inquisitor interested. Meanwhile the rogue took a cat as a pet (or food, it’s not quite determined yet).
In any case, the bard had access to a door that led, weirdly, to a small shack beset by a storm. The storm had subsided and the group had nothing better to do than go through it (or wait for the Greeting/Eating party).
The shack was small - too small for 5 PCs and a donkey. The rogue and brawler (both small characters) investigated the room.
The shack is fairly run-down. There’s lures and nets about, but the thing that catches your eye are dozens and dozens of bottles. Sandy, weather-worn bottles. One has smashed on the floor. Around it are as many rolled up pieces of paper with writing on them.
The PCs went from “probably an ambush or a trap, better be wary” to “hey, what’s the go with the bottles?” When they read a few of the scraps of paper there were things like:
My darling Alain, do not worry about the sea. You sound like a fine man and unjustly accused… F
My love, you sound so lonely. If only we could meet and be together forever…
Pages and pages of declarations of love and being sure that “although I have not met you, you are undoubtedly beautiful”.
Looking outside they saw a calming sea and some sort of tower.
They were on some kind of island and followed the path up towards the lighthouse. They noticed a man up in the tower yelling down at some figure below.
“Argh! I made a mistake! Begone! Someone help me!” the man yells.
Below him is some sort of tall woman crying up, “No my love, it is I! Please let me in! I love you!”
The PCs rumbled them. The guy in the lighthouse asked for help from this crazy lady. She warned them to stay out of it. So of course the PCs attacked her.
When they got close, they noticed that the woman was actually a repulsive sea hag armed with a trident. The inquisitor took a step too close and she threw some blob at him. It somehow missed and landed near the Brawler.
The fight was slightly complicated. There wasn’t a lot of room to move and the PCs were juggling the sea hag and the octopus. The inquisitor impaled himself on her trident and hacked at her. She responded by using her custom wand at the team.
The hag spent much of the fight warning the PCs off, but they crowded around. She wasn’t angry, more sad. The disgusting woefulness of the hag demoralized a bunch of the PCs. She got a lucky strike on the Inquisitor when he stepped too close.
2x claws, 1d6+5 dmg each
That almost killed our Inquisitor. The sea hag screamed for something. Meanwhile the brawler and the octopus were having a fight. It couldn’t quite grapple him and he couldn’t land a solid hit on its spongey body.
I was really hoping I could have blat someone in the face with the octopus and have it just bite, bite, bite while the others tried to get it off him. Oh well.
The hag was ready to retreat, but the Azathoth cleric landed a nice Lesser Confusion. Unfortunately she rolled well on the confusion round, so she dazedly threw out a confused insult, jumped on a shark and hot-finned it out of there. The octopus did a mighty leap into the ocean - the brawler managed to grab a tentacle as it leapt. The octopus escaped but the tentacle did not.
After bringing the Inquisitor back from the void embrace of Yog-Sothoth, they talked to the lighthouse keeper who was grateful for their help. He explained his sorry story. He was a young lad (20-something) and had “misbehaved”. His punishment was forced servitude in the lighthouse. Every three weeks they’d bring him supplies and make sure he hadn’t absconded, but otherwise it was just him in the lighthouse.
He had gotten bored, so he decided to write messages, put them into bottles and send them off. After some time, he got a reply! He then struck a friendship with the mysterious F at the other end. She and Alain the lighthouse keeper began a pen-pal-style relationship that blossomed into foolish love. What’s a guy to do, trapped on an island?
Then one day the woman shows up and Alain remembers he has a “no hideous hags” policy. Luckily our friends popped up out of nowhere, which was confusing for him, but they saved him. He offered them various rations and spare supplies.
Oil of Daylight and Silversheen - alchemical cheats to make the lighthouse work more efficiently, and nice random effects to add to the PCs’ repetoire.
The PCs play around with their keyring, with their original key and one supplied by the bard. Nothing. They notice Alain has a key on him and the rogue deftly steals it. When attached to the keyring, it points in a particular direction, which they figure is the lighthouse’s door.
Alain put them up for the night. The rogue noticed he had an extra something on his belt (after raiding the pantry and finding nothing extra). He stole it, acquiring himself a handy All-purpose tool and the poor man’s shoes while he slept.
In the morning everyone had their spells, mutagens and health back. Alain was turning his house over, looking for something. They noticed him coming up the promentory, trying to get their attention. Aware of their rogue’s misdeeds, they decided to exit stage left. They saw Alain jogging up, closed the door, put the key in, and opened it to reveal a pantry.
Ruined Castle Wayfray
Our gallant heroes were all packed into a tight pantry cupboard and then spilled out into a kitchen. They could smell something not right.
In the kitchen was blood stains, the crumpled body of a servant and a cook face-down in the burning hearth. From a vague look around, they were in a castle that had been under attack.
But “Shhh!” said Picklick. There were goddamned goblins on the other side of that door.
Picklick strode in with an aura of confidence. He knew goblins were weak-minded and tried to intimidate them into submission, pretending to be their boss. The goblins just laughed at him and combat was on again!
The room was covered in boxes bursting at the seams with tinsel, streamers, and other party decorations. The goblins quickly dove into the boxes, coming up with fireworks as weapons. They swarmed out from behind cover and a large mangy dog rounded the corner, drooling.
A pretentious-looking one in a funny hat dodged a spear thrown at him and threw a bomb at the PCs… Well, that was his intention.
The combat was a thrashing. If the chaotic greed of goblins didn’t kill them, Dragonball-Z-style punches to the face did.
Before the alchemist had his last breath, he shouted to another room, “Muscles! Get here!” in Orcish. The Inquisitor’s eyes lit up…
And then we called it there. The PCs levelled up to level 3 (but retain their wounds)
Next week will be a fight against some less stupid orcs and a cliffhanger to keep them interested while I’m away the week after.