Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Entering the Ghoul Slums

About three minutes ago Stubbly heard gunfire. He seemed sure it was an FN-HAR assault rifle firing in bursts. Linda called bullshit. It seems that no matter how many times they have this conversation, the elf continues to doubt the only thing Stubbly has ever displayed the least bit of interest or aptitude for.

It's a shame really, they'd make a lovely couple.

One of my diminutive homunculi showed up a few seconds ago. While I have heard no reports from them about the alleged gunfire this one has noticed someone flitting about on the ethereal over in Assembly Building 3. The gunfire was of little concern to me given the neighborhood, but this sounds like my show.

Linda would like me to check in within a few minutes. I assure Linda that I'll make detailed notes to relay on my return. Stubbly would like me to point to where he should dump his load. I avoid the crass joke about our pointy eared companion.

It takes only a blink to arrive astrally on location.

Transcript in Progress on RogerRed - logging to SSblitz mission record
Method: Team Comms Secure 5
Speaker: FrankL
Recipient: Lindaro

I'm sorry, your intended comms target is currently inactive. His link is marked "Someone has to get this fucking building ready." You may leave a message for playback.

How are you gone already? It's been like a minute and a half oame! I'm a little dizzy. I'll try to go through this as I recall it happening. Maybe you've seen something.

From the looks of the ghouls outside Assembly 3 I'd say the community can expect a hiccup in their food supplies. It's a shame really. Based on our going rate I'd say that they aren't really in a position to weather such an interruption.

Just inside the building the interlopers were messing up the packaging and storage room. They were intent on finding something. Maybe they're organ leggers trying to get a second pass at after market sales. For the haul you'd get out of here there certainly are a lot of them.

There's dwarf with a comically sized gun. I'm not a weapon crazed flower loving midget, but I'd guess it was an assault rifle and I'm willing to give Stubbly the benefit of the doubt on any details.

The troll is enormous. I never will get used to seeing the goblinized giants. The shady patches on his body point to some moderate cybering. His mother must be proud of that hair.

The sight of pitch where a human's vibrant glow should be caused a slight retching, but you'll be proud to know I didn't actually astrally dry heave this time. Based on his slight build and the way he holds his weapon I can only guess he's some tech joy boy. Tech loving humans and mages don't venture into the slums after organs. This lot must be here for us. Still, there was no sense helping them disrupt the building more.

The mage is relatively untrained, or unused to being the lone magic support. There's little else to explain how he didn't see my impatient helper's frantic signaling. His aura seems solid and even, if a little plain.

By this time they'd got the door open. I hadn't noticed the street sam before. He dispatched the shift manager so forcefully that _I_ flinched. I'll have to warn JoeJoe. Even if this one is an ork, the old man looks to be losing ground to the street's fresh meat.

It's a good thing we didn't decide to hide Shelly among the workers here. The approach of this group, whomever they are, appears to be sweep and burn. I believe they actually tried to find a way to fit the troll into the basement disassembly area. This can not end well.

I'm sorry Linda, I'm still a little shaken, so the details here might be off. I had to dodge out of the building for a bit because the mage started going astral again. When I got back into observation they appeared to be preparing for exit.

I'm not sure what the sequence was, but I think the sam killed Louisa Jackson. That poor woman. Her poor kid! I'm not sure what Wesley will do now. He's a good kid, but certainly too young to be out on his own. Maybe we could use a hand with errands and maintenance around the Bulkhead? I know we're already kind of put out on this case, but maybe you could talk with JoeJoe. Look at the kid as a form of bonus pay even.

Once they were clear of the interior I noticed the mage had an active foci. My outrage at the carnage got the better of me and I got sloppy. I managed to get a solid Mass Hysteria channeled through and for a moment it looked like things were ponies. The troll looked about ready to pop all over himself and the sam freaked out and bent the shadow up but good. Or the guy was double jointed with an extra wobly point in his arm already, you never know these days. Everyone else was standing around like donkeys. Street sam clean up no problem.

Only I misjudged the effects on their mage. Suddenly he cracked A next to me and kaboshed me pretty good. I'm lucky I got back into my meat fast enough to keep the blood coming out of my mouth from staining my clothes. Assuming the sam doesn't just enjoy punching the hell out of things he travels with he probably stopped when I did.

Anyways, I'm going to stay holed up here in the manager's office with these volunteers for now. I'll try to provide some early notice, but I might be too messed up to be on my game. Let me know when the blitz room is ready and I'll see you there.

Tell Stubbly that he's a go. He might as well just ejaculate everywhere. At this point he can't possibly end up doing more collateral damage then they're going to do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Triften's game: Session n+4B -3/21/2007

Stetta runs off into the woods after being snubbed, yet again, by Terrence. She heads roughly north, avoiding the town, and, eventually, crossing over the road and entering the swamp. After almost a full day of slogging through the swamp, Stetta rests in a shaded area finding calm in the dappled sunlight and buzzing insects.

During this moment, an enormous venomous snake calmly rises out of the water in front of her before calmly flaring its multicolored hood and not-so-calmly hissing. Stetta fights the snake, expertly dodging its lightning-quick strikes while slicing it up with her sickles. The snake manages to get a clean strike with its vicious fangs before Stetta kills it, sending venom coursing through her body.

Stetta is swiftly weakened by the poison and, before blacking out, she sees lizardfolk stepping out from behind nearby trees. While unconscious, she experiences a number of hallucinations and visions similar to Jared's

Stetta awakens inside some sort of lean-to structure with a lizardperson watching over her. When it sees that she is awake, it hands her some food (some sort of mush and a couple roasted beetles) and some clean-looking water (a rarity in the middle of a swamp) and calls over a couple of other lizardfolk.

The pair approaching appears to be the leader and his assistant. The assistant is able to make himself understood in Common and he translates for the leader, explaining that Stetta has bested t'k'zha'khu or, more accurately pronounced, !*zha#u (! = alveolar click, *= velar implosive, # = uvular fricative, IPA pronunciation: !ɠʒaʁu), an avatar of the Snake god. Additionally, she has survived her travels through the dream world (induced by the poison) and is recognized as a member of their tribe.

Stetta spends the next few days talking to the chief's assistant, who analyzes her vision for her. Stetta also learns that these lizardfolk had been hiding in the mountains for sometime but, when the area started to dry up, they were forced to head back down into the swamps. After being sighted, the Black Talon moved in and has been preparing to attack them. While normally at an advantage in the swamps, their numbers are greatly reduced and would likely be wiped out if they stayed and fought.

Lizardfolk scouts have spotted a Shrine to the Goddess of the Spring which was evidently the source of water for their hiding place in the mountains. The lizardfolk have decided to flee the swamps, sending a small contingent up to the Shrine to figure out what went wrong, while the rest will head back to their old hiding place in hopes that the other group is successful. Additionally, a small group will stay behind to provide token resistance to the Black Talon.

Stetta marches withthe lizardfolk out of the swamps, to the NW, and joins the small contingent heading up to the shrine.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Triften's game: Session n+4A - 3/14/2007

Now down two people, the party finally arrives at Innsmouth, a fishing town located on the south edge of the Judham Swamp. At midmorning, Terrence and Jared head into town to gather information. Despite terrifying a few townsfolk into thinking that some horrible plague of monsters may or may not be currently attacking, they find out several useful pieces of information:

  • The road through the swamp is in disrepair but their oxen might be able to ford the marsh in that area.
  • There are lizardfolk in the swamp.
  • The Black Talon is preparing to push into the swamp to drive out the lizardfolk who came down out of the mountains to live there.
The party decides they'd rather march through a Black Talon encampment than get their carts stuck in a marsh filled with lizardmen and who-knows-what-else. While on the road, heading ENE, towards the encampment, it is decided that they will pretend to be pilgrims heading towards a shrine in the mountains. Using incredible bardic knowledge and the study of the arcane, they remember that there is indeed a Shrine of Tyvia, Goddess of the Spring, in the nearby mountains. During the few days of journey, the carts are repainted, costumes are donned, and a lone lizardman is spotted watching them from the swamps.

Upon arrival at the camp, the party is questioned about their plans and their ruse works perfectly. A little too perfectly. After passing through a massive Black Talon encampment and surviving to tell the tale, the carts are now headed up a steep, winding, and bumpy mountain road. Despite having no one available skilled in animal handling, the party makes do with sheer Charisma.

As night falls on the mountain road, the party is attacked by a pair of wolf skeletons. They are dispatched in relatively short-order (from what I remember) allowing the party to continue towards the Shrine.

The road follows over hills and valleys before heading up the side of a mountain to the Shrine. With a backdrop of a beautiful mist-filled valley, the roughly two-story, round building is surrounded by a chill fog. The mountain road continues past the Shrine, curving around the mountain to head west. The party splits up at this point, with some going to scout ahead on the road and a lone Holostarchander investigating the Shrine.

The road appears to head west out of the mountains.

Holostarchander discovers that the interior of the shrine is coated in ice. Ascending the stairs, he sees that the spring itself is almost completely frozen over, with only a trickle of water coming out to run down the series of intricate channels (those not filled with ice) and out of the building. Holostarchander's reward for giving the ice a few taps with his staff is an assault by a baby white wyrm. The wyrm blind-sides him with a flurry of claws, teeth, and angry bulk, knocking Holostarchander out immediately and cutting short his yell of "Aaa-!"

Jared, having stayed with the carts, hears this and races into the shrine to see the wyrm dragging Holostarchander's limp body towards its nest. Jared, feeling either insane or selfless, attempts to tackle the dragon, yelling the whole time. Somehow, Jared manages to not get torn to shreds before the rest of the party arrives. The party surrounds the furious lizard and its members experience varying degrees of success. Flacco gets in several good sneak attacks, Kurako does consistent damage with her longsword, Jared remains ineffectual until right before the end of combat by landing the killing blow, and Terrence sings (I think.) The party emerges victorious but still frostbitten, regular bitten, and clawed.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Triften's game: Session n+3 - 3/7/2007

Continuing up the coastal road by moonlight, Kurako (I believe) spots some movement in the water below. Holostarchander uses his magical abilities to send a flare of sorts down to light things up, but what ever Kurako thought she saw had managed to flee. After some further investigation, the party continues onward.

The party, now on high alert is able to spot the kua-toa (frog men things, NOT merlocks or any other WoW enemy) waiting to ambush them farther up the road. Their large eyes practically shine in the moonlight. Despite the characters and players being bogged down in combat, things are made slightly more exciting due to the kua-toa's sticky shields. From what I recall, Flacco does some slinging, Holostarchander lets loose some flames, Stetta nearly looses her club, someone else does lose their weapon, and the last kuatoa goes sliding, face-first down the cliffside to the water.

The part is victorious, Flacco finds a ring (IIRC), and Stetta gives Terrence a gift. The gift consists of a kua-toa hand on a string as a nice trophy of the battle. Terrence rejects Stetta's gift and, this being the last straw, Stetta runs off into the night, broken-hearted.

(Is this all we got done?! Sheesh, I really need to figure out how to streamline combat or something.)