Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Session 179 - I've Got You Under My Skin

Lots happened! A quick trip to meet up with underground NPCs turns into a strikingly memorable fight scene against flesh-eating tentacle parasites, followed by some of that good good exposition from a drug dealer demon and a mad drakencultist.

POWERLAD fears healing.
Ratimir's comrades eat a dog.
Galaxy Johnson is unimpressed by his flirty fiancée.
Sir Robyn gets maggots punched out of him.
Synthia lives in a bucket.
Violet bones up.

There's an absolute trove of content this week, so let's dive right into it!

Violet kneels by the drug addled man, a husk that has had neither food nor clean water in two days. He’s about to take one last trip. Drawing the knife from the belt at her back she stirs him awake.‘What’ he croaks, eyes rolling tiredly.‘Are you ready,’ she asks him softly. ‘You’re going to save the world. One last trip, right?’‘One last trip,’ he murmurs. ‘Sound’s right. Let me have it.’His eyes close again as she takes the flask in her left hand, pouring a trickle of the soft purple concoction down his throat. He relaxes, the wrinkles in his face smoothing, his wild hair slumping. Carefully, she draws an empty vial from the bandolier at her chest. Placing the vial at his lips she watches, waiting for the vapours of his last breath to appear but as seconds tick by nothing appears. With a sigh, she looks at the face, softened and smoothed, and draws the blade across his throat. His eyes flutter open, catching hers, confused and afraid before fading to nothing.‘One last trip’ she confirms, snapping the lid of the vial closed over the glowing wisp of his Last Breath. Standing she brushes the dust from the knees of her robes and starts to walk away.
Carter presents Violet's intro cutscene.

"I'm terribly sorry to trouble you ladies, but when I used my mighty dragon power to double in size, I seem to have rather ruined my trousers. I don't suppose you have a spare bedsheet I could borrow? Only if you weren't planning on using it in the next few minutes, of course." - From POWERLAD: In the Wings of the Dragon
- Kitty grants us an excerpt from one of the spicier POWERLAD paperbacks

"Wow, the quality of the journalism in this newspaper has really dropped off since Fredregar Tokeby ragequit.""I agree POWERLAD, I can think of something much more fun to do than reading that rag," Bertha gently took the paper from his hands as she knelt before him, "Let me blow your Moondin Trumpet." - From POWERLAD: Mischief in Moondin 
- Hoo boy, is it hot in here or just me?

- It's super dumb but I kinda love Charles' mental image that Synthia's literally been a gelatinous cube this whole time and nobody's remarked on it.

- Charles shows us what Galaxy Johnson has really been up to during those long strange jaunts beneath the moon.

Oh man and Ollie sends in a massive POWERLAD romance novel excerpt! Check it out!

Session 179 - I've Got You Under My Skin

Campaign Date:
Friday, 12 March, 1601
Moon Phase: Waning Crescent
Zodiac: Pisces

New Characters:
- Violet, a mason turned Necromancer with a real go-getter attitude towards palliative care

New Backstory:
- Synthia was super proud of following through on her plan to steal the spider venom power. (At the start of each session, a random player chooses a challenge you must complete. +1 to hit for the rest of the session if you complete it)

Enemies Defeated:
- One big grub (50 exp)
- A couple of swarms of smaller rock grubs (10 exp)
Total: 60 exp

Treasure and Equipment:
- A bonesaw
- A big knife
- Whatever a pigsticker is, a dagger? A spear? Some sort of pokey thing at any rate.
- A bucket
- 6 paper wraps of Notcoke
Total: 0 exp

- 2 Random Encounters (100 exp)
Total: 100 exp

- POWERLAD wakes up to find Andromeda in his bed in the library. He can hear her soft peaceful breathing. He pinches himself in alarm and... his vision clears. It's Bertha. Of course. (50 exp)

- Galaxy Johnson finds himself creeping in through a window into Andromeda's room. His fingers are mysteriously inkstained. She wakes up screaming at the sight of him, as usual, before Arach-Nacha's personality takes hold. (50 exp)
- Sir Robyn finds Synthia and POWERLAD arm-wrestling over breakfast, but alas Synthia loses despite attempts to cheat. No backstory challenge bonus for her! (50 exp)

- The group decides to pay a quick visit to Isen Heisenberg. Just a quick fly in, introduce him to Arach-Nacha, and maybe hit up Julgoor the drug demon while they're at it. Should be simple, right? (50 exp)
- As they leave, it looks like everyone in the city is suspicious of the drakencults today. Why'd they let this boat race happen anyway? And why are they fighting amongst themselves on their island? (50 exp)
- Ignoring the mutters, the party links arms and Galaxy Johnson tucks Galaxy Doge under one arm. POWERLAD and "Andromeda" lift them into the air towards the Biohazard zone with all the tentacles. (50 exp)

- Sir Robyn yells a quick goodbye to his spider kids (too numerous to fly with) as he's lifted into the sky. They've got to get to work at their minimum wage jobs at Blood Honey Healing 4 U anyway. (50 exp)

- During the flight the party see some militia beating back tentacles with their scrappy weaponry. They're not in trouble, just making sure that the various jerky smokers around aren't in trouble. (50 exp)

- They land at the entrance to the false mine, close to the huge major tentacle. They happen to witness a woman in a black hood slicing the throat of a guy and collecting his Last Breath. Seems trustworthy! (50 exp)

- Synthia asks if the newcomer needs help. Apparently a full skeleton would be great right now, so Synthia crams the dead dude's whole body into her mouth and, one by one, spits out the bones. (50 exp)
- Apparently everybody is ok with this. A couple of scaled dragon people, an alien, a slimy corpse-eater, and a lawyer immediately trust and are trusted by a bone-obsessed murderer who they just saw kill a guy. Sir Robyn offers his services. (50 exp)

- Galaxy Doge is absolutely thrilled to be in this group. He's got his dog armour, he's smelling the raw meat stench of Synthia, and that new person has so many bones!! (50 exp)
--- The Descent
- They descend into the false mine and Galaxy Johnson takes a moment to appreciate the silence. No bagpipes. No guaranteed random encounters. Ahhh, so peaceful. (50 exp)

- They head straight past the giant rotting grub corpse and go down the stairs to Moldus Vane's underground complex. Ratimir also shows up! Galaxy Doge starts barking and growling, so Galaxy Johnson puts on his muzzle. (50 exp)

- There is an atrocious stench wafting up the stairs. It looks like nobody's cleaned up that giant eel corpse. Fat white grubs plop into the water from the writhing tentacles on the cavern ceiling, the parasites dropping onto the eel to feast. (50 exp)

- Good thing POWERLAD is an earthbender now. The stepping stones he created last time are still there! Crossing is fairly easy, even for the dog. (50 exp)
- The dam on the other side of the underground lake is guarded by a few junkies. They're pleased to see POWERLAD, especially since one of them was actually told to go get him by the demon drug dealer Julgoor! A petal of the flower tattoo on his cheek shimmers away as his favour is completed. (50 exp)
- They continue on towards the infamous frog bridge. The chum seller in his straw hat is there speaking almost-nonsense. He's jazzed about the 2-for-1 Blood Honey voucher given to him by Sir Robyn. Deliverachnid is coming soon for remote drug deliveries! (50 exp)
- They chuck the chum into the water and the frog heads start slurping it up. Their eyes are bloodshot and they look distinctly unhealthy. The party crosses quickly while they've got the chance. (50 exp)

- Galaxy Doge is still growling at Ratimir, hackles raised. Ratimir's rats glare back. All animals despise ratmen, except rats and turtles. (50 exp)
- The butchers hut in the middle of the dry land on the other side is on stilts. Bits of rotting pig carcass and bones and stuff are in a pile under the hut, pushed down the big hole in the floor above. (50 exp)

- Violet roots around for pig bones while Sir Robyn heads up the rickety stairs and knocks on the door. Some coked up madman opens the door brandishing a cleaver! (50 exp)
- Sir Robyn backs off, horrified, and there's a sudden shower of grubs as a fat pale dog-sized maggot falls from the ceiling, dislodged from the cancerous tentacle it was feeding upon... (50 exp)

- The squirming grubs head straight for the spoiled offal underneath the stilt cabin... and Sir Robyn's raccoons can't help but go and eat them! (50 exp)
--- Shit hits the fan
- Turns out these are no ordinary grubs! A swarm of them leap straight at the raccoons, chewing straight into their flesh and worming their horrid way into their organs! The raccoons scream raccoony screams, and Sir Robyn looks horrified! (50 exp)

- They're already in horrifying pain, may as well make it worse. Sir Robyn chucks a bottle of lamp oil at his trash panda friends, follows up with a fire beam, and sets them alight! They scream raccoony screams, but at least the grubs are dead! (50 exp)

- Unfortunately there's a whole other swarm of grubs! Not to mention that big dog-sized bastard! The swarm of grubs leaps at Sir Robyn, beginning to burrow under his skin! (50 exp)

- The big grub leaps too, but fortunately hits one of the stilts of the cabin! Their is a whirring grinding noise as it begins chewing through the moist wood! (50 exp)
- Galaxy Johnson takes the muzzle off Galaxy Doge and sics him on the big maggot! The dog seizes his chance and immediately turns around to attack Ratimir! (50 exp)
- Ratimir smashes the flask of oil he's holding on the dog's head, his rats leap to his defence and swarm poor old Galaxy Doge! (50 exp)
- Violet pulls out a nail with a Take Life glyph inscribed on it and runs around the chaos, aiming for the big grub! She slams it into its grubby flesh and begins powering the rune. (50 exp)

- POWERLAD grabs Sir Robyn's satchel and pulls out his spellbook, searching as fast as he can for the spell he needs within! Sir Robyn screams as the grubs worm deeper into his flesh! (50 exp)

- The cabin is on fire now, shouts of fear and horror can be heard from within! (50 exp)
- POWERLAD has found the page with Force of Forbidment on it! He pours his energy into a spell swap, hitting Sir Robyn with an open palm and creating a field that pushes the grubs out of Sir Robyn's skin! Phew! (50 exp)

- Ratimir's rats pour over Galaxy Doge, biting and tearing. Galaxy Doge is torn to pieces by the swarms! Galaxy Johnson looks on in horror. (50 exp)

- Sir Robyn, no longer being chewed through by horrible grubs, cantrips Phantasmal Force to create a distracting image of a raccoon that draws the swarm's attention. (50 exp)
- The giant grub bursts through the stilt of the hut and leaps through the air at POWERLAD! Violet's Take Life glyph powers on simultaneously, sucking the life out of the grub but also out of Sir Robyn and POWERLAD nearby! (50 exp)

- POWERLAD's concentration breaks, the Force of Forbidment fails! Sir Robyn grabs the Take Life nail. POWERED yell at him not to bring that stored up healing near him, Ninhursag only allows its worshippers to heal by natural means! Violet breaks the connection to the rune and the stored up life bursts out and heals Sir Robyn! (50 exp)
- Violet grabs out her masonry hammer and smashes at the other leg of the burning hut. She knocks clean through it, sending the whole burning building tumbling down on the remaining grub swarm! (50 exp)

- The butcher inside does a really cool action movie run out of the falling building, he leaps clear and... ! (50 exp)
- Synthia's greataxe catches him on the upswing, chopping him clean in half. The halves sizzle into the burning oil puddle below, just behind the raccoons who are dragging themselves out of the fire on burning half-healed limbs. (50 exp)

--- Aftermath
- The raccoons struggle out of the fire, their muscles a flesh reknitting around their bones. Sir Robyn is there to give them both a stern talking to about just chasing after delicious-looking grubs. (50 exp)
- Synthia dives onto the big dead grub and deforms into a pile of fleshy mud, beginning the process of digesting it. She's aiming to steal its ability to chew through stuff. (50 exp)
- Violet searches through the remnants of the butcher's hut, grabbing a bunch of butchery objects. Someone finds a sizeable bucket and uses it to scoop up Synthia while she's mid-digestion. (50 exp)
- After all that it's time to go meet the drug demon. The party heads past the gong and the door covered in circular eyes and towards the VIP bedrooms. (50 exp)
--- Julgoor the Drug Demon
- POWERLAD knocks on Julgoor's door. It swings open and incense-scented smoke gusts out, wreathing a gold-masked figure in opulent robes. It's Julgoor! His expression-shifting mask becomes a great grin. POWERLAD! I was hoping you'd show up! (50 exp)
- Blood Honey is brought up, and Sir Robyn floats the idea of a partnership between their companies. He's planning to set up a spider-based delivery service Deliverachnid, you see. (50 exp)
- Julgoor is interested! Hard to get supplies in when most of the countryside has been killed to add to the armies of the Dead. (50 exp)
- The demon asks if the party knows anything about a Greed Demon in the city above. They do, in fact! Japhet & Hirsch have even invited them to a dinner at their place! (50 exp)
- The trouble with having two demons of a similar sin in the same place is that there's half the Greed to go around. Julgoor's got a good thing going farming greed from the druggies down here, and he doesn't want to risk the other demon taking his turf. (50 exp)
- They mention that the demons running the boat race are only allowed to remain so long as they don't influence anything outside of the boat race itself. If they can prove that they're meddling with the town, they can kick the demons out! (50 exp)
- POWERLAD's info is very useful to Julgoor, so he counts it as paying off one of the favours he's owed. How charitable! (50 exp)
- Sir Robyn and Julgoor come to an agreement over Blood Honey supply. Julgoor offers to help him move his manufacturing facilities to the safety of this underground complex, if he ever feels the need. (50 exp)
- Julgoor offers drugs at mate's rates. A mere gold piece per dose of any of the more common drugs. A steal! Unless, of course, they're willing to give favours... ? (50 exp)
- POWERLAD goes for the favour option. He gets another four wraps of Notcoke, and four more petals appear on the flower on his cheek. (50 exp)

- They take their leave and decide to pay a visit to Isen Heisenberg, the poison researcher who caused the whole cancer-tentacle and death of plants thing. (50 exp)
--- Isen Heisenberg
- They enter Isen Heisenberg's room to find that his papers are all over the floor. A great big circle with several large tentacles worming their way from the centre has been drawn there. Isen's composure has not improved over the last week or so. (50 exp)
- He's introduced to "Andromeda", who he seems very taken with after she shows him the hyper-poison claws she can extrude. She openly flirts with him, to Galaxy Johnson's muttered chagrin. (50 exp)
- He thinks the way to actually kill Shub-Niggurath is hydraulic. It has veins, of a sort. Creating a poison that spreads through water is the best solution! (50 exp)
- Everyone carefully tries to avoid encouraging this. Given that he managed to wipe out a third of all plant life on the planet recently, maybe don't poison all the water too? (50 exp)
- Arach-Nacha grows and grows out into her true spider form to impress Heisenberg. She asks Galaxy Johnson if she can stay down here with him. Pretty please? She thinks they can get a lot... done... together. (50 exp)
- Galaxy Johnson is not pleased, but he goes along with it. The tension is palpable. Arach-Nacha's carapace seems to become glossier before his jealous eyes. (50 exp)
- "Oh, you should probably take this. Tell her I'm sorry for not following through on the deal," says Arach-Nacha. Her lower abdomen tears open, black glossy hands pulling her body in half from inside. The hands lower the body of Andromeda to the ground below. (50 exp)
- Her pulse is faint, but constant. Violet pokes holes for arms and legs in a sack she's holding to clothe Andromeda's naked body. (50 exp)
- POWERLAD carries her out. He looks down at her and sees her eyes flicker open. She looks up at POWERLAD's face, cradled in his powerful arms, and for a single pure moment she feels truly at peace. She briefly smiles, eyes brimming with tears, before slipping back into unconsciousness. (50 exp)
--- Return to the Surface
- They travel out of the caves towards the surface and the city above. A great flap of POWERLAD's wings sends him soaring into the air, others make their own arrangements via Sir Robyn's Fly spell and a handy Floating Disk. (50 exp)
- They touch down, Bertha running out of the library to meet them. She's surprised to see Andromeda in POWERLAD's arms, but she's got something more important to worry about... (50 exp)
- "POWERLAD! You're just in time! We found Magnus Grossman's body!" Such cliffhanger! (50 exp)
Total: 3400 exp

- Absolutely Disgusting bonus (50 exp)
- Aggressive Negotiations bonus (50 exp)
- Balls to the Wall bonus (50 exp)
- Best of Intentions bonus (50 exp)
- Brutal Kill bonus (50 exp)
- Classic Charles bonus (50 exp)
- Diplomancy bonus (50 exp)
- Dramatic Battle bonus (50 exp)
- I Immediately Regret This Decision bonus (50 exp)
- Internecine Strife bonus (50 exp)
- Kill It With Fire bonus (50 exp)
- Ludicrous Gore bonus (50 exp)
- PETA bonus (50 exp)
- Pundemonium bonus (50 ex)
- Why Did You Touch That bonus (50 exp)
Total: 750 exp

Party Roles and Individual Exp:
- MVP bonus (Synthia - players*100 exp)
- Remembrancer (Charles / Galaxy Johnson - 100 exp)
- Caller (Kitty / POWERLAD - 100 exp)
- Mapper (Carter / Violet - 100 exp)
- Treasurer (Charles / Galaxy Johnson - 100 exp)
- Quartermaster (Ollie / Synthia - 100 exp)
- Guard (Carter / Violet - 100 exp)
- Tracker (Timothy / Sir Robyn - 100 exp)
- Art Attack bonus (Charles, Timothy, Ollie, Carter - 100 exp ea.)- Artapalooza bonus (Charles, Timothy, Ollie, Carter - 100 exp ea.)
- Attacco d'Arte bonus (Charles, Timothy, Ollie, Carter - 100 exp ea.)
- Chippo Man bonus (Carter - 100 exp)
- Fiction Fanatic bonus (Kitty, Ollie, Carter - 100 exp ea.)
- Los Pollos Hermano bonus (Carter - 100 exp)
- JÜGBRINGYR bonus (Timothy*2, Charles, Kitty - 500 exp ea,)

Active Businesses:
- Honey Healing. Safe. 1084sp. (Bertha)
- Knickers Gloves Bodices. Risky. 1020sp. (Ratimir)
- Blood Honey 4 U. Safe. 10410sp. (Sir Robyn)


Death Toll and Injuries:
- Galaxy Doge, torn apart by Ratimir's rats

Exp Totals:
- Kitty / POWERLAD!, Level 7 Muscle Wizard: 93107 (Level up at 144000)-- Devotee of Ninhursag, Bond 9 (-45% exp)
- James / Ratimir, 
- Charles / Galaxy Johnson, Level 6 Elf (Alpdrucke): 48309 (Level up at 96000)*DING!* +1d6 HP! +free spell! +1 level 3 spell/day! +backstory!- Timothy / Sir Robyn, Level 6 Magic-User: 36368 (Level up at 72000)
*DING!* +1d4 HP! +free spell! +1 level 3 spell/day! +saves improve! +backstory!
--- Spider Squad, Level 1 Spider Extras: 737 (Level up at 1500)
- Ollie / Synthia, Level 5 Inheritor: 21687 (Level up at 36000)-- Devotee of Ninhursag, Bond 2 (-10% exp)   
- Carter / Violet, Level 2 Necromancer: 4074 (Level up at 4500)

Absent or Retired:
- Tom / Clarence Eclair, Level 3 Specialist: 3040 (Level up at 6000)
- Tom / Aces Fontaine, Level 1 Specialist: 869 (Level up at 1500)
- Kitty / Bertha, Level 4 Necromancer: 9931 (Level up at 18000)
- Imran / Friar, Level 1 Magic User: 1040 (Level up at 2250)
- Yuri / Bjorn Gunnerson, Level 2 Barbarian: 2278 (Level up at 4000)
- Sunni / Larry's Legends, Level 1 Extras: 758 (Level up at 1500)
- Fraser / Tippin, Level 1 Ratman: 1458 (Level up at 1500)
- Charles / Zena, Level 6 Fighter: 41566 (Level up at 64000)
- Tom / Meteor Power Shower, Level 2 Barbarian: 3061 (Level up at 4000)
- Nix's Retainer
--- Huz, Level 0 Hireling
- Tom / Spicy Mac, Level 2 Halfling: 3457 (Level up at 4000)
- Eleanor / Mugg, Level 2 Fighter: 2357 (Level up at 4000)
- Kyle / Gimlass the Brave, Level 2 Dwarf: 2257 (Level up at 4400)
- Amar / Amar's Cleric, Level 1 Cleric: 1413 (Level up at 1750)
- Henry / Henry's Next Character: +2084 exp
- Ollie / Tremendo Picante, Level 2 Ratman: 2654 (Level up at 3000)
- James / Raaf van Held, Level 4 Fighter: 14838 (Level up at 16000)
- Eglė / Bob, Level 1 Dwarf: 434 (Level up at 2200)
- Will / Cecil Fulbright, Level 5 Cleric (Termaxian): 15063 (Level up at 28000)
- James / William Fox-Shitt, Level 3 Cleric (Zeanist): 4571 (Level up at 7000)

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