Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Session 330 - The Rapid Birth of Porcini

Date: 21 August, 22 p.p.

Moon: New - Dragonwane
Zenith: Minerva

New Backstory:
- Ian Brown greatly disappointed his tribe who foreswear weapons by wielding a narwhal tusk for longer than a single spur-of-the-moment attack. Each session you can cause yourself to automatically pass an attack, a save and/or a skill check. Once each. You get -2 to that type of roll for the rest of the session.


--- A Tremendous Surfeit of Lore
- They are many levels down, at the bottom of a crevasse blown through the insides of the great machine that is Fortress-City Fate. The walls of the chasm above glimmer with blue lights, red imp-bulbs, and the occasional shower of sparks.
- Down here, though, there is a fungal garden. Soggy soil veined with pale green mycelium, huge bulbous mushrooms oozing pale liquid, a carpet of little mushrooms that mutter quietly in tiny voices, and strange low many-limbed trees that look like they're made of compressed people turned to pale wood.
- In this strange place we find Ian Brown - Mancunian Barbarian, Swan the Swift - Ancient Warrior, Dorian de Mone - Demon Shapeshifter, and their trusty robot companion TM-RLY.
- Ian Brown picks a mushroom... and it squeals! Under the cap it's got a little goblin face, and it cries "muuuurderrrr" in a little voice before dying. Ian eats it.
- He gets a bit of a stomach cramp... and is that the sound of faint giggling?
- Dorian approaches one of the squat trees and prods at it. A portion of the trunk of the trees moves and resolves into a face! It's an old, old goblin face, weathered into a sort of shrivelled-potato bark... and it talks!
- The first thing it does in its old old croaky voice is congratulate Ian on his goblin pregnancy. It's been some time since he's seen someone carrying a Tummy Gobbler to term! Perturbed, Ian asks how it will be born, and is told "well there are only two ways out"
- It seems that this goblin and his fellows who make up the tree are here to filter and lightly carbonate the various goops, oozes, and byproducts of the great machine into the fizzy water in the pool in the centre of the vast chamber. Ian tries some and it's pretty nice!
- While the explosion that revealed them to the upper levels was fairly recent, they have been here for long centuries, since before the Goblins were forced underground...
- Yes it seems that in common year 1989, some centuries after the Dwarves first saved Humans from Halfling rule, the Goblins were forced underground by the Dwarves of that era. This tree-Goblin fled the city of Gabalagoo with his brethren, where they eventually made their home within machinery below the golden city of Fate.
- Swan is fascinated, but the others want to move on so he promises to return and ask for more lore!
- The last thing the goblin tree tells them is that the double-doors gate to the south rarely opens, but when it does he always sees some big guys and little guys coming out, and they always jump over something just past the entrance.

--- Ian Brown Gets Shanked By a Tiny Bastard
- Ian Brown kicks open the door! He eats a mushroom (not the floor ones, the beer brewing ones from above) and hears a little "yay thanks!" from his belly. He himself doesn't get any nutrition of course.
- Swan picks some little screaming mushrooms from the ground and lobs them towards the inside of the door. It was a trap! Metal plates pulled from the walls swing down on greasy chains, killing nobody.
- The party hides as a way-too-big Dwarf and an even-smaller-than-a-normal-Dwarf Dwarf come to investigate their trap going off. A pile of mushrooms, is it?
- They are suspicious, so Ian runs in to attack the smaller Dwarf! The small one speaks English, while the big one only speaks Ur-Kalladh. Swan and Dorian dash in to deal with the big one!
- Swan is struck by a big stone-embedded fist of the big Dwarf. It looks like stone has been driven between its knuckles, and the knuckles themselves are partially stone!
- The small one crits, gets a Combo result, and shanks and shanks and shanks and shanks and
- Ian reaches 0HP and flies into a Barbarian Rage!
- The small one shanks and shanks and shanks and
- Ian grabs the small one around the head, trying to drive his thumbs into the little fuckers' eyes and
- The small one shanks and shanks and shanks and
- The knife goes into Ian's wrist and twists and tears and it's hanging by tendons but he can't feel the pain through the rage and
- Dorian hammers the big one with a splattery ridiculous wound with his Mace of Ridiculous Wounding, causing the big Dwarf to laugh at the absurdity, which gives Swan the opening to cleave upwards and bisect the big bastard. The Dwarf falls in both directions, revealing the mess of clockwork and stone inside him, and
- Dorian turns to see Ian holding the small one by the neck with one hand, blood pumping from the stump of his forearm, face contorted with rage... and pops out his mantis wrist-spurs. Dorian plunges the spurs into the little one's back from behind, finally killing the little bastard. Even in death, it won't let go of the knife.

--- Ian Brown's Last Hurrah
- Raging and, somewhere in the back of his mind, knowing that if he stops raging he will die, Ian Brown shoves his good hand into his stomach, breaks through skin and muscle and organ wall, and tears something green and goopy from within! Hescreams to high heaven and sprints down the corridor and into the next room, blood pouring from his arm and torso, narwhal tusk in hand!
- He leaps over some crude ninepins, skids past a couple of smooth stone bowling balls, and slides down a smooth bowling lane towards three huge Dwarf guys!
- He skids on his own blood, slips into the huge outstretched hand of one of the big lumbering guys, and it smashes him to the ground breaking every single bone in his body, then stamps on him for good measure.
- Ian Brown opens his eyes. His body is whole again, and the world is all grey and wavy. A very confused valkyrie holds out her hand to him and pulls him to his feet and they float off to Valhalla...

--- Aftermath
- "What the heeellll was that?" says one of the small Dwarves who had been watching the bowling from the sidelines.
- It jumps up and runs out the door from whence the mad bloody Barbarian came, slipping slightly on the fresh blood. At the crossroads, near the door that leads to the screaming mushroom garden, it sees a sloppy clay-like being, a hale and hearty ancient warrior, and a very small slimy mushroom-headed Goblin that is crying like a newborn baby, all standing amongst the bloody remains of its good friends Blorbo and Stabbo.
- "Did you guys just see that?!"

--- Confusion
- For their part Swan and Dorian and their newborn goblin pretend they had nothing to do with it. Some mad Barbarian charged past, killed the two dead Dwarves you see here, and ran screaming into the next room!
- The rest of the Dwarves from the bowling room turn up and begin to weep. The party asks for directions to the stairs and the begrieved Dwarves point them in the right direction.
- The party hurry away before anybody questions it, into a room containing... more huge Dwarves who are making modifications to other huge Dwarves. Moving swiftly on!
- These, however, are not so easily tricked! They give chase, catch up to our heroes... and are befuddled by Swan's sign language for "walk down these stairs".
- While they discuss in their deep Ur-Kalladh voices, the party slips down the stairs...

--- An Unfortunately Cooked Swan
- They skid down the stairs and come to a smaller room, warm, with the sound of pistons hissing. The floor is crusty and bubbly.
- The Goblin newborn speaks! So swiftly do Goblins gain their voice! He has decided that his name is Porcini. Everyone says "awww" including TM-RLY who transforms into perambulator mode. The accoutrements of a Cheesemonger are claimed by Porcini from a nearby blackened corpse.
- This does unfortunately distract from the fact that this hot room with its hot crusty floor is a trap room...
- Swan steps forward, breaks through the black crust, and into the molten metal beneath! He steps back without significant wounds, but took a hell of a lot of HP damage.
- Dorian has a plan. Swan schlorps into a meat necklace and goes around Dorians neck, while Dorian picks up TM-RLY (who is holding Porcini) and activates his heat resistance gained from a candle guard back in the Dharga.
- It works! They cross the room!

--- Creche of the Flame
- The next room contains... giant robot babies. Their breath shimmers with a heat haze, and they occasionally burp flames. They say "goo goo ga ga" in robot voices.
- They do, however, speak. Their mother, the fire robot Alpha Prime, is in the next room. They are to be quiet.
- Dorian tries the other door that doesn't lead to robo-mum. Inside... a bed with a quietly snoring fire robot, and  the robotic snuffing sound of fire-breathing robot dogs! Swan emerges from the necklace, takes a wrench from his Specialist Tools, heats it up and throws it to the dogs like a red hot bone. It works!

--- Curse of the Fire Child
- The next room has a bowl of very very beautiful fire burning in a big wide bowl. Swan and Dorian feel the desire to stare into the flames, but resist. Porcini however...
- Swan listens at one of the double doors out, keeping his ear away from the hot metal, and hears the clatter of bowls and spirited conversation. Dorian peeks out the other double doors  and sees a big metal bridge that swings out across a moat of molten golden metal. He turns to tell the others and grabs Porcini from the ground before he gets to the fire. Bad baby! Good parenting!
- Porcini whimpers sadly because he cannot touch the fire. TM-RLY apologises for not noticing that the baby was gone... and also remarks that its insides feel weird now. Like the baby's been tinkering in there or something?

--- Those Who Guard the Molten River
- They thank the robot and... hey what where did that baby go?! They hear a cry from the bridge and see Porcini crying at his singed hand while he tried to sneak across!
- On the other side of the bridge, a huge broad-shouldered bepauldroned robot stands up from one of two metal armchairs that face away from the bridge! A fire burns in a furnace in its chest, and its voice booms out - "Is that a little baby?!"
- Porcini replies in his little Goblin voice, flabbergasting the robot. Another robot leans around its armchair and says - "Is that baby talking to you?!"
- The two huge robots advance cautiously, while Swan, Dorian and an apologetic TM-RLY come over from the other side. They have a nice chat!
- The repair robots that the party is looking for are probably the bastard robots one level up, trapped in a maintenance annex because their responsibility is to fully repair Fortress-City Fate and that would mean repairing everything and removing all foreign bodies, which would be a pity because there's not much that's original spec in here these days. Hell, these robots used to be mindless droids that stoked the furnaces and recycled broken parts into new ones before eventually gaining sentience and getting weird with it.
- They're guarding the entrance from the next area, which they call the Temple of the Unraveller. It's full of beings who call themselves the Unravelled, and they're bad news. The Unravelled worship a being on the next level down, a horrid amalgamation of the last scummy bits of Shub-Niggurath that were caught in the grinding maw on the bottom of Fortress-City Fate and never cleaned out... and a wizard who was foolish enough to think that merging with Shub-Niggurath was possible or wise. The guards call it... Shub-Wizardwrath.
- If the party wants a way out, all they have to do is get to the zone to the south-west... which does mean going through the Temple of the Unraveller.
- Still, the robot guards are sufficiently charmed by the party that they offer dinner! They lead the party through to the dinner table where dinner is just finishing up. The guests have names referring to British politics that are basically completely out of date even two weeks later, but I think "Jacob Greased-Cog" was a real highlight!
- They say they'll try to rustle up some people food, because they basically just eat fire. It is... holy of holies... a safe zone in the dungeon to heal up!

Total: 10 000 exp

Enemies Overcome:
- One huge Dwarf guy (250 exp)
- One tiny shanky Dwarf guy (75 exp)
Total: 325 exp

Exp Totals:
- George / Swan the Swift, Level 7 Barbarian: 80579 (Level up at 128000)
- Kitty / Dorian "Ditto" DeMone, Level 6 Inheritor: 56688 (Level up at 72000)
- Tom / Porcini, Level 2 Proto-Goblin: 2668 (Level up at 4000)
Level Up! +1d6 HP! +1 Goblin Buddy! +Saves! +Backstory!

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