Monday, March 6, 2017

Empress session report - The Rise of the Murderhobros #4, part 1 of 2

This session, things really started to take off.  The Murderhobros Three were about to face off against a savage lion-man and a terrifying spheroid bear-bot-thing, which had just sprouted a spinning buzzsaw at the end of a small arm that extended from its chest.  That's how things started, and from there, the Gonzometer started beeping like crazy.

Note: This is what actually happened.
Everything else is in Duncan't head.

As it turned out, this pair wasn't so tough.  Between Specter's formidable jaws and Zab's love for running things through from behind, they didn't last long. Unlike the prior tangle with a pair of cybernetic priests, the gang came out of the encounter unscathed.

In the interim between the two fights, Duncan explained a great boon that had been given to him by their patron: The Bust of Challa.  This timeworn statuette bust would weep crystal tears upon the touch of the first rays of dawn, which could be collected as a healing potion that would keep for about a week. 

Someone named Challa?

With this great artifact, Duncan was able to recover quickly from his previous scrap, and promised to be able to quickly heal his compatriots.  This gesture was undoubtedly an attempt to get in their good grace; it's not entirely clear whether this has been working, but clearly, Duncan seems to be making an effort to compensate for his prior lack of transparency.

In any case, the party returned to the main road in the morning, cleansed by the River Effluent (hmm?).  Along the way, they espied several strange sights - a farmer leading a great reptilian beast of burden, a great stone sphere flying far overhead.  All bearings were removed, and the players didn't know quite what to expect.

In the evening, they strode into the burgeoning town of Lugosi.  A place of strange customs: mirrored walls at street level, and the nightly revelry in cheesy vampire regalia.  The Murderhobros may be pretty murderous, but they didn't jump to any conclusions when faced with a strange and staggering (drunk) folk, pallid (make-up) beyond all measure, their chins stained dark red (wine).  After all, they had Duncan.  

Somehow not intimidating

In short order, they found their way to the town's medium-quality hostel, the Effluent Inn (naturally), and nabbed themselves a room for the night.  Once ensconced, Zab bought a round for some locals and their friends...and their friends.  The gang was taken aback by the gold inflation in this world (it will work out if they ever return), but the locals seemed happy.
They don't call it the Fancy Dance Inn for nothing

Conversing with the locals, Zab had discovered that his amulet contained the tongue of a well-heeled man, while Duncan's tongue was cut from coarser cloth. Radj, however, still lacked a tongue, and so became bored.  Thus, he did what one does in such cases, which is to sneak out a window and wander a strange town at night.

Radj's departure didn't go unnoticed, however; he was spotted by Duncan, who followed closely behind.  This in turn was observed by Zab, who abandoned his celebrations to trail behind his compatriot.  All three failed all Perception checks, bumbling blindly after each other in the dark.  For all they knew, they might have been stalked by ten bear-bot-things.  Eventually, they revealed themselves to each other, and took stock of the situation.

Radj was seeking any sort of shop where he might purchase enchantments or other kinds of magic.  We were deep into improvisational territory here...I reasoned that the best he could expect would be some shady looking huts down by the riverside.  I hadn't yet determined exactly what he'd find there (probably something like stereotypical gypsies with a twist - I had something ready to transpose from another game).

Pretty inviting

But no: Radj didn't like the looks of the sodden shanties of hedge witches and rickety wagons of potion brewers.  Imagine that.  He decided to head back towards the inn, this time keeping an eye out for places of worship.  A quick perusal of the ASE told me that Lugosi should have some small temples for some of the local gods, but there was no guidance as to the nature of these gods, etc.  Time to make shit up.

The party came upon what was clearly a temple, its doors open invitingly in the middle of the night, candles lining the wide doorway, as well as the procession to the altar inside.  Surveying within, the players spotted a robed man kneeling at the altar, and smelled inviting scents.  Quietly, the crept up behind the priest, deliberating the opportunity to obtain another tongue.

Their debate was cut short when the priest heard their approach, and turned towards them, presuming the best of intentions.  The seeming altar was also an oven, and in his mittened hands the priest held a tray of piping hot muffins. Would they accept the blessing of the God of Baking?

WTF that looks terrible

The players then realized that the paisley murals must have been magnified views of yeast cells.  Too amused to harm the naive supplicant, they accepted his muffins and listened to his spiel.  The priest was a faithful servant of his Yeasy Lord, seeking out the ancient recipes and lost baking magic for the sake of his fellow man.  Would the characters like to speak to his deity?

This seemed a strange prospect, but there was no way that they were going to say no.  Duncan quickly stepped up to the plate, and he was led to a mirror of black glass.  A foggy image materialized, and then the Baking God appeared.  A naked blood-covered giant, sitting upon a throne of skulls, he greeted Duncan and bid him worship.  Duncan was so impressed that he forgot to ask what the skull throne had to do with baking.  I'm sure I could have come up with something if he had.


Duncan had other things in mind - he asked the Baking God if there was anything that could be done about his digestive condition i.e. the fact that the only thing he could digest was blood.  The Baking God offered him a choice: join his priesthood, or serve him as a Templar.  Duncan went with the latter, and was charged with but one mission: suffer no Pie Cultists to see the next sunrise. They are his mortal enemy, and he must destroy those who cross his path.  Sounds good, says Duncan.

The Baking God bid Duncan to go forth, and serve as testimony to His Doughy Benevolence.  And smite servants of the Pie Demons...never forget that.  Fine, fine...Duncan tries one of the muffins, and to his great pleasure, he finds it digestible.  The Baking God delivered as promised!

With that, our troupe returned to the Effluent Inn, and bedded down for the night.  When they woke, they noticed that something was stirring in Lugosi.  Curious at what had some many people hurrying to get out to the streets, they heard challenges bellowed from the north gate.  Strapping on their boots, they strode forth to see for themselves...

That's not the whole session, but that will do for this post.  In the next installment, we'll find out what has the town in such a fuss, as well as discuss what wisdom we were able to extract from this absurdly childish pursuit.

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