Ptarth+Ganbon (MU+imp) Kevin
Marlowe (elf) Stef
Kreglar (cleric) Dave M.
Almuric (rogue) Reuben.
Pablo Von Ott (Wizard) Mike D.
Tortha (fighter) Dana (absent)
Abothon (hobbit) Mike C. (absent)
Khavron (thief) Lucas (absent)
Sotar (cleric) Dave P (absent)
About ½ of the group could not attend --- children, jobs and job-related injuries take their toll on the party. Having a smaller play group is a mixed blessing… on the one hand, trying to coordinate the requests and actions of 9 different players drives the DM insane. On the other hand, the more the merrier. If ½ the group can make it on any given session, we will still have enough people to make playing worthwhile.
When last we left, we were gathered in the sitting room of the wizard’s tower with the strange statue of a medusa kissing a king, a china cabinet, etc. We had discovered a trapdoor beneath a pile of boxes and a set of stairs going up. Kreglar and Marlowe tried to look behind the china cabinet for secret doors, but Kreglar accidentally poked Marlowe in the eye with his finger (critical fumble). “Son of a bitch,” the elf muttered, placing a hand over his eye.We finally opened the trap door and found a set of stairs leading down into a store-room half filled with piled boxes. Each box had a hand-written label describing the contents. “The shoulder blade of a sailor who ignored art… The sternum of a scholar who loved children… (someone sniggered, someone else said, “You are all going to hell!”)… the skull of a wife who sold art… the rib of a merchant who sold happiness,” etc. The boxes all seemed to contain bones and desiccated body parts. We gave the skull of the woman who sold art to Pablo and Marlowe made his usual cheap shots about Pablo being a necrophiliac but Pablo gave him a scholarly lecture on how his fascination with death was not an erotic fixation, but rather a form of intellectual curiosity.
There is a locked but sturdy wooden door. Ptarth casts ‘Strength’ on Kreglar but the priest just bounces off the door.Almuric finds a loose stone in one wall and pulls at it --- Kreglar and Marlowe, who are standing on the other side of the room, hear the sound of stone grating on stone near them… is it a secret door? They move aside boxes of (bodypart) of (person) who (verbed) (something) and see a stone door in the wall. Pushing it open, Kreglar sees a row of barred cells with locked doors… as he enters the hallway, we hear horse voices shouting, “Free us! Free us!” Ghostly figures are seen in the cells. Oh shit. Kreglar casts a protection spell on himself and runs back into the room with the boxes as Marlowe fires off an ineffectual ‘color spray’. We slam the door and Ptarth casts his signature ‘Hold PortalTM’ on it, but the 5 ghosts come right through it --- they are as insubstantial as ghosts can be.
Fortunately for us, these ghosts are not as strong as 1st edition ghosts that had like 10 hit dice and would age you 100 years or whatever whenever they touched you. Between Marlowe’s magic spear, Kreglar’s enchanted flail and Almuric’s magic crossbow bolt and holywater, we managed to put them down. Kreglar took some damage and Marlowe got his dick knocked off, but Pablo managed to cast Unseen Servant so well that it created an invisible, mute servant who could attack, fly, carry a full grown adventurer laden with gear, etc. In short, his magical summoned entity is more powerful than anyone else in the party. In this story, I shall call him ‘Steve.’ He is represented on the battle board by a bright pink eraser in the shape of a gnome which is glued to a nickel with a bit of sticky putty. ‘Steve’ will last for 12 hours or so (I think). After he disappears he will be missed.
Kreglar casts some healing spells and manages to restore his own and Marlowe’s health but something goes wrong and he realizes that his god will punish him unless he converts at least one person to the worship of his god in the next 12 hours. Marlowe agrees to convert which will probably fuck up Marlowe’s relationship with Elrond Hubbard, the elven patron of self-empowerment.At this point, Almuric picks the lock of the door that Kreglar tried to smash earlier and we open the door, revealing what looks like a taxidermists/vivisectionists laboratory. One wall is covered with machinery and has a shaft that goes up and down. There are cadavers of birds, animals and a human on the tables and some instruments on another. The human appears to have his torso sewn up with a shimmering golden thread. We explore the room and Pablo commands ‘Steve’ to take his handaxe and lantern and explore a hallway in the far corner, signaling with an up-and-down chop if the way is safe and side to side if it is not. There is something shiny over there, but we forgot all about it so this is a reminder to go back and look at that next session. ‘Steve’ comes back and shakes the axe side-to-side (‘safe’). We carefully arrange ourselves about the room as Pablo explains to ‘Steve’ that he needs to withdraw the gold thread from the corpse as the rest of us stand at a safe distance. ‘Steve’ complies and carefully pulls the gold thread out.
Holy crap! The corpse flops open and suddenly a disgusting tangle of organs, tendrils and ichor-covered gooey bits shoot out and start flailing through the air, seeking live prey. At Pablo’s command, ‘Steve’ starts chopping with his axe as Marlowe shoots arrows with greatly varying effectiveness and Kreglar smacks it with his magic flail. Kreglar gets torn up pretty badly and is replaced in the front rank by Almuric, who has had his strength enhanced by Ptarth’s spell. Marlowe also gets his strength enhanced by Ptarth (who is no longer Mr. Hold Portaltm and becoming Mr. Magic Steroid Man). His normally skinny arms rippling with uncanny strength, Marlowe uses his spear to stab ‘the thing’ for 19 freaking points of damage. ‘The thing’ explodes, spraying bits of stinky carrion across the room.After we get a little cleaned up, Almuric checks out the machinery at the far end (he can’t quite figure it out, but a dial with 5 positions is set to position 3 and the machinery whirrs and clacks when he switches it to 4). The shaft is empty and goes down to a chamber below or up into darkness as far as Marlowe’s infravision can see. One table has some sort of mystical microscope on it that Marlowe tries to sell to Pablo as well as some vials of what look like blood and a box of glass slides, each of which had a blood spot on it. When he thinks no one is looking, Marlowe is overcome by the desire to lick the blood off of one of the slides… and he does so (WTF?).
Meanwhile, the rest of the group is investigating the cells next door that were previously occupied by the ghosts. One of the cells has a perfectly preserved corpse dressed in rags in it, chained to the wall. As Almuric investigates the corpse, a leech-like creature slithers out of its mouth and launches towards Almuric’s mouth, attempting to force itself down his throat. Very Freudian.Reuben: “How big is the leech?”
Jon C (the DM): “About the size of a turd.” He holds his hands two feet apart.
Mike D.: “Jesus, Jon, what the hell do you eat?”
Almuric is disgusted and frightened and flees, screaming, “Leech, leech!” as he runs. Kreglar casts ‘Banishment’ and the leech is last seen slithering down a drain. Almost immediately, the corpse starts to fall apart and rot.In another cell, they find the skeleton of a man with 15 arms and three spines (although the drawing Jon shows us has only 12 arms and one spine!). Pablo is pretty sure he had a dream about this fifteen armed dude but he can’t remember if it was a good or bad dream. Investigating, they find some faint letters scratched into the stones next to one of the skeleton’s many hands. Pablo can’t read it so he convinces Ptarth to cast ‘Comprehend Languages’ in order to read it. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of this spell when Ptarth casts it is that Ptarth becomes a drooling idiot for a brief period of time before he can speak or translate. While the temporarily sub-mongoloid Ptarth is wanking in a corner saying, “M-O-O-N spells hold portal,” Almuric walks into the room and says, “That writing on the wall? That’s an ancient form of common… it means ‘thirsty.’”
Ptarth then comes out of his mongolidal trance and says, “Hmmm, that writing on the wall is an ancient form of common… it means ‘Thirsty.’ I think our 15 armed friend died of thirst.”
We try pouring water on the skeleton without any effect. I don’t know what we were expecting; gratitude? Someone comes up with the theory that if we use some of the blood in the other room, that might work, so Pablo Von Ott sends ‘Steve’ to fetch a test tube full of blood from the table with the microscope. With the rest of us standing a safe distance, ‘Steve’ pops the cork and tries to pour the blood down 15 armed Skeletor’s throat. The blood, however, has other ideas and starts slithering after us.
As we retreat, Marlowe tries to set the animate pool of blood on fire, but only manages to set a patch of the floor on fire. Almuric pours oil on the floor in a line and we retreat across it. The oil is set alight, the blood ooze crawls into it and we let it destroy itself.