On a Red World Alone Session 68 – A Cacophony of Bleats

Alternate Titles
“I Don’t Really Want to Poke the Extra-Planar Tumor”
“Back to Session 12”

Dramatis Personae
+Frotz Self as Varouj
+Ronnie Whelan as Ronnina
+Jacob Webb as [I forget his character’s name]

Jeremy Dearing spectating.

Loot
Nothing.

NPC Interactions
Sheniqua (Loyalty unchanged)
Robot Monster (Loyalty unchanged)

Firing Squad – explained some stuff to the party
The Wallworm – Was asleep during the whole encounter
Hall Monitor Bot – Has identified Varouj as a good student
Shady Gardens Guards – Enjoyed their bribe
Bartleby Swift – Is in pretty bad shape.
Franklin, Mary, & Samuel – Guards of the Fallen Lords.

Highlights Recap
The session began with Firing Squad giving the party further details about their mission. The building the Magshield software was in had collapsed. However, Firing Squad was able to ping a computer which he had confirmed was on a lower level of the structure, so apparently the sublevels are at least partially intact. He gave the party 6 shaped charges, and told them that if they went into sublevel 3 of an adjacent building, and set the charges off in sequence, they could blast a tunnel into the correct building and retrieve the software he needed.

Ronnina noticed that the building they’d be setting the charges in was the same one they’d visited when they retrieved the Life Support system. The place where the party had met Albert, and Henry Leichester.

The party set out for Redstone Lords territory, making this one of the most extended series of “travel sessions” ORWA has ever had. The players moved from encounter to encounter very quickly this session, and so will I:

First, they had a second encounter with the Wall of Flesh. Ronnina initially wanted to kill the thing, to get vengeance for her fallen friend Lugud, but nobody could really figure out what would be the most effective way of attacking it, so they decided simply to walk around the sleeping creature, and move on.

Further on, they were approached by a robot trundling its way through the crumbled streets on a pair of reads. Assuming the robot meant them harm, Varouj turned his Auroch around and started galloping towards it, ready to swing his sword in a devastating side-swipe attack. As he came to about 30′ away, the robot started to speak. It was almost too late to avoid the attack, but Varouj managed to pull up short just in time.

The robot asked if the students had their ticket to the school play, which Varouj said they did not. The robot let him know that they would not be allowed into the auditorium without tickets, and Varouj said he lost his, and asked if the party would help him look for it. The robot agreed to do so for 15 minutes, but then would have to go and tend to other students.

Absolutely miraculously, the dice determined that Varouj did–in fact–discover a ticket to the school play in a nearby pile of refuse. It was titled “Sex, the Body, and You,” and the seat was #32 in section C. The robot confirmed the ticket was valid, and encouraged Varouj to hurry along. The two groups then separated.

A couple hours later, the party were coming to a T-intersection, when suddenly a herd of goats came swinging towards them. For they were not just any goats–they were spider goats! The unholy result of modern science attempting to crossbreed spiders and goats so they could extract spider silk from the the goat’s udders.

This herd seemed to fly through the air, squirting streams of web from one of the four nipples on their udders, and being pulled constantly forward. The goats seemed to be injured, and fleeing from something dangerous. They were low enough to the ground that the players were in danger of being “trampled” by their swinging, but thankfully Varouj (and only Varouj) had to good sense to take a few steps out of the way, while Ronnina was puzzling over what spell to use.

The goats swung past without bothering the party, and were followed shortly thereafter by the same Hall Monitor Bot the party had encountered earlier. It was shouting in an angry voice “Students found in the auditorium without tickets will be disciplined!” and firing off lasers left and right.

Once the party crossed through No-Man’s land into Redstone Lord territory, things became much more orderly. There were patrolling soldiers, maintained roads and farms, and palatial villas built in the park. While walking through the park, the party came upon a gazeebo with a BDSM cult sleeping off their post-coital exhaustions. The party chose not to bother them.

Yet further along, the party came to a marketplace, where there was a halfway house for mutants. Varouj made a point to buy some food, but the party was not particularly interested in wasting time here, so they pressed on until they finally reached Shady Gardens, the building they were meant to descend through.

The party hitched their animals outside, and entered the building. They passed through the first room, and were surprised when the doors of the second room snapped shut around them. A panel in the wall slid open, and a man on the other side asked what their business was.

The party explained that they were looking to go down to sublevel 3, which surprised the man. He asked if they knew that they would die if they went down there, to which the party replied that they were willing to take the risk. The man mulled it over for a bit, and offered the party a bargain: his job was to keep them out of the community. But the floors below were not technically the community, so for a small bribe of about 300cc, he’d lead the party to a set of stairs to the sublevels. Varouj agreed, handed over 300cc, and the man came down to lead the party back into the first room.

There, he took a motivational cat poster down off the wall, revealing an alcove behind it. There was a man there, with his hands resting near a set of levers. The guard the party had bribed told him to move aside if he wanted his cut of the bribe, and the party were allowed to climb into the alcove, then out the other side into a stairwell. They were directed town the stairs, and warned that they’d still have to get past Bartleby Swift, but that it should be too difficult.

The party obediently went down the stairs, and immediately found Swift, sitting on top of a makeshift throne. He rolled his head to look at the party, but did not recognize them at all. After all, he’d only met Ronnina once before, and she was currently hidden under her massive curtain hat.

The party tried to talk to him for a bit, but he was surly, apathetic, and probably a little bit drunk. He complained about the unfairness of Edward Sallow being a hero, while he was trapped down here, despite the fact that Sallow had bedded dozens of noble women, while he had only shared a single night with one woman. So what if she was slated to become a vestal virgin? Pft. The man wasn’t anywhere near being the dutiful soldier he was when the party met him in session 12.

The party said that if they killed anything good, they’d bring it back to Bartleby so he and his men could claim credit for defending the building, and that seemed to be enough to convince the commander to allow the party to hop over the wall.

Beyond the wall, out into the wilderness of the sublevels, the party began to explore. Soon enough they came across the sooty black substance that covered the floor. Ronnina said nothing, because she’s a jerk, and Varouj moved forward to examine it. As he reached out to touch it, a black hand leaped up from the soot and grabbed at him, but he managed to stumble away.

“Oh yeah” Ronnina said. “The black stuff is dangerous, but I’ve got the magic item that will allow us to cross it.”

The party set out to cross the sooty floor, hoping to find Gregor the Jailer’s old hovel, which they easily did. However, they were unable to enter the hovel because a massive creature blocked the entrance. It was made of the same black, sooty material as the floor, and seemed to be slowly pulling itself out of the floor, and into the hovel. It looked like a pile of gibs, webbed together by some kind of melted cheese.

Ronnina experimented, moving closer to the creature to see how it would react to the presence of Gregor’s underwear. As she got close, the mass started to pull itself away with more vigor, as if it NEEDED to be further away from Ronnina than it could get while still attached to the black sooty floor. When Ronnina continued to approach, the connection between the creature and the floor snapped, and it slid backwards into the room beyond and began to heave. It pulled itself briefly together, shuddered, then slid back apart again, and repeated over and over, making belching noises as it did so. They party decided it wasn’t worth messing with this thing, and moved on.

They checked out Gregor’s cells, all of which were still empty, save for smaller versions of the same black sooty monster. These were still attached to the floor, and the party decided not to mess with them. They returned back the way they came across the black, and decided to try and go a different way.

Pushing open the door to the West, the party saw a room where every surface was covered in a strange fungus, with a mossy base, mushrooms, and little yellow bulbs on it. They were just about to turn around and retreat from the potentially dangerous material, when they were spotted by a creature inside the room, who asked who they were.

The party introduced themselves, and asked where the stairs were. The creature–a hunched, but humanoid mutant–answered that they’d have to pass through the Fallen Lords territory for that. He told them to walk over to the Northern door of the room they were in (no point trampling the food, after all!), and wait for him to come get them.

The party met up with the Fallen Lord, as well as a few guards, and the group discussed terms. The Fallen Lords were fine offering safe passage, but they were worried that whatever the party was going to do would stir up more trouble for them. They mentioned that the last time they’d let someone through, they’d managed to kill a wizard (which they were grateful for), but that once the wizard was gone, the undead creatures he’d created began an endless undead orgy of procreation. The lower levels, according to them, were swarming with abominations. They’d like to avoid any unintended side effects this time round. The party promised they’d seal up the hole they were planning to make when they were done, and even offered to kill a few undead abominations along the way.

Ultimately, the Fallen Lords agreed to show the party the way through. It was at this point that Varouj addressed Ronnina by name. Up to now, Ronnina had spoken a few times, but only quietly, and had hidden her face behind her hat curtain. Upon hearing her name, the Fallen Lords recognized her, and were very happy to see her. She had, after all, helped them get rid of Zessler Vox, (even if that had turned out poorly), and was traveling with their own Albert.

The mutants were much more friendly after that, and offered the party food to eat and a place to rest. The party agreed, and gained one hit die, then set out the following day.

As an aside, Varouj made a point of mentioning the Mutant Hospital to the Fallen Lords. They had heard of it, and are interested, and may check it out eventually, but it is difficult for them to travel.

Also, Ronnina was guilted into giving the Fallen Lords Gregor the Jailer’s magic underwear. After all, they live in much closer proximity to the black goo than the party does.

As the party stepped beyond the walls of the Fallen Lords, they passed sight after sight of unsettling things. There were eyeballs everywhere, dragging themselves around by a pair of insectile forelegs. There was a chain wrapped in living flesh, that ended in a cluster of random, grasping fingers. They encountered a pool of green and white slime, in which a baby head rolled around, and a strange scab growing across the floor which crunched and shifted beneath their feet.

When they reached the stairs, there was a huge yellow slime on the ceiling above them, resting there in defiance of gravity. A dribble of yellow water spilled down from it, and formed into a sort of creek cascading to the level below.

The players followed the creek, and the session ended In Media Res

Thoughts and theories on tabletop games.