as Don Harper of Mars
Albert the Great
Nothing I recall.
Albert, Sheniqua, and Curly Locks all participated in this adventure. However, none of their Bonds were affected.
The Customs Slave – Bribed with 500 credits.
The Slave of Akkron, friend to Tibble. – Had a pleasant conversation with the party, and purchased some find cabbages. Also learned some good cabbage recipes.
The Slave of Zibbledap – Was followed by the party. Is unaware he was followed.
The party reached the Howler’s wall without any further incident, and lined up next to other merchant carts waiting to be granted entrance to the territory. There were two Howlers standing guard–one with pink skin, the other with a muddy beige–but neither seemed to be doing anything by scanning the area. The party busied themselves with making their “wares” look attractive until the line moved forward, and they saw that there was another smaller creature actually speaking with the merchants.
He appeared to be a normal human in most respects, save for an intestine-like tube growing from the back of his head, down to a massive, bulbous tumor. The tumor was the size of a couch, and rested on a slipshod construction of wood and wheels so it could be dragged around without overmuch difficulty.
When it came time for the players turn, they were asked to provide verification that they had been previously vetted & approved to peddle their wares within Howler territory. When the players realized they were not prepared for this, they said they had information which would be important to the Howlers, and needed to get in. Their tumor guy perked up, and suggested that if the information were given to him, he could use it to win his freedom, and might overlook their entrance. The players decided instead to offer him 500 credits, which he accepted as an appropriate (and even excessive) bribe, and allowed them to pass.
Within, the party discovered Howler territory to be sparsely populated, with only a few Howlers, and a handful more of their slaves in sight. It was decided that the best path forward would be for the party to split up briefly. Don Harper would stealthily follow a random slave to see if he could learn anything useful about their condition, whilst the rest of the party would put on a good show as merchants.
As luck would have it, Don Harper’s attempt came to nothing. The slave appeared to be on a mission of romance, approaching a group of Howlers to tell one of them that his mistress would welcome the advances of one of their number. An unintelligible message was returned, and the slave went off to deliver it to his mistress.
Meanwhile, the party portraying merchants discovered a great deal of information. Most notably they met with one slave who served a master named Akron. While selling him cabbages, they learned a number of things:
-The tumors are the slave’s brains, extracted from their skulls by a process that was never discussed.
-The slaves hope for freedom through to a process called “smallening,” which puts their brains back into their skulls.
-The process of smallening happens in “The Hall of Science”
-The slave the party spoke with has never spoken with anyone who has gone through the process, but knows that it works because a friend of his named “Tibble” was freed once. He saw tibble, brain back inside of his skull, running out of Howler territory jumping for joy.
Once the party were back together, they determined that their next step ought to be checking out the building that The Internet had wanted for them to secure. They went out looking for it using a digital map and a location marker on their phones, and when they arrived they were somewhat surprised to learn that the building had a sign on it reading “Hall of Science.” Apparently they would get to kill two birds with one stone.
The building was modestly sized, with multiple entrances built into it. However, all of the entrances save one were blocked by upturned cars, and the final remaining one was guarded by a fearsome looking Howler. Don Harper moved to sneak into the building, but bumped into a second Howler waiting inside. Umquat and Ronnina moved quickly to offer distractions, allowing Don to vanish from sight, and continue forward through the building. Meanwhile, Umquat chatted up one of the guards, while Ronnina sent a pack of spectral dogs running amok.
He managed to push one of the cars out of the way, creating just enough of a gap for Ronnina to sneak in through the back. Umquat, meanwhile, began a wild flight into the building, catching up to the pack of dogs and leading several howlers on a chase through the building.
Don found a flight of stairs with a sign to it reading “Brain Smallening Chamber.” At the top of the stairs was a door, through which he entered, and discovered a vat, a scanning apparatus, and a conveyor belt with several enclosures.
Fiddling with the scanning apparatus, Don attempted to “biggen” one of his rations. The conveyor came to life, and through some strange process it produced an item which appears very much to be a ration of double the size of the original.
The session ended in media res, with Don marveling at what he had discovered, Ronnina crouching hidden by the back door, and Umquat running from the half dozen Howlers who are chasing her and the spectral dogs through the building.
There was some talk of asking The Internet for help, which we wanted to discuss here in the post-session thread.