Session 45 -The Crushing Embrace of the Wall-Worm

Dramatis Personae
+Linlin Kins as Umquat
+Ronnie Whelan as Ronnina
+Moreven Brushwood as the Four Gobbos
+Adventures of the Mind as Don Harper of Mars

Loot
Gobbos: Dress slacks. A catcher’s mitt.
Umquat: Knowledge of a secret hideout in the sewers in Outsider territory.
Ronnina: A recipe for “Lifegiving Long Pig,” by combining 1 living human with 2 Alchemical essences, a successful alchemy check will create a 10 rations which heal 1d6 + 1 hit points when eaten. (Heads up +Frotz Self)

NPC Interactions
Norno – Concerned by the cavalier way the party just tossed a gobbo onto the giant worm, but appreciates that the party responded with all seriousness, and is doing what they can for poor Lugud. (Loyalty remains unchanged, remains 6)
Sheniqua – Didn’t particularly like Lugud, though her own brush with death was terrifying enough. None the less, the concern showed by her fellows comforted her. (Loyalty doesn’t go down. Remains 9)
Lugud – Died.
Albert – Was sad to see Lugud die, but that’s just the sort of thing that happens out here in the wilds. (Loyalty doesn’t go down. Remains 9)
Nedge Sir – Tagged along quietly, terrified of all the scary things in the wide world, but is resolute in his dedication to the group. (Loyalty doesn’t go down, remains 4)

The 60 Ape Men of Ape Town – The party encountered this faction for the first time, and introduced the idea of an alliance between the two factions.

Jurbly the Ape Man – THe party had a nice chat with this Ape Man Guard.

Badle & Sezin – The two ape men who live in Trumpquatia. The party didn’t interact with them this session, but they did learn their names.

The Wallworm – The party woke it up, and it slid off with Poog in tow.

Cult Quarterly Secretary – A very traditional 1950s style lady with a nasal voice and an impatient attitude. Apparently accepts bribes, though.

Mr. Johnson, Editor In Chief of Cult Quarterly – Cares deeply about the integrity of his magazine. Agreed to work with the party if they can give him an exclusive interview.

Leoness, Troisn, & Bort – The party had a pleasant–albeit selfishly motivated–hangout with these three Outsiders. It reminded the three of why they like the party, even if the party never did apologize for what they did.

Things to Check Out
The referee mentioned that it would be possible to set up a cheap cellphone network throughout the whole dome, so long as the distributed phones were cheap ol’ Nokia style, rather than smart phones. The party thought that sounded like a cool idea.

There’s a Squid Cow terrorizing one of the roads just off from Ape Town in Outsider territory. The party said they’d take care of it.

Poog
Poog has been lost, riding off into the distance on the back of the Wallworm. He will return with the next haven turn, telling tales of his adventures.

Advance Haven Turn
Since it has so often slipped from the party’s mind when the Haven Turn rolled around, the referee allowed the party to take care of part of their Haven Turn early, so they could finally take care of the garbage for Francis and Turble, from session 17.

The party paid 8,000 credits to send a team of 10 workers down to clean up the garbage. Ronnina also outfitted them with twine, and 1 gold piece each, in case they ran into Mad Bill Danger or Desmodonicus. Given that the path to the garbage was mostly cleared, the referee determined that there was only a 1-in-6 chance that the group would never be heard from again. Fortunately, the party rolled well. Only one of the workers was lost on the expedition, and Ronnina sent 1000cc to the family of the dead man, to pay for burial costs.

Rulings
Hirelings can be resurrected as Cyborgs, much the same way PCs can. However, the cost for them is equal to the full amount of money that it took to get them from level 0, to their current level at the time of death.

Other hirelings still need to make a morale check to see if their morale goes down, but they receive a bonus of +1 to that check if the attempt is being made. (This combines with the +1 they receive if their companion’s body is recovered at all, which comes to a total of +2)

ALSO An enterprising group of individuals on mars is introducing Live Mail Service! Just lock yourself inside one of their iron boxes (air tank provided), and come hell or high water they’ll transport you safely wherever in the dome you want to go. Using this method, you can completely skip encounter checks! Costs 100cc per body, per encounter check skipped. (So, for 10 people, it would cost 1000cc to skip one encounter check)

Highlights Recap
As the party continued on their way through Outsider territory, they came upon a wall blocking the road, with figures on guard atop the palisade. Umquat approached, and complimented the fine wall the folks had built. One of the figures, recognizing Umquat, replied “Thanks, we got the idea from you!”

The party realized that they were speaking with one of the 62 Ape Men which they had freed from Mongrel’s employ when they killed the evil wizard. He introduced himself as Jurbly, guard of the Ape Town walls.

Umquat and Jurbly had a pleasant little conversation about how the Ape Men had moved here to establish a settlement for themselves. Umquat asked about the strange men who disappear into the sky. Jurbly had not seen any, but did mention some strange tentacles from the ground, which had killed two of the ape men. Umquat, with her expertise in Bushcraftery, identified the creature as probably a Mutant Squidcow, and said the party would try to take care of it if they had time.

After establishing a nice rapport, Umquat suggested that Ape Town and Trumpquatia should become official allies. Jurbly himself seemed enthused about the idea, but noted that he was just a guard, not the Top Banana.

From here, the party moved along on their journey to reach Cult Quarterly, eventually bumping into another wall. This one was strangely homogeneously pink, with a leathery look. Not at all like the hodge-podge of materials used to construct the Ape Town wall. Only on closer inspection did the party realize it wasn’t a wall at all, but an immense, sleeping worm.

The party decided to try and throw a Gobbo over the worm, to see what there was to see on the other side. Poog volunteered, and the Referee called for an Athletics check to throw him. Don Harper (with a 3-in-6 Athletics) was assisted by Albert (who provided a bonus of 1 to the check). The check was failed, and a percentile die was rolled to determine how far along Poog was in the intended arc of the throw before he came crashing to the ground. A 52 was rolled, and so the referee determined that Poog landed smack dab on the back of the sleeping worm.

The referee determined that there would be a 4-in-6 chance for this to wake the worm, which it did. The referee then determined that there would be an even chance that the worm would 1. Burrow, 2. Attack, or 3. Flee. The dice determined that the worm would flee. Finally, the referee flipped a coin to determine which way the worm would flee: down the street towards the party, or down the street away from the party? The dice determined that the worm would flee towards the party.

The party was asked to make saves versus Breath to avoid the oncoming freight train of flesh. Everyone, including hirelings, failed, with the sole exceptions of Mogmurch and Chuffy. The crushing weight of the worm dealt 2d12 damage to everyone as it slid over them for long minutes on end. The 11 damage killed Lugud, and reduced Rita to a sobbing mess. It also would have killed Nedge-Sir, but the referee determined that it was unfair to do so, since the players had not even been aware that the referee was assuming Nedge-Sir was present. Sheniqua was also reduced to 0, but fortunately this is not count as dead for ORWA.

Poog was lost, riding off into the distance upon the back of the worm. He is out of the game until the next Haven turn, when he will return with stories of his adventures.

Shocked by the hard hit they had just taken, the party retreated back to Ape Town, where they paid the Ape-Folk 5,000cc to watch after Lugud’s body, and poor crying Rita until they could return in a couple days time to retrieve their fallen companions.

The party then moved forward again, reaching Cult Quarterly’s offices without any further incident. The outside of the offices were adorned with torches, and skulls. Within, it looked like an old-timey newspaper office, with a bullpen, and folks quickly rushing around, typing, reading, etc. The party wandered around for a moment, and discovered a note on a blackboard reading “Akiovasha? Snakes?” before they were accosted by the office secretary.

The secretary spoke in a nasally voice, with an impatient tone. When the players said they had business here, she directed them to where they could pick up a subscription form. When they said they actually had information to share, she said that Mr. Johnson was much too busy to have visitors, but that she could schedule a meeting in a few week’s time. Hoping for a more immediate audience, Ronnina produced a bauble worth 500cc, and asked if they couldn’t possibly make it in to see him earlier. The secretary waited a moment before accepting the bauble, and leading them to Mr. Johnson’s office.

Mr. Johnson was none too happy about being interrupted as he was furiously marking some poor reporter’s article with a red pen, but as his secretary disappeared with her bauble, he figured it would be quicker to deal with the obvious street thugs in his office, rather than try to get rid of them.

The party laid their cards out on the table: they wanted a cover story for the Cult of the Cosmic Mind Cube, so they could fulfill a promise they’d made to the group, and have some leverage for dealing with them. Mr. Johnson was agast at the idea. It would ruin the reputation of his fine publication to put such a non-entity of a cult in his magazine! They weren’t even worthy of notice! It was a ridiculous notion!

In exchange, the party offered to fund his magazine’s production for a time, and give him inside-information on the Cult of Akiovasha. This piqued his interest, but he was skeptical that these randos off the street could really give him anything new. How could they possibly be “founding members” as they claimed. A few cellphone pictures the party had taken of sites they had set up in the past convinced him. As did the (apparently magical) rectangle on which they displayed those pictures, which they claimed was a gift from Akiovasha to her faithful servants.

Johnson negotiated down to putting the Cult of the Cosmic Mind Cube on a Page 3 story, which did fulfill the party’s original promise to the cult. He told them to come back the next day, when he’d have a draft ready for them, and a set of questions about the cult of Akiovasha for them to answer.

With a day to kill, the party first found a nice hotel where Sheniqua and Norno could rest and regain some hit points. A random die roll determined that they did not begin a passionate love affair while staying at the same hotel alone.

Hoping to get some information about the tall folks who disappear into the sky, the party did some asking around to find out if anyone knew where their old Outsider pals–Leoness, Troisn, & Bort–hang out. They were reported to frequent a bar called The Frothy Lass. The party headed over there, and met up with the three.

Their old friends were not terribly enthused to see them, as during their previous meeting, the party had made the three look bad by repeatedly lying in front of The Highlander. But drinks were had, and stories were told, and soon enough the group was feeling at least a little chatty (if not entirely forgiving). Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to know too much about the strange skinny folks. THey showed up now and again, tried to grab people, then disappeared into the sky. One had never been caught before, but they did apparently bleed blackish blood. The three Outsiders speculated that they might be hunters, sent from other territories to capture folks who had fled to settle in Outsider lands.

The most valuable information was that the three outsiders had encountered their battle against the folks at “The old bank,” which was marked on the map. The party hopes to put together a pattern for the creature’s appearances based on this behavior.

The party then caroused. Ronnina put up 2kcc, Umquat put up 4k cc, and Don put up a whopping 10k cc. Mogmurch and Chuffy each put up a few bits of lint, and rode the coat tails of the other’s partying.

Ronnina ended up wandering off with some cannibals, and being forced to cook human meat for them. She was lucky to escape after only killing a few people, and managed to bring a cook book with some kind of magic recipe with her.

Umquat fell into the sewers, wandered around for awhile, and discovered a tidy little home someone had set up for themselves, and then abandoned. It could easily serve as a secret hideout of sorts.

Don Harper fell asleep in the punch bowl, and would have died if a mysterious figure had not pulled him out of it. When he awoke, he found a strange symbol had been drawn on his hand. Using Mars-O-Pedia, Don Harper image searched the symbol, and found a garbled page filled with nonsensical lies, where every period was replaced with the word “Neve Canri.”

The gobbos, meanwhile, became inspired by the heaps of drunk folks lying all around them, and created a painting. The painting was of such magnificent quality that a passer by offered them 5,000 credits for it, which they declined. Instead, they got a set of nice Dress slacks, and a Catcher’s Mitt.

Everyone woke up well after noon the next day, with a wicked hangover. Time to return to Cult Quarterly, and see what’s up. And when they’re done with that, it’s time to talk with The Hangman.

The session ended In Media Res.

Thoughts and theories on tabletop games.