This time our party consisted of:
Banvha the 1st level Halfling (Adam M.)
Aram the 1st level Cleric
Vane the 2nd level Warrior
Klaus the 1st level Thief
Grumble the 1st level Dwarf
Jerkal (now Gerbil) the 2nd level Wizard
Nimue the 1st level Cleric
Sybian the 1st level Warforged
I cannot, for the life of me, remember who came up with that name, or why he came up with that name, but damned if one of the boys didn't find a picture to go with the name. Behold, Sybian the Whoreforged:
Now go bleach your eyes.
About Sybian, Adam said:
The first thing we found (which happened off-camera and we retconned in as an explanation of where Gabriel's new PC came from) was a man-sized automaton of some sort that we managed to get working somehow and who then joined up with the Purple Tentacle team. Thus, the legend of Sybian the Whoreforged was born. Is he a pleasurebot of some lost species of super-hedonists? Or perhaps the personal orgasmatron of a dowager-queen from a repressed society of sexual prudes? For now, the only thing that is certain is that Sybian has a "pole-arm" and knows how to use it. Oh, and he has a lantern built into his noggin, so we periodically have to make sure he's all oiled up.So, I started the party by hand-waving the journey into the Undercity. There was some exposition about the effects of the earthquake that kicked off the Metal Gods campaign, and was part of the background of Crypt of the Lizard King. I told them that, to the north of Ur-Hadad, an island had risen from the sea. Honest merchant ships were giving it a wide berth, because it seemed to be composed of some sort of ruins. Everyone knows that islands made of ruins are haunted, and nobody in their right minds is interested in that sort of thing. That was not the adventure for this session. It was a trailer for "Things to Come." I'm hoping to do that up for the next little thing I write.
In any case, the members of the Divine Order of the Purple Tentacle would enter The Pod Caverns of the Sinister Shroom, en route to Anomalous Subsurface Environment (I'm still thinking about where I want them to come into ASE, but I'm thinking that they're a little too tough for the first part). I didn't run ASE as-written because I really wanted to do it completely outside of the implied game world presented by Patrick Wetmore. Mind you, it's a good one, but it doesn't fit with my actual game world as well as I'd like. No worries, though, Pod Caverns is a good way to bridge the gap. Mushroom people are a nice entree to robots, dinosaurs, and clowns (Can I just call them Juggalos and be done with it?).
The PCs entered the Pod Caverns and found a channel of water flowing down into the interior. The approached a waterfall and made to descend it. Vane Barbute took the lead. I made him roll for it, because the rocks were slippery. He, of course, rolled a 1. Nicely done, Vane! For your trouble, you took 3 points of damage. Ouchies! The rest of the party made the descent without such complications.
The discovered that a bamboo pipe system had been rigged to send water from the the waterfall toward the south, and into another tunnel. After a brief survey of the cavern they'd entered, they also found some plants flanking the entrance to that tunnel. Being seasoned adventurers they know that, of course, the plants were not just plants but Killer Plants, called snagwort in this case. They did what anyone would: They burned them and cut them and shot them until they were dead. Then they entered the tunnel.
As the first of them entered the tunnel, he discovered a wooden casket hidden in the stream. Inside, they found a wooden key. This would prove useful later, as the tunnel led fairly quickly to a much higher waterfall. A search of the area at the top of the fall turned up a round, wooden door on one side and a keyhole on the other. They used the wooden key in the keyhole, and it diverted the flow of water into the now-opened wooden door, revealing a ladder down which they could climb to the cavern below the fall. Once at the bottom, they found another keyhole and restored the normal flow of the waterfall.
This new cavern, they discovered, was little more than a four-way intersection, with new branches leading away to northeast, south, and west. Each contained a channel of water which flowed into the new tunnels. After listening and considering their options, the decided to go toward the northeast. This led them to the Upper Pod Chamber, where they found a variety of weird cocoon-like pods depending from the high ceiling of this large, amoebic cavern. They (of course) just had to fuck with the pods. In doing so, they unleashed... Mushroom Men.
A brief aside, here: I like Patrick's take on the Pod Men, but I decided to make them just a bit more fanciful by imagining them in the form of mushrooms, rather than just fungus covered humanoids. Yeah, yeah... it's been done, but I really like mushrooms. My grandmother used to do paintings of mushrooms, so I've always had a connection to them. So, Mushroom Men.
The PCs began to do their thing. One of the outcomes was that Jerkal the Blazin', Wizard, was forced to make another mercurial magic roll for his new spell. Once again, he rolled one that involved the spontaneous production of rodents from his underclothes. At this point, I think Jerkal has about three such in his repertoire. Very strange. I've decided he has finally earned his Company name: Gerbil. It was fairly won, and really captures what has become his particular idiom.
The fight was pretty tough, and Vane (among others) got whacked pretty good a couple of times. Adam's recap sums up the action pretty nicely:
After a severe beating on both sides, the Divine Order of the Purple Tentacle prevailed, but not until circumstances forced us to seriously consider what it should be called when Jerkal experiences a premature flamejaculation and shoots fire from his crotch in the direction of party halflings.So, they survived. It will only get worse from here, though. Perhaps for his next trick,
Oh, and Vane's new black metal warhammer is called the Whore-Whammer.
Update: Correction--Vane only took damage from himself. Others bore the brunt of the fighting. Sometimes you get the Bear, sometimes the Bear gets you, and sometimes Bear gets himself.