Monday, July 15, 2013

Murderhoboes Back on the Town

Murderhoboes Back on the Town

Fresh from a rest stop after defeating the nascent cult of Qo, the Twin-Headed Snake Goddess (and completely ignoring an open door to more adventure against the sweet mummified deity), the party picked up the trail of the missing courtier of Lord Osmund of Junia – Back to the whorehouses! They tracked the randy little bugger through three of the places over on the west side. They managed to track him to a favorite doxy and questioned her (strangely, they were quite restrained). She happened to know that he kept a bolthole over in the Shanty district, so they meandered over there and found on an alley wall a sigil that shifted between its forms – each saw something different and even that melded into new forms as they observed it. 
Bad art by Me!

The wizard was able to deduce that this was a sigil of Jalianos, the Fluid Forms – a shapeshifting demon known to be the patron of assassins and powerful spellcasters. Searching the alleyway, they found the courtier’s lair and realized through various letters and things that the courtier was actually an assassin sent to kill the fat Lord Osmund. Rushing back across town to the great lord’s town mansion, they found the gates unmanned, the yard full of corpses, and a keening wail coming from upstairs.

Art by Rick Hershey
Heedless of their own safety, they ran up the stairs to find Lord Osmund under attack by a Shifting Demon – servant of Jalianos, the Fluid Forms. The party leaped to attack, finding that their weapons were useless against the mind-bending Gordian knot of tentacles, viscera and jagged bones that comprised the demon. Lawithem (also known as Law) the mighty elven servant of Hhaaashh-Lusss, Lord Duke of Reptiles invoked his patron, burning away his very lifeblood to ensure that he got the Cold-Blooded One’s attention.

He got the Serpent Lord’s attention (31 on the roll).

From Angels Daemons and Beings Between:
Art by David Fisher
Some portion of the Lord Duke of Reptiles extends into the material plane to aid the caster. For example, a broad and scaly back might appear to form a bridge, or a huge reptilian mouth might appear to attack a foe. When Hhaaashh-Lusss makes an attack, he strikes with a +10 bonus, doing 2d20 points of damage, and his target must make a Fort save (DC 25) or die from his potent venom. This manifestation is AC 25, has a +6 Initiative bonus, and takes 60 hit points of damage before being driven away. Otherwise, the Lord Duke only appears to aid with a single problem, and then fades back to his home plane.

So, reality bent in Lord Osmand’s solar, splitting the roof and disintegrating one wall. Some number of characters were consumed in the conflagration, though the Lord Duke struck and swallowed the Flickering Demon. Osmund himself was grievously injured, but the party managed to pull him out of the wreckage as his once beautiful mansion imploded in flame and eldritch energies.
The Zaitian, devotee of the great Bear God, Greim, gave what healing he could to the injured lord and the team beat a hasty retreat, intending to come back to the Osmund to ask about a reward later.

All told, they spent a lot of time getting to know the city of Junia, destroyed a small portion of it, and uncovered two burgeoning cult movements (and disrupted both). In the course of murderhobo events, they came to the attention of:

  • The Junia Thieves’ Guild – for distributing platinum pieces each time they attempted to gather information in the Shanty and Red-light districts. I sense a caper targeted on the party in their near future.
  • The Cult of the Flickering Sign – for disrupting a three-year mission to extract information from the great Lord Osmund and then kill him.
  • The Cult of Qo, the Twin-Headed Snake Goddess – This is going to be bad.
  • Hhaaashh-Lusss, Lord Duke of Reptiles – Young Lawithem owes him quite a debt.
  • The nobility of Junia – for destroying part of their gated community and obviously flouting several of the neighborhood association rules concerning trash storage, building fa├žade repair and summoning/fighting demon lords.

As they spent a couple of days resting and tracking down some better equipment, they were approached by a member of the city watch (cribbed from Thieves’ World: The Hell Hounds) – it seems that two erstwhile thieves, O’mosh and Bittersnail, nabbed a very expensive purple sapphire while on its way to the Museum of Antiquities: Junia. While these two thieves were typically bumbling idiots, they managed to pull the caper off without a hitch, but have brought down several groups within the city on their two-bit little heads. Qaffing another round of ale, the party spun into their next investigative disaster. 

Resources used this Session (sorry -- this reads like a shameless plug...Next session I used a lot of other third party stuff)