(August/22/2017, August/29/2017, September/5/2017, September/12/2017)
In-Game Date: 4711, Pharast 19 to Pharast 23
The Torch Bearers continued their exploration of the big metal dish (the satellite) and saw several rotting choker corpses and a strange apparition that communicated with some of them telepathically. Then they, combining a potent explosive with their own powers, were able to destroy the satellite. Back in Redtooth’s Warren, they received an invitation to join the Ladies of Rust gang and they also planned how to assault them, what supplies to gather, what distractions to make, etc.
Once the plan was set in motion, the PCs entered the Ladies of Rust base via a secret tunnel told by Cherai. They fought several orc cultists and Hellion showed himself via a monitor, attacking the PCs. They kept battling and eventually killed the first Ladies of Rust leader: Nalakai. Then they continued exploring the base and made it to the lower levels, where the enemies had an ambush prepared for them. Many orcs attacked them and Kulgara appeared to fight, aided by Hellion via the monitors.
Further in the underground base, they freed Saruk (choker friend of Cherai) and he gave them information. They invaded the remaining rooms of the base and went after Hellion in a tunnel to the east. There, Hellion got inside of a big robot that looked like metal scorpion, and the PCs destroyed it. This consolidated their victory against the Ladies of Rust. So they bid farewell to Redtooth and Sevroth and went back to Torch, where they saw several interesting things.
- Choker Corpses and a Strange Apparition: After they met Hellion through a monitor, the PCs went further ahead in the satellite building and saw several rotting corpses of chokers: the former ‘Thralls of Hellion’ gang members that were massacred by the Ladies of Rust. Then they started to spot something moving in the area, and got their minds invaded by a strange presence that asked in Aklo who they were, and told back that it “was a servant of the ancient gods”. When they finally opened the ceiling hatch leading to the satellite’s base, they saw a strange flying creature, like a black mass of flesh with tentacles pointing to the sky, as if doing a ritual towards the stars. Then it flew away and disappeared.
- Blowing up the Satellite: Taking an explosive that Redtooth gave them, and using Whiskfiss’ rust monster plus their own magic, the Torch Bearers bombarded the satellite until its base broke and the big dish came tumbling down its mountain of trash, alerting everyone in Scrapwall of the Torch Bearers’ threat towards the Ladies of Rust.
- Planning the Assault: Returning to Redtooth’s base, the PCs received an invitation to join the Ladies of Rust; probably a trap. Instead, everyone planned an offensive against them. They bought several potions, gear, and Zellara also gave a couple of magical cards. Then they captured several ex-Smilers, covered and disguise them, and sent them to the arena to pose as the Torch Bearers intending to join the gang, while the PCs sneaked into the base via the secret tunnel that Cherai told.
- First Skirmish and Hellion’s Appearance: Following the tunnel, the PCs entered the base and ambushed several orcs, which unfortunately were able to sound the alarm. Hellion appeared in some monitors (which the PC smashed) and in a special holographic platform, first giving a last offer to join, and then attacking the PCs. Eladrion was able to absorb one spell with the amulet that Zellara gave him. Then the priest Nalakai descended and the PCs fought, killing Nalakai when he tried to seek Hellion’s help but was abandoned by him.
- Second Skirmish and Kulgara’s Appearance: After exploring the base, even reaching the upper levels almost to the arena, the PCs went to the lower levels where the Ladies of Rust had prepared an ambush. There were more than 10 orc fanatics firing crossbows at them while Hellion appeared again in several monitors to taunt them and cast spells. Then Kulgara, the enraged orc leader of the Ladies of Rust, turns on her chainsaw sword and gruesomely attacks Eladrion, almost killing him. But the PCs managed a good strategy: they slowed and entangled her to the point of barely being able to move, and thus killed her at a distance before she was able to trigger a devastating grenade.
- Finding Saruk: The PCs pursued several orcs through the caverns of the underground base complex and realized that it was some sort of giant machine. They found a small impromptu prison where Saruk, the choker friend of Cherai, was being held. They freed Saruk and in turn he gave them information about Hellion and the base, which was a huge machine called an ‘excavator’. He then fled and, as asked by the PCs, alerted Redtooth to send gangmembers to storm the arena and Helskarg while the PCs kept attacking the base.
- Destroying the Computer Core Room: Saruk told them that Hellion was very protective of a room with many computers, and suggested to destroy it. The PCs entered it, fought some small insect-like robots, and destroyed the computers, rendering the giant machine base inoperable. Hellion panicked and called Draigs to defend the area. The ettin came to fight but was quickly eliminated due to the cramped space for her inside the excavator machine.
- Towards Hellion’s Lair: They explored other paths through the caverns in search of Hellion. They saw more structures of the big excavator machine, including metal beams and its wheels. Then they saw several paintings in the walls, one of them depicting a giant demon inside a mountain while another demon squashed it.
- Final Showdown with Hellion: Finally, they reached the room where Hellion was supposed to be. There was a gigantic serrated wheel, part of the excavator machine. Then there was a big robot that looked like a metal scorpion. Hellion appeared in some monitors to taunt and then got inside the metal scorpion. The Torch Bearers attacked it swiftly and with full power, throwing devastating grenades and also destroying the monitors. The scorpion grabbed Gorim with its pincers and was constricting him, but he fought back with a volley of magical crossbow bolts that destroyed the robot. A big explosion followed while Hellion screamed some interesting words from within the robot.
- The Ladies of Rust Gang Dissolves: The Torch Bearers exited the complex via the arena and saw the Redtooth Raiders and Steel Hawks fighting Helskarg and the remaining Ladies of Rust gangmembers, some of which fled Scrapwall. Victory was thus confirmed. The Ladies of Rust and Hellion no longer posed a threat to Torch and the PCs were ready to return to their home town.
- Returning to Torch: The PCs went to Redtooth‘s base, where the ratfolk gave thanks to the PCs and bid farewell, naming their alliance “Steel Redtorch Bearers”. She also promised Remiliano that she would pledge troops to them if they ever attack the Technic League. Divanya then joined the PCs on their way back to Torch. They took a comatose Valaris on a small wagon with them. Gorim’s robot, Remi 2.0, sees Valaris and for the first time ever, he speaks in Androffan and recognizes Valaris as “Casandra’s sister”. Zellara also appears and takes from Eladrion the amulet imbued with Hellion’s magic.
- Witnessing the Ghost Wolves: On the route back to Torch, the PCs witness a raiding party of Ghost Wolves barbarians attacking some smugglers or merchants. Divanya explains who they are: a kellid tribe bent on destroying technology and the Technic League.
- Home Sweet Home: After three days, they finally reached Torch. They saw a town with a renewed blacksmithing industry thanks to the reignited violet flame. Divanya then reunited with Joram, who exchanged expressions of affection before taking Valaris for inspection and treatment. Meanwhile, the PCs were recognized again as the Saviors of Torch and saw familiar faces, like Garmeth being forced to labor around the flame, and Flink and Nayana helping the guards. Captain Marlow of the Lucky Bastards told the PCs to meet him in order to talk about hiring the mercenaries. Finally, the two Technic League agents are still in town.
The PCs had a reunion with Dolga where they debriefed everything they did in Scrapwall and also told the truth of Konir and Valaris. Dolga then scheduled them for another reunion where they would talk about the next steps.
Mysteries and Loose Ends (some more important than others)
1. What is the mysterious black creature with tentacles that appeared in the satellite, and what was it doing in Scrapwall?
2. What was Hellion‘s true nature? Saruk mentioned that he could never figure it out, but deduced he was some kind of incorporeal entity, like a ghost, that could inhabit all the machines he wanted.
3. What was the plan that Hellion had with the big machine, an ’excavator’, that served as his underground base?
4. What could mean the paintings in Hellion’s chamber, about a demonic figure squashing another inside a mountain?
5. What could mean several things that Hellion mentioned? About his father being the true master of the Technic League. And about his “sister” Casandra.
6. Why the robot Remi 2.0 recognized Valaris as Casandra ‘s sister?
7. Why the deity of death and prophecies has an interest in examining Hellion’s magic?
8. What could mean the contents of Nalakai and Kulgara’s journals? (see below)
- For session 22: 440 to Eladrion and Gorim. Clarence got 75% of XP (330) because he was not present during the entire session, and Daemer got 50% of XP (220) because he was missing although his character was used. Remiliano got an extra 300 XP for all the planning he did in the assault against the Ladies of Rust.
- For session 23: 440 to all, except Daemer and Clarence who got 330 (75%) because they were not present during the entire session.
- For session 24: 1,880 to Remiliano and Gorim, 1410 to Clarence (75% because he only played half the session), and 940 to Eladrion and Daemer (50% because they were absent but their characters were played anyway).
- For session 25: 3,000 for all.
- The PCs bought some resources during their assault on Hellion’s base: Oil of Elemental Resistance (sonic) (x5), Potion of Cure Wounds +4 (x6), Potion of Cure Wounds +2 (x1), Potion of Blur, Blessed Potion (Greater), Scroll Mana Shield (x2), Tanglefoot Bags (x7). All of this was spent except 6 tanglefoot bags that remain. I also subtracted 3 vials of soothe from Remiliano as to convince some captured Smilers to participate in a ruse.
- They obtained the following treasure during the assault: 689 silverdisks, 17 flawed gemstones, +1 enhanced spiked gauntlet, +1 enhanced chainsaw, +1 enhanced icy burst gladius, masterwork spiked chain, +1 enhanced breastplate, breastplate, panic suit, plasma grenade, Vials of Cureall (x2), green e-pick
Everyone gained +1 Conviction. Daemer and Remiliano were given 1 new swashbuckling card.
Current Scrapworth: 10
Destroying the satellite awarded the PCs with another point of scrapworth. Then destroying the Ladies of Rust and Hellion raised their scrapworth to the maximum of 10. Whenever they are in Scrapwall, they are treated as leaders with utmost respect and can even issue orders to groups of citizens.
The PCs found two journals while they stormed Hellion’s base. One belonged to Nalakai and the other to Kulgara. See their respective entries here and here.
The four sessions played for this big adventure were somewhat slow, but full of action anyway. In most of them we started half (or almost one) hour late. I also made the mistake of running several encounters quite slowly. For example, the first half of session 22 was slow because of an eerie, mostly-exploration encounter I wanted to run, and also because of all the preparation for the assault on Hellion’s base. But despite these slow moments, a lot of combat happened, a lot of damage was exchanged, and new revelations were had.
I have to applaud for the great planning done, especially coming from Remiliano’s player. Everyone fought very well, and again I was surprised to see how you all manage to overcome encounters that I expected to be harder.