Here's the recap email I just sent for last night's session:
Here's the recap of the events of 12/22/2010. Next game is on Wed Jan 5th, 2011.
Gutboy Barrellhouse and Mongo visited the Pig's Bride to see if any potential henchmen had come into town, but sadly there were only locals. They briefly debated asking somebody about why the town stank of rotting meat, but decided instead to see if they could hire some more henchmen in Chelmsfordshire, to the west.
They spent a day's journey traveling westward, and arrived at the tavern in Chelmsfordshire. The town was bustling with soldiers (wearing splint mail, and armed with swords, spears, and small pistols), and a dozen badly-wounded members of the UnyieldingFist (the wizard's guard of Denethix) had just returned from the direction of Mt. Renden. In the tavern, a few of the less-wounded were drinking away their memories of that place, but there were no potential henchmen.
Mongo and Gutboy approached them, looking for work.
"Mongo want job killing monsters!"
"What? You want to what?"
"Mongo kill monsters, get treasure."
"Let me ask you this: you think you could kill a twenty foot long tentacle that comes out of the darkness, grabs your buddy, and smashes him to death against a wall?"
"Mongo wonder, how big is twenty feet?"
Gutboy: "Are there any bounties we could collect on moktars?"
"There were some moktar warbands around, but we haven't seen them lately. They're probably up poking around the mountain, too."
"Do you know where?"
"No, we haven't seen them lately, they're probably up at the mountain like every other idiot around here. If you're looking for work, you should head to the city. We don't have anything."
Mongo and Gutboy gathered up their minions (the three elves Slezgar, Fenzo, and Rogar, and two war dogs) and headed off to Denethix, seeking gainful employment that was slightly less dangerous than heading back into the dungeon.
Halfway towards the city, they came across a large town named Retennis. They stopped a well-off looking gentlemen and began pestering him for work.
"Hello, I'm Father Gutboy. We're wondering if there's any adventuring work around here."
"Yes, hmmm, yes, my name is Varis, pleased to meet you. You're a priest, looking for work? Hmmm."
"Well, I serve Thor. I'm looking to slay enemies on his behalf."
"Hmmm, yes, of course, I see. I see. No, I'm afraid I don't know about any of that. You fellows don't look like you'd want to cut my lawn or anything like that. Hmmm. Yes."
"So any adventuring work?"
"Well, if you're going to be around for a while, I could ask next time I meet some of my friends. But really, you might want to head to the city, hmm, yes. Just the place for adventuresome lads like yourselves. I'm afraid I'm not really in need of anything being killed."
Parting ways with Varis, they headed for a nearby tavern, named The Garish Pheasant. Within, they spotted two likely employees, a burly human and an elf having lunch together.
Gutboy, to human: "Well, how would you like to do some adventuring with us?"
"What? Huh? A priest? Yeah, no thanks, I'm not religious."
To elf: "Hello there! How about you? Are you interested?"
"In adventuring? Oh, I love a good adventure. And say, is that Slezgar? Slezgar! Oh, so good to see you again! Yes, I'd love to go adventuring! This will be fabulous!"
Mongo, to elf: "What his name?"
"Oh, that's Roger. We were just having lunch."
Mongo, to Roger: "Mongo think you should not fear priest. Come with Mongo."
"You know, you're right. I shouldn't let these priests get to me. I'll come with you."
Gutboy went about buying equipment for Roger the Fighter and Sarlo the Elf, and the merry band continued on their way to Denethix. They attempted following a patrol of the Unyielding Fist for safety, but the guardsmen were disgusted by the elves and quickly rode past the party. They were forced to spend the night in a makeshift roadside camp, but in the morning made it to the city.
In the center of the city, the Wizard's Tower rears up a thousand feet into the sky. It is a narrow structure of steel girders and wire, with a central elevator, leading up to a massive white sphere carefully balanced atop, two hundred feet in diameter.
Close to the base of the tower can be seen the golden domes of many of the larger official buildings, and the massive Temple of Blibdoolpoolp (on the top of which stands a golden statue of naked woman with lobster head and lobster claws). The buildings of the city are a mixture of wooden structures, marble, and granite.
Gutboy dimly remembered the temple of Thor, located on the aptly-named Street of Temples. Using the statue atop the Temple of Blibdoolpoolp as a guide, they easily made their way to the Street of Temples. This street was crowded with supplicants coming to sacrifice and plead to the gods, and the many costumed priests of the gods. Mongo wondered briefly if there were any carnival barkers calling the faithful to worship - there were none, but he did notice a man who appeared to be walking on stilts, 12' tall, wearing a gigantic white coat that trailed to the ground, and whose face bore many tattoos. He entered into one of the temples, which was marked with a group of intersecting circles above its door.
Gutboy led them to the Temple of Thor, and was greeted by a functionary, Father Gore, in the vestibule.
"How can I help you, my son? Oh, you're a priest. Ahh, I remember you, Gutboy, you studied here."
"Yes, we're looking for a job."
"A job? Shouldn't you be tending to your flock? Do you have a flock?"
"No, I'm wandering around converting people. I'm looking for enemies of Thor to smite."
"Ahh, smiting enemies is always a good thing. I do wish I could be out there smashing a few, but I'm quite busy here in the city. I'd love to be amok with the moktars. Get it? Ha, ha ha"
Mongo laughed uproariously. "Good joke! Mongo tell joke later!"
Gutboy: "Are there any enemies of Thor that I can smash?"
"I don't know of any. Let us go and pray about it. Follow me."
Gore led them back into the sanctuary. There were a half dozen pews, and a small God's Eye (an unornamented disk two feet in diameter hanging on the back wall of the sanctuary). Gore and Gutboy kneeled before the disk and prayed.
Gore: "Oh Thor, we beseech thee, please grant Father Gutboy's request"
Gutboy: "Thor, please let me know what enemies I should smash"
As they prayed, the God's Eye became clouded with bright colors. The colors disappeared, and the figure of Thor, holding his hammer, became visible. Thor leaned forward, his face filling the God's Eye.
"Are you one of my priests?"
"Yes, I am."
"Good. What's your name?"
"There's something I want you to do. A hammer was stolen from this temple. You will get it back. Stand up and look into the Eye."
Gutboy did as he commanded, and the mirror became clouded with colors again. They quickly cleared away, and Thor's face returned.
"Forty years ago, a thief stole a silver hammer from this temple."
"Do you want me to kill him?"
"No. He is long dead. I want you to get the hammer back. It is under the city."
The God's Eye then went blank, but Gutboy's mind was still filled with Thor's command. As he wondered about how the hammer was stolen, he had a strange memory of looking through the God's Eye into the temple, and seeing a scruffy-looking individual come in through the main entrance, shove a silver hammer under his cloak, and sneak off to the right side of the temple.
Gutboy, to Gore: "Do you know anything about this silver hammer?"
"No, I've only worked here fifteen years. I had no idea there was one. Our head priest, Snogrod, might know, he's been here for a while. He lives on the Street of Upright Living."
Getting directions from Gore, they made their way to building 157, apartment C, on the Street of Upright Living. Stairs wound their way around the marble exterior of the building, and the apartments of Snogrod were on the third floor.
Snogrod: "Yes? Who is it?"
Gutboy: "Hello, I am Father Gutboy. I am on a quest from Thor!"
Snogrod stopped for a second, and commanded Gutboy to lean closer. He reached towards Gutboy's eye with his hand, and Gutboy drew back. "Hold still!" he commanded, and stretched Gutboy's eyelids apart, staring into his eye. After a few seconds of examination, Snogrod seemed satisfied.
"Quest from Thor? What for?"
"A silver hammer was stolen forty years ago, and I must find it."
"That's well before my time. I came here twenty five years ago. You should go to the Temple of Blibdoolpoolp, that is where all the temple records are kept. They may have some record there."
"But we're the Temple of Thor."
"Yes, yes. But we serve all the gods. All temple records are stored in the Temple of Blibdoolpoolp."
"Do we serve evil gods?"
"There are no evil gods, only gods that are perceived differently. You're a priest of Thor? I'm going to have to talk to Father Gore about the theology lessons he's teaching."
"No, don't blame Thor, I was hit in the head. Adventuring. I got hit in the head."
"Do you know what this symbol is?" (describing the symbol with multiple intersecting circles they had seen in the Street of Temples)
"Oh yes, that's the symbol of Science. Ridiculous men, thinking that the gods serve their foolish Science. He doesn't even have a God's Eye. What are you doing with them?"
"Nothing, just wondering. Can you tell me about what's under the city?"
"You mean the City Underfoot. It's the sewers and storm drains. Beggars and escaped slaves live down there, and I've heard the Society of the Luminous Spark is down there as well."
"What's the society?"
"Abolitionists! Very dangerous! They've killed many, many people! They even want to overthrow the wizard!"
"Hippie scum! There are slaves?"
"Yes, yes. We don't have any temple slaves, of course, we don't have that kind of money."
"How can you tell if people are slaves? Do they wear special clothes?"
"No. It's up to their owners how they mark them. Some brand them."
"Where are the slaves?"
"The slavers are down on the Street of Tormented Flesh, if you're looking for a slave."
Mongo: "Mongo see picture, of machine that shoots flame. Where Mongo get machine?"
"A flamethrower? Not very common, but you could always look in the Bazaar Incomparable. Everything is for sale there."
"Mongo want man to build machine."
"Oh. An engineer, then. Try the Street of Worthy Servitude. That's where most of the city's craftsmen are."
Armed with this new knowledge, the party returned to the Street of Temples, and went to to the Temple of Blibdoolpoolp. There was a line of supplicants in the vestibule, and a female attendant in black robes advised them that it would be an hour wait before they could speak with Lunexia, the high priestess.
Gutboy: "I'm on a mission for Thor! We need to read the temple records."
Attendant: "Thor? Oh, one of the small gods."
"Small? Thor is mighty and tall!"
"Err... yes... all gods are great, of course. Are you looking to schedule a service? If you're in need of more space, we'd be happy to schedule you in."
"No, I need records of a theft from 40 years ago."
"Please wait here, and we'll get to your request once these other folks have spoken with Lunexia."
Patiently waiting, eventually Gutboy and Mongo were granted admittance. They sent the henchmen and dogs to wait outside.
The attendant led them into the sanctuary, which was a massive, dark space. At the rear of the sanctuary was a 20' diameter God's Eye, with a golden chair positioned underneath it. Sitting on this chair was a naked, overweight, middle-aged woman, wearing a gold lobster mask and gold lobster claws.
"Come forward, and state your request."
"I am on a quest for Thor. A thief stole a silver hammer 40 years ago."
"Oh. Hmm. That's a long time ago, well before my time. Hold on, we've still got the records."
Lunexia stood, removing the claws and mask, and slipping on a black robe. "It gets breezy in here sometimes." she remarked as she headed out of the sanctuary, towards the back of the temple.
After a few minutes, Lunexia returned with a stack of papers. "Here are the criminal records we've got from forty years ago. You can sort through them in one of the confessionals over there. Hand them to an attendant when you're done. Do be discreet, I've still got supplicants to meet with." Gutboy headed back outside to meet with the henchmen while Gutboy did his research, and Lunexia slipped out of her robe and back into her claws and mask.
On the way outside, Mongo asked one of the attendants where he could go for a drink.
"Oh, there's a wonderful place a few streets over, the Inn of Alabaster Surprise. Absolutely amazing! The finest in the city!"
"Mongo want cheaper."
"Oh. OK. Well, if you head down there, and there, and there, you'll find some less expensive taverns on the Street of Worthy Servitude."
Mongo sent an elf back in to the temple to inform Gutboy they were headed to the Street of Worthy Servitude, and then began heading in that direction. As he and his entourage walked down the street, they heard a loud roaring from behind the crown, coming closer. The crowd parted ahead of them, and a 20' long white vehicle slowly rolled down the street. The roaring came from this open-topped vehicle. Several dandies sat in the machine, wearing ascots and drinking champagne, as they steered it down the street. One of them waved drunkenly, and shouted "We're off to the Inn!" as it passed Mongo.
Tempted, Mongo decided he, too, wanted to live the high life, and returned to the temple as Gutboy finished his research. Gutboy had found that at the time of the theft, a man named G'Nax had been seen leaving the temple and entering into the City Underfoot, via a storm drain in alley next to the Temple of Thor. A warrant had been issued, but G'Nax had not been found, and a year later the case was closed by the temple police.
Mongo and Gutboy headed towards the Inn of Alabaster Surprise to get some lunch. Making their way through the swanky section of town, they found that the Inn was a six-story white marble building. The doorman, dressed in a blue suit and wearing a blue ascot, tried to stop them from entering.
"Yeah, don't know how to say this, but I don't think this is the right place for you."
Gutboy: "Why not?"
"You don't really look like the regular clientele. You sure you can afford this place? What are you planning on getting here?"
"We wanted lunch"
"Lunch? I guess you could afford that. Look, I'll let you two in, but your employees are going to have to go to the servant's bar."
He then stood aside to let Mongo and Gutboy in, as the elves, Roger, and the dogs headed around the side towards the servant's bar. Upon entering, they found the lower floor to be decorated extensively with potted palms and ferns, and marble statuary of men and women in thoughtful poses. The hostess also wore a blue suit and blue ascot, and led them to a narrow corridor, lined with private booths, made private through the use of hanging curtains.
The waitress soon came by, and rattled off the day's specials: Grilled Tiger Beetle, Braised Wolf Loin, and Deep-Fried Stirge. They opted for the stirge, seeing in their lunch an opportunity for revenge against the beasts that had killed so many adventurers. The food was delicious, but expensive, and they found their fried monster lunch had cost them 44 gp.
On the way out of their private booth, two giggling women wearing nothing but flimsy transparent silk scarves ran by, chased by a fat man in a white suit. Gutboy stopped by the door and began asking the hostess some questions.
"Who were those girls?"
"Oh, employees. They service our clients."
"So how much is a room here?"
"The cheapest room we have is 100 gp per night. I recommend the suites, they're wonderful. You can get a suite for only 1000 gp a night!"
"How much for the alabaster surprise?"
"Sir, if you have to ask, you really can't afford it."
"Oh. Well, what is it?"
"If I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise!"
"Well. Let's say I wanted to go slumming, party a bit, do you know where I could go for that?"
"You should stay right here! We have the most excellent drugs on the second floor, they'll blow your mind!"
"No, no, I like to go slumming. Like in the City Underfoot. Do you know anyone who lives down there?"
"What? In the sewers? No, absolutely not! That's full of smelly beggars, and escaped slaves! Ick!"
Gathering up their retainers, the party decided to head down to the Street of Worthy Servitude and seek out an engineer to commission a flamethrower for Mongo. Arriving at the street, they found the citizens there to be dressed in drab, ordinary clothing, wearing simple caps, and only occasionally a tattered ascot. Looking around, Mongo noticed a man in a white coat with a tattooed face - a follower of Science! Gutboy accosted the man, who had his name, "Bob", tattooed across his forehead.
"Excuse me, we're looking for a man who can build a flamethrower."
"Hmm? Oh. OK. Wait, you're a priest. Is one of you finally going to acknowledge the supremacy of Science?"
"We're just looking for a man to make a flamethrower."
"Well, the engineer I just hired to improve our artificial arm could do it. He's named Quinnius Thrice, he's -"
"Wait, your what?"
"Prosthetic arms. We're working on a better design."
Gutboy rummaged around in his pack, and pulled out a rusty automaton head. "What do you think of this? Do you want this?"
"No, it's far too rusty. Not good for anything but scrap metal now. Where did you get it?"
"I can get you more of these. Working robots."
"Really? Let's see... I'll tell you what. If you can get me three of those automatons, I'm sure we could commission a flamethrower for you."
"Well, they don't want to come out, is the problem."
"Oh. Well, I can talk to our Head Scientist, Gregory. I'm sure he'll have something to make them leave."
"Wait, we could just cast Sleep and drag them out."
"Magic? Ha, ha, ha, ha! Who would use magic when they could use Science?"
"Are you saying you don't believe in magic?"
"Of course I believe in magic. But Science is far, far superior."
"Do you want to come with us to get them?"
"An excellent idea. I'll tell you what, I'll meet you first thing in the morning at that inn down the street, the Inn of the Repaired Wheel. Then we'll head off to retrieve the automatons."
Parting ways with Bob, the party went across the street to a tavern, the Tattered Heel, and interrogated the patrons about where to find beggars. They were directed to the Street of Lesser Men, and sure enough, there were beggars aplenty, most with missing limbs, horrifying wounds and/or disfiguring diseases. After much tomfoolery, with armless beggars wrestling each other to get the attentions of these rich worthies, the party spoke with a beggar who claimed to be a close friend of G'Nax, and would lead them straight to him, if only he could borrow a silver piece to bribe the right fellows in the City Underfoot. When paid, the beggar agreed to meet them at the street corner in an hour. After he left, another armless beggar accused him of being a liar, as he was G'Nax's brother, and he was absolutely the man to bring them safely through the City Underfoot. Chasing this second beggar off, the party waited for an hour, but the first beggar never returned.
The group returned to the Inn of the Repaired Wheel and bedded down for the night in a common room. Bob was waiting for them downstairs when they awoke. He had brought a backpack full of supplies, including a device from Gregory that he assured Mongo and Gutboy "would change the disposition of the automatons' souls". He was armed with a strange pistol, that rather than having a hole at the end for a bullet to emerge, had a red crystal. "It emits an intense purple beam, capable of burning through steel! Yes, purple, from a red crystal. Interesting, isn't it? It's caused by prismatic disruption."
Gutboy harangued Bob for his lack of armor, but Bob assured him that his pistol was adequate for defense - and that in any case, Gutboy and Mongo would do any close fighting.
The argument settled, the group spent the rest of the day traveling back to Louisburgh, where they noticed that the stench of rotting meat wasn't quite as strong as it had been in the past. They settled in at the Pig's Bride, and there our session ended.