Netal the Elf (2)
Gutboy Barrellhouse the Cleric (3), his dog Rufus, and his henchman Serlo the Elf
Mongo the Fighter (2), and his henchmen Leroy Brown the Cleric
Richard "Dick" Dock the Thief (1), and his baby grunkie Bunkie
The party entered Denethix, hauling their giant pillbug in a cart behind them, and headed towards the Street of Temples. Mongo and Gutboy began singing songs of praise to Nisus, and soon attracted a large following of commoners and holy men, and a dancing midget to lead the procession. As the people sang and danced, the party passed around collection plates, netting some 20-odd gp. The impromptu parade made its way up to the booth that held Nisus' Eye, and the party went in to consult with Nisus on when to hold the sacrifice.
Frustratingly, the God's Eye remained blank - so the party headed to the Grand Temple to arrange the sacrifice of the pill-bug as soon as possible. The attendant in the vestibule, Mary, looked up Gutboy's reservation - it had come and gone three weeks ago. Surprised, Gutboy asked to hold the sacrifice immediately - Mary summoned the high priestess Lunexia, who saw the large crowd chanting "Kill the bug! Kill the bug!" and decided to allow the unscheduled service.
Lunexia gave Gutboy a specially consecrated dagger to perform the sacrifice - the blade was polished to a mirror finish, and had two channels running down either side of the blade, with tiny pinholes in the channel visible near the hilt.
Lunexia: "Use this knife to sacrifice the bug. After it is dead, disembowel it, examine the entrails, and proclaim what you read to the assembly."
Gutboy: "OK. Netal, you want to do the gutting?"
Netal (enthusiastically): "Sure!"
Lunexia: "Are you mad? That's sacrilege! The gods would never accept something like him participating in the sacrifice! You must do this yourself, Gutboy!"
The roles of elves in religious services clarified, Gutboy agreed to perform the sacrifice on his own. The bug was brought in through the back entrance and placed on a platform in front of the 20' tall God's Eye. Gutboy waited for the crowd to settle down, and then slipped the dagger between the chitin plates on the bug's head and into it's brain, killing it. The knife came out covered with green bug-blood and a black oily substance. Mongo quickly slashed the ropes binding the bug, and it unfolded onto its back. Gutboy then lived up to his name, gutting the bug, and examined the entrails - they were covered with strange black designs, but whatever they were supposed to mean was unclear. Gutboy waved Lunexia over to consult, and she agreed that they were meaningless.
Gutboy (to the congregation): "The reading of the entrails is unclear! This means we must be cautious! Everyone, be careful - the entrails are uncertain!"
The congregation muttered to itself in concern - but then the God's Eye behind Gutboy filled with a swirling rainbow of colors. The colors cleared, and the circular screen filled with images of crawling bugs. Nisus' voice boomed out from the Eye: "Behold, the glory of Nisus! Much praise to her champions, Gutboy, Mongo, and Dick Dock! All in the city shall be blessed with vermin from beneath the ground!"
The image then began shimmering, and was replaced by a man in profoundly filthy, stained clothes. "I am Voil! I find this sacrifice to be worthy of the gods!"
Mongo shouted "Praise Voil!"
Voil: "And may all know the name of Mongo, brave warrior who has brought this sacrifice to us!"
The image faded, and the congregation began to line up for a free meal as temple attendant began carving out slabs of pill-bug meat and placing them on large cooking grills to either side of the sacrificial platform. Gutboy handed out the collection plate, getting a meager 40 gp for his efforts. The party, having concerns about the edibility of pill-bug meat, headed for the exit. On the way, they were accosted by another attendant, Paul.
Paul: "Ahh, Father Gutboy, an excellent service. And you'll be paying the rest of our fee now, I'm sure."
Gutboy: "Right.. that's 200 gp?"
Paul: No, that's 1800 gp. The 200 gp was your deposit."
Gutboy (handing Paul the 60 gp they had collected in offerings): "Take that."
Paul: "Ha, ha, very amusing. Please, the 1800 gp."
Gutboy (handing Paul another 40 gp): "There you go. We're out of here."
Paul (restraining Gutboy): "I must insist, sir. You booked the temple, you have to pay."
Netal: "We're going to have to go to the bank."
Paul: "That's fine, we can do the transfer to the temple accounts there."
The group made there way to the Bank Inviolable. Dick Dock found the name interesting - and said aloud "Bank Inviolable? That sounds like a challenge!" As they entered in through the 20' tall gilded doors, Dick Dock spied the two giant robots to either side. They were made of gold and iron, and on their arms were a pair of mini-guns and rocket launchers.
Dick Dock began scoping them out. As he did so, the two robots looked at him, and their miniguns began spinning up. The other patrons in the bank noticed, and began screaming as they ran for the exit and overturned tables for cover. Dick Dock continued sizing the two robots up, unperturbed.
Mongo, Netal, Gutboy, and Paul fled in fear as the two robots leveled their mini-guns on Dick Dock. He continued standing there. As he said "But I'm not doing anything!" the two robots fired, turning Dick Dock into a pale red mist. Bloody gobbets of flesh were all that remained of Dick Dock and his grunkie Bunkie.
Mongo ran to the crater where Dick Dock had once stood. "No! You kill Bunkie!" he shouted in grief. He pointed at a bank manager who was rushing over, and yelled "You pay for grunkie! That was my grunkie!"
Manager: "We certainly will not. This is what happens when you associate with scoundrels and thieves."
Mongo: "You pay!"
Manager: "You do not want to go there."
Netal began bending over to collect the misshapen remains of Dick Dock's pouch of gold coins, but the manager shooed him away. "That's all confiscated - get away! We'll use that to pay for the repairs to the floor."
Discouraged by the banking incident, the party settled up with Paul and headed back to Mongo's apartment to get drunk. They began to party loudly, drinking first to the memory of Dick Dock, and then more loudly and more frequently to the memory of their beloved grunkie Bunkie. All the noise attracted attention - there was a knock on the door. Two women and a man introduced themselves as Chrissie, Janet, and Jack, their neighbors from the apartment downstairs. They invited themselves in to join the party - several beers later, Gutboy and Chrissie went back to Gutboy's room for some privacy, while Janet sobbed inconsolably at Gutboy's door - "Chrissie should be mine! Mine!"
In the morning, Chrissie, Janet, and Jack were gone - all that was left was a messy apartment and several hangovers. Determined to carry on, the party decided to round up the surviving henchmen and head to the dungeon. Five pigs were purchased, and the expedition headed into the wilderness and up the slopes of Mount Rendon.
The dungeon was once again eerily silent as they made their way to the lair of the Morlocks. They knocked on the door, and a morlock answered.
Gutboy: "Can we speak to Bilibub?"
Morlock: "Me Bilibub! You forget who Bilibub is!"
Mongo: "No! No! Is joke! We know Bilibub! We bring pigs!"
Morlock (eyeing the pigs hungrily): "Pigs! Good! I take pigs!"
Bilibub the Morlock snatched the pigs' leash away and hurriedly dragged them back into the lair, slamming the door behind them without even a "good-bye." Mongo wondered aloud what the morlocks could be so busy doing all the time.
Dismissing that line of thought, the party consulted their map. Rather than head down to the 2nd level, they decided to try some unexplored areas of the second level. They began following the 30' wide corridor that bisected the dungeon further west than they had previously. As the reached new areas of the tunnel, they saw a pair of alcoves on the north and south wall. The north alcove had an ancient organ made of bones (taken from human, morlock, goblin, and screaming freaks). Nobody wanted to touch the grim instrument, so they headed to the south alcove, where they saw a door.
Mongo boldly opened the door, and the party entered a 20' by 30' room, with a crack in the ceiling at the western end. Muddy water dripped from this crack, falling onto a large mound of dirt beneath. The mound had three 6" wide holes in it. Mongo took his crossbow and fired a quarrel into the mound - five giant centipedes spewed forth. Gutboy futilely blessed the centipedes, hoping that Nisus would pacify the insects, but it did no good. The bugs nipped at Mongo, and one bit his ankle through a seam in his armor, injecting him with a painful poison. Mongo collapsed in agony, as his foot swelled up.
Deciding that magic was needed, Netal used his sleep spell on the centipedes, and they were quickly slain. Mongo was in no condition to fight, however, as he staggered around on his poisoned foot, vomiting profusely. The party decided to return to Denethix and try to find a cure for the poison.
The made their way out of the dungeon, and began the long slog back to civilization. On the way, they heard the howling of wolves - they gathered together and waited for the pack to come, knowing Mongo could never outrun the animals. The wolves attacked, one savaging the helpless Mongo, but a sleep spell and Gutboy's mace finished the threat off. Mongo's wounds were easily healed by Gutboy's prayers, but he remained helpless due to the poison.
Once back in Denethix, the party made their way to the Grand Temple, and asked the attendant Mary to get someone to treat Mongo's poisoned ankle.
Mary: "Ahh, yes, that is a very complicated ritual. The gods demand a lot before they grant that miracle. That will be 4,000 gp."
Gutboy (outraged): "What? Are you kidding? It's just a spell!"
Mary: "The incenses, the dancers, it's a very involved ritual. I'm afraid it's 4,000 gp."
Gutboy: "Get me Lunexia!"
Mary left briefly, and informed Gutboy his request for an audience had been granted. He was led back into the sanctuary, where Lunexia sat upon a chair upon the sacrifial platform, wearing nothing but her golden lobster-helm and golden lobster-claws.
Lunexia: "What is it, Father Gutboy?"
Gutboy: "I need a neutralize poison for Mongo."
Lunexia: "Yes, the ritual is expensive. The cost will be 4,000 gp."
Gutboy: "It's just a spell! Between you and me, we can just cast it!"
Lunexia: "Certainly not. The gods demand proper obeisance. You may certainly pray on your own, if you wish, but the proper ritual must be performed."
Gutboy: "Fine. Do you know any doctors, then?"
Lunexia: "Doctors? Oh yes, at the Academy of Elevated Thought. They're a scary bunch, but if you wish you may try them."
Frustrated, Gutboy left the temple, with the rest of the party and the piteously moaning Mongo in tow. As they headed north up the Street of Temples, they heard a metallic voice shout from an identified temple to their left: "GUTBOY!"
Nervous, Gutboy edged towards the door - the voice kept shouting "GUTBOY!". He looked inside, and saw a 3' wide God's Eye, filled with the image of a golden clockwork man. Gutboy entered the temple, followed by the limping Mongo and Netal.
The image of the clockwork man boomed out "GUTBOY! I AM KIOD! I SHARE WITH YOU THIS WISDOM: YOU HONOR THAT WORM NISUS TOO HIGHLY. SHE IS UNWORTHY OF THE SACRIFICE! GIVE UNTO THE GODS IN THEIR PROPER PORTION! I, KIOD, AND THE GREAT BLIBDOOLPOOLP ARE WORTHY!"
Mongo: "Yes, Nisus is a worm!"
Kiod: "LISTEN TO THE WISDOM OF MONGO! HE HAS GREAT INSIGHT! HONOR THE GODS IN THE PROPER DEGREE!"
The image of Kiod faded away. Gutboy hurried back to the temple, and asked Mary for their big book that described all the known gods. Mary handed the Almanac of Deities to Gutboy, and he looked up Kiod. He was the god of robots, and a well-regarded deity. He was known to manifest at sacrifices of robots when the metal men sometimes wandered into the city from the wilderness.
Gutboy (disturbed): "Mary, you sacrifice robots? What if they're good robots?"
Mary: "The gods appreciate their sacrifice all the more!"
Gutboy: "Do you ever sacrifice people?"
Mary: "Oh, not very often, that's pretty unusual."
The admonitions of this jealous robot god were confusing, so the party decided to return to the original plan of finding a doctor. They limped off to the Academy, and accosted a student, who brought them to the offices of Dr. Howse. Howse was a bitter-looking man with a cane, who limped out to inspect Mongo. He whacked Mongo hard on his basketball-sized ankle. "What are you bring him to me for?"
Gutboy: "He has been poisoned! We need a cure!"
Howse: "Here's your cure!" (whacking Mongo on the ankle again) "Now get out!"
Gutboy: "Wait! What about the poison?"
Howse: "Elevate the leg and get some rest for a few days. Looks like you've been walking for miles on that thing. Now get out, I've got serious issues to deal with!"
Mongo took Howse's advice, and within a few days he was right as rain.
Next session is Thursday October 13th.