Netal the Elf (3), his henchman Brad the Fighter (1), and his pit bulls Timmy and Jimmy
Mongo the Fighter (3) and his henchmen, Black Harris the Cleric (1) and Snidely Whiplash the Fighter(?) (1)
George P. Burdell the Cleric (1) and his henchman, Slick Eddie the Thief (1)
Gutboy Barrellhouse the Cleric (3)
Where we left off: everyone in a room with a holographic ball pit, disguising sharp pointy spikes.
The party decided to head through a door to the west, and found a short corridor ending in another door, and a narrow 5' corridor heading north. They poked their heads into the 5' corridor, and then thought better of it - through the west door they went. Mongo listened at the door, and hearing nothing, opened it. To their horror, it was full of treasure. Surely this meant deadly traps. There were a pair of urns, overflowing with gold coins, a quiver with protonium-metal arrows, and bits and pieces of rusted armor and other miscellaneous junk. Shockingly, their comrade Gutboy Barrellhouse was also in the room, passed out in a corner, clutching a bottle of Jack.
Mongo carefully prodded the treasure with his pole, and it didn't attack. Suspicious, the players sent Brad in to pick up the gold. He managed to gather the loot without being poisoned, disintegrated, or attacked by the coins. They roused Gutboy, who had no idea how he ended up in the dungeon. Together they returned to the ball pit room, and then headed south through the corridor marked "Egress."
Reaching a door, they opened it - and found that it was blank stone on the other side. The door had some tension - springs were pulling against it as they opened it, and it would slam shut if unrestrained. They jammed a spike between the door and the jamb, and continued on.
Soon they found a large, dark room containing a Ferris wheel. The wheel was 70' in diameter, and disappeared upwards into the gloom. Mongo asked Snidely if he wanted to go up - Snidely quickly replied "No, boss, I couldn't take the glory away from you. It's not my place." Brad was nominated instead, and was placed into a carriage. Mongo pressed a button on the control panel, and the wheel creakily began to rotate.
As Brad reached the top, his torchlight illuminated a series of metal monkey-bars attached to the ceiling, providing a way south. Mongo asked Black Harris if he wanted to try climbing across - and shockingly, the dour cleric said "Yes - anything to get away from you peons!" Cynically, the party had Black Harris use his healing miracles upon the wounded Netal before sending him up in the wheel.
Black Harries and Brad sat in a carriage, and the wheel rotated until it reached the top. Brad extended Mongo's 20' pole, with a lantern hung at the end, to better illuminate the monkey-bars. Black Harris grabbed hold, and made his way halfway, to a ledge he could see at the top of the southern wall of the room. Sadly, halfway, a monkey bar released its hold on the ceiling and Black Harris plunged to a horrible death.
Examination of the bar (as the players stripped the body of valuables) revealed that it was unbroken - it must have been designed to release under pressure. George ordered his thief henchman, Slick Eddie, to climb the wall with a 50' rope. The thief easily climbed up to the ledge, and lowered the rope - which didn't quite make it to the floor, as he was 60' up. So back down again, and back up with more rope - problem solved. He tied the rope off to a monkey bar in the ceiling, it was tested for strength, and the party climbed up.
A corridor headed west from the ledge, and following it led to a room with musical instruments. An organ keyboard, several organ pipes, corroded tubas, and drums were scattered about, and a stack of accordions stood by a door in the corner. The party spread out to begin searching among the junk. As Netal approached the door, he stepped on a hidden pressure plate, and the accordions all contracted, making a horrendous noise and blasting a cloud of mold spores into the air. Surprised, he inhaled the spores, and began to turn blue as they invaded his lungs.
Gutboy cast his delay poison enchantment on Netal, and he was able to breathe again, but he could feel the cold touch of Death in each breath. The party knew there was only one person who could save the elf - Dr. Giggles. The only problem was escaping from the circus.
The party backtracked to the midway, and tried sneaking over the 40' to the emergency exit. Sadly, it was guarded by two Painted Men, who began shouting as they saw the party. "Time for show! You go watch! Now!" Netal replied by casting his sleep spell upon the vile clowns, and they rushed past the sleepers. They wound their way through the dungeon corridors until they reached a portcullis, guarded by another pair of Painted Men. Netal cast his second sleep spell, and the clowns went down without a word - their throats were slashed as the portcullis was raised.
More winding dungeon corridors, and Netal's breathing became erratic. As his lungs began to fill with mold, they burst through the door to Dr. Giggles' office.
Troglodyte Nurse Ratchett: "Can I help you?"
Mongo: "Quick! This man is dying!"
Dr. Giggles (bursting through the OR door, and rushing towards Mongo): "You've only got seconds to live! Quick, come with me!"
Mongo (pointing at Netal): "No, him!"
Dr. Giggles: "Of course! Quickly! We'll need to remove his legs!"
Mongo: "No, his lungs! He inhaled mold!"
Dr. Giggles: "Even worse! We'll have to amputate his lungs!"
Dr. Giggles shepherded Netal into the OR and onto the operating table, where his two assistants (a painted man and a second troglodyte) waited. He immediately began cutting into Netal, tossing aside a few unimportant fleshy bits as he pulled his ribcage open. He reached in with a knife, cut out the infected lungs, and tossed them to the floor. The doctor then realized what he had forgotten - "Quickly! I need new lungs!" - and grabbed a large saw, and slammed it into the chest of the painted man assisting him. Dr. Giggles managed to remove his assistant's lungs in a matter of moments, and flung them into Netal's chest. He brought a futuristic-looking scalpel-sized device to bear upon the organs, folded his ribcage shut, and sewed him up. Netal inhaled raspily, and sat up, in excruciating pain but otherwise largely unharmed for the experience.
Dr. Giggles: "Success! Life! I have brought LIFE!" (glancing at his dead assistant) "Mostly life!"
Gutboy: "You are truly amazing!"
Dr. Giggles: "I am the greatest doctor who has ever lived!"
Gutboy: "You are! Do you want to come with us to the surface?"
Dr. Giggles: "Surface? I don't know that word"
Gutboy: "You know, outside the dungeon"
Dr. Giggles: "Are you mad? There's nothing outside the dungeon! What are you talking about?"
Mongo: "Never mind. So we'll just give you the co-pay?"
Dr. Giggles: "Yes, yes, Nurse Ratchett will take care of that!"
The party left, thanking Dr. Giggles profusely, and gave a 30gp co-pay to the nurse as they left. They then made their way back out of the dungeon, and eventually back to Denethix.
Back at the apartment building, they found that Jack, Janet, and Chrissie's door was left open, and their own door had words written in blood upon it: "WHERE'S KROGO? WHERE'S ROGER?" Netal had to think a minute, and then remembered those were the names of his dead slaves. The lock to their apartment had been crudely broken open. Mongo charged in fearlessly, hoping to slaughter his enemies, Janet and the Evil Book. All that waited them within was a terrible mess - a human brain was laying in the middle of the floor, somebody had dropped off some "baked goods" upon his treasured easy chair, and the other furniture was all overturned.
The party headed over to Jack's apartment, and found that there were signs of a struggle, and large amounts of blood. Investigating the Roper's apartment revealed that they hadn't returned from wherever they had disappeared to, either. A quick cleanup ensued - George disposed of the brain, a maid service scrubbed the blood away, and a locksmith replaced the broken lock.
Mongo also decided to fire Snidely (who seemed a bit jumpy, and had some kind of white powder all over his waxed moustache). This didn't faze Snidely at all, who immediately turned to Netal - "Hey, so I've gotten kind of tired of working for Mongo. You seem like you'd be a much better employer." Netal thought for a bit, and decided that since everyone he'd ever tried to hire had insulted and abused him, he should take what he could get, and Snidely's unemployment came to a quick end.
Some time was spent commissioning large quantities of shotgun shells, and the party visited Ilorgo's Judgment-Free Taxidermy Shop to have their medusa's head stuffed. It had been sitting in a sack for two weeks, along with bits of broken glass, and had begun to smell a bit.
Ilorgo (stuffing a dead goblin into an "attack" pose): "What can I do you for, gentlemen?"
Gutboy: "Look, we've got something that needs to be preserved. If you mess up, you'll end up dead."
Ilorgo: "Hey! No need for threats! Like the sign says, I don't judge!"
Gutboy: "No, not like that! Have you ever heard of a medusa?"
Ilorgo: "Well yeah. Snake-headed ladies that turn you to stone. Wow, that's a challenge - but I'm up to it! Look, I'll take care of this in my basement tonight. I've always said I could do this with my eyes closed - now we'll find out! Ha!"
Returning the next day, Ilorgo handed them a sack with the head inside. The party purchased a baby grunkie, and dumped it into the sack with the head - the grunkie continued to move about, so sadly it appeared that whatever work the taxidermist had done, had ruined the medusa's petrifying gaze. Plans to turn rival adventuring party "The Excellent Elven Edventurers" to stone had to be abandoned, as did plans to wave the head around at the Painted Men's circus.
The party returned to Chelmsfordshire, and saw that Serlo, leader of the Excellent Elven Edventurers, was sitting in a booth in the town common, advertising for henchmen to join his party.
Gutboy: "So, how's it going? Where are your men?"
Serlo: "Oh, here and there. What do you want?"
Gutboy: "So, did you maybe see the show?"
Serlo: "The show? Yeah, I saw the show. You should go see the show, you'll like it."
Gutboy: "Oh, we already saw it."
Serlo: "I don't think so. Those clowns said you guys skipped out. Head back, it's totally worth it."
Gutboy: "I said we saw it already."
The bitter exchange concluded, and the party headed back towards Mount Rendon. On the way, they encountered four men heading in the opposite direction, back towards civilization. They explained that a moktar had hired them to deliver supplies to their war-band, up where one of the great lights had been shining. "It's this big set of doors, high up on the mountain. A couple of moks paid us and went back into a tunnel. There's this spring right next to the doors, and a stream runs down the mountain from there."
Intrigued, the party headed off to confront the war-band. They found the stream and followed it up the mountain to its source, and sure enough, there was a 20' wide pair of doors next to a spring. A pair of giant spot lights stood on either side of the doors, unlit. Mongo opened the doors, revealing a 20' wide corridor heading north into the darkness.
There was a brief discussion, and the party decided they'd rather exact some rough justice upon the clowns, than risk a fight with a moktar war-band. They made their way even further up the mountain to the entrance to the dungeon, and from their back down to the 2nd level.
The entrance to the 2nd level was a room with 8 exits, going in all directions. The party this time chose the south tunnel, and quickly came upon four Painted Men. Three of the painted men rushed into battle, while a fourth ran out through another exit. Netal took one of the Painted Men down, and the other two broke and ran for their lives.
Inspecting this guard post, the party found nothing of interest - so further into the dungeon they went. They reached an intersection, and had two choices: west of south. They decided to head west, and found themselves in a room with stairways heading down into a lower room, and paintings on the walls depicting a figure in black plate surrounded by defeated faceless humanoid opponents.
Both sets of stairs leading down were covered with ancient, crushed Painted Man corpses. Ignoring the subtle hints of danger, the party headed down the stairs as one. The lower room was empty, except for a figure in black plate mail, with glowing red eyes. As they entered, it shouted at no one in particular, "For your entertainment, I shall slaughter these worthless meatbags!"
Purple force-fields appeared at the tops of the stairs as the plate-clad behemoth charged at the party. Netal was able to see, with his wide-spectrum vision, that its head was glowing with radio-wave energy. The figure slashed at Mongo with one of its two swords, nicking him. Mongo, enraged, slammed the figure with his two-handed swords, hitting a weak spot in its armor, and slashing into a series of hydraulic hoses and wires. The figure slumped to the ground, its eyes growing dim, as its voice trailed off: "Meatbags? How...?"
There was a single exit from the room (apart from the stairs leading back up). The party followed it, and it ended at a red-and-black checkerboard room they had previously investigated and given up on.
The party was hankering for clown slaughter, though, and backtracked to the intersection they had passed earlier - the fleeing Painted Men must have headed south. Sure enough, they heard clownish giggles and screams off in the distance. They followed the corridor south, and found a side door as they did so, with a sign reading "Security". They stopped, listened, and heard some talking from within.
Mongo kicked the door open, and the party charged in, surprising the three Painted Men within. They were wearing blue uniforms, and sitting in rusty office chairs, with their giant clown feet propped upon antique desks. The party slaughtered them where they sat. After the fight, they searched the bodies, came up empty, and then Netal disemboweled them, hoping that their innards were full of treasure (and was once again disappointed).
They headed south from the security room, and found a storage room, with shelves and pegs filled with police equipment - transparent riot shields, fiberglass batons, and rusting two-pronged metal wands that the party deduced were tasers. The tasers looked to be in very bad shape, but Gutboy took one for later study regardless. Both Gutboy and George swapped their old-fashioned metal shields for the riot shields on display.
And there the session ended. Next session on Thursday February 23rd.
Gains: 900 gp, 10 protonium-metal arrows
Kills: 6 painted men, 1 gladiatorial automaton
Losses: Black Harris, medusa's head