Buh-Bye Google+

I hear Google+ is shutting down?  I can't say I'm particularly sad, it killed the blog scene pretty thoroughly, which had a lot more and better-focused content.  I'm also way more partial to forums.

It does raise the question, though - do people still read blogs?  WHO READS THIS BLOG?  Probably very few people after the scant attention I've given it the past few years!

Campaign is starting up again though, but it's very hard to schedule weekend games during football season.  Should be getting together again in December.  That means more Mongos, and a better chance of seeing ASE4-5 sometime this century, because I only feel motivated to write when I have to.


whooops, forgot the character sheets

Yeah, so that last session - I had pulled the characters sheets out of my folder the last time we played, and a year passed, so I forgot I did that - but I did have long-undead Mongo's character sheet still floating around.

"Crap.  I forgot the characters.  All I've got is an old Mongo."
"I guess I could play him again."
"You can ALL play him."

Gonzo-science-fantasy is a very forgiving genre for D&D.

session recap, 9/23/2018

Mongo the Fighter (4)
Mongo the Fighter (4)
Mongo the Fighter (4)
Mongo the Fighter (4)
Mongo the Fighter (4)
Mongo the Fighter (4)

After slaying the pumpkin-headed monsters in the last session, the party proudly inspected the corpses.  As they did so, transparent plastic hemispheres suspended by wires dropped from the ceiling over each of their heads, and their consciousnesses were absorbed from their bodies.

Gutboy, Pai Mei, and Rolf found their minds being deposited into a giant vat of roiling flesh-matter.  Gutboy's mind drifted to thoughts of beloved Mongo, who became a wight in the swamps so long ago - but was still sorely missed.  The machines transferring his mind took note, and buds of meat formed themselves into simulacra of Mongo - six in total.  Each of the three found his mind split across two Mongos.  The Mongos were expelled from the vat, and found themselves in a room hewn from volcanic stone.  In the center of the room was the flesh vat, and arranged around it, against the walls of the circular chamber, were banks of machines with blinking lights and unlabelled switches.  Sunlight streamed in from an opening in the north wall.

The Mongos inspected themselves - they looked human, and were dressed in shabby smoking jackets over plate mail, and were each equipped with the Sword of Unlife, a flamethrower, and a ten foot pole.  Their packs were loaded with iron rations and flasks of oil.  They seemed to be human, if all identical, but occasionally their flesh would ripple like water.  This pleased Pai Mei, who otherwise disapproved of his sudden lack of deformity.

They approached the northern exit, and found themselves on a ledge overlooking the interior of the crater of the volcano in the center of Monster Island.  The crater was four miles across, and a large lake spanned most of it.  Around the edges of the lake was verdant jungle, and a few miles to the west, a human village.  In the center of the lake, the ancient ash cone formed an island, and a ruined temple was built into the side of the cone.

To their collective horror, the Mongos discovered they had no rope - Mongo clearly had been fond of letting someone else haul the rope around.  They tore their smoking jackets into strips - which bled briefly, much to their disgust - and used those to tie the 10' poles together.   The smoking jacket strips scabbed firmly onto the poles, and they were able to lower themselves safely to the crater floor.

The Mongos headed towards the village, sending one of their number to investigate.  It stood on the side of the lake, five houses surrounded by a stockade fence, with two larger huts built on stilts in the lake itself.  An open gate led into the village, and an islander in a grass skirt was busy working on the gate's hinges as Mongo approached.  When he saw Mongo, he began shouting - "Get the hell out of here!  You!  Go!  You're not wanted!"  The villager's shouts attracted more men, wielding spears, and Mongo retreated back into the jungle.

The Mongos were not particularly interested in the village, and just wanted a canoe to get across to the ash cone and the ruined temple, clearly the location of the black pearl the tourist brochures described.  They waited until the middle of the night, and two Mongos stripped off their armor and swam over to an outrigger canoe tied off to one of the lake-huts.  On the shore, a watchman stood by a bonfire, and spotted the Mongos as they climbed into the canoe.  "Everyone! Quick!  The cannibals are attacking!"  Villagers poured out onto the shoreline as the Mongos paddled away - shouts of "Yeah!  Get out of here!  We drove them off!  Go team!" were heard as they made their escape with the precious outrigger canoe.

The Mongos picked up the other Mongos, and headed towards the ruined temple.  It was a broad patio cut into the side of the ash cone, with stairs leading up to a pair of gigantic stone feet, the rest of the statue having long since fallen to ruin and its remnants dragged off to who-knows-where.  Behind the statue, faces were carved into the walls, with lit braziers in front of them, and a tunnel led into the interior of the temple.

The Mongos ventured into the tunnel - it was choked with rubble to a height of three feet, and behind the pile of rubble stood islanders with spears.  One threw his spear at a Mongo, missing - and the Mongos retaliated by running over the rubble, charging the savage islanders with their Swords of Unlife, skewering three of them.  The fourth ran down the tunnel screaming "Intruders!" - a Mongo sent a crossbow bolt into his rump - but he was not slowed down, and escaped into the next room.

Cautiously the Mongos stuck their heads into the next room, and saw a wide stone chamber with a bonfire in its center, and balconies arranged around the edges, with stairs leading down near the room's entrance.  Across the room was a large stone face, vandalized almost beyond recognition.  Dozens of islanders, men, women, and children, were pouring out of doors along the balconies and rushing down the stairs.

The Mongos quickly devised a plan, and ran back into the tunnel, splashing it with flasks of oil as they retreated.  Once past the rubble, they opened fire on the pursuing hoard with their flamethrowers, and the stench of cooked meat filled the air.  At least a half dozen warriors were killed in the inferno.  More savages stuck their heads into the tunnel to see what the Mongos were up to, and on each occasion were riddled with crossbow bolts, killing another handful.  Their numbers drastically reduced, cries of "Run away! Women and children first!" were heard from the chamber.

The sounds of retreat and panic attracted the Mongos, who rushed into the room, swords swinging and crossbows firing.  As more men fell, the remaining warriors panicked, and began pushing the women and children out of the way to get to a rope in the corner of the room, leading to a hole in the ceiling and sweet, sweet freedom.

The Mongos were not inclined to let hostiles escape, and targeted a man who was obviously the chief, due to his sweet bone-and-obsidian sword, and a man who was obviously a witch-doctor, on account of his witch-doctor-mask.  Two Mongos cut the witch doctor down from behind, and another two stabbed repeatedly at the chief.  As they did so, the fourth warrior from the hallway turned around, grabbed a toddler, and threw it at one of the Mongos, hitting him hard in the head.

Mongo: "Seriously?"
Mongo: "That guys doesn't get to leave!"
Mongo: "Kill him!"
Mongo (slashing away repeatedly at the chief):  "Surrender! We won't hurt you!"
Mongo: "I said surrender!  We're not going to hurt you!"
Mongo: "This is what happens when you don't surrender!"

The Mongos slashed down more villagers from behind, and shot several crossbow bolts into the butt of the child-tossing-warrior - but his strategy of spear-everyone-on-the-rope-ahead-of-me was successful, and he escaped in a rain of skewered women and children, although he certainly wouldn't be sitting comfortably for some time.  The chief finally dropped his awesome-looking sword and screamed "Mercy!  We surrender to you, demons!"

The Mongos surveyed the situation - the islanders were down to five men in addition to the chief, a few dozen women, unarmed although ferocious looking with their facial tattoos and filed teeth, and another few dozen children.  Next to the bonfire in the center of the room were gnawed human remains, and slashed-up t-shirts with the Blessed Expeditionary Company logo still visible ("Oh, YOU'RE the cannibals those other villagers were talking about.  Well, good job.  We approve of this.")

They interrogated the chief about the black pearl ("Where is it?"  "Probably beyond the bricked-up wall that leads to Hell!  Stick your hand up that carved face's nose, and a secret door will open!  Then please go and leave us!"), forced the chief to jam his hand up the nose, and a secret door did open.

The cadre of Mongos ordered the remaining men to gather rocks to smash down the brick wall, and then marched them forward into the next room.  The wall behind the carved face sported peep-holes and a brass speaking-cone to intimidate worshippers in the main chamber, and Mongo shouted "I am the great and powerful Oz!  Ignore the Mongos behind the secret door!" at the women and children huddled within.  The women agreed that Oz was great and powerful, and the Mongos moved on to more serious business.

Another tunnel led further into the ash cone, and to the promised brick wall.  The cannibals smashed the brick wall down, and tried to return to their lair - but the Mongos weren't about to let henchmen walk off the job.  They and their chief were forced down the corridor beyond, where the floor, weakened by centuries of neglect, collapsed under the first two, dropping them into a room filled with water.  ("Augh!  There are things in the water!  They're not biting us, but eww!  Gross! Help!").  Cannibals were forced to help cannibals, and the group carefully filed single file past the hole and the weakened section of the floor.

They came to a door, opened it, and saw another room - this with an altar, covered with rotting debris, a few bejewelled copper bowls, and a stone box.  A Mongo forced a cannibal to open the box - inside was a coral-and-gold statue of a tentacle-faced monster with clawed tail-fins.

Cannibal:  "Whoa! This statue looks valuable, but it just tried to get inside my mind!"
Mongo: "How?"
Cannibal (jamming the statue in Mongo's face):  "Just by looking at it!  Like this!  See??"
Another Mongo:  "Put that back in the box!"

Mongo felt the influence of the statue in his mind, and determined that he would worship this wonderful tentacle creature, serving it forever and ever.  Fortunately, he shared a mind with Mongo, who told the Mongos that half of him had become a secret servant of a vile god.  Mongo then grabbed the box from the cannibal, held it above his head, and threw it at the ground.  The fragile statue within shattered, and Mongo's mind was freed.

Cannibal:  "You broke the tentacle-faced statue!  Good!  It looked horrible!"
Mongo:  "Racist!"

The Mongos gathered up the bowls and the gold bits of the statue, and moved into the next corridor, rounded a corner, and were faced with a collapsed tunnel.   They spent a few hours ordering the cannibals to clear the collapse, but it was clearly making little progress.  They returned to the broken floor, and ordered the cannibals into the flooded room below, dropping down to join them afterwards.  "I don't like this!  There are too many fish touching me!"  "Well, why don't you just eat the fish instead..."  "Are you crazy? That's what food eats!"

The room was flooded to a depth of 5', and had a door in the north wall.  As the cannibals moved about, they kept accidentally stepping on rusted torture equipment, and blood was beginning to cloud the water.  One suffered a foot injury serious enough to kill the man.  The Mongos are merciless employers, and forced the reduced cannibal horde northwards through the door.

They came to an intersection, headed east, and opened another door.  "Hey, this room is too big to see the other side!"  "Get in there!  Now!"  "Oh crap stairs" (SPLASH).  The lead cannibals tripped down the unseen stairs, and flailed about in the dark water.  Suddenly, fins appeared and headed towards them, attracted by the blood - sharks ripped into the cannibals.  The entire party fled, the sharks picking off the trailing cannibals one by one.  They reached the first room, and tried to jam the door shut as the chief ran through it, two other surviving cannibals trailing behind, screaming as the sharks bit at their legs.  The chief tried to stop Mongo from shutting the door, shouting "No!  My sons!" ("Oh right, they do look like you"  "Wouldn't you just eat them anyways?"), but the Mongos overpowered him.  The screams and splashing on the other side of the door quickly ended.

Gains:  100 gp worth of busted hypno-statue, two bejewelled coppers bowls worth 500 gp each
Kills:  Dozens of cannibals
Losses:  None