Nasty, Brutish, and Short

Session 3

Lilimuth Yogthoth (1st-level Chaotic Jale Sorcerer) and Shako of the Wastes (1st-level Neutral Black Specialist) discuss the possibilities for the future of Remnant, and decide to mount an expedition to the Yellow Man village only scant miles away. They alert the townsfolk, gather their supplies, and with Shako’s two Red child-slaves, they disembark.

Traveling east, they stop at the Fungoid Gardens of the Bone Sorcerer to get their bearings, and they note a village to the southeast. All told, it takes them about two hours to reach the village. The village is a collection of huts bounded by a wooden fence perhaps five feet high. Two Yellow Men stand guard in front, and when Lilimuth and Shako state their desire to discuss trade and current events with the leader of the town, the guards confer and let them enter. They direct the Remnant residents to a large hut towards the center of town. Shako knocks and when a voice beckons them to enter, they do so. They are greeted by a Yellow Man by the door, clad in leather and holding a spear. Another Yellow Man sits cross-legged at the opposite end of the hut; he wears chainmail and a sword lies next to him.

Shako begins by explaining that the Bone Sorcerer has been slain, and that should be beneficial as he will no longer be enslaving any citizens with his white lotus powder. The leader of the settlement reminds him that he has not introduced himself, so Shako and Lilimuth do so. The leader introduces himself as the Incomparable Crown, and bids them to eat with him. The guard in his hut leaves, returning a few minutes later with several Yellow Men. They bring a large cooking pot full of stew and some thick, blue, foul-smelling liquor. Lilimuth, Shako, Shako’s two child-slaves, and the Incomparable Crown eat.

Just when Shako is feeling a little unwell, Lilimuth slumps face-forward into her soup. Shako immediately leaps forward, fork in hand, and grabs the Incomparable Crown, holding his fork to the Yellow Man’s neck. He explains that they’re going to leave unmolested, and in return, he’ll let the Incomparable Crown live. The Incomparable Crown indicates that he won’t escape if Shako kills him, but he does not offer any resistance. Shako tells his child-slaves to get Lilimuth, and he asks about the Incomparable Crown’s plan; the Crown explains that he plans to sacrifice them to the Consumed God. Before Shako can obtain further information, his guard moves behind Shako and skewers him with his spear. Shako’s death is nearly instantaneous.

Lilimuth awakens in a squat, stone building. She is naked and chained to the wall. Shako’s two child-slaves are similarly chained to the wall. She asks what happened, and they explain the poisoning, the Incomparable Crown’s plans to sacrifice them to the Consumed God, and Shako’s death. Just when it appears they are going to have to wait for death, one of the boys manages to wriggle free of his manacles. He asks if she’ll try to return him to slavery if he sets her free, and she says she won’t. The boy then sneaks out through the front door.

Lilimuth is convinced he’s not coming back, but roughly two hours later, the door opens and the Red boy returns with a set of keys. He unlocks the other boy’s shackles, and then unlocks Lilimuth’s shackles. She promises to free the boys if they accompany her back to the village, but they seem hesitant and tell her she can’t promise that. She insists again, and so they agree. The one tells her to wait a moment, and the two boys sneak out through the front door.

She only waits about a minute before deciding they’re not returning, so she gathers some dirt from the floor and rubs it all over her body. Then, she stalks out into the night.

She is fortunate; nobody spots her, and her travel across the wastes is relatively uneventful. She encounters some manner of ooze, but it is too slow to catch her, and as she is without weapons or armor, she decides to avoid the fight.

After a couple of hours, she returns to the village of Remnant. She returns to her hut and collapses fitfully into bed.

The next morning, a primitive-looking man — white on his left side, dolm on his right — stalks across the plains. Several spearmen ask him to state his business, and he indicates that he has come seeking work. The spearmen escort him to the chief’s stone longhouse.

Once inside, he finds Shothothor (1st-level Chaotic Purple Sorcerer), Lilimuth Yogthoth, and Nyu-an the Black alchemist engaged in discussion. Introductions are made and they are content in the idea that the newcomer, who introduces himself as Nergull (1st-level Neutral White/Dolm Fighter), harbors no ill-will to the village. He offers his services for coin, and they indicate that they have nothing available at the moment, although some have delved into the well in the center of town and have returned with riches. Nergull expresses interest, and Lilimuth agrees to go. They convince two villagers to travel with them, arm Lilimuth and the two villagers with spears, buy some paper and a grease pencil, and descend into the caverns.

As Lilimuth has previously been in the caverns, they decide to explore and map the region she did not previously explore. After some careful examination, they come to a dead end. Nergull decides to examine it for any secret passages, and Lilimuth decides to join him. They spend several minutes, and when they are satisfied, they gather their things and prepare to leave when they hear footsteps. Out of the gloom come several diminutive humanoids with snakelike features. Although one of Nergull’s hired spearmen falls in the melee, the group manages to kill several of the snake-things with weapons and flaming lamp oil, forcing the rest of the creatures to flee. They decide to move forward, taking a righthand path. As the room opens, they see a large, lamprey-like worm. It immediately lunges at the remaining spearman, and starts boring its way through his chest. Although the others try to attack it, it squirms out of their reach and the spearman falls unconscious. Nergull and Lilimuth flee, but once they are regrouped, they decide to investigate the creature again, determining that they can probably kill it. When they return, however, they find only the man’s corpse with the worm-thing partially burrowed into him. It appears to be dead. Nergull, determining that he does not wish to know what this signifies, pours lamp oil over the corpse and sets it ablaze. The pair then investigate further, and finding another dead end, they decide to backtrack and take another path.

As they explore rooms and tunnels, they come to a wide open area and are beset by more of the reptilian creatures. A well-placed snake-creature spear plunges through Nergull’s chest. Lilimuth turns to run, but before she can escape, another spear catches her in the back, and she falls.

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Session 2

Remnant survives.

A group of twelve entered the Fungoid Gardens, and four returned, converting the town to the worship of the Old Ones. After the celebratory orgies and revels of the new Remnant (wherein Kra-deera and Uthak learned that Kra-deera’s nails can cause unconsciousness), everyone returned to the business of running the town. Three more travelers came to town the following day: Lilimuth Yogthoth (1st-level Chaotic Jale Sorcerer), Shako of the Wastes (1st-level Neutral Black Specialist), his lizardwolf pups and his two Red child-slaves, and Vebok Barth (1st-level Chaotic Red/Brown Sorcerer).

That night, all in the village had a dream, prompting them to dig.

Shothothor and most of the villagers took to digging, while Lilimuth, Shako, and Vebok wanted to investigate these “Fungoid Gardens” about which they had heard tales. A relative newcomer (having only been in the village a few weeks), Shub Shiggashoth (1st-level Chaotic Brown Fighter) joins them. Uthak (1st-level Chaotic Jale Fighter), having previously survived an expedition to the Fungoid Gardens, joins them and decides to act as a guide.

On the way, they meet and destroy a dolm ooze. It pits and rusts Uthak’s new plate armor and destroys Vebok’s short sword, although Vebok scoops up a sample of the goop with one of his glass jars.

Continuing to the Fungoid Gardens, the group tries to investigate paths they have not previously taken. They find a filthy area with bedrolls and more of the slack-jawed Yellow Men. Leaving them alone, they go down a side-tunnel to find an alchemy lab with a black-clad figure inside. Uthak recognizes one of the Gardens’ inhabitants, and they talk. He agrees to give them a tour of the upper levels, although he will not descend into the deep one-ridden lower levels.

He gets the group past the Amphibious Ones and they descend into the lower levels. They wander, fight another dolm ooze (which results in more plate armor corrosion), and investigate the runes that keep a hive of deep ones trapped in these caves. Deciding that they don’t want to investigate too heavily, they ascend. Before they help the alchemist move to Remnant, offering their protection in exchange for his services, they decide to investigate the nearby chamber devoid of fungus, as the alchemist says he’s always had a funny feeling about that place. Uthak finds that a section of wall is actually an opening blocked by a boulder. They determine it to be over 100’ deep. Uthak removes her plate armor and decides to climb down. She slips and falls, plummeting several hundred feet to her death. The sound of something in the pit suggests that she landed on it and either injured or killed it.

The group helps the alchemist move to Remnant. Shako tries to fashion the plate into shovels, but breaks it in the process.

The group decides to enslave any wanderers they can find. They decide to make hunting forays into the Blighted Lands by night. The first night, they happen across an Ulfire Woman bearing sword and shield, clad in leather and a loincloth. Strangely, rather than legs, she has tentacles with which she slithers across the rocky ground. Vebok reveres her, and rather than enslave her, they make introductions. She is Kakotug Narthok (1st-level Chaotic Ulfire Specialist), and she agrees to accompany them.

Their foray only finds a carapaced white arachnoid with two orange eyes and covered with small, fanged mouths. Kakotug gravely injures it and Vebok finishes the job, killing it.

The next several nights are uneventful, as the group finds nothing in the wastes.

When they return on the fifth day, they find that the hole in the center of the village has been completed, and it leads down into a series of caves. Before they go to sleep, they decide to investigate.

The caverns are covered with a fluffy, dolm fungus. They find a sack of coins, which they hoist back up to the village. Then they continue deeper.

They find nothing, but as they continue deeper, they find a tunnel. As they walk, they hear several feet behind them, and they turn to find a group of ten to twenty stunted, dwarfish, reptile people with snake-like faces. After murdering five of them, Vebok addresses them and frightens the remaining snake-creatures away.

They continue until they find a metal door. They pry it open and find themselves in an obviously artificial facility with walls of metal and stone.

Traveling with “left hand on the wall” or “wall-follower” method, they wander through the lightless tunnels until they find an intersection. Shako wants to go to the right door, and opens it to find a smooth green hexapod with two eyes and a sharp beak. The group leaps into the fray and savagely attacks the beast, killing it in seconds. A pile of coins also sits in this room, and the group grabs it before returning to the surface.

All told, the group finds 900 silver coins and 500 gold coins in the depths, along with the five spears they grabbed off the snake-things.

While Kakotug, Lilimuth, Shako, Shub, and Vebok sleep, Nyu-an, the Black alchemist from the Fungoid Gardens, takes a few of the villagers and makes a brief expedition into the well, just to investigate this dolm fungus. He determines that it is harmless and edible; if the caverns can be cleared, the fungi can be used as a food source and possibly even cultivated.

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Session 1

The Savior of the Prodigals calls upon any in the village who will agree to end the scourge of the Bone Sorcerer upon the village of Remnant. The area has been plagued with disappearances, and many believe that those disappearances are linked to the Bone Sorcerer — that he captures people and takes them to his Fungoid Gardens for unknown purposes.

Twelve respond. They are Hor-yinyagagg (1st-level Lawful Purple Fighter), Ke’pha (1st-level Lawful Orange/Bone Fighter), Kra-deera (1st-level Chaotic Black Fighter) with Torgdon the lizardwolf, Lotloth (1st-level Lawful Dolm Sorcerer), Oggo-otha (1st-level Neutral Bone Fighter), Ogort (1st-level Neutral Green Fighter), Shothothor (1st-level Chaotic Purple Sorcerer), Timid Claw (1st-level Neutral Red Fighter), Tsar-Phote (1st-level Neutral Green Sorcerer), Uthak (1st-level Chaotic Jale Fighter) with loyal retainer Pheebo (0-level Blue Man), Yaan-krok (1st-level Neutral Blue Sorcerer) with a child slave (0-level Bone Man) with a short sword, and Zothaanyig (1st-level Lawful Red Fighter).

The Savior of the Prodigals indicates he only wishes for peace, so they do not have the kill the Bone Sorcerer. In fact, peace may be preferable, but whatever must be done is acceptible.

The group travels to the local market to outfit themselves, but finding nothing of note, they start across the Blighted Lands.

After a few hours of walking, the group finds the crevasse in the mountains which leads to the Fungoid Gardens. The caverns are cool and seem fairly nonthreatening, so the group chooses a hallway and walks into a room of white lotus flowers tended by eleven Yellow Men. The Yellow Men are glassy-eyed and mechanically go about their motions, obviously under the effects of white lotus powder.

While discussing what to do, one of the group muses about killing the Bone Sorcerer, and at this, the Yellow Men snap to attention and start on the group with knives. Uthak’s retainer Pheebo falls first, followed by Ogort, but all of the drugged Yellow Men fanatics fall.

The group presses onward, finding a large room with a pool of jale slime in the middle. Most of the group cuts left, while Shothothor, Uthak, and Yaan-krok cut right. Those who go left find a small room with a desk; stooped over the desk is a Bone Man in plate armor and robes. Parley is initiated, but terms fall apart when the Bone Sorcerer asks, “What do you propose?” and Ke’pha leaps forward, shouting, “DEATH!” The Bone Sorcerer pulls out a raygun, but it is no match for Tsar-Phote’s psychic attack. After he unleashes that, the Bone Sorcerer is swiftly defeated — although he shouts for his minions as he dies.

Meanwhile, Shothothor, Uthak, and Yaan-krok encounter a caretaker robot in the gardens, and once they determine that they cannot destroy it, they flee. They encounter some of the Bone Sorcerer’s retainers and speak to them, indicating that there might be others in the Fungoid Gardens attempting to defeat the Bone Sorcerer. Then they wander deeper into the caves.

Ke’pha, Kra-deera, and Lotloth stay behind while Ke’pha dons the Bone Sorcerer’s armor. Hor-yinyagagg, Oggo-otha, Timid Claw, Tsar-Phote, and Zothaanyig go for the exit, but encounter resistance from a score of Yellow Men. All five of the travelers from Remnant are slain in the melee.

Once Ke’pha is outfitted with the Bone Sorcerer’s armor and raygun, Ke’pha, Kra-deera, and Lotloth move through the Fungoid Gardens, evade the caretaker robot, meet up with Shothothor, Uthak, and Yaan-krok, and end up slaying the Bone Sorcerer’s acolytes. Ke’pha, Kra-deera, and Lotloth also encounter and slay some weird, immobile creature in one of the chambers.

During this, Shothothor and Yaan-krok decide there is nothing further and return to Remnant. When they return, they speak with the Savior of the Prodigals, who indicates he has nothing to offer other than the continued safety of the town. They reject this offer and slay him; Shothothor then steps out in front of his longhouse and delivers a rousing speech, single-handedly revealing the gospel of the Great Old Ones to the village.

Ke’pha, Kra-deera, Lotloth, and Uthak are, maybe, a half-hour behind Shothothor and Yaan-krok. When Ke’pha and Lotloth determine that the town is prepared to accept the Great Old Ones, they realize they need ot leave, but Shothothor orders the others to slay the unbelievers.

The fight is brutal, and Lotloth falls swiftly, but Ke’pha manages to hold out with her new armor. However, Uthak manages to deliver the fatal blow, and so claims the plate armor and raygun for herself.

Newly christened in the name of the Great Old Ones, the town of Remnant celebrates. Shothothor takes the mantle of mayor.

Of the twelve who set out for the Fungoid Gardens, only Kra-deera, Shothothor, Uthak, and Yaan-Krok survive.

Addendum: At some point, Kra-deera licked a colorful slug in the Fungoid Gardens. Within a few hours, her nails hardened and gained the colorful patterns of the Garden slug. She can now render others unconscious with but a scratch.

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