Monday, February 26, 2018

Monday Recap: Sharkephant Slaugherhouse

The return of the Shark-Elephant-Demon-Centaurs
We got together and played another round of Campaign of Chaos recently, and it was a lot of fun. True to its purpose, this campaign is throwing a wrench in pretty much all of my worldbuilding and campaign plans.

Oh well. That just means a group of heroes is going to have to put a stop to all of this.


This story is part 5 of a series. The campaign is complete.
Previous Campaign | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 |

Campaign of Chaos: Broodmother Skyfortress

Cast of Characters
Jon: Dungeon Master
Shannon: Cressen Juhl, Fallen Aasimar Trickery Cleric of Ralishaz, hates their dad Pholtus
Cody: Myst, Tabaxi Rogue, likes the shiny and shoots the arrows
Quinn: Jakky, Darkling Shadow Monk, sneaks into places to do a murder
Wade: Agne, Kobold Warlock of the Great Old Ones, killed his family for creepy powers
Wes: Magic Man, Drow Transumation Wizard, kind of creepy, teaches magical life lessons
NPC: Artorius, Void Dragon Wyrmling, hangs out with Agne

When we last left the Chaotic Crew, they were in the middle of clearing out a high-tech sky fortress so they could commandeer it and travel where they pleased. After befriending two of the giant demon shark/elephant centaurs, killing another one and throwing one of their newfound friends off the cloud, they decided to take a quick rest in a crypt.

The runt of the giants, who they decided to name Lucy, was skilled enough to kind of figure out how to work the controls to the Sky Fortress and its magic viewing portals. Ange used his telepathy to ask Lucy where the rest of the Giants were, and Lucy took some time and figured it out. Apparently, there were four remaining: The Mother, The Twins, The Scary One, and The Smart One.

The crew really didn't like the sound of any of them, but decided to go for the Twins first. However, Lucy told them that to get to the Twins they would have to sneak past or kill the Scary One. The group didn't see much choice in the matter, so they decided to go for it.

Along the way, they passed a storage room containing meat hanging from metal chains and barrels of strange ale. Magic Man decided to take some, even after he found out the ale had been mixed with blood and onions.

When they arrived at the entrance hall of the Fortress, they saw "The Scary One" drinking from a large pool of water being filled by a dragon's head fountain. The Scary One was a female of the species, somewhat more diminutive than the males they had seen so far but still quite massive. As they watched, she suddenly jerked upright, her eyes turning milky white, and dragged her claws across her own chest. Then, she used the blood on her hands to start drawing devilish runes on the walls.

Without missing a beat, the group decided to attack! Myst used his incredible agility to run across the room, up the side of the monster, and leap onto the dragon-head fountain, all while firing an arrow off from his Oathbow. Jakky and Cressen rushed forward to attack, each of them activating their own magical trickery to distract and confuse their prey. Meanwhile, Lucy, Agne, and Magic Man hung back and attacked from a distance.

A scene of abject Chaos (art by Shannon!)
As Cressen drew close, he could feel a strange sensation overtaking his senses in much the same way the Scary One seemed to be overtaken by something. Magic Man also attempted to take control of her mind with a Crown of Madness spell, but found something was already controlling her. It seemed like she was possessed.

The battle was going in their favor, though as usual the effects of their Chaos allegiance were causing strange effects to pop up around the battle. As Myst dodged away from a crushing attack, a strange scent filled the air. The group wasn't sure what it was or what was going on. At least, until Magic Man fired a Scorching Ray into the area.

Suddenly the air around the battle caught fire, creating a massive explosion. (Though the character's did know what was going on, I made sure to tell the players that one of their Chaos effects had caused the pool of water to turn to gasoline. 91 points of fire damage for everyone!) Fortunately, by leaping, dodging behind the Scary One, or just by the virtue of being hardy enough to survive the explosion, the group barely made it out of the all-consuming blast radius.

The Scary One, however, wasn't as lucky. As she was fried by the massive explosion, a sparking, smoking orb floated out of her corpse. It appeared to be the same as the ones they had seen projecting holograms downstairs. It jerked around a bit then fell to the floor, apparently dead. The group hypothesized that the malfunctions must have been what was causing the Scary One's possessed behavior.

To get to the Twins, they would have to venture back outside the Fortress, and around the back of the building where the gardens were. The Twins had last been seen sleeping under a large dead tree in the back of the garden. They made their way around the gardens, which were a overgrown, disheveled mess. They found a very large statue, which had an arm missing. Lucy grabbed it to use as a weapon later.

At the massive dead tree, they found the Twins arguing with each other. It was just one creature, but they had two heads instead of fists and an arm with a fist instead of a head. The group was confused and slightly disturbed by this facefist hate machine, but after seeing the runt and the vomiting one they didn't think too much about it.

So much easier to show than to describe
Cressen noticed a withered apple at the top of the tree and flew up to retrieve it, using his invisibility to sneak past the Twins. It was very large, but quite inedible. Meanwhile, the others hid in the foliage of the garden and worked out a plan to quickly dispose of this monster.

They decided to have Agne build an illusory platform of clouds over a large hole in the clouds, then use Cressen's flight speed to lure the Twins to the hole. The beast seemed to hesitate at first, but Cressen put on a mind-bendingly mocking performance that left the creature no choice but to barrel forward, its face-fists swinging wildly... until it leapt right through the illusory cloud and plummeted down to the ground. Where it crushed the home and family of a stout halfling farmer before his very eyes.

The group, satisfied with their work, began to head back into the Fortress to finish up their work. They still needed to defeat the Mother and the Smart One. Perhaps fortunately, the Smart One was quickly found. He was investigating the corpse of the Scary One, which had been blown up in the entrance hall of the Fortress.

Though they were currently unseen, Myst leapt out and began firing his bow at the monster before them, who seemed to have a mutated head and was wrapped in chains that it wielded like whips. Jakky melted into the shadows, reappearing beneath the monster and stabbing its underside with his poisoned dagger.

Meanwhile, Agne summoned a trio of giant Spiders from his Staff of Swarming Insects, who launched forward and began to spray webs at the bucking monster. Lucy hung back to throw boulders, Magic man began casting spells, and of course Cressen flew forward with the magical Greatsword he had obtained from the other Shark-Elephant-Demon.

The monster struggled against its many opponents, but a well-placed Evard's Black Tentacles by Agne tied him in place, allowing the others to pump him full of magic, arrows, and stab wounds. Finally, Cressen flew upward while it was distracted, scored a clean hit, and lopped the head from its shoulders. The monster dissolved into fine grey powder, a side effect of the sword's magic.

Though there were no explosions this time, the group was still feeling drained after fighting through all these demons. Lucy kept urging them on, pointing out that only the Mother was left to slay. Lucy was very excited about the ever-nearing prospect of being the biggest member of the pack.

They passed down a silver hallway and into a room they had seen earlier on one of Lucy's view screens: a trophy room. It was decorated with the paraphernalia of dozens of animals slain by the Giants or their predecessors. Though some of grisly mementos gave the party pause, Myst was mostly drawn to a large, shiny metal helmet. It was a winged helm with a realistic face mask, sized for a creature quite a bit larger than anyone if the party. Myst threw it in his portable hole for storage.

Uh oh...
They carefully pressed forward, arriving at a massive throne room. Seated upon the sleek metal throne was a monstrous suit of armor, styled in the same way as the helmet. It, of course, was missing its head.

In the opposite corner of the room, they finally saw The Mother. She had set up a nest and was laying eggs, roaring at the intrusion of these strangers. Though dwarfed by the suit of armor, she was still the largest specimen of Giant they had seen yet. Her grotesque body was swollen with Giant eggs, and she bared her fangs in preparation of an assault.

So, Agne decided to Polymorph her into a goat.

They told Lucy to take the goat (and all the eggs that had surrounded the Mother) and throw them off of the clouds around the Fortress. With that taken care of, they turned their attention towards the suit of armor.

Myst and Cressen climbed up the side of the armor and tried to put the head back onto it. Unfortunately, the armor seemed to connect with strange wires they couldn't figure out. Agne climbed up as well and took a look, using his Warlock powers to read the writing on the armor. They finally figured out how to put it together, just as they heard a familiar voice ring out from the lobby behind them.

As the giant suit of armor roared to life, Mr. Lizard strode into the room, accompanied by a strange, tall elven figure. The elf had long, luxurious black hair, carried a longbow on his back, and seemed to be whistling without moving his lips.

Mr. Lizard introduced the Elf as his "old friend Lego-Lad!" before giddily teleporting directly inside the menacing armor monster. Suddenly, a hatch opened in the armor's breastplate, and Mr. Lizard's face could be seen inside. Suddenly, the armor lifted an arm to the ceiling, and fired a magical beam that tore through the top of the fortress, allowing daylight to leak in.

"This is awesome! Hey... I have an idea. Let's go to Garton!"

Down below, the halfling farmer whose home was destroyed by the falling Twins was tearfully explaining what happened to the Guard Captain of Garton, Floris. He looked into the distance. "I will make sure this never happens again. I will find those behind this and make them p... NOT MY ARMS AGAIN!" As his arms once again vanished into the Ethereal plane, a rumbling sound filled their ears. The kind of sound caused by a goat turning into a giant shark-elephant-demon-centaur-broodmother then hitting the ground, likely on another innocent homestead. This was followed by several smaller sounds, the kind made by shark-elephant-demon-centaur eggs when they would hit the ground.

Far above, the Skyfortress continued its erratic path towards the most populated trade city in the country.

Except now they have a Gundam
We stopped there. Thankfully. I have to figure out how I want to run a mecha assault on my beloved Garton city. But that's part of the fun: there are some really big consequences here, and we'll see how the players react.

I'm just here to facilitate the end of the world.

Thanks for reading!

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