Monday, January 15, 2018

Monday Recap: Broodmother Skyfortress
When someone asks you if you're a Space God, you always say yes!
We got together on Saturday to play another Campaign of Chaos game. This time, I used a pre-made module by the excellent game master Jeff Rients. It's called Broodmother Skyfortress, because there's a Broodmother and a Skyfortress in the module. It's quite fun.

Part of the module (and an excellent part, at that) is a sort of thematic modularity that allows you to build the game to suit your campaign. The "Giants" of the Brood can be from 4 different origins, or more if you make one up yourself. Same for the Skyfortress itself. Also, the horrible wretches that live beneath the tunnels of the Skyfortress have a bunch of traits that are left up to the DM, to make them as hostile/dangerous/friendly as you like.

So naturally, this being Chaos Quest, I left all of these decisions up to the players.

It did not go as expected.

This story is part 4 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 Chaos Crew, they had just finished spreading all sorts of mayhem across the city of Auraglow. Just as their patron, Mr. Lizard, returned to their graveyard hideout, a massive thunderstorm rolled in. Declaring that this was their ticket out of here, Mr. Lizard led the group up the massive chains tethering the cloud to the ground, while huge, centaurian monsters rampaged through the darkened city below.

They arrived on the surface of a cloud, where the storm was gone, and the moonlight shone above them. In the distance, they saw several structures, the largest of which was a domed building with a huge golden obelisk sticking up out of it.

Mr. Lizard then asked the group who they though built the domed building, and what they though those monsters looked like. The party agreed: those monsters were certainly fiends of some kind, and the building looked like it was made by some creatures so technologically advanced that they had fled Ahneria long ago.

Mr. Lizard then told them their goals: capture the Skyfortress so they could use it as a base of operations, and travel the world in it. Also, set it on a path towards Garton and figure out how to use its laser cannons or whatever weaponry it had.
Heavy Metal Shark Elephants - my new band name
The crew decided to check out some of the smaller structures first, and made their way towards them. Drawing closer, they realized these were similar in construction to the larger dome: but the blinking lights and sci-fi glow had long faded. Magic Man realized that these structures had fallen through the cloud supports below, meaning this cloud structure was slowly destabilizing.

They then realized Mr. Lizard had disappeared, leaving only a note in Agne's pocket stating "BRB". It wasn't the first time their patron had vanished on them, and they shrugged it off.

The group decided to venture into the basements of these buildings and see what they could find. They eventually made their way all the way down, and could see the distant city on fire below them. Also, the chains they had climbed up on were now being used by the monsters to return to the cloud. The group was finally able to get a good look at the creatures who had been destroying Auraglow.

They were centaur-like, but massive - their lower halves were elephant-like, and as large as elephants as well. Their upper halves were humanoid, except their heads, which looked like hammerhead shark heads. Their skin was dark reddish-grey, and they sported long curled horns and sharp black claws on their hands. One of them had a monstrous glowing blue sword strapped to his back. Cressen had to hold Myst back from jumping at the shiny object.

Meanwhile, Agne had spotted a small golden bracelet and was trying to figure out how to reach it, since it was all the way across a cloud chasm. Artorius offered to fly over, but it was rather precariously placed and his claws weren't the most dexterous. Instead, Cressen used his wings of flying to swoop over and snatch up the charm, though he nearly dropped it as well.

They fiddled with the charm a bit, before realizing a small part of it could extend out and shoot poison-covered needles. The needles seemed to be coated in a tranquilizer-like toxin, and there were only two shots remaining. The technology completely befuddled them.

Agne, with his natural Kobold instincts, discovered a tunnel that lead towards the center of the cloud island. The group decided to follow it inwards, heading towards the area beneath the massive domed fortress.

(Fair warning: remember how I said I let the players dictate some of the details of this adventure? Well. Things got weird.)

They arrived at a cave with a pool in it, lit by phosphorescent mushrooms. In it, they saw strange ghosts, flickering spirits that appeared to be young human girls wearing bathing linens and rolling around in poo. The party called out to them, and they leapt up at the sight of strangers. But as soon as they saw Magic Man, they started to call him by name and rush forward to greet him. Their clothing flickered and transformed into some sort of naval uniform.

I don't know how it came to this. I wish it hadn't.
Magic Man had no idea what was going on, but he could smell someone cooking meat and mushrooms, which reminded him of his grandfather. Brushing aside concerns from the party that he had eaten his grandfather, they followed these strange spirit girls into a cavern used as a dining hall.

The party spent some time figuring out what was going on here. (Like, three hours of in game time.) Jakky, with his Darkling blindsight, couldn't see the girls, but instead saw small spheres that appeared to be doing the talking. The girls told Magic Man that he could also visit the "Hall of the Lost Ones" or "Sempai", neither of which he understood. Meanwhile, Jakky and Myst ate the food and drank the mushroom beer, which gave them horrifying hallucinations. Magic Man joined in later, after talking to and flirting with the "Student Council President" spirit, who was named "Misu".

They eventually figured out that they were in some sort of game (dating sim) called "Romance High", which was apparently owned (and extensively modded) by Magic Man. The "Lost Ones" were spirits (holograms) that had died (fallen into disrepair), and "Sempai" was their leader and spiritual guide (he acted as the principle in the game and could reveal data about the game file).

The group went to see "Sempai", and were told that they needed to take the game into a certified repair shop, the closest of which was thousands of light years away. Also, the current game session was almost two million years old. They weren't sure what to make of this information, and eventually decided to explore the rest of the caves and come back.

When they did so, they quickly discovered that they had found a small entrance to the main building. They peeked out from behind a pile of boulders and saw a huge columned room, with red glowing columns and tiny spiders webbed across the ceiling. The area looked like it was once a high-technology marvel, but had since been decorated by the giant creatures with blood, skulls, chains, and torture implements (basically a heavy metal album cover).

They also got an up-close view of two of the Giants within the chamber they could view. One of them, who kept coughing and hacking up vomit, was kicking and bullying a smaller Giant that looking runtish and underfed. The monsters seemed busy, so the group decided to sneak past them. Cressen used his Pass Without Trace spell to conceal the group.

They snuck through the huge doorway and into the next room, which prominently featured an enormous platform standing on struts, surrounded by strange paintings that flickered images from around the building and outside. Stuck through the platform was a massive contraption, an octahedron that extended into the empty space below the platform. It was covered in lines and gems, some of which glowed bright colors. Also, standing on the platform was a Giant, a massive specimen even for their race, with massive muscles and a big beer belly. On his back was the big blue glowing sword.

Once again, Cressen held Myst back from dashing forward. The group debated what to do, and decided to try and tranquilize the massive monster. Cressen, still under the effects of his spell, crept forward and fired two needles packed with poison into the Giant's haunches. The first one seemed to have no effect, but the second caused the monster to relax his arms and start to sway slowly.

Cressen started talking to the monster and trying to work out a language, while Jakky, Myst, and Magic Man pored over this strange contraption. They recalled "Sempai" had mentioned something about a Skydrive, this must be it. They poked and prodded, and managed to pry off a few gemstones with no ill effects. Meanwhile, Cressen convinced the Giant to give up his cool sword, which turned out to be made of some strange substance that gave it powerful properties.

Something like this
Jakky went to grab off another gem, but this time, something happened: the entire fortress, maybe even the entire cloud, jerked violently into a tilted position! Cressen used his wings to fly and Magic Man shrugged off the sudden motion, saying it happened to him all the time. However, Agne, Myst, and Jakky were thrown to the ground, and Jakky only barely avoided being crushed by their new Giant companion.

The party wasn't sure what just happened, and certainly wasn't about to find out what would happen if they touched the Skydrive again. Also, they realized that they didn't have much longer before the tranquilizer was going to wear off, according to Cressen's poison-identifying skills. They decided to take this opportunity to wipe out the Giants in the red-columned room they had just passed through.

Myst rode the Giant they had tamed, which he called "Sharkey", into the next room, where the two Giants were still moving about, confused at the recent shift in the direction of gravity. Myst ordered an attack, and Sharkey lunged forward at the vomiting monster.

Magic Man, Agne, and Jakky all unleashed their attacks at the beast, but unfortunately its hide was so thick (like, thicc) that they could barely scratch the beast. Only Myst's Oathbow arrows, Cressen's new sword, and Sharkey's ridiculously powerful punches seemed to be having any effect at all.

Frustrated, Magic Man and Jakky switched to supporting their allies while Agne scoped out the other Giant, the runt. He seemed scared, and possibly willing to join the group and gain the power that comes with Chaos. Agne began to speak into his mind, frightening him with power but also coaxing him into servitude.

The vomiting monster had unleashed a torrent of acidic bile that nearly left Jakky dead, and Cressen began to switch to healing his ally. Sharkey kept wailing on their opponent, making several of Myst's arrows fly off in odd directions. Finally, the beast went down after three brutal blows from Sharkey, and the tranquilized Giant began to charge towards the Runt to finish him off as well.

Cressen and Myst yelled at Sharkey to stop, and he did so, reluctantly. Agne kept talking to the Runt, and finally convinced him to join their cause. The group nicknamed him Luci, since he was a devilish fiend and all.

Luci said he somewhat knew how to deal with the Skydrive, and they returned to the engine room. Luci set the Fortress back to its proper alignment, and charted a course towards Garton. They were almost out of time on Sharkey's tranquilizer, and they weren't about to fight Sharkey. So instead, Artorius lead Sharkey outside and near a hole in the clouds close to the Fortress. Then, he used his Gravitic Breath to make Sharkey fall through the hole and plummet to the ground far below.

Miles below, on the path leading from Garotn to Auraglow, an adventuring party had just set out on their biggest and best adventure yet. They had grown close as friends, and closer as comrades-in-arms. They knew that this was going to be it: the amazing adventure that changed everything. Deep in their hearts, they knew.

Then, the Gnome Wizard looked up and said "What in the Hells is tha-"

And they were all crushed by the massive shark-elephant-demon-centaur that landed directly on them, exploding in a shower of meat and feces, leaving a massive crater in the path. The end.

Back above, the group decided to take a quick rest in a room that Luci told them should be safe: the Crypt. They ventured there through the Red-Columned room and found a small alcove with some glass coffins containing strangely tall skeletons with elongated skulls. Myst found an old Map of Ahneria made of Gemstones, and pried them off.

They took a quick rest, knowing that they weren't quite finished yet: they had taken control of the ship, for sure, but they still had to deal with the rest of the Giants before they could truly capture the fortress. According to Luci, four more remained: "The Smart One", "The Twins", "The Scary One" and "Mother".

Mr. Lizard's note now read: "Accidentally got sucked into an other plane of existence. At least I found a friend! Back before you know it!"
Magic stuff and really wild things, baby
We stopped there for the night. I never expected to introduce such high science fiction into Ahneria (though we did have a steampunk time traveler that one time). But hey, that's Chaos! I'm planning to keep everything sufficiently advanced, that this sort of thing won't be reverse-engineerable. At least then whatever they find will be limited to the Skyfortress.

Thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment