Friday, October 21, 2016

Iron Gods - The Choking Tower 1

We continue with our Iron Gods campaign - spoilers ahead.

Following their successful defeat of Hellion at Scrapwall, the party headed back to Torch before deciding what to do next. They had heard about another Iron God called Unity which Hellion sought to destroy. They also heard about Casandalee which Hellion thought of as a sister and who may have escaped from Unity with useful information on how to defeat him. Casandalee was believed to be an android and was last reported to be in what is now the town of Iadenveigh. Although Casandalee most likely died many decades ago, she was said to have a device called a neurocam which can record thoughts and might contain vital information about Unity.

The people of Iadenveigh were rather insular and particularly hostile to high technology. Still, the company was able to earn the cooperation of the town's self-appointed guardian, Iadrin "Redfang" Ashworth and Ivek Gunnett, a member of the town council. Gunnet had reason to believe a spy from the Technic League was in his town and requested that the party investigate. They uncovered clues that led them to a group of Varisian merchants. Rather than presenting their suspicions openly, the party decided to befriend the Varisians. After a couple of nights of interaction, they learned that one among the troupe, a dancer by the name of Ilarris Zeleshi, was a very recent addition. A dancer fit with the information they had and the party realized they had unmasked the spy. Zeleshi soon realized she'd been made and fled at the earliest opportunity. Nonetheless, Nils was able to follow her to a well that had been covered with a capstone. She entered the well, but not before setting off some sort of glyph. The party followed after her, but had to fight through a cloud of nanites.

At the bottom of the well, they found an opening that led into another part of the spaceship buried underground. They came upon a room with computer terminal that still had some power. After some experimentation, they were able to get a video playback of the room on the monitor. It showed a human leaning over the computer. He mentioned something about having charged the computer with a magic spell, but that he couldn't learn anything useful. The man seemed to be talking to an invisible companion whom he called Sahasho. The companion, in return, called the man Master Xoud. The video ended as the man exited the room. The party explored further and battled several deformed androids. They determined that the section of the ship they were in was an android foundry, although the damage it had sustained degraded the androids produced. They also caught up with Ilarris Zeleshi. She was wounded from the glyph and the nanites and they were able to subdue her without killing her. They tied her up for later retrieval.

Moving on, the party pushed its way through a collapsed and trapped section of the ship. Once across, they encountered a group of gearsmen who demanded the immediate surrender of Casandalee. Unsatisfied with the inability of the party to produce her, the gearsmen attacked. Fighting through the gearsmen, the party uncovers a nanotech lab. The lab showed evidence of recent activity including a section of floor tile that had been lifted, exposing what appeared to be a power conduit. The company is addressed by a disembodied voice, which they recognized as that of the invisible companion in the video playback they saw earlier. The creature, which they identified as an invisible stalker, asked if there was any news from Master Xoud and if they had come to release it from its service. When it became clear the party did not come to free it, the invisible stalker attacked. It proved a formidable foe, but the party prevailed. Casandalee may have been here at one time, but it appeared Master Xoud may have left with her remains some time ago. Deciding to move on, the party noticed another door with a sign saying "Canister Access" in Androffan and a bright orange sigil displayed prominently upon it. Until next time...


Monday, October 03, 2016

Iron Gods - Lords of Rust 3

We continue with our Iron Gods campaign - spoilers ahead.

The time had come for the final confrontation with Hellion. Nalakai came before the group who had decided to occupy the abandoned ratfolk warren and informed them that Hellion demanded their presence for the final initiation into the Lords of Rust. Smangtooth, Targus and Grendel answered the call, accompanied by two members of Redtooth's Raiders. The new members, a pair of ratfolk rogues named Kodo and Podo, were brothers who were highly skilled in robot fighting tactics. The five gathered at the arena and were led to an underground temple. Awaiting them were Nalakai's acolytes. They gathered before a large holographic projector which suddenly sprang to life revealing a hideous demonic figure - Hellion. The image spoke, ordering the group to kneel and prepare for the final test of faith. As the party knelt, Hellion cast an unholy blight upon them. Their agonized response revealed they were not evil and, therefore, not worthy followers. Hellion ordered Nalakai and the acolytes to attack. Though fanatical, Hellion's priests were no match for the group and were quickly dispatched. Nalakai joined Helskrag, Meyanda and Kulgara on the list of deceased Lords of Rust.

The party descended further into the structure beneath the arena. They battled other followers of Hellion, notably dark folk, orcs and another member of the Lords of Rust, the ettin, Draigs. She put up a respectable fight, but at this point, the company was not intimidated by the Lords and they slew her as ruthlessly as they had the others. After some exploration, the party realized they were exploring a huge, buried vehicle. They located another holographic projector which displayed the vehicle in its entirety, revealing it to be an enormous excavator. They also located the central processor and were able to install the inhibitor facet they had acquired earlier. This caused Hellion to terminate its connection with the central processor, but the damage was done. The AI was infected by the disruptive program, weakening it for the final battle to come.

The company exited the excavator and entered the caves around it. They came upon a cave with a pile of fairly fresh orc, ratfolk and human corpses with their torsos burst open. A crude painting of a red, four-armed demonic figure adorned the wall of the cave. Continuing on, they entered another chamber occupied by a figure appearing very much like the painting. The creature, a xill, introduced herself as Zagmaander, At last, the mysterious final member of the Lords of Rust was found. Zagmaander did not immediately attack. She indicated that she knew they were there to destroy Hellion and that she could assist them if they could help her. She was cursed to spend eternity in her cave unless someone could remove the curse. The party discussed it among themselves, but in fact, none of them had the ability to cast the remove curse spell. The xill reasoned that if she could not be freed, she would use them to implant more of her offspring, the same fate as that suffered by the corpses in the previous cave. Zagmaander swung her swords, fired her laser torch and even employed her paralyzing bite, but outnumbered 5-to-1, she didn't last long. She welcomed the release of death.

Finally, the company came upon their ultimate foe. At the far end of excavator, the giant bucket wheel protruded into a large cavern. Plenty of debris and partially-constructed robots lay about. A large scorpion-like robot rose up before them. Hellion had retreated to an arachnid robot chassis.

It opened fire on Smangtooth with its plasma beam as the ratfolk charged up to engage. Using its claws to fight the ratfolk and its plasma gun to strafe Smangtooth, Hellion fought hard. It concentrated its attacks on Smangtooth and being a divine creature with mythic power, it had many attacks. Smangtooth struck repeatedly with her chainsword, while Kodo and Podo teamed up, stabbing with their adamantine rapiers. Grendel and Targus followed up, surrounding the 'bot. Weakening quickly and still confused by the inhibitor facet, Hellion directed all its mythic attacks at Smangtooth. The orc barbarian was hideously battered, but still barely held on through sheer force of will as Podo drove home the killing blow. Unfortunately for Smangtooth, Hellion's robot chassis exploded. Everyone was caught in the blast, but for Smangtooth, it was too much. Her scorched body fell to the floor. Smangtooth was dead.

Good thing they still had that scroll of resurrection.