Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Wreck of the Hammer of Grapthar

I hate you guys...

The Statistical Bubble of Improbability followed me home and effected the rest of my Random Treasure rolls...

I hit the "sweet spot" of the Random Magical Item treasure tables 40% of the time. That should NOT happen!!!

Anyway, here's what you got - let me know how you intend to divvy it up.

1. A cache of 4 gems: an amethyst, a moonstone, a dark green Alexandrite and a really fine and large amethyst.

2. A small chest containing 2,000 gold pieces.

3. A trident of excellent and magical quality.

4. A Potion of Speed.

5. A Bag of Holding

6. +3 Plate Mail - Female Half-Elf-sized. 

7. A Dagger of Venom.

8. +1 Longsword

9. Broadsword +1, +2 vs. enchanted or magic-using creatures

10. Ring of Shocking Grasp

11. A Helm of Telepathy

12. An onyx tetrahedron with a golden star occlusion

13. Robe of Scintillating Colors

14. Potion of Flying (3 doses)

15. Full plate Mail +1, Human-sized.

16. Gauntlets of Swimming & Climbing

17. Potion of Climbing (2 doses)

18. Field Plate Mail +1, Human-sized.

19. Shield +1

20. +1 Longsword

All in all, a pretty good haul. 

And that doesn't include the ship.

Enjoy, you bastards.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Episode 6: Junk Wars!

With Xoe is deep meditation and Kobayashi on hiatus, Saladin was jetlagged too....

Xeno delivered the coup de grace on the zombie captain, skewering his frigid corpse with the Pointy Hat of Doom. After making sure that he was unequivocally dead, Xeno raided the body and turned up some booty, not least of which was a Deck of Many Things. Having some learning about this most interesting of magical decks, it was determined that ownership of it was not something that the still-conscious members of Der Mobile's crew were willing to take on, so Iryien lost the coin-toss and was elected to slip the Deck into the still-comatose Takemiya's rough homespun gi.

Oddly enough, it was when the plaques had been planted that Takemiya awoke and, quite surprisingly, refrained from dislocating Iryien's arm post-haste. The news of the revived Spelljammer soon spread throughout the ships, and with Kobayashi manning the Hammer's helm, the ships were disentangled and normality resumed.

It was here that Xeno and Takemiya had an idea - offer Gorth and the remaining crew of the Hammer a contract extension - to take effect upon the expiration of their 'debt of service'. Details remain to be worked out, but there's no doubt that 4 experienced spelljamming crew members would be an asset now that DCM Enterprises has two ships. Gorth would act as Captain of the Hammer in support (and subsidiary to) Saladin as Der Mobile's captain. Gorth agreed (contingent on the acquisition of large amounts of smoke powder) to refit and restaff the Hammer, a project that would take no more than a week or two. Once finished, DCM Enterprises should have a nice little operation going....

Speaking of which, it appears that the strange, bronze obelisk in the Hammer's hold is due to be delivered to one Marguerite Moebius of Rosencrantz, Lungfish Isle. Close examination of the contract binding the captain and crew of the Hammer reveals that one 'Vito Macaroli' has arranged to loan the "Obelisk, Brazen" to Ms. Moebius for a short period of time, not to exceed three months in length. The contract appears to be somewhat magically binding, in that it seems that Saladin having been elected captain in absentia is now bound by contract to deliver the Obelisk or risk "consequences". Due to the magical nature of the contractual language (and the somewhat shaky 'read magic' ability of Xeno) it would appear that, if the Obelisk is NOT delivered, Saladin will either "lose herever after and forthwith yon rights to all reproductive zeal and lemons" or "be thee teleported to the very nether layers of The Abysse, to be devouritated for millenia by eleven Shaggy Demodands"...

Either way, that Obelisk better find it's way to Ms. Moebius, or else.

It was at this point that Xeno reasoned that everything that didn't belong to Gorth, Gollum and the 2 humans was now property of DCM Enterprises. Wouldn't you know it, but the 'Statistical Improbability Drive' decided to kick in on Xeno's Treasure Roll, and a 20 was the result.

I'm STILL rolling for your loot. :(

At last, the ships headed to the surface of the moon Maeda to garner repairs to the Hammer and check out the location of "Ictinus"...

An interesting community has formed on Maeda's only body of water, Long Lake. At one end of the long, thin lake a stadium sits, cradling the water and enabling a few thousand people to witness what looks like the occasional naval battle. Wagering seems to be a big part of the spectacle, as the "Champs Colisée" appears to draw large numbers of spelljamming ships, their crews and various dignitaries to soak up the scene. A special VIP stand acts even floats out over the water, acting as the southernmost boundary for the stadium. As Der Mobile coasted in looking for a repair crew, they saw an oriental junk fitted with a large crew set to take on what looked like an old Roman floating shield turtle.

Eventually, Der Mobile found "Wilbur's Wreckage", where a precocious and somewhat ADHD lad by the name of Willy was not only helpful, but seemed to recognize the crew. He asked if Xeno had captured a ship this time, and seemed quite impressed that he'd taken a Hammership. Willy then fetched his father who got a crew aboard his "Bumbler" and followed Der Mobile up to where the Hammer was waiting in orbit.

Lastly, Der Mobile floated down to investigate "Ictinus", which was found by following the ship's autopilot function. It led to a cove nestled amongst quiet, lakeside cabins where children splashed, swung on ropeswings and toasted marshmelons by campfire in the ruddy afternoon...

One cabin, however, stuck out like a sore thumb. Lights, streamers, tinsel and a large array of gaily-colored statuettes, gazing balls and urinating boys waited at Der Mobile's destination. A placard labeled "Hau Phat Cottage" stood benignly at the head of the path which led up from the dock. The path led to a modest two-story cabin nestled underneath the gaudy pink leaves of the most ghastily-decorated tree any of the crew had ever seen.

Sitting under the tree, deep in thought, was a large iron golem by the name of Mike. Affixed to him by means of a clear resin was a note from the Long Lake Beautification Committee, chastising the owners of the cabin for their bad taste. Mike informed the crew that he had just finished filling the third box of wood, and would start doing ballista bolts next. Curious to see what he was talking about, Xeno had Mike lead them to the cellar where he revealed a large metal table, criss-crossed with coils of wire and metal plates. A root from the pink-leafed tree outside had made its way through the foundation and onto the table, where it passed through a number of metal loops before being sheared cleanly off. This was at last the origin of the chest of 'logs' that were being sold to the Tookah's clients. Hau Phat cottage sits under a sapient Pearwood tree.

Choking down his initial revulsion and horror, Saladin heads outside to 'commune' with the tree and finds that it is in fact mostly dead. 75% of the tree is corrupt and failing, with only the root system maintaining any health. But it would appear that the 'unhealth' is being leeched up and out of the tree through the device in the cabin's basement, with the robust roots being allowed to spread up and through the tree, slowly restoring it to health. What's being sheared off by Mike is only the sick and unhealthy bits of tree - and is being done at a great profit.

Xeno also recalls seeing the schematics for this table in his bunker, and has dubbed it a "Telurric Resonator". Something to do with the vital energy of a planetoid being bound up in accordance to certain geomantic priciples, tetrahedral geometry and other arcane jibber-jabber. Suffice it to say that something truly bizarre is going on here, but hey, that's Wildspace...

Next Week, Episode 7: Special Deliveries!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Episode 5: Space... The Final Frontier. For Xoe. Almost.

As Der Mobile continued up through the stratosphere, the sky eventually darkened and stars came out to play...

A ship shaped like a hammerhead shark appeared to port, bearing down on Der Mobile at a good clip while Iryien's mind goggled at recent events. A ship that's a turtle? A hammerhead shark?? In space??? Luckily, the plucky half-elf gained her wits in time to see the shark ship slide silently aft, four figures frantically flailing their arms in an attempt to gain the attention of Der Mobile's crew.

Saladin recognized the two flags that one of the crewmen were waving - white for non-aggression and orange for fouled air. The hammership also appeared to be drifting in orbit with no helmsman to steer. Much debate ensued - should they be rescued? Should we let them asphyxiate and take their ship? Eventually Takemiya counseled compassion and Saladin had the ships brought level but care was taken to keep the atmospheres from mingling.

A comedic bit of communication then took place, with written messages being stuffed inside potted plants and hurled from ship to ship via sword catapults. Four survivors of The Hammer of Grapthar asked to be taken aboard and, at the risk of their own air quality, Der Mobile swung into action.

The ships quickly came together and the survivors were taken on board - two humans, a halfling and an amphibious little guy wearing decorative shells known as a hurwaet. The ships then separated, but as they did so a large hole was blown in the hull on the hammership, and from it hurtled a large hippopotamic being named Gorth. He hurtled through the interrmediate space and landed feet first on Der Mobile's aft deck. Whilst the crew of Der Mobile drew arms and prepared for battle, the crew of the Hammer seemed overjoyed as they believed him to be lost. The crew then hastily told a tale of taking on a shipwrecked man by the name of Ivo MacBligh. He had been left on an asteroid by his crew and swore a debt of service to the captain of the Hammer in return for being rescued. MacBligh was taken to sick bay and soon afterwards crew members, including both spelljammers, began to fall ill. A number died, but by the time the remaining crew figured out that MacBligh was to blame over three-quarters of the crew had fallen ill or were dead. The survivors worked to barricade MacBligh and the afflicted crew members in the hold of the ship and drifted in orbit for three days until sighting Der Mobile.

A heated argument ensued on the aft deck of Der Mobile, with Gorth wanting to destroy the Hammer outright and Xoe wanting to destroy the 5 survivors outright. Unfortunately the fracas distracted everyone from the fact that the Hammer had now left orbit and was circling around behind Der Mobile. Zombies poured up from below decks and manned the Hammer's dual catapults and ballista. The dark figure of Ivo MacBligh stood on the deck, gazing malevolently at Der Mobile. With a cry of "Battlestations!" Der Mobile sprung, no - skipped, no - slooshed into action - weapons manned, bows and wands drawn.

It took some time for the crew of Der Mobile to get the hang of maneuvering in the heat of the battle, but once the Hammer was engaged the battle was short, if not sweet. Taking a hit from an enemy catapult, Der Mobile was no worse for wear until an attempted rollover move turned into Der Mobile heading straight for the Hammer's deck, kamikaze-style. Xeno unleashed a fireball, all but clearing the deck of the Hammer of undead crew, while Gorth's arquebus (a strange tube which uses contained explosions to launch projectiles) and Iryien's bow raked the zombie captain about the head and shoulders to no end.

It was at this point that the Hammer lurched upwards and, catching Der Mobile by surprise, smashed into the bow of the armored turtle with great force, which suddenly pitched Der Mobile's plane of gravity 90˚, making 'front' suddenly 'down'. Takemiya felt a blinding flash of pain and passed out, with Kobayashi's attempts to revive him proving fruitless. The halfling manning the bow ballista (or is that 'halflinging'?) was, most unfortunately and gruesomely, smeared to death between the colliding ships. Xeno fell forward onto the deck of the Hammer, sticking the landing into a waist-high pile of melted zombie flesh. Iryien caught herself on the entrance to Der Mobile's cargo tunnel, and Xoe, sliding the length of the tunnel, evaded death by grasping Iryien's heel as she flew by. Fortunately, she was now a mere 4 feet from the Hammer's deck - unfortunately, she was within reach of the zombie captain who produced a sword and tried to cleft her twain in two.

Quickly hoisting herself up on Iryien's legs, Xoe avoided the sword, uncoiling just in time to see Xeno, up to his waist in muck, pointing the Finger of Overkill. A Cone of Cold caught MacBligh full on, but grazed Xoe's hind quartes, bringing her to the brink of oblivion...

Two ships joined at the midsection and drifting who knows where, one crew member dead, four injured and a zombie captain muttering 'I'm not dead yet!' in the corner. Plenty of fun left to be had when next we meet in...

Episode 6: Junk Wars!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Episode 4: The Turtle Moves!

As they entered the darkened pub, Saladin saw the girls on the stage and wondered if he'd made a wise decision. Having agreed to meet the Tookah, he, Iryien and Takemiya found themselves dealing with a very strange character indeed...

He was an intermediate in DCM's dealing with the trunk of sapient pearwood, and had information on their former associate, Ragnar the Dead Dwarf. In fact, Harry Dimples, an adventurer who could tie Ragnar to the activities of the notorious underground figure Chang Kai Eel, was dropping in at any moment to talk to give DCM more info...

*scream* CRASH ~thud~

Harry was dead in the street, the Tookah fled out the back and DCM was in hot pursuit of the assassin.

Until Xeno froze him to death with his wand.

The next morning, Ben suggested the group lay low, perhaps taking a boat ride. "It might help jog your memories," he offered, and they accepted. They took Der Chelonian Mobile out on the water, discovered that it could change form and fly as well.

So fly they did.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Episode 3: The Barking Spider

The smell of freshly-roasted bear lingered in the air as Xeno climbed the path in the woods, looking for a tree to water. Instead, he found a bunker filed with notes, papers, experiments and the stinging smell of ozone in the air. A gnomish lab of some sort...

Kobayashi and Takemiya discovered that they were quite adept at weaponless combat.

The Barking Spider turned out to be a jolly good joint, with Luftwaffles and Kreigblintzes served up by a dwarf named Adolphus Swordhilter. It is here where a gateway to Undermountain exists. Madmardigan appeared from the tunnel, tarred and feathered - again. The party met Ben Firenze, a jolly old wizard who still has it when it comes to the ladies...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Episode 2: A Shot in the Dark

Everyone scattered into the woods and away from the light of the now-dying campfire and the now-dying dwarf. Some circled towards the path where the Count was seen retreating with his men. Some fumbled lamely over stick and log. And one grabbed the chest and hid.

The Count got away, but the chicken did not, and as party members one by one transmogrified into their natural form, a diverse group emerged with one thing in common: a set of keys on a turtle-shaped key ring.

Eventually, the tall guy discovered a tree that contained a lobster pot filled with goodies.

A path led down the mountain and into a quaint, seaside village.

The keys opened a building known as 'DCM Enterprises".

The players had, apparently, arrived home.

Enter a bear with murder on its mind.

It was quickly dispatched.

Then eaten.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Episode 1: The Persistence of Memory

With a loud splash he surfaced to see green flames outlined against a vermillion sky. Some sort of boat had capsized and was on fire, and he had a feeling that this was not the worst of it. He turned to see other heads coming up for air, gasping and sputtering in the cold black water. A quick scan of his surroundings told him that he was in a river at the bottom of a ravine with four, five, six other people, and he had no idea how he'd gotten there.

There seemed to be others - at least five - and the wide-eyed looks of terror and confusion told him that the all were probably in the same boat - the one that was currently on fire. An alarm bell was ringing somewhere nearby. Two winged creatures were wheeling around and beginning to bear down on them, flying down the ravine with increasing speed. They appeared to be small, spiky demons - ugly leathery wing sprouting from their backs and curious silver rods in their hands....

And the rods were beginning to glow at one end.

Everyone started to scramble - splash - swim. The winged creatures descended and fired electric blue spheres at the group, while some of the swimmers reached land and produced swords from their robes and attempted to fend off the creatures. One of the attackers was struck out of the sky, while the other peeled off for another attack run.

It was then that a figure appeared high on the bluff overlooking the river. She was standing in what looked like a natural balcony, looking down on the action below. On of the swimmers turned to her, and with a beatific look on his face, slowly ambled into the water in an apparent effort to reach her. Another of the robed figures tried to stop him, and the two of them slipped beneath the water's surface.

Meanwhile, two other swimmers had managed to direct the group towards a hole in the ravine's wall, and with some effort all were dragged to safety. The second demonic figure crashed in an effort to stop their escape, and was immediately dispatched.

The sound of troops clamoring on the far bank had everyone hastily entering the passageway that led from the river, and soon a strange discovery was made. A blue door, with the words "Domus Dulcis Domus" inscribed on a sign in needlepoint, sat in a nook in the passageway. With the sounds of pursuit getting louder, all six soaked figures piled through the door...

...and found themselves in a twilit forest. A small cube projected a beam of light up at the door. One of the moistened travelers picked up the cube, and the door disappeared. It was then that a campfire could be seen in a clearing below, and two figures were seen tending it. Upon being approached, one figure - a goateed man by the name of Count Fundus - asked the travelers to hand over a painting they were carrying. One of them did so and handed him a small portrait of a decrepit old man.

The well-dressed man then asked them pointedly if anyone could remember who he (or they) were. None could. He smirked triumphantly to himself and declared "Well, that will save me a number of magical arrows then." He turned on his heel and along with his servant, headed down a path away from the clearing. One of the party made to follow him down the path, and as he did so heard the Count say with a smile, "Just kidding." A volley of arrows passed over the head of the pursuer and into one of the party who had picked up a chest of gold left behind by the Count as payment for the painting. As the man expired, his body changed form and reverted to the size and shape of a dwarf. A dead dwarf.

With a hearty chuckle, the Count, his servant and his hidden bowman walked down the path and off into the night.