Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Episode 41: A New Beginning...

From the desk of Ingnatious Prim, Esq.

Senior Reprobate, First Class

The Naugahyde Cotillion

To the emmissaries of the following dieties:



____ ______________ (Long May His Beard Reign)


_ __ ___ The Ever Mightie


Report 1, Code 1-1 A.

The members of Der Chelonian Mobile, after their Most Recent Brush with Death, were congregated on the Plane of Dust by The Desk itself and I debriefed the members on their promotions to hemi-god as well as enlightening them as to their new Identities. Let the record show this as the assignation of their new røles in the Permanent Record, so that Your Most Eminent Persona(e) may refer to this Report as a convenience in your all too busy lives(es).


Xeno --> KORESH Bonding with his Weapon has caused KORESH to assume dual personalities. Normally, this would be considered a hinderance.

Xoe --> DOLOROUS HAZE Her near-death experience was nearer than most. She is well on her way to degenerating into a Shade. Still has the ability to alter her future depending on her actions and die rolls.

Takemiya Smith --> THE ENIGMA The once-headless, soul-stripped monk should feel at home in his new incarnation. Adding more chaos to his oeuvre may prove to be too much, however.

Saladin --> STONEHENGE His knack for earth-based talents is much enhanced in his new persona. As long as he stays out of the skies he should progress nicely.

Kobayashi Jones --> THE JADE SCARAB Once a novice, this 'healer' can progress into the ranks of the dieties as long as he doesn't kill all of his friends first.

Ragnar the Impetuous --> CAPTAIN BONKERS Could win the race to Valhalla, if only via killing everyone else in the multiverse first. We may, *may* have made a mistake on this one.

Holth --> THE DEATH OF GIFF Seeing as we did not actually choose or create this persona, we cannot be held responsible for what ensues. We've checked with a number of lawyers on this.

After assuming their new personas, the group was given their first assignment: the capture or killing of the Clown Rreebbaassssoooo. The Desk brought them to his Insidious Sirkus in Hades, and, after some merriment, the Clown was terminated with Extreme Prejudice.

Highlights, for your Eminences:

THE ENIGMA managed to decapitate himself again (as well as defootinate himself, twice). A miniature vehicle of Foreign Make, as well as some Fire Weasels were used, to great comick effect.

THE JADE SCARAB managed to, while in Scarab form, be shot from a cannon and kill THE DEATH OF GIFFS. To great comick effect.

DOLOROUS HAZE managed to terminally depress The Clown Rreebbaassssoooo.

And KORESH delivered the coup de grace, via sharpened helmet, to the groin. Not for the first time. or the second, it is believed. And, (would you believe it?) actually managed to Progress towards his path to apotheosis.

STONEHENGE and CAPTAIN BONKERS were not engaged in this mission. It is hoped they will participate in the next.

If your Esteemed Personages would be so kind as to direct me as to where they'll be going next I shall relay the information in a timely manner.


I. Prim

Monday, August 15, 2011

Episodes 39 & 40: Xoe's Last Hope

After two days in space, the Dragonfly and Tradesman had finally reached Rachhakka Kuunka, the lizardman's planet. As Takemiya reported that he was being taken into a descending path around the night side of the planet, Saladin ordered Xoe, Ragnar, Takemiya, Kobayashi and Holth to act as an away team and reconnoiter as they saw fit. He (along with the comatose Xeno and the Guidos) would keep a safe distance above the harbor where they could watch and give aid if needed.
Saladin would soon learn there are no safe distances...

Moments after docking near the Deathspider, an ancient lizardman priest emerged from a large triangular building and began to gesticulate towards the Tradesman. Lacking a both docking papers and a translator, Kobayashi cast a Charm Person on the poor old coot, and Holth convinced him (through a rather comic pantomime) to come aboard and be bludgeoned into unconsciousness. Ragnar and Xoe proceeded to loot the coot to the sum of some gems and a mysterious pawlike amulet.

Funny how, in retrospect, no one ever even suspected that the amulet might've had something to do with what followed...

At this point, 8 lizardmen were observed hauling a great cube of cargo out on a palanquin. It seemed to be made up of smaller wooden cubes and was headed for the cargo ramp of the Deathspider. Takemiya decided to go invisible and have a closer look, which (of course) meant delivering a leg sweep to the hindmost lizardman, causing him to stumble and fall. The palanquin reeled as the rest tried to maintain balance, but just before the load tumbled into the water, the crew steadied the load and trampled their poor, fallen comrade to death.

Seeing this from above, Saladin decided to wake up Xeno and update him on the situation. Xeno, steeped in nightmares, low on blood sugar, and drenched in a baconey sweat, hurtled himself to the deck of the ship and, peering down, made a well thought-out decision based on a wealth of factual evidence and a sound understanding of tactics.

He grabbed Saladin and Aramis by the hands and shouted "Dave! Take us down there!"

In his haste, Xeno hadn't noticed that the clouds were beginning to circle around the ship in a manner that more than slightly signified the approach of a Time Storm. Not that that would've helped matters much, but it did, along with his sister's acquisition of a gnarled monkey paw, start to explain the die rolls that followed.

{30} Xeno, Saladin and Aramis found themselves in the belly of the Deathspider. Boxes and boxes lay stacked around them, a warehouse of cubic proportions. On the other side of the room, through an open door, they could see the palanquin being hauled into the ship. Aramis began praying to Iryien. Xeno pulled out Dave and began sneaking towards the door. Saladin began teleporting unknown cargo of evil origin into the hold of his ship without giving the remaining crew any advanced notice...

Outside the ship, Takemiya waited until the palanquin was well inside the hold before quietly and invisibly making his way up the ramp, and {1} setting off a trap. With a BZZZTTT!!!! he found himself hurtled upwards and plastered to the ceiling, unable to move. Two lizardmen were alerted to the trap, but are confused as to why they didn't see a victim. They explored the ceiling with their spears and lo! blood started to drip from an invisible being! An intruder! As the lizardmen started to 'explore with extreme prejudice', Kobayashi raced up the ramp to save his dying mentor. He cast a Hold Person on the lizardmen, but {1} the spell rebounds and froze Holth instead.

Meanwhile, Xoe was looking for a quieter entrance into the Deathspider, and found one significantly higher up. She silently clambered up and over the scorched grillwork of the exterior of the ship to where Ragnar had earlier blown a hole in the hull. She cautiously peeked through the shattered wall of the spider and saw... Hundreds of crates. Thousands of boxes. Whatever it was that these lizardmen were dealing with, they were dealing wholesale. Knowing Chang Kai Eel and Fundus were involved only added to the overall sinister feel to whatever these boxes held. Xoe scanned the chamber and performed a little math in her head. What was it that Xeno had said about calculating spherical solids? And why did she remember something about pie? Well, the hold was certainly big enough and she'd always to try out that Wand of Fire...

At that exact moment, Xeno had successfully snuck up behind the lizardman who was hauling the last crate of the day into the hold. He was looking forward to tomorrow, his first day off in a fortnight; he and his wife were heading to the temple to gain the high priest's blessing for their new clutch of lizlets. Seven new mouths to feed had caused him to take on the extra hours, but at least for one day he'd be able to relax, put his feet up and-

Xeno looked down at the dead lizardman and noted with interest that their brains were a lovely shade of green. "Well then," he thought, "time to just hop up on top of these boxes and {1} aaaarrgghhhH!" An avalanche of boxes threatened to bury Xeno - only the fact that a few broke open allowed him any respite. A chill slunk its way up his spine, however, once he realized that he was in serious danger of being overwhelmed by a sliding mound of lizardman condoms...

Ben Firenze was a changed man. Not only had he survived a Time Storm, but he had been ravaged by Temporal Weevils and nearly slain by a Clockwork Golem. He had been left for dead twice, and was now looking for those damned gnomes to give him a ruddy good piece of his mind. It was easy to pick out Xeno's Lifeline - his was the only one he'd ever seen that had a polka dots - but following it had proved a little problematical. Traveling on the Temporal Prime was fairly easy over short distance, but moving between planets was fraught with peril. One wrong step and you pop out inside a star and then it's "Bye, bye bacon!" But Ben took his time. He'd plotted it out. He planned to emerge on Xeno's ship, which was safely docked and unguarded at the moment...

Ben stepped out into the humid night. He turned just in time to see the figure of Xoe silhouetted against the open bay of a giant spider ship. He had taken one step towards her when he noticed her pulling a wand from her pack. "Xoe, you're not stupid enough to cast a fireball onto an enclosed space like that are you?" he whispered under his breath. He sighed, and prepared a Slow Time spell, just in case.

Xoe leveled the wand at the crates of insidious cargo.

She rolled a one.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Episode 38: Out of the Frying Pan...

Xeno didn’t remember much after the big bang. There was a flash of fire then… Myxlplyx? Really? It was so brief, and hazy. But the pain—the pain was crystal clear. Pain, and a feeling of melancholy as, bewildered and naked, he crawled out of some odd armor onto the deck of a ship that wasn’t Der Chelonian. He found a hatch and slumped into the hold, perhaps to die, naked and burned, clutching Dave like an ape with its cloth mother.

But he didn’t die. Hours later Xeno awoke to some sense of commotion above decks, and with a small cry of pain, forced himself off the deck. He was no stranger to waking up on the floor severely burned, but there was always something to show for it, for good or ill. This offered only agony, confusion and loss, no more. Xeno considered lying there some more, but the pain drove him to seek succor, which he found in a series of potions from a suspiciously (and now formerly) well-stocked aid cabinet.

With relief came clarity of mind, and confusion. First, what had happened? Gradually, an answer presented itself. Something had malfunctioned, dramatically, yet again.

“Why?” thought Xeno. “Why does everything go so horribly wrong? Every time? For everyone? Is there a group somewhere that drifts through life on clouds of rose petals, everything going right to balance it out? Why? Why us? Why me?”

In a flash, it came to him. “All I ever wanted to do was create fiendishly complex devices and occasional weapons of unearthly power, and use them for fun and personal gain. Yet every time, every time, something goes horribly awry. That’s not coincidence. It can’t be.” Looking back over he life, Xeno saw the pattern, again and again: any time he tried something complicated; it failed in the worst possible way. The SnakeStik. Reversible Automatic Armor. Electro-gloves. And, Gods, the horror of the Marshmellator. So much burning sugar. It was as if something in him introduced a chaotic element into every complex system he interacted with. And that was it: chaos.

“It’s me,” he said breathlessly aloud. “I…I am the chaos. It is in me. Disorder and randomness flow from my hands. I’ve always blamed failure on anything else, but all the time, it’s been me. I am the grit in the machine,” he said, louder. “I am the cat hair floating in the potion, the earwig in the trousers of destiny that pinches your inner thigh while you're pouring coffee, the pancake, syrup side down, that lands on your important parchment that just that minute after you sneezed off the table and onto the floor. I am the ruiner of diplomacy, the destroyer of agendas, the foiler of plots. I am chaos. Chaos!” Buckling on his last piece of mismatched gear, an eldritch energy began to crackle purpley about his still-singed skin, and a smell of ozone wafted from him. And burned hair.

“CHAOS!” he screamed, sprinting now for the stairs to the deck. “Ye Gods, Hear My Call,” he called, once under the stars. “Xeno calls You! What fools these mortals be, their machinations, their puny plans, their ideas of greatness, all no more than mayflies. Come, let us pour down upon them a great Disturbance, an unbalancing of that they have the nerve to call “life.” Ha! I am Xeno, and I have seen Beyond, and all there, is Chaos! Come, brothers; come, Dave; come, those who Listen, Above and Below, I call again upon Thee! I seek a righting of the scales, and then an explosion of the scales that couldn't possibly just have happened, because what part of a scale could conceivably explode? A third time now I Call, heed Thou my cry! I am Thy vessel, Thy vassal, Thy agent, Thy horse Thou may ride. Schemes shall be unmade, and those with the pride to make them shall be broken!"

"There is no justice. There is no vengeance. There are no great or small. There is naught, but Chaos, and I am he! It! Whatever! Aieee!

Saladin woke the whimpering gnome. He was covered in a sweat that reeked of mostly apples.

"We've just entered the atmosphere of the Lizardmen's planet. Xoe's taken a couple of the others down on the Tradesman to check it out. We're hovering about 500 feet above them with all lights out. She said to tell you that if something goes wrong, she'll send up a signal and that you'd know what to do."

As Saladin left him alone in his cabin, Xeno looked around, somewhat groggily. He was wearing what appeared to be a loincloth made from some sort of purplish pinstriped material. His pointy hat lay on the floor, Dave leaning on it while emitting a dull red glow. As Xeno stood up the room spun; it was apparent he hadn't eaten in days.

Suddenly, he heard a cry from the deck above. "Xeno! Get up here! It looks like something's about to happen!'