Tuesday, December 23, 2014

City of Curses: The Keepers Session 3: The Mutated Assassin

Here is a session report of the Crux game I ran for my group last Saturday.  The Keepers faced off with a mutated Tiefling, licked their wounds and then tracked down where an ancient abolethic device had been taken.

The Fight with the Monster

Scene Question: "Does the Monster survive its encounter with the Keepers?"

The Keepers fought a hard-paced skirmish with a mutated tiefling assassin.  The monster bashed at them hard.  At the end of the last session, a monster had teleported in, attacking Professor Sepia Wiseowl.  It's toothless mouth attacked her, leaving neon green polyps in its wake.

"For Shraxessss!" It hissed at her.

The aberration had a twelve-foot elongated body. A blend of tapeworm and infernal monster, with unholy glowing red eyes. The monster's maw dripped a neon green ichor.  It had no teeth; just a hard jawless sucker filled with glowing polyps.  Eggs.  Long demonic horns crowned the creature's head. Covered in a dark purplish skin, its arms were malformed and twisted things.  Each ended in thin needle-like fingers.

After it bit into the Professor, the Keepers tried to drive the mutated monster off of her.  Gav threw the creature with a gust of wind, giving the Professor time to get out while Ash distracted it by throwing books at it. Then Pyro bombed the monsters' maw.  The explosion did not kill it, but instead filled the room with Smoke.

Wounded, the monster struck back at them.  First off, the monster dislocated Gav's arm with a loud pop.  Gav stumbled out of the room.

 Ishida, unnoticed by his compatriots, helped Professor Wiseowl to make it to the medical college. Ash and Pyro tried, one after the other, to fend off the creature. It bit into Ash's shoulder, poisoning her by the same polyps that had afflicted her mother.

The monster cast a spell in retaliation.   Conjuring unholy fire, it only burned the flesh of the living.  This also cleared the room of all smoke.  Gav weaved his own enchantment against the monster, seeing how it once was a tiefling, forcing it to question its identity. This wasn't enough to stop the monster.  But it clearly hesitated.  A moment later, it took only a single phrase from Gav's lips to push the monster over the edge.

"You are a monster!"

His words pierce the creature's mind. The mental attack is too much, and it goes mad at the words, choosing to kill itself with its own sorcery rather than continue on. It leave a big burning mess behind.

The Aftermath

Scene Question: "Do the Keepers learn that the Monster was once a member of the Demon's Orphans?"

The Keepers then dealt with the consequences of the fight, what with Ash's poisoning and Gav's dislocated arm. In a panic, Pyro gets them to the Medical College on Campus. At the infirmary they receive treatment. But they are hardy enough that they continue on their investigation, despite having faced that monster attack.

Gav still refused to work for Professor Wiseowl.  Instead choosing to inform an aide of the Chancellor's about the situation. The aide criticized Gav's recruitment, but praised him in for doing things in a way the Chancellor interpreted to be in their interest: the pursuit of knowledge, even if it has a cost.

Professor Wiseowl still offers to hire them. Gav refuses, unwilling to break his honor, even though Wiseowl admits to having hired Ishida to steal a piece of the relic. With that, Gav could use it to create a enchantment to turn the relic into a divining rod. But he sticks to his honor, preferring to look for another way to do so without having to betray the Chancellor.

Wiseowl does leave him with a clue, however. She whispers a name into Gav's ear.  It is the name of a Demon's Orphans gang.

 "The Silver Snakes."

The Silver Snakes are a anti-ursyklon branch of the Demon's Orphans. They are convinced that the Prince is allied with the Ursyklons, or might even be one. Their long rivalry with the Boar-Roar Clan of Ursyklons is known to most of the gangs in Crux, including Gav's.

The Silver Snakes

Scene Question: "Do the Keepers learn about Fulcrum's experiments?"

The Keepers begin to plan how to best approach the Silver Snakes. They decided to talk with Professor Fulcrum back in the Alchemy Department before leaving the Campus. Fulcrum is back, apparently just not around earlier when they had been there. 4626 hugs Pyro, making the android stiffen in surprise.

Fulcrum welcomes them. After a brief discussion, Fulcrum admits that the Chancellor had declassified the experiments with the device. He hands over to Gav a packet of photographs, all of them of Tieflings.

"Who are these?" Gav inquires, looking confused.

"Test subjects for the experiments, all unsorcerous tieflings from the Wish Quarter. We were desperate, over budget, and managed to wrangle them up." Fulcrum explained.

After they leave, the Keepers have a discussion. Gav and Ash are certain they have to destroy the Machine now. Any Demon's Orphans that used the Machine to teleport mutated into monsters. Now knowing that the Silver Snakes had the device, and considering how nasty the monster they already faced was, only more Abolethic things could be created by it's further use.

Pyro hesitated. The Android felt conflicted, until Gav and Ash appealed to his pyromania. Pyro agreed, part of him eager to see what it was like to destroy something so ancient and powerful like the Machine.

Before leaving for the Wish Quarter, Gav wove a spell, an enchantment to disguise Ash so she wouldn't appear to be an Ursyklon.  That way, they could avoid trouble from any potential Silver Snakes. After a few hours of travel through the City, they make it to Serpent Street in the Wish Quarter, home turf of the Silver Snakes. It was a narrow alley path, barely lit by anything in the growing dark of dusk.

A tiefling stopped them, asking what the hell Gav was doing.

"Pelear?" Gav says, surprised to a fellow from Poorfellows. The two start a frantic conversation in Poorfellows Slang, something both Pyro and Ash have trouble following.

"Ok then, lead the way." Gav said.

Pelear led them to a secret entrance  to the Silver Snakes' Lair on the nearby rooftops.  He revealed that his employer is keeping tabs on the Wiseowls.  But Pelear couldn't stand by and just watch as they tried to get themselves killed. Working for the Prince, he feels compelled to help them get rid of the Machine, something that can only help his employer's interests.

After showing them a way in through the Roof, Pelear leaves.
That's where we ended it.  Next time, the Keepers will dive into chaos and mayhem, facing off against the Silver Snakes and the alien machine the Ursyklon loathe.