Tracy's HackMoor 2017/09/21 Into the City of Brass

Games are (usually) on Thursday nights sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

Last week's pizza we we had a Philly Steak with fresh Mozzarella (no other meats).

Because Friday night is my month-end closing, Thursday's game will be a board game (I need my beauty sleep), depending on the number of Players: 5 or less: Ticket to Ride. (Rail Baron "light"); 6 even: Rail Baron (sudden death); 7 even: Old Civilization, (the only 7 player board game I can think of).


++++ SYNOPSIS ++++

Several years ago in Player time the characters Junkbot, Fundisha, and Gerry had been kidnapped by some Efreet (a type of Genie) who were, enacting revenge for an even earlier event some Player years before that. You may have seen the listed at the bottom of these summaries for as many years as they have been kidnapped.

The current adventure is the Party's attempt to rescue them.


Before we restarted the battle with the Efreeti and the Fire Mammoths, we had to determine what was with that Silver Throne and its 666 gems nicked from that Demon Queen's throne room? Legend Lore and Identify were cast by a Weasel, (a semi-retired character in cahoots with Willis, the lone surviving alien from DA3, who runs Blackmoor's tech program. Weasel runs the business end of the operation.)

The "Legend Lore" spell came back with the following response from a higher plane of existence:

"It was the Demoness' effing throne, for crying out loud. She sat her magical ass on it for years. Go figure."

So much for Legend Lore, it has a tendency to answer either in riddles, cryptically. In the manner of an annoyed help desk operator, having to answer calls with, "Have you tried turning it off an on?"

An Identify spell was more helpful, it turned out the throne is a rare, even unique item called Demon Device Storage (or DDS), holding 666 Demons in each gem until released with a "License Key". The value of each gem determining the Type of Demon. There are 5 types of gems of different values. Oh and by the way it has a tendency to leak demons. Two of the gems have lost their luster, there are only 664 Demons trapped in it right now.

Of course since this "Identify Spell" was conducted retroactively before the attack of the two demons last session, it created a time anomaly that we glossed over by simply stating the above two gems were already spent.

Because Weasel who cast the Identify spell was also a paid shill for Blackmoor's Ministry of Defence, an shortly thereafter an offer was made for the throne for an untold sum out of the Royal coffers. It will probably be used as a doomsday device in case the Kingdom gets overrun, again. At least it will be kept out of the hands of the Egg of Coot, or the Empire. Weasel and Willis will be probably spend a lot of computing time trying to crack the License Key.


In correction to last week's Poison Gas attack by the Icosahedron's on the Fire Trolls, instead of failing on all but one, it SUCCEEDED on all but one. This left the party to deal with only two Efreet and one Fire Troll that the party managed to barely defeat. I wouldn't say it was easy, the party took some damage. But the end result was that when the last Efreet was down to its last few breaths, Jacko tried to interrogate it to no success, and ended up killing his prisoner.

Disclaimer, apparently Efreeti are not as powerful on their home Plane of Fire as they are when encountered on the Prime Material Plane. Or maybe it is just SOME Efreeti that are less powerful?

This left the party to handle the suddenly sullen Fire Mammoths. They were merely standing over their dead riders, and if Fire Mammoths could cry, they would be shedding tears of lighter fluid. They party tried herding them to no avail. So before the Fire Trolls could regenerate, (the party did something about the Trolls but I forgot what), D'Vine cast a "Charm Mammal" spell on the Mammoth Alpha male and the party rode them in towards the city gate.

The way to the gate was actually a roundabout path and they had to go around a volcanic peak or two.

I won't go into the city's external description save that it should be as expected. Picture our characters in front of a Cecil B. DeMille mask of a city's massive series of brass metal walls on a mountainside and a huge gate with Fire Giants walking the battlements (because it was filmed out of proportion to the characters).

Once they arrived at the gate, they were hailed at some distance and asked with a deep booming echoing voice the following question:


(Note 'Human Compact' is with single quotes, denoting it also applies to any humanoid other than Efreeti. Like the sarcasm when you lift up both hands and curl your fingers to show 'quotes' when speaking.)

The party replied (rather too quickly), "Sure!"

As the ponderous metallic gates slowly opened an Efreet, in very ornate clothes and a red cape came forth to inspect the party. He was also holding a clipboard. Looking them over he says, "Hail and well met, allies of Brass. I keep this gate. By the Tithe of the Compact, you may present your treasure as a token of respect. Once each of you have done so, you may go about the City. In the names of the Elders, speak not during this time. Thus is it written by the hands of those who have gone before."

The "Treasure" is 100 gold pieces (or equivalent) per character and 10 gold pieces per slave or retainer. (It was also displayed by the obvious sign on the front of the gate, additionally no credit cards accepted.)

Since Jacko took the lead in representing the party, he offered the equivalent of 100 for himself and 10 each for the rest of the party (treating them as slaves).

The Efreet took down each of their names, the date and time and wrote it down on the file in the clipboard. He added "I note since you are newbies here, you have 24 hours to present yourself and and invoke the Oath of the Compact at the Hall of Allegiances." He handed Jacko a brochure and walked back towards the gatehouse.

Again avoiding details, the party made it to the nearest Inn (and Stables for the Fire Mammoths). After checking in and examining the handout, the party learned that to take the oath at the "Hall of Allegiances", one has to bring two Efreeti as witnesses after which one has to be branded on the forehead with a symbol of his allegiance to Brass - a demonic hand gripping a large flaming broad sword. "Slaves" however are not branded but tattooed on an upper arm with a picture of a flaming serpent indicating their station.

Wishing to avoid branding or tattoos, Jacko hit upon the idea of getting temporary tattoos for everyone on their upper arm and masquerading as proper oath takers. I won't describe how it was done, but lets say it was discovered later to be technically outside game parameters but I let it slide. Tattoos obtained.

Next item on the agenda, the Player for Huang & Honda, took the lead in attempting to discover what happened to Junkbot and Fundisha, (conveniently forgetting about Gerry). After making some discreet inquiries (and re-reading the brochure), they learned that captured prisoners are always taken to the "Hall of Transgressors". From there they are either made slaves to the "Blood Cult or are cast into "The Rift" about 200 miles outside the city. The "Hall of Transgressors" is conveniently next to the "Hall of Allegiances", which is also conveniently next to the "Temple of the Enternal Flame" (a.k.a. Blood Cult HQ). Further researcj led them to the knowledge that the Blood Cult is one of the most influential organizations in the city. It must have been the ubiquitous "Blood Cult" adverts for recruiting and services in every page of the brochure. Not only does the cult have its own separate Army, it controls most of the Judiciary in the "Hall of Transgressors" and has developed a new breed of compliant slave known as "Half Trolls" (coincidentally but used for marketing purposes) at half-price for a regular Troll slave!

Presuming there was a 50/50 chance their targets of rescue were made slaves to the Blood Cult, the party then decided "Let's join the Blood Cult!"

Since they now had their faux tattoos, unchallenged (but I need to work on that), they made their way into the Temple as supplicants without even knowing the Blood Cult minimum entry requirements. (What's the worst that can happen? Will they not let us join?) In any case, once they got inside the common area of the Temple they didn't see any many slaves at first, only some of the advertised Half Trolls on an auction block. But after waiting around and acting like tourists looking at cultural icons and statuary (the place is open to the public during business hours,) there was the sounding of a bell, and a door opened on the mezzanine and a series of chained women were led through one door and out the other, many of them pregnant (and barefoot). They were all wearing red robes with white curved bonnets. (Yes, imagine your "Handmaid's Tale" right there, with Trolls.)






Felipe the Dwarf, a third level Sigil (Chosen One subclass of Cleric).
Grok the Dwarf, a third level Doughboy (Battlemage subclass of Magic User).
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Infiltrator (subclass of Thief).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Fingersmith (Thief class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the West Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass)
D'Vine - A Druid Intiate of the 8th Circle

Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class). RETIRED
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Brother of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Tanzen - a Fae-Born first level Exciter. (Fourth level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).
Six Icosahedrones. (27B-stroke-6 contractors)

Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Adept (a Ranger, Fighter subclass and Cleric).
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus.
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).

Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.





This is also posted on three forums, and a blog.


Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below: