[COC7e] S07a | Harella - Let Down Your Hair Part 1

Session 7 (July 19, 2020)
Attending: Derek(Dwight), Ginger(Kathi), Gerald(Dan), Frankie(Luke), Nik(Bob)
Bear in mind this is from Derek's point of view only and not a complete account.

Diary of Derek Moriarty
~May14, 1927

In the Dreamlands.

Head toward valley. I subconsciously pat the dream dagger. We have a choice. To the left there is a goat path where we must cross a crevasse; to the right we could take a wide path through the desert. In the middle, a battle of hundreds rages between Dwaves and Humans.

We wait three and a half hours to see the Humans victorious. They all seem to be in their dream bodies which we realize by their translucent glow. We believe that we are in our waking bodies which 'seemed' like a good idea.

I throw Gregori over my shoulder again. Maybe he'll find some marbles while I carry him. I've done so for awhile, and it's not been too much of a cross to bear. I read about him once and found him to be a very interesting individual.

Twenty-four Humans have taken some Dwarves (Dwarfs?) prisoner. The group agrees it's time to make our way across the valley after loading up on Zebra meat.

With us is a troupe of Ghouls, one of which is Ug the Hungry and another I believe is Pickman. We're on our way to rescue his lady from a kidnapping beast in return for friendship and The Page. Long story.

Nicolai and myself push to parley with the Humans and Tom (Doc Holliday) encourages us despite Nik's worry about walking. It is actually Tom who initiates conversation with the soldiers whom we find are fighting on behalf of my newish friend Atol (Giuseppe). They believe this force of Dwarfs (Dwarves?) was the last stand of their enemy and now seek out his undefended (hopefully) stronghold in the Jungle of Kled.

Upon us mentioning our goal, the soldiers guffaw at us few taking on a Gug (whatever that is - some giant with a mouth running vertically between his eyes). We see the Gug a mile up the mountain sitting in boredom awaiting our pleasure. Did I mention he has four arms?

I snag a sword from the field of battle. I don't know why. I'm not very good with them; it just feels like the right thing to do. The others follow suit and I end up with a spear and battle axe as well.

As soon as we get anywhere near the Gug, he charges us. This tests our rationality and Nik stumbles noticeably. Without thinking.... At all... Not even a little bit. I figure on tripping the giant on my way past him to the tower where I will free the Ghoul princess. Let down your hair! Wait for it. I charge the Gug and strike a mighty blow. Like in a comics panel where the whole page is a big "POW."

...I'm not sure this armoured foe even blinked. I deftly maneuvered past him while Ginger started evaluating the situation and seeking a vulnerability in the... Hokey toodle, twenty foot monstrosity. Gerald sticks his sword into the monster and we realize his eyes make it so he can never be distracted or snuck up on. Nik wakes up (Was he sleeping?) and tries to sneak between Mr. Gug's legs. I wake up with Ginger over me. No idea what happened but man my head hurts. [game note, Derek has a 75 Dodge and rolled a 98 and Nik tried to wake form the Dream when he saw the battle go against us but my initial notes don't show anything but confusion at what he was doing]

Apparently Nik got to the tower (must be more agile than me) and started negotiating with Harela, the female Ghoul we're here to rescue. All may not be as it seems. 12 soldiers lie dead at the fallen Gug. I guess they came to help us at some point. The Human soldier's leader is named Maven.

Pickman throws a rope up to Harela's window, we hear fighting and he lowers her down all trussed in chains. Romantic. I guess she didn't want to be rescued or maybe it's like a sixty/fourty (I learned to spell in Canada) split. We hear Nik fall inside the tower. After Ginger helps me clear the cobwebs we all run around doing First Aid and stabilize three soldiers. Ug is dead. Oh well. Pickman is happy and we get The Page. Maven is... unhappy to say the least. Beyond losing men, there was some gambling between the soldiers and Frankie. Not sure how that panned out. Pickman sets out for a feast and honeymoon.

We have some indecision as to how we wake up or if we should make our way to the stairs in the Enchanted Wood. Maybe find more about those noises there. I didn't mind if people went back however now that I have an idea where The Dwarf is, I want to hunt him down. Tom stands beside me in this. Nik pulls me aside and then talks with the party. Ghouls leave. We accompany the remaining soldiers on their quest to defeat The Dwarf dragging The Page and Gregori with us.

Eventually we make camp and the soldiers talk about Krannan mentioning he is a sorcerer in the real world. Atol is their leader. We sleep.

Today Gregori is well enough to walk on his own and is thankful of my help. We cross to the end of the Stoney Desert and are welcomed to the Jungle, of Kled. See what I did there? Too meta? Gregori's gem is not lost again, but has changed. It can no longer resurrect the dead but can be used to "put one on one."

I kick a Dwarf prisoner and inquire about the headless ghost to find out The Dwarf keeps him in a dungeon where he tortures him. As we travel through the jungle we reach a point where the foliage becomes stunted and twisted coming toward a castle. Frankie mentions a funky smell up ahead.

Castle entrance (courtyard?) - Mastodon on a slab of red crystal. Upon seeing us it makes a noise to warn off other apex predators. Someone spouts that it comes from the same time period as the Sabretooth Tiger that attacked me. We circle the castle and find no other entrance. Behind the long nosed beast is a stagnant fountain with a statue of a hyena then an archway into the atrium. We are temporarily stumped. [Later note: That's a nice way of putting how utterly stymied we were]

Nik gets the Mastodon's attention while Tom and the soldiers attack the tusked creature. We all sneak past it. Nik stops us momentarily, wondering if we should have a light source.

*see written notes

There are torches nearby and we hear a cackling sound. We go from the Atrium to the Grand Hall, down a stairway (ignoring other exits to left and right) to a door. Quickly through the door we see cells to the left and right. Instantly upon seeing a Dwarf guarding the cell and in pure focused rage, I tackle and beat him senseless. The cackling is coming from inside a cell where The Dwarf is beating on a headless man with a femur. It causes us all a slight pause but my rage is stronger than my sanity. I charge The Dwarf to have my left leg shrivel up. Gerald comes through next but doesn't have speed on his side. Nik attacks and falls into stinging bugs. Gregori comes to our rescue, punching The Dwarf. Frankie mimics Gregori and from my trembling knees I am able to pull a sword and stab at my nemesis, "From Hell's heart I stab at thee!." A small punch-dagger slips from his arm and he hits me hard with it. Frankie and The Evil Dwarf struggle. Nik moves away and I see the bug swarm divide between him and Gerald. Frankie finally smacks The Dwarf down with a backhand.

The swarm disappears however my leg is still withered and weak. Once again Ginger comes to my aid as does Gerald. Ginger suddenly pops her head up sniffing. "I've smelt that before." She mentions her dream of the headless ghost some time ago.
Once my friends help me up, I gag The Dwarf. Gregori returns the favour of carrying him previously and lends me his strength to walk. As we go back up the stairs we see a cow-sized spider. Ginger flees.

*some things are kept private. ;)

End of Part One.

At some point I may complete the session notes and add Part Two.
--epithets about mastodons removed since I'm not quite sure if they were wooly and don't have time for research atm---



Pickman...we just recently watched an animated shirt about Pickman's ...something?

Dream cripple syndrome..interesting...