Last night we played our first game since the Sleeping Feathered Swine incident.
Rose’s Devotee of the Corpulent One got torn up, set on fire for medical reasons, and left to rot in a cave in that game, so with no Mystic in the party and her brother Roy wanting to join us again, he agreed to test out the new Mystic rules I’d been thinking about.
I randomly threw in “snake worshipper” with the options, which Roy obviously chose, which was great because it meant I got to make a little snake worshipper book and actually write out the new Mystic rules and decide that snakes are the keepers of secrets and sometimes need help solving mysteries so they can know more secrets and are the mortal enemies of the bird god Yoon-Quiun and his blue-bird-troll-looking-motherfucker-chosen who also claim to be the keepers of secrets but are in fact the keepers of lies.
Then a few hours before the game I re-found this print by Florian Bertmer, entitled “Order of the Seven Serpents”:
So a few text messages later Roy had obviously chosen that over the pure Old Serpent snake cult I’d already made a book for because it’s about a thousand times more metal, so I tweaked the cult and made a new book.
And then they were going to need to find supplies and transport when they got out of the mountains so I used my town generator to make Yellow Watch, the last town Michael’s wizard stopped at before going into the mountains with his doomed friends then making new ones. The town ended up being run by militant nudists, and I left it up to Michael to decide if his wizard would think to warn everyone of that. He did not.
And I started a world map for them to expand on as they actually visit new places or steal other people’s maps or learn rumours.
We also tested out Rose’s Cursed Coral Collection of ceramics because they’re the first she’s ever made and they’re awesome.
I’ll do a post with the new Mystic rules and full print-outs after they’ve been fine-tuned a little bit more, but the gist of it is that Mystics no longer have set spells, just free reign to make things happen that they think their god would approve of within general guidelines of power, and a table to roll on to see if it happens or not.
For now, here’s a rundown of what happened last night:
Rose: Obediah Duncaster, level 0 drunkard who murdered a good portion of his relatives after discovering the spider cult taint in Dunnsmouth, followed a Devotee of the Corpulent One into the mountains, then watched him die and had a good portion of his left arm chopped off due to parasitic worm infection.
Michael: Felix Longworm, super dodgy wizard who convinced everyone to go into a cave after all of his previous friends died in there, so that he could get his spellbook back and get rich by cutting cysts out of a sleeping beast, then had his right arm bitten off by said beast and strapped half a broken longsword to the stump.
Sophie: Florian Voldaris, compulsive collector of the kind of weird shit you’d expect a wizard to carry as spell components, silver-candle-pegglegged-wonder, and serial critical fumbler.
Emma: Malatesta du Caddis, autistic murdermachine in a glorious suit of freshly internally fused cursed armour, and Thoth-Mora Gnostos, fabulous impish maleficar carrying his twin sister’s head around in his doily backpack so that he can crack it open and learn the spell inside.
Roy: Tipanius, Mystic of the Order of the Seven Serpents and super cagey lingerer.
- Obediah and Felix make their Constitution checks due to their new flesh wounds, and both fail pretty badly. Felix soon starts regurgitating awful surging green bile that keeps moving after it has hit the ground every d6 hours. Obediah is still waiting to find out what’s wrong with him.
- The first time Felix throws up is a few hours after leaving the cave, at the base of a small rise. When everyone stops making weird sounds at him and looks back up the rise there’s a huge goat framed by the setting sun, its fur illuminated like a halo, making a god-awful bleating sound and letting its tongue loll out and slap itself under the chin. It trots down towards them where they can see its misshapen skull and the pustules around its eyes, but it sniffs and bleats near Felix, turns its nose up, and trots back the way it came.
- They make camp in an alcove for the night, Malatesta makes a perfect unskilled Naturalis roll and walks in a straight line until he’s waist-deep in a mountain stream so that Thoth-Mora can fill a pot of water in order to boil the flesh off his sister’s skull.
- Felix throws up a lot more.
- After making it to an edge of the mountain range where they can see Yellow Watch below and making their way down, they’re greeted at the gate by several naked people and learn that the custom of the town requires that no one covers themselves, as a show of good faith and openness.
- Thoth-Mora has his pants off before they’ve finished explaining, and Malatesta awkwardly advises that while normally he’d love to get naked for strangers, he has recently been invaded by the armour he’s wearing and can no longer take it off, ever, again. Because it’s inside him. And agrees to a groping to verify the veracity of his claims.
- They learn that everyone’s a bit edgy because a migration of the Spiders of Gushmora is expected in three days, which would decimate the locust population cultivated for pleasure food, and probably the town too if they’re not stopped. They say “aw yeah..” and get directed to R’lyarah Nur, the elderly town wisewoman, who ends up sounding like something out of Monty Python, to see if she can do anything about all the green bile Felix keeps throwing up.
- After a roll on the Cure tables, she advises that really the best thing for it would be to soak in a copper bath full of goat’s milk while suckling at the teat of a wetnurse, and luckily for him, she is both a wisewoman and a wetnurse. Obediah tries to convince her to take a half payment now, and the other half when they know he’s cured, and she advises that she’s not about to let a stranger suck on her tits for a half payment. But when she gets offered a half payment and two of the Ruby Tears of Mercy mushrooms they found in the caves, she pretty much pulls down her shirt right there.
- So Felix lies there for about half an hour in a bath of goat’s milk sucking on an old woman’s nipple, until she says it should be enough, but invites him to come back and see her if the vomiting persists, then goes into another room to recuperate.
- When they leave they meet a naked snake worshipper who’s been waiting in the dark for them but pretty easily agree to his request to join them and nod along to his suspicions that some of the townspeople worship his most hated god, then decide the best thing to do would be to find the town inn and get rickety-wrecked.
- They enter the Jaundiced Eye, which to Sophie’s relief is painted yellow like most everything else in the town, and discover that despite the imminent threat of spiders, pretty much the whole town is here getting drrrrrunk.
- Obediah gets pulled into a chair next to R’yarah Nur who apparently slipped straight over while they were meeting the snake worshipper, and has a free drink shoved into his hand, while Florian thumps around on his candlestick pegleg and somehow manages to eavesdrop on a scarred Moorish man talking to another tall, fat-gutted Moor, and hears something about “the chosen in the woods” and “taking control”. Florian decides to try for a closer listen, horrendously fails his Sneak check, catches his pegleg on a raised board, and spills an entire mug of Harlot’s Spit on the scarred conspirator.
- Against all odds, Florian’s decision to writhe around on the ground like he’s absurdly drunk results in the best possible reaction roll and the men not only help him up, but after introducing themselves and learning that Florian is looking for a way to Cörpathium, tell him to come find them later if he needs help.
- Florian staggers off and tells everyone about the swell guys he just met, and Tipanius coldly tells Florian that he’s pretty sure his new friends are Yoon-Quiun cultists.
- Malatesta gets a room upstairs and Obediah finds a sad stuttering minstrel and gets up on the table to sing for him, then pulls R’lyarah up for a duet.
- Felix is trying to look brooding in a corner to cover the fact that he doesn’t have any money to buy drinks, and throws up a massive surging green mass on the table. So R’lyarah jumps down and drags him back to her house for further treatment.
- Felix desperately asks if there’s any other way, and she produces a goat’s head snuff mull full of powdery blue moss, and says that he could try snorting some to go on a dream quest to beseech the Divine Polycerate Goat for healing.
- Felix decides to do both.
- So he’s in a bath of goat’s milk, suckling on an old wetnurse’s breast, snorts a healthy pinch of blue moss, and makes a success roll for the two cures. The milk works perfectly this time, but the moss snorting results on him finding the Polycerate Goat in a dream and having it kick and gore the shit out of him, until he wakes up soaking in not only milk but now his own urine and sweat with bruises raising under his skin and the old woman looking at him with disappointment.
- Back at the Jaundiced Eye, Thoth-Mora sits down at a random table which happens to contain the main ruling body of Yellow Watch, a five-person love-in which includes a girl named Fal’uuna Yothul who has four tits, and begs her to tell him what’s up with that. Her reaction roll is a little lukewarm and she says that’s a story she can’t tell without a drink, so he buys them both a shot of Hog Fat and rolls a freaking 12 for the follow-up reaction roll, and immediately starts sucking on one boob (jesus I only now realise how much of that happened in this session) while fondling another and ogling the other two while Fal’uuna tells him R’lyarah concocted something to help her grow them to spite another girl in the town that grew them naturally.
- Obediah sidles over to the table to ask Hunson Khamer about scoring some transport in the form of the giant boars he’s been hearing about, but agrees with Hunson that it would be a little silly of them to sell the town’s major form of transport when they may need to flee from a migration of spiders soon. Hunson offers to give them some boars as payment if they help with the protection of the town, but Obediah pretty much starts walking away before he has finished talking.
- The suspected cultists leave and everyone reconvenes in Malatesta’s room upstairs, where they decide to sneak out the service entrance to go track down the cultists and investigate whatever’s happening in the woods.
- They go to the house the scarred Moor told Florian about, but the only person home is an apparently mentally ill Urgoth man who won’t open the door more than a crack and tells them that Muttalib is out gone to the Willowood he’s out not here.
- So they walk to the other end of town with its stubborn copse of willow trees and knock on the door of the house nearby, where they’re greeted by the tall fat man who is surprised that Florian would be looking for help so soon, but is pleasant nonetheless and invites them all inside.
- Obediah suddenly realises that Felix isn’t with them, and that they in fact haven’t seen him since he was taken back to R’lyarah’s, because he’s apparently been wandering around having side-glanced hallucinations of disappointed goats saying “you did baaaaaad”.
- So while Obediah runs off to find Felix the rest of them go inside to a sitting room where Muttalib and some other extremely friendly looking guy are seated at a table, and proceed to ask for help to get transport please.
- While they’re pretty much being offered a deal of an assassination coup in exchange for giant boars when the conspirators are in charge, Tipanius hears someone moving in the doorway behind him, and when he stands to look back there’s a guy rushing towards him with a knife and a look of intense hatred and fear in his eyes.
- Tipanius kicks his chair straight into the guy’s face and drops him to the floor, while Malatesta, being a murdermachine, immediately throws himself two-handed-sword-first across the table at the tall fat guy, rolls a 20, and spears him straight through the belly and into the wall, spraying a stream of blood from his mouth and over Muttalib’s face with his dying breath.
- While Muttalib claws the blood from his eyes, Thoth-Mora and Florian move to shove the table to pin him against the wall, but Florian catches his pegleg on another raised board and falls face-first on the table.
- Tipanius gutterstomps his would-be-assassin’s head before he can recover from the chair attack, and Muttalib tries to launch himself over the table but falls flat on his face on the other side, which results in Florian turning around, bronze battle axe in hand, and pretty much cutting Muttalib in half split straight down the spine.
- The previously friendly guy is now shitting himself and Tipanius stomps on his ankle and pretty much tortures information out of him to discover that a chosen of Yoon-Quiun is hidden in the Willowood, and that there are two more cultists living in Yellow Watch, the nervous mentally ill guy they’ve already met, and a woman named Naf’ghuth Amhun, who lives nearby.
- So Tipanius then rolls to see if his gods are in to the idea of turning his serpent arm bracelet into a real snake, and they say they are as long as he makes a pact to kill the chosen of Yoon-Quiun and nails its remains to the wall of the town, and he’s like sure I was going to do that anyway, and his arm bracelet turns into a snake.
- Obediah and Felix turn up in time to see Tipanius then force-feed the damn thing to his torture victim so that it can bite him to death from inside, which grants him a point of Favour from his gods because holy heck, that’s hardcore.
- They loot the house and find a bit of coin, a bronze comb which Thoth-Mora immediately pockets, and a small collection of mouse skulls, which Florian takes and finally decides how he’s going to seek renown in this country: by establishing the weirdest wunderkammer ever. Then they put the bodies into beds in preparation to set the house on fire later and make it look like and accident, and head to the outskirts of the Willowood.
- They realise that nobody is in the woods to enforce the nudist mandate, so they put their clothes and armour back on and head inside.
- It’s foggy as anything under the boughs of the willow trees and after about half an hour they realise that they’ve been walking through the woods longer than could ever conceivably be possible with the small copse of trees they had entered.
- Somewhere in there we also make it canon that Felix has a long beard SO WISPY, that it constantly seems to be blowing in the wind, just from the motion of his jaw when he talks.
- They decide that the best thing to do would be to split up into three groups of two and go searching for the chosen of Yoon-Quiun.
- Soon after, Florian and Thoth-Mora see the shape of the chosen through the parting mist, all blues and turquoise, hunched with long, hanging wing feathers draped from its clawed, nobble-skinned arms, glowing pale blue eyes opening and closing above its magnificent beak.
- Thoth-Mora fails his save vs. Magic, and the chosen reveals that the snake worshipper has deceived and betrayed him, and plans to murder Thoth-Mora in the woods, which makes him run off screaming into the fog looking for revenge. Florian calls out to warn the rest of them but Tipanius is the only one that makes his save to hear the words, and drags Malatesta with him.
- Florian takes aim with his crossbow, and rolls a 1. Whereas a moment before the crossbow was pointed at the chosen, he now realises that he had it pointed straight down at his remaining foot, which is now pinned to the dirt with a crossbow bolt. He lifts his foot up, bolt and all, from the ground and falls on his back to crawl away, but fails his save vs. Magic and realises that he is in fact a limbless torso and starts writhing around like a weeping beetle on its back, which is how Tipanius and Malatesta find him.
- Malatesta lunges and misses, gouged by the chosen’s claws, but discovers that his awful cursed armour actually absorbs some of the injury for him.
- Tipanius begs his gods for a king cobra to strike at the chosen, and they’re like sure as long as you take the remaining cultists alive in order to feed them to a nest of snakes, and Tipanius is like “done” and a king cobra falls from a willow tree and sinks its fangs into the chosen’s arm.
- The chosen saves vs. Poison though and yanks the cobra out of his arm and starts wildly flailing it at Malatesta like a lash, which is the first thing Obediah and Felix see when they finally stops rolling 10’s for their saves and come running.
- Thoth-Mora appears out of the fog behind Tipanius and starts chanting a spell, but Tipanius manages to grab hold of him and purge the illusion before he finishes, which leaves Thoth-Mora with his arms in the air looking really awkward.
- Obediah and Malatesta are ducking and weaving around the huge chosen bird troll thing which keeps flailing a really unhappy king cobra at them when Florian manages to remember that he does in fact still have three of his limbs, so without getting up he takes hold of his battle axe does a big two-handed overhead hurl towards the chosen of Yoon-Quiun, and rolls a 1.
- So, there’s an even split between Malatesta getting hit, or Obediah getting hit, and the dice falls on Malatesta. I tell Emma that if she can roll under Malatesta’s Dexterity he’ll avoid the axe, and she rolls a 20.
- So Malatesta pretty much stands up with his arms outstretched and takes Florian’s bronze battle axe to the chest for double damage, and Sophie rolls high for said damage.
- Luckily, when Emma rolls for her armour’s damage absorption it soaks up 6 points so that rather than being at -6hp and murdered, Malatesta’s at 0hp and feeling like he’s going to pass out, and in true murdermachine style yanks the axe out of his chest, embeds it in the bird troll, and waits for Tipanius to step forward with his wavy-bladed sword (because obviously that’s what a snake cultist would carry), and lop its head off. The fog thins and they realise that they can see outside the copse of trees everywhere they look.
- Florian gouges out an eye and steals some wing feathers for his wunderkammer, and they concoct a plan whereby Obediah, Felix, Florian, and Thoth-Mora will go to the houses of the two remaining cultists bearing wing feathers, and tell them that they’ve been speaking with Muttalib and there is something wrong with the chosen in the woods and that they need to come right away, while Malatesta hides in the woods in the shade of a Drooping Moonshade mushroom (which disrupts the wavelengths of the moon in a localised area), and Tipanius props himself against a tree draped in the corpse of the chosen of Yoon-Quiun ready to jump out all “SURPRISE”.
- So Obediah and Felix go to Naf’ghuth Amhun’s house, and while she can’t deny the feather, they fail to convince her to come right away and she says they’ll meet them soon. So they hide outside with a Drooping Moonshade.
- Florian and Thoth-Mora convince the hell out of the nervous mentally ill guy and he immediately leaves the house for the first time in months to go to the Willowood with some strangers.
- Obediah and Felix see Naf’ghuth emerge from around the other side of her house, and mushroom-stealth behind her until she gets to a house closer to the middle of town and has three big naked men follow her back with axes in hand, so they run back to the woods as fast and quiet and mushroomy as they can.
- Florian and Thoth-Mora obviously get there a little bit early so Malatesta drops his mushroom and dives out of the darkness towards their nervous companion, who immediately piss-bolts the other way, but Malatesta manages to spear-tackle him just outside the ring of willow trees, shove a hand into his mouth to stop him from screaming, and drag him back into the trees and the darkness of the mushroom, which is what Obediah and Felix see when they arrive.
- Everyone hides in their mushroom darkness and watches Naf’ghuth and her three friends stop just within the trees, staring at the limp blue bird troll slumped against a tree, with absolutely nobody else around.
- Tipanius realises that they may not have thought through their surprise trap as well as they should have, and tries to make an appeal to his gods but rolls an Inopportune Favour and the feathered corpse slides off his shoulders as he falls to his knees and begins birthing twenty slithering full grown snakes from his mouth.
- That, however, is pretty fucking surprising, and they get a surprise round where Malatesta knocks out his mentally ill captive, Felix starts mumbling the incantation for the Bare and Repugnant Flesh, and Florian and Thoth-Mora start screaming at the top of their lungs to extra surprise them? Obediah starts screaming too and charges out holding his mushroom and a club with nails in it, and a dark blob, screaming, bum rushes one of the men and shatters his face all over the ground.
- When all the snakes have been birthed, Tipanius starts beating Naf’ghuth around the head with the hilt of his sword trying to knock her out, and Malatesta tries for another spear tackle but rolls a 1 for his attack while Naf’ghuth rolls a 20 for her defence, deflecting him into Tipanius and slashing at them both on the ground.
- Felix had failed his save vs. Magic that morning and therefore didn’t know how many spell points he had to work with, so halfway through the spell I tell Michael that he feels like he’s probably trying to use more power than he can handle, and that he has the option of rolling to see if he can handle it, or snuffing it out before anything goes wrong. Michael says, “I can handle it”.
- Obediah, still a screaming dark blob, beats another man to death with his club and Malatesta gets up and punches Naf’ghuth into unconsciousness.
- Felix finishes his spell and Michael rolls on Cast the Bones to see if he can handle it, and gets a 5.
- He can’t handle it.
- Michael rolls on That Which Should Not Be to find out what else happens, and gets a 16. Felix is already missing an arm thanks to the Feathered Swine, and a 16 on That Which Should Not Be involves losing d4 limbs. Michael rolls a 3.
- So the spell works and the final naked man starts screaming out in absolute horror at his own skin and tearing and flaying it off himself, which is awful, but then Felix is gently lifted into the air by some unseen force, and his three remaining limbs slowly pull away from his body, skin tearing and tendons snapping, and dissolve away before his eyes as if they were being digested before he drops back to the ground, left as a torso with half a right arm with a broken longsword strapped to it.
And uh, that’s where we left it.
There’s been a lot of screaming so the rest of the townspeople will be coming to investigate soon, so I think the plan is to drag the two unconscious cultists over to the twenty snakes that Tipanius conveniently mouth-birthed to fulfil that pact, then set the house on fire where they’ve already propped up bodies, and while the town is dealing with that, drag the corpse of the chosen of Yoon-Quiun out of the woods and nail it to the town wall, then break into the giant boar pen and steal the town’s only form of transport, leaving them to their fate with the spider migration.
Also they need to figure out who is going to turn Felix into a wizard backpack.