Session #13: Lucky Dungeon Day
After a pared down team of Firestarters took out the Fisherman, the team returned the following week in hopes of mapping the rest of level 1 of Ce-C'el. The group decided to tackle the northwest quadrant.
First crossing a railless bridge over a wildly windy chasm, the team met encountered the Birdman, his eyes and mouth sewn mostly shut, tending an innocuous flock of rare birds. Emboldened by this relatively safe room, the team proceeded into a museum-like room, complete with a pristine Hemicuda:
Do you know where this is going?
a ponytailed ice cream man in stasis:
Yes, yes you do.
and various accoutrements of 80's badassery: leather jacket, leather gloves, chains, and sweet shades. The team liberated much of the goodies from their preservation cases while leaving the ice cream man behind, and proceeded north.
Unfortunately, they encountered The Lanky Gent:
Accompanied by his murderballs:
A heated battle ensued, and the Lanky Gent was driven from his room into other corridors. The hell-like arena of the room faded:
Cramming the entire Phantasm series into one room . . .
It was apparently nothing more than a cheap projector deceit. Facing the end of the session, and unable to locate the Lanky Gent, the Firestarters stole a chandelier and the projectors and returned topside.
485 xp each; wingmen 230
285 gp each; wingmen 140
Session #14: Save Tents and the Curmudgeon
Returning to Ce-C'el in hopes of mapping a southern section of the dungeon, the players crossed a series of short but dangerous chasm-spanning catwalks. The team mused on how to best find The Gardener (rumored to live down in these parts), and proceeded to the most likely room of the map. unfortunately, the doorway was guarded by a deadly, 15-foot tall Crystal Goblet:
Badly injured but triumphant, the team continued into the southeast quadrant, killing off man-sized sunflower plants and generally pissing off The Gardener, who refused them succor. Passing compost heaps and stealing expensive-looking portraits of old-timey mutants, the team mistakenly ran into the Mi-Chiw turtle cultists. Here, the party nearly experienced a TPK, as Steve the Manglefaced Psychic died by throat-slit, Goron the Eater of Duck died by skull-smashing, and the hireling Mutant Freak known as T-Bone and Rex (two-headed dogboy), died in terrible magic fire.
It was like this, more like this than you would think.
Upon escape, Steve's body was taken to the Catwalk of Private Vicissitudes, where the remaining team performed the ritual of reincarnation. An hour after completion, Steve reincarnated as Neve, bursting forth naked (and opposite gender) from the mud.
Not pictured: anger, sadness, resentment.
Neve was very confused as to why he had been wrenched from the just and equitable land of the Anti-Gathox and, ". . . into this godforsaken hellhole. Neve hates it here. You people suck." The team was happy for the gift which Providence had provided, and went home to lick their wounds at Needle Point.
Session # 15: A Level In Full (or not)
Our protagonists returned, yet again, to Ce-C'el, grim in their determination to map this first level and claim their reward from the Dohjaks. Retreading some old territory, the team cleaned up the remnants of the Fishermen, stole their carbon fiber throne, and proceeded to defuse a shadow lamp trap which had imprisoned Thla the Heedless. The trap ate up most of the session, leading to a paltry haul but also a markedly less deadly foray.
Session #16: Takin' it to the Edge!
As the team continued to explore the perimeter of the first level, they found need in returning to the northwestern quadrant, former home of The Lanky Gent (by this time referred to by the party as The Curmudgeon). Knowing what they were in store for, the team girded their loins for battle against more gravidwarves and murderballs.
The Firestarters located the Gravidwarf chamber and managed to save a shrunken Dohjak from full conversion into evil servant of The Lanky Gent.
They then severed the hands of a number of others, stole mutagen and other chemicals, and proceeded east. They were once again taken by surprise at a reverse gravity room, although they fared better than their previous experience with it's like. The next room featured tanks storing gravidwarves in stasis, with a strange control panel in the middle. Brother Saget first deciphered the controls backwards, releasing a number of the little beasts before getting the controls right.
The Firestarters scavenged magnets from the bases of the tanks, and headed north beyond some double doors. There, they found a passage from Ce-C'el far across the city and into the basement of a strange but eerily familiar temple to the Goddess Who Balances On Narrow Precipices. Tired, low on supplies, and eager to see the light of day, the team only managed to find a few meager jeweled sex toys during their mad dash to the surface. Lo and behold, they emerged from a trap door in the Dohjak's new Herbarium, recently refurbished after the fire at Kamma Tower . . . caused by the Firestarters! The team had stumbled upon an underground connection between Ce-C'el and the very first dungeon they encountered at Kamma Tower, a.k.a. the Mudling Mansions.
'Tis sweet, after so long in dungeon pent . . .
Session #17: The Big ToDo
Before entering Ce-C'el, the Firestarters learned by way of the weekly paper that the Kermen, their long-hated alien foes, had issued a formal bounty on their heads. Conflicted, they still chose to enter Ce-C'el, the smell of impending success goading them onward.
Having mapped their way into certainty that only a few rooms remained, the team headed northeast to take on the remnants of the Lanky Gent's minions and claim full victory over level 1. First, they wiped out an entrenched pack of Vulzari chicken-men and their thralls, celebrating by cooking and eating their unhatched eggs.
Delicious and nutritious!
Next, they crossed a bridge to the north, entering a mausoleum where the Cryptkeepers clearly stored bodies for later consumption. The Firestarters defeated the gravidwarves and lead murderball guarding the place, although at the cost of Mike the Handy Mutant's alien hireling Goobooboo.
With one last room to investigate, the team found corrugated metal stairs leading up to the door. The stairs were clearly marked with yellow hazard stripes. Thinking nothing of the obviously marked trap, Thla the Heedless lived up to his name and dashed up the steps, which immediately collapsed into a chute which shot him out the side of the dungeon and into the chasm, 10 stories below.
Thla miraculously made his saving throw to cut 10d6 worth of falling damage in half, and rolled sufficiently high on the Death and Dismemberment table so as to experience a few more moments of life. At negative seven hit points and bleeding out, things didn't look good for the Heedless One.
However, Mike and Brother Saget managed to use a combination of the Falling Leaves spell and some rope and ladder to get to the bottom of the chasm. They bound Thla's wounds just in time (end of the round at -9 HP) as huge forms lumbered toward them in the darkness. Using the strength of the topside team to haul up Thla's broken body, the group managed to get up to the first level before meeting the massive, slavering beasts of the pit. The final room contained, much to the joy of Brother Saget, a substantial arcane library with some choice tomes for the pillaging.
Dodging as many random encounters as possible, the team eeked their way through the level toward the exit, dealing death to a Surdite bug colony who wanted to eat Thla's body. Exiting to the Dohjak Neighborhood Friendship Hall, the Firestarters had finally mapped level 1 of Ce-C'el.
Now, they merely have to deal with that bounty on their heads . . .
703 xp; wingmen 312
308 gp; wingmen 137