VAARN ACTUAL PLAY: EPISODE 10

Last episode the party delved into the subterranean passages beneath Gnomos, overcame various traps and monsters, and reached the hidden lair of the Magician, a hypergeometric mystic who ran a crew of child pickpockets. We join them halfway through their battle with this being. 

Our cast: 

  • Flim-Flam, a two-headed cacogen Adept. Proficient cook, fights with twin pistols. Owns a cyborg hawk named Midnight, who has been dispatched on a scouting mission.
  • Findus, a newbeast Mystic. Horse-man with mystical eye-lasers, a quicksilver spear, and a parasitic spirit entity. 
  • Crunk, a true-kin Warrior. Taciturn, impulsive. A lover and a fighter. 
  • Nephew (NPC), a mute and enthusiastic fungus-man. Able to fuse his flesh with dead creatures and take on their abilities.

We rejoined the party as the Magician’s right hand side resurrected, ready to battle once again. The players surmised that the Magician could not be truly killed unless some other conditions were met: there was speculation on what this condition might be. The left hand side of the Magician was still invisible and still at large; the consensus seemed to be that both halves might need to be killed at the same time for the creature to truly die. 

Battle was joined once again. Nephew finally managed to land an attack roll, and threw the Magician’s right hand side into the pit of corrosive chemicals that lay at the room’s centre. The Magician, needless to say, did not appreciate this, and began lashing out with her eye-laser. Crunk took another Wound, this time a Damaged Ego (disadvantage on all Ego tests until he won a battle and restored his pride). Nephew was also wounded by the lasers, to the party’s horror. 

Their urgent task was to locate and kill the Magician’s invisible left half. This was accomplished with a degree of flailing and unintended comedy (Crunk injured Flim-Flam with a misjudged sweep of his sword). Eventually Nephew used the vomiting ability he had stolen from the grey locust monsters to coat the Magician in nauseating bile, rendering her left hand side visible. This opened the door for Crunk to kill her left side with a swing of his blade, while the Magician’s right hand side died for a second time from the corrosive effect of the chemicals she’d been dumped into. This time the Magician did not resurrect herself, and the party found themselves victorious. Crunk’s Ego was no longer deficient.

They gathered the newly freed child thieves, informing the children that they were freed of their obligation to steal for the Magician, and suggesting they follow the barge-boy Gorsk and attempt to find work on the wind barges. There was also talk of putting the children’s thieving skills to use by beginning a program of stealing and redistributing the water tokens that were used as a kind of currency in Gnomos. They examined the large machine that Gorsk and Benjy had been imprisoned in, finding that it was constructed in part from stolen golden necklaces and jewellery, that had been used to conduct some kind of energy. They pocketed as much jewellery as they could. Finally, Nephew absorbed the Magician’s head into his right arm, gaining her ability to fire lasers from her eyes.

The party left the Magician’s hideout, following the child thieves on a different route through the tunnels. They came across a severed android head lying amongst trash: a white-fleshed female synth with red hair and red eyes. The head was unable to communicate with them, but seemed to be conscious on some level. Findus took it with him. 

The party surfaced aboveground to discover night was falling. They faced a choice of hurrying to Gnomos proper before the gates closed, or camping out amongst the graves. They opted for a night in the graveyard, not wanting to intrude on Wormwater’s hospitality for another night. Crunk and Nephew took watch while Film-Flam and Findus slept. 

They party awoke to find themselves under attack: Crunk and Nephew had drifted off to sleep, and vile biomechanical bats had fastened onto their necks while they were asleep. What followed was a farcical confrontation, as everyone repeatedly missed their attack rolls, grappled with bats while failing to kill them, and generally fucked around. Crunk got bat urine on his hands as a result of a natural 1 on the d20. Eventually they vanquished their extremely weak foes, and watched the sun rise over the blue wastes of Vaarn. A new day awaits, hopefully involving less vomiting and bat guts than the last.

GM THOUGHTS- A brief, fun session to get us back in the saddle. The Magician encounter was somewhat inspired by the Witch of Hemwick boss in Bloodborne, a fight against two invisible hags who will resurrect one another if you don’t kill them fast enough. They got onto the right track to solve the battle pretty easily, and throwing the right hand side of the Magician into the pit of corrosive chemicals was a clever answer to a resurrecting foe. 

The most interesting thread this week is the notion of using the child thieves to steal water debt tokens, an interaction between two story elements that I’d never considered but makes complete sense. The party are shaping up as Robin Hood figures in Gnomos, a solid structure to base the continuing campaign around. 

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