Last session, the PCs met for the first time, took out an enormous loan to trade in cat coffee, and stole a wicker autogolem.
Note: If you haven't read Ultraviolet Grasslands, most of this writeup will seem like psychedelic heavy metal Mad Libs. Even if you have ready UVG it's going to be a mess.The PCs are:
Cogflower necromancer lawyer. A mutant human thief/necromancer and warlock of Kon-Fabulate. Equipped with starscape skin, a vibrating thumb, a telephone that talks to dead people, and basic legal training.
Bluelander engineer. A human hunter on the run .Member of the Bluelander Liberation Front. Now doubly on the run for stealing an auto-golem from her employer.
Gormog the Builder
Safarian merchant adventurer. A half-orc barbarian/fighter and warlock of Kon-Fabulate. Gormog is neither pretty nor clever, but knows a good deal when he sees it.
Exiled pirate liberal. A half-elf barbarian chased out of the Red Lands for their radical views, Clovis has a chainsword and a tattoo of an aerolith fortress.
Wine vampire priest. A dwarf forcebender wizard and warlock of Deel, Orbital Wargoddess. Full of a strange blend of bloodlust and diplomacy.
With two carts full of fungus-infected mouldy cat coffee and vital supplies, and a stolen autogolem full of equally stolen tools, the party left the Last Chair Salon at first light. Karl left slightly earlier to grab a skull from the burnt wreckage of their pursuers. "It was foretold!" the warlock shouted, holding the skull aloft. He spent the rest of the trip obsessively polishing and cleaning it.
Note: Karl's player couldn't make this session. Warlock-madness seemed appropriate. Instead of going further into debt to buy riding donkeys, the group decided to walk alongside their carts. Lapis got to ride in style in her stolen autowagon.One week of travel across the early spring landscape, ducking under and around the crumbling pillars of the High Road, seasoned the group for travel through the Grasslands. Traveling through endless reminders of former glories was depressing, but at least the overpasses kept the ash-rain off their heads. Their destination remained the Porcelain Citadel, the decadent home of the Porcelain Princes.
The only human they encountered on the road was Gloria Hibiscus, a trained mantis-trader. She offered to swap a stack of mantis-cages for some coffee, but the party didn't relish the idea of caring for the fragile ash-coloured insects. Gloria did provide vague directions to the Potsherd Crown, a bulbous porcelain deposit two days off the main road. Apparently some of the wurm-tunnels contained undiscovered treasures.
That was good enough for the Cat's Meow. Full of beetle-rabbit stew, roast beetle-rabbit, mashed beetle-rabbit, and beetle-rabbit jelly on crackers, the group turned off the road and headed south.
Note: The random encounter checks this session just kept coming up beetle-rabbit. Clovis kept the group well provisioned, if not exactly pleased, with endless supplies of meat. They managed to obtain a week's worth of supplies just by hunting in the evenings. Apparently it's beetle-rabbit season.
Gormog, sadly, ignored this advice. Lapis' bolter put down two Vomish lurchers, but the quick-fingered half-orc couldn't resist picking through their remains for valuable tech. He found a few handfuls, but also caught a Vomish infection.
Note: Since this was the first time a Vome had turned up in the game, I gave the player a choice between a minor inconvenient infection that patent medicine could cure, or a more serious character-altering infection. Needless to say, the player choose the full version. At level 1, Gormog is now a Fighter/Barbarian/Warlock/[Vome]. At level 2, I suspect he'll be a corpse.Excursions into the wurm-tunnels proved fruitful. Granville demonstrated entirely un-lawyerly reflexes and stabbed a bat-scorpion mid-attack. The first tunnel contained a wurm carcass and two immediately salvageable crystal teeth. The second tunnel contained, after a bit of trouble with a secret door, a hidden vault full of indigo porcelain furniture. Both barbarians, apparently, shared a love of antique furniture. Accurately dating and evaluating the find to an expedition from the Springtime of the Monarchies (second declension), the pair insisted the delicate pieces could be sold for a vast profit. The group jettisoned excess supplies to fit the furniture onto the carts, strapped one wurm tooth to Granville's back, and started walking.
The road to the Porcelain Citadel was little better than the Low Road. Ash was replaced with smoke; beetle-rabbits with desiccated carcasses. Granville stepped on a glass geode cluster and shredded one of his boots. Luckily, they group had eaten through enough supplies to let the mutant rest on a cart instead of hobbling alongside.
Finally, weary and dusty, coated in guano, rabbit ichor, and sour rain, the group staggered into the Porcelain Citadel. Paying for good quarters in the Houses of Many Colours, the group settled in for three weeks of carefully planned financial chicanery.
They couldn't all live like princes. Not yet. So they pooled their cash to pay for Granville Porter to live in style and comfort, while the rest of the group (ostensibly his servants) spread rumours through the town. A new blend of cat coffee was on the market. This "Granville Porter" was a great trader who carried priceless porcelain (these paltry sanguine fragments were a mere sample) and other valuable goods.
Both Clovis and Lapis worked for different, but ostensibly aligned, radical factions. Clovis was a pirate liberal; Lapis worked for Bluelander rights. In the Porcelain Citadel, the nexus of all revolutionary activity was "Your Life Burns Faster In This House", a radically fashionable party destination. Neither PC could afford the cover charge, let alone regularly attend Syruss Sensible's legendary all-night soirees.
Granville and Gormog found time to venerate Kon-Fabulate and the bastion of civilization He had allowed to grow in the wilderness. Gormog took the giant porcelain hand as a divine sign; the Hand of Kon-Fabulate, or at least an icon of it, lunging from the soil. He purchased commemorative keychains for everyone in the group.
Clovis spent a second week carving one of the crystal wurm teeth into a sword and daggers (to sell), crystal cat ears (for each party member), and a set of tacky crystal jewelry (to appease Granville). After sending out feelers to various Princes, the group sold their fungus-riddled "feral cat coffee" to Sherd 7-extension. The prince appreciated their matching headgear and deference to clearly superior polybodies.
After selling their porcelain furniture to a local dealer, the group reconvened to count their profits. They were still €1,400 short of their €7,000 loan from the cat-lord Melborne Red. Though they still had over a month to pay, Lapis volunteered to sell her precious autowagon and stolen tools, netting a further €3,000gp.
The group handed over their letters, credit chips, and notes to the reputable Purple League Coach Company, then settled in for a few days of relaxation.
Note: the Purple League Coach Company runs once a month between the Last Serai and the Violet City. Their fast armoured autowagons travel day and night. Anyone approaching within 100' of a moving wagon is shot. Robbery is extremely rare, the Purple League's backers are wealthy and enjoy a reliable flow of cash, letters, and small high-value packages through the Grasslands. The corpses of the last robber-band still adorn shards along the High Road... and the chrome grills of the Purple League's wagons.With cash to burn, empty wagons, and a great reputation in town, the PCs were on top of the world. Their vague plan is to resupply, perhaps hire some help or upgrade their equipment, and ride for the Last Serai, and then to the aerolith listed on Clovis' map. Will they succeed and grow rich beyond their wildest dreams? Or will they blow all their cash carousing and go into debt again?
Find out next session.