OSR: Ultraviolet Grasslands Session 7 - A Conic Section of Potatoes

Last session, the party consolidated their loot, bartered with a wind-weaver, and decided to cross the trackless wastes between the between the Porcelain Citadel and the Potsherd Crater.
Note: If you haven't read Ultraviolet Grasslands, most of this writeup will seem like psychedelic heavy metal Mad Libs. Even if you have read UVG it's going to be a mess.
The members of the Cat's Meow Trading Company are:

Granville Porter
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 a surprising number of explosives.
Bluelander engineer and autowagon mechanic. A human hunter on the run. Member of the Bluelander Liberation Front.
Gormog the Builder
Safarian merchant adventurer. A half-orc barbarian/fighter and warlock of Kon-Fabulate, Gormog also carries .
Exiled pirate liberal. A half-elf barbarian chased out of the Red Lands for their radical views, Clovis has a chainsword and a tattooed map to 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.
A dwarf demon hunter from the Red Lands secretly fighting the most perfidious demon of all: capitalism.
Oblong Dusk
Degenerate quarter-ling Docteure Massese, the faceless Oblong Dusk provides healing and sensual massage.

Transport: 2 mules, 2 carts, 1 looted one-person porcelain walker, 1 jury-rigged autowagon, 4 zombie porters.

Hirelings: 2 Bluelander Revolutionaries, 1 Orangelander Pirate Liberal, 1 Brass Wind-Spirit Combat Golem.

Full loaded with loot and supplies, the Cat's Meow Trading Company began their journey south. The Redmonth rains had covered the landscape in flowers and fast-moving creeks, but the first few days presented no significant challenges to the seasoned caravan-drivers.

Four days into the grasslands, the party camped near a tortoise-shelled hermit who, despite insisting everyone he encountered was a "holomorphic simulation" sent to torment him, provided useful information. He knew of a crashed "sky chariot" a day's journey into the wastes. Enticed by the thought of treasures from the Long Long Ago, the PCs cut east, heading away from both the Potsherd Crater and their eventual destination, the unseen Lake of Wyv.

Without the hermit's hastily drawn map the wreck would have appeared as nothing more than an old hill and an unusual canyon. With context, the signs of an ancient catastrophe were unmistakable. The wreck itself was buried under a thick layer of dirt and debris, but a few potential access points were, with difficulty, located. Decrepit robots cobbled, seemingly repaired with defective tools, guarded a few vents or portals. They were quickly dispatched. Gormog, dreaming of an army of robot servants, kept their component parts.

The PCs entered at [1], then cautiously navigated the ceramic corridors to the bridge [12]. They ignored a display of an unnatural egg, focusing on the bridge's arcane controls. Whatever humanoids once flew this craft had four arms and a language of obscure symbols, making their holo-controls and mind-impulse helms dangerous to use. Lapis briefly activated the ship's engines (or possibly a weapon), resulting in a distant earth-shattering kaboom and a few new warning lights.

The explosion also activated a titanic security robot. It lumbered from [2] towards the bridge, displaying a menacing 6-barreled rotary gun and a blue flamethrower. Its steel visor, serrated armour, and thick tank treads inspired panic... and a surprising burst of tactical competence. Karl instantly tossed up a 10' square wall of stuckforce as the robot opened fire with its cannon. The invulnerable wall blocked every bullet. A split second later, Gormog used his vomish disintegrator arm to turn the robot (and a 10' cube of the ship's corridor) into subatomic vapour.

"I wanted that gun," Lapis said mournfully, examining the neatly severed end of the cannon. The six barrels, sheared at an angle, formed a set of panpipes on which the morose hunter could play a dirge for lost weapons.

Now slightly more cautious, the party ignored the sensor domes [11]. The cargo hold [10] contained a small city of 300 Veggie-Mites.

The diminutive potato-shaped creatures were excited to meet the PCs. They spoke an incomprehensible language and possessed no technology more advanced than a sharp stick, but they crowded around the party and seemed genuinely interested in whatever they were doing. While Lapis patiently tried to use diagrams and gestures to communicate, Oblong Dusk tried to convert them to the worship of Deel... and see how many Veggie-Mites would theoretically fit in a 30' cone. Wave of Mutilation would make quick work of the creatures if it came to a fight.

A small group of Veggie-Priests lead the rest of the party down a long and winding corridor. At the end, three human-ish skeletons in modern clothes, with well-preserved adventuring gear, were carefully posed in front of an elaborate gold door [14]. As far as they could tell, the humans had come to the ship, attempted to loot the ship, and died of accidental poisoning from contaminated Veggie-water. The Veggie-Mites worshipped them as gods.

No visible locks protected the door, but Karl possessed a knock spell. With a quick cast, to the consternation and confusion of the Veggie-Mites, Karl caused the door to melt into self-assembling gold plates and slide open.

The room inside contained only a black cylinder. Radiating ripples of blue light played along the walls and floor, spreading whenever the party stepped. The black liquid in the cylinder slowly drained, revealing a towering four-armed porcelain-skinned humanoid. The tank itself melted and reformed into armour to clothe the naked figure.

"Hello," Lapis said, always eager to try diplomacy. "Who are you? What are you?"

The creature looked at the party with an air of palpable contempt. "To you," it answered telepathically, "a god." As if to demonstrate its power, it sent raw coruscating lightning from its fingertips towards the wall. "Kneel," it said.

"No gods or masters!" Frieda screamed. A loyal collectivist to the last, Frieda smashed her polearm of halberding into the lightning. Her weapon desperately tried to form an insulating grip, but the lightning was too strong. The dwarf caught fire and died.

"Fuck it, run!" Granville shouted, but the creature was too quick. In one swift movement it smashed Lapis into the wall, crushing her ribs. Clovis deployed the brass combat golem and sprinted up the corridor, tearing open the door to [9]. The golem fought bravely, but all too briefly. Gormog was tossed aside; Karl knelt, and Granville took a solid ceramic strike to the neck.

Oblong Dusk, approaching from the cargo bay, tried to herd a few Veggie-Mites as ablative cover. The docteur also knelt, but at the last second sprang forward and cast a point-blank wave of mutilation at the ship's monstrous master. Amazingly, the attack actually drew blood. Fully enraged, and now completely focused on Oblong, the creature spent the next round scorching the quarterling with lightning. Before dying, Oblong desperately tried to mutate their attacker, but tragically failed.

Their sacrifice did allow the party to escape. Clovis had found what appeared to be a shuttle or escape pod [8]. The half-elf hopped into a crash chair, pressed the obvious large red button, and prepared for whatever came next. The two doors to the pod began to close.

At the last possible moment, Lapis and Granville looped back through the central chamber and leapt through the closing doors. They had just enough time to wedge themsevles into chairs; Lapis upside-down, Granville with just entire torso off the seat.

The doors closed in the face of Karl and Gormog. With his lead skin mutation, Karl was unable to run, so Gormog used his vomish hover ability to magnetically drag the poor wizard through the ship. They tried another door, looted a half-drained paleo-nuclear power cell [4], and fled.

The escape pod had, somehow, worked. The hirelings on the surface saw it burst from the earth, fly a few thousand feet into the air on a column of blue-white flame, then drop like a stone. Inside, cushioned by a thick layer of expanding crash foam, the three PCs survived both the launch and subsequent impact.

"Run! That way," Gormog shouted to the hirelings at the cart. The carvan set off for the escape pod at top mule speed, trying to steer well clear of the buried sky-chariot and its murderous inhabitant.

Where did the pond land? What would the PCs do with a power cell capable of powering a town? What else would they find in the Ultraviolet Grasslands?

Find out next time.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes, you gotta suck it up and just kneel.