2020/05/12

OSR: Ultraviolet Grasslands Session 9 - Random Encounter Trouble

Last session, the Cat's Meow Trading Company, after a very short series of comically terrible choices, accidentally set off a nuclear explosion.
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 survivors of the catastrophe were:
 
Granville Porter
Cogflower necromancer lawyer. A mutant human thief/necromancer and warlock of Kon-Fabulate. Survived by using a porcelain walker as a ballistic coffin.
  
 
Gormog the Builder

A half-orc barbarian/fighter and warlock of Kon-Fabulate, Gormog survived by being a VOME -  a ViOlent MEchanism.  
 
Clovis

Exiled pirate liberal with a chainsword and a tattooed map to an aerolith fortress. Survived via the power of foam.
 
Dusty
Human unicorn farmer and Ba-Priest. Main asset is a truly ludicrous accent.
 

Transport: 1 zombie porter, badly burned by radiation and missing an arm.

Hirelings: 1 scorched Veggie-Mite.

Moebius
The foam cube smashed into the ground several miles from the drifting column of radioactive smoke. It bounced once, twice, then gently came to rest on top of a mesa. As the foam slowly dissolved, Clovis and Dusty emerged. While Clovis performed an impromptu baptism and anointing ceremony, praising Holy Foam the whole time, Dusty collected their possessions, said a polite (if quavering) goodbye, and marched away from the drifting cloud of fallout.

Side Note: Dusty's player had to drop out of the game for the time being. Surviving a nuclear explosion is an excellent excuse to leave an adventuring and mercantile group.
The other survivors used the fallen cube as a landmark. The group slowly reassembled. Gormog's appearance was now distressingly VOME-ish. What remained of his original half-orc flesh was pierced and subsumed beneath layers of cabling, silicone goop, and hissing hydraulics.

The nuclear explosion, falling foam cube, and roving VOME had attracted some local attention. Three people, whose pleasant meeting-shack had been demolished by the blast wave, peered through binoculars at the motley collection of burned PCs. They were:

-Garet 3-Mind, a half-ling polybody dilettante. Though not a Porcelain Prince, the polybody was known to them and considered a harmless eccentric.
-Cheesus, a mutant steppelander boneworker and force wizard, hired by Garet 3-Mind to complete some bonework sculptures. Cheesus' mutations included mystical body odour that could turn milk to cheese and one mug-shaped hand.

-Greb Greb, another mutant steppelander, blending both fighting and wizardry. Greb Greb is a devotee of the Radiation God, exiled from a high-tech arcology for her beliefs or transgressions. The mushroom cloud and fallout were, to her, signs of divine favour.

The three new arrivals, after a few hours of cautious scouting, approached the Cat's Meow Trading Company to see if they could explain the nuclear explosion. While scant details were provided, Greb Greb was delighted to meet people who had been so near to a holy event.

The group's only valuables, aside from some loose change, were the pieces of looted ultraviolet porcelain Granville had carried from the quarry. They had no supplies. Gormog and Greb Greb volunteered to search the blast zone for sturdy items. They encountered the screaming radiation ghost of one of the group's vaporized hirelings, but Greb Greb convinced them that suffering was the natural state of life, and that being dead (and a ghost) wasn't so bad.

With pockets full of mildly radioactive metal and a few scattered cash ingots, the group decided to move southwest around the Potsherd Crater, away from the site of the explosion, and towards abandoned dig sites and quarries that might provide cover from fallout.

Lucas Roussel

Unfortunately, the cave they chose to hide in contained a Dragon.

Six-legged war-beasts from the Long Long Ago, Dragons are notoriously difficult to kill. This one breathed freezing lumps of burning phosphorous. Despite scouting and preparation, the fight went poorly for the Cat's Meow Trading Company.

Gormog fought bravely, but the colossal VOME-infected warrior was frozen then shattered by the dragon's breath. Granville Porter, survivor of so many misadventures, exhausted his spells and resorted to desperate dagger-stabs before succumbing. Cheesus fired off a single spell then fled. One of Garet's bodies, bravely wielding a bow and arrow, attempted to help, but was frozen and devoured in turn, leading the other two bodies to panic.

Greb Greb and Clovis bravely assisted from very, very far away. In fact, along with the Veggie-Mite and two of Garet 3-Mind's bodies, they didn't spend any time in the cave at all.

With all combatants in the cave dead, the dragon retreated to lick its wounds. Greb Greb prepared some radioactive poison for it, but the next day, stealth-based assassination via chainsaw, Black City Blade, and magic won the day. The few survivors settled down to a feast of highly unstable dragon meat.

Mutations ensued. Greb Greb gained draconic scales. All of Garet 2-Mind's teeth fell out, and planting them raised an obedient skeleton for 1 hour. Clovis acquired a dragon's acquisitive nature and secretly began assembling a hoard.

The dragon's hoard consisted of silver wire and sheaves of asbestos. The group also found a dragon egg wrapped in protective insulation. The prospect of a trained war-beast appealed to the group.

But fighting a dragon is not a silent affair.

Two bounty hunters, dispatched by the Porcelain Princes, arrived to witness the debauched barbecue. They asked if they could join; there was more than enough dragon-meat to share, and the group didn't want another fight.

And so Doman, a dour Myrm tracker and hunter, and Sentinel 473, a Porcelain soldier-drone, joined the group, at least temporarily. Myrms are masked deep-steppe isolationists, notoriously efficient and clean but brutally dismissive and curt. Soldier-drones of the Princes are vat-spliced disposable fighters, for situations where an entire Polybody would be unwieldy. Their enhanced abilities came at a cost; they healed slowly without high-tech equipment and rare ingredients.

Side Note: I'm using my hacked-together World of Rust bestiary to populate some bits of the Ultraviolet Grasslands. Art for the Myrm is on pg. 8 and art for the Kingdom Soldier is on pg. 20.
 Like  many things in my games, details were made up as needed.
David Tilton
The bounty hunters were on the trail of a pair of terrorist dwarves, whose notorious crimes had threatened the rule of the Porcelain Princes. "Never heard of them," Clovis said, looking at the glossy photos of Karl and Frieda. As the last survivor of the original Cat's Meow crew, and someone who'd always preferred to remain out of the spotlight, Clovis felt completely safe. The half-elf even insinuated that the bounty hunters could join this new crew, the "Dragon's Bollocks Trading Company", for safety and ease of travel.

The other PCs shared tales of the Princes' perfidy, their cheapness, and their recent political upheavals. The "Animated Teratology", a cabal of 4-body Princes had seized power in the Last Serai and the Porcelain Citadel. Monobodies were not permitted in settlements; many had been executed in arbitrary purges. Patrols near the settlements imposed rapacious taxes, but in the deep country, allies or representatives with para-radio sets hadn't received new orders.

And so, lightly mutated, heavily irradiated, and freshly enriched, the reconstituted and battered group plotted a new course to fame and fortune. First, they would need to acquire new wagons or beasts of burden, and fresh uncontaminated supplies. Finding a fleshcrater would also be useful. Dragon meat had mutated Doman's hands into claws, rendering his finely tuned bow useless. The rest of the group had assorted other ailments that required professional healing.

Third, and finally, Clovis wanted to reach the mysterious Lake of Wyv and the aerolith fortress said to float above its oil-slicked waters.

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