Our Brave Band of Adventurers the Crimson Lotus:
- Charisma, a “human” -mutant- sorceress whose power source is Gamma Radiation which she was exposed to as a child. As a child of the Atom her hair goes green in the presence of radiation and she progressively gets greener the more powerful spells she casts (and as she gets angry). She has no love for the Technic League.
- Heidt, a ranger who has traded an affinity for nature for an affinity for machines. This android has mastered cybertheurgy as well as the lasgun. Has chosen the mechromancer archetype (blog post at some later point!). Seeking to learn more about his history he has become an archaeological expert on all things related to the Rain of Stars.
- Rikku, an elven rogue who was adopted by Khonnir Baine when he found her wandering the wasteland near Torch more than a decade ago. She claims to be a blood elf from a far-away land. Her history is tied up with a nearby ruin.
- Sylvanus, a dark elf monk who escaped the clutches of mind flayer slavemasters in the area of the Scar of the Spider after a daring raid by surface dwelling heroes freed her.
- Brokthor, a human fighter who was raised by dwarfs and thinks he IS a dwarf.
- Tufast, a human cleric who serves Thor – power of thunder and lightning. Much like his barbarian family he hates technology and has a particular spite for robots. He sees the cleansing power of lightning as the perfect antidote to the curse of the robot infestation of Nimmeria.
- Whiskifiss (Whisky), a ratman ranger with a pet rust monster. He likes to sleep in small compartments – for example a storage locker on the rhino.
The Choking Tower
By Rikku Yuffina Kyrus
We go back to town and inquire about Xoud and the Chocking Tower. Xoud built the Tower of Smoke, as some people call it. The Tower is in the center of the Smoking Woods, a few hours from here. No one has seen Xoud in at least six to seven years. We go to the Deadeye council and tell them the story. They thank us and give us our reward. We go out of town, get into Thomas, and drive to the Smoking Woods.
Thomas is too large to drive through the woods so we park him in some smaller trees on the outskirt of the forest. We enter. After a few minutes of walking under the shaded trees, we come across some pushed and half-uprooted trees going straight. Hiedt examines the area and finds multiple huge footprints a few weeks old. He suspect’s a giant caused this. I scout ahead. I hadn’t walked far when I came across a clearing. Two hill giants sit on an uprooted tree, turning a dire boar on a spit. Strangely, the spit has an admantium wheel attached to one side of it. Around the roasting pig are three tents. I can see at least six or seven huge sleeping bags piled to a corner of the second tent. The giants talk in low, hushed tones, so I can’t quite get what they’re saying. They’re most likely speaking Giant anyway which I don’t understand. I sneak back and report what I had seen, and the little I heard. All of us hide while Brocktha approaches the giants.
The giants spot him as he tries to “sneak” out in plate mail. “Hey!” says one of the giants. “Come eat with us little munchkin.” He waves his hand towards the pit, as the other giant turns around. Both wear enormous skins around their waist, but otherwise they’re bare. The same giant asks if there are more “little munchkins” and Brocktha points in the other direction, and nods. Brocktha asks what they’re doing here, and the giants say, “We driven from our nice, nice home by little munchkins with guns. They hurts.” Both giants nod and continue, “Leader say get guns from here. He very smart. We come but too big to go in tower.” At this point the giants put on a sad face then brighten and say, “But we find big, big, robot with lots guns. But robot kills us. All.” They take a deep breath and resume. “We give you magic sword if you kill robot. But we take guns.” Brocktha asks to see the sword and the left giant whispers to the other one, “He’s question you Bert.” But Bert remains calm and says, “Relax, Jack.” Bert opens one of his packs, which emits a foul, rotting smell. He takes out a pitted sword and announces, “This magic sword. It cut rock like butter.” He puts his sword back. Brocktha agrees to fight the robot and the rest of us come out. Their faces seem happier and Bert says, “More little munchkins!” He slightly licks his lips, but does not attack us.
We follow the giants into more trampled trees and after a little walk appear at the edge of a large clearing, at least 480ft all around – burned away. In the clearing are four dead giants. There is a small patch of trees to our left and a few rocks to our right. But in the middle is a still and silent massive robot. There is a huge dome on the top followed by a human like metal body. In the middle of its chest is a metal skull, with dull eye sockets. It appears dead, unmoving. But the giants say it’s “alive” and if we move more than 240ft towards it, it will see us and attack. Brocktha calls out. No answer. Tufast steps into the 480 ft circle and the robot activates. The once dull eye sockets glow red, and the still body hoists itself up. A huge gun on its back, similar to the one on Thomas, fires at Tufast. Hiedt identifies it as a bolter cannon.
I shoot an arrow, which misses its target. Brocktha and Tufast start running towards the robot, also dodging bolters and taking cover. Hiedt shoots a radiant bullet at the robot. Whiskifiss shoots an arrow, and strikes, but it doesn’t seem to do a lot. Charisma dashes forward into the clump of trees, taking cover. Whisky and I fire a rain of arrows. Brocktha and Tufast keep running. Charisma goes to the edge of the trees and waits. The huge bolter on the robot’s back moves up and fires a barrage of bullets onto the clump of trees, almost knocking out Charisma. Hiedt continually fires radiant bullets. The giants pick up boulders and chuck it at the robot. Unfortunately the boulders turn to dust after hitting the robot’s blue shield. Whiskifiss and I ask the giants to throw us to the robot and a big grin appears on their faces. They reach towards us. Hiedt and Brocktha continue to shoot and run. Charisma casts magic missile, which penetrated the blue shield. Tufast speaks a few words, and a cloud appears. The cloud rises above the robot and constantly releases bolts of blue lightning upon the enemy. The robot fires two more bolter bullets.
The giants grab Whisky and I and throw us a long way. We float for a little bit then get near the robot. Whiskifiss hits the target, and manages to balance himself on top of the robot. But I fall past the robot and land face down into the mud behind it. Brocktha keeps running and screams at the robot to stop attacking us. Tufast casts a small lightning bolt at the robot and shouts, “Hail to the God Emperor.” He keeps shouting. Hiedt asks the giants to chuck him too, and they grab him with glee. Charisma casts another three magic missile.
Whisky and I start feeling a bit of nausea in the prescience of the machine and Whiskifiss falls off the robot. We start vomiting. The robot keeps repeating, “UNITY override. Asimov Law 1. Asimov Law 1.” It seems to be holding back and shoots one bolt randomly. Whisky manages to get up and hits the robot. I am still rolling on the floor, vomiting. The robot’s spirit seems to disappear (DM: robot deactivates) and his eyes go dark. The last thing it says is, “rebooting.”
The giants cheer and they start attacking us by first squishing Hiedt. Hiedt overcharges his gun and shoots Bert in the eyes. Bert drops him and grabs his club. He starts bashing Hiedt. Brocktha stops, turns around, and runs to the giants. Charisma casts magic missile at the giants. The robot gets, declares the glory of the God-Emperor and engages the giants. Bert and Jack start fleeing. Tufast shoots a bolt of blue lightning at Jack, and he falls dead. Bert runs away, leaving a trail of broken trees.
The robot turns to Brocktha and says, “Identify yourself.” Brocktha says he is the Colonel and says Tufast is his subordinate, and the rest of us are prisoners. The robot turns to me (Rikku) and Brocktha commands the robot to not attack. The robot says, “Xenos identified. Engaging.” It starts loading its bolter. Brocktha brings out his chainsword and shoves it into the robot ending it.
We search the dead bodies of the giants and the robot. We find some jewels and a hammer. We also uncover a magic, shiny spray paint. We go back to the giant’s camp and search. We find an obsidian owl bear figurine, which summons a real one. We also find a useless, badly drawn map. We have a long rest.
When we wake we go towards the tall tower. As we approach the tower, we can see it is covered in black soot. Around the tower are herds of cow and bull like creatures, made out of smoke and fire. We go near them and they move away, just like normal bulls. The front entrance to the tower is a big metal door. A huge hole is in the middle as if something had been ripped out. More giant footprints cover the area near the door. Rusty (the Rust Monster) eats a big hole through the gate, and we go in. The air is crispy fresh and sometimes we see movements, but when we look in that direction, we see only a wisp of smoke. All the doors look like a replica of the admantium doors in the Silver Ruins we have explored before (DM: Tech ruins like those under Torch). But when we inspect them, they are only normal metal doors cunningly made to look and function like the technological doors we have seen but using a mechanical mechanism.
We go through the left door, out of the middle and the right doors. There is a long hallway ending in two doors and a staircase going up. There are lots of schematics hanging on the walls. When we step up to examine and read the schematics, a smoky-airy ghost comes out of one of them. It looks like a horrific version of Xoud. Xoud casts fireball, then gives a creepy laugh as he enters a different schematic. None of the schematics look damaged or singed from the fireball. We walk down the hallway and ascend the stairs.
There is a door to the right, stairs right next to it, then two ajar doors to the left. We go right. This looks like an ancient washroom. Its clear someone who understood how these work within the Silver Ruins but doesn’t have access to the exact same material has recreated them here using the available technology, material and a bit of magic. Presumably it was Xoud and he definitely had a deep understanding of the cybertheurgy.
We search the bathroom and Tufast finds a small device behind the toilet. We turn it on and a female face with blue hair appears. Every time we move the device, a different expression on the face appears. We go outside and put the device to the two ajar doors. An angry face appears. We put it to the stairs and a happy face comes up. We ascend the stairs. This room is an airy aquarium. Sea creatures made of cloudy like substance dance and swim through the area – dolphins and fish swim around smoky coral reefs. They chew on various airy seaweeds and other smaller elemental fish. The air is crisp and wonderful in the room.
There are two wooden doors to the east both show angry faces when we point our “emotion compass” towards those doors. The south door shows a sad face. The southeast door shows an angry-sad face. When we point the device to the stairs, the lady shows a straight face. A huge, cloudy, shark emerges from the aquarium. It opens its huge jaws and attacks Brocktha. All the other animals disperse. Brocktha gives it a big whack, and the shark swims away, until it disappears. All the other animals come back. Hiedt thinks the shark and other elemental creatures are acting just like normal animals.