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Scion: Bohemian Front (Actual Play)

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  • Baroness Nerak
    started a topic Scion: Bohemian Front (Actual Play)

    Scion: Bohemian Front (Actual Play)






    Scion: Bohemian Front is a Scion game which will take our heroes from Hero Level through God level. I have run two Scion games Scion: Rada and Scion: Petro each of which ran about six years and took the PCs to Legend 12, and I have every expectation this one will as well.

    Not a great deal of background required beyond the general setting is that described in the Scion setting. I am not using the “World at War” material as such, but do have the concept of warring Pantheons, just using those in the game, not what are to me fairly weak pantheons. Past that, the setting is pretty much the setting from the books, such as it is.

    Our heroes will be Legend 3 the first story, then graduate to Legend 4 for ~ 3 stories. They will be Legend 5 for a story then 6-8 ~3 stories each, 9 for one story, 10-12 around 3. That’s about how Rada and Petro went.

    All the PCs will have a connection to the city of Berlin, and the first couple stories take place there. As is the usual case for Scion, though, most stories will take place in other locations. Hero tends to be on Earth, while Demigod spreads into Terra Incognita and Underworlds, and God spreads further into Overworlds. So the PCs will be adventuring all over. But there will be a base in Berlin. More will become apparent about that in our first story

    Our Cast

    Magnus Grimstad, Scion of Bragi, Aesir: Magnus is from a small town in Norway, and left to find himself when he outgrew that town's limitations. He has been traveling all over Europe, wandering from town to town and relying on his music to get him by. Magnus is large, and is both physically and socially imposing. He has an intense personality that tends to swing between maudlin fatalistic depression and a manic desire to wring every last bit of living out of life while there is still time. He tends to drink heavily when at either extreme, less so when he's more in the middle, and his mood swings can come suddenly and without warning.

    At this point in the game Magnus has never talked to Bragi in person. He mostly deals with them through his Guide, his frost giant half-brother Kjell. Kjell is loyal to his father Bragi, but he's also loyal to his grandfather, Utgard-Loki. Kjell believes that Magnus will ultimately become the skald that chronicles the Ragnarok and keeps the legends of those who fell. Both Utgard-Loki and Odin see the usefulness of having influence on the one who will tell their stories, and Magnus is pretty much destined to become caught up in their intrigues.

    Nemiz “Nemi” Cemicac, Scion of Quetzalcoátl, Atzlánti: Nemi is the well educated young head of Future Life Foundation (FLF), a non-profit NGO focusing on creating miraculous prosthetics to help people live better, fuller lives after tragic accidents. His visitation changed little about Nemi, save that now he has a Divine Right to rebuild lives.

    Nemi is first and always a healer. Some call him the Repairer of Broken Dreams for the work he and his foundation do for victims of physical loss. More than a doctor, scientist, or engineer, Nemi is a visionary, constantly seeking ways to enhance the lives of those around him. As a hero, this includes bolstering his allies and bedeviling his enemies.

    Chae Ji-Woo, Scion of Fu Xi, Celestial Bureaucracy: Chae Ji-Woo is a Korean daughter of Chang'e who was awakened as a scion of Fu Xi when she unknowingly stole her younger brother's divine legacy. Since then, she has wandered Asia and Europe, living the bohemian lifestyle as an artist, dreamer, fortune-teller and occasional hero. She happily nurses an addiction to absinthe, enjoying the mysterious ways the liquor enhances her perceptions.

    Insatiably curious, Ji-Woo is extremely intelligent and observant, but lacks the focus to apply herself to anything (even a routine conversation) for long, which makes her seem perpetually distracted. She feels a strong connection to the heavens and embodies the whimsy and freedom of the wind and skies. She believes she is destined to follow in Fu Xi's footsteps and become a mystic, but for now, she feels perpetually lost and directionless, a situation that bothers her far less than it probably should.

    Rajani Gupta, Scion of Kali, Devas: Rajani is a warrior and a tattoo artist. Awakening to her heritage in India, she sought to express herself with Tattoos, especially a notably impressive one of a sword across her shoulder, which she can draw forth and use as a weapon. Rajani is also a fan or hard rock and metal music,and is considered the best tattoo artist in Delhi.

    Rajani is fairly combat focused. Built as a heavy hitter, she emulates her mother on the battlefield.

    Phaedra Volakis, Scion of Hermes, Dodekatheon: Phaedra was awakened after being the first Greek archer to win a gold in the modern Olympic Games. Before she learned her true parentage, Phaedra used her limited fame to become a motivational speaker, hoping to assist others in becoming the best they could possibly be. The only problem with this plan is, she's not the most charismatic woman.

    Incredibly focused, Phaedra is all about the mission - whatever that may be. She is intense and stubborn, but also very loyal to her allies. Unsurprisingly, she enjoys bow hunting as a form of relaxation and now uses her hunting skills to track down wayward titan spawn and complete whatever task her divine father sets before her.

    Zane, Scion of Nantosuelta, Nemetondevos: Zane is a former street kid, living in the streets of London since she was 11, and with the prostitute she thought was her mom before that. When she awakened, she was discovered to have been the lost daughter of Nantosuelta, who was kidnapped as a baby. She still hasn't figured out who was the one who took her, but has mostly spent her time wandering from city to city and having fun.

    Zane is at home in the shadows, keeping her eyes and ears open for anything interesting going on, but also has no qualms about getting in your face in a knock down, bare-knuckle brawl. She's always been the defender of her gang and is strongly drawn to protect and support her friends. She hasn't aged since she awakened, so she still looks to be about 16, and occasionally takes advantage of that to get away with a bit of an extended childhood.

    “Saltmarsh Andy” Du Mer, Scion of Manannán mac Lir, Tuatha Dé Dannan: "Saltmarsh Andy" Du Mer is a Scion of Manannán mac Lir. He is from Castletown on the Isle of Man. Saltmarsh Andy is a tricky fellow, with many aliases and many stories. A firm believer that the truth is for the uncreative, he entertains, amuses and confounds with double talk and misdirection. However, there are lessons behind his tricks; he never tricks people for his own ego or to bring them harm…unless they are his enemies. He teaches and guides, albeit in an unconventional way. Andy is the magic man; he makes things happen. Andy considers himself above petty combat and only arms himself for show.

    Andy’s role can best be described as buffer and face. Much as people are often better then reality in his stories, his allies are made better then the reality of their abilities even in reality by use of Magic, Enech, and Epic Social Knacks, even as his enemies are weaker due to the same in reality then the reality of their abilities. He is slow to lay Geasa, however. While Andy revels in being part of the tale, most people know nothing really about who he really is, beyond his divine parent. Even his name is a lie.


    If you read previous Scion stories, Ji-Woo has the same player as Erika Lacey Scion of Izanami, Nemi has the same player as Storm Scion of Zeus, Rajani has the same player as Carina Scion of Bast, Saltmarsh Andy has the same player as Sam Gannon Scion of Anubis and Pierre Ghede Scion of Baron Samedi, Phaedra has the same player as Jacob Marsh Scion of Frigg, Magnus has the same player as Cesar Acosta, Scion of Huitzilopochtli, and Zane’s player is new to Scion. There is also heavy crossover with players of Geist and Vampire, and some crossover with others.

    Gonna drop in the first backgrounds then first session soon, then alternate with backgrounds and sessions. More coming very soon.

  • Anteros
    replied
    Thank you, I'll check them out tout de suite.

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Short answer: No.

    Longer, more useful answer: No, but they did have character journals on Livejournal back in the day. I had a thread with links on the old forum but it is gone. This Thread has links and cast information. It is rpg.net, so I could not update posts after 24 hours, but the links should be good. For Petro, look for Erika's journal...it covers Petro beginning to end and is very thorough, while the others are spotty at best. For Rada, the most complete is Storm, who never put his online, I recommend Jacob's, though I think it petered out near the end. Erika has the same player as Ji-Woo, so if you like Ji-Woo's you may like Erika's.

    Those games both ended at legend 12 with major setting shaking events, and characters crossed over from time to time. There are two games from other GMs mentioned there, but both petered out.

    Leave a comment:


  • Anteros
    replied
    Did you post AP for those other games?

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    At this time, this game is on Hiatus. I should have posted something. I apologize. I am honestly not sure if it will take up again or not...after running two six year long Scion games parallel followed almost immediately by this game there has been some burnout. What exactly will happen with the game remains to be seen.

    Leave a comment:


  • Anteros
    replied
    Is this game still ongoing?

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Last session of our Six Underground Story, let’s catch up

    Session XLIX


    Six Underground Part XIII

    Ji-Woo's Visions


    Naraka

    I am so glad our Underworld odyssey is over. I hoped that it would end with a big, triumphant bang, with everyone being really badass and glorious and all. But I should know better than to get my hopes up. I mean, sure, some of us were incredibly glorious, and the battle was dramatic and amazing, if you’re into that kind of thing. But I spent most of it with maggots crawling out of my eyes or into my nose and mouth. I don’t know how I held it together and did my job. If Edward hadn’t come along to save me, I think I would have completely lost my shit. As it was, the fight pretty much broke me by the end, so it’s a good thing Pipa and Zane were there to give me the moral support I needed.

    Things started out well enough. Deva demons were fighting against a small army of charnel giants led by five deathlords, one of whom was mounted on a sleek skeletal dragon. The maggot-hag Matron was calling the shots, and she made a bee-line for us as soon as we arrived. Magnus went berserk and charged the enemy head on with Edward and Kjell in his wake. Andy laid low and supported us with his magic, as usual. Pipa transformed into her demon form and engaged the charnel giants alongside Indra. Meanwhile, Zane made her way to the edge of the bottomless Pit of the Unforgivable and I soared over it, looking for the Pestle, which I suspected was resting somewhere in broken Hindu ruins covering the upper walls of the pit.

    Unfortunately, Zane and I did not go unnoticed. The Matron leapt on Zane, who fought back hard but got a face full of maggots for her trouble. The worms were disgusting, and way too big, and they WERE the Matron. The maggots tried to burrow into Zane’s mind so that the Matron could possess her, but Zane is made of sterner stuff than that.

    Unfortunately, the Matron knew exactly what I was up to and tried to stop me. She did something that caused maggots to crawl from my eye sockets. It was excruciatingly painful, and I started to freak out, screaming the whole time. I barely managed to keep it together, though, and even though I couldn’t see, I focused my mystical senses on my surroundings, which granted me a clairvoyant view of the battlefield and the inside of the pit. Pretty smart, huh? Fortunately, the maggots swarming from my eyes stopped after a few moments and I could see again, but I think I’ll be traumatized by that experience for the rest of my life!

    Anyway, it was about then that one of the Deathlords Magnus was fighting hit me with his plague magic. I sickened quickly, and as the weakness overcame me, I faltered in my flight and dropped straight into the pit. I was fine, really. It didn’t take me long to regain control. But I was still weak, and I wouldn’t be able to handle it if another one of the Deathlords decided I needed more of the same, so I was glad when Zane came leaping into the pit screaming my name in a panic. I caught her, spun us both around, and then launched her out of the pit, and while we were touching briefly, she healed my illness. Everything would have been just peachy except that the Matron, who was still squirming around on Zane as a group of big, disgusting maggots, decided that I would make a much more delicious snack. She swarmed onto me and started trying to burrow into my head. I tried to shake her off, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t even grab her and toss the maggots into the pit! They were too fast and wriggly and slimy and oh my god I’m going to vomit and then have a breakdown and then vomit again.

    * * * * *

    Sorry about that, Yisheng. But the Matron really did a number on me. Anyway, I couldn’t shake her off, but I was able to divide my attention enough to keep her at bay while still looking for the Pestle. Also, I screamed a lot. Unfortunately, Zane was also having a hard time. The deathlord on the dragon was shooting her with black arrows, and her shots were true enough to pierce Zane’s tough hide. I had to help my best friend, so I whipped out my pistols and started shooting the deathlord and her dragon, not that I did much damage at first.

    With everything else I had going on, I couldn’t very well keep up with what was happening with Magnus, Edward, and Andy, but I could feel Andy’s blessings giving me the strength and skill I needed to fight despite the maggots gnawing at my flesh. Then the deathlord’s dragon swooped down, snapped up Edward and swallowed him. He went careening through its empty rib cage screaming something like, “I’m Ji-Woo!” because he was flying . . . sort of. Then he fell out of the rib cage and the dragon swatted him toward Magnus with its tail.

    Magnus didn’t look twice. He just saw something flying his way and with a ferocious roar, he caught it and threw it back at the dragon with every ounce of his berserker strength. It wasn’t until after Edward was flying back at the dragon that Magnus realized what he had done! The look on his face was priceless! Edward’s tough, though, so he was fine. He cracked a few of the dragon’s ribs and then bounced off.

    By that point, the Matron had worn me down. I couldn’t stand her maggots all over me any more. One was starting to burrow into the back of my head, and I could feel them squirming their way under my clothes. To make matters worse, the dragon had just spewed a stream of maggots all over me as I was maneuvering around it. I felt violated and sick, and I couldn’t hold it together anymore. Then, just as I was about to completely lose it and have a breakdown, Edward came falling right at me, yelling, “I got you, Ji-Woo!” I was so shocked I didn’t even flutter out of the way, and Edward slammed into me and we tumbled through the air together for a moment before I lost him and he went flailing to the ground. He took my top with him along with all the maggots! I was finally maggot free! Edward was my savior!

    Also, I was somehow wearing his Hawaiian shirt.

    Anyway, free of the maggots, I was able to gather my wits and my composure, and that’s when I spotted the Pestle resting in an alcove on a ledge some distance from the lip of the pit. I telepathically told Zane where to find it, and she zoomed off into the pit. She can scramble over walls like they’re level ground, so I wasn’t worried about her.

    Then I turned my attention to the dragon and its deathlord rider. I was sick and tired of that jerk shooting at my friend, and I was upset about the maggots, so I unleashed hell on her. A few shots later, and the deathlord was little more than a twice-dead corpse plummeting into the bottomless pit.

    The fight was nearly over. I surveyed the battlefield in time to see Magnus freeze the Matron-maggots in a colossal sheet of ice along the cliff edge. Then he slammed his axe into the ground with an earth-shattering blow that sent one whole edge of the pit cascading into the bottomless depths. The Matron-maggots went down with it.

    A few charnel giants were left. Edward must have landed right in the middle of them, because they were trying their best to beat him to a pulp. I soared down to the ground, drawing some of Indra’s lightning with me. I channeled the lightning through my guns and then blasted the four giants with four quick shots, one each. The winds and lightning followed each starfire bullet, slamming into the giants with enough force to blast them over the edge and into the bottomless pit. Edward almost went with them, but Zane caught him just as she sprang up and out of the pit with the Pestle safely in hand.

    With the battle over, I just collapsed to my knees, voice hoarse from screaming and arms wrapped around me as I tried to stop myself from shaking. Yisheng, I was deeply traumatized by those inescapable maggots, burrowing into my flesh and mind. I was miserable. Pipa showed up then and did her best to comfort me. We got out of Naraka pretty quickly after that. I needed a long shower. We all did.

    * * * * *

    Berlin


    We had a legendary celebration once we all got back to the world and managed to clean up. At Magnus’ insistence, we all got laid, even Zane, who turned into rakish guy Zane for the occasion. We went to Berghain, of course. I stuck with Pipa. I needed some serious chill out time, so I got lost in my absinthe and Pipa’s arms in the chill trance lounge. I was probably a little more clingy than usual. I was feeling really vulnerable, and I needed my girlfriend. She’s always affectionate and sassy, but she’s not always the warmest of companions. I guess being cynical, jaded, and predatory will do that. This time, though, she went out of her way to be sweet and caring. I love her so much.

    Sadly, Kjell’s gone back home. I’ll miss the big guy. He was fun.

    Later, we made sure Treela returned safely to the Seelie Court with the Pestle, and then took the Ladle to the Loa. Everyone seems content with the arrangement, even if the Unseelie Court is a little miffed that they didn’t get to keep everything, just in case they need an army of undead someday. Whatever.

    * * * * *

    So, I finally met up with Gloria in Michigan. That’s where she lives, apparently. She is very charming, but not especially my type. Sadly, I don’t think she’s Magnus’ type either, though maybe that’s for the best. After all, Magnus has a kid on the way with another woman.

    I would like to say that my curiosity has been sated, but it hasn’t . Sure, I know what Gloria was up to in Helheim now, but that knowledge has only unearthed new mysteries. It turns out Gloria was sent to Hel by Frigg, Sif, and Freya to befriend Hel and find out what Hel’s up to lately. She’s been gathering a number of mysterious relics, and Frigg especially wanted to know why. Freya was the one delivering supplies for Gloria’s dolls to use for their puzzles and traps.

    In the end, Gloria didn’t really learn much about Hel’s plans before Sif swept in and rescued her, though she DOES suspect that Frigg has a theory about where the relics are coming from and why they are in Helheim. So now, of course, I’m very curious about what Hel’s up to. It’s probably not good.

    Anyway, Gloria did confess that she ended up feeling sorry for Hel. The two of them even became close. She wasn’t very specific about that, but she DID insist that she and Hel did not sleep together. Now Hel is sending Gloria relics and flowers, still trying to woo her, I suppose. It’s kind of pathetic, really. I asked if Grimstad’s’ love song and my letter had awakened any interest in Magnus, and she did seem intrigued, but she’s fallen head-over-heels for Sif. She wouldn’t stop gushing about how Sif heroically charged in to rescue her from the Underworld, all golden locks and radiant beauty and sparkles and rainbows. You’d think Gloria was some sort of fairytale princess. I mean, that IS how her legend is shaping up. Obviously.

    I wonder if the Bureaucracy knows anything about Hel’s collection of relics? Get on that, Yisheng. I need to know!


    Zane’s Letters

    Mags said it were my job to keep Ji-Woo safe, and that were my only job on account of me not doing good when I has two jobs, like when I were supposed to nick the priestess and keep Ji-Woo from stamping things. I’d’ve been better at the stopping Ji-Woo part if I knowed she shouldn’t be stamping things. But Mags were getting all fighty angry so I didn’t argue none. I did have a bit of a butcher's though, for starters.

    Course, maybe he’s right, seeing as the first things what happened was the old maggot lady making maggots come out of Ji-Woo’s eyes. I gave the bint what for and nutted her good, but that just made her turn into more maggots and try to get to my brains again. My brains is well hard too though, so she didn’t get any of them. But then Ji-Woo screamed again (she did that a lot - I don’t think she likes maggots none) and started falling into the pit instead of flying like she were supposed to! She looked all sicky and her eyes was closed and it were right awful.

    I jumped out after her to see if I could fix the sick and maybe knock her into a wall so’s she wouldn’t be falling for forever and ever and ever. She waked up when I fixed her, and started flying properly again, and even caught me so’s I spinned around and landed just on the edge of the pit. I tried to give the maggot bint the twos, but she had gotten all maggoty on Ji-Woo when she caught me! That were not on, but they was both proper high up, so I couldn’t do nothing.

    There was five of them death lords and 4 charnal giant blokes, and a dragon, like I said, what were fighting us. Indra and Pipa and Kel and the demon-y blokes were fighting loads more too. Indra kept getting bigger and bigger and more red. He’s the best. Cept for us and Mags. He thought Kel were ace too, on account of Kel were cutting the dragon’s wing off while they was riding it over the pit. Boys are right strange.

    Ned and Mags were busting up the death lords and death lady lords but good, cept one was up on the dragon what kept breathing out maggots. That one kept shooting me with arrows what hurt like a dickens. The bugger shot one in my hand while I tried to crawl out! Then the two giants axed me into the cliff, but I came back poof! in their shadows and tried to push them off the cliff. They was too big, so I just gave them a two finger salute and turned invisible.

    Then things got weird. The dragon tried to eat Ned, but he just fell out of its arse, on account of it were a skeleton dragon. Then it hit Ned with its tail at Mags, and Ned thought he were flying so he said he were Ji-Woo. Ji-Woo flied into the dragon’s middle, so she said she was Edmund and shot the the death bow lord lady, on account of she’s my mate, Ji-Woo is.

    Then Mags caught Ned and was all fighty angry, so he throwed him back up at the bow death lady lord. Ned smacked her on the nose, bop! but then falled down again. Ji-Woo was screaming some more, on account of the maggot bint, so Ned traded shirts on his way down, cept Ji-Woo’s shirt weren’t real, so he didn’t have a shirt no more and she had one of them Hawaiian shirts and it weren’t buttoned up or nothing. But all the maggots falled off! Plus, Ji-Woo found the pestle and told me where it was in my brains. It’s much more good to have Ji-Woo in my brains than maggots.

    The pestle were down in the pit, so I used my superpower to walk on walls. I had to run really far, but I’m proper fast, so I found it right quick and just where Ji-Woo said and then put it in the Rumpole bag. On the way back up, the whole cliff fell off over my head. I almost knocked my hat all the way down the bottomless pit! I grabbed it at the last minute though. The rocks and stuff was all full of ice and frozed up maggots, so hopefully the maggot bint is falling forever and ever and ever.

    Ji-Woo throwed giants in the pit too, but not at me. She stoled Indra’s lightning and shot them kapow! so hard they falled off. Ned were climbing on of thems, so he falled off too, but I jumped proper quick and catched him all invisible so he thought he were flying again. He started talking like a church man, but in Spanish. Ned is even more strange than most boys.

    When I got up carrying him, the dragon and the last of the death lords blokes was running away. Ji-Woo weren’t too good, but she were just ew-sicky on account of the maggots being yucky and not sick-sick and plus she screamed enough she couldn’t talk right. I gived her hugs and then Pipa did too. Mags told her to get a shower. That’ll make her feel better for certain sure. Showers feel well nice.

    I got to keep the pestle for now, on account of it’s too big for Treela. She gets it later though and Andy’s gang gets the cauldron and the Loa gang gets the ladle, so’s they can all be safe and everybody’s happy, or not happy. Ned kept asking me for it to use for his weed, but Ji-Woo gived it to me, so he doesn’t get it.

    Ji-Woo just came back from the shower and Mags said we was all gonna go get laid, me included, so Ji-Woo winked at me and pulled my ear and now I’m boy Zane again. Time to have fun!

    Zane

    End Session XLIX

    Sorry about the break. We finished the story, then the next session Ji-Woo’s player had to miss and the next one I was to be out of town on that night, so no game for two usual meetings. There will be a game in two weeks and new journals continuing in four. Will see you then.

    Comments and Questions welcome.

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    It’s time to watch the group try to get back on track. Let’s see if they succeed.

    Session XLVIII

    Six Underground Part XII

    Ji-Woo’s Visions

    Diyu

    So, this entry is going in the private journal because Yisheng does not need to put this one on the official Bureaucracy record, what with us kidnapping a virtuous spirit from Diyu and everything. Speaking of kidnapping, it turns out Zane is pretty good at it. She didn’t believe us at first when we told her so. She even seemed offended. But then we reminded her of Rumpelstiltskin, and Treela, and now the virtuous priestess’s spirit, and poor Zane had to admit we were right. Wouldn’t it be amazing if her legend grew into some sort of fae kidnapping, changeling thing? Of course she would only kidnap children if their parents deserved it. “You better be good to your children, or else the Zanewoogandr will come steal them away!” Or something.

    Maybe that would be awful.

    Anyway, we infiltrated Diyu and met Pipa there. I was so happy to see her! She was a bit more reserved, but I think she liked the spine whip I gave her. While we were navigating the Bureaucracy offices in Diyu, I tore up some paperwork I stole from a passing functionary demon and used the scraps to read some omens. I learned that the priestess’s soul was already waiting outside the 10th Court to be reborn. She didn’t have to do a tour through any of the hells, which is nice. The omens also revealed to me the exact location of the last piece of the Dark Cauldron set: the Pestle is in Kakola, Naraka’s Realm of the Unforgivable, a bottomless pit where the Devas cast the worst and most irredeemable of souls. That sounds awful. Also, the maggot hag, whom Fate refers to as the Matron, is already on her way there! So we have to hurry. Magnus was grumpy about that. He thinks we’re wasting time in Diyu, and maybe he’s right. After all, I volunteered to steal this soul mainly to make a splash with Nuwa and Daji, and they probably won’t care all that much that I’ve smoothed things over with Yama. On the other hand, Daji at least might be pretty amused that we are kidnapping a soul from the Bureaucracy to give it to the Devas.

    Of course, I’m still worried about Gloria, especially after the omens told me she was no longer in Helheim (she’s in Michigan now). That’s good, but I also learned that Hel DID have her way with Gloria . . . sort of. But not like she wanted. I don’t really know what that means, but I’m dying to find out. This Gloria thing really has a grip on my curiosity. Also, Magnus was unhappy to learn that Yisheng had delivered my message, which means Gloria might have a thing for him now. Maybe. I didn’t receive any omens about that. The good news, though, is that Angrboda didn’t get any of our DNA, so I guess the Zanewoogandr won’t be stealing children from misbehaving parents any time soon.

    Also, Pipa is hot.

    But seriously, Andy needs to stop messing with my omens. He and Treela started playing Memory with the scraps of paper I was using to read Fate. Gods know if that changed my readings. Actually, I’m getting really tired of all these shenanigans. Sometimes I feel like I can’t even have a conversation without one of us going off on some tangent or doing something absurd. I’m pretty laid back, but I think this Underworld journey is getting to me, because I really need some chill time, and I wish we could stay on track. Normally, when chaos sends things off the rails like this, I just leave and settle down somewhere else. But I can’t do that now because I have to be more responsible.

    Anyway, we hatched an amazing plan to get the priestess to come with us willingly, if under false pretenses. We decided that was better than going through all the Bureaucracy paperwork, because who has time for that? The plan was to have Pipa sneak into the holding area outside the 10th Court where the priestess’s soul was waiting to be reborn. Pipa would menace the spirit, frightening the priestess so much that when Zane showed up and offered to help her escape, she would hop right into Zane’s kidnapping bag (the one we used to get Rumpelstiltskin back to England). Pipa kept talking about eating one of the priestess’s arms just to make it really convincing, but I told her she shouldn’t do that.

    So, Edward caused a distraction by rocking out in the office of the functionary demon who was overseeing the 10th Court, and Pipa approached the priestess. She said, “You were a good dinner, and you’ll be a better dessert!” Then she took a bite out of the priestess’s shoulder. Oh Pipa. Sigh.

    The priestess tried to run while guards converged on Pipa, but Andy used his illusions to confuse the guards, and Pipa escaped. Zane intercepted the priestess and convinced her to jump into the bag so that we could get her to safety, and then we left the 10th Court as quickly as we could. I used the chaos of Edward’s impromptu one-man concert to steal the priestess’s paperwork, so there should be little evidence that she was ever even there! Magnus wasn’t happy that Edward carved “Grimstad” into one of the 10th Court desks. He doesn’t like anything that ties us to our misdeeds. He was super-grumpy, so I reminded him that this was all to keep me out of a desk job in the Bureaucracy. That didn’t help. He’s still upset at Zane for her role in all of this.

    So now we’re off to Naraka again.

    I’m tired of Underworlds, so I’ll be glad when this odyssey is over. I’ve been feeling a little put-upon lately, and the fact that I can’t just leave makes it worse. I mean, I know I’m largely responsible for extending the length of our journey at least twice, and I’m okay with that. It’s just that all the random crap that keeps happening in between is starting to get on my nerves.

    Also, I’m not sure Pipa is very happy about me wanting to get involved more with Nuwa and Daji. I thought maybe she would be happy for the opportunity to work together a little more, and she hasn’t been very excited about it. I think she’s jealous of me and is worried that Daji or Nuwa might steal me away from her. I told her she doesn’t have to worry about that, but I don’t think she believes me. It makes me sad.

    * * * * *

    Naraka

    We are on our way to Kakola, the Realm of the Unforgivable, and the bottomless pit where the Pestle lies forgotten. The Pestle isn’t in the pit, of course. It really is bottomless. But it’s somewhere near it.

    We turned the priestess over to Yama. He didn’t seem pleased—I don’t think he ever does—but he seemed satisfied, and was courteous enough to grant us free passage through Naraka. We headed to Kakola as quickly as we could, and managed to catch up to Indra, who was on his way there to repel the invading forces from Crom Cruach and the Deathlords. He was completely drunk in a terrible hurry. He shared some soma with us. I hadn’t had any before, so I tried it, and it hit me hard. I spent most of the rest of the trip completely drunk.

    The problem with Indra is that he is loud and obnoxious and he likes to fight. And he wasn’t content to just charge through the jungle, beating up poor Nemean beasts just because they were there. He had to get US involved too. I was just trying to stay focused and out of the way when suddenly the big red-skinned bastard threw a gigantic tiger at us. I completely lost my shit and threw it back with Taiyi, which annoyed Zane and Magnus, both of whom wanted to beat something up. Zane went charging after the tiger, and Magnus would have joined her if an enraged Nemean hippo hadn’t blundered into him.

    Honestly, I didn’t know what the fuck was going on, but I wanted it to stop. Clearly, we weren’t going to be able to avoid a fight, so I whipped out my guns and started shooting. The soma was screwing with my aim, though, so my bullets flew wild. I had to pause a moment and refocus to gather my wits while Andy blessed me, and then I was able to help finish the fight. Edward insisted on taking the tiger’s corpse with us so he could get a huge tiger-skin rug later, so Andy raised it as a zombie and it’s still following us around.

    I told Pipa not to let me have soma again if we might be going into battle. She agreed that would be for the best.

    Anyway, we just passed through a part of the jungle that is cloaked in a deep darkness within which one must one’s darkest fears. I thought that actually sounded interesting. Not fun, mind you, and certainly terrifying, but I’m actually rather curious what my darkest fears are. I mean, I face claustrophobia all the time, but surely that isn’t my deepest, DARKEST fear. And I really felt like that might have been an important step on our Underworld odyssey. So I was very disappointed when Indra yelled, “We don’t have time for this!” and summoned a lightning storm that cleared the darkness long enough for us to pass through without being harassed by shadows of our inner demons. Magnus, Kjell, Zane and Edward really seemed to get into the spirit of things, though.

    Anyway, our raucous little band has almost reached Kakola. I hope things go well.


    Zane’s Letters

    Dad -

    I guess Andy’s right, and I am a master kidnapper. Only I never napped kids, just nasty Rumpole Wilsons and ghosty ladies. I weren’t even lying too much like he said, on account of I did stop Pipa from eating her up. But I am good at nicking things, even when they isn’t things but people instead. I wouldn’t go nicking no kids from their mums and dads though, unless their mums and dads were rotten, yeah? And if I did, I wouldn’t go giving them to no whore.

    Any road, our plan worked well good. We had to go into a big cave place to get to Di-Woo, on account of Mags didn’t want to get stuck jumping down no well. Ji-Woo weren’t too happy, about that nor the footballers, but she’s not good at being grumpy, not like Mags is. She smiles too much. But that’s ok, seeing as her smile is right pretty. Pipa met us once we was inside, so that made her less grumpy. Specially since Pipa liked her present so much.

    Di-Woo is right strange. All the blokes what work there have animal heads, like they was in a farm, horses and oxes, yeah? There’s loads of paperwork, but I didn’t have to steal none on account of Ji-Woo tore some random papers up and they said where the priestess what Pipa ate was. They also said where the pestle was, and Gloria. She’s in Michigan, but Ned thinks it’s Minnesota, or maybe Wisconsin. We’re gonna go visit her, but after we get done. Mags said so. The tore up papers also said the half-lady with the maggots was trying to get at the pestle, but weren’t there yet.

    We decided to steal the priestess instead of talking with Crimson Shadow, he’s one of them blokes with the oxes heads, on account of Mags doesn’t like desks, and Ji-Woo don’t like paperwork. Treela kept going on about kidnapping, and Andy did too, cept he were saying it’s ok, mostly cause the little fairy said it weren’t. He also said that diamonds came from her ass, which don’t sound comfortable at all.

    We was trying to be sneaky, so when Ji-Woo changed clothes into official type clothes, I made me some what looked like it. It were comfortable and all flowy, even if it were a dress. Pipa’s right though, there’s loads of things to grab onto if you was fighting summat dressed up like that. Andy used Treela’s dust to change his clothes too, and Ned put on a tablecloth.

    Ji-Woo were gonna use her gaver badge thing that were really a fancy mirror makeup thing to get them to let us in, but instead Ned started talking to him. He were talking proper bollocks, and rocking out, and carving Grimstad on the desk so’s Ji-Woo could stamp it and everything. It were right distracting. Then me and Pipa snuck in, I was the sneakiest, and Pipa bit the priestess! She weren’t supposed to do that, she were just supposed to scare her so’s I could rescue her by putting her in the bag Jester gave me for Rumpole. Least she’ll have some foods in there. It’s a good place to put it on account of nobbut’s gonna look in and nick it. Maybe it’ll be distracting from the biting bit. Andy took the mick out of me when I asked if he could fix ghosts, on account of he does death-y things, cause I’m supposed to do heal-y things, but I can’t seeing as she’s a ghost. Maybe Yama can fix ghosts.

    Things got crazy for a bit, but Pipa were able to get out cause Kel made her look like a guard, and so we went back to the plane. There weren’t no footballers this time, but there was two of the blokes with horse heads dancing. They buggered off though. Ned tried to get Ellodia to go to Minnesota, but Ji-Woo and Mags said no. Pipa wanted to eat Ellodia, and Ji-Woo said maybe, but Ned said no that time.

    When we get back to the Gangees River place, we’re gonna get to jump out of the plane, on account of me not wanting Ned and Ellodia to knock over everybody’s houses again. Mags is being grumpy about that too, even though it’s ace, cause it’ll be fast and all. But that’s why it’ll be ace!

    Zane

    Dad -

    It were bloody brill! We did get to jump out of the plane! Well, Mags pushed Ned, and Ji-Woo and Pipa and Andy flied off, but Mags and Kel dived in, and I jumped in sploosh! with a giant splash. And nobody’s tent house thing got knocked over!

    The rest of it were pretty exciting too, after we walked for forever again and gave the priestess to Yama. This time Ned told stories and Mags sang, so the walking were fun at least. But after that, we had to catch up with a big red bloke named Indra, what had the best booze. It made your head get big and red and made me better at punching and everything. He had a big beard too, but not a Christmas-y beard or nothing. He were proper excitable. He yelled everything. And punches giant tigers!

    I were gonna go help him punch tigers, cause that’s ace, but then he throwed us one! But then Ji-Woo throwed it back without even touching it, so I runned and jumped on it. It were proper hard to hit, but I did anyways, but it were well hard too, so I mostly just knocked it off balance and Ji-Woo shot it lots. She had to squeeze her head first though, on account of it were too big for her to shoot properly. Andy helped too, but throwing her some of Treela’s tiny pants. There were also a gianter hippo, what Ned and Mags roughed up. And a big gorilla, what Kel took care of. Indra started hitting one of his tigers with one of his hippos, and then decided it were taking too long.

    So he got even bigger, and throwed lightning everywhere, and nutted trees and all the giant animals fucked off. Ned wanted to skin the tiger, but there weren’t time, so he carried it after Andy made it come back alive and I were riding it. Indra kept throwing lightning about, specially once we got to the dark bits. We was supposed to confront fears what kept us from being righteous, or summat like that, but he said we got no time, like, We! Do not! Have time for this! and lit it all up with loads and loads of lightning. I think Indra’s my favorite from these blokes. Mags’s too.

    On the other side of the dark bits, there were all sorts of fighting. Undeads, and charnal giants and dragon skeletons were fighting loads of pain demon things. There were a big hole they was fighting around, what Ji-Woo said were bottomless and Ned said had the pestle at the bottom. There were also a waterfall into the hole, what were kinda stinky. Indra ran right off into everything, and we got ready to bust some undeads up, and find the pestle.

    End Session XLVIII

    The Bag was of course from the Twilight Zone storyline. Which was a hilarious moment when Saltmarsh Andy was claiming Zane was a professional kidnapper, which she denied…then had to admit she had a magic kidnapping bag.

    Conclusion of this story next time…comments and questions welcome
    Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 05-08-2015, 05:31 AM.

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  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    It’s time to check back in with our Heroes, as they heroically get a fairy drunk and shanghai her into joining their mission they sidetracked because …well, it’s complicated.

    Session XLVII

    Six Underground Part XI

    Ji-Woo’s Visions

    The Unseelie Realm

    We’ve dropped the Ladle off with the Unseelie, though in the end, we’ve decided to give it to the Loa for safekeeping. It’s probably best if each piece of the Dark Cauldron set is kept by a different faction. That way no one can use its full power. I’ve also decided that the last piece, the Pestle, needs to go to the Seelie Court. Andy wasn’t happy with that suggestion, but I think the others are warming to it, and we’re planning on rescuing a poor Seelie faerie girl from her boring desk job so that she can help us get the Pestle and then get it back to her people, which will make her a hero, if a very fussy, uptight sort of hero.

    The faerie in question is named Trilla, and she’s the Tinkerbell sort of faerie who flits about on lacy wings and sprinkles faerie dust all over the place. It’s actually quite a spectacle when my mind is opened by absinthe, and I’ve been drinking enough of it since we arrived here to keep things pretty interesting. Anyway, Trilla is a Seelie ambassador, and she’s here to make sure the Unseelie aren’t up to something nefarious with the Cauldron. I don’t know what she did to get sentenced to a stodgy job like that, but we’re planning on liberating her tomorrow, whether she likes it or not.

    In the meantime, I’m spending the night with Yrtalion. Kjell and Magnus have been making fun of me a lot because I prefer dashing, handsome, elegant men rather than rugged, boisterous, musclebound men. Kjell in particular has been very dismissive of my views toward romance and lovemaking. I’m not really bothered by it, though. It’s all in good fun, and honestly, Kjell’s only making fun of me because he really likes me. He’s just expressing it by acting like a schoolboy picking on his childhood crush.

    Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m naturally quite flirtatious. Actually, I don’t think I’m being flirtatious, but apparently when you are as open as I am with your observations, people think you’re flirting with them. For instance, when I commented on how enchanting Trilla’s faerie dust looks when it’s dancing around her and singing to the tune of my absinthe, she assumed I was coming on to her, but I wasn’t. I’m not particularly interested in hooking up with a stuffy 10-inch tall faerie whose hair looks like she’s been dancing on a Tesla coil.

    In other news, while we were discussing things with Trilla, Edward wandered off and bit some unseelie ladies and turned back into a guy, so he, at least, is back to normal. Of course, Edward’s changing gender doesn’t bother me any more than Zane’s does, but Kjell is much more comfortable when Edward is a man.

    Anyway, our next stop is Naraka, which is where I suspected the Pestle would be. After a rest here with the Unseelie, we’ll be heading to Yama’s palace. My omens indicate that it might not be the only Underworld we have yet to visit, though . . .

    * * * * *

    In-flight to China

    It actually takes a lot to really piss me off, but I’m pretty upset right now. I mean, hell, I know Edward’s flight attendant/co-pilot/kept woman is a nymph and therefore prone to sexual encounters, but she has no right to invite a whole fucking football team onto the plane. Fortunately, she kicked most of them off before she picked us up in India, but not all of them. And then she started fucking the three obnoxious players she kept on board right there in the middle of the passage compartment of the plane. What the fuck? I mean, I love sex, but it is something you enjoy with your lover (or lovers, as the case may be) in private, not right there on the floor in front of everyone. Especially not with football players. I fucking HATE football players.

    Magnus was no happier about things than I was, and he browbeat the hell out of the athletes. It was pretty fucking scary! Even Edward was angry with Alodia and her boytoys, and no doubt a bit jealous too. Once Magnus was done with them, Ed kicked them out of the plane (we landed first, so they weren’t hurt, though they ARE stranded naked somewhere in Italy).Still, Alodia fucked up big time, and the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth. I was already unfavorably disposed toward Alodia because she’s always being reckless with the plane and making us wait while she disentangles herself from her sexual exploits, and this experience has convinced me that I don’t like her at all. And I don’t like the fact that I don’t like her, because I generally like almost everybody unless they are specifically mean to me.

    Anyway, I’m sure you didn’t want to hear all of that, Yisheng, but you’re going to have to deal with it because I needed to vent.

    The good news is that we’re on our way to meet with Pipa, and I’m excited to see my girlfriend again. It’s all because I impulsively extended our Underworld Odyssey by arranging a trip to Diyu. Actually, I don’t really want to go to Diyu. It’s one of the Underworlds I LEAST want to visit. But we’re taking advantage of Pipa and Daji’s mischief to maneuver our way into Yama’s good graces, and my plan is to make a good impression on Nuwa an Daji by taking care of a little problem for them.

    Let me explain. First off, we visited Trilla again before leaving the Unseelie Realm, and I kept sharing absinthe with her until she was completely drunk. She kept doodling on her ledger, and I took the opportunity to embellish her doodles with quick, elegant ink paintings. The absinthe did the rest, and pretty soon, we were enjoying a spectacle of gracefully dancing brush strokes while Zane played her flute and Magnus strummed his guitar. Edward tried to snort some of Trilla’s faerie dust, and before it was all said and done, I used a few crafty strokes of my brush and a bit of Taiyi to transform Trilla’s ratty old dress into something far more stylish.

    Then we took her with us when we left for India to find our way into Naraka. She was happy to get away from her desk job, which is good, because triumphing over the oppressive chains of bureaucratic work has become one of our group’s primary objectives. Once the alcohol wore off, though, Trilla was mortified that she had abandoned her assignment, but she’ll get over it.

    With Trilla in tow and Kjell still tagging along, we went to India and then entered Naraka by diving into the Ganges river. Andy helped us transition to the Underworld, and then we spent the next four hours and forty minutes strolling down a cracked, barren road through the dry, grassy fields of Naraka. Then, right on schedule (because that’s how the timing works in Naraka), we arrived at Yama’s palace and were shown in by a solemn priest.

    Yama is very, very serious. He doesn’t smile, and he doesn’t have a sense of humor. Edward and Zane seemed fascinated by this. Still, he was quite hospitable and was more than willing to speak to us. When I introduced myself, he asked if I had been sent by Nuwa to arrange restitution for a soul Daji had recently eaten. The soul had purified itself and was preparing for reincarnation, and Daji needed a pure soul to overcome some sort of divine test. I guess she found a loophole. Yama was understandable annoyed, and I can understand where he’s coming from, but it doesn’t really bother me that Pipa eats virtuous priestesses or that Daji devours souls. I suppose it SHOULD, and the thought of doing those things myself is repellent, but I understand how dharma works. Pipa and Daji do those things because they’re supposed to. It’s who and what they are, so I find it hard to hold it against them.

    Anyway, when Yama asked if Nuwa sent me, I immediately answered yes. The look on Magnus’ face when I said that was priceless and terrifying. I think he might be losing patience with me. It took some discussion before we could settle on appropriate restitution. It was Zane who gave me the perfect answer: she reminded me that Pipa had recently eaten a virtuous Chinese priestess! So I offered to bring that priestess’s soul from Diyu and give it to Yama to replace the one Daji ate. Yama seemed satisfied with that, so we returned to the World to make arrangements to get to Diyu.

    Edward and Zane seemed okay with the plan, and Andy was reluctant but willing to go along with it. Magnus, however, was initially furious that Zane and I had engineered yet another detour through yet another Underworld. I had to explain to him that this was an opportunity for me to make a good impression on Nuwa and Daji. I’m trying to find my place in my pantheon, after all, and I really don’t think I’m cut out for a desk job. I think I fit in better with Nuwa and her servants. I may not be as vicious and bloodthirsty as they are, but for better or worse, I’m more prone to spontaneity and disorder than I am the strictly regimented order of the rest of the Bureaucracy. Once I explained that, Magnus understood my motivations better, and grudgingly agreed to help out. As he put it, if this keeps me out of a desk job with the Bureaucracy, it’s worth it.

    We left Naraka and while we waited for Alodia to pick us up in the plane, I called Pipa and made arrangements to meet her in China. She’s going with us into the Underworld to find the priestess’s soul. If I have to go to Diyu, at least my girlfriend will be there to give me moral support.

    I’m disappointed to note, however, that I’m not sure my plan is really going to earn me any points with Daji or Nuwa. Pipa says they both more-or-less ignore Yama and his demands. This sort of thing is fairly common, and Nuwa usually files Yama’s petitions away in the trash bin. I guess I should have consulted the Yi Jing before I settled on this scheme, . I haven’t really received many omens lately, after all. Maybe Fate is being petulant because I’ve been taking her for granted. In any event, it’s too late to back out now, so I may as well go through with the plan. At the very least, it should help grease the wheels when we return to Naraka to search for the Pestle.


    Zane’s Letters

    Dad -

    You can too be a pirate in a paddle boat! Even when it’s all swan shaped. We showed it, me and Ned, even if she fucked off for the fun part. That just meant I had to yell Fire! and make the explosion noises and throw the snowballs.

    See, the Loa blokes gived us a pirate ship, to get home and all, yeah? But I promised I’d make Ji-Woo a swan boat, so I did, once we wasn’t underwater no more. Ji-Woo said it were proper metal, but Mags said it weren’t even though it were all dark and shadowy. So I set us going round and round the big boat on account of it were big and slow and a spoilsport and we was small and fast and fun.

    That were getting all sorts of aggro from Mags, and he frozed all the water! He couldn’t freeze all the water, not really, or else the big boat would be stopped too, so I threw the swan boat to where there were only bits of ice. Ned rode the boat all the way til it landed, but Ji-Woo stayed up in the air when it fell down again. Then Mags got the skeletons to shoot the cannons, boom splish! at us! They only hit us a little, so I took some of the underwater shadows and made me a littler cannon (on account of my boat were littler). I couldn’t make the parts what go boom! so I just made those noises after Ned said fire cause that’s how pirate ships work. Summat yells fire and then the cannons go boom. I didn’t have no cannonballs, so I pretended and throwed snowballs instead.

    Ned fucked off after that, but me and Kel played pirates until we got back to Ireland. It were loads more fun than slapping people with pickles. I dunno why you’d do that with a well ace pickle, but I think they meant sex stuff, on account of Mags said I had to be older, like Jester always did about sex stuff, and Ji-Woo said I had to be a boy, which is the same. I thought that were tickle though. You still shouldn’t do that with a pickle any road.

    Kel still don’t like the Unseely much. He runned with me instead of riding the horses cause they weren’t growed up. I were still leading the way with the ladle though. Kel kept taking the piss out of Urtalien too, on account of him not being well hard like me and Kel. I guess he don’t like the Seely neither, cause he took the piss out of Treela until Ji-Woo told him to bugger off, but nicer. Urtalian were still nice though. He’d figured out where the other bit, the pestle, were. It were in Neraka, which I didn’t know where it was, but Ji-Woo said it were Rajani’s gang’s dead place. I kinda hoped it’d be in our dead place, but then there’d be trouble or summat probably, so I guess it’s good it’s not. Kel says there’s ocean of milk in Neraka, which sounds right tasty, but Ned said that meant breasts, which aren’t tasty at all.

    Urtalien weren’t too happy, nor Andy, when Ji-Woo said we should maybe give one of the bits to the Seely. They still made time though, Ji-Woo and Urtalien. See, Treela from the Seely found out about the cauldron cause of the torc. She’s only like 2 of my hands tall and has really crazy hair, and wings, but not as pretty as Ji-Woo’s. Ned thought she was far away, she was so small. Then again, Ned were proper high. The little fairy lady didn’t like that. She didn’t like nobody talking about her fairy dust neither, unless they was courting, which is like bonking, but old fashioned, I think. She wants to court Balder, and that’s why she won’t talk to Gloria for Ji-Woo. It’s ok though, on account of Ji-Woo sent Yi-sheng to ask her what were going on.

    Treela thought the Unseely were gonna make a zombie apocklips, which is bad, cause people might die from zombies. That’s why she didn’t want them to get the cauldron or nothing. Cause they’re capreeshis. Ji-Woo says we are too. Treela likes using big words. Ji-Woo tried to get her to have a tiny cup of absinthe, and said later we ought nick her so she can have fun too. It’s right and all - she didn’t look like she were having much fun, even if she said she were wild and free. She had glasses and paperwork! That’s the opposite. For now though me and Mags are gonna play music while the others snog.

    Zane

    Dad -

    I don’t even know how it’s my fault this time. But I guess it is. I did remember how Pipa ate that priestess. But I didn’t eat the priestess, or the Indian bint’s soul the Yama bloke were so upset about. I didn’t even nick Treela! She came by herself.

    See, Mags told this silly story about when Thor got all dressed up like a girl and tricked some giants. He made it so we drinked every time loads of things happened, so Treela decided she wanted to go on an adventure too, and draw using regular sized pencils and Mags broke her desk. He don’t like desks. Treela kept saying things were the tits too. Ji-Woo made her fancy clothes, and Ned made her a joint. He’s a boy again now, so it were ok that Ji-Woo stole his shirt to make into little clothes. Ellodia were still a girl, but she’s a slag anyhow, so she took her shirt off too.

    We all took naps on the plan, cept for Ned on account of he were driving. I played Ji-Woo a lullaby and then falled asleep under the chairs. It’s right cozy there. I should remember to put the glass scorpion thing in the plane. It’s even more comfier.

    Once we’d got to the Gangees River (and knocked over loads of people’s houses, cause Ned is not the best at landing), I fixed Ji-Woo’s hangover and we all hopped in the river. Ned drank some first, so’s he could make an antidote and all, but nobody else drunk it, so he didn’t get to spit at nobody. After we was swimming for a bit, we showed up at a big open place, with one road and a whole bunch of grass. Ned wanted to smoke it, but it were just lawn grass, not grass-grass.

    Ji-Woo said it were gonna take 4 hours and 20 minutes no matter what we walked like, so Mags just took 4 steps and zooped up at the end. I walked in slow motion, sometimes, and did somersaults in the grass sometimes. That were a little fun at least. Yama were dead boring. He didn’t look like he ever did somersaults or played pirates. He were all over green though, with red clothes. It were kinda like Christmas, cept he didn’t have a big beard or a bell or nothing. Kel said he were a god on account of he didn’t snog his sister, which is right strange. He thought we’d come from Noo-Wa and Da-Ji, and Ji-Woo said we did. He were all upset cause Da-Ji ate summat who was all pure and were going to be reincarnated. And cause Ji-Woo’s gang makes fun of him a lot.

    Ji-Woo didn’t want to rat Da-Ji out, and he wouldn’t say nothing else who would make up for it. That’s when I thought of the live person Pipa’s ate, and maybe we could trade her ghost? Ji-Woo thought that were a great idea, cept she didn’t want to go to Di-Woo. Mags were well upset though. But it were to make Da-Ji and Noo-Wa like Ji-Woo so’s she wouldn’t have to have a desk job, so he said ok, cause he really don’t like desks.

    So now we’ve got the plane back and we’re going to meet Pipa at Di-Woo. Ellodia brought some footballers with her and so Mags is yelling at them on account of they’re banging in the main room. It’s right funny to watch Mags get all yelly at summat not me. And this time it’s not my fault, even if Andy said!

    Zane

    End Session XLVII

    So…I did not have a specific way to deal with Trilla planned, but shainghaiing her into a magical adventure wasn’t it. Not that I am complaining, mind, I think it was hilarious.

    Of course, I also thought provoking them with Alodia was hilarious, so my judgment is suspect.

    I should mention the Priestess thing was all Zane’s player’s idea. This is why I don’t pre-plan how they will solve problems; it is more fun to watch them work. I had not, truthfully, planned a Di Yu detour, but that’s fine, should be interesting.

    So yea, good on them for thinking on their feet. Comments and Questions welcome.
    Last edited by Baroness Nerak; 04-22-2015, 06:44 PM.

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  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    It’s time for a throwdown in Guinee. Here are two accounts of the battle.

    Session XLVI

    Six Underground Part X

    Ji-Woo’s Visions

    Guinee

    Two down, one to go. Getting the Ladle was no problem at all, except that I had to go through a really tight tunnel, TWICE. And I almost died. It’s a good thing I’m an ace at using Taiyi to block adverse mystical effects, and that I’ve got Zane, Magnus, Andy and Edward here to back me up.

    We split up. Andy kicked things off by summoning an illusion to distract Mami Wata’s sea monster and lure it toward the ghost ships, not that it really needed any encouragement, since they were already shooting at it. Still, it kept the beast from paying any attention to what Zane and I were doing. Edward, Kjell and Magnus charged into the fight and boarded the Deathlords’ ghost ships, the largest of which was captained by the legless Maggot Hag we fought in the Deathlords’ castle. Edward proved to be more clever than usual, and since he knew we couldn’t easily kill the Maggot Hag, he distracted her by doing a Marilyn Monroe “Happy Birthday Mr. President” lap dance routine, which boggled her mind enough to keep her from assisting her crew while Magnus and Kjell plowed through them.

    Meanwhile, Zane and I sneaked through the coral forest toward the patch of sea floor where Marissa told us she’d hidden the Ladle. There was a coven of flesh-eating mermaids there looking for it, but once Zane was in position to start looking, I summoned several whirlwinds with streamers of fox-spirit ink to trap the mermaids and keep them from interfering with Zane’s search. Unfortunately, the ghost ships noticed, and no sooner had Zane begun burrowing into the sea floor than they started firing on us. I was nowhere close to ground zero, but the blast wiped out all but one of the mermaids. I finished off the last of them by crushing her in the winds, but by then the ghost ships had deployed a team of skeletal divers that descended on us and began their own search for the Ladle.

    I twisted time around Zane to help speed up her search, then started shooting skeleton divers to thin their numbers and slow them down. It was working until a pair of brutal, angry Deathlords came swimming from the ship to protect them, and I ended up in a fight against a pair of undead ladies who REALLY wanted me dead. I started dueling one, and she was a good match for me! She wielded a jagged whip made of spinal vertebrae, and it was all I could do to dodge her lightning fast strikes while trying to pin her down with gunfire. It didn’t help that her heavily-armored friend was harassing me with all sorts of unpleasant magic. First, she made me horribly ill with plague magic, but Zane swam up like a dolphin and healed the sickness before it could slow me down much. Then the Deathlady tried to tear the moisture from my body, but I was able to block the effect with Yin Yang Destruction. Whip Girl also tried to freeze me in a block of ice, but I stopped that effect too. Those ladies ran me ragged deflecting their magic! It’s a good thing I’m awesome. Also, Andy helped me out with his blessings. Go Andy! He’s like the best cheerleader ever. Note that I said “like” the best cheerleader ever. The REAL best cheerleader ever would look better in a cheerleader’s get-up. I mean, Andy’s hot and all, but cross-dressing tends to undermine some of the allure of a real cheerleader. And honestly, I’m not really into cheerleaders anyway. It’s such a hopelessly American thing.

    Anyway, by the time I got the upper hand against Whip Girl and managed to finish her off, Magnus came hurtling toward us and slammed into the other Deathlord like a shark. He made short work of her, finishing her off much more handily than I finished Whip Girl, but the Deathlords had accomplished their goal. I wasn’t able to keep the skeleton divers from finding the Ladle before Zane. Fortunately, Zane is not above a little theft, so she destroyed the diver carrying the Ladle with a single punch (‘cause as we all know, she’s the best at punching) and snatched the Ladle right out of the enemies’ hands.

    The skeleton divers are poor losers, though, so they all exploded then. I was far enough away that I wasn’t hit by anything other than a bone-jarring shockwave, but Zane was in the thick of it and almost died. Fortunately, she managed to survive by hiding in her own shadow, but I was worried she’d really get hurt, so I told her to disappear and retreat with the prize! And the I started retreating. I mean, the sea monster was still standing, and one of the ghost ships was still afloat, but I’d had enough fighting for one day. I hesitated only long enough to grab Whip Girl’s bone whip. I’m going to give it to Pipa. It seems like her kind of thing, so I think she’ll really love it! I hope so. I worked hard to get it!

    Anyway, we were beating a retreat, but I was NOT going back into that tiny little tunnel again. I’d already had a hard enough time in the fight and I was tired of almost dying, and I could only imagine the thing collapsing on me because it was weakened by all the explosions from the battle or something. Anyway, I was too afraid to go back in, so I was going to find my way back through open waters. But Fate, my cruel mistress, decided otherwise. Actually, it was Kjell who decided otherwise, but of course he’s Fate’s bitch too.

    See, Kjell set a ghost ship’s powder stores alight, which utterly destroyed the rest of the Deathlords’ ships and sent Kjell shooting through the water, over the coral forest, and right into the entrance to the tunnels. Both Edward and I happened to be swimming away along his path, so he grabbed us both as he flew by. I had no choice but to hold on tight and bury my face in Kjell’s manly chest as we slammed into and then through the tunnel, making it a little bigger and then much smaller as it collapsed behind us. Kjell, being the lovable thug that he is, held me close and protected me from the impact with his body. I think I screamed a lot, but I was nearly senseless with fear and surprise, so I’m not sure.

    Even if Kjell he does pick on me a lot, I like him. I don’t think you’d care for him, though, Yisheng. He’s kind of boorish and crude, and I know you have a thing for propriety. Don’t worry, though. Kjell’s not really the kind of guy I usually hook up with, so I don’t think you have to worry about him becoming “one of my boys,” as Edward likes to put it.


    Zane’s Letters

    We wound up leaving the cave fish alone, on account of it were the other way from the giants and all. Andy started it all off by making a hairy man monster things, what Ned called a Yeti and a Sasquatch, have a butchers over some rocks, then chuck one at the stonking drowned people monster. We got all boosted up first though. Andy boosted everybody, but Ji-Woo only boosted not me and her, seeing as the monster were gonna be chasing them. But she gave them booze to do it, and that weren’t fair, so I stoled some of Kel’s. Mags said liquor were his mistress and Ji-Woo said it were her muse and then it got weird, cause Ned said it were a miscreant and Andy said it were muskrat love, which sound proper rank. I didn’t know any other m-words cept mum, and liquor’s not my mum, so Ji-Woo decided it were my monkey. My mates is well strange.

    After all that though, it were time to find the ladle. I were invisible, and proper sneaky, so none of the bastards messed with me none, but I were looking by myself, and there was 12 of them skeletons, and then I had to heal Ji-Woo, so it weren’t fair or nothing either, so it don’t count as them beating me, even though they found it first. I took it off them though, and then exploded one by punching it, so there.

    See, the bigger boat showed up right when we’d got to where the red X said to go. Ji-Woo had just got the mermaids tangled up with foxes made of ink when the boat threw bombs at us! I weren’t hurt proper, on account of I’m well hard and Ned boosted me, but most of them mermaids got exploded. Ji-Woo got her foxes to crush the one what were left.

    But then the boat let off like a bazillion Viking digger skeletons and they started looking for the ladle, plus two death ladies lords. One had this ace bone whip thing, Ji-Woo took it for Pipa. I were still faster than the skeleton diggers, but the death lady lord without the whip made her all sicky. If I hadn't done a proper good job of boosting her, she’d have been hurt bad. So I went zoosh! out of the hole like I were one of them dolphins but invisible and got her healed back up.

    Ji-Woo did magic with her brush next time they tried to use superpowers on her, so she didn’t get sicky again, or all frozed up neither. She shot right through the ice, and did for the whippy death lady lord. Mags got the other one, after he got the giants. He can run proper fast, when he feels like it. He’s just usually slow. The ice ramp he were skating on helps, yeah? He did get a little hurt, with all that, but it were just bruises and nose bleeds and things. I patched him up right quick once we was done.

    Ned and Kel fucked with the ship instead. Ned made the Captain come out and it were the woman what was just a top half! She decided to start taking off her clothes, Ned did, and started singing Happy Birthday to her. She were upset on account of the old lady didn’t have no lap. So she asked the pilot bloke for his. I think everyone were well confused. Kel busted up the cannon but good, so it didn’t get to throw no more bombs at us, yeah? Then he exploded the ship! He used it to push him to the cave again and grabbed up Ned and Ji-Woo on the way.

    First though, we’d got the ladle. Like I said, the skeleton diggers got it first, but they was cheating, so I busted the one with it up with a big stonking seashell I was wearing on my fist and took it back. Then they exploded, all but one. There was lots of explosions, is what I’m saying. It blew me right away, but I were alright - I popper out of the shadow of one of them coral things. Ji-Woo told me to disappear again, so I got really sneaky, but first, I punched the last skeleton and it exploded too. That didn’t hurt so much though.

    The boat exploding didn’t hurt none either, on account of we was so far away. Kel is well hard though. Ji-Woo still screamed the whole time after Kel grabbed her and in the tunnel, but she were alright really. I got Mags fixed up with a drink from my canteen, even if it started floating and he had to slurp it up from the air-water. He said it were good pirating, on account of there not being any paddle boats, just giants and skeletons and cannons and sea monsters. Plus, we got treasure!

    Zane

    End Session XLVI


    The session was full length, just lotta combat.

    Zane mixed up which Skeleton used Health on Ji-Woo. She was accurate in her’s.

    Edmond’s bizarre “Happy Birthday Mr. President” lapdance/striptease is one of the most disturbing stunts for Paralyzing Confusion I have seen.

    Kjell lit the ship on fire to destroy it because he passed his Courage roll so had to either keep fighting or spend a WP. He elected to finish the fight explosively, and survived only due to Skin Shedding, even if he is a Frost Giant.

    Not much to add past that. Comments and Questions welcome.

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    It’s time to look in on our Scions as they escape Helhiem and begin the next phase of their quest.

    Session XLV


    Six Underground Part IX

    Ji-Woo's Visions

    Guinee

    Now we are in Guinee, and I have to say, this is by far the best Underworld I’ve been in. There’s partying and alcohol and everyone is carefree and happy. The whole place sprawls across the sea floor and the cerulean shades of the water reflect off everything with hypnotic patterns that really come alive under when the absinthe is coursing through me! Sure, the murky depths beyond the borders teem with hungry specters and bloated monsters, but the Loa keep those things at bay, so there’s nothing to worry about. At least as long as Mami Wata doesn’t get the upper hand, which I guess is sort of why we’re here.

    Before we arrived in Guinee, though, we had to get out of Helheim. We decided not to pass by Modgud, even though I thought it would be hilarious for Edward to pop out of the Cauldron singing “Happy Birthday Mr. President” like Marilyn Monroe. I’d like to think that Modgud would have been so baffled by it that she would let us pass by, but Magnus didn’t want to risk it, so instead he made an ice raft and we poled our way across the river.

    Then it was back up the ash tree, so of course Zane gave me more of that Dragon Brew to knock me out. When I woke up, we were in Carhenge again. Zane and Edward were both women, which led Kjell to comment that he’s glad that at least I am ALWAYS a woman, though he apparently thinks my breasts should be bigger. Or maybe he was just trying (successfully) to get me to flash him. Whatever. Zane and Edward were ordering pizzas and Alodia was on her way with the plane, so Magnus and I made our way to the closest town to pick up more absinthe and whiskey. I needed my fix. All they had on the shelves was that fake American crap that doesn’t even have real wormwood in it, but the liquor store clerk had some authentic Czech absinthe stashed in the back and was willing to sell it to me for twice what it’s worth. Jerk. Then Magnus convinced him a discount would be better than a markup.

    Anyway, by the time we got back, Alodia had arrived with the plane and we were ready to go, so we flew off to Ireland so that we could stash the Cauldron with the Unseelie and then head out to Guinee. Our stop with the Unseelie was short, but I was able to get some more of the Weeping Absinthe. That stuff is wonderful. Not as good as Tian absinthe, but still, the hint of bitterness really gives it a unique flavor, and the way it opens my mind is very exciting. I think Glykeria would like it. I also got to see Yrtalion again, but sadly, we didn’t have any time to fool around. Besides, I don’t think I would enjoy it as much without Pipa. Also, I might have pimped Yrtalion out to Marissa.

    Anyway, once Yrtalion took possession of the Cauldron, we were off again into the sea and down to Guinee. I would go on about Zane’s paddle boat (which should have been a swan boat), but I was a little distracted because, honestly, my companions have been a storm of distraction since we left Helheim. Keeping us on track is like herding cats, and I have to admit that I’m having a bit of a hard time dealing with it given my new sense of purpose.

    Also, I have discovered that Zane and I have developed a new fatebond. Apparently, Zane gets blamed for some things that are actually my fault. She seems to be okay with this since she’s good at getting out of trouble and she likes to look out for me. I think it’s pretty interesting, personally, though I guess I do feel a little guilty about it. I should probably stop using my divine charisma to keep others from getting mad at me when Zane’s around, but I really can’t help it.

    * * * * *

    How the hell did I end up in a tight, stuffy tunnel in the most open, least claustrophobic Underworld there is? I mean, really. I know we’re taking the tunnel to get to the Ladle secretly, but I’d rather risk tangling with Mami Wata’s minions in the reef than crawl through this place. I’m actually dictating this out loud and using my Qi Hand to write while we creep through this awful place. It was Zane’s idea. It keeps me distracted. We’re also swimming circles around Magnus and Kjell, which is fun and helps me feel less constricted in here. The brothers are not amused.

    Anyway, we met Baron Samedi’s wife, Maman Brigitte. She was delightful! Casual, fun, and no-nonsense. I really liked her. And I think I made a good impression when I gave her a bottle of the Weeping Absinthe as a present. We drank some of it while she told us where the Ladle is.

    Unfortunately, one of Mami Wata’s sea monsters is lurking around the spot where Marissa buried it. Coincidence? I think not. The charnel giants are a step ahead of us, and they are already moving against the sea monster with the support of some sort of ghost ships they dredged up somewhere. Maybe they’ll wipe each other out so we can swoop in to take the Ladle, but somehow I doubt it.

    Oh, you have got to be kidding me! This tunnel gets even narrower? And they collapsed it? Wait, what? You can’t be serious. There’s no way I can crawl through that tiny little passage! Yes, I know that if Magnus and Kjell can fit through it, so can I. That’s not the point! No, I don’t care how hard those zombies worked to clear it, I’m not going through there! I can’t!

    * * * * *

    I don’t know how, but somehow Zane got me through the passage. She held my hand and pulled me through. I just let her drag me and kept my eyes closed. I was trembling so bad once we emerged on the other side that by the time I got control of myself again, the others had already killed the giants that were waiting to ambush us.

    Now we just have to go get the Ladle. The sea monster, giants, and ghost ships are still engaged in a battle that would make Hollywood proud, and it looks like there are some carnivorous mermaids trying to dig up the relic while the Deathlords’ forces are distracted. I think Zane and I can handle those while Magnus, Andy and Edward take on the sea monster. . .


    Zane’s Letters

    The undead blokes were proper distracted by whatever Andy’d done, so we got up and over the cliff without no problems. We talked about how to get out to Andy’s Underworld place while we went the long way round the other frost giant town. Ji-Woo kinda wanted to go by Kel’s place, Jotunhime, so’s we didn’t have to climb up the tree what’s all tight, yeah? But then the other Loki, the Utgard one, might want to know about the cauldron, even if I made a shadow blanket to go over it. Same if we went out the tree way, cept with Maudegud. So instead Mags made a boat out of ice and we got over the river that way. Ned wanted to turn the cauldron into a hot air balloon, but it’s far too heavy, so that’s just daft. Instead he hid in the cauldron under the blanket on account of if summat did wanna see, he could bust out and sing them happy birthday and call them president. He’s right strange.

    Ji-Woo had more of the good booze what Kel has to pass out for the tree bit. Kel kept teasing her that she didn’t have enough tits and the booze’d give her more. He’s dead wrong about the more tits thing, but he did get Ji-Woo to flash hers at him so maybe he were just being tricksy. She wound up drinking it any road and I carried her up.

    We came out at Carhenge on account of it being the last non-superhero kinda place we was at. Mags knocked on the cauldron to get Ned out so’s he’d call for the plane. He thought it were the signal to sing, so he started taking off his clothes. Kel grabbed his face though, he does that a lot, until Ned called Ellodia. First he were telling her to come to the United States, then Stonehenge, on account of the United States is a big place, then Carhenge, on account of that’s where we was, but for the last two he forgot to dial her again. Then he called the pizza place instead. So I nicked his phone and told her where to come.

    We had to wait though, on account of she lost the plane. Ji-Woo wanted absinthe, so I called the pizza place back too. They didn’t have none though, just coke, so she and Mags fucked off to the town so’s she could get some. They got back with loads of whiskey in a big fuck-off barrel and some absinthe right just before the pizza did and the plane. The plane knocked over some of the stacked up cars, so we got out of there fast, before the coppers could nick us, even though Ned wanted to take pictures with some old bint. Mags and Kel did try to put the cars back.

    Ji-Woo’s drinking her absinthe now, and says the colors are coming back. She keeps going on about the blackness in my ace new sword fighting with the blackness in Mags’ heart, specially once Ned started on talking about using the whiskey he brought for the hot air balloon idea. I’m gonna make the balloon part out of shadows, once we’ve got all the bits.

    Zane


    Dad -

    Well, now we’ve got one of the three bits safe with that Urtalien bloke. He’s got a castle for it, and a right odd bed what makes noise by itself, crying sad kinda noises, Ji-Woo said. She got more of the little’s tears absinthe too,while we was at Andy’s Underworld place. I kept giving her looks about it but in secret I were still happy about getting to play music with her on the plane, so it were ok, I guess. They kept saying they didn’t make the little’s cry or nothing...

    Kel were fun there, in the Underworld place, even if he thinks its weird when I change. I’m a girl again now, on account of Marissa didn’t know I could so I showed her. Ned’s a Maenad bint too, on account of he started wearing Ellodia’s pants and Mags said they was for girls. But Kel didn’t like riding horses neither (he kept calling them ponies too) so me and him ran and played catch with the cauldron. It were proper ace! Cept when it made Ji-Woo’s horse go funny caused Kel throwed it over her head. But she were alright.

    Once we got back out of the she/sidhe thing, we had to go out in the ocean to get to the Genay place. I made us a boat out of shadows, so I made one of the little pedalos like they got on the Thames, but big so’s we could all fit. Me and Ned paddled, on account of us being well hard and Mags rowed the whole time in Helhime. Plus, Ned said he would race me. Ji-Woo were sad it weren’t a swan and Mags were well upset and said we weren’t allowed to be pirates in it. I hadn’t been thinking about being a pirate but then he said we couldn't and it sounded like loads of fun. We had to get to Genay though, so we’ll be pedalo pirates later.

    Once we got far enough, I stopped and let Ned keep racing so’s that we started spinning on account of Andy said we needed a whirlpool. A proper one didn't show up until we’d all jumped in and then we was underwater but could breathe and we could walk like normal or swim and it were like flying. We went to a village place what had fish swimming all around and loads of people with skull-faces like Marissa. There was shark people too, but they was all outside and not invited to the party. We was though, so we danced and had rum and Andy told stories with me in them until Marissa came back.

    She said Maman Bridget wanted to talk with us, and Ji-Woo thought maybe that meant we was in trouble, on account of she’s in charge I think, but Marissa said we wasn’t. Ned were upset she didn’t have no drums, seeing as we was on tour, so I made her some from shadows. The concert were right ace. But first Ji-Woo gave Bridget one of her absinthe’s from the Unseely place, and Bridget told us about the sea monster. I like Bridget. She’s not posh or nothing even though she’s in charge and she talks like a real person.

    She said the sea monster were made of drowned people and didn’t talk, but the people tried to sometimes. It were bigger than her house and her house were well huge. It were guarding the ladle bit, and eating the giants and their ghost ship and skeletons, but Bridget thought it were from Mommy Water. I asked Ji-Woo later, to distract her from the tunnel and she said that Mommy Water were the skull-faced people’s Titan-bottles and that she’d the Queen of the Drowned Roads. So it were bad that it were near the ladle.

    We had to go through some caves to get there. Well, we didn’t have to, but else we’d have had to fight loads of the shark people called specters. Ji-Woo weren’t happy, but they was big caves, so me and her swam in circles around Andy and Mags. But then there was a rockfalled part at the end and a pirate what was holding his head in his hands on account of it had falled off. He said the giants had found the cave so they exploded it shut, but Half Blind Steve, he’s a zombie what only had half a head, and the other zombies what had all of their heads, had carved up a tunnel for us. Griseld, she’s a zombie too, what talked like falling people screaming, said most of the giants was off getting a bigger boat.

    Ned traded a little bit of coke for a map with a big red X on it, so’s we knew right where the ladle were. Then we had to go through the tunnel. I pulled Ji-Woo along on account of her eyes was shut, but it weren’t too long. Then we got to fight some more giant blokes. It were proper fun, on account of the water made it like flying. Mags got to make his axe halfway through swinging it!

    I did for one of them. I punched it and it exploded like stars and Ji-Woo winked at me. Mags did for the other two. They didn’t explode though. One was going for him but missed on account of him singing. The other cut Kel in half! But he were alright and distracted the one by pointing at Ji-Woo so Mags could finish it off.

    After that we had a butcher’s at the monsters. It were a big stonking thing, all over with drowned people like Bridget said. There was a bunch of mermaids too, like the pirate said, so I thought I better plug up my ears. There was 8 giants still, and a death knight, waiting on the big boat. There was a cave fish too, with a little light on its head, what looked like one of them eel things, but big like a bus. A regular one, not a double decker or nothing. It were proper strange looking.

    End Session XLV

    So the next session was a big setpiece fight. As for this one, we finished the last part for Helhiem.

    Ji-Woo’s color issues are a character thing. No system for it.

    See you next time, comments and questions welcome.

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    It’s time for an abbreviated session recap. Inclement weather ended the session early, but we get our heroes out of danger.

    Session XLIV


    Six Underground Part VIII

    Ji-Woo's Visions

    Helheim

    So where was I? Oh yes, escaping from the Deathlords’ castle. Zane and Edward were all set to slide down the spiraling banister to the ground floor, but I said it would be better to emerge on the roof so that we could deal with the undead dragons before we got swarmed by a bunch of charnel giants and undead vikings. So that’s what we did. Zane was disappointed, and Edward wasn’t listening, but since he was riding in the Cauldron and Magnus was carrying him, he didn’t really have any choice in the matter.

    As soon as we arrived on the roof, I dashed to the edge and leapt off, popping my ink wings on the way down so that I swooped right over the heads of the enemy below. That got their attention, especially after I strafed a few charnel giants with my guns. The dragons immediately wheeled about and dove on us. Of course, Andy had a plan. He usually does. He made his zombie giant look really dangerous, with flaming boulders and everything, so the dragons decided to attack it first. Then he told us all to jump onto one of the dragons when it swooped past so we could catch a ride across the chasm. Of course, I was already flying around, so I didn’t jump on, but everyone else did. Then Andy made sure the dragons had bigger problems to worry about, or THOUGHT they did, anyway: he made a huge illusion of an invading Loa force approaching from the chasm’s edge, probably there to punish the Deathlords for attacking them and capturing one of their ghede. The dragons had no choice but to fly up and attack the Loa head on.

    As they ascended toward the lip of the chasm, I ended up dogfighting one of the dragons! It was exciting, and it almost ate me, but I was just a little too fast for it. It’s a good thing I sped up my own time and armored myself with chaos, or I wouldn’t have been quick enough to stay ahead of it. After peppering it with a few well-placed shots, I maneuvered above it and shot its skull to splinters. It went crashing back into the chasm.

    Meanwhile, my companions were trying not to get flung from the other dragon’s back. The Sentinel couldn’t get to us, but we were in range for her to fling bolts of enervating darkness and shards of piercing ice. She had it out for Zane, probably because Zane was swinging around the light-eating sword she got from the Deathlord I killed. I guess the Sentinel and that Deathlord were lovers. I feel bad that Zane keeps getting blamed for things that are really my fault. Fortunately, Zane turned invisible to hide while Magnus made sure everyone on the dragon stayed safe using the Cauldron for cover. Kjell went a little crazy, though, and started hacking the beast’s wing off even before they reached the chasm edge.

    Once the remaining dragon crested the lip of the chasm and began breathing fire on the illusory Loa, everyone jumped off, but not before leaving it with a few parting blows to remember them. It didn’t get to remember them for long, though, because they killed it.

    * * * * *

    Great Power (Da Zhuang) transforming into Persevering (Heng)

    So, I’m going to pause in my recollection of our mad escape from Helheim because I want to say that I’ve had a revelation. Well, maybe not a revelation, but I’ve been thinking about something that’s been at the back of my mind for a long time. Ever since I was awakened to my divine potential and became an adopted daughter of Fu Xi, I’ve been avoiding the responsibilities of my divine heritage. But clearly my companions and I are involved in a heroic journey through the Underworld. And this kind of journey is always a crucible. Magnus may not like it, but we’re invested in our fate now, and since Fate is my sexy sexy mistress, I may as well accept that I’m maturing into godhood. I should be coming out of this with a better sense of who I am. I’d rather keep living the same way I have been since I ran away from home over four years ago, that’s not what Fate has in store for me. Besides, it’s about time I found myself. I’ve been wandering around looking for long enough.

    This means figuring out what’s to become of me as a goddess, and I’m going to try not to grow up to be just like my mother, Chang’e. I love her to death, but I don’t think the Bureaucracy needs two of us.

    I consulted the Yi Jing, of course, and I think it’s been waiting for me to ask about this because it more or less slapped me in the face with the answer. The present hexagram shows that I have great power, and I must persevere in finding the right way to use it. This means I have to look for the right time to act wisely without being anchored to the weight of my own ego or petty desires. I can’t let myself be guided by external distractions. I have to sincerely follow my inner truth: I’m a seer, potentially a very important one.

    If I persevere, I’ll find my path, even though it means I might have to give up some of my freedom. To be honest, a portion of my freedom is an illusion anyway. At least, it is if I really believe in the power of Fate. But knowing that and really accepting it are two different things, and it makes me nervous. I mean, sure, this isn’t the first time I’ve considered this, but these things take time to sink in, you know?

    I’ve been feeling guilty about getting Zane to steal the torque, but I’m not sure it was the wrong thing to do, even if Magnus is still grumpy about it. That’s okay, Magnus may be wise, and he may be a great leader, but he doesn’t ALWAYS know best. Sure, I was encouraged to steal the torque by my rampant curiosity, but I really DID want to help Gloria. And I still do. That can’t be bad, can it? If nothing else, it’s not completely selfish, which is more than I can say of most of my actions over the past several years.

    Well, anyway, just knowing I need to take more responsibility and approach things with a bit more wisdom doesn’t mean it’s going to happen overnight. I have a lot of bad habits to break, and I don’t actually want to break most of them. There’s no way I’m giving up absinthe, for one thing. Speaking of which, I haven’t had any for at least a few days now, and things are starting to turn gray again. Or maybe that’s just because I’m in the Underworld.

    Even if I AM on the path to becoming an inscrutable Taoist immortal, I’m not really sure how I’m going to fit into my pantheon. I bet my brother wouldn’t have this problem. He’d probably know EXACTLY what to do. If I hadn’t stolen his fate, he would probably be an amazing seer. It makes me feel like kind of a loser. But then again, I guess that’s always how my brother makes me feel, no thanks to our mother. And this time I mean my mortal step-mom, NOT Chang’e.

    Anyway, I can’t bear the thought of sitting in an office doing Bureaucracy paperwork, so there must be some other role for me. I confess that I’m intrigued by Da Ji and Pipa and the important, if questionable role they play in the Bureaucracy. I should talk to Pipa about this. I wish she were here, because now that I’ve been thinking about my brother and how awesome he would be at a becoming a god, I feel like a complete fuck up.

    To be continued . . .


    Zane’s Letters

    Then I were a little upset cause we’d decided to go out the front door, so I were gonna go down the bannister, but then Ji-Woo said we should go up to the roof instead, so that all the little zombies couldn’t get at us, just the dragons. It woulda been a little fun I guess to jump off, like to the blue lady’s tower and then down again, but Andy had the best idea ever. He thought maybe we should ride the dragons like they was a plane, and he’d make them think loads of blokes was attacking the deathlords’ place from where we was trying to get to, so the dragons’d fly off that ways.

    So I were good and didn’t even complain too much. Ned were still going to go down the bannister and come back up, but Mags held the bucket way up close to the ceiling so’s he bumped his head and couldn’t get out. I might thought about it too for a bit but I didn’t want to make Mags more upset, even though I could get back quick enough I’d pass him anyways. But we had to get all boosted on the way up, so’s we could fight the dragons, yeah, so I didn’t. I gave Ji-Woo piggyback ride up the stairs so there was some fun and all. I guess it were more a rattyback ride, on account of I’m real good at being like a rat now, so I can move well fast and think proper fast too, and I’m good and tough.

    Ji-Woo launched off as soon as we got on the tower, and started making a big show, swooping around and shooting at blokes, so’s they send the dragons over. Mags started waving the cauldron around and yelled out that we had the fucker’s bucket. Then he put it down like a big shield or summat. First he had to tell Ned that he’d gone down the bannister already and just didn’t remember, so’s he wouldn’t try to do it again.

    Andy’s zombie giant Reginald were being all tough too, pretending like he had summat big to throw. I bet Andy made it look like he did have summat, on account of the blue lady and the dragons both were after him hard, even after I shot one of thems. I didn’t hurt it too much, but it dented up one of its rotty scales and then Ji-Woo hit right there and blowed a big hole in it. She’d made herself go well fast, and shot up one of the dragons, the one we wasn’t on, right good. She didn’t have to be on a dragon, see, on account of she can fly so she were zooping around a lot. The dragons kept after her, seeing as she were messing one up pretty bad, but they only bit her inky wings a little and it didn’t hurt her none, just got ink black all over their teeths. Then she exploded the other one's skull!

    It were exciting on the dragon too. Mags scooped me up with the pot on account of I weren’t quite ready seeing as I shot at the other dragon, so I had to kinda scramble out to stand proper. Then I decided I were gonna look proper metal so Ned could paint me on one of Mags’ music pictures, so I stood on its head all heroic and everything, with the well dark death sword. I were proper metal - Ji-Woo said so. But then the blue lady got all mad at me. Ji-Woo thinks maybe she were the death lady lord’s girlfriend so she were upset I had the sword even though I didn’t kill her or nothing. I didn’t even steal it, cause she were dead and so it weren’t stealing.

    Any road, she hit me with more shadowy darkness icky stuff kinda like the sword but sorta liquidy and it hurt like hell. I popped up out of Mags’ shadow though, and were alright, and I’m well hard, so the second bit were only a scratch and Ned had boosted me anyways. I went invisible after that, and Ned thought I’d gone away again, so I tugged on his ear and turned him to Spanish. Kel started cutting the wing off on the dragon we was riding, so the dragon started getting a bit wobbly, but we was almost there so it were alright. The blue lady didn’t like that neither, and I were invisible, so she threw her sword at Kel, but Mags batted it away with the pot.

    It didn’t take too long before we was at the cliff out, so I guess Andy’s illusion worked. I think he made it so Ned could see it too, on account of he kept going on about summat in Spanish, and pointing. He yelled out a warning right before we jumped off, to the nothing that the dragons were breathing ice at. He didn’t even think about popping the dragon one on account of being worried about our imaginary friends. Me and Kel and Mags did though, and we finished it off. I even pulled one of its teeths out, one what was covered in Ji-Woo’s wing ink. Ned were proper surprised when he landed on the ground and not on whatever he were jumping at, but we was all alright - I were the only one what were even a bit hurt, and that’s on account of the blue lady’s darkness.

    End Session XLIV

    Not much to add. We ended about an hour or two early, as when we started it raining some, but we decided to keep an eye on things. One player happened to, when on a restroom trip, notice the back yard had turned white. Looking out it was snowing and we (very) quickly broke and folks headed out. Everyone made it home okay.

    Saltmarsh Andy created an illusion of Loa forces at the mouth of the ravine (with a bong cannon, because Andy is strange) and while he only needed to affect the enemies, he decided to affect Edmond, because seriously why not?

    Also, Kjell continually attacked the Dragon he was standing on’s wing despite needing it to survive to edge of the valley. That’s Kjell, like a Koala in the rain, no fucks given.

    Full session next time. Carhenge will never be the same.

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    Our Scions have escaped Helhiem. Of course, they have to go back. But first, they need to fix Zane.

    Session XLII

    Six Underground Part VII

    Ji-Woo's Visions

    The Dark Forest


    After we emerged from the portal from Yomi, I looked around and instantly recognized where we were: the Dark Forest. Last time I was here, I got horribly lost but eventually figured out how to find my way, so I wasn’t worried. Also, we were in an ornate tree house fortress populated by a bunch of distinguished-looking trolls. Well, some of the them looked distinguished. “Distinguished” is actually a very difficult look for trolls to pull off. It’s also difficult for Edward. The trolls with lab coats managed to pull it off better than their more common brethren, though. When one of the lab coat trolls noticed us, he sighed and left to fetch his superiors, and Loki soon came to find us.

    Loki warned us that he had a way to fix Zane quickly but it would rely on the help of a trollwife. At first, I thought he might be talking about Ulfa, but he expressed such contempt at that idea that I realized he must mean Angrboda, THE trollwife and mother of countless monsters, including Jormungandr and Fenris. Hmmm. I guess that should have been my first guess anyway, but I’d rather not get too involved with Angrboda. But we didn’t have much of a choice, not unless we wanted to wait gods know how long for Loki to figure out some other solution. I’ve never been one for waiting, so I was game, and besides, as Edward pointed out, Loki wanted this to happen, so it was in our best interest to play along. Magnus was unhappy about it (big surprise) because Angrboda isn’t exactly a friend of the Aesir, but the choice was really up to Zane, and he decided to go for it.

    Loki took us into the tree house facility’s labs and introduced us to his mistress. Angrboda is a voluptuous Nordic blonde, and she wasn’t really prepared for company, but once she was dressed more appropriately, we discussed the situation with her and she took us to some sort of analysis chamber. I was extremely curious about the process of reversing Zane’s disconnection from fate, so I examined everything she was doing. I think she became a little annoyed at the questions I was asking, but I was curious and they were good questions. Edward was completely confused by the whole experience, but when I tried to explain it to him, he just shrugged and told me that it was okay. I seemed to know what was going on, and he’s confident in my oracular abilities. I didn’t think much of it at the time, Yisheng, but reflecting on it later, Edward’s faith in me means a lot. I haven’t exactly inspired a lot of trust in many of my friends in the past. I guess I’ve moved around too much and left too many people behind. But my scion comrades do seem to trust my insight, and that makes me happy.

    Anyway, Angrboda put Zane on a sort of metal examination table surrounded by all sorts of scientific instruments, some of which were foreign to me. A fascinating holographic display showed Zane’s mystical anatomy, which I examines very closely. Then Angrboda asked which of us had the closest fate connection to Zane, and without skipping a beat, Zane said it was me. We’re supposed to be really close friends. And more than that, we’ve been lovers in the past.

    That was news to me! All this time I’ve been thinking about how roguishly handsome male Zane is, and it turns out Edward was right! Zane IS one of my boys! Not that I get around as much as I used to now that I’m happily involved with Pipa, of course. Or maybe I do? There was that Yrtalion thing in the Unseelie Realm. Hmmm. Still, I was all the more eager to reclaim my memories of Zane after learning we’d had a fling at some point, so when Angrboda said she needed to scan me too, I hopped up on the table without any hesitation.

    After scanning me, Angrboda had a plan to help us. If she could restore Zane’s fatebond to me, it would act as a catalyst to bring all the others back into alignment. She locked the two of us in a weird chamber where she could manipulate our fate strands. We had to remain close and preferably in physical contact for the few hours it took to restore Zane’s fate, and there was a bed in the chamber, so I asked if having sex would interrupt the process. I didn’t think it would. In fact, I suspected it would speed it along. Angrboda seemed fine with the idea, but Magnus got mad again and told us that we could not, under any circumstances, have sex in Angrboda’s labs.

    I should note, at this point, that Magnus was being far more cagey about this whole process than the rest of us. He made Loki promise that Angrboda would not steal any of our genetic material in order to engineer new monsters, and Loki held up his end of the deal, even going so far as to use his flames to incinerate any genetic traces that Angrboda might be able to use. And that’s why Magnus didn’t want us to have sex. It was too risky. After all, it would be awful if Angrboda made some sort of Zanewoogandr to torment us later on.

    So, no sex. Just back rubs and hand-holding. Zane was supposed to focus on an important event from our friendship, so he started telling the story of the one time we made love, which sounded really romantic. And before long, SNAP! Zane doubled over with the pain and shock of having all his fate restored, but the pain only lasted an instant, and after that he was fine. For me, it felt like an electric jolt. And then I remembered everything! I threw my arms around Zane and gave him the biggest hug ever, and several kisses for good measure.

    I am SO GLAD Zane is back! Now things are turned around again in my memory—it’s hard to remember that he was there at all during the past few days’ adventures, but if I really think about it, I can recall a shadow of his presence. It’s a good thing I’ve been filing my journal reports, huh Yisheng?

    Oh, one other thing. It seems my absinthe became radioactive in the Poison Sun War. It was glowing green, and not the sort of green it sometimes glows after I’ve had a few glasses. It was so sad! Sure, it looked pretty, but I can’t drink radioactive absinthe. I’d probably sprout mushrooms or get sick and die. Zane and Edward and Magnus thought it was amazing, though, so they took it and quaffed the whole bottle without mixing it into a louche! Those barbarians have no idea how to enjoy absinthe, and the worst part is that they wanted to see if it made their piss glow.

    Ugh. Boys.

    So anyway, I need to place another order for more Tian absinthe. I’m out. I’d love to have you deliver it to my current location, but we both know how that worked out last time, so I guess you can just deliver it to my home. Also, it’s more important for you to deliver my message to Gloria if you haven’t done so already, so make sure to complete that mission first!

    * * * * *

    Well, Yisheng, we dropped off the abomination and research notes with Hel. I hope that doesn’t come back to bite us, but if it does, at least I’ve studied the research. We didn’t stay in Helheim any longer than necessary, though I REALLY wanted to sneak off and find Gloria. I’m am dying to know what she’s up to! Hopefully you’ll be able to dispel the mystery soon, Yisheng. I couldn’t sneak off, though, because Magnus wouldn’t allow it, and I dare not make him any angrier than he already is.

    So now we’re resting in the home of one of Kjell’s acquaintances, a frost giant named Hruk who lives in a village on the edge of the Deathlords’ chasm. Hruk is not happy we’re here, and he’s acting awfully suspiciously. He’s clearly excited about whatever it is the Deathlords are up to, and he’s suspicious of us snooping around. If Magnus and Kjell hadn’t invoked the laws of hospitality, I’m pretty sure Hruk would have tried to kill or capture us by now.

    Also, I don’t like Hruk’s house, because it reminds me of a mausoleum. It’s creepy and it makes me feel like I’m being buried alive, which plucks at my claustrophobia even though the place is spacious enough that I don’t really feel confined.

    Fortunately, Magnus can be pretty manipulative when he wants to be, so he managed to get Hruk to drop his guard and talk about the Deathlords. They were once warriors who would have been worthy of Valhalla except that they were evil and honorless. So when they died, they ended up kind of like powerful Einherjar tied to Death and Frost. Of course, they made a deal with Hel to become what they are now. Currently, they are working with disgusting charnel giants, which means they’ve forged some sort of alliance with Crom Cruach. Andy and I suspect that Crom Cruach is using the Deathlords to acquire the Cauldron, and when we had a spare moment while Hruk was out of the room, we explained as much to Kjell and the others.

    Hruk never mentioned the Cauldron by name, but he did refer to some sort of treasure that lies within the castle at the bottom of the chasm, So at least we know we’re on the right track. Of course, we’ve decided not to stay the night because Hruk is clearly going to betray us, so we’re going to leave at the earliest polite opportunity. Then it’s down into the chasm to find the Cauldron!

    At least Magnus is in a better mod now that we’re back on task. I’ll be better once we’re out of the Underworld entirely.

    * * * * *

    Well, we’ve made it into the Deathlords’ castle. It just took a bit of creative trickery.

    The depths of the chasm were cloaked in shadow and they were so far away that only Zane and I could make out any details from up above, but the two of use were able to get the lay of the land from the chasm’s edge. A sepulchral castle dominated the chasm floor, and the grounds around it were crawling with patrolling undead vikings and small groups of charnel giants. Standing atop a tall tower of stone and ice near the castle was a sentinel who resembled a skeletal valkyrie clad in icy, bluish armor. Her cold gaze swept the chasm floor, and it was unlikely anyone but Zane would be able to just sneak past her without being noticed. On top of that, a pair of undead dragons soared sluggishly through the darkness in the chasm, ready to pounce on intruders as soon as the Sentinel sensed any trouble.

    Still, we came up with a plan to get into the castle without resorting to violence. I sketched out some drawings of the patrolling undead, and Andy disguised us all with illusion so that we would look just like undead vikings! Then it was a simple matter to climb down into the chasm and make our way to the castle. The only tricky part was that we had to stay fairly close together so that my copy of the Dark Key could protect us all from the soul-chilling cold.

    The rear of the castle was largely hidden from the Sentinel’s piercing gaze, and even Magnus was able to avoid drawing the notice of the guards as we slowly and stealthily scaled the wall to the top of one of the castle’s rear towers. There was a trap door there leading into the castle, but it lay within the Sentinel’s view. Fortunately, she couldn’t watch everything at once, so Andy let us know when her gaze swept away from the tower, and we made a dash for the trapdoor and ducked inside!

    To be continued . . .


    Zane’s Letters


    Dad -

    Hey Dad! I hope you’ve not got worried or nothing, on account of me not writing for a bit. But you didn’t remember me cause Loki put some magic thing on the necklace what I nicked, so I lost my fates. So we went and fought a big fuck off dragon and went to a glowy Japanese Underworld place and got a big fuck off subject zombie to give to Hel to say sorry cause I’m a Norse boon companion. And then we went to a tree hospital! Like, a hospital what’s in a tree, not a hospital for trees, on account of that’s silly.

    Ji-Woo’d used the thing Loki gave us to get out of the Poison Sun glowy place, and that’s how we got up in the tree with the giant zombie bloke. It were a tree in the Black Forest place, where we’d got lost before, me and Ji-Woo. Loki got fetched by a troll what was watching for us. He kept calling me Suzanne again, on account of he forgot me too, but his notes and prophecies and things called me Suzanne. He still didn’t know how to fix me then, but he said one of his girlfriends could make it go faster, yeah? Mags looked proper upset, and Ji-Woo too, but Ji-Woo were happier when he said it weren’t Ulfa. Apparently he don’t like Ulfa neither, but he does like troll wives like Ulfa though, cause this bird Angerboda were one, Ji-Woo said.

    First she looked like a well fit regular sized lady in a nightgown thing, but when she saw we was there she left and then came back all giant-sized in a doctor coat, but she were still pretty fit, not like Ulfa at all. Loki were talking her up big time, saying she were good at magic and sex both. I really wanted to be better faster, but I didn’t know nothing about her and Ji-Woo started looking worried again and Mags stopped looking worried right when she walked in and wouldn’t say nothing while she was there. So Loki let me talk with the gang in private before I had to decide.

    They said Angerboda were Hel’s mum, and she had loads of monsters for kids. She’s not really in the Aesir gang though. She even said she were their enemy, but Mags said not always? Politics are confusing. Andy said it’d be alright though, if I got Loki to promise she wouldn’t use my bits or my fates to do nothing bad or make monsters, that she’d just help fix me. He’s sneaky, but if he promises, he’s good. Mags said so too. He had to ask Angerboda proper nice, but he promised.

    So she helped, which meant I laid out on a table with a worn down spot that were person sized. It would make a nice bed. It were even kinda warm, for all it were made of metal and all. It made there be a picture of me, like the dwarf in Antarctica, made of light, except it were flickering a whole bunch cause sometimes it were girl me and sometimes it were boy me. After she looked a the picture a while, and asked Loki what he did (it were from a book he nicked from Odin) she said if she could fix one fate string, they’d all come back. So me and Ji-Woo had to be touching while she did stuff, on account of she’s one of my best mates and Mum couldn’t come down what with the politics and all. Plus, me and Ji-Woo had shagged before (Angerboda were proper confused when I said so) but Mags said we couldn’t have a go there, on account of Angerboda would make us have monsters and Loki said we couldn’t, on account of he couldn’t, even though we had to be touching and everything for hours.

    So I gave her backrubs and held her hand and we talked for about ever then Angerboda told me I needed to think about the first time me and Ji-Woo had a shag, so I started telling the story to Ji-Woo. It stung like a bastard when she did her thing and Ji-Woo got shocked a little bit too but we weren’t proper hurt or nothing. And Ji-Woo remembered me! It were glorious.

    Ned and Mags and Andy remembered me too. Ned didn’t remember that the me without fates were me, but the others did, if they tried. I checked all our fate strings using Mum’s super powers, and they was all right. We have to go get the cauldron now, so I can’t check yours or Mum’s or Jester’s, but hopefully they’re all fixed too, or else you’re very confused.

    Loki offered to take the stonking zombie to Hel for us, but I kicked Ned and said we’d do it, so’s I could say sorry again, but really it were cause the cauldron’s near where Hel is, so if Loki took us there Ji-Woo wouldn’t have to climb down roots and we wouldn’t have to go past Maudegod again. So Loki made us a fire portal and I high five’d him.

    Kell were waiting for us, with loads of empty whiskey bottles. I gave him a hug too, which were almost bad on account of he only kinda remembered me being a bloke, but I had my bracelet, so it were ok. We had some more drinks, me and him and Mags and Ned, of Ji-Woo’s absinthe. It were glowing, on account of her taking it to the Poison Sun place, so she said it were bad. She still got upset at us drinking it from the bottle and not with the water and everything like she does. It did taste kinda funny, but Mags said it might make us have glowy piss!

    Nothing exciting happened at Hel’s. She were still cheesed but I apologized and Mags apologized and I gave her the things and we were set. Ji-Woo were sad cause Gloria weren’t about but Mags were happy about that and said we couldn’t look for her. He did give a well ace talk about being back on the road of destiny that made everything exciting after though.

    Kell had done us good while he were drinking, and took us to talk with his friend Ruck. He were one of the death lords’ gang, but Kell liked him better than the others. He almost made us go away still, on account of the ‘special’ thing he wouldn’t say what it were, but it were the cauldron down in the pit. Kell got him to talk with Mags though, and Mags is bloody good at buttering people up, so Ruck told us all about the death lords and charnal giants and everything. Not the cauldron though still, just that there was summat what would give the death lords powers.

    Kell thought he were acting right strange, so we left after just a beer. He were proper worried, so he decided to come with and so Mags told Ji-Woo to tell him about the bucket (he meant the cauldron). Kell were ok with the death lords not having that bollocks, so he gets to come be badass with us.

    Zane

    Dad -

    I think we should take over the death lords’ castle and keep it. After making it so we don’t need the key, yeah? It’s all stonking big, and we had to walk forever down the pit, proper slow, on account of we had to stay close and Andy and Mags is slow, and we had to play pretend like we was dead and all, so I couldn’t even go zooming around them. Any road, there’s skeleton dragons there, and rotting giants and loads of skeletons and some in armor and a lady skeleton what glows blue and is good at seeing, even if she didn’t see me, but I’m the best at sneaking. It were ace!

    On account of having to walk forever, we got Andy to illusion us, seeing as there’s not much to hide behind and the others can’t go invisible. Me and Ji-Woo looked in the pit cause it were too dark for the others to see, and Ji-Woo drew a picture when we decided that the armored skeletons were best. Andy gave me a maggot again, and Ji-Woo looked sassy. Andy said so.

    We decided to walk all the way around the castle, so’s the lady with the glowy blue armor and eyes didn’t see us. I can climb the best too, like one of them little monkeys, and Ji-Woo and Andy can fly, so I made shadowy climbing spikes like you get for second story work on posh houses for Mags and Ned and we didn’t have no trouble, except it were slow. After forever when we got to the top, I got myself to be quick like a rat and went invisible and snuck to unlock the door and Andy peeked out to shoo people in when the glowy lady skeleton weren’t looking.
    End Session XLII

    The portrayal of Angrboda was heavily influenced by her portrayal in Scion: Ragnarok. Most of that was actually unplanned; I was asked the day before who would be there when they teleported back by Ji-Woo’s player, and after doing some thinking about twists having Angrboda there seemed like a cooler idea than what I had in mind, so I worked her in.

    The rest was part of the original story plan. You know, the whole main storyline thing. Crazy right?

    Anyway, comments and questions welcome.

    Leave a comment:


  • omenseer
    replied
    well you learn something new every day. I had never heard of radiotrophic fungus before and of course you stir new ideas in my head.

    Leave a comment:


  • Baroness Nerak
    replied
    It’s time to venture into the Poison Sun Ward. Which, of course, means pissing more goddesses off…

    Session XLI

    Ji-Woo’s Visions

    Yomi

    I hate the Underworld, Yisheng. It’s awful. And the Poison Sun Ward is the worst! It’s bad enough that it’s in the Underworld, and therefore underground. But sickly green radiation permeates the area, and even though I was protected by Edward and Andy’s spirit lamps, it still made me feel ill. And I couldn’t fly! I mean, I could, but I didn’t want to draw the attention of the leering fighter aircraft that circled above us, just waiting for targets. I don’t like being places where I can’t fly. Even if I DON’T fly, I still like to know I could, if the whim strikes me. You understand, right, Yisheng?

    Anyway, after we arrived in Yomi to get Hel’s abomination and research notes, we had to figure out where exactly we needed to go. So I took a puff off Edward’s spirit lamp and then slowly blew out a stream purplish smoke. I paid attention to the eddies and whirls in the smoke, and they told me everything I needed to know. The abomination was in the center of the Poison Sun Ward, in a place called the House of Pika Don. That was bad news. Pika Don is an aspect of my pantheon’s titan, Hundun, so we decided we would need to be extra careful. Fortunately, the research notes weren’t in the Poison Sun Ward. They were stored in an archive house elsewhere in Yomi. Sadly, the archive house contained a fountain that was crafted to resemble the Jizo, the Buddha of lost children. The fountain filled the archives with the bitter tears of women who had lost their children. These tears were like liquid fire to anyone who had never lost a child, but they would heal and comfort anyone who had.

    Well, none of us have ever lost a child, thank goodness, so I was worried about what we should do. I thought about summoning Pipa, because I’m sure she’s lost children over the ages, but it seemed rather cruel to remind her of her loss. Also, she would probably be very cross with me for calling her to Yomi just in time to visit the Poison Sun Ward. But Edward, Zane and Magnus said they were willing to brave the burning tears to find what we were looking for.

    When we arrived at the archive house, we found a small crowd of grieving women milling around it. It’s a good thing Andy used his illusions to make us look like the rotting dead that inhabit Yomi. Zane even had a worm crawling around his eye socket! It was gross. Edward didn’t really look all that different, though. The house’s courtyard was filled with small Jizo statues of all shapes and sizes. Many of them had small trinkets laid to rest with them: a child’s shoe, a favorite toy, a worn bib. And the whole place rested in a shallow pond filled with the tears of loss. My gods, it was depressing. I was eager to leave as soon as we arrived, but first we had to find the research notes. I described exactly what we were looking for and then Andy and I waited outside while the others waded in to find them.

    It took them awhile, but they didn’t seem any worse for the wear when they emerged. I was worried about Zane, but he seems to be just as tough as Magnus and Edward. Unfortunately, the caustic tears did nothing to improve Magnus’ mood, and he was still really grumpy. He is REALLY moody.

    I must confess, Yisheng, that my responsibility in all of these travails is weighing on me. I’m actually having to deal with the consequences of my actions, and it’s no fun. On top of that, I’m worried about handing over the means to manufacture more of these abominations to Hel. What if she turns against the gods? It could happen. I feel like I should do something about it.

    * * * * *

    We’ve managed to escape the Poison Sun Ward. I am SO glad that’s over. Edward got us inside using his ability to walk through walls, and like I said before, the spirit lamps kept the radiation at bay. But I couldn’t fly for fear of getting shot down, and even though the blasted city ruins felt empty and abandoned, we occasionally ran across groups of screaming people wreathed in yellowish-green flame. They ran about madly, spreading the flame to others like wildfire. Fortunately, we were stealthy and quiet, and managed to avoid their attention. Zane and I also noticed human-like shadows here and there that only moved when we weren’t looking at them. They were really creepy.

    Every now and then, loud air raid sirens blared across the city. Fortunately, I was able to pinpoint nearby basements or bomb shelters every time that happened, and we took cover from the atomic blasts that seared the ruined cityscape. Of course, for me, the shelters weren’t much better than the bombs. They were tight and dark and they smelled of rotting flesh. As soon as we were closed up inside, my claustrophobia set in and I started to panic. Fortunately, my friends were there to help me. Zane took my hand, and Magnus quieted the roaring bomb blasts outside. Andy did something to make some soothing music and Edward started describing open fields and clear blue skies and brisk winter mornings and soaring birds. There had to be birds. I like birds.

    Speaking of birds, I keep meaning to ask Pipa about Hu Ximei, the nine-headed pheasant who was the third member of the Da Ji trio when they were stirring up all the trouble for the Shang dynasty. Hu Ximei was supposed to be extraordinarily beautiful in her human form, but I’m also curious to see what a real nine-headed pheasant looks like.

    Fortunately, we survived the bombings and the others kept me from completely freaking out. It was a close thing when we had to take shelter a second time, though. There were some mutant radiation zombies hiding in the basement where we took shelter, and they attacked us. I was completely useless because I was already freaking out from the claustrophobia. All I could do was back away from the fight. Andy was right there by my side, though, and he helped keep me from doing something stupid like fleeing the shelter. Damn, claustrophobia sucks. Gods aren’t supposed to have to deal with things like that.

    The others handled the radiation zombies without any trouble, though Edward was hurt a bit, and his wounds sprouted some yellow-black radiation fungus, like the fungus that’s been growing in the Chernobyl reactor. It was repulsive. Edward seemed curious about it and was going to eat some of it to see if it was psychotropic, but fortunately Magnus stopped him and Zane cleaned away the rest of the fungus and healed Edward’s wounds. Edward seemed disappointed, but we convinced him it was for the best.

    After that, it was just a short distance to the House of Pika Don, a deep, crumbling crater in the center of the Poison Sun Ward. Now that we were out in the open again, I wasn’t freaking out, and I was able to pick a safe path for us across the unstable ground into the crater. There wasn’t a lot of cover, though, so when we ran into a herd of the burning people, Magnus decided to cause a distraction so the rest of us could sneak into the crater and get the abomination. He led the burning people on a wild chase around the crater, playing power chords just to taunt them. Of course, all I could imagine was some sort of heavy metal version of Yakety Sax, so that is absolutely what should be in the official report, Yisheng. I’m sure Andy will confirm it if you need a witness.

    Anyway, while Magnus was strumming Yakety Sax on his guitar and skating around with a bunch of burning people in tow, the rest of us clambered down into the crater. We crept through the crumbling pit until we located the abomination. Unfortunately, a couple of the burning people and several of the creepy shadows stood between us and our quarry, but we handled them with ease, especially after Andy used his magic to bless us. The fight caused a bit of a commotion, though, and no sooner had we finished the last of the shadows then the abomination charged us!

    Fortunately, Zane was faster. He dodged under the abomination’s soul-shattering punch and swatted it with Hel’s riding crop. After that, the beast fell right in line, obeying Zane’s every command. He ordered it not to attack any of us and to follow us out of the crater, and we fled as quickly as possible.

    We never actually saw Pika Don, but I suppose that means he never realized we were there, and that’s a good thing. Once we were out of the crater, we signaled Magnus and I used the rune stone Hel gave us to open a portal to Helheim. We escaped through it, and Magnus only barely made it, leaping through just in time before it closed, trapping the burning people on the other side.

    Now I just have to figure out what to do about these research notes.


    Zane’s Letters

    Mum -

    The worst thing about having no fates ain’t that I’m starting to get super-hero tired, like I’m out of juice, yeah? I mean, I am, but the worst bit is the being alone thing. People ain’t supposed to be all alone, nor superheroes nor demigods or nothing neither. Jester told me that, when he first found me. I was on my own then too, after I shoved off from Mum the whore. I thought people weren’t no good, yea, what with the other street littles and adults and coppers roughing me up and taking my things, or the whore using my monies for booze, or the bastards what have a go with littles. But Jester, he were good. He didn’t even push or nothing, he’d just show up and talk, when I were feeling the worst, so’s I weren’t alone along with everything else. I even caught him chasing off some wankers what were trying to mess with me when they thought I were sleeping.

    Then he showed up one day with a little who were sicky and asked if I’d watch over him for a day or two. He were proper little too, and I thought it were crazy to waste time and food on summat who was sick and little and all. But Jester just looked at me and the little were so pathetic I couldn’t say no or nothing, or just leave him there. When Jester got back with special food and medicine and candy, the little were telling me a story. He weren’t very good at it, on account of being little enough he didn’t understand about things being in order and he forgot loads of things but I’d never heard any stories before. The little told Jester that, when he said they had to go so he could have his medicine and all, and he said, Jester did, that maybe I could come with, and he’d finish the story for both of us. So I did, cause people ain’t supposed to be alone. And stories are ace.

    It has been a little better since Carhenge, now that they believe me more, even if Ned and Mags keep calling me kid or the new guy. Ji-Woo is trying proper hard. But it’s just not the same. Something is missing, yeah? She didn’t even know I was well hard, as hard as Mags and Ned no problem! And she thinks maybe I’m one of her boys, on account of Ned said so, which is the worst reason to think something. I mean, he’s right a little, but I were never her boyfriend or nothing. Any road, hopefully we’re done soon and Loki figures out how to fix this so I can be their mate again. And so I can have you and Dad and Jester and everyone back too.

    We got a little distracted going through the portal on account of talking about all the underworld places. Well, Ned were talking about movies. Ji-Woo said he should watch less, cause he were talking bollocks about Japanese and cars or summat. Any road, do we have a special place? Underworld, I mean. Mags said maybe we can go to his, if we die fighting, or bonking summat and we can drink and party forever. But maybe ours is cool too. His does sound much better than Ji-Woo’s, which is loads of hells and hells are bad places, yeah? The Japanese one weren’t so bad, cept for the Poison Sun place. There were loads of zombie blokes all over Yomy, which were good on account of Andy magiced us up to look like them, with maggots and everything. It were proper brill. He said I had one in my eyeball hole what were winking.

    Ji-Woo did her thing with the coins to figure out where the notes was. I was right, they was all science-y and stuff and there were a whole bunch of other science-y cobblers there too. Plus it were in Japanese, which has all these weird letters. But Ji-Woo said just what to look for, so me and Ned and Mags didn’t take too long, even if Ned mostly just threw books at Mags. Ji-Woo and Andy couldn’t help, seeing as there were a special fountain of burning water, but only if you’d never had a little what died. None of us even have a little, and songs don’t count even if Ned said they should, so it woulda been ouchy if we weren’t well hard. And I were just as well hard as Mags and Ned, so there.

    Ji-Woo weren’t too happy about giving the notes over, nor Mags neither but he got proper brassed off when Ji-Woo said maybe she could make some fakes. I thought that’d be cheating with the where guilt thing, and that’s important so I can be a boon companion so we didn’t. They weren’t too happy about going into the Poison Sun place, or Ned either, but they didn’t think I could sneak by my lonesome neither. So we had to. We got all boosted and Ned and Andy made their lamp things and Ned got us, whump!, through the big metal fuck-off walls.

    Inside it were all exploded and glowy. There were plane noises and shadows what only moved when you wasn’t looking and people on fire and everything were greenish yellow. It thought it were kinda cool, cept I were scared for Ji-Woo. She thought she were gonna die, and said Ned could have her flat if she did, but I told her she weren’t allowed. The part where she couldn’t fly, on account of the planes, were no fun either. And the mushroom thing were just weird.

    See, there was these proper eerie wee-ooooh noises what sounded really bad sometimes. We was sneaking mostly but when those started Ji-Woo pointed at an exploded house’s basement door. I had to get us in, on account of it being locked, but I got it right quick and we got inside, then it were all screaming and lights and badness outside. Mags made it go all quiet the first time and Ned told Ji-Woo a story about horses and birds and open skies and everything so she wouldn’t freak out. The second time there was four stinky blokes with glowy eyes what exploded ick when they got hit. Ji-Woo hid on account of it were all closed up and she’s not well hard and didn’t wanna get icked and then be all sicky. We dealt with them right quick. One of them did plant mushrooms on Ned, but I squished its head and then picked the mushrooms off Ned before he did, and did not give them over, on account of Ned wanted to eat them. I mean, he’d probably be alright, he eats sunglasses, but Mags didn’t even let him eat the small bit he’d broke off, so I kept the big bits away too.

    There was only the two times that happened, and then we got to a big open space around a stonking big hole in the ground where the nuclear explosion had been, Ji-Woo said. That was Peeka Dawn’s house, and that’s where the subject were. Ji-Woo kept leading us, even though we could see it, on account of the ground were all collapse-y and she knows everything like where to step.

    At the edge of the crater there was loads of the people what were on fire and no place to hide or be sneaky. So Mags made them follow him like it were a parade or summat. He were rocking on his guitar and whooshing around on ice. It were bloody ace! Ned said it sounded like angels screaming. Which were right strange, but kinda right too.

    In the middle of the crater were a bright, bright glowy bloke, that were Peeka Dawn, I think, and loads of shadows and two more fire people. Ji-Woo started up on the fire dudes, but their fire went all poof! into ash and they was alright, until she shot them again after they charged and missed her. Then they was dead. The shadow blokes were fast and they hurt my hands to punch, but I’m well hard, so I weren’t proper hurt. We did for all of them right quick, and only Ned got hurt and only a little and he were boosted, so he weren’t really hurt.

    Then the subject started coming for us! I made it so’s I got the jump on it and then tried really hard to hit it with the whip thing so he’d do what I say. I’m not very good at hitting things with sticks or whip things, but I heard Mags’ music and looked at my mates and thought about getting my fates back and tried really hard and hit it whack! right on the knee. Then I told it not to hurt me or Ji-Woo or Andy or Ned or Mags or other people I said later and to let me ride on its shoulders and to go where I said and punch things I said to. We met Mags riding an ice slope down the crater and Ji-Woo used the portal thing and we got right out of there, with me riding up on the big ghost giant zombie subject thing.

    Zane

    End Session XLI

    So Edmond is crazy. He had this odd thing with his maybe/maybe not existent maybe/maybe not a horse, vampire, or some combination thereof hypothetical child and how the fountain proved Nomde was still alive. Yea.

    The PCs elected to mostly sneak past their enemies in the Poison Sun Ward. They had to go underground when the alarms sounded, and had to fight some monsters in one. Still, it was fairly good work slipping through. Zane of course had constantly lowering Legend.

    But they are back, and Zane gets fixed next time and…wasn’t there something about a Cauldron? Something about that. Comments and Questions Welcome.

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