Mattiverse Next - Session 10
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- Given a couple of choices about how to spend the three hours before the pit fighting event, the Boys decide to scope out the catacombs.
- They sniff around four a couple of hours, triangulating around Beldon's memory of where he detected the wand piece, and eventually come to a large, iron door. It has been installed recently.
- There is nothing immediately they can do to open it. There is some dirt that can conceivably be excavated, but they decide not to miss the party.
Zombie Pit-Fighting with the Big Boys
- The event is a bit more exclusive than the first party--mostly upperclassmen (although Klavin is there as well). Everyone is stoked that they (and their Gold Toby) could make it.
- The fights are weirdly silent and intense. The effect is creepy.
- Manderly does some ringmastering and also chitchats for a bit.
- As they get into stuff, Four belts out "FREE WEED TO WHOEVER'S MONSTER CAN BEAT ME IN A FIGHT!". This catches some attention.
- Manderly decides to do the honors. He summons a Bulezau.
- In the process, Bobwhite nails a series of Arcana checks and we find out that he knows a whole lot about Bulezaus and other creepy things. He also is able to discern that (not-)Manderly didn't actually cast the summoning spell; his motions were just showmanship calculated to look believable.
- The fight is an absurd image of a rotting reverse-satyr being slammed repeatedly into the floor by a creature a third of its size. It gets a couple of good blows in, but Four gets the job done and emerges from the cloud of flies to raucous cheers.
- They win some money off the fight! (3-1 on 100 gp)
- They, of course, also sell some more Gold Toby (20 "weed units").
- Bobwhite picks (not-)Manderly's pocket, and fishes out a small book.
- The Boys hang out for a bit for appearances, then duck out.
- Bobwhite inspects the book. It turns out to be a very handy piece of work: Manderly's Cheatbook. By its obvious value, they know very well it will be missed, and immediately lock it into their lead box.
- With the book, they now have access to detect magic, so they decide to try their luck at the iron door again.
The Hidden Catacomb Temple
- As expected, detect magic reveals arcane lock. Beldon dispels it, and the door swings open!
- As they peer inside, two phase spiders pop out of thin air! One immediately goes for Bobwhite, who manages to duck away just in time.
- Bobwhite scoots out of the way, Four rages, Beldon (on Pepper) ducks and weaves, and Banner pokes very adequately. The spiders manage to get a bite in (it stings!), but otherwise go down fast.
- They inch forward. This is obviously a pre-Alexandrian temple, replete with a nine-foot bronze statue of someone they can't identify. It is graffiti'd and has obviously been variously occupied, but some additions are recent: Tapestries on one wall, and a wooden door in another.
- Behind the tapestries are more rooms (including one with a very interesting technicolor floor), but they decide to fill back and check out the door.
- Banner peers in with his darkvision in after Bobwhite unlocks it and is suddenly beset upon by a chained-up ghast!
- After the initial surprise, he backs off (narrowly avoiding a scratch for the effort). A good look at it gives them a view of... Manderly! Except badly decomposed and with a pallor that was simply ghastly.
- Two other ghasts are in the room, similarly chained. They are cunning enough to draw the party in, but are ultimately outmatched--a short pitched fight sees them all down.
- The other ghasts are a young (college-aged) man, and a much older man. The latter died more recently--the former is, they presume, Trembly.
- Tremblyghast managed to take a chunk out of Manderly ghast's face over the course of the action, so he will be hard to identify without some work.
- The boys decapitate Trembly and Manderly, figuring they're still pretty good evidence that (not-)Manderly is, indeed, not Manderly.
- They spend a bit more time looking around, but have been tracking the piece of the lance and have noticed it is moving toward them ("is it... angry?"). They decide they would rather not engage the beast in its lair, and bug out with five minutes to spare. They are, collectively, fast enough to outrun the pursuer without too much trouble, thanks to their earlier scouting.
- It stops pursuing once they get back to the streets.
- They go back to the inn, where "Gretchen" has been waiting in agitation.
- (not-)Manderly has evidently been fuming about the Boys stealing something. While stirring it up, other people have, in turn, chimed in with other things they have stolen.
- The Boys will have some follow-ups to that, but first, they have news. They convince her to come to a more private place...
- ...and Bobwhite proceeds to dump the heads of her expired friends onto the table. With the help of Banner's expert Sci-Fi facial reconstruction techniques, it becomes trivial to recognize both that Manderly is quite dead, and that the thing wearing his face is not him.
- The Boys unload what they've learned (Bobwhite with brute-force technicalities, with expert interjections from Banner and Beldon to soften the blows). With an identify spell, they confirm their suspicion that Garos is under the effects of a modify memory spell.
- She understands the implications of this quite clearly.
- They briefly return to the subject of stolen goods. The Boys confirm that, yes, they did steal Manderly's Cheatbook ("That tracks, he never was a particularly good student"), and the markup they're selling the weed at might as well be theft, but any other accusation is probably an accusation, and an easy one to get support for by a demon who can alter peoples' memory.
- Garos will not go back to Porphyry House. She is able to dump a bunch of info on them, and proposes a way they might be able to engage the Phisarasu, using a secret entrance through their "wine and corpse cellar" ("ew.. wine is gross"). She will also be able to buff them with anything that might last long enough to be useful, and can give leads on consumable supplies.
- The Boys will rest and plan the rest of the night, and get to work at dawn the next day.
- Going Over with a Fine-Toothed Cata-comb
- Fight Club Party and a Bulezau Beatdown
- Spider Fight and Manderlyghast
- "Gretchen" Gets the Real Scoop