Talking Like Peter Lorre On An Opium Kick or YES, IT'S A TRAP:
|The troupe L to R: Mortimer, Squire, Oda, DurBurDuke,|
Topper, Fred, Chris-Tle, Olga and Lyn.
It seemed like ages ago that this group was sipping garlic wine from ceramic tiki glasses high above The Wall on the Razorbait. A few days of adventuring somehow seems stretched into weeks. No matter, the fateful words of the server who brought that last fateful round of adult beverages now rings out “...oh look down there, that’s the City of Diamonds beyond The Wall, a vast unexplored place of riches from which no one has ever returned”. And now here it it is, gleaming brightly on the horizon, twinkling like a tired sequin on Liberace's blazer. A few short hours of trekking brings it full on, or at least the red glowing triangles that surround its perimeter. It’s been a long night, even the Urks are anxious to heal back a few personal health points the old fashioned way. The fabulous riches can wait.
The morning brings the bounty of a few PHP for everyone. As the sun rises the red glow is suddenly replaced with the stark white light rebounding off the polished metal surfaces of the triangle farm surrounding the cities base. The heat is palpable, small winged creatures which fly into the area are instantly microwaved, some of the carcasses plummet and disappear between the triangles, others simply vaporize instantly. The heat wiggles it’s way upwards around the massive featureless gray pyramid. Halfway up the pyramid is a 200 foot diameter rotor. It swings around the circumference like a derelict ceiling fan. The air is thick and no one has moved for at least a full deca-nuta, staring at this monstrous bland structure. It is featureless, mostly because it’s been a long adventure and features take a certain amount of energy to describe.
Suddenly, without even a quick text to speech, Topper rockets upward on mechanical wings. Picking up speed the hat circles above the pyramid and then swoops down and disappears into the massive structure. Sadly, what transpired will have to remain secreted away within the minds of those involved. After several deca-nutas Topper returns to the troupe. Normally DurBurDuke and the hat are able to share what they see and say via patented Schwartzpunk technology, however while inside the structure Topper turned off the signal feed. Some things are just private, I guess.
Some more awkward prodding from the group and it’s becoming clear that the hat lives inside the structure to serve the master there. She explains that “bipeds can’t go inside the way I do, but there is a path”. The group works its way around the edge of the triangular mirror farm and indeed, there is a gap between the mirrors wide enough for a single person to squeeze their way through. One would think the excitement of the vast riches of the “city of diamonds” would elicit excitement from the group, instead they all look as if they are being forced to watch all 90 minutes of Strange Brew.
|I think I "unremembered" this part|
The Urks look nervous, the group taunts them in the usual manner (manhood, Urkhood, creepyhood, etcetera) but the social pressure is not enough to get them to go any further even for the “looting and killing”. With promises to meet in Urkey and have some soup, they quickly leave the area. A few members of the troupe begin the single file march at 1/10th their normal walking speed into the mirror farm. It only takes a few missed Nimbality checks and laser ray blasts from automated sentry boxes to encourage the group to not try to get in that way. Chris-Tle, discovers that the Arcanist spell Invisibility actually allows light to pass through the affected creatures body, so it would seem this side effect of the magic would negate the negative harm of the sun’s rays in the mirror farm. After some quick computations the Arcanist calculates that he has enough MERP to cast the spell on everyone for at least a full deca-nuta, certainly long enough to move the 100 feet or so to the base of the pyramid. After a few rude hand gestures, the whole troupe is invisible and individually making their way into the mirror zone.
No plans were made beforehand on coordination and since nobody can see anyone else, it’s every creature for themselves. Mortimer discovers a gigantic Hairy Mormon wearing a black and white striped shirt on his way in. The creep can’t see him, but taunts him using a ridiculous accent. Mortimer is able to easily avoid the monster. A giant partial carcass of a flying whale is also discovered and avoided. After a few mi-nutas everyone has flattened themselves around the perimeter of the gray stone pyramid. Again, even close up it is pretty featureless, no windows doors, cracks, ornamentation or gross textures. Some attempts are made to scale the 40 feet up the severe incline to the rotor gap, these pretty much ended poorly. The Arcanist moves around the perimeter and discovers a single seam running from the ground upwards. DurburDuke dons his jet gloves and boots to fly up to the rotor opening. At the same time, Topper zooms out and flies around the pyramid top to signal her master to open the door so everyone can go in.
Where the Arcanist discovered the seam, a colossal 40x40 foot door crawls upward. Now visible, everyone hastens to get inside. Everyone is on the ground floor other than DurBurDuke, who is hovering in the middle of the machine choked space. On the ground level a giant conveyance with 40 foot wheels lays folded up, above the exposed mechanism of the rotor. Green bolts of energy fly off metal balls mounted on the arms up into metal grid work chamber where the masters silhouette can be seen. There are many other humanoid figures about, all moving oddly. All are dressed the same, red and black Michael Jackson leather motorcycle suits, boots, gloves and helmets covering the whole head. As they stand taking this in the door slowly reverses itself and Topper flies straight to the master to perch on her head.
If you were another Crypt Lord I might say at this point “the hook has been set”. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. No one seem at all terrified. No complaining, or crying, indeed not even one short huffy sigh. Sometimes the world is perfect.
At this point, everyone had questions of the master of this place, questions answered obliquely using NPP voice type 0, described as PLOOK or “Peter Lorre On an Opium Kick”. (This can be found on page 5 of the core rule book). Not much was learned...the masters name is MaMiss, the place is called the Cyclone Werks, MaMiss is happy to entertain guests but far too busy to interact with them. In between all the rambling answers imagine a short high pitched laugh, not unlike Smedley from the Wacky Racers, but much slower and menacing. MaMiss was a surprised that the hat has friends now, this certainly is a new development! The master then jets back up into the apex to join the giant brain suspended in the clear globe and a version of herself moving at nearly x50 times faster than normal to operate various devices. Insert some exposition about being inside MaMiss'es Mind Shack. That's against the rules, right?
|Put on the back of a player|
The humanoid minions then appear with soft robes and pillows and start yawning and pantomiming sleep. There is an elevator, inside 6 identical buttons, Fred pushes the bottom most. Immediately red lights and klaxons sound...but no one looks particularly bothered. Fred and Topper ride the floating egg shaped elevator down to the forbidden floor. The door open to reveal a small round smooth chamber dominated by a large cylindrical object in the center surrounded by four shiny pipes that connect it to the walls. The other players seem nervous, Fred and Topper walk around, get back in the elevator and go to the next button up, the “Fun” room. This room is much larger with spa stations, alabaster fur rugs and settees, dessert stations and a disco ball in the center. The gravity in the room allows those inside to walk on any flat surface. After a while poking around, followed by minions with drinks and a GQ magazine, Fred finds a bleached hume skeleton in one of the spa machines. Chris-Tle uses his skill Gut Feeling to ask me if this room is a trap. I had to take a breath here, after a moment I said YES. YES, THIS ROOM IS A TRAP. There wasn’t any hurry, everyone left the room so find accommodations in one of the many empty staterooms on the other levels. Chris-Tle stayed in the work area above and played Canasta with three minions. DurBurDuke constructs a gas detecting unit so he can sleep. Mortimer builds one for Fred. It’s been a long day...eventually everyone falls asleep.
Again, one never assumes, but the perfect moment (see above) ended up being stretched much longer than I thought. I like to imagine a large pink bubble of chewing gum slowly expanding…
|Almost looks like a Jacque Louis David painting...|
A huge thanks to these amazing players. Well played, huge fun, and lots of laughing about the oddest things. Sometimes I forgot that I had been playing for over 30 years. This was the last big hurrah for most of them before they start college. One of them is my oldest, going to Indiana somewhere. My hope is when they are back, they may still want to play. There will always be a place for them.
This game will continue in a week or so…