Monday, November 30, 2020

#1 Sham End November 28th 2020 Session 1

Troupe: THE straw prince, Shtick and Oda
Basement Leader: Ro

"Caleb" as Shtick

The wind is blowing through the boards of a long abandoned farmhouse. A rainstorm has just moved on leaving a few puddles. Shtick being an adventurous creature followed the rain inland. Erkins are creatures of flame who usually keep to themselves. Contrary to what most believe, they love making water hiss and evaporate. He had never seen a Millibrick before and when he playfully tried to melt it, thousands of it’s friends chased him to the old farm.  Here they trapped him by quickly assembling themselves into a brick shed. Through a narrow opening he can see an old union suit on a clothesline whip around crazily.

"Charlotte" as THE straw prince

Straw swirls up around the clothesline. More and more begins to collect inside the union suit. Now stuffed it reaches up and unfastens itself from the line. It's attracted to a fiery glow peeking through a gap in a tiny brick shed. The bi-peedal straw creature leans close to the opening, but then jumps backwards to avoid a tiny fiery spitball. The Erkin shrinks itself down to pop through the opening. “Stay away from my fire hole!” The newly formed straw prince understands that his reason for being is to find something twisted inside something rotten in order to save the world. “I’m on a mission. Where am I?” “You are in a place that looks like Amerka, but this is the plain of Vellram in the 'Yon of Ofaz. Were you just born?” A short pause, then “I am Shtick, who are you?” The prince wasn’t liking this fiery creature at all. “I am THE straw prince”, walking away. Likewise, Shtick couldn’t understand why any flammable creature, even one who was a prince, would be of any interest to him so he walked in the opposite direction, back toward the Oily Morasse of Fire.

"Griffin" as Oda

Soon they were far apart. High in the sky a Winged White Whale flew and even from this distance appeared quite huge. They both watched it circling high in the clouds. It slowly became a larger shape. Shtick readied a fire spell as the behemoth whale zoomed straight toward him. As it passed he splashed the bottom of the creature with atomic flame. It ejected a haystack sized mass which deformed onto the ground. He moved closer and could see all sorts of things which couldn't be broken down by a whale's stomach. One of these things included a ceramic leg which stuck out. Apparently the prince decided that the whale poop was of interest and reversed direction to investigate. The Erkin grabbed hold of the leg and began to pull with no effect. The prince also pulled, also with no effect. The leg began to wiggle on its own and slowly a massive ceramic samurai warrior had pulled itself from the muck. It seemed oblivious to being in a haystack sized pile of whale poo, although having ceramic features made it hard to tell exactly what it’s internal emotive state was. “I’m Oda.” The Erkin introduced itself as “Shtick” and the prince introduced itself as “THE, THE straw prince”. As the other two watched the prince began poking at the pile, as if looking for something other than a ceramic warrior, old tree branch or bicycle rim. Prodding the mass he asked aloud “Do you think this counts as rotten?” No one really had a proper answer to that, this material was certainly foul and disgusting...but it was also fresh and probably could rot at some future point. “I am looking for something twisted inside something save the world”. This statement somehow made perfect sense to the warrior. “I think we should all be friends and look for this together. Do you know where this thing is?” THE prince had not really thought on this but knew whatever it was it was not here. Shtick stopped blasting the dung pile with flame in order to watch as THE straw prince turned in a circle and pointed to the northeast. “It’s that way.” Without pausing a beat Oda announces “I think we should all work together and be friends. Let’s go that way”. So with only mild grumbling the trio sets off.

Our troupe, THE, Shtick & Oda

After discussion on what kind of musical “tet” the group could possibly form itself into, a loud hollow sound is discerned off in the distance. It's a boxy mechanical lion scruffing around, sometimes still, sometimes pouncing or roaring. Suddenly the lion notices them and begins loping towards them. Oda draws his Swordinga, holding it with its tip to the ground as they wait. It doesn't take long for the massive Tin Lion to stop in front of them. “Have you seen a tiny foul quadruped? Give him to me, I command you!” Behind the lion is a small zlog playfully hiding behind a tuft of prairie grass. The Erkin, who has been riding on Oda’s back, takes the warrior's hat and produces a rabbit. “Is this what you are looking for?” The steam driven Tin Lion huffs “No! You are all useless to me! I should crush you in my jaws but I have no time”. At this the tiny zlog scampers off which catches the attention of the Lion who gives chase immediately. After a few na-nutas Shtick runs after them. Being quite fast he is able to catch the zlog. The tag on its collar reads “Bupsie-#1 Sham End”. Oda starts shouting “I think we should all work together because that is what friends do!” as he runs as fast as three hundred pounds of kiln fired clay can. THE is silent and watches. Shtick grabs the tiny one eyed zlog and lobs it at the approaching Lions mouth. His throw is poor however, and the quadruped bounces off the lion and scampers away. “You are useless I say!” and the Tin Lion roars off.

The Tin Lion

The trio have added a desire to find a good Urkish restaurant to their conversation on how they could be a musical group involving various types of brass instruments when they reach the border to Sham End. A sign reads “Sham End”, and another “I’d turn back if I were you”. The demarcation from plain to end is quite distinct. The signs mark the border, where the sun's rays seem to stop entirely. Shadows are multiplied on the broken terrain of stunted needleless conifers. Upon setting foot in Sham End the feeling of dread is palpable. 

After a few hundred steps Bupsie is sitting on the path panting. The zlog turns playfully and trots towards a fork in the path where sits a two story cottage decorated cheerily with skull shaped windows. Smoke plumes from the slanted chimney. A fourteen foot twelve inch iron fence surrounds the tiny yard. They open the gate and walk to the door. There is a sign which reads “Solicitors will be transformed”. Oda knocks on the door. An old woman's voice from deep inside replies “just a moment, I’m doing the dishes”.

Baba's cottage

The door is opened by a very short, plump and ancient hume woman. She wears a faded shift with large patches of mismatched fabric, a pointed black hat and an amulet with dozens of alert lidless eyes. “Come in, come in, I don’t get visitors very often. Let me make you some tea.” The troupe follows her past a mirror which shows them all headless, past piles of dried creature guts, collectors maps of Mordor and carefully folded sheets of skin. They pass a glass indoor garden filled with twitching vines. In the kitchen there’s just enough room for them to sit around a tiny table. “There now, you all rest here while I put some water on.” Oda asks if she plays an instrument. In answer to this a fiddle emerges from her bubbling caldron and begins to play. “Can I get you all anything else?” THE says that they are looking for a good Urkish restaurant at which the old woman replies “Oh no, no good restaurants at all in Shams End. Oh no, none at all I’m afraid”. A small zloggy door opens and Bupsie appears trotting in circles and panting. “There's my Bupsie, what have you been up to? I can make Urkish tarts, how does that sound?” Everyone nods as their host mumbles to the caldron. The violin disappears into the muck and it rocks back and forth on its feet listening. Shtick asks “so...this is THE straw prince, Oda and I’m Shtick. What is your name?” As the woman reaches to pull down several delicately decorated tea cups “You can call me Baba, sweetie. Here we are, now drink up before it cools”. Everyone takes a sip while taking a moment to take in details of the room. A small sign reads “Witches do it on a broom”.


Baba takes a small platter of tarts from the caldron which she passes to the group. She takes a bite and crunches it. “Mmmm, it has been a long time since I have had a Kortluskian delight like this”. THE chews a mouthful, the hard nails on the baked toes give them a solid crunch. THE asks “do you know about anything twisted or rotten?” For a moment all that can be heard is crunching. “Hmmm. I certainly don’t know about anything twisted dear, but rotten...there is a giant rotten apple at the end of the path called Hero's Poison. Maybe that is what you are looking for.” Shtick then asks “maybe you could coming along or giving us something.” “Oh no, I couldn’t leave my Bupsie all alone. But I could trade for something. Do you have anything to barter with?”

THE turns and shows the flap on the backside of his union suit and says “I have a button that I could trade you”. After inspecting it closely Baba asks what he would like in return. After some thought THE decides a brain and some red skin would be a fair trade. Baba nods and lumbers upstairs where she thinks her spare brains are. The old woman returns after a bit with a roll of dried red skin and a large brain floating in a jar of liquid. Baba  uses a fingernail to slice through the thread to remove the button. She tastes it, scratches it and sniffs it approvingly before placing it in a hidden pocket. THE straw prince unscrews the jar and pours the brain into his mouth.

The troupe has decided to use the spell Teletransportation to jump to the end of the path leading to the rotten apple known as “Heros Poison”. Baba tells them there is no spell casting in the house…

Join us in a few short weeks for the next exciting chapter!


Here's the Quiz (Each correct answer is worth 1 xp):

1) Fill in the blank: Shtick said “stay away from my ______”. (Fire hole)
2) What term did Justina make up? (Bi-peedal)
3) What did Shtick call the plains of Vellram? (Amerka)
4) What is the straw prince's name? (THE)
5) How tall is Baba’s fence? (14’ 12”)
6) What makes an Urkish tart crunchy? (Toenails)
7) What is Baba’s zlogs name? (Bupsie)
8) What is Baba’s address? (#1 Sham End)
9) Fill in the blank: “Do you know something ______ and ______?”(Twisted and rotten)
10) What kind of wings does the Winged White Whale have? (Giant eagles wings)


  1. Hi Ro, this is Terry Thomas from the Olden Days in Rock Island. I just found your blogs and I'm enjoying reading them immensely. I forwarded them to Tony as well! I'm now in Berwyn, just south of you.

    1. Wow! Mohandus Twitty in the flesh (SP? I think I have that correct, the last time we played was in 1988?). I hope life has been filled with awesomeness. I just looked for you persona sheet and it is way deep down in the archive. Berwyn is not far at all. C19 has our game shut down until the warm weather returns...I hope you would consider joining us. Let me know. Contact me at basementleaderatgeemaildotcom. Best not to mention Rock Island in a comment, I am going to get some weird-ass spam for sure!