Friday Night Planescape

"Sure the Universe is doomed. But least we have a place to hang our hats."

Tumbling out from the dispelled magical mansion on a tidal wave of books the boys looked up at their attackers. A group of thugs and mages that seemed to be very displeased with the run-around that Heiron had been giving them all this time. The leader began to focus her attacks
on Heiron and the two powerful mages floated towards the ceiling and began an epic wizard duel. The thugs and the heroes began to trade blows back and forth. At this time a strange creature (well… maybe normal for this place) made of shards of glowing crystal arose from his seat (where he had been patiently waiting for the last three hours for some paperwork) and began to assist the heroes against their obvious aggressors.

Not only did the group have to fend themselves against the thugs, but they found themselves dodging the misfired spells from the wizard’s duel that would ricochet around the room. Plants sprang upward and enwrapped a villain. An innocent clerk was turned into a rabbit. And Heiron’s pile of books piled upward into a golem like shape and rampaged around the room trying to kill anyone in its way (all the while spouting as many book puns as it could possibly get away with).
Eventually all foes were brought down (or burned). Heiron, seeing that he had lived another day to hide himself again, thanked the heroes. There was discussion of a reward for the return of the book and saving his life, but Heiron seemed outraged and claimed that he had already given Sheldon a book. “A first edition” even. Eventually the group walked away with a magical staff that once was part of Heiron’s horde, and a magical necklace found on the body of the villain mage.

Suddenly their looting and arguing was disturbed by a curious sound of panic and chaos coming from the normally ordered and quiet populace of the berg of Automata. Running to the windows the party saw that the giant gear sitting in the center of the street had become an open
portal. And pouring out of the portal were hundreds of Modrons (The flesh/mechanical beings of Mechanus), all in a marching formation, and all marching towards the edge of town. According to Heiron the Great Modron March is an event that occurs EXACTLY ever 289 years (ret conned from game). The problem is that it’s only been 101 years since the last one. With the reassuring “There is something extremely wrong with the multiverse. Good luck!” Heiron scampers off to find a place to hide once again. But most likely this time from the apparently crumbling forces of all that is ordered in the planes.

Returning to Sigil the group brings along their Shard friend who introduced himself as Primordian and offered his services in exchange for having the opportunity to track down pieces of his home (Not that it’s the weirdest request the party has ever had). After returning to their new, legitimately earned piece of real estate and locating the money and contract, Jysson thanked the group and returned to his home on the Beastlands. Also, awaiting them at their front door, they found a scraggly looking cutthroat with a thick accent who claimed to be sent by Matty 9 Fingers to replace him in the group, but also that he was sent by a Shaman who wanted him to track down the Black Door. Most were convinced that drugs were likely involved.
Attempts to locate Matty 9 Fingers were in vain as his date claimed that he never showed up, and the staff of the Fortune’s Wheel never seemed to remember seeing him at all.

During their first night in their new home the party made places for themselves on the floor and slept. Their new hire, the Shifter whose name completely escapes me, took watch on the roof of the building only to also pass out from exhaustion coupled with laziness. In his dreams Zoren felt a strange presence and remembered the phrase “Will it join us? If not…destruction.” after awakening. Bothered somewhat by this, Zoren remained somewhat cautious during the morning.
Meanwhile the group made their way to the Clerk’s ward to look for work and to also transfer the deed over to them officially via the Hall of Records.

Passing back through the Lower Ward (their new neighborhood) the party came across a crowd that had gathered before a ruined temple sitting in the center of an open area of the city. A Dwarf seemed to be drawing the crowd by preaching the gospel of a long dead god. Via the grapevine the party was able to determine that the dead God went by the name Aoskar, who was once the God of Portals. But after attempting to take control of the city from The Lady he was slain and all worship and even mention of him was outlawed from the city. The only one who dared to worship Aoskar was the Dabus Fell, who used to belong to the Lady until he changed his affiliation. Now he walks the earth unlike the other Dabus, and many stay well clear of him fearing the Lady’s
Wrath.

As the crowd grew larger and the law-men of the city began to increase in number around the Dwarf, the Tiefling Kylie reappeared and gave Sheldon a card saying they had just been offered a job. She rushed off just as Sheldon put the smooth moves on her. The card was a business card of Balthazar Thames, a so-called Finder of Lost objects. On it was a note asking for the party to meet him at his office and assist him with a case. While Sheldon tried desperately to announce that he had just gotten the party a job he was constantly hushed by Rose who wanted to hear everything the Dwarf was shouting across the square. The Dwarf continued his spiel and announced the return of the Four Doors.

“One door for relics, forgotten and discarded. A second door for powers, set aside and lost. A third door for mysteries, waiting to be freed. A fourth door for reality, to tie them together and reveal the path to tomorrow’s better shores.”
As the guards closed in on the Dwarf he leaped to his supposed doom, only to be revealed that he had vanished in thin air. Likely due to a portal that lay at the bottom of the rift in the earth. The Athar, an organization that believed that the Gods are phonies, angrily ordered
that everyone in the crowd was to be arrested. The party fled quickly, but managed to track down the Dabus Fell, who seemed like quite the nice guy considering how illegal and unwanted he appeared to others. Fell was able to acknowledge that he knew the Dwarf, but wasn’t quite
expecting this to happen the way it did. He wished his friend the best and continued on his way.
Finally Sheldon was able to mention the card that he had been given. This reminded Rose that they would need business cards for the group once they picked a name for their adventuring company. Eventually people were able to grasp to the idea that Sheldon actually did have a
job lined up for them, and they arrived at the address on the card only to find a large, blue, ogre-mage filling up the staircase to the office. He smiled and seemed to mistake one of them for Balthazar Thames. Despite trying to set him right, the Ogre Mage insisted they
take his job at “three times your normal wage”. He introduced himself as Estavan of the Planar Trade Consortium and that one of his business competitors, Jerkot’s Imports, had stolen a valuable ledger from him with the depiction of a grim gargoyle on the cover. He wanted the
ledger returned to him as quickly as possible. Incidentally, he mentioned that it looked like Balthazar’s door had been forced open, and that his lovely assistant was not answering his calls.

Investigating the room, they found it completely torn apart as if a tornado had hit it. Once Sheldon entered the room with the business card, it activated a portal and a quite literal tornado tore through the room again. This time depositing the party somewhere dark.

Really really really… really dark.

XP for all present.
550
Loot:
793 gold
Staff of Unfailing Talent +1 (claimed by Zoren)
Necklace of Keys +1 (Claimed by Rose)
Property: Deed to #12 Forgotten Lane. Lower Ward

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What's Automata'wit'you?

What’s that saying? “If things seem to good then it probably is.”? Zoren was able to pick up that the innkeeper of the Azure Iris was practically giving away the rooms for a song. But at the time it was hardly worth concerning about. That was, until, the shadowy assailants
in the night attacked the party as they slept. Luckily they managed to awaken just as the assassins made their move. Rose, alone in her own room, faced a single foe while the boys, paired in their rooms, faced a foe each as well. Questions concerning who they were, how they got in the rooms, and why they were trying to kill the party would have to wait until the whole stopping them from succeeding plan went into effect. Sheldon and Zoren were able to evade their attackers and draw them outside. Sheldon, however, was not actually Sheldon, but was being manipulated by Sheldon’s devil passenger who was quickly drawing forth dark magic to deal with the intruders. Moo and Matty however were having a little more difficult with their opponents as Matty had spent a good portion of the night getting piss drunk beforehand. In his defense he probably didn’t assume he’d wake up to a fight… never mind. It’s Matty nine fingers. He has no excuse…

Eventually the opponents were dealt with. Their shadowy forms appeared to be magical in nature and their true identities of Shadarkai revealed. However as they were defeated each simply vanished in a wiff of dark smoke. Zoren, trying to give his best guess on the matter,
suggesting that perhaps they were pre-enchanted with a spell that would teleport them somewhere when downed. Meanwhile several of the other guests had emerged into the hallway to complain about the noise (or perhaps just upset that their rooms didn’t come with Evil Shadow
Ninjas too). Sheldon’s devil, not one to squabble with beings of no importance, floated the teenage vessel over to the nearest patron and calmly and horrifically told him “YoU SaW nOtHinG!” which the patron quickly agreed with and shut his door. Another pesky patron wasn’t so
easily bullied and stood up to the devil, most likely because he had a shouting match with a devil over housing contracts earlier during his work day. Sheldon’s devil, not being the polite conversationalist, promptly attacked the patron. It missed (perhaps on purpose) but the effect was of course the same and the patron fled to the safety of his room, Rose managing to close the door before Sheldon could un-miss.

Quickly the inn was invaded by the local guards. An organization known as the Harmonium. Zoren did his very best to convince the guards that they were the victims of the attack, but Matty Nine-Fingers didn’t help matters by being covered in blood and bed feathers, and shouting
insults over Zoren’s head at the watch. Luckily a very attractive half elf named Verden came to Zoren’s rescue and vouched for them, making the “Hardheads” leave grudgingly. Verden spilled the beans that the normally 40g a night rooms had been given to them for a song, and that
she had even been compensated to come to their aid against the Harmonium. However she kept her lips…oh those luscious lips I could just..um.. sorry… kept her lips tight about who this mysterious benefactor was. Rose, however, had a strong hunch that it might be the
supposed owner of the Fortune’s Wheel. Shemeshka the fiend. Matty meanwhile had to find other sleeping arrangements and somehow ended up sleeping curled up next to Moo who had made a nest for himself inside what remained of their room.

A few hours later dawn broke and the party ventured out. Matty managed to secure a date with Verden later in the afternoon (as compensation for the disturbance during the night) and the party quickly set out to leave and find more fitting accommodations. Ahem.. cheaper. On their
way out a Tiefling male by the name of Laris approached them and invited them to sit with his mistress Shemeshka. Rose, not wanting to deal with a fiend, convinced the party to walk away, despite Laris’ promises of a legitimate business proposal and the likelihood that he
would suffer his lady’s wrath if he didn’t succeed in bringing them. Leaving Laris to his fate the party ventured into the nearby Lower Ward, a section of town dominated by the giant foundry that continually pumped out the breath straining smog that was very thick in this area. Finding a bulletin board the party found an odd request for help.

Off Sigil delivery needed.
Inquire at listed address.
Payment in advance.
What?
What do you mean that’s a stupid idea?
We should trust people.
Fine.
Payment upon completion.

Noticing the time Matty ran off for his date. The rest set about finding more about the notice. Tracking down the address the party found the supposed location to be an abandoned clerk’s shop. After knocking a voice from inside permitted entrance. The door was unlocked and inside the group found what seemed to be no one at home. However the voice continued from the back of the room near a desk. A small gray cat jumped onto the table and introduced itself. But not so much
in the typical rub up against you way that a cat does but as in it said “Hi. I’m Jysson.”. The voice however actually belonged to a book (as if the day couldn’t get any stranger). A magical accounting ledger in fact. Together the two told the party of how Jysson was once the
human clerk of this shop but maybe ten years ago he died. He awoke as a cat in the fabled Beastlands with no memory of his past life. When his mistress the Cat Lord instructed him to take a message to Sigil he obeyed. But finding this alleyway of shops he felt compelled to enter
this shop in particular. There he met the book who explained to him who he once was and that he was quite overdue on payment to the creator of the ledger, a Heiron Lifegiver who resides in the gatetown Automata. Anyone who read that without thinking someone is nuts probably needs to see a doctor himself.

The book promised the group the 738 gold (exactly) that Jysson had hidden away AND the contract to the shop should they return the book to Heiron. Jysson, happy enough to be a cat, said he had no more use for the money or the house (which he doesn’t remember ever owning anyway) and agreed to accompany them long enough to deliver the book and apologize in person to Heiron for the lateness.

Using a portal key of two even halves of a piece of paper with an E printed on each side (expertly added by Sheldon and his amazing calligraphy skills) the party passed through a butcher’s shop and appeared on the most perfect and right angled street surely in
existence. Automata, being the gate town to the plane of Mechanus was about as ordered as it could get. Houses were all in the same construction style, the roads evenly paved. Even the people seemed at peace walking in formation and wearing the same clothing as each other. Zoren took a moment to screw with the locals by adding a bit of mild chaos to the mix. One local would later decide he desperately needed a vacation (which, let’s face it, would probably be to some
candle making factory).

The local watch quickly took notice of the conspicuous party and demanded they register at the Office of Visiting Entities. Not interested in getting on the wrong side of the law the party did just that. I will of course omit any major details about the three long and boring hour wait that followed while they got their papers together. Finally the group was able to track down the books creator by seeking his last known address. However, when they arrived they found a candle
shop instead. The owner of the shop kindly informed them that Heiron had sold him the place about five years ago. But if he was still in the area that he might still frequent his favorite tavern, The Divine Machine down the street. At the Divine Machine (A tavern built for
Halflings but catering to a much larger clientele) the owner claimed that he hadn’t seen Heiron in years. He just knew that Heiron had had some dealings with some very shady underworld types. Leaving the tavern, the party was approached by a female tiefling who demanded to know what the party would be doing with the book. When Rose told her the truth, she nodded and claimed to have the information they needed to find Heiron.

Arriving at the Council of Order building, where Heiron was supposedly hiding in a closet, the party made their way in attempting to blend in as much as possible with Sheldon leading the way with a stack of papers. However an inquisitive clerk halted them and demanded to know where Sheldon was headed. Sheldon delayed just long enough for Rose to distract the clerk with something he was sure to find interest in. Giving directions. While the clerk was distracted, Sheldon and Zoren made their way to the supply closet. Entering the two teens gave the
secret knock and whistle to the back wall. Suddenly a crack of light appeared on the wall and eventually it opened wide to reveal a doorway and a hunched over old man peering from within. Seeing the two unfamiliar kids he attempted to shut the door again, but when his book was mentioned he once again peered out cautiously. Seeing the book once again brought a smile to his face and he invited the teens in for tea.

And they were never seen again. The end.

Just kidding.

Inside Heiron got the boys some water (as per request) and thanked them for bringing back his book. Jysson also took the time to apologize for the lateness on returning the book and Heiron could only agree that death was as good an excuse as any. Feeling generous, Heiron noticed Sheldon’s interest in books and handed him one from his collection. Sheldon was very happy. Probably had to cross his legs. Meanwhile outside the clerk was already trying to explain the “very simple” directions to Rose for a third time which she was purposefully getting wrong to keep him busy. However as they conversed a new group of mean looking individuals stormed past towards the direction of the closet. Before they could be stopped the leader swung open the door, cast a spell, and suddenly Heiron, Zoren, Sheldon, Jysson and the book came riding out on a tide of books and personal trinkets from Heiron’s now defunct magical mansion. The leader pointed to Heiron and shouted “Take the old man. Kill the rest.”

Once again the job just seemed too easy.

XP for all present
500
(Please remember that you also got a bonus 250 to bring you to level 2
before the start of the game)
LOOT:
A 3rd edition copy of “396 Uses For a Curved Line.”

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To Hell and Back (Part 2)
"Matty's not annoying us. Something must be wrong."

Hell’s a bit of a downer. It’s all red plains, rocky crags, and fireballs, and rivers of blood. At least at this layer. And rumors say this layer is the “pleasant” one. Armed with the knowledge from Hexla the party trudged out into the realm of suffering, having to keep a good watch over poor Matty who had woken with a fever and a swollen hand that seemed green and squishy in places. He had become practically comatose and susceptible to hallucinations, making him easy to lead around, but unlikely to respond to any kind of stimuli. Many of the party were in agreement that this was indeed the perfect Matty ‘9 Fingers.’

Following the directions that had been given them, the group found themselves at the base of the Pillar of Skulls. A tall column of hundreds of heads (some in varying states of rot and decay) argued back in forth and insulted one another, completely paying the group no mind. It took Rose beaning one of the skulls in the head with a rock to get the thing’s attention. But as soon as the Pillar learned they were seeking information, the entire entity began to shout out requests for services that would be used as payment for the information they sought. There was a request to sacrifice a party member, one to knock out the prominent head, one to bring back and fiend, and one for the name of the spell key for this layer of Baator. While the thought of sacrifing Matty was tempting, Moo attempted to intimidate information out of the Ogre head instead.

After the intimidation had ended, the was little left of the Ogre head except bits of skull and brain matter. Luckily this was exactly what one of the other head’s had requested to begin with and it provided the group with what it thought was the closest portal. “You leatherhead!” said another. “That portal’s five days from here.” Another argument irrupted, and the party was forced to decide which head’s information to follow. Since the majority of the Pillar had suggested a portal they claimed was within a day’s travel away and only required the brick from the Great Avernus Road to activate, the group felt that was likely a better option than a five day trek that required a fiend’s spine. But when they came across a disgusting, rushing, congealing river of blood there was a quick open vote to start heading on that five day hike. Did we mention hell sucks?

Deciding that a river of blood may be the worst of their worries in this place, Rose started tying the group together and wading into the shallowest section of the flowing river she could find. The iron-rich muck came up to their waists (but perhaps only up to Moo’s loincloth), and they began to forge their way across (most likely thanking their Gods that they weren’t born Halflings.) Just as their journey across began, suddenly a school of worm like parasites began to leap from the red gook and attach themselves to folks like leeches. It seemed getting to the opposite shore took precedence over destroying the creatures and the party quickened their pace, only having to stop whenever a rope between them got too tight. Zoren once attempted to move further than his rope (and the Minotaur attached to the other end) would allow, and nearly broke a rib for his troubles. Finally, crawling to shore, the party finished off the remaining blood leeches and took a breath. Matty, appearing at first to have not been harmed at all by the whole deal, seemed to have the worst of it when an engorged leech was discovered attached to his rear. On the plus side he probably won’t remember that. Unless Moo reminds him just to be a jerk.

Not far from where the group had gotten to shore there was an abandoned ruin of Teifling architecture. Moo, having had just as much of hell as he could stand, pushed the party onward without giving the ruin another thought. Rose longingly stared at the ruin as it faded in the distance, swearing that she could see the possible treasure within waving them goodbye. Ahead of them stretched the black Avernus Road that had been mentioned by the Pillar of Skulls. At one end stood Bel’s disturbing and vast fortress. What had seemed a barren field not long ago, was now teaming with entire armies of devil’s. Getting to the road at this point would likely end in death. Though eternal torture was also a good possibility according to Sheldon’s passenger.

The group moved south down the road hoping to either find an opening in the march big enough to sneak a stone from the road, or wait for the parade to move on. After what seemed like hours, a large, red figure flew out from the castle and ordered the army to move out. Once the road cleared the party made a break for it. As luck would have it a brick from the road was partially sticking out enough that Moo was able to grab hold and yank it (and a few other stones) free. A shriek behind them made them realize that what they once thought was a dark cloud, was actually an endless number of flying devils that were trying to catch up with the rest of the army. Noticing the intruders on their land they swooped in for the attack. The group ran. You could say they ran like little girls but if you were chased by thousands of flying fiends you probably wouldn’t handle yourself any better.

The chase was intense, and the moment someone found themselves lagging behind they felt a slash at their back, or, in poor Sheldon’s case, swooped up and bounced around like a basketball at a Globetrotters game. With most of them completely out of breath, and driven by pure adrenaline alone, the group ascended the stone steps to the claw-like outcropping that held the portal out of this miserable place. Perhaps it was due to their continuing luck (bad luck is still technically luck), but standing in front of their only known way out, was another fiend. This fiend, in human form, introduced himself as Arkel-Mens. He hoped the party had a pleasant stay in Avernus and asked that in return for them leaving the plane they would do him the favor of taking a pearl-like crystal orb with them to their destination.

Moo was skeptical and considered just pushing his way past this Fu-Man-Chu reject. Sheldon’s dark passenger seemed okay with the favor. And Rose agreed to the task, taking a moment to leave behind a note that she had hopped would be found by Bel, accusing Arkel-Mens of treachery. As the party stepped through the Arch, the terrain immediately changed to the bustling city of Sigil. A city that appeared to be built inside the center of a ring, and that stretched up and over their heads. Creatures of all sorts wandered this market area of the city, including a few fiends that seemed to fit in just fine. At first the party worried that people were considering them strange and out of place, but in the end it was simply because they were walking the streets coated in drying blood. Both the brick and the orb they had been given had disintegrated. Sheldon’s passenger chuckled to himself about Arkel-Mens’ continuing idiocy.

Using Rose and Sheldon’s knowledge of how city’s work, the group managed to track down a pink-haired Tout named Kylie who, (for money of course) showed them around and answered questions. When asked about where they could sleep and get cleaned up she lead the way. First to a fancy looking spa where the party and their gear got first-class treatment and walked out very spiffy (Moo declined the bows in his hair), including Matty who had undergone a special spa treatment and had been cured of the green slime poisoning that had infected him. Course, much to everyone’s dismay, this got him talking again. And he had quite a bit of talking to do to catch up. Unfortunately the portal from Avernus seemed only one way.

Next Kylie lead them to a tavern/inn called the Fortune’s Wheel. Reassuring them that despite the price they would find good lodging, safety, and most likely good work if they ask the right people. She offered the name Shemeshka (the owner of the inn) as a possible person to speak to regarding work, but warned them that they would have to catch the ‘fiend’ in the right mood. For now. The party sleeps. Tomorrow… work. With the exception of Matty who’s probably picking a bar fight. It’s good to see he’s feeling better.

XP for all present:
350.
LOOT:
A brick from the Great Avernus Road. (Probably worth a lot more in memories than it is gold.) A damn good breakfast at the Fortune’s Wheel. (Hotcakes and boar bacon. No butter for Moo.)

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To Hell and Back (Part 1)
Oops.

A group of misfits team up and become the most unlikely adventurers their world has yet to see. A Minotaur shunning his own people for worshiping the Demon Lord Baphomet. A misplaced Drow acrobat. A troubled youth who found himself outcast from even the circus. An unassuming teenage Tiefling with a dark secret. And a loud-mouthed drunk who likes to punch people then laugh about it later while he gets them a drink just so he can punch them again later.

After intimidating a mob who wanted to run the party out of the town of Tipsy (it was funny to the drunken founders at the time) the party agreed to help a farmer named Ranph find his missing younger brother Cari who disappeared while exploring an abandoned wizard’s home, built
beneath a mound, not far from the town.

Reaching the wizard’s mound the party discovered the place to be long since empty and looted. Only the recent intrusion by Cari and his friends had disturbed the dust. Inside the party discovered the half chewed remains of a teenage girl, as well as the melting humanoids
that were the likely cause of her unfortunate condition. Later Matty “9 Fingers” nearly lost another digit to a very malicious bowl of porridge.

Also Zoren and Sheldon got stuck in a hole. And no they do not get experience for “defeating” the hole.

Exploring further the party found a secret door that had been likely found by Cari and his pals a few days early. Finding an unrevealed area of the house Matty managed to be the first to realize that a magic circle etched onto the floor was actually a lot bigger than anyone realized, and found himself sent straight to hell. The others, being the good friends they are (or perhaps just stupid?), blindly followed.

Hell turned out to be a quite miserable place, though Sheldon’s “passenger” found it somewhat delightful and cheery. Just a red wasteland of brimstone, smoke, and fireballs. The party quickly realized they weren’t alone and captured a Devil (not a Demon) named Halutzu and “persuaded” him to cooperate with their questioning. They were able to discover that the quickest way off of Avernus (wait… thought this was Hell?) was likely something that the mad witch might know. Oh. And they are pretty sure that Halutzu ate Cari.

The mad witch turned out to be an ancient human woman with a hatred for all things Devil and a magical mace that kept the creatures at bay. Unfortunately she was unable to give the group the information they needed but directed them to the Pillar of Skulls which would answer any question correctly should payment be provided. The old hag also refused to sleep with Matty, stating that there just wasn’t enough alcohol in all of Avernus (And let’s face it. Devil alcohol has to be some hardcore stuff).

XP:
400
Also including RP XP. Good job, folks.

LOOT:
5gp (payment from Ranph)
Healing Potion (found in secret brick)
2 vials of Holy Water (found in other secret brick)
Lice (Hitched a ride with Matty)

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