Sebkha Solonchak (sebkha) wrote,
Sebkha Solonchak

Ptolus sessions 19-20: 2008-03-29 and 2008-04-12

Melbourne's siren call has been wreaking havoc with the Ptolus game. Session 19 was delayed a fortnight due to brisdrake's need to wind up his previous job, and then we lost him entirely after session 20 as he took a new job down south. We did managed to park Cale in a way that made sense, was highly entertaining, and leaves the door open for cameo appearances should brisdrake find the opportunity to drop in again.

It didn't stop there: iceleron spent a few weeks in Melbourne next, so we had a six week hiatus after session 20. Of course, having this much time to log the session just means that I've put off doing so until the night before the next session…


The previous session had left off with the team driving the ratmen out of Pythoness House with the help of the City rat hunters.

  • The team headed down into the unnaturally icy cavern. Marcus hacked through the ice and checked out the next cavern, the treasury. The rest of the party hears a weird tinkling noise, but were unable to open the six iron chests in the treasury. Expert opinion (the Andovars) determined that they were probably subject to arcane lock spells. As usual when thwarted, the team retreated to do some research and hunt for appropriate magical countermeasures.
  • Sebastian's research involved looking up a reference to Vaiod the Slayer, who turned out to be a creator of chaositech devices. He also tracked down Miquel Hobb, the 4 year old son of Maquent, the Pythoness House madam. It turned out the young child would be the legal heir of the Pythoness House estate, except that he'd been placed into the care of the Church at Sister Mittermire's orphanage as Matthias Dawn, so that his assets also fell under the care of the Church. Castalla showed up at the orphanage as Sebastian was uncovering the records and suggested that it would be advantageous to just let the secret lie, but Sebastian instead decided to formalize the Church's regency of the property, allowing it to revert to young Matthias when he came of age albeit with a bill for capital investments made into the estate.
  • Logan returned to the Bladechapel to consult with Dierna, and discovered that the Sword of St Gustav was capable of generating a dispel magic effect, likely sufficient to break arcane lock effects.
  • Marcus checked in with Sister Joan, and found that a pair of Conciliator staff from Tarsis had arrived. Every year or so a wagonloads of transcribed books were customarily transported between the major Conciliator Chapterhouses for security, and this was the latest shipment. The newcomers weren't keen on returning to Tarsis during the current unrest, and expected to be staying in Ptolus for some time.
  • Cale had a crossbow bolt fired at him in the street, subtle encouragement from his family to locate the pocketwatch for them. He made the decision to go to Nick Falk for help, asking around and determining that Nick was easy to find at a certain street crossing at midnight.
  • Marcus assigned Mali the job of finding out how one joins the Inverted pyramid. She had no idea where to start and was too miserably housebound to leave her room and ask.
  • That evening, the team slept at Pythoness House, hoping to prevent any chaos cults from trying to gain entry in the night.
  • During his watch, Cale sneaked off and met with Nick, who was more than willing to negotiate a pact to deliver the watch in return for an (as yet unspecified) task to be completed by Cale. In most cases it would be nine years before the task needed to be completed, but Cale preferred a revised contract of nine weeks instead. On the way back, Cale ran into a pack of wolves on the street and their master, Dieter the ever-dramatic vampire spawn. Dieter rather redundantly dominated Cale into bringing him the watch.

Earthday, 27th of Wind 721 IA

  • Logan and Mali picked up her newly crafted twilight mithril chain first thing in the morning. Peri also sent some lemon tarts for her daughter.
  • Everyone returned to Pythoness House and dispelled all but one of the arcane locks to retrieve most of the weapons of chaos, an assortment of chaos-aligned magical items.
  • Unlocking the vault door unfortunately released the greatest of the weapons, a chaosomaton shaped like a six-headed hydra. It had an absurd number of attacks and self-repaired faster than the team had any hope of damaging it, even up to and including a fireball from Mali. As slowest, most heavily-armored team member, Brother Logan took the rearguard position as the group retreated through the icy water. I relented a little bit and let him crawl around the bottom rather than requiring swim skill checks. They hauled him up from the sub-basement with a rope, leaving the chaosomaton trapped below the too-small exit shaft.
(Break between sessions 19 and 20)
Near relative of the chaosomaton
  • The team withdrew to the library to research chaosomata. They determined that the only axiomatic (law-aligned) weapons would do lasting damage. They returned to the basement to discover that the chaosmaton was slowly chewing its way through the stone towards the surface. Mali put a stop to that by vandalizing just the digger heads with her fiery bursts, leaving the mechanism only able to slam itself into the walls of the chamber below.
  • That night an imp sent by Nick delivered the pocketwatch to Cale, as well as a perfect replica of it. The condition on the pact was that Cale needed keep the pocketwatch and prevent any mortal from discovering it. The replica was provided to pass on to the Balacazars, and was promptly possessed by the messenger imp.
  • Cale scaled the city wall (actually he fell from it, but Marcus's persistent mass lesser vigor was still in operation from earlier in the day) and headed to the Balacazar manor to hastily hand over the replica watch. Back in town, Cale sent a message to the family that Medve and Dieter had controlled his mind to get the watch, hoping maybe to sow some discord. Upon returning to base Cale explained his agitation to Brother Marcus as being caused by his fear of the vampire, but Marcus figured out it was something to do with the watch.

Fireday, 28th of Wind 721 IA

  • The next morning, Brother Marcus prayed for permanent axiomatic rain and used it to melt the chaosomaton.
  • It was pretty typical for the team to destroy an apocalypse weapon from relative safety using a carefully researched cheap shot.
  • Cale met up with his cousin Malkeen. His family was well satisfied and would no longer target his friends. They weren't even really going to hold a grudge; after all, real talent at the family business requires a certain level of treachery. However they did require he return to the fold and manage part of the criminal empire.
  • This was a fairly tidy way to write Cale out of the story while still leaving things open for him to show up again later on.
  • Sebastian randomly met Iltumar at the Bull and Boar. Seb spotted a new ring the young man wore, bearing the sign of a shattered square, and rapidly determined that Iltumar had been drawn into a chaos cult. The idea of freedom and change were hugely attractive to him, and Iltumar was happy to offer to recommend Sebastion as a stand-up guy at an upcoming meeting of the The Brotherhood of Ptolus.
  • Sebastian also got his hands on another Dreaming Apothecary token and cast sleep on himself. His consultant was Nissa, his mother Peri's apprentice. She referred him to a good architect for advice about renovating Pythoness House, promised to schedule breakfast with Peri in the near future, and agreed to research a custom item, a Wig of the Magistrate.


The big XP payoff for everyone was the defeat of the chaosomaton and finally clearing the last undelved section of Pythoness House. The recovered weapons of chaos constitute quite significant treasure, albeit awkward to actually use given the lawful nature of most of the team. The building itself is also a huge potential asset, since the team lost use of the old Chapterhouse. I gave broc_dresdroth the floor plans of the building and a game mechanical breakdown according to the Stronghold Builder's Guidebook. He seems inclined to renovate the keep and adopt it as the Conciliators' new base of operations.

EL Encounter — Experience Point Awards —
Cale Logan Mali Marcus Sebastian
Total XP after session 18 12659 13790 17483 15553 14833
2 Treasury cavern
  • flooded, icy passage (CR 2)
100 100 90 90 100
Total XP after session 19 12759 13890 17573 15643 14933
8 Chaosomaton cavern
  • 6-headed hydra chaosomaton (CR 8)
900 900 720 720 900
Total XP after session 20
  • Sebastian to level 6
13659 14790 18293 16363 15833

Next game will be tomorrow, May 24th. We're planning on taking advantage of the out-of-game break to shake things up in-game in several ways. For one thing, quillblade was dissatisfied with Mali's character arc. Essentially, she found playing the painfully shy, overlooked, and psychologically tormented girl very stressful, but at the time liked the character's basic niceness too much to change it, meaning that the future seemed inevitably to be just more of the same. She makes a better NPC than a PC was the succinct summary. We discussed it and eventually decided swapping out the character was the best approach.

The team might've suffered in effectiveness without a replacement for Mali's arcane artillery, but ristin turned out to be quite willing to swap out Brother Logan for a fire-obsessed elementalist, so effectively they'll be trading roles. It's probably noteworthy that they're the two players who took the dares to play atypical character types at the beginning of the campaign. I consider them to have both discharged their respective commissions with great distinction! :)

Additionally, jagafeh's Slaughtergarde game is long since completed so he's now free to join us, making up for the loss of brisdrake. Tomorrow should be full of surprises; more than half the characters will be new.

Tags: gaming, ptolus, recap
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