Monday, February 20, 2023

Crystals of Chaos [session report #4]


Ok, let's do this!  Session 4 happened just this past Saturday.  

Two players couldn't make it, but we still had Jackal the dwarf warrior, Heighten Chancery Philthrop III the halfling thief, and Crandal the half-orc warrior from previous sessions, with a new addition to the table - a human priest named Gath (who's starting at 3rd level, everyone else was 4th).

After killing the guards last session, the PCs burst through the door to find the High Priest torturing her gorgeousity Lady Ska'ai.

Immediately, the High Priest zapped Robard the Red and Zagreus into another dimension (since their players weren't in attendance - don't worry, they'll reappear next session).  Robard's black demon sword being thrown into the lock of a prison cell, about 15' behind the High Priest.

That cell (one of four) allowed Gath (the new PC) to free himself and secure his liberty by helping the adventurers vanquish the violet priesthood.

It was a lengthy and bloody battle.  The halfling thief attempted to free the other prisoners (the remaining three cells), but he failed a stealth check - allowing the High Priest to make an attack of opportunity upon him.  My first three rolls of the game were all top numbers.  I rolled a natural 20 on the attack and then box-cars on the 2d6 damage.  The attack was so spectacular that I asked the halfling's player to make a saving throw to determine if he was still conscious.  [Is this a new rule born at the table?  Perhaps...]  Luckily, the save was decent enough to keep the halfling from passing out.

By the time the High Priest was out of hit-points. A tentacled demon abomination from the outer void clawed its way out of his corpse.  Tentacles were lopped off; a lavender beam of divine light scorched its flesh; the halfling, covered in slime and blood narrowly shimmied away; and several PCs took an unhealthy amount of damage.  Another prisoner was freed and given the halfling's spiked corkscrew helmet and ordered to charge the thing.

It was a gory, eldritch mess by the time other guards and priests arrived, using a laser to burn through the door.  As a 10" hole was incinerated and a hand reached in to unlock the door, Heighten Chancery Philthrop III stabbed with his emerald dagger, pinning the poor fool to the door and was also trampled by the guards rushing in.  They were dispatched, too.

Oh yeah, so I wouldn't forget, I had each PC roll to determine if they were charmed by Lady Ska'ai, remained charmed by Varantha, both, or neither.  A variety of results were produced, which caused much cognitive dissonance in the party, especially in the halfling's mind.  To ease his addled brain, Heighten Chancery Philthrop III had sex with one of the prisoners, a tall woman named Glenda.  Meanwhile, the rest of the PCs were healed by Gath.

Lady Ska'ai claimed the empty black jewelry box which the High Priest had held before her eyes while screaming "Where is your magical ring?"  Ska'ai told the PCs that she needed to go to a certain room in the underground temple to find her ring... her ka'alaxian crystal, reality-warping ring.  The PCs escorted her around the temple.

They killed guards, heard zita'ar music, almost interrupted an orgy, slapped a brain against the wall mid-transplant, came upon a basin filled with blue-green syrup (which the halfling drank) found the ring, found some violet-hued pills belonging to a priest - and some weird purple-glass hookah) discovered a secret door that led further underground, checked that out, slapped a new transplanted brain out of the surgeon's hands (Cha'alt also has a 5-second rule), and left to go find Sa'ab who was still waiting by his sand-speeder.

Before I get to that, let me tell you a bit about the subterranean area beneath the temple.  There was some sort of cult leader speaking to a dozen night-clown apostles.  The cult leader was talking about bananas and achieving gnosis and weird crystals.  Since the PCs already hate clowns, they decided to assault them all, starting with laser blasts to the cult leader (who had three burning spheres slowly circling above his crosslegged form).

He went down easily, and then the clowns attacked.  It would have been life or death if my dice hadn't decided to reverse the extreme luck I'd had at the session's start.  Out of five d20 rolls, I rolled four near-consecutive 5s.  However, one clown threw his red rubber nose that exploded like a grenade and another summoned a balloon-wolf to attack, at one point scoring a critical with poorly rolled damage - I assumed because its teeth were made out of balloon material which had a difficult time piercing flesh.

Doing a Darth Vader type foot-feel for the robed cult leader, they didn't find a body.  The halfling felt a presence as he was recovering from his wounds - another stone that easily came lose, revealing an emerald urn filled with green crystal ashes.  As per usual, the halfling snorted them and had bizarre visions involving green gateways to inner voids of another universe.

Before the session ended, the PCs decided to head back to A'agrybah.  They found another marker in the desert (along with some hippy elves that were high on something) and asked Gath if he could translate.  Turns out, he could!  Sa'ab drove them to two other markers he remembered seeing in his many travels crisscrossing S'kbah.  However, the last marker Gath needed to read was next to a sandworm.  

There was a whole scheme to lure the sandworm away, which only made it rampage towards fleeing humanoids not in the sand-speeder.  Before leaving, due to the PCs' excessive laser fire, the sandworm ate one of the hippy elves from an earlier marker and Sardie, the former elf prisoner rescued from the violet priests (which means the tall woman Glenda and a half-demon male named Zarj remained).

Upon reading that third marker, Gath directed Sa'ab to an rocky outcropping that didn't look like anything special.  At that point, we were nearing the session's end and the PCs considered going back home to A'agrybah.  Strangely, another of the elf hippies was there.  By this time, Jackal had had enough of hippy elves and decided to attack.  It would have been a killing blow, but the elf fell into some space that made him vanish, not altogether, but as if there were a certain line and whatever extended past that threshold disappeared into another world.

At that point, I decided to end things, since it was also just a couple minutes before our 4:00 stopping time.

Yeah, another great session.  I was happy to get this 4th one under my belt as that makes it the longest campaign I've run since 2019.  Seems weird to say that since most gamers seem to be engaging in lengthy campaigns nowadays, but as you know, I became the one-shot King since the pandemic and my goal for 2023 was to run a long-term campaign set in Cha'alt.  

Got to use the dice display pedestal thing, and I think that worked pretty well.  There were a couple times when I got lazy or forgetful and just let the dice remain where they were without putting them back in their new rightful spot.  But most of the time, I set them back where they now belong and then I knew exactly where the dice were when I needed them.  So, I call that a success.

I am strongly considering painting it, though.  I like the seafoam / cyan color it currently is, but how cool would it be to paint it fuchsia and chartreuse... for Cha'alt

Also, got a chance to use the giant red d20 that Robard's player gave me to keep track of Crimson Escalation during combat.  That also worked well.

While there was some fun banter and hilarious chitchat, I don't have any red-hot quotes from the session.  What else... oh yeah, that cult leader had a gold bracer with writing that needed to be deciphered.  Still working on that.  The PCs have amassed a decent amount of gold, talons, and jellybeans from their adventuring, too.  

Next time, PCs will get to see what's going on with that gargantuan banana just outside the golden gates of A'agrybah... plus, a half-dozen other surprises that have been subtly hinted at since we began playing.

Thanks for reading.  If you have a question or suggestion, feel free to comment below!


p.s. Need hardcover Cha'alt books?  Want to attend a kickass old-school RPG convention in Madison, WI this July?  That's VENGER CON.  


  1. Im loving these game reports. Keep them coming and I hope you are having fun!

    1. Thanks, hoss! I am, and it's also helping me write my GMing book. Win-win!!!