Monday, April 15, 2024

Mysterious Qada'ath [CHA'ALT campaign, session 11]


Every once in awhile, there's a session that shakes things up.  The sleeper must awaken, and all that.

The adventurers experience a setback that almost sort of actually resulted in a TPK, not to be confused with TPJ or total party jellybeans.  

Sit back, hoss, and let the events of last Saturday's game wash over you like slutty, zoth witch-juice!

The 4 core (as they shall henceforth be known) showed up to play, so allow me to recap the PCs involved: Drogon the human sorcerer, Nix the demon/clown thief, Juan Tufrifo the crystalline warrior, and Gorra the grog (sand construct) priest.

We left off with the party confronting a clown obscenity wielding an oversized multi-bladed spear, all the edged weapons fused to the end of this long, thick iron bar was incredibly heavy.  Difficult to swing, but potentially deadly if a blow lands.

The first round, Drogon cast mirror image to create several illusionary aspects of himself, which worked out because Drogon was targeted 3 times during the battle and only 1 landed on the authentic sorcerer.

Juan put the neon banana sign around his neck and wade into battle, missing the clown-thing, but striking his heavy weapon, cutting it in two.  Next round, the clown obscenity grabbed Juan as his clown head and mouth enlarged (kind of like that scene in Psycho Goreman), showing jellybean teeth.  I rolled a crit, Juan failed his save, and he turned into a giant bacon-flavored jellybean.

It took another round or two for Juan's companions to finish off the clown.  Gorra eventually peppered it with over a hundred rounds like that massive gattling-gun in Predator.  The obscenity's body, or what was left of it, leaking teal, tangerine, emerald-green, pink, and darkest periwinkle slime from his many, many wounds. 

They looted his lurid corpse taking a few unused balloons, jellybeans (clown currency), and an endless rainbow handkerchief tied around a rubber chicken's neck.

After a 20 minute ritual performed by Gorra [I rolled, but no random encounters], Juan [wait... why aren't we calling him Jua'an?] was restored to his natural state... but with a small bite taken out of his right calf.  Yeah, that crispy bacon crumble did smell good.

Juan decided to hang the neon banana sign in this cave to mark the occasion and the fact that he was there and survived.

Further on (the PCs were exploring a chartreuse-illuminated system of caves found underneath the tower of black glass at the center of Qada'ath), Nix scouted ahead to see a cave containing a sparkling-fuchsia tentacled butterfly with a 1-foot wingspan.  It lighted on Nix's outstretched hand and he brought it back to the others.  The butterfly flitted around, landing on all 4 members of the party, but careful not to get too close to the sorcerer's spider familiar Ta'anzo.

Juan Tufrifo and Drogon knew of this butterfly and what it represented in various prophecies - it symbolized everlasting life that would lead the righteous towards resurrection.  Those who do not fear death so much that they shrink from life, shall live again.

Going back to search the rest of that cave, Nix found an 8-inch tall pyramid of rocks at the far corner.  Digging through it, he found a handful of blue-stained popsicle sticks.  A player asked if they had any writing on the sticks, so we came up with a couple little sayings like "Stick it to the man" and "Anything's possible in Cha'alt."  Pocketing them, the PCs moved on, now realizing that their fuchsia butterfly was gone.

The next cave explored contained a human named Inrro who asked if they wanted to play a game where he hid a small, colorful rock under 4 tortoise shells and Juan had to guess which one it was under.  Not wanting any funny business, the crystalline warrior insisted that Inrro use a different rock and then checked his hands after the shells had been moved.  Everything seemed on the up and up, but Juan lost a couple of his popsicle sticks.  

Apparently, Inrro was trying to raise enough money to book passage off-world.  He was trying to get to Alpha Blue in order to perform some kind of mission for the slutty zoth-witches who lived elsewhere in this cave system.  Seeing a golden opportunity, the PCs asked Inrro if he'd be interested in earning a lot more money and a spot with them aboard a starship to Alpha Blue if the NPC agreed to be their meat-shield.  Not exactly sure what a meat-shield was, Inrro enthusiastically accepted.  

Moving to a larger cavern, the adventurers noticed an organic light pattern coming from behind the rock walls.  They had never witnessed this phenomenon themselves but had heard about it - chartreuse shadows.  Deciding not to get too close, they eventually waded into a sea of fresh bodies - nearly a dozen corpses either burned alive or hacked apart.

Inrro and Gorra went straight through the corpses, the others went around.  The sand construct tried to loot any of the bodies, but alas they'd already been picked clean of valuables.  

In another cave, they found a swirling portal of energy guarded by a human.  Through the portal was some kind of "forgotten realm" of typical pseudo-medieval fare.  Gorra stuck his head through, witnessed the blue sky, grassy plains where horses grazed, and a village up the path ahead, then told the PCs what a horrible place it was, sky like azure flame.

They pumped the guard for information, finding out that a black armored warrior named Meatzgron and merlin-styled wizard named Kazahn routinely explored various worlds in order to loot them.  And it was they, indeed, who killed all those dudes in that cavern. 

They next came to a bridge going over a zoth stream that flowed underground.  Nix noticed something in the zoth and pulled it out as he was filling up the clown's balloons with the chartreuse ichor of the Old Ones.  It was a sign that read "Lol, sucka'az!"  Believing this to be foreshadowing of some kind of trap, they investigated the area, but found nothing.

Then, the PCs found the slutty zoth-witches who engaged in ritual sex-magic with them as Nix drizzled his newly acquired zoth over their slutty witch bodies.  The witches knew why they'd come (haha), they sought a way to Quorta'ath... realm of gelatinous horrors and unbidden flesh.  In exchange, the zoth-witches asked them to track down a Federation ambassador named Tarrant Greez who, the last time he visited Cha'alt, purchased a device that imprisoned one of the zoth-witches in a glass sphere.  The witches wanted the ambassador assassinated and the glass orb (or zoth-witch, I suppose) brought back to them.  Tarrant Greez's last known whereabouts was Alpha Blue.

After the sex-magic, they smelled something at the back of the cave - it was BBQ pulled-pork with a buffet table set-up... sweet, spicy, and tangy with gold body glitter.  Inrro advised the PCs to eat up, as he tasted it last time he was here, and definitely try the queso and tortilla chips.

Taking their leave of the slutty zoth-witches, the party encountered a pair of midnight-elves who'd found a nook high up in a cave.  They tried to shoot the PCs with crossbow bolts, but they missed.  Gorra pretended he was a crossbow inspector and somehow convinced them to let him come up and check the place out.  After getting a little information, he left and the adventurers went into a cave just as Meatzgron and Kazahn (along with 5 or 6 additional guards) were coming into it from the other way.  

A lot of cocky banter occurred from both sides.  At one point, the PCs tried the old "you know who you should really go after?  This super powerful guy who's much more of a challenge and has tons of magic items, etc." ploy.  Which, I have to give them credit for.  It worked well for them last Cha'alt campaign.  However, these guys were smarter and seasoned adventurers themselves.  

Upon realizing they couldn't simply trick them, Drogon shot a fireball at them.  The wizard Kazahn had an amulet that sucked-up the fireball.  Then it was Kazahn's turn, and he used a liquid fire wand to shoot a fireball of his own that did 20 points of damage to everyone who failed their save, and 10 for those who passed.  

I gave Inrro, the meat-shield, a chance to do something unexpectedly heroic, and sure enough, he stepped out from behind a stalagmite to engage the black knight who was charging the PCs with the biggest sword they've ever seen.  The sword was also black with glyphs up and down the blade and an alien-looking yellow eye peering out of the sword's crosspiece (where the hilt meets the blade).  This was a magic fucking sword of badassedness!

Swa'ash!  Inrro was carved in twain... with his last moments, he speculated how awesome it would have been to see Alpha Blue with his very own penis.  Then, he died.

Realizing they were out-matched, the PCs wisely decided to disengage.  They moved back, but not before Nix placed the photon detonator on the ground.  Now, this was something the PCs have had for awhile.  It's big and nasty.  A couple sessions ago, the PCs had planned to destroy the Crimson Rock of Sacrifice with it.  I recall telling them that a photon detonator would make a thermal detonator look like a Sunday picnic.

Just before Nix shot at the thing from something like 50-feet away and behind some cover, Kazahn cast a spell that would have covered the photon detonator with a shield spell in order to mitigate the blast.  I wasn't exactly sure how much protection that would have provided (I was planning to roll randomly for it), but then Drogon wanted to cast dispel magic on Kazahn's shield spell.  

"Ok, roll a d20" I said, doing the same for the NPC wizard.  Drogon's player rolled a lowly 5, and was about to spend a point of Divine Favor to re-roll when I told him not to bother.  I had rolled a 1 for Kazahn.  His shield spell was dispelled.

Not exactly sure how to tell them, I simply described a blinding flash of light and surge of heat and energy as the PCs eventually woke up in the desert, under an early morning fuchsia sky.  They had managed to work themselves out of enormous egg-sacs grown from a blooming cactus.  

Eventually, Drogon and Juan figured out that the fuchsia butterfly had pollinated their DNA with the cactus, allowing them to be grown anew... yet naked and without any of their possessions.  Yes, apparently, they had all died in that explosion... cue Keanu Reeves saying "Whoa."

Looking around, the PCs realized they were close to The Outer Settlements and started walking.  Eventually, a woman gasped while averting her eyes, then running inside to get them some blankets to cover their nakedness.  They thanked her and continued on to the Quick Stop convenience store downtown.  Talking to Dante, they got some new clothes, raided the lost in found, and decided to take over the rest of Dante's shift so he could go get laid.

The PCs also got more information on what had transpired since they were reborn.  Basically, they'd been dead for about 2 weeks.  In that time, Isa'ak took over Qada'ath and the Outer Settlements, for which he uses warlords to keep various areas of his growing Kingdom in line.  The Great Old One, Uma'at-Allah, is still floating over the city, but the Old Ones are unable to harm Isa'ak.  Also, the Federation cleared out once they realized that their lasers had no affect on the avatar of the New Gods.  One last thing, the tower of black glass toppled after some kind of explosion or cave-in below the city occurred.  

I asked each player to tell me 1 thing they found in the lost in found box, aside from 3 things that I submitted.  Drogon's player chose a bucket-hat with sombrero rim (I decided on the sombrero rim, haha), Nix's player chose a Tyrion purple feather boa (how could I say no to a call-back from earlier in the campaign), Juan decided upon a pocket-knife (I suppose the warrior in him still felt naked without some kind of weapon), and Gorra's player picked a "Doctor Who" magic or perhaps psionic... telepathic paper that would look like what the viewer assumed before glancing at it.  Being the most powerful item, I limited its power to once per day.

The other items in there were a 7 1/2 inch obsidian dildo, whoopee cushion, and a talon with weird blue stain on it.

So, Dante took off, leaving the PCs to mind the store.  Minutes later, a three-breasted prostitute came in looking for some pumpkin-spice beef jerky.  Juan, model employee that he is, went to look in the back.  He didn't find what he was looking for, but noticed a shotgun hanging on the wall with a note that read, "Use in case of emergency."

Right around then, another customer entered the Quick Stop.  This was one of Isa'ak's warlords watching over the Outer Settlements for him, Mayza'ad.  The guy was a total dick, asking for cigarettes and then sweeping them into a plastic bag which he helped himself to.  Mayza'ad was about to walk out without paying, but then Juan blasted him in the back with the shotgun.  Sputtering blood and barely able to talk as he lay dying, the PCs realized they could use more information.

The party's priest laid on hands after Mayza'ad was tied up in the back.  After a quick interrogation, the PCs got an address where he has supplies.  They went there, was let in by a half-naked woman who proceeded to sit on the couch while doing bong rips, and looted the place of weapons and petty cash.

The PCs remembered that hidden Federation base not too far away, so they hired transport to take them into the desert.  They looked around, killed a two-stinger giant scorpion, and found a few items of import... a thermal detonator, a plasma bazookoid, and a binder containing Federation records but in code which they couldn't decipher.  Taking everything with them, they took the transport to A'agrybah where they'd have an easier time getting a ship to Alpha Blue.

They figured that helping the slutty zoth-witches (even if they aren't still alive) by rescuing the one captured inside the glass sphere was their best chance at juicing-up before heading to Quorta'ath and eventually defeating Isa'ak.  Plus, who doesn't want to have some fun at the space station of lust?

The PCs arrive at A'agrybah at dawn.  However, before reaching their destination, Drogon had a dream-vision of an eldritch eye watching him as a creepy voice spoke directly to his mind, saying that his master is dead, and he seeks a new one, someone worthy of his power.

As soon as they walked through the golden gates and into the city, they saw a wanted poster for the adventurers.  500 talons reward for each of the Crimson Bastards!  The PCs did their best to disguise themselves while also drawing moustaches on those pictured in the poster.

Hightailing it to the space port, they got to a terminal, found a ship going to Alpha Blue [several plans had been discussed, each had their merit], and Gorra used his "magic paper" to convince a flight attendant working the counter that they're all part of an apprentice team here to get valuable on-hand training as soon-to-be pilots.  After a quick roll, that apparently worked.

The PCs board the ship, find a suite for the journey.  It's a nice room with a king sized bed, minibar, living area, and bathroom.  Just as they're checking out the new digs, a flush is heard from the bathroom.  Uh oh, company.  Turns out, it's an attractive blonde.  The adventurers convince her this is part of her VIP package, a little pre-Alpha Blue entertainment.  They whip out the obsidian dildo, and away they go.

That's where we ended the session.  After the game, I told the players that I had a weird feeling they were going to bite off more than they could chew.  The fuchsia tentacled-butterfly thing was something I had in mind as far back as last August, just never got around to introducing it.  But that thing sure came in handy.

As mentioned, this was a significant shake-up that had the PCs almost starting again from scratch... except at 5th level.  Didn't take them too long to gear-up and go hard for the next big thing.  They have an eye for the main chance.

Strangely, no use of the Cha'alt X-Cards, gilded die of Satanis, or lavender demon-moon dice of destiny.  I'm sure those will come back into play next time.

Here's a few choice lines I recorded during the session...

  • "I don't think my soul has felt this light in a long time," said Juan, after being reborn.  To which another PC replied, "Wait until we get our blue glass operation up and running."
  • "If we cloned ourselves to make blue glass, took it ourselves, and then kept doing it, would that make us drug cannibals?"
  • "Isa'ak is a power-bottom."
  • "A rave out in the desert?  Oh, you mean one of those new age festivals like Burning Slut?"
  • "A zoth-witch reaches down into your crystalline trousers."
  • "That could have been a total party jellybean!"

Next session is already this coming Saturday because the following two Saturdays I'll be unavailable.  We might add another player or two next month... we'll see.  

Thanks for reading!  Have a comment, question, or feedback?  Down below you go, hoss.


p.s. July... July?  Yes, July!  It's not too long before the VENGER CON III convention in Madison, WI this July.  Grab your weekend badge now!  And if you don't already have the CHA'ALT trilogy in gorgeous hardcover, this is how to order.


  1. Wow. That session was packed fuller than a Dolly Parton bra..