Friday, April 7, 2017

The Godkiller Part II: I'm All A Clone

Dara 25-27

Next holiday: Darkest Night, Dara 35th, the winter solstice.

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, the bat familiar
    • Clench, the Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, the Panther
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Sal Rrentath, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Quetgar, Thrassian Assassin
    • Zarc, Thrassian Gladiator
  • Gottes Segen, Cleric
    • Betül Tirmizi, Ectomancer

Between searching for clues, Rig decided he'd put together a caravan, and hired a mercenary: Joel Nyman, and explorer. He loaded up on goods, ready to travel.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the deaths on the Street of the Gods continued, this time joined by Quetgar, who had been partying with his lizard buddy. Thus far, four gods had been killed: the Immortal Phoenix, the Skincrawler, the Angelic Sword, and the Fighting Horror. Gróin, suspecting Resting Cougar, began scrying on her; Rig and Caranthir decided that the killer was likely going after regenerating people, and were forced to choose between Magic Stan, a tree-person with incredible regenerative powers, and the Abomination, a self-healing mechanical monster. As they camped out at Magic Stan's house (which he built from wood grown from, well, himself), Gróin watched Resting Cougar enter a tiny hut. She sat on something, then after about an hour, left.

Meanwhile, their choice was wrong; as they waited in Magic Stan's house, there was a sudden commotion - someone next to them suddenly collapsed, and at the same time, someone just down the Street began screaming. The fallen man was dead; his chest had been replaced with machinery that had suddenly stopped. They rushed to find a man with a mechanical leg and arm (both non-functioning), who pointed them into the Temple of the Abomination. The Abomination, a huge clockwork creature, was laying still in the corner of the room. At the door was a dead man, also part machine, his body torn open. As Zarc and Quetgar (the first to the temple) watched, a man stepped from the shadows...

He was a short, muscular man, wearing nothing but a loincloth, holding a scrap of steel and grinning at Zarc and Quetgar. Suddenly, he struck; his frenzied attack cut into Zarc's armor, but the two lizards were able to bring him down quickly. They noticed a tattoo on his arm - the same as the knife! Even as they watched, his body decayed until there was nothing left but the scrap of metal.

The next day, they caught sight of the same man, this time wearing chain mail! They fought him again, but this time he seemed stronger and faster than before. He managed to get a few good blows in before he was brought down. Again, they saw the tattoo on his arm, and again, he melted away.

Investigating the shack Resting Cougar had found resulted in very little; nothing was there but a small stool, though they could feel a keen sense of distrust that built as others arrived. Next door, the Church of the Almighty Dollar offered a tour for a mandatory donation. The priest, looking like a used car salesman, explained that indeed, Resting Cougar visited that place regularly, usually a few times a week. She dropped a gold piece into his coffers to keep him quiet. He handed out pamphlets on How You Too Can Become Rich By Selling Pyramid Schemes, but no one in the group was interested.

The journey to the City Guard Council of Wizards was a useful one, though perhaps not as much as the party had wished; they learned that to summon the god-killer knife, one must have a tattoo; using the knife for anything but a council-sanctioned purpose would cause great pain through the geas attached to it. The council could summon the knife, but it took all 12, so there was no way it was a council member. They were very upset about the clones, however; they were, in fact, quite illegal.

After the meeting, Llarm attempted to use his Find spell to locate other clones; and, in fact, found one! They journeyed to a two-story house where the clone was located. Quetgar leaped into the second story window, while the others took the front door. Upstairs, they found a corpse - a very normal looking fellow, apart from the black-handled knife sticking out of his chest. They also found books and papers - the dead man had been creating a spell, a cloning spell, and coupled it with a magic jar spell, allowing him to transfer his soul from one body to another, as long as the other body was already soulless. There were several iterations of the spell, showing the obvious work leading up to the final result.

The party found a hidden drawer in a desk, but it was empty. Quetgar, however, heard a sound, and upon discovering a trapdoor, back-flipped into the attic, where he found yet another clone! This man was, again, not exactly super-buff. He climbed down; Quetgar, trying to show off, ended up belly-flopping on the floor and falling through, sheepishly returning up the stairs. The man explained that he was planning on leaving town; he had shared the information of his spell with a city guard, a skinscribe, and was planning on fleeing. Caranthir took him aside a moment, and asked the man to keep in touch; Caranthir was planning on building a castle, eventually, and a man of his talents would come in handy. Before anyone else could ask questions, an arrow flew through the open window! It missed everyone, embedding in the wall. Shortly, a vial smashed on the outside of the building, then erupted in flames! The party (and the clone-mage) scrambled downstairs, in time to see an even more grotesquely muscled man toss a shortbow aside and begin running down the street. Flit the bad and the two wardogsbadgers gave chase, but he was too fast.

Gróin scryed upon Rasmus, and found him sitting in the Temple of the Almighty Dollar, his eyes closed. Quickly, the team rushed there; they found him standing up and stretching. Rasmus explained that he was, in fact, immortal; he had lived for almost 200 years, and had hardly aged a day since adulthood. He had lived through the fire that had taken his parents, and now he was showing these false gods what real godhood was - by killing them all. He was the only immortal god! The skinscribe then darted into the back room and locked the door; the two lizardmen tried to open it, but tripped over each other. Caranthir and Luce put their backs into it, knocking the door open. At the same moment, a hugely muscled man smashed through the back wall! Rhea grabbed the currently-soulless skinscribe, as the muscled man managed to hit Caranthir! After a brief tussle, both the clone and the skinscribe were dead.

The party had barely managed to leave the building before an urgent message from the Council invaded their thoughts - "Quickly! To the GodPub!"

The party rushed to the the pub, to find a muscled clone of the skinscribe himself! Laughing, Rasmus brandished the knife. As the party entered the room, he fired its effect at them, turning their armor and weapons into mundane versions for the next 24 hours. Restful Cougar and Flynn were there as well, not understanding why their fellow guard was attacking the others; Caranthir shouted that he is the god-killer, and battle was joined. The skinscribe fought hard, his attacks and speed assisted by his spells. Resting Cougar summoned the knife, away from Rasmus; he stared at his empty hand in shock. The party managed to take him down to only a few hitpoints, but he pushed past them, charging through Flynn and knocking her aside. He struck Resting Cougar at the same moment she struck him; as his magically-empowered blade struck her chest, the godkiller knife entered his, cancelling him entirely. For a brief moment, he stared in shock, then suddenly vanished, his sword clattering to the ground.

Flynn, as the sole surviving member of the God Squad, was put in charge of finding replacements for the other two. It took only a glance for the party to turn her down for that job.

  • XP from Encounters
    • Clone 1 (860)
    • Clone 2 (1280)
    • Clone 3 (1700)
    • Clone 4 (2100)
  • XP from Treasure: none
  • Total XP: 5940
  • XP per PC: 566
  • XP per Henchthing: 283
  • Gold per PC: 5,000

Notes: The clones were gradually growing stronger; the first clone was a level 5 fighter, max health, +3 strength, +3 dex, and +3 con. The second clone was the same, only level 6; the third clone was level 7, with +4 strength and dex and +3 con. The fourth clone, that of Rasmus himself, had +5 strength and +3 dex and con. Had they not succeeded, they would have fought the final clone, with +5 strength, dex, and con, wearing the cursed hide armor from the Fighting Horror's minions, and wielding two swords +1. Luckily, they finished him off before then...

Also, if anyone else has been keeping track, Caranthir has thus far asked a banshee, three gargoyles, a nightblade, and a mage to come work for him.

Last but not least, this adventure was based on a story by Simon R. Green: Hawk & Fisher: The God Killer.