04 September 2017

Beneath the Spire: Part Who Is Even Counting

Sister Belica, her ward Cedric, and Claus von Germanwords (not really his name), spent a few days in Ft. Inevitable shopping. A courier in the employ of Guffen & Sons Mercantile Company checking in on them, reminding them that he would like them to continue delving beneath the Spire, informing them that weird crystal they sold him back in session 3 is a Star Stone, and noting that he has heard rumors of a mysterious floating demon head off the coast. During the time, Ruth the really good dog was snoozing at Robert the Large's Inn.

Our heroes bravely ventured to the Underspire, still ruled by Tony Danza the Goblin Queen. Tony has continued in her growth into womanity, having outgrown her very pretty pink dress, and a set of antlers. She informs the party that a golden wizard and his melted face henchman came up from below trying to extort her. She also demanded minor tribute to descend to the lower levels, a tribute of fine human foods and pretty clothes. 

Descending to the second level, which appears to have been some kind of horrifying laboratory as that is where they met the mutant goblins and the goblin juicer. After a brief discussion they go the other direction down a hallway of statues. Sadly, despite all caution, Sister Belica met her demise, tripping a trap that involved a statue incinerating her to ashes. Cedric, upon witnessing his caretaker's brilliant death ascends to a slightly higher state of being, and the Underspire Bugbears let out a wail of despair so loud our heroes heard it. There was a lovely memorial service involving several immolated deer and cheese, a roasted venison fondue of sorts. Ruth also was awoken by the death of Sister Belica and joined in the memorial.

They returned to the fort slightly disheartened to properly dispose of the sack of ashes. Ruth decides to visit Abby the Witch, and giver of treats. It being in the evening Abby was irritated. Cedric let slip the rumor of the demon head, which further irritate her as Guffen had not shared such knowledge with her. She offered the party a job with a letter of introduction and funds to fire a ship to investigate the demon head, which included mapping it and possibly recovering a device that fits within a headache inducing shape in an ironbox. Sadly, the floating head did not dispense guns.

The ship that was available for hire in the port town of Mosswater had a most fortutious name, The Vgly Rotten Bastyrd, which aside from her crusty old man vomiting depiction of Poseidon as her figurehead, was clean and ship shape ship. The bos'n strongly resembles the figurehead, and her captain is a very Elmore/Easely-esque woman by the name of Ariana who took an almost immediate liking to Claus (it was him pulling out the huge sack of coins from his codpiece followed by her looking at his hands).

The Captain of the Vgly Rotten Bastyrd
More like Caldwell-esque
Also check out John Lakey

There were some pirates that trailed the Vgly Rotten Bastyrd, staying just at the horizon, and laying anchor when they reached the demon head. 
Stretching for several miles beneath the head was a field of salt water lotus and bees. Lots and lots of bees. The demon head itself was floating a few hundred feet in the air. Claus asks the Cap'n if they could retrofit the ships harpoon to fire straight up, which works, so they could harpoon the head, which also works, so they could tow the head back, which almost works. They then fire a grappling hook into the mouth of the demon, which works, and after making smoke bundles to allow them to deal with the BEES enter the head through its mouth. 

As Claus was clever enough to think up using smoke to the deal with the bees I declared them solving the BEE puzzle, so it was mostly just trudging through honey and honeycombs. Cedric, being impulsive, consumes some of the honey and spend the rest of the excursion HIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH. Due to Cedric's expanded consciousness, he has some minor adventures with the stone at the top of the tower. 

They discover a hidden room with half a dozen mechanical statues, similar in design to Clanky albeit less robust, in better repair, and red, and a woman clad in skin-tight sliver encased in glass. After discovering that no one knew Spanish, the party was a standstill while fog drained from the glass and smoke filled the room. Claus then decides to trace his best recollection of the shape of the thing they were looking for out of pitch, having left the box on the ship. Fortunately he made his save keeping his mind from exploding as he successfully reproduced a good enough 2d representation of a 7d object to show the machines what they were looking for. Unfortunately, the pitch ignited, started expanding, and caused the glass encasing the woman to shatter. In her last moments she handed Claus the object they were searching for. The party was able to safely leave the head and were able to watch it slowly sink into the sea.