Friday, August 10, 2018

Play Report: The Kadesh Club

Playing tonight in the wonderful world of the Danscape Planejammer, we have:
  • Waterblossom, eladrin magelander nee organ farm escapee (Michael K)
  • Blake, a face-stealing traveler and former gigolo (FM Geist)
  • Gavel, a traveler who just oozes everywhere. (Martin O)
We open to find the three crewmembers of the Divided Survival Power in a terrible pickle. They've been trying their hand at running tea and opium out of Yoon-Suin, but the most recent shipment ended up stolen to the last gram by one of Blake's many trysts.

The Lady Sidris, drow matriarch and crime lord, is not pleased with this at all. She wants her money. But, she decides that calling in a slave cleaning the floor of blood would be too much of a hassle - the trio is given a shot at clearing their debt: go to the Kadesh Club, and steal a book from its proprietor, famous genasi businessman Corrin Shen. "You'll know it when you see it, they are told."

Before they leave, Gavel and Blake spend all of their remaining money on opium. Gavel's species leaves sticky ooze everywhere, and so ends up outfitted with a Harkonnen gravity chair, after Blake persuades a lobster-alien dockworker to help them out with a bit of seduction and some drugs.

The Kadesh Club is a place for rich people to go slumming and engage in some war tourism. Being that it orbits around the gas giant Charnel House, where devilish and demonic fleets meet to do battle.  Unfortunately, the war has lulled for a bit, so no fireworks were on the docket.

A casino resort filled with rich people is Blake's natural habitat - he swiftly integrates himself into the posse of the rightes, strongest looking individual in the atrium, a golem anmed Donson who looks like he came right out Renaissance Florence. With WB and Gavel are volunteered to act as servants, Blake handily begins flirting with the golem, and everyone goes to the nearby Valhalla Bar.

(Yes, the one from the game. To complete my horrible reference hackjob, they all witness the manager tossing out Space Dandy and Meow.)

Drinks are had and information is gathered. (The drink list and descriptions from VA-11 HALL-A come in very handy) The crew learns that Shen is a collector of rare art and artifacts, and appears on the casino floor every night to welcome the guests.

The crowd moves on to the casino floor, and the trio start scouting out options. Shen's quarters are seen to overlook the floor, with a single guarded entrance on the stage. Gavel joins a blackjack table and a wins a small amount of money. Waterblossom mind-melds with a guard to steal information and learns that Shen is late tonight - the attempt to act as a desperately-needed crystals-and-chanting healer falls on deaf ears. Blake accompanies Donson to the dice games and scopes out the staff entrances.

Gavel finally finds himself in a horribly complex game that he only manages to survive in because WB gleaned info from the octopoid dealer, and then mind-melded with his fellow ne'er do well. One of the other players gets shot. A discussion with an elf about the benefits of terribly impractical clothing are had. Gavel finishes out his hand by cheating with one of his mutations, a micro-teleport, swiping an extra card and taking advantage of an obscure loophole to walk away with 1000 gold pieces.

At this point the lights go down, the spotlights hit the stage, and from the elevator comes the man himself, dressed to the nines. He gives his speech and goes about shmoozing. WB passes by and gleans images of an angry woman who looks something like a tropical fish from Shen's mind. Blake convinces Donson to buy them a suite in the resort, heads through the doors, meets a salamander lady, and does drugs in the bathroom with her while discussing their life story and hip new fashion tips.

As Shen makes his rounds, Gavel uses his spell-tumor to cast Resounding Command at a vat-cloned halfling creature, forcing it to push him directly into Shen. What follows is a grand display of bellyaching and faked injury the likes of which FIFA players would be awestruck to see.

A doctor is called for, but no need! Shen is, in fact, a doctor! Swiftly Gavel is grav-wheeled out of the main floor and past a staff door.

Meanwhile: Blake has decided to set up salamander woman higher up in the social world to have a contact for the future, and gives helpful fashion tips to get the most out of a wardrobe.

With nothing working, Gavel hands Shen a sending stone phone and groans that he must have his special doctor to have any hope of survival: one Dr. Muffin Glitterhammer.

The call distracts Blake from his fashionable dreams, but gets him swiftly whisked over to where the others are. Blake immediately goes whole hog on being a fake doctor, and we are treated to one of the greatest lines I have yet recorded as a DM.

"Cocaine gives me a bonus at being a doctor."

Blake demands an isolation room, far away from the peasants and their germs - Shen, displaying a great amount of generosity, volunteers his own quarters. The four take the service elevator up. WB is zapping Gavel all the way there with his color changing cantrip.

Shen's apartment contains a great many expensive art pieces, a ghost security system named Bauvert,  a large fish tank containing black water and abyssal icthians, and most importantly, the book.

Blake requests obscure items for the appropriate holistic treatment (blue cat milk, a ball of solid gold, 2 liters of plasma) while manuvering Gavel's gurney around to take a better look at the book. Thick as a DCC core, bound in blue leather, recursive MC Escher occult symbols all over, and claw marks from the inside.

Know it when you see it indeed.

With the materials delivered, Blake declares that the evil has been taken out of Gavel's body. Gavel uses this opportunity to feign a horrible seizure, driving the other three to be whisked away into another room.

Unfolding his handy boarding axe, Gavel smashes the book case as if by accident. Bauvert (who is basically just Poe from Netflix's Altered Carbon adaptation) descends from the ceiling and starts a banshee wail, summoning Shen. Gavel tosses his axe at the fish tank, leaving a large crack.

Something moves in the blackness.

With no time to waste, Blake sweeps Shen into the elevator for safekeeping as the cracks enlarge and more water pours out. WB and Gavel grab the book just as the tank shatters; dark water floods the room to reveal a fucking aboleth.

"It's like if AM was a jawless fish." - Me, describing the aura of said aboleth.

WB whips out his holdout blaster and shoots out the window. The two go flying out, using the gravchair as a way to slow their fall.

On the stage, Blake hands the overwhelmed Shen to some guards, telling them to get him to safetly. Looking up he is able to catch the descent of his two compatriots, followed by the emergence of the aboleth in a cloud of psychic force fields and unbridled abyssal hate.

Blake empties his gun at the creature, abnd while a few bolts manage to break through the shields, the aboleth is unaffected.

Needless to say, they get the fuck out of there.

Amidst the panicking throngs they do manage to spot the salamander lady stepping up and orchestrating emergency evacuation procedures. The manager of the Vallhalla bar is out front screaming "YEAH! RIOT!" and suplexes a fleeing noble on principle. Blake grabs seven gold pieces out of his pockets.

They bang up some other ships on the way out fo the parking garage, but Blake blames it on one of Donson's followers who was giving him the stink-eye.

Upon return, Lady Sidris' guards immediately take the book from them and declare the matter settled. The guard captain is persuaded to look into some backup IDs in case things go south.

And with that, Waterblossom collapses into a weeping, traumatized heap as Blake and Gavel do more drugs.


  1. Who did them wrong? Some of Donson's syncophants were definitely plotting something.
  2. Did they do anything stealthily? Hell no. But also yes, in that no one knew it was them.
  3. Who benefitted? Lady Sidris. Shen's other rivals. The Aboleth.
  4. Aftereffects of death? Hundreds of the cosmic rich are now dead, meaning tabloid sales are UP, power grabs are UP, and worker revolts are UP.
  5. Did the characters attract attention? A whole lot of it, but not exactly directly to them.
  6. Desires / interests to hook players in future? Socialite nonsense is ace, use it.

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