Monday, October 1, 2018

Play Report: High Times in the Fungal Core (Danscape ep 4 & 5)

Previously on the Danscape: Wolves, Amazons, and the newest incarnation of Lantern Boy. A double header this time. As usual, the crew of the Divided Survival Probability is:
  • Waterblossom: eladrin magelander, organ farm escapee, frail bag of trauma (Michael K)
  • Blake, former gigolo, social climber, space drug addict, exiled queen (FM Geist)
  • Gavel, horrific space-wolf-man creature (Martin O)

Episode 4: A Requiem for Thimble Slim

With Blake in dire need of plastic surgery and Gavel cursed to space-wolfhood and use of a vocal synthesizer that replaces all curses with 'spaghetti', the crew makes their way to the myceliumated habitat of the Fungal Core, seeking out the aid of a diasporic amazon clan (known for their terrible, clashing-pattern fashion sense). They are aided by Ed, Sasquatch fighter (Sam P).

The coupon for plastic surgery is only good for part of the deal (and the curse must be broken by collecting the tongue of a noted astrologer), so Madam Ratsi (of Madam Ratsi's House of Fashion) says she'll cover the rest if the crew can put the squeeze on this flake by the name of Thimble Slim.

Tracking down Thimble Slim takes them around the Core, and we learn:

  • The astrologer is currently dead, his tower blocked up.
  • Street Mimes are allergic to water, and lay invisible eggs (Ed has one)
  • Cordyceps-infested space pigeons are everywhere.
  • Lantern Boy was left at the public library to learn the terrible secrets of warfare, at Blake's direction.
  • A book on astrology is then checked out of the library.
They are eventually able to track down Thimble Slim to a seedy dive called the Red Heron Bar & Brothel. Some slick talking with the bouncer (who is all for teaching Slim a lesson) persuaded him to send Slick into the back alley when he came in.

The crew devours a bucket of pigeon-wings with blue moon cheese sauce while they wait.

After half an hour or so, the back door is thrown open and Thimble Slim is tossed out. He is then, through clever application of hot cheese sauce, forced to read through the book of Astrology. While slim's head is holographic, the stump of his neck still contained a tongue-like muscle-flap, which was then removed. What remains of his stuffing is beaten out of him for walking out on paying his bill.= at madam Ratsi's.

Returning to the salon, Blake gets his surgery. Gavel decides to forgo breaking his curse, and just gets full-body augmentation surgery so now he's some horrific bipedal space-wolf-man with a human head inside his mouth, spreading fear and terror wherever he goes. Ed gets a nano sleeve tattoo of fake advertisements. Lantern boy continues reading strategy books.

This section has probably my favorite bizarre-gross monster description I have ever used, as an exotic dancer in the Red Heron - a cross between a tube-worm colony and the Diana of Ephesus.

Episode 5: Stone Cold Fremen Lantern Boy

Some time has passed since the last installment, and the group has settled in, more or less, in the Fungal Core. The crew is joined by Waterblossom's friend from his brief cult interlude: Rob, the corrupted anti-mutant (Max Cantor).  Blake decides to become a queen. Gavel embraces his horrible space-wolf-man form and starts on the path of the Very Good Dog. Blake and Gavel inject themselves with spell tumors, no side effects yet.

Blake immediately casts Date Ward, preventing his death for the next four days.

News arrives that Salamander Lady and her resistance have made good on the weapon recovered in Episode 3 - the Aboleth is dead. The good news is overshadowed by the fact that Salamander Lady has thrown Blake under the bus and stolen all the glory and fame for herself.

More importantly, news arrives that FRIDAY NITE FITE-DROME is to be held at St. Pugilist's orphanarium. Lantern Boy, having been pushed onto the militant path, requests entry. Gavel and Blake agree and support the choice, Waterblossom gibbers helplessly.

Lantern Boy is signed up for the Dunkeldronk Urchins' Fighting Union and, through the combined power of studying military strategy and Gavels Really Good Dog moral support, beats the ever loving shit out of the first half of the fights and goes into halftime 5-0.

It is here that the crew see none other than a destitute and clearly traumatized Corrin Shen, who has falled all the way to betting, and losing, on underground orphan fights. Blake makes contact and advises him (as his doctor, Queen Doctor Glitterhammer) to bet everything on "Stone Cold Fremen" Lantern Boy.

The trio finish off half time by giving LB a hidden scalpel-shank, some space cocaine, and the Weird Chair (as provided by the spell of the same name)

Rounds 6-9 are once again a shoe-in (save a significant loss in Round 7). Round 10 reveals itself to be not against another orphan, but a tall, pale man by the name of Osric the Shrike. (Spoilers: he is definitely a vampire) Blake attempts to get the crowd riled up, and instead manages to trigger no less than 16 potential suitors, drawn to his beautiful queenliness.

Round 10 is simple - score three hits, and the money is theirs. Gavel uses his spell _Find Strike_ to determine that Shrike has been stabbed in the general heart region recently (this was to imply that his heart was on the other side - it did not actually matter, as we will see.)

Lantern Boy (now under the control of the players) decides to go in with the Weird Chair as a weapon. With each strike it blackens and twists out of shape, until with the third hit it shatters and summons a horrible bloodshot eye demon that droops down from the ceiling.

Everyone panics. Gavel throws down his own Summon, grabs Lantern boy, and attempts to flee, taking damage from the Eye's great tentacle eyelashes. Blake and Waterblossom fight back, joined now by the out of control blood demon that Gavel had summoned.

But a few fans of the hammer and some torpedo sharks are enough to take down the Eye. Waterblossom flees, and Blake remains behind to take advantage of Date Ward.  He manages to beat the blood demon to death, though is reduced to ground beef and salsa in the process.

With the money from the fights, the crew looks towards future investments: reconstructive surgery to fix Blake, a hydroponic drug garden for the ship, and potentially tracking down blake's potential henchman-husbands or going after Waterblossom's organ-stealing creators.

The question is no longer "how will Lantern Boy die?"

It has become "how will anyone else survive?"


Beloch's Questions

  1. Thimble Slim was wronged, and absolutely knows. Osric the Shrike, ditto.
  2. Stealth and this party are not things that go together.
  3. Corrin Shen, if he survived, made a whole lot of money off of LB.
  4. After the Orphanarium disaster, unrest is spreading through the habitat as people turn up dead or mangled.
  5. "We're horrible people!"
  6. Lantern Boy is now a common name in the FITE-DROME circuit.
  7. Revenge upon the organ farmers (Waterblossom), dealing with henchmen husbands (Blake), seeking out Blake's king to reclaim his kingdom (also Blake)

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