Colin Y.J. Chung

DATE: July 11, 2021
ALT TITLE: We Should Eat Them
PLAYERS: HA, AB, EC, AJ, OR

OK. Recap. We're in a large cavern. There are dead cultists strewn all over the cave floor, burst open bodies, crushed octo-masses. A sliced up ten-foot-tall pit beast. Everyone's alive except for Adele. There's another cavern to the North, and the mill behind them. I remind them of the four slaves they freed. OR exclaims "we should eat them!" Why? I don't know. But HA raises a fist and shouts, "cannibalism!" victoriously.

And we're back... after a three week hiatus due to the end of school. The Snack Club, apparently, have become a tribe of cannibals.

Spoilers Ahead for Joseph Goodman's "The People of the Pit" (DCC)

They head north. There's grey mist, on the floor, grey debris. Some looks fleshy. It's not clear what it is. Four peasants foaming at the mouth attack them. Purple handles them all with no problem. As they walk past the mist, they can see tentacles coming out of a vent in the ground. The tentacles are scraping themselves against the cave walls, and as they do, eyeballs, suckers and beaks slough off and fall to the ground. It's gross. The floor is littered with old desiccated parts of the pit-beast.

Aranna picks up an eyeball and throws it at her brother, Lane. It hits him smack in the forehead. Lane picks up an eyeball and retaliates. The eyeball bounces off Aranna's throat. They call a truce. There's nothing else in this cave. It's a dead end. They backtrack. We're in dungeon crawl mode. They find bunk beds stacked three high. A temple with a statue of the pit-beast. Purple shouts through its mouthpiece to say "hello". The modulated voice is frightening but doesn't do much else. They find a priest's quarters, secret doors, a lab where cultists are crushing grey bits into powder, a closet with chain, rope and wine. Lane grabs the wine. Later, Purple drinks it. He gets drunk. I tell him he's rolling a d16 the rest of the game instead of a d20. Don't drink and dungeon crawl, kids. There's a room with furnaces, like pizza ovens. Emma Frog casts hallucination to trick the cultists into running towards the fire. It works.

Red & Silvery Potions

Finally, they come upon an alchemist lab. There's animated grey clay that moves about as if eyes following you around the room. There are potions on the table. Red and silvery ones. Purple keeps asking me what the potions do and if he can drink them. This is the recurring question of the session. "Can I do X?", Can I do Y?". I tell them to stop asking me questions. They can do whatever they want. I'm just here to adjudicate what happens.

Lane Weaver picks up a bottle of red potion and downs it. He gets visions of tentacles and the pit-beast. He has a sudden affinity towards it. Purple asks if he's mind-controlled. I don't answer. It's more fun that way. Lane suddenly feels he can call up a tentacle of his own. He does. He commands the tentacle to sweep all the potions off the table destroying them. Purple grabs a silvery one before Lane does that and chugs it. He too has visions of the pit-beast but no ability to call up a tentacle. The floor is a mess of broken glass and intermingled red and silver liquid now. Aranna suggests licking the floor. I say there's broken glass. They say, "oh".

Everyone is screaming at Lane Weaver. "Why did you do that?"

Seven IKEA Ps Lömsk Swivel Chairs

After they're done getting mad at Lane, they follow a hallway to a room with a long, narrow pool. It's brown murky water. Aranna suggests pushing Orlan in. She doesn't do it. And then Purple pushes Aranna in. The water stings and she takes acid damage. She climbs out. Annoyed. There's nowhere else to go but through the pool though, so Purple wades in... and strangely enough, does not feel any pain whatsoever. Everyone else realizes why (the silvery potion), it takes Purple a few moments to realize it too. Everyone else but Aranna swims across taking the acid damage. Finally, Purple swims back and drags Aranna in so the party isn't split.

NOTE:
What the kids completely forgot was the tentacle rope ladder. They could've simply gone back and used it like an elevator between floors. But they didn't. And what you're about to read next is a comedy of errors.

Across the pool, they come upon a room. There are seven egg shaped chairs. Yes, just like the Ps Lömsk at IKEA. The one where you can open and close the front like a hatch. Purple sits in one and closes the hatch. It's dark. Nothing happens. There are weird eldritch symbols on them. Emma Frog reads it and discovers they are transportation devices. The kids are freaking out and tells Purple to get out. But then Emma intuits more and thinks it's safe. She sits in one, concentrates, and vanishes to another room. The rest follow.

A Swirly, Curly, Loopy Up Down and Around Maze

The Snack Club leave their egg pods to a room just like the one they left. They come upon a room with a large four-foot-tall egg sitting on top a red-cushioned pedestal. There are copper tubes feeding into the egg. Behind the pedestal is an altar. Purple picks up the egg and throws it to the ground. There is yolk and slime everywhere. Why is he so destructive? Veleris examines the altar. There's an egg-shaped impression on the surface, as if you were supposed to put an egg in the indentation.

There are three exits. They pick one at random. The room is exactly the same as the last one. Except this one has a yellow-robed cultist facing the altar. Upon hearing the party, the cultist rushes to attack them. But before he does, he slits the egg open. A ten-foot-tall monster, just like the one they fought last session, (made of tentacles and pseudopods) slumps to the floor. It gets up and attacks them too. Outnumbered by the Snack Club, they die swiftly.

They exit. And again, a similar room. Purple bashes this egg in, a half-formed tentacle-monster falls out. Purple stabs the fetus. For fun. Why?! They exit... and they're back in the same room. I keep telling them to get paper and draw a map throughout all this. They don't listen until EC finally gives up and grabs paper.

But even with a map drawn, they keep running into the same rooms over and over again. Egg on pedestal. Altar with egg-shaped indentation. One had a shackled woman who was going to be lunch for a tentacle-monster. They save her. She's named Sasha, a dairy maid. Lane adopts her as a hireling, except she doesn't really have much armor. They give her a dagger and hope for the best.

As they're running around in circles, I keep reminding them that there are dead bodies on the ground. I say "dead bodies" three different times... until finally, Aranna asks, "can we loot the bodies?". I say, again, "stop asking me if you can do stuff. Just do it." They look at a cultist's body and find a necklace on him. There is -- surprise! -- an egg-shaped pendant on it. Emma Frog takes the necklace and places the pendant in the egg-shaped indentation on an altar. She vanishes. The rest of them follow.

A Weird Psychic Maze

They reappear and find themselves in a room with an altar and a gigantic statue of the pit-beast. It's made of onyx and the tentacles are a tangled mess, but there's room between them to climb through. Aranna, curious, climbs through. As she does, she triggers some pressure plates and a blade comes down and cuts her. She stumbles forward down a chute on to a hard tiled floor. The rest (smartly) disarm the trap first and follow Aranna through. Aranna had went forward to find another tentacle rope-ladder, turns back and meets her party.

The Snack Club go down another hallway and see a weird maze on the floor of this room. Emma Frog steps forward with Somme and Purple Nurple follows her. I give Emma a printout of the maze. She walks through. At one point she backtracks and feels a sharp pain in her head. It's weird psychic magic. You can't backtrack and can't walk across the lines. She gets through the maze... and Emma, Somme and Purple vanish. The rest of the Snack Club don't know what to do. They refuse to follow them through the maze. They have split the party

Emma, Purple and Somme find themselves in a room with the exact same maze. Abutting from the wall, around the room, a walkway with thin railings. They climb up and there are seven egg-shaped archways. They look into one. It's a rough-hewn corridor, it looks organic like a cave, but it's... moving. Swaying like... a tentacle. Purple and Emma walk in, the swaying knocks them about. It hurts. They don't turn back. Maybe it's fun for them. They get to the end and it's nothing. They walk back and it pushes them around some more. They lose more HP. They look into more of the egg-shaped archways. They're all like that.

They leave the maze cave and find themselves in the same temple Purple had shouted “hello” through the statue earlier. They walk around wandering aimlessly and not sure what to do (HINT: they could’ve gone back to the tentacle rope-ladder). But they don’t. Instead they go back to the maze and walk through it again thinking it will take them back.

It doesn’t.

Back with the rest of the party, they debate what to do. Lane keeps pushing to walk the maze and follow Emma and Purple. They finally do it. Lane is really good at the maze. Walks through no problem, leading the rest of the party through. Aranna, however, refuses to go through the maze. She stays back.

The party is now split three-ways.

All Tentacles Are Connected... Especially the Ladder

Orlan and Lane and their henchmen are now on the second floor.

Aranna is alone on the third floor.

Emma and Purple don't know where they are. They wander about. They cross a chasm over a drawbridge filled with angry tentacles. Two whip at them. Miss. They come to a hallway with four doors. One has a dead octo-mass, another an angry cultist who was meditating and didn't like being interrupted. Yet another cultist. This one is studying a scroll. Purple cuts him down. Emma takes the scroll. It's a spell to control tentacle. Much like what Lane had earlier.

The last door is a priest in tattered rags. His name is Bob. Bob the Priest. They leave this hallway and they see... daylight! They have reached the first open pit from last session. They have wandered back... to the beginning. How frustrating.

Eventually -- all three parties realize they can meet up on the tentacle rope-ladder. I ask if they have cell phones and how they're talking to each other. They say they can "sense" each other like some force. Emma says "spidey senses". Good enough for me to hand wave. They climb on the tentacle rope-ladder... but first, they guide the four slaves, the woman they saved (Sasha the Dairy Maid), and Bob the Priest to safety... telling them to run home to Mlurg Nar.

Reunited, the Snack Club climb down the rope ladder attached to the tentacle until they reach the bottom.

The People of The Pit

The cave before opens up to a deep ravine. A rocky promontory juts out with three cultists with arms raised chanting: a yellow-robed, a crimson-robed... and a blue-robed one. That's different. Ten deformed cultists, faceless, grey-skinned, ape-like... their bodies covered in pseudopods... are dragging a young woman towards the lip of the ravine. It is a sacrifice to their god, Palimdybis, the pit-beast. In the ravine, coiled loops of serpentine tentacles, pulsating, eyeballs, orifices, beaks: an absurd horror.

The Snack Club rush to save the woman. Aranna surprises them with a well-aimed shot, slaying a cultist. Five grey-robed cultists turn back to fight, while four drag the struggling woman towards the pit. Purple Nurple, Lane and Orlan mow down their frontline, chase the other four. Emma calls forth her tentacle with her newfound spell. Aranna fires more arrows. They neutralize the cultists carrying the woman, free her and escort her to behind the battle lines. All this is happening as the colored-robed cultists call forth frightening tentacles from the pit-beast. They whip and slash at the tanks. Purple Nurple is crushed and thrown against a wall. Heavily injured he retreats to the back. The Snack Club focuses their energy on the blue-robed warlock. (They've picked up that different and unique probably means "leader").

Arrows fly, Orlan slashes, Lane stabs. Every attack where they don't kill the warlock results in shocked (and loud) "What?!" and "Oh, c'mon!" and "How is he not dead yet?" Orlan wielding his almighty sword slashes at the warlock, he falls to his knee, severely injured. The warlock stares back, grimaces, raises his hand feebly, as-if-casting-a-spell and laughs. Three tentacles smash down on Orlan and crush him. Orlan dies. The tentacles drag his body into the ravine. Aranna enraged, fires an arrow through the warlock's skull. He stumbles, falls into the pit. Tentacles come rushing up. There's an earthquake. The tentacles are frantically smashing the cave walls in writhing pain. The cave begins to crumble. A rockslide. Purple Nurple transforms into a bird to fly out. The Snack Club runs. Rubble falls on all of them. It crushes Purple in bird form. He dies by falling rocks.

Near the back of the cave, where they had climbed down originally, the rope ladder tentacle is gone. All of the tentacles and cultists are gone, crushed by rock and rubble. They have to climb out. Lane had taken a basket of tentacle suckers earlier. The Snack Club uses the suckers to clamber out of the pit. At the top, villagers who felt the earthquake, along with the slaves they freed, Sasha the dairy maid, and Bob the Priest are there to see the heroes emerge. There are cheers and shouts of joy.

The Pit Beast is dead!

The intrepid adventurers survived, but mourn the loss of Adele, Somme, Orlan, and Ser Purple Nurple, formerly Ser Merric.

Back in Mlurg Nar, in the basement of Ilrisk Bough, the duke congratulates them half-heartedly. He waves at his henchmen to bring out their reward. Twenty men carry out ten heavy treasure chests. They lay them at the feet of The Snack Club. It is the equivalent of a jerk paying you back in pennies if they owe you a hundred dollars. The duke chortles, "good luck getting this home."

/end session

END NOTES:

The Snack Club's Portfolio

Stored in Wyrmskull Vault
(Deposited Year of the Worm, Month of the Eagle, Day of the Fox)

  • 19 Ice Necklaces x 200gp = 3,800gp
  • 12 Ice Jewels x 150gp = 1,800gp

SUBTOTAL: 5,600gp
EoM INTEREST
: 56gp
TOTAL
: 5,544gp

Ten Heavy Chests of Gold Pieces in Mlurg Nar
TOTAL:
10,000gp

Chekhov's Ticking Time Bombs

NEW

  • The Snack Club is worn down, beat up and need rest. But they also have ten heavy chests of gold to get home to Lankhmar. Will they rest first (which means seven days in Mlurg Nar risking theft), or hire a wagon and just go (but risking banditry while weakened from their battle with the Pit Beast)?

OLD

  • Thork may be dead, but his wife Aranna isn't. Her inheritance? 800gp of debt to the cult of Loki.
  • Emma Frog, lone surviving fugitive from a neighboring region, may still have a price on her head.
  • Two drunes of the Dolmenwood cult of sorcerers were murdered in cold blood.
  • Who is this Hriseit asking around Lankhmar for The Snack Club?

DM Notes to Myself

With running this campaign, I'm trying to keep "extra accessories" low. No wet-erase board, no miniatures, no terrain. All "theatre of the mind". It's a challenge, but I prefer this to the mess of stuff that ends up on the table. With that said, the third floor of People of the Pit was a little hairy... and keeping track of all the enemies in the final battle was a lot of accounting. I was tempted to pull out some meeples at one point.

I also feel bad for the deaths of Orlan and Purple Nurple. They lasted five sessions before they gave their lives. This was, however, a dangerous module. It wasn't one big reckless move that got them killed... it was a series of small paper cuts... like wading into the brown murky water unnecessarily, or getting bounced around by the tentacle cave, or fighting and killing everything when they didn't need to. Maybe they'll learn their lesson to be more careful. Or not.