There were no borders in the Middle Ages

That’s what Matthew Gabriele says, anyways, in this week’s Forbes (https://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewgabriele/2018/11/05/no-borders-middle-ages/#3dd90d0752e4). Really? I have a feeling that people definitely knew where their territory began and where it ended, and they defended those vociferously. That is true of most humans, including the Native Americans. People defended their lands against encroachment where necessary, but Gabriele is no doubt right that trade and immigration had far less barriers back then.

We’ve learned recently that the Middle Ages were more diverse than previously thought. Somehow, the typical vision of the medieval period used to be a lot of white folks who were mostly differentiated by their culture (British, Irish, Scottish, French, German, Spanish, etc.). But those areas were conquered long before by the Romans, whose empire was made up of many ethnicities. For example, Persian cataphracts and other troops were sent to man Hadrian’s Wall, which by the way, also seems pretty clearly intended to be a border.  

So what does all this mean for medieval role-playing? Well, first, most rpgs are pseudo-medieval. There are all sorts of ways they are NOT medieval, including magic that works, heroes who can fight a platoon by themselves, and all sorts of mythical beasts. Where they ARE medieval, or mostly medieval, is in their technological level (usually pre-gunpowder, because as we learned in Enter the Dragon, “any damn fool can pull a trigger”). Later period tournament armor shows up in many as the armor worn by fantasy knights roaming the treasure-laden caverns of the world, but dedicated rpgers and wargamers try to keep the technology correct, as much as the presence of magic will allow. And that means that the careers of the people can be copied from medieval censuses, which is a great help. Medieval architecture is used, though that doesn’t seem entirely likely given the change in context given magic, heroes, and monsters. 

But areas are defended largely at the city level, unless there is some great empire (i.e. Rome) that is constantly expanding. So player characters can cross most boundaries easily. It is when they try to get into a city that they meet their first barriers, the city guards. And once in the city, they discover the strange and quirky laws that each city creates over time. Those provide lots of ways for travelers to run afoul of the law, even if they are trying to avoid criminal behavior (unlikely in gamers, but it is known to happen). So I guess that’s our takeaway from Gabriele’s article.

Posted in History, Thoughts | 2 Comments

JOURNEYMAN: The Final Chapter aboard Ship

The party started on deck 8 of the Dorsal section. There was no gravity, no light, and no computer, until they reached the Jungle, which took up the bulk of Deck 8 in the Primary Hull. In the jungle, there was full lighting, limited computer functioning (simplest tasks only), and half gravity. There were two turbolifts — the one on the right was fully functional, the one on the left operated erratically. There was a airlock door to the computer room between them, which would only open for the captain or chief science officer. All of this, unfortunately for the players, was in the center of the deck, which meant crossing the Jungle to get there. And the Jungle was the most dangerous place on the ship.

Chester joyously leapt ahead of the rest of the party (Dikdak, Bil, and Serena). His joy soon ended. He landed directly in front of an Umber Hulk, frightening and angering it. It ripped out his groin in self-defense and Chester dropped, bleeding to death. Bil approached cautiously and dragged his body away, while the Hulk retreated into the jungle whining.

Umber Hulk miniature from Grenadier

It would take too long to return to the med lab, since Chester was bleeding out and they estimated he had only 15 minutes to live, so the party forged forward, hoping to find another med lab. Instead, they encountered a Froghemoth, but were able to drive it off with a poison gas grenade. For the rest of the session, the Froghemoth hid in the lake, coughing from its chlorine gas damaged lungs. It avoided the party and they avoided it. Detente. The party found the main computer, and wasted a good deal of time there looking at maps of the ship that the computer kindly provided. Chester’s player kept urging them to hurry up.

Froghemoth, a monster from the Barrier Peaks module

They took the left turbolift up to level 2, but once there, could not figure out how the Bio Lab might provide healing machinery. The computer didn’t function on that level, and Chester had been their sole medic. As a result, Chester died on the trip back to the Med Lab in the Secondary hull (a long trek), where the Med Synth pronounced him dead, permanently. The party insisted on saving him, so she attached an electronic crown that was able to move Chester’s body. He needed a new brain, but Serena was still using hers, so the Med Synth cut out the Dikdak’s brain and put it in Chester’s head. Chester’s body now became the Dikdak, with reduced biting, hiding, and climbing skills. Chester could not talk, despite his player’s insistence that Bil had a universal translator and that it would be funny (ala Disney’s Doug). The Dikdak was wearing Chester’s clothing, so when he went to piss against a globe palm, he wet his pants instead. Chester’s player became more unhappy.

The party next went to deck 4 of the primary hull, and found three sport training synths. I had Chester choose one randomly, and he ended up with the fencing synth, which he named Sword. Sword had become odd in the last thousand years of neglect. In other words, he was now self-aware and self-actuating. He joined the party. Serena and Bil left him alone with the Dikdak, which was unfortunate, as Sword “sworded” Chester’s body over and over. The party had already run into one Mind Flayer in a ship’s uniform, and the computer had now told them that there were at least 20 of the creatures trying to take over the ship. The party resolved to stop them.

Mind Flayer attacks the party in Barrier Peaks

Serena and Bil took the turbolift up to the Bridge where the Mind Flayers were based, opened the door, and then fired. Bil killed one of the Mind Flayers, but Serena was shot in the chest. Bil closed the lift and fled down to level two, where he was able to repair her in the Biology Lab. Serena hid in the Biology Lab and waited to shoot when the door opened next. Bil and Sword waited on either side of the lift (which had left and gone up to the Bridge). The Mind Flayers were at a disadvantage, because neither Synth was vulnerable to psionic attack. They evened the score with a superior knowledge of the ship. When the turbolift opened, a giant workbot exited, and the Mind Flayer Commander ordered it to “Kill! Destroy!” Bil shot his blaster at the robot, but did no damage. Sword attacked the robot, but also did not damage it. Bil tried to get the robot to kill the “Octopoids” but the Commander countermanded that. The Mind Flayers shot Bil and Bil shot the one closest. Bil killed him, but his legs were destroyed and he dropped. Bil tried to shoot the Commander next but the Mind Flayers destroyed him with shots to his chest and arms. Sword dodged into the turbolift and the Worker Robot gutted the Commander by accident when it tried to get Sword. Sword stooped to grab the Commander’s grey card, and the other two Mind Flayers (the Right & Left Arms of the Commander) shot Sword as he did so, damaging his left leg slightly and putting his right arm out of commission. Sword dodged out of the lift and ordered the bot to kill the other two, which it did very messily. With the Mind Flayer away team killed, the rest of them were left leaderless (very Star Trek), and they fled the ship back to their raiding vessel and departed. Which is just as well, because once Sword had Captain status, he ordered the computer to flood all other rooms (except the one with Serena) with poison gas, and then later flushed the gas out. The Jungle suffered badly, but the Yellow Man and Vegepygmies were untroubled. The Froghemoth simply dove to the bottom of the lake for a time.

Sword then took Bil over to the synth repair lab, leaving Serena in the bio lab. He tried to get the Worker Bot to repair Bil, but it made a mess of it, and he was forced to give up. He went to get Serena, and she fired as he opened the door, but luckily missed (as always). Over the next two years, Serena learned Synth Repair and worked on Bil, getting him functional again. Meanwhile, Sword wandered the ship, exploring. He found the Yellow Man had killed many Vegepygmies with his diseases, but Sword was only looking for Octopoids, so he unfortunately let the Yellow Man follow him back upstairs, killing most of the remaining creatures in the Jungle. Sword killed the Yellow Man before he reached Serena, and the party then cleaned up the ship using worker bots and scutters.

After Bil recovered, he used his knowledge of the Vegepygmie language to build an alliance with them, and Sword trained them in fencing. Eventually, the Vegepygmies became the new crew, working to repair the ship but also spreading the Jungle throughout it. Serena aged and eventually died, whereupon Bill and Sword propped her up in a seat on the Bridge. The two Synths and their Vegepygmie crew wandered the cosmos for years. Serena moldered away, and the Vegepygmies grew mushrooms on her, which were deemed sacred.

Vegepygmie crew of the Enterprise

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Journeyman, Session Summaries | Leave a comment

Old Wômarin Dictionary, detailing the language of the Farthest East in Middle Earth

This dictionary was developed from the words shared at http://merp.wikia.com/wiki/Old_Wômarin, but builds upon those.  Old Wômarin was descended from Dragon Speech (D.S.) and bears a great resemblance to that language, so the Wômaw were essentially speaking Auld Wyrmish. I created this for my character, Tanuukkodol, an Easterling who followed the wizard Pallando. Tanuukkodol was of the Wômaw people (http://merp.wikia.com/wiki/W%C3%B4maw) who had fled west to the plains along with Pallando. Alatar, the other Blue Wizard, had turned to evil and remained in the East. Here is the Excel file for it (Easterling Womarin Dictionary3b) as well. If you actually make use of this, please let me know in the comments, as I can’t imagine anyone ever will!

Old Wômarin English
A Womb 
Aalk, Âlk  Hold, Fortress (“strong womb”)
Aayiig, Ayîg  Cave (“earth womb”)
Ac  Of, Born of
Aceer, Acêr  River (gentle, suitable for boating, “of water”)
Adiin Riit, Adîn Rît  Period of Ordering
Aed  Helm
Aen  Song
Alk Strong
Ams  River (swift-running, with rapids)
Arg  Isle
Arg-Sîmorîg Island of Sweet-Ember
Ark Hate, Hatred
Arx  Iron
Arxdu  Smith (“Bringer of Iron”)
Awdu  Air, Skies (“Bringer of Blessings”)
Awg  Order, Circle, Cult
Awm  Fields
Bâs Hollows
Brôd  Hills (rocky hills, good sheep country)
Brôdan Hill lands
Bu  Old
Bulchyades Place of Battle
Chaur  Hope
Chaurka  Bane of Hope
Chi  Touch
Chiig, Chîg  Flame, heat (“Touch of Sun”)
Chyan Land of Fighters or “Fighting Folk”
Cuiva  Archive
Cuivac Ancients
Cuivac Wômaw Memory of the Gifted People
Daag, Dâg  Blade
Dalpygis Land of the White Oxen
Dem  Light
Demiik, Demîk  Idea, Thought (“touch of light”)
Desdursy Steppe-Children
Desdursyton Plain of the Steppe-Children
Drûl Chaurka Seer and Bane of Hope
Drûs  Empire, dominion, reach (“All that is seen”)
Druul, Drûl  Interpreter, Seer
Eog  North-stone
Er Water
Ga Dread, Fear
Gaark, Gârk  Hated One (“one who is hated”)
Gaath, Gâth  Dreaded One (“one who is dreaded”)
Góa Blessings (bestowed)
Góak  Blessed places (“place where blessings are bestowed”)
Góakaw  People of the bestowed blessings
Haen Realm, Geographical district, tribal moiety
Heb Aarân Place of Gold, or Golden Place
Hion Lord, chieftain, king pl. hiona, hioni
Hionvar  Empress, High Queen, pl. Hionvara
Hionvor pl. hionvori  Emperor, High King, pl. Hionvora
Hôrl  Forest, Trees
Hurm  Blood
Ik, Ig Sun
Ka Enemy, Bane, Foe
Kaag, Kâg  Mayor, Master (beloved master)
Kael  Coast (approachable, where a boat can be landed)
Kaelann Southern Coast, Motherland
Kan Victory, Glory
Kanga  Lord, Beloved War Leader (“Victorious One”)
Karn  Hills (gentle hills, farms possible)
Kârn Ôrd Lost Hills
Khomôl  Ghost
Kôd  Sky 
Kôd Ultor,Utumkôdur Golden Skymother (a golden dragon, dau. Of Ancalagon)
Kôdga He of the Sky (“Sky one”)
Kôdol Sky son (“Son of the sky”)
Kodûr  Skyfather
Krawaan Covelands
Kraw  Cove (a sheltered port)
Krawaan (later Krawaan Goak) Covelanders, one of the 4 Wômaw tribes (aka. Coastlanders)
Krawaan Góak Blessed People of the Covelands
Kykurian Kyn Black Land of the Black and Red Cryers
Laasi, Lâsi  Speech, language
Laath, Lâth  Position, Title
Laen  Gift of Glass, Volcanic glass
Leer, Lêr  Maker
Lôcha  Never ending glen
Lôkhas Drûs Dominion of Never-Ending Glens
Lú Tyr Sû  Open place of Icy blue Mist
Lygar Kraw Rainy Cove
Maur  Demons
Monarlan  Dear Exalted Mother
Muul, Mûl  High Priest (of Utomkodur)
Naag, Nâg  Swamp
Narig (later Móak or Móakaw) one of the 4 Wômaw tribes
Ol Letter
Olias  Word (“a hand of Letters”), pl. Oliyas, Olyas (Writings)
Olyas Kriis Golden Words, Golden Writings
Olyas, Oliyas Writings (“many letters”)
Ord, Ôrd  Lost
Orgothraath Cold Stone Land
Oweer, Owêr  Sea (“Great Gulf”)
Saer  Birthplace, Home
Shry  Mind, pl. Shrya
Shryac  Memory, Talisman (“Mind born”)
Soei, Soey  Dragon
Stoy  Firedrake
Suurk Kaelaan (later the Surk-Wômaw) Wandering Folk (Wanderers from the Southern Coast)
Suurk, Sûrk  Wanderer, Refugee
Tanuuk, Tanûk  Runner
Tanuukkôdol Young Skyrunner (“Runner who is a son of the sky”)
Thuriac Codya, Thuriac Home of the Holy Sky, largest island of Middle Earth
Turi, Thury Earthquake
Turiak, Thuryac  Land (“Earthquake born”)
Tyr Mist-people
Uax Icy Claw
Ul, Ûl  Male, Man
Uon  Cloud
Urd Keep
Utum  Golden
Vaalg, Vâlg  To desert
Vâg Place of Deaths
Valg Deserted ones
Vor  High (m.)
Vra  Rock, pl. Vraa
Vraak, Vrâk  Coast (Rocky, no port, “Rock born”)
Weer, Wêr  Gulf
Wôm Minds, one of the 4 Wômaw tribes
Wôm Shryac Home of the Mind
Wômac Those of the Home, one of the 4 Wômaw tribes
Womaw, Wômaw  Best People, Gifted People
Wômawas Drûs Dominion of the Gifted People
Womul, Wômûl  Gift (Natural gift)
Yig Earth, Soil
Posted in Middle Earth, Middle Earth Roleplaying, Tolkien | Leave a comment

MERP: The Waters of Life

The party started in Imdorad (aka. The Mering Steps) at the beginning of the Entwash.

The Party formed at Entwash -- Sigrbrand, Guthbrand, & Ruti

Ruti (an Ohdriag mercenary) came into town and stayed at King’s Crown Inn. Sigrbrand (a Beorning mercenary who claimed to be Rohirrim) came to town and first tried to sign up at the fort, who rejected him and sent him to the south side of the river. He went to the King’s Crown Inn and there met Miena, an overweight middle-aged woman whom he took to immediately, though she rejected him. Then he met Ruti and learned of a possible caravan job.

Thalian, a clean and impressive knight, Lieutenant of the local garrison, entered the Inn and Sigrbrand approached him to see if he wanted guards. Indeed, Thalian wanted people on his side and wanted the party to talk to Vinniee, whom he described as his second in command. Really, Vinniee ran the disreputable hostel in town and had the power of the Syndicate behind him.

Thalian had several stalwart fellows with him in rigid leather. He came in to lean on Miena, and began to threaten her. More of his guys came into the bar.  Sigrbrand thought he was a creep, so he cast Sleep 5 on him, putting him to sleep for 3 hours. After he fell, Sigrbrand tried to unobtrusively steal his purse, but failed utterly. Luckily Guthbrand (a Rohirrim warrior exile), who had been sitting in a corner, came to his aid, stealing 18 s. from Thalian. He gave 6 s. each to Ruti and Sigrbrand. Sigrbrand and Guthbrand laid the blame for Thalian’s collapse on Lancy, one of Thalian’s men. After getting Clancy (another of Thalian’s men) convinced, Sigrbrand began talking about taking Lancy to the garrison and torturing the truth out of him. Lancy took off running, which convinced the locals, and a lynch mob raced after him.

Meanwhile, Miena liked the party’s acts, and hired all of them for 20 s. each. Vinniee, she explained, was a drug dealer selling watered down water of life (Firinin) that was given to a dying boy in town by an aged wizard five years ago. The wizard was accompanied by a tall dangerous man in the shadows (Tannukodol) and both left after saving the boy and leaving the Firinin with the boy’s mother. The mother then sold drops of the water to make money, until she was killed by thieves anxious to get it. Miena still had some of the Firinin, and wished to hire the party to take it to an agent in Mirkwood to preserve it.  From there it will go to Maethelburg. The party agreed to go north for 10 s. each per week. Miena was to accompany them and they would also abduct Thalian as a hostage. They headed west out of town, largely unseen because of the furor over Lancy. Thalian was tied up on Vartil’s back (Vartil is Sigrbrand’s mountain pony) and Guthbrand stole his chain mail for himself.

They crossed the river at Twyferry and then headed north. Since they had Thalian hostage, Guthbrand stole another 80 s. and 56 c. from him.

That night, Sigrbrand was on watch and failed to notice the tittering sound near him. The party was next to the river, and four giant minks attacked, tearing apart the Lancer next to him and dragging his body back to the river. They of course did not attack Sigrbrand (a Beorning), who retreated next to Vartil and Thalian to protect them. Sigrbrand awoke the others with his shouts, and then begins to meditate in preparation for magic against the six other minks that were attacking. Guthbrand leapt onto Perry’s back and sliced a mink in half.  Another fled. Erkram (Miena’s head guard) was hit and stunned with a strike to his arm. Ruti slightly wounded one mink and then on her second attack wounded another, forcing it to stumble back.  Sigrbrand put two of them to sleep. Guthbrand wounded another, causing it to run away. Only one was left. Ruti hit it in the arm, causing minor damage and it ran away as well. Ruti killed the two sleeping ones while Sigrbrand comforted Miena. Guthbrand helped heal Erkram.  The pelts of the mink were worth up to 10 gp each and Guthbrand skinned the two that Sigrbrand had put to sleep. Sigrbrand would have not of those furs, and called Guthbrand a dirty trapper.

Guthbrand again taunted Thalian and threatened to drag him behind Perry, while Sigrbrand told Thalian he would be safe. Sigrbrand was ensuring that if Thalian escaped or was released, he would remember Sigrbrand kindly. The party was now traveling through the plains of Rohan and they camped in valleys out of the light during the day and travelled at night.

Edorhil and Taska (two of Vinniee’s killers) appeared to the south and gestured. Guthbrand wanted to go to them but Sigrbrand didn’t trust them and shot them. Ruti joined him in shooting and Taska fell and Edorhill vanished (the arrows went through him). The lancers and some of the party were greatly troubled. Sigrbrand thought it was strange, but probably just some strange monster, which they had managed to avoid. Guthbrand was appalled by Sigrbrand’s attack on an apparent attempt at a parley.

The party arrived at the Vane, a small ranger hideout just south of the Wold River (reminiscent of Henneth Annûn, but less hidden). As a mercenary, Sigrbrand saw the possibility of ambush now that the job was done, and made sure to get the party’s pay from Miena (20 s. for the two weeks) before going further. Against his better judgement, he went inside the building to protect Miena. The horses were left in the stables.  

Sigrbrand walked Thalian in, still tied with ropes. A thin black haired and pointy eared man by the name of Faris welcomed Miena with a hug. Inside were a dozen men, some Dunedain, some half-elves and one full elf. In Sylvan, Sigrbrand said to the group, “the fat one is mine. Hands off.” Besides the elves and half-elves, only Erkram showed any sign of understanding.

At dinner, Miena showed the vial, but Sigrbrand became increasingly jealous of Faris. When Faris claimed that mysterious encounter on the plains had been “a carnivorous bear under an illusion,” Sigrbrand became angry. As a Beorning, Sigrbrand was offended, and said that not only were there no bears on the plains, but that bears were not carnivorous. He also suspected that Faris mentioned bears specifically to provoke him, something that Erkram had said was typical of the behavior of Taska and Edorhill. Given the apparent illusions at that plains encounter, Sigrbrand smelled a rat, a big fat pointy-eared one.

Faris and he got close to blows, and everyone in the room was soon in the same state. Sigrbrand accused Faris of not being who he purported to be. Guthbrand was angry with Sigrbrand’s behavior, which he thought was motivated solely by jealousy about Miena. To settle things down, Guthbrand suggested that Miena ask Faris something that only he would know.  Miena asked him for the name of the boy saved by the wizard, and Faris couldn’t answer. Sigrbrand drew his sword, whereupon Faris and some of the rangers disappeared and only five of the men remained. Two had bows, three had swords and shields. All prepared to attack the party.

Guthbrand ran outside to get his horse, while Sigrbrand told Miena to take Thalian against the wall and stay out of the fight. Then Sigrbrand attacked one with a bow, doing little damage. Two lancers attacked one of the swordsmen, while another lancer hit an archer. Erkram attacked another and missed.

Guthbrand found four versions of Perry (his horse) outside. Guthbrand stabbed the one that seemed the most fake. It vanished. Two of the remaining Perrys began fighting the last Perry.

Inside, Erkram chopped off the arm of one man, who said “oh no” and vanished. Ruti killed another, who also vanished.

Guthbrand mounted the horse fighting on his own, which proved to be Perry. He then hit one of the others and it vanished.  He heard some quiet chanting and then an explosive sound and felt a great heat smashing into him.  He was stunned and his hand was burned. Perry managed to bear through the heat.

Likewise, Sigrbrand identified one man chanting inside. He attacked and called for the others to concentrate their attacks on the chanter. Sigrbrand missed the man (he was rolling abysmally all evening), but the three lancers hit the chanting one, who died, and the other two enemies vanished.

Perry damaged the chanter outside.

Sigrbrand searched the dead Edorhill (for it was indeed he) while the lancers ran outside and Erkram protected Miena. He found 7 gp, 27 sp, 52 cp, a neck scarf that seemed mystical, a fairly plain sword, gold bands around two fingers, rigid leather armor, and a weirdly opaque left eye. “Glass,” thought Sigrbrand. Edorhill also had a shield. Sigrbrand carved out his left eye (not glass, but definitely a false eye constructed of a strange material), and took the two gold rings and the scarf. He pocketed the eye and the gold rings, and wore the scarf around his neck. He then picked up the gold and silver and copper and went outside to help. Now revealed, Toska was fighting Ruti and 3 lancers attack. Guthbrand sliced him in half.

Sigrbrand then searched Toska, who also had a fake eye (the right this time), two gold arm bands around the same arm, rigid leather, a sword, and a little knife.  Sigrbrand carved out the fake eye, wiped it off on his faded tabard, and pocketed both it and the knife. He took the bands as well, since Guthbrand didn’t want them. He shared the money with the others. Next, he will cast Essence’s Ways to determine which items are enchanted, and hopefully, in what ways, after which they can be divided among the party. For now, however, he ran after Vartil, who ran away during the fight.

Posted in Middle Earth Roleplaying, Session Summaries | 2 Comments

JOURNEYMAN: Meeting the Synth

The party continues to explore the Enterprise (NC1701), an alien starship filled with Saurian crew members, all dead for 1000 years.

On Deck 14, the party fell upwards from the turbolift. The gravity was reversed. Inside was a Saurian covered in blood, armed with a large stick. He had just beaten some crewman to death. Serena notices that he is wearing one of the uniforms they have seen him on the crew, a red one. They fail to understand each other.

Salakarshsnaparergersksislaalbil ( “Bill”) has killed a Cthulhoid in a stolen uniform. Bil recognizes the grey card that Chester carries as being a sign of rank.  Chester tries to control emotions but fails.  And then tries to read minds but fails. Tries to heal and fails.

Serena find a yellow uniform (Medical) in good condition.

Serena finds a food converter and eats it, then projectile vomits. Bil tries to repair Serena and jams a screwdriver into her neck doing 1 hp damage. Chester heals her and then draws on the ceiling with rope. The dikdak meanwhile eats the cthulhoid’s head.

Bil tries to repair himself and fails. As he turns a blowtorch on his head, the party tries to heal himself. Chester tries to heal Him, but seals the wound with sharp thorns. Bil laughs at Chester’s primitive nature.

Chester tries the food that Serena had and tries to stifle his projectile vomit but fails. The dikdak licks up the vomit. He tries to heal himself.

Chester has cast 7 spells so far

Serena opens a panel. Behind it is vines. Chester cuts some meat from the corpse and then presses the meat against it.

Serena tries to shape the vines. Doesn’t work.

Chester puts an octopoid leg in the food converter and it comes out cooked, with the toenails painted green. Chester eats some and loves it. Serena tries some but it doesn’t agree with her and she spews again.

Bil tries to draw the octopoid for Chester.

Chester gives some octopoid to the Dikdak but it spits it out and then slurps up the last of the vomit.

They all get in the turbolift. They go to deck 13. There is half gravity, 13 dead bodies, and a steady light. No computer. One of the creatures killed everyone but then shot off his head. They find another yellow uniform, a needler, and a medkit.

Chester casts object reading and then detect life.

9 spells so far. Chester’s Shakti is 12, so that’s how many spells he can cast in one day.

There is a yellow pile of tasteless grits. Serena tastes it but leaves it.

Chester summons a harpy, whereupon he has Bil smash it. He does. It is infected with Typhoid.

They go down to deck 12. There is no gravity, but the lights and computer are.  There are no dead bodies.

They find a green bowl (mushy peas) but Serena thinks it is super nasty. Dikdak rejects it as well although Bil thinks it is candy.  They get three bowls ultimately. They decide to camp here. Chester goes to sleep while Serena and Bil guard. Then Serena goes to sleep and Chester guards, but Bil still stays up. And at that point the language translator kicks in and they are able to understand each other. Bil realizes that it is a universal translator.

Bil orders a bowl of black beetles and eats it up. Serena refuses it.  Chester tries one but kills it first and crunches down the large palm roach.

Chester orders hairrarerare. A large hairy pig ass shows up, slowly oozing some sort of mucus.

Chester eats it, and a huge spurt of mucus flies into his hair, the meat emits a loud fart, and then Chester begins retching uncontrollably.

Serena rolls her eyes and then orders “bread.” She gets a nice loaf of farmer’s bread with a slice of butter on the side.

Chester heals himself. He then orders cheesemeat. He gets cheezy tripe with a side of queso. He makes his WILL rolls and tries it. He retches again.

Chester orders a lambshank. There is a delightful leg of lamb with a mint jelly on the side. Finally.

The computer talks to them and tells them to go to Medical lab 2 on Deck 16 to fix Bil’s head. They talk to them for a long time.

Med lab android 2 is insane and ties Bil to the operating table. Bil and he fight to the death. Bil kills the android, but loses use of his right leg in the same time. Dikdak licks up all the green blood that is released.

They take Bil to the Med lab 1. But he can’t get healed because he is a synth. Then he jams a screwdriver in his head (Fumbled Repair). She tells him to go to the science lab on Deck 2.

They tell the robot to fix the turbolift. He ruins it. Then Bill has him destroy it. Now they have to climb the ladders to the upper floors. The climb the ladder to deck 15.  There are 13 dead bodies. There is a poison gas grenade, a blaster, and a paralysis pistol.

They go up to deck 14, 13, and 12, where they order tater tots.

They have to go up to Deck 8 and then go to the primary hull and take the turbolift to deck 2.

It is dark on Deck 11, with gravity, no computer.

Chester orders Slashens Flambe, are burning papery husks. The alarm klaxons go off. Chester orders the Slashen Flambe removed. The sprinkler system comes on. Then the scutter removes the Slashens.

Bil orders some Brandy and creates a torch with the Slashens Flambe.

Meanwhile Serena sees the ghost of a Seveysas cutting its wrists.

Then up to Deck 10.  The lights work and the computer, but there is no gravity.

There is one body, no loot. And a workbot that doesn’t work.

Then up to Deck 9, an auxiliary machinery room. Half gravity and no light. 6 bodies. 1 with loot. Laser pistol. That’s where they stop, for now.

Deck 8 is a separation level, between real levels. No gravity, no light, no computer.

Posted in Dungeons and Dragons, Journeyman, Session Summaries, Star Trek | Leave a comment

Front Gate

Liz Danforth (http://www.lizdanforth.com/) is looking good too!

Three adventurers poised to enter a gate to a cavern

Posted in Art, Tunnels and Trolls | Leave a comment

Forward my Gallant Steed

Bill McLean (https://www.deviantart.com/willmclean/art/Gallant-Steed-207182627) has still got it.

Knight cartoon. The knight is eager, but the horse is not.

Posted in Art, Humor | Leave a comment