[Actual Play] Lost on Carcosa Pt. X: The Revenge of the Masters

The battle was over. The headless corpse of the master burned along with the rest of the Tar pits. His servants are worm food. Our heroes, battered and wounded but still among the living, rested in his Citadel. They think it is over. They are wrong.

It passed that as our heroes reclined in the Citadel of the Master they discovered two things of interest (other then the brass and bronze furnishings of the palace, which would prove to be quite valuable if they could find a way to transport it out of the valley proper). One was to be found in the quarters of the deceased master, alongside several spare clips mysterious metallic objects that contained the lightning that is fire from the sorcerous devices of the Sky Daemons. A strange device, a metal chair with a console, built in restraints and a skullcap provoked much speculation from our band of lovable misfits. The other was rather more disturbing. In the dungeons, alongside the scum pits where adolescent albino hunting apes howled and fought ceaselessly, they discovered two cells, one containing a rotting green corpse, writhing with a thousand different types of insect, the other the famished but living green sorcerer Agak, whose skin bore the tattooed forms of a thousand insects, pronouncing him a fervent disciple of the Crawling God. The Sorcerer was quickly befriended by Ragnar and given food and water so he might recover. Ragnar, unsatisfied with the long wait, decided to explore the other cell and its vermin ridden inhabitant, discovering that schorpions are toxic and poking corpses with your hands is a bad idea. Determined to gain some reward from his explorations, he attempted to communicate with the schorpion, a decision so baffling as to be only explicable as a side-effect of the venom of the deadly Carcosan Deathstrike schorpion.

The rest of our heroes spent time recovering, healing, brooding (the Nameless Blue man), and talking with the sorceror Morat, who found in Sago and Speaker more pliable puppets then the strong willed Ragnar. Utterly ignoring all signs indicating a Agak to be anything but an utterly trustworthy and upstanding sort of mass-murdering sorcerer, they bargained with him, offering to escort him out of the valley for free and indeed bargaining their knowledge on the finer points of binding the colourless ooze in exchange for the CANTICLE OF THE CRAWLING GOD ritual, which was to allow the mighty Speaker to Animals and Sago the Red to communicate with the subterrene gods for the very reasonable fee of a single white warrior and possible death by a thousand insects.

Irked with not being the centre of attention, Ragnar chose that moment to stumble into the lecture, selfishly passing out in a last ditch effort to gain the desired spotlight. After a brief examination, they concluded he had but 2 days before the fever would claim him. Desultory, our heroes plowed the library for a possible cure while the Nameless Man attempted to negotiate for the help of Agak, who, among his many talents, was a healer of no small ability. Like any negotiation on Carcosa, it begins with reasoned soliloquies and well-argued propositions of a mutually beneficial nature and quickly ends in death threats and unreasonably obtuse refusals. Eventually the Sorcerer deigned to assist poor, dying Ragnar for a modest fee. Sadly the ingredients were not present in the citadel proper and could instead be found in the nearby jungle. Overjoyed at having to do something besides listen to the prattling of wizards, the Nameless Archer led the way to the jungles of the degenerate brown men, whistling all the way.

As our band accompanied by their trusted retainer Burlap, sans Sago and Speaker, who were exchanging knowledge of foul snake men rituals with Agak, and Ragnar, felled by lethal but conveniently very slow acting poison, set out collecting Herbs, they were rudely interrupted by a band of brown savages, demanding that they leave their premises and give them stuff. It was the Nameless Man who told them that it was they who had slain the Master so there would be none of that nonsense until they had what they came here for. The brown men looked at eachother and agreed. Then the Nameless man told them it was they who had to scuttle back and fuck off because fuck you thats why! Already pushed into a tiny corner with little room to maneuver, the savages responded with the mindless violence that is their perogative, ending up dead by the arrows of the Nameless man, and the swords of Asuz and Sarumon. Noble Burlap may have tackled a man to death, we are not sure. Though the brown men gave chase, the open fields beyond the jungle and the superior weapons of our heroes made short work of them, leaving them slain. The next day, their corpses were impaled in front of the citadel, their eye sockets and mouths filled with magnetic ores. Nonplussed, Asuz simply pocketed it, giving the matter no thought at all.

As the cure was administered with reasonable success, Ragnar dreamt fondly of the Citadel and what he would do with it, the venom making him forget a single yet all important truth. This was Carcosa. The party decided that if the Citadel was to be theirs, they would make themselves master of it, cull the brown men and master the technologies within. The Chair represented a lingering presence of the master, and would have to be mastered in turn, so that they could take for themselves the power he had obviously possessed. Sarumon and Ragnar were hesitant at first, but it was by the council of the Nameless man that Sarumon did volunteer and place himself upon the chair and did activate it, causing him to shiver as electrical impulses worked their way upon his savage mind. And there was an ominous silence, as though elsewhere, in some other distant planar realm, a saving throw had just been failed. Nothing happened, prompting Speaker to try the chair also. Again there was a great rumbling and the ominous failure of saving throws. Speaker and Sarumon, prompted by the benevolent and all powerful GM, advocated everyone else try as well. At this point the courage of the Nameless Man, who had been the greatest advocate for fiddling with the piece of alien tech, promptly lost all courage as snow before the sun, and thus a compromise was reached by using Burlap. It seemed the chair had a different effect on him indeed, for he was suddenly eloquent, and he did not drool as much when he proclaimed; Step away from the Bone and the White Man. This device imprints the wearer with the mind of the Master!

Sarumon and Speaker, now both the master, one still wearing the Master’s space suit and Tellurium Blaster rifle, looked at eachother and laughed. And there was an ominous silence afore there was an ominous fleeing. Burlap heroically attempting to block the door while the rest fled like rabbits, except for cunning Ragnar who had a cunning plan. A single blast from a Tellurium rifle blew a fist sized hole in the door! Oh no! For a moment Speaker and Sarumon, both now Masters, looked at eachother and debated whether treachery would be done now, or after the prey had been vanquished. Sarumon the Master demanded Burlap be put to death, but he was eloquent and argued his case well, the Masters needed servants did they not? It was the Speaker Master who spared poor Burlap informing his companion he would be brought to the dungeon. As Sarumon casually followed our cowardly companions into the Citadel, carefully checking for signs of ambush, Burlap, with minimal effort, convinced Speaker that to betray the other after the battle would place him at a distinct disadvantage, thus co-operation was now needed.

Our heroes fled into the barracks, to retrieve Agak and Sago, who was smart enough to give the unearthly statue they had taken from the Eater of Children, the most hated thing in all Carcosa, to Agak, hoping he could use it. He could, and he laughed mightly and scarily when he laid eyes upon it. They stumbled towards the exit, where they were most displeased to find both Sarumon standing in front of the Gate with a powered Rifle behind a crude barricade and Speaker and Burlap emerge from a different side passage. Speaker promised to spare everyone if they aided in his attempt. As they charged, screaming, towards the master, and Tellurium bolts fell to the left and right of them, Ragnar, with rodent-like ingenuity, had sped deeper into the sanctum, procuring the signal-flares in the highest tower afore using them all together, along with a collection of tapestries and other flammable objects, to first set fire to the Master’s Sarcophagus, and later set course for the dungeons, where the hideous albino hunting apes could be found.

The Battle proper did not got well, like titants, the two masters fought for dominance while our heroes attempted to slip by. As the gateway was forced open Sarumon delivered a devastating gut shot to Speaker, roaring victoriously.

As our heroes fled past the triumphant arch villain, leaving Burlap cornered to fend for himself, their newfound companion Agak took a Tellurium beam to the shoulder, burning him most viciously. As the Master was about to fire a second time, this time surely killing one of our heroes, he noticed smoke emerge from the tunnels leading to the dungeons. Smoke…and the howling of a dozen enraged hunting apes that had not been conditioned to obey!

It seemed there was hope for our heroes yet.

Death toll: 16
[A] Rohnan (Specialist 1) the Incautious: Eaten by giant spiders
[B] Jaxxon Windwaker (Ftr 1) the Insane :  Impaled by Spawn of Shub-Niggurath
[C] Mongo the Red (Sor 1) the Unfortunate :  Impaled by Spawn of Shub-Niggurath
[B] Klak (Specialist 1) the Fool : Skull crushed by Animate Snake-man statue
[B] Kristal (Ftr 1) the Tragic: Drowned in Quicksand
[D] Kakarot (Sor 1) the Stalwart: Beheaded by Jale Berserker
[A] Midros (Sor 1) the Overconfident: Bissected by Jale chieftain
[E] T’Click (Spec 1) the Treacherous: Butchered by treacherous Ulfire men
[B] Kris (Spec 1) the Eater of Men: Gutted by Elite Yellow Temple Guardian before devouring own guts
[D] Rake (Ftr 1) the Doomed: Devoured by Dolm Worm
[A] Sayeed (Ftr 1) the Unseaworthy: Drowned in the Great River to be food for the creatures below
[A] Ronaan (Spec 1) the Gambler: Beheaded by the mighty Bone man champion in honourable single combat
[B] Jahlin (Spec 1) the Harlot: Taken by the invisble horror of the Great Canyon
[A] Menon (Spec 1) the Halfwit: Cut down by the vile and contemptible Ulfire Slavers
[B] Sarumon (Ftr 1) the Bold: Mind-wiped by alien technology and imprinted with memory and personality of the Master.
[E] Speaker to Animals the Not-as-bold: Mind-wiped by alien technology and imprinted with memory and personality of the Master.

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