Monday, September 7, 2009

Chapter 4, Part 1: "The Importance of Attentiveness..."

Last night, four other gamers and myself took advantage of the long weekend. We ditched the old-ladies and families and gamed on Planet Algol from 2 in the afternoon to 3 in the morning. Usually when there is a long weekend there are all sorts of weddings, camping trips, visits by relatives, etc. to preclude any epic sessions. Last night the stars were right however, and it proved to be a travel back to a teenage time of few responsibilities and gaming until you fall unconscious.

Players of Consequence to this Drama:

BULL'S EYE BUCK McGOVERN - Earth Man Fighting-Bloke
BUZZ BRAZZELHACH - Australian Fighting-Man
DUDE EARTHMAN - Earth Man Fighting-Man
KALMOR THE WHITE JACKAL - Hyperborean Assassin
MAGGOT MORT THE MALFORMED - Unhealthy Mutant Thief
RYGARR - Green Man Sorcerer

Part II Here
, Part III Here, Part IV Here, Part V Here, Part VI Here, Part VII Here.

In the aftermath of the abandoned warehouse battle with the ambushing addicts the party takes stock of their situation. With both Dickie Dee and Monster Monagin out of commission due to their injuries the decision is made to strap them to the backs of their zorses and have Nigel Nightbringer take them back to the Lamia's Breath Intoxicating Vapour Lounge in Agog City to recover.

While conversing about their next steps the party runs into four wandering adventurers. Of the four two of them are well known to the party: Bull's Eye Buck McGovern the Earth Man fighting bloke, and Maggot Mort the malformed mutant thief. The two strangers are Kalmor the White Jackal, a Hyperborean Assassin and hater of Earth Men, and Buzz Brazzelhach an Australian Earth Man who got black-out drunk and came to on Algol with out any memory of the means of this occurrence. The party realizes their need of additional muscle for their schemes and convinces the two strangers to join them.

They make their way to the Lead Cup salon. Outside they find a crowd of unwholesome looking miners bearing brass tridents and lit torches surrounding a cart full of wriggling canvas sacks. One of the miners invites the party to "Play Mnor Circle with us, only one gold credit!" Inquires are rebuffed, as it would be "more fun to learn the game as you play." Four of the party pay the fee, are handed a trident and torch, and are made to form a circle with four of the miners.

One of the of the miners takes a wriggling sack out of the cart and unties it, emptiing the contents into the circle of participants revealing a silvery-furred ovoid creature with twenty segmented legs and huge, faceted black eyes. The same miner than empties a flask of naphtha onto the squeaking being and it gets onto its multiple segmented legs

Buzz asks what about the nature of the creature and is informed that it is a Mnor, semi-intelligent autochtons that dwell in the hills outside of town before the creature rushes at him smearing him with naphtha before rebounding into the ring and rushing at one of the miners who swats it with his torch igniting the silvery-grey fur of the being.

The Mnor rushes about as the participants poke at it with tridents before again coming at Buzz, who steps aside releasing the flaming creature. The miners quickly herd it back into the circle where it soon expires from burns and punctures. Buzz is chastied by the miner that invited them to join the game, "Leave! You are terrible at Mnor Circle and our recreation will be much more pleasant without you or your friends ruining it!"

The party enters the Lead Cup Salon. The barkeep sells lead cups of gin and purified water. Rygarr inquires about how to speak with Mozug, as he has some Gamma Orichalcum to sell. The barkeep takes them to a trapdoor in the back and provides instructions on how to find his subterranean offices, a vital piece of information that a nervous Rygarr quickly forgets and the rest of the party never hears.

Rygarr gathers his companions and they descend into the narrow, chipped, rock tunnels and soon come to a five-way intersection. Stymied by lack of information from Rygarr other than, "I believe the gentleman said it was to the right." the party trusts Dude EarthMan's intuition that it is the tunnel on the far right, instead of the one that loomed near. Slowly the party progresses down the tunnel, and through the dark. As they enter a larger chamber, a large muddy arthropod lunges out of the darkness, grabs Dude Earthman in it's sucker tipped claws, and inserts a large, needle-like proboscis into his torso.

The party begins to desperately hack at it with halberds and swords. All the while Dude EarthMan feels, hears, and sees his blood being rapidly sucked out through the translucent proboscis of the crustaceous monstrosity that grasps his quickly weakening body. With swords, arrows, and knives pinging and ricocheting off its thick mantle, the horrid N'grutha continues to fend off his companions effortlessly with it's multiple needle-clawed limbs. Buzz strikes the thing in the head repeatedly, attempting to sever the needle-like organ, but by the time they slay the beast Dude EarthMan lies dead; a hollow shell emptied of its blood and soft organs. Soon his armor and magic silver sword are distributed among the party. Quickly thereafter they hack his body into pieces to preclude any undead reanimation or possible hatching of N'grutha eggs.

Taking a moment, the party searches the room and finds the bodies of three previous victims of the beast, as well as a tunnel choked with rubble. Although the bodies are devoid of treasure, it appears that it may be possible to remove some of the debris and further explore the rubble-choked tunnel.

Unsettled by the recent turn of events the party retraces their steps and attempts to exit via the trapdoor. The door does not open and no one responds to their cries. In the heated discussion that follows some of the party express the opinion that they took the wrong way previously and if they took the closer tunnel they should arrive at Mozug's offices safely.

Taking the near right tunnel, leading out the chamber of five passages, the party finds themselves at a reinforced metal door. Light shone through its cracks, and they could see movement as light flourished and diminished from its glass peeping-eye. They knock, and a guard answers.

After stating their intent to sell a large quantity of Gamma Orichalcum the guard requests that they disarm themselves in order to enter. The party removes their weaponry (aside from a few cleverly hidden daggers) and leaves the gear with Bull's Eye Buck McGovern, pensively waiting outside the door...

Part II Here
, Part III Here, Part IV Here, Part V Here, Part VI Here, Part VII Here.


  1. Somehow this blog has flown under the radar. I am glad that James from Grognardia pointed it out as the blog is an awesome read. Added immediately to the blog list.

    No pressure, old chap, but keep up the excellent work!

  2. Same here. James is basically the Oprah of the Old School blogosphere.

  3. Thanks for checking it out! It's only appropriate that James was the responsible agency, since browsing Grognardia and the linked/featured sites (such as Ancient Vaults and Eldritch Secrets) was a big inspiration for Planet Algol. Maybe I'll write some "Koram and Chalk on Planet Algol" fanfiction...

  4. Go for it, I give you full permission to use those two rascals on Planet Algol!

    I love reading this blog as the game is so gonzo. I actually am really into CAS and not so much into Vance and you have me reading through the entire Dying Earth books, something I have tried before and not gotten very far into.

    Planet Algol is a really superb concept and I really enjoy reading all about your game.

  5. Than you, I'll try and whip something up for the next appropriate post.

    When I was a youth, I found Vance's prose underwhelming, "What did Gygax see in this guy?" Nowadays I find his work the equivalent of a gourmet meal or fine wine....other things I would not have fully appreciated in my younger years.

  6. Great article! All the articles you have, they enjoy reading and learning a lot. Your article is very helpful for me. I hope you will continue to write such good articles as well.
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