Thursday, December 10, 2009

Chapter 11, Part 2: "Vengeance Upon the Bird-Things!"

Albino Bird-Thing illustration by Lester/B. Portly

Dickie Dee - Bone Man Intoxicant Addict and Sorcerer
Jedediah - 1850s' Nevada Alien Abductee, Cousin of Thibodeaux
Kalervo - Cactoid
Nigel Nightbringer - British Man-at-Arms
Thibodeaux - 1850s' Nevada Alien Abductee, Cousin of Jedediah
Xarnagan Vrokk - Haasht Man Fighting-Sage

Part I Here, Part III Here, Part IV Here.

The party secures their ornith mounts behind the ridge and wait for nightfall before descending the steep path to the ledge of the bird-things. They make their way to the tunnel entrances without any sign of the albino avian humanoids, and in hushed tones decide to proceed down the nearest tunnel with eyes wide open and weapons drawn.

The flickering green light of a chemical torch reveals three of the bird-men lurking within the tunnel. With cawing cries that sound like "Doom! Doom!" they charge the party with their cruel hand-talons upraised.

The fighting men in the front line hold fast and trade blow for blow with the foul beings; however those in the back rank, whom are outside the tunnel on the ledge, see two other similarly-sized groups erupt from tunnels further down the ledge and come hopping and cawing towards them.

Dickie Dee calmly tells the party to hold the line and Nigel Nightbreaker readies his halberd for a charge before he is engulfed by one of the small flocks of bird-things. The fighting-men (and one cactoid) in the tunnel strike down two of their foes leaving only a sole bird-man to engage them, although they bear many bloody wounds.

As talons shred flesh and steel strikes feathers Dickie Dee calmly chants an incantation and all but one of the remaining bird-things fall into a deep slumber. As the remaining feathered foe is dispatched and others dash about the ledge slitting bird-throats and crushing bird-skulls, two more manlike forms are spotted descending the trail to the ledge.

As the party again raises their weapons and prepares to kill, the starlight reveals the features of Rodan the Scrounger with a strange Earth Man who is wearing spectacles and a red leather jacket, has blond hair cut in an awkward bowl cut, and bears a bulky laser rifle slung on his back and a Colt Model 1911 automatic pistol on his hip.

Rodan explains that he roused himself out of his gin binge and resolved to aid the party with the recovery of their fallen comrades, enlisting the aid of the strange Earth Man, Moon Martin, a psychic whom he met in the Bronze Engine tavern in Jakay. In a whining, grating, nasal voice Moon Martin introduces himself and tries to sell an Earth Man revolver he has inside his jacket.

The party, however, has more pressing concerns, and resumes a defensive formation before plunging into the tunnels of the bird-men (examination of the bodies by Xarnagan the Sage reveals that they are actually bird-women and bird-children, a fact which does not bother the callous adventurers). They soon find the center of the lair...a large cavern littered with clean-pecked bones. By the scattered weapons, remaining armor, and shreds of clothing the fallen party members are identified.

As Buzz Brazelhatch, the Australian lout and pleasure seeker, had assumed the position of party leader, the decision is made to attempt to resurrect him first. Rodan applies the Eye of Bestowing Life to the corpse and Buzz is immediately whole, hearty and hale. Next Monster Monagin, recognizable by his body-suit of tough, flexible mesh armor, and Corporal Radar O'Reiley are raised.

Radar O'Reiley is amazed to be alive and even more amazed when he realizes that his metal nose, a prosthesis to replace the one eaten by savage baboons, is missing and that he has a normal, fleshy nose instead. One of the benefits of being rebuilt from scraps of decaying matter by the Eye of Bestowing Life! Radar recognizes Moon Martin as a fellow crewman from the Scout Rocket Alpha, which crashed on Algol after a disastrous expedition in which he lost his nose.

The party debates bringing Kal-Mor the Hyperborean Assassin back to the living, but both his vicious racist attitudes towards Earth Men and his stupidity in fleeing into the unexplored tunnel to be ripped apart by bird-women & -children tips the scales and his remains are left to further rot after being looted of valuables.

As the party debates who should have Kal-Mor's Ring of Protection, Moon Martin interjects. With his eyes radiating some strange mesmerizing power he explains that the party would be best served by him possessing the ring. Buzz and Dickie Dee are inexplicably swayed and present Moon Martin with the magic ring.

Dickie Dee then states that the party should also raise Vrroomish the Tikalg Adventuring Dandy and Hobab the Mountain Guide and Party Scapegoat. Cries of outrage burst from the party when raising Hobab is suggested, and Dickie sees the logic in their arguments. However, even with the remaining charges in the Eye of Bestowing Life dwindling, the companions recall Vrroomish's gallant last stand while the party was fleeing, and the downy, gray Tikalg Man is brought back to the living.

Vrroomish opens his eyes and makes a sardonic comment about this unexpected turn of events before his eyes light on Buzz Brazelhatch. With a cry of joy he jumps to his feet and rushes to embrace Buzz before thanking the party for restoring him to life. He does make a pithy comment when it is revealed that Thragg the Skyman has his needler-pistol, but takes it in stride.

Meanwhile Rodan the Scrounger is searching the chamber and makes a satisfied grunt when he finds a glimmering bronze battle axe next to a pile of rubbery bones....the magic axe of the Vat-Men! Xarnagan is able to identify it with his sagely lore and reveals that it possesses two valience shells...a worthy find! As Radar O' Reiley is skilled with axe-fighting he is presenting with the trophy.

The party decides to make camp in the bird-thing cavern for the night. As Buzz is about to fall asleep he realizes his folly in letting Moon Martin have Kal-Mor's magic ring. In a rage he throws off his blanket and storms over to the psychic Earth Man, rousing him with several swift kicks to the ribs...


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oops.
    Anyway- the bird-thing illustration is really, really cool.
    Kal-Mor reminds us all of the importance of tolerance and intelligence.
    I'd like to see a list of which players correspond to which pcs.

  3. Thanks! Me and Blair were wondering if the bird-thing needed a horn?

  4. It needs nothing; however, a horn might be neato. I think it should be crazy serrated and mutant cruel looking.
    P.S. I especially dig the way you did the feathers and the highlights in the eyes.

  5. Like Werner Herzog said "If you want to know evil you must look into the eye of a chicken."

  6. @Aos

    Current characters in order of usual player attendance:

    Sean (me):

    Rodan the Scrounger
    Corporal "Radar" O'Reilly
    Moon Martin


    Dickie Dee the Boneman
    Monster Monagin


    Buzz Brazzelhatch
    Kal Mor the White Jackal (RIP)

    Wes (Fat Cotton):

    Kalervo the Cactoid
    Xarnagan Vrokk, fighting sage

    Lester (B. Portly):

    Thragg the Skyman


    Nigel Nightbreaker

  7. Looking at this list makes me think we could have a couple more back up characters in the mix to fatten the meat shield.

  8. Who played Dude Spaceman and the maggot guy?

  9. Wes (Fat Cotton) played Dude Earthman.

    I played Maggot Mort the addict thief.

    RIP fellas.