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What’s happened! Maaaan… Okay, so I’m late in recapping and I need to recap because tonight we roll again.



Mostly, I’ve been kind of internalizing the end of support that’s rumored to be coming for Lamentations of the Flame Princess, the game I like to run. It’s pretty wonderful and goony, and I’ve come to love the whole idea of the Old School Renaissance- to the point where I’m working on my own version of the thing. I think it’ll come off nice when it’s done. When it’s finally done. Someday. I’m also at work on my spellbook – which is tricky, because I’m up to my 3 6th level spells which means 18 pages… It’s tough being a wizard!So when last we left Tyron and Bron and Sin and Xiavan and Ral had been on the shore of the salty stream where they encountered some giant pigs being fought by giant housecats. The cats won, but were driven off – food being scarce the team took up the pigs and had a big barbecue. One of the cats was put to sleep – magic, Tyron the Elf dandy having called on the magic power of dreams to rub the cat’s belly. This particular cat had a great big jewel encrusted collar.
The collar interested them, but when Tyron tried to talk to the cat, using his magic again, he got no answers.



The Cat was just a cat – I might have a weakness as a DM here, owing to my dislike of… animals generally. You know – about the animals I think of what Herzog said – about Nature being full of murder, desperation and evil. At a bar the other night a guy called me Herzog- that was really a high point for me. “Calm down Werner, we’re trying to have a drink!” Probably one of the best things I’ve been told. Anyhow – Animals, they’re dumb murderers and I play them that way. “I’m full, so I’m not a murderer right now.” Says the cat, why’s it got the collar? “Someone put it on me, thanks for taking it off.” And who put it on her? “Some two-legs that I ate.”
Anyhow, whatever, they cat goes away without any more bloodshed and I start to be sorry that I gave that dude the speak-with-animals spell. Because he wants to speak to them all the time, and again – I have a… Realistic opinion of animals.



salt-river-image

While camping Bron discovered that the Map given him by the Astrologer Gomez had some instructions and guides on it – notations indicating where food and shelter might be found. This, of course is the main purpose of the party in their current incarnation/journey – so they took his word for it and boated on down the stream. Finding themselves in the drained valley – what must have once been a deep lake, now gone to salt & seed, it’s a dusty section of canyon with a clear, flat expanse of shallow muddy water, maybe 5-6 feet deep. In the middle of this bowl of water are some big, big pylons- tall obelisks that are connected one to another by great metal chains – webs of chains, as if woven by titanic spiders. In the chains are old shipwrecks – held aloft above the desert playa in the thick rusty chains. And surrounding the Bowl? At the very cusp, a mile above the water, are four great towers of steel and glass, looming over everything. This, Gomez would have it, is the place.
After some misadventure and a lot of bad luck they find some old amphorae of honey in one of the shipwrecks, some sealed up, maybe still good cooking oil and some other amphorae of what is best thought of as a Vinegar-Brandy hybrid. They take it all, just to take and then decide to try one of the towers, the red tower is closest and the players quickly put aside any doubts I had about them by figuring out that under the dust-crusted exterior the 4 colors of the tower matched the 4 colors of the visible moons. Proud.
The Red Tower seemed easiest to get to, so they got to it, spending most of the day scaling a cliff was hard work and they all felt it.



At the summit they were dispirited to find that there was no ground entrance to the tower – as if the inhabitants of the place (if there had ever been any) could fly . Fly to the perchlike balcony at the peak of the steel-glass tower 100 feet above the already high mesa. An arduous day, but not liking camping out of doors when they can help it, the party decides to follow Xiavan, the best climber among them, who found for herself that the building had a kind of utility-ladder built in, cereal-bowl like depressions cut into the exterior at regular intervals, making climbing trivially easy – compared to scaling a cliff-face. Still, the sheer amount of climbing going on was pretty wearying overall. By the time she got to the top the sun had set & unfortunately for her… the man in the tower had begun to stir.
This guy had an immediate, disturbing air about him, instantly attractive – his eyes were like limpid pools, he hypnotized her, drawing her forth, toyed with her briefly and mercilessly and then started in on the draining of her blood.

Clio


This was pretty weird and difficult – especially to reasonably adjudicated – since the party had chosen to split like fools, and Xiavan couldn’t succeed on a saving throw literally to save her life. Now – this Vampire was the result of a randomly generated encounter and I’ve got a rule about not being totally murderous to players in a random encounter – not totally. At the bottom of the thing the other two players were just hanging out, stumbling into the nests of giant rattlesnakes. Not a good time for them either. Anyhow – finally overcoming his hypnosis, and drained of better than half her blood, Xiavan tries to escape the vampire by… Running right at him to get to the stairs behind him. Players man. Players.



By now, the rope that Xiavan had tied had helped Bron and Tyron at least get up the tower – of course the vampire saw this coming and dropped Xiavan on the ground to prepare himself for these others – who he couldn’t outwit – in the end he leapt onto the ceiling, revealing his gross clawed hands and feet, but still, his beautiful eyes called out to Xiavan. Now… That was weird, because the lady who plays Xiavan is someone I’ve periodically had carnality with and it got kind of weird because of playing out the intimidating vampire-man at a girl who’s kind of used to and… I dunno, sometimes on board about my dracula-sex-antics was a little embarrassing – just cause, you know, the other players are watching!



Still, all ended well – the vampire turned to a mist to try and escape, and then a bat, flying out into the night – only to be finally struck down (at this moment in the game I was thinking about how I could turn this guy into a recurring villain, someone who would hunt them down and find them later, etc… I decided his name would be Dalrymple). Anyhow, with tremendous good luck on the dice (finally) Xiavan whipped a silver dagger at the bat and dropped it out of the sky, hundreds of feet to the lake below, the burning body of Dalrymple crashing into the chain-nets they’d been climbing on earlier in the day.



Oh – about the chains – the Obelisks were written on in the old language of the land – which it turns out most of the party could decipher – they went on to decipher that the obelisks were used to measure the flood depth of the river, which was, once – long ago, very substantial – they could see that the maximum depth of the river was 30-40 feet greater than current levels.



Okay, this is getting tedious – I can, and sometimes even do write out these events in a more artful fashion, but this is just a rundown, meant to keep track of what’s happened, I’m circling back on myself and rambling pointlessly.
In the Red Tower they found the Red Book (I don’t know if they’re getting the pun, a cool prop I was happy to make. And as well, they found a bunch of quill-pens made of copper that sprouted flame when the engraved magical word was spoken – scholar-lightsabers. Yes.




The red book

Untitled



Exploring through the tower they found some strange things going on, and then started calling out – as if they wanted nothing more than for there to be a monster attack – and so I obliged them, naturally.
On the random table I have a few things noted – things like Vampire – with no real explanation it falls on me to come up with the Vampire’s backstory and rationale for being in the Red tower just at the moment – which is fine, I did, he’s part of a sect of these scholar monks (they’re tweedy!) who were studying the Red Book and the Red Tower and so on, and then got turned into a vampire by something in the basement, and then ate up all the blood of his friends – somehow, turning them into the next enemy that was randomly generated: “Spider Hulks” I really don’t know what I was thinking when I put that down on a chart, but the results were pretty weird –



Dead guys, split open, navel to neck and out of the dry holes are dozens of great big long scary spiderlegs. These guys climbed up out of the lower levels of the dungeon (after the party started hollering for attention) and their dead, lolling heads, suddenly snapped into a kind of life! They moaned, just slightly and then disgorged vast, impossible quantities of webs that bound the adventurers and clogged the area.
Which was the cliffhanger (cliff-sticker?) that we ended the session on. We’ll resume tonight, better, stronger, more complete.

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