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Unfathomable! Session 22

Can ye Dogs of Destiny escape the Unfathomable Underworld?!

The Campaign: Operation Unfathomable! and Odious Uplands!, both by Jason Sholtis

The Ruleset: 5e

Ye Dogs of Destiny:

  • Brother Ded, a monk/political shit-stirrer. 
  • Mort, a fugitive from Imperial justice. 
  • Greta, a baby-eating hag-turned-Citizen Lich. 
  • Ulther, a ranger and artifact smuggler. 
  • Zinee, a wooly neanderthal druid/cosmetologist. 
  • Toljin, a magical boy raised by pirates. 
  • Doloth, an unwilling-Citizen Lich. (absent)

The Story So Far

Ye Dogs of Destiny have traveled into the Underworld to find the fabulous Nul Rod, faced the slavering hordes of the Worm Sultan, the cynical oblivion of the Cult of Nul, the chilling experiments of the Science Fungoids, and the madness that is Thrantrix the Ineffable. They have treated with primordial gods of Darkness, beings from a far-flung future, and their own rivals, the Apis Irregulars. Now, they are returning to their safe haven in the Underworld—an entombed flying saucer piloted by Dr. Ephraim Thontorius, a bear.

Session 22

Psaltir 19 (7th day in the Underworld), 5th Bell

The party returned to Thontorius's saucer, but he was not pleased to see them. This is because they brought with them the remains of the OCU Campus Security forces (who not only wanted to arrest Thontorius on suspicion of murder, but to seize his saucer in the hopes that it would take them back to their time).

The Party decided to apprehend and restrain the security guards. They did not convincingly explain this course of action to the guards, who tried to make a break for it and escape. The Party cut them down pretty mercilessly. Well, they did leave one alive but bound and unconscious, in case Greta needed to snack on his soul and heal up, later.

They called in Auruna, Smash Hannigan, and Krodok, who were out looking for the rest of the Apis Irregulars, and reunited them with their missing team members, Shantora Lax and Kuwain Trylos. Auruna reported that her grandfather, an important lich back in Mur, had sent her an unseen servant with a message: do not leave the Underworld in the company of ye Dogs of Destiny, and, preferably, wait a few days after the others have left to exit the Underworld. No further explanation was given, but the Party got the gist: something nasty was waiting for them at the top of the thousand foot ladder to the surface. 

Of perhaps equal concern was the sheer weight of treasure they had accrued, and the logistics of hauling it up all that way. 

Auruna also reported that the Underworld was flooded with Shaggath-Ka's worm soldiers, more than they'd ever seen before, and that some of them were headed this way. Thontorius confirmed that there were sufficient troop movements to register as seismic activity on the saucer's sensors.

This lead to a hurried discussion of how to use their Divine Favor (a Wish spell) to:
  1. Escape the Underworld
  2. Avoid whatever was waiting for them aboveground
  3. Keep their treasure horde intact
  4. Free the flying saucer (Everyone is really eager to live out their Millennium Falcon fantasies by tooling around in a flying saucer with Zinee the Wooly neanderthal as their co-pilot 
A lot of haggling on the limits of the Wish spell followed. It turned out that most of their elaborate and even modest plans didn't fall within the Wish spells limits. In the end, they asked if a 2nd Level Reduce spell, upcast to Level 8, could shrink the flying saucer. By the books, no. But obviously, yes. This was a narratively better solution than the ones I'd thought of, because they would have to navigate the worm-choked tunnels to reach the one other opening to the surface world they'd found. Much more dramatic! More tension! Absolutely the Wish spell will set that up!

Everyone piled out of the saucer, the divine power of Erebos and Nyx shrank the saucer to a size that could be tucked away into a backpack. (Unfortunately, they forgot to take the unconscious security guard out of the saucer, so he was squeezed out like so much red toothpaste.) Off they set. They dealt with some Science Fungoids, who were, thankfully, more concerned with packing up their destroyed facility and didn't recognize the Party as the very people who had caused that destruction. They eluded worm patrols. They made it to the Cradle of Sephilax, a large chamber filled with the discarded husks of a newly-born Chaos godling, and everyone took their anti-Chaos pills to deal with the elevated Chaos radiation. They climbed up to a ledge they knew led to a chimney that Sephilax had chewed to the surface. Pulling out the miniature saucer, they nervously waited for their one-hour time limit to expire and it return to its normal size so they could fly it up the chimney.

As they waited, they heard the region's other newborn godling arrive—Thrantrix the Ineffable! She shouted mad imprecations at the absent Sephilax, which attracted the attention of a couple worm patrols. As the saucer slowly (and noisily) returned to its full size, the Party listened nervously to the battle below, hoping they wouldn't attract the attention of either side.

Finally, they had a full-sized saucer. They loaded in and Thontorius piloted them up the chimney—just as Thrantrix finished off the worms and turned her wrath on them.

After a week underground, they burst out into the crisp Spring sunlight of Upper Mastadonia with a ravening bundle of snakes and Chaos energy in hot pursuit. Thrantrix threw lightning bolts and telekinetic blasts at them. They noticed that the sunlight and the reduction in ambient Chaos radiation was causing Thrantrix to deteriorate. She was shedding snakes as she flew. They just had to outlast her. Unfortunately, her assaults were not only damaging the ship, but flinging everyone around and causing lots of bludgeoning damage.

Mort carries his Boomer, the Sword of Destruction, which can be set to explosively self-destruct. That sword is is favorite thing in the world. He asked Smash Hannigan to use his jetpack to fly Mort above Thrantrix. There, with a heavy heart, he whispered the activation phrase, "Okay, Boomer." A magic mouth appeared on the pommel and began to count down. "10... 9... 8..." He dropped the sword towards to Chaos godling.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party tried to make themselves useful, scouting for terrain they could try to lose Thrantrix in and boosting Thontorius as he piloted.

"7... 6... 5..."

They opened the the saucer's ramp and hung out to fire spells and ray guns and arrows at the godling, knocking away more and more of the snakes that made up her body.

Still, Boomer tumbled down. 

"4... 3... Mort, I have always loved you. 1." 

Mort was gripped with instant, anguished regret as he yelled "Boomer, Noooooo!" 

And Boomer exploded, destroying the last remnants to Thrantrix.

The saucer, however, was now in freefall, plunging towards the earth.

They carved a deep furrow through the earth, smash rocks and flinging trees into the air. They finally cam to a stop. They were in rough shape. They pulled themselves out of the wreckage and started patching themselves together (except for Mort and Smash, who landed lightly thanks to Smash's jetpack).

By the time they had all stumbled out into the snowy landscape, they saw three figures looking down on the from a ledge. A carrying voice called out, "By the Immortal Authority of the Empire of Mur, you are under arrest!"



The aerial chase was handled as a very rough 4e-style skill challenge. I was GM'ing by the seat of my pants here, so I hadn't put any thought into how to handle this challenge, or reminded myself of best practices for running a skill challenge. But it seemed to work out alright.

They party saved themselves from a nasty ambush by not going up the ladder. But I figured that their departure would have been visibly spectacular enough to draw the attention of their foes, and the fight-crash-and-recovery gave at least a few of them time to make it to the crash site.

The party are all down to single-digit hit points and don't have two spells left to rub together, so my plan is to begin the next session with them in captivity, unless they seem really eager to see how this fight turns out. 

Next session could be the last!


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