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Unfathomable! Session 5

 In which the players prove themselves malicious liars and ruin my life.

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

The Ruleset: 5e

The Party:

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

The Story So Far

The PC Party, whom I have started to refer to as the Dogs of Destiny in my notes, have entered the Underworld in pursuit of the fabulous Nul Rod. They descended a 1000' ladder and fought some psychic mind-bats.

This Session

Here's a thing about Operation: Unfathomable! Right as the PCs enter the dungeon, they can go left or right. Right takes them towards all the prepared material. Left takes them to a big, blank "You're a GM, make something up." 

The Player's Map

At the end of the last session, the Players agreed that they would head to the right along Hell's Back Road. Great! I had a notion for what was to the left, thanks to the timely arrive of Knock! Issue 4, which includes a subterranean Lost City. But I didn't prep it. Because they were going to the right.

Those filthy, lying, treacherous Players then immediately decided that of course they had to investigate what the "Terrible Screams" were about at the top of this week's session. I had no choice but to throw difficult encounters at them to delay them reaching the end of the map until the next session.

They did some lackadaisical exploration, found some safety deposit keys in a pile of detritus and a silver dagger in some fungal growth. Geta pulled out her herbalism and took fungus samples, and Brother Ded tried eating some, which, of course, resulted in the Poisoned condition. Then they heard a sound from behind them, like billard balls being flung along a stone passage.

First encounter: a stampede of giant (St. Bernard-sized) pill bugs, rolled into balls and whizzing along at breakneck speeds, trying to escape more mind-bats. Most of the pill bugs zoomed right by, but the PCs ended up engaged with about 8 of them, and then, a round later, some pursuing mind-bats showed up. 

The PCs looked pretty invincible in the campaign's previous combats, but that shine wore off here. Several PCs were dropped to zero, and one was carried off some distance by a mind-bat before it was killed by a Ray of Sickness.

Long rest: The PCs buried themselves in a fungal bloom and kept watch.

Next morning: The found a monocular worm, which, thanks to Greta drinking the ocular fluid in Session 1, they knew was an Eye of Shaggath-Ka and a scout for his unspeakable Worm Soldiers. It was perched near their camp, but hadn't spotted them. They coordinated an attack and took it out before it could react.

This act was spotted by a passerby, Ootherion the Ape Myrmidon. 

Ootherion, Myrmidon of Samos

Ootherion is a mercenary badass from a dimension of giant carnivorous apes that have a culture indistinguishable from Ancient Greece. He talks like Brain Blessed, and is eager to share his story in the form of a four-hour-long epic poem that really needs to be heard in the original High Apish. He is also lost, trying to find the Pleasure Dome of the Slug Merchants and spend his considerable fortune. He scoffs at the PCs attempts to hire him ("IT WOULD DIMINISH ME TO ACCEPT ANYTHING BUT MY FULL FEE, AND I CAN SEE IT IS OUTSIDE YOUR MEANS!"), but agrees to travel with them for as long as their paths align.

They skirt around a massive pill bug nest, and are getting perilously close to the map's edge when they spot of squad of Worm Soldiers being led by several Eyes of Shaggath-Ka coming towards them. Various stealthy maneuvers are attempted, and some bad rolls alert the worms.

a Worm Soldier

Cliffhanger: They are spotted by the Eyes of Shaggath-Ka, who flash a strobing red kill-signal to the soldiers. The squad surges forward in a mirder-frenzy!

Next Session

I expect that the next session will begin with a chase scene, and I hope that this will chase them all the way back to the area where the module's plot-relevant content is. I need to prep some chase mechanics (the ones in the DM's Guide aren't very satisfying) and, in case the chase doesn't work, prep the outskirts of the Lost City to the Left.


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