Monday 12 June 2023

Trollopulous Adjusted Session 22 (Machodor #9); The Return of the Space Crew

      



Machodor Order of the Rising Sun


Introduction


With everyone in the Bandit Mountains training or otherwise busy this week, it was time to check in on the valiant heroes who had fixed the sun and saved the world from the threat of an endless night.

Timekeeping


This session took place on 09/June/2023,  and the PCs adventured for 8 days.

Player Characters Present


Karshe (Level 6 Fighter,  E)
Primus (Level 4 Fighter of Machodor, E)
Marty O'Stool (Cleric Level 1,  E)
Slap Dashington (Level 1 Monk, from Space, E)


Downtime Summary

Having survived adventures outside of the very world of Trollopulous, the PCs responsible for switching the Sun back on had been showered with awards, and some rewards, in the city of Minas Mandalf. Now, having finished training and grown tired of easy life in the holy city, the party sought out new adventures.


Session Report


Iolanthis, the NPC night manager of the Minas Mandalf Adventurers Aid Society (fully funded and owned by the Macho King, Mandalf the first) was excited to see the adventurers as something strange had come across his desk, travelling dervish warriors had reported sighting a desert at the south western border of Machodor. The sudden appearance of this sandy desert, in a region previously known to have contained rolling hills, was of great concern. The party opted to take on this investigation, and, to help them with this, Iolanthis offered a loan of a captured Thark Skiff. Since this vessel could fly 30' above the ground, and cover 90 miles a day, it was the perfect vehicle for the task ahead.

Captured at the the siege of Hobgobiton, still smells of Thark.


The party set off on a pleasant spring morning and began making good time across the hills to the south of Gnomesville. By lunch time they saw a bedraggled body of humans ahead. They advanced and found the group consisted of 70 Trollops; but these were no ordinary Trollops, they were from the 'Bighorse' nomad clan; known to roam the region where the sudden appearance of a desert was reported. Breathlessly their spokeswoman explained that; 2 nights ago, their clan's camp was engulfed with a sandstorm and then attacked by unknown creatures. The clansmen were unable to stand against the attackers, and the women were force to flee. Knowing nowhere else to turn, they were heading for the safety of Minas Mandalf before the PC's found them.

The more experienced members of the party remembered with fondness the days when Trollops fetched a large reward in the capital; but, it was for purely altruistic reasons, that they allowed the group to board their Skiff and then rushed them back to Minas Mandalf. There the nomad ambassador rewarded them with 10gp per head, which was better than nothing for the cash strapped adventurers.

The party restarted their voyage; this time, thanks to the Trollops, with a little more to go on. They again went south west, and kept on until they reached the only real land mark in the area; the Pegasus Tower, built on a relatively high hill. The tower Captain, Clodomir, told of a night of strange glowing lights in the sky, and backed up the Trollops and Dervish story of the sudden appearance of the desert, which, from the tower, could be seen stretching south to the horizon and beyond.

A now out of date map of Machodor

Clodomir gave them directions to the likely location of the Bighorse camp, and they set off once again, making it beyond the area covered by map at the end of the day. Opting to camp on the skiff, the night passed uneventfully enough; but, the morning arrived in tandem with a massive sandstorm, this cut visibility to nearly zero and forced them to land and wait until it had blown itself out. 


With nothing else to do, Karshe had one of his henchmen (I.T. Guy) cast detect magic. This spell lasts only 12 rounds, and since it was a non-magical storm, this duration should not have been long enough to detect anything. However, since I had determined there was a random encounter, I rolled to see which hour it happened and which hour the spell was cast. I used a d6 for each and as they both came up with '2' I allowed that the spell did detect the magical creatures coming to get the PCs in the storm!

Even though they were now alert to the danger; one by one, party members fell to the sleep magic of these Sandy creatures from the Fiend Folio. Finally, just before the last henchmen went down, they managed to disturb the cohesion of one of the creatures enough to kill it. It was, in effect, a TPK situation and I had to be pretty poker faced, since, about half way through the fight, I realised that unlike any normal D&D monster, the enigmatic Sandmen would not kill the PCs even when they were all at their mercy. Some hours later, when they recovered, the party realised this for themselves. 
Cool 3e version, the 5e one is way too ghey

The PCs spent the rest of the day checking their belongings, and themselves, for any evil that the sand creatures might have performed on them, but it remained a mystery and they happily moved on the next morning when the storm had abated. Now well off the southern edge of the map, and with dunes visible in every direction, they continued south in the hope of finding the nomad camp. As the day drew on they saw a large group of creatures ahead, hundreds of them, moving south west. When the skiff got close enough for them to make an attempt to communicate, the creatures, only about 3' tall, with blue skin exposed to the desert, shook their fists and bent over to display their nether regions; all the while shouting various unintelligible phrases that, never the less, the party were pretty sure they got the gist of.






Safe on their Skiff 30' above the ground, the party made appropriate gestures in return and then continued on until nightfall. However, when the next day dawned, they could see little silhouettes against the northern sky heading their way. Just after this, another sand storm closed in, and they were forced to once again land and take refuge. Braced for another Sandman attack, the day passed uneventfully; but, the next morning saw the the Skiff surrounded by hundreds of tents. Upon examination, the tents were made out of a very familiar looking blue leather, and, sure enough, soon the little blue creatures (who had simply followed them south on foot) came boiling out of their tents towards the Skiff. 

Since previously it had become canonical that Slap Dashington, being from space, also had blue skin, he was the subject of some suspicion at this point. He deflected by asking for clarification to determine if these creatures running towards them were Smurfs, which, of course, they were not. I realised later this afforded me a perfect chance to have a henchman ask: "Are we there yet, Papa Smurf?" but I missed it. An oversight which continues to haunt me.

Anyway, once again the PCs raised the Skiff above the ground and easily out paced the little army that had surrounded them. The creatures possessed no missile weapons, and, although some shaman types may have tried to cast a spell, they had made their escape long before it could take effect.

After another day, finally, they found the nomad camp. It was in a shambles, all except for one fancy looking tent in the middle. They pulled up outside and shouted the name of the huge nomad leader, "Mustafa! Mustafa Bighorse!" And the big man himself strode out. With great relief, he immediately recognised that they were adventurers from Machodor. He related the story of what had happened; the sudden appearance of the desert, an attack during the night by creatures whose attacks put his clansmen to sleep, how he had fought on until he was the only one left, and how other creatures had dragged everyone away. He was also very relieved to hear from the party that his trollops were safe.

Mustafa joined them on the Skiff and lead them southwest to a sand covered stone structure, the entrance to which he had tracked his people being dragged into. Then he used his magic sword to reveal to the party the entrance to another structure, not far away, that he had also discovered. Huge doors in the sand opened to reveal a vast underground area, large enough to hold the Skiff several times over. He told them that, in legend, his people used to live in such places; but, he had never thought the stories were real.

In wonder, they landed the Skiff at the bottom of a long ramp and closed out the desert. A search found a giant cistern of water; and facilities, long abandoned, that could support a large force. Having only scratched the surface of this new mystery, the party safely spent the night in the sietch and then returned to Minas Mandalf to report what they had found.



Treasure and XP


Cash

Trollops:  700gp 

Monetary XP total = 700gp

Monsters

1 Sandman: 279 XP

Items

Monsters XP Total: 279
Monetary XP Total: 700
Item XP Total: 0
Total: 979 XP

Total of  979 XP Weighted by Level & any Bonus

Karshe (Level 6 ) 489 XP & 350 GP
Primus (Level 4 ) 326 XP & 233 GP
Marty O'Stool (Cleric Level 1) 81 XP & 58 GP
Slap Dashington (Level 1 ) 81 XP & 58 GP






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