The game began with our return to the meat markets of Manny the meat man and his Siamese twin Meatman Manny. The PC formerly known as the PWM had adopted the name Hedgehog Jack. He remained ninety feet away from the butchers’ stalls and yelled comments as Brother Matthias negotiated with each of the butchers, Bottom, the giant donkey, hee-hawed in the background and Bucky McLeroy observed in silence. Manny the meat man offered us fifteen gold per set of spidergoat legs and Brother M haggled 100 gold for five sets of legs. Manny said he’d pay extra since we had filled his order for the spidergoat legs quickly.
Meatman Manny offered us twenty-five gold pieces for the man meat but, with Hedgehog Jack yelling in the background, Brother M managed to haggle seventy-five gold out of the Meatman. Somehow, during all the meat trading, one of the butchers was asked if they dealt in “man meat.” Our MM didn’t hesitate has he answered in character, “No, that’s a different guy, you haven’t met yet.”
Bucky, H. Jack and Bottom looked through their equipment and visited the market to acquire any items they’d need for the upcoming exploration of the cave-in at the junk pile. Brother M only had two priorities, to find himself a little heaven-on-earth and recruit some new followers for the Church of Holy Fawk. Thus, he went to the brothel tent without splitting the earnings from the meat market with the rest of the party. Hedgehog Jack became quite concerned when he discovered this development. He went straight to the brothel tent to have a conversation with their doorman.
Hedgehog Jack: My friend came here with a lot of money.
Doorman: Most of our clients do.
Hedgehog Jack: Well, some of that money’s my money so he better have that money when he leaves your establishment in the morning.
Doorman: That’s not likely to happen and is contrary to my job description.
Hedgehog Jack: -- threateningly— Well, Brother Matthias better have most his money in the morning or bad things will happen! – exit Hedgehog Jack—
In the morning, when exiting the brothel, Brother M made a save roll to see if he had avoided being ripped off during the night. He failed the roll and it was determined that he’d spent, or otherwise lost, seventy-five percent of our money. Upon learning this Hedgehog Jack went to the local lamp oil vendor and purchased a large barrel of oil. I guess it was actually a medium size barrel of oil as it weighed more than a gallon but less than five gallons. In my opinion, physics has no place in fantasy role playing so divisions of measurement are not important to the plot of the game.
As vendors where just setting up shop for the day, most the clients of the brothel were not out of bed yet, Hedgehog Jack went into the alley and applied the lamp oil to the exterior wall. Bucky had noticed that Hedgehog Jack was in an especially ill mood and had followed HJ, he hoped to talk HJ out of burning down the brothel. Brother M was sleeping off his night of excess and Bottom was getting his giant donkey beauty sleep. Bucky’s conversation with HJ consisted of little more than, “Burning down the brothel will not get our money back. In fact, it will just cause trouble.” Then Bucky went to hide between some tents and stalls across the street.
Some of the hedgehog’s spines tore holes in the tent and some occupants, Junkyard Dawgs, awoke to the smell of lamp oil and smoke. Three Dawgs attempted to save their precious brothel but HJ managed to set it on fire with a cigar he’d been conveniently smoking all morning. The Dawgs then fired some rounds at HJ and injured him. HJ grabbed the nearest Dawg to use him as a human shield while Bucky, still hiding across the street, was able to fire his longbow an hit one of the Dawgs. After his first succesful attack, Bucky attempted to summon some help by shouting, “Help, help, mutants are being oppressed!” HJ and Bucky appeared to be winning their struggle when a second group of Dawgs rushed into the fight.
At this point Hedgehog Jack made his escape by pulling his human shield through the fiery alley. HJ shoved the Dawg back into the alley and ran away through the busy morning market crowd thus making Bucky the center of attention for six angry Junkyard Dawgs. Bucky tried to use the “communicate first, get shot later” technique and yelled, “Get that Hedgehog! He set the brothel on fire!” He then fired an arrow at HJ who he could see through a gap between two tents. “Your deputized, let’s get ‘im,” sayed one of the Dawgs.
Hedgehog Jack escaped through the crowd and Bucky made a quick retirement from his duties as a deputy of the Junkyard Dawgs. They returned to their camp, which was in an unspecified location, and collected Brother M and Bottom, encouraging their fellow travelers tto leave Junkopolis with all expedience. The four adventures, and Brother M’s three or four followers, returned to the site of their former spidergoat hunt.
Inside the cave created by seismic landfill activity the party found a harder than normal floor with a yellow strip painted down the middle of the passage. They reached an inner wall of the cave which had an ancient message painted above the portal. The symbols read, “C.A.U.T.I.O.N.” The party decided this must say, “Cau-t-on,” and was probably the name of the God this temple was dedicated too.
They entered this portal to find a gate ahead of them and a passage leading to their right. The passage was too small for the giant donkey to enter so he remained behind at the gate. There was a series of chambers inside the small passage. In the first chamber there was a desk with ancient mimeographs and two mysterious boxes with glass sides which faced toward the desk chair. Brother M attempted to understand the function of these boxes and after a few brief examinations an image of Bottom appeared on the glass side of one of the boxes. Brother M was frightened by this development and encouraged Hedgehog Jack to smash this evil crystal ball-box. HJ smashed the crystal ball-box and they moved on to the next room which was across the hall.
This room contained some tables and chairs and, in the corner, there were two illuminated shrines to Cau-t-on. One shrine was illuminated with a stylized liquid container displayed on cubes of ice. The red and blue beverage container was emblazoned with the symbols R & C. Obviously indicating Erk, the liquid embodiment of Cau-t-on. The second shrine had a glass front which displayed shelves of offerings left to the ancient gods. These offerings where placed in the shrine through a black door at the bottom of the shrine which was labled, "P.U.S." Hedgehog Jack smashed these pagan shrines and the adventures discovered that some of the offerings at the shrines where still palatable. (The shrines were considered pagan because they were not for the Lwad of Holy Fawk, the Church of Chaos or the Cult of Tree Buggers.) The glass shrine contained a handful of delicious miniature yellow cake logs with creamy centers. The shrine to the liquid god had at least half a dozen containers inscribed to various liquid archetypes. The PCs saved these "drinks" for later consumption.
Another door led from this room, the offering chamber, to the storage room for the vehicle of Cau-t-on. This vehicle consisted of an ancient locomotive device and a wagon. The adventurers investigated the vehicle but they could not determine how it operated. The vehicle was parked a few yards from the gate that Bottom was behind. Bucky noticed a red light near this gate and suggested the light might be a trigger to operate the gate. Brother M still had the device which he used to operate the crystal ball-boxes and, Bucky was right, the gate operated by the same process. (Both the security monitors and the gate were activated by a cardkey.) The gate swung open and Bottom was able to join his comrades in the vehicle storage area and we concluded our adventure for the evening.
As the sidebar indicates; I’m now reading Alice in Wonderland. I had a spare hour before an appointment this past week and the public library is always a good place to spend a spare hour. Alice in Wonderland is the next book I need to read on the 501 Must Read Books list. I’ll get back to reading Fritz Leiber when I’ve returned Mr. Carrol/Dogson’s book to the KCPL.