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Summary[]

Join Alex, Helen, Bryn, Lydia and Ben as they mosey through some mooks! This week Zolf is a chill environment-neutral dude, Azu goes for a swim, Cel considers just how big they can get, and Hamid fingerguns!

Synopsis[]

The party is heading down toward the central control after they’ve finished interrogating the mook that they found in the hallway (and let Skraak have at least a little bit of revenge). They are all clearly ready to get out of there; Zolf in particular is determinedly silent. The tunnels they’re in look as though they’re naturally occurring, but have been widened to make space for people to walk through. It’s about 20ft wide. As they approach central command, they see another pressure door, and notice that the stone around them becomes much more worked - as they get closer to the door, they realise that the walls are lined with metal plates to give it a semblance of organisation. 

Zolf steps up to the door, and his glaive lights on fire before he pushes open the door. The room on the other side is large - it’s a natural cave, but engineering work has been bolted into the walls (all built for medium-sized creatures). The party is on the ground floor of the room, and there is a circular, raised, suspended walkway in the center of it. There are a few people up there who haven’t noticed the party, and there are three doors coming into the room, counting the one the party used (one off to the left and right each). The floor isn’t completely level; the room has clearly been retrofitted. The door off to the right has a sign saying “To the Shore” in Japanese, and the one off to the left says “To Processing”. In the center, coming down from the ceiling, are large amounts of apparatus coming down leading into a board, where someone is sat staring at it. The room itself is loud, with engineering noises, and the people in the room all seem unenthused with their work. One may be asleep. 

Azu wonders if they should go and deal with them, and Zolf agrees that they should. While Hamid and Cel are casting spells, Zolf goes up to the walkway and uses his gogo boots to fly up to the control panel, where the guardsman is asleep. Zolf cuts his head off and then turns to the rest of the party with a grim look on his face. He mimes, pointing around the room, and then draws his hand across his floats, implying that they should kill everyone in the room. Azu doesn’t want to attack the mooks from behind, but goes up and gets the attention of one of them. She gives one of them a shake to make sure they’re not under mind control; upon seeing Azu, they shout. She detects them as “collaborator evil” and then attacks, and they die. Hamid flies up until he’s level with the final mook in the room, and casts scorching ray, killing them instantly. 

Cel, meanwhile, is starting to work out the control board, saying that it’s a notification board for the cell block they just came from. They look around, and recognise the mook that Azu killed as one of the people who attacked their village. Zolf pulls their attention back to the control panel, and asks if there’s a way to shut it down or do anything useful. Cel says no, because it’s just for monitoring instead of actually being able to do something. There are two main things built into the board: a number of binary on/off switches for the cells, and an alert/status bar on the bottom. The status bar uses semaphore symbols (akin to ciphers), so the party decides to just move on and get out of there instead of sticking around to figure it out.  

They head out through the door on the right, and start heading down another corridor, going from worked metal into mildly-worked stone. It’s a bit longer and windy than the one they were just in. Cel, Azu, and Hamid are all still flying; Hamid is zooming through the air, and Cel is doing fine, but Azu is actively trying to swim through the air (Hamid finds it adorable, and doesn’t correct it). It takes them about 10 minutes to get through the corridor and come upon another door with a miner station nearby. There are a few lockers on each side, with a number of signs near the door in Japanese, which Cel translates (they’re all versions of “loose lips sink ships” - directing people not to speak about it. One says “You don’t have to be mad to work here” and someone has torn the bottom off and written “Yes, you do.”). The lockers themselves are in disarray, just from use. There are some axes and wrenches, wetsuit equipment, and one with a lot of water-breathing potions. They all take some potions - Cel takes 2 potions, Azu takes 5, Zolf takes 2, and Hamid takes 3. 

The party heads out through that door as well, and realises that they are coming out through a secret door. There’s some wired mesh that looks like the back of stone, but that is easily pushed aside. Across the back of the door is a trap mechanism, so they just turn the trap off since they’re looking from the on/off side of the trap. The tunnel stretches out to the left and right. The left tunnel appears to be semi-worked stone with braziers across it, with waterproof flares in them. The right continues in this manner for 50 feet, and then an open pressure door with the aquarium-style tunnel leading out of the base. Cel notices that there isn’t anyone in the tunnels, and begins to hyperventilate, saying that the mooks must have gone to attack their village. Zolf immediately starts to hurry the party along, and begins running down the tunnel toward the right. Cel is still panicking, saying that running won’t help because they’re just going to find it all burned to the ground again. Azu tries to comfort them, saying that the mooks don’t seem to be that competent. It doesn’t completely help, as Cel is still incredibly worried.

A black and white digital drawing of Cel, a half-elf. They are wearing a buttoned up long coat with long pants and knee high laced up boots. They are standing with their feet spread out. In front of them they hold their modified crossbow that has an arrow in the chamber. They have an angry expression on their face, their mouth barring their teeth and their eyebrows furrowed. From left to right there are speech bubbles coming from them that read “pronouns are they them!”

Cel corrects the mooks on their pronouns. Art by @thechekhov on tumblr. Used with permission.

As they run down the tunnel, it begins to get darker, since a number of the braziers on the wall are unlit. Cel is in the front of the line but they and Hamid, who don’t have darkvision, are struggling to see. It’s a long, straight tunnel, so they keep running. Everyone assumes it might be about dawn-ish, but Cel thinks that it might be closer to noon; there’s still not any light filtering down from above.  Hamid tries to reassure Cel, reminding them that the mook they found said that they were preparing an ambush and that they might not be attacking their village. Cel says that they can’t let the village down, and Azu encourages them, saying that they haven’t. Zolf chimes in as well to reassure them, saying that they’ll get the mooks. They continue running, and Zolf and Azu notice that the tunnel is raised slightly above the seabed. Eventually, everyone notices a few flashes of light and colour farther down the corridor and above it. Zolf recognises some of the spells - flare and such - and Hamid notices that there probably is a fight going on up ahead. He relays this information to the rest of the party, and everyone begins running faster to get there as soon as possible.

A digital drawing of Commander Barnes. He has medium length brown hair that is pulled into a half ponytail. He is wearing a naval commander frock coat. The sleeves are navy blue with white and yellow accents going down the middle. He is wearing a white button up shirt with the buttons undone, exposing his hairy chest. He has his head turned down. His mouth is in a straight line as he is starring something offscreen to the right of the viewer.

The party encounters Barnes again. Art by @coralreefskim on twitter. Used with permission.

Cel overtakes the rest of the party very quickly, leaving them behind as they run ahead. As they get closer, they realise it’s another one of those underwater domes, smaller than the ones they’ve all been in already (about 50ft in diameter), and is more chunked metal instead of glass (similar to a bathysphere). The lights they’d all seen are flashing within the bathysphere, and Cel can hear the sounds of fighting coming from inside. Hamid, meanwhile, casts fly on himself, and keeps up the same pace as Cel, although he’s a little bit behind them. When Cel gets to the door, they run into the room. The bathysphere itself has been done up in a similar way to the temporary lounge they passed - almost like a waiting room, with some couches, coffee tables, etc. Around the outside of the circle are some walkways and grillwork. As Cel enters, they notice a group of people are fighting two people Cel doesn’t recognise, but who are later revealed to be Commander Barnes (wielding an adamantine cutlass, dueling three people) and Howard Carter (throwing lots of knives at people). Hamid makes it to the room and recognises them both. Barnes has a new hat, and looks like a pirate, with his shirt unbuttoned to his navel. At one point, the mooks misgender Cel, and they shoot them three times with their crossbow, punctuating each shot with "Pronouns! Are! They! Them!".

After the fight is over, Cel steps forward to introduce themselves to Barnes and Carter.

Quotes[]

Dice rolls & mechanics[]

  • Cel casts shield on themselves before engaging the fight
  • Hamid casts mage armor and fly on himself
  • Hamid casts fly on Azu and Cel
  • Cel casts enlarge person on themselves as they’re running through the tunnel.
  • Everyone makes a Survival check: Zolf gets 6, Hamid gets 10, Cel gets 14, Azu gets 11
  • Zolf and Hamid makes a Spellcraft check on the colours: Zolf gets 18, Hamid gets 30
  • Hamid casts fly on himself when Cel runs away. 

Combat breakdown[]

Control room combat

Initiative: Hamid (19), Zolf (16), Cel (12), Azu (7), mook

Surprise Round

  • Hamid: Casts scorching ray on one of the mooks, rolling a 20 and 27 on both hits. He deals 26 damage, and they burst into flame and die. The second ray (16 damage) goes through the person and starts to set fire to the equipment on the ceiling. 
  • Zolf: Leans over and asks if Cel can work out what the control board does. 
  • Cel: Makes a knowledge (engineering) check to see if they can work out what the board does. It seems to be a notification system regarding the cell block.
  • Azu: Uses detect evil on the mook, and gets a read as them being redeemable, but it might not be worth it - they’re “collaborator evil”. 
  • Mook: The mook in front of Azu tries to flee, triggering an attack of opportunity from Azu. She attacks with her ax, rolling a nat 20 to hit, and confirms the critical, dealing 38 damage. They explode into giblets. 

Bathysphere combat

Initiative: Cel (23), Hamid (21), Azu (16), Zolf (14), Barnes, mooks, Carter

Round 1

  • Cel: Runs straight for the room, opening the door and swinging it open. 
  • Hamid: Catches up to Cel. 
  • Zolf and Azu: Still a little bit behind. 
  • The fight carries on. Barnes is standing on the sofa, using the height advantage, and Carter is preventing people from flanking him.

Round 2

  • Cel: Throws alchemist bombs at the mook nearest them, rolling a nat 1 on the attack. It goes wild and shoots into the ceiling. They throw another, rolling a 17 to hit, and deal 21 damage and 12 splash damage. They aim another at the person who took splash damage, hitting on an 18 and dealing 26 damage and 12 splash damage. The two mooks explode into giblets. Cel shouts at them to stop fighting, and the mooks turn, misgendering Cel as they yell to get them. Cel says that they hate that, and throws their last bomb at the two next to Barnes. They hit on an attack of 18 and deal 12 splash damage to the two. 
  • Hamid: Flies into the room, hovering on one side, high up so he’s out of the danger, and casts magic missile at one of the ones Cel hit. He deals 16 damage, and they go down. One missile comes from each hand as he finger guns, one comes from each shoulder, and one comes from his nose. 
  • Azu and Zolf: Reach just outside the doorway. 
  • Barnes: Keeps the mooks at bay. 
  • Carter: Does nothing useful.

Round 3

  • Cel: Gets their crossbow out and shoots three arrows at the mooks. They hit on a 18, 23 (not confirming the crit), and 15 and deal 4 damage, 9 damage, and missing on the last shot. They step aside from the doorway. 
  • Hamid: Casts magic missile again to relieve the pressure on Barnes, dealing 22 damage on the one that’s already been hit. The mook also explodes into giblets.
  • Azu: Runs in, sees Carter, and yells “You!”, pausing in confusion. 
  • Zolf: Runs in, yelling it’s great to see Carter and Barnes, and then casts searing light on one of the mooks attacking Barnes. He hits on a 23 and deals 25 damage; they die. He gives Barnes a wave.
  • Barnes: Sweeps off his hat (it’s elaborate, with a feather in it). He turns and uses Dazzling Display, successfully intimidating the two mooks. Zolf yells at him to actually hurt someone. 
  • Mooks: Yell a Japanese version of “cheese it”, and one responds with “where”. They both flee. One attempts to flee past Carter, provoking an attack of opportunity, but Carter misses. The other one starts running toward Azu, changes their mind, and then heads the same way. 
  • Carter: Attacks and hits, taking one of them down.

Round 4

  • Cel: Shoots them with a crossbow, hitting them with on a 20 and dealing 9 damage. They shoot again, hitting on a 23 and dealing 7 damage. They take a final shot, missing on a 12. 
  • Hamid: Swoops down to the center of the room, standing next to Barnes, and mutters “this is for the kobolds” in draconic, casting scorching ray. He hits on an 18 and 21, dealing 24 damage on the first ray and killing them.

Plot Notes[]

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