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Monday, March 20, 2017

Planescape - Blood War IV. Sailing the River Styx

I had read an article in an old issue of Dragon Magazine that detailed what sailing through the outer planes on the River Styx would be like. I really liked it, so I based tonight's session on it.

I also worked in material from Wrath of the Righteous. I will be pulling stuff out of there for a long time.

Parental Advisory: This is one of my more perverted sessions, so you might want to skip this if that's not your thing. I'll try to keep it clean but there's really no way to describe a penis cannon in polite company.

The Party

(Jessie) Bidam - Platinum-Scaled Dragonborn Fighter
(George) Theran - Elf Wizard 

The heroes own a cluster of buildings in Sigil called Deadbook Square.

We started off dealing with downtime. For whatever reason, this downtime stuff is always the best part of my sessions. It's always been like that since I was a kid and I don't know why.

The heroes had hired an ogre to work at their festhall last session. They decided to bring the ogre over to Bidam's little procreation farm in the abyssal realm of Azzagrat.

The ogre made some babies with Mother of All, the monster-woman who launches eggs and babies at people. Each session, I'm trying to use this as a way to introduce new types of demons.

This past week I got a piece of art from an artist who doesn't speak much english. I had asked for a corruption devil, but got this:

That's not a corruption devil, but I liked it, so I took it. This week, that's the creature that came out of Mother of All. It has a monocle that is fiery, apparently.

Alternative Facts: Then the heroes checked in on Theran's settlement, the earthmote-city/citadel of Tornbend. They learned that my Donald Trump NPC ("Gonard Flumph") had sent two imps to spread FAKE NEWS.

The populace was freaking out over rumors that there was a pedophile ring in the basement of the nursery where Grazz't's babies are kept. Theran disproved this by pointing out that there is no basement in the nursery.

The sexy devil nurse lady had been beaten by the citizens quite badly. Theran found the imps and blew them away with spells. To his dismay, he saw them disperse into clouds of brimstone. He had forgotten that devils only truly die when they are slain in hell.

Azzagrat is a demon realm, but there are some devils there because Grazz't is trying to actually unite the demons and devils into one massive army.

Theran patched up the nurse and they ended up entering into "activities of passion", as they say in second edition.

Beast Pox: Bidam went home to Sigil. The group had helped one of their employees, Floozy St. Assland, with a problem a while back. The adventurers had paid to cure Floozy’s parents of a disease called Slimy Doom.

Now that she’d saved up some money, Floozy bought her cursed parents a home in the Clerk's Ward and got herself a dumpy little apartment in the extremely smoggy section of the Lower Ward.

She was excited because she discovered that a portal was in there. She wanted Bidam to help her go into it and check it out in case it was dangerous.

The key to this portal is to hold hands. So, they held hands and stepped through. It lead to the Beastlands, a place the heroes had gone way back in the Great Modron March. They emerged right near the mortai (cloud with a face in it that blows wind). The mortai's name is Breath of Life, and he said hello in a booming voice.

When you stay in the Beastlands for a little while, you get Beast Pox. You start to gain some physical features of the animal that best represents your soul. Bidam is a pit bull. Floozy is a peacock! She got all shiny and had a massive peacock plume/wings growing out of her back.

Every session I give Bidam a choice. Until recently, Bidam was quite the ladies' man. But now he has two dragon-kids with the demon lord Bazuuma. He has this ring that gives him an emotional link to her.

So every session a lady comes on to Bidam, and then Bidam senses Bazuuma's positivity and thoughts through the ring and he must CHOOSE. Every single time he picks Bazuuma.
  • Family Time: He bid Floozy adieu and went to Bazuuma's abyssal realm. I had made up a whole bunch of demonic "family activities":
  • Demon Whale-Watching: The ancient whale demon lord, Bechard, shot blood and gore into the air through his mighty blowhole.
  • Breathing Breath: He taught Pyranica, his dragon wyrmling daughter, how to breathe her breath weapon.
  • Bedtime: Then he tucked them in and read them a bedtime story: "The Cat and the Cranium Rat" by Dr. Deuce. Obviously this is a dumb Dr. Seuss joke. This joke was much more well-received than I expected and the group was disappointed that I hadn't made up any lines from the book. I might do that for next week.
  • Blanket of Positivity: Then Bazuuma and Bidam spooned. Bazuuma has positive energy flowing through her. This spooning gave Bidam overhealing like he got when he went to the actual plane of positive energy. In this case, I declared he had 50 temporary hit points that would fade in 24 hours if they were not whittled down before then.
Rescue Mission: Next day, the group had a special mission to embark upon. The heroes work with the devil army. During a battle on the infinite staircase, many devil soldiers fell off the side of the stairs and landed in random planes.

One devil who fell was a spy named Cavus. Using magic, the devils determined that Cavus had fallen into the abyss and was currently a prisoner of Malcanthet, the Succubus Queen.

This was not good, because the demons would probably torture him and learn all sorts of devil secrets that might hinder their efforts in the Blood War.

The heroes have a magic pirate ship crewed by a skeleton pirate named Captain Ricketshanks. It has an orrery of the planes on it, it can fly like a spelljammer, and the group can summon it and dismiss it with their magic whalebone scrimshaw.

The heroes grabbed some NPCs to crew the ship:
  • Acolytes of a good goddess. These acolytes were members of a tribe that the heroes rescued during the Nemesis adventure.
  • Fall From Grace, the group's trusty succubus paladin friend.
  • Bovina the cow lady. She's a lady minotaur, basically. Bovina is an NPC that I haven't used in a while and I thought that she'd ask to come just so we could put her in the spotlight a little bit.
The group used a portal to get to the River Styx through the plane of the Gray Waste. They sailed through magic fog which shifted them to the Abyss. The first layer they entered was Thanatos, Orcus' realm.


Terendelev the Ravener
In my campaign, Orcus is dead and the Pathfinder demon lord Lamashtu has taken it over. This place is what the devil army wants to overtake and claim for themselves. Secretly, the pit fiend general Drokkarn wants to rule it and become a demon lord himself. The idea is that this whole Blood War thing will culminate with the group fighting Lamashtu herself.

I busted out the extreme cold rules and the crew began gaining levels of exhaustion. There were chunks of Styx-ice in the water big enough to block the ship. Bidam used his breath weapon to melt them.

The group spotted ruins on the shore connected to Orcs. Since Bidam has a connection with Orcus (aka "Tenebrous"), they decided to check it out. It was home to an agent of Orcus - an undead dragon named Terendelev, from Wrath of the Righteous.

The thing I like most about her is that she's actually the corrupted undead remains of a good-aligned silver dragon..

The group made friends with her and she will be an ally for when the heroes and the devils try to overtake Thanatos down the road.


The heroes sailed through the mist and appeared in Shedaklah, the home of both Zuggtmoy (demon queen of fungi) and Juiblex (demon lord of oozes).

The thing I like most about this is that the Styx is the border between the two domains. So on the left of the ship was a misty mushroom forest. On the right were fields of burbling slime pits.

The ship ended up sailing into what they thought was mist but was instead a spore cloud. The heroes made their saving throws, but the crew did not. They acolytes began to hallucinate, thinking that everyone else had "slime cysts" that oozes were erupting out of.

During the chaos, three creatures crept onto the ship: A gray ooze, an ochre jelly and a black pudding.

We had ourselves a combat. A lot of it was centered around the group trying to figure out what would hurt the different types of oozes. Bidam was in a bind, because the oozes are immune to slashing damage and when hit with slashing, they split into two.

The heroes ended up using chromatic orb spells to take out the oozes. During the battle, a few acolytes died.

Bovina the cow lady bravely took a mace and rolled really well through the whole encounter. The heroes were impressed!


Sister Perversion
Sailing on, the group came to Goranthis, the abyssal realm of Socothbenoth. I had thought that Socothbenoth was a Pathfinder creation but it turns out he was actually in a few D&D products first. I just combined the lore of both versions.

It actually says in the Dragon Magazine article that there are "pornographic waterfalls" here, because Socothbenoth is a demon lord of adult activities.

So that meant I was obligated to figure out what exactly pornographic waterfalls were. I concocted a series of challenges based on different types of genitalia. The best one was these penis cannons that shot sticky globs of webbing. Bidam had an awesome idea - use ice spells to freeze the cannons which obviously forces them to shrivel up due to the cold. Well done, adventurer!

On the shore, they spotted a brothel. This location is right out of Wrath of the Righteous. In that path, the group comes to the brothel to obtain a magic item. In this, I just figured the group might want to make a deal with them and expand their business empire.

The brothel is full of stuff I found amusing. The succubi and incubi who work there are known as "The Pleasers". Here's some of them:
  • Ismarelda: A dark-skinned contortionist.
  • Micajah: An androgynous red-skinned male with black, feathered wings.
  • Mahulda: A lavender-skinned soft-spoken hermaphrodite.
There's only 4 customers. I worked out a storyline where the brothel is struggling. I mean, you're in a plane of perversion, you probably don't have to pay for this kind of thing.

The group met with the owner of this place... SISTER PERVERSION. The names just crack me up. In the adventure, she's a type of Pathfinder monster known as a "seraptis demon." They are basically suicide-themed monsters.

I don't want suicide demons in my game, so I changed their gimmick. Now, the seraptis demons just want to hug you with their four arms and never let go.

The group made a deal with her. The heroes are going to set up a teleportation circle in Sigil to send the demons customers and share the profits.

This brothel uses souls as currency. So the heroes are going to go into the hive, find some evil scumbags (the hive is full of them) and send them and their souls to THE PLEASERS.

The Midnight Isles

Minagho, daughter of Baphomet

They sailed on and entered into The Midnight Isles, another Pathfinder location. The Midnight Isles are the home plane of Nocticula, a Pathfinder demon lord of succubi and assassins.

Each isle represents one of the twenty demon lords that Nocticula has assassinated.

The group was sailing along quite nicely when an evil pirate ship came into view. Its captain was Minagho, a daughter of the demon lord of minotaurs, Baphomet.

Minagho has a really cool backstory. She failed her father, and he has cursed her to be constantly in pain. She's trying to win back his favor to remove her curse.

We ran out of time, so that's where we stopped. Next session, we'll do this battle, and then the group will have to somehow rescue a prisoner from the palace of the Queen of the Succubi, Malcanthet.

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