Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bujilli: Episode 100

Previously...
Bujilli and Leeja were brought before the Queen of the Soulless by an ancient killing-machine. There before the Throne of Opals they watched as representatives and agents of the Triumvirate, who may or may not be the secret masters of Wermspittle, argued among one another even as Outside Forces laid siege to the remnants of the ancient Redoubt. The Soulless Queen was betrayed by her Grandmother who was conspiring with a Morlock Elder-Gardener to reactivate or reconfigure the cubic World Engine. The Queen escaped and Gazbonti the Jester now offers Bujilli and Leeja an opportunity to escape using a Synchronocitor*...

Gazbonti adjusted his grip on his severed head. Having been summarily decapitated by the Queen's Grandmother didn't seem to inconvenience him very much.

He drew back a cloth-of-gold covering, revealing a strange mechanism lying there on top of the cubic altar-table-object.

Bujilli recognized it. A Synchronocitor. After all this time he had finally found one. Now he wasn't so sure he wanted one. He wasn't trying to run away, not like he had been when he had allowed the Gem to guide him. The Gem had taught him many things. Whispered to him in his sleep, shown him things in his dreams; lied to him in the pursuit of some unfathomable scheme he still did not understand.

He hesitated. He wasn't sure taking-up this mechanism and using it to flee the Throne Room was the best option.

"But..."

"Looking a gift-horse in the mouth, eh?" Gazbonti nodded sagely as he laughed sinisterly. It was difficult to trust this weird harlequin figure. Bujilli knew nothing of him...or those whom he truly served...

"Let's get out of here!" Hissed Leeja. She was past caring about the niceties and details--she could see that it was only a matter of time before Very Bad Things would start to happen to both of them.

BOOM!

The chamber vibrated under the impact. Bujilli reached out. Gazbonti grinned, nodded eagerly; his eyes glittering with irony and malice. Leeja lashed out at the Jester, her claws raking red lines across his face.

"Wait!" She knocked Bujilli's hand aside.

Gazbonti laughed loudly, then took on a mock-sober expression as he whispered; "You're running out of time."

He then watched the dribble of blood running from the furrows cut into his pasty flesh. The wounds sealed. Healed. Left no trace. He stuck out his obscenely long and curling tongue as his hands lifted his head back into place between his shoulders. It settled back into place with a loud, disgusting sucking noise.

BOOM!

"I must be going." Gazbonti bowed, fluttering a blood-speckled hand-kerchief as he bent so far over at the waist that he very nearly brushed the floor with his pointy nose. The over-sized green finch fluttered down beside him and he leaped into the saddle.

"I suggest you get moving children. Those two have terrible dispositions even when they aren't in the midst of a temper tantrum. You'd do well to get out of here before--"

BOOM!

 "Alas and alack--the moment of unquiet desperation is upon us. Hiyo Yorick! Away!" Green wings snapped into motion and Gazbonti was carried onwards and upwards to disappear behind rib-like arches and a jumble of strange protrusions dangling from the domed ceiling overhead.

"Do we have any alternative to this...thing?" Leeja gripped Bujilli's wrist tightly.

"Not really. The portal we entered by is guarded by a Manshonyagger. Who knows how long we could wander about this place looking for some sort of exit..."

"You have no spells you could use?"

"No. Not really. Nothing that would do much more than make things worse, really..."

"Then let's use this Synchronocitor-thing. You seemed to recognize it when the Jester first offered it to you."

"I...have been told about such things by an...unreliable source."

"It is supposed to take you where you want to go, right?"

"Basically..."

"Fine. Let's use it to go to Hedrard and Lemuel. Directly. That ought to solve our current predicament and give us a chance to get the jump on whomever has abducted our friends."

"I..." Bujilli considered Leeja's plan. It made sense. But he had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.

BOOM!

 SSSHHHRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

"Now!" Leeja yelled.

Bujili reached out. Gripped the Synchronocitor. Lifted it overhead.

The staff-like mechanism gurgled. Shimmered. Awoke in his hands, insinuated itself into his mind by way of his flesh:

DESTINATION

Bujilli closed his eyes. He recalled the impressions he had received through his link to Lemuel**. He didn't trust the words, the message with the directions that he'd been given. He knew all too well how such things could be subject to coercion; he'd fought Yeren who were notorious for such tricks and he had no intention of falling for such possible subterfuge.

There was a blinking green oval rotating in his field of vision. The Synchronocitor was ready to make the transition.

Bujilli took Leeja by the hand. She smiled. He nodded. The Synchronocitor shivered, went ice cold.

They faded out from the Throne Room just as all hell broke loose and swarms of killing machines and other shapes stormed into the place.

Everything lurched suddenly. Sharply.

A flash of emerald green.

Wind shrieked and howled around them. A lurid red sky loomed overhead. Flickering lines of psychically-charged force raced frenetically around the rim of a circular space in an attempt to capture them. Prancing, capering shapes emanated a deep and abiding hunger for their souls, their minds, their individuality. The Synchronocitor jerked hard over to the right, nearly tearing free from Bujilli's grip. Blackness bloomed all around them. Shattered sigils and screaming geometries collapsed into oblivion then everything twisted along the yelgic axis. They were suspended between the Yr-Nhhngr and Ydmos. They glimpsed the dim outline of Yian-Ho and felt the subcutaneous vibrations of the singing flame. Another shift and a green-lit plain flowed off into infinity before them. Then it ended. Abruptly.

Silence. Darkness. The synchronocitor was inert, though covered in frost that was already beginning to melt.

Five faint circles of light faded out, one after the other in rapid succession.

They had arrived.

Cold wind shrieked past them. Ominous clouds boiled in rage overhead. Lightning splintered the night as thunder rolled across the darkness. They were at the top-most point of a vast tower, a huge ruined pile that was a jumbled and sloppily-stacked mess of architectural layers and levels that stretched down below them for what could only be miles and miles.

"You came. Saints look away. You damn fool kids came after us." Hedrard hung her head. Passed out. Her chains held her upright.

"Release us." Lemuel moaned, barely audible over the wind.

A round hatch began to rotate as it rose from the bare, stone floor.

A flash of lightning. Bujilli could see that this space was essentially a flattened trapezoid with five crude menhirs set at the points. Lemuel and Hedrard were chained to two of the menhirs. Other shapes were slumped or suspended from the remaining stones. They might or might not be humanoid...

Leeja looked to Bujilli; "Now what?"

Heavy red light spilled forth from the opening hatch-way.

Bujilli...


What should Bujill do next?

You Decide!




*The Synchronocitor was first mentioned in Episode One. It is a mechanism allowing the wielder to travel between worlds, planes and dimensions. Bujilli entered the dungeons below Zormur's Palace in search of a Synchronocitor he was led to believe could be found down there by the Gem of Muktra. The Gem of Muktra was with Bujilli from Episode One until he left it behind in the underworld below Zormur's Palace in Episode Fifteen. The Gem has since found a new companion...

** We learned that Lemuel and Hedrard were being held prisoner in Episode 93.




Welcome to our 100th Episode.



Initiative: Roll 1d6 each for (1) Bujilli, (2) Leeja, (3) Lemuel, (4) Hedrard (-2 penalty), (5) Whatever is coming up through the hatch.

As always, if you have questions or suggestions let me know in the comments, or via email.

What happens next is up to you, the readers.

You Decide!

Previous                                Next

Series Indexes
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six


About Bujilli (What is This?) | Who is Bujilli? | How to Play

Bujilli's Spells | Little Brown Journals | Loot Tally | House Rules

Episode Guides
Series One (Episodes 1-19)
Series Two (Episode 20-36)
Series Three (Episodes 37-49)
Series Four (Episodes 50-68)
Series Five (Episodes 69-99)
Series Six(Episodes 100-ongoing)

Labyrinth Lord   |   Advanced Edition Companion

6 comments:

  1. A wild, wild ride - the only way to travel. And they even get to keep the Synchronocitor. If not for the constant peril, what a life!

    For initiative I rolled:

    6 for Bujilli
    4 for Leeja
    4 for whatever's coming up
    3 for Hedrard, so at -2 that's a 1
    1 for Lemuel

    Not bad, but I won't push my luck - someone else can roll the d20s if they're needed.

    In a situation like this a leap back and tightly sprung observation from the shadows or corners might serve them well, if the light and range allow it, with Bujilli drawing his pistol if it's loaded, or bow otherwise, or hand axe if the range is too short, and Leeja readying Pale Shelter, to shield as many of Bujilli, Leeja, Hedrard and Lemuel as possible.

    Out of interest, what's the range of Leeja's hair? And is it usually at rest or writhing? I tend not to think about this.

    The description for the Synchronocitor says it can extend Zone of Protection. If it has Zone of Protection, this could be an option too, assuming it can be activated easily.

    Also, could Bujilli greatly reduce the strength of Zymurgic Disgestion, to produce discomfort rather than serious injury? This could be a good way of driving off a low level individual or group to the nearest convenience without them quite knowing what actually happened or causing them to suspect anything more than an oddly coincidental appearance of food poisoning or similar, and at least provide some time while they deal with it.

    In general, they should avoid raising the alarm if they can, take any threat in stages and work out where they are and how to effect the rescue, then get well clear, unless there's a reason to stick around, like finding out what's going on. Maybe the Synchronocitor can take all four of them?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I have had a lot of fun doing this, writing each episode live with no preparation other than re-reading the previous post, checking on reader's comments/feedback and then going for it. I never thought this serial/choose your adventure-hybrid blog-thingy would make it to 100 episodes.

      ahem.

      Thanks for the Initiative Rolls. Looks like Bujilli has the initiative and Leeja is tied with whomever/whatever is coming up through the hatch.

      The Synchronocitor is powered down for a time, but Bujilli still has it, so that certainly counts for something.

      The lightning flashes combined with the incoming massive thunderstorm overhead combine to make things far less visible than usual, so it there is some opportunity to hide in shadows/take cover near one or another of the standing stones set at the points of the very elevated platform.

      Bujilli has yet to re-load his pistol...and doing so here under these conditions would be extremely challenging to anyone less than Richard Sharpe. In Bujilli's case, he'd be throwing away his powder and shot. It takes a lot of practice to get as good as Sharpe.

      The wind shrieking through here will make the use of arrows distinctly sub-optimal.

      Pale Shelter could work pretty well in this place...and it would facilitate a d100 roll to check if Judrang might be in conjunction with this place...

      Leeja's hair has a range of 10', though she could maybe push things out to 12' if really, really desperate. It gets less effective every foot past the 6' mark, so she needs to be fairly close to get the best results. Concentration improves her ability to manipulate her tendril-hair, so under the right circumstances, she can extend some of her more manipulative-type thief-skills by using her hair and not her fingers. Unlike us, her hair is alive and she does feel it when it gets cut or singed.

      Zone of Protection can be used when the Synchronocitor is active. It is a fairly useful feature, better than a drink-holder. I have a feeling that Bujilli will be learning all he can about the new toy, if he gets a chance to examine it, probably with the help of Counsel.

      Yes, Bujilli can certainly scale Zymurgic Disgestion to produce a lesser effect. I'm in the process of revising how we handle such things for an appendix that will be included in the Blue Grimoire.

      Your idea is a good one and has the advantage of avoiding the gaudier, showier, noisier attacks in favor of something easily mistaken as a minor nuisance. That could be quite effective.

      The Synchronocitor will require 1d4 hours to rebuild its energies, during which time it observes its surroundings and makes a pretty effective +2 staff. We'll need to determine the 6 random languages, 2 random detection powers, and 1d4 random spell-like powers this particular Synchronocitor possesses. thankfully the initial Reaction Roll was 'Indifferent,' so we don't need to deal with Ego and such-like just yet...

      Once the synchronocitor has reset in 1d4 hours, yes, it could transport all four of them somewhere else...unless those chains holding Hedrard and Lemuel are magical in some manner...that might pose a problem...

      Delete
  2. I like and agree with Porky's suggestions!

    Additionally, can Counsel identify (by species, if nothing else) the other three folks who are chained up? Can it tell how many of what kind of critters are coming up through the hatch? Given the wind, Bujilli should probably arm himself with the Alley Knife and / or Fighting Wand he got from Mistress Eberhard. The glyph from Yushgra might come in handy? "There was a glyph of some sort embedded within the werm-vellum. It glinted like oily metal in the Gloomlight. He could feel it tug at his hand ever so slightly. It was some sort of spell-cyst. Or perhaps it was a glyph-map. It might be a apport-junction.--Episode 97"

    For the d100 roll to determine this place's location in relation to Judrang I rolled a 16.

    I also rolled 5d20s and got 16, 18, 13, 10, and 16.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Okay. Looks like we have something of a plan then.

      Counsel can attempt to identify the three other folks. The 16 result above gives Bujilli a few details to work with as Counsel can identify the other prisoners as: 1) A Nulgarian cavalry officer who rode into Wermspittle by way of the Cold Roads...her horse was killed and eaten by a mob of Unfortunates last Winter [3 on the Recent Arrivistes Table], 2) An Eloi roof-runner names Zeeb [result of 5 on Pretty Young Things Table], and 3) An Ignoble (Blue blooded) wearing an iron mask. Their left arm has been surgically modified by Comprachicos into a misshapen claw as a punishment. They refuse to respond or even acknowledge Bujilli and Leeja's presence.

      The Hatch...there are three beings approaching. One is a hunchback, possibly a Grood. The other two are substantially (and grotesquely) modified by what is most likely Comprachico techniques.

      The wind is fierce, and sporadic. A sudden gust could throw one off balance. Most missile weapons are going to suffer penalties, so the Alley Knife or Fighting Wand are both good choices, as is his hand-axe. Now that Bujilli has begun to study the 20 Deadly Planes, he can attempt to identify which plane his wand is connected to and what effects it might produce.

      The glyph from Lady Yushgra is not immediately obvious as a weaponized item, though that really only means that it would require further study to really determine what it is meant to do or what it is for. this is probably not the best place to examine it, but once there is a more suitable moment to do so, Bujilli will certainly take a closer look at this item.

      As for Judrang...a 16 is a bit low, alas, so this place is not in immediate conjunction to that venerable lunar enclave. The spell works as normal. But if Judrang had been better aspected...things might have gotten more interesting...

      Thanks for the d20 rolls--already used one!

      Delete
  3. Hmm. Alternatively, could those coming through the hatch be negotiated with?

    Although any deal struck would likely be unsavory at least, accursed at most.

    I say hand-axe...

    14, if that helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RE: The nice people coming up through the hatch; Bujilli can certainly attempt to parley/negotiate with the custodians by making a Reaction Roll on 2d6 and consulting page 52. Right now Bujilli has the Initiative, followed by Leeja and the Custodians who are tied, based on the rolls made by Porky in the comments above.

      I used the widget in the side-bar to roll 2d6 and came up with a result of 7, so the Custodians are 'Neutral, Uncertain.'

      The details of any such deal could get pretty sticky, as we're dealing with the Comprachicos in this situation at the very least...probably others--there is an Ignoble present. Maybe we'll learn more about those folks this time out?

      The Hand-axe seems to be a very good friend for Bujilli. It has gotten him through a lot of bad encounters...

      I will put the 14 to good use shortly!

      Thanks for the comment. Now it's time to go write the next episode...

      Delete

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