Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bujilli: Episode 109

Three Mucoid Tripods strode into the observatory chamber burning their way through every obstacle determined to save their domain even if they had to destroy it to do so...

"What is it?" Leeja had her hand-axe and stiletto both out.

"We need to get moving before--"

Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam

Bodies really did explode when subjected to intense heat. Especially those far enough back from the ones instantly vaporized into ash that the heat was somewhat dissipated.

The masters had returned. Three Mucoids astride tripodal chariot-constructs strode down the ramp-way leading off to their left. They were burning down the Red Weeds, the Morons and anything else that got in their way. They very clearly intended to kill the intruders who had subverted their herd.

"I've got this." Hedrard brushed past Bujilli. Her eyes gleamed hot red and wrathful. Her fingers were owlish talons. The Red Weeds writhed and shuddered and undulated in a convulsive effort to free itself from its myriads of roots, runners and shoots in order to follow her.

Bujilli considered casting a spell on the Mucoids, perhaps Zymurgic Disgestion. Or perhaps he should get his wand ready, the one that drew upon the broken plane of Selinoth Yr and cast forth gobs of smoldering other-planar acid. Before he could do anything Leeja rushed past him yowling like an angry cat.

Hedrard held up her right hand. Made a fist. Brought it down hard and fast as though actually striking the lead Mucoid. The Red Weeds rose in a tidal wave of vegetation and crashed down upon its tripod, crushing it into a jagged, jumbled mess of metal spewing clouds of green smoke.

The other two backed away from the torrent of carnage that had claimed their fellow and took aim directly at Hedrard.

She waved her left-hand around from one side to the next, as though scattering feed for a flock of chickens. Tiny violet sparks rose from the ground to form a shimmering curtain before her, but the curtain did not flow into place fast enough.

Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam-vam-Vam

Heat Rays seared through the Red Weeds surrounding Hedrard. Flames exploded all around her. The curtain wobbled, split into three ragged panels that flapped like vertical banners of sparks that then flowed back together.

The hag still stood, her skin blackened and blistered, she gestured again and the Red Weeds responded, surging upwards then crashing down with incredible force on the two Tripods. The impact drove the Tripods back, snapping-off one leg and toppling the other onto its back.

Dim, sullen red light shone up from the carpet of Red Weeds to form into an ovoid aurora around Hedrard who now hovered above the heat-fractured flagstones of the floor exposed by the searing blast of the Mucoid weapons. She was badly burned. Brute force was no longer an option, so she drove the Red Weeds over and across the Tripods, wrapping around their limbs, entwining about them, completely covering the machines and their masters. The heat rays went silent. The Tripods ceased to struggle. The Red Weeds had infiltrated the tripods and grown into the Mucoids with a mindless, vegetable implacability that left them ruptured messes of bodily fluids and gobbets of flesh that would feed the roots and tendrils of the Red Weeds.

Hedrard coughed. She knelt on the scalded stone and the Red Weeds released their killing hold on the Tripods to slither into place around her, to form a cocoon around her. The four women and six hunters who served the hag went to the red cocoon and lifted it from the floor. They carried it up the ramp past Bujilli and Leeja who stood watching, mouths agape. Neither of them suspected the power their friend wielded, nor had they expected to see her nearly obliterated by the former masters of the moron herd.

They followed the marching morons up the ramp and through more than a dozen different chambers, passages and other ramps. The morons carried Hedrard's cocoon as though it were the relic of a goddess or a saint. No one spoke. The children capered about clattering bone rattles and blowing idiot tunes on harsh bone-pipes. It was a parade, a procession, and the morons made it into as much of a spectacle as they could manage.

At last they reached a huge octagonal space set with massive buttresses at each of the junctures of the walls and arched upwards into the darkness in a steeply slanting peak. Huge windows showed scenes of some medieval morality play picked out in stained glass that slithered across a clear substrate like swarms of translucent slugs performing a dance, each stopping point in their frolic creating another scene from the unknown narrative.

The morons filed into the very center of the space and proceeded to dance about in ever-widening spirals as more and more of them brought forth their musical instruments and everyone set about celebrating whatever it was they had just accomplished.

Bujilli went to the nearest buttress. There was a modest access panel at the base. The covering came off easily to reveal a yellow metal grating which swung open at the touch of his fingers. There was a corkscrew-style ramp leading upward. To the roof.

He checked the Synchronocitor. They had a couple of hours to go before he could try to use it again.

Leeja stood next to the access-panel, keeping watch over him.

They had come here to rescue Hedrard and Lemuel. One had run off and was wandering through the lower-levels of the Gormenstille, the other was wrapped-up in a vegetative cocoon recovering from the effects of the Mucoid's heat rays. It had not gone quite as he had hoped.

He still wasn't entirely sure that the Synchronocitor would work up here.

But he would do the best he could.

In the meantime they joined in the festivities.

It was good to laugh again.

There would be time enough for tears when they got back to Wermspittle.

If they went back...

What should Bujilli do next?

You Decide!

Now What?
Bujilli and company need to decide whether or not they intend to go back to Wermspittle.

Will they take the morons with them, or will they try to leave them behind?

Should they wait for Hedrard to come out of her recuperative cocoon, or might they leave her behind?

What sort of wandering monster will be attracted to the moron's noisy frolic?

As always, if you have any questions or want to vote for a particular course of action or specific thing to do next please let us know in the comments, or via email.

What happens next is up to you, the readers.

You Decide!

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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


  1. Marching morons AND idiotic fluting. We're getting pulp all over the place!

    I'll ruminate and comment later, but the wandering critter table provided an appropriate commentary in and of itself:

    9. Giant Blue-Speckled Hornets are building a massive hive in this section of the passage. They gained entry through a broken window and have been working away undisturbed until you showed up.

    They will show up in at least 30 minutes...

    1. Heh, yep. Azathoth made me do it.

      Giant Blue-Speckled Hornets it is. Looks like the morons stirred up a hornet's nest with their cavorting and carrying on like they tend to do and 30 minutes sounds perfect!

  2. I say leave the morons to their own devices, and back to Wermspittle--unless the giant hornets think otherwise.

    1. Back to Wermspittle...not too many people ever go back there. The giant hornets might have something to say, but who's going to listen to them?

  3. I agree with Trey. Leave the Morons here, if possible, and go back to Wermspittle. They do need to take Hedrard's cocoon with them, so they may need to take a Moron honor guard along. I would limit it to 2 or 3, if possible. Can Bujilli or Leeja speak anything the Moron's understand? If not, can Counsel bridge the gap for Bujilli?

    Also, Bujilli needs to reach out to Lemuel to let him know what's happened and that they're leaving. He may be able to reach them in time, if he's interested in returning now.

    I rolled 5d20s and got 18, 8, 12, 20, and 19, in case they're helpful.

    1. Okay. They want to go back to Wermspittle.We'll see how it goes.

      Taking Hedrard's cocoon will present a few challenges, not the least will be the stubborn (fanatical) devotion of her honor guard and priestess-attendants. The lady has an entourage now...

      Speaking to the morons works fine in any language. they tend to nod, smile and pretty much ignore anything they don't understand or care to deal with, so talking to them will go smoothly, but get nowhere. Getting them to cooperate will be tricky--they're on the way to the Promised Land and they are very excited about where they are going...and this might all be part of Hedrard's plan. At least one hopes it is...

      Reaching out to Lemuel will e easy enough to accomplish. That would be a kind act. He'll appreciate that.

      Lemuel isn't leaving any time soon. He's found a place he can really make an impact and a contribution, and possibly assume some major role or become a big time player. He's home now, as far as he is concerned.

      Thanks for the die-rolls. They'll come in handy!

  4. For better or worse, wermspittle is a familiar place, somewhere to go to ground.
    Get home recover and process, if possible. And the universe will throw something else at them....

    1. They could use a breather...but we'll see if they get it...

  5. Or they could go to Mars. What does it say of Wermspittle that both Lemuel and Hedrad have chosen Gormenstille? Still it's more than a familiar place, it's "home" now. At least Bujili saved his friends - and three strangers - from sacrafice to the Purple Clouds. That's some sort of victory and worth the rare celebration.

    Two hours still. Can Counsel tell where they are relative to the archway they entered upon? Perhaps they could find that poor calvary officer? It would be nice to rescue *someone.*

    1. Excellent choice. You raise a great point. Lemuel has really found himself in the Gormenstille and it appears that Hedrard is in the process of a make-over she might not have been able to carry out back in Wermspittle. But like you say, it is home now. They did manage to free their friends...even if one had run off and the other is in a cocoon...for now...

      Counsel can give Bujilli a visual overlay map of most places he has been. The wards and such in this place will not prevent that. He could certainly use Counsel to relocate the archway-platform where they entered the Gormenstille if he chooses to do so. It's definitely an option for him. As to the missing cavalry officer...they might be able to track her down, but it would lead quite a ways away from their current tentative exit-point, and a lot farther away from the original entry-point.

      The Ignoble and Eloi are about as 'saved' as they can handle--the Eloi's processing has damaged them severely and the Ignoble grew up in this place and has no idea how to cope with anything else...they could learn, given time and so on, but they simply were not ready nor able to adjust to the freedom Bujilli granted them. Liberation was far scarier than the prison walls they had come to love, as in the poem by Byron, that inspired the name of this world--New Chillon.

      Lemuel might not be coming along, but he was certainly saved and feels as though he has been set on a path all his own, so that was a success.

      But would have been nice to have saved at least one of the other prisoners...


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