Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Plebs RPG Part III: Conclusion

 Last week, on Plebs:

Our heroes have reluctantly (to avoid crucifixion) agreed to investigate, at the urging of the teenager Aedile Quintus, the rich bathhouse of wealthy Egyptian owner Tutmose, to find evidence that it has been a front for his plot to smuggle mummies into Rome for dark purposes.  The individual members of the group, by very varied means, discovered an underground lair beneath the bathhouse.

Quintus' lictor, Lucius, who had been sent to shepherd the party's investigation, has grown nervous.  He decided to send the carriage GPS (General Property Surveyor) Minervus to see what was taking the party so long.  (One of our regular players who was unable to make the prior two sessions of this game, was able to join us for this finale, hence the appearance of Minervus).

Minervus spotted a now well-soused Simodo who had been distracting the bathhouse guards by plying them with wine, and enjoying it himself.  When asked about the party, all Simodo could relate was that he saw Stapulus the Stapler, entering a nearby sewer entrance.

Dragging the inebriated deliveryman with him, Minervus approached the open sewer entrance.  Unfortunately Simodo leaned a little too close to entrance and plummeted into the dark dankness below.

They soon discovered Stapulus who had just begun investigating the strange passageway below. Although it was a sewer access tunnel, there was a passage that branched away from the main sewer channel.

This passage led to a large doorway.

The doorway had a somewhat ominous decorative feature outside it.

As they carefully approached the door, the drunken Simodo leaned upon the warning mummy.  It was attached to a tripwire.

This released a large spiked trap to drop onto the trio, who were were somehow able to dodge it.
Meanwhile, Pignus and Cursoria had been lured into the bathhouse's library by Tutmose's assistant Lavinia.  She sprang a trapdoor beneath them and they plunged into the space below which was lined by spikes.  Cursoria managed to manuever away from the trip while Pignus fell onto the spikes, impaling his hand.

"You know, the stairway is a lot easier," said Jahls who was still in the laundry basket carried by Varinius, had found a much less harrowing secret passage down into the room only moments before Cursoria and Pignus fall.  Jahls was able to pry Pignus off the spike with his staple remover while Varinius used some of the towels to staunch the blood.

Spying a locked door, Jahls, still carried in the basket, pried the hinges off.  A passage lit by a dimly flickering taper lay beyond. Jahls decided to leave the basket to speed their travels.

In the midst of the hallway was a human skull with a ax driven into it.  Pignus went to retrieve the skull but found it connected to a trip wire.
A large spiked trap descended onto the four.  Only Jahls, who regretted leaving the safety of the laundry basket, failed to avoid being struck by trap.  Although wounded, he decided to soldier on. Varinius used some of the towels from the basket to staunch the blood.

Jahls opened the next locked door using his staple remover.  They found small chamber lined with columns.  Suddenly a squealing sound could be heard coming from the walls.

A vast horde of rats swarmed out of holes in the walls.  Pignus let out his ear-piercing security alarm screech.  This had a notable effect on the rodents who cringed away from the party.
They approached the next door.  Finding the hinges were inaccessible to them, Jahls and Varinius launched a strong kick against the door.  However, they had failed to check to see if it had been locked.  It was not and they flew into the large, much better lit room beyond.  A sentry with a guard baboon, who had been coming to investigate the loud screech, was caught by surprise.

He was surprised even further when Stapulus, Simodo, and Minervus burst into the room, their approach covered by Pignus loud screech as well.

The party fell upon the hapless guard before he could take further action.

Minervus, in a smooth, well-modulated voice, soothed the baboon by trying to convince it to find another career.  The baboon joined the party with alacrity.

In the middle of the chamber was a strange astrolabe-like device.  Simodo was able to read some of the hieroglyphics on it.  Although it was a direction device, Minervus was able to determine that the directions for which it was intended were not on this earth, perhaps not on this plane of existence.

Cursoria examined the inscriptions on the wall which mentioned the long dead Imhotep and search to be reunited with his love for all eternity.  Unfortunately, none of this was removable from the stones in which they were embedded.  The party moved on to seek further evidence they could take back to Quintus.

Their new companion proved to more annoying than useful.  The baboon took amusement in tripping the members as they moved through the halls.

In one hallway, they came upon an enormous mastiff blocking them from further egress.  It attacked Jahls who had difficulty in removing it from his arm.  Even application of Varinius urine-soaked cleaning rag had little effect beyond angering the dog.

When the baboon appeared, the dog's rage grew greater, the two animals apparently having an animus of long standing between them.  The party cleared out of the dog's way and the two beasts fell upon each other with relish.

Entering another hallway, Jahls was once again surprised.  This time it was a guard who stabbed the staple remover with a large spear.  As more members of the aprty appeared, the guard soon retreated to the chamber from whence he had sprung and the party could hear the door being locked.  They decided to investigate the door at the opposite end of the hallway.

Stapulus, Cursoria, and Minervus led the way this time, moving through two small but well lit rooms each one having elaborate hieroglyphics carved upon them.

These led to a larger chamber in which two ornate doors stood along one wall and a small gold panel with three carved figures on another.  There was also a guard.

The guard, dressed in a mask bearing the image of Anubis, attacked them but soon fell to the inartful but plentiful blows of the party.

One of the massive doors slid partial open and another guard joined the fray.

As the battle continued, Stapulus examined the gold wall panel.

He noticed there were three images on the tablets: a scorpion, a scarab, and a skull.  When he pressed upon the scarab, one of the doors, which also bore the image of a scarab on it, began opening.  He noticed the other door had the image of a scorpion on it.  He pressed the image of the skull on the panel.

This was not the best course of action, as a cloud of green, poisonous gas filled the room. The party rushed to the still open scarab door.

Within the room was a richly dressed Egyptian, as well as another  guard.  A priest in an elaborate Anubis head-dressed hovered over a water basin, mubling incantations.  Before them was a sarcophagus bearing the image of a beautiful young woman.  Also in the room was the singed but still mobile mummy they had encountered on the Tefnut.
Cursoria was the first into the room and the Egyptian man, obviously Tutmose, grabbed for her, a dagger in her hand.  However, Cursoria was able to avoid his grasp. Pignus charged at him, knocking him against the wall.  The security slave then began his ear-shattering screech again. This seemed to have a very negative effect on the mummy.  Minervus picked up the dagger dropped by Tutmose and held it against the Egyptian's throat, saying in a smooth, well-modulated voice, that he should consider a new career.

As the party struggled with Tutmose and the guard, Varinius decided this was an opportune time to clean up some of the bloody towels and began washing them in the water basin. The blood within them seemed to flow out of the towels in a preternatural fashion.  The swirling blood transformed into a red mist and began moving toward one of the walls.

The red mist formed a doorway and within that doorway, a luminescent portal appeared on the verge of opening.
, Jahls, who was heavily slashed and stabbed and, seeing how effective the towels were being cleaned, decided he needed to be refreshed.  He cannon-balled into the water basin, splashing all of the water out of it.  Immediately, the red mist dissipated and the portal vanished.

The mummy Imhotep let out a fearsome roar, having been deprived of reuniting with his love who was being summoned from beyond the living world.

The priest and the guard fell to their knees before the enraged monster and were quickly and gruesomely killed.

The party fled in panic.  In the room from which they entered, the poison gas had dissipated but they found their way blocked by another mummy. Stapulus lunged at it, allowing the rest of the party to run past.

As they fled back down the hallways, two additional mummies emerged from the room into which the earlier encountered guard had fled.

Jahls sprang at one of the mummies and struck the hand from it with his staple remover.  He pocketed the still squirming hand.  Pignus and Varinius fended off the other mummy.

Minervus the GPS produced a small vellum scroll from his robes and began unrolling it - scrolling through the document and lengthening it to a nearly impossible degree.
"I hate to use this thing this way - it's my Terms of Service."
He tossed it onto the two mummies, setting them ablaze.

Simodo returned to aid Stapulus who was still fighting the pursuing mummy.  However, Imhotep was rapidly approaching.

Simodo grabbed a rag and lit it at one the nearby wall sconces.  He threw it upon the lesser mummy setting it on fire.  He and Stapulus then pushed the lesser mummy into Imhotep, setting the greater mummy on fire as well.

Stapulus, using his stapling skills knit the bandages of the two mummies together, sending them up in a great conflagration.  With these horrors destroyed, the party was able to flee back through the sewer entrance.

They brought Tutmose to Lucius the Lictor. When Tutmose attempted to deny any wrong-doing, Jahls produced the still animated mummy's hand.  "It's a fair cop," said Tutmose, "but society is to blame."

With little time before Flavia's deadline arrived, the party convinced Lucius to take them to pier to retrieve the two boxes of smuggled silk.  Giving up on the plan to take the silk for themselves, they hoped to at least gain a reward from Flavia.

Arriving at her hour just in time, she seemed surprisingly reluctant to acknowledge the silk crates as belonging to her.

The were soon joined by Flavia's companion, Licinia, and her dear son, Quintus the Aedile.

She completely denied knowing anything about any silk, saying she sent her minions (the party) onboard the Tefnut, because she heard rumors about something strange with the ship and had wanted to help out her dear friend's son in his first important job and look her servants had discovered this smuggling. Quintus was ecstatic.  In addition to recovering the silk, which would be forfeited to the Emperor, he could also claim to have apprehended Tutmose, red-, er, handed in some type of magical plot that endangered the Empire.  "Oh, neat!" he cried.

Flavia said that since the party had worked so well for Quintus, why not take them into his service for his next assignment.  Quintus gushed with pleasure, "It'll be so great to have all of you with me, and especially to the cool place we're going!"


The End.

The scenery I used for the underground is the new plastic modular dungeon set for Dungeons and Lasers.  Here's some pictures of the whole layout: