Friday, March 11, 2016

Iron Gods: This is your brain on drugs

Maxx looks like the woman pictured above.
Feeling drained and with few cure potions to spare, they retreated back to town and found themselves cheered by the crowds gathered at the lake.  They had nothing to identify, really, but still found themselves talking to Sanvil Trett regarding the location and how he knew so much about technology.  During this time our dear alchemist wandered off (as the player couldn't attend) to try to brew some cure potions on her own.

A few Heal and Perception checks later and Luna noted that he was a regular user of different drugs, which she quietly related to the others as they headed with Sanvil to the Copper Coin for some food. 

They queried him on his drug use and he pointed out that he was an intermittent user of some high quality drugs and revealed his current stash included Devil Weed (basically marijuana), Powderlite (cocaine) and a mysterious golden liquid called Sarenrae's Tears that had to be injected into the carotid artery to work.  They asked him whether he was with the Technic League since they were the most likely to have such elaborate drugs but he demurred and claimed that he had met all kinds of interesting people and who was he to say who they worked for?  They left it at that.

Since Bort had a history with Sarenrae, having forbid Maxx from selling his cold iron scimitar with its Sarenrae mark, he immediately decided he wanted the Tears which were 10gp per dose (at this stage) but lacked the resources to pay.  Luna bought five doses for him, gave him one and one for Maxx.  She also bought 10 doses of devilweed at 1gp per dose (at this stage).  The devilweed had no impact on Maxx.

The Sarenrae's Tears certainly did.

When Bort took it he felt … different.  Lighter.  He felt that people were innately good, and merely led astray.  He felt that one good turn deserved another and that there was never an excuse for cruelty.  In short his alignment was changed from Chaotic Neutral to Chaotic Good.

Maxx's impression was less emotive, and more intellectual.  There was a certain way of doing things and it felt wrong to divert from that.  She became Lawful Good.  Immediately she thought of the death-bet they had thus far failed to gain their winnings from way back in Session 1 when they bet against their own survival at the odds of 72 to 1.  They had failed to find that fine fellow, Mikhel, in their last foray to the gambling hall so they decided to try again after lunch.

Leaving Sanvil Trett behind, and with Nathaniel none the wiser of their deals since they'd taken Sanvil aside to make the purchases, they head back to the Silverdisk Hall and find themselves barred at the entrance by a half-orc because the hall opened later in the day.  She also refused to give them Mikhel's home address.

So Maxx offered a bet -- 50gp for a competition of strength (arm wrestle) and should she win, she'd gain the information and 50gp.  The half-orc refused the amount and offered instead 25gp and the information, since Maxx stood to earn more than she did.  They ended up talking her up to 40gp, but they wouldn't tell anyone she'd lost the arm wrestle should she lose.  She accepted those terms, and luckily Maxx won the arm wrestle.

Off they went to the edge of town only to discover Mikhel living the high life in his hovel, groggy from being woken by them at his door, and as naked as the day he was born.  There was also a man and a woman in his bed.  His masterwork studded leather armour over a stool, his gear on a chest.

First they demanded their gold but Mikhel claimed to have banked it on their behalf in a town a few days away (since he assumed that one of their frequent forays would slay them all he had to do was delay them).  Maxx served him a Notice of Intent to Sue which he gleefully accepted since that would also take a few days to organise and by then he was sure they would be dead.  Luna then threatened him, which had more of an effect, but Maxx was adamant that the law should be invoked and that his fraudulent ways should land him in prison.

Mikhel scoffed at this.  Prison?  Here a misdemeanour meant a brand on the back, theft meant a lost finger or hand, and anything greater meant death.  Prisons were far too rare and expensive to operate.  Still they dragged him before the dwarven mayor, so they could at least confiscate his gear, hoping she would shake the remaining gold out of him, but it turned out that Mikhel merely didn't have the gold to give them.

Instead the weary dwarven mayor, outraged that a local would attempt to hoodwink their town's only hope, and meaning to make a lesson out of him, took them to another room where a single heavy still manacle sat bolted to a heavy table.  Mikhel was quiet now, resigned, but the drug-induced goodness in the party prevented them from allowing it.

Instead Maxx suggested indentured servitude, which surprise the mayor.  What use was Mikhel?  She agreed easily enough, though, being Lawful Neutral she'd take off his hand but take no joy in it. 

Maxx asked why they had no prison and she mentioned the expense in making a good one, that bad ones were soul-destroying, and that good ones would be too comfortable.  He asked why they didn't use indentured servitude more often and she pointed out that the Technic League did all the time … for decades at a time (i.e. slavery).

Unsettled at the lack of an easy option in Numeria, but confidant that she herself would release the man, Maxx offered Mikhel the chance to pay off his debts and he agreed.  They still took his potion and armour, giving him the alchemists non-masterwork armour instead, and brought him back into the strange fortress under the hill on their foray the following morning.

Mikhel probably would have tried to escape, but he had no Disable Device (same stats used as for any Ropefist) plus Maxx didn't need to sleep so watched him all night.  The drugs wore off Maxx early (natural 20 on her Fortitude save) but not from Bort which was lucky because Maxx started having second thoughts about Mikhel's usefulness.

They had their breakfast and then headed back inside, and that's where I'll leave it, though it's only half the session told but this is the part that our dear alchemist missed.

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