Pelchskull’s the name, rhyming’s my thing.
16th of Passion, 6th Year of Factol Jamis’s Reign
This is it! The PCs are called into Cyan‘s office for their first big foray into the Outer Planes as part of the _Planebuster’s Guild._ Present are:
Soliloquy, the bookish Enchanter
Santher, the former excavation slave from Eberron
Crown Guard, former bodyguard, and not a robot Jassiera.
Jasseira, the plucky rogue who thinks Crown Guard is full of shit.
They’re quickly introduced to Pelchskull, a middle-aged Xaositect with a penchant for whistling and singing, who wishes to delve into the second layer of Pandemonium for an item; he wishes to hire the Planebuster’s to act as bodyguards (“the Howler’s only attack when they outnumber you…”). Under questioning from Crown Guard, Pelchskull admits that while he knows what the object looks like, he doesn’t know what it does.
Jassiera places a bet that the thing is little more than some crude drawing this berk made when he was seven.
Pelchskull offers the equivilant of 50g each up front, and promises another 50g upon completion. He tells them to meet him in Quake Lavender‘s place tomorrow, as going today would be hazardous (Jassiera knows from the place’s reputation that Quake’s is at it’s “best behaviour” on the 17th of every month. Usually). When he leaves, Cyan warns them that Chaosmen aren’t to be trusted, and to keep a keen eye on him; Pandemonium is not the place to get tricked on.
Things’ll be great when you’re downtown
The players have some downtime, so they set about looking into their own personal business.
Soliloquy does some research into Pandemonium, and picks up an Endure Elements ritual for the party to help fight off the biting cold, as well as some earwax to drown out (some of) the howling wind.
Santher helps keep Sigil Razorvine free, and starts looking into getting a shoulder-mounted crossbow. He manages to get the name of a gnome, Blus Goldglitter, who used to do some work on Modron Outcasts in Sigil. Blus left after the Faction War, but a name is a good place to start.
Crown Guard checks in with a contact of his with the Sons of Mercy, a half-orc named Haster Mensen. He checks to see if there has been any chant about this Pelchskull character, and is told that it seems Pelchy was asking around a few months ago to see if anyone was willing to accompany him to Pandemonium. Haster laments that a trio of Sodkillers offered him a better deal… and there’s been some dark that the Sellswords were looking for him. He also hears a rumour that a certain man he’s looking for was spotted on Mechanus…
Jasseira meanwhile ends up going to the Festhall to get her own information about the plane of Pandemonium. Result: that last Sensate failed pretty hard! Undeterred, she looks into Pelchskull’s background, and finds out he’s an artist! She visits his abode in the Hive, looking to break into his place, but finds that his house is covered in some disgusting, smelly, sap. Steeling her nerves, she instead knocks on the front door and convinces Pelchskull to give him some of his worst work for display at the Festhall. He gives Jasseria a portfolio filled with 8 blank pages, one picture of a devil in a pink dress, and an elaborate painting of some dogs playing a card game. She throws the dog painting out, thinking it will never sell.
Welcome to Quake’s Place
17th of Passion, 6th Year of Factol Jamis’s Reign
Approaching the (in)famous tavern in the hive, the party sees numerous unconscious creatures outside, either stone drunk, beaten unconscious, or soundly sleeping. Inside, the roar of what looks to be a rousing bar fight is occuring inside, with humanoids from all over the multiverse inside, including several demons, the most scary looking being a Marilith. Behind the bar is a fairly attractive lady whom Jasseira would recognize as Quake Lavender, the owner of this establishment. She is one of the few people passively watching the action; the rest are either fighting, dancing, or playing Old Maid. Pelchskull is inside, singing and dancing on a table while an elf piledrives a kobold into a wooden chair. Upon spotting the party at the entrance, he waves at them and points to a stuffed trophy on the wall, the head of a giant pig-looking animal with several huge teeth (but not tusks, as one would see on a normal pig… it’s a hippo, although none of the players would recognize one as such).
Of course, moving that 30 or so feet across the bar to get to the trophy is easier said than done with the chaos inside. The first problem is getting Santher in; whereas Crown Guard came dressed in full clothing, Santher is his normal robot-looking self. The burly Khaasta bouncer stops him from coming in, pointing to a blackboard emblazoned with “Rules for Quake’s Tavern” upon it: “_No Shoes, No Service.”_ Luckily for Santher, Jasseira is able to convince the bouncer that the metal plating on his feet is a kind of shoe.
No one gets across the room entirely unscathed; Jasseira ends up getting caught pilching some money off a ripped Orc, Crown Guard runs into some trouble with a Goliath he runs into (who may or may not have been a Level 17 Warden), and Soliloquy ends up dancing with a Chaond, who falls in love with her when Sol snaps and yells at the brute to let her go (he is apparently a “M”). Santher doesn’t run into any big issue… but, well, Santher is a Bleaker, which is in a way, its own punishment. A bit roughed up but no worse for wear, the group follows the singing Pelchskull into the Hippo’s mouth.
The Rolling Green Fields of Pandemonium
Pandemonium is as terrible as advertised; it’s pitch black, cold, and the wind sounds like a hurricane, constantly billowing through the area. The party immediately begins taking preventative measures, inserting bees wax into ears (they could barely hear anything anyway) and tying loose articles of clothing down (sadly for Soliloquy, her designer earmuffs won’t stay on, but her horns catch them so she doesn’t lose them). Crown Guard takes to practically wearing rope as body armour; his clothes aren’t going anywhere. After a bit of yelling and hand gestures, the party ties a rope to everybody, ensuring that if one person falls into a a “zoom tunnel”, everyone will. The party, not trusting Pelchskull (and too afraid to try and understand the runes they walk on), resolves to mark their path back to the portal in chalk.
Looking at Pelchskull, the party can tell he’s still singing, but damned if you can hear a word of it between the earwax and the wind. Pelchskull has in his hand what looks like a sun rod, although it shines with the intensity of a regular torch. He chastises Santher for trying to use his built in light source (it’s too bright), and hands a modified sun rod to everyone but Crown Guard, who has his own light source (but a bit dimmer). Travel is slow, as Pelchskull kneels down to read whatever is scrawled on the surface of the cavern, following them up walls and ceilings, sometimes going in literal circles (and sometimes in perfect squares).
As you press forward, you notice that Pelchskull motions you guys to “be quiet” (as if anything else could honestly be heard above the blasted winds), as he leads you down into a tunnel. Immediately upon entering this tunnel, you hear the wind die considerably; there is still a stiff breeze moving through, but nothing compared to the horrid wind above. Like many areas of Cocytus, many passages branch off, but Pelchskull still seems to still be following some vague directions that the markings on the wall makes.
Travel is still rough, but the party is lucky enough to not encounter the worst of Pandemonium‘s gusts. The biggest obstacle becomes exiting out of one of Pandemonium’s famous “gravity cancelling” tunnels that shoot its occupants through at high speeds; Crown Guard tries in vain to slow his exit, but ends up crashing (along with Pelchskull) into a wall (Soliloquy manages to avoid being injured by landing ontop of Pelchskull).
As the party presses forward, they notice that Pelchskull motions to “be quiet” (as if anything else could honestly be heard above the blasted winds), as leads them down into a tunnel. Immediately upon entering this tunnel, they can hear and feel that the wind die considerably; there is still a stiff breeze moving through, but nothing compared to the horrid wind above. Like many areas of Cocytus, many passages branch off, but Pelchskull still seems to still be following some vague directions that the markings on the wall makes. Bees wax is removed, and some lights and stealth check are doused.
As Pelchskull creeps forward, a shaky voice blurts out:
“Pelchy! We thought we’d never eat you find you! Shall we con-continue?”
Emerging into Pelchskull’s light are a trio of figures, one half-orc and two human. They wear the garb of the Minder’s Guild, but they’re figures and skin are deformed. Stepping a bit closer into the light, the party can clearly see that their bottom halves looks like they come from a giant insect; Pelch whimpers slightly; the Murska have been waiting for his return…