Iron Gods - Mike Korupp
Iron Gods campaign homepage.
Welcome to Numeria, hope you survive the experience.
Once the greatest of the River Kingdoms, Numeria today is a land of grim barbarians and dark magic, its fierce people ruled over by a cabal of tainted magicians devoted to artifacts they do not understand. These secrets are not of this world, brought to Golarion with the dramatic crash of a colossal metal mountain from the sky, which scattered pieces of itself across the country.
While its barren landscape leaves little for trade, Numeria is famous in more civilized southern lands as the primary source of skymetals, seven rare metallic alloys sheared from the metal mountain that fell from the sky. These alloys are all useful in the creation of unique weapons and artifacts, and each has its own distinct properties. Of these, adamantine is the most common, and word of the wonders of “Numerian steel” has long since spread to the farthest corners of Avistan and Garund.
Numeria’s capital of Starfall is a grim and brutal place, a decadent mockery of the royal courts of the south. Here, the barbarian king known as the Black Sovereign reigns unchallenged, supported by the perverse sorcerers of the Technic League and their gearsman servants. In its filthy streets, strange metal men from the Silver Mount enforce the dictator’s decrees, while those who revel (or pretend to) in the king’s carnal celebrations grow fat on the toil of others or become addicted to the vile, intoxicating liquids that seep from the wreckage of the Silver Mount.
Torch, here is where my troubles began.
If your character is a native of Torch or has been a frequent visitor, she likely knows the following information about the town of Torch. Talk to your GM about more details of the town and its residents.
Torch takes its name from the violet flame that burns atop its central hill. The fires ignited spontaneously in 4602 ar, and for nearly a year they lanced into the sky, forming a purple column of fire that could be seen for miles around. At the time, the Technic League was experiencing a period of upheaval in Starfall, and its agents were unable to investigate the rumors of the column of fire to the south. By 4604, the flames had died down to a man-sized bonfire, leaving the top of the hill blasted and blackened. Several industrious locals soon discovered the f lame’s heat possessed two unusual qualities—it was hot enough to smelt skymetal ores and work with difficult materials like adamantine, and the fires themselves radiated a strangely directional heat. A chunk of wood thrown a dozen feet over the fires would instantly burst into flame, yet a piece of paper set a foot from the bonfire’s edge wouldn’t even smolder. This unique combination of traits made the fire a perfect forge. After a few sudden flare- ups resulted in the tragic incineration of several smiths and their partially completed forges, the townsfolk learned how to interpret the flares and flashes that presaged such an eruption. Rather than build permanent structures around the fire, they came to rely upon portable workshops transported up the hill via wagon or carriage, so that when the fire began one of its unpredictable surges, the smiths could retreat to safety to wait for the blast of fire to recede.
In this way, Torch has sustained itself. By the time the Technic League sorted its internal politics out and sent representatives to investigate in 4612, its agents found a burgeoning village growing around the base of the hill. After a cursory examination of the fire, representatives from the Technic League met with the village’s leaders and worked out a deal—as long as Torch sent a monthly tribute of gold north to Starfall, the Technic League would not maintain an official presence in the region. In this way, the League turned what could have been competition (since at the time it still lacked the resources to effectively manage a remote site) into a source of income. Over the decades that followed, Torch grew steadily, yet has never truly prospered, because the Technic League constantly revises the amount of the tribute it requires. Frustrations with and resentments against the Technic League rightly have grown in Torch, yet the League’s been careful to never tax the town to the point of rebellion, keeping them in an uncomfortable but relatively stable place between freedom and oppression.
Extinguished Torch: The violet flame that has burned atop Black Hill for over a century has gone out, leaving a strangely seeping pit of rubble and bubbling fluids where the town’s livelihood once glowed day and night.
Missing Councilor: Ever since Councilor Khonnir Baine, one of Torch’s more powerful wizards and a well-liked individual, went missing on his second expedition under Black Hill, the citizens of the nervous town have edged closer to outright panic. With their hands full handling the growing refuse and waste problems in town now that their primary disposal method is gone, the town council is eager to find out what happened to Khonnir and rescue him— they’ve made public a reward of 4,000 gp to any group that can recover Khonnir’s body; if he can be returned alive, they’ve promised to throw in the scroll of resurrection they’ve been holding on to in case they need to revive him. Interested parties are invited to speak to the council at Town Hall.
Black Hill Caves: Khonnir Baine discovered the signs of unusual traffic on the banks of Weeping Pond, and shortly thereafter, the submerged tunnel that provides access to several heretofore unknown tunnels under Black Hill. His emergence from the caves with a deactivated semi-humanoid automaton sparked worries that something strange might be going on in the caverns, but when he failed to return from his second expedition a few days ago, those worries turned to outright fear. Several other adventuring parties have gone missing in the caves, and Torch finds itself running short on new volunteers.
Strange Headaches: For the last week, townsfolk have been reporting strange headaches. They last throughout the day, and tend to go away by the next morning. Effecting people at random, most townsfolk have had them, sometimes multiple. It is an annoyance, but not of pressing importance given the other matters at hand.
Day -10: Malku Skygge and fellow escaped slaves enter Torch.
Day -8: The torch goes out. Later that afternoon, Khonnir Baine discovers the tracks of a group of humanoids and the entrance to the Black Hill Caves
Day -7: First Expedition. A group of halfling adventurers enter the Black Hill Caves. They never return.
Day -6: Second expedition. A band of local thugs, including local favorite Parda Garr, enter the Black Hill Caves. They never return.
Day -5: Third expedition. Khonnir Baine and his group kill the leader of a group of skulks; the rest flee. They find a metal door and force it open. Within they find a broken drone. Rather than push on, they return with the drone to report their findings.
Day -4: Fourth expedition. An out-of-town adventuring party devoted to the worship of Brigh takes up the town’s call and enters the caves. They never return.
Day -2: Fifth expedition. Khonnir Baine’s second team, including local Gerrol Sonder, enter the Black Hill Caves. They never return.
Day -1: Vidon Fatesapper enter Torch, weary from his traveling and spends the night in the inn.
Day 0: Arim Shadowbleeder, Harkness, and Susie return from their expedition that morning. Arim, Harkness, Susie, Vidon, and Malku team up and rescue Wrennie Dalorn from a vicious mugging. Recognizing their mutual abilities, they agree to investigate the Black Caves.
Their first expedition is fruitful, and they discover the fate of some of the members of the previous expeditions. Later that night there is much gambling, drinking, deadly chair attacks, intrigue, and even murder! With heavy hearts, and foggy brains, they retire for the night, planning to delve deeper into the caves on the morn.
Day 1: Murders, murders everywhere, but not a culprit in sight. Harkness saw someone spying on the Foundry Tavern that night, but couldn’t investigate before they left. The muggers from the market were poisoned, only one survived.
The party heads back into the caves. Vidon gets butter-fingers at the sight of a robot; flings his axe madly. Harkness begins to sometimes hit things with his boomstick. Mal’s quarterstaff continues to be deadly. The group kills some primitive, undead screwheads. Susie makes their zombie boss cry.
Afterward they foolishly continue on, deeper into the ship. Arim is somewhat vindicated in his gambling reward. “Where am I?” The party meets a mushroom with telepathy, and zaniness ensues. More robots for Vidon to smash, and Harkness to talk to. The GM regrets he gave Vidon a weapon that ignores hardness.
Khonnir is found! His legs don’t work, and he is suffering from nanite induced brain rot. Apparently nanites are not good at mapping the brain in an attempt to learn how magic works. He is healed back in town, and the party unlocks achievement “Rescued Khonnir.” More intrigue follows, and Mal insults a kindly technology merchant. How rude!
The party rests, planing to once again delve into the buried space craft in the morning, and try to unlock the achievement “Push all the buttons.”
Day 2: The party heads back into the ship, and gets nickel and dimed by the undead again. This time however, it appears that they were finally put to rest. Malku is the voice of reason, and convinces them to head back to regain spells. This proves to be serendipitous, as a Red Band ambush was waiting for them.
After dispatching the ambush, Harkness and the rest of the party forfeit any good karma they had earned by once again being rude to the kindly technology merchant. Poor Mr. Trett.
Susie sends double-O donkey rat to spy on this gentleman, and Fluffy display apparent super spy abilities. From the discreet perch of Mr. Trett’s shoulder, Fluffy observes him making what appears to be a dead drop, to a presumably benign organization. After all, who would think such scandalous thoughts about Sanvil Trett’s character to suggest that he is up to no good.
While Trett leaves to go watch a warehouse (nothing suspicious about that, perhaps he is a student of architecture), the party gets a call from Wrennie. She has judged their character correctly, and sees nothing irregular about acquiring their skills for murder. They of course agree to the assassination request, and head off to the warehouse of Garmen Ulreth in a cheerful manner.
Shockingly enough, this appears to be the same warehouse that piques Trett’s structural curiosity. The brutish party proceeds to mercilessly attack poor Trett, and only through some strange providence suppress their murder-hobo inclinations, and take the poor man alive.
But what is this? Trett a member of the Technic League? Say it ain’t so, Joe. The party is shocked to discover this, and to realize how well he pulled the wool over their eyes. Thank goodness for their unwarranted and completely illegal assault of his person, and subsequent kidnapping. Hurray!
Oh and yeah, the party breaks into the warehouse proceeds to turn it into a charnel house. After all, what is a little more crime and murder going to hurt (besides the victims that is). Their successful assassination proves quite profitable, as not only are they paid for their pound of flesh, they also have a quite literal hostile takeover of the warehouse and Silverdisk hall. They also acquire the services of some thugs. Their criminal empire expands!
They also find a power relay, and conclude that it was what has been causing all the headaches.
Achievements: “Murder-hobos, keep on murdering,” “Unlawful assault is the best kind of assault,” and “Getting paid for an assassination: Priceless.” “Push all the buttons” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 3: After dreaming the dreams of innocent, unrepentant babes, the party is introduced to a cook named Flynn, who makes them a lovely breakfast. While nice, they are more interested in his capacity for murder and mayhem, which he does display proficiency at as well.
Back into the ship, and the party feeds “Mushroom” the leftovers of their late night festivities. Some of them also contract leprosy from some helpful oozes. A machine spirit named “Task” continues to question the party. Plant monsters and fungi-men attack the party, and are sadly unable to further infect them with disease. They find a broke elevator, and go back to make a part to replace it.
They find some tracks out of the cave, and their new button-man Hurk informs them that purple haired lady has been asking around about the item they found in the warehouse. She is waiting for them at the Foundry Tavern, and explains to their simple, organic brains that she needs them to turn the power relay back on within the next two days. They agree, and are happy to have made a new friend, as well as an employer.
Achievements: “Leprosy: Look Ma, no hands.” “Push all the buttons” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 4: Oh no! The party wakes this morning to learn that the Merry Maid has been attacked, and Wrennie and Trett have been kidnapped. The apparent ransom is their new employer’s power relay; what a dilema!
A plan is hatched, but it doesn’t go far beyond kill all the mother fuckers. This plan turns out to be successful, and they are able to rescue poor Mr. Trett, the kindly technology mechant. Wrennie is also alive, and quite worse for wear.
They return to town and jury-rig the power relay to allow them to stop the headaches. Tomorrow they plan to ask their employer for a bonus. Oh, and Wrennie dies; obligation time!
Achievements: “Aspirin” & “Spouses Reunited.” “Push all the buttons” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 5: Compensation negotiations! The party heads to the corporate offices to have a talk with the boss. Once there, they offer their coworkers compelling retirement packages. However, benefits talks with the CEO prove to be untenable, and the party initiates a hostile takeover. Khonnir is hired as interim chief executive officer, and bonuses are finally awarded.
Meyanda is put in jail, and the party are the heroes of Torch. High-fives all around!
Achievements: “Barbarians at the Gate (look it up people!)” & “Radiation, the gift that keeps on giving.” “Push all the buttons” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 6-12: Mal casts a spell and makes the GM lift up his skirt. Vidon finds info on his brother, and prepares for a journey. Wedding bells for Susie? Harkness gets a new gun; its not the size that matters, but how you use it! Yummy meals at the Foundry Tavern; Chef Sileet delights the masses. Arim’s evil empire continues to grow, or should I say Draline’s? “whip-crack!”
Achievements: “Montage Time!” “Push all the buttons” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 13: Party takes a ship south down the river, and arrive at Blackpipe. Susie turns out to be hell spawned, surprising no one. Showing incredible wisdom, several members decide to slide down the barrel of a gigantic energy weapon. Real light bulbs we got here folks.
Further boating takes them to Hajoth Hakados as they continue to look for Vidon’s misplaced brother.
Achievements: “Let’s save the GM time trying to kill us.” “Push all the buttons” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 14: Some helpful aliens fawn over Harkness, and later tell Vidon to go kill up some barbarians. A task the party was probably going to do anyways. Murder-hobos gots to murder.
Achievements: “Finding out your ‘dad’ was a badass: Great Expectations!” “Push all the buttons” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 15: The party goes looking for the barbarians that have Vidon’s brother. After meeting a drug dealer and some confused (and now dead) robots, the find the fort of the Blood Gar tribe. After formulating a plan with cunning battle tactics, Vidon storms the base and almost get killed. But ultimately they are victorious and rescue Thorgol.
They return to Hajoth Hakados and meet Flynn’s parents, who embarrass him greatly as well as give him a terribly mysterious and secret letter.
Achievements: “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” “One hit never hurt anyone, right?” “Push all the buttons” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 16: Rolling down the river!
Achievements: “Push all the buttons” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 17: The party stops at a nice fishing village which no one can remember the name or, literally. Also, there is a mutant orc killing everyone. Where are your gods now?
Achievements: “A dose of radiation a day keeps the doctor (and everyone else) away.” “Push all the buttons” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 18: The group decides to go mess up some bandits that have been blackmailing the town. Mal tires to evict the bandits at the crashed space ship. They don’t so much refuse, but rather don’t really understand what she is telling them. A fight eventually breaks out. Mal and Flynn end up with cancer; bet you didn’t see that coming, huh? Also, Arim makes a key victory in his quest for world domin-… er, I mean world ‘optimization.’ Harkness pushes all the buttons!
Achievements: “Push all the buttons!!!” “What’s that on your fac- Oh My God!” “Technology Item Creation Shop: Time to make some gray goo.”
Day 19: Rolling down the river!
Achievements: “River travel montage!” “Give me another hit” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 20: Female Kytons attack the boat, which Flynn molests in the most cancerous way possible. Most are killed, but one is simply dumped off the boat. They make their way to Aldronard’s Grave and save some crusaders from the cannibalistic Smilers. They also ignore the wails of a lonely ghost; poor lonely ghost.
Achievements: “Who would have thought busty, chain-covered pain demons could be so kinky?” “The other white meat.” “Give me another hit” has yet to be unlocked.
Day 21: The party enters Scrapwall and meets a helpful gang of thugs. Sensing how nice the brutal gang leader is, they agree to some friendly assassination. They make camp for the day, but not all denizens of Scrapwall as nice as the Steel Hawks. Diplomacy breaks down, so Vidon breaks faces. Many and orc and ogre lose an argument with the party, and now all of Scrapwall knows how tough they are.
Later that night the party goes and meets a nice fellow named Birdfood and demonstrate what the term curb-stomp means.
Achievements: “Me will smash you, smash you to goo!” “Remind me not to go drinking with you.” “Give me another hit” has yet to be unlocked.
Scrapworth = 3