Iron Gods - Mike Korupp

Why is everyone here so violent - Arim Mar 28th

So I spend two days talking to the Steelhawks and Ratfolk trying to be nice. I’m still hoping the ratfolk are willing to join us. They seem to be fairly independent as they aren’t really interested in working with the Lords of Rust. Hopefully if we clean stuff up they’ll feel safe enough working for us. Also as we diminish the Lords shock troops a few ratfolk have decided to come back to the fold. the Steelhawks are pretty much stereotypical human. They want power, but at the moment have no way to take it. Though I think this recent issue was a learning experience for them. They want to be back in charge and if refocused they could prove useful. I’m not sure if it is worth the time and effort to join forces with them. If they can just be an independent power that is against the technic league, I can be satisfied.

We visited the church and it was surrounded by a formidable looking wall, but we were able to find the lever to allow us inside. Then we found a group of golems that attacked us. They had the nasty ability to turn into swarms and heal themselves. Finally we found Faile and did exactly what Wrennie told us to do. I had assumed that what Wrennie told us what some special code that would let Faile know we were friends. I was sadly mistaken. Instead it resulted in Faile deciding we were a bunch nasty assassins, running away and attempting to blow up her piece of the music box. As Mal pointed out to me, none of Wrennie’s plans had been very well thought out and this one was just following the pattern. After the confusion gets resolved, we convince her we are friends, she gives us the music box and goes off in order to keep the enemies distracted.

Then we go off to see the manticore. We spent a fair bit of time talking to people in the town trying to learn as much as we can about it. We talked amongst ourselves trying to figure out what we can bribe this thing with. Finally we meet it and all our plans go to hell as it instantly attacks us. All i’ve wanted to do today was try to make friends and everything is too busy attacking me.

Someone decides to leave the manticore in a noose with a suicide note. When we get back into the city proper we get attacked by a small squad of chokers. Upon defeating them we are greeted by an envoy from the Lords of Rust and asked if we’d come meet them in person. Vidon wants to prove how vicious he is by assaulting a peasant… I tell them to expect us, just not in the near future. Hopefully they’ll ignore us in the short term, so we can get our stuff accomplished.

Letters Home
letter 9

Dear mom and dad,

Lady Luck seems to like our party because I doubt that we would have been as fortunate without SOMEONE looking over us. We agreed to let the rat folk to have the smiler base and in turn we were allowed to rest at their current base. Arim is trying to strike a deal with the rat folk for a rust monster horde he could command but i doubt it will get anywhere, no matter how much he wants it.

After a day of rest we made our way to find an acquaintance of a friend and after a brief misunderstanding we talked her into moving to Torch. so if you see an elf (F) with some robots, that she made, passing through town, that would be her. Nice lady once you get to know her.

The next day we tried to make our way to the Eastern part of Scrapwall but we were met with two different opposition before we could get there. The first was a Manticore who we had to put down in the name of self defense. on a side not during the fight i was allowed to fly and THAT WAS AWSOME!!! I have never thought about it but after getting the chance to do it i want to see if i can’t research different methods that would allow me to fly, either magical or technological. Going to ask my party about helping me there.

The Second opposition was a group of chokers that are worshippers of a demon/god named Hellion. And just like most others that worship this guy they were just radiating this psycho killer vibe that only trash would find comforting.

Thats about it for today. Write to you guys in a couple of days and take care. Also, could you look for a weapon for me before i get back to Hojoth Jakar? I am thinking about redoing my style and i wanted to try the Wakizashi short sword blades (dual) if i could. Thanks and love you both.

Flynn S.

Harkness Sidenote 13
Loss of Memories

The pass couple of days seemed a bit fuzzy maybe that ogrekin hit harder than I realized…. I seemed to have forgotten bits and pieces of what I did this past day.

I remember meeting the cleric which turned out to be Wrennie’s friend…

Then there was fight with a manticore and some other things. Which lead to us meeting a representative of Helion and the Lords of Rust… and that’s all I can remember. I’ll ask Arim and Susie what I missing when I get the chance…

Harkness Journal (Life 234) Entry 15
Killing off the Smilers

We walked awhile until we came a upon a junk like caverns made by the rat folks. It was a tight fit for most of us except Vidon. We met their leader and she began to tell us about the affairs inside scrapwall and we asked if she would join us against the Lords. She was hesitant, she would consider it if we made it back from our assault on the Smilers compound. She suggest we attack during the day because they wouldn’t expect a broad day attack.

We headed towards the compound and Arim saw a turret mount facing our direction. So stayed behind while he went ahead and disable the device. He came back with a time worn laser rifle. We gave the rifle to Susie so she could remove the time worn effect. We opened the door and saw the ogrekin we were informed about. I figured since was he afraid of guns he would stop in his tracks but I may have miscalculated. He didn’t cower instead he went and sundered my laser pistol almost broke my hand too. That ogrekin had as they say a mean swing. He managed to injury most some of us. That’s when Flynn and Vidon came in and killed him. Vidon crushed his skull pretty good. I don’t believe he’ll be getting up. There was a side room where they had a couple of gunslinger who couldn’t shoot anything… ( I know there pain) We took care of them and continued forward.

We faced many monstrosities… fused with both necromancy and technology it was quite… disturbing… yes disturbing is the word. There wasn’t many useful things we could used so we pushed forward until we met marrow and her group of zombies. Vidon and Flynn went to take care of marrow and her zombies when a secret route lead more Smilers in. Surrounded we fought hard until marrow started to feel uneasy and tried to make a fast run to the exit. Luckily Delora was able to stop her for good. After losing their leader the remaining Smilers lost morale and we turned the tables on them. However victory wasn’t without its losses Mal was severely injured and we also found redtooth’s brother and the route the Smilers came in turned out to be a exit to the outside. We have much to discuss with redtooth….

Harkness Journal (Life 234) Entry 14
Smilers and Ratfolk

After, dealing with the ogres we headed to the Hawks base that was occupied by Smilers. When we arrived Vidon quickly demonstrated his acting skills and played as a drunk offering ale. Instead he offered them a quick sleep by mug… (I believe we should invest a metal mug for Vidon…) We took our time not trying to walk up everybody and place the bodies in a closet I think. Anyway we continue and Arim’s lock picking skilled shined. The Hawks heard us coming in and tried to walk up some only to be told to be quite. We prepared ourselves and proceed to finish birdfood. Mal kept the bird distracted while Vidon and Flynn took care of birdfood. It was fairly easy thanks to him not having any armor on. We take for while and decided to wait here until noon to look for the rat folks.

After an ugly in counter with a rat swarm and rat lord… I asked one of the spectators if we were going in the right direction. Nervously he answered my question and quickly went about his day. We began to hear what sounded like a brawl and sure enough it was the Smilers and ratfolk… There was quite a few injured and still fighting so we lent a hand disposed of the Smilers. Confused as we healed there members the ratfolk cautiously asked why we helped in which we replied because the Smilers were scum and we didn’t like them. They talked amongst themselves and they agreed to take us to there leader redtooth.

Hopefully she isn’t like the gatekeeper we first ed in countered.

Journal of Shadow Mal 12

Entry 152, Day 35, evening

Madame Marrow’s contingency-planning skills were uninspired, but I am getting ahead of myself.

The Smiler’s den was guarded by a mechanical sentinel attached to a “Laser Rifle.” Like Harkness’ fire-throwing pistols it could burn anyone within its range and like a golem it could sense and target people who approached without speaking the right code-phrase. Fortunately, its strange technological senses were no better than that of a normal construct, and Arim’s superior skill with shadow-blending and silent-walking allowed him to reach the device without notice or alarm and deftly disable it. The rest of us approached, looted the “turret” of its weapon and kicked in the front door.

We were immediately set upon by Gun-shy, who broke Harkness’ favorite gun and nearly broke him before falling. He was in what passes for a bar to a cult of cannibalistic psychopaths. After healing we advanced and found the Smiler’s fatally flawed tactics. While they all had the expensive and dangerous pistols so common in this land, none of them bothered to arm themselves for close combat. I find this odd, as most mutilation-cults trend toward bestial “rip and tear” combat and give themselves clawed or bladed weapons and filed, gnashing teeth for murdering and chewing on their enemies. Not that I am complaining, their poor tactical planning and cramped quarters made them easy pickings.

We found broken zombies, their limbs grafted to half-broken tools and weapons, their bodies controlled by a technological version of necromancy. Interesting how for all the wonders and amazing things that this technology can produce, it seems to inevitably repeat the same lovely glories and abominable crimes that magic-wielders engage in. But I digress. We also found secret doors and passages that served no actual purpose and were barred for no discernible reasons. A running theme with these people and their insanity.

We rescued Whiskeyfist, but he was not in a condition to walk the paths and badlands of Scrapwall on his own. We crushed the tech-zombies and more madmen and finally kicked in the door of Marrow’s den. She somehow pushed the grip of her magic past the legendary resistance of Vidon’s dwarven heritage, but that was her last act of magic before I silenced the entire room. Dispelling is not my specialty, but between Vidon’s stout will and my own talents I shredded the magic that paralyzed him and he struck forward. Even when she deployed toxic gas grenades and reinforcements struck from behind we ground down her defenders, both living and undead. It was near the very end of the battle that she attempted to flee from a distracted and retching Flynn before being struck down by Arim’s lucky bow. I was distracted by her flight, and one of the few remaining Smilers got a lucky, and very painful shot on me.

waele phindar zatoasten, nindel llaar jivviim lu’Usstan kestal nind skiki cos

Let us just say I am not that flush with victory, even if we won. My broken leg is currently propped up on a table and I do not plan on leaving this chair unless the Rough Beast itself is making a ruckus. I should be able to fix this tomorrow, and I will not discuss my uncharitable opinions on -this filthy rat ho-our current accomodations. I am sure they will seem much better when I am feeling better.

Can’t even get a decent drink with all the Smiler “liquor” being horrible and tainted with body parts. Mutilation cults are such nasty things.

Entry 153, Day 37, morning

I feel much better, and while this place is still filthy it seems a lot more homey. Most of Redtooth’s lost tribe have returned, and I have rendered some small assistance with my magics while Arim wheels and deals in his industrious way. Always throwing more blocks and bodies onto that hill he wants to be king of. He is quite obsessed with his dream of having a unit of Rust Monster cavalry at his call. Healing and mending is always valued, and I believe I fostered good will with my trivialities and incidental assistance the past 2 days. They were wary at first, both because I was a physician who had failed (at first) to heal myself and because trust is difficult in a lawless land

The ratfolk society exemplifies the strengths of the animals they draw their name from. Quick of blood and quick of finger, I delivered several of their younger clan members for scolding, though that scolding seems to be more dedicated towards not getting caught than not stealing. They are survivors, like rats they faced the brutal attempted extermination of their people with aplomb and it was ultimately their enemies which were found wanting. In many ways I am reminded of the descriptions of the nomadic Varisians, though I am also reminded of the Tian Xian histories of Oni-led ratfolk armies boiling out of Sekamina and acting as servants of darkness.

Still, the way they were able to welcome their lost tribe members so quickly after said members had abandoned them had a certain beauty to it. ‘To forgive, divine’ as the saying goes…

Now that we have reconnoitered the area some more and set the Lords of Rust back on their heels, our plan going forward is to meet up with the priestess of Brigh who cloisters herself like a hermet behind construct guardians. She is either the woman who Father Joram Kyte says is no longer hunted by the League, the woman who Wrennie has said is once more hunted by the evil minstrel-lord from Daggerfall, or both. Moreover, she is a force to be reckoned with and somewhat on-the-way to other places we need to go.

After that, we hope to speak with the Manticore, assuring he will not be a problem for us in the future through bribery or violence. What little I know if Manticores and Mutants (for he is both) suggests that it will be violence, but the beasts DO have minds under the fur, teeth, and poison.

Then comes the truly tricky part, there is an area which is believed to contain packaged destruction called “Cylex” (?) in an ill-used portion of this blighted area. It and possibly other technological treasures remain untouched because the place is haunted by a gang of incorporeal undead. Word is they keep to their zone, and repeated use of the word “gang” leads me to believe they are uncharacteristically coherent. Ghosts and specters who know what they are yet linger in the mortal realm are often the most dangerous of all, for who would retain an accursed half-existence but those of inordinate will and dangerously dedicated purpose?

Entry 154, Day 37, Noon

It is a shame we had to break all those junk golems, from what I know those things are quite expensive. I do not blame Ms. Dinvaya Linalei for setting them to attack us, of course, she is at least as hunted (if not more so) than any of our little band and merely shows an appropriate amount of paranoid self-defense measures. After knocking on her door, crushing her construct defenders, and knocking on her second door, we were able to converse for a short period before mentioning the name of Lord Jerod. She immediately slammed the inner door and began working on exploding acid things. Judging from the curses, these things did not seem to be working.

After more confused and disjointed discussion including information that our three Quested companions never got around to sharing, (we are not very good at communicating, so I am not surprised) I explained, in the correct and coherent order, how we came to be here and Arim shoved the letter from Wrennie under the door.

After some more back and forth which I honestly don’t recall (acrid fumes were giving me a headache) Sister(?) Linalei told us what she knew. It was known (apparently) that each person in the quartet of artifact-hiders only knew the location of one other member, a round-robin method of watching each others’ backs. Her charge has dropped from her sight, whether through death or through magical occlusion, and upon our news it is clear she is no longer safe where she is.

She intends to flee, and because her face is known and she has (it seems) no means of obscuring her own looks she gave us the gearbox of the accursed artifact. This changes little, given we already have enemies and vendettas levied upon us, so I can hardly disapprove. She is going to make for Torch, and assuming we all live will see us when we return there. Strange, what was merely a stop along the way has become a sort of home…at the very least I need to return and finish crafting my new robes. I have few other uses for this phasing thread and alchemical gold buttons.

Dinvaya made one last attempt to destroy the gearbox, but neither she nor we were surprised it failed. Frigglish didn’t write about something if it could be destroyed by reasonable efforts. After that, we went our separate ways.

Entry 155, Day 37, afternoon.

The march up the mountain was dull, interrupted only once by a strange form of ghost. A weak, hateful spirit, it is sometimes formed when someone is killed by a trap they were trying disarm. It forges a body of discarded scrap and creates traps around it, to spread its curse and share its pain the same way so many undead creatures do. Much as I would have liked to put it to rest, it quickly fled in the face of our strength and we were still “on the clock” so to speak. The name of the beast escapes me again…I had it at the time. Ah well.

Reaching the radioactive beast’s nest and lair, we called out to it and were immediately assaulted. Susie opened with a spell that blinded it and the battle went rather quickly downhill for the beast from there. We found some magical trinkets and Harkness determined that the Manticore was radioactive, (he says it is like the glowing poison cloud we encountered in the ship under Torch) and dangerous to meddle with. Well, they are poisonous normally anyway, but it seems this poison works like a gas or a terrible light. Flynn and Arim were disappointed, as they had a mirthful idea involving setting up the body so it looked as if it had committed suicide. Complete with hangman’s noose that its paws could not tie and suicide note in a language I doubt it knew. We’re so weird.

Moving on, we made our way down the hill, dispatched a frankly pathetic assault by Hellion-worshipping chokers (odd how many there are here, considering this is the surface world) and were then greeted by an emissary. His glaze-eyed devotion, laughably sacrificial nature, and erudite prose were polished, I must admit. While this Hellion-thing continues to be an enemy, I must give credit where it is due, he does know how to program cultist diplomats.

We have been invited to “discuss the new order” and various other flowery ways of saying “come join the dick-waving contest we call ‘diplomacy’ at the arena where we’ll also try to kill you when we aren’t trying to intimidate or cut a deal with you.” It seems the current boss of the arena is a troll warrior, and I am sure he will have both “test” challenges as well as ambushes prepared. But we committed to nothing, for now, as we have a goal and no need to get side-tracked just yet.

Ugh, chokers. Those waggling, tentacle-like arms are so creepy.

Vidon in the home of the Smilers'.
We are having fun now.

We had agreed to allow the Ratfolk take over the old Smilers’ den. That gave them a way to exit Scrapwall without anyone knowing about it. While they were moving in we were discussing what to do next. Mal and I voted to go contact this mysterious Cleric.. Arim was curious about the Lords of Rust and the supposed Manticore. The Cleric was finally chosen. We went to where we had been told the Cleric was staying. There was a wall of gears and other metal pieces. Arim found a lever that opened the gates. There was a set of steps and a pair of doors. When we opened them there were 5 different mechanical creatures. Susie managed to make me big again but that just made me easier to hit. Whatever they were hitting me with took some of my health away. Finally we prevailed over them and an Elf Lady came out of a room at the rear of the opening. She asked what we wanted but when Arim and Flynn tried to explain that we were from Renee’ she went back inside and slammed the door. It took a very long time and finally after they slid the letter from Renee’ under the door she came out. She had a lot of questions and some answers we were looking for. She offered to let us stay the night so we closed the gates and settled in. She did manage to heal my damage. The next morning we offered to escort her back to Torch but she said it would be better if we weren’t seen together since she gave us her part of the music box.

We thought about what to do next and decided on the Manticore. We found the trail leading toward its lair. The nest was up on a 15 foot high ledge. After we all got up there Arim snuck around to try getting a look down a tunnel. I tried to edge around the nest but got tangled up in the twigs and other parts. That led to the Manticore coming roaring out of the tunnel. Arim’s plan had been to try talking to it, but Mal cast a spell at it and the fight was on. I finally got to use the returning hammer as it kept flying. We did manage to find a way to bring it down. Then Mal and Arim found some glowing gear in the nest. They us the term “glowing” to indicate the item may be magical in some way. I don’t understand that so I just let them do their thing.

The battle was quite noisy and when we exited the passageway toward the explosives we were set upon by what was described as Chokers. They are small creatures that have impossibly long arms. Flynn found out about their arms when he moved to flank one of them. After we put them down we heard someone clapping. Turns out it was a representative of Helion and the Lords of Rust. We were invited to visit the arena and have an audience with Helion. I offered the speaker a chance to leave but Arim interrupted me in mid intimidate. He passed on an immediate audience but left it as we would when we had a chance.

We had thought to get a look at the antenna to see what would be the best way to destroy it but there was a 1000 feet of open area and no way to sneak up to it. So we continue on to see where the explosives are.

Letters Home
Letter 8

Dear mom and dad

Continuing from the last letter, we were able to clear out the rooms of the Smiler’ lackeys that we had just beat down with little more than junk in each room. However we DID find a secret passage that we would later learn connected to the main room of the building. HOWEVER this did little good for us seeing as it was barricaded from the other side.

Backtracking into the previous rooms, we decided to head down the other set of doors which lead down a hallway to a room that i could only describe as freaky. Cylinders filled with a strange liquid, some housing creatures that could only be considered abominations before the eyes of all creation. And in the corner of the room, one of these cylinders held the rat man we were looking for, the rust-monster trainer. A bit shaken and stripped of any possession’s we allowed him to follow us to reclaim what was his and in turn he would lead us back to his guilds lair. Seems like a fair deal.

Going on to the main room, the one connecting to the passage we found, we were introduced to 3 training dummies that took less than 20 seconds to defeat. And quickly moving on to the last room of the hideout we found the leader of the smilers, who surprisingly still had her lip on, and after a minute or two, and a few ambushers from a secret room later. The hideout was cleared. We are now returning to redtooth with news of our success and to deliver back her brother.

On a side note, in the last fight, i want to point out that Vidon was a key point in our victory, without him clearing the room and distracting the enemies, i wouldn’t have been able to get numerous blows on the leader.

Hoping to write to you both as soon as i can,
Flynn S.

P.S. Your not showing these letters to others around town are you? I wouldn’t Want to be getting a reputation without being there.

Arim helps finish off the Smilers.

After our brief battle in the barracks, we search the rooms looking for anything of interest. As these guys are the rejects of the gang world, I can’t say I’m surprised when we turn up empty. However, we do find a secret passage. We follow it for a short distance, but whatever room it leads to has the exit barracaded. This is disappoiting as there isn’t much left in this place aside from the Smiler leader. So we grab some crap from the barracks and use it to stop the necromancer from using this as a getaway.

The next room was blocked from the outside. This strongly suggested something unpleasant was on in the inside, but we hadn’t found any other viable passage in the base. We go into the room and see severa large tank like structures. I got my hopes up when I saw this as we had found a large collection of ancient technological items. Sadly my hopes were dashed as they turned out to have been salvaged for parts a long time ago and are used as lockers. We know this as the lockers open and some bizzare technozombies step out. After killing them we find one of the tanks has been locked and inside we find Whisk-e-Fis and he is quite happy to be rescued and that we’re assisting his sister. My dreams of some rust monster cavalry are a tiny bit closer to reality!

The next room we enter is straight out of a horror story. It is the mad doctor room where the vivisection team resides. Another fight ensues. I did cause one of their heads to explode all over Harkness. Again after a lot of search, we find that there is nothing especially useful here, I still hope to get that technological base some special tools.

Lastly we enter a small room where Marrow and her zombie team reside. Mal made this a relatively easy fight, by immediately dropping silence over the entire room. After the fight we learn that she had a lot of magic at her disposal, so this was a huge success for us. The fight would have been a complete cakewalk if she didn’t have a collection of poison gas grenades in addition to her magic. The secret door we had discovered early led to the mad doctor room, but It turns out there was another secret passage to that room as a team of Smilers came in from behind to assault us.

Upon completion I expected all the ratfolk would like to go back to their base, but it turns out that they really like this base. That last secret passage that the Smilers came out of led outside of Scrapwall. Being able to come and go from this town is especially appealing to the ratfolk and they want to use this base as their own.

Susie's Actions 3/15/15

The barracks here are basically what you would expect, barren. I’m not sure what good you get from belonging to this gang, but decent lodging is not one of them. We do find a secret passage, but it appears that the other end of the secret passage is barricaded somehow. Fortunately these guys had moderately valuable guns so we are not walking away empty handed.

We went back into the bar room and did a more exhaustive search. After our thorough search, we can add decent alcohol to one of the things membership here does not provide. The chandeliers are a little gruesome but overall there is little of note.

Continuing on we find ourselves in some sort of nightmarish science lab. The outer wall of this room is covered in vats. The type you find oddities preserved in formaldehyde. Even worse was the fact that eight of the vats opened up and some sort of half-machine half-freak came out and attacked us. The fighters were surrounded (but I think they are used to that) and I found myself surrounded as well. Fortunately the party was able to team up and quickly dispatch one while the second one decided it was a good time to take a nap. I wasn’t sure if sleep was going to work in this situation considering I have no clue what to even call these things. In the northern portion of the room one of the vats was tied up with rope – nothing suspicious here folks! Delora chopped the ropes out and the Ratfolk Animal Handler fell out. Redtooth will be happy to see that he is alive and mostly well. I did inspect him carefully but I did not find any indications that they had started to turn him into some sort of half-machine thingy. After healing him he is still too injured/shaken to try and make it back by himself so he stays with the party. Fluffy does her best to stay with him and cheer him up. Somehow I don’t think he fully appreciated Fluffy’s efforts.

The next room looks like something an android would have. There are machine bits everywhere as well as blood. This looks like the place where they replace their organic limbs with machine ones. I’m sure if we looked hard enough one of us would have found the anal probe they always talk about. There are also four half-undead half-machine guys running around. I’m not sure if the drills on their hands are designed to be weapons or for drilling. You have to admit that since undead don’t sleep these guys could have worked a mine 24 hours a day and never complain. We were able to dispatch them as well without too many injuries.

In the next room we finally found Marrow. The fight started off well. I got a hex off and then we silenced her. After that I am not too sure what happened. Marrow got off a lucky throw with a gas grenade and I spent what seemed an eternity puking up my guts. When I got myself back together I see two smileys cornered between Arim and Delora, two smileys on the ground dead and Fluffy is dancing on the corpse of Marrow. So I guess we did well. Unfortunately Mal took a shot to the leg which hit something important. I was able to heal the flesh wound part, but the bone portion is going to take a couple days to heal. In Marrow’s room we found her spell book and there are several spells in here which will definitely look nice after being added to my spell repertoire. Maybe Mal getting shot isn’t all bad, it will be an excuse for me and Fluffy to study this spellbook and see what all we can learn from it.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.