Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Guest Post: Trollopulous Reloaded Sessions 4 and 5

Akira Kurosawa
Ray gun designed by Brian Elliott.

The previous session featured the party on an extended float trip down the river to Trollopulous. Using 1 to 1 time this river journey was not yet complete by the time Session 4 began. So, the players rolled up new characters and had the pick of the map as a starting place. It so happens that one player had chosen to play a dwarf and that there was a dwarven village in the mountains a couple hexes to the southwest of the Adventurers Aid Society Octagon. The players were curious to see how things had turned out at the Octagon, which a couple sessions ago was the site of a mass battle between invading interdimensional giant beetles, the Shoggoth Ambassador Hastoth and his snake men assistants, and the golden mercenaries of the Three Regiments, so they chose to start at the dwarven village. The new first level PC are:

  • Steiner Goldnose dwarf fighter
  • Ricki female elven fighter/magic-user/thief
  • Ambergris – human druid
  • Ovardub — monk

So, the new PCs, wet behind their ears set out to see what the beams of light in the night sky to the northeast are all about. The journey through the mountains is uneventful. Coming out of the mountains the party stops to look down at the grassy plain in which the Octagon resides. What they find is that the whole area is, well, changed in a shocking manner. Where once there sat a modest caravanserai now is the site of a massive construction project. Lines of giant beetles trundle about bearing large basalt blocks in their mandibles. Already the site around the Octagon is adorned with multiple growing towers and sprawling hexagonal lower building structures. 

Making their way down to the endless activity they cautiously enter the newly growing city of beetles. One of the beetles stops its activity and contacts them telepathically, “Greetings worthless vessels. You are welcome here but please try not to interfere in the construction. It is imperative that our domiciles be constructed quickly. Even now, more of our race prepare to flee our enemies and temporarily inhabit this unusual abode.” Thus begins a short question and answer period with the giant insect in which they learn.

  • The Yithians have inhabited the giant beetles as more suited to the current environmental situation.
  • They are distressed to learn that their ancestral enemies, the primordial ones and their shoggoth servants already have made a foothold in this coordinate of spacetime.
  • Because of this they plan to flee as soon as possible. Their tenure here will be transitory and temporary – perhaps lasting as little as ten thousand years or so. 
  • They are not hostile if not interfered with. 
  • The party is welcome to scrounge around the remains of the Ambassadors of the Five Cities camps (destroyed in the past battle)
  • The AAS is still open but currently the proprietors are desperate for clientele.

Scouring the site of the Ambassadorial camps the party finds several sets of golden plate armor, a number of ray guns abandoned by the defeated snake men as well as a substantial box of jewelry. Rolling on the jewelry tables (DMG p. 26) identifies a good dozen pieces of rather high valued items. The players are surprised at their easy find getting ready to leave the area. Nonetheless they buy one of the higher priced pieces for several thousand gold pieces. Tucking the piece in their pack the former rulers of the AAS say, “So long suckers, don’t take any wooden nickels” and head out of town. This leaves the players realizing that they now have to lug the pile of gold back to the dwarf village. Which, grumbling they do with no rolled encounters for the journey.

And that was session 4. Short but sweet in that the new PCs gained sufficient treasure to level with zero risk to themselves. Sometimes it’s like that. 

Session 5 (9/16/21) begins with the same players deciding what to do next. They have options now. They can go back to the “A Team” in the outskirts of Trollopulous and the invading army. Or, they can stick with the “B Team” back at the dwarven village. They choose the B Team. During the down time the village has been busy reworking the golden plate armor to fit dwarves and building boats to explore downriver. In addition, the dwarfs have been keeping an eye on a settlement of Ogres they had discovered. But, the thing that really got attention is the dwarf guard scout who came running in shouting “Giants! Giants!”

It is giants. Six fire giants ambling through the mountains. However, the brutes pass the dwarf village obliviously. The party decides to follow them. And, follow them they do for several days at least until the fire giants come to Hobgobiton.  There, like the Hill Giants before them, the Fire Giants extort a good lunchtime snack from the Hobgobs and keep heading south. The PCs decide to give it up and backtrack the giants path back north – perhaps the giants have a hidden lair that can be looted while they are away. They make their way back north through the mountains only to lose the trail as it heads north into the desert wastes of the Tharks. Frustrated, they return to the dwarfs.

Next, they decide to check out the group of dwarfs that has been staking out the ogre den. On the way they are surprised by a large group of extremely friendly Picts. The party distrusts their intentions and flees. Otherwise they get to the stakeout unscathed. 

Looking at the Ogre lair, it is domestic. The dwarfs inform them that a couple ogres head out each day hunting and the woman and children ogres mostly stay inside until the hunting party comes home with dinner. They decide to try to capture the ogres with a pit trap. The dwarfs quickly dig a deep and wide hole and disguise it with boughs and dirt. They set up a campsite nearby and the monk poses as a camper cooking his meal over a smoldering fire. Meanwhile the party and the dwarves lay in wait. The smell of cooking draws the ogres to the camp. But, they are wary, the brutes can smell the dwarves. “Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of dwarven scum!” The trolls stop short of the pit and demand the monk tell them where the dwarves are. 

It takes some taunting, but the ogres eventually charge the monk and are captured in the pit. The dwarfs come out of hiding and surround the pit. One defiant ogre tries to climb out and gets filled with arrows which convinces the other to beg for his life. The remaining ogre relays to them that their tunnel leads further into the mountain and warns that they don’t want to go down there. There are darks elves, spiders, and goo down there. He also describes to them two other possible entrances into the realm of the dark elves. Then the dwarfs summarily execute the talkative ogre, and the party returns to the dwarven village to contemplate their next moves. 

The Lands of Trollopulous

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