Maxin', Relaxin' All Cool, Torturing Some Children Inside A "School" (Sirenswail 4) CW: Child Experimentation

Image (c) 6dollarshirts
Date: Early fall 1640
Location: South English countryside, London
Main Cast: Shio the Alice, Gundisalvus the Magic-User, Sadith the Elf
Supporting Cast: Helga of the Ulvenbrigaad, Harold the Mule

Previously: The party sniffed out Father Osreth, fugitive priest, and took part in his sacrifice and the ensuing highly debauched feast.

Presently: After coming down from the high of the orgy, the sacrifice, the feasting -you know, the little things that make all the dirt and blood-caked parts of adventuring life worthwhile- Shio and Gund had a frank conversation with Marvale. In a surprise twist, he revealed that they were originally intended to be sacrifices. Indeed, shocking- but he had been impressed by their sincere effort to help the island by hunting Osreth, and participating in the ritual which ostensibly would render Sirenswail sacrosanct against Christian influence and persecution via magical protection. They were, if they would agree to keep the Island's secret and serve Sarulia, free to remain there and share in the bounty.

The party were, as they say, down. In thanks for their service, Gund and Shio were rewarded with a share of the Island's treasure. The salvaged wreck of a Spanish pirate vessel, fat with plunder, had served as a lure to adventurers like our protagonists, and now it would be paid, in part, as thanks. The incredible sum of ONE HUNDRED THIRTY THOUSAND SILVER PIECES was disbursed amongst the two in an even split. To those in the audience, this is a mere 10% of the maximum treasure haul possible from the adventure. Refs, run this module at your own risk, as you behold the amount of dosh that your LEVEL ONE PCs might find themselves rolling in. If they can survive a cult of dozens, several possible dangerous magical encounters, two separate Sirens and more, while trapped on a small island with little chance at an exit let alone a means of transporting so much treasure- but still. 

For the party's frankly impressive luck, thinking on their feet, and willingness to go along with the plans of some child murdering cultists (of the NPC variety, for once), they leveled up not once but twice. Yes, this breaks the rules, but they absorbed some ambient magical energy from the ritual, which also had beneficial side effects. Gund immediately learned a bonus spell, Arguments Against Design, and Shio absorbed the defensive transformative power of the vampire child that had attacked them, and was now able to transform to a playing card or a swarm of maggots when reaching 0 HP rather than just dying like some scrub.

As with all conclusions to quest arcs, they were rewarded with the respite of a Haven Turn. Shio moved into the decaying chapel, setting up a demented "school" for the crippled dark-haired children in which she would basically torture and experiment on them with Alchemy. Gund built a magical laboratory adjoining Osreth's hut, and set to researching a spell. He chose the title Tools of Monstrosity, which lent itself perfectly to a Resident Evil-style body morph type spell. His research attempt was unsuccessful, however, as he was stingy with committing the adequate amount of time and resources to it. The Ref was merciful, however, and allowed him to carry his investment over to the next Haven Turn, after which it would be successful.

Shio tried to research an Alchemical Mixture, a process of combining ingredients and then systematically narrowing down to the desired effects while learning and avoiding side effects. The kind of thing you would want to have research subjects to whom you were not emotionally attached. In this case, disabled children. Have the players considered going to therapy, I wonder? In search of a hypnotic suggestion potion, Shio found a mixture of juniper and Traitor's Blood (procured from Osreth) which caused an intense seizure-like response with foaming at the mouth and convulsions.

The Haven activities concluded, the PCs next determined what they actually wanted to do. They had already had a strong taste of filthy lucre, sex-cult social status and magical power, and shit, if there was more of this somewhere out in the world they were going to find it. Captain Rennie's sailors, the complicit sacrifice-wranglers that had brought them to the Island, had heard some juicy dock gossip on the mainland at Penzance. Namely something about blue-skinned men in the north west, a mysteriously appearing statue off somewhere, and something about the Archbishop William Laud being imprisoned for papacy.

Well, Archbishops seemed like the kind of people who might know what was going on with witches, witchery, witch-hunting, and other things of interest to a magical sex-cult. After traveling to the mainland, they gained a bit more info: Laud had been imprisoned in the Tower of London. The party loaded up Harold with their travel supplies as if he were some common pack animal and not the dignified, erudite talking donkey/voice of reason in the party he was. After about a day of overland travel, they ran into a small garrison of muddied royal soldiers. They had received orders for disbandment. The crown had recently been defeated by the Scottish Covenanters, and things lay for now as an uneasy truce awaiting resolution, with the Scots occupying England along the border and demanding payment.

The soldiers, although eager to return home, were sending a few of their number to London to collect their pay so that they could, y'know, eat or whatever. The party hitched a ride with them, passing pleasant conversation with a young man named Adam along the way.

After arriving in London, the party secured a room in Southwark, the seedy part of London south of the Thames, known for its semi-legal prostitutes, bear baiting, and the Globe Theater (the first one, in this case, the campaign being set prior to the Great Fire of London).


Next, they would go about gathering information and scouting the Tower of London in case some kind of break-in was in order. Spoiler: It's in order.


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