Another wizard dead in Marsui…

Yesterday was an exhausting day. Work had me running hither and yon, so by the time I got to Jay’s place to game, I was bone-tired.

I had two wizard crime lords, The Unicorn and King Roach, on index cards but could only find The Unicorn, a spell-slinging transhuman crime lord with a crystal horn coming from the center of his forehead. So, Humberto handed them the Unicorn, letting them know that the Carchez brothers were on the King Roach job.

They were gambling, chatting, cajoling, trying to get a feel for the place or a clue that could give them some advantage when the Unicorn walked in with a posse of thugs and hired knives who went through the kitchen to who-knows-where. After they destroyed the morale of the half a dozen thugs guarding the front door, they decided that the time to jump the wizard was right now.

Alia, the cleric was in no armor and had no weapons, as she was trying to blend in but Vassaly was in full harness…wait, what? Yeah, he was in full plate, in a pub, tossing dice around. I’ll write this off to me being half awake and make sure I am more aware of when the characters are dressed for full-out war, trying to act cool and slick in a public place. Signs of me being tired were all over the place – the lack of strategy from the NPC’s, my inability to come up with names.

As with every battle so far, the whole thing came down to one or two big rolls. Tonight it was the wizard’s initiative roll that got him killed and then the morale roll that sent his thugs running. The Wizard’s Force of Forbidment spell went off and the Fighter failed his save but Vassaly cleaved the bastard into pieces, prompting the morale check, before the wizard could simply step away to safety. It was a close thing.

We had a few system hiccups, trying to figure out if someone could wield a two-hander, wear chainmail and then move about. I ruled that they could, that a two-hander wasn’t as awkward as the book let on. Mercs carried them on the march all over the place, I reckon.

The fighter is second level and the cleric might’ve hit third though the elf is still trudging up that last 3000XP. They have gathered together a gross amount of money, probably too much. I reckon the repealing of the law that has allowed for these monster hunts in downtown Marsui is like the gold rush and it might eventually thin out a bit. They are all looking into ways to spend that money. Deacon Aria wants to open a soup kitchen. Vassaly is looking into risky investments and maybe a plot of land. Lafayette has purchased the services of a seamstress and gross amounts of raw material to make him a fine array of clothing.

Lafayette was convinced that because the wizard had a crystal horn, the sound of pistol fire would shatter his innards. He was wrong.

Vassaly gave he battle-cry, “Triple Play!” once again.

Alia used the power of her deity to make a thug shit himself.

A forget spell makes a cluster-mess, all the more clustery.

They got a dagger from the Unicorn’s stash, made in the iron age and they paid to have it Identified it. The dagger, called King-Killer, when used against a king, destroys his entire lineage and invokes a powerful curse, causing their state to crumble. They are keeping it in the union vault and have hired a scholar to study it, as they want to know what it has done in the past. The party is torn, Alia wants to destroy it while Vassaly and Lafayette aren’t so sure.

4 Adventurers + 8 cultists + 1 priest +1 dinosaur demi-goddess + 30 mercenary musketeers =

It was only Jay and Rob tonight and they both forgot their characters. So, eff it, we rolled up new characters. Rob rolled up what turned out to be another cleric, Deacon Alia. He decided that she was from a different sect of the same religion of her humanity-worshiping cleric he rolled up previously. Jay ended up with a bad-ass fighter, a former city-guardsman with a gambling problem, Vassaly Kordor.

They were offered the possiblity of joining up with another duo to make a party of four if they were interested. They opted for a brother/sister pair of Specialists, Raya and Adam, who just got back from a crypt up north.

They took a job from Humberto, their union rep. Setting aside a pair of wizards who run rival gangs in the city, they decided on She Wears a Crown of Feathers, a dinosaur goddess with a cult of fallen nobility and crumbling upper crust types. They hoped that this would mean lots of money and they were right.

They knew that ‘Crown of Feathers has a small cult. They sent Adam to follow a pair of the cultists and then they broken into their house and threatened the shit out of them. I rolled their disposition and the husband got a 12, which means Helpful.  Fuck it, a law’s been passed that has declared their goddess a monster and he’s ready to roll over on them. He takes them to a fellow cultist family’s house and gets them past the gatekeeper just long enough for Vassaly to shoot the gate guard in the face.

Essentially, they broke into the family’s house and shot them both. They were using the original cultist’s as cover and the wife got shot, covering Vassaly in gore.

So, the back-story of the game that allows me to run city dungeon-y crawls is that the city of Marsui once had an open door policy for monsters. That law was revoked and now the Adventurer’s and Salvage Union has full rights to kill these monsters. Here’s where things get hazy. The monsters are otherworldly and inhuman (wizards, demi-gods, vampires, constructs) but the law states that anyone who aids them is also legally a monster.

This was hazy territory in a new, largely untested law that was only on the books for a week. They called their union rep and he called the union barrister. The barrister called a magistrate. The magistrate gave it all a green light, right there in the middle of the night.

They used the considerable silver they pulled from the cultist family to hire 30 musketeers for a day and armor up a bit. They also offered triple pay if the goddess falls.

They blew up the door of the dinosaur goddess’ temple with a barrel of black powder, attempting to drawn her out into the musket-fire. She was invisible in the middle of the temple and then she blew out one of her own walls, giving her a new exit that they had not anticipated  Raya and Adam got wounded and Alia had to heal herself a bit but other than that they were okay as the musketeers started to mobilize to take fire on the new side exit in the temple.

But Wears a Feathered Crown came around the other side and was in the middle of the musketeer mercs before they could fire and bit their sergeant in half. And in the critical roll of the game, they made their morale roll just as Vassaly hit her from a distance with a nat 20 rifle-shot, letting loose the battle-cry, “Triple-PAY!”

The Muskets were supposed to let loose their fire in 3 volleys of 10 but that was before a dinosaur goddess bit sarge in half. I rolled 30 d20’s on my phone’s dice roller app. She Wears a Feathered Crown fell dead, filled with musket balls, having taken a few shots from the adventurers on their way in and out of the temple.

I had rolled 4d20 x 100 for her money, as she come up as moneyed, so it was 5000 silver, along with a battle with an 11HD beast and there we were.

Deacon Alia leveled up and Vassaly surely will do so next game. With their XP from their crypt run up north, I bet their NPC Specialist friends leveled up too. I’ll keep them for future NPC’s.

That was fun.



  • I looked over the summoning table more carefully and will use some bits from that for future Marsui-approved monsters.
  • They ended up with a ton of money, which is fine and fun. They took the risks, their plan paid off.
  • I want to put together some Union-approved equipment packages so that we can make chargen even faster.
  • Drawing all over maps is fun. I had a good map of her temple but I need to print out some city geomorphs for future games.
  • I like how we’re slowly making up these different sects of Rob’s Humanity Church. Alia’s holy symbol is an open palm, fingers down and there are different hand symbols for different philosophies.
  • Jay gave some decent weight to Vassaly killing people, which was nice. He wasn’t a cold, killing machine. Thank goodess because morally, this whole set up is kind of terrible and I’m just not thinking about any kind of metaphorical greater meaning that comes with declaring your neighbors as un-people for their religion and beliefs but…oof.
  • EDIT, two days later: The game really came down to two key roles. 1) the cultist’s reaction roll. The double 6’s that made him friendly changed the course of the game. Then the mercenaries made their morale roll and fired 30 shots at the Dinosaur Demi-Goddess. The players made good plans, took solid action and nickeled and dimed her, taking out her supporters for that key moment. Good stuff.

Image Inspiration for Marsui, Part II

Is it really a dead giant or just a seclusium made to look like a dead giant king’s corpse? Or both? Crawl into the mouth and find out.

Dangerous summoning.

The Sister-Wizards who have gazed upon The End and the Beginning…
Art by Chet Zar

More science-fantasy in this stew. Bummed I missed the Hyper Light Drifter kickstarter.

A fine piece to take from the treasure haul of this union-sanctioned delve.

A vicious demi-god from the olde world, sending its brutal thoughts against anyone in its way.

Thinking about a map for Marsui.

Image Inspiration for Marsui, Part I

The Dueling Oaks

“Go second breakfast yourself.”


It is a little late for the period but you get the idea.

From del Toro’s notebooks


Clearly a wizard of some kind, possibly a Crystal Wizard. By the law of Marsui, they are considered otherworldly and can be killed as monsters, not to be confused with Magic-Users who are still human, even if they do dabble in chaos forces best left untampered with.

Shoes are off; it is on now.



Could be any number of things, possibly a Refugee Deity, some kind of wizard-cursed beast or wizard’s creation run amok. It might even be a vampire of some kind with its coven. Francisco Goya; Witches’ Sabbath, 1798. Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid.


Summoning gone wrong. El Infierno. Ilustración del manuscrito de San Agustín La Ciudad de Dios, libro XXII.


A monster’s lair, municipal posting making the slaying legal has not yet been posted. Please wait for the posting to avoid murder charges.

Hand-and-a-Half Sword Dated: circa 1550 Place of Origin: Southern Germany Owner: Gustav I Vasa of Sweden Sidenotes: Gustav I of Sweden, born Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa noble family and later known as Gustav Vasa (12 May 1496 – 29 September 1560), was King of Sweden from 1523 until his death, previously self-recognised Protector of the Realm (Rikshövitsman) from 1521, during the ongoing Swedish War of Liberation against King Christian II of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Initially of low standing, Gustav rose to lead the rebel movement following the Stockholm Bloodbath, in which his father perished., Gustav’s election as King on 6 June 1523 and his triumphant entry into Stockholm eleven days later meant the end of Medieval Sweden’s elective monarchy as well as the Kalmar Union. This created a hereditary monarchy under the House of Vasa and its successors, including the current House of Bernadotte.