The Last Serai – Ultraviolet Grasslands Play Report – January 21, 2020
Roland Lansequenet in service of the Jupiter King;
Luo, a fellow of the Academy of Knidos;
Calamity, a telepathic cat;
and Lolar, a barbarian greenlander
The group was coming into the Last Serai with a wagon full of silver and fur after raiding the brutalist manse of the Gilded Baron Satrasco. Lolar took the lead on the carriage, while Luo and Roland tore up the porcelain sand in their dune buggys. For the first time in awhile, the group had full bellies and pockets.
As they closed in on the green glowing tower, a squad of white-robed porcelain guardians flagged down the caravan. “Routine inspection,” said Dust Mouth 3-body in a modulated voice. “We will search you and take your toll.” Calamity, the only one in the group with anything that would need to be hidden, was able to conceal themselves in the back of the buggy. After thumbing through their possessions, the patrol unit collected $50 from the caravan. “I’m fine with paying that as long as we get some sort of proof,” said Roland. Sighing, Dust Mouth 3-body pulled an oversized steel pipestamp from the back of their crawler. With a hiss of steam and whirr of gears, the caravan now had a bright yellow lilly affixed to the side.
Once they arrived at the Last Serai, they found themselves in a mix of an odd bazaar surrounded by rainbowlanders and cats. They decided that they’d post up at the Shalimar Hotel, and they instructed Lolar to stay with the caravan. “I’ll pay you double this week,” Roland said. “Just make sure no one touches that rug.”
Calamity, Roland, and Luo went to find a place to offload some of the silver bullion they were carrying and convert it into cash. They found the stall of a large fluffy white cat with golden eyes – Pooki – and his loyal (but not hypnotized) attendent Mook. The bazaar was full of all kinds of unusual wares, but none that was interesting enough to warrant a purchase. “By the way,” Calamity asked Pooki. “I’m in the mood for some tasty salami and pastrami. Do you happen to know where I can find the Buried Delicatessen?” While Pooki was explaining how to get there, Luo walked off distractedly.
After scanning a few stalls, Luo looked around. “Uhhhh, guys?” Luo said. “Where are you????” She was in the middle of the hustle and bustle and had lost the group. “Awwwwwwwww, nooooo,” said a blue-skinned man leaning against a wall. He was wearing bright red robes and had a lumpy head. “My haaaaaaands, I’m so stuuppid,“ he continued to cry. Luo approached him and asked him what was the matter. “I messed up my spell and now I’m a monster,” he said. As he turned to greet her he revealed a hideously disfigured face. “I was trying to practice my biomancy, but I guess I’m not good enough yet. It hurts real bad.” Luo searched her bag and found some ointment she had bought in the Violet City. “Oh, buddy… here try some of this ointment,” she said reaching out to him. As she tried to squirt it into his hands she noticed his fingers were twisted and deformed. Still wanting to help, Luo rubbed a bit of the salve on his lumpy head. “Oh, thank you so much, I think I can tell that its working!” he said. Luo didn’t detect any noticeable change. “My name is Poba, what’s yours?”
Calamity and Roland had found themselves walking past a blind odd fruit vendor. “We’re here to see what you have,” said Calamity. “Do you prefer fruit or do you prefer meat?” the blind man asked. “Well, I’m looking for some meat!” and the man hit a buzzer under the table. The door opened and the two entered.
“See, I’m looking to get to the Forest of Meat,” said Poba. “That’s where I can get closest to Largo! He’s the best biomancer in the whole world!” Luo had taken to liking her new friend and prodded him for all kinds of information regarding Largo. “I taught myself magic, but not very well. However, I could try to help you learn!” He promised he’d help her learn how to do magic from her new spellbook. “Hey, by the way, there’s a bunch of cool empty warehouses around here. A lot of these traders leave em empty for year’s at a time. Let’s go check em out!”
Basil of Star greeted Roland and Calamity as they exited the tight secret passage into a small doctor’s office. He had a clipboard in hand. “And who might you be? I don’t have a cat or its attendent on my schedule today?” Basil asked. “I’ve got a package from Syrius Senssible to deliver to someone named Anise. I’m Whiskers,” Calamity said. “And this one isn’t my servant either, we’re comrades.” Basil, excitedly dropped his clipboard and grabbed the package. Flipping it open, whatever was inside glowed golden on his face. “This is going to be instrumental to our cause,” he said. “Anise is really going to like this!” He told them to hold on for just one moment and slipped through the sealed door behind him. Roland and Calamity could hear some excited shouting on the other side. A slender woman with a red tattooed nose popped out. “THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOOOU!” she shouted. “Let me clear out my last customer and then we can talk.” A moment later a man exited from the doctor’s office with a bright red and goopy looking arm. “Well now, maybe I can give you a proper introduction,” Anise said. “My name is Anise of Star and this is my biomutation lab. Welcome to the Buried Delicatessen.”
“There’s a lot of weird warehouses around here,” Poba said to Luo. “A lot of these guild merchants leave them abandoned for years at a time. Wanna go look through one?” Luo, sensing that this could only be a good idea, followed Poba’s lead. “Here’s one,” he said before opening the door. It led to a small padded room with a smaller door on the other side. “Okay, well let’s try again.” He opened the door and made it to a similar but smaller room. “Maybe one more time?” Again, another padded room with an even smaller door. By the time they were five doors deep, Poba and Luo were on their hands and knees. “I’m feeling good about this one,” Poba said. “AHHHHH!” he shrieked. He scurried away. “What was in there,” Luo asked. “It was just a little skeleton in a straight jacket. Maybe this was a bad idea.”
“I feel so much better,” Calamity said, showing off their new biomagical mutations. Calamity was now horned and had a weird fleshy lump on its back. Roland looked horrified. “Check this out,” and Calamity retracted their tail into their body and opened their mouth. A set of sharp fangs connected to a ropey ligament jutted out and snapped the air. “Well, its the least I could do,” Anise said. Roland had been polishing his new Redlander SMG. “Well is there anything else I can help you with? Are you planning to stay in the Last Serai for long?” Through conversation, they learned a few nuggets of useful information:
The prince Angel 22-Unity was sympathetic to the Redlander’s cause, but would never break the kayfabe with other porcelain princes.
The Harmonium is indeed the source of power for the Last Serai, and the princes conduct strange rituals to draw from its power
If they wanted to meet with Angel 22-Unity, they would need to get past Black Helmet 60-body – the Harmonium’s main enforcer.
They could probably exploit the fact that Black Helmet is resentful of Laquer Stone 4-body, who has a neural bond and control over him.
The group reconvened at the caravan sitting just outside the trading post, where Lolar had been staying watch. The group met Poba and accepted him as a new member of the team. “I don’t know if I’ll like him, but extra hands make for lighter work,” Lolar remarked. When probed, Poba relayed some similar information as Anise, but added in a few more spurious details. “One thing you gotta watch out for around here is the IGNORED TOWER. You should absolutely ignore it. Under no circumstances should you look at it from the south west side.” He sounded a bit panicky while describing it. “All those flittering bits of debris?” he said, pointing to the energy swirling around the Harmonium. “Crushed bits of soul matter. Gazing upon the face of the tower can completely reconstruct your reality and snatch your soul straight from your body to pulverize it into particles. Again, whatever you do, DON’T LOOK AT THE FACE OF THE TOWER.”
After listening to Poba’s dire warnings, the group decided that they would try to get some rest at the Shalimar Hotel before trying to meet with Angel 22-Unity.