2018-12-12 - Robot Fightin' Time
With the holidays just around the corner, Rolf, Alfyn, Ammon, Nalla, and Mauldor went to get some work from an exhausted Quartermaster Luther. After a brutal interrogation of the Gold Ocean gang's raid leader, it was discovered that he was just a higher ranking official. The real group leader is a much-feared Giant Rat, at which Luther scoffs.
The hostage also revealed that the rats were close with a dwarven artificer named Hugh Mann, who lives in Sigil. The party was sent to find Hugh, learn more about his relationship with the ratmen, and figure out what else Gold Ocean was planning. Oh, and not attract too much attention from the city guard. They've been suspicious since last month's attack at the tournament.
On the way out, Guild member Jeph asked Alfyn to give Hugh a letter regarding Master Luther's holiday gift.
The party arrived at a tenement house not too far from the Guild hall. After a bit of investigation from Rolf, Nalla figured out they could just walk through the front door. Being unfamiliar with the concept of an apartment, he went to knock on one of the doors to find Hugh. A salty old halfling lady spat on Nalla's boots (as she does not approve of the Guild) and told the party to check at the end of the hall.
Rolf distracted Nalla while he picked the lock to Hugh's apartment. This crime caused the decorative armor in the hallway to attack the party. As everyone fought and filed into the apartment, Alfyn and Mauldor were nearly snapped up by a sentient welcome mat. Rolf proceeded to kill that welcome mat and leave a mess in the already messy workshop/apartment. After a brief investigation, the party found that Hugh was behind on a lot of bills (and renewing a fight pit permit).
They found a side panel that led to a basement passageway. In the surprisingly clean dirt-floor basement, Ammon noticed a weird metal box by his foot. When he tried to pick it up, the box revealed it had a knife and stabbed him in the ankle. The party then proceeded to fight a bunch of armed vacuums and earned the ire of Hugh, who'd been working in the basement.
After a brief discussion, a bet was made: Hugh would reveal what he knew about the Gold Ocean gang if the party could help him test some new construct designs. Rolf upped the ante by placing a 150 GP bet on the party's victory. They entered a fighting arena and encountered two Die-Sector knockoffs with crossbows. The party won.
Hugh revealed he'd mentored some of the younger ratmen and worked on some constructs with them. Most of the bois came to his place to escape the Giant Rat, but they were never able to say exactly what was going on in their camp. He praised their talent for designing and building mechanical devices, and showed the group some drafted plans for an automated nutcracking device.
The conversation was interrupted by the sound of the city guards raiding Hugh's apartment on the insistence of the old halfling lady. Hugh agreed to lead the party to the sewers if they could dig an exit tunnel out of the basement. Nalla and Mauldor managed to reach the sewer pipe (with some unsuccessful help from one of Hugh's bots). Once they reached the sewers, Ammon tried to break the pipes with a burst arrow, which injured the whole party and knocked Mauldor unconscious.
The arrow did leave a hole in the brick wall, which Nalla was able to break. Hugh lead the group to a nearby manhole cover, which injured a nearby cabbage merchant and nearly caused a squabble with a guard. Everyone returned to Purity, where Luther was informed of recent events. The kobold looked stressed and mentioned a need to cut loose after all the disasters caused by the tournament and the Gold Ocean attacks. Rolf suggested Luther should hire the rats, but Luther dismissed the idea, saying the plan failed when they tried it before. His day was made worse when Nalla mentioned the manhole cover incident. Everyone was instructed to get out of his office immediately.
Alfyn later met up with Jeph, who rewarded him for helping set up Luther's holiday gift.
Epilogue: Hugh Mann was hired as a Guild artificer, and set up a mechanical pet shop with Val Giertz.
This was a filler session inspired by BattleBots and Stabby the Roomba