the soaring gallows! zeppelin most dreary & dreadful! the soaring gallows is an airship captained by the ghoul named darling matador, first mate painted devil, airmans one, una, two, duo, three, & trio! stevedores mister drown, mister candles, mister gone, mister sorry, so forth! gremlins from the blickerwurm hegemony! ghouls of clan of the ectoplasmic ansible! the soaring gallows is a ship whose stock in trade is the phrase "happy is the cemetary where no wizard lies!" darling matador travels the world, hanging those criminals too foul for local authorities, & in the side compartments of the ship hold the graves of 435 of the most damnned souls of the century, those too wicked to be buried in consecrated ground & too dangerous to be buried in unconsecrated ground. along the way, darling matador & painted devil make a little pocket change ferrying v.ery i.mportant p.eople around, such as our fine young player characters!
the players are due to the kingdom of lalala, & so the captain (skin a lovely bruise colour, all dressed in herringbone & with a spider living in his snuff-box) & the mate (face an androgynous mask of botox & plastic surgery, tattooed with oni swirls & whorls-- i wore a mask to play him/her) tried to make them comfortable. the low-level hauntings didn't make the players comfortable, though! but then finding yourself being watched in the dark as you get romantic or possessed & sitting on the outside hull of a moving airship will do that to you. then, BOOM! there was a terrible shaking & the ship itself began to...flip over! there they were, miles above ground, & the vessel flipped on it's side. lorelai wasn't slowed down by it; in fact, she went on to shepard the rest of the party, wearing an airman's goggles & carrying a sailors gaff. she also rappelled down the side of the balloon in the dark to see what the damage was, like a lunatic.
with the side compartment ballast jettisoned, the soaring gallows just began to fly upwards-- fall upwards, really-- plummeting into the heavens. the flipping of the zeppelin onto it's side also disturbed the graves of the dead warlocks, leading to a possession of bedwin ultimately culminating in the other party members being him into unconciousness, breaking his nose & giving him a pair of black eyes. damocles found, written in steam on the bathroom mirror, a note along the lines of "hail damoklese lord of sheol & gehenna, general of the armys infernum majestika, we are LEGION & we are your friend" & then a crown drawn at his brow level. bedwin woke up & started narrating all the things he was seeing; a double-exposed balthazar, a firey-eyed damocles. hauntings continued; blood out of faucets, airmen setting themselves on fire & jumping overboard, just a jolly time.
eventually the party became aware of mutterings amongst the crew; the goblins told balthazar that they & the captain favored a plan in which they would let bouyancy out of the balloon by punching a hole in it; the stevedores told lorelai that they opposed the plan & would rather try to snag the ship on the mountain tops of the five peaks. the remaining ghouls of the ship, accidentally spotted in the hall, were slack-faced zombies dressed in rubber suits with metal diodes sticking out of it & a device part old fashioned accordian camera, part porthole, part television, part ouiji board sticking out of their midsection in a harness. eventually, as the ship fell ever into the sky, about sixty hours worth, the captain gathered them together to puncture a segment of the balloon. the captain darling matador stood along with the airmen, the painted devil stood with some of the goblins-- the gremlins first class. gaspar, the party's old friend, stood with one of the strange ghouls, & the stevedores all stood with a tall, pretty woman with mossy hair holding a hissing boy by the hand. all agreed, the captain psssssst started letting gas out while the passangers, our players, took themselves someplace safe, & lorelai took rope & made them all safety hammocks. they crash landed as well as can be expected, but found themselves in the orange, black, & rainbow coloured landscape...of The Badlands!
mostly i was happy to be getting better with timing; i shot for one session & i got it done in one session. it can be easy to over-estimate or underestimate how long a thing will take, you know? this was tom's second session, & he is starting to gel with everyone; the dynamic of the party is very interesting. we'll see how things go from here...