We started off in the center square of Convoy, next to Blackbeard’s ship called The Tower. Some crab-like maintenance robots had just dropped the crates they were hauling and began attacking bystanders, who had gathered to watch the Prisoners’ Carnival, which involved lots of murder and torture.
Our heroes leapt into the fray, though they were on opposite sides of the square, the two halves of the party not having met yet. Erven, Gareth, and Ikki were attacked by one of the crab robots as well as a flying robot that looked like a Golden Snitch with a big eye and two little pokers. Perrin and Ingvar were attacked by two of the crabs as well as a snitch. Eventually, the party managed to take down the robots, though not before Ingvar had managed to embarass himself by failing to lift and supplex a robot and later by bruising his knuckles in a failure of a punch. Perrin began to wonder if Ingvar was worthy of the epic song Ingvar wanted written for him. He coined what is likely to be an ongoing catchphrase, “We’ll fix it in post.”
Just when the party thought they were in the clear, a 10-foot tall robot golem, usually used to shift heavy freight, clambered up onto the square from the girders below. The party got a little freaked out. The golem started toward Perrin and Ingvar, but as it did the door to the Tower, Blackbeard’s huge airship, opened, and a tall half-elf black woman with twin scimitars stepped out. She leapt into the air and drew both her swords at once, cleanly decapitating the Golem in one strike. The woman then looked around at the party, demanding to know what had happened. She was followed out of the airship by half a dozen more figures, including a Tiefling, a Halfing, and a tall slim figure wearing a veiled sombrero. The rest were various assorted minions.
When he saw the woman, the robot with the broken antenna who had been rescued by Gareth, Erven and Ikki in the previous session excitedly began to head toward her. Ikki stopped him, worried that she might harm him. Eventually, the robot managed to convince Ikki to let him go, explaining that the woman was Blackbeard.
The woman levelled her swords at the robot until the party made clear that he hadn’t gone berserk with the rest of the robots in the city. She introduced herself as the Black Bard (which has been widely corrupted to the more pirate-y name Blackbeard). She introduced the Tiefling as Barakas, and the Halfling as Finnan Krummly, two of the captains of the Convoy. The sombrero-wearing figure raised a hand to stop himself from being introduced. Learning from the party that their robot had not been controlled due to his broken antenna, she sent a minion to let everyone know to target their antennae.
The Black Bard was still trying to figure out what had happened – the party learned that Garo, one of the 5 pirate captains of Convoy, ruled the mechanical district, which was largely populated by robots. Since resources are scarce on Convoy and almost everything has to be shipped in, robots do much of the labor on board since Convoy can’t support a humanoid population large enough to do everything that needs doing. The little robot explained everything to the Black Bard, who seemed to have no problem understanding it. The Black Bard translated for the party – Dr. Garo, who controlled all the robots on Convoy, had had something terrible happen to him and he needed rescuing. The Black Bard also looked at the little robot’s serial number and introduced it to the party as Pi-R-8.
Just then, the whole city trembled – the Black Bard explained that Convoy was held aloft by the 5 incredibly powerful wind elementals tied to the ships of the 5 great pirate captains. Garo’s had suddenly stopped carrying its weight, putting the rest of the city in danger of collapse. Barakas told the Black Bard that her pirate city experiment had failed and he wanted to take his ship and leave. the Black Bard asked him not to, since it would tear convoy apart and kill all those who lived between the ships. Barakas said he would give her a little while to sort things out. But the Captains had to stay at their ships in order to give power to their elementals to make up for the lack of Garo’s contribution – so the Black Bard tasked our party with dealing with Garo, with the carrot of a great reward and the stick of them all dying if they failed to save the city.
After some introductions, the party headed toward Garo’s ship, the Brass Gear, in the southeastern Mechanical District of Convoy. The party noticed some more of the crab robots ahead of them on the main road to the Brass Gear, and Ingvar remembered another way to get there that would take them away from the main concourse. The party went down below the main thoroughfares on to a rough-and-tumble walkway full of shuttered ships and twisty alcoves. They didn’t encounter any resistance there and managed to come back up to the main level just 50 feet or so from the Brass Gear.
There were a few more robots on duty guarding the front of the ship, and party managed to dispatch them, but not before Ingvar was seriously injured. Not having any time to waste, Ingvar urged the party to go on without him. Erven stayed with him to keep watch.
Perrin, Ikki, Gareth, and Pi-R-8 approached the ship. The ship resembled its namesake – a huge gear made of 3 concentric circles, each rotating in opposite directions. The outermost ring had six faces, each with a closed door in the center. Unsure how to get in, the party studied it for a moment until Pi-r-8 stepped up. His hand flipped back and an interface tool emerged from his arm, which he used to plug into the ship on a port next to one of the doors. The outer ring stopped rotating and the door swung open, letting the party inside.
Inside they were greeted by an empty room and an annoying voice playing through the loudspeakers. The voice (which turned out to be the Brass Gear itself), seemed to delight in pain and violence and look forward to their demise. He introduced him to their first trap, as the walls on the left and right of the room began to close in on them like a trash compactor. An investigation of the room revealed 3 doors, one on each of the enclosing walls and one in front of them. Pi-R-8 leapt into action, r2-d2-ing another port while the party attempted to slow the walls with their bulging muscles.
Eventually Pi-R-8 popped the door open and they found their way into the next room.
Each room of the ship held a different trap for the party. Some things they encountered include:
⁃ A menagerie of strange beasts including a giant caterpillar, baby griffon and flying daggerfish
⁃ A battle with former members of Dr. Garo’s crew, whose brains had been replaced with robot parts to turn them into fleshy cyborgs
⁃ A bathroom which the Brass Gear attempted to flood with them trapped inside
But perhaps the most interesting find was Dr. Garo’s bedroom, which contained his journal. The party read about his discovery of true artificial intelligence, and his horror when he realized he had been experimenting upon living, thinking creatures. He resolved to set the newly sentient robots free.
The penultimate room the party found itself in was a room with two tables, one with a Pi-R model robot connected to a helmet and one with an empty helmet. The door leading to the center of the ship featured two robo-ports, so Pi-R-8 couldn’t open it on his own. The party realized they needed to mind transfer someone with the robot, and Gareth volunteered. Pi-R-8 threw the switch, and Gareth’s mind woke up in a robot’s body.
Unfortunately, a robot’s mind also woke up in Gareth’s body. The party managed to knock Gareth unconscious without too much trouble, while Gareth looked on in horror. Gareth and Pi-R-8 opened up the door and then did a body switch-back…
Forgetting to knock out the robot which was now awake in its own body. It attacked them and they managed to put it down. Gareth got a quick heal and the party went into the central chamber of the ship, which resembled an operating room theater. In the center of the room was an old dwarf body on a table, presumably Dr. Garo. He was linked by another helmet apparatus to a Pi-R robot. A second Pi-R robot threw the switch and Robo-Garo awoke for a final showdown.
Robo Garo could shoot bullets out of his fingers and had a nasty scimitar he could use to slash at the party. He also could emit a thunderwave from his body knocking everyone around him to the ground. The Brass Gear pitched in to the fight, too, spinning the central chamber around to knock the party off its feet from time to time.
After a hard-fought battle, the party managed to win the day, knocking Robo Garo out and returning Garo to his body. Garo managed to dis-entangle the robotic Brass Gear consciousness from the Wind Elemental that controlled the ship and get his elemental back to supporting Convoy. The party expressed an interest in keeping the Brass Gear despite its violent tendencies, and so as a small reward Garo transferred it into a little robot dragon chassis so it could accompany them on their journey. It agreed to go, since its greatest desire was to explore the wide world rather than be trapped and tied to Convoy.
Garo also rewarded the party with the following treasure:
7 50 gp gems
Lantern of revealing
⁃ when lit, this hooded lantern burns for 6 hours on 1 pint of oil, shedding bright light in a 30 foot radius and dim light for an additional 30 feet. Invisible creatures and objects are visible as long as they are in the lantern’s bright light. You can use an action to lower the hood, reducing the light to dim light in a 5-foot radius.
Potion of animal friendship
⁃ When you drink this potion, you can cast the animal friendship spell (save DC 13) for 1 hour at will. Agitating this muddy liquid brings little bits into view: a fish scale, a hummingbird tongue, a cat claw, or a squirrel hair.
Rod of electric arc
⁃ This rod has 15 charges. Can use your action to cast electric arc, a ranged weapon attack with 2 lightning damage.
Robo command patch
⁃ Can be attached to one robot of your choice with a successful melee attack. Robot must succeed on a DC15 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by you for 8 hours. It follows your commands and those of your companions for 8 hours.
The party left the Brass Gear to pick up Ingvar and Erven and head back to the Black Bard for their promised reward.