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Wild Stewardess Action! - And Madness Followed COMPLETE!


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barsoomcore

Unattainable Ideal
The door shuddered outwards against the shoulders of Wei-Yong and Lin Lin, seeming to groan with the effort.

Wei-Yong called out, "Little help, here." Neither she nor Lin Lin were especially strong, and they were slowly being driven back by the masses of bodies pressing against the other side of the door.

Shan, however, was especially strong. And she was especially big. And as she thundered forward and slammed her shoulder against the door, it splintered apart and she nearly stumbled through into the room beyond.

The room full of shambling corpses now shoving their way through the tatters of the door. The women yelled and pulled each other back, but there was no holding back the tide of undead. Shan swept her sword out and began laying about. Her katana sliced easily through the stinking, half-liquified flesh of her enemies and within seconds she was surrounded by flopping, dismembered limbs and torsos. Wei-Yong sent arrows buzzing past her friend's head to pierce the skulls of other corpses lumbering forward, while Lin Lin bounced back and forth in the hallway, reaching around either side of Shan to distract and deflect the attacks of the walking dead.

Shan couldn't hold them all back, however, and they slowly began to surround her. One grappled her leg and although she hacked off both arms, the hands stayed gripped to her thigh. Arms reached past the flashing edge of her blade to snatch and claw at her. Lin Lin tore herself free from another, crying out in disgust. The battle backed down the hallway, new enemies shoving past mounds of bleeding, oozing body parts as they surged towards the Angels.

Wei-Yong looked over her shoulder to shout at Li Fa, "There's hundreds of them! What'll we do?"

Shan shrieked as teeth dug into her calf. Her sword whipped down and sprayed skull, skin and brains across both walls, but she was bleeding badly and now half-a-dozen of the things had gotten a hold of her and she toppled. She flailed madly, swearing at the top of her lungs and both Wei-Yong and Lin Lin plunged into the writhing mass of bodies to try and extricate their friend.

Shan spat blood; she'd bitten her tongue at some point. A filthy, slime-covered hand snatched at her face and to her terror she felt her sword yanked from her grasp. She started gasping, feeling panic bite deep into her mind, even as she heard her friends yelling for her. Another stab of pain as teeth, rotten and foul, pierced the skin near her waist, at a gap in her armour and she gave a violent heave, surging up against the weight of the bodies pressing down on her. With a tremendous effort and a vile oath about the Goddess' private parts and how they might be used in unsavoury ways, Tong Shan got her feet under her and threw back the undead horrors that had covered her.

Suddenly clear, facing the stumbling, rotting corpses, Shan let loose with her temper. She screamed and stomped her feet and shook her fists, slamming them into first one wall of the hallway and then the other, screaming at the top of her lungs.

Even the mindless undead seemed to pause.

Shan started swearing.

Shan wasn't the wittiest of the women. She wasn't the most sparkling conversationalist. Her brain didn't normally provide her with a surplus of choice comments or snappy retorts.

But she could swear like nobody else. Longshoremen, mountain bandits and heartless pimps covered their ears when Shan got going, embarrassed and shocked and offended. The foulness that came out of Shan's mouth when she got riled up was enough to whiten anyone's hair.

And she was plenty riled up. The curses she'd tossed about earlier were nothing compared to the stream of obscenity that she now unleashed. Ming-Wa did in fact cover her ears, unable to listen to her friend's shrieking blasphemies. She also closed her eyes, in case the Goddess decided that even a loyal servant like Tong Shan could only go so far.

Imprecations, oaths and vile descriptions of decidedly un-Goddess-like acts swirled around the hallway in a kind of rapid-fire chain of verbal explosions as Shan stormed at the undead, snatched up her sword and began laying into them all over again. With each blow her voice jumped up another level of volume and eventually, Wei-Yong couldn't take any more.

She started to giggle. Then she started to laugh outright, and by the time she'd run forward and grabbed Shan to start dragging her friend back from the crowds of undead now surging forward again, she was nearly helpless with laughter.

Li Fa ignored all the fuss, both the swearing and now the giggle attack. She made her way down the opposite hallway, ensuring a safe distance between herself and the others, as she reached into the Shadow Realm and began focussing her mind. She signalled to Ming-Wa.

"Clear some space around the girls."

Ming-Wa, still recovering from Shan's horrible curses, nodded and put a hand to her temple. Purple light scythed out from her, shattering the undead corpses nearest Shan and Wei-Yong, who stumbled back, away from their enemies.

Fa reached out and ran her mind through complex calculations, as she did so feeling the surge of the Shadow Realm's dark energy shaping itself, following the patterns generated in her mind. Her concentration was absolute as her mind flew through one long mathematical process after another, exultation rising as she dimly perceived the flow of the energy in the wake of her thoughts, and as she reached the end of the process she felt that darkness roar through her, shaped and directed, and her eyes flew open and she watched in quiet triumph as the hallway and the room beyond erupted in towering flames.

Corpses winked into ash and flew apart in the roar of the sorcerous fire. Wei-Yong and Shan fell backwards as they shielded their faces from the intense heat.

The flames continued to burn with no sign of any fuel. The women assembled around Li Fa, watched the flames dance for a while, then turned to face the other door. Shan shrugged.

"Can't be any worse."

Fa regarded her burly friend with some coldness.

"Are you feeling better after your little tantrum?"

Wei-Yong snickered and Lin Lin hid a grin as Shan, recalling some of the things she'd said in the flash of her anger, blushed and looked down. She nudged Ming-Wa.

"Sorry. Just got a little... carried away, you know."

Ming-Wa smiled. It wasn't the most genuine smile ever, but it was a smile.

"Don't apologize to me. Apologize to Her."

"Right. Goddess, forgive me."

Shan made a quick gesture of faith and shouldered past the others to study the door.

"So we're going through, right?"

Fa nodded.

"Jing Zhou's down here somewhere. Ming-Wa, could you check upstairs? See what's happening with our visitors?"

Ming-Wa nodded and closed her eyes. Within seconds she'd opened them again.

"There's some kind of battle going on up in the cave where we were. I guess that Jasmine Witch woman DID run into the zombies."

Wei-Yong shrugged.

"Hopefully they'll slow her down some. Let's open this door."
 

tetsujin28

First Post
barsoomcore said:
Congrats! You just got sigged.

Oh, and thanks! :D
I've been sigged!:D Seriously, this is so much fun, it's almost not even worth running my own game. Afterall, I don't have stewardesses, let alone one named Shirley-Pierre.
 
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barsoomcore

Unattainable Ideal
"Are you sure you're up for this, Shan? Maybe somebody else should open the door."

Shan turned back to grin at Ming-Wa.

"It's just flesh wounds, sweetie. I'm fine."

The burly woman heaved with both hands and tore open the door.

Beyond, the torches in the hallway cast enough light to reveal a row of low structures, like tiny houses, each coming up to Shan's waist. There were six of the odd little constructions, in a row down the length of the room, beyond which Shan could just make out another door.

"Any ideas?"

Fa nodded.

"They're tombs. Probably the original founding families of the village. There should be no threat here."

Shan smiled and headed down the room, followed by the others. They all came to a sudden halt as shadowy figures rose up out of the tombs to loom menacingly in the darkness.

"Um, Fa? No threat?"

"Don't worry. They won't hurt us."

"Because..."

"Because we cleaned up those idols back in the chapel."

"Hey, that's right!"

Ming-Wa kept muttering prayers to the Goddess as the figures wavered and drifted in the air above them. Shan just shrugged and continued on, waiting to see if the spectres would attack, but they did nothing as she approached the far door. The others followed her, all pressed together as they tried to stay as far from the hovering figures as possible. Shan edged the door open and slipped through, and all the others followed quickly, except for Ming-Wa. The devout young woman bowed to the shades as she stood at the door and whispered, "May the Goddess avenge you."

"Okay, so now where do we go?"

They had passed through the door to emerge in the middle of a short hallway. A heavy stone door stood at either end, and two more were equally spaced along the long wall opposite the door they'd entered by. Shan counted her friends, and then counted the doors, and then counted her friends again.

"Four of us and four doors. Let's each try one."

Fa shook her head.

"There's five of us, Shan."

Shan frowned and counted twice more, then brightened as she included herself. Ming-Wa sighed and shook her head.

"We should stick together. One door at a time."

Shan frowned.

"All at the same time. Come on, what's the worst that could happen? We find Jing Zhou, kick his skinny butt and get out of here before the Jasmine Witch catches up with us. One door each, come on. Don't be a baby."

"I'm not a baby!"

"Baby."

Ming-Wa roared in frustration as Wei-Yong once again fought giggles. The others trooped off to stand in front of individual doors, leaving one of the end doors for Ming-Wa. Fa stayed at the door to the ancestor tombs, keeping an eye on everyone. Ming-Wa stomped to the last door and turned around to call down the hall to Shan.

"If there's some big horrible monster behind this door and it squishes me while you're down there, I'm going to be very annoyed with you."

"You'll be an annoyed baby, you mean?"

Wei-Yong giggled again. Lin Lin bounced in front of her door, ready to yank on the handle. Shan set her feet solidly and put one hand on the handle of the door in front of her, holding her sword in the other. Ming-Wa rolled her eyes and yanked hard on the door handle facing her.

All four doors opened more or less simultaneously.

Shan recoiled from a room filled with torn and gnawed corpses, strange sigils scrawled on the walls.

Wei-Yong looked into an empty private chapel. Mau Li sniffed.

Lin Lin peered around a room identical to the one Wei-Yong looked into.

Ming-Wa faced a big horrible monster and it squished her. With a yell and a sickening crack, Ming-Wa flew backwards down the hall to crash into the flagstones not far from where Fa stood. Lin Lin was the closest to her door, and all the others froze at the horrified shriek their cheerful friend let out at the sight.

Inside the room a terrifying demon writhed and lurched, its insectile arms waving and a bizarre stinger swooping about on the end of a long, prehensile tail. Worst of all, on the end of a serpentine neck grinned the head of their quarry, Jing Zhou. The obscene monstrosity gibbered and howled as its claws pounded a heavy table on which lay a massive leather-bound book.

Lin Lin, her eyes round and her mouth hanging open, absent-mindedly ducked aside as one of the massive armoured limbs swung at her to crash into the doorframe.

Ming-Wa pushed herself up, dazed from the impact, and turned her head to watch Shan charge past.

"Now I'm an annoyed baby."

Lin Lin heard Shan bearing down from behind her and without thinking she step-stepped up the doorframe and catapulted herself into the room, somersaulting over the demon, tucking just enough to avoid another sweep of clawed arms, pulling out at the last possible second to land on one leg, kicking backward with the other, laughing hysterically as she dodged the stinger. Her fists, her knees, the edges of her feet, even her forehead transformed in to weapons as she began to beat rhythmically against the creature's hardened exoskeleton, doing no apparent good whatsoever. Across the room she saw the familiar bulk of her friend suddenly burst in and cheered as Shan plowed into the demon from the other side. There was a loud crack as her sword bounced off the armoured plates of the monster, followed immediately by a series of whining rings as Wei-Yong sent a flurry of arrows bursting into the room.

A great claw reached down and grabbed Shan around the waist and the woman hollered, hacking furiously with her blade. Lin Lin had gotten ahold of the monster's tail and clung desperately, trying to keep the glistening stinger from stabbing downwards. She could hear Fa telling Ming-Wa to move, give her some room, and Lin Lin yelled: "Hurry it up, Fa! Whatever you're going to do, do it now!"

Shan felt claws dig into her flesh and she heard with amazement a set of popping sounds as the plates of her armour began to snap. She looked up, wild-eyed, just in time to see a backhand swipe send Lin Lin slamming into the far wall. Mau Li leapt into the room but got pinned to the floor by the monster's poison stinger. Wei-Yong screamed.

Fa drove all the sounds of bloodshed and her friends' suffering from her mind as she struggled to complete her spell. Everything drifted away, ceased to matter, as she followed the remorseless path of mathematics, the unstoppable logic of sorcery.

Lin Lin got to her feet, her right arm aflame with agony. She could see Shan, still trapped in the thing's claw, and poor Mau Li writhing on the floor. Wei-Yong seemed to move in slow motion as she fell to her knees next to her beloved wolf. Lin Lin swayed on her feet for a second, watching in horror as yet another arm swung down and plastered Wei-Yong across the back of her head. The lanky woman plowed into the floor, blood spraying from the wound, and Lin Lin screamed, drew both her sai, and leapt on top of the hideous monster. With a terrible cry she drove both pointed weapons into the thing's body.

Just as with a thunderous roar, massive chains suddenly burst from the ground on all sides, binding the creature to the floor. The air filled with rock dust and the frustrated screams of the monster. Jing Zhou's head bobbed around on the end of its long snake neck, gibbering and drooling. Lin Lin swung herself to one side as the poison stinger darted down at her, slamming her sai into the creature's carapace again and again.

She looked up and saw Ming-Wa, face bleeding and robes torn, standing in the doorway.

"Time for you to remember, Jing Zhou."

Ming-Wa was mad. She was mad at Shan, she was mad at Fa who'd shoved her away, but mostly she was mad at Jing Zhou. Her mind reached out and grabbed what was left of the fanatic's brain and drew from within it Jing Zhou's deepest, most painful memories. The unfortunate man (or rather, the demon he'd become) hissed in pain and writhed as Ming-Wa's rage burned into him, piling agony on agony. Trapped by the chains Fa had summouned, he shrieked as the three other women got shakily to their feet.

Shan's face, as she turned to the creature, was dark with fury. She saw Lin Lin dodging the stinger, she saw Wei-Yong weeping for her wolf, and she put both her hands on her katana and raised it high.

"Time for you to forget."

Shan's big shoulders flexed and she grunted with the effort of the blow as her sword cut straight through Jing Zhou's neck. Black fluid spewed from the wound as the body spasmed and twitched. The women all jumped back as the liquid hissed and melted anything it touched.

Including the book.

They all stood for a second, panting. Shan turned to Ming-Wa.

"You okay?"

Ming-Wa sniffed, turned and pushed past Fa to head back past the hovering spectres. Shan shrugged to the others and they all followed.

The floating forms remained where they were and made no attempt to stop the women. Still, it was creepy, and they hurried through, only to bump into Ming-Wa at the top of the stairs. She was looking down the rough passage back to where the shaft entered.

Standing down there was a tall woman in tight red robes, with her head shaved and holding a black staff in one hand. Next to her stood the tall bald man they'd fought outside the inn.

Shan was bleeding profusely. Wei-Yong had no more arrows left and was still shocked over the death of Mau Li. Lin Lin's arm was broken. Fa could barely stand upright after casting the last spell. Ming-Wa looked over her friends, and turned to the woman.

"You must be the Jasmine Witch."

The stranger nodded.

"I am seeking Jing Zhou and the Codex of the Watery Gate."

Ming-Wa drew in a long breath. Then she pointed down the hallway that led to the ancestor spirits.

"They're down that way."

Everyone held their breath.

The tall woman nodded.

"Thank you."

She and her minion brushed past and went through the door. Ming-Wa grinned at the sudden screams.

"Guess the ancestors don't approve of girls who dress immodestly."

*****

"Barbecue makes everything feel better."

Shan sighed as Kam spooned more roast meat onto her plate. Haan Shi, still mourning her beloved Chow Siu-Keung, sat with her bodyguards singing. The Angels sat together, savouring their survival.

Wei-Yong swallowed and looked around at the others. "Does anyone have the slightest idea what was going on up there?"

Fa nodded. "That book must have been some sort of spellbook. I've heard of spells of great power that transform the caster into a demon. Jing Zhou must have been raising an army."

"For what?"

Ming-Wa dabbed at one corner of her mouth before speaking.

"To attack the Goddess, obviously. Why else all the descration?"

Fa seemed less certain. "There are other powers in this world. It could have been powerful spirits seeking to eradicate her influence here..."

"There are no powers equal to the Goddess!"

"I didn't say equal to..."

"None!"

Shan smacked Ming-Wa.

"Let her finish. Baby."

"I'm not a baby."

"No, of course not."

"I'm not."

"I know. Hey, Wei-Yong, that tall guy's checking you out. Think these barbarians know how to dance?"
 

shilsen

First Post
Finished? FINISHED? What kind of crummy DM can't keep a bunch of stewardesses chained to a gaming table for at least a dozen session? (sniffs disdainfully)

Oh yeah - great story!
 

Greybar

No Trouble at All
Very nicely done. Feels like a good, tightly-written 30-minute TV show right down to the chuckles at the end. I have a great admiration for people able to write a good compact adventure - it's something I'd like to be able to do well.

kudos for you and the players, I hope you have them looking for more.

john
 

Desdichado

Adventurer
Great stuff, 'core! Now, are you going to explain somewhat how this relates to the other Barsoom campaign we all know and love?
 

Lola

First Post
It's true! Barbecue does make everything feel better!

Great writing, must have been a fun game. Are there any plans for you to run another game for them?
 

barsoomcore

Unattainable Ideal
There are plans for a return to Wild Stewardess action in January. I will of course be resurrecting this thread then to post the continuing adventures of serious Fa, devout Ming-Wa, strong Shan, sentimental Wei-Yong and crazy Lin Lin as they unfold.

How does it tie into the main Barsoom Tales Story Hour? Well, for now, that's my secret...
 

ledded

Herder of monkies
Lola said:
It's true! Barbecue does make everything feel better!

Ah, yes, but alas he also forgot the onion rings.

Great story barsoomcore. Very entertaining.
 
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barsoomcore

Unattainable Ideal
ledded said:
Ah, yes, but alas he also forgot the onion rings.
It's, like, Tianese barbecue, okay? They don't got onion rings, they got... eggplant. And stuff. Sheesh.

Durn Southerners think they got it ALL tied up... :D
 
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ledded

Herder of monkies
barsoomcore said:
It's, like, Tianese barbecue, okay? They don't got onion rings, they got... eggplant. And stuff. Sheesh.

Izzat, like, that Kansas City style Bar-B-que or sumthin'? ;)

Weeeeell, ah guess you could deep fry eggplant, though ah doubt it'd turn out quite the same. That shore is a lotta egg though... might as well make omelets.

Durn Southerners think they got it ALL tied up... :D

Hey, we aint got it ALL tied up, and she weren't my cousin *either*, no matter whut that po-lice report sez. :D
 

tetsujin28

First Post
The end? The end? No more stewardesses for more than a month? I don't know if my brain can cope!

I have just one question: who is (was) Mau Yi? Is this the Angel Formerly Known as Jiang-Li?

And I want picks of the <Austin Powers voice> Sexy Stews</Austin Powers voice>, so that we can see what a really lucky bastard you are :)

BTW, I'd be interested in knowing what rules variants you were using for sorcery and psionics.
 


barsoomcore

Unattainable Ideal
Mau Li was Wei-Yong's animal companion.

Unfortunately the Angel Formerly Known As Jiang-Li was, like, in Singapore on the game day. Next time out we may have an additional cast member.

The rules for the sorcery system are on the main Barsoom website, but you can grab them here.

They're notably unusable and tend to make sorcerers anti-social, psychotic freakazoids that everybody hates.

Fa is an exception, but give her time.

Psionics were taken straight from the book.

Next game I MAY change the rules -- I picked up Mutants and Masterminds and am considering morphing it into a wuxia-style game and kicking up the action level a notch next episode.

We'll see.
 

der_kluge

Adventurer
Hey, did someone mention Kansas City Barbecue? Jack Stack ships anywhere in the country! Give the gift of pork ribs for Christmas this year. :)

And Barsoom, where are those pictures, Bucko?
 

barsoomcore

Unattainable Ideal
ledded said:
Izzat, like, that Kansas City style Bar-B-que or sumthin'? ;)
Hey now! Them's fighting words.

I'll let you take it up with Tong Shan. Quite a patriot, she is. I'm sure she'd be willing to, em, edumacate yourself about the proper respect due to Tianese cooking.

Maybe Willie's charming enough. Maybe he isn't. ;)
 

Pierce

First Post
Good job, 'soom. Apparently BBQ is a universal comfort food, but more importantly: what about the pie? 'Cause ya gotta have pie.
 

barsoomcore

Unattainable Ideal
die_kluge said:
And Barsoom, where are those pictures, Bucko?
What, did you miss them? First page of the thread, dude.

Sorry if that's not what you were hoping for.

Use your imagination, my friend.
 

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