A Visit to the New Guttershine Academy, Part 6

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Adventures in Bastion

When we last left off…it was around 8:00PM and our beleaguered heroes were inside the Grand Amphitheatre, in a side hallway with a gang of guard-students who’d just traded some of their ditch-urb to Emmeline for a top hat and sash. The group was considering how to get past them an into the theater at the end of the session. 

The group decided to try bluff their way in by presenting the gang…

… with the locket they found in the Buttonsnemp Researchery, which had an inscription on the back: “Mentor Forever, Love, T.T.” They were so preoccupied trying to figure out whether Emmeline—her nose torn off, her teeth all missing—might be the same person as the young woman pictured in the locket that they didn’t notice the man pictured in it looked a lot older than the Tintapan they knew.

When they finally were persuaded that Tintapan was indeed known to the group, they permitted them access to the auditorium itself. Entering, the group saw Tintapan—or, I should say, a figure resembling the Tintapan they knew, onstage and directing a large group of students in the construction of…. something. Pulleys, ropes, ladders, hammers and screwdrivers, all that sort of thing. Heihachi came in heavy, threatening Tintapan and trying to extort him in front of everyone.

Tintapan’s response, from up on the stage, was to try quiet him and invite him to somewhere more private to discuss the issue. When that didn’t work, he signaled his guards at the back of the room to come to his aid, which they promptly did:

(I’m not sure why so many of the student gangs ended up being female: I did up lots of male icons too… but maybe I burned through those in previous adventures? I’m not sure.)

Meanwhile he took the opportunity to slip behind the red curtain at the back of the stage and exit stage rear. 

The characters scrambled up onto the stage and chased him into the area behind the stage, where they found a long hallway lined with dressing rooms, ending in an open archway, arriving just as one of the doors slammed shut. They split up—Mockery gang, Emmeline, Heihachi, and Fermi—and each opened a different door, with startling results: 

  • The Mockeries discovered an empty room behind their chosen door. 
  • Emmeline discovered two Tintapans (!?!) behind her chosen door. They were baffled, and the Tintapans did not seem to be aware of anything that had happened. They were seated quietly in a Green Room, away from a table set near one wall, laden with food and untouched pitchers of beer. 
  • Heihachi also found an empty room behind his chosen door. 
  • Finally, Fermi discovered none other than Dr. Winslee and her gang, immediately shushing him and urging him to enter the room quietly:

   

Fermi did, talking to Winslee briefly, until shots the sound of combat out in the hall interrupted them. That combat had broken out between Emmeline, Heihachi, and the Mockeries and the two Tintapans in Emmeline’s room. A third Tintapan emerged from another room, so that there were now three Tintapans to fight.

During the battle, the “Tintapans” displayed several specific traits: 

  • They have an unarmed acid slap attack, much like that of the mysterious woman they encountered at the old Researchery and fought elsewhere on campus. 
  • When their Hit Protection is reduced to zero, they collapse into their natural state, namely a puddled purple sludge:

  •  Beer somehow neutralizes or kills them, causing them to lose their acidic qualities and emit a whitish fog. (One of Winslee’s gang members dumped a pitcher of beer from one of the Green Rooms onto, and that’s how the effect was revealed to the group.)

As for the details of the battle: The Mockeries took on one Tintapan, Emmeline and Heihachi handled one, and Fermi and Prof. Winslee’s gang handled the other, while Dr. Winslee beat a hasty retreat through that open archway I mentioned earlier. Fermi followed her, discovering how Winslee and her gang gained entrance to the building: through air vents. 

The group having survived the battle somewhat worse worse for wear—acid splashes added to their previous wounds in some cases—they followed Winslee and her gang into the air vents in the room that lay beyond that archway, pausing only to note the sound of something very big and very angry through the door of an apparently adjoining room, which they estimated to next to the area just off stage left.

This hastened their pursuit of Prof. Winslee and her gang into the air vents, and once they were in, they noted intersecting vents running above the main theater chamber, but followed Winslee’s gang to the primary exit, a straight shot running above the Green Rooms and opening on the far side of the building (behind the back entrance approximately backstage, stage right.  

Both groups fled the building, and then Fermi, Heihachi, and Emmeline talked to Winslee about what had happened, with Heihachi saying nothing about the fact someone had, not long before, attempted to recruit him to assassinate her.

Winslee, for her part, basically said “I told you so!” and then offered the group a dorm room to sleep in for the night, and told them that if they are willing to help her defeat Tintapan, she’d be willing to “set up something” to deal with the debt they accumulated from the university (a sinecure, perhaps, or retainering them in exploratory missions into the Underground, or—if they have the academic qualifications1—perhaps membership in one or another faculty or teaching staff. 

But first they need to help her beat Tintapan.

How?

Well, there’s a shipment of beer due to be brought to campus the next day. Beer neutralizes Tintapan’s acid powers, and reverts him to an inert puddle of sludge. Their mission, then, is to go to the warehouse, escort the beer to campus, and bring it to the Grand Amphitheater with time to spare before the big lecture he has scheduled for tomorrow evening. 

Easier said than done, of course. But it means the characters will be going on an excursion off campus, and exploring the sourthern side of Guttershine District. For this, I’ve got a map ready (built off an edited version of the excellent Doksvol Street Maps I got as part of the BitD Bundle of Holding a while back), and I gave them a copy to study before the next adventure. Here that is:

I’m still working out preparations for this (which is to say, more brainstorming: prep is still pretty easy and light for Electric Bastionland, and I end up spending more time making fun tokens and maps than the actual adventure prep most of the time), which I’m not sure, but it might actually be the first urban pointcrawl adventure I’ve ever run!

But since it’s traditional to share the tokens I’ve done up so far, here they are! Credit where credit is due: the first few of these were inspired by an astonishing segment in the David Attenborough nature documentary Life in Color, which is on Netflix here in Korea, and which we’re watching with our son (and which featured the Peacock Mantis Shrimp, the first token below, and wrestling poison frogs). The Peacock Mantis Shrimp is especially bananas—here’s a video that shows one in action, but the Attenborough documentary is more exciting: it explains more about how it has the fastest punch on earth, can see more colors than any other known creature, and about the extreme heat and pressure created by its punch. It literally is shown using its mouthparts to punch a crab so hard that one of its claws is torn from its body! (!)

Secondly, the last token/critter was inspired by a Tweet about an obscure Russian monster:

… which prompted a retweet quip from Robin Laws; the quip was shared on a Discord I’m on (as a joke about GMs), but my reaction was, “That monster’s going into Electric Bastionland!”

I’ve decided that it’s the male of the Ourshibou species. (Because, really, it’s astonishingly similar to the Ourshibou I made up as an example of inverted monsters back in my first Electric Bastionland post.)

 

 

 

 

Series Navigation<< A Visit to the New Guttershine Academy, Part 5

  1. Spoiler: They don’t. But they might be obtainable, for a price.

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