As I have been terribly remiss in posting on this blog, some key bits of back story must be filled in here. As mentioned in my Force Cage Death Match post, the Sottle women chew a strange black berry that stains their lips dark red, keeps their teeth white, their breath minty... and allows a rage filled demon known as a Blarg Beast to possess them should they lose their cool. The Sottle menfolk are kept in a drugged stupor by the hurkool leaf they chew, which makes them move terribly slowly but also allows them to become hulk-like combatants if pressed. The Sottle women seem to be in league with a secret faction of the Knights of Genetic Purity known as the Men of Santo (their symbol, as revealed by a tattoo discovered on the chest of one of Chaplain Squaldorf's slain deacons, may be recognizable to you:
The party has seriously messed with the biofuel production which is apparently the primary result of the labor of the massive herds of drugged menfolk, first stealing several 50 gallon fuel drums after a refinery and storage facility was left unguarded in the wake of Hag the Beastmaster (a party member created using my Fantasy Quirks supplement to Mutant Future) sacrificing an entire Sottle enclave to an unknown demonic entity in exchange for great personal power, then blowing up a storage depot with six completely filled 300 gallon tanks waiting to be helicoptered off by members of the Knights of Genetic Purity directed by the Men of Santo (this last bit of information was revealed by a captured KoGP mechanic who was interrogated at length following the destruction of the fuel depot).
Hag the Beastmaster also was responsible for destroying a section of the fortified wall which surrounds Spanky Butt town and blowing up portions of the Brown family residence, a very wealthy and xenophobic/anti-mutant Spanky Butt family. So in short, the party in general and Hag in particular were in bad standing with both the Sottle folk and the townfolk.
But on the other hand, the party had also just managed to finally destroy Julius Corple and the ziggurat of doom (definitely a subject for another post), so they were also local heroes to some. People either loved 'em or hated 'em. One of the younger members of the Brown family, a lad whose name escapes me at the moment, has developed a bit of a schoolboy crush on Kazumi, the halfling samurai who has been serving as James Bomb's bodyguard. The night before the dance, this boy took a considerable risk by sneaking out and warning Kazumi that he had overheard his father planning to kidnap any party members that attended the dance. The dance is supposed to be neutral ground, and Mr. Bomb had been assured by his hosts, the Baumgartners, that nothing untoward would happen on the festival day.
So, forewarned is four-armed, as they say in the Mutant Future.. some party members scouted out the location of the dance during the night and discovered some trap doors leading below ground, and the Hag's beast (which is now intelligent and possessing a photographic memory because it was fed several "soul cubes", sugar cubes containing a captured human spirit...) was able to identify the scent trails leading into the trapdoors as being members of the Brown family.
Beyonce Chai parachuted down onto the roof of the grange from her giant eagle mount and set up position with her sniper rifle, while the other party members either waited out in the brush or arrived in the parade convey that left from the town, firing guns into the air the entire way (as is apparently the tradition at this sort of thing).
Three separate assassination attempts were foiled by the careful planning and reconaissance of the party; first, a party member cloaked in shadow (Brent's new character, whose name I also cannot remember without my notes in front of me; he was rolled up at the start of the session after Braziere the half-orc died rapidly last time fighting some advanced terminator bots buck naked for some reason) observing the dance hall from a vantage point inside, saw a number of young toughs associated with the Brown family excuse themselves from the feast and venture outside to the bathrooms en masse. Beyonce used her remote controlled dragon fly robot's camera to observe what they did; they snuck out into the brush and visited a previously undiscovered trap door, and met a knight of genetic purity there who handed off several small bundles to the scoundrels. These bundles were pocketed and the posse returned to the dance.
Beyonce radioed in this information to Mr. Bomb and the Hag, the only two party members who had openly attended (the Hag caused quite a stir when she showed up wearing a dress of glowing energy draped over her hunchbacked form). They were thus not caught unawares when the Brown family henchmen tried to bump into them and brush a soaking wet handerchief across their faces. Mr. Bomb tried to turn the tables on them and inject one of the incoming ruffians with a strong sedative he had prepared in syringes for the event, but he accidentally stabbed a comely town lass who he was dancing with at the time (damn those critical failures!). He did, however, manage to grab one of the handkerchiefs from an attacker and save it for future analysis. Realizing Bomb and the Hag somehow had gotten wind of the plan, the scallywags beat a retreat. It was later revealed that the chemical covering the handkerchiefs caused anyone inhaling it to get terrible diarrhea. The dastardly plot was to force Mr. Bomb and the Hag outside to the restrooms, where they would be jumped and drug off into the night.
The second assassination attempt was foiled by Beyonce Chai's decision to hunker down on the roof for the entire dance. A slender person dressed in ninja garb attempted to use a grappling hook to gain access to the roof, intending to sabotage the machinery that operated the grain elevators and drop a massive platform down onto James Bomb as he participated in the one on one dance offs that took place between the lines of townfolk and Sottle folk in the Line Dance Face Off that was the culmination of the dance. Beyonce simply lifted the grappling hook up, threw the ninja out into space and blasted him/her with her laser pistol as he fell down! He barely survived the blasts and fall and disappeared into the night... but he/she will be heard of again, I promise Beyonce that!
The last assassination attempt was foiled by my bad luck at dice rolling. I had devised a dice pool gambling mechanic to resolve the individual dance showdowns that were the centerpiece of the dance, and James Bomb got lucky when I used my nightly d30 roll on a high bet by his adversary in the dance off, one Georg of the Hilldancer Clan (a group of Sottle men who apparently were not kept drugged by the womenfolk, and who wore distinctive kilts - the dance was the first the players had seen of this faction). I rolled something terrible, and James ended up winning both that showdown, and eventually, the title of Spring Stomp Champion!
Only fit men and women participate in the individual dance face offs, because the combined mental energy of the two lines of line dancers and the live band actually causes 5d8 damage to be dealt to the loser of each faceoff. Mr. Bomb knew this risk, but had plenty of HP to deal with the eventuality of a defeat if it came to that... but what he did not know was that old man Brown, that fascist mutant hater, was actually a mutant of considerable power in his own right, and was planning on sending a mind bolt to strike him dead at the exact moment the collective crowd energy dealt him damage if he lost the danceoff. Alas, the dice did not fall well for me, and all three assassination plots came to naught.
The Hag did, however, detect Mr. Brown's mental mutations through the use of her Detect Magic ability (I had to answer the question right off the bat when I started using my Fantasy Quirks supplement if Detect Magic could detect mutations... as I have explained the power source of both mutations and magic as coming from what I call the shadow world, I reasoned that Detect Magic would work, but would only reveal a very faint trace of magical energy in the presence of mutations; the Hag used her d30 roll to detect the mutations and rolled a 28, so she lucked out and got some powerful leverage against old man Brown...) and ended up blackmailing him with this potentially damning revelation to get him to stop his continual attacks against the party.
All in all, it was a great session! Oops, I just realized that I missed the part where some party members killed a few guards that were posted at the trapdoor where the Brown family thugs got the drugged handkerchiefs from, with Bozko the shape shifting plant flying in his iron man suit 2.0 (the glargore version recently constructed by the mice in mech suits) to dispose of the bodies far away. Everyone was too chicken-shit to venture down into the trapdoor, because Hag's beast had smelled a hideous spider-mutant-monstrosity down the hole, and the party had heard that the Brown family kept a mutated spider in their dungeons to use as an interrogator Maybe next time...