Outlaws & Obelisks: Episode Four - "Apocalyptic Ooze Encounter"

Danger, intrigue, and horror ensue as our heroes jump into action to defend a mysterious stranger from the monstrous creature that menaces her!

In a land ravaged by a magical cataclysm, a small band of heroes rides in search of answers, revenge, and redemption. Join them as they adventure across the wild and wonderful land of Utaram!Starring:Connie Chang as Chang Hushi (Goliath Chronurgy Wizard) Jonathan Charles as Onuris Budge (Simic Hybrid Moon Druid/Beast Barbarian) Jasper William Cartwright as Tovo "Rust" Reeves (Reborn Tiefling Gunsmith Artificer)Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo as The Mysterious Strangerand Jeremy Cobb as our Resident DM!

Content Warning: Body Horror and Child EndangermentDetailed Description: We begin by having everyone offer their version of what they think the show (which was unnamed at the time of recording) should be called. Connie suggests "Gunslingers & Gaybies" (gay babies) and "Hushi & the Halflings", Jasper offers "The Adventures of Rustbucket & Friends", and Jonny proposes "Onuris Budge & the Budgerigars". After the introductions, the session begins as the party sees Unati's mysterious new character on a railway track, firing her obsidian black rifle at a bizarre creature. Its main body is a huge red and black mass of ooze, and it has spawned several ooze-y black and red humanoid figures that call out to Unati's character. Each of these figures is connected to the main body by thin tendrils that stretch along the ground. Despite Budge's light protests, the party decide to help her out and everyone rolls initiative.

Unati's character uses her rifle to fire two Eldritch blasts at the creature, hitting it with both despite disadvantage. Her blasts evoke pure death: black and deep purple with blue flames on the edges. As they get within 5 feet of the creature, the space around them seems to warp and bend them strangely, but they slip through anyway and slam into the creature. Unati rolls max damage against the creature, to the delight of everyone present. She then casts Spirit Shroud, summoning forth deathlike flame spirits which begin flitting around her. Rust is immediately attracted to Unati's character, but then realizes the attraction may stem from his mentor, whose memories he carries. Pushing through his confusion, Rust takes cover behind a rock and fires his Peacemaker twice at the creature, only managing to hit once due to the disadvantage imposed by the bizarre warping effect that surrounds it. The creature tries to retaliate by using some kind of psychic power against Unati's character, which she manages to resist. Hushi then pierces the creature with a Mind Spike, using their Chronal Shift so it fails the save. As their spell pierces the creature, Hushi is nearly overwhelmed by a chorus of wails that attempt to make a connection with their mind. Shaken, Hushi also cast Soul Blade, making their sword temporarily magical. The creature tries to retaliate by using its psychic power against Hushi, but they manage to resist its effect. The creature stretches up into the air and slams two gooey tendrils down onto Unati's character, dealing her 40 points of damage and rendering her unconscious.

As the party reels in shock at the power of this creature, Nebet stabilizes Unati's character with Spare the Dying, then brings her back up with Healing Word. Budge attempts to make the creature vulnerable with Faerie Fire, but the creature resists the effect. Infuriated, Budge calls upon the spirits he follows, transforming his hands into crocodile jaws as he flies into a Rage and charges at the creature. Unati's character casts a spell called Hunger of the Bone Eater, enveloping the creature's main body in a pair of obsidian black jaws that extend from the ground and close over it, blocking it from view. Squelching, crunching, crackling, and the screams of the damned emit from the mass and echo around the cavern. Rust attempts to shoot the tether connecting one of the humanoid creatures to the main body, but his gun misfires and jams. Rather than un-jam it, he draws his sword and charges towards the creature, but he misses again as he swings down at the tendril. As a bonus action, he casts Sanctuary on Unati's character, surrounding her with a floating mirror that reflects light in the eyes of anyone who tries to attack her. The creature then tries to use its mysterious psychic power on Budge, but he resists as well. People are resisting all over the place!

Hushi rolls an Insight check to try and discern the nature of the humanoid figures the creature is manifesting, but can only tell that the figures probably aren't railway workers because some of them are children. Frustrated, Hushi fires a 2nd level Ice Knife into the creature, damaging it and exposing that the tethers are invulnerable as long as the main body survives. Finally, Hushi asks Unati's character her name, which is revealed to be Panya. On the creature's turn, it's immediately damaged by Panya's spell. With the damage piling up, the creature misses Tovo with a tendril but manages to hit Budge. As the tendril slams into Budge, he receives a vision of that fateful day when The Calamity occurred. The sky flashes a series of unnatural colors and textures. Panic is everywhere. Budge even hears people repeating the very same things he's heard the ooze-y humanoid figures say, and he realizes he's seeing all of this from the perspective of a child. As the vision ends, the creature again uses its psychic power on Hushi, and this time Hushi fails the saving throw. Hushi feels an intense sucking sensation as the creature rips memories out of their head. The damage renders Hushi unconscious and they drop all everything they're holding before collapsing to the ground facedown. Thankfully, Nebet, ever the MVP, flies over and revives Hushi with Cure Wounds, returning all of their dropped items in the process. Budge, enraged by the shocking vision the creature gave him, uses Wild Shape to transform into an Atlas Bear and attacks the creature. He clamps his crocodile jaw arms onto the creature's central mass and goes into a crocodilian death roll, completely shredding its body.

As Budge rips the creature apart, he sees flashes of memories that this creature has absorbed. Budge realizes that these memories come from a variety of people, and that he can choose to connect with one of them if he wants. He enters the memory of the little girl he saw in his previous vision, and he begins to understand that this memory is the last thing the little girl ever experienced before the creature absorbed her. He calls out to the child, telling her to flee, but she doesn't know how. Budge watches in horror as The Calamity's shockwave hits and everyone is altered in horrific ways. As the people around him die, their spirits emerge from their bodies. Each holds a feather in one hand and a heart in the other. The little girl says that the heart and the feather she's holding seem to weigh the same, and asks if that means she can leave. Unfortunately, she seems rooted to the spot, unable to pass on. Budge grasps her hands and tries to comfort her. As he does this, he sees one man's body undergo a disturbing and elaborate transformation that seems to offer brief glimpses of other worlds, most notably a cold and desolate place that's full of stars. As the transformation stabilizes, Budge realizes that the man has transformed into the very creature that Budge was just fighting. The creature senses Budge and the little girl, and begins slithering towards them. Things begin to click into place as Budge realizes two things: 1. All of this already happened years ago. The Calamity killed this little girl and everyone around her, and their spirits were all absorbed by this creature. 2. Somehow, Budge's consciousness has somehow been transported through time, allowing him to interact with the past. And that means he might be able to change history.

Budge decides to do everything he can to try and save this little girl. He calls upon his spiritual connection and succeeds on a DC 18 Insight check to encase the child in a watery shield of magical protection just as the creature begins to ooze its way over Budge's spectral body, enveloping him completely. Budge's consciousness suddenly returns to the present moment. As the party tries to check on him, Budge feels something alien slithering around underneath his skin. Before he can react, he hears a voice inside his head. It's the voice of the little girl! "M-Mister? Where am I? Where's my mom? Mister, where's my momma?" As Budge drops Wild Shape, he groans out, "awwwww, fuck!" To Be Continued in Episode Five

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