The lords of rust in the Scrapmaster's arena


Iron Gods

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So I have been reading these books for years but only just realized something that I can't wrap my head around now that my play group is approaching the arena.

When the party is invited to challenge the arena the arena is supposed to have full stands of gang members. So assuming the party wins what stops the crowd from rushing in and attacking them. If not initially since the party has technically earned entry but defiantly after they show they are against Hellion.

On a side note what would be ways Hellion would know the party are the ones responsible for taking out Meyanda besides them saying it outright(which my fiance playing a mouthy alchemist who bombs first and deals with the consequences later, might blurt something out) I can't see a smart party not playing along and just walking right up to Hellion.


The PCs are like... 6th level, maybe even 7th, at that point. I assume most of the people in the stands are level 3 or lower and would die to an AoE. I don't think the gang members are suicidal. If you really want to have such an encounter, add an outlaw troop.

As for Hellion knowing they killed Meyanda, she was his high priest and he has less very few clerics (8 fixed ones, plus a 1/25 chance of 1d8 as random encounters). Hellion would absolutely she is dead, if not who killed her.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
deuxhero wrote:

The PCs are like... 6th level, maybe even 7th, at that point. I assume most of the people in the stands are level 3 or lower and would die to an AoE. I don't think the gang members are suicidal. If you really want to have such an encounter, add an outlaw troop.

As for Hellion knowing they killed Meyanda, she was his high priest and he has less very few clerics (8 fixed ones, plus a 1/25 chance of 1d8 as random encounters). Hellion would absolutely she is dead, if not who killed her.

He would definitely know she failed but he has no way of knowing who did it he is not omnipotent his divinity is very weak and some of his followers are bordering on being more powerful than him.

As for being suicidal or not levels don't exist in universe so a hundred or more armed gang members would have no idea they wouldn't be a match for 4-5 people. And with numbers like that they may have a chance. I am just struggling with the logic that a gang with potentially hundreds would not use force enmass to stop intruders.


Lords of Rust, Part 3: Hellion's Domain, page 35 wrote:
Scrapmaster’s Arena: Every few days, the Lords of Rust invite those who have caught their attention to audition for membership in the gang. Such auditions consist of fights in Scrapmaster’s Arena, usually against groups of gang members or captured monsters, but sometimes against the troll Helskarg herself. Those who survive these fights are granted membership in the gang, while those who don’t are generally eaten. The arena fights are known to be unfair and cruel.

The Lords of Rust are a chaotic evil orgainzation and don't play fair, so Nicolas Paradise's thought of a murderously hostile crowd is plausible. It makes more sense than the Lords playing fair.

I did something like that in my campaign, Iron Gods among Scientists. I had overhyped the reputation of the Lords of Rust when the PCs talked to the residents of Scrapwall, so my party waited until 7th level and scrapworth 10 before accepting an invitation to the Scrapmaster's Arena, and the invitation was fight or die. This meant that the Lords of Rust had time to hear about the mysterious new people, The Sixth Expedition, who said they were archeologists who came to Scrapwall to hide from the Technic League. And a lot of the Lords thought they were do-gooders who did not belong in the Lords of Rust. Those particular Lords invited the party to Arena combat in order to kill them and increase their own scrapworth by doing so.

Helskarg fought them in her ogre-pulled chariot with an additional four Acolytes to keep the numbers even against the five-member party. After the party overturned the chariot and killed their opponents, Kulgara ambushed a fighter who had strayed from the rest of the party, taking out three quarters of his hit points before he could make it back to the party. My wife's character Boffin and NPC party member Val Baine teamed up in a symphony of battlefield control to neutralize Kulgara while whittling away at her hit points. An attack by Nalaki and four more Acolytes occupied the remaining three party members.

When Boffin and Val had Kulgara one round from unconsciousness, she suicided with a inferno grenade to take her foes out, too. But Boffin and Val were left standing. They had only single-digit hit points left, but the crowd did not know that, since they looked much better than Kulgara's charred remains. The others defeated Nalaki in more convential combat.

Given the party's scrapworth reputation, and their defeat of three leaders and eight acolytes, the crowd was not going to rush the heroes. They were willing to let Hellion deal with them when they entered the Temple of Hellion.

My thoughts then was that I knew the party could massacre Helskarg due to their teamwork skills, so I added the ambush in the aftermath to give them a challenge appropriate to their prowess and a reminder that the Lords of Rust were chaotic evil.

Thinking more deeply, if the Lords of Rust invited all new recruits to a battle to the death against current Lords of Rust members, then the gang could not grow. The module mentions that the audition combat was sometimes against captured monsters instead, so I suspect that that typical recruits faced monsters instead. But for candidates with scrapworth 10, that would not do. Helskarg, Kulgara, and the rest needed to keep their personal scrapworth high by defeating worthy opponents.

However, that means that if the party defeats a Lord of Rust with high scrapworth, the crowd will respect them by Scrapwall tradition. I imagine that the concept of scrapworth was invented so that the residents of Scrapwall knew who not to mess with. And the party will have proven that no-one should mess with them. That could keep the angry crowd at bay. They will be more scared than angry.


Nicolas Paradise wrote:
On a side note what would be ways Hellion would know the party are the ones responsible for taking out Meyanda besides them saying it outright(which my fiance playing a mouthy alchemist who bombs first and deals with the consequences later, might blurt something out) I can't see a smart party not playing along and just walking right up to Hellion.

My party captured Meyanda alive. She had been held in a secret cell in the basement of a town councillor of Torch. She had escaped and was heading back to Scrapwall when Hellion died. The backlash converted all her levels of cleric to levels of apocalypse oracle with undead curse. The party encountered her again as a mysterious new leader calling herself The Shroud and gathering together the remains of the Lords of Rust.

Even if my party had killed Meyanda (and I think Hellion would notice her death), no-one in Scrapwall except Dinvaya Lanalei knew that the Sixth Expedition was from Torch.


Nicolas Paradise wrote:
deuxhero wrote:

The PCs are like... 6th level, maybe even 7th, at that point. I assume most of the people in the stands are level 3 or lower and would die to an AoE. I don't think the gang members are suicidal. If you really want to have such an encounter, add an outlaw troop.

As for Hellion knowing they killed Meyanda, she was his high priest and he has less very few clerics (8 fixed ones, plus a 1/25 chance of 1d8 as random encounters). Hellion would absolutely she is dead, if not who killed her.

He would definitely know she failed but he has no way of knowing who did it he is not omnipotent his divinity is very weak and some of his followers are bordering on being more powerful than him.

"if not who killed her". He may not know who did it, but he'd know she's dead.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Thanks Mathmuse this your experience helped and gave me some ideas thanks!

deuxhero wrote:
Nicolas Paradise wrote:
deuxhero wrote:

The PCs are like... 6th level, maybe even 7th, at that point. I assume most of the people in the stands are level 3 or lower and would die to an AoE. I don't think the gang members are suicidal. If you really want to have such an encounter, add an outlaw troop.

As for Hellion knowing they killed Meyanda, she was his high priest and he has less very few clerics (8 fixed ones, plus a 1/25 chance of 1d8 as random encounters). Hellion would absolutely she is dead, if not who killed her.

He would definitely know she failed but he has no way of knowing who did it he is not omnipotent his divinity is very weak and some of his followers are bordering on being more powerful than him.

"if not who killed her". He may not know who did it, but he'd know she's dead.

In my game she isn't dead the party captured her and left her in the hands of Kohnir and Joram. Either way again Hellions divine powers are fledgling and only provide 4th or lower spell casting. What is certain is that he knows Meyanda failed or betrayed him(he is spiteful and paranoid so these might as well be the same) so assuming he has the ability to at the very least he may deny her divine powers thus making her an ex-cleric. But again he has no way of knowing if she is dead or alive short of her trying to pray for power. The module makes it pretty clear that he is dependent on the information the lords feed him and Kulgara is keeping info about Casandalee from him.


If she's still alive, what stops her from praying to her god? Even if she doesn't have a holy symbol (which is actually pretty difficult since Hellion's holy symbol is a weapon that can be created with Instant Weapon, a spell without a DF requirement), she can still prepare spells. Kingmaker (the VG) has multiple bits that outright say it's the norm, not the exception, for deities to talk to their clerics (though it's not clear on if these are two sided or not).


deuxhero wrote:
If she's still alive, what stops her from praying to her god? Even if she doesn't have a holy symbol (which is actually pretty difficult since Hellion's holy symbol is a weapon that can be created with Instant Weapon, a spell without a DF requirement), she can still prepare spells. Kingmaker (the VG) has multiple bits that outright say it's the norm, not the exception, for deities to talk to their clerics (though it's not clear on if these are two sided or not).
Lords of Rust, Area N Receiver Array, page 30 wrote:
Unfortunately for the chokers, Hellion chose them as the guardians of something entirely beyond their power to defend. The receiving array was where the AI had Meyanda beam power from Torch, and agents of the Lords of Rust came daily to swap out batteries and carry fully charged replacements back to the depths of the buried excavator, analogous to slowly but steadily filling an impossibly deep well. When the PCs disrupted this plan by defeating Meyanda, the chokers panicked and tried to cover up the loss of power, but Hellion had already learned of the development. The Thralls of Hellion, its first group of devoted worshipers, became a convenient outlet for the AI’s frustration and anger, and it sent the Lords of Rust to scour them from Scrapwall.

This could be read two ways. One, Hellion did not know that the power supply had been stopped at Torch and he blamed the Thralls of Hellion for the failure, which would mean Hellion did not know what happened via omniscience nor by listening to Meyanda's prayers. Or two, Hellion knew that the power supply had been cut off from Torch, due to omniscience or prayers, but he was angry at the Thralls of Hellion for attempting a cover-up and wanted someone within reach to punish for the setback in his plans.

If Hellion could hear Meyanda's prayers, they might not have been particularly informative. It depends on the events in Fires of Creation. In my game, Meyanda and her minions had no idea that the party had been adventuring on the Science Deck the previous day. When the party made it up to the Engineering Deck, she was caught by surprise and did not see the party face-to-face until they opened the door to the reactor room. In my case, she lived, and if I had allowed communication through prayer, then she would have had time to tell the full story. I have read other Iron Gods adventures in this forum where the party found the power transmitter first and Meyanda had to hunt them down and try to reclaim the transmitter. In that case, she would prayed often to Hellion.

As for the difficulty in stopping Meyanda from casting spells, that is how she escaped from captivity in my campaign.

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