Goldcliff’s major pastime is Battle Wagon Racing. Though it is technically illegal, the Goldcliff Militia generally turns a blind eye to the practice (and even sometimes get involved in the action themselves. Ahem, Hurley). Following the Day of Story and Song, Battle Wagon Racing would end up becoming a legitimate sport thanks to Hurley and Sloane, who had both been revived as dryads.
Everyone loves Battle Wagon Racing in Goldcliff. Even those in power tasked with keeping the peace and running the city can’t live without the races, so they are allowed to continue, largely unchecked. Battle Wagon Racing can be a brutal blood sport “from time to time.” Some racers “run clean,” which means that the racers attempt to disable wagons without harming or killing the other racers.
People are able to watch remotely through enormous black pillars lining the course. Because it’s still illegal, drivers wear masks to disguise their identities and keep some modicum of secrecy about their involvement with the race. By and large these masks depict animals that reflect something about the drivers’ strategies or personality.
Known aliases Edit
The Battle Wagon racetrack is roughly six miles long and starts way deep out in the wasteland outside Goldcliff and ends right by the western cliff of Goldcliff. The course ends pretty much on the cliff, meaning that racers must brake immediately after crossing the finish line to avoid “pulling a Barbara,” which is to say, tumbling off the cliff.
There are pylons all along the course that provide a broadcast for spectators to watch anonymously, as well as keeping unregistered racers off the course by shooting them with giant lasers. The pylons also make a horn noise when a competitor is knocked out. There are two pylons at the end of the racetrack, signifying the finish line. They are stuffed chock full of confetti that rains out on the winner, and a slightly smaller blast of confetti for second place.
To win, a battle wagon must be the first to cross the finish line or be the last surviving (operational) battle wagon by the end of the race.
Anything goes on the racetrack: from boarding other vehicles to disabling drivers to injuring or even killing members of other teams.
There are a number of different Battle Wagon racing teams in each race. In the race featured in Petals to the Metal, there are 16 participants, including both Hurley’s team and The Raven.
A team can have up to four people on it: one driver and three taking both offensive and defensive positions.
The race begins with all the wagons in their own crate, which is positioned by helpful goblin pit crews. This is a security precaution that also helps keep things fair, as it prevents the teams from scouting out the other vehicles. A first horn signals racers to get ready, get set, and a second horn begins the race.
Winners receive 3000 GP, second place receives 1500 GP.
Battle Wagons! Edit
Battle Wagons are definitely not cars, although sometimes they look a lot like cars, and at times the DM might mistakenly refer to them as cars. To reiterate, they are definitely not cars. If they do something that a car doesn’t do, just remember that they’re not cars, and calm down a little bit there, Vin Diesel.
Battle Wagons are also not creatures (well, except the boar one), though some spells targeted at creatures do affect them. Can you charm a Battle Wagon? No. (Well.) Can you put one to sleep? No. (Unless it's the Night Rider car.) Can you levitate one? Well. Yes.
Most Battle Wagons include a major weapon. The design of the Battle Wagons and the type of weapons they employ varies from racer to racer.
The Ram Edit
Hurley’s battle wagon has a dark gray tanned leather exterior with sleek patches of thick, silvery armor. The interior has had some tweaks: cupholders, bucket seats (but no satellite radio, as it is nonexistent in the realm). The bow of the battle wagon is long and flat with what appears to be a black metal engine block poking through. On the front of the car, two shiny spirals are positioned like Ram’s Horns. On the back of the wagon, there’s an array of six huge exhaust pipes.
The battle wagon is incredibly impressive and incredibly imposing. It is sleek and really really dangerous.
The wagon is not battle damaged, but looks a little bit like Frankenstein, “like six of the cars from Mad Max had been smashed into the Death Proof muscle car.”
The engine runs on an Arcane Core, and has a huge, beautiful engine noise.
The wagon features a gunner compartment with a harpoon gun in the middle of the roof. The dashboard also has a little red button with a flip cover over it. When the little red button is pushed, whoee boy, the horns rotate 90 degrees so the tips point backwards, and the arcane core lets loose a blue flame from all the tailpipes and the horns, making it go very fast.
The Raven's Boat Edit
The Raven’s battle wagon is a sleek black long boat-shaped vehicle with three wheels and two sleek, black sail-like wings splaying off the back. It is very fast and can be operated by a single occupant (who has powers unto a god).
The Hammerhead (Shark) Tank Edit
The Hammerhead Gang drives a shark-shaped tank. It has three rows of razor-sharp teeth. Mounted above the teeth are two enormous cannons. Inside of the mouth of the tank is a large, spiny, and very violent-looking grappling hook. During the race, this weapon is described as a spinning spear covered in razor-sharp spikes (which are angled down, away from the tip of the spear, making it very hard to remove). Above that is the driver’s cabin of the tank, and mounted above that, it looks like there’s another shielded compartment.
The tank is basically impregnable. There are no visible seams, windows, or any point of entry.
The Raptor Bobsled Edit
Also known as Team Jamaica, the Raptor Bobsled is operated by a single huge rocket thruster -- a little like a landspeed-setting rocket. The sled is driven by four goblins, all of whom wear velociraptor masks. The sled has a large pronged spear up front as a weapon. The sled weighs about 499 pounds and has no wheels, just sled skis... like a bobsled. The driver has a little windshield in front of him (which saves him from an arrow shot by Magnus at one point).
The Gerbil Wheel Edit
An imposing Battle Wagon, the Gerbil Wheel is about 40 feet tall and made of solid wood and big iron rivets. The two Dwarven drivers (who wear gerbil masks) sit inside a static chamber in the middle. Both drivers operate the wheel in a sort of shared consciousness/Pacific Rim situation. They actually don't have to run propel the wheel forward.
The Dolphinmobile Edit
A vehicle "similar to Hurley's, but not nearly as well-tuned," the Dolphin Car is driven by two beings in dolphin masks. They have a war cry that sounds like a dolphin's laugh. The car is armed with two large ship's cannons on either side of the driving compartment.
Octopus Gum Ball Machine Edit
The Octopus Gum Ball Machine is basically a vehicular fish tank with a 10-foot glass sphere near its back. The tank has a heavy metal hatch on top and is filled with approximately 3,900 US gallons of seawater and a blue spotted octopus named Priscilla. Its six-wheeled base is heavy, metal, sturdy, and has tank treads. Near the front of the vehicle, there is an additional glass bulb serving as the cockpit, where it is piloted by two dark elves in octopus masks, one of whom is called Venom.
The Gum Ball Machine is armed with two giant metal claws set into the bottom of the tank, which are extendible and adept at grabbing.
It is initially cloaked in invisibility, but the cloak drops when Magnus touches it.
Klarg’s Motorcycle (Orig. Hammerhead) Edit
While escaping from the Hammerhead HQ Klarg commandeers his own Battle Wagon. It’s a long, sleek, two-wheeled, rusted-bronze color Battle Wagon. Or, to put it another way, one sweet sweet motorcycle.
It has a sidecar.
Though Garyl is not technically a Battle Wagon, he does join the race and is driven/ridden by Merle.
Boar Chariot Edit
This race is crazy! There’s an honest-to-god gigantic boar, wearing armor and pulling a chariot. The chariot is connected to the boar by wooden trusses (which Merle made glow/glitter with Guiding Bolt). The boar is larger than Hurley’s battle wagon. It’s not (repeat, NOT, Magnus) a robot boar. Its tusks have been whittled down to serrated blades. The two charioteers wear boar masks.
One of the charioteers carries a big ol' two-handed scimitar (really big, like dude-size), and the other one has a crossbow that looks a lot like Killian's.
Big Shipping Crate Edit
Mysteriously, one of the wagons appears to be a levitating red shipping crate, much like the one all the racers were in at the beginning of the race. There are no visible wheels or means of conveyance, just a crate, floating along, at a pretty good clip.
Later in the race, the walls of the crate fall away to reveal...
Cricket Boys' Big Flatbed Truck Edit
The crate's walls fall away, turning into a big flat bed, with a component up front that allows the driver to control it. The crate/truck team are three humanoids of different races wearing cricket masks. Two of them have gnarly-looking hand axes and big poles. Those two use the poles to vault onto the other battle wagons. The third has a glowing purple orb.