Thursday, 11 June 2015

Campaign Journal: AS&SH The Anthropophagi of Xamboola (Session 7)

SPOILER ALERT: This journal is extracted from an unpublished and upcoming Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea adventure I am currently completing. This account eventuates from the playtest. You have been warned!

Visitors to the desert-city of Xamboola beware! Demoniacal cachinnations and dull totemic drumbeats sound nocturnal from the outskirts of the city. Too, vile shrieks echo in response to the nightmarish noises, making even those of heroic aspect shudder in repulsion. Residents do not tarry to lock themselves in their homes at night, for something sinister lingers in the fringes of the black of night. Whisperings and warnings intimate that foreign guests residing at the inn of one Aramis D’athak oft disappear at night, never to be seen or heard from again. Where they disappear is not known, nor do the people of Xamboola speak of the hellish noises that darken their oasis city in the gloom of night.


Session 7: Rats In The Walls

The Party

Sint the Pict Ranger (Level 2)
Heron the Kimmerian Druid (Level 2)
Xechies the Kimmerian Warlock (Level 1)
Grimnear Hothgar the Viking Berserker (Level 2)
Estorane the Ixian Thief (Level 3; Hireling)


Part I: An Infestation Problem

An adventurer's plunder is a worthy hoard, and after selling acquired goods, the companions' pockets jangled heavily. Resting at Saturn's Luck, Sint became enraged when a couple of patrons insisted on drinking well into the night. Frustrated he left, heading for the Slippery Eel. Therein, as usual, the inn was uncannily empty. Follwing discourse with the owner Xill, it was ascertained that a hefty rat infestation was to blame for his problems, which he superstitiously described as a "curse". Agreeing to at least broach the topic with his ass-kicking friends, Sint decided sleeping on the floor of Saturn's Luck wouldn't be so bad after all.

The next morning, at the behest of Sint, the group considered their plans, and decided they could spare the time to investigate the problem for Xill; after all, the cannibal problem wasn't such a problem anymore. It could not be said their motives were entirely altruistic however - Xill promised Sint a handsome reward if their mission was successful. Descent into the basement was the logical starting point, as the horrid scuttling appeared to originate from beneath the floor.


Part II: The Altar of Aurorus

The basement was of thick stone, incongruous with the upper levels of the Eel, and suggestive of archaic undertones. Upon prying through various crates and boxes a group of rats, sized as small dogs or large cats threw themselves on the Xechies. Suffering the sharp teeth of these feral opponents Xechies submitted to unconsciousness - though the party acquired some wealth, and discovered a trapdoor beneath a discoloured flagstone.


Heaving mercilessly against the trapdoor, the heavy rusting finally surrendered, revealing an ominous spiralled staircase descending into the unknown. At the bottom of the staircase a sizeable chamber of antiquated origin opened out widely. A dais with a 12-foot idol was in the northern end, the southern corner had a stairwell slick with urine and faeces, while sagging curtains draped over the north-west, and north-eastern corners of the room. Amidst this were various crates and boxes, which looked ancient, but nowhere as aged as the pre-apocalyptic room.

Again, a myriad of rats surged upon Grimnear as he sifted and kicked through the boxes, and an onslaught began. Finally the vile rats were destroyed, though not without Xechies suffering a festering, swollen wound - the bite of the vermin. Searching the room yielded two secret doors, though it was decided to retreat while fortune smiled. 


Part III: A Demon in a Cage

After some rest and restoration, the group returned and began searching one of the secret chambers discovered on the previous delve. A bed, and a bookshelf were discovered in the north western room. Xechies pocketed a leather-bound tome, while Sint tucked away a cedar box filled with curious vials. Grimnear drew back the curtains flanking the room, when 5 skeletons armed with halberdiers emerged, surprising all. After a furious melee, Estorane lay dead, and the others injured. The skeletons possessed some preternatural ability to stave off damage, and the fight had been traumatic.

Estorane was burnt on a funeral pyre, while the others recovered. Deciding against hiring any additional or immediate help, the group returned again, this time exploring the second hidden room. This contained a rusted-iron cage, though with no door. Inside was a 7 foot skeleton, that could only be described as a demoniac being. A sorcerer's circle was engraved on the floor, and it was decided to leave that be...who knew what devilish sorcery it was? The group slipped out the door, not before Sint pulverised the skeleton into calcified dust.

Descending carefully, down the urine-covered stairwell, the group encountered a dungeon hallway. It was filled with the bones of human-like creatures, largely ape-like in aspect. A surge of rats emerged, though something far more sinister lingered at the back of the dungeon...waiting...


Adventure Rewards

180xp for defeating 20 rats
300xp for defeating 5 skeleton halberdiers
500xp for recovering Kthulhu statue
1250xp for recovering 5x robes
900xp for recovered vials
224xp for recovered treasure
1800xp for attendance and role-playing

831xp each

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