Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Campaign Journal: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola (Session 10)

SPOILER ALERT: This journal is extracted from an unpublished and upcoming Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea adventure I am currently completing.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 10: Carousing and the Daemon

The Party

Sint the Pict Ranger (Level 4)
Xechies the Kimmerian Warlock (Level 3)
Grimnir Hothgar the Viking Berserker (Level 4)
Sarrhan the Mongrel Cataphract (Level 3)
T'hen of the Flame the Ixian Cleric (Level 3; Hireling)



Part I: They Woke Up With A Hangover

After the attrition and insanity of the dungeon numbers needed to be bolstered. Grimnir spent most of the day in Xamboola attempting to find some muscle and someone priestly to join the ranks. A stern and moustached priest of Helios was hired. He appeared as an armoured warrior, and frankly discussed himself as a "champion". Grimnir hired him after some banter regarding the temple slaughter the party had enacted previously. The price T'hen of the flame (as he introduced himself) demanded was a "fair" donation to the temple.

In Saturn's Luck Sint met Sarrhan, a dirty-looking mongrel human. He was thickly muscled and somewhat quiet but seemed physically capable. That night Sint, Sarrhan and Xechies spent their money carousing. [Ref rolls on carousing table]. Sint emptied his bladder on the floor of Saturn's Luck, and exposed his...assets...to a notable politician within the city. After his insulting behaviour he was thrown in prison for the night. Sarrhan gambled away his entire savings, while Xechies won an eating competition, thereafter vomiting on himself and another patron.

Morning broke, and despite Grimnir's plans to get the hell out of Xamboola, he discovered much to his irritation that T'hen was the only capable and non-inebriated party member. Grimnir hauled Sint's sorry ass out of jail, and made the others leave town immediately. Though as the others walked, the fetid odour of vomit and human waste followed them.

They reached the dungeon.

Part II: Daemon Swine

Exploring the recesses and unknowns of the dungeon the delvers exhausted all possibilities after killing two spore-men in a musty library. Only one path remained: a cavernous exit. Sint shot an alighted arrow through a dark expanse, illumining the area. It seems vaguely lighted by phosphorescent mosses. Descending the sheer rocky path they reached the bottom. A creature, of vaguely humanoid suggestion appeared. It had elongated limbs, curved claws and a vile maw. It admitted to being the buyer of the loathsome wormy grubs with human faces - victims of its arcane depravities. Transforming into a tusked boar it attacked. It managed to gore and charm a few, deflecting the majick of Xechies. But the delvers prevailed. It eventually died with a bloodcurdling shriek.

Unfortunately the noise roused the attention of 5 more spore-men, gatekeepers of a spanning under-bridge. They attacked immediately. The wounded party took some significant hits, but luck appeared to be on their side (or perhaps the blessings of Helios) for they overcame the fiends. Opting to explore further into the darkness, rather than crossing the huge bridge, they chanced upon a cut in a cliff. It was a tunnel. Passing through the tunnel they emerged on a snake-men farm: two stone houses, two large pits, sinkholes, and fungus pastures. A dozen snake-men emerged from the houses, warning them to leave - and the delvers did - but the snake-men taunted them, and followed them back through the tunnel to ensure their genuine departure. The rapacious saurians then attacked, charging into the party. At times things appeared dire for the delvers, but at last the morale of the snake-men depleted, and they were routed and destroyed.

The takings from the houses were rich: a rich emerald and a chest filled with electrum pieces! However, jubilations were dashed. Gazing into the pits next to the houses the delvers spotted the loathsome pits filled with human-faced grubs, moaning, whining and cursing for their release...


Adventure Rewards

1500xp for defeating Daemon Swine
1120xp for defeating 7x Spore-men
1284xp for defeating 12x Snake-men
2000xp for treasure
1800xp for attendance and role-playing

1540xp each

Previous Post - Session #9 Death By Spore