Monday, December 21, 2020

King of Kings Session 2 After Action Report

That second session the same weekend as the first didn't end up happening cuz of scheduling stuff BUT we did end up continuing where the first session left off last Friday, but this time with an expanded party of adventurers just due to more people being available and interested! Oh also, this post is now featuring the fantastic art of Locheil, the player of Zana, one of our magic-users!

Dramatis Personae
Ezendejer, level one fighter from a mountainous land far away
Ghanum Babra, level one magic-user
Ghazi the Goldtongue, level one thief
Ishthyromeda the Small, level one amazon
Manchugo Coldeswain, level one cleric dedicated to Damir, foreign god of the trade routes
Rohm'Daan, level one cleric dedicated to Anzhalar, a local chthonic god of subterranean flame
Zana the Charlatan, level one magic-user

The four adventurers who ventured into the rooms beneath the old way station decided to stay the night encamped there so that the paralysis that Manchugo and Rohm'Daan were suffering from due to the encounter with the giant caterpillars could wear off, and as morning dawned they heard the sounds of three more clients of Farzaneh just outside the way station. Helping them up the rope, they prepared for another expedition below, beginning first with Ghazi venturing into the floor below the way station to check for the hyena that was feasting there before. Ghazi completely fumbled the attempted stealth and made a lot of noise that would alert the beast... were in there. Instead the chamber was completely empty, which the group noted was likely because they had left the door to the floors below open when they left the day before.

So the group stepped down the stairs, reaching the large ancient door emblazoned with the scene of dinosaurs at the bottom of the spiral staircase. Since they had already experienced the paralysis of the caterpillars to the left of the stairs, the group decided to explore the large hall to the right. 

The hall slopes seamlessly into an extensive chamber dominated by a low-lying stone platform, almost like an immense table. Strewn about the table was a number of large coins, dominated by images of dinosaurs and roughly the size of your hand when held. After some reticence about whether the coins were trapped, cursed, or perhaps even alive, they nabbed the coins: 143 in number. 

The group moved to examine other parts of the chamber, looking closely at a large opening which has been completely filled in with dirt before moving over to a door on the side of the chamber opposite where they entered. This they discovered was also clogged with dirt, but more precisely the dirt was host to a giant earthworm! Rohm'Daan began to pet the worm, and even though they were reticent at first to have contact with these interlopers, the wriggling critter became more open to the situation and crawled out of the dirt completely. They christened the worm Mister Slithers, and realized that since worms eat dirt they could potentially use Mr. Slithers to pierce the dirt-clogged opening they were examining earlier.

courtesy of Locheil

And so, with Manchugo and Ishthyromeda cooperating in lifting the person-sized worm, they brought Mr. Slithers to the dirt-clogged opening and set him loose, although nobody was willing at the time to follow the worm into the hole they were digging.

With Mr. Slithers out of the doorway, the group realized that the area the worm was wriggling in before was actually a spiral staircase leading both up and further down into the ruins. They went to work removing the dirt, although none of them had shovels so it was rather lengthy work using weapons, hands, and brooms. As the work drew to a close, the group's torches began to go out so they lit new light sources and decided to venture further down, only to notice the gentle sound of sharp feet on stone.

Approaching the group out of the darkness were thirteen little skeletal figures, seemingly the skeletons of raptors or other small reptiles accentuated by metallic parts and gemstone eyes. The group at first prepared for combat, but quickly realized that the skeletal reptiles did not like the bright light of the torches and did not come close to them. And so began a discussion on the best course of action: quickly go down a level, potentially being chased by the little things, or push them all the way back to the stairs back up while risking a chance of being in an inopportune position when they got there? A number of adventurers were pushing for killing them to steal their gemstone eyes, but ultimately combat did not prevail.

The group decided to push back to the stairs back up to the way station, and on the way there discovered that the skeletal reptiles were absolutely obsessed with the large dinosaur coins that they pilfered from the stone platform earlier. Three of the coins were thrown into the darkness to draw the skeletons off the group, with all but one breaking away as they reached the stairs. Then, they decided to grab this last remaining skeletal reptile and make a dash for the surface. They decided to name this little critter Skeleboy, and kept him in a sack.

also courtesy Locheil

At this point it was decided to draw the adventure to a close, with speculation on who created this construction... winged giants, jinn, and pterosaurs were all candidates mentioned. They traveled the road back to Tabur, walking past crucified criminals as they reached the city's walls, having to negotiate a bribe with the city guards so as to not have to give up any of the treasure they found (this bribe amounted to 10 drachmae and a waterskin of apple cider). They paid a visit to the group's patron Farzaneh Taburi, a merchant woman of a noble family, placing the pile of ancient coinage on a table before her for her to take her cut... although they kept Skeleboy a secret from her. With this, the session came to a close.

Treasure Acquired (After Tribute)
124 dinosaur coins (value: 372 drachmae)

I think it important to note that Ezendejer explicitly chose not to take a portion of the treasure, because he abhors coin. I absolutely adored that little detail, and it has got me thinking about alternate routes for advancement for those with little care for coinage (floated the idea of nomads getting XP for horses, which I may build in more detail). Also, after the session ended, there were some fantastic discussions about the cult of the god Damir where Manchugo's player described ritual receipt-keeping and Zana's player described connections to the cult, and in addition some players wrote up short descriptions of their characters that provided me with some fantastic sources of conflict and inspiration and connections for the characters... this was an absolutely fantastic session, and I continue to look forward to more in future!

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