Tuesday, January 5, 2021

King of Kings Session 3 After Action Report

This session was last Friday but I didn't have much time to write about it until now, which is my bad honestly. With this session, King of Kings has now lasted longer than every other game I've run since the end of high school other than the 5e game I run for my housemates at college, and even then that game has only had a few sessions all in the same location. So basically, to put it succinctly, this session marks King of Kings as my most actually realized game in basically a year and a half or two years. That's pretty nice!

courtesy Locheil (this is Kusa's first session so I just thought I'd share the art of her! There is art of most all of the other characters too... might share those in a post in future I dunno, if Locheil's alright with that)

Dramatis Personae
Ghanum Babra, level one magic-user
Ishthyromeda the Small, level one amazon
Kusa, level one cleric of the exiled and half-dead foreign goddess Nasitu-Neb
Manchugo Coldeswain, level one cleric dedicated to Damir, foreign god of the trade routes
Rohm'Dann, level one cleric dedicated to Anzhalar, a local chthonic god of subterranean flame
Zana the Charlatan, level one magic-user

The session began with some time dedicated to performing downtime activities, since I finally got around to writing a player doc for things to spend money on and the group had some funds from the previous expedition. Since Kusa was a new (and very welcome!) addition, she wasn't able to take part in downtime activity expenditures, and Rohm'Daan chose to save up, although only after buying a little cloak for Skeleboy.

After freshing up some supplies (mostly light sources, since the previous expedition was defined by a rather small selection of light sources, but Ishthyromeda also bought a new horse and Zana a grappling hook), the four adventurers who were spending money on their downtime decided what they wanted to do. Babra donated all 88 drachmae in their possession to a private library in the city of Tabur. Ishthyromeda went carousing around the city, but overspent her meager funds and is now in debt for 376 drachmae and ended up insulting her party fellows, leaving her alone and sad enough that she received a penalty to all saving throws for the session. Manchugo went to the giant lizard races and bet 30 drachmae on the big blue reptile, but lost it all in the process, and also went around the market charitably buying up worthless little trinkets as a donation of 9 drachmae. Zana similarly bet on the races at the hippodrome, but his bets were of much better consideration and he got back double what he bet (24 drachmae).

I'm giving XP for treasure spent, so these downtime activities provided the characters with the following XP:
Ghanum Babra: 88 XP
Ishthyromeda: 64 XP (buying a horse provided them with XP because they are a nomad)
Manchugo: 42 XP
Zana: 13 XP

With those formalities and downtime activities taken care of, the group came together once again in the home of their patron to discuss their next expedition. Those present previously remembered rumors they had heard of a farmstead filled with the sounds of digging and a farmstead haunted by ghosts. They had also, however, heard tell of an ancient and long abandoned tomb of the perfidious dinosaur kings in the forested foothills to the southwest and talk of fears about the mindless and wild lizardmen overtaking the Dazur valley. After much discussion, the group decided to seek out the tomb of the dinosaur kings, following the paved road southward before splitting off to crawl along footpaths to the edge of the cedar forest in the west.

courtesy Locheil (also a very unique and interesting direction to take a lizardman in in my opinion)

After traveling for much of the day, the group came upon a nest of wild lizardmen roosting at the foot of the looming mountain peak. There were 22 of these creatures, with animal carcasses and torn furs strewn about the surrounding dusty ground. Zana immediately hailed the lizardmen in the foul tongue of chaos and untruth, but they bade him no heed. After some quick discussions among the group, they shifted from bearing weaponry to attempting to calmly approach the squamous humanoids. Manchugo placed his club on the ground and put a bowl filled with a mix of wine and cider before them, attracting a few down from their sunning rocks. In an attempt to communicate with the lizards, he began to draw in the dirt, only eliciting a reaction (and a rather fearful and negative one at that) when he drew toothsome dinosaur.

Warily, the group began to continue up the mountain path, Kusa having approached a small cave in the side of the mountain but finding that coming close to the opening brought loud hissing from the lizardmen she chose to not go further in that direction. She appeased some of the lizardmen with dropped rations, and the six adventurers traversed the rocky mountain path. While walking, Kusa began to share stories of her distant goddess. As they passed by some of the furs, Ishthyromeda considered taking some but held off for now.

courtesy Locheil

After only a short time, the group reached the opening of the tomb: a large stone gate carved with images of dinosaurs riding other dinosaurs flanked by rows of crumbling columns. Bringing out Skeleboy, they showed him the large looming carvings, which prompted him to cower almost in awe clad in his loose cloak. Manchugo, wishing to kill two birds with one stone, decided that in order to scare the lizardmen at the foot of the mountain away, he would make it seem like the tomb was cursed by bashing the carvings with his club (which he proceeded to do). To get a feel for what sort of creature would have had to build this place, the group attempted to push the large limestone gate, concluding that it would likely take the whole group to move it, or at least something with boundless strength.

The group entered the tomb and found themselves in a wide hall flanked on both sides by side rooms and with a large stone door at the other end. Each side room had within it a wooden coffin, and the large door at the end was held by a large slab of heavy grey stone held up by iron pegs. (For those familiar with OSR adventures, you might recognize this... let's just say some of my players did too! woops! but thankfully not all of them).

courtesy Locheil

Zana and Babra began taking sketches and rubbings of the carven designs of crowned dinosaurs riding other dinosaurs emblazoned on the door, only moments before Manchugo went bashing again. After this, Kusa and others went into one of the side rooms to examine a coffin, gently opening it to reveal a clay statue of a raptorial dinosaur clad in a loose robe within, a silver ring with a single sharp tooth on it stuck to its finger. Kusa attempted to slide the ring off using a bit of her lamp oil, but rather clumsily broke it off, revealing that the inside of the statue was filled with a thick purple fog that stank to high heaven. Fearfully, the entire group fled into the corridor and then back out, waiting out the stinking cloud as it slowly seeps into the hall.

Back outside, Kusa examined the ring and slid it onto her finger, which prompted her fingernail to quickly blacken and lengthen, splitting into two points glistening with an unnatural sweat. She tried to slide it off but found it too logistically difficult to pull beyond the split nail.

As the session began to draw to a close, the group decided to venture into the tomb one more time, using Babra's floating disc to drag the (now slightly damaged) raptor statue out and back to the city with them, using some of Kusa's strong smelling incense to keep them safe from the stinking gas. On their way back through the den of the lizardmen, Ishthyromeda decided to nab some of the furs to take back to Tabur.

Having returned to the city, the group came before their patron Farzaneh Taburi, the night sky already dark over the valley, placing the statue, the furs, and the sketches and rubbings of carvings on the platform before her. She took one third of the furs and demanded that the group sell the dinosaur statue and give her half of the funds in return. She also noted some... positivity regarding the information that the group seemingly dealt with the lizardmen, mentioning in passing that some of her associates had fears regarding them as well.

Treasure Acquired (After Tribute)
Furs torn from their wearers (value: 400 drachmae)
An ancient statue of a dinosaur king (value: 250 drachmae (the other 250 went to Farzaneh))
Rubbings of dinosaur carvings (value: 75 drachmae (although it is important to note that these were purchased by Jamshid, a former business partner and rival to Zana the Charlatan))

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