Monday, May 23, 2022

King of Kings Session 13 After Action Report

 It's been a good while since the last time a session report was posted here, and even longer still since I posted a session report that I actually wrote! You see, that's because unfortunately King of Kings has been on hiatus ever since October of last year, but yesterday the campaign made its valiant return, and this time I'm deadset on avoiding such long gaps between sessions. So without further ado, here's a report on what my players got up to in the world of the eastern satrapies of the Enlightened Empire!

Dramatis Personae
Coro the Esoterian, level one magic user
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
also Parsani, scrawny son of a rural matriarch

The session began in Tabur, with the group awakening to the terrible news that Zana the Charlatan, their fellow adventurer and client of Farzaneh Taburi, was arrested by the city guard and jailed in the Iron Pit in connection to an accusation of arson by his rival Jamshid the Merchant! A few sessions before, when the group was traveling to Temple Town for the festival of Saint Jumhura, Kusa had set fire to Jamshid's cart, and when Zana left the group to go back to Tabur while the rest went on to explore the valley, Jamshid pinned the blame on him. Much of the beginning of the session was taken by discussing what to do, with the group ultimately just deciding to pick up on exploring the abandoned farmsteads in the valley, since there was one more abandoned peasant commune to check out. Also they geared up, namely buying a large number of iron spikes to use against any possible jinn they may encounter.

As an aside, a note on Zana's situation. Long term imprisonment isn't really a practice in the Enlightened Empire, at least for anyone who isn't an antimartyr heretic; rather, Zana is in jail pending the trial, which is to happen one in game week from the day of the previous session. Jamshid is also in jail pending the trial. At the trial, testimony of witnesses and associates of the accused and accuser will be brought forth to testify, and if there is any inconsistency in testimony then Zana can possibly be tried by fire, to suss out the truth. If Zana is found guilty, then he will be publicly lashed, branded as an arsonist, and fined. If Zana is found not guilty, then Jamshid will be publicly lashed and fined. If the truth comes out that Kusa is the one who actually set the fire, then Kusa will be publicly lashed, branded as an arsonist, and fined. That's just how it be!

Once the group decided what to do, they set off for the road, in the process meeting Coro the Esoterian, a new player's character who brought along with them a ragged old camel. They followed the road north, the one that leads ultimately to Humakuyun on the sea, first stopping by the little compound of Parsani's farming family to let them know about the kallikantzaroi and headless bull thing that they encountered at the abandoned farmstead they went to previously. After this quick stop, they went on, passing by a fork in the road, one path leading north to Humakuyun and the other leading east to the ragged village of Broken Huts, which I totally didn't steal from Gus L.'s Prison of the Hated Pretender. Sticking to the northern path, they eventually came upon the only remaining farmstead to investigate: a small walled compound surrounded by fields, a waist high mud brick wall encircling it. On the way there I didn't roll a single random wilderness encounter so they just got a nice wilderness stroll it seems.

The compound is a small oval shaped thing, with a little goat pen off to one side, a small copse of trees, a well in the middle, an outhouse, and a main hut where the family presumably lived. The group first set about corralling the goats into the pen and closing it back up, because a number of them had escaped and were running amok in the compound. Manchugo and Rohm'Daan went to investigate the trees, because they were swaying in the wind in such a way that caught their attention, but other than finding a little bright green caterpillar on a branch they didn't find anything. Though once Manchugo turned away from the copse of trees, a strange sound like a high pitched laugh filled the air, which caught their attention but they didn't really do anything about.

Manchugo next went over to the outhouse, but knocking on the door just prompted a loud hissing that they chose not to investigate further. They assumed it to be a snake that was using the outhouse, and didn't want to intrude on their privacy. At the same time, Rohm'Daan poured a bit of goat's milk that Coro harvested from the goats into the well, which did nothing.

This is just what came up when I googled "skinless people sitting"

With the area outside seemingly fully explored, the group next decided to go into the main house building. The first thing they saw upon entering was the large wooden table off to the side, with a family of four arrayed around it, all completely missing their skin. At this point, I did a bit of a small infodump about the nasnas, who it seemed were the most likely culprit for removing the family's skin. The group did a quick look around the rest of the room, seeing the large rug on the floor, the two beds, the hearth with four chairs arrayed around it, the faint hint of a footprints on the floor, and the opening to a sloping passageway seemingly leading to the basement. Before going any further, they took the skinless family and buried them outside the compound with a respectful little ceremony, similarly to how they treated the other dead peasants they found at the last abandoned farm.

Returning to the building, they decided to go down into the basement. After crawling down the low ceiling sloping passageway to the basement, they discovered that it was a storage place for cured meats, including a number of slaughtered and cured goats or cuts of goat hanging from the ceiling. There was a little pile of dirt on the wall opposite the doorway leading back up, and a locked door off to the side. Ishthyromeda poked at the dirt with one of her weapons, dislodging the pile and revealing an opening behind it. At the same time, Rohm'Daan and Manchugo investigated one of the hanging goats because it made a strange clinking sound on the inside when poked. They ended up cutting open the goat, causing ten drachmae to clatter to the dirt floor below! At the same time, a group of four giant ants crawled out of the tunnel, although they did not seem hostile. Coro and Rohm'Daan set about feeding them some of the goat milk and meat, to calm them down and keep them there.

It wasn't nearly as bad as this

Ishthyromeda decided to crawl through the tunnel the ants came out of, ending up in another square room where a good half of the walls had been dug out with both ant mandibles and shovels, with a doorway on one side that had a broken down door and four ant tunnels forking out of the chamber in different directions. As she approached the broken down door, with a candle in hand for light, Manchugo decided to knock on the locked door, hearing the scrambling of human feet on the other side. When Ishthyromeda heard the knocking through the broken down doorway, she went back to the tunnel she crawled through to notify the group that it was the same room connected by both doors. The group then concocted a plan: Ish, Rohm'Daan, and Parsani would approach from the room connected by the broken down door, while Coro would guard the sloping passageway back up, and Manchugo would continue knocking to distract the inhabitants of the room.

What Rohm'Daan and Ish saw when they entered the room, however, was not a hostile group of creatures, but three nasnas cowering in the corner from the sound of the knocking. Rohm'Daan went over to unlock the door, letting Coro and Manchugo in once they realized that the nasnas weren't going to fight them. They then attempted to let the nasnas know that they weren't going to hurt them, offering them food and attempting to speak to them and communicate with them by writing, but the creatures' fear stopped them from eating in the adventurers' presence, and their half formed voice boxes stopped them from verbally communicating. It took Coro casting a charm person spell on one of them, which the creature failed the saving throw for, for them to respond with simple nods for yes and shaking of the head for no. But at this point, it was getting late in the day, so they left the terrified creatures in the basement and set up camp outside, in the low lying mud brick walls of the compound.

Treasure Acquired
10 drachmae

Non Treasure XP Acquired
20 XP each for burying the skinless family, since I gave XP for burying dead peasants last time.
15 XP each for coordinating the approach of the nasnas room, just because it illustrated good group coordination
10 XP for Coro for charming the nasnas
Total: 35 XP/45 for Coro

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