Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tales from the Boar's Head

I've mentioned before that I've started running games at my FLGS.  I've decided to center that group around the Boar's Head Tavern in the CSIO. The first few sessions involved whoever showed up fighting against the same cult the Cutthroat Inn group fought against.  Last time, I started running an adventure originally made by Cole for his Swords of the Inner Sea campaign.  I converted it to 5e as well as changed some of the aesthetics to match the history of the Wilderlands.

You may notice that one of the characters is from the home group game I had to abandon.  Some of the players have migrated to the game store group.

Aslog, Priestess of Odin

Session Date
July 2nd (2nd Day of Vineyard's Bounty, 4500 CCC)

Aslog, Skandik  Priestess of Odin (Cleric 2)
Torin, First-man Warrior (Barbarian 2)
Velor Silent-stream, Half elf hermit (Druid 3)


  • Torin competed in some pit fights where his strange, draconic aspect drew a big crowd.  He won two of his three bouts.
  • Aslog performed ritual services at the Temple of Odin.
  • Velor spent his time in civilization enjoying its more decadent offerings.  While drinking and partying he met Kawab, an Altanian traveler who claimed to have recently seen the entrance ton an ancient tomb in a valley in the Howling Hills.
  • Kawab offered to take them there for a fee, which led the trio to debate their other options: heading into the Mermist Marsh to kill servants of the Toad God for the priest of Tsathoggus, head into the Dearthwood to deal with the menace of strange, flying snakes, or attempt to burgle the manse of Xanatheira Lily-limb for the wizard Sarkand.
  • They decided burgling was outside of their skill-set. Velor noted that the flying snakes were supposed to possess poison of great potency, and the trio all generally agreed the indigent priest of Tsathoggus's promise of an unspecified "boon" was too vague to be of value.  That left the tomb.
  • After some debate over price, Velor paid Kawab and they left for the Howling Hills.
  • Heading along the Twilight Road, they pass through the village of Darkfield, taking only a few brief moments to notice the strange, metallic spire that dominates the town and the distant sight of a tower of stone.
  • They arrive in Haghill after dusk, but their hardy adventuring constitution prevents them from being too tired.
  • Just outside the village, an assemblage of warriors - Skandiks, Altanians, and Tharbrians - watched as Huberic of Haghill showed off his prowess with a whip by killing grown bulls.
  • Torin approached the group, and was greeted by shocked gasps from warriors who had never seen a member of the first race of "men" before. 
  • He attempted to kill a cow with Huberic's whip.  When he failed he offered Huberic a bet that he could kill three cows without moving from at least three strides away. Huberic accepted this bet and offered 100gp. Torin then proceeded to spit a line of lightning out of his mouth, killing the three cows and winning the gold and the admiration of Huberic and his warriors.
  • The trio and Kawab were taken to Huberic's meadhall where they were offered a chance to feast. Aslog elected not to, fearing she would be too tired for their journey to the tomb in the morning.
  • The rest joined in the revelry but only Kawab felt the effects the next day.
  • Despite his hangover, the Altanian led the trio of blue weirdos to the valley where he claimed the entrance lay. 
  • The valley had no vegetation, unlike the scrubland seen in other valleys in the hills, and it appeared to be the remnants of a riverbed, long since dried up. In the center  was an immense stone slab.
  • Aslog approached the slab ahead of the others. As she did so a troop of jackals appeared, their eyes inhumanly intelligent. 
  • As she approached nearer one of the jackals opened its mouth and spoke in the tongue of ancient Orichalca. Aslog, handily, understood this dead language and realized that the jackal was warning her not to open the tomb.
  • She explained this to the other members who decided the treasure within the tomb was worth fighting a few jackals. And fight they did, making short work of the jackals as they pounced.
  • Using the combined strength of the four of them they removed the slab and were greeted with a set of stairs down into the earth and the smell of fresh, running water. 
  • Kawab was told to wait outside and there was a brief discussion once in the dungeon about whether or not they should kill him. Torin wanted to get their money back but Velor looked down on such an obviously evil act and forbade it.
  • They came to a chamber that was lit by the remaining sunlight above and Aslog struck up a torch. Inside were the remnants of ritual killings from when the tomb was sealed - much of their bodies now crushed into mummia by time.
  • There was also a spinning wheel, a loom, and jars that seemed to be for dye. Inspecting the jars  they found a blue dye, a red dye, and one which seemed colorless but looking at it made their eyes hurt, much like the visual artifacts of a migraine.
  • Beyond this chamber was a walkway suspended over some kind of pool. Velor decided that they should through the bodies into the pool, less they animate.
  • When he went to do so, he noticed only too late the strange, stone apertures that lined the side of the walkway.  From one of these emerged an arm of normal girth but inhuman length, purple skinned and terminating in wicked talons.  The arm also grasped an ancient form of bronze scimitar which it used to hack at Velor, who was injured but not mortally so.
  • Retreating, Velor then decided to use the bodies to test these arms, throwing them down the causeway. He discovered that every 5 feet there was an aperture containing one of these wicked arms. Torin and Velor worked together to lure out a great number of arms which Velor then cast entangle on. Thereafter the two hacked apart the immobilized arms.
  • Aslog destroyed the remaining apertures with her mace before an arm could emerge. 
  • The causeway, they found, was a four way intersection. Taking the way opposite the entrance, they found a huge relief of Set making the desert bloom in front of a great pit. Aslog noted that Set is an enemy of Anubis, and that may have been the reason for the jackals.
  • In front of the pit was the image of an immense snake wrought in bronze. Both the snake in the relief and the brazen image had a strange, lotus-pod like growth on their heads from which protruded an extra number of eyes.
  • Moving into the room, the bronze snake activated. Luckily, this beast was made in a time before steel and its immunity to normal weapons was overcome by the party's modern weapons.
  • Leaving the broken bronze cobra, they made their way back to the intersection so as to not get in to deep and have their method of retreat cut off.
  • Heading a little down the causeway to their left, the say an eerie green light and decided to double back and check that out later since it could portend intelligent foes.
  • The other way led to a platform on which stood a terracotta statue of a priest. This statue held a real wooden staff in its hand which it raised as they approached causing a great wind. 
  • Torin and Aslog were able to keep their footing but Velor flew from the causeway and into the pool. Once inside, his half-elf eyes saw that the floor and walls were covered in those terrible arms, in such a way that he was not sure there was any substance beyond them. The arms rushed toward Velor, elongating hideously and grabbing him.
  • Aslog went to throw Velor a rope while Torin rushed forward to fight the statue.
  • Velor was able to use the spell thunderwave to drive off the arms and make his way to the rope.  Once he was back on the causeway the combined might of the three of them easily overcame the statue, which broke at the top revealing a bare skull underneath.
  • Then they returned to the room with the eerie light. Inside was a sconce with a torch on it that glowed the eerie green color. 
  • The torch cast the shadow of a creature that was unseen otherwise - Aslog was able to tell that it was the outline of a Typhonian beast! 
  • She removed the torch from the sconce seeing if the light would change (it remained green) and then approached the shadow.  Upon reaching the middle of the room where the creature would be if it were to cast such a shadow, she poked the empty air with the torch.
  • Though the air wasn't so empty! The invisible fiend grew angry and attacked Aslog with its unseen claws.
  • The inability to see the creature except by its shadow and the creature's great speed and ferocity took the trio aback, but they were able to slay the beast.
  • Velor, who was injured in the battle, noticed that he had a strange, green shoot coming out of the wound. They decided this was likely some kind of hideous infection and returned to Haghill in hopes of getting it cured before their next outing.
The past couple of weeks we've failed to make quorum but hopefully their adventures in the Setite tomb will resume tonight.

Sunday, July 21, 2019


A heretical depiction of the God of Law separates the Noppinese Imperial Family from the teeming hordes of Namazu

"In High Shang we exchanged much of the beautiful paper money of Cathay for passage to the island nation of Noppin. [Molo digresses here, yet again, to describe the currency of Cathay. This description is the third such in the text and is once again completely contradictory to his earlier digressions. I have omitted it because scholars interested in such things are unlikely to look to a translated text.] Noppin is said to have been originally inhabited by a race of Froglings [sic] that were displaced by the arrival of humans. Despite the protestations of the locals, it is clear that the Noppinese inherited a great deal from these Froglings. Their style and manner of dress, when different from the Cathayans, is identical to that of these creatures, which the locals call Namzu [sic]. Indeed, even their High Pontiff is an exceptionally large member of this race. [Some scholars have translated the title as Emperor, but Molo clearly uses the same form he gives to Pontiff Molestius II, his contemporary] 
"The religion overseen by the High Pontiff of Noppin is also clearly influenced by whatever paganry the Namzu engaged in before their coming, as it is unlike that of Cathay or the Land of a Thousand Idols. Lawful monks from Cathay have brought their heretical from of the Law to Noppin and now the High Pontiff is head of a kind of hybrid Church. Due to the influence of the Law and perhaps in imitation of the First Emperor, the people of Noppin emphatically insist that their large namzu pontiff is a human, noting his 'mustache' instead of his whiskers, and his 'lovely' 'hydrated' skin instead of his oily hide.
"The smaller Namzu are relegated to the fringes of Noppin, living in the cold north or in the forests of Kokushi. It was in the Suicide Forest of Kokushi that our expedition had a most strange encounter with them. A frogling merchant we had picked up in the Land of a Thousand Idols stated many times that he was very confused at our attempts to communicate with his Noppinese cousins.  He claimed they were merely catfish dressed up by the locals as a prank. When we were able to speak to them in a crude form of Cathayan dialect, the frogling still insisted that they were mute animals. The namzu, too, said that we must have dressed up the frogling as a joke and talked it to walk upright. They said that the frogling could not speak and only croaked.
"Locals accused the Namzu of a great many ills. They claimed they were mischievous, prone to larceny, and even known to cuckold fishermen.  This first accusation may explain our encounter, but we saw no evidence of the other two and the idea of a woman giving herself to such a creature beggars belief." - Excerpt from The Travels of Parco Molo, 5th Edition, Evan Van Elkins trans. and ed.

A Namazu in traditional dress.

Namazu are small, catfish who walk and talk in the manner of men and are native to the islands of Noppin. While superficially similar to Froglings, and in many ways occupying the same social niche, the two races do not recognize the each other's person-hood.

Namazu are said to be quite stealthy.

Ability Score Increase: Your Dexterity increases by 2 and your Charisma increases by 1.

Age: Namazu reach adulthood around age 20 but can live to be several centuries old.

Alignment: In the five-fold system of the World of Nightwick, Namazu are usually Neutral and are never Lawful or Chaotic. In the nine-fold system of other worlds they tend towards Chaotic and Good alignments.

Size: Namazu are usually no taller than 3 feet. Your size is small.

Speed: Your speed is 25ft for both walking and swimming.

Amphibious: You breathe both air and water.

Sensitive Whiskers: Namazu can feel the vibrations of the air and earth with their whiskers. You gain advantage on Dexterity Saves made to avoid pit traps, sudden collapses, unseen precipices, or any other effect that would cause the ground to suddenly not be beneath your feet.

Resilient: Namazu's bodies are compact and strangely pliant. You never take bludgeoning, thunder, or force damage on a successful saving throw even if the effect would normally deal half damage.

Small and Barely Noticed: Namazu are used to avoiding the Big People. You are not blocked by any creature that is a size or more larger than yourself, and you may always hide if only other large creatures are looking for you - even if you are not initially obscured.

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Cutthroat Inn: A Quick One

This session didn't last very long due to my feeling incredibly scatter-brained.  Still, some stuff did happen and it needs to be recorded.

Characters Present
Annapurna, Altanian Ranger
Grafari, Skandik Rogue
Ion Skamos, Tiefling Cleric of Set
Green Sonya, Half-Orc Barbarian
Red Hawk, Altanian Fighter

  • The party was joined by Green Sonya and Red Hawk as the serpentine creature made its way towards the beach.
  • They took several shots at it but the intervening water - it was about 3-4' beneath the surface - made it so that few of their shots had any effect.
  • Ion waited to cast thunder wave on it once it cleared the shoreline, but instead the creature raised its head loch-ness style and fired two spells at him. The first was without effect so the Rainbow Warriors are unaware of its potential puissance, but the second was a bolt of lightning which not only struck Ion but Green Sonya and Red Hawk as well!
  • Ion collapsed, not dead but dying, and the others retreated after realizing that they could do little while the creature remained in the water.
  • As they fled, they saw the being's glittering crown dip beneath the waters of the.  Apparently the serpent was satisfied that it had seen them off.
  • The warriors returned for Ion, whom Annapurna healed.
  • Ion, his memory jogged by the shock of near death, realized that the style of crown the creature wore was that of ancient Orichalcan kings, and that his purple skin and hawkish features too looked like that nearly extinct race.
  • Some discussion occurred about potential ways to kill this creature - procuring potions of water breathing or perhaps spells of the same from amiable wizards and attacking it beneath the surface. Poison was considered but Ion remarked that the creature would be immune to most mortal poisons.
  • Finally it was decided that further research was needed and that perhaps other avenues of adventure should be pursued until the warriors had more experience under their belts.
Monsters Defeated 

Treasure Gained

Xp Per Player (in either or both sessions)

Monday, July 1, 2019

The Future and/or Past Revisited

Time is a Black Ziggurat - the wisest human

Seven years ago I attempted to create a kind of recursive timeline of the campaigns I knew about or participated in, since it became established that Uz existed in the "future and/or past." Further research has revealed I inadequately calculated for the Zigguratic nature of time, creating false worlds (campaigns that were never run or that I didn't play in), and not seeing just how much each recursion is different. After careful years of study I have created a more accurate model that is rendered below.

* These settings were both run by Nightwick Regulars but do not have blog posts I can link to (yet).

** I have never actually played or run Humanspace Empires but it so prominently features in the past of a number of these games that I thought it necessary to include it.