Monday, August 15, 2016

A backlog of Xan Than Du expeditions

So GenCon came and went,  I met many interesting and wonderful people and much merriment was had by all.

It also meant I was drained, didn't run Xan Than Du games for 2 weeks and didn't get around to posting play reports.   Here are back to back play reports from the home group.

The party set out with the treasure seeker Kojata once more to loot the ancient tomb of horror and misery.  The party consisted of the British Cavalry Officer, An upper class gentleman with a bought commission, and a disturbed Royal Marine.    They wandered the familiar route through the harsh light of the desert sun,  burning quickly through water reserves but avoiding the terrors that roam through the night.

Once more they left Kojata to guard and they went deep into the tomb,  the sound of horrible screams and gunfire erupted from deep within, along with the smell of burning flesh and burning incense.  The party returned without the unhinged Marine,  but brought with them six fabulous gems.  The party quickly press ganged a British porter they had forgotten they had hired, a former cabin boy,  and went back into the tomb after some scotch.  It was quiet for a while before a horrid wailing as if from some mournful child echoed forth.   The party rushed out with two jade urns full of honey and a set of silver inlaid bone tools,  including a curious honey dipper.

Not wishing to waste time fleeing from whatever was in pursuit of them they stowed their valuables and made their way through the desert, back to Guam-yaiv.  at night.

Midway back they heard the beautiful music of a zither and the singing voice of a young woman.   The British gentleman and the cabin boy moved forward to investigate while Kojata warned of witchery and the Cavalry Officer smelled a bandit's trap.     The woman was playing an instrument and eating dates from a bowl.   She conversed at length with the British in crisp English,  eventually offering them hinted at rewards and secrets.  At this point the gentleman made to leave and the player was forced to roll a number of resistance rolls to the magical words she had been saying in their conversation, becoming aware of the attempted charms all at once.   The cabin boy pressed for more information,  then spurned the woman.  Who immediately began changing into a monstrous hyena.   A rifle bullet from the cavalry officer knocked over the beast as it chased the cabin boy,  but it quickly began to have its bones and blood reform and heal before their eyes, cackling like mad.

The Cavalry officer drew forth his enchanted sword from the cave of wonders and summoned the Genie within,  the sight of which caused fear in the fabled carrion concubine, scourge of the desert.  As the concubine fled, the genie asked what wish he could grant but the cavalry officer informed him false alarm and that he might make a wish later.  The genie sighed and went back into his prison.

Returning to Guam-yaiv they sold the honey, tools, and jade urns but they sent Kojata out to find a special buyer for the set of Gems,  knowing that while it may result in intrigue it could fetch a much higher price.


The next session the party consisted of the Cavalry Officer,  The Cabin Boy, and the Stage Magician.  Kojata had found a potential buyer in the chieftain of the Desert Nomads.  The party was to meet the chieftain in two days at an obelisk amidst ancient ruins in the desert.   Suspecting potential foul play they left early, scouted the site, and pushed into the savanna to camp.  They camped at a rocky outcropping and hunted gazelle.  The Stage Magician used his Crystal Ball from the Cave of Wonders to scrye the sight the next morning, watching the chieftain set up a potential ambush and bury his treasure.

The party then approached the meeting place and left two sharpshooters behind the chieftain's warriors and sent their negotiators in.   There was a tense debate.   The chieftain offered only the fair value of the gems and a promise of safe passage from all Nomad bandits,  but also demanded the location of the tomb.  The party countered (After a tense and grueling negotiation) to get more than simply safe passage,  but full membership into the Chieftain's tribe.  Eventually the leadership of the tribe relented to this deal and an arrangement was struck.

The party was taken deep through the desert (with only a few encounters with wildlife) to the secret city of the nomads which was  hidden deep inside a mighty chasm,   The city (more a large town) was a series of cliff side dwellings overlooking a massive oasis and an orchard of date palms.

One of the party was required to marry a local, and the cabin boy volunteered. After a series of hazing rituals in which the elders laughed merrily, he was wed to the chieftain's least favourite daughter from his least liked concubine, Parsii.  She was said to be touched by mystic gifts and carried around with her one of the tiny hairless dogs the locals bred for meat. Having married a local,  the cabin boy was offered (and accepted) initiation in the secret mystery cult of the local god of agriculture and insects.  This cult was an enemy of the carrion god whose concubine they had previously battled in the desert, and also an enemy of the decadent city of Guam-yaiv.

In game terms, they unlocked a settlement which allows them to start or end each week at either Guam-yaiv or the secret city of the nomads.  They may also create nomad characters.

Having some time left,  the party set forth and explored desert and the savanna. They fought jackals, saved Nomads, risked disease from flies, and encountered an opium caravan from Yoon-Suin under attack from a pack of painted and bejeweled lionesses.  Slaying several lions and driving the rest away they discovered the caravan was unfriendly and suspicious.  They took the lion corpses and their jewels to be taxidermied and added to their museum exhibit.

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