Wednesday, 10 June 2020


This is a summary of the second session of the discord "voice chat" game of PARIAH. Have a look at the previous session summary or indeed some of the posts collected under the label pariah or even visit if you have no idea what I'm talking about.

The game is run as an open table: this week, one of the previous week's players was unable to attend but we were joined by another, so everything evened out!

Modification of original image by Jaan Van Eeden

Weather is clear

After leaving the fishing village - and after a bruising encounter with apparent avatars of the spirit of the sea - the small pariah band continued their journey along the beach: Witheringly-Footed-in-the-Point, Fox-through-the-Spring and the two youngsters ("Boy" and "Girl") were joined by a young woman of the village, Antelope.

After leaving the fishing village - and after a bruising encounter with apparent avatars of the spirit of the sea - the small pariah band continued their journey along the beach: Witheringly-Footed-in-the-Point, Fox-through-the-Spring and the two youngsters ("Boy" and "Girl") were joined by a young woman of the village, Antelope.

Still recovering from the encounter, Quiet One rested upon the back of Rocky the Auroch, who seemed to tolerate bearing a burden for the first time.

Upon the beach they encountered Lake-in-the-Mountain, a somewhat enigmatic outcast from a  far-off desert tribe with a sunny disposition. He quickly one the trust of Girl, and the band invited him to join them.

Tryambaka by Annelie Solis

The pariahs foraged for firewood in the jungle and saw signs of a giant spider... or something... but retreated back to the safety of the shoreline, where Antelope had harvested quite a feast, spear fishing along the rocky coast. Fox felt the murmur of the necrotic spirit haunting his heart, but the moment soon passed.

Reaching a large peninsula, Antelope invited the party to follow her along the coast. Witheringly-Footed, realising he would have to abandon Rocky were he to follow this path, instead opted to take his chances through the jungle, agreeing to meet the party at the settlement. Fortunately, Quiet One felt well enough to walk on foot, though the wound in his chest was still evident

(This is how we justified your absence- let us know what became of Witheringly-Footed between sessions)

In the late afternoon the party became aware of the figure atop the cliffs. Fox led the party along the beach, cleaving close to the cliff-face while Quiet One climbed up to investigate. The figure was a mysterious woman, similar in appearance to Antelope but paler of skin,wearing a jade armband. Though she carried a bow the woman appeared unusually passive. She claimed to have no name, and though Quiet One was wary of her, she was invited to join them. After some questioning she revealed that previously she had been known as Whisper.

During the night Lake's watch was interrupted by a spectacular swarm of bats almost dancing across the ocean, but something altogether more spectacular came from the sea during Fox's shift. A mighty titan rose from the waves and, in an astonishing moment, drew forth the dark spirit that had bonded itself to Fox. Claiming they would use the spirit for their magics, they imparted a gift to Fox: a special empathy with a certain predatory creature of the deep...

Weather is clear

At dawn the band continued along the coast, until the landscape grew flatter and wider, as a great river delta met the sea. Here the only footpaths were earthen ramparts raised a few feet above the surface of the wetland rice paddies, leading them slightly away from the coast and inland. 

All around them skinny settled peoples were growing their crop: bronze or brown skinned, with black wavy hair like Antelope and Whisper, but clothed in simple tunics of flax or sackcloth.

An enormous fly, maybe more than a foot in length, emerged from an area of uncultivated marsh-scrub on the fringes of a rice paddy. It hovered in front of them for a while, regarding the pariahs quizzically, even resting on Lake's outstretched arm. Finally, it departed without incident.

Along they continued until, late in the afternoon, they beheld the settlement. Here it seemed all the  raised walkways earthwork walkways were all converging at a small artificial mound, surrounded by a stockade taller than 12 feet. For the most part the lumber was well-seasoned, silvered, and erected with the skill of a great builder, but one part of the stockade appeared to have been reconstructed more hastily and from freshly felled lumber.

Within a few hundred feet of the settlement, the band's passage was blocked by the end of the earthen rampart and a small party of weak looking warriors. The warriors interviewed them briefly, before agreeing to ferry the band across to meet the chieftain, a woman by the name of Etau.

The band were received in a large wooden hall, constructed from season timbers like the stockade, with a hole in the centre of the roof through which smoke could escape from the large fire. Etau was a strong looking dark-skinned woman approaching middle aged, clothed in the hide of a leopard and with a cleanly shaven head. She invited the band to take a seat, seemingly excited to invite hunters to her hearth, sharing a rich feast of roasted meats. Etau was keen to find out what services they could provide.

Throughout the exchange an elder clothed in the skin of a wolf would interject and mutter quietly to the chieftain, until later he was dismissed, as Etau revealed what she wanted the pariahs to do for her: rid her people of the threat of the Queen of the Hive, a rival dwelling in a mound half a day's travel up hill.

The pariahs agreed and curled up beside the warmth of the fire to sleep, their bellies full for the first time in a long time.

* * *

The campaign continues here

* * * 

Behind the Curtain

The significant encounters (with the exception of the final human settlement) were determined randomly.

Both "Whisper" and the "Sea Titan" were random encounters rolled up on

The Titan lurks somewhere between a spirit and a giant - huge, humanoid looking, but with magical powers and an unearthly nature. Usually they would be disinterested in a party of humans sleeping on the beach but I decided the titan would be attracted to the spirit trapped within Fox, and would seek to procure it. 

Having rolled a high reaction roll, the titan offered to trade for this rather than just take it by force (which would have been no obstacle for an enormous sea-spirit), so Fox received a boon from the titan in return for forsaking the death-spirit that had haunted him. Boons are randomly determined.

"Whisper" is a Nameless One — a human who has lost their true name. This is an affliction that can happen to PCs too, through misadventure or through WIS or CHA damage. As an NPC a Nameless One possesses utter selflessness and obedience, but also represent a moral quandary for PCs who may wish to restore their humanity rather than keep a "willing" slave.

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