Monday, 6 July 2020


This is a summary of the THIRD 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 in a proto-neolithic sandbox. This week, the enlarged pariah band was rejoined by Witheringly Footed on a mission to investigate the hive (very mild spoilers for Carapace by the Goblin's Henchman — available on DTRPG here — follow).

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Before embarking to the place Etau referred to as the hive, they first had a brief look around the settlement.

The settlement itself consisted of a central mound surrounded by a simple stockade fashioned from huge logs. Silvered with age, the construction is testimony not only to great craftsmanship but also significant cooperation. To the pariahs, this is a most impressive achievement, though they are not so overwhelmed that they fail to notice a glaring fault in the build. The southwest corner had clearly been reconstructed very recently, using younger, unseasoned logs.

Within the stockade was the large central hut belonging to Etau where they had spent the night. It was surrounded by multiple smaller huts, probably numbering close to one dozen. Lake decided to settle down with an older couple, who were preparing some kind of rice porridge. His young charges—Boy and Girl—seemed content to stay and eat the stodge... though Lake found it to be flavourless, it was at least filling.

Wither had not spent the night there, having arrived separately after a trek through the jungle with Rocky the auroch. The beast protected him from any major encounters, though he did cause some hi-jinks when he thought he picked up the scent of a female auroch and careened his way through the tropical forest. Fortunately no prehistoric porcelain was harmed.

Wither was able to deduce, through conversing with the settled peoples, that the settlement had been attacked—in recent memory—by giant ants, and this had necessitated the rebuilding of the stockade.

Fox traipsed round the settlement a few times before a craftsman got out of bed and helped him improve upon his impromptu spear. Fox expressed willingness to trade: the dejected local merely stated that as guests of Etau, they were free to take what they wanted.

The Hive

The hive was on the forested slopes to the southwest of the settlement. The party followed a small tributary stream into the jungle, chasing it up the slopes to its source.

The hive stood in the midst of a vast clearing, a 60 foot high mound of baked mud with the stream seemingly emerging from beneath it.

Map from Carapace:

The party were aware of some shadowy figures peering at them from between the trees (point A), but they saw no signs of activity among the mound itself. In the glare of the noon sun, they crossed the clearing, taking in the mound and the trees as they went.

Wither recognised the figures in the trees as being ap-like, or at least very large monkeys.

Following the perimeter of the mound's eastern edge, they made their way south, noting the presence of a group of hippos (at point H). Having no desire to disturb these very dangerous beasts, they ran through several scenarios, including flooding the hive and firebombing it... smoking out the queen...

More than once they wondered why they were blindly following the word of Etau, but they decided it was a way by which they could repay her hospitality, and win them a powerful benefactor.

Entering the Hive

In the end, the party decided to make some crude torches and take a look inside. Whisper and Antelope would stand guard with Rocky while Quiet One, Fox, Lake and Wither all entered via point C, where the river poured into the mound through a small a 20' opening.

In preparation they had assembled some primitive torches, and Quiet One traded weapons with Fox.
Scrambling down a small cascade, the party entered a winding tunnel following the rout of the river. The air was dump and cool, and within the soft walls of mud numerous tunnels beckoned them to enter. they elected to merely follow the river, which flowed rapidly but very shallow.

The river took a sharp turn, opening into a large, chamber-like area. From the far end, light streamed in from where the river exited.

A clicking noise alerted the presence of other entities, and soon they were surrounded by six-foot long worker ants...

A Bruising Encounter

The worker ants were five in number, the pariahs but four... and with the ants blocking their retreat, they had no option but to stand and fight.

While Wither got caught in a wrestling contest with one on the end, Fox held his own in the centre, fighting off the ants' onslaught with his newly acquired double axe. For Quiet One and Lake, the struggle was greater, and before long both were feeling the crushing jaws of the giant ants.

Bloodied, Wither was nonetheless able to finish off his foe and move on, sustaining heavy injuries but remaining in the fray, assisting Fox in finishing of another ant. For the second serious encounter within memory, Quiet One went down...

Fox managed to dispatch the final ants with his hefty axe, cleaving the head of one from its thorax and dragging that quickly from the nest alongside his fallen comrades.

They were met outside the north side of the colony by Antelope:

"Next time," she said, frowning, "let me help you."

They fled the scene as fast as they could, wary of watchful ape-eyes peering out from the dark jungle.

Disappointing the Chief

With the assistance of their peers, the wounded pariahs were guided back to the settlement before sundown. Initial excitement at their return and the presentation of a giant ant's head subsided when it was revealed that they had failed to depose the "queen".

After resting a little, they were told to take shelter outside the inner sanctum of Chief Etau, whose disappointment was evident. 

The two young charges of the pariah band who had travelled with Fox and Quiet One since the beginning—Boy & Girl—remained in her care.

* * *



  1. Nice - interested to see where this goes!

    1. Uh oh adventure writer in the house!

      I was looking forward to using the tools you put together in Carapace but unfortunately it seems the pariahs take another approach to the ant mound, as you may find out in later write-ups!