Monday, 31 August 2020

PARIAH ACTUAL PLAY — DISCORD SESSION 09 [BESIDE THE SEASIDE]

A summary of the NINTH session of the discord live 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 https://atelier-hwei.itch.io/pariah if you have no idea what I'm talking about.


We interrupt our usual campaign to bring tales of two new arrivals to the indigo coast...
(This session took place on Sunday 2nd August 2020)


SESSION 9... but back in time:

DAY 10 CROW MOON, NORTHERN COAST

...they called him Little-is-the-Gazelle.

A somewhat bedraggled man clambered over the rocks on the beach, having left his tribe behind him for reason he was trying to forget. Advancing in years yet not an elder, skinny yet with strength enough to navigate the rocks with ease, he spied another man splashing about in various rock pools with his club.

The man keeps his distance, realising that this flamboyant fisherman is not alone: beside him a small fox eyes the stranger with caution.

"My name is Blessed-by-the-Mound," says the fisherman, "and this is Cousin Sunset."

The man raises an eyebrow:

"Indeed. My name is"—and here he seems to pause for a moment, as if conjuring up a new identity—" Little-is-the-Gazelle."

Cousin Sunset does not react, putting Mound at ease.

Unlikely Travelling Companions


The pair agree to travel together: both are cagey about exactly where they've come from and where they've been. As they traverse the rocky beach they are able to gather up shellfish, which Mound refuses to eat raw.

After some time they spot something trapped in a rock pool: drawing closer, the pariahs spy an enormous octopus bobbing up and down in the shallow water.

They approach stealthily, laying down a volley of arrows... some of which even strike the enormous stationary octopus.... as Mound closes in in to assault it, one of its tentacles lashes out at him and attempts to drag him in. Gazelle's hand axe soon sees to it that this does not occur.

The pool fills with black ink and blood, rendering it opaque. Gazelle elects to retrieve the missed arrows when the water clears later.

Seafood Feast



Mound's  does not eat raw food. The group are also without firewood, so they decide to scrabble up the cliff and venture into the jungle to get some. Mound takes his time and calmly scales the vertical wall, while Gazelle is eager to show off his prowess and sprightliness.

Foraging in the dense jungle, Gazelle is alerted by an enormous red-eyed fly. The vile insect makes a bee-line for their freshly-slain octopus, leading to him pursuing it in defence of his dinner. He lands a mighty blow but is brought down by the flies sickly bite, yelping in pain.

Mound and Cousin Sunset are alerted by their newfound friend's anguished wail and rush to his side. As Mound and the fly dance together a little, the wounded Gazelle takes the chance to strike out at the otherwise engaged fly.

It falls to the ground, dead.

The two pariahs are both gasping for air, aware that it's not wise to linger long in the jungle.

"I'll show you how we celebrate defeating our foe," says Gazelle, scooping up the corpse if the fly.

Mound's mouth is agape.

Gazelle empties the blood from the defeated fly into his throat, gaging slightly.

"You see once we-"

His speech is cut short by his own heaving, as he immediately brings the blood back up as vomit.

Cousin Sunset shakes his fox head.

Afternoon


Mound prepares lunch beneath the noon sun, building a small fire on which to cook the octopus. Gazelle attempts to rest and recover his strength.

While his comrade takes a short nap, Mound investigates the rock pool. The black blood has cleared, revealing what looks to be a shrine at the bottom, in the same pool in which had found the octopus.  There's even a small antelope figure at the bottom. Mound retrieves Gazelle's arrows and wakes up his new friend.

They set off again, arriving at a small peninsula jutting out in front of them. Realising they must  either cross the jungle or follow the coast round, they choose the latter.

After a short while the rocky beach becomes harder and harder to traverse, so they begin to climb the cliff and walk along the top, tracing the perimeter of the jungle.

Cousin Sunset detects some movement in the forest, and they find themselves almost surrounded by hill tribesman. Gazelle adopts a casual stance.

After some negotiation, the tribesfolk allow them to pass along, providing they fell no fresh tress and take only dead wood from the forest. They explain that they serve the forest spirit.

Goodnight, Sleep Tight, Sweet Dreams Tonight

By nightfall the group have rounded the peninsula. Distant lights can be seen on the horizon, but it is late so they decide to take shelter in a cave.

While on watch Mound spots a figure sat upon a rock. He calls out but receives no response.

Not until he ventures down to the seashore does he realise the figure is a middle-aged woman, who calmly joins him on the beach. She is unable to explain much about her situation, except that she was from the nearby fishing village.

Mound keeps a close eye out on the crashing waves, lit beneath the light of a half moon. The spirits seem... restless? In any case he is unable to decipher the nature of his situation, so responds as one human to another, inviting her to the cave.

Positioning his antelope to keep sentry duty, Mound tries to discuss the woman's past. Gazelle is disturbed by her presence, alternating between turning his back on her in order to sleep or facing her in case she attempts to murder him in his bedroll.

"What's your name?"

"They call me From-the-Well."

This does not put Gazelle at ease.

"She should climb back into the well..."

Finally, after learning that there are two villages nearby (one ruled by female elders, the other by male elders) they decide to walk along the beach in the middle of the night to return her to her community...

* * *

We will catch up with what occurred there at a later date. The next actual play report will return to Antelope, Rides-the-Grave and Wither.

That post can be read here:

https://aloneinthelabyrinth.blogspot.com/2020/09/pariah-actual-play-discord-session-10.html

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