Saturday, 2 January 2021

PARIAH "ETAU" CAMPAIGN, SESSION 24: Chimpanzee Parade

These events continue from the TWENTY-THIRD session. The real world session took place on Saturday 19th December on the Atelier Hwei Discord. Today is the 2nd January 2021. You can listen to an audio summary of this session here:

https://anchor.fm/alonein-thelabyrinth/episodes/Pariah-Session-24-Round-Up-eo1a9j

(note: this podcast omits some information)

- Mister Kent https://twitter.com/MrKentKomiks as Beautiful Other-far-from-the-Lake
- Oisín https://twitter.com/OisinoftheHill playing as Over-Hollow-Hills-Flies-the-Cuckoo
- JFur https://jenniferixon.itch.io/ playing as Fallen-far-from-the-Wind

Mercifully-Wasted-from-the-Tribe was NPCed.

Some bonobos.


DAY 25, CROW MOON FINAL QUARTER (still the same day!)

Jungle Trek & Eagle Seers

From the cave of the shaman (High Mountain) the pariahs begin a trek through the heavily forested slopes of the island's tallest peak, intending to consult the island's authority, the Great Eagle Spirit.

Along the way they witness a snail larger than a hut devouring part of the forest: they grant it a wide berth, ultimately arriving at a Waterfall with a small cave. They retrieved some turquoise stones from the bottom of the cool pool the waterfall formed.

Happening upon a trail leading to a plateau beneath the mountain's peak, the pariahs met the island's aloof leadership, a council of seven blind seers holding a vigil around three small fires. Access to the eagle itself was not granted, but the party were granted permission to take Zhao from her cave to High Mountain's, so long as High Mountain had consented (which he had).


The Ape Clan

On their way to finding the apes, the apes found them. One of the troop—a female ape elder—was able to express herself sufficiently to arrange a conference with their leadership. She indicated that the pariahs should leave their weapons behind, which they did, under the watchful eye of Mercifully Wasted who remained behind to guard them.

They were brought to the home of the apes, a jungle clearing, and presented to an ancient bald male chimp called Ao Ao. Though able to communicate with some near-human vocalisations, the chimp was frustrated by the slow progress, so encouraged the pariahs to join him in imbibing what appeared to be shaman shrooms and travelling to the Dawn Realm were conversation was more fluid, though not without its limits. Beautiful Other felt nauseated by the mushrooms.



In the dawn realm the Ao Ao agreed that the Clan of Apes would assist the pariahs in retrieving Zhao and taking her to High Mountain to be healed. This would facilitate the passage of Swims-like-Dolphin from the island, pleasing the human clans and improving the standing of the Ape Clan among the humans. Zhao was also spoken of as an ally of the apes, or at least someone with whom they traded, though they had not realised that she had been transformed into an eagle-witch.

Just as they were emerging from the psychedelic experience, Ao Ao casually mentioned that the path would cross through the territory of the giant spiders.
 

Assistance of the Dusk Spirit

With a retinue of 9 chimpanzees the pariahs followed the female ape elder (who was not at any point named) into the forest and down the northern slope towards the craggy coast. Along the way they would pass through the Spiderlands. Ao Ao advised that though he was confident they had sufficient numbers to overcome the spiders, it was not without risk and he did not want to lose any of his clan. The apes seemed to defer to the greater intelligence of the humans for advice on how to proceed.

The forest canopy was full of webs, and large spiders as big as dogs could be spotted lurking at various points above them. Cuckoo invoked the dusk spirit that they had been granted following communion with a sentient insect swarm and used this to entangle a spider in its own web while the troop sprinted across the clearing with the pariahs close behind.

This seemed to have the desired effect as there were no further encounters with spiders as they continued their journey.

Zhao's Meeting Spot?

After nearly an hour along the steep coastal path, the female elder led them inland and halted in a clearing. Ao Ao explained that they were at the usual spot where they would meet Zhao. The pariahs realised that they would now have to lead the way back to the cave, though they had not travelled this way previously. It would simply mean returning to the coast path and following the route above the steep cliffs.

The party rounded the northernmost tip of the island in the late afternoon. Tragedy struck when a huge flying shape burst from the forest, ploughed into the line of chimpanzees and knocked one of them off the cliff, tumbling more than one hundred feet into the water below. The creature returned to the forest.

Taking Fallen's lead, Cuckoo and Beautiful Other notched arrows and waited for the creature to remerge: a great winged creature did reappear, and the three released their arrows. They proved to be as ineffective as the improvised missiles hurled by their chimpanzee retinue. 




The winged entity, apparently wearing the face of a human, dived to the water's surface and disappeared from view.

The troop made a steady tactical withdrawal, keeping weapons drawn and wits about them. Ao Ao stated that the victim had been the child of his own sister, but that they should proceed.

Proceed they did, though mournfully.

Zhao's Cave

Before the sun set they arrived at a familiar sight: the rocky bay of Zhao's cave. Swims-Like-Dolphin was diving for oysters beneath the high waves. The espadrilles were still neatly arranged at the cave's mouth.

Venturing inside, they received no answer when they called out. Of greater concern was that the cave appeared to be empty. Beyond the blood-stained bedding left by Zhao was the opening of a a smaller tunnel which they had noticed before. 

Waiting at the cave's mouth for Swims-like-Dolphin to return from his diving, they found the young man to be more confused than before: repetitive and apparently conflating Zhao was another unknown female. He did not know where she had gone. As the sun began to sink low in the sky they made their way back to Garnish and Fleet with their reduced retinue of mournful apes.

* * *

The campaign continues at:
https://aloneinthelabyrinth.blogspot.com/2021/01/pariah-etau-campaign-session-25-save.html.

Purchase the digitally printed edition of PARIAH VOL 1 at Soulmuppet:

https://soulmuppet-store.co.uk/products/pariah-volume-1

Download the art-free edition of PARIAH for no charge at the following well-know digital RPG stores:

https://atelier-hwei.itch.io/pariah-art-free

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