Friday, 19 February 2021

THE UNLUCKY ONES: PARIAH CAMPAIGN, WEEK 30

This is the summary of the 30th week of the PARIAH campaign, covering 8th-13th February.

The previous session report is available at this link:
https://aloneinthelabyrinth.blogspot.com/2021/02/pariah-etau-campaign-session-28-29.html

You can catch up on all the session reports via this link here (all posts tagged "unluckyones"):
https://aloneinthelabyrinth.blogspot.com/search/label/unluckyones


Multiple sessions were put forward with the nature of the session determined by the players present, similar to a "west marches" style campaign. Dates provided are in-game, to help players to coordinate the events of the past few sessions.

Gazelles' Mission


GZM, 28th Day, Crow Moon

A suspicious pariah by the name of Stingray was passing through the community, asking after a travelling pariah named Blessed-by-the-Mound. Fearing for the safety of his former travelling companion, Gazelle volunteered to lead a mission to the northernmost coastal community, hoping to secure their allegiance to Etau. Having proved their resourcefulness during the trip to Eagle Island the pariah known as Cuckoo was nominated as scout, alongside adolescent spearmaid Hateful-is-the-Cat and porter Mercifully-Spake-the-Fox.

Along their journey the party encounter Mound, just as Gazelle had hoped. He is still searching for a shaman who might grant a name to From-the-Well. Bypassing the fishing village of Glassbeach (known to the pariahs to be cursed for their worship of weird ocean spirits) they arrive at the caves in the cliff, home to potential allies. They present tribute and spend the night.

 

GZM, 29th Day, Crow Moon

Cuckoo travels with From-the-Well and Mound, hoping to make contact with the the Hill Tribes. They happen upon half of a hunting party consisting of Toothless Bat, Sun-on-Water and their son. Mound promises that he and Cuckoo can help using the magic of Mound's carved antelope to track a worthy kill for their boy.

The party follow a trail of boar prints accompanied by much larger footprints, and are advised by the tribesman that they may have roused the genius loci, a two-headed ape with whom the hill tribes do not have a good relationship. Using a combination of trickery and magic(is their a difference?) the pariahs lead a boar into the ravine, crush it with the carcass of another boar they have slain, and outwit the spirit for long enough to reclaim it by sunset.

They feast together, and the happy parents invite the pariahs to suggest an adult given name for their son: Mound and Cuckoo agree upon  Sharply-fools-the-Ape . They are joined by the other half of the hunting party, wh have been less successful, and eat boar long into the night.  

Back at Cliffcave, Gazelle goes to sleep angrily, expecting the pariahs to return by dawn.

 

Behind the Scenes

Two players took part in this session, Louis of So Much Game (and occasionally Garblag Games) and Oisín of https://tirnanoggames.blogspot.com/2020/11/failed-careers-of-mirror-road.html

Xs were awarded twice to the characters for their achievements. They did of course also make firm allies out of the Hill tribes whom they had encountered.


Star['s] People [of the West]

For a number of days (and it was really quite a number) Star had been leading a group of  pariahs including the exiled idiot thief Cunning Bat, mysterious muscular mutant Draco-from-the-Battle, the two youths boy and girl, the 3 elders (including StoneheadGranny Bonelegs and as yet unnamed nonbinary elder) and of course their de facto leader, Star.

Having travelled from the northwest of the highest mountains  they were now seeking the warmer lowland climes and fresh coastal winds.

SP, 30th Day, Crow Moon

Descend into the tropical forests of the hill tribes, Star's followers head towards the coast with caution. Along the way they happen upon a hunting party of the hill tribes, encountering Mound, Cuckoo and From-the-Well among them.

After an attempt at gift -giving (in which the hunters are first bamboozled by Bat's wet clay that has "seen the wind" and then bowled over by some relatively unsophisticated flint tools) Cuckoo agrees to escort them towards the coast while Mound and the hunters seek out a shaman to find a true name for From-the-Well.

While Cunning Bat ascends a tree to get their bearings (Cuckoo inadvertently got them lost in a particularly dark corner of the forest), the youths were distracted by a slowly rotting corpse seemingly entangled in the roots of a half-dead tree. A shadowy wraith-like spirit attacked the elder Stonehead, chaos ensued. Neither Draco nor Cuckoo were able to wound the entities and, when a second shadow materialised, they fled. Draco scooped up the semi-conscious Stonehead. Cunning Bat did his best to scramble back down.

While Draco was initially able to avoid the rasping ethereal tendrils of the creature, the Blood-Drinker ultimately wrestled Stonehead to the ground. Using the power of the dusk, Cuckoo was able to invoke the insect intelligence to construct a prison about the wraith's host body, stopping one of their assailants dead in its tracks. The other Blood-Drinker was unaffected, but the diversion granted the pariahs the chance to flee to the edge of the forest and the bright late morning sunshine by the sea.

Some had picked up dark wounds during the struggle, and they had lost one of their elders, so it was hard to deal with the angry rantings of Gazelle when they returned to Cliff Cave. Nonetheless the storyteller was happy for Draco to lead a service of remembrance for their fallen comrade. The children ate well and, with full bellies, slept soundly.

Behind the Scenes

A continuation of Monday's game with Nye (https://twitter.com/ErsatzExpert), Oisín (https://tirnanoggames.blogspot.com/2020/11/failed-careers-of-mirror-road.html), Mr Kent (https://twitter.com/MrKentKomiks) and our very own Edd in Japan (let me know any social media accounts you wish for me to link please!

 

The Unwed Leopards

Meanwhile, in the southwest, a group of runaways as yet unwilling to marry themselves off to those to whom they had been betrothed had already ascended the mountain of the unwed, within sight of the legendary mountain Firetop and begun to descend into the river valley on the other side.

Among them were former shaman's assistant South Heron; the warrior Golden is the Worm, resplendent in his leopard skull helmet;  his erstwhile suitor Green Cloud; and the unintelligible elder  Dreaming Land of the Dreaming Land, an exiled settled person gifted in the written language.

Travelling with them were a small family of goats, apparently content to follow the group or protection. They also carried an ivory flute, an ancestral relic (according to South Heron) that carried the powers of their ancestors.


UnwLeo, 28th Day, Crow Moon

With a grand view of the valley before them, hints even of a distant ocean, the runaway bride and runaway groom began the eastward descent. Pondering at first whether to take in Firetop (the volcano that had long been taboo prior to their exile), they elected instead to follow the tributary down to  the river in the lowlands, hoping to encounter some culture along the way.

It was not until lunchtime that they finally happened upon anything of note. Pausing to catch their breath in the dense, humid, aromatic forest, they espied a procession of more than 20 tribesfolk. Hunters all, they wore a wide variety of hairstyles and clothing, seemingly from a range of tribes. Among them were elders, youths and even infants.  

The tribesfolk were all in good health and, according to the goods they carried, appeared to be somewhat wealth, too. Nonetheless they were reticent, suspicious and uncooperative. The pariahs watched them leave, before returning to their foraged meal of grubs and bitter figs.

By nightfall they had come to the lowlands. The river was wider and the forest denser. They built a fire and arranged watch for the night. South Heron was on watch when alarmed by sound and movement, followed by a yelp from on of the goats. Dreaming Time and Green Cloud stayed by the fire while Golden is the Worm pressed forward with an improvised torch, closely followed by South Heron.

The trail was easy to pick up, even in the dark, and they were aware that the creature was dragging something (probably one of their goats). South Heron worked a wider arc, hoping to flank it. In the light  of the torch, they beheld their quarry...


The black leopard dropped the kid goat from its jaws and leaned back, snarling at Worm. It pounced at the pariah, though he avoided serious injury, lashing out with his torch. Heron's bonesword was ineffectual, unable to land a blow while the predator tussled with Golden is the Worm. The leopard's claws caused the pariah to drop to the ground and, once felled, attempted to crush his windpipe with powerful jaws. It didn't let go.

Thinking quickly, Heron switched to his sling, employing it as a flail to bludgeon the creature. The blow to the head caused it to release its grip upon critically wounded Golden is the Worm, granting them a gilt-edged opportunity to thrust the burning torch into the creatures face with great force. Dazed, it slumped backwards before collapsing to the ground. 

Heron delivered the coup-d-grace before helping Worm to his feet and then back to camp. Green Cloud attempted to tend to him, while Heron retrieved the corpse of the goat and the leopard. They had nearly lost one of their fledgling band, but gained meat and a new pelt, possibly even a helmet in the style of Worm. They had gained a unifying motif and potentially a new name: the Unwed Leopards?

* * *

I'm pleased to announce that PARIAH is being included in the latest BUNDLE OF HOLDING offer OLD SCHOOL COOL

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For just US$7.95 you get all five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $33) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including Vagabonds of Dyfed, PARIAH, Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells (plus its Addendum rules expansion), and Fallen Justice.

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Purchase the digitally printed edition of PARIAH VOL 1 at Soul Muppet:

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

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