Sunday, 30 August 2020

PARIAH ACTUAL PLAY—DISCORD SESSION 08 [FIRE AFTER MIDNIGHT]

This is a summary of what went down in the eighth session of the regular PARIAH Sunday Sandbox session. To catch up on what happened last time, please read this report: https://aloneinthelabyrinth.blogspot.com/2020/08/pariah-actual-play-discord-session-07.html

To find out more about PARIAH please read this post or trawl through the many, many posts tagged pariah at this link https://aloneinthelabyrinth.blogspot.com/search/label/Pariah.


CONTENT WARNING: Medium scale destruction of communal property by arson...
(This took place on Sunday 26th July in the real world)

SESSION 08: DAY 11 CROW MOON 


As Witheringly-Footed-in-the-Point's wounds were self-inflicted he merely required a good day and night's rest to get his blood back up. Nervously-Rides-the-Grave and Antelope also needed to catch up on the sleep they'd missed out on after a night spent collecting tributes and invoking spirits.

They rested with Wolf-Skin, though he continued to fret about the absence of Etau, especially given the raiding party the pariahs had fought off a few hours before.

Consequently, there was no chance to catch up on that sleep.

A reply was received from Fox-through-the-Spring, via magical messenger bird. It was a thin piece of dried bark, upon which an even cruder picture had been drawn:


The party took this to mean that Fox and Lake-under-the-Mountain had completed their mission, to provide Etau with the giant amber egg(?) that they had been given by the Ant-Queen. It was therefore considered necessary to return to the hive.

Before they left, Wolfskin asked for their protection. Either Rides-the-Grave or Wither recommended that the entire settlement stay within the protected perimeter of Etau's stockade.

Hive Revisited

The trip up the hill passed without incident. Rides-the-Grave was wary of the proposed meeting, and the psychedelic ant-queen did not disappoint him.

After some discussion, the seemingly pleased ant-queen presented the party with a second not-egg, asking them to take it to Etau, and to ask Fox and Lake to come and see her if they passed her by.

Antelope and Wither were bound of course to the Ant-Queen, and promised to fulfil the duty. Rides-the-Grave pondered the whims and motivations of the spirits, comparing them to humans (and not for the last time).

The sun set as they made their way back down the mountain stream towards the settlement.

Settlement

Two slightly nervous spearmen stood guard at the gates to the settlement. RtG threw his voice as a prank, and saw the two of them were pretty spooked. There was some debate with the hapless guards, who only let them enter when they remembered the honey they had shared on the previous visit.

Within the stockade a much larger assembly of peoples was occurring: Wolfskin had gathered most of the farm-workers together for safety and this, combined with the absence of their chief and protector Etau, led to a slightly festive atmosphere. Rice wine was being shared amongst the locals, who were beating drums and generally trying their best to have a good time.

Wither and Antelope settled down for some drinking, while RtG asked Wolfskin if he could perhaps offer his assistance in return for some training. Wolfskin asked him to retrieve some familiar healing herbs and a less familiar purple orchid from the swamps. It is an entheogen with similar properties to a sleepflower.

Rude awakening

Cries of "fire" were heard from outside the stockade, and soon most people were awake.

Climbing the ramparts revealed that the smaller "satellite" settlement (Wolfskin's site of exile was now ablaze. RtG, Wither and Antelope leaped over the parapet to the rescue.

With his magic wand Wither conjures forth a great storm loud, which begins to rain gently upon a small part of the burning settlement. Four silhouettes are seen escaping down towards the rivers edge towards a dugout canoe.

Arrows are exchanged between the two parties as they make their escape, one of which strikes Wither, though they are not peturbed and pursue the canoe upstream.

RtG summons his eldritch spirit, and an indigo-black shape skims across the water, dragging one of the four figures into the river. In the confusion the boat stops, and Antelope dives in hoping to board.

Wither hurls his spear and a second of the raiders is felled, but he receives a second arrow for his troubles, this time falling prone. The other bowman are unable to pick out the pariahs, who have the advantage of darkness and some tree cover (and in Antelope's case, water).

Antelope leaps clear of the water, onto the boat but is unable to land a blow on either of the remaining raiders. RtG dives in the water to offer his assistance, but is unable to prevent Anteope from receiving a stab wound to the stomach. The second raider fires arrows towards the shore fruitlessly, and is then surprised to see RtG emerge from the river, dripping wet and glowering.

RtG ire is reserved for the raider who has taken Antelope down, all his attempt to club him leads to a wobble and nearly capsizes the whole canoe. Nonetheless he is victorious in the ensuing melee, sending one of the figures into the water.

The remaining raider turns to RtG. He is wearing a wooden mask, similar to some of the hilltribesmen they fought off the previous day.The mask falls from his face, revealing an ordinary man beneath, but the wooden mask ascends into the sky, retreating towards the depths of the forest.

RtG clubs the man over the head, knocking him out. He helps Wither to his feet and the two of them bring back the wounded Antelope and their new prisoner. The fire appears to be out, but it has caused significant damage to Wolfskin's little hamlet. All retire to the stockade to rest and recover.


DAY 12 CROW MOON 


The following morning Wolfskin wakes the pariahs, informing them that Antelope is not in good health. Rides-the-Grave attests to her bravery, but Wolfskin warns that while she will eventually recover, she may not be as powerful a fighter as she was before. HE then sggests they interrogate the prisoner.

The prisoner is uncooperative and indignant, claiming Etau's settlement want to be like ants and have rejected "the old ways". Wither points out that they are ALL acting in service of the spirits, wouldn't it be better if they served themselves instead? The conversation starts becoming circular.

A small boy runs in, breathlessly explaining that Etau is on her way back. Wolfskin states that he should meet her on the way, to catch her up and explain the latest chaos, and that they should wait for he and Etau to return. Rides-the-Grave and Wither continue to speak with the hilltribesman, finding out the his name is Come-from-the-Jungle, which may or may not have been his idea of a joke.

They do learn that the Hill Tribes are servants of an entity called the Spirit-of-the-Forest, who seems to have declared war on the settled tribes.

Mama's Home...

Etau returns to her half-burned village and a gaggle of hungover farm-workers, yet her mood is buoyant. She is grateful for the second globe from the Ant-Queen, demonstrating its significance: this is special honey manufactured by the ant-queen's drones.

Etau explained that this gift confirms the new alliance between her settlement and the Hive. The Forest Spirit will be defeated!

"With me, the Ant-Queen and my new wisewoman, we will be unstoppable! Now get some rest," she says, "I will have a new mission for you tomorrow!"

* * *

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

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