Tuesday, 2 March 2021


This is the summary of the 31st week of the PARIAH campaign, covering 14th-20th February.

The previous session report is available at this link:

You can catch up on all the session reports via this link here (all posts tagged "unluckyones"):

I've decided to lump these updates together as there were only 3 sessions played in that period. Incidentally, this brings the total number of PARIAH sessions (in this campaign) to 35, not including 3 sessions of "hudless" Pariah in a modified Lair of the Lamb and  2 sessions GMed by Louis in his Brù-Gar campaign setting (there will be further posts about this shortly). 

Given that the first (post-Kickstarter) session was played on 6th June, that's 40 sessions over nearly 38 weeks!

As the sandbox continues to evolve and develop I'm hoping some of the players will be happy to step-up and take on GM duties so we can start to flesh out this burgeoning world even more.

Visible/experienced world, end of most recent session.

Gazelles' Mission

Little-is-the-Gazelle volunteered to lead an envoy north towards the community of Cliffcave (previously unnamed) after their support was sought by Etau. Gazelle wished to warn his former travelling companion, Blessed-by-the-Mound, that an outsider named Stingray had been looking for him. Over-Hollow-Hills-Flies-the-Cuckoo was nominated as scout, alongside to settled folk to protect the mission. They warned Mound, and also ran into a gang of pariahs including Cunning Bat, Draco and Star. After losing an elder (Stonehead) to a wraith-like spirit, they prepared to return to Etau's settlement.

GM, 1st Day, Auroch Moon

After dawn and some refreshments the party—totalling 12 individuals—began their journey south, with Cuckoo leading and Gazelle bemonaing (as usual) the additional passengers they collected on the way. Once again they gave the (previously unnamed) settlement of Glassbeach short shrift, heeding Wither's warnings.  The fisher-folk of glass beach called after them "Tell Etau we will remember this snub!"

As before, the party elected to cut through the jungles rather than take the longer coastal route around the peninsula in H2,H3 and I3. Complaints from the children prompted Star to offer to carry them (they had complained about hunger...), though luckily the forests offered good foraging. Star and Cuckoo were able to do this on the move. Cunning Bat and Draco took point with Cuckoo; Star supported the youths, elders and with village spearmaiden Hateful-is-the-cat acting as sacrificial lamb rear-guard.

Just past noon they began to round the highlands and were due to begin the descent to the coast in H4 when they happened upon a break in the trees. Upon a rocky hillside they heard the sound of scuttling from the space beneath a flat boulder, propped up against a smaller rock. Leaving their physical body behind Cuckoo investigated, enticing an enormous scorpion from its hiding place while Draco and Cunning Bat protected Cuckoo's body. Star led the rest of the band down the slope (though away from their destination) while Cuckoo lured the Scorpion away, ultimately causing it to plunge to its apparent death.

The band were able to resume their journey, taking up a position upon the high cliff from which the scorpion plunged, before pummelling it with boulders to make sure it was dead. They took a long stroll back towards the bottom of the cliff and set about harvesting the creature's flesh and chitin. before resuming their trek to the coast. 

By mid afternoon the party were approaching the coast when a cry distracted Star: the two youths One and Two (alternatively, "girl" and "boy") were overjoyed to see Stonehead, back from the dead! The elders, Old Sharp and granny Bonlegs were likewise pleased, as was Draco (who felt responsible for his disappearance)... Cunning Bat was unconvinced. To him Stonehead looked like a ghost, and his new-found aversion to direct sunlight did nothing to dissuade Cunning Bat from that conclusion. Nonetheless the pariahs assembled an impromptu sun-shade and wrapped him in torn sacks.

Gazelle was unimpressed but counselled keeping Stonehead's status from Etau. For his part, Stonhead seemed mostly normal, and his account of surviving the attacked seemed mostly legitimate...

After a few hours walking along the each the pariahs cut in land. Cresting the forested  ridge that separated the coast from the paddy fields Star, Cunning Bat and Draco were awe-struck by the sight of the setting sun reflecting off miles of wetland and the smoke rising from a distant settlement. For Gazelle and Cuckoo the sight was more alarming: during their short absence, the lands of Etau had been completely flooded.

Two blue-robed men paddled by in a boat, proclaiming the glory of the Daughter of the River, inviting the pariahs to join them as servants at the Temple of Water. They scoffed at them, and in return the angry priests paddled away, yelling accusations.

Unable to reach Etau by the usual route, the pariahs headed towards Fishergoat, further down the coast, arriving a few hours past sundown. The rag-tag bunch were mostly well-received, and no news of the flood seemed to have yet reached them. 

Cuckoo, despondent, gave Fleet Snailwife a hug. 


Behind the Scenes

This was a continuation of Saturday 13th'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!)     


Refugees from Water Temple

After the disaster at the Temple of Water and the ambush by the Hill Tribes resulting in critical injury to Beautiful Other far from the Lake, she and Witheringly Footed in the Point and Earnestly Wooded far from the Dreaming Land were determined to find shelter for themselves and the 9 orphan acolytes.

1st Day, Auroch Moon

At roughly midnight the acolytes locate an abandoned cluster of huts, presumably vacated by labourers when the drought begun to worsen a few weeks ago. Herein the pariahs Mortally-Rides-The-Monkey ("Mortal"  ) and Dreamed-through-the-Dragon were attempting to rest but are soon overwhelmed by the 12 runaways from disaster. Accepting their fate, they merely instruct them to get some sleep.

By dawn's light the pariahs get a good look at the two outcasts , the somewhat repulsive Dragon and the nervous, skull-faced Mortal, and persuade them to join them as the lands will soon be flooded by the angry Daughter-of-the-River

Returning to the settlement, a long discussion with Wolfskin preceded the breaking of the bad news to Etau. She remained calm, but stated that the pariahs would be exiled (again) for the foreseeable future. She had planned to employ them the clearing of hex H6 but believed there would be no time for this, though she suggested they move into that area for the time being. Earnestly Wooded implored Etau to leave and take her followers with her, lest innocent blood be spilled when the Forest Spirit's followers launch their assault on the settlement. Etau stated she had powerful allies and was not afraid.

The whole band (sans Gazelle/Cuckoo's party) gathered their meagre belongings and departed. Three of the young acolytes joined them, with 6 remaining at Etau's. The majority remained at the fringe of the forest while an advance guard scouted ahead. They engaged in a short discussion with Small Bird and his brother, two hunters of the Crimson Sky (a tribe allied to the Hill tribes) described their movements before a great weeping fig. Mortal placed an offering before the tree.

Heading to higher ground, the pariahs made camp for the night, their first of their new life in the forest.


2nd Day, Auroch Moon

At dawn the party headed back to the weeping fig tree, and once again made an offering before the spirit. This time they noted a change in temperature and sound, perhaps just for a moment, acknowledging their presence. EW experimented with the rod they retrieved from the water temple, before passing it on to Mortal. He was able to conjure a water elemental, ordering it to go and fetch taro roots from the flooded lands. While waiting, Wither experimented witht he wand he had been given by the Black Goat, surmising that it needed to be recharged somehow, and EW found some mushrooms.

After an hour the elemental had not returned. However, the pariahs noticed that several large taro roots had been deposited around the immediate area, in apparently random piles. Realising that this was the work of the elemental the spirit was dismissed and the roots gathered.

On there way back to the rest of the band the party encountered a mated pair of raptors with two young. They did allowed the pariahs to approach but ultimately left without interacting further, half-chewing one of the taro roots pulled from Dragon's sled.


Around lunchtime the party arrived back at the temporary Pariah camp on the edge of the forest. In the distance the full extent of the temple flood was visible, light from the noon sun bouncing off the enormous wetland that had grown up around the settlement.

It was decided they would take the band to the spirit-tree and prepare a great feast for the elders of the Crimson Sky to discuss the possibility of the Unlucky Ones remaining in the forest. After leaving the band at the tree, they once again witnessed the power of their offering to the spirit-tree when a tiger passed them by without incident.

Finally arriving at the tribe, a delegation joined them which they escorted back to the spirit tree. The tribe invited them to stay in the next for the rest of the first quarter, but warned that were they to stay longer they would expect them to join in the conflict with Etau. They also stated that it was their duty to defend the territory from southern incursion: the ant hive was but a few miles to the south, up in the great hills.

The delegation departed, advising the pariahs to camp at some distance from the spirit-tree. They also warned that the hills to the southwest were considered taboo: ancient tales tell of a fallen star. 

The new camp of the Unlucky Ones was set up in the foothills, on the site of where Dragon, Mortal, Beautiful other, Wither and Earnestly Wooded had done the night before.


3rd Day, Auroch Moon

An expedition was made into the southwestern territory as a prospective site for the pariahs to avoid antagonising the hill tribes, the ant hive and Etau. Making their ascent through the forested hills to the north of the Black goat's mountainous cave they became increasingly aware of regular stone structures. It was also clear that the trail they were following included multiple stone steps.

Earnestly Wooded suggested smoking sorcerer's sage in order to better assess the nature of what they were experiencing. While EW found the experience nothing short of nauseating, Wither caught a glimpse of another world. On the periphery of his vision lurked ghosts: tall , slender figures milling up and down the steps along the slopes of the hills, and in and out of stone settlements.

They were atop a city... a city of ghosts... 

Behind the Scenes

The events above were first described in sessions on 20th and 27th February 2021. Players included Locheil of https://nothicseye.blogspot.com/, Oisín of https://tirnanoggames.blogspot.com/, Semiurge of http://archonsmarchon.blogspot.com/ and Theistic Gilthoniel of https://pilgrimtemple.blogspot.com/

* * *

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  1. Idk where else to post this, but your pariah system is one of my favorites so far. So thanks for making it.

    1. Also these campaign recaps are really great to read, imo.

    2. Hi Janet, thanks for the kind words, you're very welcome! Campaign is on ice at the moment but I hope we can get it up and running again at some point in the future.