Friday 13 September 2013

A Town Called Malice

In the course of our most recent session, Cramer the Rogue became a devotee of the Spiteful God. 

With one line of the Gate Spell obtained, the party went directly to the Temple of Slangg, arriving just as the evening service was ending. There, the High Priest presented them with a riddle. If one of them could answer the riddle correctly, Slangg – through his mouthpiece in Khare, the High Priest – would grant them one boon. However, in doing so they would gamble their soul. Answer incorrectly and they would become a devotee of Slangg. Mopsy the Knight wasn’t about to risk his virtue, so Cramer stepped up to answer the riddle. I think everyone was tired (in real life as well as in the game world). Cramer put forward an answer, the High Priest laughed, and in a voice that was not quite his own, Cramer announced that he was now an ardent worshipper of Slangg. The High Priest smiled, and invited another member of the party to try again during the dawn service the following day.

There was some discussion over just what was included in the domain of a God of Malice, and how that would differ from the portfolios of other Evil gods, given that Cramer would now have to embody the ‘virtues’ of his god while remaining a playable character. Cramer was already a ruthless bastard, so adding a pinch of malice and spite to the mix shouldn’t be too hard… 

The party retired to the Wayfarer’s Rest, a dockside tavern. Cramer blanched at the prices demanded – 4GP for a bed, 4GP for a meal – and sat outside to eat one of the pies given to the party by the grateful Gnomes. When he returned, he found Ho Lee the Sorcerer and Mopsy matching a group of drunk sailors drink for drink. The sailors poured some of their drink on the floor of the tavern, and told the mournful story of their shipmate, who had kissed a God and been rewarded with death. With a little probing, the party were able to learn something of the Temple of Courga, Goddess of Grace. Asking about the Hidden Nobles, the sailors told them that they had heard that all the Hidden Lords were undead. 

It was good, strong grog that the sailors were buying the PCs, but it was worth it as slaving is obviously very good business – see the prices of the Wayfarer’s Rest. As the SLAVERS drew their coshes, the party all had to Test Their Luck. Which the all passed, leaving the sailors facing three clear eyed and well-armed Adventurers! 

Mopsy, ever chivalric, decided that he wouldn’t kill essentially unarmed men, however wicked their intent, and used his shield to keep the two that came at him at bay. Cramer, on the other hand, drew her sword and began slashing away at the two slavers that closed in on him. Ho Lee scarpered, scrambling over tables, kicking over stools, slipping amongst the crowd, as a weasel faced sailor chased him down. Pulling a bamboo flute from the sleeves of his robe, Ho Lee cast JIG, making the leader of the gang (fighting Mopsy) dance to the Sailors’ Hornpipe. Co-incidentally, that slaver, possessed of a mouth filled with broken teeth, rolled a double one in the first round, sending his cosh spinning away under the tables. So now he was dancing involuntarily, was unarmed, and trying to menace a knight! Things weren’t going to go well for these thugs, were they? 

The tavern punters watched amused, while the squat, bald, scarred barman picked up his club, ready to break up the fight. 

Mopsy stayed on the defensive, but within three rounds Cramer had spilled the innards of one of the slavers all over the floor of the tavern, and the gang lost the stomach for the fight. But not before the weasel faced thug (and a bunch of other people) lost the contents of their stomachs. Ho Lee, nearly cornered by the thug, cast NIF. With stink oozing from his pores, and lacking nose plugs, Ho Lee was sick over the slaver, who projectile vomited in return, sparking a chain reaction among the nearby punters. 

The barman was unperturbed by the violence but none too pleased with the mess. Ho Lee and his bamboo flute provided free entertainment for the rest of the evening in recompense. 

The next morning Ho Lee was able to successfully answer the riddle, and the High Priest told them that he had heard that one of the Hidden Nobles, who had been a wealthy merchant, had divested himself of all his riches and had taken to living in Beggartown to avoid the attention of his enemies. Asking about graveyards in Khare, the party were told that only the wealthiest or most important citizens of Khare are buried - most bodies are dropped in the Jibaji River and float out of town. Deciding to check out the cemetery, the party skirted the RED EYE ghetto and passed through a market… 

Well, they eventually passed though the market, but only after extensive trading. The party sold Mopsy’s warhorse, Ed, along with a MANTICORE mane and the uncut gems found in the Shamutanti Hills. I decided that, in addition to the mundane traders, there was also a small shop, run by an ELVIN, selling basic magic items and components. Much perusing of equipment lists later and the PCs headed off to the cemetery where they found the mausoleum of Shinva, Lord of Khare. It seems that the hidden aspect of being a Lord of Khare is irrelevant once you are dead. 

Descending into the depths, the party were confronted by a DEATHWRAITH, an incorporeal, dagger wielding apparition. Mopsy adopted his now hardwired defensive stance, but the Deathwraith’s dagger passed through his shield and his armour, leaving a bloodless wound on his soul. Ho Lee, quickly realised what is going on and blasted away with the ZAP spell. Boy, is that spell powerful – 3d6 points of STAMINA damage! Especially when you forget to apply the Deathwraith’s resistance to magic. Nevertheless, the Deathwraith was doomed – Ho Lee had the STAMINA points he would have needed to frazzle the Deathwraith regardless of my error in refereeing. 

The ghostly assassin defeated, the party were then greeted by a second apparition, this time of Lord Shinva. After his death he had been trapped, compelled to serve as undead Lord of Khare, ‘protected’ by the Deathwraith. The party learned that the walls of Khare were not only magical, but were possessed of some kind of intelligence. The walls were Khare. Released from his duty, Shinva was now able to finally pass into the afterlife, but before he did he taught the party the third line of the Gate Spell. And that is where we left things for the evening. 

To be played over the closing credits:


  1. This sounds an absolute blast!

    Though I must say the Deathwraith gave me a lot more trouble in the book.

    I wonder if the sartorial choices of the priests of Slangg are a bit of an amusing role reversal of the monks of a certain real world religion - never noticed the similarity before rereading the info in the wiki!