27 September 2018

Fomalhaut/Kowloon Planet - Barzon Session Report 2

September 25, 2018. Session 2 on the planet Fomalhaut-1, on Barzon, an island of the Emerald Sea (a module by Gabor Lux aka Melan.)

Last time! Summary: Powerful figures are searching for Zena and Pangea who are
now in disguise: Denna Swaura (head of the empire's soldiers on the island of Barzon who's heard they're here and nothing more, but is suspicious that strangers have been allowed in by the xenophobic Svanth), Ullkmaran (the despicable merchant, whom they utterly despise and seek revenge on who tried to paralyze them with wasp poison under friendly pretense so he could sell them as slaves in a larger city), and Svanth (local ruler of the island who plans a coup againt Denna and has hired the players to aid him in ensuring it's a sheer massacre with little losses for his 30 loyal soldiers.)


Though they're in disguise,they're also the only two strangers in the whole city. Anyone who's looking for them is looking for a pair of women strangers. Zena and Pangea split up to carry out their plans as quickly as possible and to avoid detection. They only have two and a half days until the coup, the day the Flying Gods descend upon heretics, according to their purpose. (For now though, the giant wasps are only interested in preying upon sheep.)

Zena searched the docks, hoping to discover information or contacts advantageous to the party's goals of 1. exploding Ullkmaran's ship and 2. getting off the island of Barzon. She found guards, sailors, and other workers at the docks. One of them left Ullkmaran's ship and still worked for him after several voyages. She was able to learn a bit about his treacherous habits. This sailor helped her get a job as sailor aboard the ship, prompting it's likely departure within the next few days, possibly the very next day.

Meanwhile, Pangea was in the Public House eating lunch and buying beers for a table full of miscreants. They were immediately impressed with her and her generous, confident attitude and stories of foreign oddities. After much discussion, she convinced them to help her rob Ullkmaran's warehouse, load supplies into the ship, and steal the ship itself for the excitement of foreign travels.

Zena rejoined Pangea in time for Swaura, the Amazon-like captain of the empire's local army to search the room for the two of them. She'd heard about foreigners whose arrival her ship had failed to detect, and whom Svanth had failed to restrain, expel, or murder in his usual fashion and she suspects them of consorting with him for some purpose. She scanned the room and Zena stood out as unfamiliar to her, but she didn't notice Pangea.

When she approached the table, Pangea slipped into the kitchen seeking another way out of the building. A bribe kept the extortive cook quiet and informative. Pangea informed the table quietly while Swaura stood nearby, silent and attentive. When Zena attempted to leave, Swaura attempted to interrogate her, but Zena fled to the alley with Pangea and the two both tripped Swaura from opposite sides of the exit door, and injected her with paralyzing wasp poison they had obtained from Ullkmaran. Zena did her best to apologize and explain that they were really on Swaura's side of things in the end and were refusing to aid in her murder at their own peril and loss. They left her in the alley, knowing she may regain control of her muscles within a couple of hours.

Their newly-collected gang (3 mooks and 3 scoundrel adventurers) had fled out the front door, so they feared they had lost their chance, but the gang was merely watching them from a block away, waiting for safety.

They hurried to the warehouse that night without time to case the place and learn guard routines for fear the ship might leave in the morning. After tricking the guards, a few at a time, into falling downstairs with armor loosened (from a powerful magical item the party got from their previous Hot Springs Island campaign) and then killing them, the party grabbed everything of value from the warehouse and shared it with their new gang equally without complaint.

They dismissed one of the gang who feared their heretical magic (I rolled a morale check for each member after they saw magical tactics used in battle) after interrogating him to ensure he wouldn't snitch.

Next time, they'll have to find a way to get the necessary supplies from the warehouse to the ship without city soldiers, harbor guards, or their named enemies catching on and killing them for their crimes.

17 September 2018

Fomalhaut/Kowloon Planet - Barzon Session Report 1

September 16, 2018. Session 1 of a new campaign on the planet Fomalhaut-1, on Barzon, an island of the Emerald Sea (a module by Gabor Lux aka Melan)
Pangea and Zena are foreign heretics who arrived in the palace's court by an ancient, long unused portal from Hot Springs Island. They can escape punishment by secretly helping Svanth. The flying gods (giant wasps) will rend the Empire's soldiers on the day of Ascendance (three days from now.) Some of the Empire's soldiers are loyal to Svanth, who is the Trademaster and a local ruler. He needs their commander dead, he needs his untrusted merchant ally Ullkmaran kept indoors and away from the events of that day, and he needs the empire's soldiers dead. It's absolutely necessary that no one learns that anyone local is involved. The flying gods will be the only recorded cause of the coup.
This seems like I'm railroading the party a bit. That's slightly true, but my players know they can do whatever they can get away with, even when pinned down. Read on to see.
Svanth sent some of the city soldiers with Pangea and Zena to prevent the flying gods from tearing them to bits, since they are foreigners and, by necessity, heretics.
They went to meet with Ullkmaran in his home. They sensed ill portent when they saw teenage girls in skimpy clothes accompanying him. He offered wine and they bargained with him, offering drugs or silver for paralyzing poison he makes of flying god remnants when they land in the wasteland to die.
I felt weird about including something so distasteful even though it's in the module. It really characterizes him strongly and gave me a sense of how to play him. I gave him a very gentle, effeminate voice.
He agreed and they drank together as he inquired about their lives and the lands they had been through. Pangea was leery of the wine and only sipped it, but Zena downed it in one gulp, after checking to see that the city guards were not poorly affected, and she immediately became paralyzed. Before she did, however, Ullkmaran convinced the city guard to leave the room to get more wine and he ordered one of his two present bodyguards to leave as well.
Pangea. the merchant, and his remaining guard fought. The battle was very chaotic due to a magical object and the merchant used all of his laser gun ammo at once (due to an unlucky roll) to do very little damage and Pangea killed his guard with a crossbow.
They agreed to part peacefully in the end, due to ramifications for either party. Ullkmaran did not appear to desire to act with hostility with the city guard present, though his bodyguards (11 were then present) laughed a bit when they ascertained his intentions. The party didn't want to die fighting so many of his men.
Ullkmaran (a 5th level thief) is stalking them. He normally wouldn't go to such trouble for slaves, but he would like an opportunity to steal Pangea's powerful magic necklace (which was used in the altercation.)
They found ancient, fragile explosives in wreckage at the bottom of a green-tinged crater (the wasteland that the gods supposedly go to when they're ready to die.)
The explosives each do 6d6 damage and could explode on a 1 in 6 if jostled. The city guard warned the party of their danger and fragility, but the party doesn't know the specifics. Zena and Pangea each stored one in their own pack, "carefully."
Only one ship is big enough to travel much distance. This is a small island they want to get off of, so they had been planning to steal the thing or secure passage, depending on what was most feasible. The rest of the harbor is populated by fishing boats. The players then tried to work out how to blow the big ship up because it belongs to Ullkmaran, and they just hate hate hate him.
They wrote him a love letter from the commander of the Empire's army, asking him to her room at a specific time. They intend to poison her with a lethal overdose of paralysis poison and get him to show up just afterward.
The party finally bought new clothes in town, went into a changing tent, put on heavy makeup and went out the back in an attempt to evade their personal soldier escort. It worked. Additionally, the flying gods did not attack them when they were unattended.