Dads+Kids+Tekumel

I taught my daughter rpgs when she was five. We connected with other dads+kids at the local game store, Aero Hobbies in Santa Monica (Home of the Thief!). Eventually the GM bowed out and I sighed and once again took up the mantle of GM (I so wanted to just be a player for a change!) I ran this game concurrently with one on Roll20, thinking (erroneously) this would require no extra prep time. Anyway, they took divergent paths, and it's funny to see how the kids made different choices than the adults did. Here are the Dads+Kids notes. The Roll20 notes are posted separately.

Adults + Kids Tekumel Campaign


First Session, June 11th, 2014 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn)

Our three young adventurers left their home island on a purloined boat (on the first intercalary festival day), and on their journey encountered a few water creatures. They picked up a couple of survivors from a pirate raid, Sid hiDartha and Nan hiKuri, and returned them to their clan house in Jakalla, the Clan of the Blazoned Sail (on Hasanpor / March 3rd). Now they're honored guests, in spite of being barbarians... XP: 150 each.


Second Session, Aug 9th, 2014 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Chad, Kaylee, Chase)

We had some new players. Fortunately we gained two spellcasters and a fighter, which was the perfect addition to our party. Now fat and happy living off the largess of the Clan of the Blazoned Sail in Jakalla, their sailor friends wondered if the party might be interested in the Hirilakte arena. The clan sponsors a team and some events... But no, the foreigners were not interested. So on Hasanpor the 6th, the clan asked if the party would do them a favor and clear some squatters out of a certain property they owned. Accepting, they took off for the Foreigners Quarter with a clan representative to lead the way.

Sadly, some squatter urchins spotted the party and the squatters had sufficient time to prepare. Chamber pots and pieces of brick rained down by way of welcome. One of the players tried climbing in an upper window, but finally gave that idea up. Meanwhile the remainder of the party tried breaking through the barricaded door. A well-aimed brick knocked their guide out, and in the ensuing confusion a local urchin was apprehended rifling the body. One party member sicced her dog on the poor child, and there was a decidedly unhappy ending. Especially sad as the party had been asked to avoid fatalities. Meanwhile the casters tossed a demoralizing Curse spell at the second-story artillerists, then slung a Darkness spell through the crumbling door. A melee began (subdual damage rather than deadly), and finally one of the casters hit the squatters' leader with a successful Charm spell.

The leader was convinced that the first few players were his friends, come to help 'push out' those pesky intruders. The leader told his fellows that these fine strangers were friends, and so they rushed past them and into the alley to 'push' the invaders away. Sadly, the party members in the alley were not privy to the plan, and upon seeing the rushing toughs they drew blades and shortly thereafter, drew blood. Finally, there were no squatters left on the ground floor or outside, the party took a quick glance around, and decided to hold off further exploration until next time. XP: 150 each.


Third Session, Sept 13th, 2014 (Sarah, Patrick, Trey)

They had killed all of the men in the clan of squatters during the last session, so it only remained to clear the building and turn it back over to their patron clan. The clan representative had been beaned with a brick and was unconscious. Only one sorcerer knew a Cure spell, he'd only memorized it once, and he'd used it on himself last session. No one had taken the Healing skill. So the man stayed down, not able to provide any guidance.

The party confronted women and children who were attempting to flee from the third floor. Another clever use of the Curse spell demoralized them, including one woman who had taken up an axe to delay the party's approach. The party carefully herded the squatters out, then split the party so some could stay and guard the building while the others went after a healer for the guy who'd been bonked by a brick. On the way they encountered more beggars and peddlers, and they were almost knocked down by a weaving, partying Ahoggya. They initially attacked, but finally backed down when it started shouting at them and they realized it wasn't a rampaging monster! One of the beggars they'd given some coin to finally showed them to a healer. They brought their clan patron back to the building, showed him it was cleared, and headed back to the clanhouse.

They brightened up at the thought of their promised reward, getting to pick additional equipment from the clan's storehouses. XP: ?

Fourth Session, March 14th, 2015 (Sarah, Roxy, Billy, Patrick, Trey)

Hasanpor the 7th: The Clan of the Blazoned Sail was pleased to open their warehouses to the party of brave, helpful visitors from the island of Pedendali. This was a reward for having cleared some squatters out of a clan property in the Foreigners Quarter. The young islanders happily chose some additional gear for themselves, and began to feel a bit more comfortable about their new lives in Jakalla.

A few days later, their two sailor friends, Sid and Nan, presented the party with a new request. It seems that their hosts, a trading clan, have been hurt by smuggling activity, undercutting their endeavors in an unfair and unlawful manner. But thanks to an informer, the smugglers are known to be using the sewer tunnels under the caravan marketplace in the Foreigners Quarter. Sid had obtained a key to the manhole access in the marketplace area, and asked the party if they'd be willing to descend and “teach those smugglers a lesson by leaving a 'clear message.'” The party would be ideal since they were strangers to the area, and not members of the Clan of the Blazoned Sail. Because it wouldn't do for the party's actions to be traced back to the Clan at all!

The party graciously agreed, accepted the key, and headed out the next day, Hasanpor the 11th (not wearing their best clothes). Their fine fighting gear attracted the attention of some city guards, but other than a traffic jam at the FQ gate, they made their way to the marketplace without undue delay. Well, except for the foreign urchins who tried to steal from them. Helvecti's dog made short work of one, causing the remainder to flee.

At the market they made the acquaintance of a Hlaka named Hralli. He was much taken with the party's monk, Aladi, and after a gift of fruit, declared them to be 'sisters.' He helped them locate the sewer access, agreed to 'stand guard' when they went below, and even gifted Aladi in return with a ring engraved “Ring of Doom.”

Under cover of darkness, while the caravaneers were taking down their stalls, the party descended into the tunnels. While exploring, they came across a naked body, being eaten by Qigekh. Once the vermin had retreated, the party discovered a Meshqu plaque twisted around the corpse's neck, with the symbol for “Inconveniently Unavailable” carved into it. Soon after, their warrior woman found herself pricked by a needle on a door. The party's learned men proved sadly ineffectual, and Donna hiGa resigned herself to a speedy death.

Proceeding boldly as a result of Donna's pessimism, they next surprised a small group of Kurgha. The party's impressive use of deadly force had the surviving vermin fleeing. After some difficulties with a 10' pole, the group gave chase. They made short work of the rest, although Helvecti really wanted to keep one of the Kurgha and train it. 200 XP.

Fifth Session, July 11th, 2015 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Patrick)

The party continued their explorations beneath the streets of the Foreigners Quarter, searching for smugglers. Tying their captive Kurgha to Astukiul's (Finn's) back, the group retraced their steps to investigate unexplored doors.

One new room was empty except for some scratches on the floor. The one after that contained a dead body with a floating, blue-glowing starfish above it. Astukiul got the starfish to sit on the end of his pole, while Guillame (Billy) narrowly avoided catching rot grubs from the corpse. Through observation he learned that the starfish fed on the grubs, and they took it along.

One door they tried turned out to be barred, but after a few attempts to break in they heard a voice call, “I'm coming.” A man opened the door. Donna hiGa (Patrick) forced her way inside a store room filled with large casks. As the man called for help and tried to escape up a flight of stairs, Donna cut him down. Guillame began breaking the casks, the goal being to thwart the smugglers by spoiling their stock. Spilled wine mixed with the blood on the floor. Astukiul scouted upstairs, then came running back while sounds of pursuit filtered down. The party fled down the passage, and Guillame cast a Darkness spell to cover the escape. Meanwhile, the Kurgha tied to Astukiul's back freed itself enough to begin gnawing on the rogue's neck. Fortunately Donna arrived in time to kill it before it killed Astukiul!

Heading back down a long corridor, the party ran into a little grey-furred gang investigating a corpse. Refusing to pay off the little extortionistic band, a fight ensued. Both Astukiul and Helvecti (Roxy) were paralyzed by blowgun darts. Realizing that they'd met their match, the players agreed to bribe the grey ones and pass freely. The furry robbers instructed the group to leave a white pebble at the base of the manhole if they found treasure to trade. As a dirty trick, the party replied that there was treasure back the way they'd come, if the ruffians wanted to follow their trail back and take it.

Escaping the sewers on Hasanpor the 12th, the party is rejoined by Hralli the winged “monkey” as they waited for the gates to be opened at dawn. Returning to the Clan of the Blazoned Sail, they gratefully cleaned up and had their wounds seen to.

Later that day they met with their benefactors, Sid and Nan, and explained that they'd ruined a room full of wine casks, as well as sending the furry ruffians back to cause trouble. Sid was disappointed, having hoped they'd find evidence of smuggling the drug “Zu'ur.” The party was fine with making another trip, and returned to the marketplace that afternoon.

Hralli again acted as a look-out, and the group descended after dark. Working their way to another door, the group was confronted with a room full of black, shriveled undead with eyes carved into their foreheads! Guillame used his powers to gain control of four, but the fifth one was unaffected and had to be cut down. 350 XP.


Sixth Session, August 15th, 2015 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Patrick, Trey and Thatcher)

The brave adventurers resolve to continue their efforts against the smugglers in the sewers beneath Jakalla. Guillame (Billy) lines up his three new undead, and Astukiul (Finn) trips a pit trap on his way to check the next door. In the pit he finds a small silver mirror (which he pockets). A stream of sewage lies beyond, and Donna (Patrick) directs the party to follow tracks along the bank. Along the way she finds a nest with a quill pen in it (which she pockets). After marching for a bit, they send one of their undead to investigate noises on the opposite bank, and it finds... four more undead! Guillame takes control of them too, and the march resumes. When blood and guts come flowing into the sewer from a pipe in the wall, the undead all feast while the group looks on in disgust. One rare meal later, the group continues until Mirsa (Thatcher) finds a secret door. On the other side is an altar and some prisoners. Donna dispatches what turns out to be mutilated children, and Bief (Trey) discovers a trap door in the ceiling. Meanwhile Mirsa casts Detect Magic on the altar, and begins searching its contents. There are four flasks, a box of incense, a pouch with 27k worth of coins, a medallion, two books and two scrolls. Several party members grab items. The trap door leads to a store room. As the group searches, Donna peeks through the door and realizes they have come up from beneath the tenement they had cleared of squatters earlier in the week.

Hasanpor the 13th: Leaving the undead to guard the sewer entrance, the group meets up with their friend Hralli the “Flying Monkey,” buys week-long passes for the Foreigners Quarter gates for 2 silver pieces each, and encounters a runaway Chlen beast. The beast crushes Helvecti (Roxy), but the party manages to kill the animal and Mirsa uses magic to heal their fallen companion. Guards arrive, angry at the blocked street. XP: 400.


Seventh Session, September 20th, 2015 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Jinn, Billy, Patrick, Trey, Thatcher)

The group is berated by city guards as they recover from combating the mad Chlen-beast. One of their clan cousins, Frank hiSinful (Jinn) arrives on the scene and covertly Charms the officer in charge. They convince him that they have donated this beautiful slain Chlen sculpture to the city as a new monument. While the guards mutter in disbelief, their officer tries to get the names of the party of donors, so that a beautiful plaque can be added to the display. However, the party wishes to remain anonymous, and slips away.

They report to the Clan of the Blazoned Sail, and Astukiul (Finn) regales Sid hiDartha with tales of legions of drug-hating zombies who they've enlisted to track down the smugglers. They sort through their treasure, and Astukiul trades the floating blue 'starfish' to clan rogue Marti hiFli in return for his training Helvecti (Roxy) in some new skills.

Hasanpor the 18th: After a few days they set off back to the Foreigners Quarter, detouring to stop at the Temple of Ksarul so Aladi (Sarah) and Guillame (Billy) can make donations.

They pause in the Foreigners Quarter to watch a band of painted performers acting out a story from the time of the Battle of Dormoron Plain. Donna (Patrick), Helvecti and Aladi all feel that they are being stared at, so when the performance has ended they each confront one of the players. Only Donna gets a response, a monosyllabic reply in a foreign language. Astukiul interferes, draws his sword and threatens one of the players. All of the painted actors then surround him, and he trades blows until Donna grapples with him, and their winged friend Hralli descends and uses a tail-stinger to subdue the single combatant. Carefully, each side steps back, then the party retreats.

Returning to the clan's tenement, they search and find no squatters, although there is some evidence that workers have begun to haul away garbage, and clean. Descending to the hidden shrine, they discover their Mrur (zombies) patiently waiting. Back in the sewer tunnels, they quickly lose two Mrur into the river. Since Donna says there is no sign of traffic in this direction, they turn back and run into the local band of Pygmy Folk again. They talk over shared stew and wine, and the band's leader, Okh'n, tells them two important things. The drug they are looking for, Zu'ur, is supplied by large insects called H'luss. And the humans who deal in it may be found 'over that way,' near a bridge.

Armed with this new information, the party of adventurers head down the tunnel and start opening doors (one poisoned needle trap almost kills Aladi). They find fighters guarding various kinds of goods, but one of their Mrur is 'killed' in battle. Packing up some herbs and spices, the group prepares to move on. XP: 500

Eighth Session, October 18th, 2015 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Jinn, Billy, Trey)

The stalwart band of adventurers orders their Mrur zombies along, carrying loot scavenged (they assume) from smugglers. Finding another storeroom, they defeat the guards and load up as much as they can, then head back towards the basement of the Clan's tenement. On the way they are attacked by their erstwhile 'friends,' the Pygmy Folk! Guillame (Billy) says, “But we're friends!” and Okh'n replies, “That was before you got rich! Now you die!” A fierce battle ensues, but ultimately it is the Pygmy Folk who die.

Once they drop off their loot, the adventurers decide to retrace their steps and load up again. However, when they return to the scene of their last battle, they find the Pygmy Folks' bodies being devoured by giant Carrion Beetles! Another tough battle, and another victory! They strip the Pygmies' bodies this time, and Astukiul (Finn) finds a bottle of some unidentified liquid.

Returning to the tenement on Hasanpor the 19th, the group waits until morning, tending to their wounds, then decides to carry what they can back to the Clan of the Blazoned Sail. Their grateful hosts reward the group with individual letters of credit worth 750 Kaitars. Astukiul trains with Marti hiFli, while Aladi (Sarah) and Guillame train at the Temple of Ksarul. Supplies are replenished, as the group still hasn't found evidence of Zu'ur smuggling. XP: 600 each to those who attended

Ninth Session, November 14th, 2015 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Jinn, Billy, Patrick, Trey)

Hasanpor the 24th: To please the Clan of the Blazoned Sail, our brave group of foreigners heads off once again on their search for Zu'ur-dealing smugglers. Crossing through Jakalla, they're surprised by gold raining down from the sky. As they scramble among passers-by for their fair share, they realize it is being dropped by a huge cloud of bats flying overhead. People have various reactions to the discovery that it is reddish skull candy wrapped in gold foil. Interestingly, inside the wrappers is the message, “Get ready.”

Back in the Foreigners Quarter they notice that copious amounts of garbage are piled up everywhere. Several members of the group decide to search the garbage. Aladi (Sarah) finds a dented brass lamp covered with muck. She rubs and rubs it until several of her cousins are abruptly sucked inside!

Inside the lamp, the cousins Guillame (Billy), Bief (Trey), Astukiul (Finn) and Frank (Jinn) find themselves standing upon what looks like a huge, broad leaf. They are surrounded by smoke. Emerging from the smoke comes a huge creature, big as a house. It has leathery skin, tentacles and horns. It approaches shrieking, and Astukiul engages it in combat! Guillame casts a Darkness spell, and Bief casts a Curse. The beast begins to retreat...

Outside on the street, Helvecti (Roxy) pries the top off the lamp, and with a smoky whoosh!, the party reappears – along with the beast! Listening to the screams as the beast rampages away, the adventurers decide to move on and let the city deal with the problem.

On their way through alleys towards the tenement, Donna (Patrick) spots one of the painted street performers (“clowns”) watching them from a doorway. Soon after, they notice that Helvecti is running away in the opposite direction, with a different clown! They charge after her, there is a brief scuffle, and Donna shockingly cleaves the clown in twain. Ugh. Helvecti seems odd, and is upset at the clown's fate. The party heads after the clown they saw earlier. Exploring the building, Guillame opens a door on the clown, but is persuaded to go away. Other cousins' attempts have similar results, until the group decides that they'd rather go on about their earlier business after all. They leave.

Arriving at the Clan's tenement, they gather up their remaining two black Mrur and head back into the sewers. They decide to explore a small doorway across the water, so they use their undead to carry bricks and rocks down from the ruined tenement and create a ford. Crossing and entering a crumbling room, they encounter four new Mrur, but Guillame quickly controls them. After a search, the adventurers find a passageway concealed by rubble. Descending through a rough, winding passageway, they encounter two insectoid H'luss! Mainly utilizing their undead as fodder, the group defeats the H'luss. Donna confiscates one of their jagged metal two-handed swords, quite pleased with herself. Aladi finds small packets of... Zu'ur on the bodies! After a discussion, they decide to report back to the Clan. When their Hlaka (“flying monkey”) friend, Hralli, rejoins them, he says that he saw “the bloody clown” trying to get in the building, but it gave up and went away. Keeping a careful watch, they make their way back to the clan house.

Describing their adventures and turning over the Zu'ur to their friend Sid hiDartha, they agree to stake out the crumbling room until the H'luss' human partners arrive to pick up more Zu'ur. Then it will be a matter of following or capturing them, learning who is behind the drug trade, and getting the authorities involved! Success is almost within their grasp!

With all their adventures, several cousins hire trainers and hone their skills even further. Let their enemies beware. XP: 750 each, 250 to Jinn

Tenth Session, January 2nd, 2016 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Patrick, Trey, Shayna, Kaila)

Shapru the 2nd: It is a stormy day in Jakalla as the brave adventurers journey through the city. Wading through puddles, they head towards the clan's tenement. Absently, they overhear passers-by mentioning a great beast that had run amok through the Foreigners Quarter. They affect nonchalance. Rounding the last corner, Donna (Patrick) and Astukiul (Finn) catch a glimpse of movement ahead. Expecting an ambush, Donna strides forward boldly, but Astukiul races ahead and into the snarling muzzle of some sort of blue beast! He leaps back, drawing his sword, as Donna steps up and laughs. Backed into a corner is a bedraggled, bright blue alley cat. Despite his best efforts, the cat resists Astukiul's friendly advances. Instead, it allows itself to be carried by Frank (Kaila playing Jinn's character). While this is going on, the animated corpse of the street performer killed by Donna last week, lurches to its feet out of a pile of garbage and attacks! The party prepares for battle, but Guillame (Billy) wrenches it under his control. A look of astonishment passes briefly over the painted face of the creature, then it submits.

Once inside, the party is reunited with their Hlaka friend Hralli. A fire is built and everyone dries off, while the cat (dubbed “Sonic”) seems to speak the word “warm” into Frank's ear. Shortly thereafter they descend into the basement and gather up their Mrur and Shedra. However, inside the sewers they see that the water level has risen dramatically. Carefully making their way through the tunnel, they locate their ford and begin to cross when they see a lantern approaching. As expected, a fight breaks out. Astukiul and Galdur (Shayna) fall into the current and are swept past the newcomers, climbing out to the rear. They sneak up and Astukiul attempts a backstab! The foe turn in surprise and Galdur's snake spits into their eyes, blinding them! Several folk (including all of the foe) fall into the current and are swept away, the balance of the party following.

Approaching what appears to be a pile of debris across the tunnel, Galdur climbs out of the water while the rest (including the foe) disappear within! The remainder of the party trails along the banks, as the tunnel approaches a vast underground waterfall leading to Certain Death. All struggle to safety with the exception of the foe, and the unlucky Frank. Struck with the loss of their cousin, the remaining family members light a little funeral boat and send it over the falls after him. Bief (Trey) assumes custody of the blue cat.

Making their way back the way they came, the party decides to investigate a lit side passage they'd passed earlier. A few short cries come from within, but the passage is blocked by a portcullis. Guillame and Astukiul spend some time figuring out how to get the crank beyond the gate to release, and in the process Astukiul sees a scene in his magic mirror with people who aren't there! Aladi guesses that its enchantment must show things that occurred at some other time. Beyond the portcullis is a kennel, filled with police dogs. The party makes a mark on the wall so that their presence can be verified if necessary, then retreats (the gate remaining up behind them).

Investigation of another, narrower side passage leads to a small chamber with stairs going up. Ascending, Donna encounters a tattooed swordsman who attacks her. Once again Galdur orders her snake to spit, and the blinded fighter runs away shrieking a warning about assassins. The group withdraws down into the sewers, then decides to head back to the clan house. They arrive safely. XP: 600 each

Eleventh Session, February 6th, 2016 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Trey, Shayna, Kaila)

Shapru the 6th: Rested and cleaned up, the party leaves the clanhouse of their hosts, the Blazoned Sail, and heads back to the Foreigners Quarter. Bief (Trey) is particularly pleased with the magical powers he's been granted by his new friend, the blue cat Sonic. Crossing a bridge they spot a gang of street urchins dropping rocks on a passing pleasure barge. The barge returns fire with arrows, and the boys scatter as the local guards come running. Helping the guards a bit earns some respect, along with promises of a free round of tasty fried pastries dipped in powdered sugar!

Once underground, the group is surprised to find a group of sewer workers tearing up the ford they'd built across the sewer. They drive the workers away, and let their Shedra feed upon the task-master. They drag his body back to the cellar, hoping he will have risen as a Shedra himself when they return. Then they rebuild their ford and head into a ruined chamber. While there, Galdur (Shayna) finds a dead body wearing a carved lozenge around its throat. She puts it on, vowing to look it up in her temple's library when she gets the chance.

Descending into a tunnel looking for Zu'ur-carrying H'luss-insects, the party runs into the object of their search! After a struggle, they are victorious, but the insect they killed has no Zu'ur. Entering a large earthen cavern, they run into Nenyelu! After a fierce battle, they decide to retreat. They drag the H'luss away, but lose it in the river. However they bring a pair of Nenyelu corpses along to try and turn into Shedra. Upon returning to the cellar they find that the task-master has indeed risen as a Shedra, but the Nenyelu do not stir.

They rest a bit in their cellar, but when they start back into the sewers Bief is surprised to see a group of city guards investigating their ford. He ducks back inside, leaving several of the group's undead in the tunnel. After waiting a bit, they realize that the guards have killed their undead! Eventually they peek out and find the guards have left.

Heading back down the tunnel they surprise two more H'luss and make short work of them. Passing into another chamber they find a room filled with watery plant growth, swollen purple tubers that burn like acid. They take some samples. XP: 650

Twelfth Session, March 12th, 2016 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Trey, Patrick, Kaila)

The party is on a bug hunt, hoping to find Zu'ur in the tunnels beneath Jakalla. Several of the group hammer on white-ish arches looping along the tunnel roofs, shattering one and bringing down some dirt as the rest of the group runs. Fortunately there is no collapse, and they continue along until finding a small chamber with polished walls. Inside are a few dead N'luss barbarians, and one living one who says his name is Jack (Patrick). They help the wounded stranger, now lost and alone; he finds his gear and joins the group.

Just in time, because further down they encounter another giant H'luss insect. Once it is dead, they find a carved bone flute that belonged to Jack's friend Boors. Hoping to rescue him, the party follows the bug's trail up a tunnel, and run into a roomful of H'luss! A terrible battle ensues, everyone is wounded, and one bug slips past and escapes as its brethren are destroyed.

After binding their wounds, the adventurers agree to head back to the tenement and heal themselves. But as they cross the room of purple vegetation, a H'luss drops onto them from the ceiling! There's a desperate battle, but this bug ultimately meets the same fate as its friends. The group arrives back in the sewers and finds that their ford has been taken apart again! While crossing the stream of sewage, they hear a strange whooping. Helvecti's (Roxy's) dog runs away from the thing, and she chases off alone after it! The others are confronted by a strange spiked large dog-thing that threatens them for a minute or so, then runs away.

Helvecti runs until she finds something breathing in the dark. She gives it a command, and it follows her back to the party. Once in the light, she is relieved to see that she has found her dog and not a Whooper. The group enters their tenement. It is now Shapru the 7th. They clean up, rest and heal. XP: 750

Thirteenth Session, April 9th, 2016 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Trey, Patrick, Kaila, Shayna)

The party leaves the tenement on Shapru the 8th, wondering where their friend Hralli the Hlaka is. They head out into a hot rainstorm. When they reach a corner they are waved over by a group of reptilian Shen warriors, who seem very interested in their animals. The reptiles keep asking about cats, but the party leaves after Helvecti's (Roxy's) dog runs away again. She borrows a length of rope from Guillame (Billy) and makes a leash for the unhappy canine.

When they approach the bridge on their way to the clanhouse, they are invited for Qo pastry and Las tea by the guards of the 12th precinct. Guillame tells them about encountering H'luss below the city, and they run off to tell their captain. But before they do, Jack (Patrick) shows them his swollen leg, and they tell him he'll be devoured by H'luss larvae unless he gets to a temple! Patrick visits the temple of Sarku for a dramatic ritual that draws the larvae from him.

Once back at the clanhouse, they spend the next several days going through their treasure, and training. Galdur (Shayna) conducts research on the amulet she found. She learns that it is from the tomb of a Blazoned Sail lineage, the Tukun. She tells their friend Sid. He's deeply disturbed, and vows to speak to the head of the clan about revenge. Sid asks Galdur to retrieve the body of their ancestor, and she promises to do so.

While Helvecti is making arrangements with Sid about their treasure, he identifies a jeweled headdress as belonging to a local official, the Lord of Easy Flowings. The party realizes that this was the taskmaster whose team of workers was dismantling their ford across the sewer (the man they fed to Shedra). The headdress is quietly dismantled and sold for parts.

On the 13th of Shapru everyone has completed their training. Guillame asks Sid which clan turns Chlen-hide into armor, and is directed to the High Tower Clan near the Arena. Passing their favorite city guards, Guillame asks them which precinct has jurisdiction near their tenement. He is told it is the 38th, who are based out of the Gate of the Black Stair (which leads into the Foreigners Quarter). When they arrive at the clanhouse of High Tower, the group meets with the foreman and shows him their sample of H'luss chitin. He says it is useless as armor. However, he does recommend armorers that use his stock.

On the way back, a Hlaka lands and asks the group about Hralli. He's quite agitated, but he focuses on Aladi (Sarah) when she tells him they're “sisters.” He asks where to find them, then flies off again.

Next, Guillame brings a Salarvyani scroll to the Temple of Ksarul. Learning that he won't be able to benefit from it personally, he donates it and gains favor.

The group heads back to their tenement in the Foreigners Quarter, and searches for any sign left by the missing Hralli. While searching, Astukiul (Finn) spots a loose brick in a bedroom wall. He pulls it out and sees an opening beyond. Guillame borrows his mirror and they shine a light inside; there is something shiny there! Astukiul reaches in and grabs something smooth. He tilts it until he can pull it out. It's a small statuette of a seated squid-headed figure, made of a greenish stone. Its eyes seem to be watching, so Helvecti talks to the statuette (feeling a little nervous). But nothing appears to happen. The party goes and buys some construction tools and Jack breaks a large hole in the wall, revealing nothing else. Alibi (Kaila) has some skill at masonry, and patches the wall back up.

That evening, the group descends into the sewers again. When they get to the place where their ford across the water was, they find it dismantled. Again. However there is a fresh plaque on the wall that says, “No fords allowed.” Helvecti scratches out the word “No,” leaving the inscription, “Fords allowed.”

Alibi is also something of a carpenter, so at Guillame's suggestion, they fetch some lumber and she constructs a portable bridge structure. And lo, it works fine! It is now the early hours of Shapru the 14th. Entering the ruined basement where she found the amulet, Galdur digs out the body that was robbed from a tomb. The group transports it back to the basement shrine beneath their tenement, then returns to the H'luss tunnels.

When they have arrived at the first chamber, Jack finds out the hard way that the floor is strewn with some sticky, crackling shavings. Walking upon them, the party realizes that they are making enough noise to alert the insects. They continue on, and head into a new area. There is a terrible, caustic smell coming from the wet floor of the next cavern. Jack smashes the nearby wall enough to collapse dirt and rubble to provide a dry path, and they continue on. In the center of the next chamber, there is a sparking crystal under a dome. Astukiul checks the arch and finds a panel. He clicks it, and the party enters the chamber. The sparks get brighter, so the group hurries through. Astukiul finds another panel on the next arch, but Guillame suggests that they hurry through and have Astukiul press the panel again once they've left. Sadly, with half the party gone through the arch, the ceiling on both sides collapses, raining huge stones upon its victims. Dust and gravel cloud the air, and the hapless adventurers struggle to keep from being buried alive! XP: 700

Fourteenth Session, May 7th, 2016 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Trey, Patrick, Kaila)

Deep beneath the city of Jakalla, a weary group of explorers desperately dig themselves out of a collapsed tunnel. The way out is blocked; they are trapped in the lair of the H'luss, enemies of all Humankind. Bief (Trey) and Guillame (Billy) do what they can for the wounded, and then there is nothing else to do but go on.

At the end of the tunnel is a cavern that stretches off into the blackness. There is a large body of water ahead. And springing from the shadows appears a mob of H'luss! There is a furious battle, but the cousins' new friend Jack (Patrick) proves to be a devastating fighter, chasing down the last, fleeing H'luss.

After regrouping, the party follows a tunnel leading to a small polished chamber with an empty, hollowed-out area in its center. There is some experimenting, but they remain baffled and move on. The next chamber has a large, metal statue or suit of armor standing motionless. Helvecti (Roxy) especially tries catching its attention, and Jack bangs on it with a halberd, but the group decides to leave it alone and keep moving.

Climbing up into another tunnel, the group finds themselves trapped by falling portculli on either side! A H'luss appears ahead of them, and while Jack uses his super-human strength to lift the gate, the rest dash into combat. Jack is quick to join them, but so are H'luss reinforcements – including one that seems to cast a spell at the adventurers! They counter with their own spells, driving the bugs back the way they came. A quick assessment of party health leaves the group fearing they will not survive many more battles without rest and recuperation. And Jack and Alibi (Kaila) are both unconscious. XP: Billy, Trey, Patrick & Sarah = 800 / Roxy & Finn = 400 / Kaila (350).

Fifteenth Session, June 5th, 2016 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Trey, Kaila)

After bandaging their wounds, the group fans out across the chamber to search the fallen H'luss and investigate the various exits. Astukiul (Finn) finds numerous items, including a small silver insect that weaves wounds together. When used however, there appears to be some blood loss and a silvery surface is left behind. Then Astukiul scouts up one passageway and learns there is another chamber beyond.

Meanwhile, Aladi (Sarah) and Helvecti (Roxy) discover a large green eyeball in the keystone of another exit. Helvecti scrapes some glowing substance from the arch into a bottle, then takes Aladi's pole and pokes the eyeball! She is sprayed with some noxious substance that coats her skin and itches like fire! After some struggling and scratching, she tears the substance off along with a layer of skin. What's left behind looks suspiciously scaly...

Alibi (Kaila) is experimenting with set of tiles in the center of the floor. She shifts them and explores every possibility, expecting it to be some sort of puzzle. Others take their turn, and while prying at the frame Aladi is sprayed with some sort of powder that causes her to itch, too. Guillame (Billy) joins the group and flicks a halberd blade underneath the frame, uncovering a space beneath. Inside is various treasure including zu'ur! There is also a stuffed Pygmy that the Guillame suspects has zu'ur inside it, too.

Astukiul uses his mirror to see if there are any visions of the past. He sees H'luss speaking with street performers (“clowns”), right here in this chamber! Aladi surmises that the performers are somehow involved in the zu'ur trade.

The group decides to take the passage scouted by Astukiul. At the end they find a small chamber with a chest. They decide to rest and recuperate, but their cat and dog appear uncomfortable. As they decide to leave, the floor rises up and they are attacked by a Whelk! Alibi and Astukiul leap free, and a grand battle occurs. Finally, Sonic the Cat shouts that the monster will allow them to leave, which they do (gratefully). They camp in the corridor instead.

While Astukiul is on watch, he hears some noises from down the passage, but does nothing. The party rests undisturbed, heals and regains spells, and then heads down the passageway. Once back in the main chamber, however, two of the street performers appear! One is saying, “You have some pretty good tricks, what do you think of this one?” as the air sparkles, and the party seems to have been transported to... somewhere else.

It's almost as if they're outdoors on a foggy night. They hear strange music, which they follow to what looks like a carnival! There is a fountain of blood with a jester statue in the center. Heads float in the basin.

Moving on, they come to a large circus tent. Guillame, Astukiul and Bief each try cutting a rope holding the tent up. Each disappears. The remainder of the group argues about what to do. They head back to the fountain, dreading to find their cousins' heads floating in the pool of blood, but they don't see them. Returning to the tent, they argue until Aladi peaks inside. She sees the three missing cousins being strangled by a tentacled monster – they appear to be helpless! Reluctantly, Aladi, Helvecti and Alibi go to rescue the others. Guillame's motionless body is popped into the monster's mouth, but Alibi throws a dust-bomb and the thing coughs him back up. After a flurry of attacks, the monster sags lifeless. The three cousins are unconscious. It is a sad night at the carnival. XP: 600.

Sixteenth Session, July 17th, 2016 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Trey, Patrick)

After bandaging their wounds, the lost adventurers follow the painted examples on the mural and dive into the ball pit for prizes. Sorting through the odd items, they eventually reassemble and head back into the mist. Soon they encounter a zombie organ grinder with a zombie hlaka, looking for tips. Each coin he is given is exchanged for a wooden coin that has a crescent moon on it. After a bit the pair wander back into the mist, and the party encounters a curved fence with another mural of playing children. Peering in, they spot a crystal pillar inside of which can be seen a little girl, trying to get out.

A few helpful adventurers move towards the pillar. The fence closes behind them, and the interior begins to spin rapidly. Cabinets open beneath the pillar, revealing keys. Sadly, Guillame (Billy) and Helvecti's (Roxy's) dog Zcjean are thrown through the air, but Astukiul (Finn) gets a key and the ride slows to a halt. Astukiul inserts the key into a keyhole which has just appeared. The pillar shatters, revealing a sooty girl holding a stuffed dzur. She hands it to Astukiul, whispers a message to him, and disappears in a swarm of butterflies. In the meantime Guillame and the dog have been recovered, so the party heads off once again.

Soon they encounter a zombie woman with a candy tray of body parts for sale. Guillame uses his powers in an attempt to control her, but she collapses to the ground, motionless. Helvecti takes a thumb, but the group heads back into the mists. Coming upon a square tent, most of the party heads inside while Bief (Trey) and Jack (Patrick) wait outside. Inside are many cages of kurgha. Further inside is a large platform. Black snakes come out and sway, waiting. Guillame picks up a small flute and plays for the snakes, Astukiul joining him. Meanwhile outside, Jack walks around the perimeter of the tent leaving Bief alone with his blue cat, Sonic. Jack runs into a giant zombie snake, but makes short work of it with his sword. While he's gone, Bief hears something coming and he hurries in Jack's direction. Sadly, he is overtaken by a clownaconda. Happily, Jack comes to his rescue before he is swallowed.

Inside the tent, one by one the snakes crawl into jars which transform into chests. When all the snakes are gone, the chests are opened to reveal more interesting items. But on the way out, Guillame opens a cage of kurgha and they attack. Fortunately Jack comes inside to help, while the party flees. XP: 600.

Seventeenth Session, August 21st, 2016 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Trey, Patrick, Kaila)

The group decides to rest outside the snake tent while Jack (Patrick) prepares snake steaks. He astonishes everyone with his cooking skills, and the hungry adventurers make short work of the kabobs. Stray kurgha eyes watch from the edge of the pink, sticky mist that surrounds everything here in the dark carnival.

Once finished, the party heads off again, and witnesses a giant gingerbread man running from hungry clowns! The group shoots the clowns while the gingerbread man ends up heading back into the mists at speed.

The party sees a large tent looming ahead. Once inside, the hapless adventurers are trapped in holes with their heads sticking up for ahoggya clowns wielding mallets. While the monstrous game of whack-a-mole is going on, Astukiul (Finn) manages to open a chest and pull a lever. This shuts the game down, freeing his companions. Jack uncovers a box inside one of the holes in the floor, containing a few small items.

Next encountered in the mist is a giant clown head, the tongue of which is a slide. Several party members decide to take a ride, and Astukiul is the lucky winner, grabbing a golden key! Sadly, sharp blades and grinding gears appear on the slide's surface, causing some damage to those sliding down.

At the foot of the slide, a prize booth materializes. Astukiul's key fits into a slot, and a small toy hlaka holding cymbals slides out of a chute. Astukiul pushes a small switch on the hlaka, causing the toy to clash its cymbals. This seems to fascinate Helvecti (Roxy), who claps along until the toy is turned off.

Wandering further, the group is attacked by tiny clowns riding severed heads that walk on little crab legs. The clowns ride the heads up the bodies of the surprised adventurers, and licking acid tongues attempt to decapitate our heroes! Fortunately, the tiny clowns are defeated by the desperate adventurers.

Entering another tent, that appears to be a gift shop filled with stuffed animals, the group meets a small girl named Mnat who is having a tuor party. The adventurers join the party and decide to remain, eating and resting. After tending their wounds, they say goodbye to Mnat but are attacked outside by balloon-riding clowns wearing spiked clown shoes! 800 XP

Eighteenth Session, September 25th, 2016 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Trey, Patrick, Shayna)

Trooping into the pink mist once again, the lost party enters a small tent where they see a bearded lady whose hands have been chopped off. She is crying, and wants someone to groom her beard. Jack (Patrick) steps up, but his performance does not satisfy. The lady's beard begins to strangle Jack, and Guillame (Billy) steps up and swings his staff, roughly separating the two. The party retreats to the sound of a shrieking, furious bearded lady.

The next tent is the Copper Arcade, and the group pushes their way in, jingling their copper pieces as they go. Spotting a duck dressed in circus clothes and wearing a monocle, Galdur (Shayna) releases her snake and there is a merry chase! The others ignore this and belly up to the attractions. Guillame tries to go behind a counter, and disappears. Astukiul (Finn) tries target practice with crossbows, and wins a clown costume! The other marksmen are forced to dodge returned crossbow shots! Helvecti (Roxy) wins a potion at skeeball, while Astukiul's prize is a cramped Guillame emerging from the top of the machine! Guillame turns around and plays skeeball himself in order to get a potion of his own. Astukiul counters by playing a claw game, winning a little stuffed clown with long legs. Astukiul is surprised to find his own legs growing, too! Bief (Trey) gets himself some cotton candy, but the sticky mess rushes out and attempts to smother him! Jack is caught up in the mess, but eventually the efforts of several cousins manage to free the candied captives. Aladi (Sarah) takes out the squirming mounds of pink candy by smashing them with bricks! Meanwhile, the duck escapes into the fog.

Skipping the next tent, the group moves on to take a ride in the Tunnel of Love. Statues of short, chubby archers take shots at the party as they drift by, but at the end of the ride is a large chest. Helvecti and Astukiul manage to release noxious gases from the trapped chest over and over, nearly blinding several members. But inside the chest is an ivory violin. An apparition of a beautiful lady appears and whispers to Jack, "Remember the melody that drew his last tears." She disappears in a cloud of sparkly butterflies, while several cousins attempt to play the instrument.

Retracing their steps the group arrives at A Feast for Kings, and Helvecti guesses the Fat Lady's weight at 1100 pounds! But the group is attacked by servants while feasting, leading to quite a bloodbath. Aladi excels at her ninja moves, wading into the fray. The Lady's chest contained a king's ransom in loot, much to the party's delight.

The party decides to retrace their steps to the Gift Shop, but on the way they encounter three zombie magicians. Once de-animated, their hats fall off revealing three small, cute little fluffy bunnies -- who, of course, immediately attack. Astukiul and Helvecti manage to catch one in a towel, and put it to sleep. Then they continue to the gift shop.

Arriving, Helvecti plays the tune they heard in the Tunnel of Love, and everything starts to go sort of blurry... XP: 750 each, 400 for Shayna

Nineteenth Session, October 23rd, 2016 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Trey, Patrick, Shayna, Kaila)

Feeling as if they were drunk (ask a glass of water), the party experiences an alarming sequence of events culminating in their arrival in a grey room filled with H'luss. Combat ensues, with intermittent flashes of terror as the group floats and sinks, along with their enemies, and the leader of the insects uses a device that fires purple burning light at the brave adventurers. The fight is terrible, but ultimately the party is victorious. Exhausted, they heal their wounds while avoiding the use of magic. Apparently the room is made of metal, anathema to the practice of the magical arts.

Guillame (Billy) examines the circles painted on one wall, and a shallow alcove opposite. Meanwhile, Galdur (Shayna) checks some copper boxes, aided by the rogues Helvecti (Roxy) and Astukiul (Finn). Galdur finds long hollow shafts in blue, red and yellow. She takes one of each for her temple. Astukiul tries to open another box, but it only opens when Galdur tries it. Inside are many flat square things in colorful wrappers of red, green and white. She takes one. The third box will not open, it appears to have been banged on previously.

Guillame discovers that the back of the alcove will move. He calls Jack (Patrick) over and they slide the panels back, revealing a passageway beyond. They leave one halberd behind holding the panels open, and head out exploring. They come to a circular joint in the metal hallway. Jack narrowly misses being sliced by extended blades inside the portal. The others manage to get through, although Guillame is hurt.

Next a hulking figure clad in plates of bronze stalks towards the group. Jack steps up and engages in battle. The party moves forward and they see a red light coming from within the figure's visor! When the foe is defeated, it is revealed to be a ru'un, a mechanical man. Jack breaks it down, packing its shell to be made into armor.

A silver sarcophagus is next. Aladi (Sarah) climbs into it, but when it begins to close she jumps out again. Jack manages to figure out how to open and close it, but then the party moves on.

Next there is a spot on the corridor wall that has been opened up. Inside a blue shaft has been revealed. Someone has hammered a chisel into it, hung a bucket on that, and the bucket appears to contain water. Everyone drinks and refills their containers, then Helvecti decides to keep her captive rabbit in the bucket.

Next, Alibi (Kaila) notices a door has blocked off the passage behind them. The party continues on until Jack sees a door slide out of the wall ahead, blocking their path. A moment later, the floor falls, and the party slides into a cage in the dark below. Guillame examines the cage while Sonic and Cthulhu explore the room. The cage is in the center, and there are two panels on opposite sides.

One panel opens, and in the bright blue-tinted light a small group of figures enters. They are pale but appear human, their clothes cover them completely, and they are armored. Speaking with a strange rough accent, they demand, "What division?" The party's various answers don't appear to satisfy, and the strangers begin chanting, "Trial by Combat!" The cage is pushed up against the other panel, and the cage opens into a brightly-lit arena. The walls become clear partway up, and a wild crowd is chanting, "Fight! Fight!" A panel opens at the opposite end, and the party moves into action, attacking the two Shen that are revealed. Cthulhu spits in one's eyes, blinding it, and the party realizes that the spears the reptile men use are buzzing somehow.

The next thing that happens is two more panels open in the arena walls, and large armored figures appear from within. XP: 700 (Kaila and Finn 400)


Twentieth Session, December 4th, 2016 (Sarah, Roxy, Billy, Trey, Patrick, Kaila)

Space Marines appear in the arena and stop the fight. They have the party drop their weapons, and one of the shen zip-ties their wrists together. They are marched back to the cage and left alone in the dark. Once free of their bonds, Jack (Patrick) lights a torch. Soon after, Space Marines return, and eventually bring an engine of some sort to move the cage to the edge of a gravity shaft. Jack tosses his torch in and it rotates slowly down out of sight. Guillame (Billy) leads the party in diving after it, Helvecti (Roxy) being the last to go. They swim down through the air to the bottom, where more Space Marines await. They motion the group to another opening in the floor, where they are lowered into a large chamber with a good number of people in it. The Marines then leave.

Aladi (Sarah) stands on a crate and begins berating the crowd to tell her what's going on. She is soon joined by Alibi (Kaila), as well as one of the Pygmy Folk from the crowd, called "Drayaga." He has two human guards, and tries to find something to trade. At the same time, Jack begins shouting in his native tongue, N'luss. A N'luss woman comes out of the crowd and joins him, she is called "Trooper Vesna of Oko Company." Also at the same time, Helvecti walks into the crowd asking questions. She finds herself in conversation with a priestess of Ksarul from Bey Su, "Pa He." She is soon joined by Guillame. Eventually the entire group moves together and learns that they are on their moon, Kashi, which is hollow. Also that their world is part of the Humanspace Empire, but it has been cut off for a very long time. They are prisoners of Command Division, and are waiting to be interrogated by The Admiral.

While they wait, the group shares stories with their new friends, and pays them to learn new techniques. Over time they become used to the occasional gravity failures as well as the periodic dimming of the harsh blue lights. However there is a new phenomenon, waves of strange forces wash over them. When the experience has finally passed there are some changes. Bief (Trey) and Guillame have very unusual experiences that seem to linger. The Ksarul priestess has been transformed into a cat-like creature. And the remainder of the prisoners (with the exception of the party) now have silver irises. No one acts particularly differently, except for the occasional furtive glance at the unchanged party members.

When the Space Marines next arrive with a drum of gruel, they can be seen to have changed radically. Their armor has tubes or veins that pulse with a blue light, and the visors of their helmets seem to have shadowy monster faces that fade in and out. Apparently this is too much for the prisoners, who finally rush the troopers. In the ensuing violence energy weapons are fired, opening a hole in a wall. The party flees through this exit, along with several prisoners, their N'luss friend and the cat-girl.

The space beyond is a narrow tunnel, dark and disused. Everyone races along until confronted with another shaft -- but this one has no gravity field! A few unfortunates fall to their deaths. Helvecti allows Guillame to tie a rope around her, then she climbs up and down until she spots a passage at the bottom. Eventually the entire party finds themselves safely down, and they enter a passage filled with warmth, familiar light and an organic smell. There is some leakage, grime, and a circular valve choked with mold.

Beyond this, they see a pulsing mound of pink flesh that appears to be feeding on an unfortunate victim via tubes or tentacles. XP: 801


Twenty-first Session, January 8th, 2017 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Thatcher, Kaila, Billy, Patrick)

Standing back, the group sets the murderous blob of flesh aflame. Once it's safely dead, they search and find some odd gear underneath it. Guillame (Billy) and Mirsa (Thatcher) don Actuators, which seem to be granting them mental powers. Guillame spots a secret door, and uses his powers to open it with his mind. This also sets off a gas trap. Behind the doors are two suits of space armor in an emergency weapons locker. Trooper Vesna helps Jack (Patrick) get into one, and she gets into the other. Helvecti (Roxy) takes a heat ray pistol.

They clear an exit under some debris, and descend a set of spiral stairs. Water pours down, and there is slime everywhere. Astukiul (Finn) sets off another trap, sharp coral-like growths spring out of the walls, but this is easily bypassed and the party continues down.

Entering a large circular room the group examines a statue with an altar in front. There is also a huge brain-like growth on the ceiling, with tentacles that go down a series of copper pipes into the floor. Aladi (Sarah) throws a brick at the statue, breaking off its nose, then climbs the wall and stabs the brain in one of its many eyes. Helvecti (Roxy) cuts one if its tentacles, and it leaks goop all over the floor. They continue down the stairs.

Below is another circular room, filled with broken glass and debris. Searching around reveals a small scaled beast with lots of sharp teeth (like a carnivorous armadillo!) that Helvecti manages to get into her pail. The one that contains a rabbit. There is growling and shrieking, and the armadillo has lunch.

Going through a door reveals another circular room with stairs going down. Helvecti is burned by a steam trap, but continues down and the group enters another round room. There is another brain on the ceiling, this time with some rainbow-lit colored coral-thing growing underneath it. Helvecti and Mirsa climb up, and Helvecti cuts another tentacle, causing goop to leak onto the rainbow coral and steam.

Stairs going down lead to another round room, with copper pipes going from ceiling to floor. Helvecti opens another door, and gets hit with another trap. This time a force of some kind smashes down on her from above, smashing one of her potion bottles as well as rattling her head. Opening the door reveals a huge room with a spiral stair coming down its center. There is a throne, statues and a small table inside. Astukiul uses his magic mirror and sees a scene with an old man in the throne, and a centipede-type monster.

Since one statue resembles the little squid-headed statuette they've been carrying around, Helvecti tries to touch one to the other. Without warning, the party is attacked by shadowy chameleon-figures who step out of nowhere! A terrible battle ensues, but the group of explorers survives. Helvecti places her statuette on top of the statue, but nothing else happens. XP: 1,000 (Billy, Patrick, Kaila 500)

Twenty-second Session, February 5th, 2017 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Kaila, Billy, Patrick)

Guillame (Billy) does some experimenting in the large room. He tries playing games on the gaming table, but with no unusual results. Then he sits in the throne, and sees his companions in a strange way. Eventually he figures out that he can read minds, although his targets seem aware that he is doing so. But it seems that this power isn't working on Trooper Vesna, Jack (Patrick) or Pa He the Sorcerer (still appearing to be some sort of cat).

Aladi (Sarah) uses one of the new devices to open a door. The small chamber inside is partially collapsed, and filled with some kind of whitish cotton that mostly hides a staircase. The group decides to leave.

Aladi uses the same device on the next door. This small chamber is also partially collapsed. There is a blocked set of stairs that used to go up. Searching reveals some bottles mixed into the rubble on the floor. Jack is unsuccessful in his attempts to drink the sludge inside. Astukiul (Finn) finds a shriveled dead body in a silver suit. It was holding a tube, and has six pills and a little rectangle contained in a small pouch at its waist. XP: 700

Twenty-third Session, March 5th, 2017 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Patrick, Trey)

Bief (Trey) recognizes that the tube Astukiul (Finn) took from the body in the silver suit is a Vril Tube. Once he takes hold of it, his mind expands. Guillame (Billy) hands the Psy Knife to him, and Bief smiles in satisfaction as it flickers to life.

Aladi (Sarah) tries to open another door with the 'Hacker Kit,' but she can't seem to make it work. So Helvecti (Roxy) pushes the squid-headed statuette against the door. Reality shifts again! Everyone is disoriented, their bones seem to be moving somehow, and they eventually realize that they've increased in size! The air seems thick, and the Space Armor changes appearance again; it looks a bit like aquatic steampunk gear. Helvecti uses her Heat Ray Pistol and cuts a hole in the door. Beyond the door is a room with a large fish made of kitchen utensils. So Helvecti taps the giant fish with the statuette, and it begins to move! She flees, almost swimming in the thick air, but the fish pursues until its jaws fill the hole in the door. Helvecti uses a technique from Animal Training, pushing on it, and the fish stops struggling. She tosses it a coin, which it 'swallows,' but the coin falls through its ribs to the floor.

Eventually the group decides to descend a spiral stairwell, which opens into a large chamber below. Water runs down the spiral and off in a stream. There is a large pedestal at one end with a black statue on top; it's surrounded by blue light. Blue light also fills six archways along the walls. A huge thing like a brain is stuck to the ceiling.

Guillame uses one of his new Psy powers and makes the blue light go away. It goes away from everywhere. The statue is revealed as a black robed figure with a silver face, holding a silver spear. Guillame and Jack (Patrick) feel that this is a god-like figure, and wait expectantly for it to respond. It looks at the party in silence, then slithers down from the pedestal -- its lower half is a mass of tentacles!

A terrible battle ensues. The thing is difficult to hit, as its cloak masks its true location. But finally, the thing is defeated. The robe collapses, empty, also leaving behind the spear and a silver mask. Astukiul, horribly wounded, tries to use the small silver beetle of healing, but without warning it grows into a giant insect and rasps out that it's come for poor Astukia1's soul! The group drags themselves into battle again, defeating this demon more easily than the statue. Guillame suggests resting here, having learned that he can cast spells from up on the pedestal. XP:750.

Twenty-fourth Session, April 30th, 2017 (Sarah, Roxy, Kaila, Billy, Patrick, Trey)

Exhausted, the lost adventurers rest while they can. But their repose is interrupted by a feshenga that comes slithering down the spiral stairs! The beast, fearsome as it is, is overwhelmed by the furious attacks of the outraged group; although it tries to escape, its fate is to become cutlets for the famished party.

Once their impromptu banquet is concluded, the band forms up again and heads into a nearby room. It looks like a laboratory of some kind. Guillame (Billy) fiddles with a glass case in one corner, revealing a secret door. Down the passage is another chamber filled with odd equipment, vats and several coffin-type boxes connected with tubes, along with a chair mounted prominently in the center. Guillame heads into the next room but is confronted by a mechanical man topped with a brain in a glass dome! Guillame's efforts to control the thing with his new Psy powers don't work as planned; the thing comes rolling towards him at speed! Another battle results, with the thing casting lightning bolts that almost kill Sonic the Cat. Meanwhile, Jack (Patrick) and Helvecti (Roxy) go running around the long way, ignoring a room filled with clothes, heading down unexplored corridors, until they find the back door to where the battle is. Alibi (Kaila) manages to uncover the brain by smashing the glass, uses a flash bomb on it, then blows a poison dart into its ruddy flesh. Finally, Jack comes from behind and decapitates the horrible abomination! XP: 1,000

Twenty-fifth Session, May 28th, 2017 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Patrick, Trey)

The party pulls itself back together after a fierce battle with a mechanical man who has an organic brain in a glass dome on its shoulders. Astukiul (Finn) tries to pry a jewel from the thing's chest, but when it cracks he flees to the far side of the room, suspecting a trap. Jack (Patrick) and Guillame (Billy) try to push the metal construct out of the doorway, so that Astukiul and Helvecti (Roxy) can search the storeroom. In a stroke of bad luck, the heavy object tips over with a deafening crash. Soon after, a pair of hunting zrne appear! Guillame keeps them occupied with a spell while the rest cut them down.

The two rogues begin searching the store room. Back in the main room, Jack and Guillame decide to butcher the zrne and roast their haunches in a coffin-shaped box made of crystal. As the blood flows, three hemispheres on a central desk begin to glow. Guillame hurries over and tries manipulating them, but a central metal coffin bursts into shrapnel, striking multiple party members and killing cousin Galdur (Shayna) and her pet snake! Green gas comes pouring out, causing the party to fall to the ground, blinded and choking.

Astukiul and Helvecti run out of the store room and into the hallway on the far side. There they encounter a roaming muscle jelly of some kind, attracted by the explosion. They manage to drive it off, but Astukiul decides to chase after it. He is almost killed and eaten, but eventually manages to kill the disgusting thing.

Jack and Vesna help get people out the other door, Guillame tries putting victims up on high tables to escape the gas, and Pa He races through the door into the storeroom, closing it after her. She calls out to Helvecti that there is poisoned gas, so Helvecti shuts her door in Pa He's face! Pa He beats on the door until Helvecti opens it, and Pa He forces her way out, screaming in anger.

After waiting a few minutes, the three retrace their steps, and find that the gas has dissipated. Saddened at the loss of their cousin, the group decides to rest and regain healing spells. While they are resting, they are surprised to see a pair of giant, glowing insects rush through a door and attack! The party easily defeats them, and Helvecti uses her heat ray pistol to cook a feast. Meanwhile, Jack and Vesna go around and close the secret door that the monsters keep entering through.

After their meal and rest, the cousins heal their wounds and search the store room, finding several oddities. XP: 800

Twenty-sixth Session, June 25th, 2017 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn)

Stowing their loot, the group heads across the hallway and examines a door with a golden inlay in the pattern of a serpent. After many efforts they manage to get the door open, revealing a large room with a fancy bed, an octopus statue and another 'coffin' on the floor. There is a blinking red light on this coffin-box, so Helvecti (Roxy) presses it. The container opens, and a demon comes out. Aladi (Sarah) heads for the door, while the demon picks up Helvecti's dog with a tentacle and tries to eat it. Fighting breaks out, and Aladi swings a bucket around and throws the small creature they captured, now known as an "armalion," at the demon. Initially, the armalion takes a bite out of Helvecti, but she throws it back at the demon. The demon begins chanting, and once again Reality shifts. The space armor changes appearance, and the atmosphere becomes so thick that movement practically requires swimming. Finally the demon is killed, and the armalion begins to feast. A small disk comes sliding out of a wall, but gets stuck in the pool of slime leaking from the demon.

The party decides to flee, and heads down the corridor to another door. Opening it, they see faceless unmoving figures in fancy clothes, and a wall of masks. Astukiul (Finn) uses his magic mirror to see an image of two well-dressed people apparently arguing. Aladi remembers that she left her daggers in the bedroom, so she and Pa He return there. There is another scuffle with the armalion, but it retreats after getting a good bite out of Aladi. Then the floor disk moves towards her, so she stabs it. It sparks and stops moving. Aladi and Pa He return to the group.

Astukiul takes a golden mask from the wall, and they move on into a bathroom. Astukiul stands on the tub and starts water flowing, then climbs into the water in his clothes. The next room is a wardrobe. Helvecti opens a small box she found, pricking her finger in the process and almost succumbing to poison. Fortunately, some quick application of Healing skill saves her. She takes a bracelet from the jewelry within, while Astukiul bags his clothes and puts on a golden toga he finds in a wardrobe.

Finding their way back to the big room with the spiral stair, Helvecti shoots the brain on the ceiling with her blaster. Then she 'swims' up through the thick atmosphere and stabs it to make sure it's dead.
After that, the group heads down a new corridor, opens a door and finds a toilet. The next door reveals an empty room with an ornate, empty frame on one wall. Once again, Astukiul uses his magic mirror, and sees the same man touch the frame, and then step through it. Astukiul mimics his actions and disappears. Helvecti does the same. And finally, so does Aladi. XP: 1,000

Twenty-seventh Session, July 23rd, 2017 (Sarah, Roxy, Kaila, Billy, Trey, Patrick)

All members of the party jump through a picture frame and find themselves in a small room with a large white chair in the corner. There is a hemisphere suspended above the chair by fleshy tentacles, some of which also disappear into the ceiling. Helvecti (Roxy) immediately sits in the chair, the hemisphere lowers to sit upon her head, and tendrils bore into her skull. She screams, but her mind expands, and she finds herself able to see into two additional rooms; apparently from large “brains” on the ceiling of each room. Bief (Trey) leaves his cat, along with Helvecti's dog, to watch her while the rest of the group jumps back through the frame and tries to locate those two rooms. They roam through many rooms, mostly empty and with shelves in the walls, except for a store room with stacked containers, and a room with blue images floating over pedestals. One brain is located immediately. The room it's in has a demon face on one door. It asks a question, but when the correct answer is not forthcoming, beams from its eyes burn out the brain on the ceiling.

Eventually, the group returns to Helvecti. She peers into the remaining room, opens a door with a brain-tentacle, and a secret door opens between her room and the last brain room. Helvecti decides to remove the helmet from over her head. Tendrils pull out of her skull, she screams again, but stays conscious and stands up. She is free! The group searches the brain room, and Guillame (Billy) finds a shiny tile. He uses his Psy powers and it begins to glow with symbols. Tracing the symbols reveals talking pictures that apparently don't wish to be disturbed. Finally the glowing stops.

Returning to the pedestal room, the party experiments. Finally Guillame releases a blood-sucking monster that attacks Jack (Patrick). Helvecti rushes over and tries to meld with the monster, but it attacks her too. Fortunately Jack defeats it before Helvecti is killed. XP: 750 (plus 100 bonus for Roxy)

Twenty-eighth Session, August 20th, 2017 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Trey)

Continuing their experiments, Guillame (Billy) releases a large black starfish from one of the pedestals in the room. It bares its fanged mouth, gazes at Astukiul (Finn) with a red eye set at the end of each tentacle, and begins to eat his head. The party finishes off the aggressive invertebrate, with Aladi (Sarah) scooping out one of its eyes with a sharp bronze spoon, and Helvecti (Roxy) blasting it with her heat ray pistol. Aladi ends up feeding the red eyeball to Helvecti's dog. At this point, the dog's eyes turn red, and it begins to swim around in the thick atmosphere.

Then Guillame releases the final creature from its pedestal. It looks something like a mermaid with a bald, misshapen head. She speaks to them telepathically, thanking them for rescuing her from Sarpedon the Changer, the scientist whose lair this is. She tells them that he has become a Cymek, part human and part machine, and that they would be wise to run away or be taken prisoner. Trooper Vesna begins talking about the general distrust of robots (a robot is called a “Ru'un” in Tsolyani) and Cymeks that most people she knows feel. But the party shrugs that off with the pragmatic attitude that, as long as robots and Cymeks don't interfere with them, there is no problem.

After resting and healing, the group follows Ctenphora (the mermaid) down the corridor and back to the main hall, as she leads them to a way out of the lair. There they encounter a robot dog that says its name is Rex. Woof woof. Helvecti asks it to lead them to its master, but the party decides to follow Ctenphora instead, and they leave Rex behind.

At the far end of the hall, where water is pooling, the two Rogues investigate and open a large door. Beyond is a squad of space marines, and a huge sphere with its door wide open. A voice announces that the party are to be guests of Admiral Kadia, and would they please come this way? Vesna quietly mentions that Kadia leads Command Division as the party climbs into the sphere. The marines join them, the door closes, and a magic window displays a fish-man! The picture disappears, the door opens on a new hallway, and the party enters a huge chamber filled with many different people. At the far end, on a platform, waits Admiral Kadia. He is a strange-looking, tall non-human. In fact, there are no humans in the room at all, only fish-men!

The Admiral welcomes the party, asking who they are and where they're from. They admit that they're from Tekumel, and want to return. The Admiral wants to know if they're sorcerers, because his think-machine tells him that something is changing his reality. He wants things changed back to normal again, with one exception. He wants no more rebellions on his station. Bief (Trey) and Guillame demonstrate their great magical powers, impressing the court by summoning a dragon. Then the party makes a deal; they will do what the Admiral wishes, and then he will send them home. At Guillame's request, he provides the group with a non-metal cart on wheels, so they can cast spells wherever they go. Then they are offered a suite to rest and refresh themselves, before they get to work.

Once in their suite, Vesna removes her helmet and her face changes. It becomes paper-white, and her hair is jet black. She announces that she is a Cymek, and a rebel, and wants to know if the party would help her faction of Cymeks and Ru'un gain their independence. Guillame goes one step further and offers to put the Cymeks in charge instead of the Admiral! Vesna begins to tell the party about the different Divisions on the space station, and plans will need to be made. XP: 1,000


Twenty-ninth Session, September 24th, 2017 (Sarah, Roxy, Finn, Billy, Trey, Patrick)

Vesna the Cymek Lord leads the party out into the wilds of the space station that is Tekumel's moon, Kashi. Down an ancient elevator that gets stuck, until Guillame (Billy) uses his Dominion over Devices mental power to repair the broken mechanisms. Entering the rebel hideout, the party is introduced to the Council of Chosen, and given their tinfoil hats. They meet several Cymeks (androids), as well as humans from the surface of Tekumel, who have been fitted with metal slave collars that explode if an attempt to remove them is made. While the others are coached on the rebellion, Bief (Trey) and Jack (Patrick) are trained in new abilities. Days later, an alarm rings through the station, reality shifts before their eyes, and the native human crew of the station are transformed into hideous crouching reptile-men! There is a deep booming sound that rattles everyone's teeth and doesn't stop. The few natives of Tekumel, along with a scattering of Cymeks, are overwhelmed by the reptile-men, and the party retreats after a fierce battle – only to find their path blocked by armored adversaries identified by Vesna as “Silver Suits.”

Racing into a disused area of the station, pursued by both sides, the party literally falls into a fighter bay and enters a group of two-person spaceships. Vesna gives the strangers a quick lesson in how to fly, then the adventurers blast off into space! They are immediately pursued by two deadly ships. Guillame and Helvecti (Roxy) are blasted and their ship's engine is destroyed. The others return to help, all except Aladi (Sarah) and Astukiul (Finn), who continue to flee. Meanwhile, Pa He can be heard yelling at Vesna in their ship. She says things like, “So YOU have it! Give it to me! Give it to me! I'm getting us out of here!” Vesna appears to be having some trouble steering the ship as Pa He begins to chant instead of manning the guns. One enemy ship is disabled, but reality is again disrupted as Pa He wails, “Something's WRONG..!”

The party opens their eyes, and they are hanging in a blackness sprinkled with tiny lights. They are falling, and they see a large sailing ship nearby. As they watch, tiny figures move on the ship's decks, but they find themselves soaring up and down, drifting further away into the black. It's cold, they're having trouble breathing... but then the ship's crew begins tossing ropes to rescue them! Eventually everyone is pulled on board the sailing ship that is hanging in space. Strange faces look the party over, and they realize that Pa He and Vesna are not here. XP: 1,000


Thirtieth Session, February 11th, 2018 (Sarah, Billy, Trey, Patrick)

The exotic crew of the ship that sails in space looks over the stranded adventurers from Tekumel. Jack (Patrick) understands the language, due to a magic item, and translates for his friends. Surprisingly, the sailor recognizes the Tsolyani language, and realizes that he may speak directly to everyone. He explains that he is Captain Guan Yu of the Junk Feilong, sailing for His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Shou. He introduces his First Officer Sun Quan, and the Wujen Liu Bei. If the party is willing to work their passage, they are welcome to come along.

Information is shared. The Feilong is currently in a “sphere,” about to sail into the “rainbow ocean.” It is helmed by spellcasters, while the crew works the rigging and sails. Members of the Stone Wharf Clan have a natural advantage as sailors, even in space. Dedicated training could provide new skills, including navigation, helming and ballistae use in addition to deckhand skills. The party agrees.

A few days pass, while the strangers from Tekumel grow accustomed to their new home. They are fascinated by the lights in the sky, called “stars.” Eventually the Wujen casts a spell and opens a portal into what is now revealed as a gigantic black wall ahead. The portal widens and reveals the rainbow ocean. The ship slips through, revealing that the outside of the sphere the party is leaving is made of pearl.

But once the portal has closed, the ship is attacked by a giant squid, called a “krajen” by the grim crew of the Feilong! The krajen begins to crush the Feilong, while the adventurers join the crew in fighting off the giant squid of space! Cheering, the crew is gratified to see the monster withdraw, horribly wounded. They look upon the strangers with new respect. XP: 500

Thirty-first Session, March 11th, 2018 (Sarah, Billy, Trey, Patrick)

The party from Tekumel learns the ropes about ships in space, sailing the Feilong on the Rainbow Ocean. It takes two months before they arrive at the next “sphere,” which is actually shaped like a disk. In an amazing display of skill, Bief (Trey) helms the ship through a portal and back into wildspace.

Bief scans the area, locates an “oasis” asteroid, and directs the ship there. But as the Feilong approaches, another junk appears that's flying a red pirate flag! The ships jockey for position, and as they get closer the crews man the weapons. Ballista-bolts fly in both directions, and the pirate fires a catapult as well. Bief maneuvers alongside, and the crew ties the two ships together to commence boarding!

Guillame (Billy) slings spells while Jack (Patrick) and Aladi (Sarah) leap into battle on the enemy ship! Pirates come swarming onto the Feilong as well, and the melee is both bloody and merciless. Aladi descends belowdecks, searching for the pirate's helmsman, but is poisoned by a needle trap. Jack is cut down by Madame Ching, the pirate leader, with a poisoned blade. The ships are cut apart, and the pirate retreats with its captives.

A prisoner exchange is arranged, and Captain Guan Yu demands to know what happened to the original crew of the pirate ship (Captain Han Xin and his sister, the Wujen Mu Guiying). Madame Ching claims she captured the junk Xiao Yi on the planet Chislev, marooned its crew, and renamed the ship Tu Wei.

The pirates withdraw, and Captain Guan Yu says they must rescue his kinsmen on Chislev. They journey further into the sphere for three weeks, locate the jungle planet Chislev, and almost crash-land on a tiny lake surrounded by trees. They are met by the Lady Mei Ling, who welcomes them and states that the Xiao Yi headed northeast on a jungle expedition but never returned. XP: 2,000

Thirty-second Session, April 8th, 2018 (Sarah, Billy, Trey, Patrick, Laurie)

The players learn that the crew of the Xiao Yi were searching the jungle for various valuable plants, but never returned. They are warned of giants living in the jungle, some of whom are rumored to have magic. The crew of the Feilong divides into several rescue groups. Lady Mei Ling gives each group a trinket of some kind to help them “save those poor people.” The party receives a necklace with five exploding baubles on it, to throw at enemies. Then they set off.

Eventually Guillame (Billy) casts a Locate Object spell, focusing on the symbol of the clan of the missing sailors. Following this magical lead, the party encounters a giant with green skin, and there is a terrible fight. Although the giant is killed, its calls to its mother are answered by an even larger giant! This battle is fierce, and the party suffers many wounds before slaying the second giant. A search reveals that the smaller of the two carried the missing clan's symbol; the sailors' fate is unknown.

As it is afternoon, the group heads back towards the landing field. However they have become lost. They attempt to retrace their steps, but the light finally runs out and they camp for the night. Finally four mushroom-men appear. They do not respond to Aladi's (Sarah) attempts to communicate, and so are cut into bits by the party of adventurers. XP: 1,200

Thirty-third Session, May 27th, 2018 (Sarah, Billy, Trey, Patrick, Laurie)

Dawn arrives and the party breaks camp. Patrick (Jack) decides to climb a tree and look around, but falls from almost thirty feet up. Guillame (Billy) casts a Locate Object to find chopsticks, thinking the lost Shou sailors might be carrying some, and the group sets off following the spell's directions. They encounter a humanoid plant thing (a Shambling Mound), who gives them quite a battle, but the adventurers are victorious. Searching the mass of vines that is the creature, Guillame finds ivory chopsticks and a small metal box that emanates great power. He hands it to Jack to open, and time stops as the Deck of Many Things exerts its magical effects.

Jack draws a Euryale card, and is cursed with a weakness to petrification. Bief (Trey) draws a Knight card. An anthropomorphic hippo appears to serve Bief, identifying himself as Private Peter Potamus. Guillame draws Flame and earns the enmity of a devil. Guillame also draws a Moon card and is granted a Wish. He wishes for them to be transported home to Jakalla, and the party appears before the city gates, dimly seen through the Deck's magic field that's been isolating them from the outside world. Sora (Laurie) draws a Vizier, and knows that one question will be answered. His second card is also Flame, and a devil's enmity is directed at him, too. Aladi (Sarah) draws the Fates card, and knows that she may unravel the skein of Fate one time, undoing something that affects her (and only her).

The Deck's magic melts away, and the party sees that Jakalla is under attack by high-tech saucers on tripod legs! Space marines fight soldiers in the streets, buildings are on fire, and sections of the city wall have collapsed. Darting in and out of cover, the group makes their way to the Clan of the Blazoned Sail. They report in to the clan leader, explaining that these enemies are from the moon. Then they report to their daily contact about the zu'ur smuggling, turning over the drugs they'd confiscated from the H'luss.

A priestess of Hru'u arrives and speaks with Bief. She explains that their high priest has had a vision. The invaders are searching for the party! They are cultists who want to let the Goddess of the Pale Bone in to conquer all, and to do so they need an item that the party found. Sora uses the power of the Vizier card and learns that a sliver of pale bone is hidden inside the small squid-headed statuette they've been carrying around for months!

The priestess explains that there is a fire temple beneath the city, whose responsibility it would be to conduct a ritual to destroy this bone sliver. The party must descend through a ziggurat in the City of the Dead to find the fire temple that lies deep beneath Jakalla. They gather their gear and prepare to leave. XP: 1,500

Thirty-fourth Session, June 24th, 2018 (Sarah, Billy, Trey, Javier, Laurie)

The priestess of Hru'u presents the party with a map, and a Renyu slave named Darla. The party checks their gear one last time, makes plans, and heads into the city. They spot a squad of soldiers who let them pass without comment, and they head outside through a gate. Making their way along the wall towards the City of the Dead, they avoid another squad of soldiers, and eventually confront a mob of panicked refugees trying to get access to the Sakbe road and the bridge across the river. Attempts to talk with the mob only lead to fighting, but Guillame (Billy) casts a Hypnotic Pattern that enthralls most of the mob, while Aladi (Sarah) manages to get the door to the Sakbe Road open. Jack (Patrick) shouts out to the mob, “Hey, I wonder what that could be!” and points at the now-open door. The crowd, now released from Guillame's spell, forces its way inside and across the bridge. The party follows along, and the guards back up to allow the refugees to cross.

Once across the river, the group climbs down from the wall and heads towards the City of the Dead, passing some wary Sarku legions guarding the tombs. Winding their way between mausoleums and pyramids, the group surprises a half-dozen men of ill-repute who were preparing an ambush! Things go badly for the men as the adventurers swing into action. Aladi stuns her opponent with a well-aimed martial arts blow, and Darla chases the last survivor away through the rubble. Consulting their map, the party makes it to a huge set of ruins, and climbs using spikes and ropes. They make camp at the top as the sun sets on the battle for Jakalla.

While on watch that night, Bief (Trey) is confronted by some Sarku guards who seem satisfied once he identifies himself and agrees to put the campfire out. XP: 2,000

Thirty-fifth Session, July 22nd, 2018 (Sarah, Billy, Javier, Laurie)

The morning comes without further incident, and the party searches through the rubble for an entrance to the Underworld. Guillame (Billy) eventually finds a concealed door. Aladi (Sarah) is unsuccessful at disarming what appears to be an alarm of some kind, and as they file through the door they are attacked from behind by a squad of space marines! They defeat and loot their enemies, noting their unusual appearance.

The explorers descend many staircases and eventually arrive at an underground river. A door reveals a group of amphibians armed with disrupters, led by a brain in a mobile jar! The brain shouts through a loudspeaker, and is apparently seeking a “prize.” There is a terrible battle. The amphibians are defeated, but the brain abruptly disappears! The group decides to make camp inside the boathouse adjoining the scene of battle. XP: 2,000

Thirty-sixth Session, August 19th, 2018 (Sarah, Billy, Laurie, Javier, Jaime, Max, Maddy)

Just as the adventurers are preparing to make camp in the boathouse, they are joined by Divi (Maddy), Hu (Max) and Pele (Jaime), who have been sent by the Clan of the Blazoned Sail as reinforcements for the mission. Wounds are tended to, spells are regained, and the group decides to check back up the ramp outside the boathouse. They find a storeroom with boating supplies.

Returning back the way they came, the party takes the remaining boat and sets out onto the underground river. Their bobbing lanterns reveal a black fortress in the midst of the water – the adventurers must surely be dashed to pieces on the rocks! But using great skill, Guillame (Billy) and Aladi (Sarah) manage to keep the small boat from crashing, and they leave the fortress behind.

Just as the boaters are breathing a sigh of relief, Hu spots a huge Ghar rising up from the waters ahead. Jack (Javier) moves into position to defend the boat while Pele tries to think up a spell. Fortunately, Hu and Aladi are successful in communicating with the hungry water creature, and Jack throws it some food. Thankfully, the beast swims away chewing happily.

A bridge lit by torches can be seen crossing the river ahead. As Guillame hoped, there is a stone wharf where the boat can land. The group, led by Jack, heads up the broad stone steps but are met by a gigantic Sro! When the Sro demands a toll, Guillame pays it with a gem and it retreats, chuckling and gloating over its prize. XP: 1,000

Thirty-seventh Session, September 16th, 2018 (Sarah, Billy, Laurie, Javier, Jaime, Max, Finn)

The explorers continue across the bridge over the dark rushing waters of the underground river. On the far side they find what appears to be a buried fortress, made of huge black stone blocks. They find a row of bas-relief carvings of Sarku, behind which Astukiul (Finn) uncovers a hidden stairway leading up. Ignoring this, they poke around in other directions for a bit, but Darla the Hru'u temple slave shakes her furry head and suggests that they're going the wrong way.

The group is next approached by a band of Qol. The serpent people bow and grovel in front of Guillame (Billy), and when he asks they tell him that the “fire temple” is back on the other side of the bridge. They gratefully scurry off when he grants his permission.

Retracing their steps, the adventurers once again encounter the Sro midway across the bridge. Guillame gives him another gem, and he chortles in his joy.

Further exploration reveals a vast dark space ahead. Chanting can be heard off to one side, apparently a prayer to Hru'u. Figures may be glimpsed in that direction. The party's light reveals a giant paw ahead; there are two red glowing lights visible in the darkness above. Further investigation reveals that the paw is part of a gigantic statue of a Kurgha, the red lights are its eyes. The party skirts it while ducking beneath Vorodla flying overhead in the pitch dark.

Next they come upon a gigantic fanged head rising up through the floor. It is Hru'u himself, his eyes glowing blue! His priests appear, and Guillame makes a small “donation” and agrees to pass by with respect.

After skirting the idol, the group is attacked by four Kayi floating down from above. Pele (Jaime) is temporarily paralyzed by the first one, but after a few minutes of battle the monsters are killed or driven off.

Next is a massive statue of the Beast of Durun, the fearsome steed of Mighty Hru'u. Happy to give this monstrosity a wide berth, the party begins exploring passages leading to the left. Eventually they make a choice, and prepare to proceed on their quest to find the underground temple of Vimuhla. XP: 2,000


Thirty-eighth Session, November 11th, 2018 (Sarah, Billy, Laurie, Javier)

The would-be saviors of the city head down a long, wide stone passage deeper into the darkness beneath Jakalla. Exploring a tangle of side-corridors they get into a fight with a group of Warriors of Karakan, the Stability God of War. The enemy sorcerer summons several Chnehl-Apes, but Guillame (Billy) keeps them hypnotized until they, too may be dealt with. After a victory, Jack (Javi) gets a trapped door handle stuck to his hand. The group elects to rest for a time, but the handle remains stuck for the time being.

Continuing on their way, the group follows a sloping passage down, but eventually turns back to try a different way. They are met by a street-performer with a painted face. Jack asks if he can remove the door handle, and the fellow says his master could, if the group would like to come along. The party joins the small troupe of pantomime artists but are jumped without warning. Jack asks the reason for the attack, but the face-painted foe merely replies that they're out to get the party. After another quick fight, the team considers an attempt to retrace their steps to the great hall of statues, and see if they can locate a different passage to follow instead. XP: 2,000

Thirty-ninth Session, December 16th, 2018 (Sarah, Billy, Laurie, Javier, Jaime)

A frustrated Jack (Javi) asks why they weren't sent with someone to show them the way to the temple. Then he looks to Darla, his eyes widening slightly. Guillame (Billy) turns to Darla and asks, “Which way?” A happy Darla bounds to the door and waves for the party to follow her – which they promptly do.

Heading back the way they were originally going, they are confronted with a crouching Hlaka. It defiantly announces, “You can't see me!” and then giggles. It continues to creep along the passageway, keeping an eye on the group. Not sure if this Hlaka is their old friend Hralli or not, the party plays along and pretends that they can't spot the delusional character. Finally losing patience they confront the Hlaka, who seems offended and walks away. However, it sneaks back and tries to pickpocket Sora (Laurie). Getting caught doesn't help its mood, and it leaves in a huff.

Arriving at a large door engraved in N'lyssa praises to Vimuhla, Darla indicates that their goal is beyond. Aladi (Sarah) is examining the door when Jack begins delightedly reading the phrases out loud. There is a poof and the door handle that had been stuck to Jack's hand falls off – the curse has been removed! Jack falls to his knees, thanking Vimuhla, while the party sees through the doorway a huge building of black stone surrounded by lava.

Making their way along the plaza, sweating profusely, the group approaches a stone bridge arching across the river of fire. On the other side is a contingent of fighters in black armor. The party begins to climb the bridge when they are confronted by the guards. Jack addresses them in N'lyssa but they don't appear to respond. Calling out “Pale Bone” gets a reaction, and the leader comes forward for discussion. A disgruntled Pele (Jaime) explains they're on a mission, and Guillame (Billy) produces the little statuette he's carried for so long. They are invited into the Temple to talk with the priest in charge.

While Darla speaks to some fellow Renyu (the dog-people), a Vriddi priest comes out to get the details from the travellers. After hearing their story, he presents a plan. They will be sent to another bethorm, Vimuhla's domain. There they must meet with two of Vimuhla's demons in the temple that is a counterpart to this one. They must beseech Jneksha'a to destroy the statue, and Tkel to bar the gate. This is the only way to keep She Who Must Not Be Named from breaking through to Tekumel and destroying the world.

After resting for their journey, the group is led into the inner sanctum. Faced with a huge ruby statue of Vimuhla, the group is ritually splashed with red paint, then their hands are placed upon the altar while the priest chants. With a roar of flame, the party is transported elsewhere. Again.

They arrive in a scorching alien land, with a red sky and black stone. Ahead, a huge temple of iron looms. XP: 2,000

Fortieth Session, January 6th, 2019 (Sarah, Billy, Laurie, Javier, Jaime)

Outside the shimmering Iron Fortress, Jack (Javi) comforts a nervous Darla. The party has some difficulty getting used to moving around in Lord Vimuhla's world. They shift position randomly, with Sora (Laurie) having the most trouble until they manage to pull him down from the sky. Guillame (Billy) improvises a sled of sorts and is soon zipping along just above the ground. They head up the intensely hot iron bridge and into the maw of the open shaft leading inside. They spot arrow slits, portculli and fire bats overhead, but no inhabitants. Finally they come to a pair of doors. Aladi (Sarah) is checking over the first door when a loud gong sounds. Soon the group enters and begins exploring the inner fortress.

Although there are empty rooms, there are some inhabitants. Pele (Jaime) approaches a magma pit containing a column of flame. It seems to be heading towards her, until she offers it Jack's crown. It consumes this and waits a moment until Pele apparently mis-speaks – then it disappears. Jack finds the burnt remains of something huge. Eating some of the remains, he feels energized – he must've absorbed some of the thing's power!

Guillame opens a door and discovers a library, but decides to leave it alone. Jack finds a sleeping giant. He cuddles with the huge warrior while Pele tries a strong drink. She is soon weaving about and needs Jack's help. Before they leave, he tries the spirits as well, but doesn't find it to his taste.

Guillame finds a fiery lizard humanoid who asks him to lie in a magic circle. Sora is having none of this and begins arguing. The ground splits open, and Aladi climbs a wall, but Darla ignores what turns out to be merely an illusion. She rushes across the room and bites the lizard wizard. As the rest of the party joins in, the wizard decides that he just wants the party to leave – which they do.

There is a room with a giant throne, but the uninhabited chamber is soon left behind. Another room contains The Book of Black Mold on a lectern, and a summoning cage. While there, the Demon Tkel enters. He appears uninterested in bargaining as party members began frantically shouting out the phrases they'd been taught to say.

Next, the group is joined by the Demon Jneksha'a. Tkel appears to be fixated on Sora, while Jneksha'a appears to be fixated on Guillame. Sora suddenly realizes that these are the two demons whose Flame cards they drew from a magical deck! Ignoring the other explorers, and the magical statuette they've brought so far, the demons float forward and the heat they give off begins to burn the brave adventurers!

Certain that they are about to die, Guillame realizes that the Book of Black Mold can teleport them away. Jack sees him and rushes over, reading the incantation that Guillame has revealed. Sora tries holding the statuette out to the approaching demons, but the book's magic whisks them away, along with the statuette.

Awakening in the dark, the adventurers realize that they are in the Obelisk of the Demoness Quyove. Dust is everywhere. Tearing strips of the cloth that wasn't burned by the demons' fire, the group fashions loin cloths and tries to avoid slipping.

Jack tries eating some of the dust on the floor, but this time he begins to feel sick. Sora checks one of the dust-covered mounds scattered about, and finds the nearest is a pile of metal bars.

Aladi hears the voice of her mother, whose image appears to her. The others don't react as Aladi's mother begins asking why she's come, and what she's brought. Then something begins riffling through Aladi's mind.

Next, everyone in the party sees and hears a parent or authority figure, asking the same questions. This figure expresses disappointment, so strongly that Jack bursts into tears apologizing to his deceased father for failing to save his life.

The voices shift the gist of the topic, as what must be Lady Quyove explains that She Who Must Not Be Named will track them down by this cursed statuette that they cannot be rid of. In order to delay what will certainly be the destruction of Tekumel, She will Commingle their souls far away, in other bodies, to hide the party while she attempts to build a defensive alliance.

Recognizing the latent power within the group, Quyove releases their potential with a snap of a finger. Then the dust begins to rise and swirl, and the adventurers feel their souls travelling and Commingling, a most unsettling process!

They awaken in strange bodies, in a strange-looking land, personalities shifting as they try to accommodate each other. XP: 3,000




Comments

  1. I've updated this log to the last point that was relevant to Tekumel. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete

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