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3/04/2019 5:30 pm  #1


Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"The carrack wallowed on the purple breast of the sea, groaning and straining with every wave.  It seemed to us that only vast consumption of rum, the unlikely enthusiasm of her scurvy crew and undeserved luck kept the leaking hulk of a ship afloat.  On the horizon, the ancient city slouched like an old whore, beckoning with arthritic fingers, whispering obscene promises through rotten teeth.  Our destination: Xambaala.  We couldn't get there soon enough.

Many times in the last weeks I had wondered what brought me here, to the ends of the Earth, to this place.  To lose myself, to die, to be born again. To forget. Maybe all these things. When I looked in a stranger's face looking for my beloved, all I saw were the bones beneath.  I needed to be away, in a place whose ubiquitous imbecilic depravity matched my own, and would provide my soul with comradeship if not oblivion.  Xambaala.
"  - Bytorr the Necromancer, at sea.

Starting a game log for our AS&SH  sessions, and I have 2 sessions to go before I catch up!





 


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
 

3/04/2019 8:29 pm  #2


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

Cool, man! Looking forward to it. 


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

3/05/2019 12:19 pm  #3


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

Looking forward to this. Will be checking back.

 

3/05/2019 5:28 pm  #4


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"It seems my conversations with Mother have unnerved the captain, he wishes us gone from his deck. It isn't her fault she is feeling talkative, having never been nearly this far from Khromarium.  I know she is proud of me for being so bold. Her jar sloshes with all her frenetic activity, with her incessant eye rolling and her jaw working up and down. I have spoken sternly to her, but she will not listen.  Between her caustic opinions of the threadbare vagabonds I have temporarily allied myself with, and seeing a new city, she gabbles on like magpie.  In fact,  I must replace the wiring of her mandible before it falls off of its own accord.  What a sight she will be then indeed!

The ship docked with little fanfare, grinding up against the wharf with such a crashing clumsy lurch I was amazed we didn't founder immediately.  The eye-rolling crewmen nearly flung the gangplank into the water in their haste to have it down, simultaneously making the sign of the evil eye at us and pulling on their forelock to the officials that were boarding.  Mother made a graceless comment that nonetheless drew a chuckle from me.  Again, everyone was staring.  I left the ship.

The docks were like those in ports everywhere, the human dross washing ashore mixing with the dross from the land, salted with the activity of vulgar commerce and spiced with the stench of waste and decay.  Obviously they don't care for sanitation, the animals Mother observed.  She may have been right.  Such a collection of human vermin I have never seen before.  Men of all derivations milled about in an untidy melange, all seeming to stare with their shifty eyes, especially the Esquimaux-Ixians hybrids that seemed to be everywhere. Before I could hold forth on the ideal racial mixture to my companions, the one that has deemed himself the leader of our band led the way to the nearest inn, a dank pit of degeneracy that looked to be my lot until I could greatly improve my finances. 

Some artless negotiations gained us a nondescript meal and a place in the communal sleeping chamber.  Some curious information about the dangers of walking the streets after dusk was imparted.  The conversation was jejune and I quickly tired of their lame witticisms, so I retired.  As usual, I found that others left me ample room for me and mine, especially when I drew Mother out for inspection.  Indeed, her wiring was looking weak at points, and one eye was becoming clouded.  Unaccountably, the rest of the room cleared with alacrity when I unsealed her jar for some long overdue maintenance. Mother has become modest in her reduced state, and she appreciated the gesture.

When I finished, a thought occurred to me, one which of course was brilliant.  A rat unwisely chose that time to amble across the floor, mayhap to chew on the drunk curled in corner. Instead I leaped upon it and slew it with a decisive blow from my staff.  A short cantrip later, it arose and moved to my will.  My path to empire is sometimes paved with the smallest of stones.  Mother approved.

Shortly thereafter, the rest of our collective came back from their carousals, stinking of ale and wine to find Mother and I ready to go.  However, only one of them decided to go out, a louting hairy barbarian that deemed himself our leader.  Since since the doors were barred, he left by the window.  Apparently some miscreants walked the streets at night causing a commotion, so he sought to reconnoiter from the roof.  So out the window he went." - Bytorr the Necromancer, Xambaala

Last edited by Hackhamster (3/06/2019 9:57 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
     Thread Starter
 

3/06/2019 5:27 pm  #5


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

Oh snap, Hackhampster. Eloquently written! Im glad to have the gang back together again! You write it so much better than I DM it, lol.

 

3/06/2019 11:06 pm  #6


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"We closed the window behind him.  With his cunning uncivilized ways, he would easily scale the rotting brickwork of the inn like the howling man-ape he was no doubt scarcely a generation or two descended from.  I put him from my mind, and I took my new familiar from my cloak.  An opportunity for close study of my newest companion was a worthwhile pastime while we waited.

My only indication of danger was the ripping of the air as an axe blade passed a mere hairsbreadth from me.  Taken aback, I looked up into the drawn white face of the Viking who had unaccountably attached himself to our party.  His eyes were wide and his lips were drawn back from his chattering teeth, and he trembled with his excess of passion. His axe was clenched in both hands and it waved as if in the wind.  Such fear of a natural thing, a dead rat.  What of its somewhat stiff movements and now silent chittering?  Twas a pity his small mind could not comprehend the dark vistas I surveyed.  My hand flashed out, and my mouth uttered words of power, dread mind wrenching syllables that would send him cowering in terror before me.  He would know fear, and know indeed I was his master!

Unfortunately, a morsel of my earlier repast was caught in my teeth, and I tripped over a critical fricative ululation in the second stanza. My incantation glanced off him and caromed into a corner of the room, where it struck the drunkard on the temple, fizzling out with a pop.  The Viking and I both stared in amaze at his sleeping form, our quarrel abated.  Was he dead?

We were not so fortunate.  The derelict snorted, drew his threadbare blanket over his recumbent form as he rolled away from us in his noisome cot, emitted a stench, and fell back to sleep.

I glared at the Viking and to his credit, he glared at back.  Someday he would meet his doom at my hand, but for the nonce we came to a mutual agreement: for him to not wave his axe at me, and I would not annihilate him with my dark powers.  The tension left the room.  We resumed waiting for the barbarian to return." - Bytorr the Necromancer, Saturn' s Luck InnXambaala

Last edited by Hackhamster (3/06/2019 11:21 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
     Thread Starter
 

3/11/2019 3:43 pm  #7


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"We barred the window and settled in for the oaf to return with news.  I had my studies to continue, and my companions were sufficiently daunted by rumor and innuendo to while the time away with boasting and crude jests. Mother certainly did not approve.  The fire mage held himself slightly apart, and made little yellow flames dance across his fingers.   I made sure he didn't see me watching.  After a short while, we heard a dog barking, and some yelling, then more dog barking, and more yelling. Quick on the heels of that, a scratching at the shuttered window, and a muttered "um, guys?"

Upon opening the window our barbarian is revealed, looking slightly chewed and bloodied. With a sheepish grin he says, "Uh, we just got kicked out of the inn."  It turns out on his route to the rooftop, he tried the private stairwell up to the landlords apartment, where they turned their hounds on him.  He killed one, and subdued the other, and then tried to apologize to their owner.  Some gold and dignity later, he was evicted and so were we!  The landlord did give us until morning, but the barbarian had to sleep in the gutter." Bytorr the NecromancerSaturn' s Luck InnXambaala


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
     Thread Starter
 

3/12/2019 7:34 pm  #8


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"In the morning we leave the Saturn's Luck, trailed by tight-lipped looks of reproach from our erstwhile innkeepers.  We must find another inn to take us... in.  We wander the dusty alleys of Xambaala all morning, drawing hostile and suspicious gazes from the denizens of this squalid pesthole. I may have been mistaken, but the eyes of some of the seediest seemed to follow us with a yearning and desperate hunger. One ancient wreck goggled at our somewhat pink and plump barbarian with a slackjawed look, drool running into his matted tangle of a beard.  He wiped it away with the back of his hand and leered after him, licking his lips until he caught me looking and his eyes darted away, his visage resuming a blank senility. The youngest of the ubiquitous hollow-bellied beggars clawed at us, beseeching in their mongrel street Ixian for a half-copper venghk, or a thin tin rilk in return for some half-understood but certainly iniquitous service.  At my curt denials, they would give a start with eyes wide and cry "ai! ai! ai!" and run off.  Quickly we were left alone.  I realized my Ixian is flavored with the harsh gutteral accents of its ancient form and is more suited to dire invocations and curses, not curbside palaver in some dank alley over a crippled whore or a morsel of roasted goat meat.  I was marked as one to be avoided." Bytorr the Necromancer, the streets of Xambaala


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
     Thread Starter
 

3/14/2019 7:00 pm  #9


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

"Eventually, with much aimless meandering, we finally arrive at the caravansary, where after negotiations remarkable for a lack of subtlety on our part, we hire a room for a sum much too dear, only exacerbated by the weeks stay in advance abandoned at our previous lodgings, not an inconsiderable sum. Our new host, one Aramis, seemed pleasant enough, but his look as he gathered our gold in his palm was pure avarice. However, our chamber is indeed better than our last, with a door and beds seemingly free of vermin, and all the rest, but I was not learning dread secrets with my head lying on a pillow no matter how fine, despite Mother's evident approval of the linen’s thread-count and the embroidered curtains on the windows.

Some conversation regarding rations commenced, considering we had just spent the majority of our remaining funds. Assuming a mood of frugality, I suggested purchasing a pig and contracting with the kitchen to dress, salt and smoke it, whereupon I would reluctantly animate its now toughened corpse as an undead minion. Given a sufficiently large animal, maybe a week or more of preserved meat would be available. What bounty! Perhaps we could even lash saddlebags to it, if it were of a size! My mooncalf companions waxed enthusiastic about the rashers of bacon that would soon be theirs to consume at their leisure. In jest I suggested one of them could ride it into battle, ha ha! but their sense of the absurd seemed not to extend to riding their food. The joke would indeed be on them, for I wonder if my companions had considered what eating undead flesh would be like as it squirmed between their teeth, writhed in their uneasy stomachs, and quivered in their bowels. Would it convey nutriment? Would it even be digestible? We would find out together!

Procuring the animal did not prove difficult, as livestock were in a pen adjacent to the inn, but as usual with us, our plans quickly went awry. It was suggested that before it’s ultimate transformation, we use the animal as a sacrifice at the ludicrously oversize temple of Helios that dominated the town. I noted that a sacrifice is usually left at the scene of the sacrifice, and not taken away, but as usual my logical objections and protestations were in vain. To the temple we went, our snorting and squealing offering seemingly gaining holy afflatus by the second. After we joined the line of supplicants, we moved forward towards the altar in shuffle. The pig grunted in evident pleasure and wagged its little curly tail, simply happy to be there. When we finally arrived at the head of the line, the priests were certainly impressed by our show of piety, and the quick slash of the bronze knife splashed red on the altar, surprising us and the pig with its volume. Visions of lazy afternoons lolling with pork filled bellies and greasy chins no doubt occupied the plump priests' imaginations. This divine culinary daydream and their favorable impression of us was quickly shattered as our berserker gave a curt thanks and threw the lolling carcass over his shoulder and headed to the door. Behind us there was much grumbling as their cloven-hoofed buffet disappeared forever. This scene I think did us no credit on the ecclesiastical front, and came back to haunt us in the end."  Bytorr the Necromancer, Xambaala

Last edited by Hackhamster (3/14/2019 7:01 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
     Thread Starter
 

3/14/2019 7:53 pm  #10


Re: Xambaala Nights, or "What I did on my holiday"

“Back at the inn, the pig went into the kitchen to endure the tender mercies of the cook. In a few days, our delectable salty and smoky ambulatory rations would be ready for us to lead forth. Despite this accomplishment, still we glumly gathered in the common room. We were in a new town and still had no prospects. Our foray to the temple gained us no offer of work, only pious animosity. We had been evicted from our first lodgings after an embarrassing peccadillo involving our barbarian and two dogs. We had been overcharged by innkeeps and leered at by scrofulous peasants! Our woes were many, but luckily for us, our host brought to our attention the existence of a ruined mausoleum out in the desert that was rumored to have claimed the lives of several of the more desperate residents of the slums ringing the town. Our ears pricked up, and our palms itched with the possibility of treasure in our future. The hunt was on!

We quickly gathered our gear and headed into the sands. As promised, at a ruined stone wall beneath a towering dune, a dark opening gaped wide. Lighting torches and a lantern we entered into a wide low-ceilinged passage slanting downward, blocked portals ranked to either side. The portals were blocked with doors of stone and metal covered in old Ixian pictograms. This was more like it!  On the floor, our feet were not the first to disturb the dust of ages.  At least a hundred feet the passage disappeared ahead into the gloom, and scuffed prints led away before us.

The portals proved to be sturdy, and did not budge to any of our shoving  At the end of the hall, a doorway opened to the left and thence our steps led.  Inside, a room lined on the perimeter with sarcophagi that turned to the left some fifty feet in.  Around the corner, more sarcophagi.  We decided on a system of guarding fore and aft while the fighters flipped open the cover.  Skeletons, immobile on their biers. Some had brazen and gold trinkets, some had weapons rusty and notched, another had a small shield.  As we progressed down the hall, the tramp of feet from the far end was heard, and a horde of lurching zombies shambled in our direction.  Quickly we assumed a defensive formation and pelted them with arrows and sling stones.  Still they came on!"   Bytorr the Necromancer, desert near Xambaala, in peril 

Last edited by Hackhamster (3/14/2019 9:50 pm)


"AS&SH feels like late 70’s fantasy roleplaying from a parallel dimension where Frodo was unceremoniously slain by Conan." - rpg.net review
     Thread Starter
 

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