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4/13/2015 6:34 pm  #1

The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

SPOILER ALERT: This journal is extracted from an unpublished and upcoming Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea adventure I am close to completing. This account eventuates from the playtest. You have been warned!
Visitors to the desert-city of Xamboola beware! Demoniacal cachinnations and dull totemic drumbeats sound nocturnal from the outskirts of the city. Too, vile shrieks echo in response to the nightmarish noises, making even those of heroic aspect shudder in repulsion. Residents do not tarry to lock themselves in their homes at night, for something sinister lingers in the fringes of the black of night. Whisperings and warnings intimate that foreign guests residing at the inn of one Aramis D’athak oft disappear at night, never to be seen or heard from again. Where they disappear is not known, nor do the people of Xamboola speak of the hellish noises that darken their oasis city in the gloom of night.
Campaign Audio:

Session #1 - The Cannibals On The Edge Of Town
Session #2 - The Wrath Of Helios
Session #3 - An Unholy Feasting
Session #4 - The Warlord's Mirror
Session #5 - A Goddess In The Undergloom
Session #6 - A Cyclopean City

Session 1: The Cannibals On The Edge of Town

After describing Xamboola (and the Hyperborean setting) the party introduced themselves.

The Party
Sint the Pict Ranger (Level 1)
Heron the Greek Druid (Level 1)
Molock the Male Ixian Witch (Level 1)
Grimnear Hothgar the Viking Berserker (Level 1)
Estorane the Ixian Thief (Level 2; Hireling)
Part I: Drums in the night
The group congregated at Saturn’s Luck Hall – a popular drinking hall named in honour of Xathoqqua. There Sint, and eventually the others, met a merry patron named Tartok. Tartok, while sipping on pomegranate wine, provided some interesting rumours for the party – a strange census is being undertaken in Yithorium targeting children with magical ability (who then disappear from their homes); locally in Xamboola a priest at the temple of Helios is rumoured to have murdered someone; horrendous caravan raids have been occurring on the outskirts of town; and finally Tartok spoke of…. the ominous troubles plaguing Xamboola.
No sooner had the skies darkened for nightfall when dull, pounding, drum beats resounded from the edge of town, accompanied by shrieks and hooting. Local patrons vacated the hall immediately, presumably for their dwellings, while the owners hastily boarded up the hall for the night. At the owners' insistence the group had to pay to sleep on the floor or else leave immediately. The group chose the former. The loathsome noises moved closer into town, though they seemed to linger in the western portion. The odious noises were soon accompanied by the bloodcurdling shrieks of one being attacked or worse. Sint and Grimnear were willing to go out and hunt whatever was causing these noises but due to the lockdown, and after some thought, decided to wait until the morning to take action. They instead spent time questioning the owners of Saturn’s Luck, discovering that cannibal slaves were allegedly responsible for these abductions. The horrible anthropophagi mostly target foreigners, thus the satrapy and locals tolerate it, especially as the slaves extensively outnumber the free-people. If it came to open warfare there would be much bloodshed and disruption of commerce. The witch-queen of Yithorium forbids the satrap to take violent action. Thus, the best one can do is lock their door and pray to whatever god/s they worship their family will be spared. Whenever a foreigner is abducted the locals breathe a sigh of relief. Another rumour of potential verity was discovered: at a caravanserai owned by one Aramis D’Athak, visitors are said to go missing. The inn is located on the edge of town, bordering of the old, ruined greater city.
After spending a restless night on the floor of Saturn’s Luck Hall, the party awoke. All the horrors of the previous night had vanished in the night, and Xamboola returned to its normal self.
Suspicious that these activities stemmed from the edge of town, the party decided to investigate further.
Part II: Friggin’ Apples & Espionage
Breaking fast with a meal of hot pan bread, the adventurers decided to visit the caravanserai of Aramis to discover his connection with the nightly horrors. Sint had other ideas. Being in Xamboola he insisted on acquiring some fresh fruit from the bazaar, so the party grudgingly followed him in his dreams of fruit finding. Within the chaotic bazaar a raving prophet, seeing the group, beckoned them over. He warned them vehemently of the dangers in the town, and repeated what they already suspected. After a bribe of 1 silver coin, and some equally silvery talk they elicited that this man too, had heard rumours of Aramis’ involvement.
Not knowing what kind of trouble they may find, it was deemed wise to find a hireling or two of mercenary persuasion at the bazaar to ‘bolster’ numbers. After meeting a boastful barbarian clad only in loincloth, shield and scimitar, a dour thief named Estorane was finally hired. She agreed to accompany the party for a share of 15% of all gold and gems acquired. After agreeing with the terms Estorane accompanied the others to the nefarious caravanserai of Aramis D’Athak.
The caravanserai, as the adventurers discovered, was walled mud-brick, containing a lavish courtyard and a two-storied inn. A greasing sycophant – Aramis himself – brought cool water over to the table, and took their orders of goat’s milk. The group felt uncomfortable, sensing that something was amiss, especially after their conversations with the creepy and sweating Aramis. Sint felt particularly uncomfortable and stood to leave. At the warning of Estorane and the others, he realised how conspicuous he’d look leaving so hurriedly, and instead excused himself to the bathroom. In his prying he overheard a muffled and indistinguishable conversation coming from another room. The group left soon thereafter, even more suspicious than before. 
To allay or confirm their suspicion, it was deiced some remote spying should take place. Grimnear and Estorane camped on the roof of a shack not far from the Caravanserai to survey it by night. They made a little too much noise climbing up, though no one within investigated. The others spent the night back at Saturn’s Luck. The night appeared to pass uneventfully for the spies, though that’s not to say the night was uneventful…
Part III: Temple Butchery
Exhausted, Grimnear and Estorane came back to Saturn’s Hall upon dawn, sleeping at a table all day, while Heron kept an eye on them for their safety. While the two slept Molock and Sint tracked down the man whose daughter had allegedly been murdered by the priest of Helios. Teary, the father of the deceased swore he would give his entire life savings – a sapphire – to any willing to extract ‘justice’ on the priest. He informed the party the priest’s name was Jak’n.
Later in the evening, when the two sleepers awoke, it was decided to approach Jak’n at the temple to ascertain his innocence or his guilt. Thus the looming temple of Helios was the destination. A statue of the fiery god was mounted on the rooftop looming over the interlopers as they approached. Within the temple a perpetual fire burned beside two prodigious copper bowls filled with blood. Pious worshippers wet themselves with the blood and whispered prayers and petitions to their god. A stony priest stood in every corner of the room and one in the centre. After asking one such acolyte where Jak’n was located, and assuring him the matter was pastoral, Sint boldly confronted Jak’n amidst the sombre congregation, insinuating Jak’n’s guilt.
Seeing the defilement of Helios’ sanctuary, and the disrespect for one of Helios’ chosen, a fellow priest began chanting an unknown, portentous ritual: ‘Abjuda Dilhooth Varket!’ The group, sensing their shifting luck attempted to leave. Too late: the priest ended his chanting, shouting ‘DIE!’ in the common tongue. Sint dropped to the ground as if dead. This was too much for Grimnear, who, being a berserker of little patience or respect for civilisation drew a mighty sword shearing Jak’n in two. Blood and gore showered the worshippers, who at this point, lost in worship thought it was a divine manifestation from their deity. Thanking Helios profusely for this actualised miracle they resumed their worship, eyes closed, hands towards the heavens. As they worshipped in blissful oblivion the slaughter continued. Molock wove slumberous threads of magic enchanting two priests with sleep, thereafter slitting their throats. Small rivers of red flowed upon the floors. Heron and Estorane set upon another two. The slaughter was complete. In the aftermath of battle it was discovered Sint (and Grimnear who had succumbed to another spell) were not actually dead, rather under the compelling influence of the priestly magic. They were soon revived, as hale as ever. Finally coming to their senses, and discovering the bloody horrors in their midst, the shrieking worshippers fled their beloved temple, traumatised. Running to the satraps palace, they mean to raise a mob.
Wild with adrenaline the bloodied butchers began conceiving a plan to escape…
Adventure Rewards
10 gp plundered from the coffers of Helios.
65 xp for defeating the Helios priests.
375 xp for attending the session.
200 xp for problem solving.

Last edited by Rastus_Burne (6/23/2015 3:11 am)


4/22/2015 6:06 pm  #2

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Session 2: The Wrath of Helios

The Party
Sint the Pict Ranger (Level 1)
Heron the Kimmerian Druid (Level 1)
Moloch the Male Ixian Witch (Level 1)
Grimnear Hothgar the Viking Berserker (Level 1)
Estorane the Ixian Thief (Level 2; Hireling)
Part I: Prisoners!
Atop the steps of Helios the adventurers stood. Grimnear was spent. Winded, he could not run, yet the only sure escape was fleeing the city. The adventurers scattered from the temple, amidst the rumblings of an angry mob being roused near the satrap's palace. Despite Grimnear’s usual hale he began falling behind. Those ahead rounded a corner to be confronted by half-dozen of the satrap’s finest, doing their regular rounds.
“Halt” the one commanding spoke.
“We’ve been attacked!” gasped Sint “There was a battle at the temple. The priests...”
“Why would the priests of Helios attack you?” asked the sergeant sternly.
After a brief discussion the murderers agreed to accompany the soldiers back to the temple 'to help against the attackers'. Once the guard's backs were turned however, they began to bolt. Grimnear, weary and lagging, ducked into an alley to avoid the confrontation. He lay behind a barrel panting, eventually cleaning his blade. 

Six soldiers chased the remainder of the party. Heron was slowed by the weight of his armour. The lithe and scarcely armoured soldiers easily gained on him, surrounding him and casting him in manacles. Estorane, stricken with panic and grief, turned herself over to the mercy of the soldiers. Sint and Moloch continued to flee. Two of the satrap’s soldiers threw spears, missing Sint but pinning Moloch - mortally wounding him. Sint continued to flee into the dusking desert alone. Taken to the satrap's palace Moloch was patched up, then thrown into the  dungeon unceremoniously along with Heron and Estorane.

Grimnear, after discovering the fate of his friends, headed over to the Grotto of Rel. There he enquired among the thieves of the possibility of breaking his friends from their confinement. The price was 200 gp. Alternatively he could hire a spokesman for 10 gp to represent his friends. They were scheduled to be judged in the town forum. Having a smooth-talker was surely a wise option. Sint, after throwing off his pursuers and waiting until nightfall, had descended upon Xamboola, scaling the cliff-face and entering the grotto too. It was decided to hire the spokesman. The two soon fell asleep on the floor weary from battle and shock.

Part II: The Fighting Pits
After the thieves of Rel furnished some false witnesses to testify favourably for the imprisoned adventurers, Grimnear and Sint arrived at the forum. There many townsfolk packed into the building, angered and curious about the horrible temple massacre. The representative from the temple and the party’s spokesman were both eloquent and fiery, delivering impassioned testimony and persuasive argument. In the end, the satrap pronounced the murderers 'guilty' after a confession from Moloch, along with the overwhelming evidence against the imprisoned. In his grace however, the satrap allowed the guilty to fight for their lives in the fighting pits. Should they defeat a fierce opponent, it would be proof that Helios himself had pardoned them, thereby proving their innocence. It would be a sign that the death of his priests had been willed by Helios himself. As is custom in Xamboola, the satrap extended invitation towards any who wished to expend their lives proving the innocence of their friends.The guilty prisoners were joined by Grimnear and Sint.

Hours later and the murderers were within the Fighting Pits of Xamboola. The wealthy sat in stands eating meats and fruits, while the common folk sat on bleachers, not 7 feet above the pit. All were undignified: hooting and hollering in appreciation as the first barbarian prisoner was released to battle the party. Despite charging the adventurers and wounding Heron almost unto death, the barbarian was easily killed. Bow and sword cleaved through his thewy chest, his intestines spilling on the ground. Those in the bleachers cheered in glee and exaltation. 
“And now…” proclaimed the Arena Master, “we release the true foe of these murderers. Should the guilty defeat this fearsome foe in combat, we will take it as a sign that Helios smiles upon them, and their actions were, in fact, just.”
Released from its confinement a ravenous tiger was released upon the party. Snarling, it bounded towards Sint. Again, arrows plunged into the beast, while the blades of Grimnear and Heron clove deeply through flesh and bone. The beast was felled, the party proclaimed innocent before the town. Despite the insatiable fury of the high priest of Helios, justice was served. The guilty were pardoned, free again. The wrath of Helios was complete.

Part III: Theosophist in the Desert

Recovering from their wounds, Heron and Moloch slept. Estorane, Sint and Grimnear sat atop the roof again, watching the inn of Aramis by night. In the depths of gloaming they spotted a droopy captive being half-carried by three darkened figures. Climbing hurriedly from the roof and following the four into the cold desert. Without warning the three adventurers attacked, surprising their prey entirely. Sint’s arrows penetrated one's cranium, while Estorane shot another from behind. Grimnear hewed through another, as easily as warm butter. The assailants were naked, ebony-skinned cannibals, with teeth filed to points. Their prisoner appeared to be a drugged merchant. The night stalkers kept one cannibal alive, questioning him, but gaining little information.They took merchant and cannibal alike back to the grotto and slept.

In the morning the merchant fled the grotto in terror, believing himself accosted by the adventurers (the drugs administered to him had addled his memory). He hurried back to Aramis’ caravanserai to tell Aramis of the nightly troubles, and his kidnappers. The party again questioned the slave but to no avail. It was decided to head into the desert to see if they could unearth more information, killing their prisoner on the way. Moloch plunged his dagger into the cannibal's throat, leaving him to bleed out on the sandy ground. 

As they headed towards a known oasis, the wanderers stumbled upon the house of a strange man with boggling eyes, smelling of fish and unwashed clothing. He was friendly however, and invited the group inside his abode. Appearing a theosophist he even offered Moloch a parchment with esoteric scrawling upon it. After describing the sacred gem he was seeking, the theosophist kindly sketched some approximate topographical drawings of the old city as it was fabled to be in yesteryear. The party headed towards where they believed an ancient palace to be. Upon arrival they realised the doors had been refitted recently, suggesting a newly-arrived occupant within. Ancient, hateful pillars depicting monstrosities of occult suggestion flanked the ominous doorway. It's the doorway through which the wanderers surely must enter...

Adventure Rewards

5 sp payment from murdered daughter’s father for killing Jak’n at the temple.
Mysterious scroll from theosophist. 

41xp for defeating Barbarian
340xp for defeating Tiger
72xp for defeating Antropophagi Slaves
375xp for attending the session
200xp for problem solving

206xp each. 

Party owes the thieves guild 50 gp for help with the court/fighting pit. 

The session lasted three days. 

Last edited by Rastus_Burne (4/22/2015 10:50 pm)

     Thread Starter

4/22/2015 6:44 pm  #3

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Really enjoying this, Corey. Your adventure is going to be a favorite among players and referees alike. Hell, I want to run this right now. 

HYPERBOREA- A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Science-Fantasy

4/22/2015 7:01 pm  #4

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Thanks a lot! It's proving to be a fun adventure thus far. 

     Thread Starter

4/23/2015 6:52 pm  #5

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Backdrop sounds fun, Corey, but I can't read more - don't want to spoil playing at some point. Keep up the good work!

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

4/23/2015 6:58 pm  #6

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Thanks Chainsaw! I've still got a bit of writing to do for the final portion, though I'm not without ideas 

     Thread Starter

4/23/2015 7:06 pm  #7

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Rastus_Burne wrote:

Thanks Chainsaw! I've still got a bit of writing to do for the final portion, though I'm not without ideas 

Cool! Get busy then!

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

4/23/2015 7:14 pm  #8

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Chainsaw wrote:

Rastus_Burne wrote:

Thanks Chainsaw! I've still got a bit of writing to do for the final portion, though I'm not without ideas 

Cool! Get busy then!

There's this thing called a 'thesis' that keeps interrupting my flow man.

But seriously, I am getting pretty close. A whole day or two of writing and nutting out ideas, then going over the whole document for consistency should get me pretty close to 'completion'. 

     Thread Starter

4/23/2015 8:31 pm  #9

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Though you really should be working on your thesis . . .

I kid.


4/23/2015 9:16 pm  #10

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Handy Haversack wrote:

Though you really should be working on your thesis . . .

I kid.

Yes I should.

     Thread Starter

4/30/2015 2:39 am  #11

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Session 3: An Unholy Feasting

The Party 
Sint the Pict Ranger (Level 1)
Heron the Kimmerian Druid (Level 1)
Moloch the Male Ixian Witch (Level 1)
Grimnear Hothgar the Viking Berserker (Level 1)
Estorane the Ixian Thief (Level 2; Hireling)

Part I: Of Fire & Blood

Outside the tall, iron-bound doors stood the wanderers. With some caution they approached the door testing it. It was locked. Although the thief and witchy locksmith tested their mettle against it, there was no prevail. Deliberating the best course of action a consensus was reached to scout the outside of the building. Teaming up, Heron and Grimnear found a hidden tunnel in the side of the sand-covered palace ruin.

After digging away at the shifting desert sands, and wriggling within a strangely wormy tunnel, the intruders followed the passage for twenty feet to a seeming dead-end. Using muscular force a stone block was pushed out of the dead-end, falling into a corridor within the palace. It did not appear as anyone within (whoever that may be) had heard the noise (though it was loud), and the wary adventurers climbed out of the tunnel and into the palace.

No sooner had they leapt from the tunnel than horrid and unspeakable noises emanated from behind a nearby door. Shrieks and pleas could be discerned, it was the sound of human suffering. Without much pause the huge Viking shoved open the door, lunging into a large room. The others followed without hesitation. The sight was abhorrent to all sensibilities of morality and goodness. Two men were trussed up as pigs, being spit roasted, while four enthralled cannibals, lustful for the taste of mankind tore greedily at their skin, shoving bits of the still-alive men into their mouths as the victims screamed and writhed upon the burning flame. Two women and a girl were also trussed up, though they had not yet been set afire. The walls and floor of the room were slick with blood and blasphemous symbols drawn in red. A large table on one end of the room held a human carcass, gnawed at by vermin and flies. Two priestly characters watched the uncouth and uninhibited anthropophagi scoff their morsels with gusto.

Bewildered, the cannibals did not initially notice the intruders as magic was woven, and naked iron drew blood. One priest fell prey to the Ixian's occult magic while another was dashed to pieces by the Viking's relentless blows. Estorane and Sint released a hail of arrows, while Heron's weapon clove at the feasting and naked savages. When it was all over, Heron had fallen, though was not yet dead. The poor trussed-up men were dead, burnt alive in the flames.The women and child thankfully remained unhurt albeit traumatised. After the rescue and after wiping the blood from their feet, the group returned to Xamboola.

Part II: Xamboolan Intrigue & Purple Death

Back in Xamboola Heron slept. The Eel was hired that night and the following day for the princely sum of 1 gold piece. This enabled the rescued females to sleep, and Heron to recuperate from the trauma of mortal combat. Meanwhile it was ascertained a sum of 50 gold pieces was owed the Thieves Grotto for their help in the temple ordeal. Destitute, that sort of sum was far too hefty for the collective adventurers to pay, and Estorane refused to pay a single copper, blaming the party for the foolish temple slaughter.

The thieves suggested the party could eradicate their debt by completing a simple task for them: murdering the high priest of Helios. The rivalry between the Grotto and the Temple was at its pinnacle; after the recent temple slaughter the final barrier to harmony was the removal of the arrogant high priest. "We'll think about it" was the reply offered to the thieves. The general consensus was pillaging the ruined palace should yield the required fortune to clear all debts. They did not wish to run afoul of the law again!

Returning via the secret route the party returned to the palace. This time it was decided to investigate the other portion of the palace left unexplored in the previous venture. Happening upon an open courtyard exposed to the elements the party spread out. They examined a ruinous stable, finding nothing but a rotted trunk and shattered pottery. In the courtyard were strange and eerie mosaics upon the walls. Heron listened at a closed door while the others examined a staircase and the mosaics. Creepers and vines partially engulfed the north-western wall. Searching through these vines Grimnear awoke a florid-purple mushrooming creature. It's three tentacles dripped a rotting and deathly substance and Grimnear fought to dodge from it. The other rushed in to assist him.The Ixian Witch again wove his slumberous threads. The Viking gods smiled upon Grimnear as he dodged and parried. It was over almost as soon as it begun, the perplexing creature destroyed. The lethal creature had been expeditiously bested. Both Moloch and Grimnear clawed through the vines again discovering two skeletal figures within the undergrowth. Grimnear pried a bow and quiver from one, while Moloch fingered through the other corpse's vest finding a ring and a plain stone. He pocketed the stone and adorned the ring, feeling unusually lucky. 

Part III: The Glass Pane

Hearing nothing at the door in the corridor Heron called the rest of the group to explore it. Walking the hall they determined it to be ominously quiet. Pushing open a door, six hungry cannibals set upon them without warning, wildly slashing at the explorers, attempting to slaughter them without abandon and desperate to feast upon them. Moloch attempted to invoke his magic but alas, the rushing cannibals avoided the full effects, with only three of their number dropping. The others hacked and bit and spat at the adventurers, while the adventurers loosed all their resources destroying them. The fighting was in close quarters and the unrelenting violence of two cannibals brought Heron again to unconsciousness. Moloch slaughtered those bewitched by his magic, slashing their throats as they slept. The rest of the party butchered the remainder.

When back in town Moloch had wisely purchased some desert spirits, and when the battle had subsided he poured the fiery liquid into Heron's throat startling him into consciousness. The room was searched and underneath two Grecian recliners Sint discovered an intricate and breathtakingly beautiful glass pane, chased in bronze. Magic, he succumbed to its affects, yearning for his homeland as he gazed nostalgically at the piece. He began weeping softly, entirely uncharacteristic for the usually emotionless Ranger. The fierce Viking snatched the glass from Sint's fingers, but as he caught sight of the beauty he began to weep too, only more fiercely. It was thereafter decided the damn thing was cursed. "Let's sell it and pay our debts!"

Unlucky Heron returned again to Xamboola to recover from his grievous wounds, while Sint, Moloch and Grimnear sought the wisdom of the desert theosophist who looked so much like a fish-man. Paying him a sagely fee he examined their plunder for esoteric properties, determining the bow, arrows and the strange stone held such things. Back in Xamboola the thieves were paid 50 gp from the palace plunder, cancelling all debts. From their legendary exploits the adventurers were even able to pocket some jangling coins in their purses. Studious, Moloch read the theosophist's scrawling parchment, gaining an unfathomable insight into the incomprehensible realms beyond Hyperborea. Giggling with slight otherworldly lunacy, he had learnt a new spell from his arcane delving...

Adventure Rewards

500 xp for saving the victims
240 xp for defeating 10 cannibals
240 xp for defeating two snake-like priests
101 xp for defeating Violet Fungi
100 xp for exquisite glass treasure
90 xp for jadestone ring

254 xp each

Last edited by Rastus_Burne (4/30/2015 2:39 am)

     Thread Starter

5/08/2015 8:01 am  #12

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Session 4: The Warlord's Mirror

The Party
Sint the Pict Ranger (Level 1)
Heron the Kimmerian Druid (Level 1)
Moloch the Male Ixian Witch (Level 1)
Grimnear Hothgar the Viking Berserker (Level 1)
Estorane the Ixian Thief (Level 2; Hireling)
 Part I: The Death Of The Eight

Arrows flew, magick was woven, and iron wreaked havoc on the cannibals. Taking respite from the usual diet of human flesh, the cannibals were entirely surprised when five armed and dangerous intruders of mercenary persuasion began attacking. Before they could react feathered shafts were protruding from them, and the rest succumbed to the witcheries of the strange Moloch. A fresh pool swelled upon the floor: the life blood of the slain cannibals flowed as their throats were cut while they slept. 

With little adieu, the wanderers exited the kitchen, and began exploring the remainder of the complex. After sleeping, selling acquired goods in the bazaar of Xamboola, and returning to the ruinous palace, the group continued with their prior explorations. One room, a cube of 20 feet by 20 feet, was entered. Two filthy beds were within, and a mural depicting Xamboola razed in violent conquest. It looked recently painted. The room was turned upside-down, but scant was discovered, besides Sint happening upon a letter opener. Leaving, the adjacent room was entered, albeit cautiously. This room appeared as a once-armoury, with bits of rusting metal sitting on a rack, and a mouldy drape pooling on the ground. Grimnear poked at the drape with his sword, while Estorane and Sint scanned the walls for possible nooks and crannies. Nothing of worth was found.

On the other side of the complex a room filled with women and children was discovered. They all appeared to be akin to the cannibals. After questioning them and discovering little besides the existence of some certain 'wise masters' Grimnear decided to steal a grotesque statue they seemingly revered. Despite cowering in the corner and protecting their children, one women was brave enough to prevent Grimnear from snatching the idol. He shoved her away and attempted to grab it again, but she had enough: drawing a makeshift dagger she slashed him across the arm. The Viking's patience was depleted and drawing steel he hew through muscle and bone, decapitating her. The women and children whimpered and cowered. Eventually the brute left with the idol in hand.

A nearby room, appearing mostly collapsed was explored. Grimnear shoved the queasy idol into one a chamber pot, piled with defecation, as this room appeared to be where they relieved themselves. Poking around Grimnear and Sint unearthed a brood of venomous vipers. Ironically the vipers proved to be much trouble for the group, compared with the nil challenge of the now-dead cannibals. Tirelessly the vipers attacked injecting their poison into Sint and Grimnear. After the near death of the two it was decided to return to Xamboola; those bitten appeared very sickly. 

Part II: Fugly Attackers

Back in Xamboola the wounded employed the services of the priest of Rel to remove any residual venom. A ceremony was undertaken one in the evening, one the next morning for Sint and Grimnear respectively. After recovery the party returned to the palace yet again, this time descending into the depths of the basement. Below, a wine cellar was discovered, though any remaining wine or foodstuffs had long evaporated or been devoured by rapacious rodents. And rodents there were. As the group busily pried and poked around the room, a group of giant rats sized as canines attacked, drooling for the taste of flesh. This time Moloch fell prey to diseased ailment. Again the party returned to employ the priest, who lamented Moloch's demise would have been imminent without his steadfast assistance.

And yet again the group returned to the underground of the palace!

Listening at a door and hearing nothing the wary explorers forced another door. This one led into a vast storage chamber, with arched columns supporting the palace roof above. Seeing or hearing nothing they continued into a hallway lined with dungeon cells. Two contained a skeleton, while one showed evidence of escape attempts, however futile they ended up being. The other cells were not examined, for another door held the party's attention. Without any thought to safety the door was pushed open, however on the other side awaited two horrible anthropoids. They were not human, yet appeared roughly so, standing at most 3 feet tall. They were sinewy and broad, yet held none of the sympathies or curiosity associated with humanity. Instead, these dark and sour creatures attacked immediately, targeting Moloch. They proved both deft and hale, at last being bested with the weapons of Heron, Estorane, Grimnear and Sint. Moloch in a panic, departed with haste from these fiends lest they tear him to pieces in their savagery. When the hostilities expired the corpses were stripped of their chain armour. The room was thoroughly searched: a torture chamber with a secret doorway. In addition was a stone bench with bloodstains and two strange stone closets lined with hideous spikes.

Opening the secret door Grimnear, Sint, Heron and Estorane entered a strange hallway lined with four stone statues flanking each side of the passage. Moloch remained in the 'safety' and relative darkness of the dungeon, while the others tiptoed into the hallway with slight trepidation...

Part III: Smoke & Mirrors

Being a man of haste, and not given to bouts of elongated musing, Grimnear gazed upon two diadems on the heads of two statues. Overcome with gold-lust he grabbed the first. An otherworldly voice filled the air. 
"I didn't quite catch what they said, but it sounded good" said Grimnear as he adorned the crown with little contemplation. He walked over to the second diademed statue as no ill-effect befell him. In as much haste, he grabbed the other diadem. This time a voice spoke illy, bespeaking the intruders' imminent deaths. That's when a noxious gas began to fill the corridor, and the door between Moloch and the others slammed with a deafening "BOOM!"

Nasty boils immediately formed on the skin of Estorane and Sint as they gasped for breath inside the acrid and choking passageway. Imbued with otherworldly strength the mighty Viking dove for the opposite doorway, yet unexplored, and hove it open with a deriding snarl. Heron and Grimnear stumbled into the distant room, and Estorane and Sint fell inside too. Moloch was on the other side of the passageway, alone in the dark. After half-heartedly calling out his companion's names, and without checking behind the now-closed doorway he returned to Xamboola - after all, terrible accidents do happen, and he dare not tarry lest death befall him too!

Inside this new chamber, the lucky survivors soaked in their new surroundings. An unspeakable cosmic presence resided in this chamber, yet none could name it. A twenty-foot idol grimly sat on the opposite end of the room, horned and ugly, behind which was a raised dais and a tantalising mirror. Three huge columns held the roof up, set within alcoves, while a foreign and antediluvian sigil was inscribed in the floor. After exploring the room to no avail, the mirror was examined. Heron examined the mirror, reaching out to it with his surreptitious ancient majick. Without warning he disappeared in a puff of blue smoke: ye gawds! The Viking and the ranger touched the mirror, yet all they received for their trouble was a bone shaking jolt. Wisely, they determined the departed witch should be summoned to retrieve their druidic friend, now gone, and divine the approximate usage of the portentous mirror.

They found the witch in Saturn's Luck Hall drinking and contemplating his fortunes. 
"f*** you!" shouted the Viking. "Where did you go, and why did you leave us?!"
"I thought you guys were dead" was the reply.
"Did you at least check behind the door?" demanded Sint.
"No. I thought I might die, and I came back here" came Moloch's sheepish response.
"f*** you!" repeated the massive Viking, storming away in a fury.
"Hrmmphhh!" exhaled Sint, with a scowl, turning his back on the disloyal and disavowed witch. 

That night was awkwardly quiet.

Morning dawned and Grimnear grit his teeth. 
"We're going back, and you're coming with us".
The witch knew better than to disagree. They filled him in on the way back, detailing their misfortunes.
Reentering the enigmatic chamber the Viking pointed:
"You're going to try to use that" he commanded.
The witch took the dais, eyes darting around the room nervously.
"Alright, alright"
Gazing into the mirror the blue smoke returned. Moloch was overcome by a vision...

A purple and twisted land rose up, debased and foul. A dull orb rested in the sky, not unlike Hyperborea but more sinister somehow. Heron was amidst a jungle, feverish and horrible. He talked with a man. The man had no hair, and his skin was a lurid blue, smooth and bald..dia.........wit....pur.....mir.... 

The vision faded.

"I saw him! He's in a strange land" declared Moloch with glee and bliss. 
Those in Hyperborea agreed to employ the mirror in an attempt to reclaim Heron from the odious land he now occupied. Another cloud of charcoal-bluish smoke engulfed the party as they joined hands in an attempt to travel together. A loud crack resounded and a fleeting mad cachinnation pierced the air as pain riddled their bodies. Sint and Estorane passed into unconsciousness, while the Viking was shaken: his soul felt afire. The smoke finally subsided, revealing the witch's body. Rent, and splayed, the witch had a manic grin on his face, eyes open in death. In his last his utmost thirst for power had been exercised, his joy complete amidst the pain - he had experienced a magick presence unearthly, and although he now passed unto death, the knowledge of its presence was surely worth it...

Part IV: Epilogue/Carcosa

Heron was bewildered. He had been looking at a mirror and now...

Where was he?

A strange marshland opened before him, replete with jungle trees and creeping vines. Another mirror was a stone's throw away. He began to walk towards. From behind a tree sprang a terrifying man. He was blue. 

Hairless and blue. 

The blue man spoke immediately in an accursed tongue, vile to discern, alien to interpret. 
Heron asked "who are you?"
The man pulled on a mouthpiece, incomprehensible to the druid. As the druid spoke the man fiddled with something on the side of the mouthpiece, and suddenly he somehow mimicked the druid's own voice exactly. The stranger spoke through the device in an unnatural manner.
"I need your help to locate a purple man. I'm so close!"
"Where am I?" asked Heron.
"This land is known as Carcosa", spake the blue man.
For some reason the very name sent repulsion through Heron's core.
"How do I get back to my land?" he asked.
"If you help me, I'll help you!" promised the blue man.
"I'm so close!" he repeated. "Some are in the nearby swamp, and I have a small boat and everything."
His fervour disturbed Heron deeply.
Walking to the mirror he ignored the blue man's taunts: "The only way to leave here is with my help, the purple man will be mine, he'll be mine! You'll see! Ohhh....."

Defying fate, the laws of the universe, and evoking the mirth of whatever gods watched, Heron magicked the mirror, appearing amidst his sleeping companions, in that cosmic room in that dark dungeon of Hyperborea...


In this session I used Carcosa by Geoffrey McKinney, for the otherworldly bit.
Zak S's A Red & Pleasant Land was implemented for the random objects to roll up the letter opener Sint found. All other content was drawn from the official Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea box setor it was derived from my strange imagination.

By a twist of fate, and rebuking all odds of mathematics the dice indicated Heron returned to Hyperborea! That was unexpected. 

Adventure Rewards

216xp for defeating 9 Cannibals
75xp for defeating 3 Vipers
36xp for defeating 4 Giant Rats
160xp for defeating two grotesque humanoids
60xp for finding a silver chalice and leafy brooch
10xp for finding a letter opener
2000xp for finding two magical diadems
500xp for solving puzzles
1800xp for attendance and role-playing

971 xp each

     Thread Starter

5/27/2015 6:56 pm  #13

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Session 5: A Goddess In The Undergloom

The Party 
Sint the Pict Ranger (Level 2)
Heron the Kimmerian Druid (Level 2)
Xechies the Ixian Warlock (Level 1)
Grimnear Hothgar the Viking Berserker (Level 2)
Estorane the Ixian Thief (Level 3; Hireling)
Squire Sharptooth Ixian Cannibal Torchbearer (Hireling)
 Part I: The Inhumation of Moloch

It was a sombre group that carried the corpse of Moloch to the surface town of Xamboola. Weary, injured, and saddened, the adventurers hired a mortician and proper burial was conducted. In the days following his death the group went their separate ways for a time: Estorane to the Grotto of Rel to train under the tutelage of her people; Sint and Heron departed into the wildlands to hone their desertcraft; Grimnear to the arena to test his mettle against...metal. After a time of focus and up-skilling the avarice of the underworld was too great. Upon selling some of their plundered booty, a return to the derelict desert palace was imminent. Before departing a new face in town appeared: an Ixian with grey eyes and dark cropped hair, wielding shield and flail. Speaking of his alliances with chaos, Xechies requested to accompany the group in their delve. After promising to prove his valour and worth "or take all my items when I die" the group agreed for this new companion's company.

Scouring the top level of palace, lest the detestable cannibals had returned, the group was ready to begin their descent again. However, in one room two male cannibals guarded the remnant of the female and children anthropophagi. 
One was particular vocal: "You have blasphemed Xathoqqua and the wise masters! Was it you who caused their demise?"
"Yes" Grimnear spake.
Anger coursed through the slave cannibal: "You'll be damned for that! Only the wise masters may descend beneath the surface, and you have dealt a deleterious blow to my people."

After some discourse the cannibal decided that maybe these intruders were actually sent from Xathoqqua, and despite the death of the wise masters, perhaps this was Xathoqqua's way of bringing vengeance upon the satrapy of Xamboola, and cleansing the non-believers from his tribe.

"Come down with us to the dungeon below" Grimnear commanded.
"Me? A chosen one?" the cannibal queried, incredulous at Xathoqqua's mercies.
"Um...yeah sure"

Thereafter he was named Squire Sharptooth and was charged with the carriage of torches.

Part II: The Goddess & The Batrachian Matron

Suspecting they had overlooked something on their last descent, the group set to work. Squire Sharptooth began clearing rubble, while the others patted the dungeon walls searching for hidden entrance. At last a tunnel was found, bored into a cell wall. Stepping into the utmost stygian darkness, the sounds of running water could be discerned, and a small thatchy hut was spotted. Smoke coiled from a lone chimney, while the back of the hut had a patch of vegetables, herbs, and an array of startlingly vivid 'shrooms of every imaginable colour. 

With caution the group approached the hut, and although silence was sought, a little too much noise was made. Sint held his bow poised and nocked, and opened the tiny hit door. Peering inside the group beheld a goddess. A maiden with golden tresses and voluptuous figure sat on a bed stirring a pot, aromatic and steaming. Beside her was a curled and sleeping fox. Grimnear's eyes examined her chiffon gown appraisingly, lustful for what lay beneath.

"Hello!" She sat up somewhat surprised to see visitors.
"Who are you?" asked Sint somewhat suspiciously
"It is I" she said. "I do not know how long I've been down here" she sighed. "Perhaps it's been decades perhaps it's been centuries."
Curiously she did not look a day over thirty years-old.

Xechies asked whether she could fashion a healing poultice or brew for them. Promising recipes and concoctions of every sort, she requested the group find her a fabled gem in a nearby undercity in return. Going out into her nearby garden she began gathering a blue shroom for Xechies who apparently had a "good soul." Grimnear, with slightly tilted head watched her from behind "perving" on her, but disagreed that it was a fair price for such a priceless gem. They decided to depart from her presence, though not before Sint had tasted her fruity mulled wine, simmering within the cauldron.

The further they wandered from the fair maiden's hut, the more fixated Sint became upon her. He pondered the shape of her dress, her honey-coloured hair, and experienced a vision of her caressing his hair. He attempted to shake the feeling off, but in doing so, the desire to see her became more and more entrenched. Trying to sober his thoughts he dunked his hands into the freezing and icy river running parallel to their trail. With little avail, he succumbed to his desires. Without word he began walking back to his lover's hut.

"What are you doing?!" Grimnear shouted after him.
Sint ignored him, purposeful in his destination. Hefting a stone, Grimnear threw it at Sint's head, though unusually the Viking's aim was off. The stone plonked loudly in the flowing undercurrent of the river. Estorane and Heron chased Sint and reached him at the doorway to the fair maiden's hut. Hearing the commotion outside, the woman exited the room.

"What have you done to him?!" Grimnear screamed, "Look at him!"
Drool coursed down Sint's face, but he was oblivious. It was his highest ambition realised, he was in the presence of his lover!

The maiden smiled.

Furious Grimnear began kicking at her mushroom patch. "If you don't release him, I'll destroy everything!" the Viking swore.
"Do you have no love for me?" the golden-haired maiden asked of Sint. 
"How dare Grimnear defile my mistress's sanctuary and home?" Sint thought. "Does Grimnear not realise this is for the best? I will live here forever with my maiden in pure bliss. Perhaps I'll give up the bow and sword, and take up the plough. Yes, this adventuring life is filled with peril, yet I'm safe with my maiden. Grimnear is just jealous of our undying love."
Wrestling himself free of Estorane and Heron, Sint nocked an arrow, attempting to fire it at Grimnear. All at once Xechies invoked magick, aiming it at Sint. Estorane and Heron grappled with the wriggling Sint, while Grimnear charged at the maiden who had begun chanting. That was when they all fell into a dreamless sleep...

Awakening in the hut, they were confronted with the maiden's true form. Deformed in aspect, she possessed a bulbous face, goggling eyes, and ivy-grey skin, whose surface was covered in oily acne, ulcers, warts, and seeping boils. Her fox had transformed into a hideous and croaking toad. Smaller frogs, maggots and toads swarmed over her bed, summoned from the nearby gardens and river.
"My lovers have awakened" she croaked hideously. Her breath stank.
The group beheld their new lover. Although she had revealed her true form, it was truly beautiful, compared with the homely and conventional beauty of her other self. They gazed upon her adoringly. She licked them with a slimy and raspy tongue, and they soaked it in adoringly.
"My lovers, I have a task for you" she crooned. "Over the river is an abhorrent cave filled with vile creatures. They are a bane to me. Destroy them."
"Of course!" the group chorused.
"Good" the obese and slimy toad-skinned witch cackled with glee...

Part III: The Cave & Vindication

A small barge transported the charmed adventurers across the icy river. On the other side they found a darkened cave, and crept towards it, intent on killing everything inside. Six small thewy brutes, with deformed faces, leapt out the entrance. The combat was furious and bloody. Eventually all of the male cave inhabitants were dead. Vengeance in their souls, the party pushed deeper into the cave, killing another two of the creatures who rushed down the tunnel. One room was filled with a giant forge, mining tools and buckets of chiselled ore. Further down the tunnel, they happened upon a nursery where two ugly, stooped female creatures of the same ilk guarded their young. The dozen younglings were half-maggot, half-humanoid. The maggoty surface the younglings grew within was mucous-yellow; pulsating and oozing with a nauseous quality. After some discussion with the depraved females, Xechies, Sint and Heron learned of the Toad-witch's treachery and came to their senses as they remembered her deception.
"LIARS!" Grimnear bellowed, and hacked into the hapless female brutes, lobbing arms and legs off, and filling the room with blood. Searching the final cave room Xechies gathered bedrolls from the cave's sleeping quarters and piled them upon the maggoty young, while Squire Sharptooth lit the bedrolls with a torch, filling the air with a steamy oozy stench, extinguishing all life within the cave.

Back across the river, the adventurers returned to the Toad Matron's hut. Heron, Sint and Xechies feigned their continued adoration for the sickly matron.
"My lovers, let us celebrate." The grotesque matron slipped off her dress. 
"Come to me" she croaked.
"Okay" said Xechies, who pulling out his flail hacked at her skin, marring it with pulpy gore. Sint and Heron set upon her too and soon she was little more than an ivy-grey mass of guts. Coming to his senses, and disgusted with the witch's vile magick the Viking roared in fury, hacking at the hideous pet toad the matron held dearly. Croaking in fear it attempting to flee, but the whole group invective and enraged minced it instantly. The haunted dwelling was thereafter splattered in fleshy gore, blood, and toady skin. 

But they were free...

Adventure Rewards

340xp for defeating the Toad Matron
900xp for defeating 10 dwarves
100xp for destroying the dwarf younglings
800xp for 2x love potions
1125xp for treasures retrieved
1800xp for attendance and role-playing

1013 xp each

Last edited by Rastus_Burne (6/23/2015 3:12 am)

     Thread Starter

6/04/2015 9:02 pm  #14

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Session 6: A Cyclopean City

The Party

Sint the Pict Ranger (Level 2)
Heron the Kimmerian Druid (Level 2)
Xechies the Kimmerian Warlock (Level 1)
Grimnear Hothgar the Viking Berserker (Level 2)
Estorane the Ixian Thief (Level 3; Hireling)
Squire Sharptooth Ixian Cannibal Torchbearer (Hireling)
 Part I: Out of the Barge and Into the City

A stygian river flowed past the dead witch's house, and around a cavernous bend. Squire Sharptooth, Grimnear, Xechies and Estorane climbed aboard the witch's barge, while Sint and Heron walked the scoria path instead. Around the bend a dark cyclopean city was beheld. Dismounting the watercraft the adventurers coalesced and began exploring. The city was monolithic. Towers, spires and odd geometry comprised the city, and a greenish-mauve tinge permeated the air perplexingly.

After some exploration a sword, a locket and the huge skull of a one-eyed humanoid was discovered. Additional expedition into the nearby structures detailed the original residents of the city - alien-like entities with star-shaped heads. Though, their disappearance was not recorded on the cartouches left behind in their structures. From within a tower, Grimnear spotted an opening in the sheer cliff face behind the city. 

Part II: Scaling The Cliffs

Undressing his armour, Grimnear's viking physique was tested as he began an ascent of the cliffs, finally reaching the top after a partial fall. Grimnear squatted in the tunnelled opening, hastening to tie a length of rope to the rock so as to relay his friends up to his vantage. Sint's grappling hook was put to good use too, and after an hour or so the company stood within the thin tunnel, bored into the rock. 

It wasn't too difficult to progress down the tunnel, however at various intervals a blank stone wall would impede their progress. Estorane had scant difficulty discovering secret doorways, and thus progress was continual. During one such expedition, an illusory floor gave way to Grimnear and Squire Sharptooth - the pair plummeting into a vast chasm. Sharptooth splattered on the rocks below, though the hardy and barbarous viking miraculously survived. His senses reeling, Grimnear began choking on a noxious fume that emanated from within the chasm - some vile and poisonous fungi. With expeditious wile, Xechies trussed two lengths of rope together, tossing it into the chasm for the Berserker to grasp. Those at the top pulled, and soon Grimnear lay panting atop the chasm, injured and shaken.

An outlet to the tunnel was thereafter discovered, bringing the company into the mirrored room where Moloch had met his doom. After some rest, and the consumption of Heron's goodberries the party began exploring an isle in the cyclopean city with a single domed structure - previously unexplored.

Part III: Galleria of the Ancients

Shoving the door of the domed structure asunder, the company walked into a room filled with serpentine men, cobras and two cannibals. Chaotic melee ensued. Heron became poisoned and paralysed from one of the snake-men's venomous bites, while Xechies managed to put a significant remainder of the enemies to sleep. The berserker, ranger and thief slew the others rapidly. But all concern faded as the company beheld what was contained within the domed room...

A gem, iridescent and magnificent glowed on a pedestal. A wide staircase, some thirty feet across descended into the unknown. The gem, previously considered to be but a fable, was surrounded.
"I'm going to grab it" the viking announced, the glint of goldlust in his eyes.
None tried to prevent him.
Feeling the surreptitious pull of majick, Grimnear frantically tried to will it away. Fortune denied him, and he disappeared from that very spot. 
"Damn it!" said Sint and Xechies in unison.

In the innards of this decadent undercity, Grimnear reappeared. He was in a loathsome room, filled with glass cabinets. Inside the cabinets were various horrors: otherworldly creatures, and animals, mummified and preserved. Some were wrapped in bandages, others petrified and on display, lewd and blaspheming nature itself. Antediluvian curses and incantations were inscribed on papyrus parchments, likewise entombed within the cases. High above Grimnears head, a single circular exit was evident, though with no hope of exit, Grimnear waited. Not a minute had passed, before his only hope of escape closed, entombing him with these incomprehensible horrors!

The remainder saw no other option but to descend the staircase in search of their friend. Xechies, Sint and Estorane hurriedly descended the stairs in the domed room, searching for their friend. The staircase terminated in a prodigious room, of startling dimension. The walls were blue, with various frescoes. In the middle of the room was a fountain, atop which a lone statue - a one-eyed man - was perched. Three doors indicated exit from this chamber. The companions chose the first on the left. A hallway departed into two chambers. The first appeared to be quarters of some priestly acolytes, while the latter was surely the province of some long-dead high priest, as vile acts were recorded on the wall, lauding the priest's dedication to whatever faith was practiced. It was shudderingly repulsive.

Two secret doorways were discovered within. One, a niche holding a black stone (which Xechies immediately pocketed), the other, a claustrophobic passageway. Continuing into the bowels of this labyrinthine complex, a room appeared. The room contained a single bed, and a bureau. Lying, and appearing asleep on the bed, was a magus. Curiously a layer of dust had settled on his forehead in the time he slept. The companions snuck through the room, in an attempt not to wake him.

Without, a passageway curved like a sickle, though branched. One passageway was left unexplored, while the other was pursued. It led to a sheer staircase descending to a circular lid. Around the staircase loomed a bottomless gulf. Any false move would result in instant death. With much trepidation the descend was initiated.

Inside his prison Grimnear could feel his breath becoming short, and his grasp on reality fading. He envisioned hellish scapes, plains of fire, and wicked demons with curved swords. He felt the very floor beneath him begin to shift, and he lunged onto the top of a cabinet, as the floor dropped into the bottomless gulf. Above he heard scratching, as though someone or something was attempting to enter the circular iron lid above.
"Arrrrrrrghhhhhhhh!!!" the berserker screamed. This situation had become too much for him, and he felt his sanity begin to expire, amidst the abominations that surrounded him.

After much toil, the lid was destroyed form above, and Grimnear was hauled out. Though he strangely did not seem himself...

Adventure Rewards

172xp for defeating four cobras
428xp for defeating four snake-men
48xp for defeating two cannibals
30xp for finding locket
300xp for finding black stone
600xp for finding two-handed sword +1
1800xp for attendance and role-playing

676xp each

Last edited by Rastus_Burne (6/23/2015 3:12 am)

     Thread Starter

6/09/2015 9:24 pm  #15

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

These are some great session reports, Corey. I'm loving it!

HYPERBOREA- A Role-Playing Game of Swords, Sorcery, and Weird Science-Fantasy

6/09/2015 9:25 pm  #16

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Ghul wrote:

These are some great session reports, Corey. I'm loving it!

Wish I could read them!

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

6/09/2015 9:27 pm  #17

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Thanks Jeff

     Thread Starter

6/10/2015 11:54 pm  #18

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Session 7: Rats In The Walls

The Party 
Sint the Pict Ranger (Level 2)
Heron the Kimmerian Druid (Level 2)
Xechies the Kimmerian Warlock (Level 1)
Grimnear Hothgar the Viking Berserker (Level 2)
Estorane the Ixian Thief (Level 3; Hireling)

 Part I: An Infestation Problem

An adventurer's plunder is a worthy hoard, and after selling acquired goods, the companions' pockets jangled heavily. Resting at Saturn's Luck, Sint became enraged when a couple of patrons insisted on drinking well into the night. Frustrated he left, heading for the Slippery Eel. Therein, as usual, the inn was uncannily empty. Follwing discourse with the owner Xill, it was ascertained that a hefty rat infestation was to blame for his problems, which he superstitiously described as a "curse". Agreeing to at least broach the topic with his ass-kicking friends, Sint decided sleeping on the floor of Saturn's Luck wouldn't be so bad after all.

The next morning, at the behest of Sint, the group considered their plans, and decided they could spare the time to investigate the problem for Xill; after all, the cannibal problem wasn't such a problem anymore. It could not be said their motives were entirely altruistic however - Xill promised Sint a handsome reward if their mission was successful. Descent into the basement was the logical starting point, as the horrid scuttling appeared to originate from beneath the floor.

Part II: The Altar of Aurorus

The basement was of thick stone, incongruous with the upper levels of the Eel, and suggestive of archaic undertones. Upon prying through various crates and boxes a group of rats, sized as small dogs or large cats threw themselves on the Xechies. Suffering the sharp teeth of these feral opponents Xechies submitted to unconsciousness - though the party acquired some wealth, and discovered a trapdoor beneath a discoloured flagstone.

Heaving mercilessly against the trapdoor, the heavy rusting finally surrendered, revealing an ominous spiralled staircase descending into the unknown. At the bottom of the staircase a sizeable chamber of antiquated origin opened out widely. A dais with a 12-foot idol was in the northern end, the southern corner had a stairwell slick with urine and faeces, while sagging curtains draped over the north-west, and north-eastern corners of the room. Amidst this were various crates and boxes, which looked ancient, but nowhere as aged as the pre-apocalyptic room.

Again, a myriad of rats surged upon Grimnear as he sifted and kicked through the boxes, and an onslaught began. Finally the vile rats were destroyed, though not without Xechies suffering a festering, swollen wound - the bite of the vermin. Searching the room yielded two secret doors, though it was decided to retreat while fortune smiled. 

Part III: A Demon in a Cage

After some rest and restoration, the group returned and began searching one of the secret chambers discovered on the previous delve. A bed, and a bookshelf were discovered in the north western room. Xechies pocketed a leather-bound tome, while Sint tucked away a cedar box filled with curious vials. Grimnear drew back the curtains flanking the room, when 5 skeletons armed with halberdiers emerged, surprising all. After a furious melee, Estorane lay dead, and the others injured. The skeletons possessed some preternatural ability to stave off damage, and the fight had been traumatic.

Estorane was burnt on a funeral pyre, while the others recovered. Deciding against hiring any additional or immediate help, the group returned again, this time exploring the second hidden room. This contained a rusted-iron cage, though with no door. Inside was a 7 foot skeleton, that could only be described as a demoniac being. A sorcerer's circle was engraved on the floor, and it was decided to leave that be...who knew what devilish sorcery it was? The group slipped out the door, not before Sint pulverised the skeleton into calcified dust.

Descending carefully, down the urine-covered stairwell, the group encountered a dungeon hallway. It was filled with the bones of human-like creatures, largely ape-like in aspect. A surge of rats emerged, though something far more sinister lingered at the back of the dungeon...waiting...

Adventure Rewards

180xp for defeating 20 rats
300xp for defeating 5 skeleton halberdiers
500xp for recovering Kthulhu statue
1250xp for recovering 5x robes
900xp for recovered vials
224xp for recovered treasure
1800xp for attendance and role-playing

831xp each

     Thread Starter

6/23/2015 3:01 am  #19

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Session 8: Corridors of Unnerving

The Party 
Sint the Pict Ranger (Level 3)
Heron the Kimmerian Druid (Level 3)
Xechies the Kimmerian Warlock (Level 2)
Grimnear Hothgar the Viking Berserker (Level 3)
Xjelko the Ixian Thief (Level 3; Hireling)

Part I: Death of the Daemon Rat & the Satrap's Avarice

A huge nauseous rat, scuttled from the dark recesses of the dungeon, as a dozen of her children rushed into onslaught. The mother rat had red eyes and swollen nipples oozing putrid milk, onto which clung blind ratlings. Although the dungeon delvers dashed the crazed rats to pieces, Sint and Grimnear succumbed waves of nausea as the angry bites of the rats racked their bodies. The battle was fierce with some close calls, yet the delvers survived. As Sint and Grimnear dashed the monstrous she-rat to pieces, an explosion of blood and gore rained on the survivors as the large rat emulated. The remnant of the smaller rats died whining deaths.

Afterwards various treasures were recovered, along with the thankful platitudes and rewards offered by Xill - a pearl necklace and a serviceable shield. Returning to the daylight, and relative normalcy of Xamboola, the party began selling off their various plunders. Xechies and Heron nearly met their deaths as they requested an audience with the satrap. The satrap took advantage of their naivety and told them he would take the jewellery they offered, instead of their lives. The two hurriedly left his audience, avowing amongst themselves never to return to him.

At the bazaar a new hireling was located, a youngish tough named Xjelko who claimed his expertise with dungeoneering. For a small fee (30p/month) he agreed to join them as their "thief".

Part II: A Chasm & A Gem

Returning to the depths of the ruinous palace, pursuit of neglected treasure hoard was decided. Where squire sharptooth had met his demise, and where Grimnear had come close, a wealth of treasure had been located. Getting it was the problem. Grimnear knew from painful experience that the whole chasm was riddled with horrid moulds and fungi, yet the lure of untold wealth proved deleterious where common sense should have prevailed.

Experimenting with makeshift rope tricks, and finally hammering caltrops and hooks into the cavern walls, a descent was negotiated, which avoided the toxic billowing mould clouds. And what a hoard was discovered! Armour, an otherworldly dagger, an axe, and other various treasures were hurriedly bagged. Thanking whatever gods they appraised the delvers continued into the depths of the ruined undercity.

After retracing steps, moving cautiously, and encouraging Xjelko in his crafts, some headway was made into the eerie undercity. Various routes were discovered. Some rooms yielded treasures, but the whole place was uncanny and quiet. Too quiet. Navigating some perplexing corridors another iridescent gem was discovered. It appeared much like the one Grimnear had previously touched - thereafter transporting him into the gallery of the ancients, and almost to his doom. With these compunctions in mind, the group began to back away from this gem, avoiding any majick it may contain. Something strange overcame Grimnear and Sint, and they strove immediately for the gem. It would be theirs! Oh how it glowed! Greedily they grasped for it, and it became a physical struggle. Before bloodshed occurred Xechies covered the gem with a cloth, shaking Grimnear and Sint out of their strange state.

Part III: The Eerie Chambers Below

Thereafter an amphitheatre was discovered, capable of seating at least 100, though now empty. Behind a curtain at the front of the amphitheatre was another chamber. Walking confidently into this room, Grimnear tumbled through a trapdoor and into a circular pit. Immediately a gruesome, slithering oozy creature began to engulf him. The party assailed the ooze. Although Grimnear could feel it attempt to paralyse him, he shook off the feeling, pulverising it into jelly.

More creepy corridors were discovered - doors with odd runes, opening into passageways with seemingly no purpose; corridors which seemed to be used to steer people down, as one might steer cattle or sheep; altars with dried blood; other detestable spaces. 

Retracing their steps the delvers found a strange passageway with a one-way filmy peephole, in which an occupant could spy into another room. It appeared that the previous denizens had stood in this hallway and watched guests without the others' knowledge. Shivering slightly in repulsion, the group inevitably decided to bunk down for the night. Although creepy, this seemed the safest haven. In this area they found some cultic robes which Heron stuffed into his pack.

During the night, as the others slept, Xechies awoke to see that Heron had donned one of the strange black robes...

Adventure Rewards

162xp for defeating 18 Rats
700xp for defeating Daemon Rat
300xp for defeating Slithering Slime
2845xp for treasure
1000xp for using +2 leather armour
1000xp for using +2 laser dagger
600xp for using axe
300xp for using potion of diminutiveness
400xp for using potion of extra healing
4000xp for using wand
1000xp for using bracelet charm
1800xp for attendance and role-playing

2821xp each (A REAL haul!)

Last edited by Rastus_Burne (6/23/2015 3:12 am)

     Thread Starter

6/23/2015 6:02 am  #20

Re: The Anthropophagi of Xamboola

Farewell, Estorane; welome, Xjelko! ;)

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