Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Omegea - Session 4
After a short break to delve into the Forsaken Halls, Omegea Session 5 is coming up shortly, so here's a recap of Session 4 (the characters are all level 2 now, btw).
Session 3 found the adventurers deep within the winding, bewildering corridors of the Underworld after gaining entry to one of the legendary Portals of Kn'Deesh (the infamous Grogor Obelisk in the center of Majinta). Session 4 picked up with them trying to bargain their way past the ominous guards with greatswords, who warned them the price of entry is a fresh head. Unwilling to chance combat with these guys, the party backtracked and tried another of the weird, wobbling suspended bridges, ending up in a series of corridors carved from some unnatural, pulsing black stone.
They soon discovered the Underworld is full of nasty predators looking for an easy meal, including a great, glowing purple spider that nearly TPK'd the whole group. in one odd room, they discovered a well lined with runestone, with a mirror-like surface of liquid far below, and a large bucket suspended over it from a sturdy winch. The dropped a torch into it and it disappeared with a wet hiss, though the mirror-like surface of the water was left undisturbed. The Magic User then lowered himself into the well via the bucket, passing through the surface of the "water". After a weird sensation of gravity reversing, the magic user found he had bobbed to the surface of of a wide, flowing river, lined with seeping weird vegetation on one side, and a fantastic ruined city on the other!
Realizing he had discovered one of the many access or exit points of the Portals, he convinced the rest of the group to follow (after some heated argument!) and see what lies beyond. The party sets off, bobs to the surface, and swims for the ruined shore. They discover that despite the ruined state of the city, it is populated with wealthy revelers indulging in all manner of narcotic herbs and concoctions, while being waited on by a large staff of slaves (who are in turn watched over by two different companies of mercenaries).
They explore the city (Hathras, City of Dreams), gradually discovering the way things work here. Though the decadent citizens of the city are outnumbered 3 or 4 to one by their slaves, something keeps them passive and content with their lot. The mercenaries seem to do little but guard against encroachments from the outside world. The city appears to be ruled by a few bureaucratic tax officials and a caste of aloof "Dream Witches" who have kept a living god (Grom) in a fitful slumber for many years. Every so often, huge black bubbles come tumbling down the streets of Hathras, and the city folk keep well away, for they are the living embodiment of the sleeping god's dreams, and anything can come out of them.
The party deliberately intercepts a couple of them, in one instance setting loose a swarm of beautiful butterflies, and in another, a swarm of crawling predatory creatures of unnatural origin.
They eventually secure lodging at the "Foreigner's Pavilion", an entire city square covered in majestic tents filled with scores of slaves, steaming baths, musicians, and merchants from all over Eastern Omegea (even some from nearby Majinta). They pester a couple of the slaves about their lot in life, and are puzzled by their complacency. They also visit several small markets and stock up on supplies.
They discover that a large part of the city has been abandoned, and is partitioned from the rest of the city by a wooden stockade guarded by a group of savage jungle mercenaries called "Dogmen" (referring to their canine headdress). Curious as to what treasures might remain within the silent mansions, the party begins to explore the more interesting looking sites.
They do turn up a few treasures (and a few nasty beasties), and in one basement discover a group of outlaw slaves! They appear to be free of whatever soporific affect plagues the slaves in the city proper, and instead of slaughtering the slaves for plunder, the party passes around a few bottles of wine and hunkers down to make nice and find out what exactly their story is, which is where the session ended.
Depending on the player's choices, Session 5 will likely feature an "Apocalypse Now"-style hex-trip down the River Lozsh to the Unneeded Tomb of Jingolor (the most famous minstrel of Omegea), which I'm looking forward to. Oh, and two new magic items, a new tech item, and maybe some platoon-scale military action too. :)