In this session, the heroes set forth into the Hyades Desert in search of a clue to the disappearance of the antelope herds.
Cast of characters:
- Protus, the Criminal-Ranger (PC played by Ryan)
- Pythias, the Sailor-Warlock (PC played by Andrew)
- Arcas, the Noble-Rogue (PC played by Jonathan)
- Abazu, the Kushite King
- Coronos, the Athenian Philosopher
- Thuxra, the Persian Oracle
- Adja, the freed slave (becomes an NPC ally)
They traveled past the ominously dormant volcano, rumored to be the lair of a dragon. The desolate landscape was bleak and heartbreaking.
They arrived at a small outpost where travelers stocked up on fresh supplies and water from a well. There they decided to travel to Lagash, a great oasis city in the middle of the desert. They also decided to travel with a caravan that was led by three strange foreigners: a king, a philosopher and an oracle.
Each of these individuals were on the same divine mission: to follow the black star which would appear over the Hyades Desert. This omen would lead them to a great event which would herald an individual who would change the world. Their destination was in the same direction as Lagash.
Along their three-day journey, they had a few choice encounters:
- An old ruin from a forgotten civilization, dedicated to a reptilian Titan who favored sacrifice. Pythias found a strange green Lotus flower blooming under a cracked sacrificial alter.
- While sneaking into King Abazu’s wagon to inspect his riches, Arcas found one of the ruler’s concubines. She was chained to the spot and seemed happy to speak to someone. When he was about to leave, a eunuch-slave spotted him and the imprisoned concubine slit his throat. The three heroes hid the body in the ruins.
- On the second night, Arcas visited the concubine again. They traded stories, and their names. Her’s was Adja: her people had been conquered by the Kushites and she was enslaved. She promised to safely give him as much treasure that he could carry if she took her with him.
- One night they arrived at a small shepherd village where the three men expected to find what they were looking for. Pythias went along to witness this event. They found, in a manger, a young family had just given birth. When the three men saw the child, they tossed their gifts in a hurry and recoiled in horror. The father tried to raise a weapon to slay the infant but couldn’t and suddenly threw his arm into a fire. Pythias saw that the baby had reptilian eyes and filled him with dread. Protecting himself with magic, he destroyed the child with sorcery. The body turned into a pile of serpents.
Coronus, the philosopher committed suicide. Abazu, the king, fled into the desert, probably to his doom. Thuxra, the oracle, told the heroes that he was going to find the Ziggurat of Hyades, in search of answers to this horrendous event. He gave them a small treasure.
- The heroes took as much treasure that they could in such a short time and went off toward Lagash, bringing Adja the (now freed) slave.
On the night that they arrived at Lagash, they found that the city was in the middle of a great festivity in which everyone wore masks. A series of things occured on their first night:
- They discovered that only nobles with the proper seal could openly bear weapons. All others had to check them in or leave them in their homes.
- They found a tavern called the Howling Adder, which is popular with young, bored nobility. This was where they rented their rooms.
- Each character set off to do some exploration and carousing; Protus gambled successfully and learned of three dangerous but wise witches, as well as their names, while Arcas found out about Lagash’s Gorgon Queen who lived in a palace full of riches (but woke up outside his room, thankfully unharmed and not robbed) and Pythias discovered, with the help of a strange peddler selling magically intoxicating tobacco, the Great Library of Menkhat. He could not find a way in: all of the ground floor doorways were locked.
None of the characters bothered to notice what Adja was doing (she drank with a Maggot Naga, who told her of the wondrous Zoo of Ping Feng). After a night of carousing, she woke up in Pythias’ bed.
Gaming material used in this adventure (links to product pages):