Citadel of the Winged Gods, Part 4
After a week off to reflect, the party decided that their tactical position was not good, and they should do something about it. Noticing that one side of the pyramid was devoid of tribesmen, they made a fighting withdrawal to that side, then turned and ran into the jungle, pursued Indiana Jones style by howling savages. A standard five round chase ensued, during which they nearly lost their native guide, Kiran, but managed to grab him and drag him off with them. Eventually losing the savages in the jungle, they settled down for a damp, cold night which they spent wondering what had happened to their companions.
In the morning, after a few minor setbacks, they found their way to the Lost City they have been looking for these past few sessions. Dodging arrows in the ruins led them to discover such survivors as there were, but their discussion was interrupted by Kumal the Smiling, their recurring nemesis, and a dozen Valk archers who have been trailing them through the jungle and looked decidedly the worse for wear. This was planned as the big climactic fight of the adventure, but ridiculously lucky dice rolls on Fear and Blast powers wiped out the Valk in a couple of rounds, before they could do any serious damage. All the Valk except Kumal the Smiling, that is.
Now, Kumal should be dead by now, but for some inscrutable reason of their own, the Dice Gods love him. He has been blown up, stabbed, thrown down a well, perforated with arrows, blown up again, stabbed again, and he just keeps on coming. I’m not even using any bennies on him. So, it should come as no surprise that one of the city’s guardian beasts carried him off to an uncertain fate. By this stage, he may have developed a grudge against the party. If he survives the guard beast – and you can imagine how tempted I am – I foresee a crusade for revenge on his part.
The party found sufficient loot for them to consider their time well spent. As I misread a paragraph in the adventure, this includes two giant fighting hawk eggs, since hatched. Oh well, never mind – I’m sure I can make them regret that.
Thieves in the Night
Since we finished early, I dragged out my emergency one-sheet and trimmed it to fit the remaining time. This was Thieves in the Night, also by Umberto Pignatelli, from Savage Insider #3.
This is an everyday tale of tomb-robbing folk, and venturing into a step pyramid in the minor Kyrosian city of Gilaska, the group emerged, more than somewhat bedraggled, heavy of purse and light of Wounds and bennies. While the Carnival at Nal Sagath uses the random card draw method to generate a dungeon, Thieves in the Night uses Beasts & Barbarians’ other approach, presenting a list of rooms and encounters in sequence. Since I skipped over half of these to fit into the time limit, I plan to respray the pyramid and use the rest of the encounters again later.
Athienne’s player wasn’t able to attend much of this adventure, which is a pity as she had all the right skills and could have taken a turn in the limelight. I need to think about how I can cope better with not knowing who is turning up to any given session; that suggests a swing away from multi-part adventures towards one-sheets, and possibly a return to the megadungeon concept.
I should also read the scenario more carefully in future to avoid burdening the party with too much treasure.
On the plus side, having a short spare scenario in the back pocket is a useful tool.