Monday, June 6, 2011

World of Samoth: 6/5/2011 Session Recap

I got my group together to play my ongoing World of Samoth campaign today.  We past our 10-year mark of actual play time in the campaign last month.  As I mentioned before, this campaign started as a way to teach my ad agency co-workers how to play the game after we had won the WotC advertising account back in 2001.  My friend Malinda, who was on my team, encouraged me to start a game so she could learn what it was all about.  The concept of a game without a board or where nobody really wins kind of confused her a bit.  She created a character, Raphael Sangrecabo de la Divina Senda (aka "Rafe"), and played for many years until she got too busy with her two young children.

The game currently has four players, one of whom just joined the group today:

  • Jeremi Udall, a Priest ofÆton and member of the Illumination, who also has mysterious (and heretical) access to an arcane bloodline of sorcery that he keeps hidden from all but his most trusted companions
  • Sameer Palsbrundi, a scion of a nomadic tribe of desert goat-herders.  He is a powerful warrior who, coincidentally, also empowers his fighting skills through the use of sorcery.
  • "Sombra" (The Shade, aka Nicodemus Alphonso Caballotriste), a knight of the West who was accused of the crime of slaying his commander.  He fled to the East where he joined an esoteric religious brotherhood that combined the best teachings of all of the major world religions.  He returned to the West to clear his name and fell in with the Company.  He is constantly tracked by bounty hunters.
  • Shao Yue Chen, an engineer and monk from the exotic East who has been sent on a journey to gather information about the strange men of the West.  His allegiances and movies remain a mystery.

I'm currently in the process of posting all of the Company's adventure recaps on my main World of Samoth Website, but while I catch up on that project, I'll be posting short capsule summaries of their latest adventures here on the blog.

The 15th of Ebupell, D.E. 504

The members of the Company discussed their plans and ultimately decide to follow the advice of the fallen Jade Elf - seek out the closest headquarters of the Order of the Ishari Lier and see if they can translate the journal of Usoruhihn, their former comrade-in-arms who betrayed them and allowed himself to be corrupted by the forces of the arcane.

They have been told that the closest lodge of the Order is in the Free City of Ryn, roughly a thousand miles to the northwest.  Although land travel is possible and more direct, travel by ship would conceivably cut the time of the trip considerably.  Additionally, the thought of travel across the desert in the heat of late Spring does not appeal to them.

The smell of death, decay, and disease hangs above the ruined ziggurat city of Nur, and with one last look at the once-proud citadel of the goblins, they head toward the coast, using chariots that once belonged to the fierce goblin warriors.

Sameer opts to make a slight deter to the South to catch up with his tribe that he has not seen for nearly three years, and bring them news of Abeelah's death.  Her mother takes the news as well as could be expected, and Sameer wisely leaves part of the story out - that Abeelah had been corrupted by an evil force and turned into some type of pseudo-undead creature that he and his companions were forced to kill.

While meeting with his tribe, Sameer also speaks with his mother, a tribal wise-woman, and tells her of the disturbing information he and his adventuring companions have uncovered - news of a powerful, ancient "master" and his six "generals" who, it seems, have been unleashed upon the world.  His mother proclaims no knowledge of such information - the tribe, it seems, remains relatively isolated from the rest of the world.

After securing passage on a smuggler's ship in order to avoid unwanted attention, the Company prepare for the several day long voyage to what could perhaps be considered the great city in the known world - Ryn.

While the smuggler captain docks the ship in the harbor, the Company observe ships bearing flags from every known country in the world, as well as private merchant ships from the four corners, including several ships belonging to the powerful Radillar family from Esoría.  The entire city, once a capital of the ancient Dasidian empire hundreds of years ago, is a living monument to the pagan deities of old.  Huge structures of marble, stone, and concrete mark the sites of important battles, the tombs of long-dead emperors, or temples of forgotten gods.  On the highest hill in the city rises the imposing structure of the Severian Amphitheatre, more commonly known as the Coliseum.  Gladiator games, a practice once common throughout the old Dasidian Empire, but long ago outlawed in the West, are still practiced here by paid, professional gladiators. 

After disembarking, they make their way through the crowded docks and weaving their way through a flock of young Wanderer children, they end up at a tavern called Quintus' Quaffs.  Realizing that they have no idea where to look for the headquarters of the secretive Order of the Ishari Lier, the Company figures that a tavern near the docks where lots of visitors come through would be a good place to find information.  They start buying drinks for the patrons and discover that much of their coins have been stolen from them.  Jeremi suspects the group of Wanderer children who "accidentally" brushed by them on their way to the tavern, but the damage has been done.  

Sombra strikes up a conversation with a serene-looking Easterner named Shao, who is intrigued by Sombra's use of the Sonsian tongue instead of his native Church Oestian.  Coincidentally, Shao has also come to Ryn to find the Ishari Lier, and after meeting Sameer and Jeremi, Shao explains that he has made first contact with the Order and agrees to bring the Company to his meeting with the Ishari Lier, which is scheduled two days later.  

Seeing as how they will be in town for a few days, the Company decide to secure rooms at the same inn where Shao is staying, in a quiet part of town in the Academic District.  Jeremi decides to re-don his Illumination robes and head over to the local Ætonist temple, where he is greeted with a combination of fear, reverence, and thinly-veiled disgust by the local Jimalate, Polydamas.  Polydamas is clearly not a supporter of the Illumination and does not believe in its harsh methods.  Jeremi leaves shortly thereafter, not having learned anything new. 

The next day while on his way back to the inn for a late supper, a strange man at the end of the block calls out to Sombra as he is about to enter the Inn by shouting, "Nicodemus!"  Sombra pauses ever so briefly before continuing into the inn, but the break in his concentration is noticeable and the man simply says, "So, it is you."  Sombra enters the inn and draws his sword, ready to face-down the bounty hunter.  The rest of the Company prepare for battle, but nothing else happens, even after a full night of preparing to ambush whoever is after Sombra.  

On the third day, the Company head toward the location of the Order's headquarters unannounced, since Shao's letters to his contact have not been returned for the past two days.  The lodge house is reputed to be located on the second floor of a humble tailor's shop in the Merchant District, and indeed, the Company see the symbol of the Order, displayed discretely near the front door of the tailor's shop.  The tailor, an elderly man who clearly does not get much business, explains that "those odd boys" have rented out the second floor of his shop for the princely sum of 25 gold per month to use for their meetings.  He often sees the members going up to the second floor, and hears them stomping around for awhile, but then everything is strangely quiet for several hours before he hears them again and they descend the stairs to leave.  

The Company enter the lodge, which is an austere room full of nothing but a desk, chair, and bookcase with a small selection of uninteresting books.  Sameer directs the Company to search the room and Shao eventually finds a very cleverly hidden trap door at the far end of the room, above what would be the tailor's store room of bolts of cloth.  He opens the trap door and sees that it leads down into the backroom of the tailor shop, but it appears that the tailor does not frequent this back room often, if at all, given his lack of customers.  The company descend back down to the street level and once in the back-room of the tailor's shop search for, and find, yet another trap door in the floor.  Jeremi uses his staff to shed magical light and they descend into a long hallway that stretches off more than 120 feet into the darkness...  

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