Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Aldelle Group – Session 48 – The Thieves’ Bazaar

Session 48 happened Tuesday, October 11, 2011.

This campaign used the Dyson’s Delve dungeon pages on A Character for Every Game as a starting point, but has now moved on to new material from the DM-in-training.  I heartily recommend Dyson's Delve as a beginning adventure.

Adventuring Group:
Tre-ba Bel a sheer (female elf alchemist)
Elspeth (female half-elf rogue)
Frankie Hu, Master of the Distracting Fist (male dwarf monk)
Harkaitz of the Red Soul (male human cleric of Ra)

Aziz of the Light (male human paladin, cohort of Harkaitz)
Sarisvati the Sun-touched (female Ifrit oracle, cohort of Aziz)
Midnight (female half-elf witch, cohort of Frankie Hu)
Macha (female human fighter, cohort of Elspeth)
Estrela (female Aasimar druid, cohort of Tre-Ba)
Short John Copper (male halfling expert, hireling)
The Red Keffiyehs (human warriors, followers of Harkaitz)
Carnish (male gnoll spellcaster of some sort)
Professor Walsh (male human expert)

Evening, July 31, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, Guardian of us all.

Sarisvati can be a frightening woman when she wants to be.  Her hair is normally flame, but as an Oracle of Ra she can call deeply on the fire of the sun.  She can sprout wings of fire and radiate the heat of a wall of fire from her skin, which has the side effect of lighting up her eyes from inside as by the sun.  She can call flames to her hands hot enough to melt (small amounts) of sand into glass.  (I can do the same, but I have used it to burn down a door in the drow gatehouse).

This impressed our captive greatly.  He fairly quickly told Sarisvati that the gang he was with were the Falcon’s Claw, who specialized in robbing tombs and abandoned temples.  The dead people we found were not temple defenders but a rival gang that disguise themselves in order to infiltrate their target.  They are the Golden Hand.  He also claimed that he and those with him were just watching the place until their boss got back from selling a valuable item from inside the pyramid.  I signaled to Frankie to knock out our captive at this point.  Sarisvati’s act was good fun, but stolen items from the temple are a serious matter.  In the morning I will need to commune with Ra to gain some clarity.

Morning, August 1, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, who shows us each day anew.

I have communed with Ra and He has banished the darkness in my soul.

Last night I received a sending from our team in the mountains.  It stated:
“Lich heading north on boat. Looks like elf. Starting coup in orc city. Have not seen dragon. Rescuing dwarves. Have not found gate. –Super Rat”
It was good that Brek’nok was occasionally still getting through to scry on the lich.  I am curious as to why he is disguised as an elf.  I suspect he realized the false priest of Ra disguise was not working for him.  I responded:
“Found new pyramid. Stone golems are dangerous. Wind walk rocks. Missing mountain gate troublesome. Hope to raise Uskar Gate soon. Any sign of vampire? –Harkaitz”
Having communed with Ra, I now know we must still enter the Green Pyramid, which is empty of thieves.  Ra also confirmed that the dead people with holy symbols were actually thieves, so our prisoner will get to live.  Ra also indicated that the item stolen is still important and the lich is trying to cause us problems.  Uru is safe, but Lagaskia is only safe “for now”.

The commune also gave me a new perspective on my problem with Estrela.  She is a good person at heart, even if her passions override her at times.  I am still not happy she killed the prisoner, but this is not part of a pattern of wanton killing and she had been provoked by the bandit (being run through with a sword is provoking no matter who you are).  I am going to let this go.  If it happens again, I will reconsider then, but until that happens, Estrela is a good traveling companion.

We will be heading into the pyramid once we finish cleaning camp after breakfast.  Luna (and her prestidigitation) is much missed by all of us.

Evening, August 1, Year of the Earth Rabbit
Praise Ra, who flies with wings of flame.

This pyramid was much simpler than the last one, but by no means simple.  Past the entrance was a single chamber with a secret door on the left side.  Behind the secret door was a small shrine.  Inside that area was a hidden alcove that once held something, but no longer did (other than a square ring of dust).  This seemed to be a dead end, but we kept searching.

I activated my nimbus of light in the back room and this caused a large Eye of Ra to appear on the back wall, which then faded away, exposing a mosaic covered room.  The back was a huge mosaic of a phoenix, a creature sacred to Ra and associated with His worship.    We searched that room for a secret passage of any sort, but found nothing.  Thinking on the symbology of a phoenix, I asked Sarisvati to enter the room and activate her wings of flame.

When she did so, the top half of the mosaic erupted into flame and evaporated, exposing a 10-foot wide “chimney”.  I had Carnish grant me flight and flew up, finding another altar to Ra.  I tried my nimbus of light here, but knew that this would take Sarisvati to get past.  Sometimes I am a creature of habit.

Sarisvati flew up the “chimney” and prayed at the altar to Ra.  She received a vision similar to the one I received three days ago.  Hers shows the way to a temple to the southeast, almost halfway to Uru.  After discussing it a bit, we flew back down and rejoined the others, explaining what was next on our quest.  We all returned to camp to plan further.

Back in camp we spent some some time attempting to decypher a coded message we took from the bandits to no avail.  We decided it was time to talk with our prisoner again.  This time I did the talking.  I offered him a skin of water and directions to the nearest branch of the Great River if he'd answer our questions.

Once we got to talking (and he realized I was serious about letting him go), he was fairly chatty.  He told us his boss was heading to a bazaar in the river delta know only to those dealing in goods of questionable ownership.  He did not know what his boss had taken from the Green Pyramid, but the bazaar was the place they sold everything.  Once I was certain we had everything we needed to find this thieves’ bazaar, I gave him a skin full of water and pointed him in the direction of the river.  It is a day away, but he should have enough water to make it there safely.

Once he was gone, my companions and I started discussing what we should do next.  Ra indicated the item was still important, even if not part of our immediate quest.  It sounded like it might be something the lich or the vampire would want, making it something we wanted to keep away from them.  Plus, we knew where it would be soon, so we decided to go after it.

To be quick and make it to the bazaar in time, I would need to use wind walk and fly a small group of us there.  I choose Elspeth, Macha, Frankie, and Asmo for a good mix of subtlety and brute force.

We flew to the location the bandit indicated and found a cluster of tents of various sizes.  We landed a dune or two away from the tents and I dropped Elspeth and Macha from the wind walk spell so they could walk in and scout the bazaar.  Tre-ba had given Elspeth an elixir of blue dragon breath to use as a weapon or a signal for the rest of us to arrive in case things went bad.  Good thing, too.

Elspeth and Macha made it into the camp with little problem.  Elspeth asked around and did find the correct tent, but also set off the camp (I’m not certain how).  We recognized something was wrong when Elspeth and Macha backed out of the tent, weapons at the ready.  Elspeth confirmed this by breathing a bolt of lightning into the tent.  The rest of us sprang into action.

Asmo dropped in a couple of fireballs and I put a wall of fire around the tent we were interested in.  This changed attitudes in the camp quickly and the rest of the camp suddenly decided that maybe Elspeth and Macha were not people they were interested in after all.  Also, the people in the tent became much more talkative and less ready to fight.

In the end, we learned that the item we wanted had not made it to the bazaar yet and due to the smoke from the fires never would.  I turned this around by loudly offering 8000 gold for “the box”.  This was the amount of valuables we had taken from the Falcon’s Claw bandits at the Green Pyramid, which seemed fair use of the valuables – buying the item with the bandit’s own money.  I stated that if anyone found the item in question, they should contact me through the Temple of Ra in Lagaskia.  I then cast wind walk on Elspeth and Macha and we all flew back to the camp at the Green Pyramid.  With an 8000 gold bounty on "the box", things should get exciting for the Falcon's Claw.

Later on I warned the High Priest in Lagaskia, Qasim of the Green Heart, via a sending to expect some disreputable people showing up wishing to trade an item for coin.  Qasim and I go back several years and I promised to tell the full story if he’d work with me on this.  He agreed, curious what I was up to.

*End of Session*


  1. Question about Sarisvati - how was she built? What's the base for an "Oracle"? (and do you have any backstory on her? an ifrit becoming an oracle of Ra must have a heck of a story!)

    I can see Ra having a close natural affiliation with Fire-oriented beings. An Ifrit though? Aren't they Evil?

  2. @WebMonk:
    Sarisvati is an Ifrit, which in Pathfinder means she somewhere in here genetics she has elemental fire (the Pathfinder equivalent of fire genasi). This is different from Efreet, which are evil fire genies.

    Oracle is a base class in Pathfinder (from the Advanced Player's Guide). Having Sarisvati be an Ifrit oracle with insight to the mystery of flames thematically worked well with the current campaign and characters. While she is working on a quest for Ra and she is identified by Harkaitz as an Oracle of Ra, the truth is she serves more deities than just Ra. She has not corrected Harkaitz's beliefs on this matter as it is not important at the moment - she is after all following a vision from Ra to save the world right now.

    I have posted a rough background for her as a post, so you can read that now. It covers the key points, but there is lots of room for expansion at a later time.