*** Potential Spoilers ***
The adventure described below is loosely based on the great sword-and-sorcery novel Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed. I think what happens in the game is probably different enough from what happens in the novel that nothingâ€™s gonna get ruined, but things change in play, and I might end up using some plot point from the book that reveals a little too much. Iâ€™ll try not to let that happen, but you have been warned.
Oh, and you should also go read Throne of the Crescent Moon, because itâ€™s a fantastic book.
We had a full house for the lastStorm Point game, which was nice. Of course, as always happens, we lost a good chunk of the game session to socializing, because we hadn’t all been together for a while. Still, I managed to wrangle the group into game mode and push them into some plot, which was good.
I want to note that this entire session was improvised – I had no idea what way the players were going to go with this, so I just statted up some different ghouls, and waited to see what happened.
The game picked up shortly after the action in the last session, when our heroes lost Mouw Awa and his “beloved friend” in the sewer crypt underneath Belys. Mouw Awa made a pretty strong impression on the gang, and they took some time to describe how much they hated him to the player who had missed out on meeting him. Then they got down to business.
Investigation took up a good chunk of time in this session ((Well, investigation and socializing.)), with everyone hitting up their resources to see if they could discover anything significant about Mouw Awa. They even called in a favour from Bitaryut the Blind, who owed them one after they had recovered his shewstone. At the end of their investigation, they came up with a few pieces of information ((The basis of these things are pulled from Throne of the Crescent Moon, simplified and twisted a bit to fit them into what I’m trying to do with this adventure.)) :
- Mouw Awa was a convicted child-killer several hundred years ago.
- When he was caught, he was found to be sacrificing the children to an unspecified dark god ((I know who the dark god is; the players do not.)).
- As punishment, he was entombed alive.
- His tomb was woven with powerful curses to keep him imprisoned but alive – forever.
- The tomb in question was about thirty miles from Belys, out in the desert, and had a jackal statue on top of it.
Armed with this information, they saddled up the hippogriffs ((DAMN those hippogriffs!)) and flew off to Mouw Awa’s tomb to see if they could find out anything there that would let them track the fiend down.
They managed to bypass the mystical trap on the door that would have fried their souls, but opening the tomb woke the storm ghuls and simoom ghuls that were guarding the place. The monsters got the drop on the heroes, and really layered the hurt on them in the first couple of rounds, but the good guys ((Well, the characters, at least. To be fair, they’re mostly trying to be good guys.)) rallied and eventually defeated them.
Inside the tomb, they found a pile of dust that seemed to be the mortal remains of Mouw Awa. They also saw that the interior walls were covered in glyphs and sigils, similar to what they had encountered in the Garden of Graves, but focused on keeping the death-energy confined and controlled within the tomb. In the middle was a large stone block, about the size of bier ((Good thing, too, because that’s what it was.)). And nowhere did they find any sign of Mouw Awa, or any information that could help them.
Until, that is, one of them had the bright idea of flipping the bier to look underneath it. There, they found a contract between Mouw Awa and his beloved friend, Dhamsawaat ((Okay. I gotta explain that one. See, as I mentioned above, I was improvising this session, and didn’t have enough prep done. One of the things that’s hardest to come up with on the fly is a name, especially one from a culture that I’m not familiar enough with. When I tried to remember the name of the big bad in the book, the only name that came to mind was the name of the city – Dhamsawaat. I panicked, and there ya go. Failure of imagination led me to filch this name and misapply it. Happy now?)). The bargain between the two was simple: Dhamsawaat would free Mouw Awa ((Who was a twisted shadow creature, now that his body has rotted away. The curse kept him alive; it didn’t keep him whole.)) from his eternal imprisonment and, in return, Mouw Awa would aid Dhamsawaat in his planned coup – taking out one of the genasi pashas of Belys, and seizing control of one section of the city.
They broke the stone, hoping that this might damage the relationship between Mouw Awa and his beloved friend, but it didn’t seem to have any effect ((After all, if Mouw Awa agreed willingly to the bargain, Dhamsawaat may not need the stone to control him.)), so they headed back to the city. Now they have a better idea of what’s going on, and a decent idea about where Dhamsawaat plans to strike. They also know his name, and a little bit more about Mouw Awa.
Next session, we’ll have to see what they do with it.