Monday, June 19, 2023

Arath Session 7: An Interlude

Arath has entered Ubek’s Oasis at hex C11. I need to make some decisions about how this Oasis is populated. I think it’s very likely that one species sort of dominates the place. My dice strongly disagree. In fact, my dice don’t even like two factions; they prefer that there are three factions warring over this place. And I thought I’d find some peace here. Okay, time to figure out who’s who in the Oasis. My dice lead me to these conclusions…
·       One group is humans. Unfortunately, they are a snake-worshipping cult that resides in a fortress in hex A8. They control that hex, and they have a sort of jungle step pyramid there. That’s fun. The dice absolutely agree (natural 1) that these humans are worshipping a Naga of Darkness. Lots of snakes here.
·       Another group is fauns. They have a small community on the eastern bank of the lake that dominates the southern part of the oasis. It’s a wooden-walled fort.
·       The final group is a group of werejackals that were once humans, but over several generations have devolved into jackal weren creatures. They hide in a series of caves on the western edge of hex D7. They often try to raid the faun community, poaching creatures in the oasis and especially fish that populate the lake. They and the faun continually skirmish with one another. A bugbear has recently taken over one of their packs, and is using it to stage increasingly aggressive attacks. This sounds like a good hook to pursue first.

It is quite likely that the fauns send patrols into the eastern parts of the oasis to control their territory. Oh yeah. It’s also possible that their seer has had a dream about Arath, because Ubek did sort of send him. I roll no, but decide to use Arath’s luck here. That would help him a great deal to be the chosen one. Like, a lot. The luck barely puts me over the line on that. Whew.
Within an hour of waking and starting westward, Arath is approached by six fauns on patrol. He greets them (he got a natural 12 on his mind lore check to see if the dwarves had told him about this), and tells them that he has met Ubek, showing them the gifts he has been given and the mark on his forehead. They are believers. I mean, the seer sent them to find him. So, yeah.
They take him into their compound. There are only 40 faun here, but they maintain a healthy little community here. There’s not a lot of opportunity to barter here. They have some simple weapons, but they generally would be druid sorts. I’m going to say that the wise faun druid in the core rules is typical of their people, but they are led by a level 3 faun of the same type. They have leather and wooden goods, but do not work metal at all. They also don’t care much for money, and have no real need of it. They have a barter economy, and trade with one another to meet their needs. Fifteen of the faun are males, fifteen are female, and ten are children. It’s a small keep with maybe ten buildings. They welcome Arath and will give him food and shelter.
I’m going to give them a minor magic item – Bones of Telling. This is a pair of awkward dice (that happened to be twelve-sided – fancy that) which act as a minor form of Deck of Many Things. I’m not going to work out all 144 possible options, but I’ll say this – if you end up with two even numbers, that’s very good – higher the better. Ending up with two odd numbers is very bad – lower the worse. On a mixed result, the more extreme number is dominant. On a balanced roll (a 8 and a 5, for instance), there is some force at battle within the character and things have yet to be determined. The higher the good, the better the permanent effect. The lower the bad, the worse the permanent effect.
I will allow him to have one re-roll (if needed) from luck. I’ll use the rules for likelihood to determine the effect I get.
Do I really want to do this? Sure. Why not.
First roll is 11 and 3. That is really bad. My luck re-roll is 5 and 4. That is slightly bad. Is it that fate will fail me at the worst possible moment for a limited time? Natural 1. Okay. Every time I roll a 12, I am likely to turn it into a 1. Once this happens three times, the effect has run its course.    
That sucks. It doesn’t suck as much as permanently reducing armor to 0, or losing half my hits, or always having -1 edge on combat checks. Those would all be a lot worse. The faun seer suggests that some dark force has it out for me, and it will be following me all of my days. It has been sending the shadelings against me in the desert. It is watching from the Shadowed Obelisk.
It’s Sauron! Except it’s not. The Faun (we’ll call him Harn, because that’s an old school gaming word you might have heard) suggests that fate has selected Arath for some purpose, and the various forces are aware of this. In this case, dark forces stepped in and nudged the dice – and opposing forces stepped in to nudge the numbers back and minimize the damage.
I’m giving him 5 xp for this encounter. This counts as character growth.
Arath asks how he can be of assistance to the Faun. While they know that the jackal weren they continually fight are too populous to overcome, their new bugbear leader Ragat has been increasing their aggression. If he could be defeated, it would greatly decrease the threat these weren pose.
A Faun scout named Bika agrees to travel with Arath, and lead him to the lair. I checked, and she definitely does not have a crush on him. In fact, she finds humans kind of gross. She’s not wrong. Bika is the daughter of the Seer Harn, so bringing her back alive is kind of a big deal. It will affect how the Faun interact with him going forward. I’m also thinking he gets a total XP bonus of +10% if he brings her back alive, and -10% if she dies. If he dies, he just loses everything, so I don’t need to work out the logistics of that. The campaign will just be over. I’m using the stats for a Faun Druid, but giving her a shortbow 2 in addition to the Cudgel.

No comments:

Post a Comment