2008-02-12 Into the City

The party was looking for a way in. At first the party tries to find a Pazuzu temple and the shadow walker and the mystic theurge decide to play along with the lamb sacrifice and the chanting. To get a writ of passage the head priest asks them to join them in an ambush on a patrol by Lady Fatima Umau. The neutral and evil side of the party is tempted, but the good side is strictly against it. Pazuzu’s powerful corruption is spreading, I can feel it…

I then used idea no. 18 with somebody called Qasim who could “organize” a writ of passage. They then met this old man called Abdel Hasib with a white beard and some sand goggles who sold them a writ each. The take the 20 miles walk to the gatehouse (are these towers really 6 miles high?) – where they are immediately discovered as being fakes. The fire giant says the fine is 20’000 gp, or if they offer a magic item worth at least 10’000 gp he’ll let them pass. They use mass invisibility and run. The fighter takes 22 points of damage as the giant strikes the invisible party, but then they all make it away from the gate without paying either the fine or the bribe. The ten fire giants and the efreet then closed the gate and rang the alarms but did not abandon their post. The party managed to use another guy as a bait to find Abdel Hasib, discover that he is in fact Qasim’s slave and forced him to lead them to his master’s mansion. I wasn’t sure how to play the permanent suggestion of the brass collar. In a life or death situation, the slave would still try to save his life without betraying his master.

I decided to use the stats for a noble efreet and four efreeti soldiers, but these proved to be unnecessary. The slave had handed the party some fake writs and a confession when confronted with the sharp end of a naginata (glaive). The party hides these away except for one, and tells Qasim that they will report his racket to Lady Fatima Umau if he does not “settle” the question with the guards and provides them with some real writs of passage. The efreet agrees because does not know where the other writs are hidden (and because having a slave ask for a Wish is out of the question). A slave will meet them in two days by the gate, with the real writs, walk with them through the gate, collect the fake writs, and return. Both sides win.

Once inside I give the party a short list of names from the military bazaar in the upper city (the picture with the tank and the missile in the background elicits a chuckle or two), the party goes shopping, and then they visit the Circus of Pain. The fighter wants to build a reputation and feels that fighting in the arena would be fun. We talk about the platforms, the various challenges, until I discover that you cannot just sign up except for the races. Disappointment at the table. Hm, I hadn’t read up on that and was surprised. Perhaps there will be a way to have fights and bets and brawls in the lower city.

We talk about the next moves and I propose two alternatives: Discover the salamander resistance in the Samaghar Bathhouse (p. 94) and join them, doing some small missions for them, or do some missions inside Freemen’s Tower (p. 96): Maybe fight the crazy druid and build a powerbase inside the tower. The party opted for “resistance” so that’s what I’ll prep for next session.

And one of the next goals will be to kill Junyad ibn Tarriq (p. 60) and get away without being detected. I’ll need a map, and some magic stuff prepared.

One of these days the evil mystic theurge will also be interested in visiting the Aerie of Pazuzu (p. 58). I’ll have to think about some more people that frequent this place.

The session started with nearly an hour talking about the game itself. We discussed whether encounters were too tough, whether there was too much save-or-die, whether this was a design problem with high level D&D, whether surprise or lots of time for buffing was more fun, and so on. We agreed on looking at some numbers. I’ll try and collect some numbers on our encounter stats.

XP

Force Qasim into handing out writs of passage CR 11. Four efreeti soldiers CR 8.

Current XP:

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