Mar 29, 2010

The Good, The Bad and the Undead

Saturday we were able to return to the world of Tekumel after a bit of a (schedule-necessitated) hiatus.  It was very nice to see everyone and Team Vriddi appeared to have survived their attempt to annex Hawaii with few complaints.  Chirene, our intrepid and most patient of GMs (and a very gracious host), has already given a brief account of some of what transpired at his blog which you can read here.  I particularly liked the "I toss a rock at it to see if it's undead." bit.  Priceless.  The resulting exlosion from the combination Radiant Gaze and all the alchemical ordnance was spectacular, if a bit warmer than necessary for a typical shen's more refined tastes in such matters.  But it did the job, and as the shen lost no money as part of the incident, no serious harm was done.  It pays to remain practical in such matters.

I play a shen, my wife plays a priestess of Ketengku.  The shen is technically her bodyguard, but he does some freelancing on the side, especially when bored.  Ot if there are kaitars to be made.

The last session was well rewarding for the shen in particular.  What follows is my game report as recorded by the shen.

From Journal of the Shen:
After receiving 5,000 Kaitars from the aggrieved landlords and neighbors to express their collective and quite understandable desire that our resident alchemist cease and desist from infringing upon their homes with further caustic and foul fumigations from other planes or worse, the shen was then able to extract a tidy sum of 6,000k from said alchemist for the service of not removing his head on behalf of the afore-mentioned landlords.  Their case stated clearly, the shen paid handsomely, all was well with the world.  (Of course it was nothing personal, it was just business.  The priest of Thumis might want to consider taking out one of our shen personal protection plans in the future.  We give him special Vriddi discount.)

As the toxic smog cleared from the doorway to the Thumis-priest's alchemical lab, and the shen made some kaitars, two 'soul stealing demons' wandered out to get a breath of fresh air.  There was much confusion and many silly monkeys running about trying to avert their eyes from the demons (to avoid losing their souls).  They did manage to capture one of the sleek, furry bite-sized morsels, but when the other one of the 'soul-stealing demons' escaped from the compound, a priest of Belkhanu and another of the very generous Vriddi hired the shen to capture the demon for 200k.  Capturing said demon, the shen proceeded to auction it off to the highest bidder, in this case the nice Vriddi who drinks like a shen for 2,000k.  A very reasonable price for him to complete the set of matching 'soul-stealing demons,' and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if ever there was one.  All in all it was a very pleasant diversion and a fairly entertaining floor-show as well.  It is good to be shen amongst so many funny monkeys.  Even despite the smell.

Later, we all go for little stroll together.  It either because they all afraid of swamps, or maybe the other monkeys ask them to leave.  I not care.  Me shen.  I tag along to keep an eye on priestess, like good bodyguard.  At first I think it might be a picnic, possibly a religious procession -- there were many people from one of the temples out in the steeets, some very reverential, others very close to rioting.  Such things make little sense to shen.  Humans have too many gods, get too confused.  Not sensible like shen.  But they pay well, so it hokey-dokey with me.

Out in the nice swamps the Vriddi keep a hunting lodge, a small place but comfortable and with good views of the swamps.  Many tasty things to eat in these swamps, not so many predators to eat shen like back home, and best of all only a few ahoggya that no one miss if they some-how disappear.  Very nice.

The other Belkhanu priest, the one who actually knows spells and appreciates value of a shen in the group, tells us that we are to go down into underworld.  Much good loot there.  This is most wonderful news.  Make shen happy.  We go down into underworld, some old human temple or tomb that they not need any more, not want very much, so it okay for us to visit it and maybe find souvenirs.  They waste much time making map of place.  Pah!  If you loot it thoroughly the first time, no need to ever go back.  That's why we bring bearer-slaves, especially since shen not allowed to eat bearer-slaves --a silly rule.

We see many dead things, most packed away in urns and things.  Not very comfortable looking.  Meet undead warrior with mace.  Thumis priest tosses rock at the warrior.  Apparently temple of Thumis teach you how to tell if undead or not by throwing a rock at things.  Wonder how much that cost to learn?  Might be handy someday.  The warrior definitely was undead.  Mace a cheap replica, not much market value.  I let others have it after party nearly incinerated by temple-lady in back of party.  Undead warrior much worse-off than party.  It mostly a scorch-mark that obliterates the once-glowing glyph that used to be on the floor where it used to be standing.  She very good at the blowing-up of things.  I try to keep an eye on where she standing from now on.  Just in case.  Most of party complaining loudly, not appreciate temple-lady's spell.  Shen no complain; for a little while things were cozy and warm like back home.  But we put out flames, several monkeys require medical assistance.  They very fragile creatures.

Priestess of Ketengku try to pick-up mace.  Glowing replica explodes.  We survive.  Another very useful trick worth learning sometime.  It very good for selling things to ahoggya or maybe get a second fee for making things not go boom after leaving shop--there is some money to be made in this somehow, I can almost smell it.

We go farther on into the place.  Very dusty.  Lots of dead people crammed into walls, urns, niches, whatever.  Seems like waste of perfectly good meat, but humans funny about such things.  Oh well.  Might consider bringing slaves back another time, cart-loads of old cadavers can be sold, discretely, to temple of Sarku, but they tend to want to buy in bulk and not very generous with their coins.  Need several carts to do a good job, and even then it very low retrun on investment and lot of effort for not much money.  Maybe just keep the idea in back of head for a time when things get a bit slow.  One never knows when a little pocket change could come in handy.

I break many doors.  They mostly have good sense to snap into kindling at one good slap of the tail.  A fun game.  One door we find has scuttling noises behind it.  I think it maybe something good to eat.  Break door and leap in only to get mauled by a zrne.  Zrne not so good tasting; I bit the thing.  Too much fur.  I wrestle with zrne as it is in playful mood.  Between tail-bashing, choking and some stomps I get the zrne to pass out.  No kill it.  Make a leash from last bit of rope not entirely burned by previous fireworks.  I make a pet of zrne.  Collect-up broken teeth, very poisonous to monkeys, and offer some to the tinaliya to make weapons with, and to priestess who knows about poisons, she a Ksarul-priestess.  It seems to cheer her up after losing most of her other things in big fire.  Other helpful Vriddi ruby-eye's the zrne so it much easier to drag behind.  Zrne much more quiet and easy to manage that way.  When we get back, I ask for a cellar maybe, or maybe dig a pit or they have empty room in which to house-train the zrne.  I name it 'fluffy.'  A good name for hairy zrne.  I think it will be my friend.

We go farther into the place, see a few places with underground streams or canals, find a few more rooms with dead people in them, then just when shen getting hungry and thinking about heading back or maybe paying shamtla for a slave to nibble, we find a tomb of old dead shen.  No stink!  For real.  Big placard in front reads 'Monkeys Stay Out.'  I know because I read shen.  Me no monkey, I go inside.  Many murals of mighty shen general smiting all manner of bad-wicked-evil non-shen beings, being very victorious in great battles.  Briefly discuss how to remove murals, but we not have tools to do so with us, probably need to hire some craftsfolk or artisans to either remove murals or make copies.  But that for later.  In middle of room is a Jade Egg.  It smells just like my own egg-group.  A good omen.  I take the egg, being the only shen in the room, and stuff it into my handy Vriddi gift-sack, the one that I used to capture the 'soul-stealing demon' with earlier.  The pillar that the Jade Egg was sitting upon begins to slowly sink into the floor.  Not being a stupid-monkey, shen gets out of room fast as possible.  No like traps.  Most tombs have traps.  They poor sports about getting looted.  No want to get looted, hide better or eat instead of bury the dead.  Duh.

Not longer after it time to go back.
Shen Treasure Tally for this session:
  • 13,201 Kaitars (some odd Yan Koryani coins mixed in with the rest somehow; shen no ask questions, gold is gold)
  • 1 New Pet Zrne (Fluffy)
  • 5-6 left-over Zrne-teeth, soon to be auctioned off for ahem 'medical uses.'
  • 1 very nice, slightly singed 'demon-catching' bag only used once, of Vriddi manufacture
  • 1 Jade Egg, smell like very good shen egg-group: egg-eaters of Ss-Ku

All in all, a very good day's work.  Shen not see why so many people say bad things about Vriddi--they make shen rich, give him pets, let him have door-prizes.  Shen like Vriddi.

We do this again sometime.