Pariah Session 2 - Play Report
Use the tags to find previous and for some more details. Hex fills used this session:
- Entrance to Cave Network. 4 Bears give way to Earth.
- Learned shamanic baboon + 14 captives. Flint Mine.
- River Rapids. 42, fishing village - salmon spawning.
After their feast of yak flesh, the band settled down, posting watch as normal. During the watch of Golden Other, once more four huge-headed figures loped over the hills, silhouetted against the sky. Their camp was upon the coast, leaving a large open space which the creatures did not dare cross, instead taunting the band with their hoots and gibbers. As the sun dawned, they seemingly snuck away - or disappeared entirely.
An encounter roll, boosted by the feasting, resulted in the vampiric spirits paying another visit to the party. Being intelligent, they didn’t risk the open crossing against greater numbers, opting instead to keep them up with noise.
The band moved back into the hills, away from the coast. From this vantage, they saw mountains to the distant north-west, more hills to the north and a river running through forest to the west. In a bend in the river, they saw a trail of smoke rising upwards. Having slept poorly the night before, they made the decision to make camp before setting out. They sought out a camp which would keep them shielded from the (presumed) settlement in the forest below. They camped quietly, wary of alerting anything in this new area.
During the first watch of the night, Purple Point Clever Crayfish spotted a bear snuffling towards the encampment. Sneaking back and rousing his fellows, the band decided to ambush the bear. They laid out food as bait before hiding themselves amongst the grasses and undergrowth. After an initial flurry of misses, they managed to strike the bear decisively. It decided to flee, swiping at one of the group before being cut down as it fled - despite the risk of hitting their fellows in the black of the night. Half the band stayed up skinning and smoking the bear meat whilst the rest went back to sleep.
As we’re playing over VTT, I reveal parts of the hexmap during play - in person, I’d ask them to make their own map. As they move around, they reveal adjacent hexes depending on the terrain - with mountains being seen from further way, especially from the hills overlooking the forested hexes between. The smoke was due to the settlement present in that hex. Whilst moving through the current hex, I gave them a 50% chance of ‘stumbling’ upon the main fill as well as rolling for encounters. In this case they didn’t, but camped close enough (a 3 being rolled) for the Bear to be on the encounter table that night. It was Surprised as part of the encounter roll, hence the ability to set up an ambush. The morale failure cost the bear any revenge kills, but followed through with animal behaviour.
Rather than directly approaching, the elected to follow the river to the North before travelling up it, potentially allowing for a stealthy approach. They spied a raggedy man dumping a basket of earth outside an entrance-arch dug into a hill, which they decided to come back to later. Travelling up river, the encountered a section of rapids with a rocky cliff-face near where they expected an encampment. They also found tree-stumps, evidence of sightlines being cleared. They debated whether to attack the camp or try and enter peacefully, eventually deciding to send Purple Point and Blue Fallen to observe.
They saw many people with vests of unknown material, using tridents and spears of flint to fish. Others emptied fish-traps, gutting and smoking the contents. They counted around 40 members of the encampment, 20 of fighting age. Their tents were set up for longer stays, but clearly were not permanent constructions. As the sun dipped low, one dressed in a ceremonial mask and suit studded with pairs of shells. They danced around a fire and sang, joined by the sentries before retiring, clearly heavily drained. The watchers remained until the first changing of the watch, returning to the camp.
Another cold and quiet camp to avoid detection, the only disturbance during the night was a single lost Giant Bee, clumsily slamming into trees and shrubs. During his watch, Idle Quiet One began work on his tattoo of the clay-headed spirits. In the morning, the band agreed to approach peacefully, Idle Quiet One leading negotiations by telling the story of their fight against he clay-head spirits.
The single figure was the presence of the hex-fill, determined to be on their path with the aforementioned 50%. As they were keeping a wide berth and being careful, no Stealth rolls were made for their watching. In hindsight, I could have made some Awareness rolls for the sentries. The Shamanic activity was driven by the spirit-banishing ritual unknown to the party - this ritual stopping beings like the clay-headed spirits from approaching the fire. I entirely forgot to progress the spirit-sickness with Idle Quiet One - and his forwardness with the tattoo rendered it not needed.
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