April 11, 2023 play report pariah playriah

Pariah Session 9 - Play Report

Use the tags to find previous and for some more details.

This session mostly consisted of a dungeon - a localised solid” in the sea of the Beyond. With the completion of this dungeon, the players voted to start a new campaign.

Having fled from the hollow man, the party elected to move through the only unexplored route. They found a chamber filled with hollowed-out human husks - as if peeled off some alien core. Moving carefully again, they skirted the strange bodies and moved on.

Purple Point lit a torch, tiring of the strange sourceless grey light that filled these passages. The darkness recoiled as if made of snakes, but the torch burnt on. From the passage ahead, a voice, muffled and metallic, beckoned them to approach and prostrate yourselves.” They found an emaciated figure wearing a full-head mask of gold, crafted to appear as a stylised sun. Around them were draped skins, covered in a crawling script reminiscent of insects feasting upon a corpse. Once again, the figure demanded they kneel. Purple Point refused, attracting the figures ire - a beam of golden light fell from the mask, driving Purple Point to the ground and locking their muscles entirely. Charging after their friend, Blue Fallen was struck by the same strange power. Blue-Grove swept in to try and help his friends stand whilst Golden Other verbally denigrated the masked man, distracting him from the attempts to help. Unfortunately, both were locked solid, unable to move. Golden Other charged, resisting the strange beam of light and cutting into the figure who bled as a normal mortal. Cunning Mountain aided by throwing their staff in to the mêlée. The figure commanded his new worshippers defend him.

Effects like mind control can be really boring - so I let the players follow the command to the letter - allowing for some resistance. This tends to give much more fun, chaotic results as well as stopping players feeling unengaged.

Purple Point commanded their wind spirit to levitate the figure, lifting them from harm, whilst Blue Fallen threw open the nearest door, aiming to defend it from intruders. On the other side was the hollow figure the party had just fled, who began advancing with their husk-like minions. Meanwhile, in the room, Blue Grove threw a lasso at the now-levitating man. An initial miss was followed with success as Cunning Mountain quickly reeled in the rope for a second attempt. Golden Other clung to the figures feet as they were dragged to the ground. This fall snapped the held band-members out of control - Blue Fallen slammed the door shit whilst Purple Point pulled the mask free. A trail of slime fell from the mask, the head beneath revealed as a shrivelled, rotted husk. Within the mask was a fleshy mass, the hollow space filled with seeking, crawling slug-like bodies. Idle-Quiet drove their blade into the mass, drawing quicksilver blood and putting an end to the squirming mass.

Moving on, the band found a strange pool, appearing as hundreds of oil-slicks stacked upon one another. Tossing some debris in, the vapour released danced like flames, never quite congealing into recognisable form. Golden Other, taking up rope, leapt easily across the chamber, entering a new space beyond.

They were immediately aware of being watched by an entity hidden behind the bright white light of a distant star brought close enough to touch. It approached slowly, like a curious dog before attempting to pounce. Golden Other slid beneath it whilst the Band launched their weapons - causing a strong enough hit to cause the thing to flee.

I give animal-like intelligences pretty low morale scores - this feels more accurate and gives a nicer feel in my experience.

The band opened the pair of doors to find the terrible bird-being that had stolen Idle-Quiet’s true name towering over a shimmering, translucent vision of the same man. Asked to return the name, it demanded something in return. The mask was immediately offered, which it happily took - bidding Idle-Quiet’s name/soul return but asking it Be sure to remember what I told you.” With this, the band tugged on the silver threads, each awakening in their own bodies. Idle-Quiet suffered with a strange duality, aware that they were two presences re-forming into a single cohesive whole.

Upon their return, the Band were in awe at Idle-Quiets new abilities - able to swallow the mind and soul in a relentless ocean of will, possession the body of any mortal being with no resistance possible. Idle-Quiet began to tattoo their own head with a hundred eyes as the Band agreed he was now a figure of reverence. He possessed nearby animals and brought them willing to the slaughter, the Band planning how they would convert others to the worship of their new immortal godling.

The players voted to end the campaign, feeling like leaving the stone-age cult to the imagination rather than playing out the no-doubt-awful bloody rise of the proto-religion. The Spirit Touched ability, combined with Idle Quiets Psyche value of 29, meant that no mortal could stop their possessions attempts. Whilst this would have been fun to play out, we decided to move on instead. At some point I’ll type up the hexcrawl notes.

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