This week my group and I continued our adventures in Hubris.
Angie- Human Thistle Druid- level 1. Named Ageo.
Nate- Avarian Trickster- level 1. Named Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch.
Tyler- Mutant (squishy, oddly-shaped body, flamingo legs, and ant colony in his veins that he can release once per day as an attack)- level 1. Named “Ant” Squishy.
Kevin- Human Thief- level 1. Named Herr Schmierkase (means cottage cheese in German)
Jamie- Human Cleric (follower of Set)- level 1. Named Spike.
Not Present This Session
Emma- Half Demon- level 1
Sammi- Human Blood Witch- level 1. Named Willow
Aside: Art pictured is from the Hubris campaign setting unless indicated in the caption.
We began the session by recapping Herr Schmierkase‘s failed scouting attempt on a fort occupied by vicious beastmen, being discovered, and then the group running pell mell away (watch the video below), finally losing them, and hiding and making camp.
The session stared with the group continuing to make their way to Undra, when the sounds of combat greeted their ears. The group decided to do some recon before charging into battle.
Ageo used her Animal Shape ability to transform into a hawk. She rolled her manifestation and rolled a four. Every time she uses this ability, roots shoot up from the ground burrow into her flesh, tearing it away. Globs of clear liquid oozed from the wounds, as her skin fell away, falling loosely to the ground, revealing a hawk.
Ageo soared into the sky and saw twelve beastmen attacking a band of humans. Bodies littered the ground, a cart was overturned, and only six men were left fighting. Ageo sped back to the ground, transformed back into her normal form, and relayed the information to the group.
The group got close to the battle and observed the humans being overwhelmed and slaughtered. Five beastmen resembled anthropomorphic hyenas and one was human-shaped with the head of a fly and large wings on its back. This one had a wicked-looking halberd and was sucking the brains of a man with its pseudotrachea.
Herr Schmierkase used his thiefy ability to sneak up on an unsuspecting beastman and fire a crossbow bolt through his head, blowing the creature’s brains out.
Spike, a worshiper of Set, attempted to sneak up on a beastman that was gnawing on a dead humans leg failed miserably and was attacked by the creature. Jame was viciously stabbed by the creature and its comrade, dropping to zero HP before combat even really began.
With Spike getting the group discovered, battle ensued and was pretty brutal. Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch was attacked by the fly beastman, nearly gutting him with his halberd and put him at 1 HP remaining while Ageo and “Ant” Squishy were dropped below 3/4 of their HP.
The combination of attacks from the group and human NPCs eventually overwhelmed the beastmen and they were slaughtered.
A health potion was used on Spike to revive him as well as Crimshaw of the 7th Clutch and “Ant” Squishy. After regaining his senses, Spike prayed to Set for the blessing of healing to restore Ageo to full health.
While the group caught a breath and the human survivors looked over their dead and righted their toppled cart, “Ant” Squishy set to looting the bodies. A few pouches of gold, silver, and copper, some wicked-looking jagged short swords, the badass halberd, and a crumpled rolled up parchment were taken from the bodies.
The parchment was unrolled, revealing an elegantly written script that none of the group immediately recognized. Atop the scroll was a strange image (see below). Crimshaw of the 7th Clutchlooked over the script and, while he was unable to read it, he recognized the language. It was an ancient language used by a cult, the Black Serpent. He had heard the cult had been spreading throughout northern Hubris and was known for its reverence of snakes, but he heard rumors it got its start on the southern continent.
Wandering up from the group of humans was a bald man with a braided beard and wearing a black leather skirt. He introduced himself as Fabian, the leader of the band. He thanked them for their help, for surely they would have been killed by the Beastmen. The group accepted the thanks, and showed Fabian the scroll.
Fabian spit on the ground at the sight of the image atop the page. “That is the symbol of the Four Gorgons of Desire! They are hideous creatures that rule from Xynath, the Shattered Keep. The keep used to be a monastery for the monks and priests of the God of the Terrible Whisper, but the Four Gorgons and their beastmen overran it, slaughtered everyone inside, and have used it as a stronghold ever since. They lay siege to the human territories of Undra, slaughtering us wherever they find us.”
The group agreed to travel with the remaining humans to Undra. Fabian presented Ageo with a small sack as way of thanks for their help in saving their lives. Within the sack was 50 gold, some torches, a smoke bomb, a glue flask, and a small metal ball, much like a cannon ball, and a metal crown (constructed of the same metal).
Fabian pointed at the metal objects, “We found the crown and ball on a skeleton in the Unsettled Expanse, near the Metallic Fortress of End Times. Closest we ever got to that place. We’re not sure what it does, or if it is even magical. Figured you may have more luck with it.”
Ageo tried it on, forgetting that to wear anything metal is to cut herself off from nature. She felt her powers leave her (heh… she’ll remember not to do that anymore- which got me no small amounts of dirty looks from my wife).
Undra, the Great Spire
The group could see the massive 2,000′ high boulder even from a distance. As they got closer, they were awed by this wonder. Patios, bridges, ladders, windows, and outcroppings were all delved into the outside of the boulder.
The group funneled through a shanty town of settlers outside the spire. Tents, rickety wooden structures, and hovels lined the road. A large gate barred access to the recesses of Undra, several guards moved through the crowds, collecting taxes, inspecting goods, moving beggars along. The guards were wearing leather skirts with golden leather breast plates, an emblem of a sun setting behind the canyons on it, and a helmet with a black crest on top. They were armed with shields, short swords, and a short spear.
As the group made it to the gate, they were greeted by a Praetorian. His armor was similar to the other guards, but his helmet was gold with a red crest. After exchanging greetings and asking their business in the Great Spire, the group poked Fabian to explain what happened and how they all met.
The Praetorian was highly impressed that the group risked themselves for strangers. He waived the 5g each entry fee to the spire and allowed them to pass. “Ant” Squishy asked where the group should go in this monstrous city. “Take the lift up to the 249th floor of the spire. That is the start of the Grand Bazaar. You’ll find any supplies you need. You’ll also be able to find someone to translate that scroll for you. If you’re looking for work, head to the top level and visit the headquarters of my order, the Royal Guard of the Setting Sun. We are always looking for brave souls willing to fight against the beastmen.
The group bid the Praetorian farewell and boarded the lift. The smell of sweat, refuse, and sounds of daily toil were found on the first levels. Insufficient lighting made it impossible to see very far. As the group rose higher, the smell of garbage still hung in the air, but torches and lanterns could be seen delved into the lift’s walls, and outside on the inhabited area. Fabian pointed at an area, “that’s Junk Town. Shady lot lives there. Won’t find anything good with those rabble. Elevator doesn’t even stop on these floors. You have to crawl down from the higher floors.”
The lift slowly continues to go up and torches and lanterns become more prevalent. Eventually the group starts seeing glowing orbs on the wall, like little bits of sun. The group begins seeing large delved structures and houses. It is clear that these are the residences of nobles and the wealthy. After a long ride up, the sounds of garbled noise of thousands of voices echoes through the elevator shaft. The lift stops and the group sees a huge reflective pool in front of them, the ceiling magically enchanted look as if it were the sky (a gorgeous blue) with the sun high above. People are swimming. Tents and structures of every kind, some dilapidated and poor, others extravagant with bright vibrant canvas, or delved into the walls. Other vendors built atop of one another. The group starred at this huge market. Fabian chuckled, “Welcome first timers, to the Grand Bazaar.
We ended here and gave out experience. The group (most of them) are just under halfway to level 2 (and they are chomping at the bit for that).
It was a fun session, albeit short (only two hours).
Before we parted I asked the group what they wanted to do next session. Here was the vote:
- Explore the Bazaar.
- Investigating Four Gorgons of Desire and get scroll translated.
- Gain info on Unsettled Expanse and see if its somewhere worth going.
- Root around Junk Town. See if there is some fun (and profit) to be had there.
Info on Undra (from Hubris, pg 84)
The metropolis of Undra has been a work in progress for millennia, with artisans constantly delving out and shaping the monstrous 2,000’ high boulder in which the city was created. Most citizens of Undra do not know the history of when their great city was founded, nor do any of those who live throughout Hubris. That information is carefully guarded in the secret Halls of the Imprisoned Queen, which lies in the depths of the earth, below the very foundries and base of the city.
The warm weather of Undra is more hospitable and welcoming than the other areas of Hubris, allowing people to wear light flowing robes or togas, rather than bulky clothing for warmth.
The Grand Bazaar makes up roughly one quarter of Undra, almost reaching the top echelon of the spire. The bazaar sells almost anything one can imagine from around the world, and some things, merchants have even claimed, from worlds beyond.
The top level of Undra is home to the nobles, the Offices of the High Merchant who oversees the Grand Bazaar, the Royal Guard of the Setting Sun, and the Palace of the Searing Sun, where Queen Valandria rules her court. The people of Undra consider her a goddess of the sun as she is always first and last to be touched by its warmth on Hubris.
The poor live on the lower levels, mostly in Junk Town. These vagrants, lowlifes, and ne’er-do-wells sell illegal and discarded objects that they find in the refuse heaps that gather in their areas.
Undra has been at war with the Four Gorgons and their beastmen armies for 5 years.