It’s been awhile since we’ve continued our monthly Hubris game as we took three sessions to playtest the first draft of my first Hubris module. The playtest was quite a bit of fun and the group had a great time fighting orcs on a train!
Aside: Hubris PDF and POD here.
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.
Jamie- Human Cleric (follower of Set)- level 1. Named Spike.
Not Present This Session
Kevin- Human Thief- level 1. Named Herr Schmierkase (means cottage cheese in German)
Emma- Half Demon- level 1
Sammi- Human Blood Witch- level 1. Named Willow
Strolling Through the Grand Bazaar
I decided to draw a picture of how I saw Undra in my mind to help orient the players. I have MAD art skillz.
We kicked off our session this session with the group standing on the first level of the Grand Bazaar, taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells. The group decided that the first priority was to figure out what the scroll found on the body of the beastmen they killed last session said. They debated just going to the top level of Undra and turning over the piece of paper to the Royal Guard of the Setting Sun, but figured they wouldn’t be able to find out what it means.
They decided to mill around the bazaar and see if anyone could translate the document, or at least recommend someone who could.
Spike, cleric of Set, noticed an ancient looking woman in drab clothing making exquisite sculptures. He recognized her necklace (that of an open book) as the holy symbol of the God of the Terrible Whisper. Spike approached the old woman and struck up a conversation with her.
Spike and the old woman talked about the fickle love of their gods- Spire referring to the serpentine-like scars over his eyes for gaining Set’s disapproval. The old woman laughed and showed him the start of a clubbed/deformed hand and said, “I have angered my god many times… I am actually only 40 years old!”
Spike began inquiring about a sculpture on a shelf behind the old woman; it was of the Four Gorgons of Desire- four female humanoid bodies all merging together onto one serpentine body. Spike noticed the same elegant script as found on the letter.
The woman looked at a piece of paper and read the translation, “Beware the serpents, for all wait in the dark, ready to strike.”
Spike asked if she was able to translate the language.
“No. I do not know it.”
“Where might we get something translated?”
She coughed and spat a large phlegm ball, “Go to Junk Town. Top level. You’ll find a dilapidated library for the God of the Terrible Whisper. Inside you’ll find The Watcher. You’ll know him when you see him. He can help you.”
The group thanked her for her time, tipped her some copper pieces and went on their way.
Ageo, the Thistle Druid, tried to haggle with an old hag for some healing potions, but instead was offered a thick bubbling black liquid that the woman claimed to be rejuvenating potions. Ageo asked what they did.
“Why they keep you alive silly girl! Would you believe that I am 190 years old?! And I’m a HUMAN!”
Ageo got the hell out of dodge and the group decided it was time to venture down into Junk Town.
The group took the elevators down to the top level of Junk Town and were amazed by the amount of clutter, refuse, and junk piled in the area. Large tubes poked through the ceiling, dumping garbage at a steady stream. Some tubes went through the level, disappearing into the floor to drop their contents on another level of Junk Town.
Ant Squishy used his hound dog ability to see if he could detect any nearby mutants. After a few seconds he felt four mutants nearby. He walked up to the first one- a lithe cloaked female and attempted to strike up a conversation.
“Do you know where the Watcher is?”
“Wwwhhhat do you want with meeeee?”
The woman turned and revealed a slender serpentine face, extremely long arms with spider leg-like fingers. She was filthy and looked hungry.
The group talked to her for a few minutes, eventually she said they needed to go on a sky bridge to another district. There they would find the library they were seeking.
Ageo gave her four copper pieces for the info and the group turned to leave. I had Angie make a Luck roll- she failed. Unfortunately, other hungry scavengers in the area noticed Ageo’s generosity and decided to take the coins from the woman.
The group turned and told the group of men to leave the woman be. The braggarts, no doubt bolstered by their numbers, decided it would be a good idea to mug the party instead. With the distraction, the woman disappeared into the junk piles.
Crimshaw decided to transform from his Avarian form into a human one. Bones snapped and popped, poking through his flesh, as mucus-like fluid oozed from his flesh. All the bandits were horrified and nauseated at this sight. Ageo pulled out her bone spear and gutted the first thug while Ant Squishy released his ant horde on a thug. Spike channeled the wrath of Set and bellowed “Bow!” and pointed his finger down. Three of the four remaining thugs did so. The fourth made a run for it, disappearing around a large pile of junk. With a final shriek, the man being attacked by Ant Squishy’s ants died. The group made their way towards the land bridge, while Ageo stayed behind to completely castrate all the other men so they would think twice about their actions against women.
Aside: I’m taking a page of Vornheim’s book on generating city territory as needed. I wanted to have a sample floor ready for my players to explore Junk Town. What I decided for Undra is that some floors wouldn’t be completely delved out into a cavernous hollow. Instead they would be delved into large “rooms.” So I created a chart (see below) that would tell me what the shape of the room is. Then simply connect them via passages or sky bridges.
The group made their way into the next district and found the library in the distance. The group entered the old building, which was a large pillar of rocked connecting the floor to the ceiling of the district. Inside was a monk of the God of the Terrible Whisper, sorting through books that were still in decent conditions from those that needed repair and replacement.
Spike asked after the Watcher. The monk was hesitant to give out such info, but a few coins for the cause of repairing such important books, loosened his tongue. “Go through this archway to the central chamber. There you’ll find many of my order repairing these books. The Watcher is in there.”
I then asked each of the group to create a quick story based on an emotional aspect (I used my Bonds thinger). I gave them a few minutes and then asked them for their story.
The group made their way into a large central room, torches in brackets with eeirie cool blue light illuminating the area. Several monks bent over desks scribbling away, repairing books. In the far end of the room, the light faded, but a large shape could be seen.
The group entered the room and then the sound of heavy pages being flipped filled the room. A soft, but strong voice began speaking. It summarized a challenging time for Ant Squishy, where is arrogance nearly cost him everything… Then it spoke of the alienating feeling Ageo has with others, not sure they understand the importance of nature and its balance… Crimshaw caused the death of a comrade due to his greed and (at the time) lack of skills… and finally Spike was worried about not being worth of Set and that his god would abandon him, or worse, punish him… All the while, the pages kept flipping. The figure stood, massive, and covered in shadow. The figure began walking towards the group, the sound of heavy bare feet slapping against the rock floor.
Coming into the light was The Watcher.
“All these stories are in the annuals of time… One simply has to know where to read. What do you need of me?”
And that’s where we left off. It was a fun (albeit short) session. We will be playing again at the end of May. I’m looking forward to seeing how the players interact with The Watcher and more delving into Junk Town.
The group is torn between staying in Undra and finding work and coins (i.e., hunting beastmen, picking up other odd jobs, etc), getting the scroll translated by The Watcher (or someone else), or saying screw all and packing up and heading to Razar in the Unsettled Expanse (because several in the group wants to go hunt fucking dinosaurs!).