Friday, December 21, 2018

A Winter Solitice In Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique - Clark Ashton Smith Inspired Actual Play Session Report II

Ambitious of their solitary reign,
Whose many-pointed brilliance fills the sky,
The silver moon doth rise in majesty,
And with her splendor shares the stars' domain.
Now as she takes her lucent course on high,
Her light doth shroud all things in mystery
And subtle glamour. As of realms unknown
It seems—a radiance from worlds that lie
Beyond our ken, and glimpsed in dreams alone.
And in those rays is tender witchery             vb,
Which softly doth erase the scars of day,
And with a pallid beauty touches all.
The Moon's light is a painter's brush, and she
An artist skilled who doth the world array,
In silence, with a white, enchanted pall. 

Moonlight  (1910)
by Clark Ashton Smith

The OSR sometimes seems like a trap waiting to be sprung & Steve's session last night was no exception. Let's get the obvious out of the way, my PC is very dead & very much not coming back. Resurrection is out of the question at this point. I had taken my share of the treasure & established a laboratory in the capital of Zothique. But I kept one particular fist sized gem with an inner green glow. The green glow will become more important in a moment. As I began to probe the gem the the glow began to intensify. I had a hireling doing the job but my PC was supervising. And that's when I heard the demon's voice in my head.
A lot of what Steve used in last night's game was from the  Zothique D20 Guide hosted on the  The Eldritch Dark website. This particular demon was a thrall of Thasaidon  the ruler of the Seven Hells & so it was doubly ironic as the gem dissolved into an acidic chlorine gas! The demon's laughter echoing throughout the character's hall.

Steve's version of Zothique based on Rodney Mathews fantastic artwork.
Used without permission no breech of trademark or copyright is intended.

Like I said last time
Steve based a lot of his adventure's look & vision on the late Seventies & Eighties artwork of Rodney Matthews

But most of the rest of this session consisted of me grabbing my next character & various party members trying to outrun the demon's vengeance. Some did but no one escaped unscathed. Various items of the necromancer's treasure turned into poison insect swarms, armored knights, & horrid monsters straight out of nightmare.  I grabbed my next wizard Philip of The White Hall who had traveled to Zothique from the sack of Alexandria (1365). He was retracing the steps of another wizard of his order. More on that in a second.

Meanwhile the rest of the party had run afoul of a nasty NPC cleric of Thasaidon  the ruler of the Seven Hells who was Hell bent on sacrificing our main thief.  Dumont 'the six fingered wonder' was to be the main dish for Al'suruith the skull dweller but I mainaged to fire ball the bandits that had kidnapped Dumont. Dan Daring the gun fighter had found my PC picking through the remains of my other PC's laboratory.  He hired me on the spot & off we went for the rest of the night. The order of Thasaidon was hot on our trail & we used our old allies Frad' Count of a Thousand Falcons bandit tribe/thieves guild to smuggle us out of the city at sunset. Our new mentalist Miyu & her bodyguard/pugilist Trouble Thompson    played expertly by Sandra & her husband let us know that something or someone was trailing us already.
Father Calihan our pistol packing cleric/priest had brought along his Buffalo rifle & spotted four riders on alien beasts trailing us. He managed to hit one with a blessed bullet & one of the the demonic ghoul riders went down! But there would be others! Probably many others knowing Steve our dungeon master! Had obtained another thieve called Renny from the house of the wizard-noble Stephen Amber (Etienne d'Amberville) back in the capital city. I didn't know that Steve's brother Billy was coming to the game so this was a bit of a shock. Billy's PC was human but with some fairy blood in his background & he had a very bad feeling about the oasis we were heading too. 

We were dogged every step of the way & something wasn't right!?  I made the Voorish Sign as it had been taught by my order & found the invisible bastard thing made from the essence of the Outer Darkness & blood of the priest of Thasaidon. Steve had reached into our collective childhoods & grabbed the Homunculus from The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.

The entire party went into 'panic mode' and only the fast thinking of Sandra & her husband managed to kill the thing. She fried it with pyrokinesis  but her husband's PC was hit by an arrow. It was only a nick. The bastards knew where we were though! So we & our hosts rode all night to an alternative local under the alien moons of this far future world millions of years in the future!
I didn't get home until four A.M. but it was worth the efforts but for the moment we're safe. But for how long?! Tune in for next week's game.

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