Saturday, April 29, 2017

OAWYM: Riddle of the Sphinx

Game Date: 4/29/2017
Location: The Game Keep
Campaign: OAWYM, Session 27
Module: Scourge of the Slave Lords
System: D&D 5e
DM: Rusty

The Party:
Byzun (Gary) - Human Sorcerer
Halfbeard (Cliff) - Dwarf Fighter
Robb (Daniel) - Human Rogue
Val Ravensword (Matt) - Orc Paladin
Xevrick (Graham) - Elf Mystic

The Session:
Last week we finally met Hassan Gold, a.k.a. Geoff the Bard, Werewolf/McGuffin.  Our mission was to either cure his lycanthropy or finish him off.  We thought we'd cured him last week, but a rules clarification revealed that he's still cursed.  Shortly after meeting him we were attacked by an innkeeper couple, and Geoff sided with them.  We were confused as to whether Geoff was attacking us of his own volition.

So today started with the fight.  The innkeepers were a couple of pushovers, with Byzun and Halfbeard each dropping one on their first turns.  As they died, they reverted into their true forms - Jackalweres.  We weren't out of the woods, though.  Geoff continued to fight us, and some howls outside turned out to be reinforcements - two wargs and six wolves.

It still wasn't a tough fight.  Val and Halfbeard took out most of the wolves, while the rest of the party worked over Geoff.  When everything was finally defeated, we kept Geoff alive for questioning.  We asked him if we could help cure him.  He told us that he needed 10,000 gold to pay a Sphinx for a cure, but he also said he wanted to keep the gold and stay a werewolf.

We found a trapdoor behind the bar, which hid a chest containing gold, silver, copper, a map tube, and a potion of sending.  There wasn't nearly 10,000 gold in the chest, unfortunately.  We considered just killing Geoff and getting on with our lives, but we still weren't quite ready to give up on curing him.  We had to decide whether to head for the Sphinx and try to reach a deal, or head back to the Elf Village and see if they could cure lycanthropy.

The Sphinx was closer, so we headed that way.  We took all of Geoff's possessions, and force marched him naked to the Sphinx's ruins.  As we neared the site, we saw a lot of activity.  Many people were working on rebuilding the ruins.  We marched into the area and asked to be taken to the Sphinx.  The Sphinx's servants gave us a place to stay for the night, and the next morning they led us up the steps of the main pyramid.

We offered our services in exchange for a cure.  The Sphinx offered us a quest and a riddle, or perhaps the riddle was part of the quest, or perhaps the quest was to answer a riddle... the details were fuzzy.  We did learn that failure meant we would become the Sphinx's servants.  We discussed our options at length. Did we really want to help this creature?  We'd seen signs of Graz'zt around the site, and we didn't want to help anyone evil.

After we spent lots of time talking, Halfbeard got bored and said, "Gimme the riddle already".  The rest of us joined him, because we're that kind of team.  The Sphinx told us that in order to prepare for the quest, we had to willingly submit to a ritual.  That turned out to be the Sphinx's betrayal - the ritual turned out to be a geas which compelled us to leave the ruins and forget everything we'd seen there.

We found ourselves traveling back to the Elf Village, not quite sure what had happened to Geoff, but pretty sure we'd killed him.  At least, we convinced ourselves that it was the most likely thing that had happened, since Geoff was no longer with us, and the geas kept us from wanting to go back to find out more.  We decided it was time to leave the island and find Dame Gold.

We'd heard Dame Gold had been kidnapped.  We decided to use the potion of sending to find her.  We waited until we reached the docks, then we sent this message: "We found Hassan.  We had to kill him.  What is your location and status?  Is a rescue possible?"  She replied, telling us the name of the city and her captors.  She was being held in Suderham, a hidden city ruled by the Iron Circle.  We knew the general location, but we would have to search for it when we got there.

We booked a ship, and disembarked in a rowboat near a small coastal town.  We're wanted fugitives, so we had to be careful.  Robb searched around the seedier areas for contacts, looking for ways to find Suderham.  He learned there was a path south of town, rumored to lead to the hidden city.  But because of the slave trade, you needed special permission to leave through the South gate.

We discussed several options. Fly over the wall.  Tunnel under it.  Forge some papers.  Pretend to be slaves.  Take a rowboat farther down the coast and work our way back to the path.  We finally decided to wait until late night and use a Passwall spell to leave town.  There may be further discussion, but so far that looks like the plan we'll put into action when we play again next week.

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