Friday, October 15, 2010

When Life Hands you Étla

I seem unable to create a proper sense of danger in my players.

Faced with a writhing mass of Étla, they retreated to the surface, then used the Chnéhl cage as a filter to keep the largest at bay (actually, the largest couldn't manage the stairs). They then set about capturing the smaller ones that came up and made crab of dinner. Like the water, the Étla carried a drug effect, a mild hallucinogenic, euphoric effect. Someone came up with a plan to make money. They set up a simple processing facility, and smoked all the Étla they could manage to capture. Suni took this to Butrús to find a market. En-route, she came to the village at the Sákbe road gates and witnessed a crowd, piously taking in the instructions of a small cluster of dead children.. Concerning, but not enough to keep her from finding a vendor in Butrús who gave her a big contract for all the wunder-crab she could deliver. With the money from the initial batch, she hired more guards, a Chnéhl specialist, and bought a few more slaves. She also contracted a Chlén cart to come to the camp. None of this was what I had in mind when I envisioned a writhing mass of Étla rising from the cave floor..

The Étla processing attracted meat eaters, so they moved the processing farther from the camp. As the harvest declined, Dlákolel came in force and raided the processing site. The Slaves were brought back to camp, the processing abandoned, and the focus became, once again, fortifying the camp. They left the Chnéhl expert and others to oversee this, and Mriga, Suni, and one Beast handler took 10 guards and 10 slaves into the cave to free Sanjesh. The vast majority of the remaining Étla had long since run out of food. The remaining Étla foraged among their carcasses, and the cave reeked. Slaves swept away the remains, and Guards drove off whatever seemed bold enough to approach. They found Sanjesh, a pink Étla free zone, and hit him with a charge from their excellent ruby eye. They lost one slave on the way back to a Haqél that was, surprisingly, in the river. They also encountered Hú bats near the entrance. It has become a ritual now for the players to eat every thing that they find in the caves, so they caught a Hú bat. It was only {meh..}

Leaving the caves, Sanjesh returned to Butrús to see Mis, the Hriháyal high priestess. This was due to a mis communication, but it worked out well. First, Sanjesh got the reward that Mis had hinted would come his way. Several times. He also told her about Mriga and Suni's attempts to get into the library of Avánthe, and Mis suggested that they probably needed to go into the underworld. She offered to help get them in. He was also promoted, with the recommendation of his boss, and the support of Mis.

Back at the Camp, Mriga, Suni and the Chnéhl experts went off in search of Chnéhl. They found a trio, not the ones they sought, but ones from the local group. Someone used a sleep spell, and then the beast handler used zoic domination to control one Chnéhl. They escorted it down to camp. It was the idea of the Chnéhl expert that, owing to the strong community bond of the Chnéhl, the others would come to its aid. They finished fortifications, set a few traps, finished pits, and waited.

The next session was a miniatures battle. Our heroes, vs a large group of Chnéhl . The heroes were pretty well defended, with several pit traps, a low thrush wall, and various traps in the woods. The Chnéhl approached at dusk, but triggered a trap, and then waited until nearly dawn to attack. This is easier to tell with a few pics, so, I have some eye candy. Note that Chnéhl miniatures are not real common. I tried to find a decent proxy, but on short notice, I ended up using a bunch oft mage knight figures of werewolves, and bears and such.. It worked, but I am still trying to find a decent Chnéhl proxy

The Chnéhl approached fairly cautiously, until they got to the wall. They knew quickly that they were out numbered, and showed a surprising sophistication in attempting to capture Suni, rather than drive deep into the camp. They lost a leader into a pit trap, and that was a major hindrance throughout. They finally managed to grab Suni, and pass her over the wall to the other leader, but it was too late. The beast handler took a contingent and blocked their way back to the woods. The leader and his companions wrestled Suni to the ground, and placed a maw on her throat, but didn't bite down, in a move intended to cause her to surrender. They appeared to be attempting to barter. But Suni, if you will recall from way back, has bloodlust and overconfidence, and was having non of it. She managed to to wrestle out her dagger, and stab the beast. Surprisingly, she managed too enough damage to stun it, and this allowed her to press the attack. I don't recall if anyone else joined in, but, she did win, though she only barely survived. The remaining upright Chnéhl attempted to flee, but fell into a pit trap. I think the players captured 7 or 9 Chnéhl. Including the leaders.


  1. Your campaign overflows with awesomeness! And you have great, if easily distracted, players (Oooooh, Shiny!).

  2. I think the idea that they are easily distracted is my fault. I have them tied up in at least two story arcs, with another not too far off the path..

    my look at all the typos in that blog post..


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