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Here’s what happened in last night’s game which marked the end of the Luminous Heroes of the Ironcrags’ adventures inside the Hippodrome, and featured a special guest appearance by Hakka-Cho, the not-at-all-complicated thri-kreen monk-rogue hybrid. Each PC gets 2,000 xp.

Next up: Courts of the Shadow Fey. There will be plenty of time before this adventure starts for downtime, magic item/equipment shopping and taking care of personal business. Let me know via email if there is stuff your character wants to do.

24th October (contd).

They’re under starter’s orders…… And they’re off!

Corandias XVIII the Lion-Blooded, Basileus of Parsantium signals the start of the race, and the PCs (racing for the Greens), the Blues, the Whites and the Reds come hurtling out of the carceres (starting boxes). Khuma, despite inspecting both his horses and his chariot before the race, manages to get himself tangled up in the reins and doesn’t get off to a good start. He does better than Umit of the Reds, Regino of the Blues and Castinus of the Whites though - the trio end up colliding as they head round the first blind and crash out of the race! Surprisingly, the equinophobic Bolval takes an early lead, as he seizes an opening between two rival chariots and drives straight through the middle.

As the chariots race around the Hippodrome, several more crash into each other, the central spina or the sides of the stadium. Mercurius, the Blues’ star charioteer, smashes into Krivinn, causing the paladin to lose valuable time, and then does the same to Bolval, who has to fight hard to get his chariot back under control. Saethus is the first PC to crash, losing control of his chariot as he hurtles towards the noble boxes. Mercurius is in the lead, with Khuma and Bolval not far behind when the hieroglyphics on the obelisk on the spina start to glow red. Krivinn, sensing trouble, stops his chariot in front of the kathisma (royal box).

The obelisk explodes, and a giant jackal-headed figure steps from the wreckage and starts moving towards the box holding the Old Quarter tribune Murad al-Rumi and Captain Saurish of the City Watch. As the other PCs stop their chariots and move to defend the tribune, they are attacked by the four members of Tiger Claw who have been sitting among the panicking crowds. Khuma summons his spirit companion to attack the archer Chen Tung while Krivinn climbs into the stands to put himself between al-Rumi and the Anubis giant. Lee Jian the sorcerer blasts Bolval with visions of things that should not be - the dwarf sees Vrishabha, rakshasa rajah of Dhak Janjua breaking out of his icy prison and destroying all in his path. Hakka-Cho, a thri-kreen monk watching the chariot race, moves to help out Bolval but is sent into a parallel dimension by Lee Jian along with some of the crowd.

Saethus stays in cover behind his crashed wagon and attacks the Anubis giant and Tiger Claw with lightning bolt, using his controller’s wand to weaken his targets. Krivinn is under attack from the Anubis giant and also the khopesh-wielding Navrang Swiftstrike. The dazed Bolval, still standing in his stationary chariot, fights Lokesh Flashfoot, another Tiger Claw swordsman, and is still being sent terrible visions by Lee Jian up above. Khuma and his bear gang up on Chen Tung and inflict a lot of damage on the archer. Suddenly, Chen seems to have something of a funny turn and stops fighting back. Khuma shrugs his shoulders and finishes the Tiger Claw off.

Meanwhile, Krivinn is in some trouble against the Anubis giant and Navrang who headbutts the paladin, dazing him. Saethus casts fireball and then storm cage on the giant. Bolval is struck for a critical by Lokesh but Krivinn uses knightly intercession to take the damage himself by calling the enemy next to him. This allows the dwarf to send a spiritual weapon flying at their huge opponent. Hakka-Cho strikes Lee Jian who responds by marking the thri-kreen with the black geas. The monk ignores the tattoo and moves to attack the sorcerer again, triggering the wrack curse which sends him tumbling on to the sands.At last, the tide of the battle seems to be turning – Navrang has been gravely wounded and, then, he too stops fighting, instead standing there looking a bit confused. Saethus casts a spell at the two enemies fighting Krivinn - this breaks the illusion hiding the fact that Lokesh is no longer really there. Hakka-Cho triggers wrack again by going after Lee Jian for a second time. Then, Krivinn kills the Anubis giant and Lee Jian just stands there looking confused and not attacking.

The PCs interrogate Navrang and Lee Jian - both claim to have no memory of the last few days. In fact, the last thing they can remember was being knocked out while on their way to the Hippodrome, and then watching and listening to a “shaggy minotaur” chanting over them. Krivinn, recalling carvings seen in the Temple of the Black Leopard in the forest ruins of Gopura thinks these creatures could be yakfolk.

The party are summoned to see Bardas the prefect in Jacobus’s office beneath the sands; Rogad and Captain Saurish are also in attendance. Bardas thanks the PCs for carrying out their mission successfully and presents them with their reward: 12,000 gold bezants. As the PCs go to leave, Thea Achillia asks if they have been able to find out what’s killing the gladiators. The party are forced to reply in the negative before heading off in search of a roast horse to satisfy Khuma’s unique cravings.

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