Tags: juma gang

St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, Session #27: Fortress Ironfell

Here’s what happened in last night’s game. Each PC gets 990 xp.

29th Iunius
The PCs buy 8 days worth of expensive supplies and head off into the Sunblight Barrens. The extreme heat of the desert proves too much for Hrothgar and the hairy gnoll contracts sun sickness.

30th Iunius
Gil conjures a Tenser’s floating disk to carry the poorly Hrothgar. Spotting a lush oasis on the horizon, the PCs make for it, only for it to turn out to be a mirage. Confused, they blunder into an ambush by a group of belgoi (bell-ringing fey humanoids) and their pet chathrang - a tortoise-like creature that can fire poisonous tethers from its back. Juma is commanded to attack Gil by the belgoi caller, Ulthar is reeled in by the chathrang and the others are split up by the tingling bells of the other fey. Hrothgar is jumped by a belgoi stalker who dazes him, then stabs him with his claw, doing 15 points ongoing damage! Gil casts ice storm, Sora helps out Hrothgar by taking a hit intended for the gnoll and Juma goes after the caller. Ulthar, meanwhile, escapes the chathrang but is quickly snared again, making it hard for him to help the rest of the PCs with healing magic. The PCs kill the craven minions and then the two belgoi hunters. It’s unclear how much Juma’s dwarf wall of fire plays a part in this. When this happens, the stalker and the caller withdraw, leaving the PCs to finish off the chathrang.

1st Quintilis
Hrothgar is still suffering from sun sickness so Gil conjures another Tenser’s floating disk to chauffeur the barbarian. The PCs have to make their way across some quite treacherous terrain but manage to reach their destination late in the afternoon. Ahead two guard towers of dwarven construction flank a passage leading into the side of a bluff. Hrothgar and Sora scout ahead, working out that the figures they can see behind the arrow slits are straw dummy decoys. Ahead, a portcullis blocks their path to a pair of gates beyond. Meanwhile, Ji’ad has climbed 50’ to the top of the bluff and spotted a large hole leading down inside. He throws down a rope and the others climb up. The PCs make their way towards the opening which is surrounded by large nests.

As they get nearer, a clamour of harpies attacks. Two are killed fairly quickly but the bird-woman are able to use their alluring songs to pull Ji’ad and Hrothgar into the hole; the two PCs fall 50’ and land at the many feet of a carrion crawler! On top of the bluff, one harpy goes after Gil, who is hanging back, while the other survivor attacks Sora and Ulthar near the hole. The two fighters kill their opponent but then it’s Gil’s turn to be pulled into the hole to fall to the courtyard below, where he lands on top of the carrion crawler. Sora and Ulthar slay the last harpy as ongoing damage from Hrothgar (or was it Juma’s deadly dwarf wall of fire?!) finishes off the carrion crawler.

Sora and Ulthar use a rope to join the others in the courtyard. Ji’ad finds an amber figurine of three monkeys in the pile of sand.

St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, Session #26 Badlands ambush

Here’s what happened in last night’s game. Each PC gets 1,200 xp.

26th Iunius (contd.)
The battle with Haledon and the dwarves over, the PCs decide to press on for the rest of the day. Ji’ad tries to start an argument with Mag Blackthorn, implying the ranger is going to lead them into a trap of some sort, but the others tell him to shut up. That night, a mountain lion passes by the party’s camp, causing a bit of scare.

27th Iunius
Hrothgar catches a young wild boar for breakfast getting the day off to a good start. It’s all downhill from here though as the PCs take a wrong turn and blunder into an ambush by a band of gnolls led by a pack lord mounted on a manticore. Ulthar falls victim to a bout of demonic frenzy and attacks Gil as two far fang archers open fire from higher ground and three gorgers charge forward. Hrothgar shoves one of the gorgers into the sharp thorn bushes but he too is overcome by demonic influences and attacks Sora. Ji’ad, Sora and Hrothgar defeat the bloodthirtsty gorgers with help from Gil’s flaming sphere. Ulthar leaps on top of the rocks to attack one far fang. Hrothgar and Sora kill the pack lord, then go for the other archer. Ji’ad runs through the thorn bushes to help them out, taking 20 hp damage in the process, when going round them might have been simpler! Ulthar finishes off the last gnoll as the manticore flies off. In a bad way, the PCs set up camp early.

28th Iunius
Emerging from the Thornwaste, the PCs approach the tiny village of Dunesend; Mag says goodbye and heads back down the trail. In the centre of the community a large gnoll (the Warden) kills a helpless villager as his behir mount looks on. When the party approaches, the gnoll unleashes a stream of insults at Hrothgar, calling him a coward for surviving the massacre of the Ghen’khaz tribe by Yeenoghu’s “instrument of vengeance”. Hrothgar wants to charge but Gil’s ice storm has made this difficult and then the behir’s lightning strike pushes him back and knocks him over. Meanwhile, three satyr archers and a piper have appeared from hiding and join the attack. Sora attacks the annoying piper, helped by Ulthar, who charges in and kills him. Gil conjures another flaming sphere to aid Ji’ad and Hrothgar who are attacking the behir. Hrothgar is grabbed by the draconic beast which starts to chew on him; undeterred he attacks the Warden from the behir’s jaws, taking him down, then hacks his way out of the creature’s clutches! With the Warden and behir out for the count, the surviving satyrs withdraw.

Hrothgar brings the Warden round and tries to find out what he knows about his tribe. His enemy isn’t particularly cooperative and dies under the strain of the interrogation. Hrothgar rips out his heart and eats it, freaking out the villagers who had started to come forward sheepishly. Ulthar and Sora are able to calm them down and the smith Darkus Comahni and village elder Lotho Elberesk talk to the party. They explain that the Warden was collecting tribute on behalf of Queen Shephatiah, Queen of the Drylands. It sounds like this queen is based in the Karak mines the PCs are looking for.

The villagers offer the PCs food, drink and a bed for the night in the old caravanserai but are freaked out again when Hrothgar goes round decorating the hamlet’s perimeter with bits of the Warden’s body “as an example to others.”
St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, Session #25 The Great Swim Race

Here’s what happened in last night’s game. Each PC gets 680 xp, enough to reach 9th level.

14th Iunius
Have a look at the Golden Scimitars’ ledgers; it’s hard to make head or tail of them but the PCs manage to work out that there is money coming in from the Winking Vixen, Fahil’s and others and 30% is going out to “A” which Ulthar thinks must be the mysterious Avishandu. Returning to the city above, the PCs tell Tamrin and the whores at the Winking Vixen and Fahil that the Juma Gang have dealt with the Golden Scimitars. Free drinks and other services are available whenever the Gang stop by in either establishment (although Juma Ji’ad’s “special requests” will cost extra). Ulthar finds Iancu Petronas and warns him Francio has got himself mixed up with a criminal gang and could cause trouble for the acting company.

Hrothgar, Sora and Juma start training for the upcoming swimming race, using the Dolphin Strait for practice. Ulthar takes the healthier option of swimming up and down the small lake in the park district of the Garden Ward.

15th Iunius
Hrothgar wakes up feeling sick - he has contracted filth fever. After selling off some stuff in party treasure, the PCs visit the Curio Cabinet in Tinker’s Alley where they are looked after by Irene, the sweet little old lady who runs the shop. Gil buys a restful bedroll and Ulthar buys couters of second chances. The PCs also put down a deposit on a pair of iron armbands of power - the person who comes first in the swimming race will be the one allowed to buy them!

More swimming training in the afternoon.

16th Iunius
Sora now has filth fever too! Hrothgar is still feeling peaky but hasn’t got any worse so carries on training in the Strait.

17th Iunius
Hrothgar recovers from the disease; Sora is still ill. Dulicitus sends a messenger snake asking the PCs to meet up with him and report on their investigation. They send a return message saying they are very busy and will be in touch later.

18th Iunius
Sora recovers from filth fever after Ulthar finally agrees to help treat her illness. The warlord takes the Golden Scimitars ledgers to the Dev’shir estate. Lady Patricia agrees to have her dwarven accountant look them over for the PCs.

Swimming training continues!

21st Iunius
The day of the race arrives! Juma bets 50 gp on himself each way at 5-1. Of the PCs, only Gil doesn’t take part. Hrothgar gets off to a good start after Margarita the water genasi swims straight into a fishing boat, with Ulthar, Juma and Otemish the half orc (three times winner) close behind. Sora brings up the rear - the dragonborn swallows a mouthful of sewage which has her reeling in nausea. As the race continues, nothing can stop Hrothgar although Ulthar and Juma are right behind him all the way. Meanwhile, things have got worse for Sora as her leg is grabbed by a crocodile and she is forced to wrestle it to get free!

Hrothgar wins the race, claiming the title “Faster Than The Rest O’ The Fishes” and a gold-plated trophy. Ulthar and Juma Ji’ad are second and third. The celebrations go on long into the night - Juma soon loses the 125gp he won by betting on himself while Ulthar takes Agnella (one of the serving girls at Fahil’s) out for a night on the town.

22nd Iunius
Hrothgar goes to the Curio Cabinet to pay for his iron armbands of power. Next, the PCs go to the Praying Mantis Dojo, following the map they found in the Golden Scimitars’ hideout, and confront Sun Yifu, the master. They are a bit thrown when he doesn’t seem to know what the PCs are on about and end up leaving.

That night, the party returns to Tiangao-town and Hrothgar breaks into the dojo through the weapons room on the ground floor. The others follow. The barbarian steps on a creaky floorboard when he tries to sneak upstairs, waking the sleeping martial artists. Sun Yifu appears again and throws the PCs out.

23rd Iunius
The PCs set off for the Karak Lode.

25th Iunius
Enter the barren Thornwaste. Towards the end of the day Hrothgar climbs a rocky outcrop to try and find a route through the brambles ahead and spots a traveller. This is Mag Blackthorn, a ranger and disciple of the mysterious Ghostlord who remains mysterious even after Ulthar’s extensive questioning of Mag. The wanderer agrees to act as a guide for the PCs and take them to Dunesend.

26th Iunius
The PCs follow Sora’s lead and blunder into an ambush by a band of dwarves led by Haledon of the Crimson Hand, the bandit chief whose treasure map they stole. Sora and Hrothgar charge into the brambles to fight Haledon while Gil, Juma, Ulthar and Mag battle the dwarven hammerers. Two dwarven bolters also fire crossbows on the party from higher ground. After a tough battle, the PCs are victorious - Haledon and the hammerers are slain; the two bolters run into the thorns and escape.

Searching the bodies, the PCs grab Haledon’s +1 flaming greatsword, and four blue garnets (100 gp each). One of the dwarves has a fist-and-hammer crest on the side of his warhammer (the sign of the Hammerfist clan); another carries a journal hinting at his clan’s desire to claim the lost Karak Lode in defiance of their enemies in Clan Ironfell.
St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, Session 24: Blunting the Golden Scimitars

Here’s what happened in last night’s game. Each PC gets 1,180 xp.

Next session, we’ll give Fortune Cards another go but divide the cards up into individual decks beforehand to reduce the chance of drawing something useless. I’m going to take this approach in Monday night’s game too and will report back!

13th Iunius (contd.)

Hrothgar opens the secret door and sneaks through, followed by the not-so-sneaky Jihad. The gnoll peers round the corner of the corridor and sees a bunch of Golden Scimitars relaxing in a makeshift lounge area hung with stolen tapestries and paintings. The thieves have heard the clumsy genasi though and Damakos the tiefling sorcerer moves into position, blasting Gil when he appears. The eladrin also manages to trigger a concealed pit trap but luckily he avoids falling in and takes out several Scimitars with his fireball.

The PCs charge forward in a less-than-disciplined fashion – Juma’s reckless onslaught leads to him falling over and Hrothgar misjudges his leap and falls into the pit. Battle is joined in the tight confines of the corridor with Sora and Jihad in the front line as a goliath and two more human thugs reinforce the enemy. Jihad moves Ulthar into the midst of the fray with dimensional warp. The warlord is confused at first but soon realises the swordmage’s astute tactics as he is now in a position to behead first the goliath and then the torn-eared ambusher! Meanwhile Gil has found himself in trouble but finishes off the bald-headed veteran. With all their enemies slain, Jihad removes the goliath’ head as a trophy.


The party search the storage room, training area and the bedchambers, then Hrothgar and Jihad manage to set themselves on fire while testing out their newly found thieves tools on a flame jet trap. Next, they head down a corridor leading towards some ancient carved temple doors and trigger another trap. This one is an arcane turret – Hrothgar successfully disables it.

The doors lead into what was once a temple to Ravana, god of the rakshasas, and now headquarters of the Golden Scimitars. Zeno delivers a gloating monologue and then his lackeys attack the PCs who are still in the corridor, with Ulthar and Gil at the front. Gil’s spell unfortunately catches Ulthar (again!) and the warlord is then cursed by the warlock Feng Tzu and hit twice by Zeno’s men, going down on -26 hp. Hrothgar pours a potion down Ulthar’s throat, saving him.

Juma’s dragon’s teeth power has the effect of drawing several enemies to him including the dangerous Vadim as Zeno attacks Sora with vicious mockery and Feng Tzu slings desiccating curses at Juma and Gil. The PCs near the entrance take down the two gnolls and one ambusher, allowing them to move into the room. Ulthar (bashed up and surgeless) and Sora go after Zeno while Juma and Hrothgar flank Vadim. Juma’s signature “dwarf wall of fire” kills the last of the ambushers and Feng Tzu. Zeno and Vadim are tough opponents but Juma delivers the killing blow to the fighter and Hrothgar splits Zeno’s skull when Ulthar gives him a commander’s strike.


Looting the bodies, Ulthar takes Vadim’s +2 reinforcing scale mail and Gil takes Feng Tzu’s +2 shadowdance leather armour. Hrothgar scalps the crimelord and Ulthar chops off his hand as a trophy. Then, the PCs search the temple, finding ledgers detailing the accounts of the Golden Scimitars, and also ransack the rooms of Zeno and his lieutenants. A key in Zeno’s drawer opens the treasure vault which contains a pair of dwarven sending stones and a small fortune in coins. Take an extended rest.
St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, Session 23: Beneath the Winking Vixen

Here’s what happened in last night’s game. Each PC gets 840 xp.

13th Iunius (contd.)

After shopping for potions and then returning to their apartment to rest, the PCs head to the Winking Vixen shortly before midnight only to find the brothel is closed. In the Sultry Siren tavern opposite, they find out from the landlord that Eusebia, the Vixen's madam, has been brutally murdered. Back across the street, the PCs knock on the door of the brothel and persuade Tamrin to let them in. The dwarf bouncer blames Vadim, Zeno's henchman, for the murder and tells the party how to access the secret door to the Golden Scimitars hideout beneath the building. The PCs have a look around Eusebia's office but don't find anything that will help them.

Hrothgar opens the secret door and scouts ahead, sneaking down the spiral staircase into the ancient tunnels of the Hidden Quarter. When he gives the all clear the others follow. After a few hundred yards, the gnolls hears crying coming from a side passage - it's a little girl in a red dress - but Hrothgar is suspicious as she is covering her face and runs off when he approaches. The barbarian follows with the other PCs coming right behind as the girl runs through a room in which four ghouls are lurking, ready to ambush the unwary. Fortunately the PCs are alert enough to not be taken by surprise and a battle ensues. Hrothgar is in the front and is attacked and paralysed by two ghouls while Rotten Mursel (the abyssal ghoul pack leader) and a stench ghoul also advance - their hideous stenches make it hard for the PCs to attack and to defend themselves. A fifth ghoul then appears from a door behind the PCs and attacks Juma and Ulthar. The party fight back and whittle their enemies down to just Rotten Mursel who is very tough to kill. Juma and Sora take it in turns to mark the ghoul but the paladin ends up paralysed and down to 5 hp. Luckily Ulthar is on hand to save Sora using his armour of sacrifice. Hrothgar delivers the killing blow to the ghoul who explodes in a necrotic death burst.

With the undead laid to rest, the PCs explore the other passages of the ghoul lair, bursting in on a room with four pathetic goblins dressed in little kids' clothes - including one in a red dress. Gil talks to them before the more bloodthirsty members of the party start swinging axes and swords around; the goblins agree to tell the PCs where to find Mr Mursel's treasure in exchange for their lives, so the party let them go.

The PCs return to the main corridor and continue to head west, heading through a secret door ahead of them. Beyond lies a corridor with arrow slits on both sides, heading into a room. Gil teleports in first and looks through the arrow slits, seeing a pair of gnoll archers lurking behind them. The others rush past the arrow slits, leaving the eladrin to get caught in the crossfire for there are gnolls on the opposite side too! Juma opens the door at the far end of the chamber to reveal two more enemies, a half orc and a human knife fighter, hiding behind it. The half orc falls first, then the gnolls (who take damage from Juma's dwarf-sized wall of fire) and finally the knife fighter with Hrothgar again delivering the finishing move.

The PCs search the room and the bedchamber beyond - as well as some money and potions, they find a map marking the Praying Mantis Dojo in "Tiangao-Town" (near the Temple of Niu Dahan),  with the symbol of the Golden Scimitars. They also discover a secret door in the rear wall of the guard room.
St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, Session 22: Murder at the Hippocampus Baths

Here’s what happened in last night’s game. Each PC gets 1,000 xp which is more than enough to get you all to 8th level.

12th Iunius (contd.)

The party return to their apartment in Aymara Sabban for the afternoon, before heading to the White Palm in the early evening to meet their patron Dulicitus. At the tavern, the landlord, Kaham al-Vizon, shows them into a private room and has a half-orc waiter bring them Desert Sands lagers, spiced olives and sheesha while they wait for the playwright. There is something suspicious about the waiter - when asked about him, Kaham says he will talk to the PCs after their meeting.

Dulicitus arrives in a foul mood, and Ulthar’s account of the PCs’ achievements in the investigation fail to impress him. Nevertheless, he pays them for the last three days, demanding they find some dirt on Petronas by the end of the week or provide a copy of his new play. The party are then rudely dismissed.

Next, Kaham takes them down to the yakhchal (cold storage room) to sample some beers as he explains that the Golden Scimitars have installed two spies on his bar staff - Ikar the half-orc and Sufyan the firesoul genasi. The landlord would like the PCs to get rid of them - he can’t afford to pay them (and isn’t happy to allow Hrothgar to deal pesh on the premises either!) but offers free drinks and food for a month in return. The party agree to help.

As the PCs head back upstairs, they spot a wealthy-looking Akhrani leaving the other private booth in a strop. This is Bahram Peroz, Speaker of the Guild of Weavers and Dyers. Hrothgar sneaks up to the booth and pulls back the curtain to reveal Zeno Meverel and his two Wicked Fang gnoll bodyguards. Hrothgar is spotted so issues a veiled threat to Zeno as the gnolls tell him to go away and stop bothering their master.

Juma heads off to the Winking Vixen for his special private party while the rest of the PCs rest and relax until just before midnight when the genasi returns, sated.

As they wait outside the back entrance to the White Palm to ambush Ikar and Sufyan, they themselves are ambushed by three Golden Scimitars knife fighters who are joined after a round by the PCs’ two targets! The knife fighters are dealt with first - Bigby’s icy grasp is very effective - but Ikar and Sufyan are more capable fighters. The half-orc charges Sora, slashing at her furiously with his broadsword and knocking her to the ground with his shield, while Sufyan sets first Juma and then Sora on fire. Juma kills Ikar and Ulthar brings down the genasi as he tries to climb up on to the rooftops and escape. The PCs find a note reading “Hippocampus Baths, 2nd hour after midday tomorrow” on one of the bodies.

Ikar  Sufyan

The PCs take Sufyan to a dark alley and try to interrogate him without success. Even Sora’s diplomacy and Hrothgar’s teeth don’t work and the genasi reacts to his missing finger by setting everyone on fire in retaliation! Hrothgar then kills him so Gil casts the speak with dead ritual to get the answers. Unfortunately he only gets time to ask one question but the PCs do at least learn the names of the people that will be at the bathhouse “meeting” tomorrow.

13th Iunius

The party spend the morning asking around after the names they got from Sufyan’s spirit in the taverns and coffee houses. Ulthar gives a stirring speech and the PCs head off to the Hippocampus Baths at midday. The bathhouse owner, a block-like female dwarf called Hildvin, welcomes them inside but the PCs must hand in their weapons and armour at the cloakroom. Ulthar isn’t keen so waits outside. When he’s caught opening the door to the furnace room, he’s politely asked to leave and retires to a coffee house opposite to watch the gates. Inside, the rest of the party familiarize themselves with the layout of the baths, and take up positions in the steamy tepidarium and caldarium.

Iancu Petronas, Beatus and Francio arrive at around 1pm, and at 1.30pm Bahram Peroz arrives. When a group of suspicious characters turn up just before 2pm, Ulthar follows them inside. Hrothgar spots that one of these men has a Golden Scimitars tattoo. Then, there’s a scream from Hildvin outside - one of the tellaks (attendants) has been murdered. As the PCs go to fetch their weapons - Juma summons his into his hand - it suddenly all kicks off as two of the Scimitars stab Gil several times. The poor wizard falls to the tiled floor, unconscious. The others rush over to help as the three Scimitars move in to attack and the bathers run for their lives. Francio stands and watches, looking uncomfortable.

Ulthar heals Gil as Tuzniq the assassin appears and throws a poisoned dagger at Juma, blinding him. Sora, Gil and Ulthar battle Ramazan and a knife fighter near the entrance; Juma and Hrothgar fight the assassin and the other knife fighter in the tepidarium. Ramazan and the two knife fighters are slain, but the assassin escapes after blinding the gnoll and the warlord. After managing to negotiate the slippery tiles successfully (using his “special human skills”), Ulthar tumbles into the warm pool when he tries to repeat the feat after the battle, followed by the also clumsy Gil.

The PCs search the baths. Juma bursts into a private bath, after hearing moaning from inside, to interrupt an elderly gentleman having a sexual act performed on him by an attendant! The genasi shuts the door and Sora opens the right one, finding Bahram Peroz who has been poisoned. Too tight to give him a healing potion, Juma attempts first aid and fails. Fortunately, the paladin is more generous and administers a potion. Bahram needs to be taken to a temple but is able to tell the PCs Zeno Meverel is behind the attempted murder. The crime lord’s base is under the Winking Vixen.

Meanwhile, Hrothgar has found the body of a half-orc tellak in the staff area as well as stairs down to the hypocaust. After taking a short rest, the PCs head down into the low-ceilinged, hot area beneath the baths. Here, the assassin and a third knife fighter are lurking, taking the party by surprise. Tuzniq and the knife fighter are tricky opponents in the cramped environment and they are also reinforced by Varazes the wizard and two Wicked Fang gnolls hiding in the furnace room. However, after a tough battle, the PCs are victorious and their enemies lie dead at their feet.
St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, Session 21: Guild Wars

Here’s what happened in this afternoon’s game. Each PC gets 790 xp - sorry it’s not quite enough to level up but you will definitely reach 8th at the end of the next session!

11th Iunius (contd.)

As the party stroll through the Makers Ward, debating what to do next, they come into a marketplace where two arcanists from the Esoteric Order of the Blue Lotus - a human fire mage and a vanara mantrika - are having a drunken argument over who is the best spellcaster. As they try to prove this to each other, their spells set fire to a woman’s washing and scald a donkey. Then, things really get out of hand when the human mage summons an angry fire elemental which knocks both wizards unconscious. The Juma Gang leap into action with Jihad at the front and dispatch the monster without much trouble. The vanara has fled the scene after being healed by Ulthar but the human fire mage, Fazil Al-Zarqa invites Gil to join the Esoteric Order. Annual fees are steep, though, so Gil resolves to find some unusual magic that will allow him to get in for free. Ulthar gives a stirring speech which gets everyone fired up, even Hrothgar who started to wander off to the weapon stalls in the middle of it.

Ulthar buys a +1 distance throwing axe at the stalls; Sora buys a +1 magic holy symbol.

The party return to the Khanduq of the Nightingale’s Song in search of answers. Hatim the Fat, blind owner of the Blue Monkey, is helpful and his squabs are jolly tasty but not much information is learned, although the PCs do find out Iancu Petronas lives on the Street of Tesserae. By chatting to the locals, they narrow the address down to about 50 apartments but still don’t know exactly where he lives. The party hang round for a while but Iancu doesn’t come home so they split up for the evening. Ulthar goes to see The Fey King of Darkwood again; Sora goes to listen to the sitar-players at the Blue Monkey, and the others go to the Winking Vixen where Jihad books two boys and a gnoll for Juma the following night, paying a 5 gp deposit. The PCs try to question Eusebia about Vadim and the Golden Scimitars but the madam gets very uncomfortable.

Later on, together again, the PCs head to Fahil’s Floating Palace. Here, Ulthar, Jihad and Hrothgar sign up for the following week’s swimming contest, and Jihad persuades Fahil to let him into the VIP part of the club to play high stakes Three Dragon Ante after they spot someone they saw in Orloch’s slave auction in this area. Hrothgar spies Francio, one of Iancu Petronas’ acting troupe, talking to a shadowy man in the corner (Vadim), before heading upstairs to buy pesh from a dealer. The gnoll follows the dealer, jumps him and takes both his stash and his profits. Hrothgar gives a vial of pesh to Jihad. After losing several hands, the genasi cheats without being spotted and wins back his money!

Later still, the PCs leave Fahil’s and wait skulking in a doorway in the Street of Tesserae for Iancu to come home. The actor arrives and the party are able to identify where his apartment is. Returning back to Fahil’s before it closes, the PCs chat to the host and win his trust - he is no fan of the Golden Scimitars and promises to send them a message when Vadim is next in. Vadim, it turns out, is an enforcer for Zeno Meverel who owns the Floating Palace. It was Zeno they saw earlier in the VIP area.

Just before bedtime, Hrothgar sells two more vials of pesh to Jihad who snorts one. The genasi then can’t get to sleep for hours and awakens unrefreshed the next morning.

12th Iunius

The PCs stake out Iancu’s apartment building and break into his flat once the actor goes off to have breakfast. Although the place is very untidy, the party find no evidence of an criminal activity - just the manuscript of a new play which Gil stops Juma from stealing.

Later on, the PCs arrive in the Builders Sabban as a Masons vs Potters street fight is about to start. The party spot a halfling rogue and a band of Golden Scimitars dressed as Masons (including a woman the party had fought and let go once before) in the alleys off the main drag. The PCs move in to attack the Golden Scimitars as the two mobs of guild members clash further down the street.
Hrothgar kills the female knife fighter and her male counterpart and Gil finishes off their leader, Yakub, with a flaming sphere. The lackeys are all killed too but the party are unable to stop the halfling getting away.

Juma and Ulthar then try to break up the mob of Masons but end up being pulled over and trampled underfoot. Hrothgar tries to intimidate the rabble into surrendering (“Leave my friends the Potters alone!”) and Gil blasts everyone with incendiary detonation. The eladrin’s spell does more damage to Ulthar who goes down to -3hp under the boots and pickaxe handles of the mob before Sora is able to scare the mob into submission. As the Masons run for it, the PCs spot Francio amongst them!
St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, 20th Session: Ambush on Grape Lane

Here’s what happened in this afternoon’s game. Each PC gets 615 xp.

10th Iunius (contd.)

While the others are in inside the Winking Vixen, Ulthar tries to strike up a comradely conversation with Tamrin, the brothel’s bouncer, but he fails to impress the gruff dwarf and retires across the street to the Sultry Siren tavern. There, he buys a beer and takes it outside to drink so he can keep an eye on the front door of the Vixen.

Inside, Juma and Hrothgar are unhappy that there are no pretty boys or gnoll women available for hire. Juma tries to get the barman to perform a private dance for him but he’s just not interested so the genasi climbs up on the bar himself and starts dancing. This creates enough of a distraction for Hrothgar to sneak up to a door leading to the staff area and listen to the argument going on behind it between an Akhrani man and a woman - he can’t make out much but the name “Zeno” is mentioned.

Back outside, Ulthar spots someone peering round an alley, apparently spying on him. When he goes to investigate, he is surprised to find himself facing five attackers: a gnoll, a half-elf and three humans. Luckily, he’s wearing the handy cloak of shadowform he took from Cadavra and is able to turn himself insubtantial and move out of reach while Tamrin alerts the other PCs.

Juma tries to leap through a closed window to the warlord’s aid but this doesn’t work out too well – the genasi crashes through the shutters to land face down in the street! Hrothgar and Sora use the door instead, although the barbarian is hit by the flail-wielding enemy gnoll lurking behind the doorway as he comes outside. Gil casts fireball through the now-open window into the thugs, then Ulthar dispels his shadowform to join his fellow adventurers in melee. The gnoll thug is killed first, then Hrothgar licks his axe and unleashes his frost wolf rage on the half-elf, taking the Grape Lane basher’s head clean off. Gil’s flaming sphere takes down the hammer-wielder and Sora kills the guy armed with a scourge but the irritating, tumbling knife fighter manages to escape.

The PCs’ efforts have been watched by the crowd inside the Winking Vixen, including Iancu Petronas’ acting troupe. Always on the look out for a few coins, Juma passes a hat round so they can show their appreciation. Before the watch arrive, Gil casts Tenser’s Floating Disk and the party load the hammer-wielder’s body on to it. Ulthar chats to Eusebia, the brothel’s madam, but doesn’t learn anything useful.

Back at their apartment, Gil casts speak with dead on the corpse – the dead thug hasn’t heard of Iancu Petronas but reveals he took his orders from someone called Ekrem. Later that night, Hrothgar, Gil and Ulthar take the body down to the waterfront and manage to dispose of it in the Dolphin Strait without being observed.

11th Iunius

The PCs head to the Golden Bean Tree coffee house in the Khanduq of the Nightingale’s Song for breakfast. Here, they run into Iancu Petronas and Beatus – the playwright offers the PCs free tickets to his play after their heroics the night before but is unwilling to invite Jihad round to his house. After Ulthar tries a bit too hard to flatter him, Iancu and his friend leave.

As the party finish off their coffee, a sinister-looking trio enter the cafe and start threatening Yasmina, the owner as two Wicked Fang gnolls guard the entrances. When two of the thugs start smashing coffee cups, the PCs intervene and a battle ensues. Gil conjures Bigby’s Icy Grasp to grab hold of one of the villains as Ulthar and Juma are dazed by the two bodyguards. The two gnolls mark Hrothgar and Ulthar and pull them outside into the khanduq’s courtyard as artists and stallholders scatter in all directions. The PCs take down one gnoll and one bodyguard, then Sora knocks the leader unconscious, allowing the others to finish off the last two racketeers. To celebrate, Hrothgar eats the heart of the gnoll he killed!

The city watch arrive and allow the PCs five minutes to interrogate their captive. They learn his name is Ashraf, he works for the Golden Scimitars, reporting into someone called Vadim who can sometimes be found at Fahil’s Floating Palace. Juma chops off his little finger, then hands him over to the watch sergeant. Sora claims the gnoll’s +2 blood fury greatsword. Ulthar gives Yasmina 10 bezants to pay for the damage done to the Golden Bean Tree; the grateful owner explains that this is the first time she’s encountered the Golden Scimitars. A street gang called the Lamplighters used to look after the Maker’s Ward.

Unsure what to do next, the PCs ask round in the taverns about Iancu Petronas, trying to find out his address without success. They do hear that the Lamplighters seem to have disappeared in recent weeks and the Golden Scimitars are now moving in. As the Lamplighters used to protect the Potters guild, they head to the guild headquarters and talk to one of the officers. Jihad says the Juma Gang are available for hire as security to protect the Potters from their arch-rivals, the Masons, but the guildsman seems a bit unsure about hiring the party.

St George

The Ongoing Adventures of the Juma Gang, 19th Session: Cadavra's Revenge

Here’s what happened in this afternoon’s game. Each PC gets 725 xp.

4th Iunius

After searching the rest of the windmill, the PCs head back to Parsantium to the Dev’shir estate in the Grand Ward. There, they are surprised when Lady Patricia herself answers the door, obviously in some distress. Apparently her loyal butler Falco went down into the cellar and didn’t return. In fact, Lady Patricia says she has heard terrible screaming coming from down there in the last few minutes.

The PCs hurry down into the cellar with Hrothgar and Sora in the lead. Falco lies dead in a pool of blood in the centre of the room; his blood has been used to paint a large, eldritch symbol on the floor. The middle of the chamber where this symbol is inscribed seems somehow darker and colder than the rest of the room which gives the PCs pause. As the party move forward, undead minions of the witch Cadavra appear from behind the curtains at the back and from a doorway. The rubbery-skinned dread zombies and the scythe-wielding reaper move into the middle while the two blazing skeletons hang back, flinging their flaming orbs at Ulthar and Gil. Sora charges the reaper but ends up bloodied by his scythe and his evil gaze as the undead creature fades away, moving out of her reach. Juma is grabbed by a zombie but teleports out of its grasp and attacks the reaper. Gil throws a fireball into the room, catching all the undead, but then the monsters are reinforced by two groups of zombie rotters that move in to engage Juma, Hrothgar, Sora and Ulthar in melee.

As the battle continues, the PCs realise to their annoyance that the dread zombies get up when they’ve been “killed” and it takes two death blows to put them down permanently. Meanwhile, Ulthar is in a bad way, having been set on fire repeatedly by the skeletons. Sora overcomes her fear of the reaper to finish him off with radiant delirium and then kills the last dread zombie; Hrothgar destroys the last skeleton.

Before there is time for a short rest, the PCs hear a scream from upstairs - something is happening to Lady Patricia. The party rush back up with Gil bravely taking the lead, having hung back in the first fight. In the hall of the mansion are four vampire fleshrippers and beyond, Cadavra is threatening her mother, Lady Patricia.

The witch blasts the PCs with chilling transfer, slowing them down and reducing Ulthar to -17hp. Then, the vampires close in. These minions are despatched swiftly but Cadavra is a much more tricky opponent as she keeps moving and uses her magic to slow down or freeze her enemies to the spot. Gil shouts out to Lady Patricia to run away and the noblewoman doesn’t need to be told twice. Sora brings Ulthar back round with a potion and the inspirational warlord is able to give much useful tactical advice, using seize the upper hand & inspire belligerence to help his comrades do extra damage to Cadavra. The necromancer is cornered by Juma and Sora while Hrothgar is too leaden-footed to get into melee and is reduced to throwing javelins. Eventually Juma delivers the killing blow!

The party explain what’s been happening to Lady Patricia, how Cadavra escaped from the asylum, took up necromancy and was out for revenge. Hrothgar is a bit too explicit but Sora and Ulthar are able to calm down the noblewoman before she faints. While no one is watching, Juma steals a small but valuable rug, shoving it inside his shirt. Ulthar advises her ladyship to spend the night at the neighbours until the PCs have laid Dugesia’s ghost to rest and the matter is considered closed.

5th Iunius

The PCs (minus Juma who is off selling the stolen rug) return to the Forest of the Dead and to the Dev’shir mausoleum where Ulthar explains to Dugesia that the party are there to grant her peace. The PCs replace the brick with Dugesia’s name in the wall depicting the family tree and put her body back on the bier in her tomb. When they do this, her ghost fades away as her spirit heads off to the afterlife.

The party also visit the sacristy of Mormekar in the cemetery. Here, they tell the priests about the Cauldron of Illserves beneath the Old Mill - the undead-hating clergy promise they will have the dangerous artifact removed and destroyed.

Returning to the Grand Ward, Lady Patricia pays the PCs 2,000 gold bezants for all they’ve done for her. Ulthar takes charge of the party treasure and divvies it up.

6th-9th Iunius

Gil studies his new ritual book, learning four new rituals. He also upgrades the enchantment on Ulthar’s armour to +2.

10th Iunius

Just as the party are contemplating an expedition to the desert south of Parsantium in search of the Karak Lode, a messenger snake arrives with tickets to the theatre, sent by the dramatist Dulicitus. Hrothgar is a bit confused by the concept but agrees to come along.

At the Theatre of Aymara, the PCs enjoy a performance of Iancu Petronas’ play, The Fey King of Darkwood, and meet Dulicitus, Vetranis and Gerontius – three conservative dramatists who want to hire the PCs to find out what Petronas is up to. The prize-winning playwright is rumoured to be connected to the Golden Scimitars so the PCs agree to take the job (although Gil is worried that hanging round the low dives of the Poor Ward might lead Juma into the temptation of gambling).

After the play, Ulthar speaks to Iancu at the stage door. The Urskovian is very charming and makes a good impression, but the playwright and his friends are keen to get going and head off after chatting to their admirers for a few minutes.

The PCs follow Iancu and his acting troupe to the red-light district in the Poor Ward where they head inside a brothel called the Winking Vixen on Grape (aka Gropecunt) Lane. Juma and Hrothgar follow them inside, with Gil and Sora a few minutes behind them. Meanwhile, Ulthar waits outside and talks to the dwarf bouncer.