Ug. All members of my group of Freebooters were slain tonight while making their way through The Perilous Wilds of Quarun. In our setting, seven terrors have been released into the world after the invading hordes of Ha’ak desecrated the temple of Ashala and broke the sacred seal which had for centuries bound the seven within. In our previous session, the first terror was reverted to ash through the brave sacrifices of the priests of Hatenaten, This week, the second terror proved overwhelming after a series of devastatingly bad dice rolls. One comedic moment will remain in memory: a night’s “danger” in camp turned out to be a “chicken/duck/goose”. Ha! It was eaten for breakfast with wild garlic and a sauce seasoned with the oil of spring writhe-weeds. In better news, the newly randomly generated group of freebooters FINALLY includes at least one fighter… Three in fact!

8 thoughts on “Ug.”

  1. Jason Lutes Great questions. More like, “each successive terror is set up to face the particular groups.” 😉

    As for the destruction of the world, there are TWO answers to your question. First, it might already be thought “destroyed” and that the stakes are whether any trace of the Quaran civilization might survive to take hold again. We began with a total apocalyptic old-testament style destruction!! Here is the text of the obelisk left behind by the warlord Nyasunta’ang:

    “I have set this here as a warning. For one moon I devastated the districts of Quar. I spread salt and all manner of poison and thorn there to injure the soil. I plundered the orchards of fruit and burned them and the farms. Sons of the kings. Sisters of the kings. Members of Quaom’s first family young and old. Prefects. Overseers of the city. Knights. Charioteers. Archers. These I put to the sword. Inhabitants male and female, big and little I carried off as slaves. Treasure and plunder. Artisans as many as there were. Horses. Mules. Asses. Flocks and herds. I carried them off. The treasures of Quaom, the crown of Beyl. The scrolls of legacies. These and the treasures of your other cities I carried off. In a month of days I subdued Quaom in its whole extent. I burned the city and turned it into heaps and ruins. The voice of man, the steps of flocks and herds, the happy shouts of mirth, I put an end to them. Empty fields I left for the wild beasts and what people remain to live as beasts.

    Whoso destroys this inscription that bears my name may I and all the gods and all the might of my hordes and my descendents bear down my full vengeance upon them, the crack of the whip and the thunder of the rumbling chariot. The flash of the sword and spear and there will be no counting of the many dead. NYASUNTA’ANG”

    The second answer as to whether the world itself might also be destroyed is the more sinister, and will be revealed only when we play to find out what happens now that the terrors (who were thought unimaginably terrible enough when they began to raise legions of the dead to beleaguer the few survivors and refugees) have also loosed the Uhtanathu… abominations previously known only through ancient tablets and cave paintings…

  2. One Utanathu: Like a goat walking upright with great clawed hands. Its mouth like a lamprey, sticky with yellow foam. Limp blue hair on its body. Undeveloped wings with a color and texture like newborn mice. Inside, a strange granular structure like the seeds of a pomegranate, packed around black bones.

    It’s master in Terror: Deep shadow with the height and bearing of an upright cave bear — tens of misfigured arms appearing and disappearing in the darkness of its being. From it emanates the sound of a storm. Its eyes glow and spark like iron in a smith’s forge. It’s voice an unnatural sucking screech (Iron wheels dragged over stone, backwards in time.)

  3. Ye gods. Great descriptions.

    Last question: I know you’re jumping to different parts of the world for each new tale, but does each new group of PCs start from scratch, at level 1? Or do you have some way of determining different starting levels? With so much hanging in the balance and such daunting opposition, I would think that waves of 1st level characters might crash harmlessly against the sort of terrors you describe.

  4. When they were only a “Grim Portent” the first Utanathu appeared.

    It was something like a lame, shambling figure, wrapped in a great brown cloak revealing only one eye and a tangled mess of bloodclot-colored tentacles, always at a distance always yet somehow ever drawing nearer. Its flesh was like that of a dense tree fungus grown around hollow bones.

    Another: on all fours, somehow like a dog — but with its skin torn away to reveal vile, dripping mucosa — dark with strange patterns . Its broad head was set with a wide mouth and long rows of black teeth beneath the sinister shrunken eyes and nose of a strangely human face. Its voice was like the bellow of a bullfrog, released as it hurdled forward in great leaping bounds to “be upon you”. The structure inside this thing was found to be like an oak gall: mostly empty space, its outer form borne upon a skeleton made of branching stalks like dry weeds. Its presence was felt like echoes even after it had been destroyed.

  5. Jason Lutes, the answer to your last question lies in the thoughts that developed after our conversation about scalable challenges. In Quar, (unlike the more multi-threaded “Atanu” game) we care less about the traditional RPG structure of progressive power than we do about everyone having a good time whilst weaving tales worth telling. To be honest, the very spark of this idea came from a comment that YOU made in response to questions about the “Bless” ability in the basic freebooters rules!!! More on this as it unfolds…

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