The Djinn of Al-Qadim

Campaign Session Report #29

By MARK WILSON

GM: Me
Setting: Al-Qadim (aka the continent of Zakhara)
System: D&D 5e
Level: 8

Players:
Dalia, the Mother – Rune Knight Fighter
Nezima, the Aunt – Hexblade Warlock
Atareeza (Atar), the Daughter – Divine Soul Sorcerer
Telchak, the Son – Soulknife Rogue

Notable NPCs:

  • Jayani Al-Jasir: Human council member of Corsair leaders, based in Hawa. Formerly used Torrigar as a “ship,” who willingly allowed her and her crew to board it.
  • Shazam Botswani: Ruler of Umara, which has now fallen to djinn forces.
  • Nisma: Grandmother (leader) of the Everlasting, a guild of assassins.
  • Dhuza, the Rock: Earth djinn ruler of the fortress city of Qudra
  • Torrigar: Ancient Dragon Turtle
  • Kar’rr’ga: 50-foot-tall crab demigod

For full setting, campaign and character notes, please start from the beginning of the session report series.

Session #29

Previously, the party had seemingly been betrayed by part or all of the Everlasting, an ancient order or assassins. Escaping from the city of Qudra, pursued by both assassins and city guard, they made their way to the docks through a bunch of combat encounters. With their ship destroyed, they magically contacted their allies outside the city, with Torrigar the dragon turtle racing into the bay to act as their getaway vehicle. Their NPC escapee, Tahni, also accompanies them, her knowledge and very existence a threat to the djinn.

Near-Death Experiences

No one in the party except Dahlia was doing well, and in the remaining fight, everyone went down at some point, including Nezima multiple times. Additionally, multiple assassin bolts pierce Tahni’s midsection, and she falls over, writhing until her death. Knowing that Atar can resurrect Tahni (within a minute) and wanting to let the assassins think they’ve done their job in killing her, they don’t immediately resurrect her.

Telchak manages to produce a jar of magical sand that he’d previously acquired. Hucking it at the end of the dock where it meets land, a large wall of fire erupts, buying them some time while the assassins try to navigate around it and the city guard wait for it to subside.

Torrigar melts the steel chains across the bay with his steam breath, and crashes through them after a few rounds, racing up to the docks. Dahlia ends up fireman-carrying Nezima and Tahni in her enlarged form (she has growing powers as part of her sub-class) onto his back. Trebuchets and bolts ping off of them, even striking Tahni’s corpse, but they manage to escape into Torrigar’s shell and are greeted by Jayani. Atar resurrects Tahni once they’re hidden from sight, and Torrigar escapes while being harassed by water elementals and siege weapons.

The Journey South

Some unpacking of their situation followed, as well as a magical Message from the Grand Caliph, Jaarallah, who is along the desert trade route along which they’d previously traveled. They are hiding out with the caravan of Fatima al-Fihri, the mage who had previously accompanied them into the desert to the pyramids.

Jayani takes them out to sea, and they send her to the Free Cities of the North with information on supply chains into Qudra that they’d previously stolen from the Qudran palace. There’s a fond farewell with Jayani on the northern shores of the continent, well west of Qudra and in a small pirate town. She reminds them of the threat posed by Kar’rr’ga, the crab god, but lets them know that she’ll be laying low and surviving, well clear of Hawa, which is now under the crab god’s control.

Telchak says goodbye to Torrigar, and a short, heartfelt goodbye follows. Torrigar bids Telchak to put his hand on Torrigar’s head, and as he does, the hand glows and Telchak’s lost finger grows back. A rumbling voice booms in Telchak’s head after this happens. “BE…CAREFUL” he says, before swimming off.

We hand-wave the journey southward, though there’s some discussion of next steps. Nezima and Tahni have had visions of a temple where the first Grand Caliph is buried. It’s in a desert of glassy, blue sand, and sits under a full moon. Inside this tomb are the instructions to re-bind the djinn of Zakhara so that they don’t have free reign in this plan of existence. Reinstituting this binding would go a long way to taking control back from them.

Atar also learns the Teleportation Circle spell on her travels, having had some time to study one in the palace of Qudra. Two locations relating to visions she’s previously had suddenly become known to her, and she knows that she can teleport the group to these locations if need be. They are her home city of Huzzuz and an elephant graveyard on the southeastern island of Afyal.

Dungeon Master Notes

There’s a version of that fight where the water elemental swims off with an unconscious Nezima inside it, and she’s rolling a new character for the next session. Dahlia yanking Nezima from the elemental’s grasp is the only thing that prevented this. I don’t want to shy away from death if it’s warranted, but I’m thankful they’ve survived this long.

The Teleportation Circle spell makes my job as DM more interesting. I need to be prepared for some world-hopping, albeit to locations I got to choose (which I did in conversation with Atar’s player). I’m well past the point where I had a lot planned pre-campaign, and actually didn’t think they’d end up in Afyal with how things have gone. But I’ll likely need to flesh out that area some time in the next week or two.

Creatures Used

  • Assassin (CR8)
  • Water Elemental (CR5)
  • Veteran (CR3)
  • Guard (CR1/8)

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