The Djinn of Al-Qadim
Campaign Session Report #38
By MARK WILSON
Setting: Al-Qadim (aka the continent of Zakhara)
System: D&D 5e
Dahlia, the Mother – Rune Knight Fighter
Nezima, the Aunt – Hexblade Warlock
Atareeza (Atar), the Daughter – Divine Soul Sorcerer
Telchak, the Son – Soulknife Rogue
Previously, the party recovered means by which they could re-bind the djinn in a magical ritual, striking a blow to Bakada’s armies throughout Zakhara. They’d just materialized in the city of Huzuz, via one of Atar’s teleportation circles.
They appear in a study, invisible (from another spell) but holding hand. But they instantly feel Nezima dematerialize again (her player was absent and we didn’t have her character sheet; this was my solution).
They are worried about this but can’t do anything immediately, so they begin to investigate. Wizard’s Study, in the top room of a tall tower that overlooks the city. A nearby window gives them the lay of the land.
They’re inside the palace area, and can glean from this that someone high-up in the city’s power structure is the owner of this office.
The city is also on fire in several places, and they see glowing rivulets of magma flowing through it in several areas. Various structures are collapsed, and the whole area has a Hellish haze to it.
They hear a voice from outside the office, and it’s one they recognize, that of First Brother Ebonflame, leader of the Brotherhood of the True Flame. Jumping out the window, Telchak begins to climb down the tower, but they realize too late that the window had an enchantment on it. Telchak reappears, no longer invisible. Atar blinks her and her mother outside, remaining invisible. As Telchak scampers down, though, he’s seen by guards in the palace area: some priests of the Brotherhood and Salamanders, creatures from the plane of fire.
They engage, and a salamander runs off to sound a general alarm and gather others. They realize they’ll need to escape quickly.
Meanwhile, above them, two mages in red robes fly out of the tower they just came from, and Ebonflame’s head pokes out, seeing them. The mages give pursuit, and a spell-war follows while the party begins retreating toward the city proper.
Escape From Huzuz
They manage to get outside the palace gates intact, but Ebonfame teleports in front of them, casting vicious spells at those who are visible. Telchak once again attacks him with psychic knives, but they seem to have no effect.
Still invisible, Dahlia surprises him with a series of brutal attacks. After this, he flies out of range back into the palace area while others pursue, but not before getting some parting shots in.
Thinking him near death, Atar heads back to try to kill him. In the process, she’s knocked unconscious and a fire mage hits her again when down, bringing her near death. Outside the palace walls, Dahlia goes down too, and Telchak tosses her onto his magic carpet before heading back for his sister. He manages to grab her, but can’t stabilize her while escaping on the carpet. She manages to stay alive, but only just.
Still pursued, and with a general alarm sounded in the city, the carpet flies low into the city’s alleyways. The group hides out in the first empty area they can find, atop a roof in a commercial district. Though their general whereabouts were seen by enough people that they know they’ll be pursued into the city and won’t have too long here before they need to move again.
Dungeon Master Notes
One session away from tying the longest campaign I’ve played in (we passed the longest I’ve run as game master about 8 sessions ago). We’re probably 5-6 sessions away from the ending, but things are starting to intensify.
Atar really should have died. She was tempting fate to try to kill the archwizard and severely overextended herself. She had two failed death saves and rolled three successes in a row on successive rounds while her brother spirited her away on the magic carpet under arrow fire and spellfire, unable to heal or stabilize her in the maelstrom. Extremely lucky, and I actually assumed that she was about to die when that whole sequence happened and did nothing as a GM to mitigate the consequences.
…the magic carpet is cursed, but only triggers at 200+ feet. They decided NOT to use it to get down from the tower initially, so they accidentally avoided a 200-foot drop and still don’t know it’s cursed. So all sorts of dumb luck.
Which is fun, of course, particularly once I share that fact with them post-campaign. Or when they figure it out later.
- Archmage (CR12)
- Mage (reskinned to Fire Mage) (CR6)
- Priest (CR2)
- Salamander (CR5)
Continue Reading: Session #39