The Djinn of Al-Qadim
Campaign Session Report #39
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 had arrived in Huzuz, but a botched escape attempt has them hiding out in the city, pursued by guards both humanoid and monstrous.
Nezima’s player missed a second straight week, so she’s not in this small Huzuz arc.
Come Fly With Me
After a brief rest in which they used a one-time use Hallucinatory Terrain spell to mask their presence in the immediate area, the group takes off on Telchak’s magic carpet, heading high into the air…
…and triggering its curse. The carpet grabs them and races straight at the ground. They hit forcefully. Dahlia and Atar are both knocked unconscious and the group lacks healing potions. Telchak worriedly stabilizes them, then finds an empty (but lived-in) home to break into. Seeing guards walking streets nearby and heading his way, knocking on doors and inquiring about the party, he puts the duo in an upstairs bedroom, in case someone finds them. It will look like they’re sleeping.
The Solo Mission
Telchak then investigates for potions. Finding none, he does eventually glean the location of an apothecary in the area. Making his way stealthily, the shop is on a well-lit road, so he has to be careful about slipping inside.
He does so, and begins looking around. The backroom storehouse is the most promising, but there’s a net over the shelves, which Telchak learns is electrified. Many minutes later, he gleans enough information to disarm it and takes some potions, not all of them healing-related. But at least one of them is.
Returning, he finds the house has been entered and the duo has been taken. Racing outside, he eventually finds and follows the guards he saw earlier, who have taken his unconscious family. He attacks, trying to extricate them.
He’s more than a match for the guards in normal circumstances, but also only has about 10 hit points. So his attacking is sporadic, and is designed to keep himself shielded.
This protracted fight grows deadly for the guards, who realize their predicament. One yells out for Telchak to stop or he’ll kill the unconscious duo. Telchak manages to kill one, but the other stabs Dahlia twice and Atar once, killing the former. Dahlia bleeds out on the road while Telchak feeds his remaining healing potion to Atar. The remaining guard escapes, presumably to go get help.
Resurrecting and Retreating
Needing to escape and lacking options, Dahlia’s corpse goes into the Bag of Holding.
They quickly find a business to break into, a local corner market with various types of produce. Inside, the two try to recover and plan. Atar can revive Dahlia, but none have much health and outside they can hear and see increased investigations in the area, up to and including efreets that they don’t feel confident about facing.
About this time they receive another magical message from their allies, informing them that Nezima somehow teleported to Hiyal in the circle, but she is ok.
Dahlia is resurrected and they again plan quickly. None think they can escape the city, and daylight is mere hours away…not enough time to recover their health and abilities before they’d have to be on the run again. And that’s if they’re not found in the market store.
Atar then has an idea: she can burn her remaining spells, turning them into a higher-level spell slot, to cast a single high-level spell…a teleportation circle. The only other one she knows is back on the island of Afyal. They could travel there, negating their progress. But they’d be alive.
All agree, and they perform the ritual and materialize in the jungle temple in Afyal. Dahlia immediately falls asleep and the others begin to recover as well.
Afyalian Groundhog Day
After a rest, they make for Kasal, the small city they left from previously. Some confused NPCs later and they’re back in Medina al-Afyal, the capital of this large island.
The city has forced back the attackers that were still outside the city when they’d last left, but the city itself is in tatters. The hurricane they’d unleashed is also dissipated, but its effects can be seen throughout, with entire sections of the city washed away or damaged.
Reconnecting with Zumurrud, the city’s leader, plot explanations follow and she agrees to help, albeit with limited resources currently in the city. The city’s library is made available to Atar, who hopes to find an alternate means of magically leaving the island that doesn’t involve Huzuz. The others assess the city and see if they can collect anything of use before they leave Afyal for the second time.
Dungeon Master Notes
Nezima’s player was absent again, so she wasn’t just sitting around all session with nothing to do.
Even I was starting to doubt they were going to escape the city alive. The teleportation circle idea felt like an unfortunate last resort for the players, but it was also an inspired bit of cleverness since they had few options left to them.
Perhaps surprisingly, everyone seemed to enjoy Telchak’s solo mission, including the two who had nothing to do during it. Except perhaps Telchak’s player himself, for whom it was quite stressful. He was clearly on edge throughout much of it. But I was amused at the whole thing and everyone said it was a good session.
- Veteran (CR3)
- Guard (CR ½)
Continue Reading: Session #40