The Djinn of Al-Qadim
Campaign Session Report #4
By MARK WILSON
Setting: Al-Qadim (aka the continent of Zakhara)
System: D&D 5e
Levels: 3-?? (probably 12)
Dalia, the Mother – Rune Knight Fighter
Nezima, the Aunt – Hexblade Warlock
Atareeza (Atar), the Daughter – Divine Soul Sorcerer
Telchak, the Son – Soulknife Rogue
For full setting, campaign and character notes, please start from the beginning of the session report series.
Previously, the party had taken on some assignments from their contact with The Resistance, an Azer named Zazzle, who had them meet with some contacts for resources and information in the city’s bazaar.
Following that, they agreed to try to save the daughter (Shtanka) of a goblin (Shtank) they’d helped to free from the gladiatorial pens where they began the campaign. Their leads took them to Shtank’s former business associates, who turned on him and decided to work with the ruling djinn of the city. The associates coughed up information on Shtanka’s whereabouts, a temple to the “Cold God” Kossuth, an elemental god of fire. It’s here that known associates of the Djinn, members of The Brotherhood of the True Flame, congregate.
At the Temple to Kossuth
The temple is sparsely populated, and they soon case the place and end up in the back hallways, after a period where all citizens were supposed to leave the temple. They stumble upon a couple hobgoblin leaders of the cult just through the back doors, who immediately demand that they leave, and try to forcefully grapple them.
It fails, and a fight breaks out. Behind the temple is a small building, from which more hobgoblins stream out. Various priests and guards join in, and Dalia is knocked unconscious, and two in the party are poisoned with poisoned crossbow darts. In the end, the party emerges victorious, but a couple of the hobgoblins rush off, presumably to get reinforcements.
In the small building out back, they find Shtanka, whose voice they heard toward the end of the fight. Telchak tries to impress her with some flourishes during the fight, though he’s unsure if they have any effect on her. Shtank is in tears at the sight of his daughter. The group make off quickly, but not before Shtanka and Atar become instant best friends, as fellow snooty teenagers.
Returning to the safehouse, they find it ransacked, and their other goblin contact (a friend of Shtank) nearly dead, pinned to a wall by a scimitar. They heal him and rouse him awake.
The djinn’s forces followed…someone to the safehouse. Which means it’s no longer safe, so the party leaves immediately.
A beggar seems to be watching them intently as they leave, and asks for some coin. Upon giving him some money, he reveals some information that presumably was left by Zazzle before he, too, had to take off in a hurry. Zazzle is on his way to the city of Hiyal, several weeks’ journey to the north. A city of intrigue, Hiyal is a dangerous city but a useful one for those looking to hide and/or gain information.
Not having a place to go, they return to the bird merchant, Choni, who had previously offered them work as protection for traveling caravans. Choni deals in exotic merchandise, so he’d want them to deliver certain goods in exchange for this.
Telchak finds himself smitten with Shtanka (he’s ~9 years old; she’s about 16, but is his height due to being a goblin), and tries to win her affections through various means. They are marginally successful, though he’s a bit too young to leave a romantic impression on her.
Meanwhile, Atar snipes at her brother and is enjoying Shtanka’s company. They talk clothes and boys and magic and have a grand amount of fun, usually at the expense of someone in the party.
The adults watch all of this in silent bemusement.
At the Caravansery
Choni puts them up in a caravansery, a small migrant town within Huzuz, for those traveling to and from the city and needing to stay for a while. Merchants, desert tribesmen, etc.
Choni then finds a willing caravan headed for Hiyal, and gives them an item, a gargantuan leather belt, with protection magicks imbued within it.
He gives them instructions for finding something called The Shadow Market, and the instructions are very bizarre, involving a series of unrelated and nebulous steps. In the Shadow Market awaits their client. The client should be expecting them. But it all seems quite odd. If they fail to deliver the item, Choni provides them with the name of a merchant who can return the item to him.
With various thanks and final preparations, the party (along with Shtank and Shtanka) leave the city of Huzuz the next morning, as wanted fugitives in the city of their birth and upbringing…
Not much to add. More or less what I expected, which is a pleasant surprise.
Atar and Telchak’s players basically spoke Shtanka’s personality into existence in previous sessions, so I mostly just picked up on the cues of their expectations for her and fleshed out a personality around that, creating some fun interpersonal chaos in the process. It’s not the last of the love interests I’ll be throwing at them.
Goblin (CR 1/4)
Hobgoblin (CR ½)
Hobgoblin Captain (CR 3)