The Djinn of Al-Qadim
Campaign Session Report #41
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 reconnected with their allies and the extended forces opposing Bakada. With the completion of a binding ritual that prevents djinn from freely entering the Prime Material Plane, Bakada’s forces are severely hindered. Air Djinn were exempt from this, with the ritual having been altered to allow them to continue to have free access to this plane of existence. They are ostensibly allies against Bakada at this point, though their exact numbers are not known.
The Final March & Entering the City
A few minor RP scenes precede their arrival in the city. There are reconnections with Jaarallah, Aswiyah, their father/husband Zarin. The former two give them gifts that may aid them, including potions of fire resistance and another earring for Atar that has a single Sending spell left in it.
The conversation with Zarin is a bit more awkward, as Dahlia believes they’ve grown more distant as a result of their travels. They resolve to discuss more after the invasion of Huzzuz.
Abdul al-Saraya, the former headmaster of the Huzzuz magic academy, accompanies them. He has other orders that will help him aid Tahni specifically, but knowing that the group is planning on dropping in on First Brother Ebonflame again, he’s eager to help. Ebonflame is a former schoolmate of Abdul’s, a dropout who became corrupted.
The plan is for the main forces to attack the city, after which the party will sneak in magically and attempt to go directly after Bakada or those in power within the city. Since Atar’s teleportation circle goes to the tower of Ebonflame, this is a logical entry point, though they assume it will be guarded.
Despite having a contingent of protectors with him, Ebonflame is in his tower and isn’t exactly startled by the group, but becomes more quickly overwhelmed than anticipated.
And in spectacular fashion, Nezima uses one of her abilities to rip his soul out with the final blow, making the spectral soul her temporary thrall! A very cathartic end given how much he’d harassed the group, with an ability I’d entirely forgotten she possessed. They took turns mocking him in spectral form for a bit following the fight.
They then cheese some magic spells together to glean some info from Ebonflame’s ghostly form. I allow this, seeing little harm in it. Bakada, the efreeti-turned-demigod, is summoning the continent’s magma here to consume the city and bolster his power. And in the process he’ll destroy any armies opposing him in the area. There are lava flows in the city already, which is crumbling. From this seat of power, Bakada hopes to recreate a fiery domain over which he can rule.
Follow-up and Searching for Bakada
The fight doesn’t greatly hinder the party, but it also cost them several magical resources. Outside, the battle rages on, still at the walls of the city. Overhead, air djinn fight with elementals and other creatures of fire.
Within the city, lava flows dominate the landscape, and entire chunks of the city have melted into their depths. Earthquakes seem to rock the city and smoke piles high above the city, limiting vision significantly.
Abdul takes his leave, saying he’s recovering an item for Tahni that should allow her to call in intervention from the gods themselves.
The group, lacking other direction, decide to follow the lava flows to their primary source in the city (if there is one; the directions seem occasionally confusing), hoping to glean some insight into stopping them.
A Couatl Appears?!
I may or may not have mentioned that Nezima, for much of the campaign, had been wearing a necklace with a floating eye in it, though the eye was as if through a portal, not physically present. It would glance here and there when Nezima showed it stuff, and seemed to have a knack for finding magic.
In the vault of the First Grand Caliph, the eye seemed excited by a golden eye, which Nezima took. The eye then disappeared from within the necklace.
As they’re in the tower in this session, a form races toward the window outside, flying in. “There’s no time. The egg! Where is the egg?!” says a Couatl. Nezima produces it. The Couatl then begins to disperse into glowing, ember-like fragments and flies into the egg, which glows with energy from the couatl’s death.
It begins to crack, and a baby couatl emerges. It seems to have vast knowledge of very specific events relating to the war against Bakada, but is lacking basic knowledge of simple items. Among other things, it doesn’t have a name. The group name it Cherry Bean.
Its purpose, passed down through generations of couatls, is to seal Kossuth, the elemental god of fire and entity that merged with Bakada, from this plane of existence permanently. But it can only do so when the entity is weakened enough to bind it.
Cherry Bean will act if the party is able to kill the mortal form of Kossuth, and flies into Nezima’s pack.
Dungeon Master’s Notes
Ebonflame eluded them numerous times in the campaign, so his death was extremely satisfying for the party. Nevermind that some fortuitous initiative rolls made the fight significantly easier than I’d anticipated. They have other challenges forthcoming.
- Archmage (CR12)
- Salamander (CR5)
- Fire Mage (CR5)
Continue Reading: Session #42