Third Session (13 page pdf) – “Ra-ha-DOOM!” – A layover in Azir, also known as Port Godless, gets complicated when some of the crew are sold into slavery. A mix of diplomacy, wealth, and violence is used to solve their problems.
This session was about flavor – Rahadoum is like an atheist Morocco (Essaouria, specifically, I decided, especially since it still looks ancient not modern making pictures like the above ready-made visual aids). So I wanted the PCs to get plenty of the cultural flavor. First, the Pure Legion searches their ship for any religious contraband and warns them about divine spellcasting in the Kingdom of Man.
Then, their rescued friend Youssef ben Youssef turns out to be a man of some means. He gives them guidance, hooks them up with people that can craft magic items, helps them sell their booty… All for a very reasonable percentage, at least that’s what they are led to understand.
They have lovely and exotic dinners with Youssef (“a tajine of lamb, plums, and eggs, harissa with olives and lemon pickle, and a pastilla of squabs”), drink mint tea, et cetera. When hitting a new country, I do a lot of prep work – I read everything I can find Golarion lore wise, and then I research relevant real-world cultures where there’s an obvious analogue, and then I make stuff up. But for some north Africa, there’s not a lot of need to make stuff up, there’s flavor galore. Architecture, culture, food, clothing, etc.
And of course, as with any shore leave, I roll for every member of the crew to see what goes well or awry – there’s a lot of crew, so even with just 1-2 and 19-20 being material, a lot happens. Nazzio buys into some scam about being a Chelish count and leaves the ship; they get an albino goat as a mascot which they immediately name Nazzio. And slavers try to abduct a bunch of the crew; half get away but Slasher Jim, Mase Venjum, Pirro, and Zorzi are taken!
Lacking divine magic, they draft children instead, and manage to free everyone but Zorzi. but they find out who she got sold to. However, slavery’s legal here and there’s a bill of sale and everything, so they just barrrrrrely restrain themselves from home invasion and murder and negotiate for her return. The local urchin Said is a big hit, especially when he sasses the pirates about “of course, all citizens of Azir can read” and philosophizes, showing that even street urchins in Azir consider themselves well lettered.
The negotiation ends up involving their captive Chelish diva, Octavia. She’s a drama queen who spends half her time getting kidnapped and ransomed so she’s usually a step ahead. She convinces the soft-hearted Rucia to sneak her off the ship – the plan’s discovered. I was interested in whether Wogan would narc her out to Sindawe and whether Sindawe would beat/murder her like he would any disobedient crewman, but he puts her on laundry duty as punishment and handles it “in house.”