Ninth Session (13 page pdf) – “Maw of Shadows” – The Araska docks in Nisroch and is treated to the horrors of Nidal first hand, from the sadistic to the sartorial. Luckily, there’s one friendly face there waiting for them!
Pretty much the place sucks and everything’s illegal and the economy and religion are mostly torture-based. The pirates get restless.
After the cenobite has rowed out of shouting range, the pirates find their courage and complain bitterly. They were unhappy about being in Nidal. They are more so after listening to the long list of laws or “death laws” as the crew starts to call them.
Wogan is unhappy to hear that Gozreh is unwelcome here. He shakes his head, “Everyone needs a sea god. Otherwise, you’ll drown, get lost at sea, or have your head blown off by an angry drunk man.”
The whole place is damp black basalt and metal pilings with skull designs and chains and blank-eyed town guards and children with their mouths sewn shut. But, they get a message from old buddy Thalios Dondrel, son of Mordekai of the Wandering Dagger!
Through the freezing rain in dark streets to the “Glutton Gallows…” Thalios welcomes them and gives them the pirate low-down. The Nidalese have started accepting and even courting pirates berthing in Nisroch for their own fell purposes.
The captain evaluates the likely lifespan of his crew if they stay in Nisroch long and decides the answer is “short and tortured.” He has a small crew stay in town to sell stuff and has Mase take the Araska offshore while the command crew goes inland to find Wogan’s sister.
Then they partake of some of Nidal’s charms, which are largely off-putting, except for some bizarre reason they become very enchanted with the Boutique Zeleve, which makes fae-skin bondage wear of all descriptions. I know PCs love shopping but I wasn’t expecting to spend like an hour with them getting fitted for nymph-skin genital bindings.
And then Thalios sets them up with a local fixer who arranges for transport – as safe as it gets in this combination of Hellraiser and Nazi Germany (the similarity to Ünderland from the Venture Brothers is remarked upon).
In my 13th Age game the players found a suit of halfling skin armour and to their credit they were at least undecided about keeping it. As it turned out the only character who could use it was being played by the most moral player at the table so the final decision was that the armour would not be worn. That didn’t stop them trying to sell it though.
Heh I take a perverse pleasure in having PCs get in trouble for selling obviously stolen or horrific doodads. I mean, not really in this pirate campaign since that’s more or less par for the course (though you do have to be careful selling stolen cargo in civilized ports, they don’t have CSI but the fine art of paperwork was huge throughout recorded history).
Given that there’s a Hellraiser nation in Golarian, I’m sure there must be an Obsessive Bureaucracy Nation somewhere, that keeps all the receipts for everything!