A Sundered World: Mort Tanis Play Report

This is effectively a guest post/play report by Matthew Bottiglieri, the author of an upcoming A Sundered World city supplement called Mort Tanis. We'll be doing a closed feedback round soon, but here's a play report that he wrote because his group is currently playing in it.

Nemastis (level 2 ishim nomad): Nemastis is a multi-eyed ishim and acolyte of the god Psykelion. Psykelion, the Keeper of Knowledge, resided within a living library. Thulid raiders destroyed the library attempting to drain its knowledge. Nemastis died when the library exploded, but a shard of the library embedded in his flesh and reconstituted him. Nemastis carries with him a seed-like shard of his dead god. He communes with what remains of Psykelion, and hopes to find a way to plant what remains of his god in fertile ground and regrow the library.

Zarad (level 2 cambion warlock): Zarad was once a powerful cambion warrior. His fortunes changed when the astral vessel conveying he and his fellow warriors was attacked by a dark elf raiding vessel. His comrades were slaughtered; the vessel was plundered and destroyed. Zarad was mortally wounded and hurled overboard. He drifted through the Astral for many days. He encountered a godly fragment in the deep Astral. A pair of stone hands enveloped an eye of searing gold. The eye fixed its gaze upon Zarad, sutured and cauterized his deep wounds, and invited him to become its champion. Zarad embraced his new godly patron, Aaran, and swore to devote his life to making his new patron whole again. Zarad was given a bone skiff and formidable powers in exchange for his service.

Aaran commanded Zarad to seek out Nemastis and convince him to share his adventures. Both Nemastis and Zarad share a desire to be made whole again. They have recently traveled to Mort Tanis for similar reasons. Aaran has commanded Zarad to procure the ashes of a priest from a curio vendor named Shasharash. Nemastis hopes to visit the fabled Library of Secrets to discover a way to rebuild his beloved god.

Zarad and Nemastis arrived in the spear city Mort Tanis and set about familiarizing themselves with the city’s bizarre layout. After slaking their hunger in a dockside district known as the Squall, the two pilgrims set out to complete the quest that was revealed to Zarad by Aaran. They located the Avenue of Moths - the city’s main thoroughfare and absorbed the bizarre sights and sounds of the city.

They stopped at a cloud spider herder’s stall and Zarad purchased a vial of hallucinogenic venom. They also asked the vendor, a Summer Court elf named Lythandril, to translate a letter that they’d taken from a pair of dark elves who’d attempted to steal their skiff. The letter revealed a plot to assassinate a Moonlit Court elf named Gazreth. The pair decided to act upon this information as they fulfilled Aaran’s desires and obtained his priest’s ashes.

They procured the services of a kobold driver. Coaches pulled by giant Cloud Spiders are common in Mort Tanis. Although it was unsettling to watch the massive spider scuttle through the busy avenue, they marveled that the speed of the creature’s locomotion. Before they made it to their destination, the kobold offered them eight silk to rescue his friend from the clutches of a local crime syndicate.

Although the Nemastis and Zarad were prepared to decline the kobold’s offer, the driver revealed that Tomen began experiencing visions after suffering a head injury. Tomen drew an image of a pair of hands cradling a golden eye - the fragment of the god Aaran.

This revelation prompted Zarad and Nemastis to accept the driver’s offer to rescue Tomen from the clutches of a local crime syndicate running a seedy tavern not far from the Avenue of Moths. When they reached the tavern, the PCs skulked around the back. To their surprise, they encountered a horror devouring one of syndicates lackeys.

As soon as the horrifying beast caught their scent, it cast its meal aside and attacked. Zarad conjured forth an astral weapon and nearly clove the beast in two. Nemastis finished the beast off with burst of astral energy. The PCs had a little time to gather themselves, for three thugs burst from the back of the tavern and accosted them.

Zarad, cocky and proud, was able to convince the thugs that he could be of value to the leader of the syndicate. Thalia, the leader of the goons, brought the PCs up a back staircase to meet with Zara, the leader of the faction. Dark-haired and beautiful, Zara offered to pay the PCs if they would shake down Shasharash. The PCs agreed, thinking that they could use this request as leverage. Zara demanded that Thalia accompany them. The PCs agreed, but when they went downstairs, they subdued Thalia and tied her up with a length of rope draped across some empty wine kegs.

Zarad located a door leading downward into a basement, and they found Tomen, bloodied and tethered to a wooden column. They freed Tomen and found Jerek the Kobold waiting for them with his carriage. Zarad spoke with Tomen and confirmed that he too was an acolyte of Aaran. The two decided to travel together and pool their knowledge. Tomen is now their companion.

The PCs next visited Shasharash’s Emporium and spoke with the wizened kobold about Mort Tanis, the nature of the Astral, and many other esoteric subjects. Nemastis asked if Shasharash had information about the shard of his god that he carried. Shasharash indicated that he could not help, but offered to procure a pair of counterfeit writs of passages into the Library of Secrets, if the PCs agreed to a task.

Shasharash asked the PCs to venture into the Under and steal an angel heart from a dissolute cambion named Mirza. The PCs grudgingly agreed, knowing that the Under is extremely dangerous.

If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

The Blackguard is out, so if you want to play a dark reflection of The Paladin that isn't just a lazy flip, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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