Today we started a new home game, using the "Lamentations of the Flame Princess" rules. I decided to run a "Sword and Planet" style game, in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom, with some of Lamentations' darkness thrown in and especially utilizing some of the gonzo science-fantasy of Geoffrey McKinney's "Carcosa" supplement.
So we rolled up a set of characters hailing from a slightly fantastic 16th century Earth:
- Antonio, a Portuguese Fighter (played by Rick)
- Abdallah, a Morrocan Specialist (played by Olga)
- Akenzae, a Nigerian Cleric of the Edo faith (played by Johnathan)
- Raal Mogaz, an Elf (played by Kai)
The adventurers, when they'd gotten their bearings, realized they were in a cage-wagon being drawn by an elephantine reptile with a huge nasal horn. In the cage with them were eight other captives, all seemingly human except for their skin-tone - a woman with skin as black as ink, a woman with skin bleach-white, two yellow-skinned men, a purple-skinned woman, and two men and a woman with skin-tones in colors the adventurers had never seen before. Outside the cage, their captors - a band of 37 in all; a plate-armored leader mounted on a nimble dome-skulled reptile, six chainmail-clad bodyguards, and thirty men in brigantine leather jerkins - were men with tomato-red skin. The adventurers, and their fellow captives, had all been stripped down to their undergarments.
Abdallah picked up on the native language quickly, soon able to tell a nearby guard that he was an asshole. Antonio and Akenzae soon learned it as well and finally Raal did as well. Abdallah quickly made friends with Ksildar and Larsorm, a pair of brothers who were identified to him as "Dolm Men" and who hoped to be sold to the same gladiator school once the caravan arrived in the city of Yithorium. Phosada, the Black Woman, derided their dreams and predicted they'd both be dead within a month. For her part, Phosada was counting on her membership in a group she called the Mercenary Brotherhood to save her once they got to Yithorium - the caravan would have to pass their guild hall on its way to the slave markets.
One of the Yellow Men, named Yq, proved to be a cleric of a god of unquiet slumber and restless nights, and as night fell, he began to bang on the bars of the cage and pray loudly for the slavers to sleep poorly. Raal, irritated at this interruption to his own rest, soon smothered Yq with his own loincloth. Doing so caught the attention of the White Woman, Yilana, who revealed herself to be a spellcaster - the slavers had smashed her hands with a mace to prevent her from casting any spells, but she had one memorized that she was willing to teach to Raal: "Summon."
Under Yilana's guidance, Raal opened a gate between this universe and another, pulling forth a serpentine demon. Beating it in a battle of wills, Raal directed the creature to kill Boshek, the captain of the slavers. The demon tried to crush the slaver in its coils, but the slaver overpowered and killed it quickly. When questioned, Raal and the rest of the party pointed at the corpse of Yq, and claimed that he'd been casting a spell and they'd killed him for it. Suspicious but unable to prove anything, Boshek left it at that.
Akenzae managed to perform some healing on Yilana's hands.
On the third day of travel, the caravan turned towards the northeast and entered swampy territory, where three of the guards were killed by a pale, featherless, penguin-like creature with five eyes and a lamprey-like mouth, and while making camp for the night, an enormous black-scaled reptile with a huge, fang-filled mouth and tiny arms came close to camp. Seeing an opportunity to thin the ranks of the guards, Antonio threw the slave-cart's communal toilet bucket on to Gorpak, the guard they'd dubbed "asshole," and got him to yell and draw the creature's attention. Nine men died before the creature was driven off, and the beast was only driven away when Boshek pulled some sort of firearm from his saddle and fired a shimmering, invisible ray of energy at the creature.
The next day, day four since the adventurers had been captured, the ground turned drier, even desert-like, dotted with sparse, tough grasses and stubby cacti. The caravan stopped early, as it arrived in the village of Womar. The village consists of 20-foot tall stilt houses, in which the citizenry lived, and beehive-shaped adobe huts on the ground, in which their slaves lived. The citizenry had brilliant green skin, while the slaves were of many colors, and about 10% of the citizens had big obsidian labrets pierced through their lower lips. Curiously, there were no women of any color to be seen.
Boshek began shouting that he had goods and slaves for sale, and the adventurers began feigning sickness to try and ruin any chance of a sale. "The Speaker of the Moon," the village headman (dressed in chrome-plated armor, with a samurai helmet and jade mask, a huge spiked mace clipped to his belt), was intrigued by the "exotic" adventurers and invited Boshek back to his home to discuss prices over wine.
Biting his tongue to draw blood, Raal feigned tuberculosis and spat blood into the crowd, causing a small riot. In the ensuing chaos, Akballah managed to lift the dagger off the guard Gorpak's belt and tried to cut the man's mouth with it - accidentally taking off a good-sized chunk of the man's face. Akballah tried throwing the knife away to hide the evidence and fumbled the throw, landing the knife just outside the wagon.
When Boshek's bodyguards came to investigate the situation and found the guard bleeding and screaming, the adventurers tried to convince them that the blood that had sprayed the crowd was that of Gorpak. While they could not convince the bodyguards that Gorpak had sliced his own lower lip off and then threw the dagger behind the wagon, Akenzae did successfully point out that if Gorpak had been less incompetent then they wouldn't be able to take his knife and cut him with it.
The bodyguard concurred, and drew his mace and bashed in what was left of Gorpak's face. Incompetence would not be tolerated in Boshek's organization. Night fell, and the capybara-sized native rats made short work of Gorpak's body. Not long after Gorpak had been reduced to gnawed bones, a cloaked figure approached the wagon, paying off the guards with small pouches of clinking coins.
Throwing back their hood, the figured revealed themselves to be a beautiful blue-skinned woman who introduced herself as Dara, one of the wives of the Speaker of the Moon. She explained that her husband and Boshek were passed out drunk, but that the Speaker had offered her, and three vials of Jale Lotus Powder, to Boshek in exchange for one of the "exotic" slaves. Unhappy with being used as a bargaining chip, she poisoned a dagger and offered the adventurers their freedom if they would kill her husband and take her with them when they left the village. They agreed, and she threw the bolt on the cage door, setting all the captives free.
The party rooted through the trade goods piled on top of the wagon, with Antonio retrieving his basket-hilted sword and breastplate and Akenzae retrieved a set of robes. Abdallah gave Gorpak's dagger to Raal, keeping the poisoned dagger for himself. There was some discussion of trying to find a pistol, which Dara responded to by noting there was one pistol in the village, and the party would have to contend with the Keepers of the Flame to steal it. Abdallah couldn't understand why there was only one pistol in the village, but it was explained that the secrets of creating these weapons had been lost, and all examples of firearms -for example, the ray gun Boshek carried - are relics of an earlier era.
With Dara urging them to make haste, she led them to the Speaker's house, where the rope ladder was already lowered. "Kill him," she hissed, "I'll go retrieve some steeds for our escape."
With that, the party began to climb the ladder - Raal in front, followed by Abdallah, then Antonio, and finally Akenzae bringing up the rear.
That's where we left off for the first session; all in all we got about three hours of play in, plus character creation and time spent eating pizza. Everyone had a good time (the remark was made, "it's amazing how much we accomplished for being locked in a cage the whole time") and we're looking forward to reconvening in two weeks.