Campaign Report: Square Dealing in Gades, City of the Dead

Michael O. Varhola

Following is a report of the most recent d-Infinity Playtest Monday, which is currently focused mainly on game developer Brendan Cass' s Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting game using his Swords of Infinity role-playing game, which involves an encounter by adventurers Paros (Michael O. Varhola), Parthenia (Jeff Carucci), and Trodecarn (Chris Leong). It was essentially a pickup game in between regular sessions and was inspired by the results of a roll on the Encounters tables for Gades, City of the Dead, in the campaign setting sourcebook. 

After losing his lockpicking tools in the lead-up to the battle with the five were-women in the garden of necromancer Akamos's sepulchral mansion (d-Infinity Playtest Monday #4), alchemical rogue Paros decided it would be a good idea to replace them before continuing with their quest. Accordingly, he set out through the gloomy streets of Gades in search of a craftsman's shop or other appropriate place, accompanied by Elf berserker Parthenia and Dwarf combat engineer/glutton Trodecarn. 

In the course of their wandering through the narrow, undead-haunted streets of Gades, Paros and Trodecarn made the potentially fatal mistake of blundering into one of the massive Gelatinous Cubes employed by the city as street sweepers, while canny Parthenia avoided doing so. After some effort, and before they were suffocated or suffered much damage from digestion, the two adventurers managed to break free. The three adventurers then discovered, however, that they were in between two cubes coming toward each other in the narrow street and trapped by the buildings to either side! 

Lithe and skilled as a climber, Paros scampered up one of the walls to a ledge, while powerful Parthenia unsuccessfully tried to sunder one of the moldering walls with her flaming greatsword, assisted by Trodecarn.

Parthenia then climbed up the wall herself to join Paros but fat, heavily-armored Trodecarn was unable to do so. Paros responded by looping his rope over the Dwarf so that when he became engulfed again his two companions would be able to drop down behind the cube and then drag him out of it before the rope dissolved. Oafish Trodecarne, however, tried to climb up the rope held by the slim Human and, when Paros tied off the line to some masonry, the Dwarf put all his weight on it, ripping off part of the decrepit stonework and causing the rope to fall into the narrowing gap between the oozes. 

Even as the oozes began the converge, heroic Parthenia leapt back into the breach and, with a burst of barbaric fury, flung Trodecarn over her shoulder and re-scaled the wall with her friend. All three adventurers then descended the wall behind the oozes, which collided with each other and then sat there quivering, neither able to continue on its route (a sad commentary on the state of urban planning in Gades). 

Fate was not to be denied the potential to either grant rewards or yet claim victims, however, and Paros noticed that one of the Gelatinuous Cubes had, among the other detritus it contained, a pouch of lockpicking tools! Conferring as to the best course of action, soldier Trodecarn led the efforts to create a rudimentary fulcrum-based catapult. Paros then tied off to himself the line attached to the Dwarf's body winch, allowed himself to be catapulted toward the closest place on the top of the cube to the tools, and then deftly dove into the oozy mass and laid hands on the tools! Then, before he could suffer repercussions from this daring stunt, his companions worked the winch and dragged him out of the creature. 

Having accomplished their goal, and wary of further hazards in the crumbling streets of Gades, the companions went to the foreigners' port quarter pick up food and then rejoined their companions at the tomb-like mansion of Akamos.