Friday 19 May 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #139: Robbers in Dassu's Shadow

 Six hexes north, three northeast of Alakran.


In a half-cave hidden at the end of a twisting badland canyon, you may find at ease a company of bandits numbering eight-and-declining. They are tough enough to rough up a merchant with four cheaply bought guards, but flee if they see more than one chariot coming at them. 

Their leader is the young-looking, but old-eyed, Shar the Breathing (rogue-7). On his dark throat the pallid welts of ten gripping fingers are branded. If you object that his epithet can be said of all living men, he replies, "It does not apply to most men who have bedded a she-demon, one who went by Tahasta -- no, not a 'she-demon in bed', a she-demon." The other bandits are fighters, rogues and one ranger, levels 2 to 5.

While Shar and his associates scorn the piety of Halpashulupi, they have ended up doing the work of his cause. This is because the main sources of wealth to prey upon after the collapse of Dulsharna have been the trade caravans of Gheenatru, laden with corpse- and slave-picked dates and pomegranates. Recently they have become more bold and attack the slave trade itself, the demonaic flesh-traders who occupy the ruined town of Ugulzat in the hills to the south and east, and bring wretched people from the despoiled central valley westwards to Gheenatru.

Their riches are buried in three urns around their camp - one of 200 gold and 4000 copper, one of 500 gold and 2000 copper, and one of just 1500 gold. They intend to offer up these treasures as ransom for their lives should they be bested or ambushed. 

As well, Shar possesses the Javelin of Certitude. At the moment when the sun's rays first appear in the sky, one may use the tip of the javelin to write a grid in the dust with no more than four alternative answers to a question requiring an INT or WIS based skill to answer. The grid must stay until the rays of the sun disappear from the sky, and then when the javelin is thrown at the grid, if it strikes an AC equal to the DC of the question (rolled in secret), it will hit the answer that is true, else it will hit a random wrong answer. Shar's band uses this artifact to stay one step ahead of the opposition.


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