Wednesday 6 September 2023

Hex Crawl 23 #234: The Band of Gabarakhu

4 hexes northwest, 7 north of Alakran.


In the cleft of the cracked hill known as Gabarakhu, a band of adventurers have dug a cave retreat. They do not often congregate there, roving widely in the varied lands east of Eryptos, and in the city itself where they are neck-deep in the intrigues of palace and street. Practically, they work as a foil for the protagonist party, rivals who seek the same prizes they do. The Gabarakhu group are not heroes, nor yet bandits, but mirror your players at their most venal and gold-grubbing.

Annunitum "The Prevailing Seducer" (Bard 5/Warlock 4): An extremely good-looking man, always wearing green, with oddly violet eyes and long hair braided into polished bronze rings. He was born into the Sillashu family of aristocrats in Mu-Asharru, the capital, but disowned by his father as illegitimate. Then, he was raised, rejected, and grudgingly welcomed back by a cadet branch of the family in Eryptos -- though they draw the line at hosting his scruffy friends. He considers himself a poet and lyrist in the classical traditions, but knows a surprising number of vulgar tavern songs. It is hard to spot the difference between his song magic and the gifts he received from his lover (though really, supernatural procuress), rumored to be a Peri of the Fey Plane. Their relationship is, however, notoriously open, and he makes few distinctions between men and women in his advances.

Shushunta "Adamant Stone of Greed" (Wizard 8). A stranger to the wizardly schools of Eryptos, she was rejected as an apprentice by all three notorious wizards of Eryptos a decade ago, for her crass interest in wealth. Thus she learned her craft paying unrefuseable fees to the wizards who dwell in the far and lonely places of the realms. She is short and stocky, of Pungatani origin, and wears a headband with an adamantium stone in it, which she uses as an arcane focus. In any dealings she brings a scale and weights along and will memorize spells to ensure she is not cheated.

Ku-baba (Barbarian 6). The muscle of the group, literally, Ku-Baba has the "Blood of the Nephilim" or legendary giants - in short, she is a goliath, and towers over seven feet tall, head shaven and arms tattooed in bands of ancient prayers to the god Hurru. She wields twin hammers in battle. If Annunitum is hard to ignore in a crowd, Ku-Baba is impossible. She has worked for many as a guard or mercenary and is well-connected among the lowlife, with a lust for life that demands the acquisition and immediate spending of considerable funds.

As well, any given mission of the Band will be accompanied by 1d4 temporary hires -- fighters and rogues of level 1-3. They pay well, but nobody has located their stash, and only fools seek in the cleft of the hill that gives them their name. Shushunta is known to place powerful and hostile spells there in defense, and the few who have survived or bypassed these report that only creature comforts are stowed there.

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