Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Babes in London: Act Two, Scene Four (Leyila’s House, Part 5: Flashback—Kehebite Dancer: The Action)


Drums beat and flickering torches join the glow of three-metre tall braziers spaced at even intervals around the room. The smell of incense hangs heavily in the air. You are standing on the ground floor gallery in what appears to be the inside of a church. On second thoughts, you realize it’s not a church, but a temple, and that you are barely dressed!
Before you can react to this, there is a clash of symbols, and a beam of reflected light hits the centre of the open space before the gallery. A dancer stands there. You did not see, or hear, her enter—a seeming impossibility as she raises her head causing a myriad of bells to come to life. Like you, she is barely covered. Like her audience, her clothes are of the lightest fabric. Unlike her audience, she is covered in a dusting of gold. Somewhere in the shadows a flute begins to play, tambourines and lutes join the drums, and the woman begins to move. The audience around you seems to hold their breaths. Every eye is on the dancer.

Give the players time to respond. A successful Knowledge: Mythic Culture or Knowledge: Mythic Religion test reveals the following:

TH3 The apparent lack of clothing, and the fact that no one around you is embarrassed by it, the warmth radiating from the wall at your back, and the sandstone pillars separating the galleries from the central dance floor, all these things indicate you are in the Land of Keheb, a desert country south of Atlantis.

TH4 all of TH3 and: You’re not absolutely certain, but there was an entire pantheon of gods, who had temple dancers as part of their ceremonies.

TH5 all of TH4 and: While temple dancers were to be found in most temples, only a few priesthoods gave them the status of a single performance to a packed house like this one. You catch a shimmer of gold at the end of the room, and realize there is another member of the audience carefully screened from the rest. Royalty? You feel like you’ve come in half way through a conversation, and that you’ve missed something really important. Now, if only you could remember which gods gave the dancers such prominence!

TH6 all of TH5 and: Of all the deities in Keheb, there were only two that gave dancers such a high place. The most famous of these was Het, in charge of revelation, whose dancers were a form of seer. To be dancing alone like this means the dancer must be one of the elite of this elite group: A Dancer of Prophecy. Her dance, therefore, must be a reply to someone’s question regarding the future, and will be interpreted by the priests at its completion

PCs making a successful opposed Senses (Air) test against the Set assassins Stealth (Air) to notice one or more of them moving through the crowd on the ground floor. Those that succeed by 2 or more see the assassin in the upper gallery. (NOTE: PCs suffer a  +2 TH modifier due to the dim light and musicians). When (or if) they succeed read, or paraphrase, the following:

A movement in the crowd catches your attention. One shadow amidst all the rest is gliding forward. A shadow, or someone who has overdressed for the occasion? Now that you’ve noted it, you can see other shadows on the move, all taking routes that will bring them closer to the dancer’s path. As you watch, the shadow nearest you takes something from the folds of its robes, and crouches down to take aim through the railings at the gallery’s edge. From the way its hand moves, it is taking aim at the dancer and you realize, as your brain screams CROSSBOW! that it and its companions cannot be allowed to succeed.

These shadows are Setite assassins. Their mission is to kill the temple dancer before her dance is complete, and to force the city’s ruler into a position where he can no longer check the advice he’s been receiving from the vizier, whom the minions of Set control. If the ruler takes the vizier’s advice, the result will be chaos and, hopefully, for the Setites, bring about a civil war that will draw attention away from their operations in the area. If the dancer completes her performance, the vizier is revealed and the Setite operations will be in danger of collapse. There are three assassins altogether. The PCs need to act quickly or the temple guards will take the glory.

Notes: Roll initiative, and allow the PCs to act. The dancer continues to dance, and PCs should be aware that their goal is for her to successfully reach the end of her dance—if they try to intervene, she raises her hand in a command for them to stop, and allow her to dance, even as she continues. Describe how strongly they feel the importance for her to finish the dance. Don’t forget the sudden tension from the dais and other audience. Describe the way the temple guards begin moving through the crowd towards them. (Once the assassins are revealed—either through a foiled attempt on the dancer’s life, or through PC actions; the guards change target to the assassins.) Once the action is over, go to Aftermath below.

Era Mythic; Race Natural being; APL 2; Init ; Aspects Fire 4, Water 4, Air 3, Earth 3; Health 4m; <3 / 6+ / 9+ / 12+ / 15+ / 18+ / 21+ / 24+; Size/Reach 0 / 2; Armor 0; Karma 15; Stride 20 ft. (Moderate)
Gauntlet Bow 2/L + poison (6/H), Throwing Dagger 4/L, Punching Dagger 5/L, Throwing Dart 4/L, Scimitar 9/M, Fist (2) 3/L, Kick (2) 4/M, Sequences Knife Fighter
Skills Athletics 4, Knowledge: Geography 2, Melee 4, Ranged 4, Senses 4, Stealth 4; Edges Deft 3, Network: Cult of Set 1, Stealthy

NOTE: This adventure is not sanctioned in any way, shape or form by Fantasy Flight. It is not an official product, and I am in no way affiliated with them or they with me. There is no relationship between us. This adventure is mine, for fun, and for you, because some of you asked me to finish it.

Also, if you like this adventure and want to play it, please go buy the official rulebooks from somewhere where the original creators and publisher of the setting will be paid. I got mine from a Melbourne game store, but I’ve found PDF versions of the Player's Handbook and the Gamemaster's Handbook are now available from DriveThruFiction. If you enjoy their world, this is the best way to thank them.

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