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Basilisk Hill Breakdown: The journey to Hob

This is an actual play report (submitted by Jeff) of a game I am running set in the world of Absalom and using the Basilisk Hills and Lake of Abomination hexcrawls. You can find the podcast of this session here. I think they do a decent job of illustrating high-level play in a hexcrawl/sandbox. The cast of characters are as follows (the character with a single asterisk are the main PCs; those with a double asterisk are retainers):

Evil Jeff's Characters

*Velsind Flere- Warlock 6

**Barbat Rauta - Ironskin 3

**Amagar Cacar- Scout 3

**Tofrea - Fighter 3

Max's Characters

*Nerhgui - Fighter 6

**Kalan - Cleric 3

**Safa - Destrier 2

**Blodwyn - Bard 2

**Vygr Bloodtooth - Gnoll Sorcerer 1

Steven's Characters

*Ciaran - Magic-User 6

**Ruarc - Assassin 3

**Slainte - ''Cerves'' Brave 3

**Tacas - Fighter 3

The adventurers, having finished the scouting of the eastern area from Black Pit Keep, settle down to pass the night. While nothing physically disturbs them, those on watch feel some sort of spirit flow through the camp, then return to normal. Nothing comes of the feeling and they awake to the 5th day of the 4th month.

They ride back to Liwil and make it by late afternoon. A discussion of what should be the next steps the group takes occurs along the way back. It is agreed to continue to expand their network of citizens willing to passing along information to them. They also decide to split into two adventuring groups. One group will clear out the basilisks, the other will head south to make contacts in Hob.

Upon reaching Liwil, they immediately speak to Jengifu San. After informing her of the group's intentions for taking up ruling the area and Ciaran's natural charm, she proves to be very agreeable to assisting the adventurers. The next stop is the Basilisk Knights and they end up speaking to Anven. She had been informed of their wants and will be bringing a group of knights along with her to show the hunting party how it is done. She takes them to the armory, speaking along the way about what to avoid on the basilisks. She then shows the particular tool the Knight's use to avoid the adverse effects of the creature's gaze: a mirrored shield. Anven demonstrates how they use the shield to see their targets and be safe from the petrifying gaze. She allows the party to take a couple of shields for their use on the hunt. Taking their leave, the party returns to inn for the night.

On the 6th day, a group or mercs accompany Amagar, Tofrea, Blodwyn, and Slainte on the trek to the south. About five miles outside of town, they encounter a group of miners who look to have made a strike. They continue south for a good part of the day and as they begin to come down out of the hills to the grasslands, they spy three basilisks at the bottom of a hillside along the path they wish to take. Deciding that they are not entirely ready to take on the trio of monsters, they back away, head back a short distance, then make a wide berth around the area, noting the area to avoid it on the return trip. The make some good time for the remains of the day and camp for the night.

Undisturbed during the night, the Hob team rises on the 7th day and heads to Hob. By late afternoon, they make it to a river (they assume it is the Sarn). Across this river is a walled town which has a few guards patrolling the top of the wall. It seems that the guards had noticed the group coming but the speed of approach was underestimated. After calling out and asking if they may come in, the group is directed to an area to ford the river (the path already rather evident) and state their business.

They are met by the captain of the guard, Singad, in his green and gold livery. Some muttering of needing a uniform is made by one of the group and is quickly hushed. Introducing themselves as a group from Black Pit Keep that lies north of Liwil (more muttering about a group name is heard), they state their intentions of introduction and looking into potential trading and hiring of workers. They ask to meet with the leadership of the town. They learn that Hob is run by a council of 6 elders who run Hob at the behest of the people. They are directed to the Gasping Trout inn, a multistory building with a slate roof. Their request to meet the elders will be passed along and understand that two of them happen to be a tailor and brewer.

The basilisk hunting part heads out from Liwil on the morning of the 6th day, heading east. A short while later, they come upon the creatures and begin discussing how to attack the creatures. Since the group has several magic users and plenty of archers, a decision to split up and attack from two sides at a distance is decided upon. Knowing that petrification can begin to occur at a range under 10 yards, starting with missile weapons seems to be a good start. It proves to be the best choice as the mercs have some of the greatest accuracy this morning and gravely wound two of the monsters before they can react. A few more rounds of arrows, an arcane bolt, and a well placed set of lightning bolts render their prey dead. The smug look of the mercs as the process of harvesting parts and hides is almost too much for the party.

While the knights and mercs look of the creatures to learn more about potential weaknesses (and whose arrow is whose that hit a vital spot), the party talk with Anven. Bringing up that they have recently had dinner with the Ambassador and he mentioned that the two of them had hunted, they ask her opinion on the state of things. She gives the group her side of the story.

Her mother is a dryad who is part of the Summer Court and her father is leader of the Basilisk Knights. They had a relationship years ago that bore her but that relationship is in the past. Anven says she is for the alliance but is for keeping them at a distance. While she has a kindred spirit with Wen-Fan, she knows she can only trust him so far. She is slightly surprised that Wen-Fan is willing to leave his tent and visit Black Pit keep and other spots north of it. She advises them that he is used to a high level of living and hospitality and to prepare for it. Once the butchering is done, the hunting party returns to Liwil.

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