Pathfinder – Embassy to the Barbarians, part 3: Welcome to Strangistan

18 November, 2011

Having survived the exploding assassins, our heroes got patched up, salved and rested.  The next morning starts with a shout of alarm from the lookout, everyone hurries to the deck to see a herd (flock?) of flying buffaloes heading for the ship.  Tae Boe tries to shoot at them with a bow, causing the crew to take cover and forcing Lorrend to grab the ships wheel.  The herders of the buffaloes appear, riding on flying carpet and using shocking whips, and cause the buffaloes to veer off as well.  One flies over and talks with Ivan whose native language is close to hers, who explains why they are here (and describing Tae Boe in unflattering terms), the herder tells them to follow her back to their ‘city’.

Hetman Akkan

Hetman Akkan

That they then do, the mighty skyship Eight-Clouds Ascendant landing on the outskirts of the Tent City of Wakun, mobile base of operations of the Copper Fang Tribe.  There they are loudly welcomed by Hetman Akkan and given a tour of the city, which is much less impressive than the herds of animals surround it: horses, winged buffalo, six-legged llama and other creatures.  Tae Boe gives gifts from the Empire and Akkan feast them with roast meats, exotic cheeses and kumiss (fermented mares’ milk).  After Tae Boe passes out, Akkan and the rest of the heroes get down to business with him.  They talks of things that can be done to help the tribe and decide to travel to the Mountain of Mirrors in search of enlightenment and then return to judge the ownership of a mine between the Copper Fang and a rival tribe.  Ivan ritually slaughters a buffalo calf with wrestling and a sacred spork to predict the success of the mission.

The next morning, they set off for the Mountain of Mirrors with Vikka the Wide-Hipped, eldest daughter of Akkan, as their guide.  Their first day of travel ended at the Boiling River, the steam from which obscured the other side.  Ivan, remembering stories of the river from his childhood, was entirely spooked.  In the middle of the night, the bubbling from the river changed and the patterns of the bubbles started to form runes and symbols.  The poet was dragged over to read them and almost fell in being so entranced by the story being told.  But all too soon, the river returned to normal.

The next day, our heroes crossed over on the stone placed for just that purpose, without mishap, once across the river and its wall of steam they could see the Mountain of Mirrors circled by a continuous storm.  The lightning reflecting off the surface of the mountain as it flashed down along the sides.  However, it is not close, taking a day and a half to get to the base.

Leaving Vikka and the cook behind, they begin the trek up the mountain which is composed of hematite planes.  Encountering numerous hazards: hail, a cut in the path which a sharpened wheel of stone rolls down just missing the last of our heroes, a skeleton animated by lightning, a crossbow trap and lightning foxes who flash in and out of existence (like lightning) and stole Tae Bow’s sword (taken from the king last episode), morning star and barbaric fur loin cloth.  Finally they confront the lightning fox pack who . . . invite them for tea as long as the heroes brew it because, foxes, no hands and all.

They talk, the foxes gives each of our heroes a hematite pentagon because they were such good sports and they talk with the foxes into the night.

Next time: Judgement on the Steppes

Notes: A good game overall but should have thrown an electricity elemental at them.

Hetman Akkad is, of course, played by Brian Blessed.  Photo from Blackadder and Wikimedia Commons and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.


  1. Sounds like a great adventure. Flying buffaloes, exploding assassins–it had it all. 🙂

  2. Lord, I miss playing in your SoS games!

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