...an event called The Dying devastated the world of Ythaeris. Thriving nations were felled like wheat, the dispossessed forced to scavenge the scorched wastes to survive.
But one city escaped the Apocalypse.
In a remote corner of the world, half a million souls carve out their days in the congested city of Archaellia, a teeming warren of soaring monuments, festering tenements and subterranean caves. While life thrives in the city and her outlying colonies, the snarling forces of entropy circle, eager for a chance to devour this last vestige of hope in the advancing darkness.
It is a world in shades of grey... a fantasy film-noir, or a mythical epic by way of Orwell. It’s like Classical Rome was re-animated by grafting on bits of Egypt, Sumeria,and Mesoamerica, using instructions scrawled out by H.P. Lovecraft on one of his less-lucid days. It is dark, funny, cynical and hopeful all at the same time.
Welcome to Archaellia.
Captain Neoptolemus Apsay, 7th Phalanx, 7th Division of the Siderion (Retired)
Male Human Gloom Stalker Ranger
Once a decorated military logistics expert, Neoptolemus retired from the Siderion (the Archaellian Army) when he was promoted out of field work. Now he operates as an independent trader and courier who isn’t above a little... sub-legal activity for the right price.
Sothis of Azuregate
Female Half-Elf Arcane Trickster Rogue/Archfey Warlock
After scraping out a childhood up on the streets of the Azuregate slums, Sothis was rolled up by an organised gang of thieves and cutthroats. Becoming increasingly uncomfortable with their victimisation of the innocent, Sothis assassinated two crime lords and fled into the streets. She now uses her unwholesome talents as conscience dictates.
qadir, son of juradim
Male Human Lore Bard/Divine Soul Sorcerer
At a young age, Qadir discovered he had the power to control peoples’ thoughts and emotions, never realising his abilities were out of the ordinary. Years later, having enrolled in University, his burgeoning powers soon caused pandemonium. Finding himself on the run, he fled North across the sea, seeking a home where he could practice his magic safe from U’zir mage-hunters.
Teodor, Last of the Cold River Tribe
Male Half-Orc Totem Warrior Barbarian
The product of sexual assault during a tribal war, Teodor was sent to live with his father, a powerful warrior of the Cold River Tribe. Plague soon devastated the tribe and, made unwelcome by his mother’s people, Teodor made his way South, seeking acceptance in the mythical city of his childhood bedtime tales: the ‘Great Village of Archaellia.‘
A spot of light arson then everything goes downhill. Who'd have thought it? Along the way, there are fashionable foxes, incongruous cabbies, a bisected Sprite and an amused bouche. Pass the canapés!
Neo buys armour! Sothis inherits a vineyard! Teodor makes a frenemy! Taladim becomes famous! Yay! Also, the party may have started a war. Not to worry, it’s sure to work out fine in the end.
Things are goin’ good down on the ol’ homestead... providing you consider carnivorous trees, melting children, creepy taskmasters, and dead U’zir “good”.
Spelunking never tasted so good. Listen in as our Dungeon Master tries to invent new synonyms for 'gore' for three solid hours! It’s the Halloween episode, so bring a barf bag.
As if an attack by bug-eyed monsters weren’t enough, a family drama breaks out. Awkward! Undercover ops, amazing rope tricks and a nothic kebab. Will our heroes EVER get a full night’s sleep?
Blazing vines and havoc in the hamlet... those noisome neighbours are gonna get it! Furthermore, marauding dog-things and the demise of a friend-with-a-secret send our already tetchy party RIGHT OVER THE EDGE!
Teodor gets mind-controlled. Thistle takes a leak then melts. Neo steals some books and a crystal-bound lady gets a rude awakening. Just when you think it can’t get any weirder, the roof caves in. Who writes this shit?
A party torn asunder; shenanigans down under; the consequence of plunder; a chilling houseguest blunder… an episode of WONDER! Or chunder. Because, when a halfling implodes in your kitchen, you never look at breakfast in quite the same way again.
War! What is it good for? Weird-ass pirates, apparently. Imagine it – you and your friends are off on a jolly adventure to locate an enigmatic tree-being, and an ill-tempered necromancer totally pees on your picnic. Jerk! Can our swabbies find their sea-legs and turn the tide?
It's a festive switcheroo as Alex takes the reins and Kevin slums it up on the other side of the DM screen! Join us as our players assume the roles of four U'zir, sent into the backwoods of Zharkand to investigate unsanctioned use of magic by naughty felons unknown. Will they survive? Now that Kevin is closer to the snacks, will they survive?! Tune in to fine out!
Battle and bravado on the high seas! Join us for swashbuckling escapades and crow’s nest capers! Gasp at daring duels and deadly derring-do! Alternatively, watch in bafflement as shit gets lit up and everyone chucks themselves overboard. Classic.
After washing up on some distant shore, our soggy heroes stumble upon a beach party in full swing. Aloha! Okay, so the revellers aren’t especially welcoming, and the party games are a bit weird, but at least the food is fresh. You want fries with that?
Hog-tying the host might not be neighbourly, but it does score our puzzled party some much-needed answers. With their adversary closer than they think, should they give battle, or turn tail and run? And whose idea was it to invite gung-ho grandpa?
Teodor belly-flops into the depths of depravity whist a tight-lipped stranger leads our remaining heroes to a terrible tree offering a trio of deadly quests. Plus, a former fanatical killer turns out to be ‘armless AND hot! Just goes to show, you shouldn’t judge.
In an epic, petulant departure, the army goes one way, the three questees go all kinds of different ways, and gung-ho grandpa and the village people stay put. It’s the perfect episode for a giant chicken and for The Day of Plenty to run aground on an unconvincing rock. BWOK!
Thistle gets prickly. Then there’s a goblin with a problem. Not to mention a quandary as big as a mountain (with giants on top). Thankfully, Teodor discovers an Agony Aunt who’s inclined to lend a hand. But first, she wants some head.
Are you new to The Session Tapes? Haven't got 30 + hours (you'll never get back) to start at the beginning? Perhaps you're desperate for a recap because, you know, it's all been a bit mad. Well, here to save your sanity is Kevin the DM with a 20 min summary of sessions 1 - 15, so you can either dive right in at session #16 or try and make sense of what the flock is going on!
Just as our heroes de-gizzard a lizard, Neo crashes to earth and promptly has a meltdown. Later, while everyone is licking their wounds, Conall extracts the stick from his butt and reveals his true identity. Whadd’ya know... it’s not such a small world after all!
After booking passage on Gryphon Air, Teodor arm-wrestles a stone giant and Qadir strokes the ego of towering ‘Icicle Knob’ who decides he also wants head. Finally, in an effort to extract themselves from the sticky situation, our befuddled heroes send overworked Thistle on a recon mission.
Peering inside the impenetrable peak leaves our despairing party suspecting they’ve been duped. In a huff, they head back to the ship and speed south to the city –only to find their worst fears realised. But what of Bluegrove? Has evil tainted even her sacred vines...?
Yet again, our deluded party decides a jaunt down a smelly subterranean sinkhole sounds like a fine idea. Fish-men! Fungi! Basketballs! Will they ever escape? And where's that ominous red glow illuminating the tunnels coming from?
Screaming shrooms and great balls of gas! Aren’t gory holes supposed to be fun? Hmm? What do you mean it’s 'glory'? What on earth are you prattling about? Anyway, it turns out there are never too many enemies pursuing you that you can’t stop to ransack a large cache. Oh, and look, Teodor has found something precious...
What goes up must come down. And that includes the ceiling. As if marauding swarms of infected zealots weren’t enough, Teodor has started acting really weird. Suspecting the worst (at least that’s her excuse), Sothis commands him to strip naked. As you do.
Teodor gets tied up! Neo sees Everine’s butt! Qadir seethes with jealousy! An apocalyptic disease bomb could go off at any minute! And, now that the rot has set in, can gentle giant Kond save the day? Time is running out, but the final word belongs to Lady Luck alone...
The party is paralysed. Then, with typical crappy timing comes an unexpected betrayal. Just as Qadir is wondering who will make his sandwiches from now on, a soldier from the front brings Neo an urgent message that cannot be ignored. Yup, it’s time to get back on the wagon!
Holy icosahedron, Batman! Evil twins attack! ZAP! Neo gets perforated! BAM! Helikaon turns out to be useful! KAPOW! Sothis blinks! POOF! Qadir goes down! DERP! Not to mention ALL THE DEATH SAVES. Only tune in if your nerves can stand it - will another one bite the dust?
Persico tries to get a rise out of Neo and Conall reveals his wife’s mob ties. On top of that, the party discovers a devious puppet-master is pulling the twisted strings of war. Oh, and it appears a trip to Mount Doom is on the cards. Where are giant eagles when you need them?
"Forging" ahead, (Ha! I kill myself!!) our heroes descend into madness, determined to destroy the evil relic in their possession. Helikaon gets pumped! Thistle gets vapourised! Sothis takes a ride on a rude, floaty monster! It’s fun ‘til someone loses an eye...
Now they have the pertinent intel, our heroes decide it’s time to stop fannying about and go murder hobo on some undead upstart’s ass. There’s just the matter of a gnoll horde and the penetration of Mob HQ to resolve. Yup. It’s time for fire. AND LOTS OF IT.
So, two stealthers and a dwarf walk into a villa. Sounds like the setup for a joke,right? Shame no one told these guys that ‘low profile’ goes out the window when Wall of Fire goes up. You know when you’re doing the stealth mission in a video game, and the sirens start wailing? Yeah... that.
Location, predation, castration! What a property! Stunningly located on the side of a cliff with dazzling views over the Straits of Ukkar, you too can schmooze with demi-gods and leaky victims alike in this opulent playground of the rich! (Menacing statuary, sticky rugs and dubious artwork not included in sale.)
You really won’t! And that’s a shame, because there were headless corpses! There were zombies, plant beasts and dimension doors! Helikaon flattened Qadir, Qadir performed heart surgery, Persico fatally threw currency and Sothis sent her dragons to incinerate EVERYONE! Okay, that last bit isn’t true, but it’s safe to say that a dramatic end brings unexpected new beginnings for our heroes.