The City of Pallid Masks
With seven (count them, SEVEN, players,) most of them new to the old school, this was the first session of a foray into my reskinned version of B4 The Lost City.
Following the horrific snow storm that engulfed their caravan the PCs found themselves exploring a strange black ziggurat that towered above the rubble of a ruined city. It was topped by three giant statues. Statues of three forgotten gods.
A dead man/ape hybrid, with fearsome tusks, was blocking open a secret door into the structure. A crossbow bolt in it's chest from a triggered trap....
After much explanation that in Swords and Wizardry (Complete) 1st level mages really do only get one spell and some misfortune around traps, proper old school play started to kick in. Ten foot poles. Doors smashed of their hinges with hammers. That sort of thing.
An encounter with a lizard wolf put the frighteners on them after one fighter nearly died but in finding the Sacred Band of Gerrain they learned of the existence of the under city, the names of the three gods and their followers and the new, dark god who had caused the downfall of the civilisation that surrounded them. Its people had turned to drug use and human sacrifice, descending into a narcotic fuelled unreality. The Sacred Band stated they were searching for the sword of their god, "Remorse" which they believed had been taken by the Magi of Usamigaras, the elephant headed deity of medicine and sorcery, and was somewhere within the pyramid.
Two of the party's fighters and their ranger joined the Sacred Band and were gifted with their ivory masks and anointed with their oily musk (sounds weirder than it is,) swearing to uphold the ways of Gerrain and find the sword so they could defeat the new god from the Outer Dark, Oth Talos.
Could it be that one of the party's mages accidentally partook of the dream some found on a dead native? He certainly started to behave weirdly enough.
On their way to the next lower level of the pyramid they encountered more locals, this time dressed as birds who squawked at them and bid them fly away with them, cursing them for land locked fools when they refused. Off they sped, flapping their arms.
Eventually they found some stairs down and, with some trepidation, headed deeper into the ziggurat...