Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

Playing Nithians of the Emirate of Nithia

by Rutger Dag

Here is how I play the Nithians, of the Emirate of Nithia, in my campaign. The Spell of Oblivion is not quite an absolute effect. Instead, anything "of Nithia" leads to the thinker getting absentminded. It's like walking into a room and forgetting why you're there. For my players, this first manifested in The Lost Valley of the Hutaaka during Night's Dark Terror when the mage, who happens to have an unwelcome guest in the form of an ancient witch in his head, spent several hours in the Hutaakan Hall of Records. He learned a great deal about Traladara and the Beastmen, but he kept coming across a reference that he wanted to read more about. Problem was, he could never get to it.

"You keep trying to come back to it, and you remember having found it a curiosity before, but as you search for more lore about these people or this place, you keep finding yourself distracted by some other subject. Whatever it is, the more you think about it, the less you can remember of it."

"Yes mage," the old woman in your head says, "It is interesting, isn't it? At least it is allegedly. Think too hard on it and you'll never be able to pursue it. But here is a question you can ponder. 'What is so frightening, that the Immortals will not even let you think on it?'"

Now, a good while later, a different party (but many of the same players) are traveling through Ylaruam with a friendly merchant. They helped him out and he's their best friend and guide throughout the country. He's just encouraged them to leave Ylaruam City because of a coup there, where the kindly old Caliph of the Prefect faction has died and been replaced by one of the Kin faction. They had been heading toward Tel Al Kebir.

"Is that our destination?"

The merchant laughed. "No, no that is a Nithian town. Nothing there."

"What do you mean there's nothing there?"

"Nothing of interest. No reason to go there. The next town isn't far."

They saw the red skinned Nithians along the town wall. Some of them looked pretty intently at them. Nothing the party did got a rise out of them though. They just continued watching.

"It's hard to even really take notice of them," I said, "As soon as you turn away from them, they just don't seem important."

They continued on to Cinsa Men Noo where they would occasionally see one of these short, red-skinned men, or a small group of them, silently watching them. If they attempted to approach, I'd say something like the following.

"Yes, it seems odd, these little guys. Dwarves are little. Halflings are smaller. Halflings. Man, the Five Shires sure is far away. And just like that, you're mind is thinking about something else."

This will later become important when the clue as to where something is will be something like, "Found in a place that seems unimportant, a place you cannot remember if you think too hard about it." Then whatever method they use to get there will get them there. They could blindfold themselves, or just focus on going to Nithia but not think about it too much...maybe plot it out on a map and use some reminder every morning.

Hope you got something out of this. If not, just appreciate my humble brag.