The Bottled City of Kordan

A Whitehack RPG Actual Play

Harain, Thaumaturge of the Void has discovered vermin in her bottled city. She has charged Atzoc the Shiv’s smuggling operation to cease their trafficking and that of other smuggling groups. These orders trickle down to our player-character smugglers in Atzoc’s ring of smuggling.

  • A Vorox bounty hunter, Ogius

  • An alchemist, Suelakh Bluefinger

  • A construct pick-pocket, Florian

  • The Justiciar, Vahza Mamuka

The crew is returning from the top of the mountain city of Arakesh. There is a henge there that takes them to the bottled city of Kordan. Warren, 2nd to Atzoc, had tasked them to retrieve the contents of their safe house vault in Kordan and bring them to the master house in Arakesh. They have done this and while making the trip home a discussion about quitting the ring and starting their own ‘operation’ takes place.

Closer to home base they realize things are amiss and scout out the master house, discovering it has been compromised. Vahza finds their taskmaster, Warren, lying on the floor of his own room. Warren’s head turns to meet Vahza’s stare, then Warren looks up at the ceiling, where a figure cloaked in shadow is perched and drops down on Warren!
The construct, Florian, hurls his knives and drops the shadow creature with a critical hit roll. Crits are The Real Deal, that creature was 8 HD.

Ogius, as a bounty hunter, recognizes this attack on Warren has the Assassin’s work. Our alchemist, Suelakh, brings Warren around temporarily. Establishing his alchemical gear contains stimulants. Warren is “up” enough for the crew to quit the ring, and tell Warren he works for them and learn that the thaumaturge is real and so are her demands. They leave with the valuables of the vault from their job in the bottle, which they understand will invite the wrath of Faye. Faye is also Atzoc’s second.


There are several ‘*hack’ games I’d like to get to the table. The Whitehack RPG has the strongest buzz going in the circles I’m in. This is my first run at it and my four players have a strong interest in Whitehack but have little to zero experience with it. This is a 4-6 session thing, we’ll see after that. We did the tone and genre talk. It’s Hyborian-ish in the outer world, Barsoom-ish in the bottle. We hit a wall during session zero until we could define what we are playing, or doing. We are part of a smuggling ring, recently busted by the great thaumaturge Harain of the Void for moving between the real world and the bottled city of Kordan.

I snatched up the map of Arakesh from Daniel’s Maps on Patreon. I decided it was built for and by giants eons ago. I leaned into “A day in the smuggling life” for session prep. Everything else was generated at the table via character vocations, miracles, and other attributes. The players introduced the characters, talked about their roles in the ring. I opened with the crew returning from a job in the bottled city. En route to home base, of their own accord, they begin discussing cutting ties with the smuggling ring, going indie all to my gleeful surprise!

It was a solid first session establishing fiction, getting legs under our characters, and using the core mechanics, miracles, and combat (CRITS FTMFW) Foundry VTT has a system plug-in for Whitehack and it does some nice lifting for us. I’m excited to see where these characters go next!

Play Fearless!