Home forum Help Search Login Register

Site Sections

User Info

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
September 16, 2019, 09:16:53 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Recent Topics

Site Tips

Threads are marked read only when you open them, if you leave the site and come back later they will still be marked as new, so there is no need to read all threads at once.
Pages: [1]
Send this topic Print
Author Topic: Adventuring in Erethor  (Read 3131 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
DaveTheMagicWeasel
Lightbearer
*

Spell Energy / Taint +1/-0
Posts: 99


« on: January 09, 2012, 04:51:45 PM »

Note: if you are one of Phil's players (Eldiran, Ragnar, Nyvindil, Kondar, or Aaredhiel), please STAY OUT of this thread.

...

...

...

...

Are they gone?  Seriously guys, stay out.

...

...

...

Right, gonna assume they've gone now.

So, I finished Crown of Shadows with my group and am now looking at planning my next arc.  Conducted a quick straw poll of the players via email regarding future direction, and the winner was:

"A trip north into occupied territory to investigate reports of a new weapon being forged in the pits of Steel Hill."

So, obviously going to be using Forge of Shadow for inspiration.  I've actually got plenty of ideas for the Steel Hill section, but looking for some suggestions for the bits leading up to that...

Hooking the Party

OoC they've already picked it, so shouldn't be too difficult.  They're in Caradul, and have been inducted into the "Order of the Lady" as suggested in the back end of the module so obvious method is to have the Order ask them to do it.

For PC specific motivation:
  • Ones a Snow Elf with a life goal of killing lots of Orcs.  Think he'll be easy to hook without anything special.
  • Ones a Dorn Channeler heading for Spirit Speaker.  Think a trip to Dornish lands will be enough on it's own, if not drop some vague rumours about the Cendarans and their "patron spirits".
  • One PC is connected to the Order of Truth - thinking I want to try and use that to hook them into going to the Five Towers (there to start dropping Aradar hooks for later).  Easy way would be to just say that the reports of a new weapon have come from Five Towers, so go there first and get some more details.  But, wondering if anyone has some good ideas for Five Towers related hooks that are better than that?
  • One PC is a Baden's Bluff Resistance member.  Kinda tagged along with the rest of the  group IC, so feel I need to give him some incentive to stay with them.  Perhaps the Elves magically communicate with Baden leadership (Thomas is a high-level channeler after all), and they give their blessing to the mission?  Poss ask him to go investigate an old Baden cache north of the Pellurian from the time of the Kingdom's fall, so possibly full of juicy goodies they'd like to receive.
  • And the last is a Danisil, which could also be tricky.  He's something of an outcast from the Danisil, and carries a "spirit" possessing/hitching a ride in him.  Any ideas how I can hook him in?

Caradul

Intention is to have them report back to Caradul at the end of the arc.  But, you never know how things will play out so I want to take the opportunity to make some introductions, show them a bit of Elf society/politics while I've got them here.

So far, I've got the aforementioned idea for the Order of Truth hook for Five Towers, but not much else.  The party has Eirinn's magic sword still, so was pondering having one of his family show up demanding it back - either asking nicely or challenging one of them to a duel for it to introduce them to Elven nobles.

I'd also like to introduce the Cult of the Witch somehow as a bit of conflict in Elven politics would be interesting, but I'm struggling to see a way to do it.

Anyone got any experience or bright ideas with Caradul encounters?

Travelling

Since they're working with the Elves now I think I can lead them by the nose a little in terms of direction (cf Crown of Shadows where they headed off wherever they wanted).  Figure there's two main routes I can give them a choice of:

  • The easy route: Join the supply caravans heading north to Tylden, through the Old Moss Wood.
  • The direct route: Head directly north, across the Sky Tree, via Kaelorin and then through the northern Caraheen
  • (The secret route: enter the Old Ways from Kaelorin through Konnig's Cross and deal with the strange denizens there rather than orc raiding parties)

Ultimately, lead them to the Erunsil, who will introduce them to Roland's Raiders who will help them get to Steel Hill (and introduce them to the Raider cell nearby to start them off in their espionage).

The latter parts of the journey are relatively easy to plan for - once you're near the edges of the woods orc patrols, roaming Shadowspawn, bands of Fell from Cale, etc, plenty of encounter ideas.

But, what I'm drawing blanks on is the bit beforehand when they're travelling through the less dangerous bits of Erethor.  On the way in at the end of Crown of Shadows I rather handwaved the travel through Erethor once they were past the frontlines (end of a long campaign arc, skipped to the triumphant delivery of scroll case to Aradil).  So, on the way back out I want to add some colour/depth to the Elves, as they're the one major group I've not done much with yet.

Anyone got any good ideas for flavour/non-combat encounters I can throw at them as they travel?  Something a bit more exciting than me describing the fauna & foliage?

Cheers

TLDR

  • Any good suggestions on hooks to draw a party to Five Towers?
  • Any suggestions on hooks to get a Danisil to want to head north?
  • Any good ideas for Caradul-based encounters?
  • Any bright ideas on ways to introduce a party to the Cult of the Witch?
  • Any suggestions on good flavour/non-combat encounters to throw at a party travelling through Erethor from Caradul to the Veraheen?
Logged
Luiniel Blades
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +4/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,570


"Inch towards daylight"


« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 10:51:47 PM »

1.)The Five Towers: It is a place of great learning and is probably the greatest center of Magic outside of Caradul itself.  Any Channeler worth their salt is probably going to want to visit there, so your Dorn is a good candidate.  Another reason to go is your character who has ties with the Order might hear that there is a senior member of the Order of Truth (i.e. a high level Spiritual Channeler) who specifically studies the differences between trapped, lost and eternal bodiless spirits that possess people is at the Towers.  This will also give your Danisil character a reason to go.  Can't think of a reason for the Baden member or the Erunsil but it seems like an optional thing anyway, so let them decide.

2.) Bringing the Danisil to the North: From what I could gather the Danisil and the Erunsil have always had a sort of bonding because they were of the same race but weren't bogged down by politics and the like.  Since the Danisil is something of an outcast from his own people in the South, make him feel like his only refuge is in the North.  In the North they won't turn him away because of something he has done or what he is.  I've read somewhere the Erunsil allow their fallen comrades to continue fighting the Orcs as Fell until they succumb to the hunger and go mad.  If he wants to aid his people he can go there.  Maybe have him meet an Erunsil in Caradul who will say something to that affect.  Maybe have an old friend that he may have "forgotten" about or thought was dead make a return.  Maybe since he is now a member of the Order of the Lady he has regained some standing with his people and a village elder will announce that he is to be the one exchanged with one of the Erunsil so they can teach each other their ways.  It could be seen as an "honor" but with a high Sense Motive check could also be seen as a way to politically remove him from the South.

3.)  Caradul Encounters:  My experience in Caradul has been mostly done in short bursts and training montages.  Things I can suggest.  Introducing various named characters.  Lord and Lady councilors, Commanders of the Elven armies, Lord Liafan comes to mind, showing the might of the Nexus, showing how elven supply lines are run, showing the Sky Knights (Elves mounted on Giant Eagles, Owls), and any other named NPC's you might have running around.

4.) Introducing the Cult of the Witch: This one should be easy.  It could be anything from seeing people offer a small prayer to Aradil and some people practically worshiping the p.c.'s since they are of the order of the lady and therefor have her favor, to witnessing a fight breakout  because a fanatic saw someone offering a prayer to Nurellia.  The p.c.'s could be given a chance to interfere before the city watch gets involved.  If they stop the fanatic in a violent manner they might meet with a slightly colder shoulder from a number of folks in the city if they stop it in a more diplomatic fashion they might be received more warmly and possibly attract the attention of someone higher in the cult and news will spread quickly about their actions.  In this situation the character involved with the Order of Truth should be frostily ignored or openly spoke against.

5.) Traveling through Erethor:  -Through the Old Moss Woods- Travel through here should be brisk.  The elves use the rivers to quickly move supplies, so using boat travels to quickly speed along movements.  The Natural beauty of the untouched forest should be used.  The elves should feel a bit more at ease despite the trails being less patrolled.  Use the Whisper of the woods to convey messages of danger to the elves guiding the path, use paths around areas with bogs, blocked trails or other dangerous animals.  The elves in the party and also if the party has any Wildlanders or Spiritual Channelers should get a chance to catch the message as well.  Factor in the seasons and weather.  Show the relationship between the Elves and the Dire Animals and how they rely on one another.  Show Elven villages that have not been abandoned, let the caravan settle down at one or two along the way to do some trading.  Maybe have the group run afoul an encounter from some Giant Spiders along the way.  Show them the woods are safer but it's not just the Shadow's forces or demons they have to deal with.

-Straight to the North- Similar to the above notes I mentioned until they reach the end point of the Northern Falthera River and begin to head into the Tangle-thorn Deeps.  The guides should be more alert and very serious about everything.  If there are villages they should either be more like base camps or be abandoned.  Having the group stay in one for a night to let them feel the loss the shadow has inflicted on the Elves would be appropriate.  Maybe have them run across a village that they were going to stay in but it has been recently occupied by Humans.  The guides might not want to deal with them and would want to just move on, this would be a good opportunity to give them a non combative encounter.  The humans might be either neutral or unfriendly initially depending on how you wanted to play it, the p.c.'s might convince the refugees to let them stay for the evening or possibly that making peace with the elves would be in their best interest, someone from the village may even want to join them on their quest.  The Dire animals and Elf patrols they meet would probably be moving in war groups or may travel with them until called off to a battle somewhere else.

-The Old Ways- My experience with there is extremely limited.  The sky's the limit.

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 11:01:11 PM by Luiniel Blades » Logged

Currently reading: Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series; The Hero of Ages.
DaveTheMagicWeasel
Lightbearer
*

Spell Energy / Taint +1/-0
Posts: 99


« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2012, 05:03:00 PM »

Five Towers

Good idea for the Dorn Channeler hook.  The Danisil one would also work, but no-one outside the other PCs know about the spirit atm so I'll have tyo think of a way of dropping the info without it being too obvious.  Hmmm... just a vague description of the mages there studying spirits and see if he bites.

Danisil

Yes.  I think dangling the possibility of some camaraderie with the Erunsil could work.  Even though he's been inducted into the Order of the Lady, he's not been to/spoken to any Danisil since re-entering Erethor as he doesn't really know where he stands with them.  Some companionship to the north, where no-one will know him, no-one will pre-judge him should work.

Caradul

They've met Aradil and a couple of her Councillors as part of the debrief (Seliatan, Beounaul (sp?), and Durelion).  Think an Elven Commander could make sense, someone from up north to give them a briefing on what they potentially face.

Whose Lord Liafan though?  Don't recognise that name.

Cult of the Witch

Think I'll adopt the idea of a dispute re an offering to Nurellia - but make it something at a village as they travel rather than Caradul actually.  More chance of it turning into a lynching in the sticks so a bit of tension to any negotiations.

Old Moss Wood

Rivers ... really?  Looking at the map & description in Fury it seems to be more hills and ravines to me, I was going to get them to go on foot.

Their first meeting with some Miransil boatmenelves could be cool though.  Possibly Manatees as beasts of burden pulling their boats Laugh

Not sure about the spiders though, just because I don't want to overdo spiders (I'm planning on introducing spider riding goblins to the Shadow's armies - got an Orc & Goblin Warhammer army, may as well use the minis)

North Road

Like the idea of human refugees and abandoned villages/military camps.  Good way to show a contrast between the Caraheen heartlands and the militarised border regions.

Thanks!
Logged
Luiniel Blades
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +4/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,570


"Inch towards daylight"


« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2012, 05:12:25 PM »

  I didn't have my maps with me at the time, I may have gotten the terrain wrong. Lord Liafan is the commander of the Burning Line.
Logged
Kane
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715


« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 06:39:41 PM »

Late chiming in but a few random thoughts:

-The Felthera is a huge river. Look at the scale of the map and you'll realize just how major the river is. Moving supplies in bulk is easiest on the river. It also has many tributaries and spurs that make movement fairly easy if you have a good guide.

-The elves are not united and there are factions throughout that support the Queen but are at odds with each other. The hand reaching out to you with help and advice likely has a hidden agenda. Having the party receive helpful guidance from different and potentially hostile parties might give them a small taste of just how divided the elves actually are.

-For you Baden Bluff's resistance fighter, there are a couple of reasons for him to go north. First, he may be getting too "hot" for the resistance in his home city and needs time to cool off elsewhere. Second in a classic guerilla move, if you want to relieve pressure on one city, launch an attack in another city/area a long way away to draw attention away.

-Like the idea of the abandoned village. It's likely with the war and the inability to provide protection for scattered villages that the population is being drawn closer in to free soldiers up for the war fronts. Other encounters could be deserters or scavengers; people unwilling to leave their ancestral homes and too shattered by the war to continue fighting. Hopefully this once be a fight but a chance to role play the toll on the fey.

-If the party has time, you could have them asked to escort a whisper adept north and east to add a soul to the whisper. You could play up the ceremony and show the ultimate sacrifice a fey can make to support their people.

Hope you can use any of that.

Kane
Logged
Doomed Hero
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +11/-4
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,907



« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2012, 12:45:30 PM »


-If the party has time, you could have them asked to escort a whisper adept north and east to add a soul to the whisper. You could play up the ceremony and show the ultimate sacrifice a fey can make to support their people.

This is fantastic and I'm stealing it. Up the tension by having an orcish patrol come upon the group at the end of the ritual, which cannot be interrupted. Have the PCs have to "hold the fort" until the Whisper Adept is finished and can join the battle. If the whisper adept gets too badly hurt, the ritual is lost. Once the Adept is finished (one way or another) the tide turns and the orcs run. Then you have a chase scene to avoid having them report back the location of the new Whisper Tree.

Awesome.
Logged

Jack Chick, Abdul Alhazred, and Aleister Crowley walk into a bar...
DaveTheMagicWeasel
Lightbearer
*

Spell Energy / Taint +1/-0
Posts: 99


« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2012, 06:23:45 PM »

Felthera

But ... it doesn't work looking at the map imo.

Tlyden is defined as the main transit point for supplies heading north.  You could use the Southern Felthera for the first leg of that journey, and maybe some smaller rivers along your way, but a large part of the journey from Caradul to Tylden will have to be by land.

The Northern Felthera could work as a supply route, heading for Kaelorin.  And that was probably the main route back in the day, but has become less and less useable as the Orcs have pushed further forward in the north.

Which is in fact one of the things I'm planning on emphasizing - that the fact they now have to send supplies by the longer land route through Tylden is straining elven logistics to breaking point and leaving the Erunsil ever more stretched in the north.

So: no rivers imo.

Whisper Adept

Like Doomed, I LOVE this one.  Actually forgot to mention it in the OP, but Whisper Adepts was another thing I wanted to introduce.  When the big Shadow offensive laid out in Fury starts (not sure when, exact poin t on the timeline of the game atm isn't really defined yet) I want to be able to use Whisper Adepts to keep giving the party updates on how it's going - siege at Three Oaks, horde approaching Silverthorn, etc.

And the big set-piece battle defending the Adept while they conduct the ritual has awesome potential.  That is definitely going in.
Logged
Pages: [1]
Send this topic Print
Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  GM's Corner (Moderators: Bleak Knight, Glacialis)  |  Topic: Adventuring in Erethor
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
AtS Dark Mercury design by Nifelhein, based on the Mercury theme by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.136 seconds with 28 queries.
TinyPortal © 2005-2011