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Author Topic: Crown of Shadow Revisited: Chapter 2  (Read 3781 times)
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Nifelhein
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Whisper's Will


« on: January 18, 2007, 07:31:59 AM »

Okay, the second chapter and possibly the most railroading one, but I like quite a few elements of it. The way back to durgis rock should really be kept calm and without much trouble, this will create a little sense of security, this is also where i have roleplayed the elves as more friendly and open, actually talking about themselves, sicne i ahd an elf in the party that had not seen erethor since childhood they also talked to him on what happened ti him and how he got there.

I also had a player who asked to try the tea the elves were always drinking and his roll placed him right into the allergic group, a funny moment for them all. The encounter with the wounded orc went greatly for me, they did not want to kill him and even if they do kill him outright the bolts will likely accomplish the same speaking with him would (in my case the characters tortured and killed him).

The fact remains that they will move towards Durgis Rock at night, if you want to add a sense of power, wonder and fear, a few minutes before they actually see Durgis Rock make a dragon flight overhead, this was suggested by crash beedo and worked greatly, they will probably run like there is no tomorrow (specially if they have developed a good relationship with the city) and when they actually see it the city has more than a few spots on fire (due to the dragon), in the middle of the scene, right in front of the great keep there is a large fire, the golems and orcs are all throwing corpses into it, I have maded the goblins that are in there,a s well as the hobgoblins be the ones carrying the loot outside to see what they will take.

I have made the city with a few parts locked and isolated, the number of inhabitants dwindled from the encounters in thekaladruns along the last century, others have left for larger cities, to better protect themselves, the result is a dead city with areas others actually lived in the last century and areas abandoned for a long time. If you have no small character in the party, like I did this is where you will first find a place you have to improvise, the characters wil have a hard time squeezing through the marmot holes, and the only dwarven bloodd character in the group was a giantblooded dworg...

Human characters should also be hard to fit through the hole, and I made it so that they never actually understood how the other children could appear on one side of the city so fast after vainishing on the rocks on the other side, despite being unable to use the holes now the dworg pointed them to her fellows and two humans and Wendell went through them to the lower halls, the giantblooded dworg and the elves stayed above with the emissary and her escort, they would storm in from above.

The secret passage taken by the humans and Wendell, as well as Dunkin led them near to the hall of heroes, there they found the recruit orcs taking the loot they could find, they were also complaining to one another their own fate in being left behidn to take care of dwarven trash. Given the low number of players i used only two orcs there, the others were taking things above, and met the other assault party.

I haven't truly changed Woden's scene, but while searchingthe palce and examining the bodies they found him alive and unconscious, almost dead, when they touched him again he woke up though, here i made a break to the other party. the elven led group stormed through the city , i placed them inside through the front gate then a small stealth was required to get near the golems and goblins without raising an alarm, when there the elves put the goblins to sleep, and the PC went for the captured dwarves, this helped me prepare the taking of the city back, with the dwarves, even though i made them all raped teenagers and beaten children, could use weapons and took care of the goblins, I made the elves throw their best attacks and spelsl on the golems, rhiann used stone to flesh as the book suggests and Bayal and Eirinn took bow and paired fighting knives, I narrated the combat for the PCs there before he decided either to join it or go below, with one hit a golem sent the erunsil to the ground, wounded, he got to his feet and started fithing defensively, then an orc cam eout of the keep.

The PCs took care of the orc and alarmed with her "brother" (she considers a human character to be her brother, sicne they were both taken in by the town herbalist) she went below. I placed another pair of orcs on the way, the elf and dworg dealt with them quickly, and then they arrived below to find Woden's dying scene. The dworg was the one he looked for here, I made him not only comfident of her abilities (being a barbarian) but also fond of her, he pulled her close to him, she embraced him and instead of taking the scroll out of his own body he pointed to a pillar, in its base the characters found a small secret panel, inside it was the case, he then pushed it toward the dworg, asking her to take it.

It was a strong scene, the elven channeler wanted to save him but I tolld him he recognized the javelins on his side and the signs on his lips and skin, he was poisoned, probably alive only because he is a dwarf, after all, but surely beyond salvation. The characters then took one their fallen allies (who went down in the very first vardatch swing in the campaign0 and went above as fast as they could.

I once again used timing and they arrived just in time to see Rhiann cast flesh to stone and as they moved, she looked at them, closed her eyes and used a disintegrate spell, her body then failed her and she fell to the ground. Things then passed as usual, the characters placed the corpses on the large fire, just like the orcs were doing before, and separated the relics of the city in another pile, finding the Fury and Wraht uutuks. I have added a small snow fall to the place as Dunkin gazed into a dwarven corpse burning in the fire, one human character came to him and gave him the urutuks, he was the last durgis dwarf, he was now the one who should be using them.

I have also left with them the jeweled neckalce Rhiann, the paired fighting knives of the erunsil, made out of mithral, some arrows and also, rhiann's cloak. The choice of the dworg for the case and the items around was careful, the dworg was a honored one, the players wanted her to be more than any common dwarf, mainly because of her race, to make her accepted, she became a great guardian for the scroll, the urutuks went to dunkin due to the party's choice and he has them still, he went with them throuh the whole adventure and was the shill character in the party too.

With this experience with Dunkin I can say a character without an heroic path is roughly equal to one with one if he has a level more, so Dunkin has kept the difference in level from the beggining of the game until now. In any case, I agev them little security after the durgis rock events, during the night, as they were resting and preparing to take the children to sivler vein, the seer characetr in the party dreamt, and took the others with her in this dream, following the advice of another poster on the old boards I gave each of them the role of an orc, without stats but descriptions, this made them quickly go into the characters and start talking among themselves, i then spoke of a large army of orcs marching, it was about Midnight, they were waiting for the legate to finish his prayers, but then were called.

The legate was a sarcosan with head completely shaved, on his head there were tatoos, symbols of the dark god and writings in some unknown language, he wore a single head band in his head, silvery and without gems, his clothing was as dark as the knight, from atop his horse he spoke to the orcs (party): "It has been too long since the looting group has given us any word, they should be out of there by now, they better not have defected with the loot as well, you will go back and find them, or find what happened to them, if there are any stupid enough to challenge this army."

The party then left, I allowed them a little more time in this, they took weapons and equipment and went into the night, as they did this the characters stopped seeing through their eyes, and little by little, they woke. This placed a sense of urgence in them, they were not certain this was real but they shared it, in any case they rested enough and left the city as fast as they could.

Havign decided to take the children and teenagers to Silver Vein, and Dunkin and Wendell going as far as that with them I came to the forums to develop the idea, not having any kind of roleplaying or description for Silver Vein troubled me, for this purpose and with the help of others we took into the footsteps of another poster and made Draumador, or Silver Vein in the Trader's Tongue, you can see the city's description here, including some dedtails on its architecture and organization, you cna also get the key personalities for the city here.

On the way i placed two encounters, one was with a fell dorn refugee, he came to the party at night and asked to share their fire, he stayed with them for a few hours until he gave in to hunger and attacked a sleeping girl, another encounter was an ICe Serpent from monsters of Faerun, those who do not own the book can easily use a weakened Bitterwind for the same purpose. this was placed through 4 days of travel as well. The crossing of the ice lake in front of Silver Vein was their chosen way, along the route I made them see some shadows below the ice, and the beauty of the city ahead, in the way the ice below the giantbloodec haarcter gave in (she was carryign quite a lot of weight too), the others managed to pull her and all the things they were taking back to the surface.

They did not get a welcome party and by the time they got to Silver Vein guards asked them to give their weapons and equipment adn follow them, the children adn teenagers were taken to the loremaster and the characters were taken to a cell, the session ended with the door being locked behind them, they were among dwarves, but distrust was clear.

Amroth, paid a visit to them during the night, talkign to why they were there and speaking of his parents and brother, the later left the city a season ago with a large group of warriors, they did not receive any news on them, they were headed to a holdfast that was under siege nearby, this has also left the city with a low group of seasoned warriors. The morning they were taken to the Hrothgar and Cheribella, the woman spoke to the dor all the time and he would only talk to the characters after she spoke to him, they grew suspicious with this, he heard their story and told them of the children, thye were given leave of their room and allowed to travel through the city, but things were not so easy.

On the fall of the day, as they were preparing to leave the city was attacked by a group of ogres, the assault came from above, at the top of the city in the hall shaped like a sun, for the area I used the room in this map, the caves led outside and there was a starway around the torch, I had to enlargen the size of this and the defenses were low because the falls around the teeth rarely were frozen like they were. The strike force was not small, they faced about 8 oges at 2nd level, the ogres usually fought from the caves, with few being able to get into the room, this palced them a -4 penalty for fighting in a space smaller than they were, it workd like a charm, the ogres were not too much and as a final challenge they set a cockatrice into the place, the animal had beating marks and was mistreatded, starving it attacked anything that moved inside. I feel this might be a little too much for most groups though, if that is the case, make the ogres into hobgoblins instead and put the cockatrice at half its maximum hp, it might make it a manageable encounter. I ahve also made the city defenses take care of one half of the area, effectivelly making the characters worry about only part of the arena. Another take for those seeking more believable atmosphere is thatthe city defenses will manage the attackers that come and send the party through one of the caves to find and kill the leader of the assualt, if that is the case palce hobgoblins or ogres along the way and a large ogre with a small pet outside, a cockatrice might be too much though for this, but a large feral dog is fine.

With the battle won the characters were given a whole floor to be, they were taken to the Floor for Honored Guests and stayed there for two days, the sight of the sky and the sparkling ice of the lake was a beatiful sight, but soon the scroll came to their minds again and they left, Dunk decided to tag along, the children were not going to be his family anymore, they got new parents and a new family, the only survivors of the city wee now him and the characters, like family they left, on to chapter 3.

Note: I have actually made a little side way story here but without a scanner and some cleaning posting it would be too troublesome, it involves Cheribella and their suspicion on her, they followed her into the dwarven cemetery and ended up being trapped under the earth, until they came out near Pardrum, but I will have to post that separately after i get acess to a scanner and clean my notes for others to use.
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"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects."
 - Attributed to Herman Melville.
khazuru
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 08:30:10 AM »

Hello Nifelhein,
I am new to Midnight (and AtS) and will be the GM of a small group (3 to 4 players). I will start by playing the Crown of Shadow Campaign and stumbled upon your "Crown of Shadow Revisited:" posts. I really like them and tough i have not started the campaign, I really get a good feeling of how the setting and the campaign could feel.

That said I was wondering if there are additional chapters available?

Kind regards,
Khazuru

PS: Sorry for reviving this old thread :-)
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Nifelhein
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Whisper's Will


« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 03:41:45 PM »

Welcome to AtS!

Hmm I have made a little revamp on the meeting with the Avatar of the Witch queen in Baden's Bluff, but Under the Shadow wasn't even out yet, I can post that to you if you want. Additionally I made the travel into Erethor using Fury of Shadow too. GOnna track my notes down here and psot what I can to help you. Wink
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Pheros
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 09:41:57 PM »

A few people (myself included) have posted their campaign notes for Crown of Shadow on this site.  You can probably search around to find them...I'll see if I can remember where I put them.

Welcome to AtS.

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Pheros
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2012, 09:44:22 PM »

Hrmm...wasn't so hard:  My CoS campaign journal

My full notes are attached near the end of the thread.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 02:28:28 AM by Pheros » Logged
khazuru
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2012, 03:38:01 PM »

@Nifelhein:
Thanks Smiley I read somewhere that CoS may be a bit like running from a to b to c if the DM does not put in some work. And when I found your thread I thought it would be a nice rework like the ones that exist for RttToEE (Return to the temple of elemental evil). Something like CoS extended :-)

@Pheros:
Thanks Smiley The link doesn't work but I found it myself. I just thought that there is some sort of compilation ... because reading through all the CoS journals on AtS would need much time. Thats why I was thinking there is some sort of compilation for CoS. But I think your journal will be very helpful :-)

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Pheros
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 02:29:14 AM »

Ah, yes...I fixed the link, but I'm glad you found it.

Enjoy, and let us know how it goes.
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