Home forum Help Search Login Register

Site Sections

User Info

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
November 25, 2020, 08:20:23 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Recent Topics

Site Tips

Avoid offending or attacking other users, be polite and well mannered and only good will come from it.
Pages: [1]
Send this topic Print
Author Topic: Obsidian's Crown of Shadows [Game Log - Spoiler Warning]  (Read 12026 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« on: June 11, 2007, 01:00:14 PM »

Because I'm bored with nothing to do at work, I present to you a summary of the latest session of my CoS campaign.


THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS OF THE CROWN OF SHADOWS MINICAMPAIGN PUBLISHED BY FANTASY FLIGHT GAMES. DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVE NOT READ/PLAYED THIS MODULE!!!


...



...



...

Dramatis Personae:

Durzol - Dworg Wildlander 4, Feyblooded
Tamoharra - Erenlander Wildlander 4, Healer
Mercel - Sarcosan Fighter 3, Steelblooded
Gracen - Erenlander Defender 3/Wildlander 1, Beast
Akil - Asmadaran Hermetic Channeler 4, Dragonblooded
Cantara - Urban Sarcosan Rogue 4, Quickened
Khee - Danisil Barbarian 3, Fell Hunter (NPC - Player left the game)

Tamoharra is in possession of Elenial's Quiver, but none of the powers have manifested yet.
Cantara is in possession of the Wrath of the Sun and Fury of the Moon paired urutuks.
Khee is in possession of the erunsul fighting knives, but does not use them, instead relying on her sepi.
Durzol was in possession of Woden's axe, but dropped it down a chasm on the way to Pardrum Holdfast.
The icewood bow was shattered when a nonproficient PC with 16+ Str attempted to use it. So sad.

The party has recently left Baden's Bluff, after encountering Jael the "guide" and "avatar." I'd spent quite some time poring over the maps in the M2E core book, Under the Shadows supplement, and Fury of Shadow campaign book and maps, trying to determine the best route(s) to Caradul and the approximate travel time. After presenting (through Jael) the two best courses, the party opted instead to hire a ship to carry them along the southern shore of the Sea of Pelluria halfway to the River's Teeth, thereby avoiding a good chunk of the Green March as well as the Plains of Ash and Blood.

I roll with it, and come up with the following sea encounter. The following encompassed the most recent session.

The party, through a contact of Cantara's in Baden's Bluff, hired a deep sea fishing vessel for transport, using Rhiann's cloak of elvenkind as payment (since they didn't have much else they could part with). The vessel, under the command of one Jurgi (thanks to random name generator), was equipped with a disassembled ballista hidden in the cargo hold, which they used along with tethered bolts to hunt (harpoon) sharks. The arrangement Jurgi has with minor functionaries of the bluff is a trade of shark meat in exchange for overlooking smuggling activity.

Tamoharra had contracted a filth disease from a swarm of rats in the sewers under Baden's Bluff, which she quickly dispatched with a use of her Lesser Restoration heroic path ability. After some interparty RP, there were two descriptive encounters, one for a hurricane (thanks to random weather generator found elsewhere on this site) and one for the shark hunting.

Then came the epic sea battle. The background was this. A House Norfall ship raids an orc troop carrier (as the Pirate Princes are wont to do) but comes up against an unexpected challenge: The Shadow has begun providing a minor Legate and one or more Oruk shock troops as additional protection against such raids. A couple of darkness spells cast during the attack negates the orcs' penalties for fighting in sunlight, and the Oruk mows through the attackers. Several Dorn sailors are overpowered and taken captive, but the cost is high - about half the orc recruits and many of the hobgoblin crew are killed.

The fishing vessel spots the column of smoke from the burning Norfall ship and moves to investigate... close enough that they're spotted by the remaining crew. I convince the party (through Jurgi) that the best course of action would be to appear to offer to render assistance, then spring a surprise attack. I point out that the fishing ship has already been identified, and if they did not render assistance, it would look suspicious; also that if there was a Legate on board, the party's magic items (most notably the cloak, since Jurgi was unaware of any other items) would already be "smelled". Additionally, saving the surviving crew would earn a boon from House Norfall, as would the information regarding additional defenses being used in the shipment of troops.

The party comes up with a plan, involving making use of the ballista and hidden archers, including Tamoharra and Jael. After the ships draw alongside and ropes are thrown to secure the two together, the Legate (who is spelled out by the way) demands Jurgi surrender his men, his sails, and his supplies. Then the battle begins.

6 PCs + 2 GM NPCs (avg level 4 not counting Jael), + ship's captain (Rog3/Ftr3) + 3 lieutenants(Rog3) + 10 sailors vs.
10 orc recruits, 2 orc troopers, 1 Legate3 with no spells, 6 hobgoblins, 1 oruk, and 1 astirax possessing a hawk.

Final casualty count: 3 NPC sailors killed, 3 PCs lightly wounded, 1 channeler with spell point depletion due to astirax attack.

Overall the combat went well. There was enough to challenge the PCs and yet they overcame with minimal losses.

Some amusing moments:
The dworg and 1 sailor flubbed their Jump checks when crossing from ship to ship, and fell into the water between the vessels before they were completely secured. 2 other sailors lowered ropes to try to assist them in climbing back up. The dworg came up first. Sailor 1: "I caught a dworg!" Sailor 2: "Throw it back, we're fishing for Bob!"

Also, one of the orcs rolled 1 on his fort save after being killed, and rose as Fell the next round. Fortunately I had Ungral stats ready to go just in case.

The channeler burned CON points to heal the two sailors who had been knocked to 0 or below but not killed.

When the hawk was killed, the astirax manifested its Horrid visage, and half the PCs and NPCs in the radius failed their Will saves, adding mayhem to the remainder of the combat. All three NPC lieutenants failed and ran to the other end of the ships.

The PCs had a bit of an advantage in that the orc recruits and Oruk were all belowdecks when the fighting started, having retired there after fighting off the Dorn pirates.

Next time:  The Loot, the Aftermath, and Landfall - the beginning of the trek through Erethor.
Logged
Nifelhein
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +22/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,117


Whisper's Will


« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2007, 02:26:21 PM »

Sounds like a great game, and I am pleased to see resources from AtS being used to make it happen as well. Wink
Logged

"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.
arnon
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +8/-4
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,600



« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2007, 12:50:05 AM »

Very nice.
Logged
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2007, 05:51:26 AM »

Sounds like a great game, and I am pleased to see resources from AtS being used to make it happen as well. Wink

This site is indispensible to a fledgling GM. Since one of my PCs is Asmadarin, I hope to use the info on the Horsha in a future story arc. Everything else, the utilities, the gazeteer, the atlas, the link to Darkness Falls, has been of great use. I wish I had something to contribute to this great community, but for now I'll have to resort to stealing ideas Wink
Logged
Nifelhein
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +22/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,117


Whisper's Will


« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2007, 05:53:20 AM »

Heh, just take part of the discussions, really, often enough the more minds the better the ideas. Wink
Logged
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2007, 07:21:44 AM »

Continuing the logs of my Crown of Shadows campaign:

The sailors and the Dorn pirate survivors divided the mundane supplies, while the PCs rearmed and equipped themselves with javelins and rations and divided up the "good" stuff. A cherrywood box contained a letter from Dorshod in Highwall to Gorun, head of the orcs in Baden's Bluff. I had much fun writing up a letter in Orcish (using the Erenlander alphabet of course... amazingly enough, one PC was both literate in Erenlander and fluent in Orcish and was able to translate). Nothing really applicable to the overall plot, but it allowed me to drop some names of major players in the war, specifically around Baden's Bluff. There was a scroll of Fly and a bunch of charms, and a suit of elven travelling clothes that give a nonmagical circumstance bonus to hide. And a masterwork vardatch.  Most of the charms were identified, and the sailors and pirates parted ways, with Jurgi lending two of his lieutenants to assist the Dorns in sailing the orc barge back to the Corbron isles.

The party is dropped off at their destination and bids adieu to Jurgi and company. Jurgi returns the elven cloak to Cantara in repaymeny for the party's assistance in the fight. After making landfall, they encounter a human refugee fishing settlement set back in the woods from the beach along a small stream, lovingly called Ebbtide. Among a series of individual and group roleplay encounters, the PCs meet:

Brand, a young boy who likes to play marble games with the pearls he prys from the oysters that grow in a nearby cove.
Lyel, a strapping young lad with visions of greatness beyond his humble fishing village, who becomes instantly enamored of these armed strangers, and has designs of following them and paying the orcs back for the murder of his father and brothers.
Rynray, a quiet, reclusive woman, Lyel's mother, who begs the PCs to convince Lyel of the foolishness of his desires (see backstory below).
Balant, a wizened old man, Rynray's father, a hermetic channeler and the wise man of the village, who is delighted to see the travelers.

The PC channeler's eyes go big when he learns of the marbles, and he attempts to convince Brand to part with some (for use with Identify spells). Brand is happy someone takes an interest in his games, because the other boys tease him about them, but he wants something to trade. The PC can only come up with demonstrations of magic, and casts create water over the boy's head. The boy freaks out, throws his marble bag at the PC, and runs away screaming.

Two of the PCs decide to take it upon themselves to "educate" Lyel in the ways of the world, using wholly different tactics. The defender essentially challenges his convictions, and when Lyel proves he's got the stones for it, the defender admonishes him to not get caught. In a later meeting, the Sarcosan warrior, on the other hand, tells a terrifying story right out of his background about how backstabbing and cruel people can be to each other, and how he himself was once a part of that. That pretty much scared Lyel straight, at least for the time being...

The old man of the village, when he heard that the Shadow was putting legates aboard their troop ships, bequeathed his herbs to the party healer/herbalist, and his lorebook to the channeler, and quietly committed suicide while the group was in the town square taking part in a post-hunt celebration feast of a carrion stag. Balant took a dose of arsenic in order to protect the village from the eventual purging that he knew would occur if the astiraxes ever sniffed him out. Thus it was with mixed experiences that the party left the village of Ebbtide and began their trek into the range of forested hills at the western fringe of the Green March.

Along the way, they encountered the curious instinctual habits of the carrion stag (from Minions). The NPC Barbarian fell hunter heard something moving in the brush when the group was camped, and went off to track it. When she discovered a dry wash gulley in which a large number of fell had been corralled by piles of brambles strewn across the mouth of a natural cul de sac, she went berserk. The other PC on watch awakened the rest, and the defender tracked the barbarian by scent to the corral in time to see her go down in a pile of fell. He tried to fight his way through the mass toward her, but kept getting pushed further and further back down the gulley. Then the stags showed up and began herding the fell back into their corral, reconstructing the barricade. The players were suitably astonished at this behavior, until the stags began turning their belligerence against the party (which had caught up by this point). Two of the PCs scouted around the edges of the corral, looking for their comrade, but there was no sign of the body. And that's how I reduced the number of NPCs I have to keep track of. But because they found no body, I left it open for the character to return later, just in case.

It was a glum group who continued their trek, stumbling into a lair/trap of four large hunting spiders and one huge web-spinning spider. The group had a fantastic showing - they waded through the four large spiders with minimal wounds and no failed fortitude saves, until the huge mother spider came down and started spitting webs. In spite of entangling three of the PCs and poisoning one, the dworg managed to bring the beast down with two massive blows from his masterwork vardatch, one a critical.  The one PC that was poisoned, the sarcosan warrior, was in bad shape, but then the herbalist healer came to his rescue. Between her Lesser Restoration heroic path ability and long-term care tripling his recovery rate (with the Natural Healer feat) as wel as an application of Yonglur Flower poultice (from AtS - I like the 1st ed Herbalism rules for their detail), he was completely recovered after only one day of bedrest.

During which the dworg and the defender took the time to hunt/forage, and rolled fantastically on their Survival checks, each bringing back 13 man-days of rations, which I interpreted as them both bringing down a stag.

Unfortunately, the party declined to explore the spider's lair, and they missed discovering the Handy Haversack I'd placed there on one of the dessicated bodies the spiders had used for food. That would have come in handy for carrying food over long distances; but all in all the party made out pretty well, and in spite of being a low-magic, low-armor, low-healing setting, the five spiders I threw at them only kept them out of commission for a single day of game time.

I'm going to have to get tougher...

Next time: Dodging orc and elf skirmish patrols on their way to the tributary of the northern Felthera river; then, to walk or to float? The river would take several days off their travel, but they'd have to build rafts. Do they dare cut down live trees to do so? And what will the Whisper have to say about that, now that the only real elf in the party is gone?

PS: Rynray's Backstory.  Lyel's father was much like his son: stalwart, visionary, and determined. After months of being taxed and raided and robbed by orcs, raiders, and legates (when the community dwelled closer to the salt mines of Arlich), he began gathering together a group of like minded men in hopes of standing up to the shadow masters. Fearing for her life and that of her sons, Rynray betrayed her husband to the local magistrate, who had the men summarily executed along with the eldest son of each family as an example. Lyel remembers the death of his father vividly, but to this day does not know it was his own mother's hand that brought it about. Thus it was that Rynray withdrew from the rest of the community, shunned and despised, but also pitied. When Balant returned to their village to retire from his travels, he engineered the escape of the entire community, and led them on a trek along the shore, away from the hands of shadow to take their chances at the edge of the Green March, where they settled in Ebbtide. There Rynray gave herself over to the caretaking of her father and the raising of her son, but as the years passed, she saw more and more of his father in him, and grew more protective and fearful that he would share the same fate.

Logged
arnon
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +8/-4
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,600



« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2007, 07:47:21 AM »

Quote
I'm going to have to get tougher...

I know what you mean. My PCs constantly surprised me with their abilities and ingenuity whenever i threw something on them (which did not happen much, we had on average one combat per session)...

Keep on posting about your campaign Smiley
Logged
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2007, 07:52:54 AM »

...we had on average one combat per session...

I think that's a good ratio, it gives the players a chance to roll some dice and kill stuff, and no matter how roleplay-heavy a campaign is, there's a visceral satisfaction in rolling that 20 or maxing out that damage, or even in having one of your comrades stop your PC from bleeding to death right at -9 hit points.

Unfortunately, there's only going to be one, possibly two more sessions before my wife heads out to visit her family for a month, so the game will be on hiatus between mid-july and mid-august. I *could* squeeze the rest of Crown of Shadows into two sessions, but I don't want it to feel rushed. There's still hundreds of miles of forest to walk through.

And thanks for the comments, it's comforting to know someone reads all my blathering. Smiley
Logged
Nifelhein
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +22/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,117


Whisper's Will


« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2007, 08:02:12 AM »

My game had about 1 combat every two or three sessions, we had a very erratic schedule and I did not want to spend half of the time in a combat, unless it would contribute to the game in some way. As a general rule i use monsters with CR3 above the party level or groups of monsters that total that Encounter Level or just 2 above.

When I thought it would be easy they had a hard time and when I thought it would be hard they had an easy time. The hardest encounter they faced was to save the dwarf from Pardrun Holdfast, don't remember his name, but I used about 5 orcs and 3 oruks and they were only level 3 by then. Good moment for area spells and all.

And there is always someone reading. Wink

Logged
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2007, 12:10:05 PM »

Unfortunately, the party declined to explore the spider's lair, and they missed discovering the Handy Haversack I'd placed there on one of the dessicated bodies the spiders had used for food.

Uhhhh big mistake on my part. I was reading up on the magic restrictions over on Darkness Falls and saw that, since there is no planar travel, and no extradimensional spaces, no spells or objects creating extradimensional spaces can exist or be created on Aryth. So it's a good thing they didn't find the haversack, otherwise the whole planet might have imploded! oops Laugh
Logged
Nifelhein
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +22/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,117


Whisper's Will


« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2007, 01:01:11 PM »

Don't worry about that, rope trick was a spell in the channeller list, I haven't checked to see if it is still there, but even then, the designers themselves seemed to forget a few things now and then. Wink
Logged
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2007, 11:40:12 AM »

The continuing adventures.

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!! IF YOU ARE IN INDIANAPOLIS PLAYING AT CHEZ TIMMERSI DO NOT READ FURTHER!!!



---




---





---



Okay, so this past session was mostly color/flavor/filler. The group crested the range of hills marking the Green March and noticed two things: a sooty red sunrise to the southeast (the Burning Line), and the canopy of trees seemed flat from here on out - an illusion formed by the increasing height of the maudrial trees while the land itself falls away to the Felthera river valley.

With three wildlanders in the group, plus Jael, they managed to avoid patrols and cover their tracks quite well. Nevermind they had help they were unaware of Wink

They reached the unlabeled tributary of the Northern Felthera river, and I gave them several options for building boats, based on extensive research using Stormwrack, a D20 supplement for seaborne adventures. It includes stats and craft DCs based on boat type, and considering the amount of time they stood to save by traveling by river over by foot, I narrowed down the choices to three: A crude raft, a pair of dugout canoes, or several coracles (essentially a woven basket framework of branches, with a waterproof hide or fabric stretched over it. Originally the group wanted to do a raft, but one PC pointed out that if something happened and the raft was lost, they'd have no other options, but if one of the coracles was lost, they'd manage.

Unfortunately, the PCs passed up the opportunity to pick up the large waterproofed tarps I had let them find in the orc troop transport the previous session, because they didn't think they needed tent material Grin so they spent a day and a half hunting for large game to use the skins, and gathering fallen branches and deadwood rather than cut down living wood and risk angering the forest.

It was at this point that Jael made his switch. Since he was sharing a watch with the PC I'd identified to portray the Jael in disguise, it was a simple matter. I described to her, letting the group overhear, that Jael had received word from Aradil that he had a more important quest, and gave final directions to Caradul, and left. I later passed the player a note stating that none of that was true, and the switch we'd already played out in private was now in effect.

The part that I'm particularly happy about is that there was already some suspicion growing about Jael. For example, the Dworg wildlander noticed that while the Danisil barbarian seemed to be able to hear the Whisper, Jael supposedly did not (the truth is I rolled Wisdom checks according to M2E to hear the whisper, and everyone but Khee failed). Additionally, it was noticed that after his watch, he would go off in the woods for an hour or so to "commune with his monarch," and didn't bother to cover his tracks even though they were still in contested territory.

Back to the boat building, I introduced a crazy old druid who introduced himself by laughing aloud at what he perceived as their ridiculous attempts to build coracles. He demonstrated a much better method for river travel by tapping on the bark of a maudrial and muttering and whispering (casting Wood Shape), to "convince" the tree to yield up a portion of its mass in the form of a perfectly shaped canoe (method shamelessly stolen from Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card).

The PCs reply with various versions of "I bet you can't do that again!" to try to goad the druid into making another one and saving them a lot of work. Enter the carrot on a stick side quest: The old man offers to make them another boat if they agree to rescue a nest full of orphaned giant owl eggs. The catch? The mother giant owl was slain by a group of orcs and goblins for sport and food; and the druid fears the eggs won't survive the chill of the coming night.

So without any planning whatsoever, the group tromps off toward where the druid says the nest is, which happens to be in a maudrial tree growing up near a sheer hillside abutting the orcs' camp. Two other small hills and several trees ring this clearing, in which the party discovers three worgs with goblin riders, at least three orcs, and two other goblin scouts. Doesn't seem like a lot, but then they try to sneak into positions of advantage before springin their attack - and one of the fighters is not at all stealthy.

Thus it is that neither side is surprised when things go down. The defender charges up the hill side to engage one of the orc scouts, while the dworg charges the nearest orc in the camp, who happens to be right next to the worgs. The goblin riders mount their wargs and ignore the dworg to harry the stragglers, including the human wildlander, fighter, and channeler, leaving the dworg to fend for himself against the orc elite commander and one of the scouts (who naturally flanks whenever possible). Additionally, the two goblin scouts pepper the dworg with crossbow fire despite him being in melee. He begins trying to position himself to gain cover from one of the bowmen, but is getting beaten badly. The fighter moves up to assist the defender, who downs the orc scout, then provides himself as an open target for the crossbowmen to take the heat off of the dworg, which allows him to start holding his own. The defender charges the orc commander and grapples him to death over the course of the next several rounds.

Meanwhile, the human wildlander, the channeler, and rogue (Jael) are faced with the worgs, and they smartly focus their attacks on the riders rather than the mounts, eliminating them quickly; but then they have to deal with the mounts.

Final tally, three wounded worgs and two goblin scouts retreat, with wounds all around on the party's side (including Jael), and the dworg reduced to 1 hp. Then came the comedy of errors in retrieving the eggs, but they managed it. Eggs returned, second boat shaped, coracles discarded, and the PCs begin their trek down the river wild.

Some descriptive encounters and a minor rapids test later (they passed), they make it to the Felthera River and have minor difficulties crossing, but succeed. They are now in the heart of Erethor. More descriptive stuff on my part, and they come across one of the elven tree platforms, unmanned. They spend some time exploring it, and discover the branches are woven into paths from maudrial to maudrial. By this time, I've used the Whisper to inform the human wildlander of a warning (referring to Jael) and the defender of welcome and safety (of the tree platform and branch paths). In spite of this, the party splits, four of them deciding to walk in the trees, two on the ground. The session ends at nightfall, with the group not having travelled far enough to reach another platform, and undergoing some poorly rolled Climb checks to return to the ground via a rope. At least two PCs have rope burn on their hands and legs from trying and succeeding to arrest their falls along the rope.

Next time: Death in the Trees, and the climax of the campaign! Unfortunately, this will have to wait about six weeks or so, as we are now on hiatus while my wife visits family across the country.
Logged
Nifelhein
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +22/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,117


Whisper's Will


« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2007, 09:04:12 AM »

Sounds like a good time, and time fillers are good too, any special reason to why you introduced the mad druid and the canoes thing?
Logged
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2007, 09:08:47 AM »

To be honest, I didn't expect they'd be able to make passable boats, and I wanted to give them an opportunity to "shortcut" the task.  Amusingly enough, they didn't even question the "carrot on a stick" they just went for it. Actually, one of the PCs, the defender, decided to head out and get the eggs without consulting anyone else about it, so the entire group went along to catch up with him. There was a horrific lack of anything resembling a plan, and no attempt to acquire the eggs by stealth. Which is why the clumsy fighter's poor stealth rolls alerted the goblin worg riders; the channeler ended up in melee combat; and the dworg was outnumbered.

It was, to be honest, a comedy of errors. But it all worked out in the end.
Logged
Nifelhein
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +22/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,117


Whisper's Will


« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2007, 09:19:07 AM »

I got that impression, that you made a second choice for the bad plan they came up with, when my players had to traverse the river I left two possibilities, one were a few hidden canoes, one of which was making water but they wouldn't know until they got in the middle of the water, and the other was a somewhat crumbled passage through the trees, they searched fort he later and found it, two character nearly fell on the lake below and when they were coming down on the other side a character spot the canoes. Wink

I got quit a few errors in the Death in the Trees scene, with a large grapple fight between two characters (of the thee in the group) and Jael, who assumed an orc shape after they initiated the grapple. The whole thing took more than 30 rounds in game and 3 hours of real time, was extremely frustrating to everyone and got an additional stress between myself and a player (as I used shatter in the character's two handed sword, a giantblooded barbarian with power attack, can't see why Jael wouldn't do that).
Logged
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2007, 09:23:44 AM »

I'd be very interested to hear about tactics for the final battle. I have some ideas schemed up based on my players' PC abilities. The one thing I'm a little worried about is the Defender (Beast), who tends to grapple as often as possible. Jael's going to have to neutralize him first, I think.

One thing I do have up my sleeve that I think will make the combat interesting is using Air Walk to walk out into the space between branches, making melee combat impossible. From there he can sling spells or buff himself.

I'm curious to see if someone tries to bull rush him Smiley
Logged
Nifelhein
Administrator
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +22/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,117


Whisper's Will


« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2007, 09:30:22 AM »

My group alterned turns with jael, so making preparations was easy, i jsut had to worry about the spell durations, then he cast silence on a stone, put it on the channeller's pocket and cast shatter on the giantblooded barbarian dworg, that is when two of them woke up (obviously the channeller didn't (and that was possible because they were sleeping in different parts of the map given in CoS).

My players were 7th level so I made a stronger version of Jael, and true to the name's origins I made Jael a woman and not a man. This also alows me to sue the backstory of the name in some way or another if I want. I gave Jael a mix of levels too, and made her level 11, if i am not mistaken, had rogue, wildlander and legate levels (rogue because of the skills, wildlander was her real focus for being a witch hunter - my decision - and legate, obviously).

I will see about typing the version of Jael I did to give to you guys, it is also using the 2nd edition core book, so it is a good deal of change from the 1st edition version in CoS.
Logged
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2007, 09:37:48 AM »

I've been wondering whether I should bump up Jael or not. CoS has his CR at 10, meaning that 4 10th level PCs should be able to overcome him with moderate challenge. The book as written would have the PCs at 4th level. My group has 6 PCs at 4th level, but there's still a distinct advantage on Jael's side. Add to that the fact that the majority of the party is going to be asleep at the time, and the sheer amount of magic he's going to be slinging about, ASSUMING he has time to prepare spells and cast some of the longer duration ones on himself ahead of time; and it adds up to a significant danger to the group.  So, I'm inclined to NOT bump him, but I'm not certain.
Logged
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2007, 07:47:53 AM »

If you are a player playing in the Crown of Shadow minicampaign published by Fantasy Flight Games... well, what the heck are you doing in the GM's forum??

Spoilers below...


...



...



...


After private meetings and frequent email exchanges, the Shill Player and I had come up with a Plan. She (Cantara's player) was not all that familiar with the D&D magic system, so I put together a spell list and we agreed that once Jael revealed his true form, I would take over playing him.

I had introduced an elevated highway of maudrial branches woven together to allow the elves (and thus the party) to travel above ground, avoiding natural geographical hazards and other potentially dangerous encounters. The session began with the group camped at the base of one of these trees, since they had not travelled far enough to reach the next scout platform (which I had spaced about 6 hours' march apart). Previously, half the group had been walking on the ground and the other half in the trees, so I was trying to convince them all to use the trees - so, naturally, I had a pair of dire boars attack them in the wee hours of the morning.

My group is nothing if not resourceful, and so after defeating the boars, they naturally decided to preserve their meat for rations, spending another day on the ground. This gave Jael/Cantara the opportunity to sneak off into the woods at midnight and pray for spells, which he hadn't been able to do since he'd taken Cantara's guise. This was Part One of the Plan: find an opportunity to pray for spells in order to customize the spell list for a fight in the trees.

So during the second night on the ground, just after her watch (1st watch), she hops up and says, "The Queen is calling me!" and runs off by herself into the forest. Now, because of Cantara's low WIS score, she is the one to whom Aradil has communicated with via the Dream spell as described in the campaign book, so it wasn't unheard of for her to have these dreams. But the suddenness with which she took off had some of the party concerned, and so they took off after her.

But she was ready for them. Or he, I should say Wink When he reached a depression in the forest floor, he cast Obscuring Mist and transformed himself into Durzol, who was following Cantara's direction. Jael then left the bowl and some distance away covered his tracks and set out on a different path. When Durzol went into the bowl, he kept rushing through, figuring he would overtake Cantara, but he didn't; so he began looking for tracks, and, finding none, ended up backtracking to the bowl. By then, Gracen had caught up, and he was tracking by scent. But when he got to the bowl, he found Cantara's scent going in, but only Durzol's going out.

Finally they woke up the channeler and brought him to the bowl, having him detect magic around, and after some time they gave up; they had completely lost Jael/Cantara's tracks. So they went back to camp to wait.

An hour later, Cantara comes back into the camp as if nothing had happened. They wait until morning to interrogate her, since half the party went back to sleep. She gives them some vague explanation about how the queen communicated to her, that they were close, that they were being followed, and that they should return to the tree paths. Some of the party was disgruntled, because none of this was new information, except perhaps the returning to the tree paths. This they did, and the final days of approaching Caradul were uneventful.

When they reached the tree fort mapped out in the CoS book, it was nearly dusk, and there was one perspective from one of the scout platforms that gave them a clear view of the southern Felthera river valley, and the giant Elder Tree, recognizable even though it remained about a day's march away.

I held my breath when the players discussed the possibility of pressing on, thus bypassing the map I'd painstakingly recreated, but logic prevailed and they made camp. Cantara/Jael decided to keep watch from another side of the map. We'd worked out a signal ahead of time: when the time was ripe for Jael's attack, I would refer to Cantara's player as her player name, Amy (I usually call each person by their character's name when prompting for actions).

"I cast Silence over here; then Air Walk, then Resist Energy."

Everyone else at the table got REALLY QUIET.

I gave Akil a Listen check to see if he could hear the echoes of her casting spells from the trees on the far side of the fort, since the silenced Silence spell was placed between herself and Akil so he could not hear her directly. He failed the roll by 6 or so.

Then she cast silence again on a stone to cover her approach, and she crossed the platform, approached the channeler with whom she shared watch, drew her urutuk. Akil realized something was amiss when the silence surrounded him. Amy decided to drop the silenced stone to cast Shield of Faith, just in case, and then attacked Akil with Jael's Smite ability. She made a critical hit, and Akil was felled to -3 HP in a single strike and began bleeding out. This made enough noise that everyone else got Listen checks to be awakened (Amy breathed a sigh of relief, because she, the player, didn't really WANT to kill the entire party, even though she was playing the Bad Guy).

Cantara/Jael steps out onto midair, expecting more attacks, and casts Wind Wall to deflect any incoming missile fire while she prepares to cast more buff spells. Then she says, "Healer, someone needs some healing!" in a very cruel, taunting voice, which was perfect for setting the mood. But then she casts Spiritual Weapon to try to prevent anyone from getting to Akil; Mercel, the Sarcosan fighter that joined the group back in Swift Water, tried to square off with it and wasn't getting anywhere, but it gave Tamoharra the opportunity to squeeze past and use a Cure Moderate HP ability on Akil to awaken him. Meanwhile, Gracen and Durzol argue momentarily about whether to flee or not, and they agree that Durzol will take the dwarven scroll case and run for it while Gracen will stay behind to keep Cantara busy. Durzol hops out of the scout platform on the far side of the maudrial trunk from Cantara, and runs along the branches for a round or two.

Meanwhile, Tamoharra receives a Mage Armor from Akil and tries to fire her bow at Cantara, but the Wind Wall deflects every shot. Cantara doesn't get an opportunity to finish casting her buffs though, because Mercel takes a running leap off of the tree branch to try to grapple with Cantara. He suffers the attack of opportunity from Cantara, which ruins his grapple attempt, but he makes a Reflex save and grabs onto her boot. It's then that Jael drops the disguise.

First, he changes back into the elven scout/guide/avatar, then into his true self, with the black breastplate and the holy symbol of Izrador. I call for a second reflex save from Mercel after Jael transforms, and he fails and falls to the forest floor.

Jael manages to get another buff up but then Gracen comes down the branch and uses his Inutek to make a ranged trip attack. Comedy ensues for the next couple of rounds as Jael gets tripped multiple times, but still floating in midair. Finally Jael decides to cast from a prone position *before* standing up, and then Gracen does the same thing Mercel did: a running leap, and a grapple. But this time it works, because Gracen has Improved Grapple, and is made for getting up close and personal with his unarmed combat and Beast heroic path.

Fortunately for him, he succeeded in grappling Jael before Jael managed to cast Divine Power and get his strength boost from it. While grappling to do damage, Gracen informed Jael, "I'm going to break your neck." Gracen has a special place in his heart for legates, since one was responsible for the death of his family. Once grappled, there was only one spell Jael could cast (requiring no somatic components) and that was Blindness. Fortunately, Gracen made his Fort save, but the next round Jael actually beat Gracen's grapple check. Gracen flubbed his reflex save, and went falling to the forest floor.

Jael took the opportunity to move away from Akil and Tamoharra, and to take his potion of Cure Moderate Wounds to recover from the damage the inutek and the unarmed grappling did to him, which was not insignificant. Tamoharra managed to hit him once or twice with her bow, but Akil's Acid Arrow splashed harmlessly against him, thanks to the Resist Energy that had been put up. Meanwhile Durzol has returned after giving the scroll case a magic aura to blend with the tree whose branches he hid it in, but he's now hiding on the outside wall of the scout platform, waiting for Jael to come by in order to surprise attack him; what Durzol didn't realize is that Jael never saw him leave. Finally Jael returns to battle after casting his Divine Power and starts attacking Akil and Tamoharra. Durzol finally rejoins the fight, and messes up Jael pretty bad with his vardatch.

Durzol chooses that time to shout, "GUARDIANS OF ERETHOR, THE SHADOW IS AMONG YOU!" He was apparently hoping that there were elves nearby who'd been watching them since they entered the forest, and that they would miraculously come to their rescue.

Two things did happen: The vines entwining the branches of the trees came to life and began attacking Jael, lashing and scratching at his face and hands. Secondly, Gracen, who was bleeding out at -7 HP on the forest floor, heard the shout, and so I gave him a second chance to stabilize, which he did. I passed a note to Gracen's player informing him of this, to which he looked at me and said, "I start climbing. And I know what you're going to say about what happens next, but I don't care. Sometimes all you have to go on is pure hate."

He was of course referring to the rule that if you are disabled and then take a standard action, you immediately fall unconscious and start dying again. His argument was persuasive, and dramatically appropriate, so I allowed him to start climbing.

Jael triple-critted Durzol and took him down, then began retreating away from Akil and Tamoharra, trying to cut away the vines and branches that were reaching for him. Tamoharra healed Durzol with a Cure Light to bring him conscious again, while Akil tried shooting Jael with his crossbow. Durzol gets up and gets a handoff from Akil of a cedeku, since he dropped his Vardatch, and begins making his way around the branches toward Jael again.

Suddenly up comes Gracen, having climbed the rope they had secured and let down as an escape route if it was going to be necessary. Battered, bruised, bleeding, dirty, covered with sticks and such, he is a force of pure fury as he AGAIN leaps off the tree, jumps onto Jael, and grapples him. By this time, Jael's Divine Power has run out, and he's back to regular strength. Gracen succeeds admirably at his grapple check, and with his Bull's Strength and increased unarmed damage, he does 15 points to Jael, who only had 12 left.

SNAP.

And as the magic of Air Walk fades, the pair descend almost gracefully to the ground, and the combat is over. Gracen carves a 4 in Jael's forehead, incrementing the number of legates he's killed in his life. It was then that a hawk came to take back the Crown of Shadow, but Akil's crossbow struck true and felled the bird.

It was a fantastic, heroic combat, and I couldn't have asked anything more from the shill player. She pulled it off fabulously.

Mercel, however, was dead by the time they got to the forest floor. I actually had pre-typed cards ready to hand out whenever someone reached -CON hit points. The options presented were to: accept character death; have character survive, but maimed; have character reincarnated (by appropriately skilled channelers once the group reached Caradul the next day) or rise as Fell (with the associated benefits and drawbacks). Mercel's player chose Death, and though three other PCs at some point went to negative hit points, none of them crossed the threshhold thanks to Akil's and Tamoharra's cure abilities.

When the remainder of the group reached the forest floor, a dire bear crashed out from the brush and starting roaring off in another direction. Akil, taking a risk with Animal Handling and Bluff, shouted, "Go on, get out of here!" To which the bear replied in understandable trader's tongue, "well, that's rude!"  But two more bears and a platoon of elven scouts answered the call, and their leader Dehan announced himself, and bade the heroes rest the night while he and his men stood watch.

The next day they were escorted to the audience of Aradil herself, where the ending script of the campaign went off pretty much as written. They presented the dwarven scrolls, were told what it was, then allowed to rest, eat, bathe, rest, recuperate, be healed, and rest before being called before a second, more formal audience, that was attended by the greatest captains and councillors of the elves. There they were honored as heroes and elf-friends, given the cloaks of the Order of the Lady and personalized gifts:

For Gracen, the Hunter, a pair of boots of Elvenkind.
For Durzol, the Protector, a +1 shield with the symbol of Clan Durgis upon it.
For Akil, the Scholar, a spell Talisman for Acid Arrow.
For Tamoharra, the Healer, a masterwork Herbalist's kit, granting +2 bonus to Craft: Alchemy checks.
For Cantara, the Rogue, a True Charm in the shape of a jade mask, which prevents anyone to whom she has not give her true name from being able to describe her (pulled from the sample charms list in the back of M2E corebook).

The true mysteries of the Beacon of Shadow and the Crown of Shadow have yet to be revealed, but this will take place next session, when the group decides where they want to go next.
Logged
arnon
Avatar of the Witch Queen
*****

Spell Energy / Taint +8/-4
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,600



« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2007, 08:17:14 AM »

This was excellent!
Logged
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2007, 12:31:23 PM »

I never did get around to posting followups of my group after finishing up Crown of Shadows. Here's a synopsis I just emailed to a friend, it should do to bring anyone who cares up to speed:


Okay, so the first arc of the campaign is over, wherein the group inherits the task of transporting the secret dwarven recipe and plans for mining and forging mithril across the continent, and across the conquered human lands, into the elven forest to the queen of the elves.

At that point, we lost a player and brought a new one in, and two other players decided to bring in new characters.

So now we have:
Tamoharra, Erenlander wildlander 6
Cantara, urban Sarcosan rogue 6
Akil, Asmadarin hermetic channeler 6
Idrakyr, Danisil-raised elfling wildlander4/barbarian2 (i think)
Celedryn, Erunsil wildlander 2/fighter 3/Erunsil Blood 1
Iaren, Caransil spiritual channeler 5/Druid 1

The first three are from the original group that brought the mithril recipe to the elven capital, but Akil came in half way, so only Tamoharra and Cantara remain of the Original Group.

After dropping three different plot hooks for them to follow, they opted to serve the Queen again by taking translated scrolls of the secrets of Mithril to the primary elven mines/forge in the very north of the forest where the Snow elves live. Because of the importance of arming elite forces with this miracle metal, the Queen summoned a Pathfinder (Iaren) to guide the group through the Old Ways.

The Old Ways are paths through a place they call the Place Between. Imagine a hyperspace for the material realm; where this place between is like a mystical forest, and by crossing over into this realm, people can travel between any two gateways in the real world in one quarter of the time. The gateways, called Fey Crossroads are Stonehenge-style standing stones, stone circles, cairns, and barrows.

During the travel to Autilar (the mines/forge), they encountered a Dorn girl in the Place Between, who claimed to have met them before, and told them that she knew they wouldn't remember her. She complained that a man took her mum's necklace but promised to bring it back, but she hadn't seen him. The group took the girl along with them until later on they encountered the man, who turned out to be a priest of the dark god Izrador whose armies had conquered the human lands. He had forsaken his god, however, and chiseled the holy symbol from the front of his banded armor. He was a dark and mysterious man, haunted, with a lot of knowledge of the Shadow that he could have imparted to the party, had they taken the opportunity. 

Iaren, the pathfinder, swore to lead Sarn (the priest) to a place where he could get back to where he wanted to go. Turns out both the humans were in the place between by accident, and had gotten lost and had no idea how long they'd been there. So the group takes them both along.

After a couple days together, it turns out the girl's necklace is a talisman of power containing a guardian spirit that defends the wearer. As Sarn knew that his god would not easily let him go, he felt he needed the protection more than the girl did, as he was determined to atone for his past evils by destroying as many shadow servants as he could before they brought him down. Iaren made an attempt to steer Sarn off this self-destructive path, and appealed to his humanity to voluntarily give the necklace back to the girl. Then they were attacked by Yeth Hounds.

You'd think that a 5th level party would be able to make DC 11 Will saves. Oh no.

The girl, Iaren, Idrakyr (who had the only silver weapon), and the two animal companions (Idrakyr's Lab and Iaren's horse) and familiar(Iaren's basset hound) all failed and ran screaming off into the woods in all directions. Note that they had been warned not to leave the paths.

Fortunately, Iaren's familiar (a basset hound) was in the neighborhood of where Sarn had run off after the girl to save her from a pursuing hound, and guided Iaren (after the fear wore off) via their telepathic link to that location. When he got there, he heard sounds of battle, and caught up with them in time to witness the last yeth hound being beaten to a pulp by some invisible beast, while Sarn was standing in front of the girl looking awed, and the necklace he was wearing was glowing. Since so many animals had run in the same direction, Tamoharra was able to track them, and caught up with them just in time to see a Pixie fall out of a tree after rolling a critical fumble trying to shoot Sarn with a sleep arrow. This turned out to be Kenley, a pixie that the girl had met and befriended before she met the party. Sarn relented and gave the amulet back, while the group agreed to leave the girl in Kenley's care, figuring she was safer among friends in the sylvan otherwood than back in the Real World where the shadow still held sway. Sarn continued travelling with the PCs.

They popped out of the place between at a halfway point to their destination (Korrig's Cross), to check on goings on and report their progress. At a local village (Kaelorn) they showed their Cloaks of the Lady, gifts to those who have done great service to the queen, and they were immediately granted four horses and foodstuffs to make their travel faster (two of the PCs have move rates of 50 or more, the dogs move at 40, and the horse moves at 60. Sarn moves at 25...)

They received rumors from the Whispering Wood (trees across the forest imbued with the souls of fallen elves) as more plot hooks.

One, Whisper Adepts have begun disappearing in the north, during orc raids that do not seem to be designed around taking and holding land OR destroying elven tree forts. As if they're kidnapping the adepts and killing or routing everyone else, then leaving.

Two, the high councillor of the elven capital (Durelion, whom the group had met after the conclusion of CoS) is at odds with the queen about the use of a recently captured evil artifact (Beacon of Shadow) for strategic gain in the war (he advises using it, she thinks it's too dangerous).

Meanwhile (three) orc armies on the eastern edge of the forest are making a serious push into the woods, ignoring the traps and ambush points and pushing on despite high body counts (pursuing the Beacon before it is neutralized.)

The players deduce that this expedition is a feint, and that the capture of whisper adepts is a prelude to an attack from the north that will come as a surprise with so many adepts missing. This is not far from the truth actually, but the real plan is something they haven't conceived of yet... and will be much, much worse for the elves if it succeeds Smiley

So they hop back into the Place Between via the standing stones portal that Iaren opens; only they don't find themselves in the otherwood. Instead, they're inside a building of blue marble. Further investigation shows that this keep (with no physical exits) is a long lost place of learning created by the elder fey (elthedar) long before the Sundering when Izrador was banished to Aryth's surface, and the world was cut off from the outer planes and communication with the Old Gods was lost. Exploration was performed, and they found laboratories, studies, scrying rooms, libraries, and all kinds of nifty stuff.

There was an astronomy room that had a model of the solar system in it, complete with stars plotted on hemispherical walls and orbits for planets and moods. There was a large viewing pit at which people could sit and "zoom in" on any place on the planet, and could see things happening in real time anywhere they decided to focus. There were labs for physics, biology, alchemy, and magic, personal studies with charts, models, terrariums, diagrams. The library was "guarded" by two shield guardians, but they did not trigger their defense (by not removing any of the magical placards (think fantasy PDA or PADD) from the room.

There was a temple of sorts, showing statues of the elder gods, all but two of whom were blank and featureless. One was a kind and noble statue whose face and half his body had been shattered and crumbled away. The other was a column of smoke in the vague shape of a humanoid. At one point Sarn shouted that "He sees!" and two glowing red eyes opened in the head of the shadow as Izrador himself became aware of the group and the long lost keep. Sarn collapsed (failing his will save) and Celedryn came to his aid, only to have his mind scanned like Zarkov in the Flash Gordon movie, rifling through every single memory in a matter of seconds. A deep voice resonated, "I know you now," before the column became inert again.

There were two other statues that, while featureless in the face, could be identified by objects they were holding. One, a set of scales (Balance). The other, a scythe (death). As each PC looked at Death, they fell prone had a vision of their own death.

Tamoharra saw herself destroying a major artifact employed by the Shadow, a black mirror in which human sacrifices are made to allow Izrador to leech the planet's natural arcane magic. the enusing explosion as trapped energies were released claimed her.

Cantara saw herself sinking into a mud bog in a jungle while an enemy the group believes is dead watched and laughed.

Akil saw himself underground enacting a ritual that involved cutting open his own chest and exchanging a piece of his own heart with that of a weak and dying elder dragon. In taking the dragon's curse upon himself, he restored vitality to the dragon, who lifted his wings and shouted, "To war!" while his own mortal body succumbed beneath the weight of the curse.

Idrakyr saw himself plodding through the frozen tundras of the north, sick and dying, cresting a hill to find a major orc breeding warren. As he died from the effects of the plague he carried, he knew his mission was complete, and that countless orcs would soon become infected.

Iaren saw himself holding a fey crossroad open as streams of elven refugees fled the cinders of the burning forest, while the elven capital was in flames in the distance. Then a huge demon crashed into what remained of the clearing, and Iaren closed the portal and destroyed it before forces of shadow could pursue the elves into the Place Between. In doing so, he sealed the fate of himself and the stragglers who couldn't make it in time.

Celedryn saw himself in the aftermath of a bloody battle in the snow, in which his arch nemesis lay dead at his feet. There was no time to celebrate among the few surviving elves though, as a horde of ice demons came running over the mountains and overwhelmed the remaining warriors. Then he woke up later, his heart stopped, his wounds unbleeding, and realized he had risen as undead and could continue killing (and now eating) orcs.

The biggest thing I wanted them to discover was insights into the pasts and possible futures of the major players in the war: the elf queen, the dragons, and the four Night Kings that were once great heroes but were corrupted by Izrador and betrayed the forces of good in the last battle. I developed a history room which displayed four sections of time: Pre-sundering, post sundering and the three Ages, the Last Age beginning with Izrador's victory over the humans, and the Future. These walls were covered in innumerable bas-relief sculptures, and by finding and focusing on a specific scene, you could follow the timeline and story of that person or event. In the future wall, the sculptures were in motion as countless possible futures appeared and disappeared while they watched. Each of the six groups mentioned above had their own statues and sculptures devoted.

The PCs looked at pre-sundering stuff and saw flying ships; they looked at post-sundering stuff and saw the elf queen's coronation. They looked at Last Age stuff and saw events from their own lives. They looked at future stuff and saw different futures for themselves, including the death visions that they had.

NONE OF THEM INVESTIGATED THE SIX POWER PLAYERS. I even had Sarn scrutinizing the Priest of Shadow's wall, and exclaiming in wonder how it showed his history, and all the group was interested in was using a scrying room to try to figure out how the elthedar got in and out of this place.

In the meantime, they discovered a pair of puzzle boxes which led to a pair of keys which led to a vault in which was the remnants of an ancient divine artifact, an ornate blade hilt with the blade broken and the shards missing. Narsil anyone? Also they found a preserved corpse of one of the elthedar, along with a talisman and a tablet. They managed to translate the tablet, as it used an alphabet similar to High Elven, and it turned out to be the final journal entry of the elthedar at the time of the Sundering. It confirmed that Izrador's counterpart, Galahane, father of the old gods, was dead.  The talisman turned out to be an identifier with which the shield guardians would allow someone bearing the talisman to remove items from the vault.

The two puzzle boxes were pretty cool, too. They were basically word scrambles. The two puzzles used the same letters, but the answers were different. The letters in ELEVEN PLUS TWO are an anagram of TWELVE PLUS ONE, and both equal thirteen Smiley

They figured out how to leave the keep, knowing they might never be able to return, and leaving behind a wealth of knowledge and realtime scrying that would have been invaluable to the resistance effort. Oh well.

Now they're 6th level and currently at Autilar, the forge, having reported their find to the tribunal that rules the fortress. We're doing downtime activities right now, where spellcasters research spells, and people who have paid XP for certain combat schools are seeking trainers to learn the next lesson, among other things.

In the past few weeks I've been developing the Whisper Adept hunt and capture party, for future use, and I have a couple of random encounters (undead hill giant anyone?) in mind for stuff to throw at them once they figure out what they want to do. I'm going to drop some more plot hooks tomorrow night and see which way they want to go. I assume they'll follow up on the disappearances, which is what I'm doing the most preparation for. But we'll see. I've learned to be flexible (thanks to one of my players Tongue) when it comes to what route the party decides to take. So we'll see how things go.

Credits:

I have shamelessly ripped off stuff I've found here about the death of Galahane. I also implied that there were two other continents besides Eredane (one of them Pelluria - I downloaded the maps for future use just in case Wink) Other elements may be recognized from Fury. And I used the Githyanki Citadel from wizards.com's "map a week" archive becuase I wanted a non-square, non-crypt style keep/fortress for the group to explore.


Meanwhile, Izrador has discovered by reading the memories of two people that one can enter the Place Between without use of a ritual when the light of the sun and that of the full moon strike a portal at the same time, and that the keep of the elthedar can be accessed with a ritual under the same conditions.

So right about now he's ordering Ardherin to begin researching astronomy so as to predict when certain gates will be open, and also to acquire the necessary ritual for governing the pathways.

can you say, cross dimensional surgical strikes? ;D



-Ob
Logged
Obsidian
Insurgent Spy
**

Spell Energy / Taint +0/-0
Gender: Male
Posts: 145


« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2008, 11:38:31 AM »

I've decided to name this arc of my campaign "Hush" in deference to the focus on the kidnapping of Whisper Adepts.

The hard part about having your friends and favorite players in your game, is you can't share your evil plot ideas with anyone! I ended up emailing a friend no longer local, and decided the email would be a good update for my campaign.


Indianapolis players do not click!

(click to show/hide)
Logged
Pages: [1]
Send this topic Print
Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  Games and Stories (Moderators: Kane, Bleak Knight)  |  Topic: Obsidian's Crown of Shadows [Game Log - Spoiler Warning]
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 0.1 seconds with 28 queries.
TinyPortal © 2005-2011