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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Yeah yeah, we don't actually play until next week, but I've been plotting this for quite a while and I'm really looking forward to it...so here's the beginning!

    The End has come to all of us, Gods and Mortals alike. The only choice, to be consumed by Flame or Darkness. Our only hope, to steal heroes from other worlds, other times, and pray one of them can succeed where all others have failed. Their fate becomes ours, and for that we should be damned even if they prevail. The Sun gutters, and the Moon burns. How will you die?

    Spoiler: Our Victims / Heroes
    Show

    Spoiler: Angelena Rae
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    Lesser Aasimar Cleric 6
    I don't have a ton of info on her yet, but as she's planning on going into Radiant Servant of Pelor, I suspect this cleric will be a fairly strong force for Good and Justice (have to capitalize those. Always) Has Extra Turning and Divine Metamagic, planning on doing lots of buffing.


    Spoiler: Janath
    Show
    Human Binder 1 / Warlock 5
    A supernatural con man and information broker (think Constantine from the Hellblazer comics), Janath is a smooth talking liar with some nasty magic up his sleeve. Plans on going into Hellfire warlock, along with at least 2 levels in Chameleon, so aiming for flexibility. Played by Jeargroth (he who ran the last game)


    Spoiler: Puck
    Show
    Warforged Fighter 6(Dungeoncrasher)
    An experimental bodyguard, Puck's unfortunate habit of reacting to threats to his charge with overwhelming and horrific violence kept him deactivated for an inordinate amount of time until he was found by Angelena (and may or may not have imprinted on her). Plans on going into Warforged Juggernaut (and not sure after that). His biggest current goal is to gain flight as to be able to mash opponents into the dirt.


    Spoiler: Sammael
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    Human Cleric 1 / Monk 2 / Paladin 3
    A servant of the Raven Queen, Sammael is a devout (and somewhat unnerving) adherent to the concept of natural death and fate. We homebrewed up a feat that lets him combine his classes for some of the class abilities, we'll see how it works (unarmored, hits stuff hard with his fists or a scythe, has some creepy magical powers). Played by Lazarius (Tywin in the last game)


    Spoiler: Sona
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    Human Sorcerer 6
    A mage with Blue dragon blood in her veins, Sona was trained in the use of her magic by dragons. Plans on going into Pact Adept (with custom pacts from her draconic teachers - a blue and a gold dragon respectively), and aiming for versatility. Played by Picanet (Kas in the last game).


    Spoiler: Talvosh
    Show
    Orc Barbarian 1 / Fighter 5
    An Orc warrior whose tribe was enslaved by a mercenary company in his youth, Talvosh was trained as a disciplined soldier. But the blood running through his veins, and his heritage, says otherwise. Planning on going into Frenzied Berserker (with the caveat that I made him spend several feats towards bolstering his Will save as to not constantly frenzy kill his party members). Played Fred in the last game.



    Between the group, we've written a small novel's worth of backstory and various interactions of the characters leading up to this game, so anyone who's bored/interested in reading a big chunk o'stuff, feel free to PM me.

    Spoiler: The Introduction
    Show
    You dream, and you dream of fire. An all-encompassing inferno, too bright to see anything but the flames, too hungry to do anything but feed the blaze. You burn, and are reborn in turn.

    But the light dims, the flames contract. The darkness surrounds you, circling closer and closer as the fire flickers. Finally you are left with nothing but a small tongue of fire in the palm of your hand, no more than a candle flame, and the darkness presses down. It’s hungry. You can feel it watching you, waiting, all that is keeping it away is that small pinpoint of light.

    You can hear a rhythmic grinding and ticking, the working of some vast machine in the distance that is slo..w...i.....n..g to.....a........h...a...l.....t

    The flame goes out, and as the darkness consumes you, you snap awake.



    This same dream has haunted you, driven you, these past few months. Perhaps you had it after finding a strange relic, symbols and carvings you didn’t recognize. Or perhaps after reading a scroll speaking of distant worlds, strangely new and crisp unlike the molding detritus it hid among. A madman mumbling riddles. Or you just had the terrible dream after laying down to sleep like any other night. But it has stayed with you since, whether the dream has awaited you every time you close your eyes, or if you’ve only had the dream once, but with such crystalline clarity that it branded itself into your memory.

    The dream, and the Mark. A black circle, more like a deep bruise on the back of your hand than anything. Except that nothing you have tried can change or remove it...no wizardry, no healers, no prophets or priests. It doesn’t seem to do anything, other than fill you with a sense of foreboding. You’ve had the terrible feeling that even if you lost that hand entirely, the Mark would somehow still be there, a part of you.

    You have found others with the Mark, others who have shared the eerie dream of darkness and flame. Perhaps you’ve become close companions, or knew them before. Or perhaps you are only thinly allied by the threads of the dream. Either way, you’ve finally come across a solid clue. An ancient temple, recently unearthed and the entrance discovered. No one has yet returned with treasure or knowledge, but all of your searching and hunting points to here.

    There has to be something. There are scant few options left.


    Theme Song!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Jeargroth's Avatar

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    cool Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    For those who might not want to delve into our little world of collaborative writing I will be happy to summarize Janath.

    Spoiler: summary
    Show

    Janath is the only child of a loving couple whose birth killed his mother and forever poisoned the relationship with his biological father. His adventures brought him into the house of his surrogate father Arimides, who was an experienced summoner/binder and dealer of information. When the much older man passed Janath was tossed to the street by creditors and lawyers. Left destitute and desperate he embarked on a audacious theft that resulted in his becoming a Warlock. (Long story, but Meiphistopheles played him like a fiddle) returning to the world he used his new found abilities to further his own fortunes and that of Hell. Holding onto the last shreds of his humanity has been rather costly personally, financially and relationship wise. He has found a group he might be able to trust, something that is an extreme rarity in his world. As for finding a cure for the curse, he cares not, controlling it however is an goal he can get behind. Next time he is in hell Mephistopheles will bow to him, or every soul bound to hell on a bad deal will be tied up as indefinitely as his own.



    As for how well he will work with some of the group it is uncertain. He is a Warlock, and has great plans for "The Dead Walk." Hopefully he gets his hands on some pots of Glibness soon. We all can't be good though.

    I am looking forward to not wearing the mantle of GM and believe this campaign will put the Romanov incident to shame. Please join us...
    Last edited by Jeargroth; 2015-08-24 at 02:31 PM.
    SPOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNN!!!!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    First session! The party arrives at the entrance to this temple, a wide tunnel with the shattered remnants of the doors scattered about. Sammael pulls out an everburning torch (though half the party has darkvision), and they advance into the darkness!

    Spoiler: The First Floor
    Show
    They trigger the alarm spell in the tunnel, which gives the orcs ahead of them time to hide and prepare their ambush. The party follows the winding tunnel down to the first floor, a broad circular chamber full of rubble and stones, with a large boulder in the center of the room.

    Said boulder is a Silent image, with 5 of the orcs hiding behind it. The other 3 are hiding behind the real broken pillars and rubble. However, I realize that while the ambush is set nicely, several of the party members have pretty sharp listen modifiers, and I didn't make the orcs very good at being silent. So instead of the whole party getting ambushed, Puck, Sona, and Sammael get to act in the surprise round as the orcs come rushing out of the fake rock with a mighty warcry!

    The opposition consists of: The boss (half dragon orc bard), 2 smashers (orc barbarians), 2 bashers (orc fighters), 2 shooters (orc rangers), and 2 sneakers (goblin rogues). The smashers are up front practically inside the fake boulder, the bashers are the boss' bodyguards, and the shooters and sneakers are off to the sides behind cover.

    Surprise round! The boss goes first, and lets out a horrific "WAAAGGH!", otherwise known as dragonfire inspiration bardic music. Puck is actually up next, and he bull rushes the one smasher in the face to careen into the basher behind him, tripping them both up. Shoot! A shooter sinks an arrow into Janath's side, the sneaks miss, and Sona casts mage armor on herself. The second smasher (who isn't on his face) charges Talvosh and lands a solid blow, and Sammael retaliates with a stunning blow (that the smasher passes).

    Next round! The boss shimmies over to line up both Puck and Sona with a Whirling Blade...except I roll a 2 against Puck and Sona uses Wings of Cover. Ah well. Puck notices that the one nearby shooter is within 10 feet of the wall, and bull rushes him into the wall to trigger dungeoncrasher. The poor orc is absolutely PASTED, with Puck crushing him from full health to around -18 or so instantly. Sona's up next, and she takes advantage of the smasher+2 bashers +boss all tightly packed together with a Great Thunderclap. The Boss makes all his saves, but my dice betray me and the other three fail all 3 saves, leaving them all deafened, stunned, and prone. Janath gets sniped again for a big chunk of his health, and his attempt to Suggest that the Boss lay his weapons down fails. Angelena heals Janath up, Sammael gets walloped, then Talvosh takes an attack of opportunity on the chin in order to charge a shooter with a Heedless charge-Leap attack max power attack. He clears the rock the Shooter was hiding behind, and cleaves the orc in twain (putting him to -20 or so with the one blow).

    The orcs land a couple more hits, but it's pretty much decided at this point. Even with mirror image, the trio of Sammael, Puck, and Talvosh chop the Boss down, and the remaining orcs fall as well. The last surviving goblin frantically tries to escape, but a Mortal-Bane Eldritch Blast to the face stops that plan.

    The party methodically strip the dead orcs and take any of the gear that looks shiny enough. Searching the chamber, they find four corpses stacked in the far corner - all stripped of their gear with numerous stab wounds. Seems that the ambush trick worked at least once before the party arrived. The only other thing in the room besides rubble is a massive blackened iron door, a large keyhole in the center, and large gleaming words that each party member reads in the first language they learned:

    There are many worlds

    Sona had found a large black iron key in her backstory, which looked to be around the right size and shape. Approaching the door, the waves of supernatural heat radiating off of it had no affect due to her holding the key, and the door is opened with little ceremony. It slides open noisily, revealing a set of stairs leading down...


    Spoiler: Second Floor
    Show
    The stairs spiral down several stories before opening into another chamber, this one all burnished steel and grating. There are 6 statues in the center of the room, 3 facing left and 3 facing right. Carefully examining them, the party finds that the statues have sections of crystal in them, either in the eyes, mouth, or heart. There's a pillar from the ceiling shooting down two beams of light (that's being blocked by the statues currently), and gems on the opposite walls that seem to be connected to the (sealed) door on the other side.

    It's a puzzle!

    I accidentally make it a little more confusing at first by mixing up one of the rules, but this is the Puzzle. It takes a little bit, but with experimentation, a little bit of arguing, and a lot of accidental swearing, the statues align. The light beams pass through each statue and strike the gems on each wall, and the door opens smoothly while more words appear above it.

    But do they share the same sky above?

    Our brave adventurers continue downwards.


    Spoiler: The Third Floor
    Show
    The polished steel quickly gives way to carved stone again, and these stairs go down even further. Instead of a wide chamber like the previous floors, this is a narrow hallway, with an ominous scythe-wielding statue on each side. It seems there's a strip down the middle of the hall that would be out of reach of either statue, but after careful examination, Sona and Janath notice that there are multiple spots on the floor radiating conjuration magic. Sammael carefully creeps forward, and as soon as he steps within reach, the one statue lashes out and slices him with its scythe! It resets instantly afterwards, but does not swing again while he stays still. Talvosh steps on one of the squares, and passes his will save to avoid being slid over to one side. After a bit more thinking, Sammael chops through the wooden haft of the statue's scythe, then steps forward again. The statue swings! But with its weapon broken, the trap is just swinging impotently. The party moseys on by, trap defeated.

    The hallway is downright claustrophobic, with carved alcoves on each side containing dust, bone fragments, or full skeletons. Nothing jumps out at them though. Going around another corner, the group is confronted with a 10ft wide hole in the floor, Peering down (from a careful distance), it seems to be a 30 ft pit. Talvosh backs up, and with a hard running start, soars over the pit!

    And falls through the floor, revealing the disguised pit directly past the first one. Sammael tosses a grapple down the hall and drags it back, revealing that the visible "pit" is actually a 6" drop, and the real pit is where Talvosh fell through. Jump checks, a rope, and a Floating disc gets everyone over/out of the pit. The hallways finally widen out to reveal another door leading down, this one's message written across the floor:

    To Dream of unknown shores


    Spoiler: The Fourth Floor
    Show
    There's a dull roaring that gets louder as the party goes down yet another spiraling staircase (they guess that they have to be 300 feet below ground by now), and the source of the noise is revealed as they enter the next chamber; a 10 foot tall wall of flames that spreads across the whole room. The (sealed) door is on the other side of the flames, and another message is visible above it.

    The moth burns its wings gladly

    Talvosh had drank one of the random potions found on the orcs hoping it was healing, and instead gained fire resistance, so he charges headlong through the fire. With his resistance, he only takes a few points of damage. Everyone else makes it across without harm with an absolutely hilarious combination of anklets of translocation, benign transposition, Sammael having a ludicrous jump check, and Puck full on heaving Janath over the flames. The door stays locked though. After searching the room, scheming, plotting, and debating, Sammael pulls out a torch and has everyone burn themselves for at least a point of damage each.

    The door opens with a clank.


    Spoiler: The Fifth Floor
    Show
    This floor is much brighter than the previous ones, the floor and walls a gleaming marble. There's a large fountain in the center of the room, and 6 statues arranged about the room. There's yet another message written across the side of the fountain (because I love being cryptic and vague).

    For but a glimpse of the Flame
    Muzak

    The scent of mint is strong in the air, which a quick knowledge check reveals is a common ingredient in healing salves and potions. Dipping a hand into the fountain heals Talvosh, and everyone dunks a hand/arm/head. Sona is a little disappointed that the water from the fountain turns into nothing but plain water when scooped out. Examing the statues reveals:
    -A large man with an imperious expression, hands and feet wreathed in flame. Standing in front of him evokes feelings of Pride and Power - Angelena feels a curious familiarity with this statue, like her god but harsher
    -A beautiful woman with a clever expression, holding a scroll in one hand and a dagger behind her back. Her fingers are crossed in each hand. Standing in front of her evokes feelings of Mischief and Knowledge
    -An androgynous figure, seemingly male or female with each glance, holding a lantern. This statue evokes feelings of Deja vu
    -A hooded and robe figure with open hands. To look in the hood evokes Primal Terror, but the statue itself evokes Comfort and Bittersweet love. Sammael feels drawn to this statue, being in front of it is almost like praying to his Goddess.
    -An armored figure holding a sword, so worn and old looking as to be barely recognizable compared to the others. It evokes feelings of Protection and Strength
    -A debauched looking young man, who evokes feelings of Guilty Lust and Pleasure (and the edge of what might be Madness)

    They also find an empty pedestal in one corner, with only fragments of stone jutting up from it. All of the other statues are arranged as to face away from this pedestal...

    The door is open, so the party continues every downwards.



    Spoiler: The Sixth Floor
    Show
    This doesn't seem to be a floor so much as where the builders decided to stop. The lights stop, and the stair abruptly end. There are 7 large slabs of stone that jut out from the walls, forming another set of crude steps, and even they stop.

    Only the Fall remains is written across the end of the stairs. Peering down, the group can see the ripple of water. Evidently going with the motto of "who dares, wins", Talvosh nimbly skips down the steps and dives into the black! It's a 20ft drop to the water, and he passes his swim check to keep afloat. Puck follows, but lets himself sink to the bottom since he doesn't have to worry about that breathing nonsense. Peering about, he can see light shining through a tunnel off to the one side underwater. The rest of the party uses a rope to more carefully shimmy down, and everyone follows Puck.


    Spoiler: The Final Floor
    Show
    The underwater tunnel is just long enough to evoke a bit of panicked swimming near the end, and the most ominous message yet is written at the end of the tunnel.
    Darkness Everlasting

    The tunnel opens into a sloped ramp, and everyone slogs out of the water. This chamber is much darker than the others, even with darkvision it's hard to make everything out. On one side of the room is a raised platform, with a gate of sorts embedded into the wall. On the other is a heavy cracked stone chair, almost a throne of sorts. As Janath creeps closer, a hooded and robed figure with a steel hand and a featureless metal mask appears.

    "Well, it's been some time since a group like this made it here together." The Traveler tilts her head and gazes upon the party. "Hello again, Sona."

    Sona is freaking out, as this Traveler is the being that placed the curse on her in her backstory, along with nearly killing her, her classmate, and all three of her arcane teachers (two of which are dragons) before being forced to retreat. Everyone starts spreading out, and the Traveler offers to make their last part of the journey painless, as "there's only one way to go further." Initiative!

    Boss Fight!

    The Traveler wins initiative, casts Time Stop, then casts a Maw of Chaos to catch everyone except Sammael and Talvosh. Talvosh gets a Reverse Gravity placed around him. Time resumes, and everyone in the Maw except for Puck dies instantly. Sammael rushes up and readies an action to interrupt the Traveler's next spell. Talvosh crashes off the ceiling, then manages to crawl out of the backwards gravity and crashes to the floor. The Traveler goes to reach out and touch Sammael with that ominous steel hand, but his attack of opportunity lands and knocks it away, and her second attempt is a natural 1. Puck succumbs to the Maw and dies. Talvosh leaps through the air with a scream but the Traveler uses an immediate action to place a blazing yelllow wall between them, electrifying Talvosh to death.

    "Your mark...it's different...what is that?" Unlike all the others, Sammael's Mark was artificially induced, as his mission is to find the source of this Curse and stop it. Guessing that he wants nothing to do with this Traveler's questions, he backs away.

    "Why prolong the inevitable?" Sammael grits his teeth in response, and dives into the Maw of Chaos.

    YOU DIED



    Spoiler: An unfamiliar Shore
    Show
    Awaken

    The party all suffer the terrible dream of Fire and Darkness again and as one, wake up on a beach. There's a small fire crackling away next to them, and looking around, can see that this shore is at the base of a cliff. On the top of the cliff, a large lighthouse.


    And there's the first session.
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2015-08-30 at 05:25 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Blackhawk748's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Well then. That was different.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guigarci View Post
    "Mr. Aochev, tear down this wall!" Ro'n Ad-Ri'Gan, Bard
    Tiefling Sorcerer by Linkele
    Spoiler: Homebrew stuff
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    My Spell, My Weapon, Im a God

    My Post Apocalyptic Alternate Timeline setting: Amerhikan Wasteland


    My Historical Stuff channel

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    "Interesting" different, or "Kill it with fire" different?

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    YossarianLives's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    I agree with Blackhawk, the only adjective that I can think of to describe that is "interesting."

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    tgva8889's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    I am certainly excited! When you said "time stop" I was like "this is gonna be fantastic."
    Thanks to araveugnitsuga for my Pika-tar!
    5e: Orianna OOC IC
    PTU: Alyssa OOC IC

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Yeah... I/Sona was not over reacting with the freak out when we bumped into 'The Traveller.' She is a scary scary lady and a nasty piece of work. Pro-tip: she looks like beef jerks under that mask lol. Wince cry blubber run home to mommy. *flail*

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    I don't think I've ever been as eager to read the next instalment of a campaign journal after only one entry as I am now. Sadly, it's 2:20 am and I'm not coherent enough to come up with good wording for my praises, but pretend I said something really eloquent .
    Last edited by SZbNAhL; 2015-09-04 at 08:23 PM. Reason: I forgot how spaces work.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Blackhawk748's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    "Interesting" different, or "Kill it with fire" different?
    Theres a difference??
    Quote Originally Posted by Guigarci View Post
    "Mr. Aochev, tear down this wall!" Ro'n Ad-Ri'Gan, Bard
    Tiefling Sorcerer by Linkele
    Spoiler: Homebrew stuff
    Show
    My Spell, My Weapon, Im a God

    My Post Apocalyptic Alternate Timeline setting: Amerhikan Wasteland


    My Historical Stuff channel

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    Well then. That was different.
    Quote Originally Posted by Masterkerfuffle View Post
    I agree with Blackhawk, the only adjective that I can think of to describe that is "interesting."
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawk748 View Post
    Theres a difference??
    Hope you both continue to find it interesting / different, and valid point, Blackhawk.

    Quote Originally Posted by tgva8889 View Post
    I am certainly excited! When you said "time stop" I was like "this is gonna be fantastic."
    Quote Originally Posted by SZbNAhL View Post
    I don't think I've ever been as eager to read the next instalment of a campaign journal after only one entry as I am now. Sadly, it's 2:20 am and I'm not coherent enough to come up with good wording for my praises, but pretend I said something really eloquent .
    Thank you!

    I'm not planning on throwing things/casters over triple their average level at them regularly, but that one was the "intro boss" in the spirit of FROM games, i.e. you're supposed to die to be introduced to that particular mechanic. This campaign is going to be heavily inspired by the Dark Souls / Bloodborne games, so I'm expecting many deaths. And the mechanic I've whipped up for that is Humanity Vitae!

    Spoiler: Vitae, the currency of the soul
    Show
    -Vitae:The essence of your character’s identity, quite possibly their soul. The Curse consumes Vitae, eventually reducing its victims to empty, Hollow shells.
    -Choose an attribute that you feel is a defining one for your character (Intelligence for a wizard, Strength or Constitution for a barbarian as an example, you should probably pick your highest one). Your Vitae total is equal to half this attribute, rounded down. All characters begin with a Vitae score equal to their total
    -When you die, 1 minute later you are reborn at the last Bonfire you attuned yourself to (or next to the Torchbearer you have attuned yourself to after they have rested for a minute) with full hit points and all of your gear, but daily abilities/spells/powers are NOT refreshed. Some creatures might be able to interfere with this, causing you to lose equipment or not be reborn with full hit points
    -You lose one Vitae point when you are reborn
    -As you lose Vitae, your body and mind begin to degrade and break down. You look more and more like a walking (burnt) corpse, and you lose your memory and identity. Eventually, everything that made you, you, is burnt away.
    -When you reach 0 Vitae, you are nearly Hollow. You gain the undead subtype, but none of your other statistics change. If you die while in this state, your character has gone completely Hollow, and is gone forever, now a mindless soulless killing machine under the GM’s control.
    -You can regain Vitae through defeating powerful monsters, other Cursed individuals, or sometimes find it in a rare crystallized form
    -There may be side effects to having too much Vitae…
    -As characters become more powerful and learn more of Artaith and the Curse, new abilities involving Vitae may be revealed…


    If I remember correctly, everyone chose their highest stat (Angelena-Wisdom, Janath-Charisma, Puck-Strength, Sammael-Wisdom, Sona-Charisma, Talvosh-Strength) so everyone has a starting score of at least 9. I'll be dropping those scores soon enough
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2015-09-05 at 10:28 AM.

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    Bad Wolf's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Interesting. I was kind of confused when everyone started dying.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raven777 View Post
    Sorcerers are also based on Charisma. If a Wizard studies the cheat codes to reality, the Sorcerer literally just glares or winks at the universe. And the universe listens.
    Quote Originally Posted by foobar1969 View Post
    Flexibility is awesome, but I'd sacrifice that spellbook in a heartbeat to be a 24-7 flying hentai apocalypse demon.


    First Eternal foe of the Draconic Lord, battling him across the multiverse in whatever shapes and forms he may take.

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    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Two fatalities last night - any bets as to whom before the update is posted?
    Last edited by Picanet; 2015-09-12 at 12:37 PM.

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    Jeargroth's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Janath only has 8 Viatte, as his Charisma is not as high as his Dex... but his mouth does most of the work so that is why it was chosen... and he didn't die. BWAHAHAHAHAHA... long live the warlock.
    SPOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNN!!!!

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    We switched stuff around due to scheduling and played last night instead.

    Spoiler: Beachside fire
    Show
    Come sit by the Fire
    Our heroes all snap awake sprawled about a small crackling fire. They're on a beach (Angelena is the unlucky winner of being closest to the water and claims her prize of a face full of wave) which seems to be at the base of a cliff. There's a lighthouse at the top of the cliff, and a quick scan reveals a tunnel carved into the cliff face. Everyone takes inventory of themselves, and checks their surroundings. Beach? Check. Ocean? Check. Tiny fire that glows with magic and makes you feel surprisingly content and warm? Check. Sammael and Puck are eagle-eyed, and spot an island in the distance across the water, at least a few miles away. After a bit of discussion (and Janath creeping people out by re-binding Naberius to himself), they head into the tunnel. It's well lit, with fresh torches mounted on the walls regularly, and the tunnel curves around to a wide set of stairs leading up. Advancing up the stairs, the party opens the heavy door at the top and find themselves inside the lighthouse. Someone has turned the inside into quite a cozy little room - rugs, a table covered with food, a cheery hearth with a cooking pot hanging over it, and comfy chairs scattered about. There's a man and a woman who turn about as the party enters, and they invite everyone to sit and eat.


    Spoiler: The Twins
    Show
    I imagine you're somewhat confused right now
    The twins (they have to be, for how eerily similar they appear) sit down as Talvosh happily digs in, then the rest of the party slowly joins. The two express their regrets to our heroes at their unfortunate arrival in Artaith, what with the Curse and all.

    *And yes, I snapped the twins up wholecloth from Bioshock Infinite - they just worked too well for this*

    The Twins manage to help shed some light on the situation while still being fairly vague, seamlessly alternating and finishing each other's sentences.

    "What is this Curse?"

    "A dreadful thing - You can die, but not for long. Each time you do though, you'll lose a piece of what makes you...well, you. Lose too much...and poof" *hand fluttering gesture*

    "What caused it?"

    "Well, if we knew that, you wouldn't be here and neither would we."

    "Are you cursed?"

    "No. We have unique circumstances."

    "How do we cure it?"

    "Again, if we knew, none of us would be here. Our suggestion is to follow the remnants of the road east and north, to the city of Logos. It's the largest city remaining on the continent, with the both the largest amount of non-Cursed, and the largest repository of knowledge around."

    "How many have arrived in the past year like us? Have any managed to return to their own world?"

    "...More than we'd care to count....and we're not sure."

    "What's on the island in the distance?"

    "The shattered remnants of a great empire, now it's a bunch of crazed sorcerers. A lack of morals and rules against inbreeding will do that."

    "What are your 'unique circumstances'?"

    "I'd explain it, but I don't think it would mean anything to you...it involves temporal and quantum entanglement."

    There's some more going back and forth, and then the Twins present their gifts to the PCs (everyone wrote or explained their character backstory to me, so they all got a choice of experience, a point of Vitae, or a semi-random magic item). Puck takes the experience, imbibing a gleaming black fluid. Talvosh takes the item, and gains a Spool of Endless Rope. Janath takes the item, and receives a Rod of Frost. Sona takes the Vitae, and receives a small gleaming crystal that shines with an indigo light. Crushing it between her fingers, her Vitae increases by one (and she feels a disturbingly euphoric rush doing so). Sammael acquires the Lenses of Revelation, and Angelena lucks out with a 1st level Pearl of Power. Everyone fills their bag with food (and Janath grabs as many bottles of booze as he can secret away...I think he has a drinking problem). After a few final questions, the party decides to follow the Twin's advice and follow the road to Logos. Leaving the lighthouse, said road is almost entirely dirt, with fragments of stone mixed in. It follows the cliff edge, and then angles down to the shoreline.

    The Journey begins!


    Spoiler: The Sinking Village
    Show
    While the party has been afflicted with a terrible curse and banished to a strange dying world, at least it's nice out. It's sunny and tropical, with jungle further inland. After about half an hour of walking, the group comes across what looks to be a fishing village. Part of it is submerged, with portions of huts poking up from the waves, and the smell of decay is strong in the air. Approaching closer, Sammael spots several figures sprawled about and on top of the first few huts. They look like horribly emaciated and burnt humans, basically walking corpses wearing tattered fragments of clothes and armor. One is repetitively banging his head against a hut wall, while the others are laying about staring at nothing. Sammael takes a moment to quaff his tinctures (basically eternal potions that function 2/day) of Enlarge person, Mage armor, and Shield then walks close enough to catch all of them in a Destroy Undead burst. Doing a big chunk of damage to all of them in a blast of silvery flame, the Hollowed scramble to their feet with a gasping shriek and attack!

    The party mows quite handily through these 5 Hollowed, with charges, bull rushes, an eldritch blast, and another destroy undead burst taking care of them before they can do much damage to our heroes. Advancing further into the village while his tinctures still function, Sammael encounters two armored archers, and then a waterlogged corpse shambles out of the water to hiss hatefully at him. Immediately, Sammael has to make a con check to hold his breath as his mouth fills with seawater.
    Battle!

    The Drowned advances to try and catch more people in it's drowning aura, but no one fails. Janath is behind a building and can't see any targets, so he changes position. Sammael rushes towards the archers and hurts them with another destroy undead burst, and they respond by sinking a couple arrows into him, despite his currently terrifyingly high armor class. Sona benign transpositions herself and Talvosh so he's set up for a charge on the Drowned, and Puck sets up for a bull rush into the nearby building. Angelena puts out a Bless, and the nearby hut bursts open to let three Hollowed shamble out waving broken and jagged weapons. Talvosh charges!

    But he forgets to declare any power attack, or to leap attack, or anything like that, so his hit is solid rather than massive. The Drowned thumps him for solid damage (they are Nasty monsters), and everyone makes their save vs drowning. Sammael plays a bit of pinball with the archers (moves towards one, the other shoots him while the first retreats out of reach), and is concerned at how fast their arrows are dropping his health. Sona and Janath grease and zap two of the Hollowed that burst out of the hut, and Talvosh smears one of them to a fine paste, nearly collapsing the hut in the process! But that allows the third Hollow to land a near max damage hit on Puck for a huge 35+ pts of damage! Angelena puts Guidance on Puck. Talvosh swings twice and does impressive damage with the one hit...but then at the top of the round he fails his con check, and falls over choking on the seawater in his lungs. The Drowned reaches down, seizes him by the throat, and brutally snaps his neck with a coup de grace.

    One down.

    Sammael sprints back towards the Drowned (and out of sight of the archers) while using another destroy undead), while Puck and Janath finish off the remaining two Hollowed. Angelena heals Puck up, and Sona blips herself onto a nearby roof (with her anklets of translocation) and tries a Great Thunderclap on the Drowned, which does nothing. The archers advance and manage to hit Angelena with one shot, but miss the other. The Drowned shambles towards Angelena and Janath, but there's this strange metal thing that doesn't breathe in its way...Sammael burns his last Destroy undead and cranks the damage roll, incinerating the archers. The Drowned shrugs it off with a malevolent glare, but is occupied by Puck wailing on it with his greataxe. The Drowned punishes Puck with two massive hammerblows, but everyone concentrating fire on it manages to finally bring the Drowned down before anyone else succumbs (Sammael started to, but it moved out of range to try and kill the cleric so he stabilized). All is silent except for the slap of the waves on the shore again.


    Spoiler: Exploring the Sinking Village
    Show
    Talvosh wakes up by the fire on the beach again, and is gently mocked by the Twins on his way back towards his companions. While he's hotfooting it back to the village, the group takes their time and examines the corpses and nearby huts. The Hollowed and Drowned have nothing, while the archers each had finely crafted bows and masterwork breastplates. Searching the huts, the party finds a sealed chest in one, and a tightly wrapped scroll in another. Inside the chest are 7 vials full of murky blue liquid; a ridiculous spellcraft and knowledge arcana check reveals that they're most likely potions of water breathing. Puck picks up the chest, and shaking it, starts the evening's trend of him breaking things to reveal hidden items/info. The bottom falls out of the chest, revealing several arcane and divine scrolls. Sammael opens the leather scroll case he found in the other building Secret found! and finds what seems to be a journal entry.

    Spoiler: First journal entry of Vaughn of Esmerra, Adventuring Scholar
    Show
    What a terrible place I have awoken to. If you are like me, and have arrived in this place following some nasty business involving a black mark on the hand, a bizarre dream, and an untimely death, you have my sympathies. If you are a natural inhabitant of this miserable world, my condolences. Return this scroll whence you found it, for I cannot assist you. This writing is for my fellow displaced individuals in an attempt to aid in elucidation. I will share what I have discovered of this place named “Artaith” in my writings. I will secret these away for as long as I survive and am able to, to pass on my knowledge.

    After speaking with the...eccentric twins at the lighthouse, I and my companions found myself in this abandoned village. The sea is already starting to creep up to the edge of some of the buildings, slowly reclaiming it. According to what we learned, this is a brief stop on our way to Logos, one of the few remaining safe havens of civilization. As to what happens after that, I am unsure.

    I am also unsure of the motivations of my enigmatic guides. Who to trust in a land of strangers? At least I have my companions with me. Gwyneryr suggested jokingly that we toss someone off the cliff to see if they were telling the truth about us being unable to stay dead for long. I think she was joking at least. We will cross that bridge when we reach it.

    We were forced to slay several creatures lurking about the village last night. Hollow seems an apt name; they were as bestial shells of men, flailing and clawing with whatever they had in hand. They took an alarmingly long time to die. We will be following the remnants of the road leading East in the morning.

    Vaughn of Esmerra, Adventuring Scholar


    They transcribe the scroll, and replace it where they found it, for any who travel this way after them. Puck finds nothing in the third hut, and smashes it to the ground using his ridiculous dungeoncrasher bonus to doing so. This reveals the corpse lying on top of the hut! A young man, dressed in light robes and unarmed except a dagger that looks as if it's never been used, he seems incredibly out of place. That, and he obviously drowned to death despite being on top of a building. Searching the body, the party finds a strange angular crystal. No one is able to roll high enough to fully identify it other than it seems to be a catalyst of some sort, that fits into another device. Angelena's player is wiped out and heads to bed, and Sammael's has to leave as he works early the next morning, but Talvosh, Sona, Janath, and Puck decide to explore a little further before retiring. Advancing further into the village, there's the choice of going further inland, and towards what looks to be a barricade made of rubble and a set of crude gates, or more towards the water and the remains of what might have been the main docks. They manage to spot the other Drowned before it can sneak up on them though, and the fight against the lone Drowned goes much more in the party's favor. They start checking the huts around here, splitting up (but still staying pretty close). With that last fight, however, they finally got the attention of the Scrag rogue that haunts this area. He stealthily observes the party as they dismantle the Drowned, and waits. Sona is checking the building closest to the water, and he creeps up. Because Sona has Blindsense from her Draconic Sense feat, he doesn't get to creep up right behind her before attacking. But a surprise partial charge and then acting first means she takes three sneak attack claws in a row, and dies messily! The Scrag starts to drag her body towards the water for later consumption, but Janath blasts him with a Mortal-Bane blast, and then Talvosh does a max power attacking leaping charge - and the Scrag crits on his attack of opportunity.

    Talvosh crits in retaliation, taking the claw across the chest in exchange for nearly cutting the Scrag's arm off entirely with a massive blow. The scrag lets out a pained howl of dismay, and withdraws into the water holding his mostly severed arm. It glares at them from the water before disappearing into the murk.

    After venturing vaguely towards the gates and narrowly escaping being filled with arrows by the sharpshooters on top of the gates, the party decides to travel all the way back to the bonfire on the beach to recuperate (Sona ignored the Twins on her trek back from death).



    And that's the second session!

    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    2
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-01-12 at 01:01 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ComaVision's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    This is my kind of game! Did you make the stats for the Drowned or is it from something? I like the Drowning Aura.

    EDIT: MMIII. Oh, when I DM again...
    Last edited by ComaVision; 2015-09-15 at 04:34 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    The Drowned is from the Monster Manual 3...it is definitely nastier than the CR 8 that it's listed as because of that aura.

    Glad you're liking it so far!

    EDIT: Exactly, the MM3
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2015-09-15 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Ninja'd

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    YossarianLives's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    This is brilliant. I can't wait to see where the plot of this campaign leads too.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    I see someone was brave enough to ask for the back stories... you are a brave soul and I salute you lol.
    Hope you enjoy them!

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Really liking this so far.

    Any chance you guys could quit your day jobs and play this campaign out as quick as possible?
    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    You could also go on an adventure for the magical strap-on, if you really want to make an adventure out of this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Wizard View Post
    Come at me scrublord I'm ripped

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rubber Band View Post
    Really liking this so far.

    Any chance you guys could quit your day jobs and play this campaign out as quick as possible?
    Kickstarter or Patron? Lol

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Someone asked for back stories... do they know the PAGES of stuff they are going to have to slog though... And how dark some of it is? Good on the person who does, it will definitely be entertaining, but some of it is rather ... bleak (would be putting it mildly).
    SPOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNN!!!!

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    DrowGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeargroth View Post
    do they know the PAGES of stuff they are going to have to slog though...
    After seeing 33 pages for only the first part of Sona's backstory, they probably got a rough idea.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeargroth View Post
    Someone asked for back stories... do they know the PAGES of stuff they are going to have to slog though... And how dark some of it is? Good on the person who does, it will definitely be entertaining, but some of it is rather ... bleak (would be putting it mildly).
    Quote Originally Posted by Jenerix525 View Post
    After seeing 33 pages for only the first part of Sona's backstory, they probably got a rough idea.
    Makes me want to read them now

    The party member with the least baggage in my group is a sociopathic murderer* who is planning deicide (of their own god, not someone else's) and a war that will almost certainly end in the utter destruction of their race. I feel that we would game well together

    * I feel that having to point an adventurer out as a murderer to distinguish themselves from other adventurers should clarify exactly what kind of person they are.
    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    You could also go on an adventure for the magical strap-on, if you really want to make an adventure out of this.
    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Wizard View Post
    Come at me scrublord I'm ripped

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Sent the links to you in a PM, Red Rubber Band. As for the copious quantity, it is the product of 4 people writing back and forth together for 8 months or so for fun.

    And thank you for the kind words, everyone!

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    Blackhawk748's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    The Lutece twins.....



    ...you evil evil genius.
    Quote Originally Posted by Guigarci View Post
    "Mr. Aochev, tear down this wall!" Ro'n Ad-Ri'Gan, Bard
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    Spoiler: Homebrew stuff
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    My Spell, My Weapon, Im a God

    My Post Apocalyptic Alternate Timeline setting: Amerhikan Wasteland


    My Historical Stuff channel

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Session the Third!

    The party had retreated to the Fire on the beach at the end of last session to rest (or in Puck's case, repair himself). I allow a bit of retroactive changes (Puck had excess money, I let him snag a single Clockwork Mender that can repair him for 1d8 per day, and change a feat around, Talvosh didn't realize how badly full plate would hinder jump checks so I let him convert it into light armor). The night passes swiftly, and with Angelena burning the rest of her cure spells before falling asleep + a solid repair check from Puck + the increased healing effects from sleeping at the Fire, everyone is mostly topped up come morning.

    Spoiler: Back to the Sinking Village
    Show
    Returning to the village, the group reaches the point where they could check out the (mostly) submerged remnants of the docks, or advance further inland towards a tall wall and heavy gates bisecting the village. Despite Sona's paranoia and muttered threats regarding something large and scaly in the water somewhere , they decide to check out the gates and wall.

    Carefully observing from behind several of the huts that remain standing, the wall is pretty solid looking, around 20 feet tall and made of sharpened logs lashed and reinforced together. There's a big set of doors in view...but there's also two of those archers walking back and forth along the parapet (who roll horribly to notice anything). After debate and buffing (Sammael and Puck both quaff the tincture of Enlarge, Angelena puts Darkness on a rock that Puck wedges into his armor plate, and everyone decides to storm the gates!
    Charge!

    One of the archers is fast to react and sinks an arrow into Puck's shoulder (I roll a natural 20 for the first attack of the night, but Puck took the Improved Fortification feat), but misses with the other 2 shots. Talvosh dashes to the next closest building for cover, while Sona zips a Glitterdust at the second archer. I roll an 18 on his Will however. Sammael holds back and misses a bowshot at one of the archers (yay cover), preparing to use his ludicrous speed to rush to the door as soon as Puck hits it. Janath makes himself a clever little sniper bunker from inside one of the huts, but rolls poorly. Puck starts the pain train, and slogs inexorably towards the gate, while Angelena sidles up and puts out a Mass Aid. The archers continue shooting, and I hurt Puck a bit more, but not as much as I should due to the darkness shrouding him. Talvosh makes it to the gate (and being right under the gates makes it very difficult for him to be shot), and Sona Magic Missiles an archer. Puck makes it to the gates, and beats the DC 32 to Kool-Aid Man the gates wide open! Sammael rushes up next to Puck, and they both see inside the gates:

    It's a broad open area, almost an arena. Almost half of it is covered by water, not even the thick walls can keep the ocean out it seems. There's a broad stone platform with a large fire blazing behind it (that must be the source of the smoke they saw earlier). On the platform are four large iron bowls with fires burning inside them, and in the middle is a massive stone seat. On said seat is a Giant armored figure, 12 feet tall easily. It looks up inquisitively as Puck bursts the door open, and stands with the squeal of metal on metal!


    Spoiler: BOSS FIGHT: Giant of the Sinking Village
    Show
    Dun dun dun
    Angelena starts heading for the gate, and the archers take some pot shots at Sona and Angelena (since they can't easily see the three at/inside the gates). Talvosh charges the giant with a raging max Power attack Leap attack! And notices too late that the giant is holding onto a thick chain. The massive boat anchor & chain, glowing a sullen red from sitting in the large fire, lashes out and smashes Talvosh out of the air and to the ground!

    It's a large spiked chain, but I just loved the image of a big anchor being whipped around with a giant chain.

    Sona throws a Greater Thunderclap above the gate and clips both archers, who both fail their save and fall over. One in fact fails so badly that he slips right off the parapet and crashes to the ground! Unfortunately, that makes Janath's sniper position useless, so he starts heading out of the hut and towards the gate. The giant kicks the one brazier over, spilling the burning oil all over the water and igniting it (effectively cutting off that side of the area), then brings the anchor howling downwards with a maximum Power attack to crush Talvosh into a bloody mess! Buuutt I roll a 2 and Talvosh frantically rolls to the side. Sammael surges forward, mobility keeping him safe from the lashing chain, and rolls a natural 20 with a Smiting scythe slash. Thankfully he doesn't confirm, and he opens a cut down the giant's back. Puck can't reach the giant, so he rushes the hapless archer on the ground and smears him all over the wall. Two more archers start making their way from the other side of the fort, but they don't make it close enough to get a clear shot. Angelena double moves and just makes it close enough to save Talvosh with a Quickened Cure. Talvosh, Sammael, and Puck all manage to surround the giant, and while Talvosh and Sammael distract him with heavy blows, Puck succeeds on a Sunder and nearly cuts through the chain. Eep! It's still in one piece thankfully, and the giant cranks all three of them. Sona finally starts heading for the gate - she's separated from the herd, but I don't roll the required % for the Scrag Rogue to notice and start stalking her . Janath starts sniping back and forth with the archers. Finally everyone's made it into the compound, with spells and arrows flying everywhere.

    Then Puck crits with his greataxe for a BIG hit. "Oh, almost forgot my second attack." And rolls a natural 20 - again! Two power attacking greataxe criticals finish the giant off with over 130 points of damage between the two hits. The first blow shears through the giant's stomach plate, and as he drops to a knee, the second takes him in the neck and nearly decapitates him. The archers make a valiant effort to avenge their leader! I drop Puck to less than 10 hit points, Talvosh is looking low, Angelena has to use almost every spell slot, Sammael is out of smites, and Sona uses a good chunk of her slots, but they finish off the archers and overcome the boss fight with no deaths.

    Next time, Gadget!



    Spoiler: Past the Sinking village
    Show
    The party spots the heavy chest hidden inside the fire behind the giant's seat, and Janath puts the fire out with his Rod of Frost. They luck out, and inside the chest they find a Rod of Bodily Restoration, a jar with 3 ounces of Stone Salve, an Oil of Magic Vestment +3, and a crystal of Lesser Aquatic Action. They also notice a dark glittering cloud above the giant's corpse, and after some "debate" Sona claims the point of Vitae. Unbarring the far gate, the party continues onwards and find a second Fire set in a little clearing in the forest. It's mid-day by now, but everyone is so spent and wounded that everyone makes camp around the Fire immediately until the next day. Attuning to the Fire, everyone notices that it is alarmingly easy to lose track of time and just drift off while they sit around the fire. The group rests (Puck repairs a big chunk thanks to a Guidance of the Avatar from Angelena) and the day and night passes with little incident. The Scrag had been watching them, but a botched move silently forces him to retreat early in the evening...

    Continuing onwards and further inland, the jungle quickly thickens and surrounds both sides of the road. After nearly a full day of travel, they spot a trail leading off the remnants of the road, and Sammael spots fresh human tracks going down it. Investigating further, the group follows the trail for around half an hour, until it leads to a clearing. Inside the clearing is a walled compound...with two massive crossbows mounted on the walls that point menacingly in the party's direction as soon as they come into sight.

    "Move on, strangers. We've nothing worth taking, and want nothing to do with you!"

    Janath however manages to smooth talk his way into the group being allowed to share dinner, camp outside the compound, and trade in the morning (got them from unfriendly to friendly, not quite helpful). The spokesperson introduces himself as Andrej, and after the group swears they mean no harm (and strangely enough, that none of them use fire magic), the gate opens and they're invited in for dinner. Introducing themselves to the travelers, all the compound comes out. There's Andrej (a larger man), Bogdan (an even larger man, entirely hairless), Radovan (a long-haired bearded man in robes), Malina and Teodora (two outdoorsy looking hunters that look close enough to be sisters), and Anja (a harsh looking woman in dark leather armor). Sammael spots a small figure wrapped in bandages duck out of sight into one of the buildings. The group had also noticed that the front of the compound had recently been repaired, and still had scorch and burn marks. Acting on a hunch, Sammael and Angelena offer healing to the burnt person hiding in the back. Turns out it's Andrej's son, Zivko. Hesitantly, the young boy (covered nearly head to toe in bandages), shuffles out. A heal check reveals that while his health isn't bad, he's been burnt so badly that he's suffered dexterity damage. Using the rod of bodily restoration, they heal the boy. Tearfully, Andrej invites the group to stay inside the compound for the night, and promises to answer any questions they have.


    Spoiler: Exposition
    Show
    Dinner is a hearty stew, and Andrej and Radovan answer questions as best as they can as the evening passes. It's a pretty bleak picture that's painted - they've seen dozens of travelers go on pilgrimage to Logos, and scant few are seen again. It's also about a month's travel on foot to Logos. The Curse has been spreading for years, possibly decades, and unlike more strong-willed individuals (i.e. adventurers/PCs), the Curse can consume someone in a matter of days sometimes. The harsh woman (Anja) is surprised at Puck's presence, and Radovan strangely enough seems to recognize him, calling him a Forged and asking what he's doing so far from Logos. Digging for more info, it seems the Forged are the protectors of Logos, Divine creations of the patron goddess of the city, Thelesis. The topic shifts towards deities, and the group gets a quick introduction to the pantheon of Artaith. As they are described, Janath connects them to the 6 statues they found in the underground temple.

    Adremmalach, the Lord of Magic, Sunlight, and Strength, the King of the Gods (the imperious man with hands wreathed in flame)

    Thelesis, the Lady of Wizardry, Knowledge, and Thievery (the clever looking woman with a dagger and scroll)

    Uthra, the Gentle Mother and Shepherd at the end of the Road (the hooded and robed figure that Sammael felt such familiarity with)

    Rhamiel, the Rake (the debauched looking young man)

    Valeos, the Guardian (the armored figure)

    Anael, the Watcher (the androgynous statue holding the lantern)

    Radovan also implies that he thinks the twins at the lighthouse are servants of Anael, but lets slip that he hasn't seen a priest of any of these gods in years.

    Sona also does a bit of digging, and finds out that the person responsible for burning Zivko (and nearly the whole compound) was a sorceress with fiery red hair and an even more fiery disposition...someone she knew from the past. A violent and cruel woman named Jezelle, who Sona had encountered when they were both trying to discover exactly what the Curse was. The incident was a few weeks ago, apparently Jezelle was wounded and lashed out when Andrej refused to let her in. She nearly burnt the whole place down before they managed to drive her off. Radovan promises to try and make a rough map for the group in the morning, but before he retires for the evening, hands them a sealed leather scroll case.

    Spoiler: The Second entry of Vaughn of Esmerra, Adventuring Scholar
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    Baltan died today. What we thought was a corpse on the road jumped up and cut his throat, and nearly sawed right through his neck before we killed the thing. By then, Baltan was too far gone to save. Still not fully believing what we had been told, we headed back through the village, and back to the bonfire. Baltan met us halfway through the village, seemingly no worse for wear. He said he felt fine, at least.

    We burst back into the lighthouse, demanding more information. We were told of a ritual to allow someone to tie themselves to a Bonfire, to become a Torchbearer and carry a part of the fire with them. More inclined to believe the cryptic twins now, we returned to the fire and performed the ritual on me (all agreed I was the best choice).

    It felt horrible. However brief, the sensation of burning alive is not something I ever wished to know. After that flash, though, I just felt warm. There was a nagging feeling of having lost something in the ritual, though. I asked Baltan about it later that night, when everyone else was asleep. He agreed, that after “dying” it had felt like a bit of him was missing.

    Let us hope we don’t find out what might happen when someone dies too many times.

    I have included the steps to the ritual below:

    The Torchbearer must gather a drop of blood from each of their companions, along with a small piece of hair (or skin I suppose if you are gruesome or your companion bald). Collect all of this into a cloth, and tie it tightly. The Torchbearer must then grip the cloth in their fist and squeeze as tightly as possible. Committing your companions to memory and holding them in their mind, the Torchbearer must then thrust their hand (holding the cloth) into the Fire, and let go of the image in their mind. It will not burn, though it is not pleasant.

    Thus is a Torchbearer anointed.


    We end the session there, the trading of goods will happen in the morning. Puck levels up to 7 (he's ahead of everyone else due to taking the gift of xp at the beginning).

    DEATH COUNT: Still at 2, alas.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Wild North Yonder

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Puzzle has installed some very real paranoia in me/Sona during the game. Thank goodness for a cranked out listen skill to try and keep ahead of the nasty Scrag who I assume in time is going to get himself a name and story at this rate. FML.


  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    YossarianLives's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    This just gets better and better. Could you please send me a link to the various backstories?

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    The Frozen North
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Thanks again, Blackhawk and Masterkerfuffle (and the links are sent).

    And Picanet:


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