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  1. - Top - End - #211
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Plot tweest! The aftermath I was talking about, posted early!

    Spoiler: Falling ashes
    Show
    Floating in the air where Jezelle once was are 4(!) Vitae. But..there's something different about them. They seem to shine with a faint reddish hue...the players decide how to split the Vitae (and which to try and store for Angelena and Sona), and Puck touches one.



    He passes his Will save, so Puck manages to catch himself before he tries to embed his axe in the side of Sammael's head. From Sammael's viewpoint, the moment Puck touched the red Vitae, his eyes went blazing red, and Sammael could actually hear Puck's gears and plates shrieking and grinding against one another as he wound up to swing before halting. Sammael absorbs one as well, and immediately feels the same.

    Unadulterated, teeth-splitting, muscle-ripping, heart-bursting RAGE. As with Puck, his hands are scrabbling at the hilt of his scythe before he can push back the nigh-overwhelming wrath. They very very carefully coax the remaining Vitae into a glass flask for the other party members. Down below at the corpse of the dragon, Talvosh takes the two Vitae that emerged from. They didn't specifically state if they were inspecting it as carefully, so I quite gleefully make Talvosh roll 2 Will saves. He passes one, and fails the other. So Puck and Sammael up above are treated to the sight of a howling Talvosh rocketing upwards towards them.

    He makes his next save, so his warscream kind of trails off in confusion as to why he's holding his axe, and why he's 30 feet higher than he was a moment ago.

    While they're waiting for Angelena and Sona to return, Talvosh and Puck get up to their usual tricks of disemboweling and desecrating the corpses of the fallen "looking for treasure." They're pushing the corpse off the tower right as Sona and Angelena are arriving.


    Spoiler: Back from the Fire
    Show
    Originally I had Bulwark help Sona and Angelena make it back to the Central tower quickly, but that contradicts something else I'm doing, so COSMIC RETCON HAS OCCURRED. Instead, some potions of Expeditious retreat / squad of backup / DM handwave gets them there relatively quickly. Juuussst in time to look up and see a large shadow rapidly descending towards the pair! Wings of Cover prevents any damage from the falling dragon corpse, but the mess. The mess! It takes several prestidigitation scourings to be physically clean. The mental stains, however, are forever.

    Ascending back through the tower, Sona is handed a vial of the red Vitae. The three members who already were subjected to it aren't particularly detailed in their explanation, just that it might make her a little crazy. Puck puts her in a preemptive Full Nelson hold. Sona drinks the Vitae, promptly fails her save, and cuts loose with a Stilled-Silent (from Pact Adept) Wings of Flurry. Which nearly kills Talvosh, as he's at dangerously low health already. Puck rattles her, Sammael stunning fist-nonlethally flurries, and Talvosh nonlethally wails on her all at once to stop that from happening again. I imagine the sound to be something like this

    Thankfully for Sona, Angelena gets there in time to scold Puck and stop him from being tempted to toss her off the side of the tower. Still working on that 'appropriate response' trick...with the group reunited, and Jezelle nowhere to be seen, they hobble back to the Church of the Flame, the party having run out of pretty much everything.

    There's good news and bad news waiting as they return.

    The Good: The majority of the fiends seem to have disappeared, particularly the commanding creatures. Reports are coming positive from most of the defenders as they break through the remaining creatures

    The Bad: A lot of the city is still either demolished, burning, or under attack from remaining creatures. No-one has seen most of the Council members, still.

    The Worse: Bulwark and a large contingent of heavily wounded Steelguard return shortly after the party, the mood somber. They were apparently fighting around the Unmarked Estates. They managed to defend at least part of the homes...but three of the Estates were razed. And while they were under assault, another group attacked an incredibly vital home.

    "The Children. They killed all of them." It's Lady, the eerily quiet Forged from before. She's missing an arm, and speaking at a normal tone (which for her means she's screaming). And here is where an absolutely horrifying revelation crashes home.

    The party has seen exactly one child since arriving in Artaith. One, and he was a teenager. They have seen no children of any age in Logos, none at all. As Bulwark helps Alexandria up from the despairing heap she crumpled into at this news, the Flamespeaker confirms that the Cursed are unable to have children. No-one with the Mark can have children. Numbly, Sammael and Sona go with Bulwark to examine the estate to look for clues as to who is responsible.

    The Estates are all high-walled and highly defensible buildings, and all are heavily scarred with recent wounds. There's still the sound of fighting in the distance, but the building the group goes towards is eerily quiet. There's a perfect circle melted or cut through several walls and buildings in a straight line - whoever did this had a clear objective that they cut to the heart of quickly.

    Inside are the absolutely shredded remains of Forged, humans, and Hobgoblins, and behind them are many small bodies. Sammael grimly inspects the children - there is no blood. Besides being unnaturally pale, they seem untouched. Making his Spellcraft/knowledge Religion (what with him being dedicated to natural death) check though, he does discover the cause. They were slain by a manifestation of concentrated Evil, a word of Blasphemous malice (yes, I'm being subtle as a hammer). More horrifyingly, this almost guarantees that their bodies will rise as a Hollow or Undead of some sort.

    While Sammael does this, I roll randomly, and Sona receives a quiet message murmured in her ear. It's Janath's voice:

    "Sona - I know you won't trust me, but Jezelle is insane. She took all the children, couldn't stop her. I'm sorry."

    The timing is suspicious, Sona is already stinging from when he KILLED her, and when Sammael mentions the signs of Blasphemy being cast, she snaps a little.

    "Bastard! I won't kill you. I'll mend this curse and send you to that Hell you've been running from personally!"

    A little later, there's another murmur, but this one sounds different. Colder, more rasping. It's Janath, but not the same.

    "I'm never going back. And gods help me.

    I

    Want

    More."
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-09-03 at 06:30 PM.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  2. - Top - End - #212
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Thank you :)
    Thank you for the quick update of the aftermath.
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

    Click my Vulpix to feed it yummy berries!

  3. - Top - End - #213
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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

    This is awsome! Thanks for posting it.

    Could I ask for the backstory? I need something to read in work.

  4. - Top - End - #214
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by red_kangaroo View Post
    Could I ask for the backstory? I need something to read in work.
    St. Cuthbert help you!!
    Sona's alone is a full novel... they're all wonderful though :D
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

    Click my Vulpix to feed it yummy berries!

  5. - Top - End - #215
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Too late - the links are sent!

    And thanks you two, always good to hear that people enjoy the mad scribbling of our game.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  6. - Top - End - #216
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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

    Quote Originally Posted by PrismCat21 View Post
    St. Cuthbert help you!!
    Sona's alone is a full novel... they're all wonderful though :D
    LOL - back before Artaith had a name I had been aware Puzzle was working on a world for a couple years. Sona's story was my poke to try and get it started, and to figure out if I was going to play Jezelle or Sona as my PC.

    That... and Puzzle and I like background writing. You think Sona's is long.... heh. There's a preamble to my game that's over 70k words long, and an alternate evil time line that's on part 2 now?

    There is a lot of writing. ^.^;;

  7. - Top - End - #217
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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

    I was thinking about the City of Fifteen Nights business.

    Wow, this city is huge. If it takes fifteen nights to walk across and is roughly circular (so it takes fifteen nights between any two places on opposite borders, not just between the two most distant places inside the city), it must be immense.

    I'd guess you could walk 50 km per day (about 31 miles?), because you can realistically walk at 5 km/h for about 10 net hours a day (I'm supposing the city is an easy terrain without too much a labyrinthine layout to get lost or slowed down). That makes it 750 km across (466 miles). It covers 441.562 km2, that's slightly larger than Iraq or California, and the outer walls are 2.355 km long, about the distance between Paris and Moscow.

    Let's take a look at the population. From D&D, Sigil has been stated at 819 mi2 (about 2.121 km2), because it's 6,4 mi in diameter and 20 mi long, with different sources giving populations of 250.000, half a million and a full million. That's 118, 236 or 471 people per square km. I'm talking about Sigil mostly because it's a true metropolis, which Logos must have also been, once. Let's say Logos had population density of 250 people per km2 before its fall (that's also mean value of population density of today's Earth, BTW). That would put it at 110.390.500 residents, with probably half as much in visitors, travellers and traders in the golden age of yore. With 110 million people, it's six times larger than New York, or only 10 mil people short of Japan.

    Population density of 250 people per km2 is by the way very low, as the cities of today may be around 2.000 and metropolises start at 15.000 and go up to 41.000 people per km2 in the City of Manila. Anyway, for 2.000 and 15.000 ppkm2, Logos would have 883 millions and 6,6 billions residents, but these population densities are probably too much even for a magical metropolis, so let's go with the 110 millions.

    Even with a century of dying out and hollowing, there must be millions of feral undead in the city. How many ash wraiths can the PCs kill before they crush them with sheer numbers?

    Anyway, this city must be (or have been) absolutely filled with magic. Nothing short of a literal army of magewrights might have ever made this work. During it's prime, Logos must have relied on an incredible number of create food and water, network of magical transportation and probably some extradimensional sewers.

    I wonder how much of this magic still remains somewhere in the ruins...

    BTW, Logos is definitely what I would call a city state.

    P.S.: How the Baator many people must have lived on Coruscant?

  8. - Top - End - #218
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Quote Originally Posted by red_kangaroo View Post
    I was thinking about the City of Fifteen Nights business.

    Awesome analysis
    That's super cool, Red Kangaroo, even if it reveals me playing slightly fast and loose with scale for the sake of GRAND DRAMA.

    I was using the fifteen nights going more off being able to cover 30 km / day (It is a little windy and congested, plus having to travel around large impassible structures), so yes, it was an absolutely gigantic city. Just not quite as monstrous as your initial report

    And yes, that is the reason that most of the city is still pretty much uninhabitable. Even with the grand majority of the dead having been moved to the Gravefields (a process spanning probably close to a decade), there still are countless Hollows lurking in the dark places of the city. What the party has travelled (and the scant residents of Logos lurk in) is a relatively narrow strip across the city that has been clawed and fought back into relative safety. On the upside, by this point, said Hollows have wasted away to the point that they lack the energy to actively search for victims.

    And yes, the city was full to the brim with magic of all sorts. It was the shining example of magecraft for the whole world (the city of Helios rivalling it, but they were far more selective about their inhabitants and who used magic for what). Downside is that when the Curse spread so rapidly at first - a city full of people who can harness a power like magic all going violently insane and murderous all at once?

    As for the Sewers and magic remaining in ruined areas of the city...I'm going to need you to sign this Nondisclosure agreement, since you seem to be near-prescient.
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-09-08 at 06:44 PM.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  9. - Top - End - #219
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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

    I just heard a choir of cat girls dying there... lol

  10. - Top - End - #220
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-09-08 at 09:00 PM.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  11. - Top - End - #221
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    GRAND DRAMA
    Rule of Cool always trumps any Common Sense or Suspension of Disbelief, if anime taught me anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    I was using the fifteen nights going more off being able to cover 30 km / day (It is a little windy and congested, plus having to travel around large impassible structures), so yes, it was an absolutely gigantic city. Just not quite as monstrous as your initial report
    Then it's 158.962 km2 of cityscape and about 40 mil residents, going by my previous math. That's still quite huge but probably loses that "the City Where Half the World Lived" feel.

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    I'm going to need you to sign this Nondisclosure agreement, since you seem to be near-prescient.
    Hehehe...

    P.S.:
    Spoiler: Logos
    Show



  12. - Top - End - #222
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    I like! My google-fu fails me, is that from something, or just a super cool piece of art?

    Edit: And "City where half the world lived" is spawning little idea bunnies....into the random ideas notebook it goes!



    One day till whichever new direction the party chooses! Looking forward to see where their greedy little hearts take them.
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-09-09 at 12:05 PM.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  13. - Top - End - #223
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    And the delay on this session writeup is entirely because of my new computer and Overwatch, otherwise known as my new favourite game and devourer of time.

    Spoiler: Relevant
    Show


    26 sessions now! The first bit is a recap for Spotter's player, then a summary of how the defence of Logos went.

    Spoiler: Aftermath
    Show
    As everyone had hoped, defeating Jezelle broke the portal's stability, and banished the commanders of the invasion. Not all of the fiends vanished, but the loss of coordination (and many of the much more powerful fiends) gave the Steelguard the opportunity to push back with lethal success. The surrounding ruins are going to be much more dangerous with fiends lurking in them now, but the central city still stands.

    SURVIVORS:
    The Flamespeaker and Flamekeepers - things would have to have gotten quite dire before they were in serious danger, but not encouraging the flame-priests to venture beyond the Bonfire was a good choice

    Bulwark - The survival of the commander meant the Steelguard remained organized and effective. Speaking of the Steelguard, their remaining numbers are about 2/3 of what they were. Downside, that 1/3 consists of warriors with decades of combat experience, not easily replaced (if at all)

    Ambassador Noctis of Helios - The arrogant prat who turned out to be more altruistic than he lets on provided notable aid during the invasion. Just don't mention it or he'll turn you into something unfortunate.

    Ambassador Kodai of the Goblin Holds - Despite some rough interaction with the party, they did save his life. The ancient goblin's bodyguard, Shunsui, did not survive, but has returned (now one of the Cursed).

    Anvil & Hammer (and control of the Forge district) - Repair of the city and its defences is actually possible with these two around, as is outfitting the heroes during their downtime.

    THE FALLEN
    Leaders of the Council - Noctis was unable to make it far enough into the Tower before assassins struck, and all 3 leading Council members did not survive the battle

    The Unmarked - More than half of the Unmarked survived...BUT the loss of the Unmarked children is a horrifying enough thing to negate nearly any sense of victory on this front

    The city/settlement of Rambleshack - Every living thing around the Northern Fire of Logos is gone, burnt to ashes. The portal of black flame to the Labyrinth is gone, but so is everything else.

    The civilians of the central city certainly took casualties as well. The party didn't prioritize protecting them, but by dealing with major threats so quickly, helped the Steelguard to do so instead. So this point is kind of a middle ground.

    SUMMARY
    The city of Logos has been dealt a severe blow...but it will survive.

    Yay, bittersweet PC victory! Now for some downtime after the Hellish/Abyssal/Labyrinthal (it's a word now, deal with it) invasion. The PCS all spend saved up treasure / treasure from their last boss encounter / large donation from new Council of Logos, and end up spending just under a month re-equipping, recuperating, and investigating.

    Spoiler: Notable items / activities
    Show

    Spoiler: Puck and Talvosh
    Show
    Talvosh makes his axe better at axing things. Gotta give him points for focus, at least.

    Puck enhances his own armor, and also picks up a Winged Vest. So he's a flying spider-bot now (BEST. TRANSFORMER. EVER.). He also cranks a Craft roll (with assistance from Angelena via Guidance of the Avatar) to rebuild his little buddy Snug.
    Despite successfully rebuilding him though, Snug won't wake up. Finally he manages to find Noctis on a quiet day, and asks him if he knows how to wake Snug up.

    Noctis fails his Will save vs pity for the poor sad robot missing his diminutive friend, and uses one more Limited Wish to breathe life back into Snug.

    Beyond that, Puck spends a good amount of time staring at the Portal to Revelation, occasionally throwing test items through it.


    Spoiler: Spotter
    Show
    Spotter makes it his mission to find out exactly who murdered the children, and how they knew exactly how and where to strike. He suspects treachery, or strong divination magic, and goes hunting for signs of either. The robo-hunter makes a massive tracking roll, and finds one set of human footsteps interspersed with two other notable sets of tracks. One heavier two-legged set with reptilian-style claws, and one set of what seems like a giant predatory cat. They go right through the smooth circular holes cut through several walls and the corner of a building, and then disappear at their objective.

    Spotter also interrogates as many of the surviving Steelguard that were in that area that he can find, and comes across some luck. Finding a Hobgoblin named Taltho, he finds that Taltho just can't remember what happened. He was on guard, heard a man ask him a question - then nothing. Spotter has Arcanist as a favoured enemy, so I let him attempt to help Taltho shake whatever is affecting his memory. He manages to recall a man in finely crafted travelling clothes, smug grin, sharp goatee, and stylish hat. The description is far too close to Janath to be a coincidence. That's all the info he can get out of the guard due to the Devil's whisper he was subjected to (which I think is a super stylish ability).

    So Spotter is certain that it was Janath, he wasn't alone, and he teleported out of the city. I'm sure this will never come up again.


    Spoiler: Sona
    Show
    Sona makes it her goal to speak to Alexandria and the Library, to hunt down some info.

    Speaking to Alexandria once things have calmed down a little, she hounds her for any and all info on the Labyrinth. So in point form!
    -It is the home or source of daemons (Artaith's catchall word for fiends)
    -It's unsure if it existed or not before the Curse, or if it simply drifted closer to Artaith because of it
    -Anyone who has traveled to it either died or went insane, then died
    -Portals are (blessedly) rare and brief, but seem to open in places of bloodshed and suffering
    -Attempting to deal with Daemons never ends well
    -There seems to be a connection between Vitae and daemons (whether they feed off of it, or collect it), but there is little hard fact regarding this
    -There is a famous book in the library of a mage who traveled and returned from the Labyrinth (it's also famous for an account of a mage's descent into madness)

    Sona also braves the Library (and the attention of Pathos) one more time. The mad sentience apparently defended itself quite handily against the fiends who tried to enter, and was in a good mood because of it. After showing off the Vrock with its limbs physically tied into a knot, Pathos grudgingly allows Sona to read the above-mentioned book of madness. Stereotypically, there is human skin involved in the binding (but only in patches, as in the creator ran out of normal materials and gruesomely improvised).

    She passes her Will save and doesn't take Wisdom damage from the contents, yay!I'll actually write up some passages and post them later, but a quick summary in the meantime! The book describes attempts to breach the Labyrinth for information, and possibly means to overcome the Curse. The author starts out well-intentioned if arrogant and dismissive of those who tried in the past. As the author actually crosses over into the Labyrinth, though, the damage very quickly becomes evident. From initial descriptions of "Shattered worlds circling Oblivion" to scrawling pages of indecipherable scribbling, anything useful becomes very difficult to find. One phrase that keeps cropping up is the Beast. Someone or something that was stalking or herding the Author, or maybe the Beast was the Labyrinth itself. The author's insane ramblings make it hard to tell...


    After lots of shopping, investigating, and general prepping, the party is ready to enter the portal to Revelation. They'd been warned that the portal is a one-way trip;those who succeeded returned to Logos via other means.



    Spoiler: Revelation
    Show
    The party travels up the tower, up the elevator, and onto the top of the tower. Studying the spinning portal, finally everyone steps through.

    They emerge into a barren landscape coated with ash. It piles up about their calves like snow, and silently rains down from the grey sky. There is a large reddish sun on the horizon, but it seems almost dim, and the air is chill. There's a steep drop-off behind the party, and what might be an ash-coated lake below, and in front a narrow bridge leading to a gigantic ziggurat. Everything has a hushed, muffled feeling to it.

    All in all, a cheerful seeming place.

    Climbing the many steps to the top of the ziggurat, the party notices that there are numerous statues spread out across the broad platform. They're remarkably detailed, right down to clothing, weapons...and panicked expressions once the ash is wiped off. A quick spell craft check confirms that this is most likely the result of petrification.
    And just in time for that, a guardian shows up! Several of the party hear some murmuring about being tested, and then a Ghost Beholder floats up through the floor.

    Spotter and Angelena fail their saves against the Horrific Appearance, and take max damage to their physical stats for a lovely start. With everyone caught in the anti magic cone, the party spreads out / rushes underneath the many-eyed beastie. Puck actually was far enough off to the side that he can fly up to attack the creature on his turn, and makes it through the miss chance for big damage!

    Next turn the beholder turns to face Puck, dropping him to the ground. Then it lashes out with eye rays, but most of the nasty ones are resisted or blocked. It does however disintegrate the ground under Talvosh, dropping him into a neat 10-ft pit. Sona manages to blast the ghost with a Wings of Flurry, and her mirror images keep her safe. Here is where I accidentally cheat Spotter's player. He has a lesser Truedeath crystal (which grants ghost touch), but I mix up on the required enchantment level to use them, so all his arrows miss. They should have hit, so Spotter's player officially has a DM cookie when fate frowns upon him next time.

    The party's saves don't go so well next turn...Angelena fails against a Finger of Death...but she has Resurgence! Her reroll fails by one, and she is slain. :(

    Then I roll a critical on Spotter with a Disintegrate, and he fails his save badly. Strangely enough, 52d6 turns the poor Forged to dust. Sona dives into the hole and casts Fly on Talvosh, and here is where the fight starts to turn around. The beholder keeps turning to drop one of the axe-wielding fliers, and eye-rays the other each turn. But Puck's numerous immunities, and Talvosh's strong Fort+Will saves (plus decent rolling) keep the pair up and hacking away. Even with the 50% miss chance, hits keep landing. Sona tries to keep out of sight, and attempts to distract the ghost with the illusion of Angelena and Spotter returning, but the creature is unphased. Some statues are tossed about with Telekinesis for big damage, and Sona narrowly avoids having a giant statue dropped onto her from above. Finally, the spirit is hacked apart and dissipates.

    With a grating noise, a ramp opens in the floor, leading deeper into the ziggurat...



    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    28
    Ah, the dreaded save or DIE DIE DIEs
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-09-13 at 12:49 PM.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  14. - Top - End - #224
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    So what exactly were your player's reactions when they came 'face-to-Face' with the BigBad of the encounter???
    My heart sank a lil itself when you described it :D
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

    Click my Vulpix to feed it yummy berries!

  15. - Top - End - #225
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    There were quite a few, "Aw crap"s and "What, it can do WHAT?"s

    I'm just sad no-one failed their save vs petrification, because then the beholder could have wielded them as a weapon. And that everyone passed their saves vs the beholder's malevolence possession. That would have been fun carnage as well.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  16. - Top - End - #226
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    And the selected excerpts from the Journal that Sona had read, written by a mage trying to learn more about the Labyrinth:

    Spoiler: Excerpts
    Show
    Spoiler: Early entries
    Show
    I fail to see how other mages seem to willfully ignore the Labyrinth. We know that it is the home of Daemons. We know that Daemons seem attracted to Vitae. We know that connections between our world and the Labyrinth are (thankfully) rare, and seem encouraged by bloodshed and violence. But that is all we know. It is an unacceptable gap in our collective knowledge! Regardless of the danger, I consider it my duty, my obligation to discover more. I’m not going to be an idiot about it, however. There will be checks and balances, and I will not call these creatures up and allow them to wreak havoc. Someone has scrawled "Liar" in messy writing next to this entry

    But even the chance of discovering more about this Curse that has ravaged the land for so long is worth terrible risk.

    -My early research is fruitless at best; any attempts with divination magics bring up nothing more than ominous riddles or garbled madness. Any written accounts of conversations with fiends are less than useless as well, no solid information anywhere. As much as I hoped otherwise, I will have to attempt to summon a daemon. "Nononono don’t too late" is gouged into the page


    Spoiler: Middle entries
    Show
    -I called and bound a small daemon, an imp by the traditional titles. After its bluster and threats wore down, I was able to intimidate the creature with the threat of being locked away forever. It spoke of the Labyrinth as if it was an entity rather than a world, but was still remarkably vague beyond that. I was able to compel the name of a more powerful fiend from this imp, thankfully. I will have to reinforce and double my wards as a precaution, before I attempt to call this Yasak Meyve. This name seems to have been scratched out and rewritten several times, almost ripping through multiple pages

    -Finally, progress! After creating a new binding circle, and clearing the surrounding area of Hollowed, I was able to bind the fiend Yasak Meyve. It’s attempts to tempt me carnally were pathetic, and it quickly capitulated once I left it alone in the circle for several days. The discussions with Yasak regarding the Labyrinth have been...illuminating. The Labyrinth seems almost to be a transitory plane - one may be able to reach other worlds through it! The rest of this page and a handful of others are shredded beyond repair

    -Yasak opened a window to the Labyrinth for me, in exchange for a small concession. It wasn’t mine to give It was terrible and beautiful. I gazed upon a mountain range seemingly made of polished bone, dancing with green flame. Yasak said that the bones were that of a great titan of their kind, long fallen, and that generations of history were scribed upon the bones. Yasak claimed to be of an order that maintained said scrimshaw. Who knew that there would be scholars among such savage monsters? More importantly, it means that the Labyrinth has form. Which means that I could travel there astrally, and leave my body safe while I explore. I just need to find a way to safely open a portal.


    Spoiler: Later entries
    Show
    -My experiment with Vitae and Yasak has had mixed results. The Daemon went berserk after I placed a fragment of Vitae within reach, but rendered it unable to physically touch it. There was a catastrophic resonance incident, however, and something caused part of the wards to crack. Regretfully I was forced to destroy Yasak. I was close to discovering some new facet of the Curse, I can feel it. Yasak had taunted me several times, claiming that knowledge of the Curse’s origin was scrawled onto those titanic bones.

    Before it died, Yasak threatened that the Beast would gnaw on my soul. Typical daemon bravado and over dramatization, but it was strange that it seemed to refer to a specific creature. I have another piece of information to use for astral exploration, now.

    Spoiler: The next handful of pages are full of Abyssal and Infernal script in a heavy dragging hand
    Show

    All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth The Beast is watching All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth All paths lead to the Labyrinth Can’t hide need to hide need to wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up wake up WAKE UP


    -Astral travel is NOT A SAFE MANNER OF EXPLORATION IN REGARDS TO THE LABYRINTH

    -I seem to have attracted the attention of something The BEAST watches. Even behind my wards, I constantly feel a prickling sensation on the back of my neck. I find myself unnerved by own bedroom too many corners corners let things in. The last month has taken a toll on me, I am barely able to sleep, let alone perform magic. If my research is to bear any fruit, I am left with only one recourse. I must travel to the Labyrinth physically and attempt to ambush whatever is stalking me. A Beast hardly expects you to attack it in its lair, after all.

    That’s only part of the reason. The remainder is the hunger to see this forbidden place in person. I have been haunted, teased, tormented by second-hand glances, second-hand words. I need to see it in person.

    -I will regret what I have done to open this portal for the rest of my life But I still did it willingly

    -There are no stars here in the dark, only shattered and shackled worlds spiralling about Oblivion. My Beast has found me, where I am meant to be.

    Come find me, walk my road, there’s no point in running

    All paths lead to the Labyrinth.

    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-09-21 at 12:13 AM.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  17. - Top - End - #227
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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

    I really appreciate the amount of depth you and your players put into this campaign. I wish I had the time to read the backstories from the players!

  18. - Top - End - #228
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    I will do super brief summaries!

    And I can make mocking parody-summaries because a) I'm a jerk, and b) I had a large chunk to do with most of the backstories

    Spoiler: Angelena
    Show
    Angelena's parents: You have been blessed by the heavens, dear child!
    Fate: Time for everyone you love to Die!
    Angelena: Well, at least I avenged my family with these nifty cleric powers, and can devote myself to a life of service to Pelor!
    Fate again: Have a terrible Curse!
    Angelena: OH COME ON


    Spoiler: Puck
    Show
    Wizard: Construct, I have created you to be my servant and bodyguard!
    Puck: ...user access denied. Running Murder.Exe!
    Wizard's apprentice: Don't worry, I'll take care of you
    Puck: DisproportionateResponse.sys and Lethalprotectiveness.exe are online!
    Wizard's apprentice: Sleep mode! Sleep mode!
    *Some time later*
    Angelena: Hmm, what's this?
    Puck: Greetings, new user! All systems nominal!


    Spoiler: Sona
    Show
    Sona: You know, being a sorcerer is pretty cool. And I have draconic blood too!
    The Traveler: Hey, you know what else is cool?
    Sona: What?
    The Traveler: A soul-binding Curse! No charge!
    Sona:


    Spoiler: Spotter
    Show
    Think The Hunted but with robots and archery


    Spoiler: Talvosh
    Show
    Talvosh: Why am I so angry all the time?
    Fate: Have a Curse!
    Talvosh:......*Rage intensifies*


    These may or may not be accurate in the slightest, but I never let the facts get in the way.

    And alas, no game this Saturday, as I haven't completed enough of the Temple/dungeon because OverwatchAsh vs Evil Dead reasons.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  19. - Top - End - #229
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    a) I'm a jerk,
    These may or may not be accurate in the slightest, but I never let the facts get in the way.
    This is the reason why we love you. :D
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...&postcount=114

    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...e-Night!/page6 Xihu Ayame

    Click my Vulpix to feed it yummy berries!

  20. - Top - End - #230
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  21. - Top - End - #231
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    Spoiler: Talvosh
    Show
    Talvosh: Why am I so angry all the time?
    Fate: Have a Curse!
    Talvosh:......*Rage intensifies*
    I feel like this could be some social commentary about a lot of actual people.

  22. - Top - End - #232
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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

    Curious Puzzle, what would you think about new Vitae powers for both magic-user and non-magic classes to benefit from?

    Right now, I think you mentioned full heal and fueling metamagic. The first is good for enyone, the second is useless for non-casters. I think it could be cool to allow more actions that burn Vitae - let the players deplete their life.

    The powers should strong but not overpowered, to give a reason to burn the precious, precious Vitae.

    What I came up with:
    • as a free action before any roll, burn a Vitae and roll twice; pick the better roll,
    • as an immediate action, burn a Vitae to auto-succeed on any saving throw,
    • as a free action even outside one's turn, burn a Vitae to gain a bonus move action at the end of the current (N)PC's turn,
    • as a free action before attacking, burn a Vitae to auto-hit; still roll because of criticals,
    • as a free action before attacking, burn a Vitae and if the attack hits, score a confirmed critical; if you miss - bye bye, Vitae ,
    • as a full-round action, burn a Vitae to remove a single status effect from yourself (this may be too strong ),
    • at a kindled bonfire, burn a Vitae to heal either ability damage or negative levels,
    • at a kindled bonfire, burn a Vitae to gain temporary hit points equal to your level that last until depleted or death (you gain more estus from the bonfire ),
    • as a 10 minute ritual, burn a Vitae to light a new bonfire (again, probably very/too strong).


    BTW, could I ask how much Vitae does everyone have? Is anyone in risk of hollowing?
    Last edited by red_kangaroo; 2016-09-28 at 09:53 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #233
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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

    If we were actually keeping Talvosh from taking Vitae after his troll death fiasco? He'd be down to one or two - he'still at the point where he's looking a little corpse-Ish.

    The rest of us are in the 6-9 range. Vitae is hard to come by when you're not willing to slaughter innocent children and people for it in droves....

    Yet.
    Last edited by Picanet; 2016-09-28 at 10:27 AM.

  24. - Top - End - #234
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Quote Originally Posted by red_kangaroo View Post
    Vitae ideas, some of which are accurate
    Red_Kangaroo, you're peeping into my brain again...



    But yes, the group has been very careful with their Vitae, and have not been willing to experiment with such a precious resource. They have qualified to figure out another use or two, however...next time they rest at a Bonfire.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  25. - Top - End - #235
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    Red_Kangaroo, you're peeping into my brain again...
    I'm sorry, but I can't help it! Your brain is so deliciousss and sssoft, rife with ideasss...

    Anyway, I must say I like the Vitae reviving mechanic.

    I always disliked the cheap death in D&D, just as I dislike it in some (*cough* Marvel *cough*) comics. Death is just a status effect if you can remove it any number of times you want. On the other hand, it's just so easy to die sometimes... And having your character killed, especially if you have taken some time to give him background and personality, feels bitter and awful. Especially after you've failed a single save...

    I think Vitae is a very elegant solution - you can have a dangerous adventure where the risk of death is real, yet you don't need to fear for your character that much every time you fall low on health, but it's a finite resource and once you're hollow, you're hollow. At least for me, that's a nice balance between cheap death and too harsh/unfair death.

    TL;DR: I know, I know. But I can't stop myself once I start typing!

    P.S.: How much of a chance do we have to see anything from Bloodborne?

  26. - Top - End - #236
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Thank you!

    And yes, there is an entire city (and possibly underground ruins) where I crammed all the stuff I shamelessly purloined from Bloodborne.
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  27. - Top - End - #237
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    We played tonight because of scheduling, so here's a sneak peek!

    One of our players managed to get a bunch of Dwarven Forge from another acquaintance, so I spent a couple hours yesterday making up a dungeon! Here's some pics, writeup will be sometime tomorrow:

    Spoiler: Rest by the fire
    Show
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  28. - Top - End - #238
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    And another peek!
    Spoiler: An encounter of the supernatural type!
    Show
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  29. - Top - End - #239
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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

    Sorry if it looks like I disappeared, though I sort of did. Just checking back to make sure it's still here, looks like things are going well. Hopefully I'll catch up before the conclusion.
    Attention Imgur Users! Imgur apparently doesn't like hosting images anymore and only works in certain places or for people who already have the image cached: No one can see your avatars or images!

    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Octopus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    sheer awesomeness

  30. - Top - End - #240
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    I'll eventually forgive your heinous abandonment, Fizban.

    One day.But I'll never forget

    27th session, and as mentioned I had a whole bunch of Dwarven Forge set up. Time consuming, but it was lots of fun to fiddle with, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

    Spoiler: The setup!
    Show


    Spoiler: Into Revelation
    Show
    Catching back up with the party, they had defeated the first guardian, and descended the stairs into the ziggurat. Inside was another Portal, and the heroes step though.

    It transports everyone to a large circular room. In the centre of the floor is a massive hatch/sealed gate. There are 4 archways leading in opposite directions, and 3 large indentations set around the hatch. The faint crackle of a Bonfire echoes down one hallway, and the gang hustles there. Inside is one of the smallest Bonfires everyone has ever seen, flickering fitfully in a brazier. The party decides to take a full day to rest and prepare for whatever dangers lie ahead. With the Forged repairing, Talvosh patiently waiting until murder-happy-fun-time, and Angelena praying, Sona snoops around the room and manages to find some sheafs of paper hidden in one corner. And one of them is writing from the pesky Vaughn guy!

    Spoiler: Another entry from Vaughn of Esmerra
    Show
    So we’ve made it to Logos, and through that portal to Revelation. Revelation, this temple buried in the ashes of what seems like an entire world. It’s been...hard. I think we’re all going a little mad, in one way or another.

    I can’t taste sugar anymore. That shouldn’t be that large of a matter, but it frightens me, for what could be next. Gwyneyr is stronger than ever, full of life and passion. But she’s also got a gleam in her eyes when she looks at the rest of us, that isn’t healthy. Baltan died several times, and it almost looks like he had started rotting before he managed to find more Vitae. Medea is doing better, at least.

    Logos was strange. Squatting in the ruins of greatness past, it seemed. If the Cursed, sorry, the “Marked,” can live for as long as the Flamekeepers claim, why hasn’t anything improved more than the bare minimum? Have they all given up at some level? And that insane Library! So much knowledge, locked away behind a psychotic bully!!! Hmph. Once we’ve made it through whatever this place is, I’m going back to give that Pathos a piece of my mind.

    Speaking of getting through this temple, I suspect that everything here will be a test of some sort. First one seems simple. Three hallways besides the one that lead here, three open slots above the massive stone hatch leading further down. Obviously there’s some power sources of some sort. This shan’t be difficult!

    …*writing is from a later date*

    So...many...teeth…

    *Further date*

    WHAT THE HELLS

    *Further date*

    Just...why...


    I get a few glares for that one. Once everyone's spells are prepped, damage is healed, and blades are sharpened, they charge ahead to the top passageway!


    Spoiler: The top passageway
    Show
    It seems to be a display room of some sort, but in a terrible state of disrepair. Armor stands barely stay upright, various weapons and pieces of armor are caked in dust and rust, and there are piles of miscellaneous equipment in the corners. There is a stout-looking sealed door in the one corner. Beyond that, Puck and Spotter notice that there is a strange spot on one wall that is notably cleaner than the rest...as if there was something hanging there. Rummaging through the piles (Sona uses detect magic but strangely doesn't pick anything up), the group manages to find a metal plaque. Inscribed on it is:

    Iron roof
    Glass walls
    Forever burns
    But never falls


    Talvosh guesses it first, and the party rummages through the detritus. They manage to find a heavy iron lantern, and as soon as Angelena picks it up, a clean white light shines out from the lantern. It still doesn't register as magic, so Sona takes a closer look and realizes that it's under an obscuring aura of sorts to hide the magic. A nearby longsword seems to be doing the same...Spotter does the classic Conan clang (if you don't know what I mean, shame on you), and years of rust and dirt cracks off to reveal a remarkably light and sharp longsword. It is in fact a +2 keen mithral longsword!

    While the party was fiddling with the sword and debating on the use of the lantern, though, Angelena notices that the lantern is getting steadily brighter...and the handle is getting hotter. When it deals fire damage to her, she drops the lantern and the light immediately goes out. Curious, they open the door in the corner to reveal absolute pitch black darkness. None of the party's darkvision can see anything at all...but when someone picks up the lantern, the white light pushes the darkness back. After some debate, Puck takes the lantern, and grabs the new longsword. Into the darkness they go!

    It is really dark inside. Only the lantern allows anything to be seen - and their vision stops dead at the edge of the light. Everyone shuffles their minis down the corridors (I classily move sheets of paper back and forth to represent visible sections) until they come to a closed door with a heavy padlock. Using knock makes quick work of that, but the party also hears the scrape of stone on stone, and ominous breathing in the distance...after the party buffs up, Puck pulls the door open, and reveals a horribly desiccated and dust-coated Hollow. With a shuddering gasp, it lurches towards him! Initiative!

    Individually, the Dust wight isn't really threatening to the party. But they're tough, and tight quarters means they should damage the Forged badly, and force lots of saves to paralyzing dust. Blur works in the party's favor, however, and most attacks against Puck and Talvosh miss as several wights shamble forth. Spotter fires off arrows while Sona uses Snake's swiftness to attack by proxy. Puck rushes forward some more, though, and leaves the non-melee trio in the dark. Sona and Angelena manage to make it to the light in time, but Spotter doesn't. Something brushes an icy hand against his neck, and he takes 6 points of constitution drain.

    Or he would have, but I grant him the GM cookie for screwing him over last game, and he makes his save instead. Truly, I am a benevolent god. He scrambles into the light after that, and warns everyone to not go into the dark. Puck and Talvosh are still flailing back and forth with the wights, so Angelena turns to the darkness. After we check that Turn undead only needs line of effect, not line of sight, she busts out a Greater Turning and blows the Ashwraith to nothing! The remaining Dust Wights are chopped down with little incident after that. As the room is searched, Spotter nearly finds a Trapdoor with his whole body, but manages to stay upright as the trap-door slams open and closed. Which would leave someone trapped by themselves in complete darkness. Sona and Puck trigger the trapdoor again to peek inside for treasure, but all they see is a quick flash of hateful dead eyes gleaming before they vanish.

    The party isn't worried by this, not at all...

    Puck is actually taking a notable amount of fire damage from the lantern, so they put Energy resistance onto Sona, and pass it off to her. Puck happily goes back to his giant axe of doom.

    The party continues creeping down the dark hallways, and the eerie whispers from the blackness continue. One voice goes a little louder, though.

    "TURN OUT THE LIGHT." Will saves for everyone! Spotter is the only one who fails and tries to swat the lantern out of Sona's hand, but Sona's mirror images foil him and keeps the light going. The gang picks up the pace to the next door after that. Said next door has a trap-door right in front of it, which Puck avoids thanks to his spiderlegs. Said spider-legs allow Puck to clamber onto the wall next to the trap-door, and give a bonus to everyone else to get across the trapdoor. Spotter makes it across, then Sona does. However, Sona steps around the corner...and leaves everyone but her and Spotter in the dark.

    This pleases me.

    Alas, everyone makes their saves vs the constitution drain, and frantically leaps across the trap-door to make back to the safety of the light. The door slams shut behind them with a scream of frustrated rage.


    Spoiler: Continuing through the dark
    Show
    The room the party is in seems to be a dead end...except for the secret passage!

    There really was a secret passage in one of the walls, swung on a hinge and everything.

    The party has to creep in single file down this passage, and swiftly the sound of footsteps approach towards them. Puck crawls to the ceiling, while Spotter, Sona, and Talvosh all ready actions to attack whatever comes out of the dark. Said dust wight nearly dies on the spot...but then there's an eerie pulse of purplish energy that harms everyone and invigorates the wight! Another wight trundles up to reinforce, and the fight is on!

    Sona flies up to the ceiling to keep light on everyone and stay out of the way. She also manages to save vs a suggestion to throw the lantern away *shakes fist*. As the party brawls it out with the dust wights, another creature comes into view. It seems to be a skeleton, but made out of metal, with backwards-jointed legs. It lets out another pulse of negative energy, but I roll far too many 1s for it to be threatening. The wights eventually go down, and the party faces off with the Shadesteel Golem!

    They haven't realized it's a golem yet though, so Angelena's Sound lance bounces harmlessly, and Spotter's arrow barrage is ineffective vs a surprisingly high AC. Even Talvosh misses a couple times, so Puck goes with the no-attack roll needed option and repeatedly bull rushes it into the wall. Meanwhile, Sona is too close to the ceiling (and distracted by the lantern starting to do more damage than the resistance), and a spectral hand grabs her by the spine. She nat-20s her Fort save, though.

    After several more smashes, the shadesteel golem goes down, and the group continues.

    The narrow corriders finally lead to a large brazier, with what seems to be an overly large Vitae crystal floating within the flames. Guessing that it's one of the power sources needed to open the hatch, the group picks it up after determining that the Vitae is safely wrapped within a small orb of force. As the brazier goes out, a scream of maddened fury echoes through the halls! Doors slam open and shut repeatedly, and the aura of imminent doom increases greatly. The party seems a little perturbed by the ashwraith's anger, and quickly hustles out of the maze. After one incident on the way out involving a door slamming shut and splitting the party (and Talvosh having to make 6 saves vs drain over 2 rounds), the remaining doors on the trip back and demolished.

    We call it for the night there, with one of the rooms being completed!


    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
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    Still 28
    Dice weren't on my side this night, plus we were all distracted playing with the shiny dwarven forge
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-10-25 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Clarification
    The Romanov Incident A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Magic! Mystery! Mind control! Murderous Demon Apes!

    The Curse of Artaith A 3.5 campaign journal, complete. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

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