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  1. - Top - End - #241
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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

    I finally managed to find the time to finish the backstories!

    I'll be so pissed if Sona can't make it back to Verlaine.

  2. - Top - End - #242
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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

    Quote Originally Posted by red_kangaroo View Post
    I finally managed to find the time to finish the backstories!

    I'll be so pissed if Sona can't make it back to Verlaine.
    I know right?
    Also - achievement cookie for you sir. That's a lot of reading.

  3. - Top - End - #243
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    You say you're looking for some happy endings? Let me look in the back, got nothing on the shelf...

    ...nope, those are backordered. I do have this, instead though:
    Spoiler: Happy ending substitute
    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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  4. - Top - End - #244
    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
    You say you're looking for some happy endings?
    Oh, I definitely don't expect a happy ending. This is Dark Souls campaign we're talking about.

    If I was to imagine an ending to this campaign, I'd probably say:
    Spoiler
    Show

    • After long struggle full of hardship, after loosing most (if not all) of her companions, after more deaths than she can count, after deeds than she'd rather forget, Sona manages to break her Curse and return home, locking Artaith against all travel, thus leaving the Curse and the Cursed forever behind to rot and never again threaten the Multiverse. Then she finds out Verlain tried to follow and rescue her, acquiring a Curse of his own and departing for Artaith...
    • Verlain searches long and far, but finally finds a way to open a stable portal between Primes. The price was high and many an archdevil, demilich and mad godling had to be bribed or promised a favor to. Still, Verlaine now can find Sona and bring her safely back home. But what he finds is only a blue-haired Hollow...
    • Magic is power and one day, Sona is powerful enough to fight her way back to Verlaine. She may not have broken the Curse, but the Traveler have been disintegrated until she Hollowed and then buried on the bottom of the ocean. Sona may still return to Artaith after her death, but now she can just snap her fingers to travel between Primes. But then Sona returns to Verlaine and he does not see her, he sees a frighteningly eldritch crone. He sees a new Traveler.
    • There are Curses to break, there are fairy debts to pay. But after all is said and done, Sona returns and so does Verlain. They meet after such a long time and see what they both went through. Sona fought in a world as ash and cinder, killed demons and undead and died and died and died... so many times. How many memories of one's own last breaths, flesh ripped from the bone, pain of burning alive and dying over and over again can a human live through? Verlain lived for years among fae, insane reality-benders who do not have alignment of good-evil, lawful-chaotic, but rather blue-orange, socks-pineapple. When you have entered a dream weaved by a bored arch-fey, how can you know whether you left? Have you left, or is this Sona just another of the apparitions the fairies find so funny to throw your way?



    Anyway, may I have some irrelevant questions?

    • What happens to a Marked who dies of old age? Do they instantly or very rapidly Hollow, die and are reborn slightly younger, or simply live forever?
    • I suppose the Stone Prison means Hollow can be contained by petrification. Can they similarly be "killed off for real" by Polymorph Any Object into a tree, or some soul-trapping stuff?
    Last edited by red_kangaroo; 2016-10-19 at 01:51 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #245
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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

    ..... well **** Sherlock! Lol. That's not far off from at least one short writing project that's been done on the side. Sona wouldn't take the Traveller's name though - She'd be The Wanderer lol ;)

    Fun FYI - both Verlaine and Kin are being played on our Wednesday game. They are super Adventure Bros!
    Last edited by Picanet; 2016-10-19 at 01:49 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #246
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Alas, due to everyone being busy on different days, doesn't look like there shall be a game this weekend!

    Just means I'm going to make the monster stats more silly.

    And Red Kangaroo!

    No, a Marked cannot die of old age. As long as the will remains, they endure.

    And yes, meddling with souls could certainly do bad things(TM) to the unfortunate Cursed/Marked. As for Polymorph any object...eeeehh, I'd use the Tree example at least to make a horrific Cursed Treant.

    Spoiler: Like this guy!
    Show
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-10-20 at 11:38 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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  7. - Top - End - #247
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Ha! Plans finished early - game time!
    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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  8. - Top - End - #248
    Dwarf 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
    Ha! Plans finished early - game time!
    Excellent news. Looking forward to hear what comes next.

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    GreenSorcererElf

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

    Let's see, so I left off just at the second part of the city battle. Advanced Arrow Demons on Bebiliths you say? On high ground where the puny melee characters get to eat full attacks from the mount for the trouble? Another beastie I'd like to see that stats on. I'm surprised the Bebiliths were that useful, but then I don't think your guys are super high on defenses and they were eating super sized arrow volleys on the way. Would have expected Fly into diving charge but I guess they ran out of Fly before that? Excellent use of Holy Storm as a defensive measure, wouldn't have helped against most spells but perfect for this situation. Ah, seems they were saving the Fly.

    Lots of heal spam on both sides against the pyromancer. I hope the party didn't expect Resist Energy to work against a dedicated fire specialist, fine for dragons but Searing Spell is effectively mandatory. I hope the crazy vitae is supposed to be a side effect from the previous owner rather than an explanation for why they were crazy murderers.

    I'm not sure how Resurgence helps against Finger of Death, unless you had a rule about instant death being delayed a round.

    Interesting scrawlings of madness. I'm always faintly annoyed by trying to think in character for this sort of stuff though: either you're an informed player/character, in which case your character either already knows via knowledge checks or you simply cast the right spells, or the standard mechanics are cut off by the DM, which means there's nothing you can do. The guy probably did take all the appropriate precautions and was simply screwed because the plot said so, because if he'd had the right backup and succeeded there wouldn't be any plot for the PCs to deal with. It's why even though something like Elder Evils sounds good, I still wouldn't want to use it: too much fiat the players are forbidden to interact with (particularly the "whole world eats save or die" sort of effects).

    Could I get a refresher on this portal to "revelation?" It must have been mentioned earlier but I don't want to go digging.

    Nice trick with the lantern. Was that old-school magical darkness they could have penetrated by other means such as Ebon Eyes or True Seeing, or pure puzzle darkness? Creature in the darkness or field save? Generally I'd let a player cash in a favor on their own terms, but that's a decent value still. Also, I can't remember what book Dust Wights are in but I don't think it's a flubbed name because I remember them being tough as well, unless that was a custom monster you already told us about that I've forgotten. Turn out the light, ha, if anyone's ever fallen for the "try torch" message there that's just sad. And a Shadesteel Golem in a situation where they failed to recognize it immediately.
    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Octopus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    sheer awesomeness

  10. - Top - End - #250
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Let's see, so I left off just at the second part of the city battle. Advanced Arrow Demons on Bebiliths you say? On high ground where the puny melee characters get to eat full attacks from the mount for the trouble? Another beastie I'd like to see that stats on.
    Sure!
    Spoiler: Arrow demons
    Show
    Medium Outsider (Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar, Tanar'ri) Arrow Demon Fighter 4
    Hit Dice: 10d8+90+4d10+36 (195 hp)
    Initiative: +4
    Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
    Armor Class: 24 ( +5 armor, +4 Dex, +5 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 20
    Base Attack/Grapple: +14/+19
    Attack: 2 Large +1 composite longbows (+5 Str bonus) +21/+21 ranged (2d6+9/x3) or claw +19 melee (1d6+5)
    Full Attack: 2 Large +1 composite longbows (+5 Str bonus) +21/+21/+16/+16/+11/+11 ranged (2d6+9/x3) or Rapid shot +19/+19/+19/+19/+14/+14/+9/+9 ranged (2d6+9/x3) or 4 claws +15 melee (1d6+5)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks: Close combat shot, oversized weapons, spell-like abilities, summon tanar'ri, symmetrical archery
    Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/cold iron and good, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to electricity and poison, resistance to acid 10, cold 10, and fire 10, spell resistance 22, telepathy 100 ft.
    Saves: Fort +20, Ref +13, Will +11
    Abilities: Str 21, Dex 20, Con 29, Int 14, Wis 16, Cha 12
    Skills: Balance +17, Bluff +14, Concentration +21, Hide +17, Listen +16, Move Silently +17, Ride +19, Sense Motive +16, Spot +16
    Feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Weapon Focus (longbow), Mounted Combat (bonus), Mounted Archery (bonus), Improved mounted archery, Weapon Specialization (longbows)(bonus)
    Environment: Infinite Layers of the Abyss
    Organization: Solitary, pair, team (3-5), or squad (6-10)
    Challenge Rating: 11
    Treasure: 2 Large +1 composite longbows and arrows, Greater bracers of archery, +2 studded leather armor
    Alignment: Always chaotic evil


    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    I hope the crazy vitae is supposed to be a side effect from the previous owner rather than an explanation for why they were crazy murderers.
    Very much side effect, not explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    I'm not sure how Resurgence helps against Finger of Death, unless you had a rule about instant death being delayed a round.
    Alter Fortune sounds totally similar to Resurgence...the words are practically the same. *cough*.
    Just mixing up names.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Interesting scrawlings of madness. I'm always faintly annoyed by trying to think in character for this sort of stuff though: either you're an informed player/character, in which case your character either already knows via knowledge checks or you simply cast the right spells, or the standard mechanics are cut off by the DM, which means there's nothing you can do. The guy probably did take all the appropriate precautions and was simply screwed because the plot said so, because if he'd had the right backup and succeeded there wouldn't be any plot for the PCs to deal with. It's why even though something like Elder Evils sounds good, I still wouldn't want to use it: too much fiat the players are forbidden to interact with (particularly the "whole world eats save or die" sort of effects).
    I can certainly agree on it being difficult to balance. I don't want it to be "haha you learn nothing until I say you can," but it can't really be a world-threatening curse if a bunch of 4th level spells can figure everything out. The players haven't tried too much with divination magic, but there is some info that can be gleaned (just not everything).

    And of course the nameless mage is doomed, it's a pre-requisite for being the author of an Apocalyptic Log. Nah, he did take all the proper precautions for summoning and binding the daemon. The issue was sending his essence into an unfamiliar and hostile plane of existence.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Could I get a refresher on this portal to "revelation?"
    The Pilgrim's path must be followed for the Marked to reach Revelation. That's the phrase that kept being mentioned to the heroes - dual meaning that the temple/portal is named Revelation, and that those who complete the trials receive Revelation about Artaith and the Curse.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Nice trick with the lantern. Was that old-school magical darkness they could have penetrated by other means such as Ebon Eyes or True Seeing, or pure puzzle darkness?
    Thanks! It was a series of heightened Blacklight spells. So Ebon eyes or true seeing would have worked, or a heightened light spell, or dispel would have worked as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Also, I can't remember what book Dust Wights are in but I don't think it's a flubbed name because I remember them being tough as well, unless that was a custom monster you already told us about that I've forgotten.
    They are tough, from MMIII. They're just CR 7 though, so individually no longer a threat to the PCs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Turn out the light, ha, if anyone's ever fallen for the "try torch" message there that's just sad.
    ? Sorry if I made the writeup unclear, but "Turn out the light" was a Mass Suggestion effect
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-10-25 at 11:36 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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  11. - Top - End - #251
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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

    Quote Originally Posted by curious-puzzle View Post
    Arrow demons
    Ah, not just advanced but fighter, there we go. Don't forget that once you give them PC class levels they can have Elite stats for free.
    Alter Fortune sounds totally similar to Resurgence...the words are practically the same. *cough*.
    I love Alter Fortune, glad to see it in use. Also glad to see someone else's reroll fail (I spend a ton of time talking up Phaant's Luckstone and what happens when I use it?).
    Just mixing up names.
    I can certainly agree on it being difficult to balance. I don't want it to be "haha you learn nothing until I say you can," but it can't really be a world-threatening curse if a bunch of 4th level spells can figure everything out. The players haven't tried too much with divination magic, but there is some info that can be gleaned (just not everything).
    I was assuming higher level spells, not that they've tried any so far. Recursive Legend Lore and Commune in particular are the two, but all divinations are explicitly vulnerable to plot.
    The issue was sending his essence into an unfamiliar and hostile plane of existence.
    Oh Astral Projection, that spell and it's use are terrible on so many levels.
    The Pilgrim's path must be followed for the Marked to reach Revelation. That's the phrase that kept being mentioned to the heroes - dual meaning that the temple/portal is named Revelation, and that those who complete the trials receive Revelation about Artaith and the Curse.
    Ah right, thanks.
    Thanks! It was a series of heightened Blacklight spells. So Ebon eyes or true seeing would have worked, or a heightened light spell, or dispel would have worked as well.
    I guess you got the effects across so well they didn't think to try, even better. Shiny dungeon tile distraction probably helped.
    They are tough, from MMIII. They're just CR 7 though, so individually no longer a threat to the PCs.
    I even looked there, but Drowned are so huge I looked away the second I saw them, even though Dust Wight is basically the earthy/slightly less OP version.
    ? Sorry if I made the writeup unclear, but "Turn out the light" was a Mass Suggestion effect
    Dark Souls 2 reference: whenever you go into the catacombs in that one, someone's left a message saying "try torch" or something similar, in a pathetic attempt to get you to aggro the NPC that tells you to put out your torch. I could see someone accidentally setting him off, but no one would fall for that message.
    Last edited by Fizban; 2016-10-25 at 06:14 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Octopus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    sheer awesomeness

  12. - Top - End - #252
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Rrriiiiiggghhht, I had practically forgot about that place (may or may not just have done a mad dash through it because the ghosts are a pain).
    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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  13. - Top - End - #253
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Allrighty, 28th session! We catch back up with our miscellaneous miscreants as they return to the central chamber.

    Spoiler: Second Passage
    Show
    There are metal plates with spherical depressions set in the floor around the massive hatch, just about the same size as the orb containing Vitae that they found in the maze. Placing the orb in one of the depressions, the Vitae spins and there's a faint hum, more felt at the back of the teeth. Everyone feels pretty healthy and confident, so down the southern passage they go!

    It winds around several corners (direction and space seems a tad wonky in this place), before opening into a large hexagonal room. On the opposite side of the room is a heavy-looking iron door with three keyholes and a thick handle. In between are 6 crystalline pillars. The party creeps closer, and start to notice keys hanging off of several of the pillars. Puck steps in between two of the pillars, and the Encounter Trap activates! With an eerie hum, a massive bolt of lightning dances between several of the pillars!

    I used the Lightning Hexagon encounter trap from Dungeonscape just to try them out. The dice are on the party's side, however, and I don't manage to roll the proper pillars to strike any of the party. They have no means of easily disarming the traps, so Puck and Talvosh go with their favorite method of dealing with
    Spoiler: Problems
    Show
    . 3 Pillars get smashed (and those who do the smashing get electrified), before Spotter just shoots the remaining 3 keys down on the ground. Shuffling carefully around the remaining pillars, the group scoops up all 6 keys. There are only 3 locks, though. Puck comes up with a clever solution, getting everyone to remember what order the pillars shot lightning and trying the keys in that order. Originally the keys were randomly placed, but I like their idea better. There's a loud clunk as the door unlocks.

    However, each pillar broken built up an increasingly large charge in the handle of the door...so Puck gets quite the shock when he grabs it. After some more discussion, they grab hold of the key handles, and yank the door open from there. Inside is another orb with Vitae swirling inside. Carefully removing it, everyone shuffles back to the central chamber. The teeth rattling hum gets louder as the second orb is placed into another depression. With that, onto the final passage!



    Spoiler: Passage number three
    Show
    After several more confusing corridors and corners, the passage leads to a 15-foot wide pit. A quick peek reveals that it's deep. After some more looking (including tying a light source to the endless rope and spooling it down), the pit is 200 feet deep, with only 6" wide handholds spaced out every 10-15 feet or so. Seeing as how no-one feels like parkouring their way down, the party sends Spider-Puck down to scout first. With his spider-legs and his Vest of flying, Puck is able to scamper down the pit all quick-like. It opens up into a large chamber, with the bottom full of dark, oily water. There are multiple rusted and metallic platforms floating on the water, but it is eerily silent. Puck strains his auditory and optical sensors to no avail. Making his way back up the pit, the party decides to cast Fly on Talvosh and Spotter, who carry Sona and Angelena down (while Puck makes his own way). There's a bit of circling and skepticism, but no-one can spot anything from the air. Party members with noses are assaulted with the reek of oil, rust, and stagnant water.

    *Cough* this totally doesn't look like a boss arena, not at all.

    I'm lying. As soon as the party touches down onto the platforms, a massive shape bursts out of the water! A large draconic head with glowing eyes at the end of a lashing neck. Then another. And another. And more twining and curling about one another. Twelve snapping heads burst forth, but every inch gleams with metal.

    Rise, Mecha-Hydra!

    BOSS FIGHT: MECHA-HYDRA

    Angelena tries to start the fight with a Flame Strike, but her usual luck with spell penetration means she rolls terribly. The Mecha-Hydra responds by letting out a massive pulse of magnetic force! The platforms are sent surging towards the edges of the chamber, as well as Spotter and Talvosh. Puck is still on the ceiling, but manages to resist the pulse. He rockets downwards and cuts into the beast...who seems to be coated in the same material that Puck is mostly made of. So it's an Adamantine Mecha-Hydra...I get some glares for that. Talvosh shoots across the water as well, taking multiple bites in the process. Spotter unleashes a storm of arrows, but the creature is incredibly dense, and his arrows have difficulty sinking in. Sona decides to move away from the thrashing mass of metal teeth, strangely enough.

    Said mass lays into the frenzying Talvosh and grim Puck, dealing impressive damage. It also reveals a new trick, as several heads burst out of the water! However, rather than being attached to the necks, these ones float in the air, pulses of energy emanating from the back of the heads. Two go after Sona, but are foiled by mirror images and a Wings of Cover. Another attacks Angelena, and sinks its teeth into her shoulder. With an ominous clank, said jaws lock into place. I possibly reveal my hand early by cackling and muttering about how much fun the next step is... Wisely, Angelena uses her anklets to blink out of the grapple and onto the edge of the platform, and then buffs the party. Spotter takes out the head threatening Angelena, while Sona kersplodes the two flanking her with a Wings of Flurry. Alarmingly, the metallic flesh of the Mecha-Hydra is healing and sealing nearly as quickly as Puck and Talvosh hack away at it. They're doing damage, but slowly.

    This turn however, Puck and Talvosh start hacking away at the heads, taking the AoOs on the chin and managing to chop off 4 heads! However, the next turn goes a little more grim for the party, as 8 new heads burst out of the water and seal onto the necks with ringing clangs!
    Spoiler: DM note
    Show
    Just a reflavor of the head regeneration, activating and attaching heads rather than growing.
    Then the Mecha-Hydra lets out another pulse, pulling everyone and everything towards it, and managing to yank Talvosh's axe right out of his hands. Spotter, Angelena, Puck, and Talvosh all get chomped repeatedly, with only Sona managing to dodge being yanked inwards. Talvosh is pretty much dead by this point, only fighting due to his frenzy. Angelena is at critically low health, so she withdraws into the water, overcoming the difficulties of her armor with Freedom of Movement. The battle continues, but eventually Puck is seized and ripped apart by the Hydra's fangs, 16 heads just being too many attacks. With Angelena nearly dead, Talvosh a dead man walking, and Spotter not having much luck with damage, Sona busts out her highest level ability.

    Draconic Polymorph turns her into ....

    into...

    ..A Thoon Elder Brain. With mirror image up, so there's a mass of hideous floating tentacle-brain monsters suddenly wobbling in the air. Talvosh then reveals phase two of this plan, and inspires Frenzy in Sona's new Brain-monster self. The resulting flurry of 9 acidic tentacle smashes (Sona's dice went crazy) finishes off the mighty Mecha Hydra. As soon as the fight finishes and Talvosh ends his frenzy, he sprouts a multitude of holes and dies on the spot (I think I got him to -250 or so).

    Once everyone revives, the Forged carefully scour the alcoves partially hidden by water, and manage to find a lever that opens large grates in the floor, slowly draining the water. The floor of the chamber is completely covered with metal scraps and chunks, as well as whole weapons and miscellaneous objects. The party takes a lot of time searching through the chamber, as well as dismembering the mecha-hydra to search its insides. Puck retrieves an Orb of Vitae that was serving as Mecha-Hydra's heart, as well as the fact that the beast was still fleshy on the inside. Everyone except Puck and Talvosh are yet again horrified by Puck being coated in gore and tearing a monster corpse to pieces.

    While this is occurring, Spotter and Sona manage to find two useful items among the rotted and rusted remains - A jet black war scythe that inspires an urge to spill blood (A Scythe of Life stealing), and a strange metal and stone cube (that remains a mystery for now). We call it for the night then.


    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    30
    Last edited by curious-puzzle; 2016-10-25 at 10:49 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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  14. - Top - End - #254
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    That made me start thinking about a mecha King Ghidorah :)
    Well done, good sir :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/showthread.php?http://531199-Villainous-Competition...e-Night!/page6

  15. - Top - End - #255
    Troll in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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

    See now, the problem with not just busting out Polymorph but Draconic Polymorph, into a Thoon Elder Brain, with inspired Frenzy, is that now you know they can do that whenever they want. Not even that expensive. Which means that any boss monster you use from now on must necessarily be tough enough to take on that in addition to the other two. Which is nuts.

    Never heard of anyone actually using Inspire Frenzy, that was neat. I assume she will-saved out of it else the rest of the party would have been just as toast. I would say they should be-waring Disintigrate if Deathless Frenzy is so important, but it's already been showing up.

    Let's see, mecha hydra with magnetic waves. I'm guessing half-golem with added lodestone marauder, possibly with a side of trading bites for activations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Octopus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    sheer awesomeness

  16. - Top - End - #256
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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

    I've had access to draconic polymorph for over a level. I also am aware of it's potential silliness and prefer to hang onto it as a last resort - I'm still pretty squishy and have a sort of 'gentleman's agreement' about using it responsibly lol. The Thoon Brain was the only thing I had done book work on that had acid dmg.

    I have not turned Talvosh into a Fenzied Berserking War Troll once a day. Just saying. :P

  17. - Top - End - #257
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Fizban View Post
    Let's see, mecha hydra with magnetic waves. I'm guessing half-golem with added lodestone marauder, possibly with a side of trading bites for activations.
    Pretty much. I used the Metal-clad (Adamantine) pathfinder template, added in the Lodestone Marauder's ability, and then tossed in flying heads with Locking Jaws (i.e. improved grab) because it was a cool mental image.
    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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  18. - Top - End - #258
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    A sick player plus another player getting back late from a trip meant unfortunately no game tonight
    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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  19. - Top - End - #259
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    :,(
    Spoiler: post too short
    Show
    10 characters :)
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
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    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
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  20. - Top - End - #260
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    Okay, no-one is sick, everyone is all confirmed and everything, and I'm quite looking forward to running tomorrow. Unless things go really weird, there should be a BIG boss fight, and if the party survives, a BIG plot advancement as well.

    Time to rumble!
    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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  21. - Top - End - #261
    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
    and if the party survives,
    If...

    I don't remember, have they had a TPK yet?
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
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  22. - Top - End - #262
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    I have not achieved a flawless victory TPK yet, though there have been a couple REALLY close ones.

    I've got to have something to aspire to...
    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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  23. - Top - End - #263
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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

    Spoilers: This not flawless victory brought to you by Internet troll! Not-bothered-by-flaming, invisible, regenerating troll.

    Also - Talvosh got hit by a stomach bug; so shenanigans were imminent with our deathless dps not around.

    Special recognition to Angela - the real MVP

    Curious Puzzle gets the moral victory.

  24. - Top - End - #264
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Picanet View Post
    Curious Puzzle gets the moral victory.
    This scares me in ways I did not think possible... 0_o'
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
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    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
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  25. - Top - End - #265
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    I know morals, I have the best morals! I don’t see what there is to be afraid of…


    Anywho, 29th session! Talvosh’s player got hit with a bug, so Talvosh is also sick, due to deciding to eat some crocodile meat he had in his pack...from the jungle...which was at least several months ago in game.

    Spoiler: The Final Key
    Show

    The party decides to rest up at the Bonfire before opening the massive hatch, just in case some horrific monstrosity bursts out immediately. Spotter also slips away to pick up the lantern and return it to the room before the maze (rather than leaving it tossed aside in a totally different hallway). The door to the maze rattles ominously, but Spotter does not play the part of a hapless victim in a horror flick and instead drops the lantern and falls back. As he returns, there’s some half-serious discussion about yanking the door open and Angelena blasting them with greater turnings before slamming the door shut for easy XP. Ultimately the plan is rejected in order to “save resources.”


    “Oh yes, resources are very important.” There are suddenly two more figures sitting around the fire, sitting on canvas and wood folding chairs, sipping tea. It’s the Twins from the Lighthouse so long ago! Spotter immediately nocks an arrow, but a twin waves imperiously with a saucer. “You don’t need that.” Spotter doesn’t recognize these bizarre individuals, having never met them unlike the rest of the group, and is more than a little suspicious. However, a high Knowledge (religion) roll means he recognizes them as servants of Anael, the god of probability, time, and dreams. Sona asks the twins the reason for their sudden and startling reappearance.


    “Well, you’ve come a long way since last we saw you, and we’ve come to-


    “-congratulate? Or is it warn? Or condemn?”


    “Fairly certain it’s congratulate.” One twin produces a small book and flips through it.


    “Yes, congratulate you on your progress!”


    “You’ve come further than any other have in a long time.”


    “We’ve also come to impart some helpful advice.” This gets everyone’s attention.


    “There will be much to learn in the next little while. Just...keep an eye open.”


    “Be aware of your surroundings-”


    “-and remember that there’s always more than one side to a story.”
    The party is a little skeptical of said advice, but figure it must hold some underlying meaning. Sona tries to sneak some more info out of the Twins, but can’t get anything concrete. The Twins mention how they’re happy that this isn’t the timeline where the party allied with Jezelle, which sends Sona into a spiral of sputtering disbelief as to what could ever make them ally with Jezelle.


    Sona: “But I suppose you can’t tell me that.”


    Twins: “You’d be surprised at the effect just a few words have, but no-


    “-we can’t directly tell you.”


    “The same way that we can’t simply tell you things straight, or simply act. There are Rules to follow. We cannot act-


    “-directly. We can, however, impart helpful information at certain times and allow you to make your own informed decisions.”


    Some more loud tea-slurping commences, before both flinch simultaneously. Spotter and Sona make crazy high listen checks, and more feel than hear a metallic scraping growl in the distance.


    “And with that, we bid you-


    “-adieu. Remember, more than one side to a story, and keep both an open eye and mind!” With a blink, the pair is gone, chairs and all.


    Once the party has finished their rest and preparations, they buff up just in case there’s a monster lurking beneath the hatch. With that, they slide the final globe of Vitae into place. There’s several loud CLUNKS as mechanisms rattle and release, and then the hatch creaks open ponderously. Each half of the hatch seems to be solid steel, and at least 3 feet thick, with deadbolts thicker than a man’s arm within. Even with an adamantine axe, hacking through such a hatch would have been...unlikely. No monster or abomination springs forth, instead a set of broad stone steps meander down into darkness. Going down!



    Spoiler: Into the Dark
    Show


    It's very dark.


    The steps are broad (almost 40 feet across), solid stone, and practically radiate age. The entire party has darkvision, so no torches are needed, but that makes it as or more eerie than a torch, as no-one can see anything beyond the steps. The ceiling and hatch opening are quickly out of sight as the stairs go down.


    And down.


    And further down still. After around 15 solid minutes of descent, the stairs reach a landing, which curves to more stairs. If this is a cavern of some sort, it is impossibly huge. There is, however, a faint speck of light visible now, far far below. Considering how far away the human eye can see light in darkness, though, that distance could be a LOOOONNG way. After another chunk of time down the stairs floating in the black, Sona feels something a little strange at the next landing. Her blindsense had been wide enough to sense the edges of the stairs and landing, but on this one, her eyes and her blindsense disagree. It seems wider than it looks. With a casting of fly, she oh-so-carefully creeps forward, feeling with her toes. To the rest of the party, Sona is standing on air. Spotter tests this too, tapping blind-man style with a quarterstaff until he’s standing a good 6 feet away from the landing, in mid-air.


    Secret passage discovered!


    The party decides to (carefully) follow the invisible path, and do so for a good while. Finally, it leads to an outcropping from what seems to be the cavern wall. Grey weathered stone stretches out of sight above, below, and to either side. There’s a smaller staircase jutting out from the wall, leading further down, and after following that, the party comes across a plateau of sorts. It’s maybe 30-40 feet across, with slabs of stone encircling part of it, and in the center is a pile of ash with a sword jutting out of it. It’s a seemingly extinguished Bonfire, from the faint half-tug everyone feels. After some examination and experimentation, the party can’t light it with mundane flame, and attempts to dig through the ash reveals that it gradually pulls back together into a pile. The sword is normal, if heavily rusted. Sona tries an orb of fire, which tosses the ashes up into the air to drift down. Spotter sees the ash waft strangely, and notices that there seems to be characters on one of the stone slabs when there wasn’t before.


    BRI


    They puzzle over this for a while, until Puck grabs a handful of ash and throws it onto the slab and watches the ash leave more letters before dragging itself back to the center.


    BRING ME FLAME


    Spotter focuses on his vitae as hard as he can and sticks his hand into the ashes to see if he can get any sense of what force this is (Vitae check). A high enough roll means the same phrases whispers into his mind.


    Flame...bring me Flame…


    A little creeped out, the party decides to return to this area later. They can see the path continues further downward, and ends at the furtive light source below (this invisible path and extinguished fire seemed to be an alternate path).


    They finally reach the light, which is a small Bonfire placed in the center of a round carved platform, the surface polished to the point of shining. As they step onto the platform, the fire flares up into the shape of a long-haired human. All yellow, red, and orange tongues of flame, the woman opens gleaming eyes and speaks.


    “Welcome, travelers. Welcome to Revelation. I am an Oracle of Fire, my name was Medea.”


    Medea is a name that’s recognized - she was a companion mentioned in Vaughn of Esmerra’s notes. There are a LOT of questions asked and answered, so I might miss some of the smaller ones.
    -When asked about Vaughn, Medea briefly recognizes the name, but has no other memories of him
    -Apparently she volunteered to become an Oracle of Fire, as the previous one had nearly burnt out. She gained all the knowledge of the Oracle, by burning away who she was before
    Then the heavy questions start:
    -The Curse is apparently caused by the Labyrinth, which is as much a parasite or sickness as it is a plane of existence
    -The Labyrinth(and the Curse)’s goal is to devour all life, leaving only darkness and emptiness
    -The Labyrinth can be pushed back by gathering a Fragment of the Great Bonfires and using them to stoke the Heart of the World
    -After some more vague statements, this one is translated. The Great Fires are Logos, Helios, Eulethron, and the Daemon Ruins (once known as the Goblin Holds). A fragment of each can be gathered and stored in an appropriate vessel (such as a globe of force, or an enchanted lantern). The Heart of the World (or possibly Hearth) is the Sun itself
    -After a bit of arguing about the lack of space travel, a knowledge (Religion) check reveals that such a place could be reached through the realm of Adremmelach (the god of Sunlight, fire, and magic)
    -As all worlds have a sun, all worlds can be reached through the Hearth of the world when it is stoked. And even the Curse can burn with a great enough Flame.


    There are some...issues with the Oracle, however. There are some questions that cause strange reactions, or just things that she flat out doesn’t know. Asking about the 7th god causes a flicker in her image, as does asking if the Moon has any significance. I have a hidden Will save that I’m rolling for these particular questions, and one question gets a critical success.


    “Why does the Moon Burn?”


    “Because of what is within.”


    The Oracle flatly cannot acknowledge the existence of the extinguished fire, which is also...strange. After more aggressive questioning about the Moon and the Labyrinth, the image of the Oracle flickers out, then reappears, starting its speech about the Heart of the World. It’s as if pieces have been scrubbed out of her knowledge.


    Spoiler: DM note
    Show
    Originally I had used Heart of the world, but I like Hearth better, so Cosmic Retcon, it’s now Hearth



    After discussion, the party decides to collect the Lantern from up above, take the flame from that Tiny bonfire above, and try to re-ignite the extinguished Bonfire with it. While Puck and Angelena gather the flame, Spotter does some scouting and Sona asks more questions.


    Spotter follows the path further down, which leads to a massive church-like building, whose broad entrance is covered with a thick white fog. Slowly he retreats from the Fog Gate.


    Sona gets a bit more info from Medea:
    -i Traveler apparently had spoken with Medea and her former travelling companions, and called Medea naive for her choice to sacrifice herself to become an Oracle of Flame
    -Tephras is an ancient dragon responsible for catastrophic destruction prior to the Curse , and he slumbers on the Sunken Isle,


    I finally roll a nat 1 on a question about the Moon though, and Medea flickers away into a normal fire.


    The group is unsure of the knowledge they’ve gained, and meet Puck back at the extinguished Bonfire. Carefully, Puck opens the Lantern and tips the fire within into the ashes. Quickly it catches, and grows into a nice sized Bonfire, the light casting shadows on the slabs of stone around the party. Four party members, five shadows.


    Wait…


    Once everyone notices, a dry voice congratulates them on their keen eyes, and thanks them for lighting the fire.


    “Who are you?”


    “Just a humble shadow.”


    “Do you have a name.” The Shadow groans.


    “I do have a formal title, I’d prefer not to use it, my creator was somewhat pompous.” Sona insists on the full name.


    “Fine...I am known as the Faded Ashes Leaving Shadowed Echoes. I greatly prefer just Shadow, though.”


    “Who created you?”


    “Adremmelach, or Thelesis, kind of a group thing.” The Shadow is much more casual than the Oracle, and much more up-front. He notes how boring it’s been in the dark, and half-admits that the Fire went out when he wasn’t paying attention. However, then the Shadow starts throwing out some much more alarming information.


    -He challenges the party’s trust of what they’ve been told, pointing out holes in the Oracle’s claims.
    -Shadow instead tells the party that the Curse and the Labyrinth are not causes of the world’s woes, they are symptoms. The worlds (and the gods) are dying, and gather fragments of the Great Fires is allowing cancerous corruption to continue.
    -Time itself is fraying and rotting, because the gods refuse to admit that their time (and the world’s) is overdue
    -Shadow reveals that Rhamiel (the Rake) is dead, and that Adremmelach is dying
    -He proposes that the Curse will only fade when the world is allowed to properly die and be reborn in darkness (“and where exactly does it say that Darkness is evil and Fire good?”)


    The party had been rolling Sense motive on the Oracle like crazy, but not really with Shadow. Finally Spotter rolls, and gets really high to catch the Shadow lying about the Curse being cured once the Fires go out. Shadow scoffs at Spotter accusation of lying, claim that Shadows are the most loyal and trustworthy companions of all. The party has heard enough, though, and collect the fire back into the Lantern. As they do, the Shadow hisses cruel jabs and taunts at them. Sona catches onto the Shadow’s formal title a few minutes later.


    It’s time for the final test - both Shadow and Medea told the party that they had to overcome the Twin Guardians before being granted sovereignty over the Bonfires (i.e the ability to walk between them). Everyone buffs up outside of the fog gate, and steps through simultaneously.


    Spoiler: The Twin Guardians
    Show



    And promptly lose most of their buffs to the targeted Dispel magic within the fog. I giggle like a demented little monster I am, then describe the room. A broad open room with multiple pillars, and on the opposite side, two huge armor clad knights. Their ornate armor is golden and very distinct. One is leaner, with a leonine faceplate and wielding a massive polearm. The other is much broader, and has an eerie cherubic faceplate and an absurdly large hammer.


    That’s right, it’s Ornstein and Smough time!. There is a bit of panicking as everyone catches on, and it’s fight time!


    Ornstein advances, and the barriers start going up. Angelena separates the two with a blade barrier and takes cover by a pillar, but Ornstein dodges it and Smough just bulls through it. Sona puts up a wall of fire and scorches the two before taking cover, and Puck moves to the other side in preparation. Spotter stands his ground and opens fire! His first roll is a crit on Ornstein, but his other arrows bounce off Ornsteins alarmingly high AC (even while flatfooted).


    Ornstein counters with a Thunderous Charge (Desert Wind’s searing charge just changed to electricity) and skewers Spotter with his Huge Guisarme. Spotter promptly fails his massive damage save and dies on the spot.



    Angelena manages to zip over and Revivify Spotter, then Heal him, but they’re both threatened by Ornstein as Smough rumbles towards them as well. Puck rushes in and attacks, but Ornstein is able to deflect most of his attacks. Sona goes invisible, not wanting either of the guardian’s attentions. Smough makes it to the fight, and quickly reduces Spotter to scrap metal with several swings of his massive hammer. Angelena busts out a Radiant Assault - Smough saves, but I roll a 2 with Ornstein, and Angelena rolls a max 6 rounds of Ornstein being dazed. Curses!


    Puck goes all out with Shocktrooper in an attempt to cut down Ornstein while he’s dazed and deals heavy damage, but can’t finish him off because of that crazy high AC. That leaves him in range of Smough, who quickly sends Puck to meet his Warforged brethren in death. Sona throws up a Wall of Force to separate Smough and Angelena, but Smough is tall enough to carefully clamber over it. Angelena however manages to blind him with a Sunbeam (we rule the blindness lasts the duration of the spell rather than being permanent), which keeps her alive while Sona starts raining damage down on the dazed Ornstein.


    It takes a lot of frantic retreating, flying, and a buttload of spells, but Ornstein finally falls to the spellcaster’s combined assault right as the Daze is fading. However, energy spills from the fallen Ornstein and flows into Smough. His armor ignites with flame, lightning crackles over his body, and he grows to Gargantuan size! It’s SUPER SMOUGH!

    Dun dun dun


    The next bit involves the pair dimension-dooring about and hurling spells at the still blinded Smough while he tracks them through sound, but can’t quite keep up. Once he’s no longer blind, he smashes a pillar and starts hurling chunks of masonry about. Angelena and Sona are using every single spell slot, spell-like ability, and trick, and Smough keeps getting closer (including nearly pasting an airborne and greater-invisible Sona with a Thunderous Charge, but missing due to concealment). He’s certainly wounded, though. Sona busts out her big gun, and Draconic Polymorphs into a War Troll. As she goes on the attack, she realizes that each time she tears into Smough, the flames surrounding him do almost as much damage to her. Smough gets lucky with his miss chances and craters Sona into the floor...but War Troll regeneration is only overcome with Acid, and Greater invisibility prevents him from simply squeezing her until she stops breathing. While Smough is feeling around to do just that, Angelena attacks! Burning her final spells (and having the good idea to attempt a dispel but rolling horribly on the attempt), she ends up within range of the dreaded hammer, and Smough executes her with prejudice. This allows Sona to wake back up, though. Smough is horribly wounded, but Sona only has a few rounds of invisibility remaining. She burns a vitae to heal to full, and charges in and gouges Smough again, but the flames and counter attack drop her again (my dice scoff at the 50/50 miss chance this night). Smough can’t find her body in time before she wakes up again, though, and on her last round of invisibility manages to pierce Smough’s armor one final time. The damage drops her again, though, so she’s not technically conscious for her victory, waking up a moment later.


    It’s super late by this point, so we leave xp for next session.





    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    33, plus a Vitae burnt and some polymorph cheese were the only thing that stopped a TPK. Hence the moral victory :P
    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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  26. - Top - End - #266
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Spoiler: The Twin Guardians
    Show

    Everyone buffs up outside of the fog gate, and steps through simultaneously.

    And promptly lose most of their buffs to the targeted Dispel magic within the fog. I giggle like a demented little monster I am, then describe the room. A broad open room with multiple pillars, and on the opposite side, two huge armor clad knights. Their ornate armor is golden and very distinct. One is leaner, with a leonine faceplate and wielding a massive polearm. The other is much broader, and has an eerie cherubic faceplate and an absurdly large hammer.

    That’s right, it’s Ornstein and Smough time! There is a bit of panicking as everyone catches on, and it’s fight time


    I knew it was coming, but I couldn't help grinning and giggling like a madman. :D

    Spoiler
    Show
    ]Ehh, everyone else died, and you made her use up a vitae, effectively the same thing. And she was knocked out again when she finished him off.
    I'll count it in my book as a draw. :P
    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Vaz approval for the best backstory. Villainous Competition 16: Burn Baby Burn
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    Honorable Mention Villainous Competition 22: I Am The Night
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  27. - Top - End - #267
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

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

    Knew it was coming....?
    *checks back in Puzzle's other boards*

    Oh. OH! Oh dear....

    Planning for a couple TPK's??? *whimper* Praise Pelor and his cleric with a 7th level spell coupled with a natural 2 and maxed out dazed rounds!

  28. - Top - End - #268
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Curse of Artaith (a 3.5 Campaign Journal)

    Quote Originally Posted by Picanet View Post
    Knew it was coming....?
    *checks back in Puzzle's other boards*

    Oh. OH! Oh dear....

    Planning for a couple TPK's??? *whimper* Praise Pelor and his cleric with a 7th level spell coupled with a natural 2 and maxed out dazed rounds!
    Or I'm just a fan of Dark Souls and have been waiting for those two to show up.

    It's not true, ...but it could be! :P

    I look forward to everyone dying next session.
    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/showthread.php?http://531199-Villainous-Competition...e-Night!/page6

  29. - Top - End - #269
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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

    30 sessions!

    ...30? Jeez.

    Spoiler: Trial overcome
    Show
    So Sona wakes up as a troll still right about the same time everyone else makes it back from the Bonfire. Talvosh has overcome his gastronomic issues, and rejoins the party. The twin giants have crumbled away, leaving 4 gleaming vitae for the group to split up. I also hand out xp, and everyone except Talvosh (you know, since he wasn't there) levels up.

    There is a another set of massive closed doors, which seems to be the only way to go. Said doors are heavy enough that it takes Talvosh and Puck a few minutes of straining to finally yank them open, revealing a large circular platform. Once the whole gang steps onto it, the platform descends further down. The descent is quiet except for the occasional scrape of stone on stone from little outcroppings. Eventually the lift stops, depositing the party into a circular room with a large fountain or basin of sorts in the middle. The water gleams with light, illuminating the whole room, and revealing that there is no other path leading in or out. After a bit of examination, Angelena and Sona try and find any magic within the waters, and Sona passes her Will save to realize that the fountain isn't full of water, it's full of silent blue fire. It takes a bit of cajoling and convincing, but eventually everyone sees through the illusory water on top of the flames. There's a while of debating and arguing over what to do next, and then Sona acts on a hunch and thrusts her hand into the Flames.

    It hurts. A lot, in fact. But even as she can feel her skin burning and blistering, she feels a stirring challenge of sorts in her soul. Passing a Vitae check, the flames shrink around her hand, then after one more check, they submit and flow around her hand . Sona's left hand (the one NOT in the fire) ignites in blue flame as well, and she can see as well as FEEL the Mark twisting and seemingly deepening itself (a thoroughly wretched sensation). And with that, Sona is left with horribly burnt hands...and the Sovereignty of Flame.

    One at a time, each other member thrusts their hands into the flames. It takes a little longer for some (and Talvosh narrowly avoids losing his mind and attacking his allies)) but each gains Sovereignty over Flame. Inside their minds, they can feel a new ability unfurling. By concentrating at a Bonfire for a moment, they can step through and transport themselves to a Bonfire that they have visited prior.

    *Cough cough Lordvessel Cough*

    Spoiler: Currently found Bonfires
    Show

    Far shore
    -Lighthouse beach


    Sinking Village
    -Village entrance
    -Village Keep


    The Jungle
    -Placid pond
    -Forgotten watchpoint
    -Cliff edge


    The Canyons
    -Peaceful cavern
    -Shepherd’s Sanctuary


    The Wastes
    -End of the World
    -Sunlit Mausoleum
    -Northern edge


    Logos
    -The Southern Fire (Greenstone)
    -The Central Fire
    -The Northern Fire - SNUFFED OUT


    Revelation
    -Portal Entrance
    -First Level
    -Church entrance (Currently attuned to)


    As everyone recovers from the horrible sensations of burning and spiritual twisting/unlocking, they look up to see that there is now an alcove in front of them...and items resting in nooks. Each is pulled towards a nook (i.e. treasure time)

    Spoiler: Angelena
    Show
    The Shield of Shining Resolve, a +3 fire resistance light fortification heavy steel shield - once per day, the wielder can reflect a gaze attack or ray back upon its caster.

    This brass and steel shield has a golden sunburst emblazoned across the front, and the whole shield is polished to a mirror sheen. Picking it up fills one with warmth and confidence


    Spoiler: Puck
    Show
    Baernhardt's axe, a +3 Brutal Surge Greataxe that can extend into a Guisarme as a free action. Extending it during a bull rush attack adds +5 feet to a successful check, and retracting it during an attack allows a bull rush attempt to pull the opponent 5 feet closer

    This greataxe looks remarkably oversized and heavy, with an unusually thick haft and broad axehead. With a sweeping cut, however, the haft extends into a menacing polearm!


    Spoiler: Sona
    Show
    Helixical Amber, a knowstone containing Arcane Fusion and Dimension Step

    This palm sized gem is a rich amber. A helix twists back and forth within the center of the gem, and you would swear you could see it moving


    Spoiler: Spotter
    Show
    The Thread of Aisha, a bowstring that 3/day as a swift action, adds the bane enchantment to any arrow fired against a specific named creature or creature type for the remainder of the encounter, and the Cornucopial Quiver, a quiver that produces an unlimited number of mundane, silver, cold iron, dragonsbreath, swiftwing, and serpentstongue arrows, 10 adamantine arrows/day, and 5 phasing arrows (act as a touch attack) / day

    This bowstring has a golden sheen to it, and is unnaturally cold to the touch. The quiver is stuffed to the brim with arrows, a variety of different colored fletching


    Spoiler: Talvosh
    Show
    The Tooth of Khardok, an amulet that grants the wearer the Mad Foam Rager feat, and the ability to move twice your land speed as an immediate action if an enemy attempts to withdraw from you

    This ancient looking tooth, more fang, is stained with the ages. At least, you hope it's age...


    With new abilities, new gear, and newfound confidence, the party decides to work on their currently most important goal.

    Somehow getting those Vitae that was used to open the hatch into their greedy little hands

    The party travels back up the lift, out the church, and ALLLLL the way back up the stairs. Those who aren't unceasing robots are a little tuckered...so everyone else sits around the fire, while Spotter examines the Vitae swirling in the orbs that unlocked the hatch. There seems to be two Vitae worth in each globe, and three globes. Spotter pulls out his melee weapon, a Pick of Piercing, which allows the wielder to destroy objects of force. With a swing, he shatters one of the globes! Immediately there's a shrill piercing shriek filling the air, just at the edge of hearing (but quite uncomfortable for the party members with good hearing). Puck skitters out to help Spotter carefully coax the two vitae into a glass flask.

    Spotter's player: "Hey, so it's a super loud shrill noise?"

    Me: "Yep."

    Spotter's player with a dawning sense of dread: "Like an alarm?"

    With that, the Guardian Ghost Beholder floats through the ceiling above them, snarling in rage! Spotter acts first and wisely runs for his life to the Bonfire. The Beholder is next, and hits Puck with a Finger of Death (which he's immune), a Slow (which he saves against), a Flesh to Stone (makes his save), and a Disintegrate (which he makes his save). Puck then also wisely hightails it to the safety of the Bonfire.

    The phantasmal beholder floats in midair, staring menacingly in the way that only a horrifying floating abomination of teeth and eyes can. Spectral drool oozes from its maw and wisps away before it hits the ground, and barks something menacing in a terribly archaic dialect of Draconic. Sona attempts to apologize and pacify the ghost, but only receives another tirade of near-incomprehensible growling. With the creature glaring at them all, the party decides to warp away from this fire.

    Angelena, Sona, and Spotter: "To Logos!"

    Talvosh: "To the Jungle Forgotten Watchpoint!"

    Puck: "To the Lighthouse beach!"

    ...wait, what?


    Spoiler: Party banana split
    Show
    Puck looks around on the beach. It's nice out. There's also nothing happening, so he warps to the Jungle Forgotten Watchpoint with Talvosh.

    Angelena, Sona, and Spotter all arrive in the Church of the Central Fire, exhausted and in need of rest. Upon not seeing their other companions, they decide that they will wait a day or two for them to catch up. After all, what's the worst they can do?

    Fate tempting detected

    In Logos, the trio rests, and then talks with Alexandria in the morning, sharing as much information as they can about the trials of Revelation. They also share the disturbing signs that someone or something has been tampering with information on a massive scale (they don't award Alexandria her own tinfoil hat, though...maybe that will come later), such as the multiple hints of a 7th deity, the cryptic musings of the twins, the "glitches" of the Oracle of Fire, the tampering with Pathos. With more discussion, they agree that they need to brave the Library again, and try to coax some more out of the mad construct / intelligence. Alexandria is concerned, then disturbed at the implications. She reiterates her willingness to aid the party.

    In the Jungle, our Bash bros rest for the night, and then set out at as fast a pace as they can manage to the Hanging Tree.

    MUST KILL ALL BOSSES

    The pair cross the river, but instead of the foliage shifting towards more swampish, it's simply...dead. It's absolutely silent as they crunch and pound through the chalky dirt and dead trees. There is no life left in the ground at all, no ainimal signs, nothing. After part of a hard day, they stand in front of the burnt-out husk of the massive mangrove tree. Pushing through the roots to underneath, they step through the inky black portal!

    They find themselves in an eerie monochromatic landscape. Everything is black, white, or grey. Instead of a thick jungle, or a dead wasteland, it's an orderly forest, almost an orchard of sorts...except the trees are all stone. The air is painfully thin and cold, to the point that Puck and Talvosh start taking negative energy damage right away. A cobblestone path leads from the portal to stairs that descend into the earth. Tanking the d6 per round, the pair tromp down the stairs.

    It's a large antechamber of sorts. Stone roots from above coil and thrust downwards, weaving and twining into thick pillars of a sort, making the room a bit of a maze. The duo can also see what seems to be several coffins thrusting out of the walls. Before they can see any more, however, a hateful voice assaults their psyches!

    BOSS FIGHT: DARK PRESENCE

    Puck is immune to the Charisma damage, and Talvosh saves for half...but that means he still takes 4 pts of damage. Spectres and Umbral displacer beasts shiver and ghost-jump their way out of the coffins, and it's fight time!

    Several pros and cons for the dynamic duo!

    Pros-
    They both hit like trucks made of angry axes (Talvosh in particular hits like an animated axe factory)
    They both have lots of hit points
    Puck's player has dice made from rabbit's feet, 4-leaf clovers, monkey's paws, and gypsy wisewomen
    Puck is immune to almost everything other than hit point damage

    Cons-
    The best either can get on incorporeal is a 50% miss chance
    Their only method of healing is Vitae
    They have no way of extrasensory perception

    The pair are able to cleave through the spectres and umbral displacer beasts fairly quickly, Puck with little harm, but Talvosh takes 2 negative levels (which he delays for a bit), and some strength damage. Talvosh also saves against Confusion from the Presence, and Puck is immune. The axebros are clever, and immediately start stepping between the stone roots in order to hack and cleave at the coffins (slowing and then stopping the influx of spectral adversaries). As the coffins break, they spill bones into the room like water. All the while, they keep taking a bit of negative damage each round

    Several rounds of psychic tearing and ripping though, and Talvosh goes down with 0 charisma (despite making the saves). Then an unseen force starts physically tearing at Puck, scraping and mangling his armor for bits of damage! Said Presence also devours Talvosh's essence, killing him.

    Puck endures, the unseen Presence unable to do anything to him other than grind his armor down gradually as he manages to destroy the final coffins. So it calls in some more help...the bones clatter, and dance, and leap together to form a Juvenile Boneyard! It weaves sinuously between the roots to sink its teeth into the spider-Forged!

    Luckily immune to the Subsumation effect of the Boneyard's bite, it still deals a lot of damage and tosses him around. So Puck responds in kind by Brutal-Surging the Boneyard into the stone pillars. The two smash back and forth while the Presence chips away at Puck's health, and Puck manages to get several bull rushes in a row and breaks the Boneyard apart! By this point he's in single digit hit points, so he burns a Vitae much to the displeasure of the Presence (which is still peeved that he is immune to pretty much every one of its abilities).

    Puck manages a couple natural 20s to get a hint of which square the Presence is lurking (I think he rolls half a dozen or so natural 20s throughout the night), and manages to land a few heavy blows, even through the invisibility and incorporeality. With more shrieking threats and obscenities, the Presence retreats from the unfeeling death-bot.

    Puck endures the negative damage to roll some more search checks, and again gets a Nat 20...so he finds a small unusual ring.



    There's a bit more, but it fits better with the next session!

    Spoiler: DEATH COUNT
    Show
    34
    Mmm charisma damage
    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, ongoing. Heavily influenced by the Dark Souls and Bloodborne games. Featuring lots and lots of death, player (character) and otherwise!

  30. - Top - End - #270
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Galveston, TX

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

    Being immune to everything can be fun. Fighting something immune to everything, not so much. :p

    Guardian Ghost Beholder... are you TRYING to kill everyone?!?
    Did they decide on their own to split up? Did you have them silently each slip you a piece of paper telling you where they were going?

    I like it. ANOTHER!!!
    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/showthread.php?http://531199-Villainous-Competition...e-Night!/page6

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