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Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion (Updated 5/10/13)
Hi everyone! I'm the DM for my group of players. We hope you all enjoy the story that we have to tell. I encourage you all to post if you like or dislike the posts! Giving advice for what the players or I should do next is also appreciated.
The Xorians are expanding into the sovereign city-states of Cimmeria. They are ruled by the Dragovinians, a race of draconic vampires. The Dragovinians worship their living creator, Blendegad the Reaper, and their living firstborn, King Jevaninada the Second. The Reaper's minions successfully stormed the defended city of Phoenix. The cities of Eastern Cimmeria quake in fear at the power of the Empire. It is September and the Alliance must rise from the ashes and continue resisting the Xorians.
This campaign is actually split into two. There is a low level section, where the players will be playing characters from 1st level up. There is also a high level section, where the players will play characters from 10th level up. I chose to do this, because the players and I had become addicted to high level play, but still wanted the refreshing difficulty of low level play.
The high level campaign is referred to as the Alliance. The high level characters will assist the Alliance by gaining more allies and by attacking the Xorians. The high level characters are all related to the leading members of the Alliance in some way. One is a cousin, another is a son, and another is a respected member of the community. The characters recently split off from the Alliance to continue the fight on their own.
The low level campaign is referred to as the Rebellion. A tyrannical regime such as the Dragovinians is not without its rebels. The rebels have gathered in a forest on the edge of the Xorian Empire and try their best to end its grip on the people of the land. In this campaign, the PCs are not members of the Rebellion, but Ex-Dragovinians. The characters attacked the rebel hideout before the campaign started, but were captured. The rebels performed a magical experiment which returned the Dragovinian PCs to their original mortal forms, but without any memory. If you've played KOTOR1, it's a bit like that. The Rebellion needs a group of Ex-Dragovinians on their side to gather the pieces of a lost prophecy. The holder of all five pieces of the prophecy can bring a god back to life. The rebels plan to use the prophecy on Zeus, king of the gods, in the hopes that he will smash the Dragovinians for them.
Description of Alliance High Level (17) Characters
Salzar: He is currently playing Torin the dwarven cleric of Athena. However, Torin used to be a dwarven fighter with Leadership. His cohort was a cleric of Athena. The cohort, Erick, has now been declared just a good friend since the changing of Torin's build. Torin is also the great-nephew of the King of the Hill Dwarves, Dainlin. Ozymandias: His character is Eathirilu Treeheart, an elven druid that through a series of events has changed his permanent form into that of a panda. Eathirilu has a special relationship with dinosaurs and likes to wild shape into them and summon them with spells. His companion is Toothy the raptor. Ozymandias' previous character was Sabriyya Kal'lel, a elven dervish and two-weapon fighter from Mars' Oasis. She was a freedom fighter always ready to oppose evil. Sabriyya left because she did not like the idea that the party was allying with undead. Ozymandias' character before that was a Red Wizard named Preta with a cohort named Shez. Preta is exiled for killing civilians during a riot. Ozymandias doesn't usually switch characters this often, but he has been this campaign. Middle_Snu: His character is a Aractrashan noble named Hektor of Lakatia. Hektor is a extremely capable wizard who has pledged his support to the rebellion. He hopes that the rest of Aractrash will follow his example. Middle_Snu used to play Terroc, a powerful conjurer and one of the longest running PCs ever. He went through three of my campaigns. Terroc betrayed the Alliance and joined the Xorians. Thewamp: He is playing a crusader/warblade named Tagenadi. He uses AoO and Stormguard warrior with a Kusari-gama. Tagenadi was an officer in the Xorian army before the Dragovinians took control. He hates the draconic vampires and has joined the Alliance to end their reign. Tagenadi has just journeyed to Hell and returned in an undead state after bargaining with Hades. Thewamp used to play a hellfire warlock named Logan. Logan is a senior member of the Adventurers Guild in Phoenix. Logan is originally from Gazeara, but he fled after the town was conquered by the Xorians. Thewamp retired the character because he was bored with the build. Logan will remain a character in the campaign. Throgg: He used to run a diplomacy bard named Amalius, but we decided that was too ridiculous. He remade Amalius as a Telepath who dominates stuff. Same effect basically, but less broken. Amalius was the grandson of Throgg's character in the last campaign. Amalius hates his grandfather for reasons that are clearer in the Description of the Last Campaign section. Amalius' family was held hostage by the Xorians and they forced him to spy on the Alliance. He recovered his family, but their memories and his own do not match up, casting doubt on who they really are. Amalius has a cohort named Aldarian. He is an elf rogue who pretended to be a paladin for awhile, but has since stopped. Aldarian has died three times since the campaign began. He now has a prestige class associated with dying a lot.
Description of Rebellion Low Level (4) Characters
Salzar: Salzar is playing a human ranger named Wu Lang Li. He's going on the archer path of the rangers. Ozymandias: He's playing a halfling rogue named Sivirdm. Sivirdm used to be a spellthief, but we realized that was lame and I allowed Ozymandias to redesign Sivirdm as a straight rogue. Middle_Snu: He is playing a half-orc champion named Korjak. The champion class is designed by the Giant and can be found in the homebrew section of the forums. Korjak’s champion form is that of the Nordic god Balder. Corporal Korjak is the official commander of the party within the Rebellion’s military hierarchy. Thewamp: He's playing a halfling beguiler named Stanton. Stanton is the same name of an older character of thewamp's. Stanton became famous within our group when he was knocked unconscious by an orc child. Middle_Snu even wrote a song about it:
Oh Stanton, oh Stanton
He almost lost a leg,
Oh Stanton, oh Stanton
He was just a babe
It went on for longer, but I only remember the chorus. Throgg: Throgg is playing an orc barbarian named Gregor. Yes, his strength score is ridiculous. It gets up to 26 when raging. He has to deal with playing what is essentially a slave race in the civilized world though. Throgg may also be going for my homebrewed prestige class, The Impenetrable Warrior, which I have been begging for my players to playtest for a very long time.
Important NPCs for both Campaigns (Characters will be removed and added from this list as needed)
King Jevaninada II: The leader of the Xorian Empire and the first Dragovinian. Jev hated his oppressive mother and killed her to take the throne. Jev is 50 years old and as yet unmarried. He is expanding the Xorian Empire into Eastern Cimmeria. Blendegad the Reaper:A bit of a recurring villain for the players. He beat them up in the first campaign for this world. He beat up their allies in the third campaign for this world. He's their BBEG for this campaign, the fourth for this world. He's a Vampire Hexblade who changed himself into a Dragon and has now taken levels in Dragon Ascendant to become part god. The New Rages: Jevaninada II's father was served by many powerful NPCs known as the Seven Rages. The four New Rages serve as Jevaninada II's generals. They are some of the most powerful Dragovinians in existence. Three of them were slain at the Battle of Phoenix. The three were Degusharla, Frost, and Ashabodai. The only remaining Rage is Barejando. Astyanax: He is the military leader of Bradel Fields as well as the Alliance as a whole. He is the son of an NPC friend of the PCs in the last campaign, Hector. Astyanax is a paladin and a member of the Alliance war council. He is dictator of Bradel Fields after killing a few senators in a coup. His paladinhood is silently in question. Arendil: He is the political leader of the Alliance and of Jipangu. He is a 76 year old human wizard. He is the leader of the Alliance war council. Gradorian: He is a hobgoblin and the leader of the mercenaries guild in Phoenix. Gradorian has mastered almost all fighting styles. He is a member of the Alliance war council. He is training the refugees from Phoenix for combat at the Alliance city, Jipangu. Junai: She is an elven two-weapon fighter and Gradorian's second-in-command. Junai was a character of my sister's before she quit playing. Junai is a member of the Alliance war council. Titandra: She is the leader of Restnor's Point. She is a blind elf cleric. She is a voice of reason and restraint on the Alliance war council. Kig Yupington: He is an apparently raceless being trained in hand-to-hand fighting. Kig is the leader of Restnor's Point military and a member of the Alliance war council. Kig is a favorite NPC of the players. They gave him the Scepter of Dorrowsan and he is moving the city to Jipangu to join up with Gradorian. Major Dactirian: Dactirian is the leader of the Rebellion in Bigby's Forest. He is uncanny at predicting his opponents move in a fight. Alkmene Halkias: The sister of Amalgami the Betrayer who destroyed the First Alliance. Alkmene seeks to redeem her family's name that was sullied by Amalgami. She is the last elder druid from Semanarie. Alkmene is a senior ranking member of the Rebellion. Princess Tarigananata: Tari was accused of demonic possession by her brother. She fought against him in the First Xorian War and lost. When she lost the demon inside of her fully possessed her. She lost control and began ravaging throughout all of Xoria. During a great battle with one of her brother's servants she was able to regain control of the demon. She now fights a constant battle to keep its power contained within herself. Tari is assisting the Rebellion in what ways she can, although she is quite old now and close to death. Stevie the Wonder Wagon: An animated and awakened iron wagon with a face and 4 arms who was the party's henchman in the last campaign. The players made him in one of their... moments... Stevie rolled horribly on his mental stats (Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 4) and acts somewhat retarded. He has joined the Rebellion against the Xorians in Bigby's Forest. He has 6 levels in Barbarian and wields 4 greatswords in his 4 arms. Stevie can move close to 40mph. Reggy: A slave that the lower level part purchased along Danar's River. He's a crude jokester and has endeared himself to the party through his dirty jokes. Terroc: Middle_Snu's character for many years. I was originally unsure of how much Middle_Snu would be involved in the campaign so I made Terroc a spy for the Xorians. He betrayed the alliance with his magical powers and stole the Sword of Kruk-Ma-Kali. He has been rewarded with Dragovinian status and is ready to terrorize the party in the future. Vecna: She's based off the god of secrets from Greyhawk. I changed her to a woman as Vecna always seemed like a feminine name to me. As a lich she runs a small shop in the undead city, Crux. She has massive influence in the world because she is a powerful mage. She has created a nuke spell that she sells to nations. She also maintains the original god's lost hand, lost eye, and amazing knowledge of secrets. The Antenator: The new form of the Greek god of death, Thanatos. The Antenator is a three-headed bodak that resides at the top of the Silver Tower in the undead city, Crux. Those who reach the top of the tower can ask it any question they want. From the tower the Antenator is responsible for transporting the souls of every dead person to the underworld. The Antenator may have been tricked by Xorians and an accomplice with god-like powers.
Unimportant NPCs for both campaigns (Dead characters, important in the future, etc.)
Lamarr: The leader of the Adventurers Guild in Phoenix. He was 20th level with 12 different classes. He fought using a dervish dance and a rage. He died fighting the Dragovinian Rage, Ashabodai, at the Battle of Phoenix. Dralin: The general of the dwarves at Phoenix. He was a samurai who rode a giant battletitan dinosaur named Bessy. He died in the Battle of Phoenix when facing King Jevaninada. Cassandra: The "loose" daughter of Astyanax. She is offered in a marriage bargain with the Bjorn of Dalleer. She is also an accomplished diva signer. Duke Jingo: The aged halfling leader of Nomingburg in the east. Nomingburg is a halfling town that has several different Assassins Guilds in it. Jingo unified the guilds and they declared him Duke. Logan: Thewamp's old character, a hellfire warlock. He is the last surviving member of the Phoenix Adventurers Guild. Thewamp retired him in favor of Tagenadi the Crusader. Degusharla: One of the Rages. He was general of Xorian's common troops. He used an uber-archer build. Torin killed him in the Battle of Phoenix while Torin was possessed by Athena. Frost: One of the Rages. He was the dark elf commander of the Xorian Cavalry. He used an uber-charger build. Kig, Shez, and Amalius killed him during the Battle of Phoenix. Ashabodai: One of the Rages. She was the Frenzied Berserker queen of the Amazons. The Amazons are allied with the Xorians. Logan killed her in the Battle of Phoenix. Devanane: A Dragovinian assassin. He works closely with the King and has personal adversarial relationships with Tagenadi and Amalius. King Dainlin: Dainlin is king of the hill dwarves. Dainlin has a son named Tibern. Salzar's character, Torin is next in line for the throne after Tibern. King Deekgaon: Deekgaon is king of the deep dwarves. He was proclaimed Great General of all the dwarves at the Dwarven Kings' Brunch. Deekgaon is quite gullible. He is also the finest Axemaster in all the world. King Sandil: Sandil is king of the duergar dwarves. He is a sorcerer and a trickster. The duergar are staying with the deep dwarves because their Underdark homeland was conquered by the Xorians. Sandil plans to manipulate High King Torngar with magic. High King Torngar, Emperor of the Dwarves: Torngar was proclaimed High King and Emperor at the Dwarven Kings' Brunch. He is also king of the mountain dwarves. In exchange for the Emperor position and the Fierce Axe, he agreed to wage war upon the Xorians in the Underdark. Amalgami: Throgg's character in the past campaign. He was a priest of Apollo, but turned a little evil after the first Xorian War. He started worshiping a demon and then turned to Eris, goddess of Discord. He betrayed the rest of the party and the First Alliance against the Xorians that he had organized. He's the big bad bogey man of the campaign. He has since turned into a lich. He is also the grandfather and was the satanic mentor of Amalius, Throgg's current character. Rodrigo: The leader of the Council of Bradel Fields. Bradel Fields is the only Republic city-state. He initially opposed Bradel Fields joining the war, but caved to popular opinion. He was slain by Astyanax when the paladin orchestrated a coup. Lotigan: A member on the Bradel Fields Council in charge of military affairs. He assisted the party when the Alliance was still based in Phoenix. He was slain by Astyanax when the paladin orchestrated a coup. Bjorn: The insane leader of Dalleer. He was appointed by the last leader. Bjorn is actually a title. The leader's real name is unknown. The players suspect that there is more going on than meets the eye, but haven't confirmed specifics yet. Terolio: The Prime Minister and acting leader of Dalleer. He was appointed by Bjorn. He is stable and not insane in the least. He is opposed to joining the war and has kept Dalleer out of it up until now. King Mero III: The King of Mars' Oasis. The desert city is attacked by blue dragons, undead, and formians. The city also has a magical oasis which turns any item put into it into supreme magical material. Talon: The leader of Greshendale, the magic floating city in the sky. Talon represents a diverse society of mages. Talon is actually a dromite Psion/Wizard/Cerebremancer. Other important mages in Greshendale are Krodius, the chief of police, and Loshok, the magical items guildmaster. King Ballard: The King of the Aractrash Jungle Kingdom. His father, Willard, was involved in the First Xorian War. Things went badly, so Ballard is staying out of the war. He doesn't want to subject his people to the violence of a full-scale war again. Epidemus: High King Torngar's castellan/steward. Epidemus arbitrated the Dwarven Kings' Brunch and served drinks and refreshments at the Brunch as well. Sherlock the Warlock: A high level wizard who enjoys scrying the events of the world from his tower and enjoying the "free cable." He has helped the PCs in the past campaigns when it suited his interests. He's sort of a deux ex machina, but used very rarely. Kruk-Ma-Kali: A long dead Hobgoblin King. During his life he invaded the elven, dwarven, and human territories of Eastern Cimmeria. Dead for 500 years he is now a ghost inhabiting his old sword, Kharad-Khor. Brevenditu: The son of Duke Prusu of Jeutontic. Duke Prusu revolted against the Xorian Empire in support of the First Alliance. He failed and was executed for treason. Brevenditu has been held captive since a young age and only recently freed in a prisonbreak.
We play D&D 3.5, but with a few changes.
You die not at -10, but at -10 - your level or HD. So a 3rd level character is dead at -13.
Grapple is simplified by only allowing one grapple check per round. Fighters do not get to grapple with each one of their attacks. We're starting to try adopting the grapple rules as written, but everyone knows why we're wary of it.
Rolling a 1 on an attack elicits a fumble roll. It's a lot like a critical roll. You roll to hit again. If you would've missed with the fumble roll, then you lose your next action.
Cascading fumble and critical rolls. If you roll a 1 on your fumble roll, you roll again and it could get worse than just a missed action. If you roll a 20 on a critical roll you roll again, and it could get better. It also works the other way. If you roll a 20 on a fumble roll, you get to roll to hit normally again. Reincarnate does not cause a level to be lost. Only raise dead does. I also have my own chart for reincarnations. Makes death a little more fun.
Spontaneous casters can use metamagic feats without penalty. Even Quicken Spell is allowed.
Only one Sudden Metamagic feat can be applied to each spell. This applies to metamagic rods as well.
Rolling a 1 or a 20 on a skill check is an auto-fail or auto-success within reason. No jumping to the moon or other shenanigans.
Those are the only ones I remember right now, but if others come up I will put them here.
The rest of the spoilers are a massive history of my world. It's pretty heavy and the casual reader might want to avoid it.
Description of Campaign World
My campaign world originally started with me hating the Greyhawk/Faerun pantheons. They didn't make any sense to me. I didn't know how the gods were related or why they existed or anything like that stuff. I much preferred the Greek God Pantheon. They were all related. They had stories about them. I understood why they did things. Best of all, everyone already knows about them! It's actually required in USA schools to learn about them.
The problem was the Greek gods have all this stuff associated with Greece and I didn't want to switch to a real setting, only more realistic gods. So I changed the location of the gods. Within my world, after the Trojan War, the gods realized that the Greeks couldn't really handle the gods fighting over them. The gods moved west to the area around the Northern Caspian Sea and created new races to play with. Elves, dwarves, halflings, and orcs were made for the gods to mess around with along with monsters and more humans. The new races were given far more magic, so they could survive the gods' attentions.
You'll notice on the map below that I significantly changed the geography around the North Caspian. I didn't have any reason to do this beyond, I liked having creative freedom. The area of the North Caspian is called Cimmeria. This is actually what the Ancient Greeks called it, so why not keep the name?
The current year is 396BC. The characters wouldn't actually call it that, but for the sake of unambiguity, we're using the Christian year system. However, I have also simplified the month system. Every year lasts 360 days and every month lasts 30 days. The full moon is always on the 30th and the 1st of every month and the new moon is always on the 15th and 16th of every month. There are no weeks, instead there are "tendays." This is just to make it simpler for me, so I don't have to keep track of months, weeks, and moons. Also, yes, this is the way the world actually works in my campaign. The year is literally 360 days instead of just being measured that way.
Other pantheons do exist in my campaign (Persian, Egyptian, Indian, Norse), but don't appear very often.
The world is flat and the sun god's chariot goes around the Earth every day. The other side of the world is inhabited by scary monsters and Atlas, who holds up the world. The other planes are laid like pancakes on or around the earth. It's a bit complicated and probably unnecessary to understand. IF you'd like a more indepth description, just post in the thread.
Most of the cities in Cimmeria are city-states, but there are two exceptions. the Xorian Empire and the Aractrash Kingdom. The Xorian Empire has been expanding over the last hundred years. It now threatens the city-state of Phoenix. The Aractrash Kingdom has several cities within the Aractrashan Jungle. The jungle was united under one king around one hundred years ago.
Description of Last Campaign
The last campaign centered around the party trying to put Princess Tarigananata (Tari for short) back on the throne of the Xorian Empire. The players were Throgg, Ozymandias, and Salzar. Throgg played a human favored soul named Amalgami. Ozymandias played a dwarven two-weapon fighter named Atreides. Salzar played a human war mage named Salzar.
Princess Tari's father said she should succeed him after his death. Her brother, Jevaninada (Jev for short), refused to believe this was his father's true wish. Jev sent to the Oracle of Delphi to say what the Xorians should do. The Oracle said that twenty years after her father's death, Tari would let a rampaging demon into the land of Cimmeria. Jev took the throne and ordered his sister executed, but she escaped with the help of a highranking general named Antapike.
Nineteen years passed and the PCs met the Princess and her General. The PCs decided to support Tari's claim to the throne. The Xorians were expanding into the rest of Cimmeria, conquering city-states one at a time. The PCs decided to unite the various other city-states against the expansionist empire. The armies of Jipangu, Bradel Fields, and Gazeara are gathered at Gazeara. Spartan mercenaries are also hired and transported by a teleportation circle to Gazeara. You can find all of these places on the map below. The Xorian cities of Colchis and Jeutontic were convinced to rebel. Additionally, the might of the Persian Empire was convinced to help the Princess regain her kingdom. Everything seemed to be going well.
That's all sort of background. The actual adventuring the party was doing consisted of raiding different places for treasure to support the Alliance. King Jev also had a crack team of 20th level characters called the Seven Rages. The Rages would harass and attack the players occasionally. The Rages always seemed to come one at a time though. Two of them were slain, Havoc and Ire, a soulknife and wild mage respectively.
In 439BC the PCs moved on Xoria. There was a big battle using Green Ronin's rules for wars along Danar's River. The players won and King Jev along with the Rage, Protean (A shapechanger druid) were slain.
Meanwhile the armies of Jeutontic with the Persian armies took Cecilia from the Xorians. The Rage, Mayhem (Frenzied Berserker/Bear Warrior), was slain in that battle. The army of Colchis marched to Dradelden. The gods intervened in this battle along with a vampiric dragon known as Blendegad the Reaper. The Colchians lost the battle to the Amazons of Dradelden.
The Persians then betrayed the alliance and kept Cecilia for themselves. The PCs traveled there and evicted the Persians. The Aractrashans have sent a fleet to assist the Alliance, but it is burned by the Rage, Tempest (Wu-Jen). This was in retaliation for the PCs judicious use of fireballs in the Battle of Danar's River. Using fireballs and other offensive spells in warfare is a bit like using mustard gas or nukes in the real world. It's not allowed, but if you do the opposing side is going to do the same to you and everyone loses.
The PCs gear up for an aerial bombardment of Makotako, the next Xorian city. While they do so the Alliance camp is attacked by undead creations and it becomes clear that the Xorians are now led by Jev's Queen, Anajakaze. The party defeats the undead and goes to blast Makotako. There they find thousands of zombie soldiers. All of those killed in the battle of Danar's River are animated. The party kills all of them and then runs into the Rage, Grave (Necromancer and summoner). Grave soul sucks Atreides and a key NPC ally of the players, Aeetes. Grave is forced to retreat, giving the PCs a Pyrrhic victory. The two lost characters can't be brought back until their souls are freed from Grave's dagger.
Amalgami, who has slowly become darker and more secretive, suddenly snaps into insanity mode. He kills Leopold, the guild leader of the mercenary clerics on the Alliance side. Amalgami kills Salzar and Salzar’s cohort, Greyski. Amalgami offers a few artifacts he has collected from the battlefield as well as the corpses of his friends and that of Jevaninada to Queen Anajakaze. Queen Anajakaze agrees to allow Amalgami to go unmolested unless he commits further crimes against the Xorian Kingdom.
The campaign ended there. Everyone felt satisfied with what had happened. No one was particularly upset with Throgg either.
Epilogue of Last Campaign and Setup for Current Campaign
The Alliance continues to fight. Makotako is taken and the Alliance marches on Petar. The Amazons arrive on the field and defeat the Alliance troops. Antapike and Tempest were slain in the fighting or executed. The Kings of Sparta and Aractrash were ransomed back to their countries in shame.
Jeutontic was turned into a freaky vampire town that dealt in slaves from the Underdark.
King Jevaninada II was born to Queen Anajakaze. Anajakaze took the regency until the King came of age.
A great beast of fire and shadow came into the land of Xoria. It attacked and burned as many military convoys as possible in the apparent attempt of aggravating the Queen. The Queen had wished to take Gazeara, but was unable to due to the beast’s attacks. The Queen sent Grave after the beast in response. Grave did not return, but the attacks ceased. A scrying was done and it revealed that Grave was dead. It was concluded that the beast and Grave killed each other in an epic battle. The two remaining Rages were Wrath (cleric/rogue) and the Vampire of Havoc, who had vamped the town of Jeutontic.
438: Queen Anajakaze pushes the army to attack Gazeara. The city falls. Tectoctar is attacked in the same year. The city is burned and its citizens dispersed or enslaved.
Amalgami further sullies his name by assassinating various dignitaries in the Persian Empire in an attempt to provoke the Persian Emperor.
437: The Xorian Navy attacks Crafterton. Crafterton deploys some of its military hardware, but the superior Xorian numbers overcome the magical technology of Crafterton. The Halfling city is assimilated into the Empire. The army marches on Sheerzen as well. Sheerzen surrenders at the sight of the army.
436: The Empire is restructured to the advantage of women. The lords of the various Xorian cities are replaced with women. The Queen dissolves most of the Xorian army and allows her Amazons to keep the peace.
435: Slaves from Jeutontic spread throughout the Xorian Empire to work the fields and mines. An age of prosperity exists if you happen to be in the correct demographic (woman of an aboveground race). Zeus, father of Anajakaze, declares this new Empire as his gift to Hera, goddess of women.
433: A settlement is established at the edge of Danar’s Swamp. The new settlement is named Jevanicia. The settlement worked a quarry in the Terror Mountains. The rock was used to build towers, walls, roads, and castles throughout Xoria.
King Ballard ascends the throne after his father, King Willard of Aractrash, dies.
430: A revolt of men arises in Nox and spreads to the other cities of Xoria. Anajakaze conscripts women from throughout the Empire to deal with the problem.
429: The revolt is put down. Rumors of the Rebellion in Bigby’s Forest circulate regardless of Anajakaze’s attempts to squelch them.
427: A search of Bigby’s Forest reveals nothing. The Queen orders the forest burned. The spirits of the forest emerge and defend the forest from the flames of the Amazons. The forest survived and the Amazons suffered many casualties.
424: A large slave rebellion in Petar was put down by the Xorian army.
421: King Jevaninada II came of age, but Queen Anajakaze refused to surrender the Regency.
420: Jevaninada II attempts to assassinate the Queen with the assistance of the last two Rages, Wrath and Havoc. During the battle an unexpected presence arrived: Blendegad the Reaper, the vampiric man who turned himself into a dragon. He had been in the Dark Reaches killing monsters. He had discovered a ritual that would turn any dragon into a god. All it required was the deaths of thousands of creatures, slain by the dragon's own hand. With every beast Blendegad slew in the Dark Reaches he grew closer to godhood. Now, this God of Death wanted to test the small amount of divine power he had obtained by taking over the greatest Kingdom that had ever existed.
Blendegad easily killed the Queen and the two Rages. The Reaper advanced upon the cowering Kind and bit him. The Godly Draconic Vampiric mix infected the already slightly divine blood of Jevaninada II. A new creature was born. King Jevaninada II arose and named this new species, of which he was the only member, Dragovinians. The King made a pact with the Reaper. They would rule together with Blendegad as the God of the new Empire and Jevaninada II as his avatar.
Jevaninada revealed his new body and his new master to his subjects at his coronation. The people feared the evil a vampire immune to sunlight could commit and began to run. Jevaninada II stopped them with a stirring speech in which he promised the return of power to men. The people were won over and declared their new king to be Jevaninada the Second.
Jevaninada II immediately set about removing the female Lords of the land and replacing them with his own servants. His servants were made into Dragovinians under his absolute control and through them, control over any Dragovinians they created. A new aristocracy was formed, a vampocracy.
The Realm of Olympus was shaken by these developments. Hera was infuriated with Zeus for allowing her present to return to the control of men. Zeus was distracted with trying to win Hera back when the unthinkable occurred. The Dahak (a big bad evil monster that wants to overthrow Zeus) ambushed Zeus in the very domain of Olympus. The Dahak punctured Zeus's belly with a special pitchfork and then the monster fled with the Titan, Metis, removed from Zeus's stomach after millennia. Zeus was too injured to pursue and the other Gods were too shocked to react in time.
The Gods pooled their power into healing their father, but they were unable to succeed. Zeus remained confined to Olympus and storms were absent from the land for a time. The young Gods devoid of leadership decided on their own how to approach the problem. Ares revolted and claimed the sky and the thunderbolts for his own. Hephaestus resists Ares and Aphrodite is caught in the middle between the two. Apollo journeys through the mortal world, looking for a cure for his father. Dionysus has sworn off alcohol until his father recuperates. Hera and Hestia remain by Zeus's bedside and care for their brother. Athena and Artemis are scouring the world for the Dahak. Hades, Poseidon, and the older gods are waiting for further developments.
Amalganus (son of Amalgami), a powerful man in Jipangu, acts out of fear of an old rival nation now being headed by a vampire dragon god. Amalganus starts organizing a Second Alliance of Cimmeria in hopes of taking offensive action against Xoria.
419: Without divine intervention Blendegad and Jevaninada II were allowed to take further action. They went to Jeutontic and easily eliminated the proto-vampire presence. The city was restored to its state before the War of the Alliance. The new leaders and new religion of the Empire were hailed for freeing the city from almost two decades of slavery.
418: The theocracy of the new religion, Dragoviniysm, was formed. All citizens were required to join the faith. The lords of each city acted as figureheads for the churches in those areas. A top-down pyramid structure for the church was formed. The lords of the cities had more important duties to attend to, so the position of cardinal was made. Each cardinal oversees an entire city-state district. Within each city-state district a bishop was appointed for each church. Various other clergymen serve the bishops.
The rewards of joining Dragoviniysm are quite clear. If you serve the Empire well you will be rewarded with the everlasting life of a Dragovinian. All the cardinals and bishops are Dragovinians. Services are held at the beginning of every tenday. At the services various propagandic hymns are sung. Verses are read from an altered history of Xoria’s expansion which tells various moral lessons as well as encouraging obedience and subordinance. Communion consists of the bishop and any other Dragovinians in attendance drinking the blood of the laymen. No laymen are killed by this procedure, so none of them turn into Dragovinians.
Many people rejoiced at the promise of true immortality. Thousands flocked to the new religion in spite of its horrible practices. All those who resisted suffered the ultimate punishment. They were imprisoned and transported to the Xorian capital at Nox and fed to the God, Blendegad. Any dissenters or heretics caught since then have suffered the same punishment. Additionally, all those who are sentenced to death for secular crimes are fed to the dragon as well.
417: The tyranny of the new religion spread throughout the land. Thousands attempted to evacuate the country. Many who tried were fed to the dragon. Eventually fear forced all the citizens of Xoria to go to church and offer their necks to the new vampocracy.
After the religious upheaval was finished peace settled over the Empire. The gods stayed out of the affairs of mortals. The only threats to the Empire consisted of Underdark slave rebellions, border incursions by the dwarves, and guerilla tactics used by the rebels of Bigby’s Forest. All these problems were dealt with by a crushing display of force by the Xorian army. The Xorian army no longer contained women.
The Rebellion consisted of Gazearans, Semanariens, Xorians loyal to the First Alliance, Amazons, Elves, Dwarves, and Xorians escaping from Dragoviniysm.
The years passed without event beyond the occasional great storm set upon the land by Ares. The Second Alliance formed by Amalganus chose to take defensive actions only.
410: An assassination attempt is made on King Jevaninada II’s life. The King Jevaninada scours the city of Nox for those who conspired with the criminal to take his life. Soldiers search every house with wizards using the detect thoughts spell to try and find the conspirators. The people riot in the streets. Blendegad the Reaper comes out of his tower atop the Nox Castle and breathes fire upon the crowds. The people disperse in terror and Blendegad feasts on their barbequed flesh. The incident is referred to as the Scouring By Fire.
401: Hera supports Ares’ rise to power only if Ares acts as a regent for his father, Zeus. Ares, in gratitude for his mother’s new position, creates a massive hurricane in the western Caspian Sea. The hurricane causes major flooding for Crafterton, Cecilia, and Makotako. The people call out for help from their god and leader. Blendegad used his divine power to grant all Dragovinians wings for one day. The Dragovinians of Xoria assisted all the mortals escape the flooding, winds, and lightning of the Hurricane of Ares. The image of the Dragovinians and Dragoviniysm is greatly improved.
400: The years of peace come to an end. Jevaninada II and Blendegad the Reaper decided to act with the new popular support found by protecting the people from the Hurricane of Ares. The dictator and the god reassembled the grand army of Xoria. Conscriptions began enmasse. The popular support for Dragoviniysm continued, but support for King Jevaninada II quickly evaporated.
The people’s emotions were already running hot after the hurricane. Waves of dissention rose across the whole Empire. Jevaninada imposed a new method of policing his citizens. He and his Dragovinian nobles began biting dogs and other animals. Those beasts became the spies and enforcers of the Dragovinian aristocracy. The Dragovinian beasts supernaturally sniff out treasonous acts and conversations. The beasts report the criminals to their masters or act on their own, immediately and severely punishing the guilty. It is said that the creator of a Dragovinian beast can see through the beast's eyes, hear with the beast's ear, and even speak with the beast's tongue.
399: With the homefront supposedly secure and his new army trained, Jevaninada II marched into the Eastern Cimmerian lands. The mercenaries and adventurers guilds of Phoenix quickly mobilized to stop the advance of the Xorian army. The Xorians were prevented from crossing the Delain River. Phoenix called for aid from the other Alliance members, but the call was unanswered.
398: More conscripts joined the Xorian army. Those guilty of treason were now punished with conscription. The Xorian army almost tripled in size in one year. With the use of a special forces platoon composed of Dragovinians, Jevaninada II was able to take the eastern bank of the Delain River. The Second Alliance of Cimmeria voted to act to protect Phoenix. Jipangu, Bradel Fields, Jord, and Restnor’s Point send troops, supplies, and experts to Phoenix to aid in the protection of the city.
Jevaninada II attempts to storm the city with siege towers and battering rams led by his Dragovinian platoon. The attack fails. The second attack consists of a silent Dragovinian attack during the night. Many Phoenixians are slain; unfortunately for Xoria, the Dragovinians, in their bloodlust, did not target military personnel. The Phoenix military mobilized and the Dragovinian commander called a retreat. A great number of Dragovinians died in the retreat.
Jevaninada II backs his troops away from the city. The people of Phoenix feared an ambush and did not pursue. The armies of the Second Alliance gathered in the city. As soon as the Xorian King was sure all the allies were gathered in the city walls he pushed his frontline forward. The Xorian army began building a siege wall to enclose the entire city of Phoenix.
397: The Alliance attempts a countersiege wall to the northeast of Phoenix. The countersiege wall was heavily defended during its constructions. Many Alliance troops died, but the wall was successfully built. The day after its completion the wall was entirely underdug by Dragovinian burrowing animals. The Alliance soldiers patrolling the wall were all slain by the Dragovinian beasts. The slain troops rose again as Dragovinians loyal to Xoria. The new “recruits” were placed in the old Dragovinian platoon.
Jevaninada the Second called for the surrender of Phoenix. Phoenix refused. The building of the siege wall continued at an increased pace. The Alliance attempted an attack on the center of the siege wall. Dragovinian troops engaged in a melee with the Alliance while thousands of arrows were shot from behind the siege wall into the fighting. The Dragovinians were immune to the damage of the arrows, but the Alliance troops could not say the same. The Alliance ordered a retreat, but their route was cut off by the same burrowing animals that had collapsed the countersiege wall. The Alliance troops involved in the center wall attack suffered 50% casualties.
396: The siege wall is completed in June. The Alliance considers recruiting new allies from the rest of Cimmeria to assist in breaking the siege.
Anxe: I'm the DM. I own the miniatures that we play with. I'm a funny guy most of the time. Most of my humor comes from noticing something funny and then beating it to death until its not funny anymore. When I'm a player I like playing fighters and rogues. I go to college in Davis. Salzar: My best friend since I was 8 years old. He's the shiest of the group, but also comes up with the best jokes. Salzar is the type of player who likes to switch his character a lot so he can mess with different builds. Salzar goes to college in Denver. Ozymandias: His house is where we used to play. His parents are extremely laid back so its always cool if we play late and swear loudly. Ozymandias has a bit of a video game addiction, but is getting better at it. He is a hack and slash player. He's almost always played fighter types. Ozymandias is a working man in Cupertino. Middle_Snu: Middle_Snu is also one of the older members of the group who left awhile ago. He's a bit of a pessimist (realist, whatever). He's also very good at loopholing/building characters. Middle_Snu is a working man in Los Angeles. Thewamp: Thewamp is a family friend of mine. He's the oldest of the group. Thewamp is very analytical and good at problem solving. He is also very good at building unbalanced characters. Fortunately, he does not do so. He likes characters with good motivations for their actions (Hopefully he'll get some for his current characters). Thewamp goes to graduate school in San Diego. Throgg: Throgg is probably the most extroverted of the group. He's the youngest of the group. Throgg also fits the "actor" stereotype of players. He likes to play around with his character's backstory. He currently goes to college in Boston.
Anxe = DM
Salzar plays a dwarven cleric called Torin in the high level campaign. In the low level he plays a human ranger named Wu Lang Li.
Ozymandias plays an elven dinosaur focused druid named Eathirilu in the high level campaign. In the low level campaign he plays a halfling rogue named Sivirdm.
Throgg plays a telepath psion named Amalius in the high level campaign. He has an elven rogue cohort named Aldarian. In the low level campaign he plays an orc barbarian named Gregor.
Middle_Snu plays a generalist wizard named Hektor in the high level campaign. He plays a half-orc champion (The Giant's personally designed class) named Korjak in the low level campaign.
Thewamp plays a crusader/warblade named Tagenadi in the high level campaign. In the low level campaign he plays a halfling beguiler named Stanton.
The party is fighting the evil Xorian Empire. The Xorian Empire is ruled by an upper class of what are effectively Half-Dragon Vampires. The high level campaign opposes the Xorians after the Alliance lost the important city of Phoenix. The low level campaign subverts the Xorians from a base in Bigby's Forest.
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
Rebellion Session #1/Total Session #1
This session was played with Salzar, Ozymandias, and a guest player who we lost touch with, Spud. Throgg also joined us for the later half via skype.
The session started off with making characters, but not in the typical way. I had the players roll their stats up in order (First roll goes to Str, second to Dex, then Con, Int, Wis, and Cha). The players picked races, names, and the basic physical description stuff. We stopped character creation there. No classes, feats, or skills. My intention was that the abilities, skills, and feats that the players used within the first session or two would decide what class, feats, and skills the players would actually have. It worked okay, but I wouldn't do it again. It's too confusing.
The characters woke up with no memory of who they are and what they were doing. Chains and manacles attached to tables restrained the characters. Wizards and clerics examined them and refused to answer questions. The wizards and clerics looked for scales, reptilian eyes, necromantic auras, fangs, wings, claws (foot and hand), and forked tongues. The characters were frustrated at being treated this way by something as low as NPCs. Sivirdm attempted to break free from his manacles. Guards came into the room and held Sivirdm down while a cleric injected him with a knockout poison.
While the guards were distracted Spud attempted to slip out of the manacles. The guards succeeded at spot checks and noticed that as well. Spud also got the knockout poison treatment. Salzar chose to have Wu Lang Li cooperate with the clerics and wizards. A cleric told him that they were looking for a breath organ and it required the subjects to be unconscious. Wu Lang Li voluntarily accepted the knockout poison.
A day later the characters reawaken. They are fed by Sister Kylee, a cleric. She apologizes for the treatment of the characters. Wu Lang Li asked if they used to be Dragovinians (The players had access to the background info for the campaign and had started to get the hints). Sister Kylee didn't answer the question. A troop of ten guards came in led by Sergeant Elerie. The characters were unbound from the tables and new hand and foot manacles were put on them. Sivirdm attempted to escape again, but he was clubbed into unconsciousness by the guards. The guards led/carried the blindfolded characters to another room and seated in wooden chairs in front of a table. A cleric healed Sivirdm to consciousness.
A man spoke to them from across the table, "I'm going to lay down some groundrules before we begin. Number one, you do not speak unless I address you." (Of course the players interrupted me at this points. I ruled it was OOC.) "Number two, you do not move unless told to. Number three, you will answer my questions. Number fou-"
Sivirdm interrupted, "What if we have to move. For like an itch or something."
Sivirdm got slapped across the face with a gauntlet.
"Number four, do not upset me. And number five, failure to follow the rules will result in punishment. Do you understand?" (Got the typical, "No hablo ingles!" joke here. Followed by, "Yes, we understand.")
The man spoke again, "What are your names?"
Wu Lang Li and Sivirdm said their names. Spud said his character's name too (Brad Pickler), but he left the group, so who cares?
"Do you know who you are?"
Wu Lang Li said, "We think we might have been Dragovinians before, but we don't know now." The others agreed with Wu Lang Li's statement.
"Do you know where you are?"
"Do you know why you are here?"
"Do you know what you have done?"
Wu Lang Li said, "No. Must've been some bad stuff if we were Dragovinians."
Sivirdm said, "I hope I killed some rebels. I hate you all!"
Sivirdm gets another gauntlet slap and falls unconscious.
The man again, "Do you know what you came here to do?"
"Do you know who I am?"
Spud said, "The boss or something?"
"No, but nevermind. Do you who the Emperor is?"
Wu Lang Li said, "It's Jevaninada the Second, isn't it?"
"Yes. Do you know what he is?"
"He's the Emperor. Duh."
Wu Lang Li got a slap.
The man asked, "What is the Empire?"
Spud answered, "It's the Xorian thing with the Dragovinians ruling it."
"What is the Alliance?"
Spud said, "It's the group that's opposing the Xorians."
"What are you?"
Spud said, "I'm a human now."
Wu Lang Li added, "And I'm a halfling!"
"What were you?"
Wu Lang Li said, "Dragovinians."
Spud said, "Yeah, Dragovinians."
"What year is it?"
Wu Lang Li said, "We don't know."
"What are you capable of?"
Wu Lang Li, "Not much when we're manacled and blindfolded."
The man said, "True enough. Do you remember what happened?"
"I'm done with them. Take them away."
The characters were led to separate prison cells. The manacles and blindfolds were taken off and the door was closed and locked. Spud and Wu Lang Li talked through the walls trying to decide on a way to escape, but couldn't think of anything. Once Sivirdm regained consciousness he joined the talk, but he couldn't come up with anything either.
After two or three days passed the characters were freed and taken by Sergeant Elerie to the room with the man again. They saw the man for the first time. He had red curly hair and a small beard. He looked like he was in his early 30s. The man told them his name was Major Dactirian. He is the leader of the Rebellion and Bigby's Forest. The characters were indeed originally Dragovinians. They were Dragovinian Enforcers, people who went in search of rebel insurgents throughout the Xorian Empire. The characters were the best. They'd found the Rebel hideout and attacked it. They were captured and an experiment to "unvamp" them was successful, but it wiped out almost all their memory.
Major Dactirian wanted the characters to join the Rebellion. He wanted them to be examples of the Rebellion's new power over Dragovinians. To show that the most evil individuals can be made into a force of good. If his plan works the Dragovinians will no longer seem so powerful. Dactirian hopes that Xorians will join the Rebellion all over the Empire. He tells the characters that they will be welcomed into the Rebellion if they accept shock collars. If not...
The characters accepted the shock collars were put on. Major Dactirian gave the activation amulet to Sergeant Elerie. The characters went on to train with the other Rebel soldiers. The Rebel soldiers bullied and harassed them, but we skipped over that part to get to the real adventure quicker.
After twenty days of training with the Rebels the characters were called to Major Dactirian's room again. He told them that their time for helping the Rebellion had come. Sergeant Elerie was to take the players to the northwest of Bigby's Forest where Semanarie used to be. The Druids of Semanarie associated with various groups of animals before they were destroyed by the Xorians. One of the animal groups was a wolf pack that lived close to Semanaire. The Druids told a piece of information vital to the Rebellion to the Alpha wolf. A speak with animals necklace was given to Sergeant Elerie so they could communicate with the wolves. The party set off immediately. (I believe Throgg joined us at this point? My memory's hazy)
They traveled for two days to get out of the forest. Then a good tracking roll found the wolves quickly. Elerie attempted to parley with the wolves using the necklace, but she failed. The party refused to leave, so the wolves attacked. The characters fought off the wolves as best they could, but soon they all lost consciousness.
They woke up later in the back of an iron wagon. Stevie the Wonder Wagon had saved them. He was on his way back from a scouting mission in the Xorian Empire when he saw the players being attacked by the wolves. We ended the first session there.
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
Rebellion Session #2/Total Session #8
This session was done using Google Hangouts for all the participants. Salzar, Throgg, and thewamp attended. Spud's character was retconned out, because we didn't plan on having him attend again. Ozymandias's character faded into the background for this session (The old, he's there, but the monsters ignore him and he takes no actions).
This was the first time we had players attend the game with no primary location. In the past it has just been Throgg of Salzar skyping into the session. This time we ALL did. I have a handheld web-camera that I connect to my laptop and point at the battle-mat on my bed. I can swivel on my chair between my desk and my bed to move the miniatures and interact with the players. When we aren't using the battle-mat I use the camera on my laptop, so the guys can see my face when I talk. I think it worked really well. The setup will probably be used for future sessions except for breaks from school when we can all get back home to the SF Bay Area.
We started the session off by remaking the characters of Salzar and Throgg. thewamp joined us a little late and when he did he also made a character. The guys wanted me to roll the stats over the webcam, so I did. I ended up rolling awfully for both Salzar and Throgg twice in a row. On the third roll for the two of them, they got amazing stats. I believe it was 18,17,15,14,14,12. Throgg made a barbarian orc with tricked out strength and Salzar made a human ranger. They plan on playing a party that uses stealth a lot. Once thewamp joined in I rolled stats for him. His were good, but not as good. thewamp decided to play a halfling beguiler.
(A note: All of the players' characters are past Dragovinians. That part is retconned for Throgg and thewamp. We probably will not retcon that for Middle_Snu if he joins the lower campaign. If he does join he will play a character connected to the party by a different thread.)
However, before thewamp arrived, Throgg wanted to play out the bullying and harassing of the Rebel soldiers from the session before. So we started from there.
Wu Lang Li and Gregor, Throgg's character, were practicing unarmed fighting in the yard when eight Rebel recruits came over to them. A big human from the group threw two swords on the ground in front of the characters. A dwarf among the soldiers said, "Pick em up."
Wu Lang Li and Gregor ignored the recruits and continued working on punching some dummies.
The big human came forward and grabbed Wu Lang Li's shirt, turning him around. The human got up in Wu Lang Li's face and sneered, "Didn't you hear him? He said, 'Pick it up.'"
Wu Lang Li shoved the recruit away and combat began!
Wu Lang Li grabbed one of the swords, but Gregor decided to just use his fists (Gregor has Improved Unarmed Strike). Wu Lang Li took down the big human, but the recruits were rolling well and hitting with most attacks. Gregor also took down one of the recruits. Gregor flew into a rage and jumped on the downed foe. He rolled a crit dealing an already unconscious foe 24 points of damage! And Gregor's damage was lethal due to his Improved Unarmed Strike feat. The recruit's head was basically pulped.
Wu Lang Li fell unconscious and Gregor managed to knock out another recruit and kill another one before he too went under. Meanwhile officers were shouting and other enlisted men were rushing over.
The characters drifted in and out of unconsciousness while in the Rebel's infirmary. Eventually they woke up with Major Dactirian standing over them. He told them he was very disappointed in them. He told them they'd be leaving the base on a mission once they were better to avoid anymore "training accidents."
(We got some dinner and chatted at this points. We wanted thewamp to show up before we continued. We also swapped some youtube videos. Especially the MST3K: Space Mutiny. You should look it up. We also shared this scene from The Fast and the Furious. It was meant to be a representation of what Gregor did to the recruits he killed. Another video was this one taken from The Matrix. From where I have it start that one is a pretty good description of what the Dragovinians are like in my world.)
From there we skipped ahead to the characters waking up on Stevie the Wonder Wagon's back. The characters decided that they needed to bribe the wolves. They rolled some survival checks to quickly find some deer. Stevie tracked the wolves to their lair, a burrow in the side of a hill. Stevie said that he probably shouldn't be seen by the wolves, so he ran off. The characters set the deer before the entrance to the wolf den when the sun was setting.
A large wolf emerged from the wolf den covered in red scales and smelling of brimstone. The Alpha wolf had been turned into a Dragovinian! Stanton, thewamp's character, attempted to talk with the wolf using the speak with animals item. The wolf asked how the halfling spoke wolf. Stanton referred to the necklace. The wolf came forward and put its paw on Stanton. It pushed him down to sniff the necklace and the halfling.
Gregor moved to grab his weapons. Elerie and Wu Lang Li chose to back away from the wolf instead in case it breathed fire. The wolf began to growl at Gregor. The two of them circled each other. Stanton kept insisting that they calm down and talk it out. The wolf stopped circling and smoke began to emanate from its nostrils. Gregor maintained eye contact (considered threatening to wolves). Only when the wolf tensed to lunge did Gregor break eye contact. The wolf decided that was good enough and went back to eat its deer offering.
Stanton asked it if it knew anything about the Druids' information.
The Alpha wolf grumbled, "Yes."
Stanton said, "Could you tell us please?"
"You don't smell right."
"How do we smell."
"You smell like weaklings."
The wolf finished its blood meal and then headed into the burrow. The normal wolves came out and ate from the deer without attacking the party.
From there the party discussed various plans for attacking or getting the wolves on their side. Gregor suggested being more offensive and dominating as he'd been earlier in the staring contest with the wolf. He even tried urinating in front of the normal wolves. They looked up, looked back into the burrow, and then returned to eating. Gregor insisted that peeing on the wolves themselves was the answer, but the rest of the party restrained him. Some other plans were tossed around. I used the opportunity to clean up my room a bit. Throgg can probably tell you more about the plans that didn't go into action once he tells his version of this session.
Eventually the party decided that they needed to take this information to command (Which is what I wanted them to do). The three of them (and Elerie who was in the background the whole time. And Ozymandias's character as well who was "there.") decided to go back to command and ask them what to do. Since they had Stevie, command was only 3 hours away. They hopped in the wagon and slept a bit while on their way back through Bigby's Forest.
Upon arriving at the Rebel hideout they saw a large battle happening amongst the rebels themselves. The characters quickly saw that it was a mutiny by some of the newer recruits. Injured and dead were on the ground. The Rebel officers were all on one side, while the enlisted men were split between the two sides. We ended the session there because it was late and I had class in the morning. Our next session is this Thursday (9/29/11).
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
The first post is pretty much done. We'll be "under construction" until the sessions we've played for the Alliance half of the campaign are completed. Throgg is doing the first half of those and I'll be doing the second half. I'll post the second half after he posts his. We'll also be commenting on each others posts to give our impressions of the events.
Once we get the old sessions completed we can hopefully update once a week. I think we're doing the Rebellion campaign this week, so I will post that update once we play. If we play the Alliance campaign then I won't post it until the older sessions are completed. Wouldn't want to get ahead of ourselves!
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
As our last session ended, we saw that Gregor was not the only person in the rebellion who liked killing other people in the rebellion. The officers and the new recruits were fighting as we returned to camp. We had to reach a snap decision as to which side to join. Our principle was clear: join the side that would win. We figured this would be the officers as they would have had more fighting experience. After rejoining the officers we were sent to take out a batch of new recruits in a tree house with Sergeant Elerie. Their elevated position and desire not to go to bed made this more difficult than it might have been. However, with Wu’s and Elerie’s arrows providing cover Gregor was able to make it into the tree house and deliver the beat down eliminating the tree house threat.
After the battle was won by the officers, we divided up in pairs to bury the dead: Elerie and Wu in one pair and Gregor and Stanton in the other. Stanton and Gregor made good use of their size differential as Stanton hid behind Gregor and searched the bodies they were burying to net the pair 8.5 GP each. Sadly Wu was in no position to graverob. That’s 8.5 GP that can never be recovered (unless we were to re-dig up the bodies, food for thought).
Our party, having failed miserably to attain any useful information from the wolves, was inexplicably sent on another assignment. This time we had to raid a Xorian Caravan. The rebellion decided to send Sergeant Elerie with us to prevent us from killing one another, and being incompetent. To aid her in this she was given a trinket she could use to shock us with our shock collars. Along the way to out caravan raiding spot we were attacked by a bear. We immediately sprung into action, thinking of ways to use this to free ourselves from the danger of being shocked with our shock collars. Elerie raced to fight the bear while the rest of had a surprising amount of difficulty helping her. Sadly, we were all tripping on branches, dropping our weapons and temporarily forgetting our spells and were unable to join the fight until after Elerie was knocked unconscious, at which point Greger subdued and decapitated the bear.
At this point Stanton stole the shock collar trigger and threw it away before Elerie woke up. When she woke up she was furious at us. She immediately noticed the shock trinket was gone and started interrogating us. At first we couldn’t seem to remember anything, but eventually Gregor admitted that Wu had stolen it. Wu protested that Gregor had. Elerie then pressed her sword against Wu’s throat and padded him down against his protests. Wu then conceded that Stanton had stolen the trinket. Stanton shocked at this accurate accusation, claimed that Wu had thrown away the trinket. Wu in response to this grappled Stanton. Elerie fired an arrow at Wu hitting him. Defending his comrade, Gregor punched Elerie in the face with his gauntlet knocking her unconscious.
Having knocked our superior officer unconscious, we deliberated on the best way to get themselves out of this bind. All options were on the table including killing Elerie (too hard to explain away to the rebellion) and hiding the amulet with the bear and claiming the bear had knocked it off (to implausible with Elerie’s wounds). Eventually we decided to complete the mission while keeping Elerie unconscious. The party headed to a tower near the raiding spot to judge our foes strength. We also had Gregor go to a nearby town to get some bandages for Wu’s wounds as he rested, preparing for the raid.
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
Additions to Salzar's biased account:
The revolt within the Rebellion was due to a shortage of food. That's why they were sent to raid the caravan. Also, Salzar made jokes about wanting to change his character's name to Renaldo at that point. If you've played AOK you'll think that's hilarious.
Elerie was not knocked unconscious by the bear... She was knocked unconscious by Stanton's color spray spell. Apparently the only spell he could remember was the one that would take her out as well.
The party attacking Elerie was not that unexpected. They don't mind being told what to do, but they like it better when its more of a, "I want you to do this," than a, "I'm ordering you to do this." Fortunately they have agreed to stay on the railroad tracks for now (Which I promise will disappear by the time you get to Level 3).
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
Originally Throgg was going to do some updates for sessions we've already played, but I have way more free time than him, so we decided I'd do them. Here it comes!
Alliance Session #1/Total Session #2
This session was attended in person by Throgg, Salzar, and Ozymandias. We met at Ozymandias's house. When we meet at his house we usually play Soul Calibur 4, Left 4 Dead (1 or 2), or Dead Rising for an hour or two before starting the D&D.
(A note before we begin. Both campaigns began on June 20th and both are now at around July 20th in game.)
The War Council of the New Alliance met in Phoenix to discuss the newest development of the now three year long war with Xoria. The Xorians have succeeded in building a siege wall around the city of Phoenix. Phoenix is a city ruled by different guilds with the Thieves Guild in charge (The Thieves run a sort of protection racket. The money collected is a lot like a tax.). The other significant guilds are the Mercenaries Guild, the Adventurers Guild (Which is often competing with the Mercenaries for contracts), the Clerics Guild, and the Mages Guild. The Thieves Guild has ceded control of the town to the War Council until the crisis has passed.
The War Council is headed by Arendil, an old noble from one of the Allied cities, Jipangu. The main forces on the council are the Mercenaries Guild and the Adventurers Guild. For a more in depth list of the council members you can check out the important NPCs spoiler in the first post. All of the PCs are also members of the War Council. Amalius is a member because of his father's influence. Torin is a member because he is related to the Hill Dwarf king. Terroc is a member because he is paid to be the on staff professional magician. Preta's backstory isn't set in stone. He's either a member because he's in the Adventurers Guild or because he is an uppity exiled Persian Prince. Or both. Logan is a senior member of the Adventurers Guild, that's why he is on the Council.
Arendil started the council meeting off by asking what should be done about the siege. The city has enough food to last until April if nothing goes wrong. The city is by at the meeting of two rivers, so water isn't a problem. The Alliance also has access to about 2 million in GP that could be used for almost anything (so far its been pretty much a resurrection fund for the party). The Xorians are encamped to the north of the city beyond the siege wall, to the west of the city across the Delain Tribute, and to the south of the city across the Curving Stream. The Xorian army size roughly outnumbers the Alliance's armies within the city by 3 to 1. "What do we do gentlemen?"
(The locations spoken about can be found on the map pretty easily. I'd encourage you to have it open in another tab while reading this.)
General Dainlin of the Hill Dwarves spoke first, "My men are tunneling as we speak. We are attempting to reach beyond the Xorian battlelines. We can either evacuate the city or attack the Xorians from behind once the tunnel is complete."
Amalius said, "How are you keeping the preparations secret? Surely, the Xorians have flying scouts who can see any large holes in the ground that you'd be digging."
"We're not digging outside. We have supplies being brought into the temple of Hephaestus and dirt going out. Hopefully it won't look too suspicious due to the smiths that do their work in there."
Arendil asked, "How far along is the tunnel at this time?"
"We've gotten about halfway to the perimeter of the city walls. We need to extend the tunnel to maybe ten times that length."
"This is good news, but I'd like us to explore some other options until the tunnel is completed. What else does the council have for me?" Arendil said.
Gradorian, the hobgoblin mercenary stood up and spoke, "We should attack the siege wall again. We can take it this time. I've been with my men in tight spots before. Desperate men are good fighters."
Astyanax said, "I agree. The undead beasts would hardly expect an attack. They think we are trapped and scared like rats. We should show them the courage the men of the East have."
At that point there was a long discussion between the players and the other council members about the strengths of the armies, whether the attack should be during the day or the night, and the chances of success. Titandra and Kig were against assaulting the wall. The party thought it might be a good idea eventually, but not yet. Junai brought up the alternate possibility of surrendering, but she was booed for suggesting such a thing.
Eventually, Lamarr spoke up, "What we really need is more troops. We won't find them in the city. We've already drafted every man we can spare. Instead we should look outside of the Alliance. We need more of the city-states of the East to join our fight. I think we should get the people of Mars Oasis on our side."
The party asked, "Why Mars' Oasis?"
"Because they are a town that constantly fights the undead and dragons of the desert. They have experience fighting exactly what we are fighting, draconic undead. They already have a standing army that would help greatly in the fight against the Dragovinians."
Arendil said, "But aren't they busy fighting the undead and dragon threats of the desert? They won't fight our enemies unless we agree to fight theirs first. I fear the people of Mars' Oasis will not join our fight until the Blue Wyrm, Bavastatner, is dead along with the Bane, the lich of the desert."
The players discussed going to whip out the undead, dragons, and the third opponent that threatens Mars' Oasis, Formians, for awhile. Eventually, I decided to interrupt them with the plot hook I actually wanted them to follow.
Terroc, who had remained silent for most of the meeting, finally decided to speak, "Mars' Oasis is not the answer my friends. We must look closer to find allies. The people of Shalerton would help us if only they had a trained army. I have found a ritual in some old books that will allow us to train the people of Shalerton quickly."
Astyanax said, "Tell us how this ritual works, Terroc."
"I did not find the ritual itself. Only a reference to it in another book. The ritual is contained within the Tome of Agamemnon, which is kept underneath your own city of Bradel Fields, brave Astyanax."
"The Tome of Agamemnon? That thing is buried under the city for a reason! It is evil!"
"Yes, but some evils are necessary in war. The magics in the Tome of Agamemnon can quickly train the people of Shalerton into a force to be reckoned with, just as Agamemnon trained his Argives and conquered all of Greece. The reference spoke of combining the ritual with a sacred fountain of water. There is no such fountain in Shalerton, but I know of another to the northwest, the Geyser of Talos." (The players went on a mission to the Geyser of Talos in a previous campaign. They know it is guarded by a giant bronze golem, Talos. Check him out on wikipedia.)
Torin said, "But that still leaves the problem of the fountain being here," Salzar pointed to the map we had out, "and Shalerton being all the way over here. How can they drink from the fountain?"
Terroc answered, "With Ring Gates. A ring gate is normally a small thing that allows for a few pounds to pass through it each day. I propose that we construct a huge one, perhaps six feet in diameter. The ring gate should be able to transport all the water of the Geyser of Talos to Shalerton. Then we can perform the ritual of Agamemnon in Shalerton and have a trained army in no time."
Amalius said, "Great. Have you begun construction of the ring gates?"
"Unfortunately, no. I am missing a key spell component. Normally, ring gates are constructed with giants' hearts which are easy enough to acquire. However, for a gate this large I need a correspondingly large giant heart. There are none available in Phoenix."
The members of the War Council looked sad.
"Don't worry! I've heard word through the Mages Guild that a Geriviar was spotted in Danar's Swamp to the west just two weeks ago. Geriviars move on pretty quickly, so to catch this one we must act fast. I propose that a few members of the War Council teleport with me to Danar's Swamp. From there we can track the giant, kill it, and take out its heart."
The party of course volunteered to be the members of the War Council to get the Geriviar's heart. (For those of you who don't know what a Geriviar is, its a monster in the MM3. An image can be found here. The monster is CR19 and is immune to a ton of ****. the basic idea of the monster's build is for destroying buildings. I do routinely throw CRs at my players that are way beyond their levels. They usually pull through somehow.) The party researched the monster and learned that it was immune to fire damage and hated buildings.
The next day the party teleported off to Danar's Swamp. The party consisted of:
Torin with his original fighter build
Erick, Torin's cleric cohort until Torin's build changed.
Preta whose build has not changed
Shez, Preta's cohort.
Amalius with his original diplomacizer build.
Terroc, who was an NPC run by me. He was basically there to teleport people.
Aldarian, Amalius's cohort, sat this adventure out.
The party quickly found the Geriviar's tracks and followed them. They found that the tracks often doubled back on each other. It seemed that the giant was wandering in circles looking for something. After three days the party had gotten within a day of the Geriviar, but were unable to bridge the gap. Amalius decided he would create an illusionary tower on a hill above the swamp. Hopefully, the tower would attract the building hating Geriviar.
The tower did attract a monster, but it wasn't the Geriviar. A Grey Render showed up. Preta fireballed it and it ran off.
The party spent another three days tracking the giant, but didn't get any closer. They did were ambushed by a group of three medusas. Preta's quick reflexes and a cone of cold turned the medusas into popsicles. Amalius got mad at Preta for killing the medusas so quickly. Amalius insisted that the medusas could have guided the party to the Geriviar.
On the seventh day in the swamp the players finally realized that Terroc can cast phantom steed. When asked why he hadn't cast it before his only response was, "You didn't ask." (Terroc is not meant to solve problems for the players, even if his 30 INT should let him do so. It wouldn't be fun if I did everything in my own adventures. The players know and accept this, I think...)
The phantom steeds allowed the party to catch up to the Geriviar very quickly. It ran from them upon seeing them, but they still chased it down. Amalius was continually trying to talk it into stopping for a conversation with the party. Preta shot a lightning bolt off at it, but did not succeed in killing it. The Geriviar turned and threw two nodules at Preta (Nodules are basically fireballs that grow on the Geriviar's back). The nodules killed Preta. Torin landed to do hand-to-hand battle with the Geriviar. Amalius rolled an intimidate to say that Torin was a renowned Giant-Slayer and that the Geriviar had better watch himself. Amalius won. The Geriviar was cowed and now willing to talk to the party.
The Geriviar revealed that his name was Bill and that he was looking through the swamp for his lost dog, Scruffy. Bill lives in the mountains to the west of Danar's Swamp, but Scruffy went missing about three weeks ago. Amalius succeeded on a bluff check to convince Bill that the Xorians had kidnapped Scruffy. Bill led the party to the Xorian town to the south to get revenge (The town's name is Jevanicia, but on the map you want to look for Tectoctar. For why the name's are different you should check out the world's history).
Somewhere in here, Terroc teleported back to Phoenix with Preta's body. In my world, there is a house rule that you do not lose a level if you are reincarnated, only if you are raised. I also have my own reincarnate table. Preta went for a reincarnate instead of a raise dead. He came back as a Cervidal, which is a type of outsider that looks like a satyr. It's one of the better things you can come back as.
At Jevanicia, Bill destroyed everything. No one there was high enough level to threaten him. Not even the small Dragovinian population party stood a chance, especially with the buffs the party gave Bill. The characters learned that Dragovinians are vulnerable to the divine cold damage of a fire shield spell. Bill didn't kill everyone in the town, but he killed damn near everyone he could get his hands on. The civilians of the town fled to the south.
Scruffy was not in the town. Terroc scried for Scruffy and found him dead in the swamp. He teleported there with Amalius. Amalius used disguise to make Scruffy look like he'd been killed by a Xorian spear. They teleported back to Jevanicia and showed the body they'd "just found" to Bill. Bill flew into a rage and beat the stone buildings of the town into dust and the wood buildings into tiny splinters.
The party asked if Bill wanted to get more revenge on the Xorians. He said yes. They told him to wait three days at the ruins of the town. The party teleported back to Phoenix and called a War Council meeting. They proposed an attack on the siege wall in three days with Bill and an army backing Bill up.
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
Rebellion Session #4/Total Session #10
This session was quite short. It took place at Ozymandias's house. It was physically attended by myself, Throgg, and Ozymandias. It was attended through Google Hangouts by Salzar and Middle_Snu. Thewamp was going to come later, but because the session was so short, he did not.
Middle_Snu was unfamiliar with the current state of the Rebellion campaign so we caught him up. He played Stanton, thewamp's character, instead of making his own.
The players spent the first hour of the session planning how they would ambush the caravan when it arrived. they didn't know how many wagons were coming and jokes were tossed around that the caravan might actually be coming by boat instead of by the road one hundred feet from the river. It was eventually decided that the players would place a rock in the road that would block the wagon ruts. The two halflings, Sivirdm (Ozymandia's character who mysteriously appeared without explanation) and Stanton would hide in the bushes. Wu would hide down by the river with his bow. Gregor would hid in a camouflaged ditch close to the road.
(Middle_Snu left at this point due to another engagement)
The characters made all their hide checks and the caravan did not spot them when it showed up. There were two wagons, each with a driver and two guards. The guards hopped out of the wagons when they saw the rock in the road. Two of them went to move the rock, while two others kept guard around the caravan. The players unleashed hell when the two guards got to the rock. Sivirdm charged forward and color sprayed (Sivirdm is a spelltheif. He stole the color spray from Stanton) the two guards there. One of them failed his save and the battle was on! Sivirdm won initiative, which he immediately used to slit the throat of the guard he'd color sprayed. Gregor went to help Sivirdm against the other guard. One of the guards tried his best to calm down the horses. The drivers pulled out crossbows. One of the other guards got sleeped by Stanton. Wu was shooting arrows into the fray from the river.
Eventually, the party won. Three of the guards were dead and one was unconscious. The drivers threw down their crossbows and surrendered. The casualties on the player side was just a 7 point wound to Sivirdm (which brought him down to 0).
At that point, Salzar had to leave, so we ended the session. The players were talking about having the drivers kill Elerie and then freeing them. We'll see what they do next time. Our next session is not planned yet, but it should be sometime in the week after next.
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
Alliance Session #2/Total Session #3
This session was attended by Ozymandias and Salzar. Throgg and Middle_Snu attended via Skype. The session was held at Ozymandias's house.
The War Council meeting on whether to use Bill the Geriviar giant reached no conclusion. The NPC members of the Council felt that a little more umph was needed to have a hope of breaking the siege wall and keep a hole open long enough for an evacuation of the city. With Bill not being used as a weapon, the party suggested that he just be killed so his heart could be harvested. The Council agreed.
The characters came up with an excellent plan for slaying the giant with little risk to themselves. The rented a vorpal sword with Alliance money. They cast silence and invisibility on Torin and gave him the vorpal sword. They scried Bill at night to ensure he was asleep. Once he was Terroc teleported a few hundred feet away from Bill. Torin snuck up with his silence and invisibility. Bill could do little about the situation while asleep. He was helpless and Torin coup de graced him. The automatic crit chopped off the Geriviar's head and he lay there dead. Terroc harvested the heart with his butchering skill.
The party decided to go a different route before getting the Tome of Agamemnon from the abandoned catacombs/sewer underneath Bradel Fields. I'd presented them with a hook on how to get the kingdom of Aractrash to join the New Alliance. Aractrash had joined the Old Alliance of the last campaign, but the war went badly. They've refused to join the New Alliance because they don't want to suffer the same losses they did last time (Read the history section of the first post if you'd like more details). The new king of Aractrash, Ballard, is scared to commit forces. If the Xorians do reach the borders of his kingdom he plans on having his people disappear into the jungle instead of fighting.
The following few sessions contain information about the module adventure, "The Lost Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali." It's published by Kenzer&Co for a party of four 11th level characters. If your DM plans on running this adventure you may want to avoid any Alliance posts that mention the word Tomb.
The plan of the War Council is to find an ancient artifact known for making people want to conquer and engage in wars, Kharad-Khor, the Bloodthirster. The sword was used by the hobgoblin warlord, Kruk-Ma-Kali. When the Greek gods first came to Cimmeria the races they created were not the first ones there. Before the races of the Greek gods there were the hobgoblins. The hobgoblins were a little annoyed that their land was being stolen, so they rose as one behind the leadership of Kruk-Ma-Kali. He conquered all of Eastern Cimmeria, but died at the hands of a goblin assassin. He bequeathed his vast Empire, "to the strongest." The various hobgoblin leaders began fighting amongst themselves and they have since become a weak race in Cimmeria. The Bloodthirster was buried with Kruk-Ma-Kali in a tomb somewhere in the Shacklack Desert. (This is all stuff that adapts the module to my campaign world. It's not that different from the original version)
Recently, rumors have said that the tomb was found, but not looted. The War Council have received a report that an account of the tomb's location is in the Great Sanctuary of Knowledge, a library at Mars' Oasis. The party gathered as much info as they could in Phoenix before heading to Mars' Oasis. Also, Terroc bound a Glabrezu named X-onfonc (Nickname Thug) to his service for two weeks.
The Great Library is notoriously badly organized. To add onto the nuisance, it costs 10GP every day that you go in. The party ended up spending 8 days and close to 1000GP looking through various books before finding the account they were looking for. The studied a map in the journal and saw the location of Kruk-Ma-Kali's lost tomb is on the west side of the Great Valley in the Dominarie Mountains (On the map it is directly south of Mars' Oasis).
The party didn't teleport to the Great Valley right away. First they sent in Thug to scout out the place. Thug saw a small trail leading up into the mountains on the northwestern side of the valley. The western side of the valley was a burned plain with a solitary tree in the middle of it. The south had two passes leading out of the valley. The east had a small building that Thug could just barely make out on the mountainside. The north had a glacier. The glacier melt created a small river that ran into a lake in the center of the valley. Thug also saw an abandoned city at the north end of the lake and a small village at the south end.
The party decided to teleport to the village at the south end of the lake. The villagers were militant hobgoblins who immediately grabbed their arms upon seeing the mostly human army and began a war dance. Amalius was able to calm the hobgoblins with his diplomatic powers. He spoke to their chief and convinced him they could work together to find the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali. The chief, Krumukh, and the shaman of the tribe, Duvagh, both agreed to accompany the players on their quest for the tomb.
The party headed to the path on the northwestern side of the valley. They hiked up it for most of the day. Before the sunset a shadow passed over their heads. They heard something land above them in the path that had now become a narrow pass. Then the pass filled with mist and nobody could see more than ten feet in front of them. Thug used his magic to deduce that a large Red Dragon was attacking the party. The party scrambled to react. The Red Dragon started crawling down the cliff face like a spider. Preta freaked out and blasted it with cold. The Dragon in turn freaked and breathed fire on the party. Aldarian, the two hobgoblins, and Shez all died. Erick and Amalius were knocked unconscious. Terroc was badly wounded, so he teleported away, abandoning the party. Torin buffed himself and engaged the Dragon in melee combat. Preta barely held on and blasted the Dragon with another cold spell before falling unconscious. Thug also engaged the Dragon with Torin. The two of them were able to bring down the last of the Dragon's HP and kill it (Preta did most of the real work, but he didn't get the killing blow. That honor belonged to Thug).
Unfortunately for Preta, he was directly under the Dragon. It's body fell on him and slowly began to crush the life out of him. Torin and Thug were unable to move the body off before Preta died.
The party decided it'd be best if the returned to Phoenix to recuperate. The bodies were thrown in Terroc's Bag of Holding and they teleported away. All the Aldarian got a raise dead while Preta and Shez got reincarnates. Shez, previously a human, came back as a half-elf. Preta, previously a human, came back as a Cervidal, a type of outsider/satyr thing. It's one of the better results on my reincarnate table. The two hobgoblins didn't get raises because the party is racist. (While everyone else was raised, Terroc sent Thug to gather spell components from the Dragon's carcass. He made a few thousand GPs by doing this.)
That party teleported back to the pass. They journey just a little further up it to find a fork. The left fork was very tight and Thug had to go over that part of the pass rather than through it. Fortunately for the party the tight fit was rewarded with the Lost Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali! The entrance is a small valley with a large staircase leading up to four red marble columns that mark the entrance to the tomb.
The party quickly learned that the stairs were booby-trapped with a falling avalanche trap. Shez was able to react fast enough to stop the boulders with a wall of force. The boulders were cleared by Thug. Thug then went up the steps on his own and figured out which step on the staircase set off the trap. A wall of iron protected him this time. He punched through the wall of iron and then lifted each character over the trapped step. Aldarian marked the bad step with chalk. (The party can't fly up the steps because strong magical winds within the small valley prevent any form of flight. They party also found a magical aura in the area that prevents teleportation in or out of the area. The aura does not prevent summons though.)
At the top of the steps the party found no traps, even though they combed it pretty carefully. They did find a few rattlesnakes that Torin valiantly killed in single combat. There was also, of course, two large bronze doors to the tomb. One of the doors had fallen done earlier on a poor halfling. The halfling had since decayed into a skeleton. The party stepped over his body and into the tomb. Inside they saw a red marble door with a Red Dragon's head carved on it. The party decided it was trapped and sent a summoned fire elemental in to inspect it. The fire elemental touched the door and the Dragon head animated. It spoke, "A conqueror lies within, his body rot his mind yet keen, his deeds undone his spirit yet burns, his empire dust his name yet rules. Name him true and ye shall pass, name him false and ye shall... passsss...."
The players freaked out a bit, then had the fire elemental touch the door again. The Dragon repeated its phrase. Upon a third touching it repeated the phrase yet again. A fourth touching illicited no response (The magic mouth on the door only works three times per day). Terroc then told the fire elemental to say, "Kruk-Ma-Kali," in Ignan. The elemental did and the stone Dragon breathed fire on it. The elemental then disappeared because its spell duration was up. The party was stumped by the riddle and we decided to end the session there, so they'd have plenty of time to think about what the answer was.
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
Alliance Session #3/Total Session #4
This session was attended by Ozymandias, Salzar, and thewamp. Throgg attended via skype.
After about two weeks or real life time the players were still stumped by the riddle. They decided to go back to the pass that had led them up to the tomb. They remembered how it had forked right before the tomb. They would hike up the right half of the fork instead of the tight left half. After a day and a half of walking they were now on a ridge above valley. The path split into a fork yet again.
At the second fork the party decided they should use divination to figure out the riddle instead of wandering aimlessly. A quick prayer to the gods revealed that the answer was to say Kruk-Ma-Kali's name as well as his titles. Fortunately, Amalius had picked up Kruk-Ma-Kali's full titles while studying in the Great Library. They teleported back to the tomb entrance (Whenever I say teleported back to the tomb what I actually mean is they teleported to first fork in the pass. It's very close to the tomb and outside of the anti-teleportation aura. Likewise, when they teleport away from the tomb they are actually walking to the first fork and then teleporting).
Amalius went up to the Red Dragon door and touched it. It asked it's riddle once again. Amalius responded by saying, "Kruk-Ma-Kali, King of All, Lord of Might, Prince of this World, Protector of the East, Builder of Empire, Guardian of Cimmeria, Master of Blades, Defender of Faith, Conqueror of Men, Slayer of Dwarves, Grinder of Elves, Ravager of Cimmeria, Son of Night, Warden of the Black Pit, and Brother of War." The Red Dragon door retracted into the ceiling allowing the party to pass through.
Beyond the Red Dragon door was a short stairway down and then another door made of cedar. The cedar door had no handles or locks on it. Torin tried pushing if but found it did not budge. The party did a detect magic and found none. After trying to puzzle out the door they decided the trigger for the door were the torch scones in the wall (The module mentions that there are torch scones every ten feet on the walls throughout the tomb. I probably won't mention them anymore, but they're there). They teleported to Mars' Oasis and bought a large load of torches. The load was shoved into Terroc's bag and the next day they headed back to the tomb.
Frustrated with the cedar door, Logan decided to just blast around it with his Eldritch Blast. He bored a hole in the wall to the right of the door and in about an hour he had created a small passage to the other side of the door (I later told the players that the door is only bypassable by forcing it down with a STR check. Torin just wasn't strong enough to do it on his own).
Beyond the cedar door was a locked door made of pure gold with jewels encrusted on it. The party is always wary, so they detected magic. They found illusion and enchantment auras on it. Terroc summoned an Ape and told it to go touch the door. Upon touching the door, the ape went berserk and moved to attack Logan. Terroc immediately dismissed the ape. The party decided that touching these doors would be bad news.
Amalius then had a sudden discovery. On the body of the hobgoblin shaman, Duvagh, had key on a necklace around it. The key was made of gold and encrusted with jewels just like the magic door in front of them. Amalius took the key from Terroc's bag and used it to open the door, being very careful not to touch the door in the process. A sword was used to push open both double doors and the party finally reached the inner part of the tomb!
(Every room in the tomb from this point on has crimson marble walls unless otherwise stated. The walls make everything in the tomb look blood-red. I probably won't mention it again unless it is relevant)
Beyond the door was a large hall with six statues of historically important hobgoblins in it. They had titles like, Eater of Elves and Diner on Dwarves. Other such gruesome things. The hall had a passage to the left, a passage to the right, and bronze doors on the opposite wall with nine locks on it. The characters spread out to explore the room. Unfortunately, while exploring, Amalius fell into a pit. At the bottom of the pit was a sticky goo that paralyzed Amalius. Amalius found himself sinking into the goo with the threat of suffocation imminent. Shez quickly cast fly on Torin. Torin flew down and pulled Amalius out of the goo with his strength. The goo was washed off with a create water spell. The party decided to be more cautious with further exploration of the room.
Summoned monkeys were sent around the room. They found six pits between the statues and between the statues and the walls. Torin checked the location of the pits by stomping on them. He didn't fall in because of his fly spell. Aldarian then marked the pits with chalk.
The party decided to explore the left and right passages first. Both passages led to rooms with statues in them, altars in front of the statues, and carvings on the walls. The right room had a statue of Nyx (Primordial Greek god of Night). The ceiling of the room was utterly black and staring at it for the briefest moments gave the gazer a headache. The altar in front of the statue was made of black stone. A black silver sword with a ghost face on the blade by the hilt was on the altar. The carvings on the walls were of hobgoblins battling Underdark monsters.
The left room had a statue of Athena. She was holding a banner in her left hand and a sword in her right hand. The greatsword had a serrated edge and red runes on the blade. The pommel stone was a skull. The altar in front of the statue was made of bundles of arrows. A huge book was open on the altar. The carvings on the walls were of hobgoblins battling elves, dwarves, and humans.
The party decided at Amalius's urging to explore the right room of Nyx first. They found no secret passages in the walls. The only treasure in the room appeared to be the sword on the altar. Amalius very carefully removed the sword. He was shocked to find no traps preventing him from do so. He was further surprised by what he had thought was a sword was in fact a dagger.
On to the left room of Athena! Amalius once again took the book from the altar without repercussions. Amalius decided he'd tried fate enough, so he ordered Aldarian to retrieve the sword from Athena. Aldarian set off a trap, some darts fired from the wall. Aldarian told the party that the trap was activated by a pressure plate. Logan flew up to take the sword from Athena without touching the pressure plates, not knowing that doing so would set off an even more deadly trap.
Upon the disturbance of the statue, the carvings on the walls of hobgoblins all animated and attacked as one. The party struggled to fight them off as they crawled all over the big humanoids, attacking with their tiny swords, lances, arrows, and catapults. Aldarian and Erick were knocked unconscious, but Logan and Preta were able to clear the room with their AoE magic.
The pilfered magic sword was given to Aldarian. Amalius kept the magic book, which he had learned is titled the Manual of Military Prowess, and the black silver (and nonmagical) dagger. The party went outside of the tomb and rested for the night. Amalius began reading the book and was quite engaged. He stayed up all night reading the book.
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
Alliance Session #4/Total Session #5
This session was attended by Ozymandias, thewamp, and Salzar. It was held at Ozymandias's house.
Prior to this session the Throgg and Salzar had decided to change their characters' builds. Torin was previously a fighter with a cleric of Athena cohort. He was remade into a cleric of Athena with no leadership and no cohort. His previous cohort, Erick, was made into just a friend. Erick went back to Phoenix without much explanation to how he got there. Amalius was previously a diplomacy bard. He was remade into a telepath psion. Additionally, the Binding spell on Thug ran out at the beginning of this ession.
There weren't many people present for this session, so instead of continuing the tomb raiding we decided that the characters would go explore the various sites around the Great Valley that they missed previously. Throgg had told me prior to the session that Amalius would stay by the tomb with Aldarian and read the Manual of Military Prowess all day and night. Amalius was able to do this because of the many lesser restoration spells cast by Torin (2/day).
The first location the party went to in the Great Valley was the ancient city at the north end of the lake. They teleported in and set to exploring. They found that the city was actually a bunch of outbuildings around a long ruined castle. They went inside the castle and started searching the buildings. A lot of them were empty except for ancient pots, pans, and other sundries. There was also a well that the group looked into and found nothing. However, one of the houses was wrapped in a permanent magic spell of darkness. The adventurers decided to save that building for last.
Of the other significant buildings there was the keep of the castle. Inside was a hobgoblin ghost that attacked the party. The ghost was "killed" easily by Logan. There was also another building that used to be servants' quarters. Inside was a locked steel box. Preta opened the box with a knock spell. Logan did that actual opening of the box and was greeted with a magical trap. Fortunately, he made his save and was unaffected by whatever necromantic magic it was. Inside the box were papers that had long since gone to dust. The fragment that remained said in Xorian, "...in the frozen waters, Selene's glory shows the way..." (Selene is the Greek goddess who literally is the moon). The party was unsure if frozen waters referred to the glacier or the lake of the Great Valley. They decided to investigate the glacier tomorrow.
But first the magical darkness! The darkness was easily dispelled by Shez. Inside was a small building. The building housed a large stone tablet. The Infernal words on the tablet eroded long ago. Preta was able to read Infernal, so he translated the remaining messages, "The long path holds greater peril, but also greater reward," and, "Many roads laid for those who were to come, as they who come after must be proved worthy for-," and finally, "The final marker shows the way, but points to noth-"
Not much was made of these clues.
The party then realized that Terroc was still carrying some decomposing hobgoblin bodies in his Bag of Holding. They decided they should return the corpses to the hobgoblin village by the lake. They teleported over there and approached the cautious hobgoblins. Upon bringing out the bodies a the hobgoblins started shouting and pointing. Only Amalius spoke Goblin, but he was back at the tomb entrance. Shez had fortunately prepared tongues. He cast it and learned the hobgoblins were very upset that their chief and shaman were killed. They were demanding that the outsiders leave immediately before they were sent to Hades with Krumukh and Duvagh. The party turned and began to walk out of the village as requested. Some of the hobgoblins threw stones at the characters as they left (None of the stones connected). It was hard for Torin and Logan to quell Preta's urge to blast the entire village with his battle magic, but they managed.
The party teleported back to the tomb and rested for the night. Amalius continued to read the Manual of Military Prowess like a mad man.
As they'd planned the party teleported to the glacier the next day. Finding nothing at the bottom of it they teleported to the top. On top was a large hole in the ice. They flew down to the bottom of the hole and found a large cave like place. In the cave was a small trickle of water coming from an icicle by the far wall. The far wall had a hobgoblin frozen in its ice. Goblin words were written to both sides and below the hobgoblin. Logan used his comprehend languages ability to read the writing. He found that the left writing listed the titles of the hobgoblin, Gek-rogakh, and identified him as an engineer. The left side also had hobgoblins battle songs written below the titles.
The right side describe the achievements of the whole hobgoblin race as well as those of Kruk-Ma-Kali. Logan also noticed a symbol for Selene in the right side with a circle around it. Logan suspected something was up due to the clue they'd found in the ancient castle, so he detected magic. He found none in the symbol or the cavern.
The writing below the hobgoblin said, "Only the valiant shall follow Kruk-Ma-Kali, but they must learn to start anew, like the moons."
The party decided that something important must happen on the full moon while in this room. It was a new moon that night, so a return was scheduled for 15 days later.
The party teleported back to the tomb entrance and the session was ended. Amalius was close to finishing the Manual of Military Prowess (And also going a bit insane from reading for days without sleep).
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
Alliance Session #5/Total Session #6
This session was attended by Ozymandias, Throgg, Middle_Snu, and thewamp. Salzar attended via Skype. The session was held at Ozymandias's house. (It was pretty cool having the whole group together, even if one of us was not really there.)
The first thing the party realized upon waking up was that they no longer had a safe way to get past the boulder trap into the tomb. Previously, Thug had lifted them over the bad step, but he'd vanished back to his plane. The steps going up to the tomb are 4 feet wide, so jumping it wasn't possible. Skirting around it wasn't possible either due to a wall surrounding the steps. And flying and teleporting were impossible as well due to the enchantments on the tomb entrance.
Terroc suggested a ladder as the simplest solution to deal with the problem step. They could just lay the ladder over the step and walk on their hands and feet for the four feet it took. New problem arose: no ladder. The group decided to go back to Phoenix for a day and grab a ladder along with other various adventuring supplies they'd forgotten to get when building their characters.
Upon returning to Phoenix they were immediately called to a War Council meeting. Apparently, two nights ago the Thieves Guild of Phoenix had revolted. They'd attempted to open the gates to the Xorians and had been preparing a signal fire to alert the Xorians to the undefended condition of the city. The Mercenaries Guild moved quickly to arrest the thieves involved in the revolt. Many were captured, but thieves have a talent for escaping law enforcement. However, the guildmaster was captured. The acting leader of the Thieves Guild is now a man named Yoshimitsu (Sometimes when I'm pressured I pull names from video games, okay!?).
The War Council had to decide if it could trust Yoshimitsu. They also had to decide to address the underlining problems that had led to the Thieves Guild. It's believed that because the Thieves Guild has no seats on the War Council was why they revolted, but how can their members be trusted on the War Council? A spy on the War Council would be disastrous for the war effort. It was also clear that the Xorians had planted agents within the walls of Phoenix that could communicate plans for attack with the outside. Those minor spies would also have to be dealt with in some way.
The players tossed ideas around with me. They suggested a complete restructuring of the Thieves Guild into an actual Police Guild with the War Council taking a permanent lead of the city. They also suggested just liquidating the Thieves Guild and having the Mercenaries Guild take over police actions. It was finally decided that Yoshimitsu should be interviewed to see if he was trustworthy. The interview was conducted by Amalius who threatened Yoshimitsu if he didn't remain loyal to Phoenix. Amalius said they could easily promote Tianagi, Yoshimitsu's immediate junior, and have Yoshimitsu executed if he failed in his duties.
Yoshimitsu said he wasn't sure if he permanently wanted the responsibilities of being guildmaster so he requested a night to sleep on it. The other order of business was the Innkeeper's Guild of Phoenix. Bernarda, the guildmaster, came in demanding that the Council pay her 5000GP a month for housing the out of town soldiers (The dwarves of Jord, the people of Restnor's Point, and the knights of Bradel Fields. Jipangu's army is camped at Shalerton until enough force is gathered to break the siege). Amalius verbally harassed Bernarda until she backed down to 3000GP/month.
During the night Amalius finished the Manual of Military Prowess. He wouldn't say what he had specifically gained from the text, but he did say he was much more knowledgeable about how to lead and supply an army.
The next day Yoshimitsu was supposed to deliver his acceptance or rejection of the guildmaster position. Instead he was missing along with his subordinate, Tianagi. The War Council chatted up alternatives for leaders while the party bought their adventuring supplies and headed back to the tomb for the day.
At the tomb the party made a beeline for the room with the Athena statue. Earlier when they took the sword from the statue the wall carvings animated and attacked. Half the war carvings were still there and the party felt threatened. They decided that Amalius would use his retrieve power to snatch the magical banner that Athena held while Preta stood outside of the room ready to blast it with a cone of cold. The plan went fine. The wall carvings didn't even activate.
The characters messed with the statues in the main room for a bit. They found that they could move, but not easily. They also found that moving them didn't seem to activate any special clues or traps. They moved on to the door with nine locks. Shez had only prepared one knock spell which unlocks two locks. Not wanting to wait a day they decided that Logan should just blast the door into oblivion again. (Amalius was still ordering Aldarian to pretend to be a paladin at this point. That's why Aldarian didn't try to use his Open Lock skill on the door)
Beyond the super locked door were some steps leading down to a large square room. To the left and right were staircases leading further down. Across the room was a pair of cedar doors with silver artwork on them. In the room were four life-sized statues of Hamatulas (Barbed Devils) holding up a giant orange and red orb. Detect magics went off from pretty much every caster immediately. The statues and the orb were all evocation and conjuration magic. The party went for the opposite door first. There was no lock on it and it wouldn't budge to Torin's shoves. The party decided that the solution was in the vast amount of adventurers supplies they'd brought from Phoenix. A long length of chain was brought out of Terroc's Bag of Holding and tied to the door's handles. Torin, Aldarian, and three summoned apes all pulled on the chain. After a few heaves the door ripped open and the pullers fell backwards under the orb of fire.
Then the orb of fire dropped.
The apes all died and Torin was greatly wounded. Aldarian emerged unscathed due to his Evasion ability. To make things worse, one of the Hamatula statues was a real Hamatula, just waiting to drop the orb and attack. A battle ensued. Torin pulled out his axe and attacked. Preta started testing different elemental spells to see which ones would damage the Hamatula most. Amalius tried his best to dominate the Hamatula, but kept failing. Terroc summoned some apes. Shez ran and hid. Aldarian reached for his personal longsword, but found himself holding the magic greatsword the group had taken from the Athena Statue. Aldarian swung the sword at the Hamatula, but found that his strength wasn't enough to pierce the devil's flesh. However, the blade would not yield. It drew power from Aldarian's own body and struck through to cut the devil. Cuts appeared all over Aldarian as he used the blade. Aldarian swung again and almost died from the damage the sword caused to him. Then the barbed devil turned on him and he did die.
Eventually, one of Amalius's dominates succeeded. A short period of peace set in. Amalius and Preta questioned the devil and found out that it was bound to protect this tomb long ago when the tomb was built. They attempted bribing it to letting them pass, but it refused. They realized that the devil wasn't going to help them and it would resist every attempt to order it with the dominate spell. Preta prepared a new element spell and let it loose when Amalius dismissed the dominate. The devil was defeated. Aldarian lay dead on the ground for a second time since the party had come together.
The party decided they were done adventuring today, so they teleported back to Phoenix. Aldarian was raised again (losing another level). The War Council had yet to come to a decision on who to place as the leader of the Thieves Guild. They needed someone who they could trust, but they also needed someone who the Thieves Guild would accept as their leader. Aldarian stepped up at this point and admitted that he wasn't a paladin. At least, not in the literal sense. He had taken the vows, but before doing so he had been a thief. He'd stolen from people all over Cimmeria. He has since reformed, but his thief skills were still strong. He requested that he be made leader of the Thieves Guild. The War Council agreed (This was also a way for Aldarian to do something significant for the party without dying all the time).
The party identified the loot they'd gotten from their adventures so far:
The Cursed Sword that Aldarian had used was enchanted to always hit, but when it would've missed it sucks HP from it's wielder equal to the amount it would miss by. Furthermore for every type of DR that it's target has it multiplies how much HP it sucks from its wielder. Amalius took the sword, unsure of what to do with it yet.
The Banner was a minor artifact of Athena. If carried by a Cleric of Athena in a battle with troops who mostly follow Athena it gives a few minor bonuses to those troops. It also gives a few minor bonuses to the Cleric who holds it, as well as counting as a Rod of Rulership. Torin is a cleric of Athena, so he claimed the Banner. It is stored in Terroc's Bag of Holding until it is needed for a battle.
The black silver dagger that Amalius held was not actually magic. However, it naturally deals double damage against targets unprotected from cold damage. It is extremely cold to the touch. Amalius kept it. (This was very entertaining because Throgg's character in the last campaign, Amalgami, used a intelligent vorpal dagger named Korm that always wanted to cut off people's heads).
The party also had some loot they'd stolen from the hobgoblins bodies, a suit of red dragon scale armor and a wand. The red dragon scale armor provided protection against fire. The wand was a wand of fireballs with only a few charges left on it.
There were also a pair of Huge bracers from Bill the Geriviar. They were found to be Bracers of Armor +6, but still too big for anyone to use.
The party headed back to the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali without Aldarian. They went straight on through the door they'd ripped open (There was actually a magic trap here, but everyone made their saves. I ruled the players didn't notice it at all. The trap had only one charge and will no longer trouble them). The hallway split into a T; however, before the T there was a falling block trap. The block fell down and crushed Amalius and Preta. The party struggled to lift the blocks before all of Amalius and Preta's bones were crushed. Fortunately, after an agonizing 20 seconds the block went back into the ceiling. The party jumped over the spot it'd come down from and proceeded to the T. They went left at the T and encountered an electricity trap. They got through the trap easily with a mass resist energy spell cast by Shez.
The left corridor led to a room. The door was opened by Torin, but no traps went off. Inside the room the walls were purple and covered with carvings of purple and pink worms. The door on the left of the room was round and purple with a white handle. The door on the right was black with white runes all over it and a handle shaped like a sword pommel. Opposite the entrance was a giant creepy head with a beak and tentacles coming out of its beak (Actually surprised that the players didn't recognize it as a Mindflayer/Cthulu head). The beak was open and beyond it was pure darkness (Sound like the Tomb of Horrors to anybody?).
The purple door was opened first. Beyond was just a wall with a symbol of insanity on it. The symbol affected only Shez. He began to attack the party, but a mage with only buff spells is very bad at offense. His most offensive spell was dispel magic. Terroc used a dispel magic to get rid of the insanity and the party went on with their lives.
The darkness of the beak was explored by a summoned dog next. The dog died on the other side under mysterious circumstances. The players decided to send in a summoned creature that can talk, a Hound Archon (Still a dog). The Archon went on the other side and reported a small 10' by 10' room. A silver circle was on the ground. Terroc ordered the Archon to step in the circle. He suffered electricity damage, but nothing else happened. Curiosity or sadistic pleasure motivated Terroc to tell the Archon to step in the circle again.
The Hound Archon died. No further explanations were given and I cackled with glee.
The party decided to have a look at the circle themselves. It was indeed a silver circle inscribed on the ground in a small room. No one was brave enough to step in the circle.
The last thing in the room was the door with a sword for a handle. Another summoned dog was ordered to touch it. The dog touched it and went into a coma (This freaked the players out a bit. They were expecting damage and explosions, not a quiet death). An ape was then summoned. It was able to touch the pommel handle without falling unconscious, but touching the door sent it into a coma as well. Nothing brought the ape out of the coma.
It was decided that the pommel handle was safe, so Torin opened the door very carefully, touching just he pommel. Beyond was a hallway with a locked steel door at the other end. Shez used knock and the party got through. On the other side was a room filled with wooden spikes. There were spikes covering the walls, floor, and ceiling. A quick estimate put the total at more than a thousand. The door on the left of the room was made of wood. On the right the door was made of gold and had hobgoblin writing on it. On the opposite wall was another steel door.
As the party was deciding what to do about the scary room with spikes a tornado picked up inside. An Air Elemental attack! It snatched Torin and threw him into the room, impaling him on the spikes. It did the same to Preta next. The party managed to regroup in the corridor and then Preta blasted the Air Elemental to death.
At this point the group decided they'd had enough of this dangerous tomb. It probably had more to do with there being no visible treasure in the last few rooms than the everpresent danger (Also, what the hell guys? Those statues are worth tons! And there's also all the cool doors. Plus the rooms off of the Hamatula room that you haven't explored yet). They teleported back to Phoenix to rest for the night before going back on the quest they'd started the campaign off with, using the ritual from the Tome of Agamemnon (They also took Aldarian from his new guildmaster post to check for traps underneath Bradel Fields).
The Tome of Agamemnon is buried in the abandoned catacombs underneath Bradel Fields. The catacombs have since become the city's sewers. The location of the Tome was relatively well known. The section of the Tome in the catacombs had two entrances close to it. The room the Tome is in would be marked by lots of traps. There is also supposed to be a golem that protects the Tome. The golem can be controlled with a Bronze Amulet that was given to Preta (At least I think it was Preta. Memory's a little hazy). With the warnings in their minds the adventurers went down the western entrance to the sewers.
The passage branched immediately at the bottom of the stairs. The party went left and found a room with a giant crocodile fighting three dire rats (The players made fun of me for having the rats being trapped by the crocodile. They couldn't accept that the rats would get themselves into the situation. I explained that the crocodile had submerged itself until the rats came close to it, then attacked). Preta blasted the lot of them from far away to avoid backlash from sewer gas (I considered having the whole place explode, but decided it was a jerk move). The party ventured into the room. There was a passage to the left, a large grate in the wall to the right, and another passage across from the party. The center of the room was filled with foul sewer water.
The party explored the grate first. Torin cut through it with Amalius's adamantine dagger. On the other side a Gibbering Mouther was waiting to attack. It rushed across the ground and to bite Torin. Torin began to sink into the ground of the room. It had looked like solid stone, but was in fact quicksand. Aldarian and Amalius pulled Torin out of the muck. Then Preta blasted the gibber mouther to death (I put these low CR encounters in the sewers for flavor more than substance. What kind of sewer doesn't have rats, crocodiles, and genetic mutants?).
The party explored the passage across from where they entered. As they went down it a ghost of a young girl with half her face flensed off appeared and screamed at the party. The scream was a mild fear effect. Preta threw a fireball down the passage and the ghost disappeared into the floor. The party went into the burned room. It was filled with abandoned crypts and skeletons. They searched the crypts, but found that Preta's fireball had destroyed all the treasure.
The passage to the left of the entrance of the room led to the lair of three crocodiles. Torin decided he wanted to solo fight the crocodiles. He won with ease. This room had passages leaving it to the left, right, and opposite the entrance. The center of the room was once again flooded with nasty sewer water. In one of the corners was the skeleton of a knight, still wearing his very nice armor and sword. He also had a mirror on him that puzzled the players (I had just figured, he's a knight so he's vain and full of himself, but if players want to put other explanations on things I won't stop them).
The party took the right passage from this room. A few feet down the passage their was a branching passage to the left. The branch clearly led to a dead end. What could be at that dead end waiting for the party, but the Ghost Girl with half her face flensed off? She screamed again and swooped in. Torin got the full blast of the fear effect and ran away. Before Preta could get off a spell he was possessed. Amalius dominated Preta in turn. The odd situation caused a standoff (I ruled the dominate overrode the possession, so Amalius was in control of Preta's actions). Torin returned from his running escapade and the party was able to get the Ghost Girl to talk through Preta's satyr-like body. She said that she attacked people because she was afraid that they might be the "bad man." She said that the "bad man" lived by the "pillar." Amalius and Logan were unable to get much more out of her than that. They did convince the Ghost Girl to lead the party to the pillar.
It was getting late, so we ended the session there with Preta in the lead, dominated by two people, heading deeper into the sewers towards "the pillar."
Re: Xorian Wars: Alliance and Rebellion [Campaign Log] Under Construction
Alliance Session #6/Total Session #7
This session was attended by Ozymandias and Throgg. Salzar attended via Skype. The session was held at Ozymandias's house.
The characters followed Preta deeper into the sewers. They reached a small room that used to be the bottom of a well. They could see the boarded up well a few dozen feet above them. There were passages leading to the left and straight on in the well room. Preta/Ghost Girl went to the left passage and said that the pillar was beyond there. S/he then screamed and the Ghost Girl went up and out of Preta's body. Amalius dismissed the dominate spell. The party went on without their guide.
The left passage went up slightly to a room with another passage at the other end of it. The party got scared that the room might be trapped, so they sent in Aldarian. Aldarian found no traps until he reached the center of the room. When he got there a giant dark shape dropped down from the ceiling and enveloped Aldarian. An Elder Black Pudding was attacking the party!
Aldarian quickly died to the Pudding's acid. The party started throwing spells at it. Torin buffed himself. Terroc ran for safety. The Pudding rushed to attack whoever it could get its hands on. Amalius realized that he, Preta, and Torin were next in the Pudding's the line of fire. He quickly grabbed his friends and used a dimension door to get them into the well room. Unfortunately, Torin was badly placed and he fell into the deeper section of the well. The Black Pudding surged forward. Amalius cast an energy wall down the passage to the Pudding's room. The wall split the Pudding in half. It continued to surge forward. Amalius teleported away and everyone else had quickly left the vicinity already. With no other targets the Pudding went down the well after Torin.
Preta came back and blasted the Pudding one more time, killing it. However, Torin wasn't out of trouble yet because the Pudding's acidic remains were drifting down after him. He started swimming away from them and reached the bottom of the well. Then the acid reached the bottom as well. Meanwhile, Amalius had dived into the water after Torin to rescue him. Torin started swimming up and met Amalius halfway up the well. They teleported to the surface of the city. The other party members met up with them later on outside.
The adventurers decided they weren't done with the sewer for the day, so they headed back in to the Pudding room. The passage beyond it led to a large room with....a pillar! Chained to the pillar was the decomposing corpse of a girl with half her hair flensed off. The party saw the girl and then stuff started getting crazy. Fog filled the room and then everyone starting hearing whispers in their minds. The whispers told of past tragedies the characters had experienced or horrible things yet to come. The party sensed something awful was about to happen to them, so Preta grabbed everyone and they teleported away.
The party went back to Phoenix. They knew something very evil was in the room and they wanted assistance. The best assistance they could think of was Astyanax, the paladin military leader of the Rebellion and all-around amazing knight from Bradel Fields. They brought the idea up to the War Council, of which Astyanax is a member. He agreed to go with them.
The next day they teleported back to Bradel Fields. They headed down into the sewers back to the pillar room (Terroc and Aldarian stayed on the surface). Astyanax went up to the pillar while the rest of the party waited in the hallway. The fog set in as Astyanax began cutting the chains binding the Ghost Girl. The whispers began again. Then the demon showed up.
The demon was 15 feet tall, green, very thin, had small wings, and carried a wicked looking glaive. It appeared out of nowhere behind the adventurers in the hallway. It started slashing out at the characters while it continued to its despairing whispers in their heads. The party ran into the room. Astyanax went toe-to-toe with the demon and fell. Preta dropped an Evard's black tentacles on the demon to slow its progress. Then the Demon's whispers finally got to Preta. Preta began babbling nonsense. Shez went unconscious due to the whispers. Torin fought the devil off for a few more rounds before it got out of the tentacles. Amalius had tried to dominate the devil a few times, then realized it was too hard. He then began attempting to teleport the party away. It was difficult because the whispers continually disrupted the spell. Finally, Amalius succeeded in teleporting the party away. He, Shez, Preta, and Torin made it out. Astyanax had to be left behind in the devil's clutches.
We ended the session there. The party will have to deal with the enormous consequences of abandoning the military leader of the Alliance in our next Alliance session.
I'm done updating all the previous sessions! We are no longer under construction. Feel free to comment and give advice to the players or me! We'd love for this story to be popular and for us to have a connection to our fans.
Throgg took too long doing the update, so I did it. He then wanted me to submit it to him to look at. He then proceeded not to look at it... He's getting one last chance to write a recap for the session we had on Nov 3rd.
Rebellion Session #5/Total Session #11
The session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, Ozymandias, thewamp, and Middle_Snu. The session was done using Google Hangouts for all the attendees. Ozymandias and Middle_Snu left about halfway through the session. At the beginning of the session the party leveled up to Level 2.
We left off last time at the surrender of the Xorian supply caravan. After talking over what they would do with the captives and Elerie the group woke up the guard under the effect of the sleep spell. Stanton charmed the guard, gave him a knife, and told him to go kill Elerie. The guard did so. Then the brave adventurers turned nasty. They executed the guard as well as the two drivers who'd surrendered. The bodies of the Xorians were dumped into the river while Elerie's body was buried. They then pulled the two wagons out of the wagon ruts and headed back to the rebel base.
At the base they talked with Major Dactirian. Stanton did most of the talking. He explained that everything had gone fine, but Elerie had died in the attack on the supply caravan. He gave Dactirian the necklace to the shock collars that all four party members wear. Dactirian asked, "Is there anything else you have to tell me?"
Stanton said, "No."
Dacitiran pressed down on the green gem in the center of the necklace. The characters all started screaming in pain. Dacitiran stood up and walked around his meeting table towards the players saying, "You thought I didn't know?!? You thought you could lie to me?!! You may not have killed her, but you put the knife in their hands!" The entire party passed out due to the pain coming from their shock collars. (I had each of them roll a Fort save against DC 15. However much they beat it by was how many seconds they stayed awake. They all got about 5 seconds, long enough to hear Dactirian, except for Salzar/Wu who flubbed his roll).
The party was woken up by water being splashed on their faces from a bucket that a rebel guard carried. Dactirian dismissed the guard. The meeting table had four people on the other side now. Dacitiran, as before, an old woman wearing armor made from leaves, an even older woman with purple eyes, jet black hair, and armor made from skulls, and a strong half-orc (The half-orc is Middle_Snu's character, Korjak).
Dactirian told the party to sit down before beginning a long monologue of exposition. He told the characters that he had turn them back into their mortal forms to be a shining example of the Rebellion's power to redeem Dragovinians. They'd been evil before they were Dragovinians. That's why they were rewarded with that immortal status. To change them back to their mortal forms was just a reversion to their original mortal, but still evil, state. He'd known this from the beginning, but hoped it wouldn't be true. Dactirian hadn't brought them back to show the Rebellion's power, but because he needed them for a different purpose.
(From here the exposition goes into a bit of background stuff, some of which is not covered in the first post)
The old woman in leaves then spoke up, "My name is Alkmene Halkias (Alk-Mee-Nee Hal-Kee-As is the pronunciation, but my players never pronounce a name correctly when it can be made fun of. A lot of alternative spellings were tossed around between them). I am the sister of Amalgami the Betrayer, the one who doomed the First Alliance to failure. I am nothing like my brother and I will redeem my family."
(This is part of the Throgg's extensive background for Amalgami in the last campaign. Amalgami was born Anatolios Halkias with his twin sister Alkmene. Anatolios became a powerful cleric of Apollo while Alkmene became a priestess of Artemis. Anatolios's talent with magic was superb, but his knowledge of Apollo's doctrines was poor. His father threatened to pull him out of the clergy and have him train to take over the family business of buying and selling textiles. Anatolios panicked and stole a bunch of money from his dad. He fled town and took a new name, Amalgami, the name of a previous great hero [The original hero's story is never described].
(A while later in the first campaign, Amalgami was looking for allies to help him fight against the Xorians. He thought of his sister, Alkmene. He sought her out on Devil's Holt near the entrance to Hell with divination and asked her to join the First Alliance. She rudely declined. That's about all that the players know about her. Throgg left the specifics of her background up to me and I have kept them secret from the players)
Back to the present! Alkmene said, "Dactirian brought you four back from the undead at my request. You see, I am the last of the Elder Druids of the druid council of Semanarie. The rest of the druids were kidnapped, tortured, and killed by the Xorians during the First Alliance War. Long ago the druids were given a prophecy and I am the last carrier of it. Or at least a part of it. The prophecy was split into five parts to keep it safe. The Druids gave a piece to each of their loyal animal clans. You've already encountered one of them, the wolves north of this forest." (At this point the players started guessing what the other tribes were. They guessed bears correctly very fast. Other guesses were deer, eagles, African swallows, and European swallows. They then guessed sharks correctly. I told them the last of the four was a bird. They had a hard time with that one, so eventually I just told them it was condors).
"The other three animal clans are the Bears of the Terror Mountains, the Condors of the Dominarie Mountain Range, and the Sharks of Jovy's Isle. Each of these four carries a piece of the prophecy that was given to the Druids. I carry the fifth and final piece. The prophecy says: Should one of the gods forever close his eyes
Find the weapon that caused him to die
Add it last with great caution
Then pour the mix on the great god's coffin."
Alkmene continued, "The prophecy is clearly about curing a god of a severe illness. Zeus is currently ill or dead and the strife on Mount Olympus because of this prevents the gods from purging the Dragovinian affliction. In order to win this war we must find the lost pieces of the prophecy and heal Zeus.
"Unfortunately, the secret of the prophecy was tortured out of the Druid Council when they were in Xorian captivity. The Xorians knew of the prophecy and the locations of the four animal clans. When Jevaninada II took the throne he found the four clans and turned a member of each of them into a Dragovinian. Additionally, he put wards around the clans, so that if any intelligent non-Dragovinian approached them he would instantly know. That is why I cannot recover the prophecy on my own. He would know and he would come to kill me.
"However, you four are exempt from the wards. You were once Dragovinians and the alarms on the clans will recognize you as such still."
(I took a break from the monologuing so the players could ask questions. I don't remember the specifics, but I think I included all the information they got.)
Dactirian spoke up after the group's questions were answered, "Your new commander will now be Corporal Korjak. He can journey with you past the alarms on the animal clans due to his unique... condition." (Korjak is the a member of the Champion class designed by the Giant. I've used the class in my DMing in the past for General Antapike, a significant NPC in the last campaign. Antapike's hero form was Thor. I decided that all Champions would have a nordic themed hero form. Middle_Snu's choice was Balder, wellknown for being a wuss god.
When Balder was born he was a sickly baby. His mother took him around to all the creatures and plants of the world and got them to promise not to hurt Balder. She got promises from everything except mistletoe because it looked so non-threatening. The gods would often play a game called Throw-Dangerous-Things-At-Balder. They could throw anything they wanted and Balder would be fine because of the promises all creation had made not to harm him. Mischievous Loki gave a spear to Balder's brother. His brother threw the spear and it killed Balder. Loki had made the spear from mistletoe! The death of Balder heralded the beginning of Ragnarok, the apocalypse of the Norse myths.
The power of Balder passed to whoever killed him. It has passed down and down through many different hands until finally Korjak claimed the power by killing the previous owner. Korjak is still learning to master Balder's godly power. That's why he's such a low-level character. All of this was explained to the players OOC.)
Middle_Snu finally got to play. We had another round of questions. The only relevant one was Gregor asking if the other old woman in the room was actually the Princess of Xoria, Tarigananata (Her description, jet black hair and purple eyes, matched). She told him that she was.
Gregor asked, "But I thought you died in the First Alliance War."
"No. I escaped and wandered the land for a while. However, that B----, Queen Anjakaze found me and sent the most powerful of the Seven Rages, Grave, to kill me. I killed Grave and took his armor. That's why I wear skulls. After that I came to Bigby's Forest to start the Rebellion."
Gregor said, "Forgive me my lady, but wasn't Grave killed by a shadowy demon?" (Gregor is a very refined orc).
Tarigananata let a creepy smile cross her face and her pupils became cat-like slits, "That was me."
We moved on from there. Dactirian thanked the group for the food supplies they'd captured. He would've sent the party back to the wolves, but he felt they weren't ready to fight and kill a Dragovinian yet. Instead they were sent after more food. The party went south to the river town that Stanton had purchased medical supplies from earlier. There, the party was to collect "taxes for the Rebellion" from the farmers in the form of grain. The party would canvas the northern third of the town. Korjak would be the new unit leader and he would carry the necklace that controlled the shock collars of the other four.
On the journey to the town the party ran into two random encounters: a pair of poisonous snakes and a dangerous swarm of bats. The snakes were sunning themselves in the path. The party threw rocks at them until they got off the path. The bats attacked at night and started draining blood from the party members. Arrows were shot at them and blankets were set afire to wave at them. After many bats were killed the swarm dispersed (I have never followed the "one random encounter no matter how long the journey is" rule. I roll three times a day to see if the party has a random encounter for that eight hour period and how difficult that encounter will be. Sometimes journeys are uneventful and sometimes they are more dangerous than the destination. The group likes it well enough.).
The party party collected food from the villagers for three days. Each time they came to a farm they would roll a diplomacy check. Sometimes the farmers gave them grain, sometimes the farmers were Xorian supporters who grabbed pitchforks to "geet the rebel scum off their land," sometimes the farmers had a bad harvest and couldn't donate. Korjak was largely responsible for calming the other members of the party down and preventing violence. Whenever the someone could not or would not donate, Korjak apologized and got the party off the farmer's land as quickly as possible. Eventually, the party ended up with a wagon and a half of grain. They turned back to the Rebel base and camped on the edge of the forest for a night.
On the next morning as the party was packing up for the night, they saw a dust cloud on the southern horizon. Fearing that one of the Xorian supporting farmers had informed on them the party hightailed it into the woods with the wagons. Later on they saw smoke rising from the south. Their pursuers had set the woods on fire. Luckily, the fire didn't spread.
The adventurers' passage through the woods was interrupted by the same group of bullies they'd tussled with in the practice yard before. The big human guy was at the lead. He said, "Get out of the way Korjak. You don't want to get involved."
The party immediately responded with violence. Sivirdm shot his crossbow at the big guy. Wu shot his bow at the big guy as well. Three arrows thumped into him and he feel down. Gregor drew his sword and prepared to defend himself. The other thugs pulled the big guy behind themselves and took up defensive positions. Stanton used a hypnotism spell to entrance the front three of the six other bullies. Korjak activated the shock collar on Sivirdm because he fired the first shot. Sivirdm fell down in convulsions. Korjak shouted, "Everyone sheath your weapons and calm down!" The fight ended there. The thugs backed off to allow Korjak to heal the big guy with a wand of cure light wounds he carries. Korjak then ordered the thugs to return to the base. After a few minutes the party journeyed into the base as well. (This session was filled with relatively non-violent solutions to the encounters I threw at the party. It was impressive)
The food was delivered and a "party" was thrown. Military parties consist of one and a half rations of food and double rations of alcohol. The characters got pretty drunk on their success.
(We took a break for dinner at this point. Middle_Snu and Ozymandias left as well.)
Hungover the next day, the party was called into Dactirian's meeting room once again. A usual donator to the Rebellion in the river town was strangely absent when one of the other "tax collector teams" went out. The donator's name is Diveereus. The tax collector team described Diveereus's farm as "ripped up and his wagon was broken." The team shouted to the house, but got no response. They decided to report back to their superiors instead of entering a possibly lethal situation. Dactirian ordered the characters to go in and find out what happened to Diveereus, his wife, his children, and his grandchildren who live with him.
The party journeyed back to the river town once more. They saw the broken wagon on the path to his house and two coyotes eating the dead oxen next to the wagon. The party chose to wait until sundown to see if there was any activity in the house or on the farm. Nothing happened as they waited. Still determined to investigate, Stanton and Wu snuck up to the house through the field. Wu almost fell into a pit trip in the field. Wu searched the rest of the field on their way up to the house and spotted a bear trap and another pit trap. At the house they saw a dog chained to the front porch. Stanton sleeped the dog and Wu snuck up and slit its throat. Convinced that the danger in the house was not immediate, the sneaky folk went back to regroup with the rest of the party.
It was decided that Sivirdm would watch the horses and provide backup while the other four party members went in (This decision was more about reducing the amount of characters closer to the amount of players than anything else). Korjak, Gregor, Sivirdm, and Wu walked the same path back to the house. Korjak and Gregor used their darkvision to peek through the windows of the house. They saw three rooms, a dining room, a kitchen, and a parlor (Rich farmers). There was also a door to the stairs to the second floor and a door to a closet under the stairs. The dining room was wrecked. The table and all the chairs were overturned except for one on which a dead woman's corpse sat. In the kitchen, two dead children were slumped against the cold stove. Cooking ware was tossed around the room. The parlor was likewise messed up.
Gregor went first. He was upset to find a paralysis poison on the doorknob. He fell rigid to the floor as the door opened. The dead woman's corpse animated and attacked! Korjak stepped up to fight the undead beast. Wu shot an arrow in, but accidentally hit Korjak in the back. Wu decided that perhaps shooting arrows inside was a bad idea. Stanton broke a window, but found himself too small to climb up through it. Gregor recovered from the paralysis contact poison. He got up and joined Korjak in the fight. With two fighters acting together the undead was brought down quickly. (It was a wight of Diveereus's wife. I rolled so awfully that she never hit even after 5 rounds of combat.).
The downstairs was explored. Bloodstains indicated that the woman's body had been dragged from the kitchen to be propped in the chair. The children's bodies were drained of all blood. Nothing was in the closet under the stairs.
The party headed upstairs. A hallway upstairs had four doors, two on the right and two on the left. Stanton did a detect magic and sensed and aura of necromancy and transmutation behind the second door on the left. The group decided to save that door for last.
The first door they opened was the first door on the left. Inside was a boy's room with boy's toys and a wooden horse. The toys were all burned and broken. The room had obviously had a small fire set in it. Against the opposite wall was the burned skeleton of a teenage boy. A quick search revealed no treasure in the room.
The second door opened was the first door on the right. Inside was a girl's room. Spinning tools and dolls along with girls toys were strewn about the room. Two beds were in the room. The bigger one had its blanket ripped off towards the door. Again, no treasure found.
The third door opened was the second door on the right. Inside was another bedroom. A large bed, a desk, a dresser, and a closet were in the room. A man had been thrown into the desk. The impact had destroyed the man and the desk. A young dead woman lay on the bed, drained of all her blood. Blood covered the bed and the floor. A search revealed some jewelry which was pocketed.
While Korjak, Wu, and Gregor searched the third room, impulsive Stanton opened the door to the fourth room where the magic auras originated from. Inside was a large bedroom. A bed, two dressers, a closet, and a desk were in the room, largely untouched by the violence in the rest of the house. At the center of the room on the bed was a black egg with red spots the size of a chair. The egg was hatching. Stanton got the attention of the rest of the party. A scaled arm burst out of the egg as the party watched. Another arm came out and Gregor reacted. He grabbed the egg and threw it out the closest window. The egg shattered on the ground below and out came a fully formed Dragovinian. A scaled humanoid with a dragon’s face and fangs.
The Dragovinian spider climbed up the walls of the house to fight its way back in. It tried kicking Gregor through the window, but Gregor shoved it back down to the ground. Gregor then leaped down after it to fight with his greatsword. Korjak soon jumped out a window to join in as well. Stanton used daze successfully on the Dragovinian from the upstairs. Wu tried a few shots against the Dragovinian, but found his arrows were not strong enough to pierce the Dragovinian’s skin.
Gregor’s strong sword attacks wore down the Dragovinian. The cuts seemed like they should have incapacitated the monster, but it wouldn’t die. It begin scuttling away from Korjak and Gregor on all fours like a demon spider. They raced after it continually stabbing it and cutting it. It still wouldn’t die! Finally, Gregor called a shot to the Dragovnian’s head. His sword passed through the monster’s neck. Decapitation served to kill the beast.
A little freaked out, the party checked the barn of the farm. They saw two horses drained of blood and a full grain silo. They decided to come back for the grain later. Stanton remembered the transmutation aura in the room. Thinking it might have been something besides the egg they returned. The party’s diligence was rewarded when Wu found a magic composite longbow underneath the bed. With their loot secure, the party gathered up the egg shell pieces, the Dragovinian body, and the head before setting off back to the rebel base.
The group force marched through the night and suffered no random encounters. In the morning they gave their report to Dactirian. He congratulated them on killing the Dragovinian as well as recovering the egg shells. The rebels had known the Dragovinians hatched from eggs, but they’d never had the actual shells to study before. He gave the soldiers some leave time before dismissing them.
Throgg was getting pretty tired on the East Coast so we ended the session there.
Alliance Session #7/Total Session #12
The session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, and thewamp. We used Google Hangouts again.
Last time the party had retreated from almost certain doom at the hands of a powerful demon, leaving behind the military leader of the Alliance, Astyanax. Not only was Astyanax necessary for the Alliance’s victory due to his leadership position among the military, but his daughter is also a key bargaining chip in a marriage alliance between Astyanax’s home city, Bradel Fields, and the unallied city Dalleer. Without Astyanax’s influence, his daughter is effectively a nobody. To secure Dalleer’s help for the Alliance, Astyanax must be brought back to life.
Astyanax was in the clutches of a demon. Bringing him back couldn’t be as simple as casting true resurrection. He might not come back if his soul was captured by the demon and he would come back without his equipment. Being a paladin, that would be devastating for his build. The party reasoned that a rescue of the corpse was necessary.
However, the Demon had proven too powerful to take on in a straight fight. The party decided to go do some research at their local library (Cue PSA shorts). After a few days they found a book that mentioned the demon, Daskirix. Daskirix is a sorrowsworn demon. He takes pleasure in causing despair and mocks people when they fall apart due to his schemes. The mighty Daskirix has five weaknesses: holy weapons, cold iron weapons, sonic damage, children’s laughter, and holy water. The party set out to gather up a few of these things for a banishment spell which can be made stronger if the demon’s weaknesses are presented to it during the casting of the spell.
A thunderstone was acquired for the sonic damage. Holy water for the holy water. A cold iron spear for the weapon portion. Finally, a child’s laughter was recorded in a magic mouth spell by Terroc. However, the ingredients of the banishment spell weren’t the only things the party needed to succeed. The spell still needed to get past the demon’s considerable SR and Will save. Thewamp did some research in his copy of the Spell Compendium and came up with two spells, spell vulnerability and assay spell resistance. A combination of the two would make getting past the Daskirix’s spell resistance a piece of cake. The Will save was still a problem, but the Spell Compendium turned up no spells that reduced Will saves without requiring a Will save itself (Wow, Wizards of the Coast).
The party then came up with a titanic list of buff spells they’d be casting before teleporting into the lair of the demon. Torin would be casting the banishment spell. He memorized two of them in his 6th level spell slots and hoped that was enough. Everyone would form a circle around Torin and take turns going toe-to-toe with the demon while Torin attempted to banish it. With everyone ready, Terroc teleported the party into the sewers of Bradel Fields. (There were also some bets made on who would die during the fight. Torin and Logan both got two bets. Preta got a bet as well).
Unfortunately the teleport location they’d chosen was the space the demon was filling. They were shunted to the side and as a result, Torin was directly in front next to the demon. Readied spells started firing, but the demon made all of its saves. Astyanax’s corpse was chained to the pillar in the center of the room next to the ghost girl’s corpse. The demon was torturing the corpse with its glaive. With the surprise round done, we went into initiative order. A few more spells failed to penetrate the demon’s SR and Will saves until Amalius threw a Dominate at it. The demon finally rolled badly and was affected by the Dominate. On the demon’s action it turned around with a grin as blood dripped from its glaive. Then its grin turned into a look of surprise and shock as it realized it could not act to destroy these intruders!
Logan gave the demon a jab with his Eldritch Glaive, but Amalius told him to back off or the “self-destructive orders are not carried out” clause of the Dominate power would kick in. Amalius ordered the Demon to drop its weapon and stand down among a few other similar things. Daskirix wasn’t failing anymore Will saves though. He refused all orders except the one to not harm the party. With all other options exhausted the party decided Torin should just use his two banishment spells and hope for the best. Luckily, the demon failed on his first Will save. He vanished back to Hell, screaming and dropping his glaive and a pearly white ioun stone as he left.
With the demon defeated the party argued over who should get the glaive and the ioun stone first. Amalius snatched up the ioun stone, but no one cared for the glaive after they figured out it was anarchic and unholy. The party grabbed Astyanax and the Ghost girl’s bodies. They also took Astyanax’s gear which was piled in a corner of the room. As they prepared to teleport out they saw the Ghost Girl in the hallway. Amalius asked, “What can we do to put you to rest?”
She said, “Bury my body in the town graveyard.”
Amalius said, “We will,” as the party teleported back to the surface.
Astyanax’s body was taken to the local high priest of the Zeus, Janus. Janus told the party he could cast a true resurrection tomorrow. Astyanax’s body was allowed to lie in state for the night with multiple punctures covering it and half the face flensed off. The party rested for the night with the knowledge of a job well done.
In the morning Astyanax was rezzed. His body surged with life and the cuts were repaired, but the flensed face was not repaired (The players immediately got the Twoface reference). The paladin got off the altar and left saying, “I need time.”
The party discussed the strangeness of the face wound not healing with Janus. Janus theorized that since resurrection spells only bring back the subject if they were willing that perhaps the spell can only bring back part of a person, if they are unwilling to bring back the other part.
Concerned that Astyanax might be following the path of Twoface the party used some divination spells. Amalius tried first and failed. Torin’s spell succeeded. He asked, “Will Astyanax bring harm to the Alliance?”
The response was, “He is broken, but he will be made anew.”
Content with that response the party teleported back to Phoenix to report to the Alliance War Council.
The session ended there because thewamp needed to leave.
Alliance Session #8/Total Session #13
The session was attended by Throgg, Salzar, Ozymandias, and thewamp. We used Google Hangouts again.
The session started with us tossing around trailers for Marvel movies. We looked at the Spiderman reboot and the Avengers. You should check ‘em out! After looking at trailers the players requested a verbal recap of the campaign’s background. Apparently not all of them read the campaign material I send them (This shouldn’t be surprising). If you’d like the recap you can just read the material in the first post or send me a message for extra clarifications.
Actual gaming started with the players giving the report of their activities to the Alliance War Council in Phoenix (We decided that would be boring, so we skipped past it). The characters told the Council about Astyanax’s death, the later banishment of the demon, and the odd resurrection of Astyanax. The party then headed back to Bradel Fields to search for the Tome of Agamemnon.
In the sewers the party explored next to the demon’s room first. They found a room filled with deep clear water. Another exit of flowing water left the room opposite from the entrance the players used. At the bottom of the large pool of water was a pile of silver coins and some other objects too far away to make out. Logan did some magical scouting and discovered an illusion aura covering all the water, a second illusion covering a large object in the north half of the water, and a transmutation aura in the glittering treasure at the bottom of the pool. Logan returned to the party.
Shez gave a shot at dispelling the magical auras in the cavern. His checks all failed. A force began attacking the minds of the players at that point, starting with Logan. Logan fought off the mental attacks. The party freaked out and started putting up defenses and preparing for the worst. The force attacked Torin’s mind next, but was fought off again. More preparations for battle were made. The force made a final attack against Preta’s mind and succeeded. Preta began blasting the party with his battle magic. Amalius dominated Preta to prevent further blastings.
The force revealed itself as a giant tentacle-whale monster rose out of the water and entered a melee with Torin (The players immediately recognized it as an Aboleth). Amalius was disappointed to find that the aboleth’s dominate spell was stronger than his own. Amalius countered that failure by dominating the aboleth itself.
The combat ended there, but they still had a big aboleth in the middle of the room. Amalius was unable to convey complicated orders to the aboleth due to the language barrier. The party decided that blasting the aboleth with all their damage spells at once was the best strategy. The aboleth was effectively pulped by all the energy thrown at it in one round. As the aboleth died the illusion spell it’d cast on the water disappeared to reveal the water was not clear; but, in fact, dirty sewer water just like everything else down there.
The party still wanted the treasure at the bottom of the pool. Logan volunteered to do a bunch of dives down to get it. He used his magical luck ability to avoid getting a disease from the sewer water. After an hour or so of diving he had recovered two potions, a wand, a magic monocle, a magic pin, a magic mace, a large opal, and a smattering of silver and gold pieces. Detecting no more magic at the bottom of the pool, the party journeyed onward.
The passage from the aboleth room went on for a long ways and let out to the sea. Turning around the party went back to near where they entered the sewer and explored a passage there. The passage led to a large room with a pit of sewer water in its middle. A partially destroyed walkway surrounded the pit. As the party advanced into the room, tentacles shot out of the water and began grappling everybody. The “grapple panic” ensued on the all caster party. Logan and Amalius quickly blasted the monster in the water. It turned out to be large on offense and low on defense. The blasts killed the beast and it sunk into the sewer water (This is the Darktentacles monster from the MM2. It’s basically the watcher in the water from LOTR).
More exploration revealed a room of dire rats (Quickly slain). After the rats was a room with a sewer spirit in it. The sewer spirit spook to the players before they killed it, leading them to believe it had good intentions. The spirit said its name was Nevsha and that it was glad the party had slain the dark ooze that dwelt in its sewers (That black pudding from a while ago). Nevsha offered a reward for whomever stepped forward to claim it. She put her closed hand out with the fingers facing downwards. Only Torin was willing to accept a gift from a being composed of sewage. He accepted the gift, which turned out to be a silver ring. Torin cleaned the ring with his purify food and drink spell.
Amalius remembered that the party was seeking the Tome of Agamemnon in this sewer. The party had been told that the Tome was in an area full of traps and protected by a golem. Amalius asked if Nevsha knew of such an area. Nevsha said, “yes,” and directed them to the area.
On the way to the area that supposedly contains the Tome the party ran into two sewer mutants that could shoot death rays from their eyes. They were quickly dealt with. They also found an area that used to be a catacomb and explored that. They were attacked by a giant spellcasting bone snake. They defeated it, largely due to Logan’s eldritch magic, and collected a bounty of jewelry from the bone naga’s corpse.
The party reached the end of Nevsha’s directions at a room with a metal door on the other end (The first door of any kind in the dungeon). The door was guarded by a fearsome Otyugh.
We ended the session there. The encounters after the Otyugh should be treated as a single encounter and it was getting too late to finish all of them. Also, Throgg had fallen asleep. It was pretty funny. Shouting, texting, and calling him didn’t wake him up. The party has earned enough XP to level up to 12th, but they won’t do so until after they exit the sewers for a day. Our next session is scheduled for Thanksgiving Friday in person.
We had a session yesterday attended by thewamp, Ozmandias, and Salzar. We ended up playing Age of Empires 2 and Magic instead of D&D. We had an epic AoE2 game that lasted 6 hours. thewamp and I ended up getting a relic victory in the end.
Sorry it's taken so long to update. We all get rather busy around final times in school. Plus the holidays take up some time and we've had a few personal emergencies as well. Everyone's fine now though! We had a session on Dec 17th and another on Dec 22nd that I'll try to post by the end of today or tomorrow.
Rebellion Session #6/Total Session #14
The session was attended by Throgg, Ozymandias, thewamp, Middle_Snu, and Salzar. It was held at Salzar's house. Every year we do an all-nighter on New Year's Eve where we play D&D and other games. This year a lot of us are going to be out of town on New Year's, so we had our "New Year's" party on Dec 17th.
The first event of the night was D&D. The players were congratulated again and given a choice for their next mission. They could either go after the wolves and attempt to get their part of the prophecy, or they could attack the Xorian tower in the river town and free the village from the Xorian influence. The characters choose to speed the plot up and go after the wolves and the Dragovinian Alpha wolf.
A few days travel and they'd reached the hole where the wolves lived. The party approached peacefully and the speak with animals necklace was handed to Wu. Wu talked with the normal looking wolves and asked them where the Dragovinian Alpha was (The wolves didn't attack because the party was accepted into the pack during their last visit). They said he was inside and asleep. The wolves weren't going to wake him up, but Wu could if he wanted. Wu and everyone else decided that waking up a beast that dangerous was a bad idea. They waited until nightfall when it woke up.
At nightfall all the other wolves came out of the den followed by the Dragovinian Alpha. It walked over to the party and demanded to know what they had come again for. Wu said they were hoping to get the secret of the Druid's.
Alpha said, "Ha! No. You are still weaklings."
Wu said, "Well, what about him?" He pointed to Korjak. "He's new. He's not a weakling."
Alpha went over and sniffed Korjak. "Meh. Still a weakling like the rest of you."
After a conference among the characters about what to do, Wu tossed the speak with animals necklace to Korjak. Korjak put it on and said, "I challenge you to single combat!"
Alpha's scales bristled and he took his place amid the circle the wolves were forming. Korjak stepped into the circle as well and the other party members took places around the edge with the normal wolves. Sivirdm went up a nearby tree with his crossbow to observe.
The fight started with Korjak calling on the might of his inner god. He raised his greatsword above his head and lightning flashed down from the cloudless sky. Balder, God of War, took his place on the battlefield! Unfortunately, Balder was not yet fully in sync with Korjak. The fight went poorly for him and the party had to step in to save him. Gregor joined the fight against Alpha. Wu and Sivirdm shot arrows at the wolves on the edge of the combat. Stanton blasted a few wolves with color spray. Dragovinian Alpha breathed fire, but everyone dodged it quite effectively (I rolled a 4 on the 3d6 damage). Sivirdm came down from his tree for some flanking sneak attacks. Eventually, all the wolves were on the ground bleeding or unconscious due to Stanton's pretty lights. Alpha took enough damage that it seemed he shouldn't be able to move, but his body responded anyways. He began to run away. Sivirdm, Gregor, and Balder/Korjak ran after Alpha. Gregor was finally able to decapitate the fleeing wolf. The party claimed victory and leadership over the three living adult wolves and the wolf children.
There was some discussion over how to sew the Dragovinian wolf's head back on so they could ask it what the druid's secret was. Thread could be obtained by fraying rope, but no one had a good way of making a needle. Gregor realized that the other wolves might know the druid's secret though (Gregor has the highest intelligence in the party with 15). He took the necklace and asked them. The wolves said, "Go to where the Creator of Men hung
To where the eagle to its dinner would come
Take a piece of blood-red stone
And add it to the cauldron when it begins to foam."
Each member of the party memorized the verse (Their characters. The players didn't). They then stayed with the wolves for the night before heading back to the Rebel Base.
We ended the D&D part of Fake New Year's there. We then played Illuminati which, as everyone who has played it knows, takes forever. I'm having trouble remembering who won, but maybe one of the others in the group will enlighten me. After that we went to the local elementary school to play with fake swords. We have a game where one of us goes and hides with the spear, the best weapon. Everyone else takes one sword each and splits up to find the hidden Assassin. The Assassin then attempts to take everyone else out one by one. The Assassin usually loses. I was the first Assassin and I had eliminated everyone else except Salzar. Then the security guard showed up and kicked us out. We were hoping this would be the night he doesn't work, but it wasn't. The school has motion sensors to prevent people playing games on it at night. Next time we'll go to a park without motion sensors instead of the school even though the school is super cool for playing Assassin.
After coming back from Assassin we played Samurai. Samurai is a great game that is no longer produced. Everyone is in a challenge to get to 400 honor first. The Shogun card gives you 150 honor per turn, so their is a continual fight for the Shogun card. Middle_Snu, thewamp, Salzar, and I all got close to winning. The Shogun card must've changed hands 50 times before the game ended in Salzar's victory. Samurai is supposed to take 1 hour, but this game took 4 hours.
At that point we decided to break up for the night. It was around 2:30AM. I took Ozymandias and Throgg back to Ozymandias's house to sleep, so we'd have more space. I played Skyrim on Ozymandias's computer for a little bit before going to sleep (I hadn't had a chance to play it yet as my computer isn't good enough to run it). I woke up first and played Skyrim for another hour and a half. After that the party broke up. I went back to Salzar's place. We played a game of Magic and then I left.
Rebellion Session #7/Total Session #15
The session was held at Ozymandias's house. Ozymandias, Throgg, and Middle_Snu attended. Ozymandias was out when we got there (He'd told us he would be). We played Soul Calibur until he showed up.
The party was on the way back to the Rebel Base from the wolf den. The journey was interrupted by a Giant Praying Mantis attack, but the adventurers didn't put up with that nonsense. They butchered that poor bug. On arriving, the characters were congratulated by Major Dactirian for their good work. He removed the shock collars from the players and gave them their "freedom." The party thought their next mission might be to go and collect a piece of blood-red stone that the wolf prophecy referred to. They had correctly surmised that the prophecy spoke of the location where Prometheus was chained to a rock and an eagle would come to eat his liver every day (In the original myths this was in the Caucasus Mountains. I've changed the geography in my world, so the Caucasus Mountains no longer exist. Prometheus's torture spot has been changed to somewhere in the Balkans instead.). Dactirian told the party that they wouldn't be going after the items mentioned in the prophecies. First, they would collect the three other prophecies from the animal clans. He presented the party with the choice between the Bear, the Condor, and the Shark clans. The party choose the Bear and began planning their journey.
The party filled their character sheets with gear and an additional sheet of note paper was filled with shared gear. They also picked horses and ponies to carry them on the long journey north (It'll take them about a month to get to the bears). On August 12th the adventure began! The party planned to go up Danar's River until it turned west. Then they would head north to Sheerzen to resupply. After that they'd head to the bear clan located at the headwaters of the eastern most fork of Danar's River.
On the 15th the party met a barge of slave traders coming downriver. The three slavers had five slaves held captive with manacles. The slavers told the party they'd captured the slaves at the ruins of Jevanicia on the edge of Danar's Swamp (Jevanicia replaced Tectoctar on the map. It was destroyed by Bill the Geriviar in Alliance Session #1.). After trading news from downriver, the party decided a guide for the area might be a little useful. They looked at the slaves and bought the strongest, Reggy, for 25 GP. Reggy was a miner at the Jevanicia quarry. He and the adventurers got off to a good start. They treated him a bit like a little brother and he was happy to please them.
The next day the party spotted three kobolds riding giant ants trying to sneak up on the adventurers. The kobolds rode off upon being seen. That night the kobolds returned with 5 friends during Korjak's watch. The adventurers woke up and fought the kobolds. Stanton fired off some sleep spells to keep the kobolds under control. Wu got up and fired arrows at the riders on the ants. Sivirdm tried backstabbing ants. Korjak and Gregor stood toe-to-toe with the ants in melee. The ants bit the melee fighters and tried to sting them with their tails for acid damage. Reggy did his best with Gregor's spare weapon, a flail, but he is not trained in flail use. Eventually, all the opponents were brought down and the heroes claimed victory. 121 GP was found upon the kobold corpses.
The day after the kobold fight the party came into a small village without a name. They stayed at the inn with a traveling merchant family. In the morning the merchant family did not come to breakfast. The innkeeper went to check on them and found them dead in their beds with two puncture wounds on each of their necks. The innkeeper ran into the village street shouting, "Vampire! We have a vampire in town! Vampire!"
The townsfolk gathered and immediately blamed the party. After all, they were the only strangers in town besides the murdered couple. The party tried to prove their innocence by going in the sunlight, but the townsfolk didn't accept that as proof. "What about them Xorian vampires that can go around in the sun that we've heard about! What if you're one of those!" The party then produced their stakes and garlic, each eating a piece of raw garlic. This was enough proof that the party was actually vampire hunters instead of vampires.
The investigation was handed over to the party of vampire hunters. Sivirdm went to search the dead couple's room while the rest of the party questioned the villagers. Sivirdm pocketed the couple's money and found a blood trail leading up the chimney. The other party members questioned the townsfolk about who they had never seen in the sunlight before. The only one they could think of was Father Donovan, an elderly cleric of Artemis. As a cleric of Artemis, he was up during the night and asleep during the day. No one recalled seeing him in daylight. The mob was led towards the shrine where Father Donovan slept.
At the shrine, Gregor knocked on the door. Father Donovan was slow to respond, so Gregor went in. The priest was waking up. Seeing all the townsfolk gathered through the door, he hurried. Donovan came out the door into the sunlight and...
Didn't burn up.
The party was still unconvinced, so they thrust holy symbols at the Father Donovan. Korjak and Sivirdm went into the shrine to investigate it further. Korjak heard a creaking in the rafters. He looked up and saw a little halfling vampire walking on the ceiling. The miniature vampire lunged at Korjak and the battle began. Korjak, Gregor, and Sivirdm engaged the vampire. Reggy tackled Father Donovan, fearing what a priest who harbored a vampire would do. Stanton calmed the crowd down. Wu circled around to get a better view and prepared to shoot if the vampire came out. The vampire attempted to dominate Korjak. Upon failure it used its claws against him. Reggy slammed Father Donovan's head into the ground, knocking him out (He rolled a crit against the old dude!). Gregor heard that the townsfolk were going to burn the building. He pulled Sivirdm out. Korjak got one last attack in before leaving the building. Sivirdm slammed the door shut and the shrine went up in smoke.
The vampire waited a while, then realized it would die in the shrine. It burst out the door, but burned up in the sun. The party was thanked greatly for their help. The village couldn't reward the party, but they found a spyglass, 4 gems, and a tanglefoot bag on the vampire's corpse. Turning Father Donovan over to the villagers the party rode out of town. The village gained the name of Staketown after the events surrounding the vampire attack.
A day later the party saw a sail boat coming downriver. The boater stalled his boat to trade news with the party. They told him of the Rebellion's growing strength and the vampire. The sailor told them there were giant problems in the north. He'd been up there hunting giants, but found it too difficult on his own. He was heading south to Maktako to seek other adventures there. The travelers wished each other well before separating.
On the 21st the party reached the small village of Neeshvale as dusk was approaching. The farmers on the edge of town came out of their houses to look at the adventurers with sad faces before returning to their homes. In town the party saw skeletons in the streets. Townsfolk walked by quickly and pretended not to see the new comers.
We ended there. Next time in the Rebellion sessions the players will deal with the Necromancer of Neeshvale! However, as the Rebellion has gotten about a month ahead of the Alliance half of the campaign, I think we'll be trying to catch up in the high level half before we start on the necromancer.
Alliance Session #9/Total Session #16
This session was held over Google Hangouts. Ozymandias, Throgg, and Salzar attended. We had a long break since the last session because all of us were enjoying the holiday break from school with our families. Our schedules do not line up as much this school quarter, so sessions will be infrequent until April, when my schedule changes.
Last time the party had received directions from a sewer nymph. They’re looking for the Tome of Agamemnon which is guarded by traps and a golem. The sewer nymph directed them to an area of the sewers she knew contained traps and a golem. At the beginning of that area was a nasty Otyugh ready to attack.
Various damaging blast spells were laid upon the Otyugh as it charged. It was able to get one good full attack out on Torin before it succumbed to the magic onslaught. Torin healed himself up and the party moved to investigate the metal door the Otyugh was guarding.
A magical inspection by Logan revealed that the door had an abjuration spell cast on it and a illusion spell. Torin used his animate objects spell to bring the door to life. He commanded the door to open, but the door found itself locked with a spell (The abjuration spell was arcane lock). Preta removed the arcane lock spell with a knock spell. Then Torin was able to command the door to unlock itself and open. Torin then wished the door to become unhinged. The door wasn’t strong enough to pull itself off its hinges. Torin used his magic spear to break the hinges and the door leaped out. At that moment the animate objects spell expired. Torin poked the door into the Otyugh room with his spear, being careful not to touch it and set off the remaining illusion spell.
Beyond the animated door was a short corridor that ended in a metal door with no lock. Logan’s magic vision detected an evocation spell on the door. Torin was out of animate objects spells for the day, so the party opted to dispel the trap, whatever it was. Shez took a crack at it, but found his magical skills weren’t up to the task. Preta used his superior magical might to dispel the trap. Torin opened the door.
Behind door #2 was a 10-foot man shaped thing composed entirely of sewage. The large room the sewage man was in contained lots of alchemical equipment, various pots and cauldrons of sewage, and at the back left corner were two pots of red liquid. At the back right corner was a closed wooden door. The sewage man (A sewage golem actually. I used the stats for an Alchemical Golem from MM3) had a readied attack which slammed into Torin. A fight ensued. Preta tried various blast spells, but golems are immune to magic. Logan’s eldritch blast was useless against something with infinite spell resistance. Shez is mostly a utility wizard so he was also useless (Mass acid resistance was the only spell he cast. Quite useful actually). Torin focuses on buffing and healing himself to survive the golem’s continual attacks. Amalius carried the fight by casting sonic energy walls, which ignore spell resistance and can thus penetrate a golem’s immunity to magic. The golem was ripped apart by two sonic walls every round. Every time they dealt damage a bucket of sewage poured out on Torin. Torin foolishly stabbed the golem with his spear and it disintegrated in the sonic wall. In the end the golem fell apart due to the sonic attacks.
Amalius investigated the red liquid pots and determined that they were instrumental to the golem’s creation. Suspecting that the golem’s creator as nearby, the party flung open the next door to reveal a snug apartment with bookcases, a desk, a bed, a bedside table, a larder, and a old man cowering behind a sofa chair. The old man shouted, “Stay back! I’m a powerful wizard!” In one of the corners of the room was a ladder leading up.
Amalius and Preta attempted to talk the man down. They learned that the wizard’s name was Alan Roy. The golem was a pet of sorts named Cordo Roy. Alan actually held the deed to the house above as well as the sewer underneath. Alan kept on insisting that the party had broken into his home and he wasn’t afraid to let loose his awesome magical powers upon them (He had a flesh to stone ready to cast). After much insistence that they leave his home the party eventually backed away. Upon reaching the Otyugh room, Alan slammed the remaining metal door.
The party wasn’t giving up there. They discussed going back in to just battle the wizard. They decided that taking the case to the police was a better idea. Or even better yet, the army! They are important figures in the war after all. They went to the Bradel Fields Council chambers and talked with the Army Council member, Lotigan. Lotigan told them that Alan likely did own the sewers beneath his home, such arrangements aren’t uncommon in Bradel Fields. Alan likely also had a permit to do magical experiments in his home as long as they weren’t considered dangerous to the city. As it stood, the case would likely be dropped if it was brought to court. Amalius wanted to meet with Alan, suspecting that he was hiding the Tome of Agamemnon. He intimidated Lotigan in an attempt to convince him to set up the meeting. Lotigan took offense at the intimidation, but told the adventurers that he’d bring the matter up with the council tomorrow.
Satisfied with a good day of adventuring the party headed to Astyanax’s home (Where they are staying in Bradel Fields) for a good bath.
While the party relaxed in the baths, Astyanax’s daughter, Cassandra, came in wearing just a towel. Cassandra is engaged to Bjorn of Dalleer (He’s the leader of Dalleer, but also comically insane). The marriage alliance is necessary to gain a new ally for the Alliance. Cassandra is also well-known for being “loose.” Sleeping or even taking a bath with one of the key Alliance members, such as one of the PCs, would seriously damage the Alliance’s chances of gaining Dalleer’s support in the war.
Cassandra let the towel drop and she joined the party in the bath. She flirted with Amalius, showing off her chest and her legs as she cleaned them. Preta tried to flirt with her, but she basically ignored him (Preta is currently reincarnated in the body of a satyr-like thing. A little bit creepy). Shez got angry at Preta for flirting with Cassandra (Heavily implied that Shez is in love with Preta). Amalius attempted to refocus Cassandra’s attentions on her fiancée or her father. She let it slip that Astyanax has locked himself in his room since his resurrection. At that point, Cassandra’s nurse’s shrill voice could be heard from an entrance to the baths. Cassandra excused herself, blew the party a kiss, grabbed her towel, and ran out a different entrance. (The party leveled up to 12th here).
The next day, around 11 o’clock, a messenger arrived at the Astyanax estate with a letter from the Council. The party had been granted an interview with Alan Roy. The interview would take place at the police station between only one of the party members and Alan. Ten guards would be in the room as well. The adventurers headed down to the station and sent Amalius in to speak with Alan. Logan stayed behind at the Astyanax mansion (Logan’s player, thewamp, wasn’t at this session, so we left him behind. I’m hoping that Logan sleeps with Cassandra while the other players are away, but I’ll leave it up to thewamp).
Alan told Amalius, “That he’d only agreed to this interview because he believes in cooperating with the law.”
Amalius asked him about the Tome of Agamemnon and the sewage golem. Alan explained that he knew of the book, but nothing else. The golem was an experiment in creating golems out of a plentiful resource that could protect the city. Alan has been perfecting the red liquid which animates the sewage so that the golems survive for longer. His latest golem, Cordo, could survive above ground for two minutes. The previous prototypes had survived for even less. He believes it is because the stinky air of the sewers beneath the city play a role in animating the golem. Alan hopes to create many of these beasts so they can defend the city when/if the Xorians arrive.
Amalius accepted that answer and then showed Alan the amulet the party received from the sages of Bradel Fields. Alan recognized it as a golem control amulet. More specifically, that the type of golem that it controls is capable of casting spells (A Runic Guardian from MM2).
Amalius tried to convince Alan to join the party in finding the golem in the sewers, but Alan said he’d rather not work with home invaders. With that, the interview ended.
The party went down into the sewers again. There were only two unexplored areas left, one close to Alan’s basement and one far away. The adventurers chose the far away one first. There were two different rooms there. One was a pool of water filled with leeches which the party chose to “not mess with.” The other was a stone door with a chaos beast behind it. The chaos beast was taken down by one spell from Preta. Beyond the chaos beast was another door. That door opened to a collapsed corridor. Amalius disintegrated the rubble with his latest power. The party explored further in that direction, became a little lost, and then started marking the walls to reestablish their mental map. After a few chalk markings and many more possible directions to go in, the party decided to tie off that one room next to Alan’s before proceeding further (I told them after half an hour of wandering, that the rubble was there for a metagame reason. I was trying to box them in so they wouldn’t have to search the whole sewer of the city. After the rubble I was just randomly making a map).
The last section of the sewer started with a room and a corridor leading off of it. Torin stepped into the corridor first and was hit by a scythe trap. The scythe trap rolled a crit and dealt an awesome 47 damage (We ruled that the scythe was made to always moderately wound humans, but through an engineering quirk, it hit at just the right level to severely injure dwarves). To make it worse, Torin failed his save on the poison and took 6 Con damage. Luckily, heal fixes everything and Torin preps a lot of those every day.
Next was a set of double doors. Amalius detected an abjuration spell on the doors. Torin animated the doors to avoid opening them himself. The doors swung inwards to reveal a 9-foot tall brass and gold golem covered in runes. Preta presented the amulet in an attempt to command the golem. The golem went berserk upon seeing it and moved to attack. Torin promptly commanded the doors to shut.
From here the party devised a very clever plan (Our group is famous for coming up with clever plans to deal with golems. It was one of our most memorable sessions when we were still learning how to play). Amalius spent two disintegrates to create a twenty foot deep hole in the corridor before the double doors. Amalius then teleported above ground to hire an illusionist. The illusionist cast a silent image over the hole to make it seem as if the floor was still there. Preta would be flying and invisible while he opened the door. The golem would see Amalius in the corridor presenting the amulet and taunting the construct. The golem would rush forward and fall into the pit. Then Torin would cover the pit with two walls of stone to prevent the golem’s escape.
The only hitch in the plan was the abjuration trap on the door. Opening it released a glyph of warding which took Preta down about half his HP. After that, the golem rushed forward as predicted.
Beyond the golem’s room was a door, a 5-foot long corridor, and then another door. No magic traps were detected, so Torin went in to open the door. Beyond that door was a small room with the Tome of Agamemnon sitting on a pedestal in the center of the room. Fearing traps within the room, Amalius manifested retrieve and teleported the book to his hands. The mechanical trap went off, dropping a large stone block on Torin’s location. Torin made his reflex save and jumped backwards into the golem room (The intention is obviously to trap people in the book room).
Giddy with success the party went back to the surface, reported their success to the Bradel Fields Council, and teleported back to Phoenix.
The next day was overcast. The party went to the War Council chambers to officially present the Tome of Agamemnon. During the initial talk of what to do with the book a messenger came in and whispered into Arendil’s ear (Arendil is the leader of the Alliance). Arendil stood up and made an announcement.
“A large storm has begun outside. It is July and the storm comes quite early. As some of you may know, Ares is on the side of our opponents. I had feared that Ares would use the thunderbolts he’d stolen from Zeus to attack us. I’d set scouts, such as this young man,” then to the messenger, “Thank you. You may go.” Then back to the council members, “To warn us of such a storm. I believe that Ares begins this process now. It is likely that the thunderbolts will begin striking us soon and then the Xorian armies will attack. I believe that we should all go to defend the walls.”
More messengers came in reporting that the Xorian army was mobilizing.
Arendil continued, “As some of you may know, Astyanax is currently on medical leave. Gradorian will be taking over the military high command. I need a volunteer to command the Bradel Fields contingent.”
Amalius said, “I’d like to volunteer, sir.”
Torin spoke up, “Aye. Me as well.”
Arendil said, “Good. I’ll also need volunteers to ride out to negotiate with the enemy before the battle.”
Amalius, Torin, and Preta volunteered. (We handwaved that Amalius and Torin should really be preparing the Bradel Fields contingent. It was more important for all the players to be present at the negotiation scene.)
Arendil told them, “Under no circumstances are you to surrender the city. If they want something within the city, then we will grant it to them if they will depart the field of battle. But we will not surrender here!”
Titandra, the old blind woman from Restnor’s Point, also volunteered to meet with the envoy from the Xorians. Amalius attempted to dissuade her. Amalius feared that negotiations would break down as they had during the battle for the Danar’s River. Titandra insisted on accompanying the negotiation party and Amalius relented.
The adventurers outfitted themselves for the battle. They took a view from the top of the Phoenix wall. The Xorian army was lined up on the Phoenix side of the siege wall. They stood dozens of ranks deep for the miles surrounding the city. In the middle of no-man’s land stood a single man on a black bat-winged horse with a white flag. Rain came down in buckets.
Amalius, Shez, Preta, Torin, and Titandra rode out to meet the envoy. The envoy was Degusharla, one of the Rages, the General of the Xorian Infantry, and Master of Archery. He carried a magnificent bow made of bone. Degusharla is a Dragovinian riding a winged Dragovinian horse.
Degusharla introduced himself. The party introduced themselves. Both sides indicated that they wished to avoid bloodshed today. Degusharla then asked for permission to speak first, which was granted.
“Your men have fought bravely and valiantly. You have held off a force that is superior in numbers and strength for two years and remain strong. I ask you to end it today. You have displayed excellence in two of the three key values of the Xorian Empire. Those three values are Ability, Unity, and Immortality. You have great ability individually and through the unity of your abilities you have resisted us. I ask that you only relent and take the third value, immortality. If you surrender no one will be killed. All your men, women, and children will be spared. The best among you will be granted immortality. No one need accept this rule and they may depart the city unharmed. These are the terms I present to you.”
Torin answered, “We will not give up the city. It belongs to the people of Phoenix and the Alliance. You must leave this area and go back to Xoria.”
Degusharla said, “I cannot do that. I must take the city. It is regrettable that men on both sides must die this day. Have you anything else to say.”
Torin said, “No.”
Degusharla said, “So be it,” and he spurred his horse to trot back to his side of the battlefield.
Amalius asked the others after Degusharla’s back turned, “Should I use retrieve on his bow?”
Preta and Torin said he should. Shez followed Preta’s lead in saying he should. Titandra was too shocked at the suggestion to reply. Amalius used retrieve, but Degusharla made his will save (I ruled that Degusharla was not aware of the power’s use and kept riding). Amalius wanted to use retrieve again, but Degusharla was now out of range. The party rode back to Phoenix.
We stopped the session as Gradorian was giving general battle commands to the leaders of the Alliance.
We will hopefully be playing the big battle this weekend. We will use Green Ronin’s rules for massive battles found in their books, Old Testament and Trojan War. The session will unfortunately still be held over Google Hangouts. That means more work for me, but I accept it. It is likely that the battle will actually take two sessions to complete.
Feedback is welcome if anyone feels like giving it.
Alliance Session #10/Total Session #17
This session was held over Google Hangouts. Ozymandias, Throgg, and Salzar attended.
The battle began! I set up the troops where the players commanded and we got underway. It became clear very quickly, that actually rolling all those dice would be agonizing. I quickly computed average damages for all of the archer units. We ruled that archers would deal average damage every round. Made that a lot easier. Lightning was also striking and essentially killing one of the player’s units every round (A unit represents 100 men. The players have close to 400 units).
The Xorians started off by bringing rams forward to attack the three gates into the city. Preta defended the eastern gate with the contingent of wizards from the city. Torin defended the central gate. Amalius rallied the troops. The many NPCs also spent time rallying the troops.
The deadliness of the rams became apparent quickly. Preta shattered the wheels on one ram. Torin animated the log portion of another ram. The animated ram started flailing around and killed a few Xorian troops. One of the Xorians spotted the errant ram and moved to attack.
This rage is Degusharla, the archer rage, who also met at the negotiations before the battle. Degusharla killed the ram in one round with his arrows (Order of the Bow Initiate + flaming, shocking, acidic bow + rapid shot or manyshot). The players moved to engage.
As the party moved in a colossal man grew out of the dark clouds over the siege walls. The black cloud man had red eyes and a plumed helmet. He stood several hundred feet tall over the battlefield (The players correctly surmised that this was Ares). Ares brought his hand down upon the clouds. A funnel began to form over the central gate. TORNADO Warning!
The players chose to deal with the tornado later. They engaged Degusharla with the help of Kig Yupington (A tattooed monk NPC). During a battle within a battle like this the soldiers generally stay out of it. The power scale is too great for them to have any real effect.
Degusharla won initiative and shot a full barrage of arrows at Torin. Torin would’ve died, but Athena protected him. That’s not just a euphanism for Torin casting shield of faith. Torin has 86 HP and the rage dealt 145. Athena came down and possessed Torin in a similar manner to the possession of Diomedes in the Iliad. Flames sprouted from Torin’s armor and his helmet. His spear became wreathed in divine light. Torin survived the arrow attacks unscathed.
Degusharla took a step back in shock. Preta cast Evard’s black tentacles to try and incapacitate Degusharla, but his grapple was too high to succumb to the spell. Amalius pulled out his old favorite power of retrieve. It worked and the rage’s bow went straight into Amalius’s bag of holding. The players specifically requested that I show them Degusharla’s expression after losing his priceless artifact weapon. I started off with shocked surprise (open mouth, wide eyes). I slowly shifted from that to gritting my teeth, narrowing my eyes, and showing my fangs.
Torin threw his spear through Degusharla. The spear immediately returned to his hand. Degusharla rushed forward and attacked Torin. Torin and Kig fought back, getting some flanking action going. Shez failed a fear check against Degusharla’s Kiai Shout and ran away. Preta kept his eyes open for Frost, the mounted charger rage. Amalius flew up in the sky a little bit to get the bow out of Degusharla’s reach. Kig successfully grappled Degusharla. Torin began using some divine positive energy magic on Degusharla. The Dragovinian writhed in agony.
Frost showed up mounted on her nightmare just in time to see Degusharla turn to dust due to the overload of positive energy. Frost’s nightmare mount was quickly shot out from under her by Preta. Fortunately, Frost had a backup magic mount. She got on top of her magic spider and charged Preta (Who had foolishly forgotten to fly out of range). Preta died in one hit (typical of uberchargers).
Kig and Torin attacked Frost. Kig took out the spider and Torin got in a few good hits. Amalius began working his way back and trying a few more retrieve powers which failed due to Frost’s divine grace buffed will save. Frost threw a full attack at Torin which brought him down. Torin would’ve died again, but Athena once again intervened. She whisked him away to the dwarven city of Jord for him to recover (Torin won’t be able to do anything else in this battle).
Kig grappled and pinned Frost. He began using his Earth’s Embrace feat to deal extra damage to Frost. Frost fought back with her energy draining claws. Amalius threw a few more powers at Frost that failed to pierce her will save.
The fear effect wore out on Shez and he teleported back to the fight. Shez told Amalius to help him pour holy water on the two grapplers. The holy water proved effective, but the two remaining party members were very close to failing. Kig was knocked unconscious by Frost’s continued claw attacks. Just at that moment the holy water took her last hit point away. Frost died. Amalius and Shez quickly stuffed the bodies and the magical gear into the bag of holding before flying back to the safety of the walls.
After the battle with the two rages we were too exhausted to continue the battlefield fight. One hour has passed on the battlefield so far. We’re hoping to play again next week, but may not due to scheduling conflicts.
Alliance Session #11/Total Session #18
The session was held over Google Hangouts. Throgg, Salzar, and thewamp attended. There was a two hour break in the middle for dinner, but the action picked up almost immediately afterwards.
With the Dragovinians coming through a tunnel into the city, the leaders of the Alliance decided to redeploy some of their troops to that area. Lamarr led the adventurers guild members to that area of the city. The clerics from the clerics guild were also directed there.
Ashabodai, the Rage of the Amazons, attacked Lamarr. A few of the big alliance members ran to help, but they didn’t arrive in time. Ashabodai cut Lamarr down with the Fierce Axe of the Dwarvish Lords that she wields.
A great beastial roar came out of the storm clouds overhead. From the forming tornado a piece of darkness emerged. As the shape drew closer it became clear that it was Blendegad, the Dragon god of the Dragovinians. He attacked the wall and the soldiers on it ran away in fear. On Blendegad’s back was Jevaninada II. The party decided that was too much to handle, so they went to deal with Ashabodai. Dralin, the dwarf general; Logan, thewamp’s character; Kig, the monk; and Shez, Ozymandias’s cohort character, all went to deal with the Rage. Logan was played by thewamp. The other two players shared control of the three other characters and Dralin’s Battletitan dinosaur mount, Bessy.
Bessy was probably the key member of the fight because she was able to continually grapple Ashabodai. Jevaninada showed up at the fight as well, because he saw Ashabodai threatened. Bessy was able to grapple both of them due to having a grapple spot in her stomach and a grapple spot in her mouth. She took a lot of damage from cuts to her stomach, but she’d immediately eat another Dragovinian when one cut itself out. Shez stood by trying to dispel magic items the Dragovinians were using, but didn’t have much success. Logan got in occasional shots with his Hellfire Blast, but feared that he’d hit Bessy. He held back whenever she was grappling both targets. Dralin commanded Bessy in her chomping action. Kig was ready to grapple of punch anybody who broke free from Bessy’s grapple.
Eventually, Jevaninada broke free from the mouth grapple. He got up on Bessy’s back where she couldn’t bite him. Dralin and Kig went up after the Emperor. The Emperor then cast freedom of movement on himself to prevent further grapple shenanigans. He decapitated Bessy and then turned his blade on Dralin and Kig. Ashabodai crawled out of Bessy’s neck stump. Logan was waiting over the neck stump with holy water. He dumped it on her, killing her. Shez swooped down and threw the Fierce Axe that Ashabodai had held to Dralin. Dralin brought it down on Jevaninada, but the artifact wasn’t enough to turn the tide. Dralin moved to run, but was cut down by Jevaninada.
Logan covered Shez’s retreat, but was killed himself by Jevaninada. Logan grabbed the Fierce Axe before the Emperor got his hands on it. Logan and Shez flew away while Jevaninada looted the bodies. Then they returned to gather up their dead allies.
At this point, the players decided that the city was lost. They couldn’t handle Jevaninada in their current state, and they certainly weren’t going to try to take down Blendegad. They ran around the city collecting the other NPCs important to the Alliance. They planned to teleport those VIPs to the dwarven city of Jord, which is a member of the Alliance. While gathering up the VIPs a group of five glabrezu demons teleported into the city as well to start causing havoc. The tornado column also lowered itself to the ground causing massive amounts of damage. The VIPs gathered up were:
Dralin’s body, Preta’s body, Kig’s body, Lamarr’s body, Arendil, Titandra, Shez, Erick (Torin’s old cohort), Amalius, two wizards to help with teleporting, Gradorian, and Junai. Logan chose to invisibly fly out of the city instead to give his teleport “ticket” to someone else.
The extra tickets were given to:
Baremos, Astyanax’s Squire; Tivarius, Arendil’s Scribe; Shia and Brom, the wife and son of one of the teleporting mages (The other mage had no family); Endi, Amalius’s psychic warrior squire, Endi’s brother and sister, Toti and Lola.
The party spent the next day regrouping after the battle. We’ll continue play on the day after that which is July 30th in game.
After the battle I calculated casualties and such. Lots of captives for the Xorians. I’m not sure what they’ll be doing with them yet. We’ll see in the next session I suppose.
Combo Session #1/Total Session #19
This session was held over Google Hangouts. We played the Rebellion campaign first followed by the Alliance one. Throgg, Salzar, thewamp, and Middle_Snu attended the Rebellion campaign. Then Middle_Snu had to leave. We switched to the Alliance campaign with Throgg, Salzar, and thewamp.
The party of Gregor, Korjak, Wu, Stanton, Sivirdm, and Reggy the Slave arrived at the small village of Neeshvale. The village was under the control of a necromancer and eight skeletons with drawn swords stood watch in the town square. The party stared at the skeletons warily. Lights were on in the inn and a large house on a nearby hill. The party went into the inn.
Five townsfolk were at the bar drinking and talking with the innkeep. The adventurers immediately asked them what was up with the skeletons. The innkeep told them, “Keep quiet! You never know who might be listening!” and he pointed at the skeleton in the corner. He motioned them over to the bar.
The innkeep said, “Er. Your slave will have to stay outside.” He pointed at Gregor (First instance of racism against Gregor being an orc in the game). Gregor kept his temper under control and went outside into the cold with Reggy.
The innkeep poured four drinks for the remaining party members and said, “You can all pay for these right?”
Stanton said, “Yes we can,” and pulled out his coin pouch to show that his words were true. “Now tell us about the skeletons,” Stanton whispered.
The innkeep leaned in and told the adventurers the tale of Neeshvale. Forty years ago the village had a lord who was sworn to the king of Sheerzen, the nearby tower city. After the Xorians conquered Sheerzen, the village became a forgotten place, separate from the rest of the world. The townsfolk eventually realized they could easily rebel against the Lord Reediathun without fear of penalty from the Sheerzen army. They took the Lord’s small wooden castle and executed him (Mostly because they hated paying taxes). However, the Lord was the one thing standing between them and the wilds of the world. Monsters began coming closer to Neeshvale. Finally, the necromancer came in with his skeletons.
The necromancer is a half-orc called Ratigon. He proclaimed himself the new lord of Neeshvale and took up residence in the old lord’s castle. Ratigon began collecting taxes again and took Lord’s Right with the married women of the town. Anyone who resisted was killed by his skeletons and then reanimated as one of them. In return, Ratigon has kept the village safe from all the dangers of the world except himself.
The tale done, the innkeep introduced himself as Tiesheera. The party decided they’d stay at the inn for the night. They paid up to Tiesheera and then went out to the stables to talk with Gregor and Reggy. Gregor thought it best if they collected more information first. After all, this was just one innkeep’s story. Maybe he was embellishing the part about Lord’s Right. The adventurers decided they’d gather more information from the villagers the next day. Gregor and Reggy went to sleep in the stables with the horses. The others got a good sleep in the common room of the inn.
The next day, Gregor and Reggy got a quick breakfast before heading out together to knock on townspeople’s doors and find out more about the necromancer. The others chose to stay at the inn to enjoy a large breakfast. Also, the others didn’t care as much about the necromancer as he wasn’t a Dragovinian and therefore not their enemy.
Gregor knocked on a house door with Reggy backing him up. A frightened woman answered the door. “He-Hello?”
“Good day ma’am. My name is Gregor and I am traveling through these parts. Could you answer a few questions for me about the half-orc lord of this town?”
“Y-Yes. I can.”
“Is it true that he’s been taking Lord’s Right with the people here?”
The woman looked visibly more frightened at that question. “The-The Lord. He-He seeks to better our human stock with his orc blood.” Her voice shook with every word.
“Has he been hurting the townsfolk?”
The woman’s lower lip quivered. “He does everything for the good of the people.”
“Thank you for your time ma’am.”
“Yes sir.” The woman closed the door after Gregor and Reggy had turned around to walk away.
Gregor said, “Perhaps it was not such a good idea for an orc to ask questions about a tyrannical half-orc lord.”
The party regrouped and decided to head up to the castle on the hill to see the necromancer for themselves. Intimidation would be best, so Stanton cast a silent image spell of four skeletons for himself as well.
The castle was more just a wooden fort. A palisade wall surrounded the top of the hill. Two gaps in the wall allowed entrance to the compound. A stable was built against the palisade. In the center of the compound was a large wooden hall with closed double doors. One motionless skeleton stood on either side of the doors with swords drawn. Korjak knocked on the door. A skeleton butler opened the door to the hall.
Inside was a long hall with an empty table and benches in the middle. Four skeletons were inside. Doors led out of the hall to the left and right. Ladders led above the doors as well to two lofts. At the far end of the table was a small throne. On the throne sat the half-orc Ratigon in all his glory. Behind Ratigon was a bear skeleton. Ratigon was bald, stunk like a pig, and wore fullplate armor. Around his neck was a golden symbol of Hades.
“Welcome travelers, to the home of Lord Ratigon. I have been expecting you.” The party looked around a bit trying to decide what to do. Ratigon spoke again, “Please be seated.” The party took their seats at the table with Korjak and Gregor sitting closest to Ratigon. “What are your names and what are you doing in my realm?” Ratigon paid special attention to Gregor, staring at his face.
The party introduced themselves. Ratigon’s ears perked up upon hearing Gregor’s name.
“Are you the Gregor? Gregor the Mighty?” (Remember that the PCs remember nothing of their lives prior to waking up at the Rebel hideout. Throgg quickly caught on and decided he’d play the role Ratigon assigned him.)
Gregor said, “Yes.”
“The same Gregor who sought to unite the orc tribes?”
Gregor said, “Yes. I am he.”
“It is you! I recognize you from when I was a little boy among the orcs. I wanted to be just like you when I grew up! But you disappeared and the orc tribes remained divided.”
“I have returned.”
“But where did you go? You were gone for almost twenty years!”
“It matters not. I am more concerned about what you’ve been doing here. Is it true that you’ve been profaning your already diluted orc blood with human flesh?”
Ratigon sat back in his chair. “I-I sought to strengthen the human stock to make better soldiers for the orcs.”
“You weaken your own body by lying with these human women. They do not deserve the touch of an orc, even one such as yourself.”
“Forgive me Gregor. I did not-“
“You did not think!”
“Well. What about you? You disappeared for years! You were going to reunite the orc tribes and then you just left. Probably off to some city with human women yourself.”
Gregor pounded his fist on the table, “You dare to question Gregor the Mighty!”
“Good! Now I want you to return to the orc lands. Spread the message of my return. I am coming and I will unite the orc people once and for all! You will be my herald to the people.”
“Yes! Yes of course Gregor! I will spread your message. I shall leave tomorrow. When we leave I shall burn this village to the ground to signal your return to the pitiful humans. The smoke will be visible from the tower of Sheerzen.”
“No. It is too soon to warn the humans of my return. They might arm themselves against the orc tribes before we even have a chance to unite them.”
“Yes, you’re right. We should wait to spread fear among the humans until after the orcs are one people.”
“Excellent! Now let us have a feast in honor of my return!”
“Of course!” Ratigon clapped his hands. “Slaves!” Three women quickly climbed down the ladder from the right loft. The main hall became quite crowded.
Gregor said, “Stanton, dismiss your minions.” Stanton made the illusion skeletons dissolve into black mist and then had the black mist dissipate.
Ratigon spoke to his servants, “Women! Bring in bread! Cheese! Wine! Beer! Ale! Meat! Bring in all the food! We shan’t be needing anymore stored food in the future! We’re leaving this town for good!” The women went into the room under the right loft. They brought out bread, cheese, a bottle of wine, and a small keg of beer.
One of the women asked Ratigon, “Which meat did you want tonight?”
Ratigon slapped the woman hard. “I said all of them! Fish, Chicken, Lamb, Pig, and Beef! All of it!”
The women went back to the right room to prepare the meat. Another brought out fruit. The feast went on through the night. Ratigon explained that he was mistreated in the orc tribes because he is only a half-orc. He turned to the dark arts of necromancy for strength. The orcs forced him to leave and he wandered for many years until he reached Neeshvale.
The next day the party resupplied and left to continue their journey to the north. Ratigon took his skeletons and went east back to the orc lands in Zeus’s Canvas. The first random encounter was two large spiders. The party just kept their distance from them to avoid it.
A few days later the party heard a fight up ahead. They investigated and saw a Dragovinian fighting what appeared to be three chickens. The party adopted a wait and see approach. The chickens bit the Dragovinian and it turned to stone. The party learned two valuable things. One, Dragovinians are vulnerable to petrifaction. Two, the cockatrices were coming for them next.
That party fired various ranged weapons. Stanton cast some color sprays to keep the cockatrices stunned. Sivirdm approached and slit the throats of the stunned birds. The party succeeded in slaying all three.
Reggy put the cockatrices into three sacks the adventurers brought with them. The party set up camp. They tied up the petrified Dragovinian and handcuffed his stone hand to a tree. The next day the Dragovinian was still stone. The party decided to smash the statue to prevent the Dragovinian’s return.
The next random encounter was a large swarm of locusts. The party dealt with it by throwing alchemist’s fire and singing the insects with torches. The party set up camp for another night and we ended the Rebellion session there.
Middle_Snu left during the break. I played Starcraft with Ozymandias during the break as well. Unfortunately, Ozymandias did not have time to join us and play during this session.
We started the Alliance campaign by cataloguing and distributing all the magical loot the party collected in the last session. There was quite a lot of it so it took a long time. We also dealt with raising the people who died in the previous session. Preta received a reincarnate and came back as an orc. The NPCs, Lamarr and Dralin chose not to come back to life. Lamarr was happy being with and his dead adventurers guild buddies in the afterlife. Dralin died honorably fighting the worst threat ever to face the dwarves. They were both satisfied with their lives. The other big death was Kig. Kig said in a speak with dead that he needed no resurrection and that he’d return in his own way. The group then decided that the Alliance base of operations would move to Jord, the dwarven city for now.
Thewamp had grown bored with Logan as a character and as a build. Warlock’s don’t have many choices in what to do and Logan never really had a backstory or a personality. Thewamp said that Logan would still be a part of the Alliance, but he would no longer be part of “the away team.” (The group has been watching lot of Star Trek lately).
Thewamp’s new character is called Tagenadi. He’s a crusader/warblade. He focuses on making lots of attacks of opportunity with Robilar’s Gambit and extended reach. He uses Stormguard Warrior to gain bonuses on future attacks. (I don’t fully understand all of it as I don’t own Tome of Battle).
Tagenadi was an officer in the Xorian army but he left when the Dragovinians started affecting his family life. That was several years ago. He’s spent his time since then training with the Rebels and traveling around the Xorian Empire assisting people with problems that the Dragovinians ignore or cause.
Tagenadi came to Jord after witnessing the devastation of Phoenix. He started traveling to the city from the heart of Xoria after hearing that the siege wall around Phoenix was completed. He’d sadly arrived too late to take part in Phoenix’s defense.
Tagenadi approached a pair of dwarven soldiers about joining the Alliance’s efforts to stop the Dragovinian expansion (Throgg chose to roleplay the dwarven soldiers in his best shifting Scottish/Irish accent).
Tagenadi said, “I’d like to join the Alliance. Could I speak to whoever’s in charge?”
The first dwarven soldier said, “Eh, don’t he look like a Xorian? He’s got a bit of the look about him?” (Xorians look Asian in my campaign. Most other humans look Greek).
The second dwarf said, “Aye, he’s got the eyes, the skin, the hair. Could be a spy. You a spy, Xorian?”
“My name is Tagenadi and I am not a spy. I used to be a Xorian officer. I have valuable information for the Alliance. You should let me see your superiors.”
The first dwarf said, “Hmm. He does look a bit better dressed than the usual rabble we get her trying to join up. We should take him to Lieutenant Dan.”
The second dwarf said, “Come with us Tagalong or whatever your name was.”
The dwarves took Tagenadi to the barracks to meet with Lieutenant Dan.
“Hey Lieutenant Dan. We got a Xorian who wants to join up. Says he’s an officer.”
“Alright, I’ll see him. You two can go.”
The dwarf soldiers exited.
“Now what is your name?”
“I am Tagenadi. I was a Xorian officer before the war. I wish to join the Alliance to put an end to the Dragovinians.”
“Do you know anything about the Xorian operations currently?”
“I saw a bit at the battle of Phoenix, but I feel like I should be talking to the man in charge here. No offense.”
“Hmm… Perhaps one of the lesser council members can be bothered to deal with your case. I shall ask them.”
A meeting was arranged between Torin, Amalius, Erick, and Tagenadi. (I left for this part to watch the Oscars for a bit so I don’t remember the dialogue. I do recall Salzar using a southern accent for Erick though).
Erick cast a zone of truth and they asked Tagenadi a few questions. Tagenadi refused to answer a few, so Amalius insisted that they proceed with a mind probe to ensure that Tagenadi was not an agent for the Xorians in disguise. Amalius discovered that Tagenadi was not working for the Xorians. However he also discovered that Tagenadi had purposefully killed people he knew to be innocent since breaking with the Xorian army. Tagenadi refused to explain the reason for the murders. Torin and Amalius decided to overlook the murders because **** happens sometimes. (At this point we handwaved the problem away. PC privilege after all).
After accepting Tagenadi into the Alliance they decided to test his skills in combat. Amalius suggested Gradorian, the leader of the Phoenix mercenaries (Although the Phoenix mercenaries are now cut off from the Alliance Council or dead).
Gradorian and Tagenadi faced off in the training yard of Jord. A crowd gathered around to cheer on Gradorian or to marvel at the newcomer (Throgg roleplayed the crowd’s cheers. Salzar roleplayed an announcer). Gradorian won initiative. He moved to attack Tagenadi, but was tripped. Gradorian regained his feet and ended his turn. Tagenadi threw a few trip attacks at Gradorian on his turn, but was unable to succeed on any of them. Gradorian came within range of Tagenadi on his next turn. He used his first attack to trip Tagenadi, his second attack to disarm Tagenadi, and his third and fourth attacks to kick Tagenadi’s two parted kusari-gama ten feet away. Gradorian won the first round of the sparring match.
In the second round Gradorian once again came within range of Tagenadi. However, Tagenadi was more prepared and he was able to deal a large blow to Gradorian’s chest for 48 points of damage (Divine Surge).
Gradorian wanted a third tie-breaking round. He suggested that they be blindfolded in the third round. Amalius suggested the fight be on balance beams, but that was discarded. Gradorian used his blind-fight feat to sneak up on Tagenadi. He used a few more normal attacks. Tagenadi threw another Divine Surge at Gradorian’s head for 50 points of massive damage. Gradorian conceded and congratulated Tagenadi on beating him.
“When this war is all over you should join up with me in reforming the Phoenix Mercenaries Guild!” Gradorian said.
“Thanks for the offer,” Tagenadi said.
Tagenadi was welcomed into the Alliance and given a spot on “the away team.”
The Council members noticed that it was a full moon and the Ice Cave at the Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali deserved a second visit (Refer to this post for more about the Ice Cave). Preta, Shez, Tagenadi, Torin, and Amalius teleported there right away.
Nothing new revealed itself within the Ice Cave. However, Tagenadi was able to recall that the word for the moon goddess, Selene, can also mean brightness. Torin cast light on the previously revealed symbol for Selene. The light cast shadows around the cave. The light bounced off the icicles in just the right way to reveal a map on the cavern floor. The map resembled the valley that surrounds the Tomb. Two icicles cast shadows that created an X on the western side of the valley just at the location of the Tomb’s entrance. Thus the party gained no new information and the clue was unrelated to the occurrence of the full moon (I was quite pleased at the “big reveal” being almost nothing).
The away team teleported back to Jord to rest for the night. The next day the away team decided to locate Aldarian. They scried him and found that he was with the refugees of Phoenix. Apparently, thousands of people got in boats and made rafts out of doors, tables, and benches. Anything the people of Phoenix could get their hands on was made into a floatation device. Aldarian sat on one of the larger rafts with a few other people.
The party decided to go in invisible and flying. Shez cast the necessary spells and they arrived. Amalius flew down to talk to Aldarian through telepathy. The others were not privy to the conversation. However, during the conversation, Aldarian brought out a deck of cards to show Amalius. Next he brought out a key on a string around his neck. Finally, he unsheathed a dagger from his belt to show Amalius. Amalius was visible shaken by the dagger. He dismissed his invisibility and demanded that Aldarian hand the dagger over to him.
“Sure boss. Whatever you want.”
The townsfolk freaked out a bit, but then settled in to watch the famous people drama. Tagenadi swooped down and dismissed his invisibility as well. “What’s going on?”
Amalius shouted, “Give me the accursed dagger Aldarian!”
“Fine. Take it.” Aldarian unbuckled the sheath and handed it over to Amalius. Amalius moved to put the dagger into his bag of holding, but then stopped. His arm shook as if he was unsure what he wanted to do. Amalius then buckled the sheath to his own belt and began giggling like a mad man. Tagenadi was concerned for Amalius, but Aldarian only found it funny. Eventually Amalius stopped giggling and the party teleported back to Phoenix. We ended the session there.
The other characters don’t know what the dagger is, but all the players do. It is an intelligent vorpal dagger named Korm. Korm was used by Amalgami in the last campaign after he took it from a dragon’s lair. Korm loves cutting off heads and lives for little else. Amalgami used the dagger in his betrayal of the party and then used it to sow discord throughout Persia in the epilogue of the last campaign. Amalius is the only one who knows what the dagger is due to his familial connection. As some of you may have guessed, Amalius failed his Will save vs. Korm’s Ego and is currently dominated by the dagger.
No session planned for this weekend, but perhaps the next one.