Thursday, July 31, 2014

Martyr King 21: Killing Bayka

Adventure log for the twenty-first session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Our heroes continue on their journey to Monkville. Along the way, the encounter and deal with a rock. It takes several hours of planning and forethought, but they overcome their adversary and successfully meet all objectives.

A few days later, our heroes come across a baby arsinoitherium (monster rhino!). Nut goes to help her, but only incurs the anger of a small herd of the beasts. After the beasts are dispatched, Nut tries to tame the baby, but his skill with animals is just not high enough. Rihanna the Rhino vamooses.

Two weeks of journeying, and our heroes arrive at Monkville. The scene is chaos - dead bodies, buildings on fire, grieving mothers. After antagonizing some of the local populace, our heroes get a sense of what is going on:

About a week ago, Saffron arrived on the scene, tried to kill Remi "The Martyr King," and was captured. She was set to be executed today. Then a mysterious man, who our heroes gather to be Bayka, appeared and worked his way up to the Temple, destroying everything in his path.

Our heroes hurry after Bayka. They arrive at the temple, and see a three way standoff between Bayka, Remi, and Saffron. Saffron is bow-less and disheveled, with broken chains around her wrists. When Bayka sees Aymeric he teleport attacks them, and Remi takes that moment to seal off the entrance way, blocking Remi and Saffron from the rest of our heroes.

The fight is one of the toughest our heroes have ever had. Bayka's AC is 29, his touch AC is 22, his saves are all 20+, and he has fast healing 6. He attacks on 25/20/15, and deals around 20 damage per hit, critting on a 15-20. He's also got some litanies, DR 10/adamantium, and resist fire/corrosive/frost 10.

Our heroes get pounded for a few rounds, and Castor throws three bombs at his allies, until Castor and Nut can debuff the guy a few dexterity points, making him easier to hit.

Then Nut has a stellar round. His first attack is a natural crit. His second and third attacks are crit fumbles, which he heroic favors into crit successes. His fourth attack is a confirmed crit. Nut does something like 150 damage, 4 dex damage, and disarms Bayka.

Then Aymeric steps forward. With one mighty blow, he slices right through Bayka's armor as if it were tinfoil, and opens him from neck to navel. Bayka and Aymeric take one last look at each other, then Bayka falls to his knees, and then face first into the dust.

It is October 4th 2000 A.F. This session took 2 week. Nut got a point of heroic favor for quad-crit. Our heroes played this session at level 9.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jacob's Tower, Level 10: Resurrection

Jacob’s Tower, Level 10: Resurrection
120,000xp, 66,000gp, 3:30 - 5 hours

Level 10 takes place inside the injured body of Haradim, a massive and powerful humanoid who once professed to be a god. As a result, the level is somewhat disturbing – the walls are pink and shiny flesh, the ground is soft and squishy, and the roof slowly leaks various oozes and bodily fluids. The smell isn’t something you’d want in cologne (though maybe your colon), but our heroes won’t suffer any mechanical penalties simply for breathing it.

All walls are made of standard muscled and veined flesh. The only two exceptions are the stomach lining, which is wrinkled and yellow like a deflated balloon, and the lungs, which look something like rotten steak.

When the body is attacked it will react as you might expect. The flesh smolders, cuts, bleeds, and bruises. Veins gush blood. Cartilage snaps. However any wounds heal wolverine-style, and it is impossible to cut holes through the walls. Any piece of flesh that is separated from the body smokes and withers within a matter of seconds, and newly formed flesh grows instantly in its place.

Note that when our heroes enter the level, Haradim’s Lungs are filled with water and his heart has stopped. As a result, the blood throughout Haradim’s body is black and stagnant.

You should dial this grossness up or down depending on your players. If they love it, they layer it on. If they are repulsed, leave out the descriptions whenever possible.

Tik the Obedient Servant

Our heroes appear somewhere in Haradim’s right shoulder (1a). They will have a few moments to note their unsettling surrounding before small spirit manifests in front of them. About the size of a fist, this transparent blue ghost is shaped something like an upside-down rain drop. An expressive pair of eyes and a mouth hover a few inches in front of his shimmering body, and he begins to speak:

Thank you, thank you, thank you heroes for answering my summons. I am Tik, obedient and willing servant to the titan Haradim. My master, one of the old gods, far before your time, was maliciously set upon by his enemies in the Eternal Fields of Battle. Due to their treachery he was grievously wounded, and I transported him here to the Everlasting Void to heal.”

A DC 30 Knowledge (religion) check will determine that Haradim belongs to an ancient race of gods from millennia past. Otherwise, our heroes will have no idea who this is.

Time passed in the Void, and much was my surprise when my master’s wounds refused to close. The injuries were simply too great. We have floated here for time beyond time, waiting for heroes such as you to help. Haradim’s wounds are numerous and deadly, and they must be healed for my master to return to his full vigor.

“Due to the immense strain of his irrepressible conquest, Haradim’s mighty heart has stopped beating.

“When fleeing his enemies, Haradim fell into the great river.  He swallowed a serpent egg and his lungs filled with water.

“Left without sustenance for ages, Haradim’s stomach has fallen prey to starvation.

“Haradim’s shield hand was punctured with foul and unnatural devices meant to kill and maim.

“Haradim’s sword hand crushed his enemies, but the victim’s spirits never left.

“Haradim was stabbed through the foot with a cursed spear, and the heel is now riddled with disease.

“When retreating through tall grass, ticks crawled within the pores of Hardim’s leg.

“Thum, the magical lion who lends my master his roar, has gone mad with grief and must be calmed.

“Last, a massive beast from the Broken Lands has been feeding on my master’s mind.

“I will guide you through my Master’s body. Please help him!  Where shall we go first?

Tik will stay with our heroes throughout this level, explaining the various rooms as our heroes consider them. He is submissive and obedient, but totally dedicated to Haradim. He is also happy to scout and fly around the level, but he cannot do anything other than speak. He is totally immune to any damage or effects, and will be disappointed but forgiving if attacked. His speech is well educated and somewhat formal, but he otherwise acts something like a child who is trying to rescue a parent.

In short, Tik will be as helpful as possible, but won’t be able to directly assist with any checks. Have fun with Tik, and feel free to make up whatever backstory you like for him and his beloved master.

Divine Salve

The first time our heroes enter either the Heart or the Left Leg, or see Thum, a somewhat embarrassed Tik will admit:

You are not the first Heroes I have asked here to help my great master. The previous heroes brought with them three healing potions of immense power. They intended to use these on the Heart, the infected left foot, and Thum’s troubled mind but the heroes were killed before they could properly administer the cure.

“After you find the Salves, you may use them on my master if you wish. Or, you may use other means to heal Haradim, and keep the Divine Salves for yourself. The Salves are of great value, and if you are able to heal Haradim through other means you may claim the salves as just reward.

The three Divine Salves look identical: round glass vials filled a shimmering silver liquid. They cannot be destroyed by any means, and each Divine Salve may only be used once.

When a character drinks a Divine Salve, or when a Divine Salve is administered to him, he may choose one of three options. A DC 30 Knowledge (Arcana) check will determine these uses at any time, but the user will immediately comprehend them upon use.

First, a casting of True Resurrection, as cast by a 20th level cleric.

Second, a simultaneous casting of Regeneration, Greater Restoration, Neutralize Poison, Remove Curse, and Remove Disease as cast by a 20th level cleric.

Third, a simultaneous casting of Neutralize Poison, Remove Curse, Remove Disease and Cure Critical Wounds (4d8+20) as cast by a 20th level cleric, in addition to a casting of Greater Heroism and Haste as cast by a 20th level bard.

Alternatively, each Salve may be sold for 10,000gp.

1: Chest Cavity

The chest cavity is connected to every other room, and houses the lungs (which look like a large piece of rotten steak), the stomach (a wrinkled yellow balloon) and the heart chamber (a fleshy, boney dome housing the heart).

Across the north edge of the squares at 1b is a throat that has been dilated closed. This area looks heavily swollen and infected. When our heroes approach it, Tik will note:

Haradim has closed his throat in response to his injuries. Once his other maladies have been rectified, the throat will open and we may face the beast eating away at his mind.

In the left shoulder (1b), the majestic Dire Lion Thum sits, silently weeping for his fallen master. He will ignore the heroes, and be ignored by any monsters living within Haradim. He has the statistics of a normal Dire Lion, with the addition of Spell Resistance 30 and Regeneration 5. If killed, he will return to life within a few turns.

When our heroes spot the great lion, Tik will quietly explain “There sits Thum, the great lion who has lent voice to our Master on many occasions. He weeps for our master, as do I, but I have not been able to shake him out of his somber stupor.

“There is a tale that Thum once spared a transgressing wanderer because of the wander’s beautiful voice. If any among you can sing, dance, play music or tell a story, then you may be able to grab his attention. Once you have his attention, perhaps somebody who is experienced with the wild beasts of the world could console him? If not, the Divine Salve should bring him back.

A DC 25 Perform check of any kind is necessary to attract the attention of Thum. With each failure Thum grows more and more morose, and the DC of the check increases by 2.

If our heroes succeed in getting Thum’s attention, a DC 25 Handle Animal check must then be made to console the beast. With each failure Thum grows more and more disinterested, and the DC of the check increases by 2.

If the DC for either of these checks goes above what our heroes can perform, feel free to say that Thum looks inconsolable and only the Divine Salve will do the trick.

If our heroes successfully console Thum or give him the Divine Salve, the mighty Lion will immediately perk up and give an ear shattering roar. He will then reach one paw deep within his mane and draw out a Torc of Lionheart Fury, presenting it to the heroes. He will not, however, assist our heroes in any other way.

2: Left Arm

This way lie the souls and corpses of those crushed by my master’s mighty hand. Though he revels in righteous battle, Haradim cannot return to life with so much death within him. Be warned though; many are now spirits, but the most dangerous undead here is one walking corpse with smoking eyes.

At this last description, a DC 20 Knowledge (religion) check will reveal the creature described is likely a Bodak, a corporeal undead who can cause negative levels with a gaze attack. A DC 25 Knowledge (religion) check will reveal the various weaknesses and resistances. Failing the DC 20 knowledge check will incorrectly inform the players that the enemy is a “Yaki-Kanna,” an undead creature vulnerable to electricity, acid and fire.

The various undead wait patiently at the tips of each finger of this hand. Once one of the undead notices our heroes, the rest do as well.

At the end of four of the fingers (2a) float Ghosts. The Ghosts will move in for melee, but one a turn for the first four turns will use Frightful Moan.

Bodak (2b) lurks at the tip of the last finger. This horrific creature will wait for the Ghosts to move forward, then come into view and begin using his gaze attack. The Bodak clutches a Divine Salve, which may be recovered off of his corpse.

There is a corpse at the end of each finger from when the Ghosts came.  The southernmost corpse is wearing +2 O-yoroi Armor, an excellent prize.

3: Right Arm

When his enemies attacked with vile machines and spells, Haradim held out his massive hand to block them. As a result, the horrible, cowardly devices became embedded within his magnificent digits. At the end of each of Haradims fingertips sits dormant death. Although these devices will activate with the approach of humanoids, they cause Haradim constant pain. Please, remove them or activate them once and for all.

Haradim’s right hand plays host to five rather dangerous traps. Each of these traps will only activate if a humanoid enters the square. This means that summoning outsiders or animals onto the traps will do nothing. The two simplest options are to find and disable the traps, or set them off.

Although our heroes can gather that the tip of each finger contains a trap, they still need to use perception to locate exactly where in the square the trap is.

Our heroes may attempt to find and disable the traps from the adjacent square. Although attempting to disarm the traps from adjacent squares will prevent the traps from going off due to proximity, the traps will activate if the Disable Device check is failed.

For each trap that effects an area, the area is the square of the trap and a 30 foot line to the east.

For each trap that is successfully disarmed, components worth 500gp may be collected.

3a: A Cone of Cold Trap lies here, requiring a DC 30 Perception check and a DC 30 Disable Device check. If it goes off it deals 15d6 cold damage (DC 17 Reflex save halves) in a 30 foot line.

3b: An Insanity Mist Trap lies here, requiring a DC 25 Perception Check and a DC 20 Disable Device check.

3c: A magic trap sits dormant here. It casts Horrid Wilting (CL 18, Fortitude DC 25), but can be spotted with a DC 20 Perception check and disarmed with a DC 25 Disable Device Check.

3d: A Fireball (Maximized) Trap waits to do 60 fire damage to any within 20 feet (DC 14 Reflex Save Halves). A DC 15 check will spot the trap and a DC 30 disable device check will disarm it.

3e: A Molten Brass Trap lies here, requiring a DC 25 Perception check and a DC 29 Disable Device Check. Unlike its description, there is no onset delay for this trap.

4: Lung

When Haradim fell into the the Great River, he inhaled a great deal of water and a serpent’s egg. The egg has now hatched, and the creature has made his home in the lungs of my Master, feeding on the acidic mixture the infected lungs produce. Kill the creature, and the lungs will heal.

The lung is partially flooded with slightly acidic water to about a foot in depth. The entire area is difficult terrain. Characters are dealt 1 acid damage for each square they enter, and d6 acid damage if they end their turn in the acid. Note that the acid seeps out of the lungs slightly into the chest cavity.

A Young Adult Brine Dragon (4a) has made his home amidst the soupy goo. Once the Brine Dragon has spotted the heroes, he will immediately attack.

If the Brine Dragon finds himself trapped in the lungs without any targets (for example, if our heroes have retreated), he has two options. Both options are full round actions that provoke.

First, he may slurp up some of the goo covering the walls and floor of the lung, healing himself 6d6 hit points. He may do this as many times as he likes.

Second, he may eat his way out of the lungs, destroying a 10 foot wide section of the lung within his threatened area. The wall in this area disappears for several minutes, and acid floods out to all squares within 10 feet of the opening.

After the Brine Dragon is killed, the water will seep into the lungs and surrounding flesh, then disappear. Any destroyed walls will rejuvenate. The blood in the surrounding tissue will turn from black to red, and, if the heart is beating, this color change will occur throughout the level.

5: Heart Chamber

My master’s sturdy heart has stopped beating. If you do not apply the Divine Salve, then I would suggest a massive influx of electricity. If it beats once in response, then a quick and sturdy hit with a blunt weapon will get it started.

On the floor in the middle of this gruesome room is a massive, shriveled and blacked heart about the size of a horse (5a). Large pipe-like arteries connect it to the ground, and a coagulated black ooze slowly seeps from the connections. It smells terrible.

Despite the disheartening scene, some defibrillation and CPR should do the trick.

First the heart requires a dose of electric current. If our heroes are able to do 20 electricity damage to the heart in one turn (the heart automatically fails any saves), then it will beat once. If our heroes deal electricity damage but fail to hit the correct amount, then the heart will harden a bit and the amount of electricity damage needed will increase by 5.

If the heart beats once, it must be dealt 20 damage with a bludgeoning weapon in a single attack roll within a single turn. The heart is immune to both sneak attack and critical hits. If our heroes fail to do this amount of bludgeoning damage within a turn, then the heart will harden, our heroes will need to attempt the electric shock again, scar tissue will form, and the amount of bludgeoning damage needed will increase by 5.

A sunder attempt may be made in place of the bludgeoning damage, with a CMB needed equal to the bludgeoning damage needed.

The heart cannot be killed, and our heroes should feel free to swing away.

Divine Salve may be applied to the heart instead of these attempts, which will immediately rejuvenate it.

Once the heart is restarted, either through CPR or through the Divine Salve, it immediately inflates and starts pumping blood throughout the body. If the lungs have not yet healed, the blood is still black but no longer chunky. If the lungs have already been saved, the blood is bright red.

6: Stomach

A demon of hunger and famine has taken up residence in my Master’s stomach. As long as this demon lives here, my master cannot gain the energy to heal. Do not be fooled by what you see here, but kill the demon before Haradim wastes away.

The tan insides of the stomach pulse and contract at irregular times, occasionally extruding a thin yellow liquid in streams. Large pulpy masses of brown slop lie in piles on the floor, providing difficult terrain (6c). The stench is of bile and stomach acid.

Despite these altogether unwholesome trappings, a massive feast sits in a pile in the center of the stomach (6a). The roast duck, seared pork, and juicy apples may prove too much for some adventurers, and a DC 23 Will save is needed to resist the feast. Any who fail this save rush forward and spend a full round devouring the food – which, of course, turns out to be an illusion covering partially digested, bile-infused sludge. The unlucky heroes who digest this must make a DC 26 Fortitude save or become nauseated for d4 rounds. A successful save reduces the penalty to sickened for d4 rounds.

Meanwhile, a Meladaemon, the demonic personification of starvation, waits around the corner. He will leap into attack at the opportune moment, likely after our heroes have become nauseated or sickened. Note also the Meladaemon's Consumptive Aura, which will take effect on any creatures within 20 feet and line of effect.  Remove the Meladaemon's immunity to critical hits, but increase his hunger and consumptive damage to 2d6 nonlethal each.

When killed, the Meladaemon will vomit out a Divine Salve.

There are two small trinkets glistening within the goop. They are spotted automatically after the fight. The first is a small stone tablet transcribed with a riddle in a long dead language. The riddle is based in word play and general punnery and would get lost in translation with Comprehend Languages and similar spells (which reveal the puzzle to be "What's once is then duck soup, then once twice thrice pheasant soup"). However, a Linguistic DC 20 check is enough to solve it ("a stalk of grain," hilarious in the original language). Each character may only attempt this check once. If successful, the stone tablet transforms into a block of pure gold worth 1,500gp.

Nearby in the ooze is a small, magical and very old puzzle cube. The puzzle is not difficult, but wielding the correct proportion of magical energy to manipulate it is. A DC 25 Use Magic Device check is sufficient to open the cube and reveal a gleaming ruby worth 1,500gp. Failing the check twice results in the cube locking up and becoming inoperable.

A DC 25 Perception check will also spot a Ring of Sustenance gleaming in the goop.

7: Left Leg

My Master was stabbed with a cursed spear as he fled the battle. Although most of the spear is long since gone, the wound has become horribly infected and the curse remains. Please do what you can to treat it, or use the Divine Salve.

Most of the leg is safe ground for our heroes. However, as they proceed forward they will notice pulsing purple veins through the flesh, and the horrible stench of rot. These maladies originate in a slowly bleeding gash at the heel. (7a) The very tip of the spear, a 3 foot long chunk of jagged obsidian carved with glowing purple runes, has broken off and sits partially embedded in the flesh near the arch (7b).

There are two issues here: the curse and the infection.

The curse may be removed with the Remove Curse spell against a DC of 25. If this is not an option, our heroes may examine the spear tip. A DC 25 Spellcraft check on the spear will give our heroes enough knowledge to quickly craft and execute a counterspell, removing the curse. With each failure the magic auras around the runes become more muddled, and the DC increases by 2.

If the curse is removed through spellcraft, the spear tip transforms into a +1 Vicious Longsword with the Fragile Property. If the curse is removed through Remove Curse, our heroes may still examine the spear tip to determine that Spellcraft could be used to make it into a weapon.

The infection may be removed with the Remove Disease spell against a DC of 25. If this is not an option, a DC 25 Heal check may be used. With each failure the wound becomes more infected, and the DC increases by 2.

Applying the Divine Salve to the wound will cure both the curse and the infection. When both the curse and infection are cured, the smell of rot is removed and the purple veins return to their normal color.

8: Right Leg

"Be careful where you tread.  When Haradim fled the battlefield, foul insects crawled within his pores.  They have been feasting upon his rejuvenating flesh, but will turn their attention to any intruders."

As our heroes continue through the right leg, they will notice that the flesh is riddled with small holes that slowly ooze blood. When our heroes cross through the center of the calf (approximately 8a) two Tick Swarms will tunnel through the skin and engage in combat: One at the heel (8b) and one at the knee (8c). These Tick Swarms will be able to move through the walls of flesh as if they had the burrow ability.

At the very tip of Haradim’s toe, a skeleton in the fetal position spoons a Divine Salve. The corpse appears to have the rotted remains of a bow and some armor around him, but three +1 arrows remain, each with the combined Corrosive Burst, Shocking Burst, and Icy Burst Arrows properties (a +7 Bonus equivalent). These arrows are worth nearly 2,000gp a piece, and get ready to giggle over your players deciding what to do with them.

9: Head

When our heroes have finished all of the other tasks, the throat will open. As soon as any ooze can see any hero they attack.

The head is a large cavern lined with skull that stretches 40 feet upwards. A Carnivorous Blob (8a) sits on the floor comfortably reaching up and eating away at the regenerating brain which is suspended by ligaments in the air.

Note that although the Carnivorous Blob is listed as Colossal, play him as Huge with 15 foot reach. Do not change any of his other statistics due to this size difference.  Remove his constrict ability and split ability, as well as his DR and electricity and fire resistances.  Keep his acid immunity.  Adjust his reactive strike ability such that he does not split or strike back against slashing or sonic attacks.

The Carnivorous Blob is flanked by two Brain Oozes, comfortably chomping away at the eyeballs which stick out of the ground (8b).

The oozes will immediately turn their attention to the fresher flesh of our heroes.

Once the oozes are dead, Haradim will begin to stir. The entire level will quake, and the flesh will shudder as muscles tighten. Tik will quickly say:

For the first time in uncountable millennia, my master stirs! I cannot thank you enough, heroes, saviors, adventurers, whatever you may be. But you must quickly go, before Haradim awakens. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, and when Haradim’s initial rage has subsided I will tell him of your courage and kindness. Your reward will be beyond measure! You should only need to wait a few thousand years!

And with that, Tik will teleport our heroes away.

Sleeping on Level 10

Any hero who sleeps or stays too long within Haradim risks becoming infected. For every 6 hours that pass within Haradim, our heroes should make a DC 18 Fortitude save against each of the following diseases separately. The onset for each of these diseases is instantaneous.

The diseases are Brainworms, Athrakitis, Blightburn Sickness, and Bonecrusher Fever.

The Fortitude saves must be made every 6 hours within Haradim. The diseases are not cured when leaving Haradim.

If our heroes are playing only in Jacob's Tower and ranking up to Level 11, then distribute 25,000 gold amongst them evenly.

Level 11: Mansion

Roll20 Map by Jamie "RedClaws" Bosmans:

You may purchase printable PDFs of the entire dungeon here, including the secret final level not available online.

Jacob's Tower, Levels 1 - 13 ($9.99)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Martyr King 20: Killing Emut Prime

Adventure log for the twentieth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Out heroes spend a few minutes on the balcony, thinking things over. Castor cures himself of his curses and Avaryn taps in for Maven, who has to go take a leak.

After about a minute, a horde of about 50 tiny Emut children burst out of the house. The group stands unsure of what to do while the children escape. Castor has mixed feelings.

After they prepare, Nut unlocks the balcony door. Emut stands inside, wins initiative, and immediately the bombs went flying. Bombs filled with purple gas that drive Avaryn, Nut, and Aymeric instantly insane. Castor runs and shuts the door, and then watches perplexed for the next 11 rounds as the three other heroes attack themselves, attack each other, and babble incoherently. Castor force feeds Nut some potions and takes away his sword to minimize the damage sword. Yet Nut fluctuates between invisibility and visibility, hitting himself in the face with whatever he can.

Good times.

This time, the door opening is more subtle. Nut turns invisble, opens the door, and finds no Emut inside. Cautiously, our heroes enter one by one, examining the turned over table and pile of gold (which Nut leaps into).

Suddenly Emut becomes visible (in a spot Nut had literally leapt over), and confusion bombs go flying. Again, Nut, Avaryn, and Aymeric become confused, while Castor stays sane. However, a few fistfuls of frost bombs, and some confused swords, arrows, and wakizashis later, and Emut lay bleeding on the ground.

After the confusion wears off, Emut is questioned but is totally unhelpful. Aymeric notices that the alchemist keeps glancing toward a second set of stairs down.

Nut investigates, and finds a large underground room filled with Emut-Cauldrons and alchemic equipment. In the center of the room is a gigantic and bloated pile of burned flesh - Emut Prime, kept alive by a soulstone. Nut removes the soulstone and the gigantic ball of flesh immediately putrifies. Nut finds himself wading in ankle-high rotten and moldy flesh (and soon his own vomit). However, he makes his way upstairs then nearly passes out from physical and emotional exhaustion.

With Emut Prime gone, Castor slit upstairs Emut's throat. Still, it's unclear what exactly was going on here, and if this is really the end of Emut.

After looting the place, and attempting to burn it about a dozen times (it's made of stone!), our heroes leave as the Sartori mob approaches.

After some brief R&R, our heroes decide to head up to Monkville. After about a week's worth of travel, they are ambushed by a pissed off and jawless Cainan, who speaks through his thralls. However, he is glued in place and quickly dispatched. After Avaryn explains what would happen if Cainan got close, our heroes realize that they were very lucky he did not go first.

It September 20th, 2000 A.F. This session took 1 week. Who got a point of heroic favor. Our heroes played this session at level 9.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Martyr King 19: Attack on Emut's Compound

Adventure log for the nineteenth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

After picking up bits of shattered bone and jaw, our heroes pack up and head north-west towards Sartori-ville. Castor and Nut adopt disguises, and Maven dresses as a ghost. Aymeric, recently awoken from his several session nap, gives them all curious looks. They are off to off Emut!

Traveling takes a week.

Our heroes stop a few days outside of town. Here, they wait for a Sartori on mission, and they find one in Billy Barnum. After a wonderful riding tackle from Aymeric and a Drow poison dart in the throat by Castor, our heroes drag Billy off the main road and question him. They learn that Emut has taken control of the Sartori, has abandoned the temple, and resides in a compound by "the Oasis." Then knife in the face courtesy of Castor, and Maven is just a bit too slow to stop him.

Our heroes ride 18 hours to the compound, arriving at daybreak - just too late to come storming in. Nut goes to scope things out while the rest wait in the desert. The compound has 10 foot tall stone walls and a house. Nut sees a few Emut simulacrums lounging about and hears the sounds of children's laughter, but sees no huge contingent of guards or anything. He hurries back.

After a bunch of planning, our heroes decide to attack at night. They reach the wall unseen by the solitary guard on post. However, when Castor attempts to stick is nose above the wall, he instead hits it and screams an obscenity. The compound is alerted!

Our heroes all make their way to the balcony, some climbing, some flying, some teleporting. They make short work of the guard. Castor notices two dire wolves in a pen, and bombs them while they are helpless. A few rounds later the other Emuts have awoken and prepared for battle. Two knights, one cleric, and a flying sorcerer favoring lightning charge out of the downstairs, followed shortly by man wielding a rapier.

Being all on the balcony gives our heroes a distinct advantage. Castor stink bombs a knight (who has put away his sword and pulled out a bow). The flying sorcerer is compelled to attack Maven, flies next to him, and gets smashed. The rapier man climbs the balcony and gets cut to ribbons by Aymeric and Nut. Castor has a somewhat worse time. After starting the fight off with a bang, he gets cursed and blinded by the cleric.

However, the fight is going against the Emuts, so the two knights and the cleric scurry back inside.

It September 13th, 2000 A.F. This session took 1 week. Aymeric got a point of heroic favor for tackling a Billy from a horse. Our heroes played this session at level 8, but leveled up to level 9 at the end.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Martyr King 18: The Sunken City

Adventure log for the eighteenth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Our heroes reach the Sunken City, a Golden Age Relic with the potential for soulstones inside. They see a number of green towers mostly sunken in the mud and frigid water. The inside of these towers is colder still, so Nut and Castor chug potions to resist the Elements.

A strange looking woman approaches riding a strange looking horse. She introduces herself as Avaryn, explains that she is from the High Temple of Darkness, and says that she is here to protect our heroes and help them on their ways. Our heroes gladly welcome her to their ranks, and give Avaryn Saffron's opal bow.

A few minutes are spent dividing up soulstones and powering up opal weapons! W00t

Down they go! After wandering down a few side passages, Avaryn also decides to chug a potion to get rid of the chill. They scrap Maven's chicken-scratchings of a map, in favor of Castors well notated drawings.

Down another hour to the bottom of the lake, and the tower connects to a long tunnel heading off into the darkness. They encounter a gaggle of Lake Fairies, who captivate Nut, "enfriend" Avaryn, lead our heroes into some traps, but are otherwise dispatched. Next, they fight a giant octopus on a bridge. Then they fight 8 shambling mounds of moss and coral, a fight which turns into a smokey haze when smoke bombs are rigorously applied.

Six hours into the dungeon, and Maven finally decides things are getting a bit cold for him. He chugs an elemental resist potion as well.

Our heroes reach the center of the complex, a gigantic dome, radius 300 feet, which has a massive blue tower in the center. Our heroes prep, then approach, and they note an air and water soulstone in the tower. Castor flies up and plucks them out, and the water in the dome instantly starts rising.

Our heroes hustle back, but they are confronted with a massive water elemental. Dr 10/-, immune to crits, flanking, and sneak attack, 2 attacks at +20, dealing 2d8+9, this guy doesn't mess around. Castor emerges as the MVP, rolling high on his bombs and sprinkling some dust of dryness on the dude. Still, Nut gets into the negatives, and Maven heals as fast as he can to save himself and his buddies.

Our heroes escape the dungeon after 9 hours, only to be faced with Cainan, Avaryn's arch-rival. As Cainan opens his mouth to speak, Nut invisifies and plops the Marble of 100 Gallons of water in it. A watery explosion occurs, in which Cainan looses his cheeks, teeth, and jaw. Castor finishes the job with a bomb, and the unhappy agent of Light teleports away.

It still September 6th, 2000 A.F. This session took 9 hours. Nut got heroic favor for exploding Cainan. Our heroes played this session at level 8.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Martyr King 17: The Opal Weapons

Adventure log for the seventeenth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Our heroes fight the Guardians of Light, a golden, mechanical, winged centaur with two brass angels and a penchant for hold person. Castor shows off some excellent battlefield control, gluing the centaur, then dropping a smoke bomb and having the entire party hide behind it while dispatching with the angels. After that, the centaur attacks Nut and Maven, but goes down.

Our heroes each receive an Opal Weapon. Maven gets Full Plate, Aymeric gets a Falchion, Castor gets an Opal Ingredient Pouch, Saffron gets a bow, and Nut gets two wakizashis.

Our heroes return to the High Priest again, who commends them. A few more things are brought to light.

First, A band of heroes has once before attempted to bring down the Gods. They were killed mere steps from the exit of the High Temple of Darkness. However, things are different now, as most of the Gods recognize Light’s overwhelming domination of the terrestrial plane. Likely, only the God of Light will try to kill our heroes. Nothing new there.

Second, by fighting the Guardians, our heroes have likely alerted the Gods to the presence and intentions of the heroes.

Third, soulstones are not actually souls, although they can be created when a person dies. Rather, they are temporary portals to other planes that are held open by Opal, this magical material. When a person dies, his soul is shunted to the plane that fits him the most (99% of the time, the plane of light). A ritual can quickly be performed to transfer that split second portal into an Opal.

Fourth, opal is used to hold open these portals, and generally sucks the elements out of things. It is used for repelling Gargor (those gigantic sea creatures that are attracted to soulstones) and also is the primary ingredient in Kishii and Darkwood.

Fifth, the weapons that our heroes now possess can be powered up by using soulstones. Only one soulstone of each flavor can be used on a weapon. Each soulstone will have a different effect on the weapon.

Sixth, perhaps our heroes should not have been activating Jumpgates willy-nilly with Light soulstones. They may have allowed Azriel to enter the plane. Or maybe not. Who knows. In any case, the damage is already done. Maybe.

Seventh, the high priest was also instructed to construct a boat that could take our Heroes across the sea to Breya, where the Reclaimer civilization lives. The Reclaimers are the only force on earth that can now meet the Dorian threat. The boat is being constructed in Thota, in the northern tip of Dorma. The Boat is runed and blessed and studded with Opal, and will come complete with a "ride-along," and undead human who repels Gargor. The boat will be completed in about 9 weeks, and it takes about a 6 weeks to travel up north on horseback. That leaves about three weeks for messing around.

The High Priest gives our heroes a dark soulstone, and they activate the Obsidian Minaret's Jumpgate with it. They pop over to say hello to Adrianne, who doesn't have much information.

Then, Nut goes to go check up on the Wooden Minaret in Pruhan. He sees a few Dorians milling around, nobody important. Among these not important people is a boy delivering papers. One shuriken later and the boy explodes. Nut grabs the papers and leaves. On the now bloodstained papers he finds the following incriminating evidence (along with pieces of hair and fingers):

"Dear Mommy. I luv yu soo much. Here is yur medisin. I hope yu get it in time. Don't wurry Moomy, I will protekt you now that dad is dead. We will never hav to worry agin. Luv, your son."

Incriminating indeed! Good find Nut!

After a party in Adrian's Minaret, our heroes jump to the Crimson Minaret and take a bit over a week to check up on the Pruhan people. They aren't doing great, only about 10,000 remain. Maven does his best to help, but can only help handfuls at a time.

Nut and Castor disguise themselves, hoping to avoid Sartori scouts, then head north to ruins, that hopefully contain soulstones. On the way they meet Sensei Quinn Lai, Saffron't old teacher. The man is broken and bloodied, and he tells Saffron a disturbing story. Remi, Saffron's old pal from the Sodality of Red Leaves, has gone mad with power. An Elf name Martin Bard with a silver band around his head appeared a few month ago. He has convinced Remi that Remi is the Martyr King, and the Sodality has transformed into a Cult of Personality. Remi and Martin desperately want the plant that Saffron carries, though Quinn does not know why. Saffron leaves the group, to go deal with matters, but tell them that they should check up on her on the way.

A few days later, and our heroes are attacked at an inn by Sartori thugs. They dispatch of the thugs, but the Sartori know they are there.

It is now of September 6th, 2000 A.F. This session took 3 weeks. Nut got heroic favor for killing that kid (evidently we want to support this)? Our heroes played this session at level 8.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Martyr King 16: The High Temple of Darkness

Adventure log for the sixteenth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Our heroes journey south and west, where they catch a ferry across to Narset. They then make their way across the mountains to Karem-Kora, the capital. The whole journey takes about three weeks.

In Karem-Kora they look around a bit, noting the temple of the God-King suspended over the river Niv. Then they head over to the High Temple of Darkness. Here they talk with a lower priest, then tell him their story. He reveals the symbol of darkness on our heroes wrists (how did they get there?) and takes our heroes to the high priest. On the way, our heroes realize that they are in the top floor of a sunken minaret - the obsidian minaret to be precise.

The High Priest tells them a story.

“In the beginning, there was the one god and the void. For many eons, the one God was happy and proud to play in the void. However, one day, The One God grew tired and lonely. He desired a companion.

"However, he could not simply make a companion. He could not share eternity with a creature of his own creation. This creature had to be new and surprising to him, or else he could not respect it.

"So he gave a small piece of his power to 6 spirits, and asked them to create a companion for him. The spirits were: Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Light, and Dark. The One God asked these spirits to create a world, and a species, and set them in motion, such that one day an individual could appear who would be equal to his attention.

"So Fire and Water cooperated, and Water provided the basis for the terrestrial sphere, and Fire flew to the heavens and created the sun, warming the world. Earth and Air cooperated, splitting the world equally between them at the horizon. However, when the next Gods took the world in their hands, Light betrayed Dark. Instead of equally providing the basis and energy for life, Light sent Dark out into the void and created life in his own image. Dark was forced to skirt the boundaries of reality and plot his own return.

"So it went for many eons. The One True God was displeased with Light’s treachery, but protected the creatures of the earth from the one-sided pull of Light’s power. Man came to be, and, after hundreds of Generations, a woman appeared who appealed to the one God. The One True God built himself a house that would sap all his own powers and took the Woman to it and retreated from the world forever.

"However, the One True God had taken a liking to man. He knew that as soon as he left, the God of Light would begin using the power of man for his own goals. So, the one True God created weapons that could be used to kill a god. Should man ever desire to throw off the yoke of the God of Light, man should take up these weapons to defeat him. All of the Gods promised to protect these weapons. The Gods knew that the weapons would help keep the balance, should any individual God gain too much power.”

The High Priest pauses in his story. These are the weapons that the heroes need to take up. They have to destroy the God of Light with the weapons. The weapons are kept here, in the High Temple of Darkness, under the control of the weakest God, the God of Darkness. He does not know why the Heroes have been chosen, but if they defeat all 6 guardians of the weapons, then they will have proven themselves.

The High Priest of Darkness continues his story.

“However, the One True God underestimated man. When the One True God left, and the age of Eden was over, Man learned to use the powers of the Gods. They sapped the energy of the Gods through soulstones, and borrowed great portions of energies using magic.

"The God of Light was the most hurt. Because his essence was seen as the purest and most useful, his home and powers were severely weakened by Man’s Greed.

"And so, the Gods decided to end Man’s power. The Gods destroyed 15 soulstones simultaneously, breaking the boundaries between the worlds and opening dangerous and unstable gateways to their homes. Splinter Zones littered the land, and the Golden Age of Man ended in cataclysm.”

Castor realizes that he only knows of 14 shatter zones. The last shatter zone is unaccounted for.

Our heroes buy buffs, then head down into the minaret to face the guardians of the weapons.

The fire guardian deals some damage with a fire wall and scorching ray, but is ultimately dispatched (Nut is both blinded and invisible, basically sitting this one out). The water guardian, a gigantic crocodile, is one-shotted by Saffron before he can push our heroes into shark infested water. The swarms of wasps that represent the air guardian deal some damage but are overcome. The earth guardian, a gigantic shone golem, is almost one-shotted by Saffron. The guardian of darkness deals 5 strength damage to Saffron, but is overcome.

All that remains is the guardian of light!

It is now of August 16th, 2000 A.F. This session took 3 weeks. Nut got heroic favor for being blind and invisible.  Our heroes played this session at level 8.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Martyr King 15.5: The Red Dreams

Dreams after the 15th session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Under the strange heat of the Red Splinter Zone, our heroes' lives seem to bake and twist. Nights are strange and disorienting, the dreams even more so.

Castor receives a vision from the Bomblord. He is back in the Crimson Minaret, back on the gigantic See-Saw, but this time the see-saw balances on six sides. On each side he sees an element, and he looks in confusion to the God of Fire, the Bomblord only a minor god below him. The Bomblord looks at Castor with pleading eyes. Then, the See-Saw begins to tilt down towards the side of light. Down, down it tilts, as the God of LIght becomes heavier and heavier, until the See-Saw overturns.

Maven receives a vision from the Old Man. The dream is strange and unclear - all of Maven's communications with the Old Man have been waning as of late. He sees a white light that streaks down towards a featureless plane made only of Opal. This falling star strikes the plane, and the ground turns white from horizon to horizon. Where there once was the falling star, there is only now the Old Man. When Maven awakes, he realizes that his ring, which used to be made of Opal, has turned white.

Aymeric receives a vision but he does not know who from. In it the Martyr King is demonic, sitting on a throne made of Soulstone. He laughs, and takes a tiny glass carving of Cain in his hand. Then he crushes it, and the world shakes.

Saffron sees a land unfamiliar to her. It is a land of tall trees with red leaves and singing birds, a land of long days and warm nights. She sees elves wandering the land, apparently at peace. They look as though they are home. Then she sees the man with the silver band around his head. The man steps through a Jumpgate and appears at Remi's side, whispering poison in his ear.

Nut sees Hervey Dunt, as he does every night. But now, the dream has changed. Nut sees Gordon Rodon dancing with the mysterious woman. Then, Nut's knife is through Gordon's heart, and the official falls. Hervey comes forward to to take Gordon's place in the dance, but the woman turns away. She flees, tears streaming, and then jumps ... and down she falls.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Martyr King 15: The Crimson Minaret

Adventure log for the fifteenth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Our heroes are nursed back to health in the Pruhan capital. There they meet the Black Han member Fermy Falan, and are offered three soulstones by the King if they can save his people from the Tessian Siege.

After some experimentation, it is discovered that normal people can pass through the jumpgates if the gates are slathered in the blood of all 5 adventurers. The vague plan is to teleport everybody out to another minaret, but no options look good. The logistics of feeding 20,000 people through a doorway seems daunting.* However, the King requests that our heroes head north to activate the crimson minaret.

Our heroes are teleported out of the city and begin their trek. The first night Nut zones out during his shift. The next morning he discovers that Hervey's magic wand is gone.

The land is something like scottish highlands and bog. There are frequent fogs, a cool clear fog or a warm oily fog, depending on which way the wind is blowing. They also being to see the dull red glow of the splinter zone to the east.

That day, they are attacked by a few monks from Saffron's order, as eel as a splinter zone beast. The monks tell Saffron that Remi, the self styled Martyr King Reborn, demands that she return the plant. The monks are dispatched, and the one left alive for questioning is beaten to death by Saffron.

Our heroes take a second to talk about the plant. After some discussion, Nut suggests that they all pour some blood on it. Low and behold, the seedling blossoms and begins to grow.

A few days later they arrive at the Crimson Minaret, having ridden their horses to death. Well, Saffron's horse survived, but she decided to fisticuffs coup-de-gras it for good measure.

Inside the Crimson Minaret, a fight against constructs on a See-Saw is had. It is well balanced.

Our heroes activate the jumpgate with a yellow soulstone, slather their blood around, and people begin funneling through. Our heroes are given new horses, the old ones are eaten, and goodbyes are said. Off to Karem-Kora, capital of Narset!

It is now of July 26th, 2000 A.F. This session took 8 days weeks, three of which could be crafted in, four of which were spent in captivity. Who got heroic favor? Our heroes played this session at level 7, but have just leveled up to level 8.

* This is all thoroughly researched.

The average person on rations will eat about 3 pounds of food and water a day (Nutritionists suggest 4.7 pounds of food, .5 pounds of water for a normal day, so rations are slim). For 20,000 people, that's 60,000 pounds.

The average horse can carry approximately 100 pounds for 12 hours without getting tired. If each horse is loaded up, that's 600 horse trips in one day.

Lets assume there is a half an hour walk to the storehouse. With 600 horses each horse only has to make one trip, and we will assume they do it simultaneously. Not a problem, that's only 1 hour total. Loading up each horse takes approximately 15 minutes, and unloading also takes 15 minute so that's another half an hour (also assuming 600 horse loaders and unloaders). So that's an hour and a half for each simultaneous trip.

Okay, so we are at 1:30 assuming we have 600 horses. But we don't. We have 50 horses, as the rest were killed in the war or already eaten for food. So now we 50 horses making 600 trips, or 12 trips each. Each trip takes an 1:30 total, so we have 18 hours total. This isn't including organizational or logistical issues.

Of course, there is a more fundamental problem, that there is no warehouse full of food and water near any jumpgate. There is a city near the copper minaret, but that's at least a 6 hour trek for horses through a jungle. Not including getting them up and down the stairs of the copper minaret.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Martyr King 14: Maven's Father

Adventure log for the fourteenth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

After investigating the armor, our heroes rouse the sorcerer Clark ... except that he's not Clark. His name is Michael Paltry, and he's been hiding out in this tower, killing adventurers and selling their stuff. The bard lures them in, and Michael kills them through traps and, you guessed it, Grizzly bears (its also a good way to grind!). Clark and Beledie (the hero who owned the armor), have been dead for many centuries. After much deliberation, our heroes decide that they like Michael's business plan, and promise to spare his life if he works as their research assistant. Michael hastily agrees.

In the bowels of the Minaret, our heroes find some magically preserved tomes from Clark Laurent. They find little about the tower, but Aymeric makes some discoveries about the soulstones. Evidently "Light" is the power that animates living things, "Dark" is the power that animates the undead. Clark seems to avoid the standard associate of undead and evil.

Deciding that the bard should pay, our heroes go to town and confront Fabguy, who immediately begins writing a song in their honor. Our heroes take him outside, and threaten to kill him, but Fabguy offers a information exchange, explaining that he knows the location of some Dorian scouts. Our heroes agree, and Aymeric simply brands his forearm with "(Lyre)LIAR(Flute)."

Our heroes stumble upon the scouts, who reign down arrows - however, the arrows are all but rendered innocuous by one of Castor's spells, saving much health. A relic walker is with them, the soulstone powered war machines that the Dorians have made but it is taken down along with the scouts and the soulstone is retrieved. Then our heroes head back to the Slate Minaret and activate the Jumpgate. Michael nervously greets them.

Nut pops through to say hello to Adrianne and is automatically paralyzed by a defensive spell. Adrianne, however is happy to see them. All well over all.

Our heroes continue north to Wintershire, Maven's home town, a journey that takes about 3 weeks. He is greeted by a childhood friend (now a cripple, preventing him from being drafted), who is sad to inform him that Maven's mother is dead. He leaves the rest of the explaining to "the paladin."

A paladin is at the gravesite. He greets Maven with love, and introduces himself as Maladrok. He then removes his helmet - he is an orc. And he is Maven's father.

Maladrok explains that he could not see Maven because he took, and broke, a vow of chastity. It would be too obvious to have him around. He also explains that he knows nothing of "The Old Man" (Maven's mysterious god) but that he instead worships the ideal of "Justice." He says that two assassins came in the night and killed Maven's mother. Maladrok killed one and gave the other a nasty scar. He also took the Dorian holy symbol from them.

The party tells Maladrok of their travels. Maladrok says that they must hurry to the capital, and they do (but not before Maven spreads some money around Wintershire).

They enter the Tessian capital and are given fancy rooms. Then, at dinner, they meet the new king Henry Brecht, a brooding, blonde haired young man with a gigantic broadsword which he carries everywhere. The king grills them on their travels, and our heroes begin to get suspicious.

Then the poison sets in.

Nut (not surprisingly) and Maven (surprisingly) drift quickly into unconsciousness. Henry and Maladrok stand up and draw their swords. "Put down your weapons and surrender." Aymeric and Castor briefly consider fighting, but the king and the anti-paladin appear to be high in their "season of adventure," and there are dozens of guards. Castor throws a stink bomb at the king, and then he and Aymeric and beaten into obscurity by guards.

They each wake up tied to chairs in small cells. Then, they are tortured for a few days. Thanks to some good will rolls and self-less actions, Nut, Aymeric, and Castor only tell them about their personal backstories, but nothing else. Maven tells them nothing.

Maven gets a few visits from his father, who appears to show some sincere remorse for the betrayal. Evidently, the plan is to go to the Dorians and split the continent between them. The Tessians are going to throw in the "False Martyrs" to sweeten the deal.

Oh, also - There were no Dorian assassins. Maladrok killed Maven's mother himself, to curry favor with the Dorians. They wanted her dead for some reason. He also killed the old Tessian king, helping Henry take control.

After a few days of torture, our heroes are put in a cage and paraded through the town and then at the head of the Tessian army, where they head back south. The army is large. Five or six hundred cavalry, and over two thousand troops. After three miserable weeks of attempting to break free, they finally reach their destinations.

They meet the Dorians in a large open field. The army is about a third relic walkers (the entire front line) and 2/3rds Dorian monks in light blue and Dorian agents in black leather armor. Also, they have the Beast with them: a giant golden armadillo machine studded with yellow soulstones. It’s about 30 feet tall.

Azriel, the Avatar of Light, is with them. The two armies face each other. the Tessian army far outnumbers the Dorians, who have only about 500. The Avatar goes forward to meet Henry and Maladrok, and Henry begins greeting him and offering him peace terms. They will split the continent in half, etc. The Avatar is as tall as Henry is on his horse. The Avatar is close to Henry, when he suddenly sees the group in the cage. His body bursts into light and his wings go wild, and he suddenly strides with inhuman speed towards the captives. Henry lightheartedly protests, and cuts the Angel off, and Azriel slices Henry's head off and continues towards the heroes.

Maladrok gets in the way and blocks and swing of the Angel, causing his shield to careen towards the cage. A second swing and Maladrok to teleports away, inches away from certain death.

The Dorian army is beginning to cast spells and lumber forward, and the Tessian army is still shocked as Azriel reaches the heroes, his massive glowing sword raised in over his head. He brings it down – and suddenly there is a flash of black and purple and time slows down.

A second angel appeals. This one is purely black, glowing dark purple. He looks virtually identical to Azriel except for the color scheme. He has blocked Azriel’s blade and pushes him back. The fight between the armies starts in slow motion behind them, and it is clear that the Tessian have already lost. Bolts and glowing spheres fly from the Dorian army, exploding and sending Tessians flying. Horses are rearing and already the infantry are beginning to rout.

The battle between Azriel and the black angel at first seems evenly matched. But with every blow (which looks and sounds like a lightning strike), the black angel seems to be weakening. They spin and turn, using their wings as fluid weapons nearly as much as their swords.

Suddenly, the heroes hear a voice inside their heads. As the voice speaks, the battle continues in slow motion, and the duel between the two angels intensifies.

I am Demphiel, Avatar of Darkness. Azriel is far stronger than I on the mortal plane, and I cannot hold out for long. I do not have much time and neither does your world. The God of Light desires the slavery of the human race, to repay the power you took from him so long ago. Go to the High Temple of Darkness in Narset. Speak to the High Priest of Darkness. Show him my sign. He will tell you what to do.”

For just a moment, our heroes find themselves in a vast black space, where dark purple shapes float far and near. There is no air, and they are suffocating.

Moments later they hit the ground in a large room. There is a sudden uproar as many people jump to their feet. Screams and gasps, and our heroes black out.

They slowly come to over the next few days, exhausted from the weeks of torment. It becomes apparent that they have been teleported to the capital of Pruhan, which is currently under siege by Tessia.

It is the evening of July 18th, 2000 A.F. This session took 7 weeks, four of which could be crafted in, four of which were spent in captivity. Heroic Favor goes to Aymeric for branding the bard. Our heroes played this session at level 7.

In this map, Yellow is the Northern Alliance, Red is the Western and Eastern Coalitions (which have basically banded together in a group called "The Guardians"), and Blue is the Dorians.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Martyr King 13: Bayka's Ambush and the Slate Minaret

Adventure log for the thirteenth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Saffron calls out to her companions moments before her bow is shattered. Moments laters she brought down to negative hit points by a furious Bayka, taking revenge for his defeat n the boat. The inquisitor looks non-plussed. "Well that was easy."

Bayka waits a round, calling for Aymeric to face him, for the heroes to rouse themselves. All do except Aymeric, who is a very sound sleeper! Bayka deals a brutal amount of damage, and has a fairly large AC. A few De-buff are stacked on him, which is good, and the fight looks even better when he gets glued to the ground. However, Bayka teleports around. After a few good wakizashis and bombs to the face, Bayka teleports/explodes away again.

Our heroes take a moment to examine the cube they received a while back once more. Nut is able to pull out a small white pane of glass from the center. The pane seems to register our heroes, but nothing else - not the horses, not the trees, not the campfire.

A few days later, our heroes come across a traveling bard (with some magical ability) entertaining a group of Augerians. The Bard is singing "The Legend of Sorcerer Laurent," and Maven recognizes the tune and joins in. He then chastises the Bard for having such a bad build.

The Bard, who introduces himself as "Fabguy Babrick the Bold," and seems like a trustworthy fellow, convinces our heroes to defeat the famous sorcerer Clark Laurent in his tower not too far from here. Wealth and fame is promised! Castor is reluctant to deviate from the course, but the tower is only an hour's walk from here.

When our heroes reach the tower, it becomes clear that it is the top few stories of a Slate Minaret that has sunk into the earth. Our heroes enter the minaret, detect a trap, and Nut goes about disarming it. When it looks like agile maneuvering might be needed, Castor casts fly on himself and reduce person on Maven. However, the trap gets harder and harder to disarm with every wire snipped, and when it goes off a gigantic boulder begins rolling towards our crew! Saffron grabs Maven, and the combination Monk, Ninja, and Flying Alchemist easily outpace the rock. On the way, they avoid two zombies and petrify (yes, petrify with a critical) a minotaur.

Our heroes make their way Clark Laurent's living quarters, where they find nothing but junk. Then, Grizzly bears!

Our heroes surmise that they are dealing with an invisible wizard who summons monsters. He's hard to detect, but Saffron is able to place his general area when the wizard mutters his spells. A bomb by Castor entangles Clark (great idea, but it doesn't do much). Nut really saves the day, firing Poisoned Shuriken into random squares. He is very lucky with the 50% miss chance (3 for 3), and through Clark resists the poisons at first, eventually he succumbs. All that is left is the bears.

Our heroes look around and find mostly junk. Fabguy was mistaken after all. However, our heroes do come across an unactivated "Jumpgate," just like the one in the Copper Minaret.

It is the evening of May 29th, 2000 A.F. This session took 4 days. Our heroes played this session at level 7. Saffron earns heroic favor for coming up with the idea of shrinking Maven.

In this map, Yellow is the Northern Alliance, Red is the Western and Eastern Coalitions (which have basically banded together in a group called "The Guardians"), and Blue is the Dorians. You guys are a little bit east of the Midland Capital.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Martyr King 12: The Angel and the King

Adventure log for the twelfth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Using the blueprints that Smith has laid out, our heroes sneak into the Castle in the dead of night (Nut stays behind with Patrick to guard the ship). They emerge from some underground tunnels into the wine cellar, where they immediately attract the attention some well trained Auger Royal Guards. Some brief attempts at diplomacy are made, but the fight seems inevitable so our heroes just go for it and kill the four guardsmen.

They head to the throne room. As they get closer they hear the voices of the king and the angel, arguing, each accusing the other of betrayal.

Saffron takes a sneak peek around the corner, and is immediately shaken by the sight of a large, 8 foot tall humanoid dressed in glowing golden armor. He has immense wings that are somewhere between the antlers of a stag and wild tentacles that made of blinding yellow light.

Azriel turns and sees Saffron. He shouts "They told me you were dead! They said the last of you was dead!"

Combat starts. Despite the fact that this is clearly a being of immense power, our heroes charge towards him. However, before the battle can start in earnest, the king uses a scroll and banishes Azriel "back from whence he came." As Azriel disappears, one strand of one of his wings shoots across the room and pierces the king's chest.

Our heroes rush to the side of the king. There is a hole in his chest, and his body is slowly being consumed by yellow fire. He gives the heroes his royal ring and tells them to take it to the king of Tessia, "an old friend." They need to convince the Tessian King to stop warring with his neighbors and band with them against the Dorian Threat. The war is also more advanced then they know. The Northern Alliance has taken a great chunk of the Eastern Alliance, and is now eating away at the Western Alliance (see map). The Dorian armies have just a few days ago started to quietly advance, and our heroes will need to move quickly to outpace it.

Suddenly, Hervey Dunt and his bodyguard Marcus Dawn burst into the room. They are shocked to see the king dying, but when Hervey sees Castor he turns furious. "Where is he? Where is Nut?" He pulls out his "strange metallic wand" and starts shooting peeps.

Marcus deals some massive damage, but an unfortunate critical fumble leaves Saffron with one of his swords. She flees across the room and shoots from a safe distance. Maven is disturbed to see that Hervey's metalic magic missiles go right through his armor, and he backs away as well. Castor and Aymeric get close, and a spiritual weapon critical glops arcane goo onto Hervey.

After a few rounds of heavy damage on both sides, Hervey and Marcus fall. Saffron runs in, shouting something about a tornado, and coup-de-gras them. Aymeric decides to take Hervey's head. Our heroes then loot and hurry out of the castle the same way they came in.

They go back to Smith, where they give him Hervey's head (which he doesn't want... too incriminating). They are surprised to see Nut and Patrick back at Smith's. Evidently, the Salty Stache was searched and burned by Dorian inquisitors. They know that the "False Martyrs" are here. Our heroes decide the best course of action is to trudge the 5 week journey across Mildan to the capital of Tessia and tell the king. They leave the city within the hour, and tell Patrick to meet them in Tessia. Patrick, not having the greatest of relations with our heroes, gives a non-commital response.

That first night, Nut begins having nightmares.

In his sleep he sees a beheaded Hervey Dunt scrambling in the dark. The agent is chasing after a woman that Nut does not recognize. Then, to Nut's surprise, he himself appears, slits the woman's throat, then walks away. Hervey changes course. Now the headless corpse is crawling after him. Hervey gets closer and closer until Nut wakes in a terror.

The dreams happen the next night. And the night after that. And the night after that. Every night, it seems, Nut is being chased by the corpse of Hervey.

A few days out of town, and our heroes grab some horses.

Our heroes are now a week away from Auger. It's Saffron's watch, maybe 1 or 2 in the morning. She hears a half-elven voice call out. "Don't say anything, don't raise the alarm. Saffron is that you?" Saffron nods. Then, a few moments later, Bayka exits invisibility with a hefty swing that just misses her bow. Bayka's all kinds of fucked up looking. His skin has gone an ashen grey, his veins and pupil are glowing yellow light. And the soulstone in his armor is glowing stronger than ever.

It is the early morning of May 25th, 2000 A.F. This session took 9 days. Our heroes played this session at level 6, but just leveled up to level 7. Maven got a point of heroic favor healing people!

In this map, Yellow is the Northern Alliance, Red is the Western and Eastern Coalitions (which have basically banded together in a group called "The Guardians"), and Blue is the Dorians. You guys are just north of the "r" in Auger. Maven lived just south of the second "s" in Tessia.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Martyr King 11: Meeting With Smith

Adventure log for the eleventh session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

No no, not meeting Will Smith, meeting with Smith. Sorry, Will Smith is next session.

More plans are discussed, and it is decided that the best course of action is to have Saffron scout the castle. Our heroes find an inn, then wait for night to fall. Saffron sneaks out at about 1 am, and goes to the castle. She uses her boots of levitation to get over the first wall, then drops and starts levitating up the main castle wall. However, the sheer number of perception rolls going against her (4-6 every round for each guard) combined with some less than stellar stealth rolls results in her being seen.

None-the-less, Saffron continues up to the roof of the Castle. She finds a way in, but the stairway down is completely black. Then, she starts getting shot at from the archers on the turrets. It's not a huge inconvenience, but after an arrow or two she decides to bail. A stealthy leap off the side of the castle, followed by levitation down and a dash to the outer wall sees her escape. Then, it's monk's improved movement away!

The next day, our heroes notice more chatter and guards on the streets.

Castor decides to take the group to the dock district, where they find a seedy looking alchemist at "The Boiling BIle." After some sweet talk, the alchemist directs the heroes to a certain Gerald Parlour, a friend of Smith and of Castor.

They meet up with Gerald, who informs them that Smith is still alive. Things are a bit tense when they notice Informer Joe and Saffron instantly takes him out. To calm things down, Aymeric pulls out his Inquisitorial badge, which just makes Gerald agitated. After some more sweet talk, Gerald take the group to Smith (Informer Joe is left tied and gaged in an alleyway - alive).

Smith is not looking too good. He's scarred, with a bum leg and a bum arm. He reluctantly ushers the heroes inside his crappy house and does some 'splaining.

Evidently, the Dorians have their sights set on the entire continent of Mildan. The Augerian King made a deal with the Dorians - he would provide them with Darkwood if they would grant Auger sovereignty. The Darkwood was provided, and Dorian armies and war machines were shuttled across the inner sea. However, the Dorians began a subtle and bloodless coup. The King is likely still in the castle, along with Hervey Dunt, the Auger secret service agent who defected to the Dorians. There are also rumors of some kind of angelic being in the castle.

Hervey approached Smith, asking him to assist in the coup, using drugs as leverage. When Smith refused, Hervey started taking out his organization. Eventually, Hervey and his bodyguard tracked down Smith at the docks. Hervey attacked with some sort of ancient relic, something like a shiny wand, and Smith fell into the water ... but survived. He's been in hiding ever since.

The Dorians forged an unease alliance with the Sartori, who provided the drugs needed as leverage.

Smith knows a way into the castle. Our heroes could use these tunnels to get inside. But, Smith wants revenge on the Sartori. Take them out for me, would you? Castor readily agrees.

The next day, our heroes head into the woods and seek out the drug lab. They make quick work of a Grizzly Bear, a fleeing animal trainer, and some bits of animal fur (where did those come from? Saffron shrugs her shoulders), they head inside.

They are greeted by five Emut Val-Tee's chugging away at drug making equipment. Emut is surprised to see Castor, but none the less ready to fight. It appears that one of these Emut clones has some degree of sentience and starts chucking bombs. The others wield lab equipment, and are rigged to explode when killed! Main Emut proves to be nasty, but three or four criticals takes him down (sigh).

The place is searched (even that random area in the corner), and some meager drugs and gold is found. But not much.

It is the afternoon of May 16th, 2000 A.F. This session took two days. Our heroes are level 6. Castor got a point of heroic favor for defeating his baddie.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Martyr King 10: The Augerian Regroup

Adventure log for the tenth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Frantic plans are made. Saffron is asleep, Nut finally stops laughing, but Aymeric is still a bit dazed. They decide that Nut, Aymeric, and Maven will dress in guard outfits and attempt to nonchalantly leave (carrying Saffron). Castor will fly and drop bombs, providing a distraction.

And what a distraction! The guards arrive, and Castor screams bloody sacrilege, flinging smoke and tanglefoot bombs with impunity. The other heroes attempt to leave, but are stopped by two guards, who find their story suspicious. Just like last week, an inability to come up with convincing lies ultimately drags down the bluff checks, and our heroes find themselves engaged. The two guards are tough, and only Maven and Nut are able to contribute, neither being particularly in his element.

Castor, on the other hand, is finding that the skies, or at least rooftops, are very much his element. By making use of the building roofs, he is able to gain cover against the crossbow men, confuse the melee dudes, and stay out of range of another "Robes." He singlehandedly smokes, glues, and entangled a dozen Dorian guards (though I don't think he actually killed any of them). It's brilliant. An EXTREMELY close call sees Robes fail his concentration check due to entangling, preventing him from telling Nut this really funny joke. That certainly would have been the end for the party in that fight. The only guy Castor does kill, and right in the nick of time, is Robes.

Luckily, our heroes escape from the scene, Castor flying in one direction and the others fleeing quietly in another. About an hour later, they regroup at the boat, and decide to push off, heading east to the suburban village of Treeton.

There is much to discuss. What's the next step? How will they maintain disguises, now that they are wanted men, and at least a handful of people have seen their faces? Did they make the right choices? Would they rather fight a kraken then any more Guards?

A nice magical item is bought to disguise Maven (being a half-orc, he is somewhat conspicuous), and questions are asked around Treeton without too much more information being gleaned. Hervey Dunt is still stalking the streets and inspiring fear, evidently. People don't know that much about the apparent silent coup. Our heroes then head to the castle, which appears to be nearly deserted; a few Dorian Guards, maybe a bureaucrat or servant every few hours . . . nothing like the hustle and bustle that Nut and Castor remember. They question an old receptionist, who, initially gruff, becomes increasing friendly with every passing diplomacy check. However, when Maven explains that he is from Tessia, the woman shrieks and bolts.

Next, our heroes locate an abandoned house in the wealthy district. They stop a rando, who explains that it belonged to a bureaucrat who was kicked out when the Dorians came. However, the rando is increasingly put on edge when the heroes question him, and he scampers when he gets the chance.

Our heroes continue to ponder. Every night Maven receives a similar vision from the Old Man: Save the King. There are many potential courses to take. Simply try to break into the castle? Locate a disgruntled castle worker? Locate some loyal Augerians, perhaps guards? Try to track down Smith? Forget this whole thing and go off in search of another adventure? Kick a puppy? Save a puppy? The choices are endless.

It is now the evening of May 14th. This session took 3 days (the 12th, 13th, and 14th). It was played at level 6.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Martyr King 9: Dungeon and Dragon

Adventure log for the ninth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Let's take a few steps back, to a non-cannon event on the ship.

A few days ago, on the Salty Stache, our heroes were getting a bit of cabin fever. They decided to stop off at one of the many tropical islands in the inner sea to take a look around and explore the Golden Age ruins. Castor decided to stay back to brew and mend relations with Patrick.

After not too much exploring, our heroes come across a gigantic temple. They search around until they find a door... a door to a good old fashion dungeon crawl!

Immediately upon opening the door, our heroes are greeted with the stench of sickly sweet flowers. Once the smell dissipates, they are faced with five levers of varying sizes and materials. A sign says "Seek Wealth and Enter" in Arcane. Aymeric is able to read the runes on the switches and find the runes for wealth. Flip is switched, and stairs appear (I also would have accepted an appraise check!).

A staircase leads them down to a corridor with a foot or two of dank, opaque water. Maven trudges through it without issue, and examines an adventurer's corpse at the end of the hallway, staying a bit away from it. When the others attempt to cross the hallway, they are attacked by plants who attempt to drag them under the water. However, Aymeric and Maven set up a rope to help guide everybody across. Liberal use of ropes this session.

The corpse is some kind of haunt, but little attention is paid to it. Maven darts in, loots the adventurer of his Spiked +1 Shield, and darts out again.

Maven open the next door and is immediately hit by the spell sucking power of some strange purple crystals. Saffron steps up and shoots them. They are brittle and easily destroyed.

The next room has a chest with a 50 foot deep, 25 foot wide chasm between it and our heroes. Saffron leaps across to open the chest, which transforms into a mimic! Things get very hairy for a few turns, as nobody else is able to help as much as they would like. Still, it's well played. Saffron gets off a volley before she goes down into negatives. Maven does some long range channeling, and invites the mimic to move a square forward. Aymeric casts spiritual weapon. Nut struggles, but throws two shruiken for one damage each. The second time he does this, the one damage kills the Mimic! Saffron would have been dead for sure!

Next room has an 100 foot chasm, a mechanical horse with wings, and a stone. Each player either rides the horse across, or gets "fly" cast on him by the stone and makes a fly check. Saffron and Nut get across first, and open next the door without waiting for the others. A giant troll emerges! Oops! The fight, however, is brief, and the troll is pwned, then burned.

Next room has a giant stone frowning face, and three symbols: A man creating a table, a man singing, and a man selling goods. There is also a sign in arcane: "Entertain me, Create for Me, Work for Me." Our heroes make Profession (Nut - Sailor), Craft (Saffron - Bow), and Perform (Nut - Juggling) checks. However, each failed check results in LIGHTNING TO THE FACE. But they make it by.

Next room is a corridor with a tripwire that ends in a dead end. Nut ascertains that the tripwire will drop the floor, and he attempts to rig up a device to set it off from afar.

Whoops. It goes off and he falls into a room. A room with a Giant Red Lizard with Wings.

He immediately gets a face-full of fire, and our other heroes jump to the rescue. Flanking is had, wings are buffetted, and claws are raked. Our heroes notice the way the creature is dragging its tail and decide to name it a "Drag-On."

Finally, Saffron decides to end its misery. She flurries, gets two hits and a crit for double damage, and sets the new record for damage in one turn: 67. The place is looted (10,000 gp and some great magic items), and all go home happy.

This session took no time and was played at level 6.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Martyr King 8: The Guard Fight

Adventure log for the eigth session in the "Legacy of the Martyr King" campaign.

Our heroes arrive in Auger, dock, and then ask the Dockmaster and Auger Guards a few questions in addition to making their own observations. Here is what they come up with.

Over the past few months, Dorian Guards, Soldiers, and Agents have slowly been replacing the Auger Guards. This is, in theory, to help buffer the peaceful state against the militaristic struttings of the Northern Alliance. The Dorians seem to be keeping the peace better than the Auger Guards were, and there is no strong sense of oppression. There are no drug dealers to be found, and the streets seem cleaner and quieter - overall an improvement for the lawful of the group.

It also seems clear that nobody really knows what is going on. Neither the Dockmaster nor the Guards have a clear sense of who is giving these orders. They simply get their personal orders, which is usually to treat the Dorians like kin.

Also, the Dorian ships have been setting up to the west, where (we can only assume) a large Dorian camp is. Almost no Dorian ships dock at the main Auger docks.

All of this is disconcerting.

Castor and Nut decide that to get more information, they should pay their old friend Smith a visit. They go to his warehouse, only to find it deserted. However, a shady looking man in a cloak beckons them closer, and offers to take them to Smith's new residence. Aymeric thinks this is fishy, and senses the shit out of his motive. Dude be lying! When the conversation turns ugly the guy bolts, but Saffron takes him down with some nonlethal arrows.

Our heroes drag him inside the warehouse, tie him up, and then wake him. He spends the next few second screaming at the top of his lungs before Nut clocks him a good one. They gag him and discuss. Aymeric dons his inquisitor outfit, Castor uses disguise self to look like a Dorian guard, and Saffron goes to a window to lookout for approaching enemies.

The dude is woken back up, threatened, and then his gag is removed. He explains that his job is to look for shady fellows and sends them to the Dorians. He usually catches people trying to follow Smith's trail. Evidently Smith escaped from the Dorians.

Saffron hears many boots coming. They will be here in about a minute. The heroes discuss what to do, and decide to hide, clobbering the dude unconscious again. Castor stands outside, looking like a Dorian Guard.

Five crossbow men, four guards with swords and shield, and one guy in robes approach. They do not see through Castor's disguise, and Castor does a pretty good job of bluffing for a while. But, eventually, he runs out of answers (Who is your superior officer? Where are you stationed? Why are you here? Why are you in your uniform?). A fight ensues!

And what a fight! Hopelessly outgunned, our heroes refuse to give up. Highlights include: Nut spending the entire combat under the effects of Hideous Laughter. Saffron with some poor shooting, culminating in critically fumbling a Drow Poison arrow and poisoning herself. Maven standing in the thick of things, unsuccessfully shield bashing but successfully healing. Aymeric spending a few turns buffing and closing in, only to be turned by a charm person. Castor bombing the bottleneck, then burning two points of heroic favor to explode Robes. The informer dude breaking out of his bonds, going to steal nut's Wakizashi's then changing his mind and fleeing. Then finally, Aymeric intimidating everybody with a nice 27, leading to a rout.

However, the rout is really not the best option. Our heroes now have five guards all running in opposite directions, yelling for backup. Nut has finally stopped laughing but Saffron is unconscious and Aymeric is pissed at Castor for blowing up his magically induced buddy.

This session took only about two hours. It is still May 12th.

This session was played at level 5. Castor earned another point of heroic favor for taking out Robes (by using two points of heroic favor)