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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Feb 2008

    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    So where were we? Oh yes-

    Session 1, part 2- Journey through Kenabres' underground

    The following part of the adventure takes the party through a fairly long journey under the city, as they seek a way to return to the surface. As mentioned before I've scraped the initial encounters in favor of the Clydewell plaza encounter. There have been a few more minor changes, but nothing major.

    The party started going in the tunnel, with Sena casting light every little while, and Andrew in the lead. The road was slow and tricky, having to deal with Anevia's broken leg and Aravash' blindness. Harry tried to comfort him, and struck a conversation. They soon learned that he was one of the leaders of the black wing archives, a library dedicated to the research of demon fighting. They gained some respect for him, though they understood that a blind mage is extremely limited.

    Conversation turned to what just happened in the plaza. Terendelev's death bode ill, but more than that the explosion of the kite, and the (assumed) loss of the wardstone. "The demons could swarm in now, just as they had" remarked Andrew grimly. "More than that" called Aravash "The Wardstones are linked to each other, with one gone, the others might fail as well. The entire border might be open! We... How... "Aravash seemed to half break at this time. Surprisingly Horus was the one not to give up. "Demons have infiltrated the city even when the wardstone was in place. The crusaders fought them before, and they will again, if we just get to the blasted surface!" It might have won him some points with the party if he kept his displeasure of Anevia and Aravash a bit more closed.

    Sena, who was always a watcher of people, watched the 3 closely. He did not like the tension, or what brew underneath it. Andera almost echoed his thoughts "The attack was extremely well timed and executed, and we saw traitors in the crowd. There was treason here, in the highest ranks." With that unease settling on them, they journeyed on.

    The fight site
    Not that long after they reached a small cave, with two dead figures laying in it. One dressed in the crusading uniform of Iomedae, the other... a strange creature, who seemed like a fusion of many different races into one humanoid body. I was surprised that no one in the party recognized this as a mongrelman, but better that way. Investigation revealed that the two fought, and then a shake must have loosened a boulder that killed the young crusader. The party rummaged through their belongings, getting some supplies, a potion or two, and a brooch in the shape of a silver bat sitting on a white mushroom. At first they thought it was a holy symbol, but realized it isn't. They contemplated as to the strange humanoid, and some wagered it might be some sort of a deformed demon of some sort.

    Oh well, carry on.

    DM notes
    I refluffed and joined the loot from the two caves after the initial one, trying to create a bit more of a story. The original design gives a good chance of missing the brooch just because the party went to the wrong tunnel. Didn't seem that fair.

    The forgotten temple
    Some more distance in (And after quite a bit of pestering from Aravash "What is happening now?", "What do you see?" and so on) The party reaches a side cave, in which there is some sort of a stone building. They explore around it, but the only meaningful signs are on the doors- religious signs, old signs, depicting this as a small temple to Sarenrae?

    Anevia was quite moved, but tried to cover it, complaining about her leg. Horus burst and mocked her, and she mocked him in return for "hiding your own faith!" (Eyes of some players go "ping!") and he in return yelled at her that he would not be scolded by a mere consorter with thieves! (second "ping!") But Andrew grew tired of this. "Enough! Both of you- silence now, and stay outside!" (The player joked that this was like dealing with his kids) Both were not that pleased, but at truce... for now.

    Sena was immediately intrigued by the temple, but the old air of the place worried the party. They went into a small foyer, leaving the 3 NPCs outside "You watch over her!" Said Andrew to Horus. Sena opened the door to the inner chamber, in which he has seen an altar, and in front of it... an old dwarven cleric, shed with a warm light. Sena was confused " What the..." But Andrew allready sensed it's evil "It's a trick!"

    And indeed it was a trick, as the Huecuvae's illusion faded, and he came lunging at Sena. Meanwhile they could hear Anevia yelling from outside, and some ectoplasmic creature came through the wall towards them! (Anevia was beset by one outside, the creatures could move through walls)

    The battle was very quick, very one sided, as the party destroyed the undead quickly, with only Sena suffering some. Andera proved very nimble in tumbling past enemies to sneak attack them, and Andrew was caught with no maneuvering space and so threw... a chakaram? Oh well. Mad dog still proved as a massive damage dealer.

    They then went one exploring the temple. Some loot, but also some writings on the back wall, starting with prayers, and what seemed like pleas ""Bring us light in time of darkness...", "From the burning fire let me return!" and more. They concluded this was a temple built long ago by a priest of the goddess, trying to repent for something, but not succeeding, and turning the other way.

    Slightly depressed, Sena wished to consecrate the temple once more. I argued it could take about 15 minutes (The adventure says 8 hours, but as I mentioned before, this is an unreasonable amount of time in the situation). He was helped by Anevia and... Horus, who seemed intent on "purge corruption and return the faith". Their efforts were successful, and a soft light descended on the party, as well as the effect of bless for battles to come. (Only we... forgot about it Still, worth the XP, no?)

    Small note: The party later gets XP on bringing the NPCs alive with them, so at some points I try to challenge this, with having the NPCs attacked.

    DM notes and design
    The original design includes only the Heucuvae. But the original adventure is also planned for 4 characters, not 5, and the XP to match. I decided to add challenges that will also provide extra XP for the fifth character. That was included in the Clydewell plaza, but also on other accounts through out the adventure. In this case I added 2 extoplasmic humans.

    I also about doubled the space of the temple. It looked extremely cramped and boring to fight in.

    Cave of the ancestors, or "Of darkmantles and Crazy dwarves"
    On wards into the darkness, the party trudged on. They finally reached a big cavern with big statues in it. "Statues? Bring me closer! Describe them to me!" called Aravash. As they came near however two dark figures detached from the ceilings, and tried to hit and grab Harry and Horus. The two darkmantles however failed, and a short and lethal fight started. Unfortunately I forgot to use their darkness ability before combat, which made the battle much easier. in about 2 rounds 1 beastie was dead, the other flew up, and those with crossbows started taking shots at it.

    It was then that Sena heard some murmurs from further along, in a nearby tunnel. "They are coming to get us! Yes they are! Finally, they have come for us! They will not catch!" Now, this are the mad ravings of an evil dwarf wizard in the next cave who ran down here long ago, initially planned to be another fight encounter, but the party? "This must be some poor soul who fled the witch hunts down here, don't kill him, we'll try and persuade him!" said Andrew. I smiled inwardly- this may prove interesting!

    They came close, and Andrew, then Sena tried their diplomacy against Millorn, but failed. Sena moved into his cave and sw him, protected by a giant centipede (another addition for challenge and XP), He tries again, But Millorn seems to be panicked now, mumbling strange things under his breath, as if to himself and some... other people?

    Andrew came in, trying to do nonlethal damage to the centipede (Whom he mistook for Millorn's familiar) but failing. Mad dog and Andera use full movements to come from the other side of Millorn, which makes him panic even more, and he unleashes a color spray on them! Only it's made of various shades of grey dark. (The adventure says he worked into dark magic, I wanted to suggest that). This takes both of them out of the fight completely. Millorn, seeing how many there are, tries to retreat towards his escape tunnel.

    Sena rushes to grapple Millorn while Andrew smacks away the centipede into unconsciousness, but Millorn slams two dark magic missiles into Sena, which disengages to heal himself with his last spell. Anevia comes in yelling "witch!" and tries to shoot him. This makes Sena tries lethal methods as well, While Andrew still tries non lethal. The combination (With some help from Harry. "Non lethal? what's that?") manages to take down the mad dabbling dwarf, severely wounded, but alive.

    An attempt at redemption, and some rest
    There is a slight argument between the characters, whether Millorn is a crazy evil witch, and should be killed, or should he be spared and questioned. Millorn has managed 1 or 2 more spells in the battle, and the party is exhausted and wounded. combining this with the fact that the wizard wishes to read the spells of Millorn's book, but haven't learned read magic", they decide to rest.

    They debate whether to use one of the scales or not, but decide that there is not much time, and use it. Sena uses his last channel energy charges, healing the party nicely, before the scale sheds a warm silvery glow surrounds the party, and after 5 minutes they are refreshed. Aravash explores the cavern with the statues with the help of some others- they depict figures from the first crusades! "These must be made by the descendents!" he is excited. "There were rumors that some of the descendents, inflicted by the vile magic went underground. No one has ever seen this! It is a major discovery!" The characters mostly shrugged their shoulders, letting him jabber.

    Harry studies spells while They go through Millorn's stuff. They find his spellbook, potions, magical cloak and a few other neat thingies, including a journal. I tried to make it mad scribbling in dwarven, but no one spoke that. So Sena learned Comprehend languages as well (He is such a conspiracy theorist!)

    The journal depicts Millorn studying magic, but drawn to some darker paths, some "voices", some "oracles", "the great ones" (Call of Cthulu here we come! ) and some sort of... event... after which his writings become more and more insane. The spell's duration suffices just for a quick skimming of the journal, but there is mention of the great lords, servitude and more.

    Andrew however takes pity on the dwarf, and awakens him, giving him a rousing speech of turning his life away from wickedness and dark magic. But the dwarf is adamant, talking about serving and bringing the great lords back, and so forth, confused by the party whether they'll kill him or let him go. (The party was conflicted as well). Andrew' player joked that if he pinged "evil" on the detect evil ability they should kill him. (And he did). Sena was quite ambivalent and unsure about him. disliking the dwarf greatly for dabbling in abusive arts. A strange turn came when Horus said "He's a dark witch, demon worshiper, I say burn him!" with anger and hatred in his eyes. To which Sena turned "You would burn a man?" and Horus answered "A demon worshiper yes! They deserve no more!" This made Sena choose to try and redeem him as well, and I think this sort of black marked Horus in his eyes. (Mad dog however said- "yeah! That's a good idea! He tried to kill us! Let's get his stuff!" (Face palm! )

    But it was Andera that made the real change. He came to Millorn "The dark lords will save you? Where are they now? where have they been for the past 50 years? while you were here, living underground, an outcast to the world? where is their great promise? Did their magic save you from us? If you live this day, it is because of the power of our compassion, and caring, not the dark gods" and so on.

    It was beautiful! He confronted the dwarf turn after turn in each of his beliefs, shaking him, rattling him, while Andrew shows the side of light and benevolence. It was enough (with a good diplomacy check) to make Millorn stutter and utter confusedly "I... I... I don't know! So much... You said so much... Millorn needs to think! Can't think! They speak! They call! Always in my mind! But you say... A light?" and so on.

    Where was Harry? He was copying spells from the book. Grease and resist energy. Most of Millorn's spells are illusions for some reason, which are fro ma forbidden school to Harry.

    Tell the truth I didn't know quite what to make of this, so I played it by ear. It was enough to start the dwarf on the way of redemption. But will he join them? I was starting to think ahead, but the party had other ideas. Sena would not let the dwarf join "Enough that one of this voices tells him to attack us in the middle of a fight, and we're done for! one of those color spray spells can take most of us down!". So came the decision of what to do with Millorn. There was much debate, but Andrew's voice was the most dominant. "We will let him go. WITH all of his equipment (This brought lots of moans from Mad dog and Harry, slightly from Sena as well). He needs this to survive the caves. We can't set him on the right path and then take his means of survival away." Anevia was touched by this, and laid her hand on Andrew' shoulder "Your kindness and chivalry remind me of my wife Arabeth." (This made her a friend to the PCs, including the Xp that comes with that)

    So they untied him, and gave him all of his stuff back, including the centipede which was awoken as well. He was utterly stunned, not comprehending. They traded a gold ring from the forgotten temple encounter for Millorn's potion of invisibility. As he took the ring The obvious joke came up. Tell the truth, I've been playing Millorn a LOT like him.

    They questioned him a bit about ways out, but he said that with the shakes he didn't know. The tunnels above belong to the "mole people". Aravash was surprised "We heard of them! The underlings, the tunnelers! People who live in Kenabres underbelly! I thought they were a myth!" They fared goodbye to Millorn, and headed onwards.

    I awarded the PCs add hoc XP for achieving this.

    Mad dog's player looks at Sena's player and shakes her head "Where or where is D*ck Mighty?!" (A reference to the FATE campaign)

    DM notes
    This was my favorite part in the entire session, and a really fun challenge. It brought more than any other challenge the different personalities of the party. I like that Andrew is roleplaying as a good, but sensible paladin so far. Not a stick in the mud.

    I've decided that this act of kindness might be rewarded somehow in the future. Millorn will be back, and have the chance to fall again or redeem himself. Not sure how yet, though some ideas have come to my mind. I'll detail them in a later post.

    Cave in and mongrelmen
    The party so far likes Anevia, is ambiguous about Aravash, and dislikes Horus (Except for Mad dog, who likes him). They trudge further into the tunnels, and come upon a caved in guard post of 3 mongrelmen, one pinned by a large rock. Harry helps with his engineering knowledge, Mad dog pushes the rock easily, Sena heals them, and they quickly chatter with them, learning of Neathholme, the home of the Mongrelmen, who are the descendents of those crusaders influenced by the Worldwound magic in the first crusade, getting down.

    The party asks them to escort them to Neathholme, to which their leader- Lann, agrees. Horus throws some insults, and Aravash makes "lovely comments" such as "Oh my! meeting the mole people! The burrowers! how exciting! We must see if they managed to scour a primitive existence..." But both were very quickly, very harshly shut up.

    Deep chasm
    I'm only including this since it's in the adventure- a deep chasm that the party (along with Anevia and Aravash) need to cross. It's quite pathetically easy, with a bit of innovation and thought.

    Dead cultists
    The adventure says that just before reaching Neathholme, Lann warns of a fierce fungus creature guardian, but that in actuality the cave is empty and includes some clues.

    The warning however led to a stop in the game, where the party started to plan tactics and so on. It was allready late in the session, but they wanted to be careful, which proved like a big let down once the real situation was found. I don't quite understand the need for the warning... What is it supposed to achieve? spend spells or other resources for nothing? I suggest to just have the party find the dead cultists.

    And they did- 2 dead bodies in the uniform of Iomedae, but with glaves, spiked gauntlets and even a Baphomet holy symbol. Sena destroyed the symbol in disgust.

    Anevia became frantic "Those clothes are of a higher rank of crusaders! They must have infiltrated deep! Please, we must get to Arabeth!" While Aravash insisted that they could take a body to identify it above. "We might get it's spirit to talk and identify other traitors!" To my surprise, the party agreed! Mad Dog took one of the bodies upon him. They also enjoyed the two MW chain shirts, one going to Andera, another to Mad Dog. (This made Aravahs friendly, gaining his XP)

    Welcome to Neathholme
    The road from there was short, the party reached another small guard post by Mongrelmen, were greeted, and let in into the great cave and settlement of Neathholme.
    We ended the session here. I think they managed to go through quite a lot in one sitting! Andrew and Sena's characters are the most dominant so far, with Mad Dog's the most detached, hopefully just because his player didn't have much time to go over the material and is new to the system. I hope this will change.

    Current XP: 1,800 per character. They will level up next session, possibly even to level 3. The Mongrelmen' dungeon is coming up!

    I hope you liked the read, please feel free to ask questions, leave comments, or just say what you liked and what not.

    We'll play next Saturday, which means I'll update a few days after that.
    Farewell for now!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-01-04 at 09:28 AM.

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