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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!)

    Ok! The long wait is over! It's time for another session's log! However, an important note: I've updated Sena's and Mad dog's choices in the previous post. Sena decided at the last minute to not take a level of fighter, but stay a cleric instead (But took the heavy armor proficiency feat). And he has 30 hit points. Mad dog needed to update the choices from the Hall of heroes, mainly the Intimidating Prowess feat. The player wanted to be scary.

    Ok, here goes

    Session 5, First part- Defender's Heart, Tower of Estrod.

    This sessions revolved mostly around Defender's Heart Inn. The Gray Garrison will be the final chapter of the module, and I thought this would be a great place to have some fun roleplay, give the PCs some place to express themselves, tie loose ends, and quite importantly- plant seeds for the final scene of the module. I have plans for the Areelu Vorlesh revenge, something that I hope will be more interesting than a mere fight with some babaus. But for that I needed to seed some suspicions. The party seemed to want something more than "A unified good front", so I was... obliging them . There was also the battle at the Tower of Estrod which turned... well, you'll see.

    Finishing at the Hall of Heroes

    Last we ended the session, the party just got the rewards from the spirits and/ or gods of the Hall of Heroes. Commander John, Sena's mentor stepped towards them. "The heroes... the heroes have returned." He looked at them all with some awe, as did the surviving soldiers. "The god have chosen you! Most of us strive to find a purpose, to make a purpose, but it seemed your purpose is made obvious- champions of the crusades!" Most of the party seemed nonplussed by this, but Sena grimaced.

    Millorn approached Andrew "So much light! Warmth! So wonderful! Those are the dead? They welcome you? Welcome us? This gate to the next world? Are you dead?" Andrew tried to explain "These are the rewards you get for doing good. This is what you will get if you stay on the path Millorn, if you try to do better, to work better." But then Millorn surprised them "And what of the shadowy ones? The ones at the back? Like long, far, deep stars? Looking on us?" The party exchanged worried looks, and Andrew spoke a bit hesitantly "You... you see things others don't see, do you Millorn?" The dwarf was surprised "You don't see? What you don't see? They are all around!" Which got more worried looks from the party.

    They were about to live when John commented. "Your sword Andrew. I recognize it from legend. It's power was thought to be lost. Yet... you revived it! My friend, one known as a Raat Mukdir in the Numerian language (Night spy) was set to steal it I think. Strange that he left it here." Andrew (Who between sessions got some of the sword's history transferred to him by the sword via email) commented. "Yes, he did steal it from the Gray Garrison, but he was found out, and hunted. in his last breath he stuck it in the paladin Yaniel's statue." The party was surprised, but Andrew commented "I'll explain later". John seemed to think I know the sword's name in the past. But each hero names his own sword. What shall be it's name?"

    Andrew held it high. "I name it Sirius!". We exchanged glances, but the player explained- "The brightest constellation in the sky". "Isn't it in OUR sky?". "Just roll with me".

    They decided to search for the Raat Mukdir, and found a mutilated body who was deboned. On it Andera found a ring of his organization ("The Black Flame") regional leaders- two circles with a constant illusion of a black flame inside. The ring was faintly magical as well (+1 to stealth, saves vs. fire, and poison). Andera claimed it. "It was the person I was sent to find. Too bad he had died. I hope anyone else might remain." This got Sena intrigued. "Sent to find? From where? Who are you exactly?" But Andera just replied "There are some secrets I prefer yet to keep to my own".

    With that, knowing that more demons may come soon, they decided to make haste towards Defender's Heart Inn. True, The tower of Estrod was just by, but they were fully and utterly depleted after the last fight.

    Spoiler: DM notes- Andera's back story, Millorn, John
    The idea here was to put a bit more roleplay for each character. A possible difference of opinions with John, making Millorn a bit more complicated, and with a mystery, and starting to (FINALLY) put some context to Andera's back story. He thought I ended it here, ut it was the start.

    Defender's Heart Inn- Some respite and news from Arabeth

    Defenders of the Earth by Two Steps from Hell
    (Some inspiring but not fast paced music, one of an army gathering)

    As they arrived they took a bit more stock of the forces arrayed in the inn. They don't seem that numerous, with a fair share of non-soldiers amongst them. Not exactly the great force of resistance they hoped for. Arabeth quickly came towards them, looking tired yet excited to see them leading the prisoners of the Hall of Heroes here. "I'm so glad you are back. Anevia has already told me much of what you've been through! You've been through quite a bit, I'm impressed! Come, unload your burdens, and let me update you as well on what is going on".

    The party was given some room, and John motioned to Sena "We'll talk later. We have things to discuss" to which Sena just nodded. They went to a side room and sat to eat with Arabeth, as she relayed what has happened so far:
    She and the other crusaders use this as a stronghold in the city, trying to gather info for when queen Galfrey will come, and oust demons. Their forces amount to 250 all together, 200 soldiers, 50 merchants and civilians.
    The city was devastated in a few hours. A well-coordinated attack. Many of the top NPCs were hunted and killed. Many of the stronger demons left. Many of the other cities, including Nerosyan have come under attack, the queen was helping them. Rumors of masses of demons just on the outskirts, everyone is gathering forces. Not sure why the demons haven't attacked in full yet.

    At this Sena interrupted. "If they are waiting they are waiting for something. By the rumors we've heard I'd say they are waiting for Areelu Vorlesh to come. My bet is that they are trying to lure Queen Galfrey, and kill her. Areelu will do that. This is a lure, a trap!" Arabeth seemed concerned. "This may be true. We will need to asses it. But we need to find better proof." At that she continued relaying the info:
    The alliance with the mongrelfolk (Or First Descendents as she called them). Arabeth declared it despite some resistance from the troops. She greatly welcomes them. Lann was sent with some emissaries to bring their forces together, he knows some tunnels. He said it will take them about 1 day to arrive. Lann will lead emissaries to a close location. Near the end of her words, she relayed her frustration- but two weeks ago she trailed and battled a high ranking cultist, a former paladin of Iomedae known as Staunton Vhane. They battled near the Wardstone, but he escaped on a fiendish giant wasp. The warders of the Wardstone found nothing wrong with the stone, but he must have done something!

    Suddenly Millorn erupted with surprise: "Staunton? My cousin?! Amongst the only few to survive Drezen' fall 75 years ago. He was so good? He fall? He like me now? All family cursed? He was bright! Shining! He made me run away and escape after..." He grew silent at this point. "What I did...". Unfortunately, the entire party decided to ignore him.

    Arabeth told them to rest, talk to their close ones, and try to trade with the merchants- full exchange of goods at their full price. She heard from them about their search of the cultists places, and wants them to explore the Tower of Estrod once they are ready.

    Market and equipment
    It was shopping time. A house rule in my games is that people buy and sell equipment and full price. It makes it much less of a hassle to calculate WBL, and makes the party much less apprehensive of buying or selling stuff. Now I asked the party to tell me if there is anything specific that they'd like, but the bastards didn't mention a thing (Other than Sena, who wanted a full plate). Made little rules for availability (mainly for expensive or odd stuff) but mostly like in the module.

    The party's loot at this point was worth around 32,400 gp, but was quite unevenly divided, with Andera at the lowest with 3,550 but Mad dog with 9,500 (Ranseur of the gargoyle and 2 rings). The party was happy with this though. They sold quite a few stuff (A few +1 weapons, and quite a few MW stuff along the way)
    - Andrew's commissioned to have a cold iron light shield spikes with a +1 offensive enchantment. Plus an amulet of natural armor.
    - Sena got his full plate, and Darkwood heavy shield (To lower ACP). They party also bought a wand of CLW which he carried.
    - The party suggests that Mad dog will get medium armor, since he gets hit a lot. Butthe player doesn't want to reduce his movement or get a higher ACP, He does get a +1 Chain shirt, and a potion of CMW (Of which she come to rely)
    - Andera also seeks magical armor and a MW wakizashi, but fails to find. (Poor dice rolls) But that leads to the next encounter.

    Nayla Freyton, of the black flame
    As Andera walked by what looked like an alchemist corner with a couple of soot stained men, a near by half elven woman, who seemed to be well dressed, a bit like a courtier looked at him in surprise. She rose towards him and whispered "May the black flame purge evil from the world, and our hearts". Andera is surprised, but tries to play it cool. He seeks to see one ofthe others, but sees only Harry who doesn't notice him. The woman courtesied to him, head bowed, and asks "Would you like to see what we have in the other room sir?" He is alerted, and become tense. he seeks Harry again, but he had moved by. Andera goes in, hand near his sword. As she goes in she motions to the alchemists to stay back, and locks the door.

    She repeats her sentence and he replies "And out light will alight the flame in others". A smile comes to her face, a hesitant smile. "Where did you find that ring? It belonged to... a friend of mine". Andera cautiously explains, and grief comes over her momentarily, but then determination. "Then he too is lost. The Raat Mukdir who wore this ring was called Solvanus Senest (Shadow of a sunrise). He was our region's leader. He went especially after the sword, but he has sent some other Raat Mukdir to retrieve other special weapons and armor from the city. Solvanus was adamant about those - "They must not fall into the enemy's hands. But... they have not yet returned. I fear that we may be all that is left." She then looked at him. "And you! You remain, one of the only active Raat Mukdirs! We shall assist you however we can. me, my crafters, and our few spies, still in the city. You are our only hope!" (This led to a lot of joking around- "Andera Kanchar, you are our only hope!"

    Andera seemed to take this in, think about it. "I will accept, for awhile... do you have any more news, plus I may need a few more tools...". They conversed a bit more. She confirmed the suspicions about Areelu- some of their spies heard she was about to come (I was building her up a bit towards the end), and a few rumors about the gathering armies at other cities, but few direct conflicts. She also replied a few rumors about some merchant in the south of the city with about 100-150 men fighting the demons, but unwilling to "deal with any more of Iomedae's wretched underlings!" The party groaned at this. He got his MW Wakizashi, MW thieves tools, and some shurikens from her, and went on to ponder things.

    Tell the truth, I think this caught the player quite by surprise. He didn't know quite how to react to this. I cut it short, thought to add on later...

    Spoiler: Andera's secret contact Nayla Freyton
    The idea was to give him something to start to play with. I wanted to make the organization more than a vague entity, or in other words- put a face to it. I decided on Nayla, since she can also play as a possible love interest, a friend, or someone the party mistrusts. (Beautiful spy in a demon campaign?)?

    Spoiler: image of Nayla Freyton

    Sena and John
    Sena was trying his new full plate on, when John came to see him. "Come, let us talk". They went into another room, one made to house soldiers. John slept with his troops. As both took of their armors, Sena noticed the haunting spirits that were a part of John's oracle curse playing with his equipment, putting it aside, jumbling things up and the like. Some whispers came from the soldiers, but nothing both weren't accustomed to.

    (It's important to note that the other players were focused on buying and selling and this point, and so didn't quite listen to the conversation) The moment they set down however Sena started. "I'm no Hero John. Look, Andrew has a shiny sword, and a resounding voice, and he does stuff. I've sort of jumbled into this. Trying to survive and get us through this. I'm no chosen one, despite what you think". John listened and smiled "A hero is not chosen by his destiny, by the fates, or such. He his chosen by the decisions he makes, by the dangers he is willing to face, by the sacrifices he is willing to make. Now, tell me your story".

    Sena tells him the main points briefly, as if giving a military report: the dangers, the enemies, allies, constraints and such. At the end he finished "I'm no Andrew. I am just a man doing difficult things in a difficult time." John listened and put his hand together. "And what do you think of him? of the other companions?" Sena sighed "I see a good man, a devotee of his goddess, a possible leader of man. But I also see the potential of a zealot, of a fanatic, the making of a politician, who justifies his actions to his moral in any way that enables his conscience to live through his deeds. I see the potential for a dictator!" (The other players "So it costs how much? But if you sell that...") John's eyes grew grim. "I trust your judgement. But if this is so, then you are best to stay at his side. I saw that he values your opinion quite highly. You might be able to guide him out of wrong, to be a friend to him when needed, and lastly- watch over him if he begins to fall". Sena nods. "I shall be watchful for the time being."

    "And what of your other companions?" John asked. Sena leaned back. "Well, Harry is a tricky bastard." (At this point the party suddenly realized he was talking about them, and tuned in). "He seems gentle, withdrawn, unfit for the battlefield, and yet... he unleashes great destruction, and revels in it!". John poured some water. "And the foreigner, the one associated with my dead friend". "Andera? He is an enigma enfolded in a mystery... We've fought and traveled for a few days now, and yet I know nearly nothing of him! I'm still trying to make my mind about him, not sure if I can trust him or not. Just don't send him against lizards...".

    "And what of the strong man, the one called Mad dog?". Sena drank from his cup. "Mad dog relishes in destruction much more than the mage, very violent. Look, he is not very bright, he's a brute, but sometimes he has very clever advice." (At which point his player nodded in appreciation). John leaned closely then, and whispered "And what of the... dwarf? He isn't fully here. I fear he may be a liability. The worldwound has taken it's toll of me" His glass slid past and crashed to the floor. "But Millorn seems far more gone." .Sena grimaced. "Millorn? Not a friend of mine, Andrew thinks he'll make him change. I think he is some sort of a lunatic. I need to sleep with one eye open while he's around! Andrew tries some kind of a crazy experiment, I just hope it won't kill us all! Here, have this, maybe you can make sense of it!". Sena gave John Millorn's journal.

    Sean sought John's advice on what to do next. John spoke they needed to wait for the the mongrel folk, and he may talk to Quendys the mage, he is the one gathering all of the information. Sena thanked him, saying his blessing "If God has purpose for you, he'll keep you safe in his hands. If not, God bless you." And went to see Quendys.

    Sena and Quendys
    Quendys is the leader of the Blackwing Library, Aravash' superior. Sena came up to the second floor and passed the guards, entering a sort of a war room, with lots of papers and a big central map of Kenabres. Peeking Sena could see lots of red marks of different shapes around the old city. He saw the solitary wizened wizard looking up. "Ah, yes. The heroes of the hall. How appropriate. And your friend with the sword. That would be good for moral. Quite useful. Welcome." I was playing him very terse, somewhat cold, like an unemotional professional. Slightly like a jerk. "How can I help you, Sena Aberdeen, protegee of Commander John?"

    Sena looked at him "I think that Areelu Vorlesh will be coming soon. We need to find out what she looks for, and sabotage it somehow. They demons seem to be in the old town, lets attack there!" Quendys looked at him. "I agree there is something of import there, but we no not what. we may be able to amass some attack, but not against such forces, not without knowing where or how". Sena was frustrated. "So what shall we do?" Quendys spoke tiredly. "Your group had dealings with the cultists hideouts, I request you check the last one. It may have information we can use." Sena blinked. "That's all? What about other missions? There must be some strategic points, something else to do!". Quendys replied dryly. "Our forces are spread, but I may look for something. for now check the hideout. If you think of other ventures, please inform me or the other commanders, Arabeth and John". Sean decided to surprise him "By the way, there are survivors of Blackwing, Aravahs and some librarians". Quendys turned back surprised and shocked. "What? Thank the gods! I shall arrange an escort to them here quickly!" For a few seconds he seemed relieved, but then returned to his serious self. "Thank you for these news. Now rest, explore, and let me get back to my work". With that he was excused, and the players were highly suspicious of him.

    Spoiler: DM notes- missions in the city and Quendys
    I played Quendys this way specifically to keep with some of the seeding of suspicion- Millorn, Nayla, Commander John's warning, and so on. Also, good guys don't have to be nice.

    I didn't quite expect the party to seek more missions at this point, though it is obvious. I thought they would be done with all the hideouts by now, and so will just rest, and then go for the Gray Garrison. A bit of miss planning on my part here.

    Tower of Estrod (Or: "Mad dog delivers!")
    Andrew spent some of his time trying to indoctrinate Millorn into the teachings of Iomedae, and Harry? Harry mostly waited for the chance to sling spells. The troops are not happy about Millorn, and Andrew finds they have someone keep an eye on him at all times.

    They slept (The first time in this entire campaign, with Terendelev's scales so far), and woke ready to explore the tower. Asking John they learned that the place was ruined, toppled upon itself. It used to hold the archives of the city. As they are about to go they again debate about having Millorn join. He notices the tension and suggests he stays to scribe a scroll, but Andrew is adamant about taking him along.

    As they near the tower, they notice that there are quite fewer demons on the way. Sena hisses "Things are getting serious!". They arrived at the rubble of the building. Only the entrance floor remained of the circular tower, with piles of rubble on top of it and spilled to the sides. Sena hears with his keen ears two talking voices some distance behind the door. The party tenses, and decide to send Andera to check the doors.

    Spoiler: wasn't there a password?
    In the module, Hosila's letter mentions a password. I left it out, since I thought it might be more fun if they'll need to bluff their way in or do something inventive. a free password sounded too boring.

    Andera snuck to the door, and tried to pick the lock. about 3-4 times... (We need to read the lock pick rules better). The players kept making fun of him, so he decided to climb on the rubble and look fo another way in. and he climbed up and saw two downfalls into the circular room. (A little change from the module. In it there are two piles of great rubble to the east and west of the tower, I made these down slopes of rubble inside).

    It may be important to say that I've done two "teaching sessions" with Mad dog's player (She is new), and so she was etching to do things and act.

    Mad dog decided to join, so he came and climbed, but failed his stealth. The cultists down below became alerted. "Tell Faxon!" said one, and another went running, while the other climbed on the down fall. Mad dog saw a human in armor coming up, wielding a scythe (They didn't clue in yet about Deskari cultists using Scythes). He wasn't sure if this was friend or foe (Like the looters in Topaz solutions) so he just came close, and told him to drop his weapon, readying an action to attack him.

    Meanwhile, in the street, the rest understood something was coming up and were rushing towards the big doors. Andera snuck near the cultist through the rubble.

    The cultist curses "For Deskari!" and attacks Mad dog. Being ready, Mad dog attacks first and nearly kills the cultist, but the cultist manages to crit (The only good thing about a scythe) for 33 hp! (Out of 44). As she likes gore, we describe the scythe coming from an under cut piercing her belly and diaphragm, spewing blood. She was quite shocked, but more importantly- very angry! "He's mine! No one touches him!" she threatened the entire group. Sena's player chuckled. "No one arguing with you here! You got the most testosterone around!"

    The ones one the street try to bash the door, and fails. "Lets try aid another next time!"

    Andera vanishes and sneaks down into the room, towards the steps from down below, where he hears voices. Mad dog attacks for max damage, and paint the rubble with organs and blood, picking up the scythe and jaming it roaring through the dead cultist skull.

    Down below they fail to push in. Harry thinks "Maybe I have something..."

    From below come the second cultist, 2 tieflings in breastplates (I added 2 tieflings rogue 1/ fighter 1 for extra challenge and experience) and lastly- Faxon- the tiefling witch, with the scorpion familiar on his shoulder.) Faxon see Mad dog covered in blood, and speaks darkly "Get him!". Andera waits for his chance...

    Mad dog is worried (11 hp) and retreats on the rubble to drink his CMW potion. The tieflings make their way to the doors, while the cultist nd Faxon go after Mad dog.

    Harry tries Hydraulic push (Through his bonded item) to force the doors open. Fail. I decide to say the door are damaged, weakening it's break DC.

    Andera comes and sneak attack Faxon for good damage. Mad dog rushes towards the surprised witch and roars cutting of his head, using finishing cleave to kill the cultist and then cleave to kill... the scorpion familiar? "No one gets away!"

    The two tieflings decide it's time to run, and rush towards the other downfall, trying to run up it.

    Outside they try bashing the door again. They think to maybe sit for tea? Mad dog purses, kills another, and the last is able to scamper outside, but then Andera falls upon him from above, putting his wakizashi in his back.

    Mad dog comes and breaks the door with one kick, covered in sprays of blood and gore. "Will you get in allready? You bunch of wooses!" Andrew's player: "A cup of tea?"

    The party finds some nice loot on Faxon (Including a wand of CMW 9 charges), and some loot downstairs as well. Most importantly however they found many documents: of the templars troop movements, of cultists here and in other towns, and most importantly, a letter:

    You did well to report your superior’s mishandling of funds, and I trust that you will continue to serve as loyally in the weeks to come. You need not command the Kenabres Templars for long, for the city is about to die—I only wish I could be there to take part in its murder, for I have fond memories of my Red Morning Massacre. No matter, I suppose, for your mortal kin will all fall soon enough—as I said, Kenabres’s days are short. Vorlesh has already left to meet with our Lord’s daughter in the Abyss to secure a Nahyndrian crystal of the proper purity, and once she has what she needs, she’ll arrive in Kenabres to finish the job and turn the wardstones fully to our use. You will know when she succeeds, I suspect! Praise Lord Baphomet!

    The party realizes this is the clue they've been looking for. They recognize Minhago as one of the topmost major demons of Deskari and that she is a Lilitu demon (But fail to recognize what is a Lilitu). They decide to hoof it back to Defender's Heart.

    "If you just picked the lock!"
    "If you just opened the door!"
    "If any of you weaklings would have done ANYTHING? Hey DM, loot goes for the one with the most kills, right?"
    (All in jest... well, except for the loot part. )

    Spoiler: DM notes- tower of Estrod
    Orignially I thought the tower would come BEFORE coming to Defender's heart. But then we went and had Hall of Heroes. I decided to leave the Tower of Estrod as the weak encounter it was, as a sort of a relief before the Gray Garrison. It worked out quite well as a stress reliefer, and enabled the new player to test hr new understanding of rules better.

    Changes made:
    - no password. Figure it out heroes, no need to and it ALL to you.
    - I added to tieflings rogue 1/ fighter 1 as help for Faxon. Action economy would have killed him.
    - an ability to come through the roof if they think of it.

    Next part coming soon, last preparations, and off to the Gray Garrison.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2014-04-15 at 02:42 AM.

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