1. - Top - End - #113
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: DM's campaign log- Wrath Of The Righteous (PF & spoliers!)

    Session 14, part 3- The "Inside" Drezen, The choice, Shadow demon, Staunton Vhane


    Sena called. "We are coming for you Staunton! Where are you now?" Staunton replied. "You have found the way to my prison, but it is still far from over." Sena returned. "We are coming, and we'll END you!" And with that, the party entered Staunton's Prison...

    At this point it was about 23:00-23:30 or so. We usually end at midnight. I asked them if they wish to continue. They voted yes!

    The party found themselves on a very odd place- just outside of the Drezen fort! But everything looked a bit eschewed- slightly wrong, slightly blurry. Looking behind them they could see only mist. Whatever this place was, it extended just around Drezen. Looking up the skies were starless, and filled with shadow. They could feel powerful magics pervading here (The 3 effects pervading the shadows), and what sounded liek whispers, barely audiable whispers, like those in... Staunton' mind?


    Spoiler: The effects of the "Inside" Drezen, similar to the dungeon effects on the module
    Show
    Abyssal Infusion: The dungeon is strongly chaostic- and evil-aligned as a result, and lawful and good spells and spell-like abilities are impeded (Concentration DC 20+ spell level to cast) Know Planes/ Arcana 20
    • Unhallowed: An unhallow effect (CL 20th) suffuses the dungeon. A dimensional anchor is tied to it that affects all creatures save for chaotic evil worshipers of Deskari. Know religion 20
    • Whispers of Madness: Demonic spirits haunt the walls of the dungeon, and while their constant whispering never becomes loud enough to allow intelligible speech to be heard, the constant susurrus grates on the mind. At the start of every 10 minutes spent in the dungeon, non-chaotic-evil creatures must succeed at a 17 Will save to resist taking 2 points of cha damage as the whispering slowly drives them mad—a creature that takes an amount of Charisma damage equal to its Charisma score becomes afflicted by a random insanity. Knowledge dungeneering 20 http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemasu gon thtering/afflictions/madness this is a mind-affecting sonic effect.


    Sena's magic circle crashes under the abyssal infusion.

    Staunton Vhane spoke, as if greatly tired "Finally, we come close. Finally my punishment, my price will be complete."
    Sena snarled "Oh, you will be redeemed! By fire! My fire!" Julian tried a more moderate approach "Staunton, the deeper you have went, the higher you can climb!" Staunton gave a tired laugh. "Really? You have sw what I have done, what was done to me... You think a few passing words could change all of that?" Julian stayed without an answer to that. There is no reason in resistance. It is a done game, it is futile!"

    When Mad dog's player surprised me "Resistance is never futile, only you are futile, for you have given up, and that is really why you fell. Now you, everything you have done, will be gone, destroyed, returned to ashes, with your ashes!" (The longest he has said in a few session!)

    The whispering madness take their toll of Andera, nd he loses 2 Cha.

    Another spirit, coming from the court of the fort, came into view: Kell, 40, healer- "And here I thought the gods have forgiven, but Sarenrae hasn't forgotten. Well now I'll atone, for that one murder long ago. I am sorry Linda Toll, If I could take it back I would…" The party decided to get inside.

    The courtyard and Theruk Null
    As the party rushed towards the gates of the Drezen citadel, they saw their troops, as if half real, suffering, some still, Julian saw Bartlet, himself oozing and bleeding, trying to keep his people together, the place felt desperate, with a great suffering, wit hslight spirits here and there anchoring themsleves to Sena.

    As they pssed near the Maze of Souls (The structure that was used to house the templars ghosts in the siege) they were suddenly stopped by the albino torturer of Shax, and three others who seem more "real", they were trying to fix the broken magical maze, but quickly turned on the party: "You broke it, they are free! Only two prisoners now. The dwarf and human. I think I'll take you too!"

    These were Theruk null, the vampire assassin, and his 3 Vampire spawn (The module has more , I decided this was enough). He tried to dominate them, but Sena just cast communal protection from evil the round before (Though again, due to lousy ranks and rolls, they didn't know what these were! He cast it for the +2 defelction )

    Mad dog and Sena tries to attack Therul, but have a hard time bypassing his DR (and fast regeneration), Julian in the meantime uses storm step and diamon spray to mke quick work of the vampire spawn. As Theruk's attack drain 2 levels from Mad dog, and then from Sena they start to take it seriously. Sena reaalizes this is an undead, and tries to use channel energy, only to meet his channel resistance and the uhnallow bonus, to cause little damage. Mad dog's player seethes "Vampire" (He really hats them) and uses his remaining mythic powers to hit and bypass his reduction, so does Julian, so does Andera, and so does Sena, who finishes with a crit searing light to the face. The party manages to succeeds, but other than Andera, they are enitrely out of mythical points.

    "So you have killed my torturer, and yet he took more out of you. The battle never ends, never ends... How long will you stand?". "Longer than you!" retorts Mad dog.

    Julian and Sen use their wardstone fragments to return some mythical power (3 to Julian, 2 to Sena. They got this at the end of the first module). But as this is not enough, they call upon the power of the Sword of Valor


    The banner gives them half their max hit point, half their their spells and "per day" abilities (Rage, ki power), but not mythical power. With the renewed spells Sena casts restoration on himself and Mad dog. And tries a Circle against evil, twice, since the first can't get past the abyssal infusion. The whispering madness take their toll of Mad dog, reducing his charisma by 2. (Oh and Andera finally succeeded in a save. he requested my to write "Andera finally made a will save!" so I do. )

    Current XP: 74,600 per players. "You bastard!" yells Mad dog's player jokingly. (Mu ha ha! )

    Spoiler: Theruk Null encounter and the courtyard
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    This proved a tougher encoutner than I expected, mainly due to Theruk's DR. I didn't have him use a dagger, since.. well... that is dumb when he can do level drain with his fists.

    I used the courtyard t oremind the party both of the troops, but also of the siege and the bigger world outside, and to give the feeling that SV IS Drezen, once more.


    The hard choice
    Another spirit came- Fey, mongrelfolk: (Images of little brothers). Smile, "I hope this was enough. They promised us. As equals. We gave our blood, now our souls. I hope this is enough. Leave free Gull, Mali, Petero, mother, father, live…"

    They rushed towards the gates. But just as they reach the citadel, Staunton Vhane's ghost appears: I don't know- Either you wish to be heroes, or it was thrust upon you, whether you like it or not, it does not matter. Here is your heroe's reward. Every once in awhile some psycho will give you a choice. An impossible choice, in which you cannot succeed. Come for me, and your mentor John, in Soltengrabbe's tower dies, (Which is outside of Citadel Drezen, a few hundred feet away) a horrible death. Dally and spend precious time to save him, and more of your people will die… Which will it be, heroes? You play by the rules, demon kind is not bound by them... As I said- we do not play fair...and therefore it will eventually win… What shall be your choice?" And with that Staunton faded.

    I could See Sena's player conflicted, but Julian spoke to him: "There are 3 possibilities here- we can go after John, we can go after Staunton, or we can split. (??) It is your choice Sena, but for what it's worth- I think we should go after Staunton."

    Andera said "You lot should go after Staunton, I will try to free John. If he is just held simply, perhaps I can do this alone. (?!!?). I... I misjudged your sacrifice Sena. Mad dog agreed "To Staunton we need to go."

    Sena still looked conflicted. "You cannot go alone Andera, though I thank you. In this place we go together." Julian spoke to him, laying her hand on his shoulder. "Think about it Sena, You know John, and I saw what he taught you. What would you think John would tell you to do? He will not forgive you if you let your people die just for him."

    This sealed it, and with a heavy heart, Sena reached for the Drezen citadel doors, when another vision came upon them, one of John's visions: They were somewhere in the worldwound, about 10-20, few and beraglled, led by John, who now, though still young, had the face of a man who's been through the worst the worldwound would offer. 2 scouts came. "They are after us, gaining on us." John seemed to think, but only a little. "You two, come with me, we'll create a decoy, draw them off from the rest. The rest of you, get to Kenbres as fast as you can!" John then handed someone a baby, the baby that belonged to the demonic Marekai and his wife- "Take care of him. His name is Senatef."

    "You Bastard!" Said Sena's player... He didn't see this coming, but apparently he liked this twist.

    Inside him, Senatef heard the voice of a woman. "How does that make you feel? Use it! Harness it? It will guie you to your goal!" Sena used a divination "And where IS my goal? Where is Staunton Vhane?!". The answer was simple "Straight ahead, at the center, at the heart..."

    Inside Drezen, the Shadow

    Inside Drezen (F1) There is a strange room, but from it's shadows the shadow demon (Eustryox in the module) formed at the back, with a deep chasm between him and the players. "I am the warden of this prison. You will NOT have my prisoner!"

    He who brings the night
    (Not the best of music, but decent enough)

    Andera vanished and jumped the chasm to the other side, and stood by the demon, but then 2 wraiths came through the walls to attack Mad dog and Sena, starting to drain their strength. Sena started by channeling, as the Shadow demon unleashed a shadow evocation dragon's breath, with Mad dog failing and suffering good damage.

    Andera begins his routine of AoO the shadow demon, than full attacking him and then vanishing, while the demon tries his SLA abilities, while the rest fight the wraiths.The demon, not being able to pinpoint Andera, flies over the chasm and pounces on Sena, hitting him nicely "SO that was your teacher? I'll have you next!" Sena moves out of the stinking cloud (Shadow conjuration), and used his Forcefang ring to blast him "What did you do to John?!" Seeing this effective against the incorporeal demon, Julian follows suit.

    The demon changes tactics, and uses magic Jar (into the door. I didn't remember the spell right, and also forgot he leaves the body behind, and that he needed a gem. Sorry. ). But a quickt detect magic showed the door as magical, and Julian used diamond spray to shred the door to pieces. They ganged up on the demon, but he quickly died due to... bleeding damage! (From Andera's attacks). Indeed one of the more embarrassing deaths we've had yet.

    Spoiler: Shadow demon encounter
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    The original (ANd to my opinion more interesting) shadow demon encounter was in Soltengrabbe's tower, with him possessing John, I'll just need to use it's elements for soemthing else. As the module requires two mythic trials, I had him teleport here without John and fight the party here.

    Not exactly a great fight, but oh well... Had I done it again I think I would have awareded the mythical trial (though not ll of the XP) just for making the choice to help their troops instead. Seemed importnt enough for me. I don't quite know.

    I used the following statistics for the shadow demon, suggested on another side, but made a bit weaker due to meeting him a level before. I kept the same XP since the party was more depleted (Mainly from Mythic power)

    Spoiler: Shadow demon's stats
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    EUSTOYRIAX CR 10/MR 4
    XP 12,800
    Male advanced mythic shadow demon (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 67, 294; Pathfinder RPG Mythic Adventures)
    CE Medium outsider; (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar, incorporeal, mythic)
    Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft., see in darkness; Perception +25
    DEFENSE
    AC 29, touch 25, flat-footed 22 (+7 deflection, +4 natural, +6 Dex, +2 dodge)
    hp 135 (10d10+100)
    Fort +7, Ref +11, Will +11
    Defensive Abilities endure sunlight, incorporeal; DR 10/cold iron and epic or epic and good; Immune cold, electricity, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison; Resist acid 10, fire 10; SR 21
    OFFENSE
    Speed fly 40 ft. (perfect)
    Melee 2 claws +14 touch (1d6+7/19-20 plus 1d6 cold plus grab), bite +14 touch (1d8+7 plus 1d6 cold)
    Special Attacks mythic power (4/day, surge 1d8), possession mastery, pounce, rake (2 claws +14 touch, 1d6+7), shadow blend, sprint
    Spell-Like Abilities (CL 13th; concentration +21)
    At will—deeper darkness, fear (DC 22), greater teleport (self only) telekinesis (+16), summon (level 5, 1d4 shadows 75%)
    3/day—magic jar (DC 24), shadow conjuration(Stinking cloud Fort 21 or nauseated for 1d4+1 rounds DC 20 Fort ), shadow evocation- Dragon breath (DC 22 12d6. Belief 20%)
    1/day—summon (level 5, 1 shadow demon 90%)
    STATISTICS
    Str —, Dex 22, Con 21, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 24
    Base Atk +9; CMB +16 (+20 grapple); CMD 36
    Feats Ability Focus (magic jar), Arcane Strike (+3), Blind-FightM, DodgeM, Improved Initiative
    Skills Acrobatics +9 (+7 while jumping), Disguise +13 (+33) Bluff +19, Fly +27, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (arcana) +17, Knowledge (local) +17, Knowledge (planes) +17, Perception +25, Sense Motive +17, Stealth +19; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
    Languages Abyssal, Common; telepathy 100 ft.
    SQ improved shadow form, shadowblood
    SPECIAL ABILITIES
    Endure Sunlight (Ex)
    Eustoyriax does not possess the standard shadow demon weakness of sunlight powerlessness.
    Improved Shadow Form (Ex)
    Eustoyriax adds his charisma modifier to all natural attack damage rolls. His claws become partially corporeal when attacking, allowing him to grapple opponents without being considered grappled. This ability also gives him a natural armor bonus to AC equal to his mythic rank, and additional immunities beyond those possessed by standard shadow demons.
    Possession Mastery (Su)
    Eustoyriax can use magic jar three times per day. If the target successfully saves against it, Eustoyriax can spend one use of mythic power to force the target to reroll, taking a -2 penalty. He can only do this once per casting. When he affects a creature with this ability, he can use all of its abilities, including spellcasting. If the target is protected against possession, he can try to dispel the effect as if he had cast dispel magic (CL 13th) on the target.
    Sprint (Ex)
    Once per minute, Eustoyriax can increase its fly speed to 240 feet for 1 round.
    Shadow Blend (Su)
    light spells of 2nd level or lower do not negate this ability.


    The party found in him a diamond (I originally planned this as both his magic jar and for raise dead if it will come to that). and two "shadow pale stones"- stones that changed their color according to the light. The party know nothing of these yet (I thought it as a nice loot, and possible power component for spells)

    The party has finished a mythical trial (1st out of 2) and gained 9th level!
    Mad dog takes "improved critical" With a huge grins on his face.
    Sena takes Demon hunter.
    I forgot what the others took, though Julian took a lot of spells (Through bloodline, human favored class bonus and more. Wizard? Who needs a wizard?)

    The Sword of valor gave a sensation of helping more. Using it used almost all of it's powers, but enabled the party to feel as if rested for a day, so they got their full spells and "per days" powers back. They've used some spells and potions of lesser restoration to get theri strength back, and continued on.

    The whispers of madness took their toll from Andera- -2 to charisma. Another spirit came- Shane, halfling, 22- "I am sorry mother, father" (Images of arguing with the father, angrily living home). "I did what I felt was right. We have to fight. I just wished… If I could talk to you again fa…"

    End to righteousness
    In the long hall (F2) I handed wach player a piece of paper:

    Spoiler: Initial response
    Show

    To Sena:
    The spirits around you, they suddenly shriek in horror, and more, many more come. Though the others don't know it yet, you do- all of the troops outside are dead. They are finally dead. And it is ALL your fault. You have failed them.
    But the spirits, they want revenge! They grow around you, and call for vengeance! They create a spell with their combined power, One to paralyze you, and then kill you.
    Roll Will DC 17, in silent.

    You can roleplay your character's reaction, but without letting the others know what is exactly happening! As to the roll, just tell me if you succeeded or failed
    .
    ------------------------------------------------
    To Andera
    From the shadows to your back, you suddenly feel the power of Staunton Vhane coming towards you. A shade, that none of the others can see, and it is coming straight at you. It's presence is filled with power. Paralizing power… and it's coming to end you!
    Roll Will DC 17, in silent.

    You can roleplay your character's reaction, but without letting the others know what is exactly happening! As to the roll, just tell me if you succeeded or failed.
    --------------------------------------------------
    To Julian:
    This place, it is taking it's toll on you Julian, and though you have tried to hold it, your mind is slipping away, so silently that no one arounds you even seems to notice it. And Staunton Vhane is getting in. You feel his power, his emptiness, his despair, his grim acceptance, trying to push you away, wipe you out, make it as if you never existed.
    Roll Will DC 17, in silent.

    You can roleplay your character's reaction, but without letting the others know what is exactly happening! As to the roll, just tell me if you succeeded or failed.
    ---------------------------------------------
    To Mad dog
    You have felt it inside you, the demonic awakening, but now it is stronger. You feel this place, this prison, unlocking your inner demon without restraint! This time, if you don't stop it, it might replace you, take over, and then kill them all!
    Roll Will DC 17, in silent.

    You can roleplay your character's reaction, but without letting the others know what is exactly happening! As to the roll, just tell me if you succeeded or failed.


    All except for Andera saved (He did mention he never makes them. ) But this time he used mythic surge to succeed. When the party's spell craft went high enough (finally!) they realized this was a Phantasmal killer spell, with slight variations. The players were alarmed (I lmost never use save or die spells. I keep them for other occasions).

    They moved on. the whispers took their toll from Mad dog- -2 to charisma. The whispers were affecting much faster now...

    The trap, and what would have happened if they failed? (NO bearing on the story, just if you're interested)
    Spoiler
    Show
    In the module, the trap appears near the last challenge. I thought it was quite befitting mainly to the prison of SV. In the module, the "greatest fear", is four identical phantasms of Deskari. I knew the party will never buy that, so I went with more "personalized" fears. And indeed- they didn't catch up to it. Though I was bummed that keeping things secret from everyone meant they had little room to roleplay in.

    Spoiler: Second response
    Show
    To Sena:
    The spirits have paralyzed you, but this is just the start. You feel their souls, cold, hateful, demanding, entering your body, and with a violence that surprises you, they enter your body, intent or ravaging it, your mind, make you suffer and die!
    Roll fortitude save DC 17.

    You can roleplay your character's reaction, but without letting the others know what is exactly happening! As to the roll, just tell me if you succeeded or failed.
    --------------------------------------------------------
    To Andera:
    Staunton Vhane has you paralyzed. He comes to you, and looks at you with cold dead eyes. He then reaches with his hands, who go into your heart, and into your head, and then you feel him "messing" around with stuff. "It is inevitable… only endless suffering, as you will know now…"
    Roll fortitude save DC 17.

    You can roleplay your character's reaction, but without letting the others know what is exactly happening! As to the roll, just tell me if you succeeded or failed.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    To Julian:
    Staunton Vhane's has you paralyzed, inside your mind, expanding. There is considerable pain in the process, as you almost feel you head cracking, but the pain is across your personality, your being, trying to break you, shatter you…
    Roll fortitude save DC 17.

    You can roleplay your character's reaction, but without letting the others know what is exactly happening! As to the roll, just tell me if you succeeded or failed.

    ---------------------------------------------------
    To Mad dog:
    You can feel the demon's form taking shape, in a fast, violent matter- muscles that are not your own, blood not of yours, the demonic spikes tearing through your body. But more than that- the demon mind, tearing through your own. Soon, there will be no more Mad dog, only mad demon.
    Roll fortitude save DC 17.

    You can roleplay your character's reaction, but without letting the others know what is exactly happening! As to the roll, just tell me if you succeeded or failed.


    Had they failed this as well, they would not die. The module suggests to have them at bleeding, and then inflict the "psychosis" insanity on them (They turn eveil and plot to kill the party). I liked the idea of a mental break (Though being e medical student with an interest in psychiatry, and hypo-manic to boot, I find the PAIZO definitions simplistic, somewhat insulting, and on many accounts- just plain wrong. Google? Wikipedia?), but I didn't like the "psychosis" idea, since any of the characters could easily kill all the rest without much effort if they wanted to. So instead I went with personalized mental breaks as well. The mental breaks were different due to how roelplay heavy the player was, things we've talked about (like the results of possible strain on Julian, I may still use that) and their will saves.

    Spoiler: Mental breaks
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    Julian
    Multiple personality: Staunton Vhane.
    Save DC 17 (For curing purposes)
    Effect –6 penalty on Will saving throws and Wisdom based skill checks; multiple personalities (see below)
    Description
    Julian's mind broke… She believes that Staunton has possessed her. That he seeks to teach them all the meaning of hopelessness, of there being noway out. At times she acts fully convinced that she is him, possessing her. But she believes that as Staunton has shown her a lesson in futility, so he shall show the others, while he takes more and more of her mind.
    Every morning, and each time the Julian character is rendered unconscious, (But not right now in the adventure in Drezen. This comes AFTER you manage to deal with Staunton, not right now, though she does feel Staunton has implanted "something" in her mind) She must make a Will save against his insanity’s DC. (Including the penalty) Failure indicates that Staunton Vhane's personality takes over. How Staunton Vhane's personality comes to be is up to you, but on the general lines above.
    Curing the Insanity can be fast or slow, depending on how the party plays it out.
    -----------------------------------------------
    Andera
    Phobia of the undead and the dead.
    Save DC 14 Effect As long as in the proximity of undead or strong death themes (Cemetery and so on) The character is shaken (no save). If confronted with it (Takes a standard action) must save against the DC or become frightened for 1d6 rounds.
    Andera has contacted a phobia of the undead and death themes. He feels they have bested him, and thus fears them greatly, and will try to avoid them if possible. This includes any strong death related theme.
    Curing the Insanity can be fast or slow, depending on how the party plays it out.

    Mad dog

    Psychosis- losing sense of what is rel, and what is not.
    Save DC 16
    Effect –4 penalty on all Wisdom and Charisma-based skill checks; cannot take 10 or take 20; chance of becoming confused (see below)
    The strain on Md dog has been too much. He knows not what is demon magic, their magic, his plane, another plane, what is real and what is not. He has intermediate psychotic episodes, seeing things, hearing things, or doubting what is right there.
    When ever in a stressful situation (Such as combat) roll against the Insanity's DC. If you fail, you act confused for 1d6 rounds.
    Curing the Insanity can be fast or slow, depending on how the party plays it out.

    Sena
    Paranoia
    Save DC 19
    Effect –4 penalty on Will saves and Charisma-based skill checks; cannot receive benefit from or attempt the Aid Another action; cannot willingly accept aid (including healing) from another creature unless he makes a Will save against his insanity’s DC.
    Betrayal, Betrayal, Betrayal… First Nurah, Then Staunton, Now the very spirits you wished to aid (Sena believes they are laching to him, trying to suck away at his life, not knowing he is aiding them.
    Who will betray you next?
    Sena's mind has broken due to the recent events. He now believes that the entire world is out to get him. Julian, Andera, Mad Dog, even John! (I suggest to let yourself be persuaded to a degree until you leave Drezen… "The lesser of two evils" sort of…

    Curing the Insanity can be fast or slow, depending on how the party plays it out.



    Battle at the gate, getting close
    The party reached the inner gate, at were met by 2 salamander and 2 babaus (Mad dog really like Slalamnders, cause he got some elemental resistance power from fire). Mad dog rushes to them, and get hit by spears and critted by aa tail, though he keeps on soaking damage, and the heat does little to him. Andera tries holy smite, but the abyssal infuses stops him. Julian casts haste, and Andera gets into flanking.

    The battle turns interesting, as the doors in the north open up, and a dwarf, looking a bit like Staunton rushes in. "Help me! Can you help me? We can change him! Not too far gone! please if you could..." When SV ghost appears "YOU will NOT betray me brother!" and attacks him.

    While Mad dog and Andera battle the Babaus and Salamanders (Mad dog is having a blast by the way) Sena and Julian come and try to coax information/ save Joran Vhane from his brother, while attacking the spirit. They do little to persuade him, as he pleads his brother to stop hurting him, and pleads them to help his brother. SV's spirit focuses it's entire efforts on Joran, but gets the dwarf to 2 CON before the combined efforts of the party destroy the spirit. "Have you not learned, I cannot die!" Julian retorted "Oh! Soon you will!"

    Having saved Joran (Sena uses lesser restoration on him, though he highly distrust the dwarf), Julian speaks to the dwarf: "We can only try to make his spirit to go peacefully,He is too far gone. He suffered greatly, endured greatly, all we can do now is try to send him to his eternal rest. Look, Joran. I know nothing of the gods, but Sena here and maybe others will try to pray for him. I promise you we will do anything in opur power to ease his fate, to help him just... rest in peace. (I asked the player if he meant it truthfully, he did).

    This managed to persuade the dwarf, who was partly in tears. "I never meant for this. I thought I could call him... Blast!" He then looked at the party. "Ok, we have little time- The next room is the rune's room- A great big rune of Deskari, that fuels the different powers of this place (The abyssal infusions, the whispers and so on) There are three runes powering it- the rune of flesh (To the east), Bone (To the north), and blood (To the west). I know these re kind of vaults that holds his remains, which that witch Areelu used to conjure this mess! Unsolve this, and you may weaken the rune.

    Julian inquired. "And Staunton?" Joran half shook his shoulders. "His spirit is tied to the place. I'm not sure if to the runes, or not. I am just sure it's the only place where he can... depart."

    Andera looked worried. "These vaults, runes, any way to open them?" Jorna half brightened "Oh, not sure, but I heard the witch do a small incanttion. Apparently some sort of spells, the stornger the better, can weaken a rune. It went like this:
    Transform the flesh.
    Mend the bone.
    Call the blood.
    The party didn't quite knew what to do with this.

    Ok, the party was ready It was already 2 AM. "Shall we continue?" They decided to mach on!

    Final spirit, Deskari's rune, Staunton Vhane
    Last minute preparations: Julian cast haste on all, and Magic mirror on everyone (We ruled that "self" spells are "touch" spell). Anders used cat's grace and shield of faith potion, Sena casts righteous might and windwalk and Mad dog? He sharpened his sword.

    Just before they entered, another spirit appeared, of Mentor John- Had to get in, they found it! They found the sword of valor! There is a chance, I knew it would work. Is that enough? It was a trap, it had to be, they needed inside information, if I can only get to them. Borosus? Marekai? I've saved your son… They have a chance, Had to be inside, to provide them information. Ah... I see...You all come for me now… I see… I'm sorry… I hope it's enough… I'm coming to you. Farewell Sena, my child…

    And so John has passed away. Sena froze for a moment, and then, quite dereminantdly, opened the door.



    The room was not as the opening court in Drezen. Rather, it was a huge room, occupided by a red Deskari rune, and at it's side and top the other three runes- Flesh, blood and bone. Yet in the center, at the Eye of Deskari, was Staunton Vhane. The spirit they have encountered before? A mere pale apparition. Staunton was not just spirit though, for he held a cold Iron Eathbreaker, with a malicious unholy energy, and his foll plate was made of dark living chains, which wriggled and snapped in the air.

    The room, as they entered it
    Spoiler: Deskari's rune
    Show
    A clear view



    From the game, as they entered the room



    The players are nice enough to give me speak for my villains when they meet them. "At last, it has come to this. Heroes you are, and a last stand it is. Whether you or I win at least, I will be free. Let us end this!"

    They didn't want to say anything though, and mad dog simply charged! A chain snaps t him, trying to disrm him, but he shakes it off. He hits him and crits! followed by a sudden attack, they do nice starting damge. On the way he meets SV's gaze, which burn through him (Corrupting gaze ghost ability), getting his charisma to like 4 or 5. Unfortuntely, I forget about this for the rest of the battle...

    "Impressive" Staunton retorts, and strikes back with his hammer, taken out mirror images. (As the battle continues, this move with the mirror images, plus the haste saved the party's asses it seems. Julian plays quite the "batman sorceress" at times).

    The plan was for Mad dog to occupy SV, and for the rest to work the runes, but the plan quickly falls out. Julian advances to the rune on the west (Blood), while flying, and Sena between Mad dog and the one of flesh, unsure. The rune glows, and a directed dispel magic effects all, dropping out Andera's haste, Sena's righteous might, and Mad dog's shield of faith. But that's not all! Through chaotic forces, the room is suddenly filled with storm powerful winds. The wind smacks Julian to the rune, and a wratih comes through the wall, Andera falls due to the wind,m but the rest are unaffected. It seems the rune itself is safe to walk on though, free of winds.

    The wraith misses Julian due to the images, but Julian is unsure how to progress as well. Sena uses mythic power to cast burning disarm on staunton, who lets go of his hammer "I don't need this, and start attacking Mad dog with his hands and sudden attacks. Some attacks hit, draining his constitution, some attack miss, taking down images. Staunton also Smite goods him, which raises his AC to 40. Formidable.

    Seeing this, Sena abandons his plan, and moves towards SV and attacks him with a holy weapon (Holy lance ability). SV at first tries to heal himself with an anti paladins' corrupted touch, but later declares a smite evil on Sena as well (Julian's player whop played a paladin said it was possible). With his high AC he proves quite hard to hit, so Sena starts packing offensive spells on himself, the main one is "Smite abomination".

    Julian tries to figure out the rune, but the wraiths disturbs her, and on a successful hit takes 6 str damage out of her! She uses invisibility, and there wraiths goes to flank with SV. Andera in the meantime gets through the winds to the rune, and runs on it (Using n action point towards the rune of flesh

    Which is when the great rune flashes again, and this time all of it's edges sprout long bars to the ceiling, making the room several prison cells. "Welcoem to my prison!" says SV. Andera curses as he reaches the end of the rune but is blocked by bars. Mad dog and SV are in the same 10x10 central "room, while Sena is behind him, and attacks through the bars. Julian uses storm step to both hit the wraith and move through the bars (I rule this form of "teleportation" does not move through the planes and is therefor not subject to the unhallow effect).

    I forget that each time the big rune flashes, the whispers of madness act again, and a dispel magic is added. Complicated battle.

    Spoiler: The room at this point
    Show


    SV taks down Mad dog's last image, and tries to affect him with the curse touched, but Mad dog manages to barely save using mythic surge. Mad dog starts burning mythic power jsut to try and evade both SV and the wraith, nd his constituion goes down in moderate pace, and even 1-2 hits to his strength.

    Sena finishes all of his castings, and get to about a +25 to hit. Still, with the bars SV has an AC of 44, but good dice, and some mythic surge have Sena hit nicely. Julian saves Mad dog's ass by granting him 7 more images. Andera? He checked the "lock" of the vault (DC 30), but abandons it to kill the wrtih with holy arrows. ("At least I did something!" He says jokingly. He has the worst luck )

    I remembered the corrupting gaze, which gets Mad dog to 3 charisma when he hits him, critting delivering good damage. SV is on 21 hit points. I now (Finally!) think to use the bars, and SV moves beyond the party's reach, intending to heal, "I will at least prove a good fight!" but Sena focuses a searing light spell on him. "No you will not!" And sears Staunton Vhane out of existence, with a final "freeeeeee...." escaping.

    I decide to not play out the minor runes and narrate stuff- the great rune keeps on using various powers, as they open the runes, each eliciting a different creature- blood puddings (blood), rot grub swarm (flesh... or what was left from the flesh), and a bone golem (bone. duh!) The party is happy they didn't try to tackle the runes! (Undoing the runes would have each broke one of the effects, and decreased SV Charisma by 1, or 2 for bones)

    The spell was broken, Staunton was beat, and finally- the party has won Drezen! They also completed their second mythic trial for this tier, and gained the third mythic tier, placing them ad Level 9/ Tier 3.

    Spoiler: The Deskari rune battle and SV
    Show
    To tell the truth, I've forgotten quite a few things here:
    - SV's corrupting gaze.
    - Using him more intellegently, like moving behind bars, healing himself and blasting them with his gae, telikinesis and armor of chains.
    - The dispel magic of the rune in each change (I forgot just once, but still)
    - The whispering madness of the rune each time it changed.

    But oh well, such is the game. The party still felt it was quite challenging. I do feel like it could have been more interesting than mainly a slug fest between SV, Mad dog and Sena.

    Julian's spells quite saved the day here, as the rest have noted. Mad dog would have long been a corpse by now if not for them.

    If you're interested in the mechanics, here is SV, and the runes:

    Spoiler: Staunton Vhane
    Show
    Staunton Vhane CR 13/ Mythic 4: 15/ 15 MP

    CE ghost dwarf Anti paladin 10
    Init +6; Senses Darkvision; Perception +11
    DEFENSE
    AC 29/31, touch 19/21, flat-footed 27/29 (+10 armor, +7/+9 deflection, +2 Dex)
    hp 154 (174) Aura of despair- -2 to all saves, 10 feet.
    Fort +14/+16, Ref +10/+12, Will +14/+16 (+4 channel resist)
    OFFENSE
    Speed 30 ft fly.(+10 feet for charge)
    Melee
    Sudden strike (Mythic power): swift. Two attack rolls, use best, add +4 to attack
    Smite good (4/ day): +7 to attack, + 10/20 to damage, +7 deflection.
    Heaven's fall: Earth breaker +1 unholy (Boon: crush+ vicious) +15/ +10 for 2d6+ 2d6 unholy+ 2d6 vicious+ 1d4 ability damage. Heals 5
    Ghost Corrupting touch (Standard): +12 touch for 11d6 damage Fort 22/ 24 halves damage
    Touch of corruption (Standard attack, swift heal): 13/ day, +12 for 5d6, + curse, Fortitude 22/24 negate cruelty.
    Draining touch: +13/ +8 for 1d4 ability damage, heals 5

    Range and magic
    Armor of chains: As an AoO or intended, +14/+12 grapple/ disarm can throw a chain up to 20 feet to start grapple, the target gains the entangled condition (Escape Artist DC 20 to slip free, break DC 28, hardness 10, 10 hit points, concentration DC 18 to cast spells while entangled).
    Can also disarm, and take weapon. (Needs to disarm in return. Up to 2 chains active at a time.
    Telekinesis: Violent thrust +17/+19 for 10d6 damage once in1d4 rounds. Or Bull rush/ Drag with +17/+19. (Success move 5 feet. Every 5 beyond- move 5 feet more)
    Corrupting gaze: 30 ft, 2d10+ 1d4 charisma. Fort 22/24 for no charisma damage. Avert eyes- 50% no gaze, SV gains concealment 20%, if total cover, then total concealment.
    Heal by corrupting touch. (see above)
    Spells: DC 17/19+Spell level: Protection from good, Command x2, Eagle's splendor x2, Hold person, Dispel
    Magic x2
    Trust betrayed- 1/ day- Unholy blight effect. (5d8) 40 ft radius (Magic item ability)

    More mythic & ghost
    - M: Into the grave I take them. (grave trapping + channel touch attack through weapons)
    - M: One with the haunt: Can use vehemence for huge items as well. Manifest at -4 HD, -6 Charisma and now items.
    - M: Fleet warrior (Full attack before/ after move)
    - G: Corrupting touch
    - G: Corrupting gaze
    - G: Draining touch
    - G: Telekinesis (Flavor- pulling of chains, taking down the castle)
    - G: Vehemence: Can animate up to huge items.

    STATISTICS
    Str - Dex 14, Con 0 Int 13, Wis 10 Cha 24 (+7)/ 28 with Eagle Splendor (+9)
    Base Atk +1o; CMB +12 (+14 Grapple); CMD 22 (+dwarf)
    Feats:
    - 1st Step up
    - 3rd Combat expertise
    - 5th improved grapple
    - 7th Weapon focus earth breaker
    - 9th Improved critical (Eathbreaker)
    - Mythic 1: extra mythic power
    - Mythic 2: extra ghost power
    Skills Intimidate +18, perception +18, fly +12, sense motive +6, know religion +7, spellcraft +6


    Spoiler: The rune
    Show
    Rune made out of some Mythic power.
    Vaults: Open lock DC 35. Spells can reduce DC by double their spell level, degrade by 1 spell level each turn. Using the spell also enables breaking the "lock" (Break DC 30). Knock gives a caster level +10 to check. Dispel magic vs. Caster level 20. Knowledge arcana 20 or spell craft 25 per lock. Killing SV lowers all DCs by 10
    "Key" Spells: Flesh:Transmutation spells. Bone: Cure spells. Blood: Conjuration.
    - Vault of flesh: Abyssal Infusion: The dungeon is strongly chaostic- and evil-aligned as a result, and lawful and good spells and spell-like abilities are impeded (Concentration DC 25+ spell level to cast)
    - Vault of bones: Unhallowed: An unhallow effect (CL 20th- Magic circle vs. Good. Resistance +4) suffuses the dungeon. A dimensional anchor is tied to it that affects all creatures save for chaotic evil worshipers of Deskari.
    - Vault of Blood: Whispers of Madness: Demonic spirits haunt the walls of the dungeon, and while their constant whispering never becomes loud enough to allow intelligible speech to be heard, the constant susurrus grates on the mind. At the start of Every rune change spent in the dungeon, non-chaotic-evil creatures must succeed at a 17 Will save to resist taking 2 points of cha damage as the whispering slowly drives them mad—a creature that takes an amount of Charisma damage equal to its Charisma score becomes afflicted by a random insanity. http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemasterin...ctions/madness

    Deskari Rune:

    Caster level 20. Changes every 2d3 rounds. WHen change trigger whispers+ dispel magic (targeted) at all. Roll 1d6 (DC 18 for all) :
    1- Prison cells: All of the runes are bars DC 23 to pass.
    2- Boiling mud pits. Only the rune is safe to walk. Otherwise boiling mud- difficult terrain, causes 4d6 damage per turn. Fort half
    3- Blade barriers: The run creates blade barriers- 6d6 damage Ref avoid when appears or half to pass.
    4- Complete darkness, not penetrated by Darkvision. Only the rune and 5 ft from it are lit.
    5- Cracks of the damned: tentacles for a +14 modifier. (If pinned takes 1d6+4 damage) Reflex evade
    6- Unholy storms: medium creatures fall, large one can't move.

    Plus, every 1d6 turns A wraith (1-3) or Babau comes (4-6)


    Each Player's XP: 89,850

    End of "The Sword of Valor" module!
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It was about 4:15 AM, so we stopped here. The party had a real blast, it was a good session! We'll play out what happens next time, quite a lot to deal with!

    The second module has ended finally! I ope you've enjoyed the ride! We have gotten a bit of a break that we can play in about 2.5 weeks from now, on the 23rd, where we shall begin the 3rd module- "Demon's Heresy!"
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-01-08 at 08:31 AM.

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