1. - Top - End - #123
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

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

    So, we had a most... unusual session three days ago. Most of it revolved around the downtime in Drezen, and quite a lot of roleplay surrounding it. This takes the big chunk of the session. Then comes the start of exploration of the Wounded lands around Drezen, which turns out fast, a bit confusing, and with a surprise ending, for both the players and me!

    We started with a small discussion about roleplay, group dynamics, and so on. Check the previous post, if interested.

    Session 15, Part 1- Downtime around the ruins of Drezen


    Last time: Staunton Vhane's spirit rushed side, trying to heal itself "At least I will make a worthy opponent", But Sena turned to him, and casting searing light burned his spirit "No You won't!" The party then opened the magical vaults powering the Rune of Deskari and fought the creatures within, finally breaking the seal...

    The "Inside Drezen" returned to the real world, and they found themselves in the abandoned ruined main hall of Drezen once more, only this time, without the prevailing feeling of evil and death. Drezen was now just... empty... Julian collapsed to the floor (4 Str) "Well, what a birthday!" Mad dog strode to her (Charisma 3 or so), and pulled her up, having her lean on him. "Happy birthday sis..." Sena cast a few healing spells, and they strode to the inner gate.

    Where they met Joran. He was ashen faced, kneeling down, crying "Is it... is it really over? I don't hear my brother anymore..." Julian held herself on the Sword of Valor's pole "His spirit is free at least, the evil has released it's grip." Joran was in an emotional turmoil, so she tried to comfort him "We shall try to do what we can for him, give his remains a proper burial" But Mad dog roared "He got what he deserved!". Julian looked at the barbarian, then at Sena "We shall make what we can to help him rest peacefully, won't we?" Sena's mind was elsewhere though, the spirits around him whispering. "What? Oh right, yeah..." Julian motioned Joran up. "Come, you are the last survivor, you can tell us best what needs be done to redeem this place. And you know, we have found a relative of yours! Millorn?" Joran's face darkened. "We do not speak of him!", Julian patted him "Oh, maybe you should... I heard he got quite a bit better..."

    With that, they went outside.

    Back at the courtyard, Day 1


    The sight outside was not a pretty one- many of their troops had died, the others sickened by some disease, though no longer fast spreading. Bartlet looked grim, patting a dead halfling and her dog, Qulin Longshadow was moving between feverish and oozing tieflings, And Arabeth with the Lucky Bastards look all shocked!

    Lann however, limping and his arm swollen looked at the party, and raised his spear up high, and saluted! With that, some of the others saw the party as well, and gave strange salutes as well, understanding that they must have stopped them all from dying.

    Sena was beside himself, and rushed to use as much healing as he could. Julian pulled forth the Sword of Valor, holding it with the help of Mad dog, as they raised it up high. The banner shed some light over the courtyard, soothing and easing pain. She then leaves the banner with Mad dog, and goes over to Bartlet. "I'm Sorry, I'm sorry". Bartlet looks at her, but says nothing, though she sees streaks of tears on the stern halfling's face. She crumples beside him and cries, he pats her as well.

    Qulin, his shadow looking weak, his leg twisted strangely and some sorcerers come to Andera, and prostate themselves before him. "You have done the impossible Master! We were sure the anger of our previous lords was upon us! But YOU! You defied them! and You've won!" They all bowed and whispered his name. "We are forever yours Master, forever yours! We shall never give up!"

    Sena was beside himself, and Lann came to him "What happened there Spirit?" But Sena just shrugged him tightly "My Brother, my ONLY brother!"

    Arabeth strode to where Mad dog and Andera stood with the banner "You have found it! But t such a cost!" Andera then, being silent for so long, spoke with great vehemence. "Betrayal turned this place grim more than once! Demons turned good hearts to treachery, treason and death, but now it is purged!". Arabeth looked at the banner "So Drezen is taken?" The party looked at each other, for some reason uncertain, before Andera strode forth, and called out loud.

    "People of Kenbres, of Mendev and beyond! We are joined here now, at the first victory of the fifth crusade! We are all heroes this day! Though it seem grim, you shall remember this day, as will all! This is the day we stopped defending, stopped protecting our borders, but struck inside, started fighting and claiming back what is ours! Your great grandchildren will sing of this day, when we took Drezen out of darkness, into the light of new hope!" (I was really pleasantly surprised at him speaking up such!)

    Bartlet and Lann rose and called out "For the fifth crusade! Heroes of Drezen!" And the cheer quickly went up, despite the death. Sena then added "And remember- you have faced Death, Looked in the eye, and death looked away!" (Ummm... quite a few corpses around you might disagree with that, but ok. )

    After the initial shock
    With that, Arabeth took charge and started arranging the remains of the army. About 3/5th of the army survived- 23 halflings, 48 mongrelfolk, 64 Knights of Sarenrae and 122 tiefling (They started 200 initially, plus the 100 Lucky Bastards. Add to that the Lions of Sarkori, The Queen's Knights and The Silver Banner, there were a lot of dead bodies... Taking Drezen had been costly.

    The min concerns were safety- putting up a guard, burying the dead, taking care of the living, and managing supplies. We let The NPCs deal with most, though Julian insisted to find the Lions of Sarkoris fur proper burial, and Sena made a sort of a field hospital with any remaining healers of the Knights.

    Spoiler: Calculating the dead, and the trap of Drezen
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    Basically I wanted the time spent in Drezen to mean something. I count "meaningful periods" in Drezen- any time the party took some time that I deemed the curse outside could progress- looking for the sword of valor, exploring rooms extensively and so on. I didn't count up exact minutes, but just added up such "meaningful periods". Every 4 or so, it meant more would die. I put up a dice for each force based approximately on how "tough" they were (Halfling the most, mongrelfolk second, then knights, then tieflings. The Bastards weren't there when the curse hit) and rolled in advance. The party got experience according to certain stages of people saved. Not a lot, but enough to matter. They got in about half way or so


    Julian called Mad dog aside "We have a problem. We need to research about ourselves." Mad dog agreed "You do the research, you tell me who to kill, I'll go and kill it!" Julian agreed with a smile. "Though I mostly trust the others, they won't understand fully. I think we have only each other to trust in this!" Mad dog looked concerned "I need to be brought down quickly!" Julian nodded "I think I may have something for that, But I think we may need to remove ourselves from the city?" Mad dog thought "Show me a target, and I'll go for it!" Julian contemplated "That is the problem, we don't know where to go yet..." She then went to Aravash and spoke to him discreetly about it. "We found a witch library in the tower, take whomever can help you, maybe the tiefling sorcerers, and check for any clues..."

    Andera tells his scouts (people from his order) to look for any irregular behavior, as there may be demons about. (Julian's player- "But that is what my organization is all about!").

    The party goes back inside and takes the remains of Staunton Vhane's equipment, (He could use soem with ghost trappings): His armor of chains, his earth breaker hammer and his tainted mithral amulet. All 3 magical , all 3 unholy, which frustrated the party a bit. Julian also took Staunton's unmagical helmet. She looked at it, then put it in her bag.

    Day 2- Julian's conversations, Chorussia's notes, Mad dog's growing problem, Andera with Joran


    Most of the party slept, except for Sena (Who took the "sleepless" mythic ability upon getting to level 3) He worked through the night, tending to the wounded, except for resting for 1 hour, in which he meditated, going over several names over and over: "Areelu Vorlesh, Jerribeth of the Jade, General Aponavicius, Xanthir Vang, The Storm King... Areelu Vorlehs, Jerribeth of the Jade..." He was focusing on anger, focusing on revenge! The party all felt their health, their power, their essence replenishing faster, much faster. The forces they felt in the scales of Terendelev, and later in the Sword of Valor itself, were now part of them. They were becoming something a bit else, not fully mortal (I tried an in game description of how the "recuperation" power feels like.)

    Julian began her morning with Bartlet, who a bit like Sena, was counting revenge. He drew a small bottle of liquor. "5 survived when the demons burned my village, quite famous for it you know? I swore that each time we deliver sweet vengeance, that I will drink for my people. Would you drink with me Julian? It's the third bottle, I hope I will get to see the other 2 drank!"
    Julian drank and chatted a bit, before broaching her subject: "I was thinking Bartlet, perhaps it's time that you let your people, and yourself, off the revenge crusade? You have been on it for long, and have done plenty, but perhaps it's time to settle down? Bring your families? I would be honored to have you here, and feel safer for it. Perhaps give it a chance?"
    It takes little to persuade Bartlet, the recent loss of about half his people made him reconsider. Julian suggested to bring in their people "Make it home, not just an outpost! But for you I have another idea..." She seeks to make him part of her organization at first, but he seems to straightforward, so she opts to persuade him to head up Drezen scouting. He agrees, thinking his remaining troops will suffice for that. He thinks of enlisting the mongrelfolk for that too. "Sneaky folks, know how to keep hidden and silent."

    Sena receives a Sending spell from the Queen, short and to the point: "Well done! Help comes in 3-4 weeks. Hold Drezen! Maintain image! Sending reinforcements and supplies. Do not engage till then! Mendev owes you! He answers her kindly, and goes to discuss with the others. Julian and Mad dog are frustrated at needing to stay (Mad dog wanted to leave PRONTO) But they all agree they are the best defense the armies got.

    They debate where to put the Sword of Valor (It needs to be displayed on a wall of a building), but decide right now moral is more important, so Md dog carries it around all of the troops. Arabeth uses some of the troops to dig many, many graves in the cleared cemetery, and Julian joins Joran for the burial of Staunton's remains. The dwarf seems distraught, keeping saying things like "Why didn't you listen to me? Why were you so thick headed?" and so on, Julian tries to comfort him, and sees him holding the holy symbol of some dwarven god (Droskar) "You worship him?" Joran tries to hide it quickly. "No, not any more... Stupid god! Useless god!" Julian, the agnostic retorts "Are there any other?"

    Sena continues with his healing and tending, with his people worried that he haven't slept and yet functions as if fresh! Andera went to try and decipher Joran's ciphered journal (I think he didn't trust him), while Julian decided that while Aravash goes over Chorussia's library, she will pore over her research notes. And she found quite a few interesting details:
    • Chorussia was a sort of a research assistant, sent to Drezen by... Xanthir Vang, to observe reactions of subjects who imbibed a "Nyhydrian potion".
    • Chorussia showed great unease at handling the potions. The evil was overwhelming! "What are they made of? Certainly not something of this world! Neither Xanthir nor Jerribeth will tell me!"
    • The elixirs cannot be teleported, and their content is quite volatile. Must be handled with extreme care! Thanks for the special containment vials and boxes, and their stabilizing effects, they can be handled fairly safely. Xanthir said he and the others are working on a process to speed the purification of the elixirs, as their production is yet too time consuming. until that happens, each elixir should be handled with care, and is precious.
    • Imbibing the elixir has one of two affects- it either make the creature "ascend" (Gain mythic status) and become much more powerful, or it outright kills it. Chorussia hasn't been able to establish any pattern. Apparently it only works with those strongly evil so far. Good subjects die instantly. (The party- "Damn!" ) The potion becomes unstable once it's top is opened and must be imbibed t once, otherwise it explodes. No room for second thoughts!
    • Drezen received 5 elixirs. So far it killed 2 out of 5 subjects. (The survivors are Staunton, Soltengrabbe and Aponavicius. It managed to kill a young dragon). If only it could be used as a poison, but the sickening aura identifies it immediately.
    • The demons receiving the elixir have become so powerful, that they are unmatched by most of what the crusaders throw at them. There are probably several dozens such "Ascended" by now, but Areelu aims much higher- hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands? If Only Xanthir will be able to refine the process... (The party- We must stop it before it happens!" Good party... good party...) He is a genius, a mind so powerful and sharp, beyond those of most demons. If anyone can do it- he could! Touched by the genius of the very abyss!


    Spoiler: Info about the elixirs
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    I didn't made these up. The elixirs appear on the 4th module which I partly read, along with their boxes, the crystal and so on. Nice info, which I thought part of it could be delivered now.


    But Julian is a busy woman, while the notes take her most of the day to decipher, on breaks she talks to Andera, about her idea for a covert "Drezen inner secret police" to look out for any signs of problem makers or demons in the city. The two have a long discussion (Andera refuses, mainly on the grounds that he dislikes policing your own people secretly. "We should be able to trust our own people! I will not betray the very dignity of our people, the trust they put in us!" While Julian insists that in a place like Drezen, in enemy territory, there WILL be trouble from the populace, or those who wish to forge the place in a different image than the four of them have for Drezen. "C'mon, you know how it works! Don't you think the queen knows about us? That she has informants in our army? How do you think she knew we conquered Drezen so fast?" (Um, sending, scrying, divination, commune...) They discuss this lengthily (I didn't follow it all), but at the end came to an agreement "Only if it is to monitor demon activity, nothing else!". This was the stipulation that Andera required, and Julian agreed to it. ("Yes... and...?" )

    Night has come, and I think at this point I felt that Mad dog had nothing to do, so I put the next complication in their way, hoping to give him something to play with. Mad dog has been going around all day with the Sword of Valor, and helped lift stones and remove Debris. Suddenly, while he was in Drezen alone, he woke up... He saw himself on the floor, feeling tired, as if after a rage, and indeed he felt the leftover of fury leaving his body. He understood he once more transformed, but looking at itself, he saw that this time the transformation didn't revert fully- He stills had spikes on his hands, and on his back, and a set of horns on his head. He felt that his condition worsened, and that now his transformation was also linked to his rage. More than that, it seemed like he had tried to bash and rip the Sword of Valor, who lay thrown aside... (Thankfully it's a minor artifact)

    "Um..." was his thought, and then he remembered. He drank a potion of invisibility, and quickly made his way out of the building, towards Julian's tent. (For some reason none of the party felt like living in the citadel. As Julian player's put it: "It's where we work. Would you like to sleep where you work?")
    MD: Are you alone?
    J: (Waking) Yes I am. Why are you invisible?
    MD: Part of the problem.
    Julian realizes this may be a crisis- if any of the other people see this... She casts invisibility on Mad dog, and tells him to rush to the war room. She then wakes Andera and call the ever working Sena, and they go there. "We have a problem." "What is it?". "It... will be come apparent."

    As they saw Mad dog they both cursed. Sena, who has learned more about the Abyss (Increased his knowledge (planes) by quite a bit) understand that Mad dog is transforming into a half demon. from what he knows however, half demons are usually the result of a willing voluntary pact between a mortal and demon, which can either kill or empower the recipient in return for some sort of a pact (Such as the one of Areelu Vorlesh). But Mad dog never made any kind of pact or deal... They go back to his past (The Stolen Fury trait) where his village came under attack of demons, who captured most people, and tortured and experimented on them. He remembered Jerribeth by his side, caressing his cheek "He would make fine specimen", but nothing else.

    The party decides to consult aahigher power, and Sena casts commune, once more feeling the connection to the enigmatic entity he contacted before. He could smell the perfume of a woman, and could almost sense a smile...
    They then started to question, but they became quite confused and a bit all over the place.
    The questions:
    1) Are the queen's forces coming to Drezen? (Sena shot this before the others could object. I swear he can be too suspicious and paranoid for his own good) "Yes".
    2) Is there a pact behind Mad dog's transformation? No.
    3) Can the process be reversed? Unknown.
    4) Can we find answers to this problem in Drezen. "Partly found". (I meant about the visions of John, but this apparently made the party think of Chorussia notes and the items they have found)
    5) Can the banner reverse the process?" Unlikely
    6) Are the elixirs mass produced safely? Not yet (Sena was thrilled by this "So we need to act fast!"
    7) Is there a way that he can remain himself despite the transformation? Improbable.
    8) Are the elixirs tied to the process. No.
    9) Is Drezen going to be attacked by demons before the reinforcements arrive? Unknown. (She does not see the future)

    The main thing they have learned is that it's not tied to the elixirs. Julian come to the conclusion that this was tied to John's visions- the place of the expedition (Bingo! ) Andera thinks this might be tied to the archer woman who fled Drezen. Perhaps she found the reverse process? (Cool concept! I might adopt it somehow, she might help in the process somehow!)
    Sena replies :We need to seek the source.
    Mad dog: "That's what I've been saying all along!"
    Julian looks at Mad dog, with his horns and spikes. "But we don't know where that is yet. I can put illusion spells on you, to make you appear yourself, but they are limited to 1.5 hours and don't go through close scrutiny..."
    Mad dog waved her away. "I cannot be seen like this. When anything important may happen, I will use your magic, but till then, I will stay out of sight. I'll be in the room with prayers to Desna, the anti magic room. And you!" He looked at the others with part menacing, but mostly desperation "Get researching already!"

    Sena follows him , and close the door on him, and sits in Aponvicius "bed", pulling out Staunton Vhane's journal. "Well, I'm not about to go to sleep, lets get into the mind of a lunatic..." And began the long read.

    Spoiler: Mad dog's transformation, and the timing
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    Mad dog gained natural attacks- spikes and gore. When he rages, he roll a DC 20 will save or he frenzies- +2 to all physical abilities, the start of wings, a bite attack, and -4 to all mental abilities. Oh, and he attacks and tries to kill the closest targets till the rage passes after 1d6 minutes.

    This was development of Mad dog's condition, and I planned to do it later, but did it sooner, perhaps due to "Wanting to give Mad dog something to play with". I thought they'd find some way to deal with it that will enable Md dog to interact somehow, but didn't expect him to just lock himself away. This was a shame as this meant he became non active, despite attempts to bring him more in. Thankfully, the player enjoys listening as well.

    Maybe I should have expected it, after the "chase the mutant" event in the FATE campaign... hmmmm...


    But the night was not over yet. Soon after going to sleep Andera was woken by one of the tieflings, saying that Joran Vhane passed them and was making speed to live. Andera jumped, send one tiefling to wake Julian, and went after the dwarf with 3-4 other tieflings.

    He caught up with Joran some distance to the south (Dwarves don't move so fast) Joran was distraught.
    J: "Leave me alone! I don't want your help! You will just end persecuting me... perhaps I deserve it, but leave me alone!"
    An: "You have indeed helped ruin this place, now you have a chance to redeem it. We need your experience and knowledge to make this place a new!"
    J: "I know you crusaders! You will show me no mercy! It's not as if we would show you! Back off, I warn you!"
    An: Look at me, and who marches with me. I have lead a host of tieflings here, and they came to no harm! Undo the forge of corruption, let us make it into something new!"
    J: "So I am to be your slave? Your minion! I will serve no one! I will be a free man!"
    (Tiefling: "He is a good master..." )
    An: "By my word, you will be free. I seek to lord over no one, help us, and earn your place amongst us. Or will you go gain to demons, who will punish and abuse you? Make a new start with us, a new life."
    Joran shed another tear, and accepted.

    As they got back Juian looked at Andera bleary eyed. "People keep waking me, what is it this time?" Andera changed the subject, and uncharacteristically, swept her in his arms "Would you look at the stars?! Such beauty! You don't see them like this in Kenabres! It's Drezen' sky!" Julian looked at him questioningly "You ok?" But Andera just laughed and went back to his own tent, with Joran slinking away...

    Back in Aponavicius room, between flipping pages, Sena intoned "Areelu Vorlesh, Jerribeth of the Jade, General Aponavicius, Xanthir Vang, The Storm Lord..."

    Spoiler: Joran's escape and the second day. Counting of days.
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    The "Joran escapes" piece was to give Andera something to do, and possibly an NPC to interact with later. It seemed to have worked nicely enough.

    As to the count of days: I decided to make the threat of Xanthir Vang perfecting the process better a real threat. So there is time limit (And a few events here and there according to the time schedule, such as will come in the end of the session quite unexpectedly.

    Don't worry, while this particular day was VERY busy, the days become less busy later on...


    Day 3- Staunton Vhane's Journal, Staff of valor
    By noon, Sena finishes reading the Journal, and relay the info to the party and selected NPCs:
    • The Journal begins a few years after the betrayal of Drezen. It depicts decades under Aponavicius, her trying to break him, torture him. First as a sort of gladiator, then as prime soldier, then as troop trainer, after as army commander.
    • Areelu Vorlesh coming into his life, teaching him, nurturing him, guiding him. Making him a spy for Baphomet. The journal depicts special relations with her- as she is the only one who understands mortals (having been once herself). A lot of her nihilistic teachings of despair, loss of hope, inevitability and such come.
    • Staunton mention very cryptically spying in Kenabres. He mentions turning Jerribeth's experiments (The party perked their ears!) into something bigger- not corruption of body or mind, but corruption of soul. And not by individuals, but on a massive scale- The Wardstone is the key. He also mentions that Areelu is greatly displeased with Jerribeth for pursuing... something she wasn't meant to, demoting her to serve as aid for Xanthir Vang, in the Ivory Sanctum, which also functions as the headquarters of the Cult of Baphomet in this region. (Mad dog's player nods "Now we have a target!")
    • Discussions with Joran, as he slowly descends. Joran wishes him to seek the dwarven gods, seeks a god more alike him Droskar. Slowly falling into worship, but not true worship. "We are all touched by desperation. Him, me, Millorn. The Vhane line was doomed all along…"
    • Building of the Corruption forge, a project of Aponavicius- turn relics and holy tools of war into evil. Frustrations at the lack of success with the Sword of Valor ("Damn thing keeps changing it's shape!"). Joran has a use yet, as he knows well how the things works. Made quite a few items for Aponavicius and other generals.
    • The witch cometh- Chorussia comes with some Babaus. 5 Nyhadrian elixirs: Aponavicius, Himself, Soltengrabbe, Xacabra and the dragon (last two died upon drinking. He mentions plans of Areelu to transform most of the powerful demons. The witch stayed to oversee the effects, on behalf of the Region's leader, Xanthir Vang.
    • Met Xanthir Vang on a visit, comes from the elusive Ivory Sanctum. He feels quite powerful, but wrong. The worm's past is shrouded with mystery- where did it come from?
    • The last betrayer: Found Arulashee. She sought to find the bell of heavens. Keeping her in the anti magic cell that Aponavicius has. She still prays to Desna, as if that could ever help her… Hired an annis hag called Jaruunica, follower of Sifkesh to track her down- cannot turn ethereal or teleport. (Andera nods "So Arulashee is her name... and she IS a demon. We better find her fast!")

    The Journal is useful, and gives the party a few leads: Jerribeth and Xanthir Vang can both be found in the Ivory Sanctum, and there is also Arulshee who have fled... where? Jaruunica may be a clue

    The party decides to put the Sword of Valor on display, finally weary that demons might teleport in. They put it in the main hall, with a guard of 10 soldiers always there. As Julian places the Banner, it's pole detaches. "You'll need valor on your way" She senses, as this becomes her new staff!

    Spoiler: Staff of valor
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    The player wants to create a legendary item. One thing he really wanted is to have aa staff that grows in power, and finally becomes really power, like "Staff of the magi" or such. We talked on emails, and I thought to have a staff that start small, and gains powers through adventuring. After the session we have come to some... trouble regarding it.

    Anyway, here is the Staff of Valor:
    Powers not requiring charges:
    - Remove fear 3/ day.
    - Continuously grants a +4 vs. fear to holder.
    - Can shed light up to 30 feet, 60 feet as 3rd level spell. 1 charge doubles range and increases spell level to 4, for 10 minutes/ level.
    Powers requiring charges (In PF a staff has only 10 charges, but can be recharged by sacrificing spells into it)
    - Eagle's splendor- 1
    - Heroism- 1,
    - Bolt of Holy Wrath-1 (As lightning bolt, but holy damage. Doesn't affect good, neutral suffer half damage)
    - Summon IV (Only good)- 1 charges


    The party seeks to leave soon (Especially Mad dog), but they remember the queen's message, and decide to wait her out. After the mention of the Ivory Sanctum being the center for Baphomet in the region, Julian asks Sena to give him their prayer book (Which they found under Kenabres on some random cultist) and sat to read, As Sena returns to heal. Andera starts deciphering Joran's notes with Joran's own help.

    Day 4- The corruption forge, Sena's "closed circle"
    Andera manages to get the basics, but with Julian manages to find out what is needed to turn the corruption forge into the purity forge (Just as in the module). They are worried about the need for Hallow spells for each attempt to purify the forge, since they have enough just for 2 attempts.

    Sena finishes healing (He was using all slots and mythic power he could for cure disease, with the healers helping otherwise). When that is over he relaxes, and sets to meditate. As he does so, several wasps come into his tent. He notes them only as three land on his hand, look at him, and then sting him, as in three points of a triangle. A wasp then buzz by his ear and in her buzzing he hears the woman's voice again. "Now that you're more free, how do you feel?" Sena smiles, recognizing the wasps and three points as signs of Calistria. He marks a circle around the red sting marks "I feel like I've come a full circle."

    And talking of which, he casts "Speak with dead" to talk with John (We changed the details a bit for this one casting).
    S: Thank you. I know of your sacrifice. Both now in Drezen, and years ago, when you saved me from that place, and the affliction that caught my parents. You... are still my friend, and I miss you. I have it in my power to raise you, do you wish me to?
    J: (who looked far more at peace) "My battles are done dear Sena, I am in Sarenrae's embrace now. No, My path has come to an end, now it is your time."
    S:What do you wish to be done with your equipment? Do you wish it buried with you?
    J: No need for that, I will not need it. Use it as you see fit, a way that it could be of use.
    S: And where do you wish to be buried?"
    J: My only wish is that it's holy ground. I find the mere possibility of returning as an undead not to my liking.
    S: Mad dog has gone through more transformations. We think they originate from the place you were in in the visions, do you remember where it was?
    J: (who looked pained) I have done a lotto try and forget that place, and I did not keep track of the road there. I only remember it took us more than week to get there, and that we traversed a great plateau before getting there. I'm sorry Sena, but I remember no more".
    S: "Goodbye my friend, my family, and rest in peace. I shall miss you."
    J: We shall meet again, dear Sena, when the journey's done..."

    A wasp once more buzzed by his ear. "You carry a heavy burden, but do not carry it alone! Use the others, revenge requires many tools- Julian seems crafty, powerful, and smart. Andera has guile, trickery, and subtlety, and Mad dog he... has his uses." Sena nodded to himself. "Not alone..."

    And with that his spirit left. Sena gave Lann his equipment- armor and weapons, save for his holy symbol, which he kept, and a CMW wand.

    Days 5- 14 Some buildings, and the purified armor
    They got purifying the forge on the first attempt! they put Joran working on purifying Staunton Vhane's armor of chains first. Meanwhile Julian started building herself a small house in the fort of Drezen (Courtyard), and assembling trophies from adventures so far: Staunton's helmet, Soltengrabber's mane and hide, the empty shard of the Wardstone, Nurah's battle horn, Harry's broken bonded wand. She planned on collecting many more.

    While Julian was working about this, I sent an email (We all use laptops) about her own... changes:
    Spoiler: Julian's changes
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    For all outward appearances, and the way Julian feels, the "telepathy/ mind break" that Julian experienced fades away. Julian may well think she has overcome it, with the ordeal of overcoming Drezen.

    However, every other day or so, she "lets herself go" more easily, acting more freely, more manipulatively, more seductively (A bit like a succubus, but I'll let you find your own voice in it, your own way to roleplay it). Each time it stays for about 1d6 hours.

    You do not turn evil, but you do turn less good. For that time you are chaotic NEUTRAL, feel free to act accordingly. Though there are changes to Julian's behavior, it's not as if someone else is dominating her, but rather she explores and gives in to other sides of her.

    In game terms it's a bit like Julian is under the effects of a suggestion, only there is no demon casting the spell. In fact, when Julian listens deeply, it's her own voice that urges her on. Her own self? Perhaps…

    It's important to note that at least at the start, The changes are somewhat subtle... Most likely Julian herself DOES NOT consider these odd, and will only think something is wrong if she's confronted with the consequences of her actions. (Most of which are quite subtle). However, I'll leave it to you to see when Julian makes that realization, be it sooner or later, as you wish. I think this can be fun.

    As to the game, her actions may be somewhat disruptive, but not altogether destructive or harmful (Yet). She still views the party and Drezen as her friends, but she places her own self and desires higher than she did before, and doesn't mind playing a trick or two (or five) on them. What's the harm after all?

    Spoiler: Agreement with Julian's player
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    I did not spring it out of the blue entirely on him. We have discussed similarly themed changes (The player thought something on the lines of a multiple personality disorder). I thought this would be a smoother transition.

    What happens is that After receiving various impressions by demonic minds, Julian's own mind is slowly starting to turn demonic itself. According to Julian's personality, and the player's own favorite demon, I've suggested to model it after the succubi. The player himself doesn't quite know what's happening (Though I'd hazard he would make a good guess). all in all it turned to be an interesting roleplay- as you will see.



    Sena in the meantime furnished a small temple. He chose Chorussia's room (The tower, originally Soltengrabbe's room in the module), and cleaned it up, put a Hallow spell on it (With Zone of truth), put the symbols of the five crusade gods (Iomedae, Sarenrae, Desna, Torag and Shellyn) iin a sort of a circle on the walls, and made a simple circle in the middle of the room, with three pointers from it towards Iomedae, Sarenrae and Desna. (This was Calistria's symbol in a sort of a simple disguise. He knew very well that others might recognize it. but thought it was appropriate for the goddess to at least partly hide it. One last final touch- Sena used stone shape in order to create a grave in the room, where he buried John, on Hallowed "Ground".

    On the 13th day Aravash called Sena to the forge. Joran managed to purify his armor- a shining sleek looking Mithral Full Plate. "My brother was slowed and chained by these shackles of evil. Removing them, this armor will grant you great speed instead! (Mithral Fullplate of speed). Now, with his new armor, Sena called the major people in Drezen to his new temple- the party (Though Mad dog decided to remain in his chamber), Major NPCs (except for Qulin), Some of the Sarenrae's knights, mongrelfolk, halflings... about 30-40 people, tightly packed. Sena steps into the circle in the center (The hidden symbol for Calistria) and speaks:

    Sena's temple music- LoTR, Twilight and Shadow
    (The player chose this himself. The music idea is catching on!

    "Thank you all for coming, for the past few weeks and especially the past two, we have suffered a lot but we all worked together in a common cause. Just a few months ago we were complete strangers, some even saw each other as enemies, who doesn't deserve to live."

    "But now we are united, in our cause! Before we will continue I will tell you that I am not myself. I have changed, I saw things that changed me, The person who left Drezen is not the same person who entered it. (Speaks of John's vision) John didn't betray us, if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have succeeded in our mission, it was his plan all along. If it was my choice, he would be declared a saint!"

    "As for myself, as I said- I am not the same man. When I was standing above me, on the platform looking over Drezen, saw you all suffer, dying, losing hope, I did what I could to ease your pain to preserve your life- for it is my fault, my blame, like John before me... I spoke with Sarenrae, but she for her reasons, and I do not doubt her (Julianwas in a playful mood and whispered with Andera "Didn't doubt her! Yeah right!"), denied me the possibility to help you all (Andera: "Look at him taking the credit!"), But I didn't lose hope. And for that I paid the price." At this point the presence of the spirits rushed across the room, though not an intimidating manner, but rather a calming, serene one. "You see it as a burden, but I do not. They are not my burden, but my reminder. And for that I return to the cause."

    "I call for any that would join me! That we will erase any trace of demon footstep, any stain of their corrupted essence, they will be eradicated, purged, and blasted from the surface of this earth! I lost my family, friends, birth city, everyone I loved, known and cherished!. And even lost my beliefs… (Some in the crowd took a breath at this, looking worried) Because of these demons (Julian: "That will bring him followers1")... There will be no more crusades! This will be the LAST crusade! Our children will not live in this! Will you fight with me?!" At this point most of the crowd cheered and raised their hand in agreement, as Sena turned round in his circle, seeing them all. Some figures however, especially from the Sarenrae Knights, and Arabeth as well, looked uncertain...

    Sena didn't worry, He stepped out of the circle and spoke. "In this place, everybody is equal, so if anyone wants to speak, just step into the circle and speak.". However the crowd seemed a bit shocked by the speech. Lann stepped forth. "I will fight with you Spirit Walker!" A few made similar oaths but most left quietly. Arabeth came to Sena, putting a hand on his shoulder. "I didn't know some of this. Are you... Are you sure?" Sena looked at her squrely. "Yes I am!" She squeezed his shoulder again, and left.

    Julian was the last to remain. She waited till they were alone before she stepped close to him. , "Sena, although sometime I look cynical, I do appreciate your cause, and if you need help, I will be happy to assist." And she placed her arm on his, somewhat casually... Sena heard again "What do you feel?" and Sena answered in his thought. "Tool!" openly however he said "Thank you very much Julian, it will be quite helpful. Julian plays with flattery. but there is no service without cost, what shall it be?" Julian was confused (As the rest of us) "What are you talking about? We are friends, nd relied on each other these past two week, or haven't you noticed?" She said playfully.

    Sena's player started to panic (I did say that he can be too paranoid for his own good, right? ) Julian looked at the floor, and marked the symbol with her leg ?(Decent knowledge roll) "So you pay attention to Calistaria now, do you?"

    Sena, who put some flammable oil in the groove of the circle, stepped inside the circle and ignited it (He likes Drama). In the circle of fire he spoke gravely, excitedly, passionately. "Yes, I am first of the revenge that is going to give the demons their final battle!" Julian cast resist energy and stepped through the flames in front of him (More drama ) and put her hand on his shoulder "And I will be with you, every step of the way!" Her hand slid down to his "I trust you with my life, I hope you feel the same Sena..." Sena nods a bit confused, "I do, but keep this all... secret for now, ok?" Julian accepts and then just leaves the circle and the room.

    The player really started to panic!

    Spoiler: Sena's new emblem
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    I assume it's from some sort of a game, it's supposed to represent the faith in Calistria, but with his own... intimidating tone.


    Days 14-19, Soul gem, The Sleepless eye, Concerns about Sena
    Aravash started to work on the unholy mithral amulet. Andera was approached by Qulin in his tent. "Master, oh great master! We wish to offer you a token, a promise! The demons keep our souls tied somewhere, in a Soul gem as part of our pact and servitude. Though we cannot retrieve it, We have crafted a similar tool, one that represents our commitment to you, our promise, devotion and dedication to you Master!" Qulin gives him a rough reddish orb. "If our souls are freed, they will be transfered here, for we are yours Master, for now and forever!"

    This made Andera lose it. "No! I do not wish to hold your souls! I am NOT your Master! For the last time, stop bowing to me! I do not keep slaves!"
    Qulin seemed panicked, prostrating profusely "We have offended you Master! Punish us! We are unworthy!"
    Andera forced him to sit across him. "Look, I don't want you as slaves. You don't need to follow me, you are free!"
    Qulin tried to wrap his mind against the new concept. "No, we are never free, we are created, born, bred to serve. Serve YOU Master!"
    Andera tried a different approach. "Look, what happens to a quasit when his master dies?"
    Qulin blinked "It's spoul gets sucked with his master's soul into the Abyss Master, as we shall follow you to your death!"
    Andera sighed "Ok, bad example..." "Look, back in Kenabres, after you were captured, why didn't you follow your masters to your deaths? You tried to do something else instead, offer yourself to us- BETRAY your master. Why did you do that?"
    Qulin was more confused "We... we were afraid."
    Andera urged "Who made that choice, who chose against their master."
    At this Qulin allowed himself a sly little smile. "I did, along with the sorcerers."
    Andera moved on. "You see, there are times you must heed no master, in which you must choose for yourself, in which you are YOUR OWN master!"
    This idea shocked Qulin somewhat. "I do not understand Master, you speak confusingly. We try to learn, to adjust, but your people's ways are so confusing, what would you have us do?"
    Andera sighed "I wish you to build a new community here, everyone with their own free will, with no master. The day is not far when I will have to leave you (Qulin looked panicked), and on that day, you will hve to choose for yourself, without anyone to tell you what to do. You will have to see what YOU want to do." Andera looked at him seriously. "I want you to be your own people. I want you to be free."
    Qulin seemed lost in thoughts, quite a few new ideas in his head. "Yes, our own masters? I will have to talk with the others about it... (Diplomacy roll persuaded him to accept) Thank you Mas... Thank you..."

    (This small piece was one of my favorite parts of the entire session! )

    Julian and Andera also discussed forming the Sleepless eye. They laid some of the basic foundations:
    • The organization will focus on possible demon infiltration or influence in Drezen.
    • The main building will be a major inn. It will have secret doors to an underground complex which will be the headquarters. The Inn's owner/ operator will have to be a very trusted person. (Bartlet is suggested)
    • They will try to recruit Anevia as the head of the organization on a day to day basis. She seems quite capable, and she can be trusted. Arabeth will know of the organization (Due to her relationship with Anevia), but will be kept out of it's actions, for plausible deniability (Plus she can't bluff well). If possible, Aravash will lend magical support and knowledge.
    • The first recruits will be Andera's spies (The remains of the expert spies, who came from Kenabres), about 8 currently. More recruits will be gained from the general populace.
    • Interviews will be made in Sena's temple (With the zone of truth). Sena may lend a hand, but due to his new unknown allegiance, he will kept in an "advisory/ support" role, and not fully in.


    Sena in the meantime speaks with some of the Knights of Sarenre. Apparently their heavily wounded order seeks to join with the mongrelfolk to form a joined order. They will put Lann as it's leader (They saw him with John's equipment as a sign). They are however worried about Sena's dispute with Sarenrae. "We understand you have doubts, nd we do not really doubt you, but... we worry for you. If you feel alone, if you feel lost, come to us. We are your family, we re your brothers!" Sena Nodded, accepting "Sarenrae teaches patience and temperance. I believe the road ahead may require more... extreme measures. If you find me unworthy, or off-the-path, I will accept it." They tried to soothe him "No, we are your friends and allies, just... we worry..."

    On the 19th day the amulet is purified. Aravash presents it to them "Trust betrayed is now forged to The Bond. When once it fueled the unholy energies of an anti paladin, we have redeemed the holy spirit inside of it, weak, but bears strength to the righteous arms" After some debate Andera took it.

    Spoiler: The Bond
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    The bond mimics the paladin's "Divine bond" ability- it enables the wearer to add +2 enchantment equivalent to the weapon of the wearer. The bonus can be divided between two weapons if the person wishes.


    Days 20-24, Preparations for coming
    Aravash started to work on the Orb of Souls, fails near the end of this period, and starts anew.. Julian kept more and more company with Mad dog, who started getting frustrated, depressed and resentful (The character, not the player) "When the reinforcements come, we leave quickly, and find out this Ivory Sanctum!"

    Sena starts having a small cult of followers, mostly mongrelfolk and Sarenrae's knights, about 20-30 people in all, Speaking of "The Spirit Walker", and having a few people follow him around as a sort of n honor guard. Sena takes to it, and invites them to his temple, conducting philosophical discussions (If I take a lamp and shine it toward the wall, a bright spot will appear on the wall. The lamp is our search for truth... for understanding." )

    Arabeth and Bartlet become worried of Mad Dog, and come talking to Julian and Andera. "Where is he? He hasn't been seen for some time. People think he must have gone scouting in the wilderness, but it's an awfully long time..." Julian tried to wave it away. "He is dealing with some personal issues." Andera added "Yeah, struggling with his own personal demons." (Sena's player face palmed). Arabeth was concerned "Like what happened before?" Julian replied "Of a similar nature". They didn't look that convinced, but Just replied "Well, for now we trust you, but it is odd..."

    Spoiler
    Show
    (To tell the truth I should have breached Mad dog's disppearance earlier, but forgot about this with all of the other activity going around.


    Some of Bartlet's scouts returned on the 23rd day "The reinforcements are nearly here! A whole LOT of people, with carts, supplies, building materials, and lots of troops!" Bartlet was pleased, but spoke with the party. "Look one small thing, but important. After they arrive, and settle enough, we need to have some sort of celebration, for the new comers who will probably be worried about this new place in the midst ofthe enemy, but for our current troops as well. It has been a hell of a ride, and the people need a break, something to be happy about, you know? What with Sena as a new prophet, all the deaths, and this new things with the tieflings goign about sying "What do I want to do?!?", we kinda need a break, ya know?"

    The party agreed, and waited with anticipation for the new population of Drezen to arrive. Especially Mad dog, for whom this signaled the coming departure.
    -----------------------------------------------

    This is a good stopping point. A lot of roleply up to this point. There is still some more ahead, but not a whole lot.A very unusual session for us so far, but on the whole quite a lot of fun. Hope you are enjoying!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-01-29 at 03:45 PM.

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