1. - Top - End - #138
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    We had... a very bizarre and unexpected session on Friday. Ratching up the challenge, many twists and turns, LOTS of teleports, and random events quite changing the game. It was an intense, but... somewhat weird experience. All in all good, but left the party in quite a mess.

    The session also had considerably more roleplay on Andera's part, and even to some extent from Mad dog. It seems the conversation we had eased some underlying tensions maybe? I hope you would like it.

    A small yet important note: Julian's player did not like the staff of Valor for his legendary item, so we retconned that he used it's power to upgrade his headband of charisma to +4 Cha, +2 int (Linked to sense motive skill), which will be made into a legendary item (Julian calls it "The Flame")

    Session 16, Part 1- Dragon's hoard, Canyon of legends, Celebration with a finale

    As last we stopped, the party just killed Scorsizor (Bastards! ). It's day 30 since they have dealt with Staunton Vhane. The spoiler contains the map so far, as a reminder, they are on the most SW hex, overlooking the cliff to the SW, over the lake of lava. Oh, and they reached level 10!

    Spoiler: Map day 30

    So, First matter of Business? "We need to find her hoard! Before others do!" They think of using speak with dead, but decide upon a divination first. "Where do we find the dragoness hoard?" Asks Sena. the amused whisper of Calistria comes from Scorsizor's dead head. "Three circles: First of fire and earth, then of warped reality, last of the monster's mother.". Through knowledge checks the party realize the last is for Lamashtu, and that many of her temples re open to the sky, to enable dragons and other flying beasts, at least where its' worshiped openly.

    They decide to go south with the cliff, seek a way around the Lava. They come upon the Site known in the module as the Molten Cascade, basically a view point over the area. They get a basic layout of surrounding hexes, including the size of the lava lake, and the woods to the east. They notice two particular things: A sort of a.... fuzzy cloud to the east, over the woods (In the module it's the location of the Grunnhuld Wintersun Palace, but I changed that), and a sort of warped light near the south west of the lave lake (The location of the molten scar, but that has change as well)

    Spoiler: DM design: Changing locations of places
    As presented, most of the "campaign traits linked" module encounter (Except for maybe Arulashee's redoubt) are absolutely pathetic and crappy. And each on it's own is a cake walk with the party coming at it at full strength. I've made a few major changes:
    1. Scorsizor's lair is now on an island on the lava, in the location of the Molten Scar. I thought this might be a far more interesting battle site with a dragon- over a lake of Lava, instead of just some cave. I've used some suggestions from the updated monster stats file by Scorpion, but I'll get to that.
    2. I've piled up a few of the "campaign traits linked" encounters together, into a bigger site of the Lost Expedition. Basically, the Wintersun barbarians, the vrocks of the molten lava and the forgotten fane monsters are now all at one location, with upgraded stats, and a few other surprises. If the party is going to tie up some loose ends, they will have to work for it! I've put it up in the north, near where the fane was, right by the lake
    3. I've added one more location: sort of a major swarm place, just because I really like the updated stats for the Derakni encounter that Scorpion did. Plus, the party needs the XP (The xp charts just don't add up. I think the module's creators assumed the party will meet quite a few wondering monsters) It's in the forest where the Wintersun palace was.

    There is a brief discussion about getting over the lava lake- fly is too short of a time. Air walk lasts only 100 minutes, so that's out as well. We discuss teleport, but I rule they have to see the location somehow at least, and they don't like the possibility of a mishap with a lake of lava...

    They will have too hoof it! The party think whether to go to the forest or the lava, but end up going for the lave, rightly assuming that is "the circle of earth and fire". They continue south east, and decide to rest for the night. Julian using mythic power to whip up a secure shelter. They all sleep, except for Sena, who keeps watch, and keep his litany- "Areelu Vorlesh, Jerribeth of the Jade, Xanthir Vang..." and so on.

    The random encounter table whips up nightmarish dreams. Julian and Andera see themselves as slaves in a strange demon infested city, used as coins of barter, with ll manner of vile things taking place there. They are fatigued for the next day

    On Recuperation and on Random events
    It might have been expected that the party will use the recuperation power they got on the 3rd mythic tier more often- spend 1 mythic power, heal half your hit points, and recharge everything except mythic power, and move on! However, the party (Especially the casters) came to rely quite heavily on their mythical power, so they rest to keep it up.

    As to the Random events, as I mentioned, I made my own table with the help of the forum, to replace the one made by the module. About half of it is battle encounters, but the other half is... strange stuff. The nightmares just happen to be the first they encountered. It gets weirder as we continue.

    Day 31- Canyon of legends
    Fatigued, Julian Conjures 4 mounts to all of them, and they continue. They traverse difficult terrain, which slows them down considerably, And stop to rest again. Julian, Obviously a woman of some luxury, decides that the Secure Shelter will be mandatory from now on, and creates another.

    Another random event, but this one is quite... different. It's an idea by the reader Biotroll, that came to happen. Sena, in his guard, heard... something happening outside the shelter. He woke up Mad dog, and went to investigate, only to find a new tear, a sort of a new canyon near their shelter, but within it some faintly glowing runes, all around the walls. And the place seems inhabited as well, as He could hear the flatter of large wings, and an irritated muttering. coming closer Sena some some figure robed in tatters, with it's back to it (From which sprouted two feathery wings) looking up at some rune. "Damn it! Shifted again? New place? Bugger! Must take care of the library..."

    Sena coughed, uncertain "Um, hello?" The figure turned to it, and he saw it was a harpy. It looked at him irritated. "What? What do you want? I'm busy"

    S: "I would... like to look at the library?"
    H: (Feigning innocence without much conviction) "What? What library? No library here! Go away! Shoo! I'm a hermit, a LONELY hermit! As in not wanting to see people! This is my... hermiting place! Go away!"
    S: "Maybe I could help? Where are you from?"
    H: "Me? I move around a lot!"
    S: "A hermit that moves around?"
    H: (Makes a face) "Life is full of wonders and unexpected things, go out to look for them! Like... now?"
    Intrigued by this more, Sena descends and researches the nearest rune.
    H: (Jumps towards him, angrily) "Hey, Don't touch that!"
    S: "Maybe I can help, what are these for?"
    H: (More annoyed) "This is a collection, I'm making a study of legends and stories"
    S: "Maybe I could help?"
    H: "Hey! You're trying to steal credit!" (The academy will never accept it! )
    S: (Backs off a bit, trying a different approach) "Maybe I could answer YOUR questions?"
    H: Seems intrigued "Hmmmm... What world is this? Where am I?"
    S: (Confused) "What world? Um, Golarion?"
    H: "Hmmm.. this place again. Oh well!"
    S: (making a bit of a leap, but correctly) "These are the stories of worlds?"
    H: (Proudly) "Stories of their greatest legends, greatest stories- good, bad, works to endure! I collect them!"
    S: (Highly intrigued) May I seek some stories? I have a few people that interest me.
    H: You'll have to share good stories first! Some you experienced!
    S: "Let me tale you a tale then..." he at first tells her of killing Scorsizor. She rolls her eyes? "Really Dragon killing? Boring!" So he tells her the story of the Gray Garrison, and the story of Staunon's Vhane's trap and defeat. As he tells it to her, she touches the stones, whispering concentrating, and two runes start to appear, form out of the rock.
    H: "Good stories. What stories do you look for?"
    S: "I seek stories of Areelu Vorlesh, of Baphomet, and of Deskari!"
    The harpy looked for some time, and brought Sena to some runes. "For two short stories, you will gain two short stories. Who interests you first?" Sena chose Areelu Vorlesh.
    H: "There is the story of the great tree an open skies, the story of the book and the three, the court of great darkness, or the story a great tree and a heart full of giant worms. What will it be?"

    Sena chooses the book and the three. He sees Areelu Vorlesh, anlong with two others- One he knows is Wyvern the Numerian wizard (it;s a nickname), and another is a Sarkorian God caller, called Opon. And they are conducting some sort of ritual with a strange book of leather, bark, papyrus, paper, ivory and more (The Lexicon of Paradox, from the 4th module). But the two were deceived by her, they understand that she is trying to use the book for great evil. Wyvern turns to fight on her, while Opon grabs the book and flees.

    As Sena comes back from the short story, Kreecha the Harpy nods at him "And the second?" Sena chooses Baphomet. She looks again, and finds several runes. "One of a prison in hell and an escape, One of shaking hands, and one of a mine. Sena chooses the mine, and sees a great mine, in some other place, some other plane, an abyssal plane. The mine is secret, and his walls exudes the evil aura the elixirs have. He sees a semi angelic, semi minotauric figure, working on something, and he can feel Baphomet's presence "Soon my daughter, soon we will be ready!"

    Sena decides to cal for the others. As they come Kreeacha mutters "Always 4-5 heroes. at 6, maybe 3, but never saw more or less. Odd that..."

    Sensing the party had mostly enough of this, she offer to learn of their stories (Andera tells of the march and the siege, Soltengrabbe and Nurah), and offers three things of THEIR OWN stories in return. "What sort of things?" Ask Julian. "Stories yet unsure, yet untold, but much in the liking."

    Mad dog goes first, and he sees himself near some sort of a raging wall of energy, which he knows is a portal to another plane. He is fighting some giants, near huge churning bustling machine. "Watch out!" He hears. And The Queen dashes to stab one of the giant,s fighting alongside him. Kreecha whispers "And so the first portal was closed."

    Julian goes next. She is in a place of great shadow, but a place of negotiations. There is a definite presence of Deskari and Baphomet there, but though they definitely wish her harm, she is no danger. But there is a third presence, an immensely powerful presence, and it ask Julian. "And what do YOU offer me?". (There was a storm in RL, and a sudden great thunder accompanied the question. We all laughed). Kreecha intoned "And so the negotiation that will decide the fate of worlds was taken".

    Andera was last. He saw them all going through endless twisting landscapes- mountains, marches, deserts, forest, and yet t the same time, it was ll just one big ivory dungeon. Suddenly they reached high mountains, where they could barely draw breath, and saw gigantic spiked stone ball, hanging suspended from immense chains, changing it to the peaks of mountains. "And so they came to free the prisoner from the most dangerous prison in the worlds".

    They thank her, but she comes quite amiable to them. "Oh, we got many stories. My father was part of one, with a prophecy of a chosen hand fighting a twisted hand, a mage of Red, an angel rising, and my half giant father! Also the stories of Lynn the frustrated, Glimji the even more frustrated, and Killpi, and honest business man... of a sort... " (All of these were references to characters in previous campaigns, which the party was mused by. Sena asked about Gabriel, a former character that sacrificed itself at the end of the first campaign, and they did Mentioned Bruthus, my own character "He who dies a LOT!" (Thanks guys! nice to be remembered) and so on... I won't bore you more)

    Amused, with some new hints, stories and such, they went to sleep.

    Spoiler: Canyon of many worlds
    This entire encounter was Biotroll's suggestion on the "random encounter in the wasteland" help thread. Originally it was supposed to just be humorous and talk about old characters (Which we got to last), but Sen surprised me by wanting to know the stories of existing characters. So I improvised on the spot.

    Thankfully I read the rest of the AP, so I knew a bit more about what is planned, and some characters, though I've made quite a bit of my own material for Areelu Vorlesh. I then improvised some more with "stories of the future" for the rest, again, from the coming modules. See if you can guess?

    1st Dream of Arulashee
    Andera dreams of the Succubus. He sees her fully for the first time, with the bell chiming above her, in her temporary sanctuary. She seems to be praying: "Desna, Lady of the spheres. I have been found! I have dealt with some, But the hag, Jarruunicka, is powerful. Please, I know that I have wronged, many times before" (Shows pain, self doubt, torment) "But am I all alone?" Suddenly the succubus seems to sense Andera, and looks straight at him, a bit surprised, a bit relieved, bit terrified "Am I all alone?"

    Andera is surprised from this, and retreats, ending the dream.

    Spoiler: Arulashee's dreams
    The module assumes that when the party is ready, Arulashee will send a dream to show the person with the Chance Encounter trait her location. I wanted to play on this more- some more roleplay that makes the transition from "I barely know you" to "I save you!" slightly more gradual. If not by much. it gives a bit of opportunity for more roleplay, more build up (I think by now you've realized I'm fond of this ) And also a small challenge- can he gain her trust? Shouldn't be that difficult, but it's nice to play it out, no?

    I think I caught Andera's player by surprise here. Oh well.

    Day 32-33: Scorsizor's hoard
    The next day they decide to rope down to the canyon, and whipped more mounts, skirting the lava lake, looking for the disturbance they saw from the molten cascade. On the next day they reached it- They saw a small island in the lava, with the air twisting strangely about it, and a ruined temple in it's midst.

    One teleport later, they were standing in Scorsizor's hoard, but the island had chaotic energies affecting it. Andera gave a cry as he suddenly turned to a lizard (Baleful polymorph) While the rest made their saves. This was odd, since we rarely play at these levels, and so didn't know the spell, and didn't know how to break it. (I assume we may make more spells blundering as we go along), but we found that break enchantment returns him, and after two tries we had Andera back. As the party scooped the treasure (I kept it mostly the same, with slight changes. They liked the stone skin wand and Mad dog got a new sword- col iron, +2 evil outsider bane. He ) Suffering a few more minor influences for the time it took to put the stuff into the bags, the party then finally teleported back to Drezen, to Julian's house!

    Spoiler: Scorsizor's lair and treasure
    I took heed of the advice Scorpion made for the dragon's lair encounter. Summarizing it here:
    Scorsizor's lair: On an island in the lava pool, over a pool of overheated basalt, lies the temple for Lamashtu. Recently created.
    Uponpassing the warped barrier to the island each character is subject to Greater dispe (Up to 4 magical effects)

    Various magical effects. Fort 25 to ignore. Once per 1d4 rounds if Scorsizor is present. Once every1d4 minutes if she isn't.

    d20 Warpwave effect
    1 Target takes 2 Strength damage.
    2 Target takes 2 Dexterity damage.
    3 Target takes 2 Constitution damage.
    4 Target takes 2 Intelligence damage.
    5 Target takes 2 Wisdom damage.
    6 Target takes 2 Charisma damage.
    7 Target gains 1 negative level.
    8 Target is blinded or deafened for 1d4 rounds.
    9 Target is confused for 1d4 rounds.
    10 Target is entangled by filaments of energy for 1d4 rounds.
    11 Target becomes fatigued (or exhausted if already fatigued).
    12 Target becomes nauseated for 1d4 rounds.
    13 Target is stunned for 1d4 rounds.
    14 Target is sickened for 1d4 rounds.
    15 Target is staggered for 1d4 rounds.
    16 Target gains 4d6 temporary hit points.
    17 Target is affected by a heal spell (CL = 15).
    18 Target is turned to stone.
    19 Target is affected by baleful polymorph (CL = 15 CR).
    20 Portions of target’s body burst with energy of a random type (choose between acid, cold, electricity, or fire),
    dealing 4d6 points of damage of the appropriate type to the target.

    Lots of scorched and heated rotting bones, the smell is overwhelming, Along over heated basalt. Remains of raids and such. Weighs a few tones in total.

    18,680 sp (1868 gp, 373.6lb) +4,820 gp (96 lb), +260 pp (2,600, 52 lb)
    Gems worth 450 gp.
    Holy Mythral and gold Symbol of Iomedae worth 500 (Blade of Iomedae- belongs to church inquisitors/ commanders/ special agents) Unmagical
    Wand of Stoneskin 20 charges (10,400)
    Spell knowledge page: stinking cloud (9,000)
    Lion's shield (9,170)
    Cold Iron +2 Evil outsider bane greatsword (18,350)
    Belt of Dwarven kind (14,900)
    Scroll of Heal (1,650)

    Spoiler: The Map so far- day 33, after Scorsizor's lair

    Drezen prior to celebrations!

    The party reaches Julian's house. They have heard quite a bit of commotion outside. Discussing what to do with Mad dog, Andera disguises him. (They get pieces of the dragon and other beasts, making it look like the horns and spikes are trophies that he wear, barbarian style!) Julian complements it with a "disguise self" spell.

    Before they go out, Julian changes attire to... a much more alluring and revealing outfit. The party raises an eyebrow but decides to not inquire for now. As they go out they see the town is quite busy! Anevia spots them, as she directs various people. Apparently the twon is preparing for the celebration of New Drezen. Anevia is dumbfounded how the party slipped by her scouts, but matter not. She is in charge of the celebrations, which will take place tonight, (Now that the party arrived), while Arabeth takes care of protecting the place.

    "So what have you been doing?" She asks them. They tell her of Scorsizor. "Really? A dragon? Wow! You brought something back?"
    The party goes "Um... so we forgot something..." Two teleports and strength boosting spells on Mad dog later, and they appear back with Mad dog lifting Scorsizor's head above his near the gate, and dropping the massive thing down. Julian shouts "People of Drezen! This is what will happen to all that threaten Drezen, Scorsizor learned it the hard way." As expected, the populace is quite stunned, joyous, and erupts in great cheers for the party, especially "Mad dog, Dragon Slayer!" Sena casts sending to Arabeth and Anevia, asking them to hail Mad dog, but they do not. He is puzzled, especially by Arabeth somewhat angry look at him.

    Then the party goes each on their own businesses, before the celebration starts. Andera goes to his people, trying to learn more of what happened. Not much: The dwarves are fairly secluded, but working hard, Scouts have spread around Drezen, Horus is quite active making contacts and securing the best locations and guards for his business. One little odd bit is that the Mongrelfolk have recently had private conversations with the tieflings, about "cultural things". Andera listens, but decides not to investigate further.

    Sena casts sending to the queen (He uses most of his mythic spells on that ,while Julian mostly on teleports) informing her of the developments. he then searches for Lann, who appears to be visiting Qulin Longshadow in his tent, there is seem sort of ritual going on? Sena calls him aside, asking what is all of this. Lann greets him warmly. "We have been accepted, but they have not. We have seen them proving their worth, time and time again, so we decided to follow Sarenrae's example, her patience and acceptance, your example, and welcome them to us. This is a ritual bonding between tribes, which we had in the under tunnels of Kenabres. We shall make them our friends tonight!" Sena listened a bit grumbling. (He didn't like the tieflings and since his transformation saw them as the demon's agents) but left it aside. "Um... well.... yes. Keep up the good work."

    He then sought Bartlet, and found him with Aravash, sitting in one of Horus' liqueur stalls. "Ah! Senatef! Or should I say Spirit Walker? You guys killed a dragon, eh?" Senatef buys an expensive drink for the 4 of them (Including Horus, who brings an orange yellow liquid "Striaght from Katapesh!") He chats up to them, trying to learn more as well. Apparently they weren't able to turn Staunton Vhane's hammer yet (Failed roll), but will start anew again. Not much other than that, except for getting ready for the celebrations. Apparently Cullen Heart, the Gnome bard that made the song for them before (Previous session) is putting up a show later on!

    Julian called for Andera "We should talk with Julian about the organization" .They got her into Julian's house, and suggested she would head a secret organization (Called "The Sleepless Eye") which will be responsible for detecting hidden threats to Drezen within it, be they demonic or not. Anevia readily agreed, but they came to a disagreement about how much Arbeth would now of this. Julain and Andera worried that she might be too straightforward for such an endeavor. "We don't need the broadsword, but the dagger, know when and when not to strike. Precision work".

    Anevia said she would not hide things from Arabeth if asked directly, and that she will know of the organization existence. Arabeth usually trusted Anevia in matters more... subtle, so most likely she will not ask her. But if asked, Anevia will notlie to her wife. Julian and Andera are not that happy about it, but accept.

    They go to some details. They task Anevia with making a financial plan (Will be in the background), find suitable candidates, interview them in Sena's temple (With the zone of Truth), and find a location for a base of operations: Ideally some inn with a secret underground base.

    Anevia finally leaves, and then Julian turns around and locks the door, and quite confidently, obviously, comes unto Andera. (Player's action, not mine). Andera is surprised, but he looks at Julian and plays along. "What happens in this room, stays in this room, right?" Julian caresses his cheek. "But of course..." The two start taking of clothes, getting close, smooching and the like when Julian seems suddenly lost in thought, and she gets up, confused. "I... I don't know what came on me. I'm sorry, I don't usually do this..."

    Andera was confused "Look, what I felt was real, your intentions, our intentions are real." Julian seemed confused "even this dress, it's not really like me, sorry". Andera looked at her suspiciously. "C'mon Julian, what is this game?" She looked deeply embarrassed "I'm sorry, please, I'll buy you a drink at Horus!"

    Andera turned away "Horus?! Well, that was a mood killer!" Julian changes to her normal clothes, and they both go out, both confused, both exasperated.

    Spoiler: Julian's "Initiative"
    I'll give it to both players, they played it nicely! Julian's player wanted to play the affect on him more, and Andera's player trusted enough to play along.

    The party, of course, found the whole thing hilarious. Through out the rest of the session a lot of jokes were mde about Andera's.... pent up frustration.
    "Can't I make a will check?", "Don't you mean a Fort check?"
    "I'll start a grapple!"
    "Do I get experience?"
    "We got here this time, next time we start from this point, right?"
    "Can I sneak attack?"

    I was quite surprised by Andera's player, who flowed and played quite casually with the situation, he was quite a bit tenser before. Perhaps the talk helped?

    Sena called for some of the leaders to his temple before the celebrations: Arabeth, Anevia, Aravash, Bartlet and Lann.
    Anevia tried to breach the silence: "Hey Sena, so what is this about? You've been... acting a bit strangely of late." Arabeth was more direct. "You act all high and mighty, full of importance! You order me through a Sending?! You weren't like this before Drezen!"
    Sena agreed "You are right. Drezen changed me. In Drezen I saw the past,the present and the future!"
    A: "What have you changed to? You used to be a friend!"
    S: ""I summoned you all. I want to give you a report of progress. You are the leaders of Drezen, we are only visitors. Most of the time we will not be in the city."
    A: "Reports? Summoning? Why do you talk to us as if we were your hirelings, all formal and the like? You speak like a man on a holy mission!"
    S: "I am a man of a vision. I really believe that we finally have a chance to rid those demons for once and for all!"
    Aravash and Anevia cast doubting looks. "Do you have a plan?"
    S: "Yes, but first we need to find a few places: Finding the right clues, instruments, to close the warp once and for all. I don't know the cost or the price, and for that I am only a man of vision, to transform this vision to reality, a visionary needs a sword, and you my brothers, have the ability to be the sword." he turned to Aravash "You have great knowledge of demons, you can train the troops, our casters, and provide strategy!" He turned to Arabeth "You are a born leader!You have managed to secure Defender's Heart while all of..." But Arabeth cut him off.
    A: "Why are you preaching to me? Giving me a speech? I know well enough what I can do. We've been through this together, remember? Nor does Aravash or the others need to be reminded. What is this Sena?"
    Sena was confused, a bit taken aback. "I thought we would come to an agreement, and understanding, about how we would work and..."
    Arabeth cut him off again. "Why do you talk to us like this? We are your friends! We have fought together since Kenabres, we know each other, and we all share your goal!" She put her hand on his. "You have taken the role of a leader upon you. This can distance you, I know. You have lost people, I know, we all have." The others nodded. "But don't distance yourself from us."
    Sena spoke in a low voice. "There is a difference between losing people in battle, than what I have seen." There was anger in his voice, though not to them.
    Anevia came smiling "look, we just worry about you, you know?"
    Sena was silent for a few moments, before uttering a strained "Thank you."
    "Well, what formal response!" Laughed Bartlet, trying to ease the tension.
    S: "Do you have any news?"

    Aravash seemed to have some, so Sena casts a sending for the other party members.
    As they arrived, Aravash said that from his estimation of the tales of the lost expedition (From John's visions) he estimated that the expedition was 100-200 people strong. Which means that their base had to include a fairly good water source. Also he suggested to contact Quendys, one of the survivors of the expedition (He's the mage who gave the cancellation rod from the first module). They contacted him through sending, and he replied. "Don't go there! Madness lies there! The place had soggy muddy ground, and corrupted trees. Near the end." (I hoped this would have them try to ask about such places, but they didn't. They had more info in the library, the Sarkori themselves and so on)

    Anevia called. "Come! Enough time for that later! It's time to celebrate!

    Drezen' celebrations!

    The party joined the celebrations. Horus opened up quite a few drinking and eating stalls, though there were many smaller one. The party found one ran by two tieflings! The duo sold a yellow-orange juice. As they spotted Julian, they gave her one. "For you it's free! Best of the Justa!" (Ok, so I didn't come up with a very imaginative one). It had a very string and slightly spicy flavor, if a bit lumpy. "What's it from?" The two tieflings brimmed "Best the worldwound can offer!" Julian quickly swallowed, and set it aside, deciding not to try more.

    There was music around, and duos of tielfings- mongrelfolk in light of their new allied ceremony. The dwarves and Sarkori population were mostly in their own sections, but even they joined the festivities a bit.

    Julian noticed Brian, amongst the others, looking amiable and amused.
    J: "I heard you've been busy!"
    B: "You too! Killing dragons lately?"
    J: (Shrugs smiling) "Oh, the usual."
    B: "My, aren't you modest!" (Smiling as well) "You know how many knights we lost to that old lizard? Getting rid of Scorsizor will improve safety greatly!"
    J: (Shifting focus) "I heard you were trying to build a temple?"
    B: "Yes, but Arabeth says it can wait. She has military experience, and to her the defense of Drezen comes first. But..." (Brian motioned to the different groups) "We have many people from many places. We need to enable them to worship their beliefs, their gods in a common place, a unifying place. A... spiritual defense if you will..."
    J: "I will see what I can do..."

    The party also came to some tents with pillows, coverings and several employes offering drinks, massages, and such. The place was headed by a middle aged woman, who introduced herself as Madam Muriel. "This is my little help for the Drezen soldiers. One can go on tense for so long, no? Welcome to Madam Muriel's Comforts and Relaxation". Next to her stood a man in armor, with a smirk on his face. "This is Valen Cayhound. He... keeps the peace".

    Deciding they don't need the services ("Don't you Andera? Been a... hard day" cheeky party) Andera took Sena aside for a moment:
    A: "You know, I'm thinking there is something problematic with Julian..."
    S: "Such as?"
    A: "Well, you've seen how she's been acting lately, and... the dress she wore before?"
    S: "So she feels a bit more free and relaxed, what's the harm? Is that all?"
    A: "I... just keep an eye on her. I'd value your take on this."
    S: "Oh, I will"
    (Sena's player was having fun here, trying to goad Andera's player. They wanted to play Julian's situation out)

    Everywhere they all went, they were greeted with cheers, salutes, drinks and the like. They even had a trio of children following them. "I am Mad dog!", "No, I am" and so on.

    A royal visit

    It was then that Anevia came to them. "There is a visitor in the tower. Better go and meet her." The party guessed rightly that the Queen has come (She can teleport to Drezen. Not evil) and went to meet her on the tower (Above Sena's temple, where the beacon used to be). She was there, still in her armor, with the elven wizard Nulan (Who helped them pick their armies in Kenabres), a priest and two guards.

    The Queen smield at them. "It is high time I said my thanks. Fighting near Nerosyan has came to a stalemate, and we got a bit of a reprieve, I thought to come for a visit". She loosened a few straps of her armor, though she kept it on. "Appreciate these moments of relaxation, and doing nothing. To us it's a rare privilege."

    The party bowed. As they did, Julian cast silent still detect magic. She detected lots of magical gear ,but nothing coming from the people themselves. She relaxed a little. The Queen sighed. "So... You have now led people to war, to conquest, to death. How do you fare?"
    Julian's answer was serious, a bit bitter: "How can we possibly, fare? We were responsible for the deaths of so many. We are not the same. "
    Mad dog replied stoically: "We've been... better..."
    Sena however took the questions hard, rubbing his temples: "I am not myself..." he said half to himself.
    The Queen looked at him: "It changes you, doesn't it?"
    Sena looked up, his face sad, angry, confused, focused: "It's not because of the battle we fought, or the soldiers lost in the assault, at not that's not the most of it… But what took place afterwards- the demons tricked us, when we entered Drezen, all of our troops got sick by a magical curse, which tortured and killed them rapidly, and we were helpless! As we tried to figure out how to help, I made another revelation that my biological parents were transformed to demons and John had saved me, and then I lost John... And finally, I have been conflicted with my beliefs. When we destroyed Staunton Vhane, and came out of Drezen, it was as if walking to an open graveyard. It is not easy to bear… all in a matter of hours... just hours..." Sena looked distressed, as if living through it again.
    The Queen looked a bit shocked: "I sent you here..."
    Sena dismissed this. "We should not look for responsibilities, for blame. In the end it is the demon's fault. But I vow this to you and all- For as long as I live, demons will die!"

    The Queen turned, thoughtful, and looked at the celebrating people. "Good. We need you to kill demons. For now you all are symbols, and I wish you to remain so. For them you are heroes, but do not come to ruling. When you have to make demands, taxes, laws, judge between factions... Your heroic status will quickly fade. No, for now we need you to battle, not rule." She looked upon Anevia, who was walking with Arabeth "I've put Arabeth in this position, though I wonder what it will do to her. I like Arabeth for her simplicity and sticking to her values. I wonder how the compromises she will have to make might change her..." The Queen looked lost in thought. Julian chimed in "She got Anevia for that. both for love and support, and to figure out the trickier stuff." The Queen smiled "That she does. The position sometime makes relationships difficult..." She snuck a quick glance at Nulan, the elven wizard "But those two seem to make it work."

    Sena breached a subject that was burning in him. "She will need Anevia to find possible traitors, like Nurah!" The queen bowed her head. "Ah yes. I fully apologizes for sending her with you. She was part of my second circle, and have fooled us all. I have made a mistaken. I still do, and will in the future. The quality of crusaders and scrutiny have fallen since the second crusade, but that is no excuse. I apologize fully for having her danger your entire mission." Sena was more worried about something else "She got real close to you. She may have learned quite a few secrets." The Queen nodded. "That she may have. The enemy seems quite well informed."

    The voices of music came from below, and they set down a bit more. The Queen approached Andera: "I her you are the freer of tieflings? I guess we needed a Numerian for that. Do you trust them?"
    Andera looked shy "I just negotiated for their dignity. They did the rest."
    QG: "Do you trust them?"
    A: "I trust them as they are now. They can still easily fall. None f us is immune to darkness." (He shot a suspicious look at Julian".
    QG: "I can't say I trust them, but I trust my people to make their own judgements, and I trust you Andera..."

    The Queen tried to have a conversation with Mad dog, but he just shrugged and was very humble. "I try my best. Sometimes it happens, sometime not."

    Q: "And you Julian? How was my choosing you so far? How have you dealt with the sudden change?" (This refers to Julian's journal, and how she was thrust to join the others in the crusade)
    J: (Shrugging again) "They are the heroes of Kenabres. I helped along. And how have I dealt? In the battles many people died. and with them some of you dies with them. Some deal with it hard" (She looked at Sena) "Some of us just shove it deep down inside of them."
    Q: (Seeming alarmed) "That is a dangerous path to take, I do not wish to lose you too!"
    J: "All we can, is but to fight with our demons. Outside, or inside" (I loved that answer! )
    Q: (Sighing) "you are the daughter of Diane Bearstorm... Bloody stubborn woman! Do you know how she got her name? Temper of a bear, mercy of the storm. Once she was set on something, nothing would dissuade her. Last time we heard of her she learned of the where about of Minahgo in the worldwoud, she still didn't forgive her for the Red Massacre. We lost her too..."
    J: (staying quite stoic) "Well, you have the advantage of me, at least you knew my mother...

    The Queen went to overlook over the celebrations again. "This crusade. We shall all commit everything we have to it. It is the last one... I wonder, how much do you know of how it began?" As the party acknowledged their ignorance, she continued "We think it started with the death of Aroden (He was the god preceding Iomedae). But a few years later, The Worldwound opened. The Sarkoris imprisoned their arcanists, fearingthey would mess with the impossible, and open a tear from the abyss to their world. So they put them in great tree-towers. We think that Areelu Vorlesh was imprisoned in such tower, but paradoxically, this has fuelled her to seek a way to revange. We don't know how, but she somehow managed to open the rift, in Threshold. We were unable to get close since. But we have no idea how to close the tear. I have been there when this happened, a century ago. We managed to gather up for the first Crusade, as Iomedae chose me to lead it. But little did we know what will come up later. The fight... takes a lot from you. In this century I've lost friends, family, and love was... a luxury I couldn't afford" (Again a quick glance to Nulan, the mage). I will see it through though."

    The party listened. She continued. "We know she has SOME sort of a plan, some agenda, but we don't know what it is." The party told of their last findings with the Nyhadrian crystals. "This is great news, but just... making stronger demons, is not enough. Though it explains some of the powerful demons we have met. I feel there is something else behind this. But I will tell you this- this is the LAST crusade. This struggle will end, one way or the other!" (The party missed the slightly fatalistic approach of the Queen, oh well).

    Sena raised his glass "I will drink to that!" The party gave one last toast, and then the queen strengthened the straps of her armor. "It is time for us to leave. Keep up the good work. I hear there is a show, enjoy it! I... cannot come. In here- you are the heroes" She put the guard of her helmet down, and they teleported away.

    Spoiler: The Queen's Visit
    This is not a part of the campaign. In the campaign, the Queen's next appearance is at the start of the 4th book. So why did I bring it? For 3 reasons:
    1. A bit of history and information on the crusades and Areelu Vorlesh, plus mentioning Threshold, for the final chapter of the campaign.
    2. The Queen gives an interesting perspective to the toll the crusades take- the toll on the leader (I try to build up something about Nulan the wizard- a love she cannot allow herself to love). The player like the Queen's character, and find her quite amiable.
    3. Build up to the fifth adventure "Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth." (Spoilers about it from here on! be warned!
    Spoiler: herald of the ivory labyrinth
    I will exchange the queen for the outsider herald. I want the party to have some emotional investment in who the prisoner is. None of us is a Golarion expert, so calling her "The Herald", cn easily work (I've given her the benefits of the Herald in the end of that module). I am trying to make some more encounters and meetings with the Queen prior to that event. Make the characters like her enough, so when she is taken, it might shake them as well and motivate them for action.

    A show with a surprise ending!

    The show was taken on a make shift stage, south of the bridge of Drezen. The party go honored sets in front with Arabeth nearby, Anevia taking over her. Clussen Heart, the gnome bard who made up the "Into the Grey" song, announced the start of the show. Though some of it was as they remembered where were quite a few... embellished parts. In a quick overview:
    • As Kenabres fell, the five gods decided to look upon heroes. There were short scenes how each god in disguise sought the PCs (With Harry instead of Julian), and posed question like "What is Courage?", "What is Patience?", "What is Honor?" and so on. With the party giving philosophical answers. (Andera took notes. )
    • The scene with the Hall of Heroes came forth, but with far exaggerated demons).
    • A scene in Defender's Inn, where the party understand they do not have enough people, and so some go to seek more allies- the mongrelfolk, tieflings and such. (Andera: "Wait, what?")
    • Battling their way through the Gray Garrison, till they were captured by Areelu Vorlesh, who tied them ll to the Wardstone, and offered them all great temptations (The kids at the crowd all going "Don't do it Senatef! No Mad dog, she is lying!")

    The show was supposed to end with the wardstone bursting, and the light "burning" Areelu Vorlesh. Only though the illusory flames hit her, the player seemed unphased, turning to the crowd she whispered loudly, a whisper that was heard through the crowd. "These are your heroes? I'll show you your rel heroes!" And changed to the green clad elven woman, known as Jerribeth of the Jade! (Mad dog's plyer was happy- "Now we throw init?"

    Battle with Jerribeth

    Stats for Jerribeth.
    Spoiler: Jerribeth of the Jade
    I am using Scorpion's stats (The file I've mentioned quite a few times. The only change I've made is to change Destruction to Harm in her spell selection.) The Stats make her very strong. This became quite strong.

    She also has a power tied to the campaign traits Julian and Mad dog has- she can use her corrupting whispers power to affect people touched by her research with a +2 to DC. If failed, this triggers transformation ( Stolen Fury), or revert to chaotic evil (Exposed to awfulness). However, the affected are not dominated by her. It does not count against her maximum controlled.

    Spoiler: Stats (With some of my own comments
    XP 76,800

    Female mythic glabrezu (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 61; Pathfinder RPG Mythic Adventures)
    CE Huge outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar, mythic)
    Init +10/-10M, dual initiative; Senses darkvision 60 ft., true seeing; Perception +26


    AC 34, touch 8, flat-footed 34 (+26 natural, –2 size) +5 barkskin +5 shield of faith!
    hp 246 (12d10+180)
    Fort +22, Ref +10, Will +15; +8 resistance vs. mind-affecting
    DR 10/epic and good; Immune fire, electricity, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10; SR 27

    Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
    Melee 2 pincers +21 (2d8+16/19–20), 2 claws +21 (1d6+16), bite +21 (1d8+16) -4/+16/ +8. Vital strike just double.
    Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
    Special Attacks corrupting whispers, mythic spell-like abilities, mythic power (6/day, surge +1d8), rend (2 pincers, 2d8+16)
    Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th, concentration +23)
    Constant—true seeing, fly, mind blank
    At will—chaos hammerM (DC 21), confusionM ( Bigger table DC 21), dispel magicM (Two spells, counter two rolls), greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), mirror imageM(1d4+5 images), reverse gravityM (80 ft high, 2 10 ft cubes, no save unless can grab. 1 rnd/ level, fort or nauseated. DC 24), unholy blightM (5d12 damage + sickened 2d4 DC 21), veil (self only)
    5/day—power word stunM (1 creature, no save, -30 hit points, 101-150 is 1d4 rounds, 51-100 is 2d4)
    1/day—summon (level 4, 1 glabrezu 50% or 1d2 vrocks 100%)
    1/month—wish (granted to a mortal humanoid only)

    Cleric Spells Prepared (CL 16th; concentration +23)
    7th—greater scrying (DC 24)
    6th—heal (160 hit points) ,Harm (160/ 80 hit points, Min left 1, DC 23 sve)
    4th—divine power (+5, 16 temp. hp)
    2nd—barkskin (+5), bull’s strength, eagle's splendor
    1st—obscuring mist, shield of faith (+5)

    Str 33, Dex 11, Con 31, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 24
    Base Atk +12; CMB +25; CMD 35
    Feats Improved Critical (pincer), Improved InitiativeM, Lightning Reflexes, Persuasive, Power Attack (-4/+16)M, Vital StrikeM
    Skills Bluff +28, Diplomacy +24, Disguise +23, Intimidate +9, Knowledge (arcana, local) +9, Knowledge (planes) +12, Knowledge (religion) +18, Linguistics +9, Perception +26, Sense Motive +18, Spellcraft +18; Racial Modifiers +8 Bluff, +8 Perception
    Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Hallit, Necril, Undercommon; telepathy 100 ft.

    Special Qualities change shape (any humanoid form, alter self), powerful blows (pincers, claws, bite), simple divine spellcasting
    Other Gear cloak of resistance +4, jailer's dungeon ringUE, prisoner's dungeon ringUE, iron key (works on all doors within the Ivory Sanctum except those to areas Q12A and Q19), bejeweled key worth 1,000 gp (opens the secret door into area Q12A), mithral key worth 600 gp (opens the door to area Q5).

    Change Shape (Su)
    Jerribeth can use this ability as an immediate action to either assume humanoid form or return to her true form.
    Corrupting Whispers (Su)
    As a free action, Jerribeth can force one humanoid creature inside her telepathy range to make a Will save (DC 23) or be dominated for 1d6+1 rounds, as per the mythic dominate person spell. If the target fails, it is considered to be Chaotic Evil for the purpose of establishing what actions are against its nature. Jerribeth can only have one creature dominated in this way at a given time. The save DC is Charisma-based.
    Mythic Spell-Like Abilities (Su)
    Jerribeth can cast the mythic version of some of her spell-like abilities. She can do this without having to spend uses of mythic power a number of times per day equal to her mythic rank (6). If she spends one use of mythic power, any of her spell-like abilities can be cast as a swift action. This quickening can be done only once per round.

    Julian prepared to cast a counter spell, Sena cast Prayer, and move toward the stage. Jerribeth spoke to Mad dog's mind "Slayer? Slayer of Drezen? Slay it for me!" And she used her power and managed to trigger his transformation! Spikes grew, horns grew, and Mad dog entered a mighty berzerk rage, with the people around him utterly terrified! (+4 to all physical, -6 to all mental, natural weapons go up a die, and he tries to kill whatever is closest. This time civilians) Party goes: "Oh Sh*t!" Jerribeth flies up, and tries to cast mirror imge, but Julian dispels it.

    Andera vanishes, and drinks a potion of fly, flying towards Jerribeth. Mad turns and full attack+ cleave, killing 4 civilians. Panic hits the crowd, many starts to run away Arabeth tries to shoot Jerribeth, but doesn't mange to bypass the many magical defenses.

    But Jerribeth acts again in the same round (Mythical initiative, like Soltengrabbe), this time she targets Julian with her corrupting whispers. "Mind seed, revel in your true nature!" and Julian fails the save, and turns chaotic evil. Party goes "We're screwed!" Jerribeth casts Mythic confusion on some of the crowd and gaurds, that just dds to the mayhem. "People of Drezen? You seek your heroes! Look at your heroes! Look how they fall upon you!"

    What does chaotic evil Julian do? Casts invisibility, and rushes to steal the Sword of Valor! She spends the next few rounds doing so, but is effectively out of the combat.

    Mad dog continues killing around him, while Sena and Andera tries to combat Jerribeth, as she flies around, towrds the edge of the city. On her first "turn" in a round, she combats the PCs (Power word stun on Andera, Reverse Gravity on Sena), but on the second she keeps casting confusion and the like. The combat is short, as she leaves the town in quite a chaos, with the party managing to damage her but slightly (One successful attack by Andera, and a smite evil spell by Sena, plus a disple magic dropping her shield of faith) but on the whole, Jerribeth leaves before All of the NPCs arrive. Mad dog and Julian (Who was caught in mythic confusion, started to hit herself) finally get out of their state, but the damage has been done. Jerribeth has sowed the seeds of distrust, shown the heroes' incompetence, and caused great fear and panic in Drezen.

    Mad dog came out of his rage, lying down, with Arabeth' sword on his neck "Stay down demon!"
    I will finish this part here. Due to space.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-02-25 at 12:40 PM.

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