1. - Top - End - #191
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Israel
    Gender
    Male

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

    Ok, I finally got a bit of free time and disposition in order to write the session's log. This session took the party into the abyss, the island of Vazgral and Allushira, the Porphyry City. There were two main challenges here:
    - To portray a different plane, an alien plane, with it's demonic inhabitants and feel.
    - A lot more room to improvise, and respond accordingly.
    I tried preparing as such, which I'll explain as we go along. The session was a long one, about 10 hours long. I think it may take 2-3 parts to write it all. Shall we?

    Session 22, Part 1- Into the Abyss, Vazgral island


    (Small note: I keep mixing Vazgral and Valzgar, I just can't quite capture the name in my mind, They are both the same. Sorry for some confusion)

    At the entrance

    Last we stopped, the party has just closed the Midnight Fane portal, with the Queen raising her sword in triumph, just before the portal closed, leaving the party in a dark cave, on the abyssal plane of the Midnight Isles...

    And they could feel it's effects already, as the evil essence of the plane seeped into their minds, their souls, oppressing them (-4 to all skills and ability checks involving mental attributes, as explained previously)
    J: "Andera! What is this? What is happening?" (Julian as you may remember, is blind, and can only see auras of living beings)
    Andera whispered ominously. "We seem to be at the source of evil, the abyss itself..."
    Arulashee gritted her teeth and concentrated for a moment. As Sena became concerned she replied. "It has been a long while since I felt the taint so strong... Yet I am ok, I think I can withstand it."

    The party then discussed whether to go on or to rest. Sena was apparently depleted of all of his high level spells, Julian and Mad dog nearly emptied their Mythic power reserves. Only Andera was fairly ready to go. So Julian used her last point of mythic power, and created a rope trick. They climbed up to the extra dimensional place to rest...

    Sena's suggestion
    While resting, Sena spoke: :"We are in the beginning of the endgame. We need to find a way to defeat Nocticula, or weaken her so she cannot be such a great help, or destroy her. I doubt we have such a capability, but maybe some else can. Calistria is Nocticula's rival, since they have an overlap in devotees and believers. Maybe we can convince her to lend us help, to harm or defeat the demon lord. I have... made a pact with her, on the rood of Drezen. Our pact is one of revenge, which she promised to help me gain."
    Julian was suspicious. This is amongst the few times Sena';s change and worship was brought up, and never before so directly: "What exactly do you do for Calistria"?
    S: "She wants me as he devotee, as her follower. Yet for something as big as I suggest, she mightcall for some price..."
    J: "You made the pact with Calistira, she gave you something?"
    S: "She helped me lessen the pain of those who died. I did this to reduce their suffering."
    J: "This is commendable, but what did she take in return? You owe her a favor?"
    S: "She wanted me to be her follower. She promised revenge, for my heart was harder, and I saw all evil outsiders as my enemies, but the tide has changed, I want to destroy all the forces that impede freedom. Mainly because of what happened with the tieflings. That is why I'm trying to find their soul stone. We need to prevent fear, and liberty. I will revenge."
    J: "While I will strongly aid in your causes, but what do you think Calistria is expecting from you?"
    S: "In the long run? One of her major powerful subjects- We are quasi gods, and Andera and Mad dog are similar in power as well."
    J: "Indeed, I think the gods will try to pawn us into their game..."
    S: "And now we have the possibility to take the game on our side, our terms. Calistria would love to destroy Nocticula. If we can bring her to our side, we may have a very powerful ally!"
    J: "First things first- We are treading on a very shaky ground. We are on the home plane of Nocticula, this is her most powerful place. In here, she is too powerful, we can't kill her.
    S: "Weaken her?"
    Julian gave a smile: "Persuade her!"
    S: "I'd like to talk with Calistria, we'll need to strike a deal."
    J: "If we hurt Nocticula, we only make her side with the demons more."
    Andera chimed in: "We don't need to mess with the demon lord! We just need to destroy the negotiations! Find their delegates, blame them for something or kill them. End of story!"
    S: "I agree, but we need some ace in the hole! Some back up plan!"
    An: "You are the only one who trusts Calistria, we do not."
    S: "You misjudge me, I do not Trust her…"
    J: "We know nothing about Nocticula, about her power. Before we decide, we need to gain more information."
    Mad dog added his own opinion: "If we weaken her, maybe Calistria herself would come in and finish the job?"
    Andera: "Maybe we could kill some demons, some servitors of Nocticula and make it look as if Nocticula killed them?
    (And the game just turned into a shadow run game! Julian and Andera's players also play Shadow run from time to time. This sounds exactly like a mission from that game!)
    S: "I believe those who will talk with Nocticula are very high powered demons. We are outgunned, and out matched."

    The party became more solemn, not liking the odds. They decided to try and make a plan of action.
    Mad dog: "Kill all demons?"
    Julian: "Lets find our way to the city, and there try to learn more. Of Nocticula, of the delegation, of what we face. THEN we decide how to act!"
    Arulashee raised another complication: "We need to decide how we approach the city. Coming as we are will gain great attention, both from the demons who inhabit it, but also from Nocticula herself... Porphyry City is said to be open to all visitors, but quite a few demons may not like our presence there. (Mad dog grinned widely "So?") If we go hidden we may go more easily, but also be less noticed by the greater powers..."
    Julian though though of a different problem. "How do we... get to the city in the first place? Where are we?"
    Aru: "I do not know. We are in a cave, I'll need to see the surroundings. Demons mostlyteleport through the isles, but one the more inhabited isles there are teleportation devices, that link to Porphyry, for the transportation of non-teleporting slaves. We may try to find such a place.
    An: "Can't we just teleport there?"
    J: "Alas, for that I need to see the place at least once..." (Talking about teleportation. The party seems to have forgotten their scrolls of greater teleportation? )
    Se: I can try and scry it for you!
    J: "But I need to actually see it, which I cannot now..." (I'll hand it to the player, he did roleplay this handicap more in this session!)
    The party checked various illusion and transmutation spells to cover their appearance. They settled mostly on Veil.
    S: "If we change our appearances? What is the least suspicious?"
    Aru: "The most common inhabitants are cambions. There are quite a few tieflings as well, and numerous slaves. I guess... you might play as my slaves?"
    Mad dog: "I can be a bodyguard"
    J: "Will you be recognized Arulashee?"
    Arulashee was uncertain. "It has been a long time since I've been there, a few decades... Yet demons leave a long life. Some may remember me, though I doubt it."
    Andera came up with an important detail: "We better look like tieflings, since we don't have telepathy. If we look like cambions or such, some will expect us to use telepathy back."
    The party settles on Sena and Mad dog looking like powerful tiefling bodyguards (They had the most impressive looking equipment) Julian as a sort of a cursed sage Arulashee keeps, and Andera as her guide.
    Sena was still at unease with this plan: "We need an ace in the hole, and we need to make it before we go in there!"
    But Julian put a stop to this currently: "Truthfully? We can't hope to harm Nocticula, Nor will Calistria dare confront her now. We need to understand Nocticula's strengths and weaknesses. Now let us rest..."

    Spoiler: DM notes- infiltration, on Calistria
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    I liked the talk about infiltration. The module deals quite poorly with this (Just saying they'll need a DC 30 disguise check in town) But this was fun. The idea to have the party pretend to be Arulashee's entrouge came at a bit of a surprise, but which later on worked nicely to portray her some more.

    As to involving Calistria. Sena's player wanted this, mostly to up the ante quite a bit more, which he thinks will make things more exciting. Julian and Andera's player think the goddess is up to something, and do not trust her.

    I will say it here just once- I have some plans concerning Calistria and Nocticula, though these are long term. Hopefully we will get to see those later on, though probably not soon...


    Stepping into Vazgral's jungle
    At the end of the rest, the party climbed down the rope, and they immediately use the Veil spells to change their appearances. Julian decided not to use her flying carpet, as that will not be fitting for a salve. They walk out of the small cave into the jungle (Note: The module has a few encounters in the caves. Why? I do not know. They fight crystals and such. Pointless, utterly pointless. I kept the XP for other things) They exited into the environs of Vazgral...


    As they reach the jungle, they find they are at the base of an enormous black pillar, going way high. The immediate surroundings looked like some sort of ruins. But more disturbing then that were the sky- Blackness, dotted here and there by faith points of light... sort of "stars" Nocticula made, but not real stars, and not in any known pattern. (20% Concealment)

    Andera: "The darkness all around! Fake stars! An evil place!"
    Arul: "I... I do not know where we are..."
    MD (After a good survival roll): "There are some demonic footprints here... possibly Babaus, also some Vrocks, though they seem to fly and land here... The trail does not continue)
    Sena used Display of Intelligence (We flavours it as connecting to cosmic knowledge, and thus gaining "insight") His eyes opened: "I know where we are! Island of Vazgral, made from the demon lord of ruined city, jealousy and loss..."
    An: "Yeah, but how do we get out of here?"
    They looked at the pillar rising above them. "Maybe there is some clue higher up?" Seeing no one close, they decided Sena and Mad Dog will fly up using the carpet, and Arulashee will accompany them. Andera stayed with Julian below...

    As they flew up, they could see a lavish jungle spreading miles around, and at places huge black pillars, but no sign of a settlement. Here and there some ruins, but nothing more... But they also saw massive gigantic flying creatures all around, like tremendous eagles, with the hint of lightning around them. They could hear them howl, yet suddenly their call was like a cacophony of a moaning crowd!
    (Se: "WTF?") Not watnign to waste time exploring all of the runes of the huge pillar, they started to descend.

    Meanwhile, below, Andera sees... dead people! Or at least he sees the trees to suddenly be composed of remains of souls of a multitude of people, stretching ever so slowly, as if reaching, trying to hold something, in pain. Julian sees the remants of silvery threads moving agonizingly on the trees, before the image fades away.

    Andera: "There was a great disturbance!" (In the force? )
    Party: "We need to get the hell out of here!"
    The party discusses teleportation again, but Julian still can't see. Sena suggests Windwalk, but they no not how to navigate this hostile terrain, and a lot of it is over seas. (I gave them the map shown in the module, there are a few hundred miles from Porphyry). The party is at somewhat of a loss...

    Spoiler: DM design- Vazgral mystery
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    The module basically skips Vasgral. The party sees the remains of aan old temple conveniently in sight, goes there, solves a small riddle, and teleports to Porphyry.

    I thought that this place could make for a nice intro into the Abyss though, and help the party get a bit of a feel before entering Porphyry. So I made finding the temple, and exploring Vazgral into a small riddle.

    Also, it is the island of ruined cities, jealousy and loss. I really wanted to explore the three aspects, as you will see.
    Note: I quite accepted that the party would try and teleport to Porphyry. I didn't try to stop them. Surprisingly enough, it was Julian's player who showed the unexpected obstacle. (I don't know the spells well enough to have caught up on that one). It made for an interesting play though!


    Jungle creepers!
    As the party debated, I decided enough time was spent, and had them roll on a random table I made for Vazgral. It came up monsters! The party was distracted, but Arulashee made her perception roll, and managed to warn the party of the incoming demons- a bebilith and 2 Strige demons! (I made a few random battle maps for the exploration of the isle).

    Julian saw one of the demons' auras, and was a bit pissed, and shot a disintegrate ray at it, damaging for 91 hp! (1 left! ) Arulashee kills it and hurts the other, and Sena uses confusion (From trickery) to stump the bebilith and wounded Stirge demon. The battle goes very easy, and they curbstomp the critters.

    Through the jungle, and Vazgral's afflictions
    Still, the party knows not what to do. Julian thinks to try finding a local to help, and decide to contact the spirits in the trees! Nice, though I haven't prepared for it. I suggest a Cha check to try and contact them, but Julian rolls abysmally and so does not make contact... (Too bad, could have been a fun conversation!)

    The party is stumped. They discuss all kind of other options and idea, but do no act. I tell them to roll randomly again. I check my notes- "Loss"... I tell them to roll will saves, and Mad Dog and Andera lose. No one really knows anything has happened, but I send the two the following email:

    Spoiler: Effects of Loss
    Show

    The island you are on is composed of the essence of A demon lord, and part of his theme was Loss. It has inflicted you now…
    Think of something the character has lost. This could be a person, a place, an item, a relationship, part of herself, or anything you feel that was important to you, but that you have lost it, and this causes you great pain. The feeling of loss consumes you, and great depression, a feeling of "What's the point?" takes over…

    You have lost something very dear to you, and it is never, ever, coming back. Roleplay to that effect.

    IMPORTANT: The character does not understand that she is under an influence (Think of this like a very strong emotion spell), she feels the TRUE depth of such a loss, and this depresses you.
    (I suggest starting subtle, but letting things gear up more quickly.)

    How does it end? I won't tell you quite now…

    Mechanical impact:
    Loss- Your will and desire to live, participate, flounders… You become self absorbed, and can't get help from "Aid another" or flanking, You cannot receive any moral boosters, and you suffer -2 to will and AC.

    Suggestions of Loss (You're NOT limited to these):
    - Julian: All of the impacts from your past, the forces you lead in conquest of Drezen which were lost, the loss of eyesight, feeling that you have lost some of your humanity, of what you were
    - Andera: The loss of most of your order, the many lives lost on conquering Drezen, Harry, losing faith in the gods/ Desna.
    - Sena: Losing part of yourself in the transition, Brother John, Your former parents.
    - Mad dog: Loss of family long ago, Harry, loss of people when attacking Drezen (Especially the Lions of Sarkori?), being away from the real world, now fully in the abyss.
    - Arulashee: I'll keep that to myself…


    Andera seems to like the idea. Mad dog who roleplays less, likes it less, but tries to think up something...
    Sena has an interesting idea, of trying to use Windwalk to fly to a nearby island (Matters not which) which may be more inhabited, and use the teleportation connection there. He REALLY doesn't want to trudge through the jungle. The party thinks it's too complicated. (I started to feverishly try to think up the make up of different islands! Phew! ) They decide to try and walk and find more clues.


    Mad Dog starts leading them through the jungle, but they make hard progress, what with Julian walking blind, the darkness, and deep vegetation. Sena tries to distract himself and... Arulashee, and seeks not-too-abyssal flowers, and pick them up for her! Andera just rolled his eyes. "He finds the oddest time for this... As if there is a point to it? We're lost here, look at the stars! No light, no sun... just darkness... We're lost, and it's all so hopeless!" (The party exchanged glances, but didn't react yet)

    Sena and Julian, when crossing some wetter patches, notice that they are stepping in pulls of partially congealed blood. Suddenly the moisture they breath has a distinct taste to it... of fresh blood. Sena is a bit freaked out and uses magic to fly out of the pool.

    Shortly after Andera and Mad Dog notices they are being followed... sort of... Some shadows seem to detach, and follow them on the branches of trees, sort of whispery shadowy threads of snakes, with white eyes, like dead stars... But whenever you look at them, they fade away. Andera found this depressing. "The shadows are coming for us... they are all around us... hope can we escape?"
    Julian: "We REALLY need to get out of here!"

    Not making much progress, I have them roll again. This time it's "Jealousy". Again Mad dog and Andera fail, and I sent them the following email:

    Spoiler: Effects of Jealousy
    Show
    The island you are on is composed of the essence of A demon lord, and part of his theme was Jealousy. It has inflicted you now…
    Choose one of the other party members, and decide on something you are jealous of him/her. This can be an item, power, relationship, past deeds, condition or more. You are jealous of this, and want either to have it as your own, or make sure the subject is not so. There is some animosity/ grudge/ minor hostility towards the character.

    You're deeply jealous, roleplay to that affect.

    IMPORTANT: The character does not understand that she is under an influence (Think of this like a very strong emotion spell), and you think this is just how things progressed in your relationship. But please, keep this in character!
    (I suggest starting subtle, but letting things gear up more quickly. )

    How does it end? I won't tell you quite now…

    Mechanical impact:
    Jealousy- You're distracted: you take - 3 to all skills and -2 to attacks while the character is within 100 ft. or involved in the same partaking.

    Suggestions of jealousy (You're NOT limited to these):
    - Julian: Her rise to divine status, her new religion, her power, her good looks, her new sight, her flying carpet, her rod of persistent spell, her headband- Brilliance.
    - Andera: The ability to disappear and not be noticed, the ability to maneuver around the battlefield, Changi, the fellowship of tieflings.
    -Sena: His new status that makes him impervious to alignment effects, his followers, connection to the gods, his angelic look (What he uses the spell), rod of quicken, Sword of Paradox.
    - Mad dog: his great strength and endurance, his ability to kill everything, his simplistic look on life, his great sword, his armor, his boots of flying.
    - Arulashee: Her good looks, "being special/ chosen", her connection to Desna, her many unique items (Starbow, boots of speed and more)


    Sena also disliked being lost. "Shall we talk with Calistria?"
    An: "It is hopeless! It will not help!"
    Julian was a bit annoyed now. "Are you depressed?"
    An: "Wouldn't you be? Going in this place in circles, having no clue where to turn?"
    Sena: "Hey, he's got a point!"
    J: "Enough of this, the pillars must be the answer! Sena, make us into clouds and take us to the closest pillar!"
    S: "That's a powerful spell to use for just a short navigation, perhaps something else?"
    Arulashee intervened: ""Look, you feel it starting to feed on you, drag you down, the Abyss, but the thing to remember, in all of your depression, is to continue on, to strive on!"
    An: "And to which direction shall we continue exactly? Random path number 1? Or 2? Or 3?"
    Aru: "I am confident with Mad Dod's skills..."
    Mad dog interrupted "Oh be quiet you wench!" Now THIS surprised the party! (They are used to Andera being grumpy. )
    Sena: "Mad Dog! You are not quite yourself!" (And in his thoughts: I cannot allow you to not be yourself... You can smash like like a rusted tin can...)
    Julian decides to try and study the two, and sees an emotion effect.
    Arulashee to Andera: "I have saved you, and you have saved me, and so we shall do in return. We shall find a way."
    Julian casts dispel evil (From her domain) on Andera, and succeeds!
    Andera: "Yes, there is a way!"
    But then Mad dog reminds me that Dispel evil can't undo effects that Dispel magic can't dispel. I tell Julian that she failed.
    Andera (rewrite): "No, thee is not! We are all doomed!"
    Julian suspects it's a curse, and she and Sena use remove curses, and succeed. Andera: "On second thought Arulashee, I see your point!" The curses are believed to be removed, but Andera's Jealousy stays. Still ,the party decides to just play with it.

    Sena does end up using Windwalk, taking the party with him above. He looks at the pillars, and tries to make some sort of an understanding, a revelation. He uses Display of Intelligence and rolls high enough, to understand the pillars are positioned as sort of way points in a... vortex... whirlpool. Understanding this he flies the party towards the center of it, a pillar just beside a fairly large ruin.

    Spoiler: DM notes- exploring Vazgral
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    The party could use divination, scouting from above and more, but yeah, the pillars were the key. The pillars each held around them the ruins of an empire or so. They might explore the ruin, the spirits within it, but the idea was to track to the most recent ruin. The pillars and ruins are in a sort of a vortex indeed, as Vazgral was the encompassing doom.

    I made the exploration thus: If they walk the jungle, they rol lfor survival to get to another pillar. On the way I added some "abyssal sensorial weirdness", to give the place a bit more flavor, to which the party responded nicely. If they don't find a pillar, or if they delay significantly, They roll again on a sort of a random Valzgar table.

    Spoiler: Abyssal sensorial weirdness
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    -You hear the voices of great birds, Amplified, Sounding like a moaning crowd.
    - The trees looks strange suddenly, as if they are a conglomerate of bodies, souls, trying to reach you…
    - As you walk on the wet patches, you are certain they ae blood. The moisture tastes as blood, hot, moist, yet it makes you thirsty, so thirsty…
    - The moon light makes you see the shadows, and they are moving on the trees, slithering, like serpents, who's eyes are cold, dead stars…
    - Your footsteps sounds like gnashing of teeth. Sharp, Hard, biting.
    - Your body feels odd, it is not quite your hand, it feels as if it belongs to another, like it is a glove, of something inside, trying to dig out.
    - There are worms behind your eyes, looking through it, tugging at the eyeball, tring to suck it in.
    - You suddenly can hear nearly nothing, just wind, strong wind, and the sound of a storm, quickly approaching. There are voices of people "Man the sails! All hands on deck!"
    - Your saliva tastes sweet, very sweet, more and more sweet, till it becomes all sticky, gooey, almost unbearable!


    Spoiler: Random Valzgar table
    Show
    1d12 (I just like them)
    1-2: 5 CR 10 demons (Bebilith, Stirge demon, Mature nabasu, Fiendish rock
    3-5: 3 CR 10 demons
    6-8: Lost ruins: Force of ruins and add +4 to finding pillar
    9-10: Loss: As in mail, Will DC 22. Recurrence +2 TO will save. Curse effect, DC 23 to break. If fails again under Loss, then DC rises by +2.
    11-12: Jealousy: As in Loss, same rules, except as in mail.


    Temple of Nocticula
    On the way Jealousy strikes again, just Mad dog. He sends me a message that he decided to be envious of Julian's smarts.


    In the ruins, the party goes through the wreckage of an Empire that seems fairly recent, they even notices some of the gins, the flags- The Empire of Cheliax, who fell due to inner strife, and possibly competing devil worship. Yet the players are uninterested, and quickly look for a teleportation ring or such.

    As they go they get affected by the power of ruin. Each rolls 1d20, and doubles by 500. The result is the minimum value of an item that Valzgar ruins permanently... This is the first time that Mad dog's and Andera's low rolls are effective.
    Mad dog rolls 1,000, but decides that the island wrecks his +2 Longbow. The bow crumbles, it's wound break, it's string snaps.
    Andera rolls 2,000, and let the island destroy an arrow of slaying (Pretty much ineffective at this point). The arrows brakes, and the end seems blunts from millennia of time...
    Sena rolls 8,500, and find it really difficult (Most of his equipment is quite expensive). He ends up giving up his malleable holy symbol, which turns to a lump of clay. Sena grunts, and pull his back up symbol.
    Julian rolled a 20- 10,000... She too find it quite difficult, but ends up giving her lesser rod of maximize. The item cracks, and loses it's magic, as if that has passed centuries ago.
    Arulashee lost her Swallow Tail braces (Campaign Item, some minor bonuses and an ability to cast dream) "It doesn't matter. It's the least of my sacrifices. Let's move on." She answered the concerned Sena.

    The party curses, wanting more than ever to get out of this place. They manage to finally reach their destination, a ruined temple of Nocticula (Note: I played this nearly exactly as in the module, except for the effects of not succeeding with the ritual) The place is in ruin, as is the rest of Vazgral. They see 4 statues of Nocticula at the end, plus an altar, with what looks like a skeleton covered in heavy moth. From the looks of it it belonged to some demon. Coming close to the alter, they see an inscription on in "I tried Nocticula! I tried! I've tried to tame the island, but it ruins all, degrades all, I have failed you our lady in shadow, but I tried... I tried..." The alter seems like a sacrificl alter, with a blood drainage and chain on the side.

    This was aa flavor piece, but Sena grabs unto that, believing there needs to be a blood sacrifice, he cuts himself and bleeds over the alter. Nothing happens. He then decides it must be one of the statues. As to the statues:
    - Nocticula holding a heart high above. A smile on her face in Triumph.
    - A seductive pose, tempting smile and posture.
    - An assassination pose, aiming her hand crossbow at a target, eyes cold.
    - Hidden posture, with her wings and tails all around her, hiding her, only her eyes apparent.

    Now, Tell the truth I goofed here a bit. Each statue also had an inscription at it's base, which was a clue, but I mixed that up with some clues coming from a knowledge check (Later) that I missed these throughout the encounter.

    Sena rushed to the Statue holding the heart, and before the party could stop it bled over it. They heard a soft rush of noise and then a resounding "Not likely!" Before the trap sprang- Shadows loomed around, and tried to grasp the party (Reflex DC 24), if caught, the shadow congealed into the form of a succubi, and tried to kiss each member, (DC 24 Fort to avoid 2d4 level drain, and DC 24 Will to avoid getting "Succubi smitten"- A curse effect that has the player be more easily affected by succubi- -5 to their saves against their powers from now on).

    Fearing this strange trap, the party used their mythic surges and managed to avoid everything. Understanding they need to think it out, they sat to try and understand. Various theories came up, till I decided for another abysmal sensorial weirdness: Sena felt s if his right hand was... not his, as if it belonged to someone else, and that there was something in it, trying to dig it's way out. Julian felt something tugging at her eyes, and KNEW there were worms behind her eyes, latching on them exerting pressure. The sensations lasted for about a minute, but were unsettling enough.

    J: "This is getting out of hand! We need to be away from here SOON!"
    An: "Oh? What is it? Something you can't just whip a small and solve all of a sudden? Why don't you do some magic stuff, and get us out of here? You're just teasing us!" (Jealousy)
    But Julian was too concerned with the situation to respond. But Sena, really disliking the feeling of his hand, tries to bleed on the covered statue. "Not likely!" as the shadows come again, this time grasping Mad Dog and Sena. As the shadows kiss them, Sena breaks off "Get away! My heart belongs to another!" But Mad dog get "smitten by succubi" (Though he did not know how to play it for the rest of the session) Arulashee is impressed by Sena "Not many can withstand the temptation of the mistress in Shadow..."

    Andera jumps at him: "Will you stop acting like a fool and bleeding over stuff?!"
    Sena: "It is always blood with demons!"
    An: "Perhaps not always? We need to think about this!" ("Sometimes it's tongue!" Kudos to whomever gets the reference!)

    The party tries to think of Nocticula's portfolio- Darkness, lust, secrets and assassinations. These seem to fit the statues, except for "secrets", which gets left with the statue holding the big heart. The party tries looking for secret buttons, leverages, invest mythic power into them. to no avail. I hint with Arulashee: This is her temple, and passage is supposed to be accessible to most demons, at least succubi. Sena again uses Display of Insight (For religion) and recalls a prayer to Nocticula- "lie in wait in hiding , present yourself to seduce , strike the killing blow when the target is enthralled , and then offer the target’s heart to the Lady in Shadow." They manage to figure out the order of the statues from this.

    Sena thinks, and then casts darkness on the covered statue. The statue seems to move, and keeps a slight motion about it! The party has made progress. But they are stumped by the second statue (The temptress).
    Sena: Maybe a spell of "Unnatural lust?" I have a potion for this (From the Ivory Sanctum)
    An: "Maybe just a charming spell. Hey Julian! Why don't you snap your fingers and casting something, like you always do?"
    Sena uses the charm power of the trickery domain, and the statue comes to life as well! But as to the third statue- the assassin, again stumped. Annoyed, Julian tries another charm person, and is responded by "Not Likely!" This time the shadows grabs her, and the kiss draw 2d4 negative energies on her! As the kiss ends, Julian collapses, of breath, looking more grey. She is pissed, but Sena rushes to her and restores her. the two statues reverts back to normal.

    The party thinks again. Andera uses dust of darkness on the first statue (He carried it from the lair of evil mongrelfolk! Battle with Hossila!) Sena uses his power again, and they come up on the third statue once more. Julian thinks that it requires a death spell, and Sena casts "Slay living", and it works too! The third statue comes to life. They feel the air and surroundings around the temple becoming fuzzier, as if on the verge of moving...

    But the last statue quite stumps them. They come up with different theories (Like trying to dislodge the heart and taking it to the first statue), but dare act on none. Sena and Julian have burned through quite a lot of mythic points.
    Mad dog: "Oh, I trust Julian! She is smart, and cunning. She will think of a way to solve this! She always does."
    Andera: "She just whips up the perfect spell, for the perfect time, Little Ms. Magic fingers, with her mojo!"
    Julian's player was embarrassed "What kind of a curse is this?"

    At the end they decide a wholly different approach. They have Arulashee UMD the statue with Julian and Andera helping her, which works great. The last statue moves, and from the her a great darkness emits, with a laugh of "That's more like it!" as the darkness envelops, and they feel... movement, only to appear somewhere else, in a great building. From the sounds of it, they have arrived at a massively inhabited place- Allushira, the Porphyry City.

    Spoiler: DM notes- Nocticula's temple riddle
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    I kind of fell into a trap here, playing it "by the book"- the riddle, though it had a few ways of solving (You could do certain acts, not just spells), still required a fairly specific way of solving. I hate using riddles like that, and prefer an open riddle, more like a situation, to which the party will respond. This kind of riddles, where you "need to get into the riddle maker's mind", are quite often very frustrating, and don't allow for more creative ideas (And the players did come up with some). I might have dealt with it better, but on the whole the player were ok with it. Oh well.


    Spoiler: DM design- Valzgar
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    So... The island in the module doesn't serves any purpose other than the temple riddle (Oh, and the trap by the module just sprigs up some shadow demons... Really? At this level? With their power? Utterly pathetic). I think the place can give the Midnight Isles a feeling of a bigger place than just Porphyry, and give it the sensation of a tropical, magical, weird place, Which was my main intention.

    As to Jealousy and Loss. Andera played a bit with both (And he is still under he effect of Jealousy). These worked as a nice distraction and fun for the party (They quite liked it), and added some conversation difficulty, in an island on which they are the main, if not sole, talkative people.

    The party totally circumnavigated exploring the different ruins (Had some of Azlanti, Thassilon, Mwangi and so on), so I can't tell how that might work out if someone tries it.

    On the whole, the players found the island at times frustrating, but also quite a different experience, which they liked. The most evocative responses came from the abysmal sensorial weirdness stuff... Hmmmm....

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    I'll stop here for the time being. It looks like aa good stopping point. Next time Will feature the party's first foray into Porphyry, as well as some improvised but cool negotiations.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-08-24 at 06:48 AM.

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