1. - Top - End - #192
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Feb 2008

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

    So it happens to be that I'm sick. On the plus side, I am at home, and so I'll try to complete the session's log. I'm a bit woozy, so I hope I get everything right. Still, notes can help significantly. Now, arriving at Porphyry...

    Session 22, Part 2- Getting to know Porphyry City

    As the darkness dissipates, the party finds themselves in what looks like an old, partially ruined temple. They happen to surprise a hulking Thanadaemon, who lounges there. The Daemon rises up, speaking in the deep, hollow voice. "The portal was closed and unused for decades. Who comes forth?" As the party though of what to answer, Arulashee took charge, acting with confidence, disdain, as if brushing the tall daemon aside. "My purpose and concerns are mine alone! These are my slaves. Now move aside! I have business to conduct in Allushira!" And she just strode past it, with the party surprised, but sort of cow towing behind her. They left the long abandoned temple to Vazgral to the busy streets of the demon city.

    Porphyry Music- Planescape Torment soundtrack!
    (Thanks a lot for suggesting this Eldan!

    At this point I reminded the party various key facts about Porphyry. (It's been awhile since we played). I won't go over them all here, just some key points:
    - Allushira is a trade hub, mostly for demons, but Nocticula has extended commerce to all kinds. This doesn't mean it's a safe place, (Far from it!) but if you're attacked, then it's by individuals, not by the very forces of the plane.
    - The place is HUGE. It can take 2-3 days fully walking to cross it length wise, or 1-2 days width wise. Most demons just teleport. For others (Such as slaves), A quick way of transportation is the skiffs of the Thanadaemons, who travel the numerous canals of Porphyry. The price can be pricey, but some Thanademons can also deal with souls.
    - The thanaedaemons are also a sort of "crowd control" force. Nocticula uses them to subjugate disturbances to the city. On the whole, violence is not an issue, but you MAY NOT harm the city or how it operates.
    - Nocticula is the ruler of The Midnight Isles. Porphyry is ruled by her second in command- Shamira. An immensely powerful succubus, with flaming wings (A whole fire theme), who is a much sterner, brutal, and lethal succubus, who deals with major threats to the city.
    - The biggest trade is in slaves. There are hundreds of thousands of slaves here, from all kinds, for all purposes. The city has them in abundance. The city also caters for all kind of sins, temptations, desires and fetishes (Not just of the sexual kinds).
    - Succubi hold a special position in Allushira, and form a sort of "higher class". That said, people can rise far above them, and succubi can become really low. It's more a matter of power- the main currency demons understand.

    As they got out of the temple, they were amazed at the sheer amount of demons- Cambions aplenty, here and there dretches cleaning, some succubi, Babaus, vrocks, even a Glaberzu! Arulashee whispered. "We're in the Virgin Ribs! The slums of Porphyry. We better move somewhere else."
    Sena whispered back "Where might the delegations be?"
    Arulashee answered: "In the Ten Thousand Delights (Inns, entertainment and luxury district) or the Terrace of the Favored Mistresses (A nobility district, for especially powerful succubi)."
    Andera hissed "We'll need to find a place to stay first. That island took a bit from us. We need a place to think." They decide to head for the Ten Thousand Delights. Only that will take them a hell of a long time to get there by foot! So they go to a canal, and see a Thanadaemon. Arulahsee motions him. They talk with the long fellow, who is disappointing they don't have souls to barter with, but agrees for gold. Which is when we find... that the party is nearly broke in terms of actual money! They pull everything together, and pay the Daemon (about 1,500 gp total) and find they have about 800 gp left... Oh my...

    Arulashee sits at a reserved sit, while the rest are told to squabble near the bottom of the skiff... The Thanadaemon stirs the bot slowly, but expertly, goes under a bridge, and then mists surround the skiff, and it emerges under another bridge, but the sounds are greatly different. Within a minute the skiff navigates in a huge body of water ,with various boats and other skiffs, and stops at the side. "The Delights Mistress..." Sena clambers and offers to give her a leg up, but she kicks him in disdain, opens her wings and flies up. The "tieflings" climb up as well.

    Julian is starting to have a real headache- the numerous evil auras are straining her vision, making it hard for her to think! She moans and groans, when Andera snarks at her "What's the matter? Can't just use that spell of yours to make you see? Or make us a place to stay? How come you've all of a sudden gone skimpy with your spells, hah? Stop moaning, don't be such a bother!"

    Julian seeks to answer, but all of a sudden, quite artificially, total darkness descends. The fake stars in the sky blink out, and now it's total, utter darkness above. Arulashee, Sena and Mad dog can see with darkvision (Thanks to Dwarven Belt in Mad dog's case), but Julian and Andera are not so lucky. "lets find a place already" Julian says, tired.

    They go searching, the place is full of taverns, inns, brothels, strip joints, pleasure houses and more (Many times all in one!) As they travel they see something odd- the darkness seems to add more depth, more texture, more details to buildings that seemed... plainer before... Even alleyways open up. The party realizes this place is different at full night than partial night...

    They get fascinated enough by it all, that they don't notice the shadows emerging to attack them! (Random encounter) 8 Greater shadows, 4 from over a canal, 4 from the sides of shadow alleys, lunge at them! Mad dog, Sena and Julian are hit (Each once), but luckily roll quite low on strength damage.

    Andera curses, turns invisible and releases the Ioun torch in his belt. The light coming up draws some attention from nearby demons (The city usually runs dark. And tieflings usually have dark vision). Andera hisses to Chandi "Let us act!"

    Julian manages to get up some mirror images, but 4 get taken down, Sena also gets hit quite a bit, but manages to negate one attack with Divine Intervention. Still, some strength down, he cannot really suffer much more! Arulashee, seeing his strength dwindle, shouts in worry and defiance, and uses her starbow radiant cone power, to greatly damage and kills some of the shadows. This too, gets some attention... Sena is touched by her worrying though...

    He activates his mythic armor proficiency to have his armor bonus apply also to touch, making him much more resilient! He then attacks using channel smite and kills two more (greater shadows have very low hp!) If the party wanted to go fully incognito, they have drawn sufficient attention here...

    A vrock and a hezrou reach into a bag and pull out tiny kind of demons, basically orbs with legs and a big mouths, who run near the battle field as if sniffing the air... (Cachaodaemons) The party don't quite understand, but they are busy.

    Mad Dog and Andera attack and kill. Julian looks at the shadows' aura, seeing mostly tremendous tortured hunger. She kills the few remaining with magic missiles, only to hear Andera "Sure! If I could just shoot magic arrows to do the work for me!" Julian sees the last shadow, almost in gratitude "thank you..." before it dissipates away.

    The cachaodaemons go around where the shadows were, but find nothing. The Vrock and Hazrou call them back, and put them back in their place. The party realizes these are used to collect souls, for souls gems, used for trade in the city.

    As the battle ends, Arulashee looks atthe paler Sena, Struggling under the weight of his armor. She caresses his cheek and helps him. "I will catch you if you fall... Strange, in this darkest of places, I feel the closest to you, the most secure with you by my side." Sena, had he any color left, would have changed it!

    Spoiler: Random encounters, and being noticed
    I have upgraded the random encounter table for Porphyry a bit. Again, I find that for the most part, it seems like the designers didn't take into account the party's mythic tier's effect on their ECL when designing stuff. Oh well...

    I also made a separate table for "Sights of the city", which is also for flavor, a bit like "abysmal sensorial weirdness" in Valzgar. I wanted the city to feel more then just a location of goals, but something that lives and breaths more...

    About Notoriety: The module assumes the party is trying to get Nocticula's attention. The party needs to get points on a "Notoriety score", and different acts can grant them different points. One of the possibilities is "Showing your true colors", or basically- walking around like the champions of good that they are. But... this gets them more encounters, and more lethal ones. The party opted to not do that. Another way is by getting into fights, but I decided that it'll be only for fights who are CR+2 at least. No real interest in mopping a bunch of lowly cambions, is there?

    But I also added another score, Which we'll just call "Getting noticed". This is to judge whether Minhago managed to locate the party. In the module, Minhago flees to Porphyry after the Midnight Fane, and she sends an assassin, and maybe conftonts the party once, before they are supposed to track her down and kill her. I... Have different plans for Minhago in my design, (If you've read some of the "help threads" you may know), but she stills seeks to learn more, and maybe kill some of the party, with a bigger teams of possible assassins (This will be quite imporant later).

    For each encounter in which the party drew sufficient attention as not fitting their disguise (Such as in this encounter) I rolled a percentile die to see if this got to Minhago, (She placed lots of informants in the city, expecting the party to come) in which case she'll start tracking the party, and sending assassins. To my surprise, This single encounter sufficed! But it would take some time for Minhago. She'll come into play later...

    Julian casts Darkvision on Andera.
    An: "Well, about time!"
    J: "Are you ok, I do not last.."
    An: "I do lust!"
    J:"Something is strange about you..."
    An: "We're in a strange place!"
    J: "We're always in strange places!"
    An: "Not as this!"
    J: "...Are you becoming a demon?" looked at Mad Dog "It's not like it hasn't happened before"
    An: "Why, because you have spells you think you know everything? What you cast a "detect demons" spell?"
    J: "And you?! Every time you have a difficult situation you just disappear!"
    An: "My power is limited,not like yours, dropping spells at every corner"
    J: "Why do you keep trying to disrupt the conversation?"
    An: "So why don't you just cast a silence spell on me!"
    J: "You're becoming as grumpy as Chandi!"
    An:"So many times I have almost died, fighting at the front, while you stayed away!"
    J: "You did die, at the Ivory Sanctum, remember?" (The players were having fun with this little roleplay )
    An: "Yes I remember! And you didn't even enter the gates the entire battle!"
    J: "I really can't tell where you were. Every battle you go "poof!" and we don't see you till it ends.
    An: "I wouldn't have hid if I had an arsenal of blasting spells!"
    J: "Oh, I've grown tired of this, lets just find a place to sleep!"

    Rest and improvisational negotiation "The Inn and out"

    (I was improvising this whole part on the fly. Oddly enough, I didn't quite prepare a place to stay for the party! )

    Sena restored the party, but the party really wanted to get out of the streets. I gave various inn/brothel names ("At your pleasure", "Guilty pleasures", "Hot and heavy", "Touch of flesh", "Pleasant forgetfulness", "The longing ends", "Kiss of forever") but Andera's player cracked a joke "Why don't we go into The Inn and Out?" We liked it so much that we made that the brothel they chose.

    At the entrance there was a plaque, with various prices for "items":
    - Mortal woman, willing.
    - Mortal woman, unwilling.
    - Mortal man, willing.
    - Trained Incubi
    - Trained succubus
    - Torture available! Prices varying on degree of abuse and dismemberment..."

    Spoiler: DM notes- How extreme will we go?
    A small but important note to be made here: Porphyry City is a demonic city, and a great deal of it's content can be quite extreme, sexual, brutal, hurtful, and more. I've made a conscious decision to not go very had or very deep in how much we describe things, roleplay things, and so on. This also goes for a choice of music. You can find much harder things in Youtube if you look for them. (I spent some time looking for musics for possible brothels/ inns and other "experiences". I know my sensibilities, and my players sensibilities, and while some might be willing to explore quite hard stuff, I don't think this is the game for it, and I also think others will find it quite uncomfortable. I declared this to the group, that I'll limit how deep we go. It's enough for us to mention things in general terms (For example the "menu" at the brothel) and not delve into them.

    If that's a problem to you, feel free to discuss it, but that's how my group plays. We focus on the heroics side of the campaign, not wishing to turn it into porn. I hope we'll not hurt anyone's sensibilities later on though...

    The place looks like a dark, exotically furnished lounge, with a strip stage and poles in the center, what looks like a bar and eatery at the side (With some odd noises coming from a diner. The meal still alive?) and a few more secluded spaces, looking luxurious. The place' patrons ranged from cambions, low demons but also a succubus or two. At the stage a bruised and suffering looking Aasimar woman danced, with skimpy clothes, white skin and eyes. The party noted this.

    An incubi, dressed in finery came towards Arulashee. "Ah Mistress! Thank you for honoring this place with your presence." We have the finest rooms for you, and the stable or pits for your possessions..." Arulashee played her part. "I require rest, but nothing too fancy at the moment. A simple place, but with enough space, and I'd like to keep my... possessions close. I may have tasks for them or would like to..." She gave a sly smile "Extract pleasure"

    The incubi (Named Chulakat) bowed. "Of course, we have a few rooms on the first floor, with some cages and pens for them if need be. It is comfortable, not the best, but will surely suffice!" The room was quite expensive (about 250gp per night), but for now the party agreed.

    Andera the succubus
    As they went up the steps, Andera whispered. "Go ahead, I'll be right back." The party went up, but Andera used his Master's Disguise, to look like an exceptionally cruel succubus.

    "She" came down, and went straight at the barman, a cambion looking bored. She looked critically at the dancing aasimar. "Is this all you have here? This pathetic show?"
    The cambion looked alarmed. "We have others, if you would speak with mistress Hannet..."
    But Andera waved him away. "She displeases me, send her away."
    The cambion tried to apologize. "But, in the middle of... "
    Andera would have none of this. "You dare argue?! Send her away!" (Successful intimidate) The cambion did as asked, but also called Chulakat to talk to... the newcomer...
    Chu: "Mistress! I haven't seen you come in! What can we do to please you?"
    An: "After the sorry act I've seen? Not much..."
    Chu: "Would you like talking with mistress Hannet? I'm sure she'll..."
    An: "No! I would like to learn of your... competition..."
    Chulakat was confused: "Oh, you're taking over?" (It's not that hostile takeovers, quite literally, were uncommon after all. I thought it might actually turn out to be a fun idea!)
    An: "No, I do not."
    Chu: "Then why do you wish to know?"
    An: (Bluff check successful) "Lets just say I have my reasons... Which place caters for mortals specifically?"
    Chu: "There are many places. It all depends on the individuals. We specialize more in a specific desires or groups of sins. Surely you know this mistress?"
    Andera tried to push to other ideas, trying to find a place that might harbor a delegation: "Is there anywhere that caters for demonic vermin, (Deskari) or with pleasures including swarms? How about Minotaurs?
    Chulakat smiled: "Some people like to dine on various insects, of get poison treatment. I hear the intensity of some poisons can be quite mind engulfing to some. There are also rasping baths, where one goes into a bath with a swarm of vermin, biting, itching, crawling. Soem find it quite delightful... As to... Minotaurs? (Chulakat seemed more thoughtful) They re not exactly known planar travelers. Hmmm... The closest thing I can think of is "The Brass Horn", it's a bar near the arenas, where some fighting demons and gladiators go. It has a huge horn, said to be from legendary minotaur, over the door. (I was improvising fast here. I thought to perhaps use it to direct later to the Battle Bliss Arena in the module)
    Andera was pleased at the information. "Good to know."
    Chulakat: "What is thy name oh mistress?"
    Andera: "I'm Seela. Remember that?"
    Chu: "And for which high mistress do you work for?"
    Andera panicked slightly, but responded well "Is it your plce to question me? I swear, minions these days!" and left...

    "One soul at a time."
    The aasimar caught some attention with the party. As Andera (as a succubus) was getting up, Julian came down (Having cast tongues and echolocation). She sought Chulakat.
    J: "My mistress sent me. She wishes to buy the aasimar dancer."
    Chu: "Really? Quite an interest the whore gets. But it's up to the mistresses to discuss. If she wishes, come and meet Mistress Hanet here in about half an hour." Julian groveled and went up.

    Upstairs, the party tries to think of how to approach this. Sena and Andera object at first:
    S: This puts the entire mission at risk, we cannot risk exposing ourselves.
    An: She is just one slave, amongst thousands!
    J: We'll save them all. One soul at a time if need be."
    This convinces Sena. "Right! Right action!"
    Aru: "I shall assist how I can." Sheseemed tense.

    Sena suggests to come as a mortal extra planar to help, but they think it would be weird to have a mortal joining with a succubi just to buy this slave. At the end they just decide to go as they are, as slaves to Arulashee.

    Meanwhile, I try to think of a good price to her, and end up deciding on 10,000. I think this can easily be a test for Arulashee (even if improvised, since she takes the main role in it), and think this is a fair price (As well as being the price of tiems she might give for a redemption trial).

    They come down, and Chulakat leads them to a more secluded booth. Hannet looks like well experienced succubi, and a slightly cheap, slightly elegant hostess. She has 2 Cambion bodyguards, and an apprentice succubi. She calls for the aasimar (Named Jasmin), and order her to strip. She naked assimar shows sign of bruises, and some rough handling. She stands there, devoid of hope and care, lost. Sena almost draws his sword.

    H: "So... you hav an interest in my star attraction? So many demons love the chance to spoil, hurt and use the partly divine. Almost like breaking the arms of an angel, you know?" She leaned back, smiling "Such things don't come cheaply..."
    Negotiations start at 20,000. Arulashee manages to get it down to 13,000, but the party is worried about this. They just don't have the money. Julian casts a still silent message spell to Arulashee "Give me a name of someone important! Leverage! I'll happen to mention, then punish me!" Arulashee sends with telepathy the name of Imangaleht (Owner of the Battle Bliss, which I previously decided might know Arulashee).
    Julian speaks "Mistress, Imangleth will neverů"
    Arulashee snaps and smashes Julian's face. "Be silent!"
    With two good bluffs, this works! Hannet wants to get on Powerful Cambion's good graces, thinking Arulashee works for him, and negotiation reduce the price to 7,000. With no money, the party exchanges Mad Dog's long arm braces (From Soltengrebe's treasury, he used it maybe twice! ) and Julian's elven boots (Never used). The party even gets room for the week.

    The party goes back to the room, with a promise Jasmin will be sent shortly after, after she's "cleaned up". In the room Arulashee hugs Julian. "Thank you, for letting me be a part of this. It is no wonder you have become what you are! A true champion of The Forgotten!" Arulashee makes her redemption save- 3/4!
    Jasmin is let into the room while the hug takes place, and is in shock- A succubus hugs tiefling? Thanks her? Julian sees her confusion, and dispels the veil spell, showingthem all as they are.
    Jasmin's shock intensifies, and she falls to the floor, prostrating herself. "Please! I didn't mean to see you! I'm sorry! Please don't..."
    But Julian stops her, putting a hand on her shoulder. "Rise child, you have nothing to fear here. Please eat, you seem to be starving."
    They let her eat, heal her, and comfort her.
    J: "Tell me child, how did you end up here?"
    Jasmine tells a story of how she came from Ustalav (One of the only Golarion nations I know!) and came to fight in the crusades. She was an aide to a warrior group, who got caught near the Worldwound border.
    Julian: "I can banish you to Golrion. We can send you to a safe place. It's a town called Drezen. We have many friends there, they will take care of you. Would you like that? (Oddly enough, the banishment and dismissal spells don't say how it is decided where you end up on the other plane. We decided it's a bit like teleport in that regard"
    Jasmin is utterly besides herself, in tears, not believing. "You're toying with me? Can this be real? Home? Really home?" She burst into gratuitous cry. "You are from the gods! You are angels!
    Mad dog "We ARE the gods."
    They try to get some more information from her, but other than simple rumors (A bit on Shamira and such) nothing of import. The party does leanr of 5 luxurious borthels. (If they go to them they can gain a bonus on gather information rolls)

    Julian asks Andera to write a letter to Brian, explaining things. The party gives her some some of their money (About 100 gp) and Sena gives him the Pin of the new vision of Drezen. Jasmin stands there crying, thankful, overwhelmed, when Julian waves at her. "Goodbye". and Sena casts Banishment on her.

    I decide this was quite cool, and gives them some ad hoc XP, on top of Arulashee's redemption trial.

    Spoiler: DM notes- Improvising slave negotiations
    The entire Inn and Out and the negotiations were totally improvised. I think it went quite well. The player absolutely loved this scene! (Even Mad Dog to an extent). I often tend to improvise with a strong basis of setting, but here it was more free flow. I'm quite pleased with how I did here, as improvisation is my great weak spot. The reason I prepare so much is to be able to improvise smoothly enough, due to understanding enough of the basics of the set. Here I did somewhat without it, and it worked not bad! A later improvisation in this session... less so...

    I'll stop here. We got one more part, though it is shorter. I hope to get onto it soon enough. Possibly today. Got a small errand to run. I hope you like what you're reading so far!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-08-24 at 06:43 AM.

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