1. - Top - End - #193
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Feb 2008

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

    Ok, lets get it done with!

    Session 22, Part 3- Porphyry, Way to the Flesh Markets, Cliffhanger!

    After sending Jasmin back to Drezen, the party finally rested, with the trial of Valzgar andtheir first "night" in Porphyry behind them. Sena Did not require sleep, and so he spent the time talking with Arulashee. Strangely, the conversation turned to his childhood, mischief here and there, moments with Brother John and the like. She found this charming, that he could recall the man he has been with her, despite his commitment to his path. With a remaining mythic point he brought a hero's feast, to eat with her, while the others rested. The two become closer, and hold each other, embrace each other, and for them both, for this time, it is enough... (Despite jokes from the other players! )

    After the rest of the party awake, they are again faced with the same problem since entering this realm. "So, what is our strategy now?" I use this opportunity to hint by Arulashee that if they may want to seek audience with Nocticula, they need to gain her attention, by doing note worthy deeds (The Notoriety Score mechanic). She suggests the four basic approaches- Pick fights, show your true colors, seek high profiles events or accomplishments (Via Gathering information. This is the main suggestion in the module), or try to seek out Shamira. She explains that the last option should be the very last, as Shamira is known for her temper, and her "extracting payment.".

    Sena wishes to find Oodkalakat, the coloxus demon that's supposed to hold the Soul stone of the tiefling host. He uses scrying and sees him in a partially rounded room, going over documents, bored. He decides to try and spook him, and uses message through the scrying. "I see you! Where are you? We need to talk!" Oodkalakat gets nervous, foes to big ornate doors, opens them and... the scrying fails. "Anti scrying area" says Julian.

    Spoiler: Whereabouts of Oodkalakat
    He is the coloxus working for Vallexa, the succubus in Rapture of Rupture. I decided her room has anti scrying measures. Would make sense, no?

    Commune with Calistria
    At this point Sena suggested again. "Perhaps we should try and talk with Calistria now?"
    This time, the party agreed. Sena used his mask (Mitre of the hierophant) to call her. Now, a small change we've made just for roleplay, is that she basically can answer in more than "Yes/ no/ maybe", but generally to that effect. Just speak like a more real person, and not an automated answering machine.

    As Sena called her, he could see a ghostly mask detaching from his, turning and floating in the air. Part male, part female, part laughing, part crying, an eye closed, an eye open, and changing... all the time. "Yes? One lost to sight?"
    Sena: "I have the most disturbing news about your rival Nocticula- The demonic forces see to ally with her, and bring her influence and power to Golarion!"
    Cal: "I find it interesting, intriguing, amusing, and troublesome." she said, almost as if rhyming a song, not really concerned..
    Se: "I know that you do not desire for it to happen- she's powerful and a rival. Do you have any contacts on her plane that I can use."
    Cal: "Not anymore... Gone they are."
    Se: "Do you have anything that can help us?"
    Cal: "Such as?"
    Sena was a bit frustrated at this. Julian whispered "Information".
    Se: "What does Nocticula wants?"
    Cal: "Unknown, tricky little wench! But she seeks to gain power, and searches sources of deep philosophy. To what end? It is not known."
    Se: "What are her weaknesses?"
    Cal: "Uncertain. Over contemplation perhaps? Plans within plans... Some say she seeks perfection in all."
    Se: "Can you intervene?"
    Cal: "Never directly." The mask seemed to be amused, and shying away.
    Se: "Can you bring your own organizations here?"
    Cal: "Unlikely in time, and none f them is as strong as you, dear, invisible champion!" The mask seemed as teasing, playful.
    Se: "Do you have any weapon/ tool to use?"
    Cal: "Yes, I call its Senatef Aberdeen!" The mask was amused, thankfully, Sena was amused as well.
    Se: "Do you think we can deal with this demon lord?"
    Cal: "It would sure be fun to see!"
    Sena hardened. "If I will manage to do this, what will you give in return?"
    The mask feigned ignorance: "Do this? What do you mean by that? You speak in riddles sena, usually this amuses, but not in matters such as these. These are serious matters!" but at Sena's silence she continued on. "I do not seek Noctciula's... end, she has been inactive and silent for a longtime. Better the demon you know than the one who will fill it's place, yes?"
    Sena continued: "What sort of information can you provide on Nocticula?"
    Cal: "She plays some sort of a larger, deeper game . She plays at politics, but also something bigger, no one knows exactly what. Makes a lot of strange explorations, questions, investigations. Quite intriguing really! And with that, I shall depart. Good luck to you my champion!"

    Sena was frustrated. "Well, that was helpful!" He then tries to commune with Sarenrae, but he just hears Calistria's voice again. "I said you'd be MINE!" said in an amused tone, but also with a definite hint of harshness, and a definite manner.

    Spoiler: DM notes- a frustrating commune
    Why is Calistria being so difficult? Well, first, it amuses her. Secondly, as I've tried to show, the party are amongst the most powerful tools she has, they are basically IT. There is little she can send there that'll be effective as them. And thirdly, it has something to do with the secret behind Calistria that I'm keeping, and that might be revealed later. Hopefully we'll get there...

    The party though of the info they've got:
    An: "Maybe we could try finding the mine first, and then destroy it for her?"
    J: "She seeks perfection... that doesn't give us much. A bigger game? Too vague... We don't really have anything to offer her."
    S: "What we can do is ruin the other's reputation. The mine can be good for that- if they built it under her nose? If it's a secret?"

    They don't get much more than that, but decide they do need to get Nocticula's attention.
    MD: "Ok, lets go pick up fights!"
    J: "Maybe we could just go to Shamira's palace and make our selves known?"
    S: "I'd like to go and find this Oodkalakat first! He was tallying numbers, probably in some sort of slaves. Where are the biggest markets here?"
    Arulashee: "These will be the flesh markets..."

    The party decides to go there, and go by foot, possibly to draw some attention or fights. I decide it's about 8 hours walk away (They do not want to use the skiffs, low on money). After a bit more banter from Andera and Mad Dog about Julian's smarts and spells, the party has enough, and after checkign them they cast additional remove curse, and take out the last effects of Valzgar. We had our fun with those...

    Journey through Porphyry- Seeing the sights

    It was again the fake sky, with points of lights...Again under Veil, the party heads out. I decide to cut the journey into 4 parts, each with it's own "scenery roll" and "random encounter roll". At the first leg of the journey the party comes upon a torture yard, with various torture devices, with many different victims on it, and a Cambion calling for all to test these on their slaves! He speaks liek a salesman as verious demons use the... imaginative... implementations there for their sick pleasures.

    Julian immediately wishes to help, butthe player stops himself "Damn it! I'm thinking like a paladin!" To which we responded "Um, goddess of the forgotten?" The party discussed this quickly, and at the end retracted up to sight, and then Sena cast Project image (Trickery domain) near the yard, and then cast 2 banishments to take many of the prisoners away, to Drezen! A lot of confusion ensued, but the party just hurried away. I deemed it cool enough to award a bit more ad hoc XP.

    As their random encounter they meet "an eager merchant" (as the module says). I have them meet with a small market who sells larvae of creatures of all kind. An eager merchant came to them with some wriggly stuff in his trolley. But the party just wished to hurry on, and didn't continue the interaction.

    Ob the second leg, the party comes up against strange platforms, some of them raised, some sunken, with a sort of a shimmering half transparent field around them. Into one of these entered a strange shadow- caterpillar insect, through the shimmer, like a sort of a portal. It waited a bit, when a hardened dwarf, with impressive gear came from the side of the shimmer. They gave a quick fight, until the shadowy creature enveloped the dwarf, gave as sort of a crashing and reaping noise, and exuded the dwarf's bloody bones... "Some sort of... a bloody chess?" They theorized. (The players liked the idea, but wanted to move on)

    Near the end of this leg the party were in a much more crowded area (Residential area), and were ambushed by 6 cambions. The battle was quick and brutal, but the party at least got some gear to sell later on. They needed the cash!

    On the third leg, the party came upon one of the sources for Porphyry's waters: Multitude of slaves, and souls as well were tied to sort of entrapment, and they were tortured enough to shed tears, some real, some soul tears, which were collected and drove to the many canals. A group of Thanadaemons were standing guard there. The wailing, sobbing could be heard loud and clear...

    Chandi wishes to kill the Daemons, but Andera hushes him. "They are Nocticula's force. We cannot go against them." They think of maybe trying banishments again, or maybe Andera invisible with disable device, but at the end they just accept that the horrors of the city are just too many, even for them, to fix... To my surprise this seem to have an actual affect on the players, they take it seriously. Hmmmm... With heavy hearts, they continue.

    Battle of the Deraknis
    As they are on the edge of the Flesh Market districts, They roll on the random roll for the aabyssal encoutners table (Which I altered a bit). There they roll for 6 Derakni. I remember that Minhago is allready supposed to be tracking them, and decide on the fly that this is one such "Assassins" group. A decision which I thought will be mostly for flavor, but turned to be quite important.

    As they cross a big canal over ram shack bridges, the group of Derakni flies over them, and suddenly shout "It's her! The others must be disguised! Get them! Get them!". Battle commences!
    Julian casts "chain of light" on the Derakni who spoke, and have it tumble down chained (Thankfull still on the bridge). I grunt... too many new spells which they keep on springing!
    The Derakni open with quickened enervation rays, Julian, Mad Dog and Andera are all affected. Sena uses Divine Intervention to block the ray against him. The Derakni then close but manage to hit only Arulashee with their stings!
    Mad dog and Sena both attack, Mad dog uses Channel smite, Mad dog just uses... Mad Dog, and kills. Andera, with his mythical improved critical, starts doing serious criticals and double criticals! Changi gets excited. "Yes! Sweet demon's blood!"
    Andera Triple threat! 79 and 109. Chandi cuts it through the neck. "yes! Yes!"
    Derakni uses enervation on Mad dog. Again divine intervention. Mad dog blocks sting.
    Julian raises mirror images, but get hit nontheless, 7 negative levels allready...
    Arulashee tries to help her, and shoots the nearby Derakni. The group lays out the offensive, and quickly kill the last of the Derakni, with one captured.
    I decide that the battle was big enough, and the party was flashy enough to consider this a notoriety worthy fight. Notoriety= +1!

    Should have really expected that...
    Julian casts Dimension door on the chained Derakni- Akak! (Sorry, it was late night, the best I could come up with). Sena restores Julian's negative levels.
    Akak: "What?! You cannot threaten me! When I die, Deskari will take me!"
    Mad dog: "Oh, is death the worst you can think of? You will talk with my friend here, if not you will talk with ME!"
    Julian: "You have already disgraced yourself to your master. You can decide to avoid talk, but then we will use ALL of what this city has to offer... Or you can just talk, and if we're satisfied with your answer, we'll let you go." (Not a bluff). Julian decides to use her full diplomatic power, with brilliance and a display of charisma (In hinder thought, this qualified more as an intimidation check, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway). With her stupendous bonuses (about +63 modifier?! ) She has no trouble convincing the Derakni.
    Akak tells that his group has been resting a bit in Porphyry, and that Minhago has tracked them down, and offered them a job. She gve the description of Arulashee, and said she would contact them.
    Mad Dog: "Wait, how did you find us in this huge city?"
    Akak: "She told us where you'll be! She told us to watch over the canal, and look for you."
    Mad Dog: "How long ago was that?"
    Akak: "About half an hour ago..."
    Sena: "She is following us!"
    Julian turned to the crowd of demons, who were taking an mused interest (A bit like Ankh Morpork approach to trouble in the street- free street theatre!) "Minhago, you worthless piece of a demon! you failed time and again against us! You failed with capturing my mother! With the Wardstone! With the Midnight Fane! You are a worthless excuse for any kind of demon! if you have any shred of a true demon within you, you should have faced us yourself!" Again, Julian uses the full power of her charismatic powers (Though I deemed this as a bluff). And she did touch on the major motivational points in Minhago's character. I was dumbfounded! I have planned to use Minhago further along, and NOT have her confront the PCs for now. But, both dice and roleplay deemed it appropriate that she would interact with the PCs... somehow. In her character, I felt that this should be the case.

    And so, Minhago appeared, at the far end of the street. This was show time!

    Each PC's XP: 423,544!
    In session we tried a bit of banter, but The players were quite tired (10 hours session), as was I, and I was ill prepared to play Minhago as I think she deserves. (I barely read her powers till that point). So we decided to start the next session with her appearing. True, that will give me PLENTY of time to think of how she'll react, and get plenty of nasty, but the players quite like that, and a good challenge. So we ended the session here. Next time, we start with an old western shoot out!

    I hope you've enjoyed reading. I've tried a few new things this session, and enough of it was made out of improvisation. The players loved the session, and told me they do get a feel of the city (If not a very detailed one), but we're getting there.

    Next time will start with Minhago, possible complications from there on, hitting the 2-3 "major notoriety events" of the module, and hopefully- The negotiations, which is something I've been waiting for, and building for, a long, long, long time...
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-08-25 at 06:05 AM.