1. - Top - End - #214
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

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

    Grrrr! I've tried twice to write this last session log, and twice the computer froze and the work was lost. But I got it fixed now. Sorry for the long delay, with the computer problems and real life, it took me awhile.

    EDIT: Apparently this part is a bit long, so I've split it into tow parts (Sorry, at least the parts are shorter? ) Posting the last part immediately after this one. (Already written)

    Ok, lets finish this!

    Session 24, Part 3- The negotiations intensify, A Feast, Odd delights.

    After the failure of the first round of debates, the Lilith motioned the two parties to follow them. "You have come a long way, and there is still along way to go. The Lady wishes you to dine, eat, and replenish your strength, for you will need it. Follow us." Somewhat depressed, with Andera leading the blind Julian, they followed, once more through the twisting paths and halls of the palace.

    As they walked, they talked quietly amongst themselves, after Andera told them of what happened. Julian contemplated. "So, she asks you both some questions about darkness, and then asked you what can you offer her?"
    Sena was worried about this. "What CAN we offer her?" Julian and the others grew silent, trying to think of this, before they reached the dining hall...

    First Interlude- A Feast for the Soul!

    Both parties came to big, yet archaic looking dining hall. There was a big table at the center, and some chairs round it. The Lilith spoke "The lady have prepared a great feast for you honored guests. She has acquired dishes of the most exquisite tastes, from the best in the planes. Sit, Relax, enjoy. You are safe here." Nocticula herself did not join though. Soon, shadowy phantasms came carrying various foods and dishes, with the smell enticing.

    Sena sought this opportunity to get closer to Arulashee, yet at her sides sat both Hephazimerah, and Minhago, who was quite... affectionate... with Arulashee, who was affectionate back.

    The daughter of Baphomet glared at Sena "Go away! We are not your friends!"
    Sena retorted "I do not seek your friendship, but I demand respect!"
    As Hephazimerah rose to answer, Areelu Vorlesh raised a hand, calming her down. "Oh, we do respect you and your friends Sena. You have proven to be real worthy adversaries, The Lady wishes us to relax, so we shall. Come, sit, we shall reserve our... confrontations... to the negotiations." The witch gave Andera a smile...
    Sena nodded at Vorlesh for second while sitting himself next to Arulashee "Thank you Vorlesh, for keeping your friends from falling." The sentence however was directed at Arulashee (His promise to her "If you fall, I will catch you.")
    Arulashee herself seemed bemused by Sena, with Minhago, with her eyeless face, behind her. Arulashee spoke softly. "So, you have come a long way, both of us have. But..." And here sh stretched, and put an arm around Minhago. "I have finally arrived. I am finally free!"
    Sena was trying to contain his fury. "It was all her fault! Her doing!" he glared at Minhago.
    Arulashee was amused. "Was it? Oh, she helped, but the Arulashee you knew tried to be good for decades, and yet not succeeded. Yet, with but a few "nudges" from Minhago, I came back, and I'm fully here. Was she ever going to change?" Minhago then added with delight. "It was quite easier than I expected. There is nothing left..."

    Sena, exasperated, cast Heal on Arulashee, trying to undo the Lilitu Brands Andera saw in his dream. Arulashee looked surprised, and then laughed, removing some of her armor, showing a few healed brands. "That was ticklish! The brands... helped, they got me to return swifter, but... they are not really needed anymore. Please, take them all off if you really think it might help. She told you- there is nothing left." She put her hand on Sena's miserable cheek. "Thanks to you..." Minhago chimed in as well. "Sometimes yo uwin, sometime you lose. Here? You have lost!"
    This got Sena furious, yet his retort was cold "Here is your problem, you only see your games, struggles. You see this was only as conflict, while I see it as something bigger- a web of destiny, Of hope, of conquest, trickery, and more...You are so single minded, and because of that you will seal your doom. Do you even know what you are fighting for? You don't understand even yourself… You only talk with hollow words and nice speeches, but when I look at you, I most sincerely pity you. Thank you for your hospitality." Sena rose and went to join his own party "Respect is important."
    Arulashee put her hand around Minhago "That's Sena- All the time, talk talk talk, so full of himself!"

    Andera listened all of this while, but decided to now speak to the succubus: "Arulashee, There is some peace in losing independence, when you are told where to sit, who to speak with... You look like are happy now, but remember your own destiny, your own choices..."
    Arulashee laughed, making a fake pose of damsel in distress "Oh, you have come free me as well, like your tieflings?" Minhago snarled "Don't worry, we shall enslave them again, and make them pay for their betrayal. By the time we finish with that sorry lot, their example will deter any further thoughts of... redemption."
    Andera smiled his curious smile at Minhago "You won't survive that long"…

    Withe the "pleasantries" aside, both parties got to the feast itself, eating in silence... the dishes were indeed exquisite, the tastes superb. After some time (It was hard to grasp it's passing in the palace) the Lilith asked for attention again. The shadowy figures brought strange contraptions, laying them near the plates, They looked like sort of strange, elaborate masks, with a sort of siphon at the mouth... "The Lady wishes you to replenish not just body and mind, but also soul. She offers a feast of soul- The Lady acquired and prepared a delicacy, a creaturee of great power, who's soul you will consume with the essence masks before you. It shall grant you vast power for the negotiations to come! Please, Feast, delight, and do NOT displease out hostess!"

    The diners than heard a great moan of pain, as two dozens of the waiters, carried into the hall on great platter, a huge bronze dragon, skewered unto the plate, yet still alive, in great agony, with strange runes carved into his flesh. The party was appalled, yet the demons grinned, and quickly put on the essence masks. The sufferign dragon was laid on the table.

    (The players at the table:
    Sena- "Crap, but we cannot offend her...".
    Julian's player- "Screw this! We're not letting this happen!")
    The two charcters exchanged glances, and Sena tried healing the dragon, while Julian tried banishing it, but the magic of the plate and flesh carved runes prevented both spells. Vorlesh grinned through her mask, and the 5 demons starts siphoning the dragon's soul, as if drinking it from a straw. The dragon gave a horrible roar of suffering.
    Julian paled, Sena as well, but it was Andera who acted, quickly moving to it's neck, and killing the dragon releasing it's soul...

    Lilith approached the party with disdain and reproach "You dare insult the generosity of the hostess?!" But Julian answered back quite masterfully "Does the hostess wishes to offend us specifically with such a..."feast? Is that how she treats her guests?!" The Lilith stood silent for a few moments, but then receded, though still angry. "Very well... The Feast has ended. We shall now resume the negotiations."

    As the party filed after the Lilith once more, Sena was troubled. "I think we may have seriously upset her..." Julian spoke back. "We can't bend ourselves to fit her will. We are who we are, and she knows it.". Andera spoke as well. "We could not let that happen. What's done is done." Unsure of how they fared, the party continued in silence...

    DM's design- The Feast
    Between negotiations I designed a few interludes. This is the first. I had a few objectives here:
    1. After meeting the demon emissaries in the courtyard, then the negotiations, I wanted to give the party a chance to talk to them, in less constrained conditions, more free form. A big part of the negotiations is to know the enemy more, and give it a bit more character, a bit more build up than just "boss encounters". This worked out decently enough, though the focus was on Arulashee, as was expected...
    2. The dragon's soul: It indeed was intended as a test by Nocticula, though not a major one. It was supposed to be a simple test- do they offend the hostess/ seek power/ stay good? After the initial shock of negotiations, I wanted a simpler test, to give the players a feeling of more control, and to hint that their actions in the interludes may be important as well.

    The party did well here. Nocticula wanted to see if they stay true to their nature, or do they bend to circumstances. They gained a +3 for the FINAL negotiation. Had they feasted on the dragon, they would have gotten power- 2 rerolls of mythic power, none replenish able. As Andera acted so quickly, I decided that the demons didn't mange to siphon enough dragon soul to gain this benefit.

    I did have the Lilith be angry with them, because it's good to keep the players guessing.

    On Killing...
    Once more through the pathways, this time to one of the earlier massive battle arenas, which could hold battles between small armies. And it seemed that it just had... Multitudes of bloody bodies and carnage was in the scene, the aftermath of battle. The floor was red with spilled blood... Both parties came to the center, and the They could see Nocticulas walking through the battlefield, anekd, confident, mature and beautiful, yet with splatters of blood all about her. She motioned Mad Dog and the Storm king forth. "Hold the knives". (Credit to the player, he took the knife, and held it along his arm, as if meditation and preparation! )

    As Nocticula spoke, Mad Dog heard a thumping, from inside him, from the multitide of the dead in the place...

    On killing- Heart beats sound affect.
    (I put in to be quite loud, prominent in the scene)

    Nocticula's voice, came as heart beats: "One knife, One target, One kill. You have shed a lot of blood on your path. Such is war. You are killers, mass killers, with the death of hundreds, if not thousands, or tens of thousands on your hands. Yet, what has killing taught you?"
    Nocticula posed her first question "Who would you kill? When? How? And why?"
    Mad Dog thought for a moment, and then answered in simplicity, with a quiet, reserved, humble voice. "I kill not from strategy or planning of long term consequences, I kill the enemy in front of me, I kill to help my friends, with my friends. I am not a great thinker, I open the way for them. Who would I kill? The biggest enemy I can, one who's death would matter."
    The Storm King spoke next: "Who would I kill? These in front of me. They are the champions of their people, and the most successful so far. Their gods have invested their power in them. So destroying them would prove… disheartening, possibly fatal to our enemies. They are opponents of worth, cunning and power. They are a threat, and threats must be eliminated."

    Nocticula continued, with the beats getting more pronounced. "Who would you protect? How? And why?"
    Mad Dog: "I will protect those who cannot protect themselves, I will protect the other who travel with me. For they lack in strength, but will be able to deal with a greater enemy."
    Storm King: "There are 3 I protect. Lord Deskari, The witch Vorlesh, and The Suture. (This last bit got the party confused "The What? Oh, he must mean The Worldwound." This in fact was a hint about a crucial part in the last module, and a Weakness of The Worldwound. The Storm King did not wish to mess with Nocticula, and so told the truth, but just tried to downplay it. The party didn't think much of it... )

    Nocticula's voice, the beating hearts rose, for the last Question: "In this struggle, of endless killing, slaying, murdering, butchering, of all these vast amounts of bloods and souls. What is your upmost guiding principle?"
    Mad Dog thought for a moment, but then framed his answer in the form of an image. Himself in the Wordlwound, standing near a cliff, with a brown dragon flying overhead and himself coming out and calling at her "Come down here you Bitch!" (The player's initially thought to just answer "Charge!", but thought this would illustrate things better... The party part laughed, part face palmed)
    The Storm King, general of the Worldwound Army, thought answered more thoughtfully" Collect your info, plan accordingly, and time your assault. Timing is everything, and we demons have plenty of time..." (+3)

    The heartbeats receded somewhat, and now they saw heard Nocticula's voice, powerful, clear, and demanding, just as she did with Andera and Vorlesh "WHAT DO YOU, OFFER ME?"
    Again they came to this problem. Mad Dog thought, and answered truthfully "I have not that much to give. I can only kill your enemy… I do not hold the secrets of magic, of lore, no secrets or knowledge, what I have, is what I told you. If you wish me to kill an enemy, that I could give. If you wish to have the heads of demons, that I will give with pleasure!"
    The Storm King came more prepared: "Join us Lady in Shadow, and there is much we would give! The vast armies of Deskari! A swarm of demons at your command! I also hold the city of Iz, with it's powerful masterful forges, to make tool like no other, and..." With this, the Storm King released control of his power, (Which he kept in check in the palace) and a storm of chaotic elemental powers- fire, cold, lighting erupted roiling around him. "I have mastered the combination of chaotic energy, and would give you it's secrets, unsurpassed, in return for your alliance!"
    (The party, especially Sena's player were quite exasperated from this- "What the hell can we offer here in return? We got nothing! We're getting creamed here!" Julian's player was quite contemplative...)

    Mad Dog's player rolled for himself and the Storm King, and for once his dice proved good, as he rolled very high for himself and very low for the balor (including surges. Forgot to write the exact numbers) With adding the modifiers (detailed soon) it came surprisingly to... a draw?! The party whooped and gave high fives! They were not expecting Mad Dog, from all people, to be able to come to to toe in negotiations with the balor!

    The Hearts stopped beating, and Nocticula was no where in sight, but they heard her voice "You have made your arguments, and I shall consider both... We shall meet again later..."

    Andera spoke to Vorlesh. "Not as one sided as it seemed, is it?" She was all smiles, but obviously pissed at her general, who didn't quite understand why what happened here. Frankly, neither did Mad Dog...

    2 rounds of negotiations:
    Party: 0, Demons: +1!

    DM's Design- On killing...
    I quite expected Mad Dog's player to chose the knife. I knew he would have a hard time in social interactions, so thought to at least choose a theme that is easier for him, and fitted the story.

    Tell the truth, we were all quite impressed with his answers, and roleplay. He quite outdid his usual blundering. We felt this conversation gave Mad Dog's character a bit more depth, as it showed him as humble, honest, and quite self aware, which didn't quite fit with the "rage! Kill!" stuff before... It was interesting to see...
    As to the brek down of results:
    3 Questions: Mad Dog got a +9, for all 3! His first 2 answers surprised Nocticula, and showed both restraint of a sort, and a place with in the group, a defined purpose, quite contrary to the mindless rage she was expecting from him. I contemplated about the 3rd answer, but decided to go with it both for the "cool factor", and that it displayed Mad Dog's willingness and desire to seek a great challenge, and call it forth, without fear. This spoke volumes of him.
    The Storm King got only a +3, for the last answer. The first answer was quite expected, and didn't give Nocticula any new insight, as was the second.
    Offerings: Both sides got a +0. Mad Dog didn't quite offer anything she couldn't accomplish herself, and though the Storm King's suggestions may have sounded quite tempting, none of them touched on her particular desires and motives...

    So all in all, Mad Dog had a +6 to his roll compared to the balor. I still expected him to fail (The Storm King has a high Diplomacy modifier, even though it's downgraded somewhat from the 6th module), yet lucky rolls made the day! This turned out quite awesome in all, for Mad Dog actually contributed to the negotiations, more than was expected, by EVERYONE! (Himself included)

    Second Interlude- Strange Delights

    As Nocticula's presence faded, the Lilith spoke again. "Half of the negotiations have ended. You have dined and talked, the lady now wishes you to enjoy, indulge, and accept the many sensations of her grand palace. In these halls exist more delights and experiences than the mind can encompass in a single life time. Speak of your wish, your desire, and we shall seek to ensure you are fuly satisfied..." The two groups shot some glances, as they departed again...

    The party is quickly led to a small yet luxurious suite, with one main room, and adjoining room for each member. "You can rest here, talk, converse, it is safe. The place is protected from divination and scrying, you have privacy here." Andera was suspicious though "Full privacy? Won't Nocticula peer in on us?" Lilith smiled "The Lady promised you Privacy, and you shall have it." Andera was still unsure.

    Julian was more intrigued at what she spoke before, about the delights, Lilith explained: "In this palace we have collected created the most elaborate and exquisite sensations one will encounter in the realms. It is The Lady's wish that you can indulge in these, a once in many life times opportunity. She is your hostess, and offers you full hospitality... Rest, and once you wish, each of you can call upon me, and ask for an experience, a delight, and I shall seek a way to make your desire come true... The only limitations is that you may not infringe on the Lady's privacy, or harm the other emissaries, they are under her protection as well." The party thanked her, trying to think of what to do, and went to rest.

    Sena, who needed to rest for but an hour, called Lilith first. After about 20 seconds, she knocked on their door.
    Lil: "Yes Senatef, what shall be your pleasure?"
    S: "I want understanding"
    Lil: "Such as?"
    S: "I wish to understand Nocticula… I know I can't do it directly, but maybe something she wrote, a memory, a talk?"
    Lil:"This the lady will not grant. Anything else?" (Sena's player shrugged his shoulders "Was worth a try")
    S: "Hmmm... I'd like to make a spiritual experience. I'd liek to pray to my goddess, but I felt block here. Can I pray to her?"
    Lil: "Will praying to your goddess will give you delight?"
    S: "Yes."
    Lilith: "Very well, We shall enable you to pray." She led him once more to the temple he stopped in when they first came- the round stone room, with signs of many divine beings on the walls, but with a heavy layer of dust upon all. Lilith left him alone.

    Sena cast Commune, only to have his mask fall to the ground, unlike the previous times where it floated to Calistria's amused voice. This time the mask's features barely moved, as if the connection was coming from far away...
    Cal: "You feel.. .very distant...Where are you?"
    S: "I am in Nocticula's palace."
    Cal: "Any sights worth seeing?" (Though she soudned far, Sena could hear her smiling)
    S: "What can you offer me, to offer her?"
    Cal: "To her? Hmmmm..." After a few moments, she came with a response. "One favor- One kill she cannot kill, one secret she doesn't know, one service. I am not sure however... that she will be interested..." (This is something the module does state Noctitula wishes- a favor from the other gods).
    S: "I have something else I need to ask. You have a mark on me. If you'll let me, I will connect Sarenrae, we can give her something more worhtwhile."
    Calis: "More worthwhile than my favor? My mark will stay ,you are mine! But... if you wish to commune with her, I will allow it."
    Sena then Communed with Sarenrae. The mask burst in a soft, warm flame, but not a burning flame. Sena was confused by this, but continued
    Sarenrae's voice came warm, comforting, if a bit sad "Yes Senatef, my lost one."
    Sen:"It ws awhile before our last talk... I am in Nocticula's palace. I negotiate for the crusade..." He found it hard to speak. "Maybe I am lost, doomed, sealed. But if Nocticula will go against the crusade, our fate is sealed. What can I offer her?"
    Sarenrae's voice burned softly after a few more moments "You can offer her the kindness and favor of the crusade gods."
    Sen: An Amensty? Redemption?"
    Sar: "More of a cosmic debt. When she will want it, we shall pay it. This we promise..."
    Sen: "For my last question… What can I do for us to be departed no more? I have a debt to Calsitria, and I will repay it. But it deosn't mean you and me are enemies. On the contrary, I have tempered retribution and reprisal with mercy."
    Sar: "I will accept you, when your heart is ready to accept me... You have strayed from the path, and you need to find it again. When you shall do so, I will be there..." The commune ended.
    As a last attempt, Sena tried to commune with Nocticula, but felt nothing. He picked up his mask, still a bit warm, and put it back on his face.

    Though Sena still had plenty of time, we skipped to Julian (Some hours later, after her rest) She called Lilith to her.
    Lil: "Yes Julian, what shall be your pleasure?"
    J: "Giving a message to the mistress. There is something important for her to know!"
    Lil: "Will it please you?
    J: "Very much so!"
    Lil: "What is the message?"
    J: "I spoke with Andera, who told me of what happened, In the presence of Areelu Vorlesh. And I was quite surprised, the essence of ascending demons, that she steals from her The Lady in Shadow herself?! From her own realm!?"
    Lil: "Explain!"
    Julian went and explained about the secret mine in Nocticula's Realm, and how the demons have been harvesting demonic essence, without her knowing. Lilith seemed tense, angry. "Is there anything else?"
    Julina smiled. "No, that would be my delight. Thank you!"

    We jumped to Andera, who again sought to feel a connection with Desna, and contact Arulashee in dreams, but it didn't work. Desna's connection was blocked here, and Arulashee was also better protected after the first attempt. We returned to Sena in the meantime. He called Lilith again. "You have been granted your delight", but Sena waved her. "it's not about that. I'd like to try and meet with one of the other emissaries, Arulashee specifically, alone." Lilith concentrated for a bit, communicating with the other Lilith. "Very well, she will meet you, alone, at a place we choose for you. Follow me. On the way Sena started casting buffs- protection from evil, magic vestment, eagle splendor, and such. The players joked with him. "Don't forget to take a condom as well!"

    She waited for him in a homey room, sitting on a couch, her armor aside.
    Arulashee smiled at him "You said you do not think of this as a struggle... So let us talk in a more pleasant manner. Do you wish to eat?"
    Sen smiled "Does it seem you are afraid? We shared a meal at the Inn and Out, if your remember".
    Arulshee smiled "Strange place we have come to."
    Sena sat "Yes, indeed. How do you feel?"
    Arulashee looked at him, amiable, yet still amused "You keep asking that, as if it will change the answer- I feel liberated, I feel wonderful, I am... whole again! I was sick, split, not my self. It was a great torment, which Desna put upon me... But now I'm free from it."
    Sena spoke: "Yet you felt other things- compassion, regret, fear, love..."
    Arulashee looked at him, like at an uncomprehending yet hopeful child. "Sena, I am a succubus- corruption, seduction, lust, and more... I am not those things, I never were, they are unnatural to me, a taint. I am not a mortal… I am concept given form. Yet you are cute in your hopeless hope, in wishing to "free" me... I am more free now than I ever was."
    Sena nodded his head "I don't want you to be good or bad, evil or kind. Those words mean nothing for me…"
    Arulashee was surprised "Then what is it that you want?"
    Sena sighed, and spoke at length "I wish you to be happy with who you are. It wasn't just the paradox that caused this. The way you felt about your ways? It was always there…The change made you rise, towards a unity within yourself. You are not whole now, you are struggling. Something is wrong, and you know it. I can help you, if you wish. You need to be whole again. You other side won a battle, but you have lost the war. The same grievances in you exist, if you want it or not. I know that there is something else. It will rise again. My hope is dear lady, that when this time will come, it will not be too late..."
    Arulashee looked at him, warmth in her eyes. "I am not whole now? The way you saw me before- I was fractured, tormented, insecure, lost. Are you trying to persuade me, or yourself?" She sighed, and rose. "I will avenge against Desna, the crusade, and what they have done to me! When the time will come in the negotiation, I will speak, and will seal your doom, the doom of the crusade, the world, and those gods! And without a single ping of regret..."
    Sena was stunned a bit. "So you have no problem to seem e die, screaming for my life, it will not do anything to you?"
    Arulashee shot a hateful look at him. "You? Who tried to pull me away from what I really am? It will cause me great pleasure see you self centered fool, and Andera, that coward, burn slowly!" yet, Sena's sense motive got just high enough to notice a bit of doubt, a subtle doubt, possibly an unconscious one in her answer. (Bloody huge modifiers and surge rolls! )
    Sena shaked his head. "Were it the other way, if you fall, I will catch you."
    Arulashee came close to him, pressing her body to him. "Such a romantic. Come, when this is over, we shall probably never meet again. Let us join here, this time, for one night of passion, between old friends, old lovers..." Her hands started moving on him, but he pushed hr (gently) away. "For me it was never about the flesh. I saw you, and it was absolutely... beautiful, the soul inside. Never be something else." And with that he rose and left.

    DM design- The balance of Arulashee's soul
    The player asked me if this may have done anything. The party allready realized turning her back, if at all possible, may take another approach than just spells. In truth, even though Arulashee was central to the negotiations, I couldn't quite come up with a good mechanic to see if the party manages to redeem her back or not. I came up with a somewhat vague system for this:
    The DC will depend on Minhago's influence (Social skills). As Minhagos' skills are very high, this proved quite difficult.
    The character who will try to force the transition (whenever that happens), will be the one to roll.
    Each attempt to "sway' Arulshee, that touches well enough on her core issues (A bit similar to aspects from FATE core), will grant a bonus to the decisive roll. (+3 for anything of import) swaying attempts are added from all attempts by the party.
    Previous familiarity (As in the GiTP diplomacy rules) still comes into effect. Basically, Sena and Andera will have a +10 (Considered Intimate), while the other two get a +5 (Considered ally).

    I considered Andera's previous "dream scene" to be worth 2 sway points. (His words, and using her specific equipment, giving it to her). Sena's healing the brands grant another point, and this conversation another 2 (Wanting her to be herself/ whole again, facing her with the prospect of him dying at her actions)
    So Sena gained 3, Andera 2 (Though I forgot to tell him that)

    Julian in the meantime had an idea- she pulled out The Lexicon of Paradox. She had an idea- part of the angel's essence that was transferred to Arulashee, was also transferred to Sena, so might it be possible to take Sena's part, and transfer it to her? I told the player that if he can come up with an interesting way of doing it, I will consider it. On similar lines of the last paradox riddle- Find a situation/ place where definitions become blurred, and sufficient power to cross the boundary into something else. The player began to think...

    Meanwhile, Lilith came to the suite, and asked Mad Dog and Andera- "Is there nothing you wish for?"
    Mad Dog did not, while Andera sighed, tired "I just want to feel everythign is nice, calm and good for a change, that nothing bd, alarming or dangerous happens, no one wishes to harm another…"
    Lil: "You wish a delusion?"
    An: "Sadly for now, yes…"
    Lilith thinks, and then motions him to follow her. They traverse soem halsl and paths, and come to what smells and looks a bit like a drug house, with various people and demons, in hallucinogenic trances/ stupor. A wizened old tiefling comes, and hands the Lilith a potion. "I have contacted this master of alchemy. Drink, and get your desire... Worry not, for it will not have an effect on you later."
    Andera looked at the potion inquiringly, but then sat on a cushion, and drank. (We decided the player will describe how it felt). Andera floated in warm, soothing waters, comforting waters, with soft sounds. No weight, no worries, no aches, all tension gone, away... soft and comfortable... Like Nocticula's pool, he drifted through the warm waters of comfort relaxation...
    Yet all things come to an end, and after some time, he slowly awoke from his dream, back into the drug den in Nocticula's palace. Above him stood Lilith, with an oddly curious look on her face.
    Lil "And now, how do you feel, that you have returned? Back to this world, back to this... imperfect reality?
    Andera rose slowly "It can be addictive, and I might well have spent the restof my life there. But but it makes me wantto fight all the more to achieve this. It is a delusion, but we can accomplish this."

    She led him back, and made on last attempt with Mad Dog "Is there nothing you wish? Intimate pleasures? A grand fight? An armory?" Mad Dog just nodded and declined "None of these I will enjoy. I wish to continue."

    With all party members back, and done with their requests, Lilith spoke to them. "You have indulged in whatever delights you wished. We hope the Lady's hospitality suited you. We shall now continue to the third round of negotiations." And started leading them away.

    DM design- Delights of the palace.
    This was about halfway through the negotiations. I had a few objectives in this:
    1. It is another test by Nocticula. As a former succubi, what people want can tell you lot about them. I decided interesting/ surprising/ impressive choices would grant a similar bonus. While Sena and Julian's choices were very tactically minded, Andera's cool roleplay choice (and dialogue), and Mad Dog' decline were interesting enough. Together they granted them another total of +4 for the final negotiations. (about Julian's message- though Lilith (and the demons) didn't know this, Nocticula already knew about the mine. This didn't add to the negotiations. She hasn't acted upon it for reasons that will become clear later)
    2. It will greatly add to the feel of the scene, a chance to explore the palace and what it can offer.
    3. It offer the party a lot of freedom to do their own ideas, and such. I expected either sway attempts with Arulashee, or trying to spy on/ sabotage the demons efforts. I had a few ideas, but it was all mostly improvisation here.
    4. Originally, I had ideas for how the demons too will try to mess up with the party's efforts. I tried a bit in the end of Sena and Arulashee's conversation, but quite forgot about the rest in trying to run the session.

    On secrets...

    The party was led this time to one of the enormous libraries they've seen the way to Nocticula. There was a feeling of knowledge, sealed knowledge, secret knowledge in the place. Nocticula stood by one of the books. "Open your envelopes" she told Sena and Hephzimerah. As both did, the vast tomes of the library rustled, and whispers, secrets, started to be heard, on the verge of hearing...

    Sena and Hephazimerah heard Nocticula's voice, like half whispered words. "Information is power. The one who knows, is the one who can influence and control. It is strong. The one who does not, is weak. Therefore, comes the need for the secret."
    She asked her first question: "Tell me one secret, of great import. A trust, of your side…" (Sena knew this was for Nocticula's ears alone, that both him and Hephazimerah would not know each other's secrets)
    Sena: "We have a tome. A book, something that cannot be true or false, exist and not exist. Soemthign that has the power to close the demon invasion completely, or open it to engulf All of Golarion. We posses it." (He did not hear Hephazimerah's secret)
    Nocticula asked her second question."If there was one mystery in the world, you'd like to know the secret of, what shall it be? And why do you wish to uncover it? (This both sides heard)
    Sena: "I will speak for my own self experience. I will desire to understand the mystery of love. No one can explain it, it can break any border, any allegiance, anything. Any knowledge is useless against it. No one understands it, yet I wish I did..."
    Heph: "Your mind, Lady Nocticula, and what is it that you truly seek here…"
    Nocticula asked her last question: "What secret should not be revealed, ever… why?
    Senatef smiled: "Your Secret... I feel it is important enough..."
    Hephazimerah answered differently: "The secret schemes of our great lord Baphomet, and the Ivory Labyrinth. I serve my lord loyally!"

    The whispers subsided in volume, and yet felt more pressing, more ominous. Nocticula faced them both with her quandary- "WHAT DO YOU, OFFER ME?"
    Senatef came more prepared than Andera and Mad Dog. "From my lady Calistria one favor- One kill you cannot kill, on secret you do not know, one favor. I speak also for the gods of the crusade, they offer a similar offer- a cosmic debt, of your choice. But... I don't think you want any of these, so I offer something more... Me. I've heard that I've become... something else, which no one fully understands. When this is all over, this war, I offer myself to you, to explore as you wish."
    Hephazimerah had other offers: I offer you the secret passages between worlds and plains! The Ivory Labyrinth touches on many secret entrances to many worlds. I also offer my services. I am one of the most skilled artificers (Not the class!) and maker of great mysteries, wonders, and artifacts. I will craft any wonder you desire, if you give us your alliance!

    Sena presented a good case, especially in his offers, and with a decent rolls, managed to overcome Hephzimerah! They had won this round! Nocticula spoke briefly. "You speak interestingly, servant of Calistria. The favors of the gods re not something to be taken lightly. As to your offer of yourself to me... It is irrelevant now..." This confused Sean, but he let it pass.

    Andera smirked at Vorlesh "Not so one sided now, is it?" Yet Vorlesh smiled back. "It's not over yet..."

    DM design- On Secrets
    This was fairly straightforward. I'll just break it down:
    Questions: Sena got +9 for all 3 answers, Hephazimerah got +6 (The last answer did not appease).
    Offerings: Sena got +10 for the deals of favors of the gods. Heph got +5 for the paths between worlds. So in total Sena had a +8 on Hephazimerah, enough to pass her impressive diplomacy with a decent roll.

    Party: +1, Demons: +1! (It's a tie!)
    Due to post length, I have to cut this part here. Now worries though, the last part coming up right up!
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2015-12-22 at 02:40 PM.

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