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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Previously, this campaign journal was written in a difficult to follow format, so instead I’ve updated it to be more easily read.

    The Run Down:

    After a long hiatus of not playing, my players were starting to get that itch. After I managed to get another job (one that actually allowed me to have a life) I decided to run one for them. (We game Pathfinder, by the way).
    These guys I will be DMing for have been gaming since they were twelve and thirteen, and while I don't want to give away their ages, between the whole group we have over 100 combined years of experience in gaming. So, long story short, these guys have seen a lot at the table and have done a lot as well (just ask me about their Tomb of Horrors experience). So, I had quite the task ahead of me. I wanted to make this story memorable and different for them, so I started with a simple question:

    What have you always wanted to see/do in a D&D game that you never got to experience?

    I could almost laugh as the answers I received were all strangely similar.

    1. High level gameplay, as they were tired of starting at level 1 and never getting beyond level 5 before the campaign would peter out.
    2. Clockwork/steampunk setting with mechanical shenanigans available to players.
    3. Monsters that can finally challenge them.
    3a. Perhaps the most shocking was
    the request for a surprise Tarasque.

    Long story short, I was able to design a game that incorporated these things. This story would be based in a Metropolis of my own making known as Rab's Progress. For the write up I gave my players, click below:
    Rab’s Progress is a city run by Duke Damorne. Over the last 20 years the city has grown massively as it became the center of commerce in the area. Now sprawling to 15 miles across, the walls encircling the city have been torn down and relocated multiple times as the area grew, making natural dividing lines and commerce routes throughout it where the old walls used to be. The innermost five mile stretch of the city (which contains the Duke’s Manor) is almost completely beautiful alloy work. Arches and columns throughout the center are polished bronze and copper and most buildings are covered in decorative metal-workings. Even the thieves say it’s a sight to behold, and poets have written poems about the beauty of sunsets over the inner-city.
    Perhaps the most interesting facet of the city are the golems seen throughout Rab’s Progress. The city guard enjoys the protection varying golems whenever they are out making rounds. Several police districts throughout the city are paid well and believe they have a pretty tight crackdown on crime.

    And what city wouldn't be complete without it's ruler? I gave them this write up as a description as well.
    Duke Rabbious Damorne is a mastermind of economics. During the city’s early stage, the duke dumped his accounts and spared no expenses in getting the greatest minds to set up shop and live in his city. Each time he did this, the influx of patrons (and gold) filled his coffers exponentially than the times before.
    In the early years of Rab’s Progress, he was seen as greedy and even nearly lost control of his city due to tax hikes. However, he soon learned his lesson and found other ways keep up the prosperity of the city. Taxes are fairly low in the city, but people seem to complain regardless. If there were no taxes at all, they’d complain about the buildings… silly people.
    Calling Duke Damorne “greedy” might be fair, and even he, on occasion, will attest to this. Others would call him out on Vanity or Pride, but never to his face. The Duke has weathered these comments well and has a “usual response” to those who make the mistake of mentioning it in his presence. He asks those who don’t like it to go live elsewhere away from what he has created. He then offers to pay for these individuals and their families to live anywhere of their choice. They often close their mouths and go back to their shiningly beautiful homes in the inner city proper after such a response.

    The Permanent Players:

    Golem Master Beable Bamford – a 15th level Halfling siege mage and “Golem Lord” (aka – mechanic) for Rab's Progress, with his trusty Golem "mouse" which is a 5 foot foo-dog shaped golem with a cannon of ridiculous proportions inside of it. (Seriously, this cannon, when firing can easily hit damage numbers in the 300s – all accomplished by miss-sizing the weapon, and adding a ton of enchantments. I allowed this. Perhaps I’m an idiot – time will tell, I guess.)
    Sir Galarend – a 15th level Human Shining Knight Paladin and General of Rab's Progress' standing army. He is never far away from his trusty steed and simultaneous cohort "Bolba" which is a huge flying celestial Triceratops with 14 Paladin levels decked out in spiked full-plate armor. (Yes, it flies. I approved a permanency of a Fly spell in his case because I’m an awesome DM... I must be insane. Btw – on a single charge, if all his attacks connect he can output over 1000 damage if he rolls max hits)
    Lady Wisteria – a 15th level Human verdant Sorcerer who is the Rab's Progress' herbalist and "tea-master." (In the front yard of her home stands the only tree in all of the city - a huge oak tree). She is seriously under powered, and likes it this way. She focuses more on roleplay and information gathering.
    Dr. Jarvius Havishim Worcestershire – (Yes, he “invented” Worcestershire sauce in the game) Dr. W. is a 15th level Hafling paraplegic cleric and surgeon of Cayden Cailean. He built a small golem by the name of Sprocket to be his legs/wheelchair holder/emergency-operating-foldout-table and personal wand holder. (We used a de-netted Clockwork Servant as the base for this for ease of use)

    The not-so-permanent-players:

    These guys either appear once or twice as one time stand ins, or are have inconsistent play schedules:

    Frout Arthbringer – a 15th level Dwarf(ish) Vow of Silence/Vow of truth Monk. He is the Temple Master for Rab's Progress' Sacred Mountain Temple. (Being the Dwarf has "Enlarged Person" permanently cast on him, he worked it into his story that he believes himself to be "dwarf-ish") He’s focused on the teleporting movement shenanigans that monks can get. (He was with us for one session before he got married and moved a million miles away. He talked about skyping in with a remote control camera, but this concept never came to fruition)

    An Elf Bard named Vaielen who is a very new player. So he was very low optimized. He specializes in being a skill monkey, much like Bards often are.

    We also had a Half-Orc Barbarian named Alynis Spell-loyal who was a little less new than the Bard – so her optimization wasn’t that severe either. She has a few tricks with her rage powers and focuses on Great Cleave to great effect.

    Disappearing Players

    “Disappearing characters” is a thing that I do for my PCs. I make no attempt to try and come up with a reason why some people are there one minute and not there the next (when a player misses a session). If my players can suspend their disbelief for watching TV, playing video-games, and reading, they can suspend their disbelief for the game. And if that's the case, they can also suspend their disbelief as to why a character isn’t there anymore for that particular session. Introducing a new character is one thing, but players missing a game are just not mentioned or brought up in play - nor are they relegated to heal bots, or blast bots or buff bots. They are just not there, and that's how I roll.

    The first session was planned and ready to go! See below!

    Ps. Perhaps it should be mentioned that humor is not my forte. I will try to get a few laughs from my readers, but inevitably I will fail. My players however find humor in some of their actions and I hope that's enough to bring the "good stuff" to life. Regardless, this campaign is not made to be humorous, but humor finds it way into everything. So, I hope you enjoy!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-08-27 at 12:23 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Arc 1
    Session 1: Dinosaur with Laser Beams!

    Joining us was Lady W. Sir G. Frout Arthbringer and Golem Master B.

    Introductions, introductions and silent bargaining

    The game started with character introductions - determined randomly.
    Messenger golems (explained as long-legged spiderlike drones which is uses as a mail and parcel delivery service around town) delivered invitations to the Duke's estate for 12:30pm to the Players.
    The players all were drawn into a waiting room (thus giving them a chance to interact and have some minor role-play) and were introduced.

    After all this was said and done, the duke invites them in to his estate and gives them a task - head northeast, find the "Prism Forge" (which was the only place that ever made "Prism Adamantine." The technology to create it was lost to time and the Duke wants to recover it)
    Lady Wisteria got lucky with a Knowledge History roll, and recalled that over 1000 years ago the "twisted forest" was once a large mountain range. Legend disputes exactly what 'did' happen, but now, the entire area is a forest.
    The Duke also mentions that sent an expedition to the twisted forest and hasn't heard from them lately. So instead of sending the next low-level batch of "unlucky souls" to find out what happened - he asks the current party to find out what happened to them.
    All four agree to the task ahead of them - but the Duke wasn't done dropping more info on them.
    The twisted forest is so named that anyone adventuring into it manage to get out - even if they weren't trying to get out. The forest seems to "eject" anyone looking to go deep into it.
    So, the Duke asks them to find something lost for 1000 years, recover ancient technology, find a lost expedition team, and find a way through a forest no one can seem to stay inside of - all for the price of 10,000GP.
    Sure enough all agree… except Frout. Being the silent monk, he stamps his foot and holds up two fingers indicating that he wants 20k for his participation.
    Opposed diplomacy rolls wind up in the Duke's favor. A hard stare makes Frout drop one finger, (back down to 10k) the duke nods, speaking his "language" and settling the price.
    The duke calls a messenger golem into the room, which opens the small cabinet inside of it's chest. He reaches inside and produces a wand of "Find the Path" (complete with 50 charges) to assist them in accomplishing their goals.
    Lady Wisteria tries to warn the duke of Nature's tendency to overtake that which is unattended and expresses concern about the forest denizens. He takes her word under advisement. She also suggests that he plants a tree in the courtyard. He agrees and she hands him an acorn which he in turn hands to "Jeffery" (his butler type servant). Jeffrey immediately goes to the Courtyard to plant it.

    Once they were released from the duke - the game began.

    Arguments and Armor Modification

    The first thing that occurs to everyone is that they can all fly on the back of Bolba to their destination. Lady Wisteria wanted to stay closer to the plants on the ground, but was overruled in a 3-1 vote. Beable spent half a day modifying a segment of Bolba's full plate to strap his golem in for safe flying.
    Lady Wisteria turned into a small potted plant and allowed the Monk to carry her while flying.

    They reach a mountain range just before the forest, and see tracks. They decide to follow the path through it (rather than go around) in the hopes that they might find evidence of the expedition team. They make Bolba fly (still carrying Beable and Mouse) approximately 100 feet above them and 50 feet ahead, scouting while Wisteria, Galarend and Frout walked on the ground.
    The first day they encounter nothing - The second day (about 2pm-ish) all heck breaks loose.

    Dinosaurs (with lasers beams), Stone Giants, and Disintegration

    Taking the same formation as the day before, Bolba, and Beable flying on Mouse scout out a single stone giant sitting in the middle of the road. The stone giant notices the "UFT" (Unidentified Flying Triceratops) and stands there staring in awestruck confusion at the sight.
    Bolba flies low and the conversation goes something like this:

    Bolba: What's up?
    Stone Giant: Uh, you?
    Bolba: Why are you in the middle of the path?
    Stone Giant: Normally… I charge a toll.
    Bolba: How much?
    Stone Giant: Usually, 100GP… But you're much bigger than me… so 50?

    Galarend begins gathering up cash to pay the Stone Giant, but as they approach they 2 groups of players are hit by two confusion spells (which everyone succeeds).
    Galarend tries to use diplomacy to make him give away some valuable information and succeeds. The Giant looks up into the mountains revealing 3 hiding Stone Giants - however he is immediately struck by a Disintegrate and takes 22d6 damage. He survives, barely. Beable casts FireBrand on Bolba - essentially turning him into a Dino Rider, complete with laser beam. Lady Wisteria took 6 boulders and was knocked unconscious almost immediately.
    The monk used Abundant Step to appear next to the caster which was actually a "Worm that Walks - Homebrew Variant" and began to pummel it into a squishy-wormy-mess.
    Eventually Galarend mounted his Dino Rider and charged, plowing through the original stone giant and releasing a the laser on the Worm that Walks. It died, exploding all over the poor monk, showering him head to toe in pieces of worm (and negative energy)
    Eventually Lady Wisteria was stabilized by a passing "Fly-By-Channel-Positive-Energy" from Galarend, and she stood up, and Disintegrated another Giant.
    Mouse and Beable did their cannon-combo thing blasting everything in sight and eventually the fight was over in four of five turns.

    Wrapping up for the night

    Finding the giant's loot nearby, they take it and split it among them. They also wondered about the dichotomy of a Worm that Walks with a bunch of Stone Giants, but couldn't draw any conclusions for now. They decided to End the adventure here since we all needed to get home.
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-08-25 at 04:52 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 2: When in Doubt, Speak with Plants

    Joining us at the table this time: Lady W, Sir G, Golem Master B.

    The game started with a recap of the last session to reacquaint everyone with the story.
    The first roll of the game began with players failing to find any tracks nearby from the recent Stone Giant assault, so they proceed to continue to the Twisted Forrest flying on Bolba's back/harnesses.
    Players notice a small encampment surrounded by huge golems (which looked to be outfitted for excavation - ie giant shovels for hands, etc) outside the edge of the Forrest and decided to approach expecting it was the Duke's missing expedition/excavation party. Galarend raised a banner and they walked at a leisurely pace towards the camp.
    A single dwarf approached the party and Galarend introduced himself and the group as a search party from the Duke. The dwarf (who speaks with a lisp) introduced himself as Rogar and invited them into the camp. Various dwarves went about leisurely activities as they passed through to a tent with a single table.
    Rogar hops up onto a stool so he can see the table and addresses the players with "I'm glad the Duke sent someone in response to my letters."
    Galarend responded with something to the effect of 'he never received them, we were sent to possibly find you and the Prism Forge.'
    Rogar was befuddled, and asked if any of his letters ever made it to him, Galarend mentioned the stone giants in the mountain pass, and Rogar lowered his head. All present expected that Rogars messenger he sent with the letter met a grisly end at the hand of the Stone Giants in the mountains.
    Lady Wisteria uses Unseen Servant to grab some tea from the cook and bring it to the group. The entire camp, seeing the floating tea, begins to look into their mugs, wondering about what they were drinking.
    Rogar graciously accepts the tea and begins to recount what was in his missives and his theory about the Twisted Forest. When him as his party came to the area, they tried to enter the forest but each time they found themselves exiting the same way they came in, seemingly spat out by the same direction they entered. He mentioned that locate spells behave awkwardly and his theory was that perhaps the Prism Forge existed between 2 planes - stuck somewhere. He asked the Duke to supply someone with access to Plane Shift and Find the Path to try his theories out.
    Luckily the Party had just the thing they need.
    Rogar mentioned that only one of their members didn't return from the forest and asked the PC's to keep an eye out for him when they go in. Galarend requests that someone from the camp come with them - Rogar had no squires or direct underlings, and the only cleric in the group was their primary source of food and water via Create Food spells and Create Water spells. Galarend decided that neither of them should leave the group, so during dinner he asks if anyone would come with them. A single Dwarf named Dungle decided to adventure with them.
    Galarend decided to test his "intestinal fortitude" by putting him on the back of Bolba and telling him to "reach the stars." Bolbla turns into a triceratops rocket with Dungle strapped in, I rolled to see if he would lose bladder/bowels/stomach contents on the accent - he succeed all except the roll to vomit.
    His full name was decided then and there to be Dungle Puke-Beard. (I'm writing his stats up today)
    After Dungle managed to regain some of his composure Bolba free fell to the ground: I rolled for body evacuation. He lost control of all.
    After landing, Galarend placed his hand on Dungle's shoulder and said "Welcome to the group." Dungle walked away to change his shorts.
    The next day, Lady Wisteria decided to ask a tree about the goings on of the forest. It mentioned the dwarves and how it didn't like the way their 'giant machines' just knocked down his friends - so all PC's began to expect foul play at the hand of Fae.
    The party + Dungle boarded Bolba and they used the wand of Find the Path on Bolba, and off they flew, flying above the treeline of the Twisted Forest.
    The Find the Path spell seemed like it was malfunctioning as it began to make them swerve left and right and quite frequently. However, the direction continued (more or less) into the heart of the woods.
    It wasn't until several hours (and several recastings of FtP) that the party heard labored breathing.

    Let the Arcane Eye Shenanigans Begin!

    Using Arcane Eye, Lady Wisteria looked off in the direction of the labored breathing and found a 20 foot deep gorge in the forest floor with a dwarf at the bottom of it. His breathing was labored, his body looked bloated and his leg was snapped in an odd direction.
    While the party quibbled about getting him out and about responsibility, I continued to drop hints that all wasn't as it seemed.
    At first the breathing intensified, and the pulsing throughout the bloated body got more pronounced.
    Then Lady Wisteria (with a ridiculously high perception check) heard what sounded like rib bones and cartridge snapping under immense pressure. She expressed this to the group, and as she did, they watched his "bloated" features deflate, immediately followed by several 'poking' motions coming up through the chest cavity. They all watched in stupor as several small humanoids crawled out of the Husk of the dwarf.
    Dungle freaked out, but was immediately steadied by Beable's rough hand.
    Lady Wisteria, pulls off a nature check and determines them to be a group of Vegepygmies. Being a Plant Creature, she decided to pull off another Speak with Plants. All she said was "HI."
    The Vegepygmies at the bottom of the gorge all turned to look at her. Other players began to hear a series of violent and rapid clicks (Using the way Predators communicate (as in the movie 'Predator') as an example) from the other side of the gorge. Close to 7 different creatures were clicking to make the phrase. "Leave, leave now."
    All of Lady Wisteria's comments were met by the same answer, with increasing volume (and increasing number of clickers).
    The PC's made a hasty retreat and continued back on the Path.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 2.1 Quills Spills and Plane Shifting

    Still sitting at the table is my group from the last game: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B. Joining the PC's is their tag-along NPC; Dungle Puke-Beard, a Dwarf Fighter.

    The players continued traveling through the Twisted Forest and burning through Find the Path charges on the wand. After traveling for several hours, they come to a clearing in the forest approximately 40 feet across and Bolba descends with no problem. The Find the Path spell end abruptly in the center of the clearing. As expected, their target (The Prism Forge) is not there. Dungle commented "Maybe ole Rogar's theory was correct. And here I though he was just a madman with a lot of money."
    The party contemplates camping for the night before attempting Plane Hopping. So Lady Wisteria asks for the permission of the largest tree in the area (using Speak with Plants). It responds with

    "I don't mind. Just don't mess up my dirt."

    So they Stone Shelter for the night, and the time passes uneventfully.
    The next morning, they begin to argue which plane to Shift to. Rogar's theories included two possibilities: The Ethereal Plane, or the Shadow Plane. The Players argue for a few moments - and Beable doing several Knowledge:Planes checks, he re-remembers that both Planes could have things that want to eat their faces off. After all the arguing it still ends on a roll of the dice.
    They roll for the Shadow Plane.

    Plane Shift and directional chaos

    For those of you unfamiliar, Plane Shift never spits you out where you want. It places you randomly 5-500 miles in any random direction.

    So they players end up 222 miles directly north of their current location - in more forest.

    After giving a brief description of what the Shadow Plane looks like,

    The Shadow Plane is a world of black and white; color itself has been bleached from the environment. It otherwise appears similar to the Material Plane. Despite the lack of light sources, various plants, animals, and humanoids call the Shadow Plane home.

    they cast Find the Path from the wand (the spell wouldn't function if the target isn't on the plane they want) and low and behold, Beable gets a strong reading leading them directly south. Taking that as an indicator, they decided to ascend over the treetops and travel via flight.
    Lady Wisteria asks the trees if they would let Bolba go up through the canopy easily, and the tree responds with a more non-verbal cue of a mean stare.
    When going up the to the sky, I make everyone roll ride checks - and Lady Wisteria gets clobbered by a branch, nearly knocking her off Bolba.

    Galaren's player had a quick math-gasm when he figured out Bolba's flight speed with roughly a little less than a mile per minute. After the first re-cast of FtP, Lady Wisteria begins to notice the treetops shaking behind them, following them. So, she sends Arcane Eye into the canopy to see what's going on. I describe what she sees: A Gargantuan, six-legged panther like creature covered in huge spines. And as she lays eyes on the
    it immediately confuses her with it's gaze. She rolls act normally, so she immediately tells everyone what she sees, Bolba wants to begin an upward ascent, Beable casts Tiny Hut and Galarend shoves anyone who is not "ride check savvy" into the hut: Lady Wisteria was the only one. For seventeen rounds she babbles incoherently and beats herself in the head with her own staff. Thankfully, her strength bonus was 0.
    Bolba takes off (even more-so) toward the sky. The Bandersnatch, which was 'playfully' stalking it's prey, lobs a volley of 4 quills towards the UFT (Unidentified Flying Triceratops) and party.
    Beable gets hit, but the quill doesn't embed. However the one that hits Galarend and the two that hit Bolba do. Galarend (as selfless pally's often do) removed the quills from his steed first before yanking out his own. After realizing how much damage this one attack did as they were running away, the party decided (intelligently) to not turn around and fight this thing. Bolba keeps flying, and Lady Wisteria keeps hitting herself with her staff.
    Beable checks in on her and sees her dizzy from repeated knocks on the head and bashed up, so the party begins burning charges from a wand of cure light wounds they procured from the stone giant fight a session ago. By the time they were done, it was little more than a stick for all the charges they had left, but they decided to keep it anyway.
    Yet, the trees kept shaking behind them and this monstrous six-legged cat from hell continued following even though it couldn't reach them, but after another hour it suddenly stops. The PC's are now completely worried: what are they flying towards which that thing doesn't want to come any closer to?
    Eventually, the Bolba reaches a clearing and the FtP spell leads him down into a set of old ruins.

    The Prism Forge
    They enter the Forge (The halls are just wide enough for Bolba to get through) and begin seeing the remains of a large Dwarven Store Front/Forge which is has been abandoned and left to dust. However, as they are exploring, they come across a patch of color (which is not right in the shadow plane) inside this color, they see Dwarves, sitting eating, drinking moving about having a good ole time and are completely oblivious to the newcomers. When trying to interact with anything inside the color, they just pass through it. Outside of the color patch the forge is dead and deserted, inside alive and vibrant. Knowledge: Planes checks are made, and Beable come up with a theory - that maybe this spot in the prime material slipped through/was brought into the Shadow Plane and the Dwarves they are witnessing are sort of "echoes from the past." So the players nod, and begin to conduct experiments - throwing in things to interact with the space before taking the plunge and stepping in. They are able to pass through the space with ease and eventually come upon 4 Dwarves working over a table, looking at papers.
    Lady Wisteria throws down another Arcane Eye to see what they are talking about, and notices Dwarven scribbling, but she can't read it. So she copies it down, but fails her linguistics check to do so. So when Beable casts Comprehend Languages - he can read the word "undead" written, but the rest is gibberish (caused by an improper copying job).
    The players enter the color patch, but something's different this time. The Dwarves who were reading the material on the table, react to them. One even picks up a chair as though he's looking for something to protect himself.

    Wrapping up

    We ended the session there because it was already past twelve. We old people need our beauty sleep. lol.
    Also, Frout Arthbringer's player got married and moved out of state. So he's opted to buy a camera/tripod/mic thing with an external control so he can literally stand at the table with us and play through a computer. However, this never manifested and his character hasn't showed up since.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 3: The Soul Keeper

    At the table were Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B, along with their tag along NPC Dungle Puke-Beard

    As Galarend stepped through the color plane the 4 dwarves reacted badly to his presence, however he was able to calm them down. Slowly but surely he introduced himself and individually introduced the party members so the dwarves wouldn't die of fright (or fight and die as the case could have been)
    While Galarend didn't mention exactly why they were there, he listed to their plight eagerly and received a great deal of information: 1) The dwarves believed they had only been in the plane of shadow for about a month, to which Galarend did inform them that they were instead missing for the greater part of 900 years. This resulted in one of them being downcast for the rest of the discussion (as he was just married to his wife, and she would be dead now due to time shenanigans). 2) They were never able to interact with the dwarves that the Party had already encountered (near the entrance to the forge), but there was the blacksmith near the actually smithy itself who never left his work of keeping the forge lit. They were able to interact with him, until about two weeks ago (according to their sensation of time), after which it was like he didn't even hear them anymore. 3) The whole thing happened when a "skeleton" had appeared in the store room behind them. They managed to kill it once, thinking that it would bring them back from the Shadow Plane - but when they did it's armor seemed to be acting as a phylactery of some kind - regenerating the skeleton in a few days after it's death. They were not transported back to the Prime Material when they did it either.
    This information prompted a slew of knowledge checks - Beable was able to garner some info on what it might be with a Knowledge:Arcane check of about 40 and some change. He detected that it was a Graveknight.
    This particular Graveknight template was slapped on top of a demon of some kind - it escapes me now, but suffice to say that it was about CR9 with the ability to summon 2 bone devils, and could at will Ice Wall, Persistent Image, Cone of cold, Ice Storm and greater teleport.

    My PC's reacted badly, with Beable calling me several vulgar names. I could only smile.
    Before starting to encounter it, they decided to check out the blacksmith in the adjacent room. They could hear him hammering as they walked down the hallway. Turning the corner, they noticed the forge was half in/half out of a color zone. They approached, and the Blacksmith didn't react at all - only when Galarend insisted did it get any sort of response from him.
    They were able to glean a bit of info from the smith: 1) The secret to the forge was such that it must be kept hot - for once it goes out the ability to smelt Prism Adamantine would be gone. 2) The only person in the world who was left that knew how to make P.A. was him. 3) He was aware of how long it had actually been (900+ years) since being transported to the Shadow Plane. 4) When Galarend inquired into the secrets, the dwarf reacted as though the knowledge was too powerful and dangerous to give to just anyone. He'd rather the secret die with him - and he was going to make sure it happened. 5) When they pressed about the Graveknight, he knew about it and stated that the fires in his forge were enough to destroy the armor it wears, and should snap this pocket of prime material plane out of the shadow plane to back where it belongs.
    Galarend nodded and said that they would do that, and he asked if there was anything that he needed before they left. He responded with saying "Go get me that hammer over there," pointing towards a patch of prime material in which stood several pieces of smithing equipment. Galarend picked up the hammer, surprise that he could interact with it and tried to bring it back to him - only to realize that it disappeared when he crossed into pockets of shadow plane.
    The blacksmith told him to throw it instead. So Galarend picked it back up and tossed it to him. It disappeared through the shadow and reappeared in the color in which the blacksmith caught it singlehandedly - this raised the eyebrows of everyone.
    Going back to the room with the 4 dwarves they decided to take on the Graveknight, and got a rough drawing of the store room from the dwarves there. The dwarves wished them luck and they opened the door.
    Inside they were accosted by multiple persistent images of the Graveknight and Mouse "barked" a cannonball at one, making it dissipate. To counter this situation Lady Wistera began casting True Sight on everyone, and protection from evil on herself. Beable prepped everyone with Firebrand, and Galarend popped a buff as well as they ventured further into the room.
    Galarend called out to the GK but received an irritated response saying that the dwarves torment wasn't over - they would never rest. They went back and forth a few times, to which the GK eventually responded with some cliche' villain line with semblance of "enough talking."
    Galarend was using the talking to roll a perception check to determine where the voice was coming from, thinking he found it, he had Bolba charge the persistent image all the way in the back of the room - and he slammed into the wall, nearly shattering it and hurting himself in the process.
    At this point the room exploded into action - 2 walls of ice were created, one separating Bolba from the group, the last one separating Dungle and Lady Wisteria from Beable, Mouse and Galarend. 2 bone devils appeared next to Lady Wisteria, and the Graveknight appeared and began hacking at Galarend.
    Lady Wisteria pulled off quickened force punch and a second normal force punch to the bone devils flanking her after getting hit by one of the devils attacks. In one round Bolba charged and bashed through the wall of ice to get to Galarend. Galarend himself missed every attack on the GraveKnight, while Beable did Storm Bolts to bash through the ice wall near Lady Wisteria.
    Soon after the disintegrates were flying from Beable and Lady Wisteria, trying to fry the bone devils, but met a tough Spell Resistence and saves all around.
    Galarend activated Righteous Might which acts sort of a divine enlarge person to survive a Devastating Blast from the GraveKnight which washed over him as well as Bolba, Mouse, and Beable.
    Lady Wisteria cast Wall of Thorns surrounding one Bone Devil, which he responded by greater teleporting out, and was able to kill one by another force punch when it got too close.
    After another Galarend remembered what he was going to do, he dispel magicked the GK, and Mouse cannonballed blasted him into near smithereens, Galarend was able to finish him off with a crit. Even though his normal damage would have killed it, he was insistent of rolling the damage.
    Cursing the Pally of Iomdae, the Graveknight disappeared into his armor - and the bone devils vanished also.

    Irate Tree Tantrum

    And then the party got loot. A giant fist sized alexandrite worth some stupid ridiculous amount of gold, was rolled for and Galarend won, promising to split the 200k with everyone evenly. Another mentionable item was the ring of regeneration which Lady Wisteria took, and a couple of Bone Razors that Galarend got Bolba to smash under his feet.
    Taking the GK armor to the blacksmith, he dropped his smithing tools, before handling the armor as though he was exhausted from all the smithing he was doing and asked if they had anything they wanted to say. They didn't, but the blacksmith made a mention of finally getting to see his family again after 900 years and tossed the armor onto the coals. A gigantic explosion (which almost deafened everyone and did permanently deafen Dungle) erupted as the Forge was flung back into the Prime Material Plane. Upon emerging from the forge, they saw that for a mile around in all directions, trees were knocked over.
    Lady Wisteria was not pleased about this.
    So the players flew back to the expedition team encountering no trouble on the way, and were flagged down by Rogar and his crew. They were excited when they heard the explosion and came out bustling with questions – to which Galarend tried to quiet them down. He went on to explain that Rogar’s theory was correct and the Prism Forge was "kinda" on the Shadow Plane.
    Rogar asked, “then what was the big explosion about?”
    To which Lady Wisteria replies, grumbling, “The Prism Forge is back.”
    Immediately, Rogar calls behind him to get the excavation team up and ready. The engines of 30 giant excavation golems roar to life. Lady Wisteria goes livid.
    Beable suggests that there might be a problem – there’s no way the Twisted Forest would like them to go into it – knocking down greenery after what just happened near the forge. Rogar presses his lips into a line and calls everyone behind him to shut off the machines. Beable begins to suggest that since they are going to be excavating, more people will travel and destroy trees and possibly get killed, maybe they could build a road through the forest – to which the Lady flat out rejects the idea and snarkily suggests building a road above the forest.

    Wrapping the session up

    Wondering what to do, Lady Wisteria first talks to the trees about how they are doing. The tree she speaks to tells her that he misses his brothers – all two-hundred-fourty-six-thousand-four-hundred-and-thirty-three of them. Her next action was to go and consult the Duke.
    She casts Transport via Plants on a nearby tree and pops out at her Oak tree in the City of Progress. She then follows with an unseen servant, delivering a message with two letters: one to Jeffery (the duke’s butler) telling him to take the letter to the duke, and the one for the duke himself. Which read something to the effect of:

    Prism Forge found. Awaiting instructions at my shop. – Signed Lady Wisteria, Tea Master.

    Minutes later, the Duke knocks on her door and comes in. She gets the unseen servant to make tea, and mage hand’s the chair out for him.

    Together they discuss the problem – which the duke mentions, traveling on foot and helping with the excavation team (escorting them through the forest, and assisting once they’re there) dig by hand.
    She agrees, but before departing, the Duke requests 100 pounds of one of her teas when she comes back – for a large party he will be holding. Also not to mention that his servants love her tea, he adds with a smile. She agrees and travels back to the edge of the Twisted Forest with the news.
    She returns to find the group burning through healing spells and resources to clean themselves up and she tells them what was said. Rogar wasn’t happy about having to leave his golems, but they would do so for the Duke.
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-09-02 at 03:49 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 4: New Players and New Difficulties

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, Golem Lord B and their tag along NPC Dungle Puke-Beard

    However, this session we got some fresh blood. Vaielen and Alinys Spelloyal.

    Introductions and Tests

    Nevertheless, the game started with an introduction of sorts. Since the two new players were added in, I told them that they were a part of the original excavation crew as hired muscle. So, Rogar (the leader of the excavation) relieved them of their duties, as they were no longer needed.
    Looking for a fresh start, they turned to the other PC’s and introductions began – more or less. Galarend made a habit of introducing everyone, things became interesting quickly:

    Galarend, holding up a potted plant: “And this is Lady Wisteria.”
    Vaielen and Alinys laugh loudly at this, thinking he’s just being funny.
    Beable: “No, he’s being serious.”
    Lady Wisteria to the DM: “Can I nod?”
    DM: “You two see the plant actually nod – however that is even possible.”

    After introductions were done, more shenanigans continued. Galarend, wanting to see if they were able to ride on the Bolba, asked them to climb onto his back. The old players laugh as they know what’s about to happen. Sure enough after a 75MPH climb into the atmosphere – they made their saves and didn’t vomit. Surprisingly the following terminal velocity fall had no effect on them either.
    When they landed Galarend introduced them into the party and mentioned that the very initiation they just went through is exactly how Dungle Puke-Beard got his name.

    Ideas Arguments and Ramifications

    After all this, the game was under way – the next few minutes were spent focusing on how to get the thirty dwarves of the excavation crew through the Twisted Forrest efficiently. Lady Wisteria offered to burn 6 castings of Transport Via Plants and did so.
    They also discussed how to get the golems over the Forest so they don’t incur the wrath of the forest dwellers. They decided on having the mining golems latch onto each other and onto Bolba. Some quick math was thrown around analyzing the excavation golems weight and comparing it to Bolbla’s max load.
    It was determined that he could get them all across in three trips. Several round trips on the UFT and quite a few fly checks later (augmented by Vaielen's performance) they all landed safely at the Prism Forge.
    They decided to set up camp and start in the morning, and did. However during the night Galarend and Vaielen heard the equivalent of a giant footstep in the forest. Those two were the only two to wake up. Galarend woke up Beable and they mounted Bolba. Looking around for a vantage point, Galarend looks to see if the roof of the Forge is stable enough to support him. With a roll of a 1, of course he believed it was.
    When he landed on it, sure enough the ceiling fell in – waking up every dwarf in the camp. Rogar is notably upset and accuses Galarend of all manners of stupidity before he tells him that there was something in the forest beyond them, and they weren’t alone.
    This scares everyone into action. Rogar asks Galarend what he thinks they should do – he suggests getting all of the excavation golems to line up in the direction of the noise, to provide a small barrier and wait until morning.
    Morning comes and nothing happens. Galarend suggests making fortifications from all the fallen trees around the site – Rogar tells him with all the workers it would take most of the day of solid work. They agree it should be done. While Galarend and Lady Wisteria go scouting to see what happened.

    Talking to Plants: Everyone’s Favorite Pastime.

    Galarend and Bolba got Lady Wisteria to the nearest and oldest tree. Lady Wisteria asks it a few questions about what happened last night and it response that he didn’t see it, but whatever it was it was big and not native to the forest.
    They scout into the forest and after a successful survival check they find a paw print four feet long by four feet wide – akin to a very large cat. Everyone immediately is thinking Bandersnatch and they decide to work as quickly as possible.
    The excavation was a minigame where they had to complete several areas efficiently and quickly – if they did it well, they would find valuables in the sites they excavated, if they did so quickly the more experience they would get. It should have taken a week to do everything, two at worst – they took 15 days, just into 3 weeks, but they did find a ton of loot. Including a cashe of Viridium weapons which gave Vaielen leprosy, several lumps of smelted frost forged steel, and Demon Armor which the Paladin promptly cast Dispel Magic and crushed it beneath Bolba’s large feet. They decided, after reading about the Viridium weapons to leave them in the vault.

    Excavation Interruptions:

    Sure enough, right as they finished they heard a large sound outside of timber crashing to the ground – something had broken through the fortifications they made as was in the camp.
    Running out the forge they encounter an enlarged Viper Vine
    and ten Enhanced Homebrewed Vegepygmies.

    The situation was dire as six of the dwarves who were in the camp were walking trancelike towards the Viper Vine – caught up in its Captivating Cloud ability. Which I give a gruesome example of a dwarf walking towards it, getting snatched up by the tentacles on the Viper Vine and being eaten by the mouth – which I used to describe it’s strange beauty:
    The viper vine has a single enormous bloom arising from a thick, leafy tangle of snake-like vines. When the plant senses the approach of suitable prey through its sensitive, shallowly buried root system, it rises up like an agitated snake and unfurls its brightly colored bloom. [and] Large tendrils ending in tiny claws unfurl from the central stalk of this plant, which rises like a serpent ready to strike.

    Immediately all the PC’s are hit by the Captivating Cloud – everyone succeeds except Lady Wisteria and Alinys. They begin walking steadily towards it. The Vegepygmies surge forward with Spears covered in Russet Mold,
    Russet Mold (CR 6)
    This hazardous fungus can be found in dark, wet areas, and often grows in great abundance at the heart of a vegepygmy lair. When a creature approaches within 5 feet of a patch of russet mold, the fungus releases a cloud of spores in a 5-foot radius burst. Everyone in the area must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or the spores quickly take root in their victims, inflicting 2 points of Constitution damage per round. A new Fortitude save can be attempted each round to halt the growth. Although immunity to disease won't protect against russet mold spores, the growth can be halted by remove disease and similar effects. Plants are immune to russet mold spores.
    After 24 hours, a fully grown vegepygmy bursts from the body of any creature slain by russet mold, provided the creature was Small or larger. For each size category larger than Small, the body produces one additional vegepygmy.
    A patch of russet mold is unharmed by all effects save for acid, alcohol, or remove disease (or a similar magical effect, such as heal), all of which can kill a single patch of russet mold on contact.

    stabbing at the PC’s who weren’t enthralled.

    Bolba and Galarend hop into action and charge the Viper Vine, flying over the tops of the Vegepygmies and charging into it. The attack slams into the writhing tendrils and does a moderate amount of damage. Beable fires a cannon shot from mouse, point blank at the Vegepygmy who attacked him, killing him instantly. But these were Homebrew Vegepygmies who’s death releases a cloud burst of Russet Mold Spores (With an enhanced DC), infecting anyone within a 5 foot reach. Sure enough Beable starts taking constitution damage. Vaielen succeeds in blinding the Viper Vine with Deafness/Blindness – making a little difference in its effectiveness.

    The two under the effect of the cloud get saves as they are walking through the din of battle, and they both make it this time. The Vegepygmies surge forward again, stabbing at Vaielen and missing, but hitting Alinys, infecting her with the mold. The Viper Vine bites Bolba, and 4 tentacles lash at Galarend – two striking and grappling/constricting him and dismounting him.

    Lady Wisteria starts by firing a disintegrate and missing her attack roll, Beable fires a disintegrate but the Viper Vine makes it’s save. Alinys rages and rushes into two Vegepygmies and cleaves through both killing them in a burst of Russet Mold Spores. Vaielen casts song of discord as he’s left with two surrounding him. One attack of opportunity misses – and the spell affects both Vegepygmies. Bolba flies back over the PC’s in a line and he asks them to grab on – picking up Vaelien, Alinys, and Lady Wisteria. Galarend increases his size with Righteous Might and continues to wail on the Viper Vine.

    The Viper vine continues to attack and constrict Galarend and the Vegepygmies hurl their spears at a flying Bolba – missing him. The two that were near Vaielen attack each other and kill one another.

    Galarend casts a spell that makes the Viper Vine approach and attack him for one round (not sure of the name of it – pesky pally spells) effectively controlling the Viper Vine. Vaielen casts good hope – giving a +2 bonus to rolls to everyone except Galarend. Mouse, under the command of Beable ‘barks’ another cannonball at the Viper Vine, slamming it for a ton of damage. Bolba rushes forward – depositing his riders near the Viper Vine and finishing his charge at it – dealing damage. Beable disintegrates the Viper Vine, finally – killing it and dropping Galarend to the ground. Lady Wisteria casts command plants on the remaining Vegepygimies and the battle quickly ends as she has them approach her and sit.

    She asks them why they attacked and they respond with that they were in their territory. She asks them to leave and leave them in peace. They agree (due to a opposed charisma check) and quietly leave the camp.

    Treasure was gained and looted, leprosy was healed by Galarend, and fun was had by all. We decided that we would pick up here next time we played.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    Session 5: Time Warps and entrepreneurship

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B.

    However, this week we were missing Vaielen and Alinys Spelloyal due to scheduling conflicts – which also is the reason for the length between posts.

    Time warps and the joys of entrepreneurship

    One evening in which all the PC’s (other than Vaielen and Elisia) were present and we weren’t playing a game (for whatever reason, I’ll never know) we began to discuss the upcoming game. I mentioned that there’d be a whole load of downtime between the end of the current mission (which they were nearly at) and the start of the next. Specifically they would have four months to work on their own projects etc. after going back to Rab’s Progress.

    Consequently, we fast-forwarded the game to that point in time since they were almost there and very little would happen between where they were and then. Items were sold and goods were transferred into GP. Galarend made sure to evenly split the Bright Fist Sized Alexandrite they found on the Graveknight which was worth nearly 200K GP – much to the chagrin of Beable’s player who wanted it all for himself, to fund his numerous projects.

    It was also at this point that I informed the PC’s about how their own business will function within the confines of the game:

    First off, when I told them to make their characters, they were to have only 150K GP which to make them. It’s a hefty amount, but if a player looks at the Character Wealth by Level chart, a person can clearly see that a player at 15th level should have amassed roughly 240K GP. The reason I held this back was to have them create a business within the city of Rab’s Progress.

    This businesses act as personal bank accounts for the PC’s. They can actively withdraw any amount from this business at any time to add to their own personal loot pile. However, drawing from that 100K will decrease the potential of that business to operate and provide services to Rab’s Progress. This mechanic will have interesting role-play consequences depending on whether or not they leave it alone, take money from it, or even add to it.

    Also, while they are operating their business, it will function according to the percentage of gold they have taken or added. For example if a player takes 50K gold from their account, that leaves them with 50K (50% of their 100K) so when they are making profession checks during downtime, their business will only make 50% of its earnings. Likewise, if they add 50K to it (bring their total up to 150K) they will make 50% more on their weekly profession checks.

    Armed with this new knowledge they went about making 4 months’ worth of profession checks to gain GP. They spent their time scouring over spells to increase their crafting checks. Finding a few they added them to the checks they made. Much to their dismay, 4 months of earnings only netted them roughly 500GP each. Beable barely made enough to cover the spells he had to buy which increased his checks.

    During this time I also allowed for them to work on their own projects. Lady Wisteria toyed with the notion of creating a staff or two, but ultimately decided against it. The only things she bought with her hard earned GP were 10 potions of Cure Serious Wounds. Beable decided to retire Mouse in favor of Mouse 2.0. He used his downtime, his personal money (and 25K gold from his business) to create a Cannon Golem in the general shape of the original Mouse. He was happy with his creation to say the least. The original Mouse now sits as a centerpiece of his shop. It’s still functional, but now acts as more of a guard dog while he is away. Galarend burned 50K from his business to purchase items for Bolba – including Horseshoes of Speed and several other nifty items, including enchanting Bolba’s armor with “Righteous” as well – this will be interesting to see when this ability gets used as Bolba is already a Huge creature.

    Since this wasn’t a game, there was no official beginning or end to what was going on, but rather we got a tedious and time consuming portion of the game out the way and they were ready for the next time we got together.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 6: End of an Arc, beginning of another.

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Lord Beable

    However, this week we were once again missing the fresh blood due to scheduling conflicts.

    Rewinds, fly-bys and down time!

    The game started abruptly after some shenanigans around the table. Rogar (the chief of the expedition/excavation) thanked the players profusely for saving their lives and made a request of them. Since the Viper Vine had eaten and killed some of the dwarves of the excavation crew, he requested that they not bury them out there in the middle of the twisted forest. Rather, he’d appreciate (as he was sure the families of his men would as well) if they were brought home so their families could mourn properly.
    Galarend makes a stipulation – he wants to make sure that there is a way to transport the bodies, before he agrees to do so. Rogar suggests that while crude, he could spare some barrels in which to put them in, or perhaps canvass sacks.

    Beable asks if the excavation golems might have large scoops or buckets in which they might be placed, which of course they do. He makes a crafting check and spends the time working with the metal to detach it from the golem and place a metal cover over it using supplies from around the campsite.
    Before the dwarves are placed in the bucket, Lady Wisteria makes a Nature check to see if the bodies were infected with the russet mold spores from the Homebrew Vegypigmies they just fought. Of the 5 bodies, 1 was infected. Galarend’s eyes wide, but before anyone moved to do anything, she asked if she knew if the spores would be released if they were subjected to fire. Since her previous Knowledge Nature check was near the 40’s, the answer was yes.

    They kicked around ideas until someone suggested disintegrating the infected one. That did the trick, and Beable even picked up the ashes and put them into a small bag.

    Before long, the group decided to fly back to Rab’s Progress on Bolba with the bodies (inside a steel coffin). Lady Wisteria, hating the idea of flight cast “Transport Via Plants” and made her way back to Rab’s Progress in an instant by stepping through her giant oak tree. Her player immediately regretted this decision when the group (on the back of the UFT) saw something underneath them ¾ the way back to the city.

    Directly under Bolba’s flight path was a small hut, with a chimney trickling lazy grey smoke into the air. The hut was in the middle of a plain, with spots of trees around. They took note of this, but decided to not investigate as it didn’t matter to them.

    After making it back to the city, they inform the Duke about all they had encountered and did. He thanks them for the job they did, pays them 10K GP each. He also mentions that as the archivists do research on the Prism Forge, when they uncover more information, he will most likely have another job for the PC’s.

    At this point, refer to the previous post to find out what happened in their downtime.

    Even though the PC’s had an entire session devoted to their downtime, they still had some research to do. Even Lady Wisteria’s player (who’s normally not very concerned with optimizing) was looking over some of her spells to see if she could maximize her potential. Beable also casts Permanency/Fly on Mouse 2.0 After a few minutes of this, the party decided to continue.

    Wrapping up

    Their 4 months of downtime comes and goes, when one day Beable gets and incessant and continuous knocking at the door to his shop. It never stops. Beable who is working on something at that moment, presses a button for a “defense mechanism” (aka: a giant hammer) slams whatever was knocking and smashes it. He hears metal crushing, springs popping and metal disks swirling around on the ground, slowly coming to a stop.

    When he finally opened his door he looked down to see one of the Duke’s messenger golems – mostly destroyed and busted up. However, it’s still functioning as a small latch pops open and releases a note. He takes it and reads it – a message from the Duke as he had another assignment for him. He turns around to pick up the messenger golem, but it starts to hobble away on two bent legs rather than 4 – with a movement speed of 10 instead of 80.

    (The other players received similar messages, but for the sake of brevity – that was the only one we Role Played. )

    All the players wind up at the Duke’s Manor and he fills them in on their next assignment. Something one of the PC’s said about the forge not being able to make Prism Adamantine once the fire went out went on a report and fell into an understudy’s lap. This man, facing the ridicule of his peers began to research the material anyway and came across several similar pieces of information. Apparently, to the south east, there was a city by the name of Dirge which sat on the edge of a swamp. In this city there was an Inn which reportedly, where there was a candle in which the flame was never able to be extinguished. This was reported as little as 50 years ago – and stories turn to myths which turn to legends. The research indicated that there may possibly be a correlation between the truth of the forge and the legend about this candle. The only problem was that the city of Dirge sank into the swamp – and now the city of Mudwater has grown on top of it.

    The Duke charges them with the task of finding out if there is any relation between the forge and the candle and to bring back any evidence of this, if possible. The Duke offers 7K GP for the completion of these tasks.

    The PC’s agree and set out toward the South East, flying on Bolba, with Beable flying on Mouse 2.0
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-08-25 at 04:27 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Arc 2:
    Session 7: City Under Siege

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B.


    After several hours of flight, I call for perception checks. Bolba is the only one to notice the wreckage below. He describes the hut they had previously passed over as destroyed. Bolba also succeeds on a survival check and sees a series of large paw prints heading straight south.

    Landing to observe and search the wreckage, they notice the large timbers of the hut have been bent, snapped, crush and strewn about the small area. Everyone sees a hand sticking out from beneath the rubble – but again Bolba is the only one to see that the hand isn’t attached to anything. The hand looks as though it was an older man’s and was ripped off rather than cut.

    The observe the tracks and once again notice the 5X5 foot cat tracks – and come to the conclusion that the Bandersnatch is still on their tail. Before deciding whether or not to follow it, Lady Wisteria uses her favorite spell ‘Speak with Plants’ on a nearby Crepe Myrtle.

    For a tree, it’s rather energetic and amazed that someone can talk to it. It seems happy to help and answers all her questions. She inquires about large things disrupting the plant-life in the area, and he tells her that something large moved south about 2 weeks ago. Then it begins asking her to prune a hard to reach branch that wasn't growing well.

    She says sure, but only if she could put some “decoration” on its base. She cast an invisible Arcane Mark on the tree because it was so helpful. She also collected some of its fallen “berries” (Or whatever you call those things that Crepe Myrtles make – if you’ve seen one, you know what I’m talking about) from the ground.

    They begin flying south, tracking the large paw prints when Beable gets an idea. He suggests that he Permanency/See Invisibility on everyone, and they all pay for the casting of it. (I simplified the purchase of the materials for speed and ease, as 1 extra day of travel time to go buy them wouldn’t make any real difference here.) The spell is placed on Bolba, Lady Wisteria, Beable and Mouse 2.0. Galarend opted not to, because Bolba could be his eyes – and the fact that Bolba had a much higher perception score than Galarend.

    They follow the tracks south quite easily until they come upon a small village with forested hills surrounding it on 3 sides – the south, then east and west. The only side which wasn’t surrounded by trees were north – which they could see. Resting in a natural valley, the town seemed large enough to house about 500 people. The tracks skirted around the town and the PC’s followed it into the wooded-hills. Once there, they tracks seem to disappear once they hit the more rocky sections of the area.

    Galarend decided to make his way to the village – and immediately the town (which had the moderate fortification of walls around it) erupted into chaos. The flying Triceratops startled them into battle mode. Before they were able to mount a full on defense – Galarend and Lady Wisteria rode on Bolba’s before jumping off and, with a casting of Featherfall, descended upon the village square.

    People were frightened – but Galarend tried to calm everyone with diplomacy checks and succeeded. The mayor came out to talk to him as Lady Wisteria went into the nearest tavern. She approached a man who was quivering behind the counter. She asked him what was going on and was able to get a few pieces of useful info from him – he stated that the entire village was under siege from some monster that drives people crazy if they saw it but it also wouldn’t let anyone leave. It killed anyone who tried to escape. Galarend, on the other hand learned the entirety of the situation from the mayor.

    The Mayor goes on to explain that for 2 weeks the village has been under siege. Anyone who leaves either doesn’t return, or comes back babbling, violent and missing limbs. When they regain consciousness and if they don’t die of bloodloss – they all talk about a gargantuan cat covered in quills with six legs and cold blue burning eyes. The people are on the brink of starvation, and the majority that live there view the lands as ancestral – my father’s farm and his father’s farm before him, etc etc – so many don’t want to leave. There is also the issue of paying respects to the dead; many of the families want to help make sure that the dead receive a proper burial.

    Taking all this in, Galarend introduces Bolba, Mouse 2.0, Lady Wisteria and Beable to the mayor and says that they will take care of the problem. The mayor says that they don’t have much to offer in the way of compensation but will do what he can.

    Buffing for the Battle of Bandersnatch Hill.

    The PC’s go into battle planning mode and the idea they create is ingenious. Using several castings of Lady Wisteria’s Rock to Mud, and 4 hours of Move Earth and another subsequent casting Mud to Rock created a large enough area underground that could house all 400 people in the village – right under a large building. Beable throws a wall of force over the entrance to protect anyone inside and they begin battle prep.

    A liberal casting of spells later they have Lady Wisteria go up to the belltower and rang it like crazy. Bolba and Galarend orbit the village scouting for anything in the forest beyond. Sure enough, Bolba sees something moving out in the distance at the treeline.

    Lady Wisteria climbs aboard Bolba and off her and Galarend fly toward the spot where he saw movement. Beable stayed behind at the village wall to make sure that nothing went down while they left.
    Upon reaching the edge of the forest – where the hills begin to rise sharply Galarend some 300 feet up in the sky, casts Daylight on a gold coin and throws it down to where Bolba saw movement.

    Wrapping up for the Night

    It was here that we decided to stop for the night because we had work early next morning, and we knew this fight would take a while. So the players left – unable to wait for the battle ahead.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 8: Bander Time Bending

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B.

    We were joined by two new players this week – 2 fighter types. They were friends who came down from Colorado and just jumped in a game with us, one of whom had never played any type of roleplaying before. The Characters were thrown together so quickly that they barely had names.

    Bander Time Bender

    The last session ended with the PC’s just about to punch a Bandersnatch on the nose to see what happens, however since we gained some new players we had to backtrack and rewrite a little.
    I decided to describe the two fighters as coming into the town as the Bandersnatch started to terrorize everyone. They got to roleplay the situation and see first-hand the carnage wrought. I allowed them to RP talking to the Mayor and trying to deal with the Banderstanch themselves – but of course they were unsuccessful.

    Then I had them describe what they were doing when the other group of PC’s came into town. The original group talked about what they did with and how they included the new players into the group.

    Of course, there was also the initial test for making the new guys ride on Bolba. The UFT soars up into the stars then freefalls down. OF course, the newest player (the one who had never played Pathfinder before) would roll a 1 on his very first roll and wound up crapping his pants. Indulging in the moment, he decided to not mention this to anyone.

    Then when it was decided that both new players would be riding on Bolba with Lady Wisteria and Galarend as they confronted the Banderstanch.

    Bander Smack!

    Casting Daylight on a single gold coin, he tossed it down toward where Bolba saw movement in the trees – Perception checks revealed nothing yet as everyone was 300 feet in the air staring through the canopy above them. Seconds later they see one of the trees shaking violently as the Bandersnatch climbed it. Jumping after them like a cat, but not able to catch them – the Bandersnatch turned in mid-air and flicked his tailspikes at them. Two buried themselves in Bolba’s hide.

    The creature began moving away from the light and the PC’s at high speed. Lady Wisteria in a snap reaction attempts to cast Flesh to Stone on it – and it passed its save.

    Initiative was rolled, and players went first. Bolba charges head first (literally) through the canopy. I force Bolba to do a fly check because he was blasting through and through trees and all the leaves and branches as well. He passed easily – but the following ride checks weren’t so simple. Everyone passed, except for Lady Wisteria – who promptly casts featherfall as she slips out the saddle.

    The new players decide to both jump off Bolba as he’s charging – landing weapons first into the thing. They cause minimal damage – and get a face full of quills sticking in them. Bolba finishes his charge dealing a ton of damage followed by Galarend getting his full attack as well. This did a little under half the Bandersnatch’s life in damage. Beable began his trek toward the battle from the edge of the town’s makeshift walls. We reason that considering his flyspeed he’d be able to get there in four rounds.
    During the Bandersnatch’s turn it wailed on Bolba with everything it had – considering that it had dealt the most damage to it. It managed to crit on a tail slap dealing close to 70 someodd damage and giving Bolba the Exhausted and Bleeding conditions on top of its already Sickened state (from having the quills stuck in him).

    During the player’s turns they are immediately given the options to meet its gaze full on – divert their eyes or shut their eyes entirely to avoid its gaze attack. The attack managed to cause confusion for the next seventeen rounds on one of the new player's fighters – but everyone else remained unaffected. Lady Wisteria quickened-cast Silent Image, creating an identical image of Bolba behind the Bandersnatch. She used her second action to Grease the ground beneath him – which he managed to not be affected by. The confused character stood babbling while the other fighter took a chance to whack at the Bandersnatch - and get more quills stuck in him. Galarend cast Lesser Restoration followed by Bolba attacking and getting stuck with more spines. Beable continued his treck towards the battle.

    This turn the Bandersnatch turned his bite attack to the Illusion, and when the attack failed, he continued his assault against Bolba – tearing at him with everything he had.

    The players went again and this time Lady Wisteria fell under the confusion gaze – but everyone else managed to save.

    This back and forth motion continued until Beable showed up – already casting Gravity Bow on his enlarged heartseeking cannon and blew the Bandersnatch’s face off. Instead of describing an elaborate death scene for the defeated Tarn, I read the snippet from the poem by Lewis Carrol which contained the Bandersnatch. I figured it a fitting end for such a fierce and legendary monster.
    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    Wrapping up for the night

    Upon killing it, they managed to dispel the confusion and decided to bring it back to the town. Upon which the mayor asked that they stay for the festivities. Considering that everyone was starving they butchered the massive animal and turned it into a feast. The mayor asked Galarend to say a few words for the fallen individuals. He did and passed well on his diplomacy check... Roleplay fail...

    After the service, the mayor approached the group with a trunk filled with various potions and scrolls for payment. He also asked that they choose one out of two of the town’s historic pieces – saying that they will get more use of them than they will. The items were identified to be a Cube of Frost Resistance and a Hand of Stone. Deciding that the town needed both more than the players – Galarend decided to curry favor with the town rather than take one of the items which no one in the group seemed to really want.

    Since it was late – the PC’s decided to leave and would figure out the divvying up of loot for the next session. The new guys had a fun time and went on their way with a positive view of D&D... I hope.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 9: Dirge and the Blue Candle Inn

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B.

    ‘Snatch Jerky

    The session started with the players rolling off on the potions and scrolls from the gift-trunk given to them by the mayor. After this divvying, the Mayor invited them to stay for the continued celebrations and festivities – which they refused, saying they had an appointment elsewhere. Just before they were about to leave, they were given three pounds of Bamndersnatch Jerky – of which each player got one pound.

    Beable’s player made references to ‘Snatch Jerky the rest of the night.

    Burning 3 more uses of the wand of Find the Path, they wind up in Dirge. I called for knowledge local checks and the players were able to gain this description:

    The city of Dirge is a city wide slum to say the least with approximately 1000 people living in squalor. It’s a community with no real leadership other than what a person can make for themselves. Full of drug addicts, prostitutes and even where the legitimate shops need a degree of seediness to them just to stay active. Gozreh is the deity worshiped here and when Mudwater sank, an altar was built to him/her – and Dirge has not suffered the same fate as its older sister. The leadership is sometimes shared by a bandit troupe who passes through here often. They often sow chaos by disrupting the more reputable shops business and giving the spoils to the people of the city. They are known as the Red Rope – and while ‘bandits’ they are often seen as a force of good in the city.

    Armed with this knowledge, they entered Dirge. Beable cast invisibility on himself and Mouse 2.0, Galarend walked aside Bolba, while everyone stayed behind Lady Wisteria. They figured that she was a more neutral image for the party and let her lead, rather than having a giant Triceratops and Paladin of Iomedae walking around in spiked full plate armor leading the group.

    However, While Beable chose to remain invisible, Galarend wanted to be seen. So he made sure that the symbol of Iomedae was plainly visible on his chest piece as he walked through the streets. However, the people walking around really didn’t pay much attention to the group as they passed. They acknowledged them, took stock of their presence, but little more.

    Lady Wisteria decided to try to gather more information about the Blue Candle Inn and to try and find a location where it would have once stood. Her logic being if she could find where the inn once was, she could go there and investigate to learn more. Eventually she learns of an inn called the Sodden Stoat – this place may have answers for her.

    The Sodden Stoat

    Galarend left Bolba outside the Sodden Stoat as he entered, following Lady Wisteria. Beable and Mouse 2.0 waited patiently, invisible, next to him. Lady Wisteria took a look around – spotting that the inside of the inn looked like a high scale opium den, with a couple people sitting on divans already strung out in the middle of the day. The bartender was a mean looking cuss who Lady Wisteria and Galarend approached.

    After general banter and the barkeep charging ridiculous prices for the rooms, sense motive checks revealed that he was gouging them as they looked wealthy. Galarend made the fact that he was a paladin known and the man immediately lowered his prices.

    There were three versions of rooms – small with barely a mattress, the medium room was nicer larger and came with dinner, the largest ones were mostly reserved for Red Rope members, but they would come with dinner and breakfast the following day. Lady Wisteria pays for a large room and asks about the previous location of the Blue Candle Inn and the candle that never extinguishes. The bartender immediately knows what they are talking about and directs them to a series of three buildings where the inn was rumored to stand. Lady Wisteria thanked him and they left.

    In the meanwhile, Beable and Mouse 2.0’s invisibility spell wears off – and he keeps sitting there, next to Bolba. A child walks up and stats looking at the large metallic monstrosity he’s sitting on. And when Beable flips him a copper piece he runs off.

    In a few minutes time a whole herd of children begin to but their grubby grimy hands all over Mouse 2.0’s shiny metal, which aggravates Beable to the extreme. This little aside is interrupted when Lady Wisteria Walks out the building – and everyone continues the trek to where the Blue Candle Inn once stood.

    Pesh Dens and the Elderly

    They come across a group of three buildings (one larger one in front, a thin one off to the side and an L shaped building behind the other two. Picking the larger building out – Lady Wisteria entered the building which appeared to be a small dilapidated hotel with a single couple of Elderly people living on the second floor.

    After Introducing herself – Lady Wisteria engaged them in conversation and told her that the long thin building is a Pesh den and they keep out of those people's way. The building behind them, they said was haunted – those who go in do not come out.

    Since she was spending an inordinate amount of time there without coming out, Galarend went in – calling for her. Once she responded, the elderly people were happy with inviting the paladin in and treated him like a celebrity. He refused their hospitality, and Lady Wisteria told him of the haunted house and Pesh den. The “House where people disappear and don’t come back” caught his attention more that the drug den, and they decided to check it out.

    Before Lady Wisteria left she asked if the older couple wanted to stay here or live in Rab’s Progress. At first they hesitated – they didn’t want to leave their home. She offered to help them get established and even offered them a job running her Tea Emporium in Rab’s Progress and they agreed. She asked them to stay at the Sodden Stoat and wait for them, and when they refused because that’s where the Red Rope hung out at – that piece of information caught the attention of everyone. She asked them to stay in a different inn and they agreed.

    Lady Wisteria spread the information to Galarend and Beable and they decided to check out the Haunted House.

    I Spy – Games of Sight and Diplomacy

    They never entered the house, but opened the front door – the sight they were privy to was one of warm coziness. Complete with a fire in the hearth and the smell of fresh brewed tea filling the home. Before they set foot inside, Galarend detected evil eminating throughout the home and specifically behind a corner they couldn’t see around. So Lady Wisteria cast True Seeing and Arcane eye and set out to uncover everything they could see from the entranceway.

    The result was drastic. The True Seeing – Arcane Eye floated through the front door into a dilapidated house. Apparently, the ‘coziness’ they saw was nothing more than an illusion as tables and beds were upturned and rotted and dust was laden over everything. The only object that remained the same in both illusion and reality was a rug in one of the bedrooms. Lady Wisteria reported this and they went around to the back side of the house where the bedroom was and had Bolba smash down the wall.

    They pulled back the rug which revealed a trapdoor leading to a cellar – Since Lady Wisteria still had True Sight and Arcane Eye active she scouts ahead and sees a large rack of wines and alcohol, a large chest, several bodies littering the floor and near the back of the room was a large 10X10 foot hole in the ground leading downward. Lady Wisteria sent the arcane eye into the hole which prompted me to read this:

    “The first thing you notice is the light. Small seaweed like plants growing along the walls seem to be giving off a ghostly bluish-green glow as bioluminescence. You can’t imagine the light of one plant being able to brighten up the entire space before you – there must be thousands of them. This thought alone is enough to impress you, but as you drop deeper down the tunnel you are descending into opens up revealing a gigantic cavern. The flooring contains the remains of a flooded city. The ceiling of this room may only be 25 feet high but it is completely filled, floor to ceiling, with water. Most of the buildings below you are between 10 and twenty feet tall, however a few reach straight up into the mud above you. The ground seems mud-covered as well.”

    The first thing that Galarend said (When Lady Wisteria tells them what she saw) was “Well, there’s Mudwater.

    Lady Wisteria tries to identify the plants along the wall of the shaft – trying to see if they are poisonous. So naturally, she rolls a 1. Which means they CLEARLY are very poisonous.

    At this point, Galarend decided that at this point they need to contact the Red Rope and find out what they know about this, and if they know about this. They all head back to the Sodden Stoat and proceed to set up camp for the night. Lady Wisteria brashly tells the innkeeper that they wish to meet with a representative from the Red Rope before heading up to the room she purchased. A casting of Arcane Mark and Instant Summons makes Mouse 2.0 appear with Beable inside of the largest room they bought, Lady Wisteria creates a secure shelter for Galarend and Bolba outside the inn and she takes the room next to Beable and his golem.

    Night goes peacefully and morning comes. Lady Wisteria’s room has a knock at the door. She opens it. Since she has See Invisibility permanently on herself she can see the ethereal shape of a man walking into her room, to which she reacts violently. Speaking directly to him she tells him to stop, which he does.

    Beable succeeding on his perception check hops on Mouse 2.0 and crashed through the wall adjacent to her and pulls his shotgun on the man.

    Galarend, hearing the explosion of Mouse 2.0 breaking down a wall, hops on Bolba and flies up to where he heard the noise and jumps in through the window.

    The intruder, throwing off his invisibility claimed his intrusion was all for show – he was supposed to just appear sitting in the room when she turned back around. This stylish rogue puts up his rapier and introduces himself as the representative of the Red Rope.

    The players explain briefly why they are there and what they found. They state that they are looking for permission to act on their turf and if possible backup to help with the situation. The barkeep flies into the room in a rage, with a sword drawn, but immediately turns around and walks out calmly when he sees the representative attending the matter.

    After hearing everything the players report, the representative says he’ll return with the boss, bows with a flourish and goes out.

    Galarend attempts to help make reparations to the building owner by helping with the reconstruction of the wall. After a few hours of sweating doing the carpentry work the Red Rope leader returns and Galarend leaves his duties with the carpenter. He shakes his hand and the carpenter steals the gold pouch off the paladin. No one sees it, but thankfully the paladin only had one silver piece and nine copper pieces on him. No one was truly upset by this.

    The leader of the Red Rope gives them permission to operate on their territory, but they were reluctant to give them manpower for assistance. Galarend makes the point that assistance doesn’t have to be manpower. The leader thinks about it and agrees to supply them with potions of waterbreathing. Lady Wisteria chimes in with poison prevention type potions too. Ultimately, he agrees, but only if the party parts with half the loot they find. They agree and the representative goes and comes back with a small box filled with potions of water breathing and a few other sundry things.

    They all trade names and learn the leader’s name is Mumford and his representative’s name is Lacey.
    Galarend makes a longwinded attempt for Mumford to change the mind of the way he’s ‘running’ the town – saying that while they don’t see eye to eye on how the town’s system of government is run, but since Mumford obviously cares for the people in the town Galarend attempts to make him a more legitimate ruler, and less of a bandit. Mumford says that he’ll take his words into consideration.

    We ended the session there and decided to hook up in the next couple weeks. The good news is that we’ll most likely be gaining an new player – and old friend of the group as well.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 10: Down Down Down into the Deep Deep Dark

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B.

    Unfortunately, our new player didn't make it tonight, but promises to come by soon to play Dr W.

    This session picked up where the last one ended and I reminded the PC’s of Mumford’s request – he provides them with aide, but gets half the loot they find. Lacey (Mumford’s emissary) lays a chest at the players feet. Upon opening it the players receive the Dry Load Gunpowder that Beable requested as well as 6 potions of Water Breathing (Lasting 6 hours) 6 potions of Delay Poison (Lasting 6 hours) and 3 scrolls of Neutralize Poison. Each player got 2 potions of each and 1 scroll.

    Mumford makes mention that he’d normally never part with 10 grand worth of gold in items for any reason, but he’s holding the paladin of Iomedae to his word. He also reminds them of his request to destroy the haunted house.

    At this point I handed a full map of the sunken city of Dirge – since Lady Wisteria had previously sent an Arcane Eye to check out the city, I provided them with all information that she could see – including the buildings visible and all the doorways into them.

    Their exploration started by going back to the basement of the haunted house. Once they were inside, they began checking the bodies strewn about the floor as a ghostly image rose up from the hole. I gave them the description of what they saw:

    Two elongated and deathly pallid arms protrude from this creature's smoky body as it slithers silently through the air. The very nature of a Soul eater Makes it an ideal and terrifyingly efficient tool of death, and it is for this reason they are often conjured by vile spellcasters pursuing morbid agendas. Even when not seeing to the heinous commands of a sinister magic user, the soul eater prowls and hunts, constantly seeking living souls upon which to gorge itself.

    The fight started in earnest with the Advanced Soul Eater a flyby attack being made at Galarend, he was struck for moderate damage, and took 5 points of wisdom drain. The players reacted with Bolba squeezing through the entrance into the basement, followed by Beable casting a defensive spell on himself, followed by Lady Wisteria casting Protection from Evil on herself and Mouse 2.0.

    The second attack was another flyby attack as it struck Galarend again for meager damage and 4 wisdom damage, dropping him to a wisdom of 1.

    Beable stopped it in his tracks with two heavy blasts from his cannons, killing it dead… er, deader. Anyway, they were able to loot the room and found several bottles of alcohol, a five gallon drum of mead and a trunk full of adventuring gear. They keep the loot and record what they find and have to split up with the Red Rope Bandits. Galarend spams Lesser Restoration on himself, getting his wisdom back up to "acceptable levels."

    Next, they descend down the hole. A casting of Touch of the Sea is placed on Galarend to help him be able to charge underwater, and everyone either casts Water Breathing and Delay Poison, or consumes the potions of them.

    First in the water is Galarend followed by Lady Wisteria and Beable and Mouse. Bolba would be squeezing down the tunnel behind them. A bunch of jokes were made – and you can guess what kind of jokes. Once she was at the bottom, Lady Wisteria suspected (correctly) that hiding in the mud would be some kind of undead. So she spammed 4 castings of Mud to Stone – which was just enough to cover the entire flooring of the city.

    Monster Mash!

    Immediately I begin making more reflex saves that I ever cared to. The spell trapped ¾ of the very very Advanced Bog Mummies, which means there was only eighteen placed on the board. Lady Wisteria had trapped nearly fifty in once-mud-now-stone.

    This elicited low whistles from everyone in the group. Expecting that since there were so many, that they wouldn’t be that difficult to kill, Galarend charged one and Beable fired 2 of mouse 2.0’s cannons at another and missed entirely, due to the water making the firing difficult. When Galarend did seventy some-odd damage and it didn’t drop, the players now are beginning to worry. These wouldn’t be easy to kill. Bolba spends his entire turn sliding halfway down the tunnel, squeezing.

    On the Advanced Bog Mummies turn, the two that were attacked turn and approach their assailants, but the others continue to look around sightless-ly. Beable, and Lady Wisteria, rolling high perception checks could tell they were blind and responded to violent action nearby – but they didn’t know how close they needed to be. The Bog Mummy missed his slam against Mouse 2.0, but connected against Galarend. Since he was immune to disease, he didn’t contract the Bog Mummy Rot.

    The rest of the mummies stand around confused, and end their turns, much to the relief of the players.

    At the start of their turn, both Galarend and Beable need to make saving throws for the aura the Bog Mummies have. Beable saves, but Galarend fails and he is paralyzed for 3 rounds – a quick read of the rules determines that paralysis is the same a helpless and now everyone is scared. Lady Wisteria casts wall of thorns encasing the mummy as well as sealing off the pathway – followed by Beable casting Icy Prison.

    While trapped and relatively safe, Beable slams the Bog Mummy on his turn with two point blank Mouse 2.0 cannon shots and down it.

    After this point, I call for an end of round by round combat, since nothing was an immediate threat. My players discuss ways to get to the location of the Blue Candle inn. The first option was to use the wand of find the path – which I then drew a straight line from the entrance into the furthest building. Everyone rolled their eyes “Of course, it would be the furthest one away.”

    Bolba came into the chamber and picked up Galarend in his beak until the Paralysis wore off. At this point they were all discussing the best way to get into the Blue Candle Inn. After much arguing, they decide on buffing the heck out of Galarend, feeding him a potion of Hide from Undead which they received many sessions earlier, and he would swim out alone (above the reach of the Bog Mummy Despair aura) and check it out.

    The other two hung back and prepared a teleport spell, just in case they needed to jump the distance to him. Galarend swam out to the building and succeeded his strength check to open the door. He was greeted by a scene of a bar, several tables overturned with approximately seven or so skeletons on the floor. Near the back, there was a set of stairs going down. He takes one step inside the Blue Candle Inn and immediately makes a saving throw.


    Being inside the Blue Candle Inn is just the distance of a creatures aura and Galarend starts making saves. Fortunately, his good rolls and the fact that he was previously buffed with protection from evil makes him failing a near impossibility. He travels to the back of the bar and down into a second floor. There, he sees a mass grave, with bones from close to a hundred people. The room wraps around to a “U” shape and he can’t see beyond. I call him to make another set of saves, and he does.

    Galarend’s response is to summon Bolba to his side and when he does, Bolba fails to make his save. He is immediately affected by

    Starvation Aura (Su) A powerful aura that causes all creatures within range to feel the intense pains of starvation. Each creature within 60 feet must succeed a save or be fatigued and succumb to the supernatural starvation, taking 2d6 points of nonlethal damage at the end of its turn each round it remains in the aura. Even after leaving the area or slaying the the creature emitting the aura, an affected creature continues to starve and cannot heal from the nonlethal damage dealt by this ability until it consumes food.

    Galarend, undeterred clambers up Bolba and they turn the corner. Lady Wisteria and Beable with Mouse 2.0 teleport successfully to the top of the house and they cast rock to mud on the ceiling. They drop down, but successfully make their saves.

    Bolba takes starvation damage and Galarend makes his saves again. They turn the corner in the “U” shaped hallway to find another small bar, while behind it is a trapped door.
    Lady Wisteria and Beable come up with a plan to avoid the damage of the starvation aura and after making their next round of saves, they cast tiny hut and climb inside, using Mouse 2.0 as a mount to transport them. Since the rules are wonky and no one could find a quick answer, I house ruled for this session that the tiny hut would stop the aura, with clarifications to be made at a later date.

    Mouse continued downstairs to the second floor.

    Charging through the trapped door in the floor, Bolba appears on the other side to which he sees:

    This area is a stone chamber which looks as though it’s a bottomless pit. It was once a basement, but below the floor (which has mostly eroded away (save for a single point near the far back)) the light fades into blackness. The water in this place has become hot and you can see in the distance, near the last section of the remaining basement floor, a single light source – boiling the water around it. A mass of bones bobs near the top of this chamber as though it were floating.

    Galarend detects evil in the mass of bones – the evil has the “Strong – nearly overwhelming” category.

    Beable, Mouse 2.0 and Lady Wisteria round the U shaped bend.

    Galarend starts to see the bones swirling around and moving to create a huge 30 foot tall skeleton made of skeletons – An Advanced Homebrewed gashadokuro. Galarend decides on a strange course of action. Using his move action he climbs into Bolba’s mouth and pours a potion of burrow down the Triceratops throat. Bolba then charges straight at the light. He lunges straight into the boiling water and takes 20d6 damage, opens his mouth enough for Galarend to reach out and grab the candle. Considering the way Bolba was moving, the water rushed into his mouth scalding Galarend as well.

    He successfully grabs the candle, and Bolba ends up with his hind quarters sticking straight out the mud wall. The gashadokuro blows a bone shard breath weapon at Bolba and he only takes half damage.

    The next turn Bolba burrows straight up, and Lady Wisteria, Mouse 2.0 and Beable teleport back to their room in the Inn.

    Wrapping Up

    Making note of where Bolba and Galarend popped out the earth, he vows to go back and destroy everything down there. Most likely heading straight to the gashadokuro again – but only after he’s gotten help from the Red Rope. Bolba goes on an eating spree, eating whole trees voraciously from his hunger.

    Beable and Lady Wisteria immediately request a meeting with the Red Rope, because there’s something that could slaughter the town underneath it – and use that as a bargaining chip to get them in on the action.

    In the meanwhile, Lady Wisteria goes back to the Duke to give him the candle. She asks for assistance in the coming offensive with the gashadokuro but he refuses, stating that there have been developments and he cannot spare any troops at the moment. When Lady Wisteria pressed for information, asking what kind of developments, he refused to tell her – because she was not part of the military.

    She returned and we stopped there for the night, because it was getting pretty late. Lady Wisteria has midterms the next session, so we will have to wait two weeks before we can meet again, but I can’t wait to see what happens. See you guys then!
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 11: End of Arc 2 - the Above Ground Battle of the Blue Candle Inn.

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B.

    Again, our couldn’t make it this game, but he planned to be there for the next.

    Setting ‘em up…

    The players ended last game setting up a meeting with the Red Rope leader, Mumford. Mumford and Lacey both show up, eager to hear what happened (and find out what loot they found). When Galarend describes what they encountered, and that it may be showing up in the town soon, the Red Rope saw an opportunity. Galarend asked for assistance in defeating the gashadokuro, to which mumford agreed – for the sum of 75% (rather than the original 50%) of all the loot they found and will find once the underground city is cleared.

    Galarend agrees, clearly not happy, but accepting. The others balk a little more, but keep their mouths shut, and let Galarend do the talking. He says that if the gashadokuro comes up from the ground, then everyone in the city is in danger of starving to death from it's magical aura - possibly killing everyone in minutes.

    Mumford immediately goes into action, prompting Lacey to start rounding up members of the Red Rope to make citizens evacuate the town. Lacey says it’ll take a long time, but Mumford tells him he doesn’t care how it’s done, but to just do it. Lacey runs off to accomplish this.

    Mumford also says that he can supply 3 of his officers to help with the situation. Galarend asked if they were any good with a bow, and he responds yes.

    The players begin to plan how they were going to handle the situation. Several ideas came and went, but among my favorites were the “mud to stone” in a 15 foot wide tunnel downward, teen feet above the surface to the room where they encountered the gashadokuro. Then stone to mud the last 10 feet to make a cylinder of stone 150 feet long to drop into the bottom of the chamber. I had to remind them that they didn’t know how deep the chamber was and that it might not work the way they intended it. Their solution – make sure that the stone was seperated every 10 feet so when it falls, it falls in chunks and not straight down.

    As this plan was being made, Beable, was busy constructing a barrel of gunpowder to explode. After coming up with some rough estimates we decided that for each hour he spent constructing the bomb, it would add 3d6 damage and add +5 feet to the already 20 foot radius. He put a few hours into it, and wound up with a 9d6 bomb – not bad for three hours of work (Based these stats off an Iron Pellet Grenade.) We later revised this idea as I reread the crafting rules. But for now - it would fly.

    The plan included luring the gashadokuro out using Galarend suspended on a rope and having Bolba pull him out as the gashadokuro chased. As they were discussing this, Beable felt tremors come from the ground – and all plans were abandoned as the PCs started to ready themselves near the area where they suspected the gashadokuro to pop out. The began to place their additional soldiers around on the buildings and get ready.

    By the time Lady Wisteria began to feel the tremors, they realized that the place the giant skeleton was going to pop out was not the point they realized. Just when Poor Galarend began to feel the tremors, Mumford ran up to the group to tell them that all the Bog Mummies the group encountered last game are pouring out of the house they destroyed and are taking to the streets, paralyzing people and killing them.

    Galarend responds by telling them to take the soldiers and go, assist the people. Mumford leaves the fighters behind, however, to help with the combat effort there. The players had to make a snap decision, do they go off and get the Mummies or do they fight the gashadokuro. They opted to stay and fight it while Mumford attempted to save citizens. As soon as Mumford cleared the map, the gashadokuro popped out the ground followed by two bog mummies.

    …and knocking ‘em down.

    Not being able to fly, the enemies were at a serious disadvantage from the well placed archer-bandits and within several fly-by-attacks from Bolba and Galarend, and several blasts from beable, everything was dead. The archers were a little bit of help too. Beable’s bomb went unexploded, and no player was hit or affected by anything... It was a perfect fight for the PCs.

    After this, they reoriented themselves toward the destroyed house, and they were all flying toward it in seconds, attempting to help Mumford and the others. When they get there, they uncover a nightmare of a scene 13 bog mummies spread out on the streets around the destroyed house, with two soul eaters flying about, fly-by-attacking the citizens on the ground. Mumford is directing several citizens through the streets and evading mummies, but he wasn’t fast enough. As the battle starts every single citizen and escort including Mumford is paralyzed by the bog mummies - this was not planned, but all the roll of the dice. When the DM laughs, it's already too late. I was laughing hard.

    The first round starts and players win the initiative. Galarend and Bolba charge one of the soul eaters and make quick work of it. Galarend and Mouse 2.0, accompanied by Lady Wisteria (riding shotgun) assault the other Soul Eater with a barrage of spells and over-sized impacting cannon balls as usual.

    The Soul Eaters die quickly, but the bog mummies make quick work of about a third of the townspeople. They also begin to severely threaten the lives of the Mumford and the other Red Rope members who were assisting.

    At this point, the PC’s begin to focus on the overwhelming force of bog mummies on the ground. Beable casts Reverse Gravity on a patch of mummies and they all “fall” fifty feet into the air. Lady Wistera is able to stop a few citizens from being approached by casting Ice storm in an area in front of them. Galarend and Bolba charge into the one assaulting Mumford and kill it.

    More mummies attempt to attack people and because of the quick thinking of Lady Wisteria and Beable/Mouse 2.0 saving the ones in the most danger, they only manage to lose about 50% of the townsfolk. More mummies pound at Bolba and don’t do much to him.

    Galarend dismounts Bolba and begins to lay the beatdown on a the mummies, defending the paralyzed Mumford and allies. Bolba bullrushes, slinging a mummy into the reversed gravity field. Beable, Mouse 2.0 and Lady Wisteria take shots at the stragglers.

    Mummies take their time approaching and surrounding Galarend, attempting to hit him and failing.

    Beable ends the reversed gravity and Mummies fall to the ground and some to their death. Bolba begins getting survivors (including Mumford) onto the roofs of the houses. While Galarend channels positive energy while Lady Wisteria, Beable and Mouse 2.0 collapse on the bog mummies, finishing them off in a few more rounds with no real difficulty.

    Wrapping up - The Aftermath’s Aftermath

    So in the fallout Mumford begins rallying the city and getting his Red Rope followers to help – issuing warnings and orders to rebuild and collect the dead. The PC’s begin wondering where Lacey is, and on their own accord begin to suspect that he may be involved with the events of the attack.

    Lady Wisteria sends an Arcane Eye go spelunking and search the remainder of the areas they haven’t seen yet, and sure enough they find loot. So the rest of the PCs hit the underwater and begin to search for items – they get a boat load.

    When they return to the surface they find Mumford to give him his share. He pretends that he doesn’t know what they’re talking about, and gives them a wink.

    Shortly thereafter they are approached by Lacey who begins to talk plain with them, his face serious – a drastic difference from the first time they spoke to him. He says that he doesn’t know what Mumford is planning, but talk among the ranks is that he’s going to go straight and actually become mayor of the town. Lacey knows that Mumford was going to let the loot go to the PC’s, but he has some information. Lacey says that if the Red Rope don’t get their share, then it could cause problems for Mumford down the road. He reaffirms his loyalty to Mumford, regardless of what direction he goes, he will follow, and that being said it means protecting him from possible harm in the future. Lacey says that 25% will make the bandits happy. At least, for now.

    The players comply. And while drinks are on the house at the Sodden Stoat, Galarend and Mumford drink to their fill. After time has gone by, Galarend sobers Mumford up via a Neutralize Poison from Beable. They have a serious talk about assassins – as they believe that his own group will try. He agrees and decides to come with them to Rab’s Progress to speak to the Duke about becoming the mayor of this new town.

    They next day the go back to Rab’s Progress, and speak with the Duke and he rewards them for a job well done. The game ended there because it was already 1 AM and everyone needed to work that day. So we’ll pick up there when we come back! See you guys then!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-08-26 at 11:29 AM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Arc 3
    Session 12: Updates, Upgrades and Grave Robbery.

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B.

    We were finally joined by an old friend of the group. He was playing an interesting cleric. Dr. Jarvius Havishim Worcestershire.

    Updates, upgrades and grave-robbery.

    The game started with just our original three in the meeting room of the duke – who was asking for a debriefing from Galarend. Sitting at the table listening to the story of what was recently accomplished, the duke gave Dr. Worcestershire a chance to introduce himself. After it was all said and done, the duke mentioned that he gathered the best of his city to accomplish his missions for a reason, and he wanted them to consider the doctor a part of the "team."

    After the doctor was dismissed, he went back to his clocktower in the city. I handed out individual slips of paper which each characters shop had to deal with while they were away. They are reproduced here:
    Spoiler: Notes given to individual players

    a. Everyone: Poorer citizens complain about the recent tax increase, all are compliant, however. There’s also been rumors of grave robbing been happening – but looks into the cemeteries mentioned reveals nothing.
    b. Galarend: Diviners employed by the duke have mentioned that offensive action may be taken by someone/something at an unknown time. The Duke’s sent Spies as well as official inquiries into the surrounding nations. Rab’s military has been suffering as well – it’s having problems upkeeping the wear and tear on supplies from increased training. (Due to Galarend shelling out a harge chunk of his "business's estate") A few near misses with malfunctioning equipment and one death has begun to affect the moral of the standing army itself. The tax raise was in part to help mitigate this. Also, there seems to be a series of grave robbing on hand. The guards have been covering it up to not stir up the public.
    c. Beable: His shop has been doing fairly well, with only minor setbacks to its production. A frequent customer named Nith Thessialbar came in a week ago, inquiring about giving the constructs sentience and free will – Your servants released the names of several books to him, and he left, with a spring in his step.
    d. Lady Wisteria: Her shop has been prospering well, and the plants have been rather happy. The Duke, once again ordered a large shipment of exotic teas – which was complicated by a shortage/price hikes of a certain type that he buys often. Regardless, all seems well. People have been coming in for more sleep aids than normal. A common elderly customer, “Shay Reddy” was among them.

    At once, the chaos ensues. All players wanted to act on the information they received but eventually decided on doing so in an orderly fashion. Beable went first – berating his fellow workers for not contacting him with matters of this nature sooner. He decides to pay Nith a visit and when he does he’s met by a 50 year old man who’s two story home is in the center (and rich section) of the city. Nith invites him in and immediately, Beable can tell that the man is lonely. His home is empty, and the only sign of someone other than him comes in the form of the pictures of his late wife over every wall.

    Nith and Beable talk golem construction for a while before Beable asks to see the golem he’s working on. Nith agrees and brings him to the basement. In one section, there is a table and a small wood golem in the beginning of its construction. When asked why he’s building it Nith replied that he when his wife died it left him in need of a companion. A Knowledge: Local check revealed that ever since his wife’s dead he’s been a bit of a shut in. Beable mentions that he can help him build it – and Nith balks at the offer, preferring to be the only one involved in the construction of it. Beable mentions that if he ever needs any help to let him know. Nith agrees and thanks him. Beable leaves.

    Next up was Lady Wisteria who wanted to inquire her supplier (who’s name is Brodert) about why the tea prices are so high. I informed her that Brodert wouldn’t be back for another couple months, so she decides to write him a letter. Instead of having her tell me what was in the letter I made her write it. She began writing and I went on to the next person.

    Galarend spends his time addressing the military issues first. Giving his commanders and all the troops three days off, during which time if soldiers want to make their pay back, they can help with equipment repairs during those days. The lieutenants he asked what was going on, and they replied that the money wasn’t available to keep up with the wear and tear on the machines and equipment and they had to make do with what they had. Galarend gives each lieutenant 100gp and tells them to go enjoy themselves tonight, but doesn’t give them the three days off. He does tell them to come in at 12pm tomorrow, however. Next Galarend speaks one on one with his second in command who tells him much the same in the way of information. Galarend gives him 300gp and tells him to come in with the lieutenants tomorrow as well.

    Next, Galarend calls for the captain of the city guard to find out about the grave robbing. He learns that the city guard has been covering up the indications of it and there have been 4 such instances. When he inquires about the names of the victims, he learns that Nith’s wife is among them. After giving him an even more substantial amount, he goes to Beable.

    Galarend informs him about what he was planning to do (getting the militia to assist with the repairs of the golems) he also fills him in on the story of the grave-robbings. A quick knowledge check instantly gains Beable the information that flesh golems require six bodies to construct, and retain some of the memories of the body used for the head. Instantly, the group believes that Nith is rebuilding his wife as a golem.

    The two decide to meet up with Lady Wisteria and collect Dr. Worcestershire. His introduction was a spectacle, having the group flying on Bolba (and Mouse 2.0) to the top of his clock tower where he was standing (or being carried by sprocket who was standing for him) looking out over the city. A quick round of introductions were made and sprocket made his signature sound of “Sprockety-woooo!” at the sight of Lady Wisteria transforming back into a human from a plant, or perhaps at the visage pf Mouse 2.0 hovering just over the tower... probably both.

    Dr. Worchester invited them all into the tower to meet his various companions who are composed of Sinsear Hade - a detective, Siri - a clockwork mage, Spark - a Clockwork soldier and guard, Distatium - a Wyrwood Alchemist, Blode - a Halforc Investigator and information trafficker, and finally Tick and Tock, two Clockwork Spies. It’s quite the cast of characters and a motley crew at that. After some brief introductions and roleplay shenanigans the game continued.

    Galarend asks if they can speak to Dr. Worcestershire in private and he agrees. Bolba, however won’t let him ride on his back – due to the Doctors Chaotic Neutral alignment, so Dr. Worcestershire cast fly on himself and up they all went – a good 400 feet above the city floor. Here they discuss the happenings of the city and all that was going on – they agreed on a plan of action and set it into motion.

    ***During this several week portion of downtime Beable added a third cannon to Mouse 2.0. Mouse 2.0 is now Mouse 2.1.

    The first order of business was to get the next three days declared as a festival by the duke. When he heard that they were planning to use the three days to 1) generate revenue for the city 2) use the days to get the golems repaired 3) to hopefully draw out the culprit of the grave-robbings into robbing more, the duke was hard pressed to say no.

    Prior to the festival, Dr. Worcestershire got Blode to watch the gravesites for the next few days. His services came at a hefty price, but he paid. The three days of festival went by – the soldiers worked, the watcher watched and Rab’s Progress made a load of money, but no one robbed any more graves.
    Also, about this time, Lady Wisteria and Dr. Worcestershire decided to follow up on the increase of sleep aid sales. They went to question Shay Reddy at her home. While on the way there, they made small talk, and when Lady Wisteria inquired about the Dr's condition (being a paraplegic), he remained quiet and she changed the subject.

    At Shay’s home they hit a dead end, finding out that she was stressed because of tax increases and the fact that she’s on a fixed income (pension from her deceased husband who was in the military (he died several years ago)) and is having trouble affording some luxuries. Dr. Worcestershire wrote a prescription for her – giving it to Tick, and sending it to fill the order for her – and he doted heavily on this old woman, grasping her hand and comforting her. She was grateful.

    During the festival Nith was not seen. While it was common for the man to be somewhat of a recluse, this circumstance was a bit odd. When he wasn’t seen to emerge from his home in the next week – or the next – or the next – the players decided to act.

    The four showed up at the home to Nith Thessialbar's home and the group threw down the prep-spells and Galarend knocked. With no answer, he knocked again and called out for Nith. Again, there was no answer. Galarend opened the door. When he did, Dr. Worcestershire cast a lovely little spell: forbiddance. He locked the entire house down, in which no one could teleport or shift out of, and people coming in would be damaged entirely based on alignment. Thinking themselves relatively safe and Nith successfully trapped, they enter.

    The impossible: reviving the un-revivable.

    Upon entering they are greeted with Nith’s sprawling foyer. However, crumpled on the floor is a small humanoid shape made of wood – the wood golem that Nith was working on when Beable checked in on him the first time. They approach the wood golem to find that it’s been broken in ways that would be excruciating for a human – its fingers twisted around, its legs snapped and broken, its body mass bears deep pockets and pits where wood was gouged from it. Then it moves, looking up to Galarend – and startling everyone around it. Galarend called Lady Wisteria to figure out if she could speak to it, and it startled them again by speaking out in common.

    They ask it questions about “what happened” and “where’s its creator?” The golem was confused and hurt, but it answered nevertheless – he “woke up” down stairs, was brought up to the top floor to a woman. When its creator went down stairs, she began to “cause pain” to the golem – laughing all the while.

    Lady Wisteria had to help get the wood golem outside of the house, and it limped to do so – having its legs busted. Galarend chained it up outside on the gate near the entrance. The golem didn’t argue or about this, but Lady Wisteria comforted it and said they would return soon.

    They continued into the home and were surprised to find a thin layer of dust on everything, as though things hadn’t been touched or moved in a while. They let Lady Wisteria scout the entire house with her Arcane Eye. She scouted the basement and second floor. While the second floor gave her a view of several open rooms and 1 closed door, the bottom gave an elaborate maze of a laboratory.

    However, the scouting of the lab revealed several contraptions. One of which was a table covered with alchemy supplies and enough embalming fluid to choke a horse. She also found a letter on top of one of the tables. Using the arcane eye, she read it aloud to everyone else:

    Spoiler: Insane Ramblings
    Insane Ramblings?

    When my wife died, she took with her my heart – my morality. She resists the resurrection spells, and for no reason! The priests tell me that no soul can come back if it is unwilling. I reject this notion. There is no reason for her not to come back to me. I need her!

    Then, the Irixa came. She told me that she could give me the power to bring her back. The price was small, she said. She wanted my love. I told her this was impossible – my love was for my wife. She smiled and touched my arm, telling me it’s not so much “love” she wanted, but a worshiper. She proclaimed to be a god in need of them, I laughed in her face, but then she showed me the way. She showed me Truth.

    I should have balked at the idea. The spell she leads me towards reeks of necromancy, but the sigils and magika pathways and conduits all point out this to be a resurrection spell of a type – one that will prevent anything from stopping Serena from inhabiting one of the bodies I had to collect for the spell. The mere idea of such a thing being possible should have turned me away. I should have shunned and Banished the bitch where she approached me. But I admit, to my own fault, I was weak. It’s been so long, Serena. I long for your touch again, and I’d cross every level of Hell and the Abyss to find you.

    So I gave my service to this woman and became her acolyte. Heh, me, a man of the cloth now… I could care less, and Irixa senses this. My only real purpose is the spell – and I will have her back, regardless of the cost!

    A quick Knowledge check reveals Irixia to be a Nemesis Devil. It’s a being who tricks others into worshiping them in exchange for power – however, those who do worship them are damned to hell instead of whatever paradise they promise. The players now get a fuller view of the situation and decide to go into the second floor to beat the snot out of Irixia, the “woman who caused the wood golem pain.”

    So, on they marched upstairs
    and buff
    and kick in the door!
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 12.1 and 13: Irixia and Serena

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, Golem Master B and Dr. W.

    They kick in the door.

    Easy enough, they come to Nith’s bedchamber and are instead greeted by a woman, lying in his disheveled bed. Galarend makes one detect evil check and when it goes off ringing like a bell, he walks in. He names the devil “Irixia,” he says.

    She stands, and as she does, her form shifts to that of her devil form, complete with her fallen idol armor. She makes some standard comment villains normally make and attempts to summon her Horned Devil, and wastes a turn doing so because of the forbiddance which Dr. Worcestershire had cast over the entire house earlier.

    Battle ensues – Bolba and Beable (who are circling outside the mansion, are called to charge/shoot a hole in the wall of the Nith Mansion outside the room where the battle is under way. The party buffs and gets ready for an onslaught.

    Irixia, however casts harm on Galarend – making his life miserable – and attempting to move to the back of the room, allowing the party to pile in.

    Beable and Lady Wisteria fire off all manner of elemental attacks – scorching ray, acid cloud, Storm Bolts, Hail Storm – only to find that Irixia has immunity to fire acid, electricity, and cold. Their collective eyes widen. Dr. Worcestershire heals the 1 hp’d and retreating Galarend.

    Bolba and Mouse shoot and crash through the wall and appear behind Irixia.

    Irixia assults Galarend again with a scorching ray of her own and gets closer to the hole which Mouse and Bolba just made – retreating.

    Now that the Golem and Mount are in the room, things got dangerous and very fast. Mouse did his usual 2 blast combo, and Bolba does an attack and passes through on his charge picking up Galarend. Attacks go out and players heal up.

    Irixia casts Blasphemy – dazing everyone, and jumps out the hole trying to escape because she can’t teleport out. She takes a bit of damage from the fall.

    The players follow her out riding on bolba and mouse.

    Irixia goes into gaseous form and begins to float away, trying to get out of range of the zone of forbiddance.

    Bolba flies above the gas cloud and Lady Wisteria jumps off casting anti-magic field as she fell, passing through the gas cloud. It disrupts the spell, and Irixia falls to her death 20 feet below. She died from the 2d6 damage fall… exactly the number of hp to end her.

    The players rejoice and head back to the room they just came from to search for loot before going to the basement of the mansion.

    Bob the Bag

    After searching through the loot, the players are greeted with a strange scene. A brown burlap sack comes “crawling” around the corner and begins speaking to them about the “crazy lady” which kept him in there and that he was going hungry in there. He finishes by saying, “so… where we going?” as the “mouth” of the burlap bag turns up into a smile.

    The players argue about not bringing an intelligent magic item with them for a while before Dr. Worcestershire picks up the bag, accepting it to the group. The players are none too happy about this, but the new cleric doesn't care.

    Session 13: The Wizards Basement

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, Golem Master B and Dr. W.

    The players go back through the house, and this time they go down into the basement. This time, things a just a little different than the way Beable remembers them from a few days before. This time, there’s arcane scribbling on the walls – trapped arcane scribbling – just waiting for the players to pass by them.

    The players explore the area carefully, resisting the first few attacks by an imprisonment spell. They found a strange plain gold ring which was quite worn on the desk which Beable and Nith had discussed the wood golem a few days earlier.

    They continued on, this time turning the corner to be targeted by another imprisonment spell – this one took hold and Beable was whisked off. The players posted to some forums about the interactions between forbiddance and imprisonment and it was decided that the trapping ability of imprisonment gets around the forbiddance.

    With a player trapped, they contacted the duke via sending and asked for a scroll of freedom. After a few minutes, a messenger golem stumbling down the stairs, crashing the entire way down. The players collected the scroll, and the golem crept its broken way back up and out of sight.

    The players examined the spell, only to realize that casting it would be exceedingly difficult considering the spell level was above theirs – a chance they weren’t willing to take. So they decided to continue on, without Beable there to control his mighty cannon golem.

    Lady Wisteria cast arcane eye to determine all the locations where the traps were located and they were shocked to discover that the entire area was covered in a massive amount of spells – to which they began devising how to shut down, but not before accidentally wandering into a transmute blood to acid spell.

    Galarend made his save, thankfully, because just the name was enough to make them suck air through their teeth.

    At the location of the transmute blood spell, was several tanks. The cursory description I gave them was that the liquid floating in the tanks (after a really high arcane check) refills spell levels. This made the Lady Wisteria’s eyes go wide, but they would have to deal with it later.

    They dealt with a few of the other traps by getting Lady Wisteria to transmute the rock walls into mud and slagging them into mush – destroying the arcane energy in the trap.

    They continued to the doorway of the inner chamber only to step on magical trap they didn’t see. The spell Clashing Rocks rolled over everyone from one end of the chamber to the other. It was a catastrophe. Yet, after Dr. Worcestershire pumped a few rounds of cure spells into them, they were ready to go through the door…

    Inner Chamber

    The door wasn’t locked, and they walked in only to be greeted with a floor to ceiling prismatic wall. A quick arcane check and a quick spell list check determined that no one even had access to cone of cold – the first spell needed to disarm the prismatic wall.

    They started to think about getting the duke to send them another messenger golem with the scrolls they needed, but when they heard choking sounds from behind the barrier they instead flew into action.

    They exited the room, looking at the layout of the basement and got lady wisteria to cast Rock to Mud on the wall which would end up behind the prismatic wall.

    What they encountered was a horrifying sight. A woman, composed of several body parts but had the face of Nith’s late wife was holding Nith by the throat, choking him. Between the seams of the sewn together parts black negative energy flowed freely and the party members could even see the darkness flowing from her like a black halo. At their feet was a crumpled piece of paper and several bodyparts which seem like they were deliberately cut and removed.

    Initiative was rolled, and the creature “Was – Serena” moves toward them, holding onto Niths throat like he was nothing more than a doll, and I promptly explained that she brandished him like a shield as she attacked with her open hand – her fingernails like the claws of a derange madman fueled by the darkens to necrotic energy.

    This changed the tactic of the fight, They no longer could blast her, but the focused on getting Nith from her grip and getting him away from her. Eventually they succeeded, and Nith huddled into a corner sobbing his eyes out.

    Lady Wisteria snuck past the chaos to grab the paper, and I promptly gave the player a note that says this:

    Spoiler: The most deranged spell ever created
    Read me first: Any good character that touches the parchment which contains this spell is wracked with unholy pain. He or she must make a Will save DC28. Failure means a character takes 108 points of Unholy Damage. Success results in 54 points of Unholy Damage. Regardless of the outcome, any player has the option to accept an alignment shift from Good to Neutral, and doing so halves the damage taken (54 or 27, respectively). Choosing to accept this alignment shift is considered a “deliberate misdeed” with regards to atonement spells, and an “intentional violation of code of conduct” for paladins ;)
    **Success or failure means that an individual may now handle the document for 24 hours without suffering ill effects from it. If copied in a spellbook, good characters must make the same save each time they attempt to read it.
    School Necromancy; Level Wizard/Sorcerer/Witch/Etc 9 Requirements Heal 10 skill ranks.
    Casting Time: 10 minutes
    Components V, S, M, DF (diamond worth 75,000 gp, 4 dead bodies of the same type of creature you’re attempting to resurrect.
    This spell functions like raise dead, except that the spell has no limit on the amount of time the creature spent dead. This spell can even bring back creatures whose bodies have been destroyed. The dead bodies of the same type of the creature trying to be brought back must be within 10 feet within the time of casting for the soul to inhabit. (An elf soul can be Force-Resurrected into any humanoid body, but not into a Dragon’s body.) The organism must contain all the organs needed for life to be sustained. Upon completion of the spell, the creature is immediately restored to full hit points, vigor, and health, with no negative levels (or Constitution points) and all of the prepared spells possessed by the creature when it died.

    You can revive someone killed by a death effect or someone who has been turned into an undead creature and then destroyed. This spell can also resurrect elementals or outsiders, but it can't resurrect constructs or non-intelligent undead creatures.

    This spell can resurrect a person who died of old age into a new (and hopefully younger) body.

    The 4 bodies used in the casting of this spell can be only 10 days old per caster’s spell level – bodies older than that are not viable and cause the spell to fail if used. Gentle Repose spells function normally on the bodies which are used as components of this spell.

    The 4 additional bodies required for the casting of the spell are used up during casting, replacing organs and parts to make sure the soul has a functional body to return to. The soul is allowed a saving throw if the body is not entirely its own. However, if the original body is used and has all of its limbs and organs that it naturally had in life, it gets no saving throw to resist the resurrection.

    If the creature fails his save by 10 or more, the body reanimates, instead housing an entity of pure negative energy. The soul is instead used as fuel to keep the entity in the plane which it was brought to. Such a victim-body rises up and lashes out at whatever is around it – possibly threatening the caster in the process. The DM uses his discretion on the type of monster actually created.

    Casting this spell is always an evil act – defying the laws of nature in such a manner often attracts the attention of good and evil deities alike.

    Of course, she quickly decided that she would 1) take the damage – which knocked her unconscious and bleeding, and 2) destroy that spell as soon as possible.

    After a quick heal from the Doctor and Sprocket, lady Wisteria retreated as Galarend grappled with Was-Serena. She was quickly handled and while every turn her negative energy halo tore at him, and her claws ripped and shredded at his body, he held her fast – and moved her directly into the Prismatic Wall.

    She struggled to regain control, but failed every time and it took 3 rounds of Galarend holding her in the wall to finally kill her. Lady Wisteria destroyed the parchment - lighting it on fire even before giving Beable's player a chance to say anything about it... Nevertheless, Galarend approved.

    Wrapping up for the Night

    After it was all said and done, Lady Wisteria screamed at Nith telling him that his deranged spell caused her soul to be destroyed. Galarend remained resolute and said nothing, while Dr Worcestershire simply placed the single gold band they found previously into his hand and told him “This was the only thing you ever should have wished for.”

    The adventure ended on a down note, as I told them that Amiel Netherwalk, a noble in Rab’s Progress, who runs the Eagle’s Reach Institute (an asylum for the insane) took Nith into his care.

    We stopped here, reaching a natural resting point before we would play again a couple months down the road due to conflicting schedules.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 14: Sidequests schmidequests

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, Golem Master B, and Dr W.

    It’s been a while since our last game, four and a half months to be precise. But we’re all anxious to get back into the swing of things. The game started with a recap of everything that’s happened since the beginning of the game to reacquaint them with the goings on.

    Over the last four and a half months of real world time, we’ve been participating in roleplay sessions via email. The two that are the most important where Beable’s and Galarend.

    Spoiler: Beable's Sidequest
    Beable Bamford heard mention of something going wrong with Rab’s Progress Transportation system – the Spyders. After investigating, he discovered that a Magic consuming entity (think a leech) from the positive energy plane called the Eigal Vurm (Homebrew creature, don’t bother looking for it) was reaching through the planar divide and feeding on the energy that drove the Spyders (Rab's Progress' main mode of transportation - giant spiderike taxis that scuttle along over the rooftops of the buildings in their main city) – causing them to break down more quickly. His solution was to create several “lamp posts” around the city which would act as lightning rods for this hungry leechlike creature. In the middle of this, he met with a professor of Conjuration at the Mages College (called the Academ). This professor is a Gnome named Dr. Smithenheim – who helped with the construction of the “lamp-posts.”

    Spoiler: Galarend's Sidequest

    Galarend’s sidequest involved the Duke having Galarend escort him to a Gambling Hall. On the way, the Duke mentioned that during the festival that Galarend commissioned a few weeks ago, there was no increase in theft. Since large gatherings promote thieves – he finds it suspicious that the occurance of stolen items did not increase from the norm. The implication is that there is most likely an undetected guild currently operating within the city. Since the Duke and Galarend are extremely vigilant in removing all forms of organized crime from within Rab’s Progress, the suspicion is that if there is a organized crime syndicate, they are very well hidden and very deeply rooted in the system. This, the Duke needed an excuse to speak with Galarend alone – and this was it. The night gambling at the Hex Dice Dropped was otherwise uneventful.

    The game started with the PCs coming out of 2 months of down time in the game (and the sidequests that they participated in). The game started with several slips of paper being handed out – informing the PCs of the wrap-ups of their individual sidequests, and any things that they have been working on. These slips are paraphrased below:

    Spoiler: Lady Wistera's
    Her inquiries into the rising tea prices revealed the town of Luddex (where one of her suppliers is at) has several farmers reported wide scale crop failure of not just tea but of everything the village has to offer. Several of the townsfolk have made mentions of witches, but many believe that to be superstition. Others, however, believes that the unusually longer rainy season may have damaged the crops. Nevertheless, prices have jumped from farmers trying to recoup losses on their crop.

    Spoiler: Beable's
    His slip mentioned the creation of the lamposts.

    Spoiler: General Galarend's
    The Duke asks you to keep an eye on the guard reports and to be aware of anything unusual that may be going on. This is in reference to his individual side quest.
    Military preparations are going well, and the citizens seem a little concerned as no one knows what they are preparing for. The Duke tells Galarend that the divinations cast by the Priest Council continue to state that war is coming, but no other information can be gained. Something big is on the horizon, and the Duke asks that he keep your ears and eyes open for internal as well as external threats.

    Spoiler: Dr. Jarvius Havishim Worcestershire's
    The medication he prescribed to Shay Reddy (an elderly woman from last session who has been having trouble sleeping) has led to a small friendship of sorts. She comes to his home every couple of days and brings small gifts – baskets of blueberry muffins and loafs of poppy seed bread. She reports being able to sleep like a rock now, thanks to your prescription of sleep aids.
    On a side note, she has brought by another gnome. A younger (and by younger I mean approximately his age) Gnome friend of hers to meet him. This Gnome’s name is Penelope Nixia. Her brother runs the Guilded Rose (a bar in the City Proper) and is distantly related to one of the “nobles” in town – Mim Nixia. Penelope asks Dr. Worcestershire to call on her anytime he wishes at her home in the City Mains.

    Herrings, red herrings and other fish-like substances

    I open the floor to PC interaction and Lady Wisteria immediately chimes in about crop failure and witches to the rest of the party, while Galarend asks for a report of anything strange from his guards.

    He immediately gets a ding on “strange” when it’s mentioned that small pets (cats and dogs) are going missing in the southwest quadrant of the City Mains. Further inquiries reveals that even the rats and various rodents are dwindling in the area.

    The report of witches was forgotten for a moment as the Players and PCs energies turn toward the dangling thread of missing animals within their own city. Dr. Worcestershire contacts his “Clockwork Irregulars” to canvass the area. (The clockwork irregulars are a group of gnome and halfings who pretend to be children, beggars and homeless, but are actually seasoned investigators and sneaks who work for the Dr. for a hefty price) The Clockwork Irregulars charge their fee of 1000gp and head off toward that part of the city. (If you're getting the sensation that this sounds quite a lot like something from Sherlock Holmes, you'd be right - keep an eye out for SH references within him, his actions and his cast of characters. lol)

    Lady Wisteria (who had commissioned the creation of an item called “The Last Leaves of the Autumn Dryad” a few sessions ago) decided to use its ability to canvass the city.
    However, this item has been refluffed to that of newspapers, to fit better with the city-scape setting. So instead of leaves tumbling through the city – instead its newspaper leaves. Regardless, she sends her leaves searching the area for anything that may spark her interest.

    Galarend goes to his head Lieutenant and asks if there has been anything unusual of late that he wasn’t aware of, that the other guards might not be aware of either. His head Lieutenant makes mention of the dead body that showed up in the same area of the missing rodents. He mentioned that it was determined that he probably died of a heart attack, but considering the reports he sent men into the sewers to investigate any possible connection between the two events.

    It was at this time that another guard runs up and interrupts the Lieutenant. He smiles, saying that his men should be back and this should be the report on them – Galarend sticks around to listen. However, instead of hearing what the guards who entered the sewer found, he learns that they never came back up from their investigation. It was this moment when Galarend asks his Lieutenant what happened to the body, and the he replies that it was taken to the morgue. The General orders it instead brought to Dr. Worcestershire for an autopsy.

    Galarend then writes three letters to each of the PCs via messenger droid – telling them to meet at Lady Wisteria’s for tea and discussion of what they’ve found and what their next steps should be. He includes an extra message for the Dr. that he’s sent a gift to his tower. He also includes the message for Beable to prepare a few information gathering spells, if he hasn’t already.

    Beable, getting the idea that maybe the wizard community (and by extension their familiars) may have experienced anything along the lines of “animal disappearance.” He heads to Professor Smittenhiem (a gnome) to inquire about any of his students who may have lost their familiars or such. Instead of discovering that familiars have gone missing, one of the Academ’s students (who goes by the name of Jak) has been missing for the last few days. (Beable asks the DM if the Academ is near the area where the pets are going missing, and my response is yes.)

    In the meantime, the Clockwork Irregulars report back to Dr. Worcestershire, animals are indeed going missing, and the only thing that they could find to report was a sneaky looking Kobold which darted behind an alley before the Irregulars could follow. Kobolds are not a normal thing in Rab’s Progress, but that doesn’t mean that they are not some which are inhabitants of the city.

    However, when Lady Wisteria – in the form of her “Last ‘Newspapers’ of the Autumn ‘Printing Press’” spies a different Kobold, looking around hastily, shoving a rat into his mouth and lifting up a manhole cover before disappearing into the sewers, she now has an idea of what to report.

    At this point, Lady Wisteria calls a passing messenger drone down from its path along the city rooftops, she composes three letters (one to each of the PCs) telling them what she has found, where she found it and a suggestion that they follow it into the sewers.

    As Beable makes preparations for info gathering, and Lady Wisteria begins to prepare tea and crumpets, and Dr Worcestershire receives a body at his door.

    CSI Pathfinder (Catchup and crumpets)

    Dr. Worcestershire receives a body at his door, however he is upstairs. His Half-Orc Maid (complete with apron and rolling pin) answers the door.

    “Delivery for the good doctor, Ma’am,” says the delivery boy.

    Sprocket lets out a mechanical whine and a “sprockety-whoo!” from upstairs and comes stumbling down.

    She accepts the delivery and pays the boy and closes the door. Just as she turns away, a rapid and annoyingly persistent knock on the door occurs. The Doctor opens the door while the Maid has the rolling pin raised, ready to brain whoever is interrupting her cooking. A messenger Golem delivers the note about the body.

    Seeing that he doesn’t have much time before the tea and crumpets, the Dr. takes the body away and performs an autopsy: Hair, blonde. Eyes, blue. Race, Human. Gender, Male. Weight, 150lbs. Tattoos, none. Time of death, 3-5 days ago. No external wounds. No indication of lingering Magical Presence. No indication of external bruising. Performing the Y-Incision proved to be a bit more indicative of what happened to the man. The internal organs tissue and muscle looks to have been filled with more holes than one hundred and fifty pounds of holey-cheese. However, despite this there’s no indication of disease. He inspects for entry holes and finds none, but however every orifice has be scraped and “bored” out as though something small may have entered and/or exited the body through mouth, nose and genitalia.

    Running out of time, he does a swab of dirt under the body’s fingernails and places it in a glass vial. Then he teleports to Lady Wisteria’s Tea Shop (where everyone else is at at that moment) and winds up next to the counter in his wheelchair - startling everyone. Lady Wisteria throws a crumpet at the Dr. to which Galarend responds “that you’re not supposed to throw food at the handicapped.” Beable adds, “Yeah, you go to hell for stuff like that.” Then finally it comes full circle with Dr. Worchestershire taking a bite of the crumpet and asking, “Wait, which hell?”

    The PCs sit around enjoying their tea (which Galarend makes a point – the world may be falling down around them, but they need to sit and enjoy the tea. And no one leaves until the tea is gone – so no rushing) and discussing what to do next.

    Long story short and a lot of in character RP later – they decide that they should all go to the Dr.’s to view the body, bring along Professor Smittenhiem to identify it – and see if it was the student who went missing – and lastly to see if he can shed any insight into what’s going on.

    Dr. Worcestershire also gives the vial of dirt to Lady Wisteria to see if she can identify anything odd about it – and a nature check comes up negative for oddities.

    Indecision, Incisions, Decisions and Endoscopy

    The PCs, along with Professor Smittenheim, go to the Dr.’s house. Dr. Smittenheim identifies the body as Jak, and mourns the loss of a student. The players discuss casting speak with dead – and finally Dr. Worcestershire does cast it. When the spell fails it sends them back to the description to see why it would have failed.

    They determine that the corpse has either been hit with a Speak with Dead spell in the past week or it was an undead creature. Since there was no lingering Magical Aura left on the corpse – as would be left by a Speak with Dead spell – they assume that they were viewing an undead creature.

    Lady Wisteria, tries to figure out what in the realm of nature could cause holes like that in a body – she comes up with a couple of parasites, but nothing specific – however, no insect in nature could do that type of damage in the amount of time the body was dead. But that didn’t rule out outsiders.

    Beable throws the Knowledge Planes check and again, comes up with a few answers, but nothing definite.

    Lady Wisteria gets the idea to Arcane Eye through the “bored holes” in the organs. (At the time we were uncertain the diameter which the AE can pass through, so I allowed it – upon further investigation the following day I realized I should have said no as it can only go through openings 1 inch or bigger.) The Arcane eye, after several minutes of slowly navigating the twists and turns of the burrow, comes across a small insect wing.

    They extract it, and after interviewing a Planar expert at the Academ named Dr. Finkledink Mindstorm, (another gnome professor from the Academ) he drops the name “Hellwasp” and a successful knowledge planes check finally reveals everything they would ever want (or not want) to know about the swarm of devil insects that burrow into your body and control you like a literal meat puppet.

    Aaaand that’s where we ended the game because of constricted schedules. We plan on getting together in about 2 weeks from now – and continuing our trek into the sewers most likely.
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-08-27 at 11:10 AM.
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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 15 - Intrepid-Sewer-Expedition

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, Golem Master B, and Dr. W.

    The session started with brainstorming. The players were discussing preparations for dealing with the hiveminded evil swarm of devil wasps. After me recapping the Knowledge Planes (monster info) they gathered last session, they began to research options for dealing with them.

    The first thing Beable did was buy vermin repellant – enough for 2 doses for every member, and enough to coat Bolba and Mouse 2.0.

    Brief discussion went into mounting a Firewyrm cannon onto mouse, then Bolba before the idea was abandoned. (However, there may be an animated Firewyrm cannon in the very near future.)

    Next, Beable scoured every shop in town for several items. They are listed as follows:

    1) Any rod type of elemental mastery. After I made several rolls for random city items, he found 2 lesser elemental mastery rods, one for lightning and the other for cold.
    2) He searched for a wand of lightning bolt and he got lucky again. There was a 5th level wand of lightning bolt.
    3) He then searched for a two more wands (the type of which escape my mind now) and my rolls turned up flat.

    It was at this point that the discussion turned to sheet lightning. It’s a spell that says it does exactly one damage to each creature in the burst with no save. Now, I could have been a mean DM and said that “No. a swarm with 5000 creatures will not take 5000 damage from this spell.” However I wanted to reward my players for outside the box thinking, and went ahead and okayed it. Besides, I figured, they needed the help here.

    4) I rolled to see if he could find a wand of sheet lightning and could not, so instead he bought the spell and created his own.

    During the crafting of the sheet lightning wand, Lady Wisteria sent an Arcane Eye into the sewers (seriously, she loves this spell) to attempt to find the location of the Hellwasp Swarms. She threw a 42 on a survival check to track them, so I said after 15 minutes of crisscrossing the sewers, she came upon the area where they were. She spotted several swarms, 5 nests that the swarms had created on the walls of the sewers out of the “mud” that they found there. She also saw several Rab’s Progress guards walking around in a zombie like state – clearly infested by the Hellwasp Swarms – before the spell winked out.

    Since she knew exactly where they where she could lead the group right to the manhole cover that was the closest to the hives.

    At this point, much hemming and hawing and discussion about protection from evil was had. They decided to slap protection from evil on everyone before they entered the sewers – if they were summoned, then they wouldn’t get touched by the wasps. If not – then the nice +2 to AC never hurts. Bolba and Galarend decided to do a drive by through the first swarm they encountered, just to see if the swarm rolls out the way of their presence or they actually made physical contact when they passed through. They figured this would determine whether or not they were summoned.

    The exploration started with Lady Wisteria Stoneshaping the area of the manhole cover – large enough for Bolba to fit down. They also call guards to stand there so no citizens fall in accidentally.

    Once they are inside, things begin oddly. About a hundred feet away from them, a Kobold (attempting to be stealthy) darts behind a wall and out of sight. (Lady Wisteria was the only one to see it). At this point, Lady Wisteria and Dr. Worcestershire are in front of everyone and since they are in the front-most part of the group, they can just see down one of the halls in the sewers. They both see the Rab’s Progress guard staggering toward them. I call for perception checks, and again Lady Wisteria is the only one who succeeded enough to see the guard’s skin roiling as though something was crawling underneath it. Both his eyes were missing and as she noticed this a small wasp crawls out of the cavity and back into the guard’s hair.

    Fly-by Drive-by Face Pelting Devil Wasps

    Initiative was rolled and players went first. Galarend riding Bolba does his drive by searching the open corridors for a swarm. At first he only finds more dead guards – at least he thinks they’re dead, as they are lying face down on the ground. Eventually, on his first turn he spots a swarm and passes through. When they actually touch him – he concludes that they are indeed not summoned creatures.

    He decides to end his driveby passing through the first infested guard’s space (provoking an attack of opportunity) and getting between it and the party.

    Beable turns the corner and uses Mouse to fires cannon balls at the infested guard, all while getting closer to the swarm they know is there now.

    Lady Wisteria moves into range and casts shatter on one of the Hives, making it crumble to dust.

    Dr. Worcestershire holds his action and waits for something to approach for their undefended side.

    Two swarms come buzzing around the corners and, one of them makes contact with Bolba and Galarend (They take damage, but both succeed on the save vs poison and nausea) A second swarm starts to close the distance to the group and a third lands on a dead body and starts to infest it.

    Bolba and Galarend attack the infested guard, along with Mouse’s Cannon shots – all attacks hit, and it’s still standing. The PC’s eye each other wondering how much HP they have.

    Beable uses sheet lightning to annihilate the swarm coming toward them.

    Lady Wisteria holds her action along with Dr. Worcestershire as they’re aware that the damage the swarms are doing are not that much, and Galarend is tanking them. So they opt to wait.

    The swarm stays on Bolba and Galarend damaging them (but they succeed on their saves again as well)

    The infested guard attacks with its spear again at Bolba and misses, while one of the swarms finish infesting a dead body and it runs toward Bolba.

    Another swarm enters the battlefield and begins to make its way to Galarend.

    Another round of sheet lightning at a swarm and cannon shots at the infested guard kill them.

    Lady Wisteria casts flesh to stone on the other infested guard and the bugs inside fail their save – turning them and their host to stone.

    All the swarms they can see are dead, so the group turns to the hives.

    The party decided to break the hives, and shatter the body – while Dr. Worcestershire places one of the bodies in a bag of holding for study later.

    Lady Wisteria casts another Arcane Eye (I have to laugh at this point) and sends it through the sewers – tracking the Kobold. Another 38ish on her survival check and she winds up toward the south side of the sewers, closest to the edge of the city – where she comes upon a section of sewer which has been altered to make a Lair. Inside this Lair, she spots many kobolds, some of them feasting on dog and cat Tails and ripping through skin with their teeth, while a pile of giant slugs sits in a pool in the center of the room.

    Lady Wisteria rolls a 1 on her knowledge Nature roll, but it’s still enough to tell her that the slugs are constantly hungry and and susceptible to salt. Just before the spell winks out, she catches a glimpse of a Troll walking around inside the lair.

    She relays all this to the group and Beable instantly goes into ideas of constructing a “Salt Bomb” to deal with the slugs.

    Unfortunately, this is where we called the game. See you guys next time! Looks like the next game will thankfully be in about 3 more days. So we can’t wait!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-09-01 at 01:51 PM.
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  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Feb 2008

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Heya Nibbens! I've finished reading up the third session (When they got the Prism forge back, and the angry Lady Wisteria). The campaign does feel different, both in the "high magic industrial world" feel, and the high levels (My party is about to hit 14 just now). It is quite an interesting read so far, quite a bit different from other logs I've read. I hope to catch up on things (I have little time unfortunately), but I'll try to keep an eye on it.

    I quite like the way Lady Wisteria, tea master is played. I hope to see more of her as I read along!

    Anyway, good luck with the game, see you around!

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    Heya Nibbens! I've finished reading up the third session (When they got the Prism forge back, and the angry Lady Wisteria). The campaign does feel different, both in the "high magic industrial world" feel, and the high levels (My party is about to hit 14 just now). It is quite an interesting read so far, quite a bit different from other logs I've read. I hope to catch up on things (I have little time unfortunately), but I'll try to keep an eye on it.

    I quite like the way Lady Wisteria, tea master is played. I hope to see more of her as I read along!

    Anyway, good luck with the game, see you around!
    Hey Kol! I'm glad the story is interesting so far, and I hope I can keep you interested! Thanks for stopping by. I'm trying to get through a rough patch at work atm, but I should get around to reading more soon.

    Lady W is a trip to DM for, and I'd have to say that I'm always interested to see more of her in action too. haha. She is such a weird "sort-of-foil" for the setting and such and adds an interesting mechanic to our games.

    Thanks for the well wishes! Good luck with yours as well! I'll be around. ^.^
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-09-02 at 03:45 PM.
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  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground

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    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 16: Salt Bombs Firedrakes and trolls

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, Golem Master B, and DR W.

    Beable started off our session with varied craft rolls for 2 “salt bombs” which were improvised using the stats and construction rules for pellet grenades.

    He decided to create 2 bombs and it took him a little over two weeks of construction to make them. During this time, he switched out one of the mundane cannons from Mouse 2.0 and added a Firedrake Direct Fire Siege Engine in its place.

    This 2.5 weeks of construction allowed our other PCs to follow up on a couple other avenues that they had been meaning to do.

    Dr. Worcestershire decided to look in on the last note that I gave him. Provided for a refresher:

    The medication he prescribed to Shay Reddy (an elderly woman who has been having trouble sleeping) has led to a small friendship of sorts. She comes to his home every couple of days and brings small gifts – baskets of blueberry muffins and loafs of poppy seed bread. She reports being able to sleep like a rock now, thanks to your prescription of sleep aids.
    On a side note, she has brought by another gnome. A younger (and by younger I mean approximately his age) Gnome friend of hers to meet him. This Gnome’s name is Penelope Nixia. Her brother runs the Guilded Rose (a bar in the City Proper) and is distantly related to one of the “nobles” in town – Mim Nixia. Penelope asks Dr. Worcestershire to call on her anytime he wishes at her home in the City Mains.

    Dr. Worcestershire followed up with Penelope Nixia, and after asking a few general questions, he realized that she was not “needing his services” as a doctor, but rather an ‘ahem’ a social call, he remained cordial and polite while not giving any indication as to how he felt about this. He also did a little bit of research on the Gilded Rose and learned that it was bar in the City Proper which served fine wine and spirits from only Guild Stock as well as tea from Lady Wisteria. He learned that Daverien Nixia ran it and is related to one of the nobles in town who he has bad blood with apparently.

    Galarend, paid a visit to the families of the deceased guards (the dead bodies in the sewers from the last session). These he went to their funerals and brought their “Guard Insignias” instead of their bodies due to having to burn them.

    Lady Wisteria followed up on her note as well. Provided for a refresher:

    Her inquiries into the rising tea prices revealed the town of Luddex (where one of her suppliers is at) has several farmers reported wide scale crop failure of not just tea but of everything the village has to offer. Several of the townsfolk have made mentions of witches, but many believe that to be superstition. Others, however, believes that the unusually longer rainy season may have damaged the crops. Nevertheless, prices have jumped from farmers trying to recoup losses on their crop.

    She wanted to do a bit of research about the town and asked if she could do some preliminary actions in the town without needing the party with her (as I forbid party splitting - as that way madness and TPWs lie) and I told her sure, but I’d get the last say on which actions she could do or not.

    The first thing she did was a knowledge Local check to get info about the town, which was a ridiculous forty-something. It revealed a few bits of information, to say the least.

    Luddex is a small Farming town who’s people are of a general NG disposition. Normally, it’s a bit on the prosperous side except for lately with the widespread crop failures. It is a autocracy run by a mayor who’s a Half-Orc named Hale. The population is roughly 1500 with the vast majority being human, however, due to the geographic location of the town, there are quite a few Half-Orcs there as well.

    She asked if she could go into the fields and take samples of the ground, and I said sure. She did, and followed up with a “Plant Growth” spell to help the locations crops before returning home.

    Sewer Expedition Episode 2

    After everyone was satisfied with their downtimes, they decided on how to approach the Kobolds underneath the sewers. The plan was to allow Lady Wisteria to use Arcane Eye to scout out the location, then using this knowledge come in on top of them from the ground above – and if needed, drop salt bombs on the slugs and deal with the kobolds – but hopefully it wouldn’t come to that. Galarend was insisting on talking to them first.

    So, Lady Wisteria’s Arcane Eye found them perfectly, however, her ability to determine where in the city they would have to go in from the streets to get there was fouled by a natural 1 on her Dungeoneering check.

    So, when they came in from the street by opening a hole in it via Stone Shape, they were a little bit off target. Instead, they were greeted by a sewer tunnel which was altered slightly. So they pressed onward.

    The first thing they encounter is a big yellow billowing gas cloud, just after a turn to their left in the sewer. They could have ignored it, but they chose to investigate. Lady Wisteria attempted to detect if the cloud of gas was natural or not, her Nature Check revealed nothing, she instead tried to smell it. She failed her saving throw as she inhaled the vapors of the equivalent of Cloud Kill gas. Lady W. took 2 points of Constitution Damage which raised everyone’s eyebrows. They took the branch to their left, and came to another similar situation. The tunnel ahead of them ended, but just before that it branched to their right.

    Galarend went straight toward the ending hallway and easily spotted that the stone patterns were off and looked like It bad been tampered with. Did this stop him from sticking his and Bolba’s head in it?
    Of course not.
    So down came the ceiling of the tunnel, Bolba managed to avoid the trap, while Galarend took a bit of damage from the collapsing ceiling.

    This seemingly got the attention of the Kobolds and four of them showed up. Initiative was rolled and players where going first.

    Galarend detected evil and of course he did. He tried some basic posturing (getting Bolba’s body in the tunnel) and communicating with them. He could see the room beyond that tunnel was a large opening, but couldn’t see anything else inside other than the kobolds. He decided they should wait before attacking because they maybe could be reasoned with. All the players agreed.

    The kobolds however, were not so willing to chat. They and up and attacked the giant triceratops, getting multiple attacks and getting several critical threats (but no confirms) their attacks applied bleed damage, so Bolba would up with several small wounds and bleeding cuts. (It was about this point that it dawned on my players that these weren’t CR 1/4 kobolds, but something far worse – something I made.)

    After Bolba got hit two more kobolds came into view and one of the ones in front yelled in Draconic “Tell BloodFist and the Acolyte that the murderers are here,” to which another kobold darted down a side path.

    It was about this time that 4 Giant Slugs edged into view. All four made spit attacks at Galarend and Bolba, none landed on Bolba due to a successful ride check, but Galarend took two acid spurts. Instead of rolling 10d6 each time, I just used average damaged and told him that both hits totaled 80 damage. And then it was the players turn.

    Beable zoomed past the Galarend, and over the kobolds (who weren’t tall enough to attack him with AoOs) and flew right into the middle of all 4 giant slugs. Using his standard action he sliced off the straps from both salt bombs, and turned to fly away. The turning got him 2 AoOs, one missed and he managed to ride check out of the other.

    Dr. Worcestershire ran forward and channeled positive energy to heal Galarend and the grazed Beable, before Galarend took off past all four kobolds to take on the real threat – the slugs. His charge did quite a bit of damage, but didn’t drop the Slug. From this position he was able to look down the side path and see the kobold running toward another room with 4 more kobolds and 6 more slugs. Lady Wisteria double moved up toward the action as far as she could.

    It was the enemies turn again, and the Kobolds swarmed Beable, Lady Wisteria and Dr Worcestershire, getting off a myriad of attacks. Causing enough damage to give pause to Wisteria in her -2 Constitution state. The slugs rasped at Galarend and Bolba with their acidic tongues causing some damage.

    It was the players turns again, and this time Galarend decided that he would chase after the Kobold to stop him from telling “Bloodfist and the Acolyte” that they were there. However, his first turn into that hall resulted in a fly check which landed on a 1. Bolba made contact with the floor which triggered the same trap that he had just encountered. Again Bolba avoided the damage, but Galarend took some. Rolling randomly, Bolba and Galarend were ejected out the tunnel away from the Kobold and the reinforcements of the next room. The collapsed wall was a permanent feature of the map now – they would have to find another way around.

    Beable fired cannons and killed a couple kobolds and Lady Wisteria Force Punched the nearest Kobold away from her, and quickened magic missile’d the other one.

    Dr. Worcestershire, became mad that he was hit in the skirmish. Well, not so much that he was hit, but his shirt was now ripped. So he said, “Sprocket, I believe the Black shirt will do.” With a flavorful description of sprocket changing his shirt – which gave everyone around him a full view of his arcane tattoos all down his arms and chest – and a description of sprockets metal plates sliding down his arms and covering his fists, and his little mechanical eyes glowing red. He teleported next to Galarend (his domains are travel and freedom) and cast Heal on him to clean up all the damage Galarend had taken.

    The battle petered out in a back and forth with the slugs, until they were down. The party then decided to take a few moments to decide where to go next. Lady Wisteria cast Arcane eye to see if she could follow where the kobold ran off to, she passed the chamber that Galarend saw and then turned south, following the slime trail of the slugs.

    She came to another large room with 16 kobolds 4 slugs and a troll near the back. She moved the sensor closer to the center of the room, prompting her to a perception check. She succeed and saw a medium sized Chort Devil off in the shadows. They had found “Bloodfist and the Acolyte” it seemed.

    They decided to go up to Rab’s streets, and bypass the second room, and go straight to the third containing the devil and troll. Starting with a small “Stone shape” to open up a 3 inch hole above the large chamber with the Troll and Devil, both Lady Wisteria and Beable cast Sunburst into the opening.

    Between the two of them, they blinded every single Kobold, and damaged the Troll. The Chort Devil however, was not hit.

    Then the turns began. Lady Wisteria opened up a giant hole with stone shape again directly above the enemies. Galarend chose to freefall with his featherfall ring, and as soon as his head was clear of the ceiling, he charged the chort devil – activating Righteous Might, his ring of foe focus and smite, while Bolba activated smite. Nearly 1000 damage later, the Chort devil was dead where he stood.

    The battle ensued (aka unraveled very quickly) with Beable and Lady Wisteria wrecking individual slugs, and Galarend attempting to grapple and hold the Troll. Dr. Worcestershire bounced around healing as he needed.

    The 6 Slugs from the room they avoided attempted to enter the room – with several well placed Rampart spells, Lady Wisteria sealed them off from reaching them.

    Capture, Escape and Interrogation

    Eventually, the troll and the blind Kobolds were bound and interrogations would begin, after the searched the chamber. Some ways off, they found a pile of loot hiding behind more clouds of gas. 4 Dispel Magics later, they reached the loot.

    Bob the bag had the first pick of the Gems – namely, all of them. While all this was going down, the Troll was slowly working his way out of his bonds. I allowed my PCs to divvy up loot first before I had the troll break free and attempt to scale the Rampart that Lady Wisteria had cast. Instead she cast another Rampart to completely seal him in, and Bolba attempted to knock him out with non-lethal damage. Eventually he succeeded. Quickly, they moved the troll and Kobolds to a prison.

    After the troll awoke, and attempted to grab Galarend, Galarend instead grabbed his arm and cut it off with his sword (which he hardly ever uses, but has more enhancements than his lance, apparently). Only then did the troll start being reasonable and answered the questions that Galarend posed.

    The trolls name was “Bloodfist,” and the “Acolyte” was the Chort Devil. The troll gave a story how he sold his soul for security and power, while the Devil used the troll and his kobold minions for revenge on the surface above, feeding the hellwasp swarms and themselves. The revenge the devil wanted was for the PCs killing the Demon Irixia, but more than that – he had no knowledge. It died with the Chort Devil.

    Galarend gives him his arm back and the troll reattaches it. After some pretty convincing RP (and a nat 1 on my will save) the troll may just have a chance to be redeemed through his works and gain the security he wanted – after a trial of course. The troll believed that his soul was damned forever, but he might could find some peace in this world. This remains to be seen, however.

    Galarend tells the rest of the party, and after a knowledge planes check from Dr. Worcestershire, the party knows that since the Chort Devil died, there may be a chance that the contract may be void – if the Demon was to keep the soul for himself. Not likely, but a chance.

    The game ended there (because it was 4:00am) but we all wanted to see what was going to happen next with the Kobold Minions and Troll. We’ll be getting together in 1 week, so I’ll see you guys then!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-10-26 at 01:15 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
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  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 17 As Diplomatic as a Baseball Bat

    The game started with a small hiccup as they were stuck deciding what to do with the Troll and Kobolds they captured last game, so instead of chewing up valuable time, I asked them to do the research later so we could play at the moment. Everyone agreed and onward we went.

    Since they had decided to leave the city last game and head toward Luddex based on the rumors of “witches” we started with everyone getting a knowledge Local check to determine specific information about the town of Luddex. Dr. Worcestershire called that he sent his servant into the town to scout out beforehand and I allowed it.

    The knowledge local checks were rolled and resulted in this info:
    Knowledge Local DC 30: The town of Luddex is a moderately wealthy town which exports buys crops from its local farmers and exports the merchandise far and wide. Even Rab’s Progress relies on some of the crop produced here, although it’s not dependent on it. The town is a nice place to live with relatively low crime, if you ignore childish games like cow tipping or Rutabaga throwing, or the occasional scandal. The town is situated in the middle of several surrounding Old Orcish ruins and stone monoliths, from hundreds of years ago when the Orcs had control of this area and build a vast civilization. Now the roaming bands of Orcs that still remain are a shadow of their glory and no more civilized than your average brigand.
    Local DC35: This area has been a hot spot for ruin divers and treasure seekers for years, even though the ruins have been plundered many times over – sometimes adventurers will run amiss with the local orc bands living there, but stories of those that return after encountering orcs in their ancestral ruins are few and far between.

    However, because Blode (Dr. Worcestershire’s brute-force-get-things-done guy) was already there in town, I allowed the party a bit of extra directly from him. He reports to the Doctor that a witch has been caught and is currently on trial.

    This sent the players into planning mode. Discussions on whether or not flying on Bobla would be beneficial to them or detrimental. Would the populace be backwater and not trust magic? Would it help the Characters image or not?

    Ultimately, they decided that flying in and making a big show of power and skill would be more beneficial to them than remaining incognito. Dr. Worcestershire makes mention of this group being as diplomatic as a club (or baseball bat – take your pick) and decided to go along with them in their decent upon the town square.

    When they approached they saw a few people gathered around the town square, in front of a church – so descend they did – Galarend floating via featherfall, and Lady Wisteria used an umbrella for falling with feather fall (like Mary Poppins), and Beable landed on the church roof like a boss with his arms folded and a mean scowl on his face, while Bolba and Mouse 2.1 circled the church like a pair of vultures.

    (as diplomatic as a baseball bat)

    After some general grandstanding with this startled populace, the round of questions started firing.
    “Where’s the trial? Where’s the mayor? Where’s the nearest pub?” (This last question was asked by Dr. Worcestershire using his ring of the sophisticate)

    Beable and mouse decide to grab the mayor in his home, while Lady Wisteria and Galarend enter the church (where the trial is being held), and Dr. Worcestershire leaves sprocket behind to “play” while he wheels his wheel chair to the local pub to find Blode.

    Things get interesting here as my party has now split – as they often do during their “interrogations” – and it may be a bit difficult to remember all the threads, so bear with me.

    First, Beable flies on mouse to get the mayor – literally knocking on his door with Mouse’s “mouth” open revealing the cannon. As soon as the mayor (a half orc) open the door – he’s greeted by a cannon golem’s weapon pointed right at him. Incongrously, Beable’s a happy and peppy little gnome. After some brief rounds of calm discussion turned intimidate checks, the Mayor decides to come with Beable to the church (which is where the trial is taking place and where Galarend currently is). Beable offers the mayor a harness to ride as Mouse flies through the air, but he declines. Smartly.

    Dr. Worcestershire heads to the nearest pub where Blode is sitting waiting and another half-orc working the counter. The Dr. tells Blode that he wants to speak to the suspected witches parents. With a grin, the Halforc tells him that they’re currently at the trial – at the church. The Dr. tells Blode that if he needs him to create a distraction in town, to be ready to light something on fire. Then he leaves heading back for the church.

    Lady Wisteria and Galarend enter the church right as the girl is going to give her testimony, so this grabs the attention of everyone around. Lady Wisteria steps forward pardoning herself for the interruption, but seeking an audience with the Priest/Judge as an immediate request. The judge of course denies this and asks her to take a seat to watch if she cares, but to please be quiet during the session. Lady Wisteria does not back down and the two of them go back and forth as to why it cannot wait. Eventually, Lady Wisteria backs down and takes a seat to watch the proceedings.

    Beable shoves the mayor in the church, and says, “Here’s the mayor,” to Galarend (quite loudly) before slamming the door to the church (quite loudly again) before looking for the nearest bar. Asking a few locals, he finds out and heads there. He passes Dr. Worcestershire, waves and keeps going.

    Galarend – doing a quick check of the ISG book to check how his Iomdae and Iori interact – finding that they are on neutral terms, he steps forward and approached the girl, draws his sword (which draws a wide eyed reaction from everyone in the audience) but he stops before her and kneels and begins praying loudly to Iomadae for a fair trial.

    Dr. Worcestershire, approaching the church, hears Galarend’s dulcet baritone voice echoing throughout the entire church, so he enters and sees Galarend praying, Lady Wisteria playing with a “dancing light” tossing it up in the air and rolling it across her fingers, and sitting next to a bewildered mayor wondering what in the blazes is going on. He sits down as well.

    (Diplomatic as a baseball bat)

    Beable finds the bar, and Blode. The gnome sits down by the bar’s only patron and asks him if he drinks. Blode responds with “I could drink you under the table,” and smiles. The drinking game begins. However, Beable can tell that Blode is not really drinking all that much.

    The trial continues with the girl giving testimony about what happened:

    a. Girl: “I was out in the field and she heard a noise, and was scared. I ran from that sound and I have no idea what happened to Zin after that.”
    b. Lawyer one: “Were where your clothes when you ran?
    c. Lawyer two: “Come on, are you going to make her spell it out, you know what she was doing.”
    d. Judge: “I want to hear it from her mouth. Therese, I’m afraid you’ll have to answer the question.”
    e. Therese (girl): “We were together in the grass. We had been meeting for weeks now.”
    f. At this point, a Farmer stands up – “Horse sheet! You know yous eet him, ya witch! Took em right out from my house. We goan burn ya ya pasty whoore!”
    g. The judge calls for order: “Algra, I will not tolerate any more of your outbursts.”
    (The girl of course winces at all of this.)
    h. Judge calls for a recess.

    People start walking out the church and once everyone is out only then does a person in what looks like guard garb actually begin escorting her out. Dr. Worcestershire stops her and gives her a rose as she walks out – a simple gesture that brings a slight smile to her cheeks, but overall doesn’t seem to help her mood. Galarend, on the other hand, scopes out the guard and does a sense motive check to see if he’s legit about his job – to which he determines that the man is serious about his guard duties and doesn’t seem to be corrupt. Galarend gives him and nod and the guard and his prisoner continue out the church.

    Also, as people are walking out Galarend does a “detect evil” and picks up 4 hits – two minor, and a medium and a major. Galarend does a nod to Lady Wisteria and then to the strongest person in question. The Lady picks up the hint and follows her with a casting of Arcane Eye. She follows the woman who pinged as the highest level evil target. She learns that her name is Doreen and she runs a mercantile business as she goes back to her daily process.

    So now, it’s Lady Wisteria, Dr. Worcestershire, Sir Galarend, the mayor, and the priest/judge (who they discover his name to be Tiberius Zank) who are alone in the cathedral.

    First, Lady Wisteria apologizes to the priest who then proceeds to criticize the representatives of Rab’s Progress for acting so casually and as though they run everything in such serious matters. The priest asks them to be more mindful and respectful of the towns they interact with.

    They take this verbal tongue lashing in stride and begin to ask their questions. They find out the priest believes that the girl didn’t do anything and is wrongfully accused, but will carry out the trial regardless of his opinions as a priest of Iori.

    The PCs and the priest exchange information, and the priest fills them in that the Boy’s father Agra, was the man who stood up and shouted during the trial, was the one who brought charges of destroying the crops upon the girl.

    The PCs ask for a full explanation and Tiberius goes into the long description. Therese was found running through a field late at night without her clothes on. The fears of the town with the crop failures was enough to start people talking. If that wasn’t enough, the boy she was with, Zin Agra, is missing after that night. She claims that she heard something and ran – but Agra has always had a grudge against Therese and her family when the girl and boy wanted to get married. Agra refused to let his boy marry some “rich city dweller.” Whatever his reasoning, it nevertheless meant that the two lovers had to meet in secret.

    Tiberius believes that the girl is telling the truth, but mourns for soon to be destroyed reputation. It doesn’t matter whether or not she was telling the truth – her good name is ruined after this.

    Lady Wisteria, Galarend and Dr. Worcestershire decide to go speak to the girl. They make their way to the garrison’s holding cells and see the girl looking down at the flower that the Dr. gave to her. The question her and get a more detailed explanation about the night that Zin went missing. She heard a noise and was spooked, and ran. The noise she heard sounded like someone speaking with their mouth open – no real words just a lot of open gutteral sounds. She made her way through the fields that night, and was spotted by Hanna Thumb – a local farmer whos field she was cutting through. When Zin went missing and Agra reported it – Hanna felt the need to report what she saw. The PCs pledge their help to the girl and tell her that if all goes well, they may be able to remove her from this town and bring her (and possibly her parents) to Rab’s Progress to get away from this mess. Taking their promises to heart, she seems more comforted.

    The bartender comes back from the trial and resumes serving alcohol at his shop. 3 additional people come in as well. After some greasing of palms, Beable finds out a large amount of info from the townsfolk. Specifically, that Ol’ man Agra wouldn’t let the two get married, despite the girl’s parents (who are merchants) offer. He claimed that Zin was needed on the farm and that we wouldn’t let his son get married to a lazy family who doesn’t know the meaning of hard work. There was a lot of overlap from the trial and the PCs investigation, so I won’t mention it all here.

    The PCs leave Tiberius and Lady Wisteria decides to chase down her Tea Supplier who comes from this town. From Brodert (her supplier) she receives a boatload of information – again, a lot of it overlap – but this time the relevant info comes in the form of tidbits about Doreen’s business practices. She’s rather cut-throat and if you manage to get at odds with her, she won’t have any problem manipulating the market and attempting to put you out of business. Brodert mentions that he’s managed to stay on her good side while operating in this town – but doesn’t trust her at all.

    Next, the PCs all wind up gathering as a group and discussing what they found out. They decide their next best course of action would be either tracking down Agra and talking to him, or searching the location of where the Therese and Zin would have met and seeing what they can find there.

    They decide to harass farmer Agra first. I mention to them it’s getting late in the day and is about 5ish and starting to get dark. While coming upon the man plowing his field – Beable (who’s riding mouse) throws a rope to Sprocket (while Dr. Worcestershire is wheeling himself toward Agra). Sprocket grabs hold of it and Beable yells for him to hold on.

    Beable and Mouse begin flying at high speeds up and down the rows while Sprocket is “land surfing” literally digging the rows for Agra. The party had a good laugh at this (as well as Sprocket – “Sprockety-whoo” as he says).

    Nevertheless, they see the plow that Agra is using and he asks them what they want. Dr. Worcestershire asks if Zin would use that plow often? To which Agra responds “yes.”

    Dr. Worcestershire casts “Discern Location” using the Plow as a medium. After much reviewing of the wording of the spell I answer that it’s a completely legit use. The spell doesn’t give them a radar ping, but it does give the name of the location – to which I reply with “A pile of ruins directly west from here.”

    Orcs and Forts – Blasting away the night.

    The hunt continues into the night. It’s dark as the PCs come upon an old Orc ruin – approximately 100 feet by 50 feet with 20 feet walls and an open top. Inside the ruins are several dozen Orcs and a large gate blocking off the PCs from the encampment. They look around and get a sight of the armaments of the inhabitants and see that the gate guard and a Orc in front of the only door in the structure is fully equipped and stronger looking. The rest of the Orcs don’t have much in way of equipment or muscles.

    The PCs approach the gate and ask Galarend asks directly about a Human boy named Zin. The Orcs do not deny they have him – but claim that there leader is absent, so any and all bartering must be made with him. The Orc guards will not overstep their bounds. Oddly enough, the guards let slip that their leader "doesn't have a name." This info seemed to dawn on the orc as though he never thought it was odd.

    BTW, this whole conversation is taking place in Orcish – as they do not seem to understand Common.

    Galarend says that he wishes to see the Prisoner and make sure that he is well. The orcs resist, but some well played RP later and the Orcs allow the Paladin alone to come in and see the boy and speak to him. The Orcs take him into the door in the structure, which turns out to be a 10X10 room with a spiraling staircase downward. They go down approximately 50 feet into the ground and the 5 foot tunnel is made of carved stone. Through this tunnel they pass a 4 way crossing and into a 40X40 room containing a stinking chest, a bag of what looks to be coins and/or goods and finally a large cage with an Unconscious boy guarded by 2 additional muscley-orcs – however, the unconscious body is no Boy. He looks like a 40 year old man with salt and pepper hair.

    Now, the PCs had discovered the age of Therese and her lover to both be 16. This could not be Zin. So Galarend asks if he’s allowed to say a prayer to his god. The Orc thinks this over and shrugs. What could it hurt? Galarend first channeled positive energy, then cast zone of truth as the boy/man stood groggily up.

    After much surprise and calming down, Galarend asked the individual a few questions. Apparently, the boy/man did not know how he got there. First, Galarend asked him if he was Zin Agra, and the answer is “yes.” This of course made him curious, so the important question came – “what do you remember?”

    He responds that he was with his lover in the grass when she heard a noise – something like a guttural noise or an open mouth grunt. She got scared and ran away. While Zin was gathering his clothes he heard it again, this time behind him. He turns around to see Therese, beautiful and naked – and then she wasn’t Therese. Her face changed into something horrible – a horribly deformed creature with empty gaping eye sockets, and a tongue-less mouth. Two black withered wings extended from her back. The last thing he remembers is the smile before he passed out from pain wracking his body.

    Now, he’s awake and feels his face – aged as though he was an old man. He’s distressed and asked Galarend to save him. Galarend takes a step back, looks as though he’s going to say no…

    And summons Bolba.

    Roll initiative.

    The PC’s outside the fort noticed that Bolba had vanished, and through previously discussed plan – if Bolba disappears, they were to go around the backside of the fort and enter through the back of the section that had a door. A successful Stone Shape spell allowed the PCs access to the spiraling staircase and down to the tunnels in ehich they could see Galarend and Bolba fighting for their lives with the three Orc barbarians.

    Galarend, not on Bolba as usual was reduced to a heal bot while Bolba did what he could against the furiously fighting berserking Orcs – When bolba finally killed one he realized that they all had access to the Tor Linnorm Death Curse. Each death cursing Bolba as he nat 1’d on two of the Orcs he killed.

    A successful casting of Wind Walk from Dr. Worcestershire to get them in the room and a successful Rampart spell from Lady Wisteria to close off Orc reinforcements coming from the 4 way cross, and a successful disintegrate spell from Beable to damage an Orc were a few desperate maneuvers from the PCs to rectify the situation.

    After the party killed 2 orcs, and dealing with the fallout from the death curses, Lady Wisteria cast Flesh to Stone on the final Orc. A quick Teleport sent the PCs, the loot and the stone statue of an orc to the fields outside the town of Luddex.

    A quick search of the bag grabs them loot, a quick detect magic reveals that Zin is under an permanent Alter Self spell and has taken a penalty to his age and a quick dispel magic brings the boy’s face back to normal. They search the box and find the bodies of two elderly men – both of whom had all their hair and nails pulled out (all the damage was done incrementally, and post mortem).

    It was here we stopped the game as the PCs decided what to do next. As it turns out, the next game is in four hours, so I’ll get back to you all tomorrow! Whoots!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-10-26 at 01:15 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 18: Steak and Eggs with a Slice of Murder, a side of Mayhem and a dab of Curse.

    Joining us this time were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, and Dr. W.
    Unfortunately Golem Master B had to bow out this game due to being sick, but he plans to be back for the next session.

    With Zin, two dead bodies, and a petrified Orc in tow, the PCs make the decision to keep Zin hidden from sight. They don’t want him appearing and shocking the already “possibly superstitious” populace any more. So, with Lady Wisteria’s casting of Secure Shelter they all bunked down that night outside the city and away from the farmers.

    Come morning, they were hungry so after much hemming and hawing (at high level there are so many options for them, that’s what takes all their time) it was eventually decided that they would place Zin on Bolba’s back and have Bolba take him for a joy ride for a few hours – flying high above the city so no one could see him – while Galarend went into the city for breakfast.

    Lady Wisteria stayed at the Secure shelter, as it had quite a few hours before it shut down talking to plants…

    After taking orders from Zin, Lady Wisteria and Dr. Worcestershire, (Steak and eggs for all involved!) Bolba got to flying with Zin and Galarend went off to get food. After scoring some local made meals, Galarend was on his way back outside the city when a guard from the city watch approached him, telling him that something was wrong with Therese, that she had been sobbing all morning and wailing.

    Curious, he approaches her cell and I give him this description:
    When you reach the cell, Therese is doubled over – even more pale than you last time saw her. She raises her head feebly when you enter, and lets out a scream and backs away from the bars. You however, have to restrain yourself from backing away in disgust too. Her once beautiful face has broken out in warts and lumps, one of her eyes has swollen to the size of a gold piece and is now the color of an angry red. Lastly, her teeth look to have been twisted in their roots. Whether she is or isn’t a witch – now she certainly looks like one.

    Of course, his detect evil doesn’t ping, but he suspects something similar to what happened to Zin. He tells the guard to tell the priest to meet him there while he goes and collects the rest of the party.

    Cold Eggs and Forgotten Steak.

    Keeping Zin up in the sky, the characters gather together to discuss Galarends findings. He suggests that Lady Wisteria and Dr. Worcestershire come with him to the cell that Therese is being held while Bolba keeps Zin entertained in the sky. All of the players agree and head there – leaving the steak and eggs uneaten and cold.

    After examining Therese, Dr Worcestershire finds her to be under a Bestow Curse – curse. A quick remove curse dispels the effects and Therese is understandably shaken up. She explains to the party that Zin came to her in the middle of the night. As she rushed to the edge of her cage, she found she couldn’t speak. No sounds were coming from her mouth as she tried to call out to him. His smile only broadened as he grabbed her wrist tightly (she still had bruises from it) and then she could feel her face twisting, warping while all he did was smirk. He didn’t say anything to her, and she didn’t see how he left because she was so distraught.

    Galarend cast zone of truth and had her repeat the story – it came out true.

    What followed next was the most repetitive and grueling, zone-of-truth laden, Detect Evil canvasing, cross-examination of all major NPCs, guards and suspects in the city. I won’t get into details, but know that Galarend had Lady Wisteria cast Secure Shelter inside the jailhouse and used this as their base of operation. Bringing anyone and everyone involved into the shelter and grilling them.
    The party considered throwing out the “True Seeing’s” to see if there’s anything going on beneath the surface (even above and beyond their own permanancied see invisibility spells) but ultimately it never came to this.

    While the PCs where collecting prominent villagers, for secretive interrogation (even Zin and Therese were reunited eventually) of detect evil, zone of truth, and sense motive checks, the true villain was out doing more villain things in broad daylight. But the PCs didn’t know this. After Zin asked to go home and see his father and tell him he’s alive – the PCs agreed, thinking the trouble was nearly over. They couldn’t have been more wrong.

    First, people reported seeing the priest/judge of the town (Tiberius) kill Therese’s mother in a public place while walking with her husband. (This prompted the PCs to interrogate him harder, but to all detection spells turned up nothing)

    Second, the guard who was protecting the jail cell Therese was staying in the night she was assaulted and cursed was found mangled in his own home – physically aged as Zin had been, with his hair and fingernails removed post mortem.

    This lead to the PCs questioning the removal of hair and fingernails – as this was the third victim found this way. Much hemming and hawing was done about speak with dead, but eventually all the PCs decided on a Raise Dead spell. Everyone shelled out the cash for it and pop he comes alive screaming.

    The last thing he remembers was being led home by the captain of the guard who relieved him of his duty, escorted him home, and killed him once he was inside by strangling him to death. This lead to the captain of the guard being interrogated and again, the players hit a dead end – he was not the killer.

    Also, it should be noted that this is also the second instance of the villain “not speaking” as they were assaulted. The players kept note of this as the interrogation went on.

    Third, Lady Wisteria was seen killing someone broad day light in the middle of the street before running off.

    Now, the PCs got irritated. NPC’s being framed is one thing, but PCs getting framed is another thing entirely. Keeping everyone inside the Secure Shelter, Lady Wisteria used her Leaves of the Autumn Dryad to canvass the town.

    With some really high survival rolls, she managed to follow some odd footprints in the middle of the town into an alleyway. As though encountering a “nest” of some type made of garbage, she decided to have the leaves wait there, to see if anything would show up. Just as the power was about to run out (after 8 hours) someone came around the corner. She decided to allow the Leaves to stay there instead of returning to her.

    Of course, turning the corner was Galarend – fully armored and ready for battle it seemed. “He” stopped by the ‘nest’ before pulling out a small potion and drinking it. He turned invisible – which of course Lady Wisteria sees because of See Invisibility. The ethereal outline of Galarend suddenly flies off toward the east of town at some ridiculous fast speed.

    Lady Wisteria follows for as long as she can before the Leaves of the Autumn Dryad gives out, and it seems that “not-Galarend” is flying toward Agra’s Home.

    And finally, the leaves give out – frosting over and becoming useless for a while until they auto repair.
    The team, nevertheless goes into action – everyone hopping on Bolba (or Mouse 2.1) and following as best they can. They don’t see the not-Galarend but make a wild guess for Agra’s house.

    They get there, and without stopping to knock Galarend jumps off Bolba and flies through the front door taking 60 someodd damage and landing sprawled out on the ground of the small home.
    Taking a look around, he sees not-himself standing above Agra, slamming him with spell after spell – dying. Zin is also in a nearby bed, his body nearly severed as though a giant claw had cut him nearly in half. A quick heal check on Galarend’s part was enough for him to see the blood still pumping out of his body – he knew he was alive, but not for how long.

    The fight didn’t last for a full three rounds, and the blasting that occurred was immense. Not-Galarend used an Empowered cone of cold on real-Galarend, while Bolba and the party crashed through the wall of the house. Lady Wisteria and Beable and Mouse laid the smackdown on not-Galarend while Galarend healed himself and Bolba, and Dr. Worcestershire healed Zin from his near dead status.

    The creature – which was fully going to escape, was caught in the one place where he could not use a “Burrow” Alchemy Potion to get away – a wooden floor. So unfortunately, as a DM I was forced to have my baddie make a last stand against the unstoppable PCs.

    They killed not-Galarend and his body returned to normal during death – she was a Mute Hag.

    Wrapping up.

    It was then the PCs started to put everything together – Mute Hag’s who are mustache twirlingly evil, live to sow discord and watch communities tear themselves apart, and it was decided that this was what it must have been doing.

    However, there were a bunch of loose ends, that didn’t make sense – like why tear out the fingernails and hair… These lose ends they decided to not pursue in lieu of claiming the monster dead to the townsfolk and helping with the burials, formalities, etc.

    However, we’ll have to see what they do with that next game. See you guys then!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-10-26 at 01:16 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 19: Draconic dalliance, and tracking The Sepelathorian.

    Joining us this time were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, Golem Master B, and Dr. W.

    However, it should be noted that after a long day, Dr. W’s player crashed on my couch and fell asleep near the end, so his lack of participation near the end of the game should be noted as such. He should not be blamed – as we wrapped up at 4am.

    The game started with a quick recap for our missing member from last game, Golem Master B. There was some clean up I made the PC’s encounter after dealing with the Mute Hag.

    First, I asked how the PCs were going to handle the growing hatred rumbling through the town – as the mute hag disguised as Lady W was seen committing murder in broad daylight. Lady W stepped in, managing to control the crowd and giving proof by means of showing the dead hag, as well as some well-placed rhetoric about how they saved them. She explained what the Hag was doing (even if she didn’t quite know how) and that seemed to calm the villagers from murdering their would-be-saviors.

    Next, Sir Galarend made a brief, but meaningful goodbye to the town priest of Irori. Shaking his hand, he asks that if the priest every requests his assistance in lawful trials and such, to not hesitate to call on him. The priest agreed and they parted ways.

    Thirdly, as they were preparing to leave, Zin approached Dr. Worcestershire and very timidly explaining that while his father was a boor of a man, mean spirited and hateful, it was his father – and Zin had seen what Dr. W did to the guard: Bringing him back to life so they could question him. Zin, being unusually timid and meek asked if it was possible if Dr. W would raise his father.

    The table got quiet, and I think they all understood immediately the slippery slope that they were beginning to stand on. Dr. W, in all his wisdom told Zin that was not a decision he could make easily, and asked to be alone for a few minutes. Zin complied and Dr W went to the town Pub by himself.

    While there, he bought a round of drinks for everyone there, got Sprocket to whip out a metal flute – to which he begins to play a common and catchy drinking song. Everyone present joins in on singing. After the drinks have been drank, the songs have been sung, and the flute has been played, Dr. W offers up a prayer to his god about how he should attend to the matter of Zin asking for the resurrection of Agra, his father.

    The response he receives is a typical one – indifference. This indifference is not an “I don’t care about this” type of indifference, but rather a “Do as you will, it matters not to me” type of indifference. It is the common indifference of the Chaotic Neutral god of drinks and adventure. Yet, only those connected to Cayden Cailen would know the difference between the two indifferences – and which one the god is using at the moment. (I loved this little bit of flavor – it even sounds like a drunken response, which is perfect)

    Dr. W returns to Zin and asks him if he is going to marry his girl. He blushes, and says that he hopes to. Dr W proceeds to tell him that all things happen for a reason, and that while it was horrific that Agra should pass on as he did, there is much good to come from his death. From death springs life – new life between Zin and Therese. New life in the plot of land that Zin will come to work which was once his fathers. New life in prosperity as the town grows. Dr W confirms that he will not raise his father, and he tells Zin that he should look to the good that comes from the bad.

    All in all, it was a rousing bit of RP.

    The players discuss if they wanted to stay and focus on the unanswered questions here in Luddex before returning to Rab’s Progress. And talking amongs themselves – they all agreed that they didn’t have enough information to feel comfortable justifying returning home. For one, they didn’t know how the crops failed. Two, they didn’t know what the relevance of old people being kill, young people being aged to old people, and why the old people had their hair and fingernails ripped out post mortem. Three, no one knew how the Orcs were involved, why they kidnapped the boy in the first place, and who the leader in the orc stronghold “without a name” was.

    After speculating on these pieces of unknown info – they decide to stay in Luddex a little longer to set up information connections and perhaps research the orcs a bit. They remembered that Rab’s Progress is supposed to be encountering a “war” or an “attack” soon, but they don’t know where from.

    First, Dr. W decides to head back to the bar, and calls for a “town meeting” of sorts – where he’s able to get several important to semi important individuals from about the town. He buys them all a drink (like 50 people) and essentially asks them all to keep their eyes and ears open and report any strange events to the bartender – and the bartender was to compile these notes once a month and send them via post to his clock tower in Rab’s Progress.

    Once that was done, he returned to the group and they decided to make the entire party invisible while they went to the orc stronghold. After viewing the hold from above, they realize there’s considerably fewer tents inside the courtyard.

    Lady W decides to use speak with plants on a nearby oak tree. She asked a bevy of questions, and gained some information about the orc tribe. All the stronger orcs left their stronghold, and went separate ways leaving behind the weak, elderly and young. She also asked after the “nameless one” or “the leader without a name” and the tree was able to report that something which wasn’t exactly an orc and wasn’t exactly not an orc never spoke as it moved among them. Also, the ‘not quite an orc’ had left a few days ago and had not come back since.

    The group took this information and decided to stop at a few other orc strongholds as they made their way back to Rab’s Progress. Lady W’s castings of Speak with plants aimed at oak trees (she feels that she gets better information out of oaks than not) to see if other orcs had been in the area or if there was a mobilization of fighters and such. The trees noted that new orcs had joined the tribes lately, but no orc seemed to be gearing up for a battle or anything recently.

    Disheartened at this lack of information, they decided to head back to Rab’s Progress.

    First rolls of the night

    After hours of information gathering and once they returned home – they game started in earnest.

    At this time, I handed them their own sidequests and such for the session. I reproduced them below.

    Lady Wisteria:
    After the events in the town of Luddex and the eventual slaying of the Mute Hag the crops have returned to normal – and business is picking up – people are buying more tea than normal due to the new influx of supplies. For this next downtime add 5% of the amount of gold earned.

    Golemmaster Beable Bamford:
    Upon returning to Rab’s Progress after the events in the Town of Luddex, everything seems to have returned to the normal humdrum experience of repairing golems and helping Gruff Hewnhammer keep the Spyders up and running. Add 5% to the gold earned this downtime.

    Sir Galarend:
    The military is still at a slightly heightened state as the diviners for the Duke continue to report “war is on the horizon.” But just how close this war is – is anyone’s guess. Everyone seems to be enjoying a sense of security and it’s making the training of troops easier – add 5% to your downtime gold earned.
    Bloodfist has taken to the clergy of Iomedae like a baby duck to sewer grate. First, he accidentally tore his new priest garb – twice, accidentally broke a pew when sitting down, and smashed several candelabras when picking up several at once for the night. That particular congregation has been suffering lately, no one wants to come to a church where they know there is a “troll hiding in the pulpit” (as the rumors begin flying). Subtract 5% of your gold intake from this down time.
    The trial with the troll has been completed. He’s been found to be not guilty, but not without reservations. They are asking the guard, clergy and you to keep a close eye on him and see how he develops as a citizen.
    Lastly, a spirit has seemed to enter your shield. It doesn’t seem to communicate – at least not that you’re aware of. All tests and such seem to report it being a law abiding and generally good entity, although how it got there and why, as well as what it is capable of remains a mystery. (if it wasn’t at least a +1 shield, it is now)

    ***The last bit there was requested by Galarend’s player – he wanted to do something special with his shield and I created an opening for him to do so. More info to come on this!

    Dr Jarvius Havishim Worcestershire:

    The baskets of blueberry muffins and loafs of poppy seed bread continue to flow into your clocktower from Shay Reddy – and Blode has really taken a liking to the muffins.
    Penelope Nixia has continued to invite you out to the Guilded Rose for tea, cigars, and whisky. Her brother (who runs the Guilded Rose) has asked you to come by sometime when you’re not with his sister. He has an idea for a brew that he’d like to toss around with you – and he’d like it if the brewers guild didn’t hear about this one.

    I gave them a month and a half of downtime before the duke would call on them again, and Lady W commissioned a slightly altered Otherworldly Kimono from Golem Master B. Except instead of granting a +4 to saves, it gave a +5 to saves. I allowed this by using the Adding New Abilities section of the Magic Item Creation page.

    Nevertheless, he created the Kimono and bought a Ring of Wizardry 3 for himself as he didn’t have enough time to make it.

    Galarend brought Bloodfist to Lady Wisteria to practice “how not to be clumsy.” She started with serving them salad and I made Galarend roll Bloodfists reflex to see if he broke the fork and or silverware as he ate. He didn’t break the fork, but he bit it in half.

    After some more instruction on how to take food with your lips, not with your teeth – I had Sir G roll another reflex for him. Needless to say, he took a bite, set the fork down on the plate – breaking it. He was startled knocking over the table, then he stood up and shoved his head through the wooden roof of Lady W’s tea shop.

    After a thorough berating from an irate tea master, Sir G took Bloodfist to the barracks for combat practice with some of his soldiers. His courtly training would have to wait.

    Meanwhile, Dr W. went to go see Daverien Nixia, the proprietor or the Guilded Rose. After sampling whiskey and cigars, the two of them went into the rear of the shop where Daverien laid out his plans for a new type of Absinthe type drink combining some type of non-addictive drug additive to an expensive whiskey base for sale to nobles and discerning palates. Dr W was intrigued by the idea and asked what type of drug was going to be used. Daverien responds – “that’s where you come in. I have less than no knowledge of alchemy.” Dr. W stretches his chin and decides to inquire with his live-in-alchemist: Sinsear Hade. Daverien and Dr W shake hands before he leaves.

    I proceeded to tell Dr. W’s player that we would create the details at a later date, as the session needed to continue.

    The couple months of downtime also allowed them to all roll their profession rolls for their business and such within the town. Doing so, they gathered a paltry sum of gold. However, for the first time in my life I watched in unbelieving horror as Lady W roll four nat 1’s in a row. We all briefly thought of taking pictures and submitting it for dice shaming, but we thought better of it and just threw that dice away. No one should be subject to such evil.

    The duke calls the PCs to his manor and they arrive to his meeting room. They were not alone, however. The owner of The Academ (Wizards College) and The Mask (Bard/Art College) was there with them. The Duke introduced Lucian Nalo (Gnome) to the group, and the duke yielded the floor for Lucian to speak.

    He started by walking to a blank wall, and with several castings of Dancing Lights, he created what could have been holograms as descriptions of the things he began to speak on.

    Long story short - He explains that while searching for information on the Prism Forge several diviners came across another piece of information related to the legends of the forge, but not necessarily about the forge itself. He explains that while it’s not certain that the Prism Forge may have been related to the candle that never extinguishes (hereafter referred to as the Candle of Eternal Flame), but research into the candle seems to have been fruitful.

    He explains it (in game terms) as a minor artifact that never goes out and never burns its wick – all fires created by it are “magical” in nature and harder to extinguish than normal.

    However, more interestingly are what they found in lore. The Candle has several counterparts. All of them supposedly minor artifacts that produce a low but continous amount of energy.

    He reports that they are similar to the elements – but not the cardinal 4. The candle produces fire, however there is reports of a similar object for acid, electricity, ice and poison.

    Lucian states that all of the artifacts have grabbed our attention, but they’d like to start collecting them. To get them out of potentially harmful hands. The first target would be the oddity – the poison one.

    The Duke interrupts – “we?” he says. *the duke’s face sours* “Do not throw my name in on this project just yet. We’ve a lot of irons in the fire already.”

    Lucian turns to the Duke stating, “Then for progress.” He makes a dismissive gesture with his hand. “It matters not, we’ve almost a fix on the location and wouldn’t you rather have it than not?”

    At this point, Lady Wisteria interrupts, excusing herself and asking if he knows what happens when all 5 of the artifacts are brought together.

    This intrigues everyone at the table. And they all make similar grumblings.

    The duke yields the floor and Lucian answers, that he doesn’t know – and that they wouldn’t be housed together, but rather in separate places among the university under lock and surveillance.

    The party grumbles louder – many of them toward Lucian’s incompetence. Most loudly would be Beable’s Player – since Lucian is based on a past character of his, he complains of him being made an idiot, etc etc. Nevertheless…

    Spoiler: DM note:
    Since this campaign was pretty flexible, I set it up as a veritable playground for my players. Lucian, while seeming incompetent in this scenario, would have been the BBEG if my players had opted for a more “story driven and diplomatic type game” as he’s the only person in the entirety of Rab’s Progress who can openly oppose the duke politically and have the power to maneuver unimpeded through the social spheres. Since they decided on a more hack and slashy type of game, now he just seems like a horses rear end at best and incompetent at worst – when in actuality, he is neither.

    The duke opens his mouth to speak – to make a statement of some kind – when a single wine goblet falls off the table, splattering its contents on the floor.

    I then proceed to read this:

    A deep rumbling grows – slowly shaking the table and entire building. The sound of stone crashing and breaking can be heard outside the manor. Soon after a low growl is heard, and over the next ten seconds that grown heightens in pitch to the earsplitting noise of a giant squealing pig, then vanishes. Legends have been told of the creatures that make that sounds like that – only the most ancient of dragons can claim it.

    Of course, everyone springs to action. The duke takes a hold of a small trinket around his neck, crushes it and vanishes. Lucian takes to hiding while the party gathers info. They ask where it sounds like the roar going, and the answer is toward the West side of the city.

    Beable and Galarend gather several clockwork dragons to fight against the oncoming threat and take off toward the West side of town, while Dr. W teleports back to his tower. Fearing an assassination attempt on the duke, he gets one of his NPCs – Sinsear Hade to disguise himself as the duke and wander about the city during time of crisis.

    The reason he does this is because when Lucian mentioned an artifact that continously produces poison, his mind immediately went to the God of Poison – Norgorber. As soon as the dragon entered the picture and made the city erupt into chaos, he assumes it’s a distraction for an assassination attempt, which is also in Norgorber portfolio.

    Sinsear Hade wanders around the city, hoping to attract an assassin of some kind.

    It should also be noted that Dr. W’s player fell asleep here. So, he’s no longer active.

    Golem Master B and Sir G were leading several Clockwork Dragons through the sky to where the Dragon should have went when they come upon a strange sight. The dragon lands below their line of sight, on the outskirts of the city. When he lands, a giant eruption of magma spurts from the ground. The two charge full speed ahead to reach the intruder, and when they do – they come upon a strange sight.

    A man dressed in a red suit, red pants, red shoes, and a brown feather in his red cap, is dual casting water spells (Create water and hydraulic torrent) trying to extinguish the flames some 50 yards on the outskirts of the city.

    Once the PCs are in sight, he looks to them waves nervously, and goes back to casting water spells – turning the magma into obsidian as they watch.

    Galarend flies closer while Beable stays behind. Before he can say anything, the man in red blurts – “Sorry about that! So sorry! I forget that happens. Dramatic entrances and all – not my intention.”

    At this the wary introductions are made – and the man in red introduces himself as (and he speaks it very fast) “Rozjarkixen” and when the PCs gave him the weird eye, he says, “Call me Rajh for short.”

    Beable slaps himself with true seeing and sees the man is a reddish-orange dragon. Arcane are thrown and he pops up as a Primal type, Magma Dragon. Galarend uses detect evil and nothing pings. However Beables Knowledge Arcana check is high enough to know that Magma Dragons usually fall into the “Chaotic Neutral” end of the Alignment Spectrum.

    Galarend asks him “Why are you here?”

    And Rajh answers, “I need an audience with the duke. I assume you can set that up for me?”

    At this point Beable Player (OOC) becomes irate – vehemently protesting any such action.

    Galarend ignores his request and continues his questioning, “Why do you need an audience with the duke.”

    Round and round we go for a few moments, with Galarend skillfully avoiding any commitment. However, they all eventually give in. Rajh gets his audience with the duke, and reveals this:

    Rozjarkixen’s explanation of why he’s here seeking an audience with the duke:

    I live in a cave in what many of you small people call the “Twisted Forest.” I was happily sleeping when something changed. The magic that protected the place faded away. This didn’t bother me so much, but a few months later, my cave collapsed. At first, of course, I was angry. Ready to lash out and destroy everything in my sight – and that’s about the time I came upon an odd collection of dwarves. They were an excavation crew or some-such, with giant machines for digging through the earth. Seeing this as an opportunity to get my gold back I approached them, and asked if they would help me dig my cave back out. They, of course, agreed.
    I left to pave the way them, smashing trees and such, but when they never came – I grew furious again. I went back to the spot, fully ready to eat a few of the small fat people to make my point. What I found was a bloodbath already taken place. Something had destroyed the machines and made food out of my excavation crew. Thinking I was unlucky, I was ready to turn around and kill a few dozen forest animals and uproot a few hundred trees to slake my fury. But then, things became weird…
    You small people have tales of boogie men. You know, scary stories you tell to children to keep them in line – don’t do this thing and that other thing won’t happen to you. Well, dragons have a similar story. We have the tale of the Sepelthorian. An ancient black dragon gone Dracolich. Many of her exploits are passed on in tales, but they aren’t the point. The point is that she’s supposed to be an amalgamation of reasons why going Dracolich is a bad idea – a tale to keep Dragons from pursuing unnatural means of extending our lives. She’s supposed to be many things, and perhaps the most important is she’s not supposed to be real.
    I polymorphed into a small rodent and watched several undead dwarves following a dracolich, and as it flew away, it announced its presence by shouting into the sky, “Sepelthorian has returned,” and so on. You know how the older dragons are – all high and mighty, and love announcing it.
    Regardless of whether it’s really her or it’s not – I’m staying here in your city until 2 things happen. One, I want my treasure back. My cave needs to be excavated, and from my castings of a Vision spell, you’re the reason for it collapsing in the first place. And two, the Vision also said you’re the reason why a dracolich is in the area anyway. I’m not going to have the Sepelthorian or someone purporting to be her in my woods! Get rid of that thing.

    At this point the party begins to get really worried – as they realize that this is a thing that dragons are scared of, and the implications of it.

    The next biggest mission becomes the PCs attempt to get Rajh out of the city – as the duke tells Galarend “Get this bucked of deadbolts out of our city!”

    They use a variety of methods – first is to show Rajh the factory where all the clockwork dragons are made (Because he showed an interest in them during his arrival into Rab’s Progress). Beable escorted him about the city, trying his hardest not to sweat.

    After taking him to the factory, a comedy club, then performing comedy himself on stage (he “slayed” his audience – too, pardon the pun), and finally to a high end brothel, the dragon was finally convinced that he would leave the city, but only if they got his home back first.

    During this – imagine poor Paladin of Iomedae, Galarend sitting in a brothel for 4 hours waiting for the dragon to finish.

    Nevertheless, once the draconic dalliance was finished, they decided to fly out to Rajh’s cave to fix the problem. During the trip, the players got a more relaxed as the dragon assumed his real form. So the players decided to turn up the scene.

    Beable slapped form of the dragon whatever on himself and flew next to him while Galarend used Greater Angelic Aspect and too up the flank, while Lady W rode on Bolba as a potted plant. (Mouse 2.2 was bringing up the rear of this huge phalanx of dragons and angels (and a single potted plant) streaking across the sky)

    At this point, I switched the view for a moment, and had my players describe an old hermit who lived off the land, and asked them to tell me what happens when he say the sight. This is what they come up with:

    The old hermits name is Barnaby Fobsworth. He’s a seventy year old Human Male, smokes a lot and drinks homemade moon shine. Has 4 teeth and smells of wilderness, feet and liquor. He lives with a dog named ralph.

    Upon seeing the gaggle of dragons/angels/UFT (Unidentified Flying Triceratops)/cannon-ish golem shaped like a foo dog/potted plant while sitting on the ground with his dog outside his shack – he promptly soils his pants, as the roaring dragons/angels/UFT/Foo Dog/potted plant combo pass overhead.

    Ahem… back to the game.

    Anyway, they come upon Rajhs cave, and after 4 castings of stone shape Rajh is able to get back into his den. He invites them to come into the room to have a pick of one item from his horde.

    Galarend lays eyes on and promptly selects the Ring of Protection +3. He also makes another request of the Magma Dragon. After asking if the Dragon has a connection to his horde and always knows where it is, he offers to add 10K gold to the dragons horde for just one gold piece from Rajhs horde.

    The dragon agrees – and Sir G is happy to pick up another potential ally. Rozjarkixen settles back down on his pile of gold, and goes to sleep – slagging the metal directly under him.

    Excavation Site and Roc shenanigans

    The Group searches around for a while, until they find the excavation site of the Prism Forge ruins. The PCs find no dead bodies – only upturned and forgotten Mining Golems. However, there are dwarven footprints – as though they had been shambling – toward the East.

    The group packs up on Bolba and takes off, following the herd of dwarven footprints.

    As they are flying, they encounter 2 rocs with 50 foot wingspans flying toward them. These two enormous rocs are followed to two smaller rocs. The party instantly gathers that they are a teaching their younglings to hunt – and they are the prey.

    Rocs swoop in amidst Mouse-fire (cannon fire? Cannons fire?) and one Roc grabs Sir G in one claw, and Lady W in the other, while the second goes for Bolba and misses.

    The fight is over quickly as Beable/Mouse 2.2 destroys the roc holding its two victims. Sir G has a ring of feather fall, and catches Lady W, as he calls Bolba to him. The other three rocs fly away from the scene, and the players let them go.

    Wrapping Up

    It was well past midnight at this point and everyone went home with fat XP and loot – except for Dr W’s player who was fast asleep on my couch.

    Anyway, I’ll see you guys next time! Let’s see what their search of The Sepelthorian brings them!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-10-26 at 01:16 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 20, Part 1: That moment when they finally realize that it really really is all their fault.

    Joining us this time were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, Golem Master B, and Dr. W.

    This time, it should be noted that Lady W’s player crashed on the couch and fell asleep near the end, so her lack of participation near the end of the game should be noted as such. She should not be blamed – as we wrapped up at 4am.

    Also, you’ll notice that this post is a two parter – as the PCs were introduced to the what may or may not be the BBEG – they were (un)fortunate enough to create an info dump that they spent a lot of time sifting through. Which means that much of the exposition will need to be explained, as well as the fact that it was a really long game. So I’m going to break up the post into a bit more bite sized chunks. So this post will continue very soon – as soon as I get it written. Lol.

    We picked up with a recap of the last session, briefly detailing what happened with Dr Ws player. Of course his surprise when he was told that they managed to “deal with” the magma dragon without combat came as a bit of a shock.

    Nevertheless, they followed the “shambling dwarven footprints” for a little while longer when Bolba spots something in the trees below them. He sees a large hole in the ground – seemingly guarded by a giant of some kind.

    Sir G starts slapping himself with buffs and such, and Dr W slaps himself with trueseeing, while Lady W. sends an arcane eye down to the giant and the hole. At first she recognizes quite instantly that the giant is not living – but undead. However, she couldn’t tell if it was a skeleton or a zombie, because it seemed like it was “just that old.” I also described how it looked wretched, as though it was ready to fall apart at any moment.

    She also noticed that the tracks they were following just ended about 40 feet away from the hole. It just abruptly ends, like they all vanished.

    Then she sends the AE into the hole in the ground. It goes down 300 feet where it shunts off at a 90 degree angle to the east. The passageway seems to be uniform and created from the stony mountains below their feet as though by stone shape spells or the like. The passage continues for 100 feet before ending abruptly. She could tell, however, that the end of the wall looked odd, as though it might contain a passage.

    The PCs, deciding that they’ve come to where they are supposed to be prepare for a fight. Bolba and Sir G charge through the trees, coming straight for the undead giant...

    They hit it with such force that Bolba rips the thing to pieces when he hits it. Everyone flying on the UFT got bits of giant zombie viscera in their hair and on their clothes. Apparently, the thing didn’t even react to them upon seeing them – it just stood there, and died. (well, as dead as undead can be… whatever)

    Nevertheless, they all decided to go down into the hole. Somehow, Dr. W. got to the head of the line, (somehow) and tinkers with the door, revealing:

    Spoiler: Read to PCs
    After passing through the trap door, you come to a 50 foot by 50 foot room. The ceiling is 30 feet high. This plain stone room is completely dark – but near the center, there is a simple stone statue of a dragon approximately 2 feet tall on a small pedestal. The statue’s eyes are glowing red, with the illumination of a candle. A small ring of mice and other vermin’s skeletal remains are in a small halo around the base of the statue. The floor is completely pristine – as though the bricks were magically sculpted. As you catch sight of the flickering eyes of the dragon statue, you feel yourself drawn toward it. It beckons you to worship before it.

    Dr. W rolls a will save and fails. I made everyone roll initiative (because things were about to get nasty). Dr W moves in the room and everyone in the hallway sees him approach and kneel before the statue.

    Galarend moves toward him as far as he can move and yells “Dr. Worcestershire!” as loud as he could. I allowed Dr W. another save, and he passed. Bolba moved forward in the room as well. Everyone else approached as far as they could, but didn’t get inside the room.

    My turn: WHOMP! Everyone standing in the room was slammed with negative energy – 14d8 of it (averaged out to 63, or 31 if they saved for half). And it was the player’s turns again.

    Dr W asked me if the eyes in the dragon statue were gems. And my response was “yes, tiny rubies.” He asked Bob the Bag (Dr. Ws sentient bag that loves to eat gems) if he was hungry.

    (At this point, the DM in me squealed in delight – I love it when PCs come up with interesting ways to defeat traps!) Bob, of course, said “yes.” So he tossed Bob on the pedestal and watched as the sentient, and always hungry Bag snapped the head of the dragon statue off in one bite and chewed loudly, and obnoxiously and with lots of “mmmm’s” before crawling its way back to Dr. Ws possession.

    Galarend asked if he felt the cloying pull on his senses anymore (as he did upon entering the room) and I responded no.

    The PCs, assuming the trap was done all filed into the room as Dr W pointed out an illusory wall that led to another hallway. As the PCs all started taking their time through the room, WHOMP! I hit them all (and some of them again) with 63/31 points of negative energy damage. Realizing that there were two traps in that room, not just one, The PCs bustle out the room to the new hallway.

    Deciding to take it cautious, the Lady W uses Arcane Eye again to scout ahead. The hallway made a T junction, with the left handed path coming to an abrupt end, but the right coming into another large room:

    This floor of this room looks to be made smooth and pristine much like the previous room. This 80X80 room is mostly featureless, except for 5 metallic double doors on each wall, for a total of 15.

    I ask her to make a Perception check, and scoring a 40-someodd, she nets several pieces of information – 1) the doors seem to have a faint shimmery look to them, as though they are flowing with some kind of energy, and 2) near the rear of the room is a trap door in the ground. However, the one thing she missed was the most important... but more on that in a moment.

    The PCs file into the hallway, stopping just before, when coming out of the shadows was an Advanced Shadow Lord Roper. Queue the infogathering Knowledge checks on Shadow Creatures, followed by Ropers.

    The point to take away from this is that shadow creatures are normal creatures who were trapped in the plane of shadow and gave birth to spawn which have traits of the shadow plane. Including nifty resistances to cold and electricity as well as the ability to blend into shadows granting them 20% concealment while in shadowy areas (which is why my PCs with see invisibility pemnancied on their selves didn’t detect the thing standing right there, a perception of 50ish would have been needed). Also, shadow lords are creatures that cause thinning between the planes while the area they stay in is drenched in shadows – to allow easier passage between them.

    They stored that info for now – and the fight ensued. Getting the drop on the PCs, the roper “appears” and summons a Vanth Psychopomp – a stereotypical grim reaper looking thing.

    Things quickly go downhill from there. Galarend charges, Beable fires mouse, Lady W uses Magic Missile, and Dr W casts Death Ward on himself – preparing for the off chance that there are more Negative energy Bursts coming his way. The Roper goes down without too much fuss, but then the PCs get another surprise… WHOMP! Dr W, Lady W, Sir G, Golem Master B, and Bolba are all slammerhammered with 63/31 negative energy damage. Dr. W laughs in his perfect execution of just the right spell at the right time.

    The PCs scurry to the trap door, and open it, revealing another 200 foot drop – and while flying just below the room (inside the tunnel) the debate about whether or not to check the doors. They decide against it and figure they’ll go back into the room later if they need.

    They wander down into the tunnel only to have it turn directly to the west, leading them to an enormous treasure room filled to the top with gold and silver and gems.

    While the PCs are debating on whether or not they should take the bad-guys treasure horde, they start leaning that way and figure it as a way to lure the Sepelthorian out her lair to fight outside of her turf.

    While they are discussing this, Sir G offhandedly says “Guys, whether we take her treasure or not, she probably knows were here regardless.” This sparks Lady Ws curiosity. She casts Detect Scrying to find a magical sensor directly above Sir Gs head. “Yup, she knows,” she said.

    A mad dash for allies, Draco-latin, and the granddaddy of info gathering.

    The players decide quickly that they should all form a daisy chain around the loot and get Lady W to Teleport them to the outside of Rajh’s cave. The Teleport goes off without a hitch. Just as they are doing so, I call for a perception check – and Lady W gets a nat 20. So I tell her that as the gold is vanishing with them, she notices that there is a trap door underneath all the gold. Apparently, there was more to the lair. Then Boom – several hundred lbs of Gold and Silver and Items appear just outside the Ancient Magma Dragon’s cave in a deafening crash as the coins adjust to the height of the ground and settle in the grass. Lady W immediately tells everyone else what she saw.

    The noise awakens the sleeping Rajh but he doesn’t come outside just yet.

    The players begin to argue and strategize. The figure if they have her gold, they can taunt her to coming to them and they have an ally at their side – a giant Magma Dragon. Rajh, however doesn’t like the idea – claiming that they were supposed to rid his territory of the Undead Monstrosity, because it was their fault she’s there to begin with.

    Sir G plies his diplomatic skills – attempting to appeal to the dragons desire to gain power and wealth. The Diplomacy check is clear in the 30s. Regardless of modifying Rajh’s view of them a smidge, he still declines, saying that the only reason he’s lived as long and is a powerful as he is, is because he is cautious…. Cautious enough to head back to Rab’s Progress (and be in human form once he’s there) while they continue to hunt the Sepelthorian. As he turns to go – now Sir G turns to outright bribery offering him the coinage of the Sepelthorians loot 60,347 copper pieces, 40,701 silver pieces, 23,456 gold pieces, and 421 platinum pieces to stay put or help them.

    While this negotiation is going on – Bob the Bag is getting restless. Seeing the gems on the ground he starts complaining loudly to Dr. W that he wants them. After ignoring Bob the Bag for his first couple of complaining whines, he jumps off of Dr Ws equipment slots and begins to crawl like a worm or caterpillar over the ground (albeit very quickly) toward the gems. In a matter of seconds, I grab the loot sheet from my PCs and start marking off gems that he’s eaten before anyone can react. Sir G gets Bolba to step on the bag and hold him in place. Bob loudly complains, but his insatiable devouring of gems is held off for now.

    Sir G turns back to Rajh. His offer of all that gold makes the Dragon pause for a moment. He flips a coin from the horde, (it lands on tails) says he’ll sit on the treasure, but he’s still going back to Rab’s Progress. This was not what Sir G wanted. Now that he’s lost the loot and the potential ally is flying away, he turns back to the group disheartened.

    In the loot, there was a bag of 850 small flawed aquamarines worth 1gp each. Sir G gives Dr W the bag and tells him to feed Bob whenever he gets hungry. They hope that that’ll keep Bob satisfied – only time will tell if giving him “treats” like a dog will stem the tide of his hunger.

    Lady W offers a suggestion. She could cast the Vision spell about the Sepelthorian to gain some info about her. The PCs had never really dealt with it before, so after hearing about what it does – they went ahead and told her to do it.

    It should be noted that during the casting of the spell – Sir G began to pray to Iomadae for strength and fortitude and knowledge of which path they should take.

    Golem Master B (who has spent his time with his nose in the deities book for about ten minutes now) says that he starts “praying” to his deity by doing the “whisper prayer thing” with Mouse 2.2 (since his deity is Brigh).

    Regardless, the Vision succeeds, and Lady W is granted a vision. Since the information they had about the Sepelthorian is a vague as vague can get, the resulting Vision was also vague. This is the vision:

    Spoiler: Vision of the Sepelthorian
    Vision of Sepelthorian

    You see the colors black, then it fades to white.

    At first you see what appears to be a yellow and orange lake stretching between two mountains, with dazzling light dancing off it as the sun rises above it, but then you realize that this lake is no water – but rather gold and silver and diamonds.

    You feel intense respect, and something that may be the flutter of love in your chest, but you are spurned.

    You die, and in a raspy voice, you say: “I am yours.”

    A child’s toy painted with all the colors of the rainbow blows in the wind a cross a vast plain.

    You chew and swallow something.

    The same child’s toy twirls faintly in the breeze before the wind stops blowing. It comes loose and floats downward to the ground, where it is engulfed by shadow and fire. The plain it is in burns, then the world dies. Mountains are slagged into acidic waste. The seas become poisonous. Lakes becomes as ice. The air becomes filled with dust and death.

    A cat from the plain, a goat from the mountain, a fish from the sea, a snake from the lake, and a bird from the sky die, then the world is born again

    You scream “We are betrayed,” as you feel your consciousness slipping away.

    It should be noted that Sir G and Golem Master B both receive similar “feelings” during their prayers (while Lady W is casting Vision) – Golem Master B senses a familiar feeling, the idea that all the pieces are fitting into place and that proceeding with too much hesitation will cause the pieces to slip out of place, perhaps lost forever. Sir Gs feelings were similar, but rather more direct. He gets the sensation that the more time is wasted deciding what to do, the more lives are lost – even at this very moment.

    Lady W poses another question – the outcome of which make the PCs stop for quite a few more minutes planning their next move – if they should cast Sending to the Sepelthorian. After trying to guess the possible outcomes – in the end they figure that maybe they can lure her out of her lair. Even if they are an ally down (Rajh) they will get her off her home turf.

    So it’s decided – and the sending goes out. Lady W says: Sepelthorian – aberration of dragons, I know of your betrayal in a time when the world died. We wish to seek an audience with you.

    Sepelthorian doesn’t answer right away as a matter of fact, it’s just long enough to make the PCs think that she’s not going to answer when she does… in draconic.

    Lady W checks her character sheet – it’s a language she doesn’t know. She scrambles through her character sheet looking for permanencied spells, then her spell list. She has the spell Tongues, but she would have had it cast before-hand.

    So instead, she tries to repeat the message word for word to Golem Master B (who does know Draconic). I make her do a linguistics check to mimic the sounds she heard. She’s not trained nor does she have any skill points in it, but she manages to pull it off – luckily.

    When Golem Master B hears the message, he can barely understand it. Apparently, what’s being spoken is an ancient dialect of Draconic – something that went extinct thousands of years ago. Thankfully, he is trained in Linguistics and has no problem translating. (Very quickly, this language becomes referred to in the group as draco-latin, and I believe this point forward I will refer to it as such).

    The Sepelthorians message in return: “If you think that was even a hint of my treasure horde you’ve taken, you’re gravely mistaken. Tell Dr. Worcestershire’s allies I send my regards.”

    This sends Dr W into hysterics thinking that maybe the Sepelthroian is already in Rabs progress. Sir G surmises that someone would have contacted them if the city was in danger. So instead, he has Lady W do a sending to the duke. The message is:

    “Place the city in arms. Imminent danger. Alert me if anything happens.”

    The Dukes Response:


    Dr. W immediately starts throwing together bits of info about the gods trying to attach the symbolism to them. He feels that if Sepelthorian is targeting him, specifically, the images in the vision very may well be connected to the deities (due to his backstory). Sir G suggests that it might be different colors of the dragons being represented, but the only way to know is to finish exploring the Lair that they left.

    Since Sir G and Golem Master B share the same sentiment and both have compelling arguments, they decide to hold off on deciding what the vision means for now – and try to gather more info. Hopefully more will be present in the Sepelthorians Lair. They get Lady W to cast Teleport again – directly into the heart of the lair, right where they left from just a little while ago. Everyone takes a deep breath, and she casts the spell…
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-10-26 at 01:17 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 20, Part 2: That moment when they finally realize that it really really is all their fault

    They teleported back into the exact spot where Lady W saw the trap door. They open it up and notice another 100 foot drop. The general remarks about going to the center of the earth begin at this point. At the end of the drop there’s another 60 foot hallway just large enough for Bolba to walk through. Golem Master B slaps everyone with Firebrand and they go forward.

    Spoiler: Room Description
    The hallways opens up into a 45 foot by 30 foot chamber. Several sconces provide light from everburning torches on 3 corners of the room. The stones above and below you are solid and perfectly even, as though sculpted by magic. On the opposite side of the torches is a shadowy rift in the air, shimmering faintly, as though someone took hold of a piece of paper and tore a hole in it. Standing directly in front of you is a single statue. Above its head is something written in draco-latin.

    From the entrance way Golem Master B is able to translate: “If you’ve made it this far – you’ve been lucky. Go back. Every step you take here is another broken bone inflicted on your family and friends. I make good on my word.”

    The golem standing still caught their attention, but the shadowy rift really did. So as Sir G approached it, (firebrand still producing light as a torch would) it vanished as soon as his lightsource touched the rift.

    Following their lesser curiosity, they decided to turn their attention to the gargantuan sized statue of a man wrapped in linen cloth. Several Knowledge rolls later, they identify it as an oversized Mummy Golem

    Sir G gets closer to it, and I call for a perception check, which reveals two secret doors, one on either side of the golem. As soon as he reached for one of the hidden doors, the mummy golem comes alive and proceeds to try to smash their faces in.

    After the golem lost its initiative roll, I remembered a very important thing about firebrand. Using it is a swift action. So after Bolba, Sir G, Golem Master B, Lady W, Dr W and Mouse 2.2 all succeed on spamming their firebrand ray (which is a total 36d6 fire damage) (I mean, come on – its touch AC was 2) (Too bad it didn’t have spell immunity) they still all had the remainder of their normal attacks.

    Aaaaand within moments the Golem was blasted to bits doing no significant damage to the players (except for Sir G who was hit and grappled once before thing died).

    The PCs began to explore the two passageways. The very first one they found was a 130 foot hallway with glowing runes all down the entire length of it. It was in Draco-latin.

    With a successful linguistic check from Golem Master B, I hit him with a truckload of information. Apparently, the writings are several stories about The Sepelthorian - legends and what would amount to Ancient Children's Tales:

    “The first tale is of the Sepelthorian killing maidens from a particular village – ends with its death after several human heroes; Nicean, Gorbald, and Thireesa destroy her phylactery (which was made of the hearts of her victims).” (Knowledge History or Local DC45) The Knowledge Local or History 35 – means that the PC knows of Nicean, Gorbald, and Thireesa, and that they were legends and stories of ancient world. They were used in everything from jokes to cautionary tales thousands of years ago. Local or History DC45 – means that PC knows that they were not actually people at all, but “representations” of three ancient kingdoms. )

    “One story details one of the steps involved in Dracolichry – consuming the entire treasure horde. Rumors say that the Sepelthorian did so. (Knowledge: Arcane check 30 needed here to understand the meaning behind this)” The arcane check about treasure hordes needed above is a DC30 to determine that Dragon treasure hordes are considered a part of them, but separate. When a dragon consumes its own treasure horde – it’s considered an anathema, and a detriment to the ebb and flow of power in a dragon world)

    “Another story details a different step of involved in Dracolichry – the murder of someone who trusts or loves you. (Knowledge Arcane 25) The knowledge Arcane check DC25 reveals that this tale also includes general advice to youngling dragons about avoiding other dragons, even family – “you never know what they are up to” – this paranoia is well found in many dragons and is revealed through their solitary lifestyles.

    “Several versions of a detailed account of The Sepelthorian amassing so much treasure (because she could never die) that eventually someone bigger came along and took it from her. In one version, it was another dragon named Havarasharti. In another version it was a short humanoid who tricked her who went by many different names to confuse her. In a third, a troupe of heroes killed her, and stripped her of her treasure; again the names Nicean, Gorbald, and Thireesa pop up. In all versions of the story, Sepelthorian lives because she’s a Lich, and she is reformed without her treasure.” (Knowledge Arcane DC15) The arcane check about Havarasharti (DC15) reveals that the name Havarasharti is a draconic word linguistically similar to “the taker” or “the claimer.” They didn't roll high enough for the last bit of info about this one, however...

    Finally, they come to this one:

    “The last story has a slightly different tone than the rest, and instead mentions a Great God Dragon named Irral who bestows Sepelthorian with gifts for her loyalty. Through some means not mentioned, Irral stole every dragon’s breath. When this horror was over, Irral bestowed several unnamed gifts to Sepelthorian as she declared her undying loyalty to him - by becoming a Dracolich.

    Strangely enough as Golem Master B is deciphering this last legend, something strange happens. Just as when a person reads a book, eventually the words disappear and are replaced by images, so too did the draconic words before Beable. Instead he was now standing in a volcano, but unharmed by the fire. Among the magma flows and volcanic ash sat an immeasurably large red dragon with a deep gouge across its face. It takes a deep breath drawing in air through the caldera at the top of the volcano. Golem Master B notices, but not immediately, over a few seconds he finds it harder and harder to breathe. His breath has been stolen!

    He suffered through a suffocation spell effect and it took him dropping to -1 HP (and one step before death) before the party reacted in any meaningful way. Someone cast Dispel Magic and saved his life.

    DM NOTE: We’re going to be using his near death experience to make his character “special” in some way – haven’t decided on it yet, but when we do, I’ll let you all know!

    Barely surviving, Golem Master B healed up (caught his breath haha!) and they decided to avoid that particular hallway for the time being, and instead chose the other option on the side of where the Mummy Golem was.

    This path way let to an option – continue south or turn to the east. They decided east, and it lead them to a room. I provided them with a description:

    This area seems to be a torture chamber – filled with what once would have been various machines to cause pain. Some of them seem familiar – a rack with shining metal handles, a crank thoroughly rusted over, a vice with its leather straps rotted completely, others don’t look like any you are familiar with. All of them have fallen into disrepair and look as though they are ready to fall apart at the faintest touch from rust and decayed wood. The most prominent of these within a small glowing magic circle, which is raised in the center of the room. Attached to it is a foot and a half tall demon of some kind with curled horns, small wings and an emaciated body. It is suspended on a miniature rack-like device in the center of the magic circle with glowing manacles around its wrists and ankles. When it sees you, it follow you with its eyes, but does not move its body.

    Of course, Sir G attempts detect evil, to no avail. The creature doesn’t. This lead to a moment of confusion from everyone – a demon that doesn’t detect evil. A sufficient Knowledge: Planes check gave them the info that it was indeed a quasit.

    Several moments of deliberation and fact checking determined that the small demon was bound by two sets of Manacles of Cooperation, and inside a magic circle.

    Several attempts to speak with the creature was made, but they decided to dispel the magic circle and remove the manacles. Once the manacles were removed the creature flew into a panic screaming and yelling and trying to escape. Sir G grabbed it with his gauntleted fist as it continued flailing and babbling incoherently. The only sane things it was saying was in abyssal – expressing true fear about being tortured.

    Dr. W threw a remarkable heal check to determine what was wrong with him and could instantly tell that the poor creature was insane. He also knew that Greater Restoration would cure the little quasit of whatever insanity was inflicting him.

    The party debated blowing the 5K gold on “healing a demon,” but in the end, everyone fronted up the cash, and the spell was cast.

    Instantly calming down, the party was introduced to Zabbin, the non-evil demon. They start grilling him with questions and gain another treasure-trove of information:

    Zabbin was summoned from the abyss – born to its master the black dragon Sepelthorian. He saw the dragons obsession with and love of another great red dragon. This red dragon was so paranoid, that he believed that the only way to protect his gold from others was to conquer all the worlds under his wing. It was hard for him to remember, but Zabbin thought his name was Irral. He commanded her to become a dracolich so she could reign with him through eternity. She agreed. She ate her treasure horde, but as of the particulars of Sepelthorians dracolichry apotheosis, he did not know.
    At a certain point, she began to enjoy torturing poor Zabbin during her studies into dracolichry. She tortured him for days and nights on end. Such that it seemed like it would never stop. Eventually it did though, and his connection to Sepelthorian ended. He suspected that when Sepelthorian became a dracolich, the connection between her and her familiar (himself) was gone, but he didn’t know for sure.

    Additionally, Zabbin informed them that Sepelthorian's style wasn't to kill those who threaten her. She kills their family instead. So the threats to Dr. W's friends and allies and family are exactly in line with her usual tactics. After some lengthy discussion about why Dr W's name was used and not anyone else - the only thing that Zabbin could come up with is that she might have heard his name being spoken while she was scrying on them.

    The party asked Zabbin what he was going to do now that he was free, and Zabbin contemplated going back to the Hells, but immediately rejected the idea. Looking around he asked where they were going and what they were doing there – and seemed pretty intent on not leaving their side. The party pretty much got the impression that they could kick Zabbin across the room and he’d come crawling back – grateful that they spent the energy to notice him. It was easy to see the little guy had been starved of even being able to move or speak for thousands of years after being trapped in the manacles, and since Galarend was the first person to speak to him and touch him and release him… Galarend would be stuck with him.

    Sir G’s player was ecstatic to have gained another follower, even if his character was wary and/or annoyed of being followed around by a demon. He began planning something. Much on that next session.

    The next room they (with the tag-along Zabbin) come to is a laboratory/library of sorts. An entire bookshelf catches the eye of the group – and of course touching any book causes it to crumble to dust. Dr W asks if mending would repair each individual book, and I reply with “yes.”

    He gets that gleam in his eye and pulls out a Bag of Holding while running his finger down across every book – turning them all into dust. He collects the dust in the bag of holding and seals it for later viewing. I gave him a rough estimate that it would take roughly forty castings of mending/makewhole to fix the library back. The PCs all agree that there are more important things to do at the moment than rebuild a whole library of Dracolatin books. And on they went.

    They came into a completely dark room that they couldn’t see into. A casting of dispel magic shut down the Permanency/Darkness combo and they saw what became referred to as the treasure room. It was a large chamber with nothing in it, except a large statue of a dragon with a single red gem for an eye. On the left of the statue was another rift of darkness, and to the right was another trapdoor. Investigating the red eye, they see it’s a not a gem, but a Tear if the Martyr. They take it, and ignore the rift for now. They decided to open the trap door.

    This drop was only 20 feet and ended in a disgusting room:

    Spoiler: Room Description
    This room is 20 feet below the room above, and is small and enclosed with no discernable features within it. The stone walls, ceiling and even floor are covered with a deep grime of what looks to be coagulated and rotten blood. Any bad smell that may have once been here has long since dissipated. The blood itself is swirled as though depicting writing of some kind, but it’s all too scrambled and layered on top of itself to make any sense of it.

    The PCs decide to trudge forward into the next room via a hallway. The next series of rooms all have the same description:

    Spoiler: Room Description
    This 40 foot by 40 foot room contains a shadowy rift, and contains the similar grimy scrawl seen in the previous room. In the far corner, you see a bright patch of color, and a scene of dwarves moving around, eating drinking, and talking. It seems familiar to the color patches you saw back in the Prism Forge.

    Each time the PCs entered a room, they destroyed the rift by bringing a light source near it, and with the rift went the color patch of dwarven life. Among these tangle of rooms they did come across a couple of differences. Apparently they were being tailed by a creature called a “Seps,” and the resulting combat with 5 of the snake monstrosities was over faster than you can say “Golem Master B and Lady W cast Sunburst to blind everything while Sir G and Bolba charge everything down to death.”

    The only other difference was the last room they entered:

    In this room is a shadowy rift and a color patch, but the scrawl on the walls become more legible here, but a large portion of it is hidden behind a color zone.

    They destroy the color to get at the text, and doing so reveals this tidbit:

    Spoiler: Jumbled Scrawl (separated for your easy reading - but they got it all together
    atehate goldgothisfireback hatehatehate whitetookhercold neverforget greentookhispoison traitorscales bronzegatheredbackhislightning hatekill!hatekill copperswallowedhisacid killhatekill
    mylorddiesneveragain neveragainneveragainneveragai

    Wrapping Up:

    It was pretty late at this point (4AM) and Lady W’s player was asleep on my couch this time. And they all decided to go home and mull over all the info that they’ve gathered thus far. They were feeling a little overwhelmed with the Info-dump, and it wasn’t quite by design – but nevertheless, we’ll get through it.

    Anyway, the next session has actually already happened… I just need to write it up! See you guys then!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-10-26 at 01:23 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 21, Part 1: Searching for The Sepelthorian and Finding Her Signs

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, Golem Master B and Dr W.

    Between this session and the last, there was quite a bit of discussion about a couple of different things. First up was a pretty easy one for me. Sir G’s player approached me about a new paladin spell.

    Now, it’s obvious that Paladins shouldn’t have access to Atonement. However, he was looking for a variation of the atonement spell. Namely, what he wanted was a spell that only did a fraction of what the Atonement spell did. He was looking to create something that did this portion of the Atonement:

    Redemption or Temptation: You may cast this spell upon a creature of an opposing alignment in order to offer it a chance to change its alignment to match yours. The prospective subject must be present for the entire casting process. Upon completion of the spell, the subject freely chooses whether it retains its original alignment or acquiesces to your offer and changes to your alignment. No duress, compulsion, or magical influence can force the subject to take advantage of the opportunity offered if it is unwilling to abandon its old alignment.

    His reasoning was that he had a plethora of followers now, and this would make managing them easier. I didn’t see why this would be a problem, so I allowed it. Thus – Zabbin is now a quasit LG follower of Iomedae.

    … Didn’t see that one coming. Oh well, moving on.

    The second discussion I had was with golem Master B’s player. If any of my PCs are reading this journal, do not read this next section. Everyone else, go ahead.

    During the moment when he almost died due to the suffocation spell last session – he had an encounter with Brigh – his deity. During his moment of unconsciousness, Brigh whisked him away to her workshop. When he woke up, he was on an operating table, with his deity “operating on him.” And by that, I mean he saw her pull off his arm (there was no pain in this) and remove the bones, and replace it with metals and wires before reattaching it.

    A little freaked out (for 1, he just met his god, and 2 she just pulled his arm off and put it back on) he says to her “Thank you, my lady.”

    Her only response is to pull off his jaw and start to replace the bones.

    He starts to freak out, and then she leans in and whispers, “Shhh. I’ll make you better. More capable of doing my bidding. My newest piece of art.”

    This calms him down, (if only a little) before he wakes up as he’s being healed by Dr W.

    Ultimately, Golem Master B’s player wanted something to make his a little special, so we’ll talk about all the changes we made when they come up in game – rather than doing it here.

    The session started with a recap of notorious amount of info they gained. We reread the Vision of Sepelthorian and the wall scrawl the found. We also retouched what they learned from Zabbin about The Sepelthorian. We ended with a touch of what was going on in the dungeon as they were traveling through it – highlighting the fact that there was 1 room left in the Lair that they haven’t been to yet (because they just went the other direction) and there was 1 shadow rift left that they hadn’t made wink out yet by bringing a light source close to it. (This one was in the Treasure Room).

    They had previously learned about a room in The Sepelthorian’s lair containing a warsworn she seemed to keep as a pet from the laboratory room (where Dr. W looted an entire bookcase). Since Sir G is a Paladin of Iomadae, he will not allow anything undead to exist, so off the party went to kill it.

    Boom-Zoom and this is why we can’t have nice things.

    They came to a room with a 15 foot hole in the center of it, and a single shadow rift in the far west corner. The entire room is covered in what looks like broken and rusted weapons. A single sword spinning lazily on its end is at the entrance of the room.

    Detecting magic on the sword Lady W concentrates until she discovers that it’s an Animate Object spell keeping it upright. She casts dispel Magic successfully making the sword clatter onto the ground. Dr W uses his Hand of the Mage to cast mage hand and drop one of the weapons down the chute. After falling about thirty feet, He hears what amounts to a “splat” as the sword hits something soft and squishy.

    The party remains arguing about how they were going to approach this monstrosity when it reared its ugly bulbous body out of the pit. Roll initiative.

    Spoiler: DMs Note
    Up until now, I have my own way that initiative works – All the players roll and all the enemies roll, whoever gets the highest number determines which side goes first, and any player can go at any time. Well, that usually means that PCs always go first – and usually kill whatever creature I have them up against before it even gets to go. While my method works well for low level stuff, it’s obviously not working for higher-level-high-optimization games. So this was officially the last battle I used it in.

    Of course, all the PCs beat it and after two sunbursts and a round of Mouse 2.0 fire, it’s dead. The sunburst destroyed the rift in that room, and the only loot was a single +2 longsword hidden among the mishmash of broken and discarded weaponry on the floor.

    Now the party decides where to go next – and figures that they should consult the Duke about what they have encountered, since he was the one that sent them out on this mission anyway.

    Wellness Visits

    They make it back to Rab’s Progress and the first thing the party does is go to check on their homes. They figure that if The Sepelthorian is known for attacking the known associates of her aggressors, they had better check on their assets.

    Golem Master B checks on the workshop and when he arrives, he sees that there are two guards standing outside – they smile and nod when they see him. He looks in on his mechanics and seeing that everything is alright, he goes downstairs and checks to see that the big red button has not been pushed. Once he’s alone he begins to tinker on himself – looking at the improvements and detachable parts that Brigh modified on his body.

    Dr W went to his clocktower to check on everything and arrived to find his home in much the same shape – there were two guards posted outside the front of the tower. He asked why they were there, and they mentioned when the city was put on alert, they placed two guards at the entrance of every important personnel’s home. He asked if there was anything that has happened, and they responded with “everything’s been quiet since you’ve been gone.”

    Dr W raised his eyebrows and said that he’d be very worried about a quiet clocktower – and left them standing outside.

    Once inside, he noticed his minions doing their things:

    Ms Herquel (a half orc barbarian maid with a +1 flaming skillet) is tending the cooking and cleaning as usual – while her pet “dire housecat” – Katnobyte – is sleeping lazily in a bay window. Business as usual there.

    Blode had taken over the mortician duties in Dr W’s absence and he fixes Dr W with an icy stare. He hates to be idle for so long. He asked Blode if there’s been anything unusual with the bodies and such and the report was normal. Patting Blode on the shoulder and Dr W tells him that he’ll have some more work for him soon.

    He goes on to check on Sinsear Hade, who’s hard at work on a new drug for the Absinth-like drink that they are creating. Dr W tells him that he may be needed to do something else for a few days. To this, Sinsear is extremely put off, claiming that he’s not done and that he doesn’t want to do anything else until his current project is completed. Through much finagling he finally convinced him to contact the Clockwork Irregulars. After a little while, he tasks them with scouting out the city streets, alleyways and sewers for evidence of “shadowy rifts” that they were seeing in Sepelthorian’s lair. They comply and charge their usual fare – 1000gp.

    Lady W goes back to the tea shop and checks in on the people there. She tells them that if things get hairy in the city to “use the oak tree” (which would activate a Transport Via Plants spell to a pre-rendered destination several hundred miles outside the city.) They agree.

    Sir G heads to the church to check on the Kobold minions that he’s picked up oh-so-long ago. The minister reports that he’s made some headway, but they’ve done quite a few hundred gold in damages to the building – particular eating the stone and wooden walls and doors. Sir G asks to pay for it and the damages come out to 500gp.

    Lastly, Sir G (along with everyone else) approaches the duke for an audience. After getting let in the manor, they arrive at the briefing room, where Sir G tells the Duke of everything that happened:

    The thing (Sepelthorian) that the Magma Dragon (Rajh) wanted us to kill is “alive” because we set it free accidentally when we brought the Prism Forge back from the shadow plane (Many many sessions ago). It’s out and threatening Dr Worcestershire. We explored its lair and found there to be shadow rifts (which a Knowledge Planes check determined was a gate into the shadow plane), and we think that the key to stopping her is to enter one of these rifts. He also explains that the little demon (which was standing between Sir G’s legs at the moment) was also a good guy now with a treasure trove of info about The Sepelthroian.

    During all this – Golem Master B’s eye, sprouts metal spider legs and crawls about the table. Lady W shivers and expresses serious disgust while the duke stops all conversation to find out what happened to his Golem Crafter. Golem Master B says that his god has blessed him (before his eye crawled back into its socket, eliciting another shiver from Lady W)

    Nevertheless, the duke gives the party permission to leave to solve this problem. They leave, and get started doing preparations.

    Prep and Debt: Pre-spelunking shenanigans and Searching for The Sepelthorian

    The party immediately goes shopping – of all things. Sir G borrows 40K from Dr W (who has more wealth than the party put together at this point, since he doesn’t ever buy anything) to get a Headband of mental Prowess. He gets it so he can up his knowledge skill and get more skill ranks per level. Boosting his charisma is only a secondary concern at this point. Golem Master B also buys one to up his spell casting stats (since having enemies resist their spells has become a point of contention lately) and his will saves.

    The party then begins the big discussion of where to go and how to go about it. They discuss not going through the shadow rifts that are appearing in The Sepelthorian’s lair, but instead plane shifting there – to which a fine reading leads them to remember that the spell darn near randomly deposits them on the plane, rather than where they want. So that idea was thrown out the window.

    They then decide to go and take a look at the book collection that Dr W had put in a bag of holding. The party Hunkers down for the 40+ castings of Mending to fix the darn books, and Golem Master B tried to interpret some of the Dracolatin. The books turned out to be an entire library on the darker arts of necromancy, and the PCs suspect that it may contain veild allusions to Lichdom. All in all, the set would be worth 20K to the right buyer… Like the Academ. The party immediately rejects the idea, assuming that the Academ isn’t secure enough and that within hours the town would be filled with Liches. Sir G, instead of ordering the books burned, tells Dr W to keep them in his clock tower for safe keeping – in case they need to reference them for destroying The Sepelthorian.

    This eventually turned to discussion on trying to track down The Sepelthorian. The PCs wondered what methods could be used, and pretty much insta-decided that she’s too smart to be tracked down by any spell shenanigans that they’d throw at her. Instead, they’d rely on an old tried and true method – one that’s worked for the Players in the past.

    They’d pray to their gods.

    Spoiler: DMs Note
    This is something of a tactic that this group has been using since they’ve began playing D&D. The problem that I see with this, is that while they are heroes, that doesn’t necessarily mean that their gods will talk to them just because they asked. It’s something of a bad habit that has been enforced by other DMs they’ve had, and one that I myself have been guilty of allowing them to do too.

    Instead (and even more so, since this is a high level game) I wanted to try to get them to think along the line of game terms and powers instead of going right to their old habits of pray to the gods/DM for info that they don’t already have.

    So while having a communal pray-athon to see what the Gods will tell them they are interrupted by Zabbin who loudly starts asking questions:

    “Is Seplethorian in the city? Are the Shadow Rifts Dangerous? Uhh… Damn it! I lost the connection.”

    The party stops praying and asks what Zabbin was doing, and his response was, “Well, you were all praying to your gods, so I figured that I’d ask Iomedae directly with Commune. But I hesitated in my questions, so the spell ended. I’m sorry.”

    The party then had a new idea, clerics could Commune, and Dr W was a cleric… So the prepping of questions began. I informed them that they cannot discuss the questions while asking them because that’ll end the spell, or even hesitate.

    Thus, they wrote all the questions down and blasted me with them when they were done figuring out what they would ask. By this point, they’re level 17, so they’d come up with 17 questions to ask Cayden Cailen (because Dr W worships him – and Dr W would be asking the questions). He goes to the Guilded Rose in the noble district with the other party members in tow, and buys drinks for everyone at the bar, and procedes to worship Cayden Cailen through drinking songs, etc, before casting commune.

    Commune questions and results:

    1) Is Sepelthorian within 100 miles of the city? No
    2) Does Sepelthorian have her own plane of existence? No.
    3) Is Sepelthorian’s phylactery on this plane? No.
    4) Is Sepelthorian east? Yes.
    5) Is Sepelthorian west? No.
    6) is Sepelthorian north? No.
    7) Is Sepelthorian south? Yes.
    8) Does Sepelthorian have allies within the city? No.
    9) Have these enemies infiltrated the duke’s palace? No.
    10) Can we detect Sepelthorian on this plane? She has much protecting her.
    11) Is Sepelthorian in the Rab’s Progress? No.
    12) Can we track Sepelthorian by one of her horde items? She has much protecting her.
    13) Is Sepelthorian seeking an item from this plane? Yes.
    14) Is Sepelthorian seeking to destroy this plane? By consequence.
    15) Is the vision of Sepelthorian a way to destroy her? No.
    16) is Rajh telling the truth? Yes.
    17) When this is over, can I buy you a beer? Absolutely.

    Spoiler: DMs Note
    The PCs totally got brownie points from me (and perhaps Cayden Calien) for question number 17. Lol.

    Using this information and looking at the map of the area they are in, the PCs see that the only places that the map have on it in the South East were 2 cities – Dirge/Mudwater, where they’ve been before, and another costal city to the south which the name escapes me at the moment. The only one they had ever been to, was Dirge, so they decided to try there first to see if they can find The Seplethorian.

    Upon mounting up to leave the city – Dr W comes up with an idea. He’s going to build an airship for the party. He begins formulating plans for what he will come to call the “Grand Montressor.” He figures that this would be the prefect thing for him to spend his money on since he’s been hording it.

    Upon leaving the city and only a couple of hours out, they get a sending from the duke:

    All fine here, but sending from Dirge states they are taking refugees from nearby towns. Use this information as you see fit.

    The party's course was confirmed, and off they flew…
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-10-27 at 12:43 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 21, Part 2: Searching for The Sepelthorian and Finding Her Signs

    No one in the party feels comfortable about leaving the shadow rifts in Sepelthorians lair while they go off toward Dirge. The feelings of contention go so far as that the some of the players had a discussion after game time as their characters about the rifts and what The Sepelthorian is doing and why she’s doing it. They come to the conclusion that she may be after the Everburning Candle that they looted from Dirge months ago, but no one is certain. Right now all they have are guesses – and that’ll have to do for now while they deal with the crisis happening there now.

    I give them this overview before they get to town:

    Spoiler: Overview of Dirge
    The last time you saw it, the city of Dirge was a city wide slum. Today, at least now it has a stone road instead of a mud path down the center of the town. The population seems to have dropped some since you’ve seen it last, but those that remain seem to be well, slightly brighter. Since Mumford attempted to become mayor, you can see the city has started to improve somewhat – there are at least 4 or 5 new buildings that don’t look waterlogged. When you left, it was full of drug addicts, and even the legitimate shops have a degree of seediness to them just to stay active – now however, you’re not so sure. Gozreh was the main deity worshiped here, and you’re not certain if that changed or not either. The leadership was sometimes hashed out by a bandit troupe named the red rope. While ‘bandits’ they were seen as a force of good in the city, even though they were less than noble. Now the town is run by Mayor Mumford, ex-red rope leader whom you haven’t had any contact with since you saved the town/slum several months ago.

    Along with this description I tell them what they see:

    Spoiler: Description of Town
    Coming upon the town, you notice that the once quiet and narcotic induced lethargy of the place is gone, and instead is active and alive. Now, it looks more like a slum than ever before – citizens sitting outside shops, covered in mud and wrapped in blankets. Men women and children crowed around and behind shops. A distant scream in the distance which may be a child playing, or a woman dying – you’re not sure. The place never smelled nice, but now the distinct odor of excrement wafts up and down the streets. The town may be alive, but it’s in horrible shape.

    The PCs land in the streets and see that some people swarm them, but others avoid them. The people in the streets are all dirty and all hungry, begging for food or coin from the obviously more wealthy individuals entering the town. They push past them and Sir G gets Lady W to cast Sending to Mumford.

    Galarend from Rab’s progress is here to provide aide. We should meet.

    The sending in return responds that he’s excited that he’s going to be getting help and then gives the PCs his location.

    They arrive through the throng of people and come to a small cramped building on a deserted street. The “house” (if you can call it that) doesn’t exactly look new, but it does look newer in the paint job than the others around it.

    The PCs knock on the door and after a few minutes an old familiar face opens the door- Lacy. He grins momentarily as he sees them and says, “Good, you’re here. Right this way.” And lets them in the house. Mumford’s home is cramped and not very decorated. Mumford himself is perched over a scattering of papers and such on a table. When he sees the characters come in, he stands and says Sir G’s name and moves in for a close handshake. However, upon remembering and seeing the spikes on his plate mail he instead turns to Lady W and gives her a hug.

    He thanks the PCs for coming, and of course they ask him what happened. Mumford fills them in on several pieces of information. 1) The town’s numbers have swelled from one thousand to five thousand over the course of a couple days. 2) His town is starving to death with many people in the streets because many of the homes are uninhabitable. 3) The refugees are primarily coming from three surrounding towns – one to the east, one to the west and one to the south. 4) The Red Rope are still in operation with a woman named Sai-Siera Shade as their leader. 5) Lastly, there are reports of people disappearing from the streets, but it hasn’t been confirmed. Mumford doesn’t want to accuse the Red Rope of doing this because thus far they haven’t caused him any trouble, but he suspects that they (under their new leadership) are the ones responsible for the disappearances.

    The players thank Lacy for his information and decide to pay the Red Rope a visit.

    Golem Master B uses his wand of find the path specifying the target of “The Red Rope’s Hideout.” The spell directs them right to a group of warehouses and down to a single specific one.

    The group debates whether or not to open the front doors, or to come crashing through the ceiling – and of course – crashing through the ceiling was the only course of action that they felt would be appropriate. But first,

    Lady W’s Favorite spell: Arcane Eye

    Lady W finds a spot where the wood building was warped and waterlogged, and she used that for the AE egress. Once inside she takes note of many boxes all lined up along isles and several thuglike individuals milling about. Every person is wearing a thin red ribbon or string around their left arm. She spotted a female near the back of the warehouse – where instead of boxes stacked up, there was instead a table with several chairs. No one was sitting at it, and there was nothing on it.

    Ending the Arcane Eye, she tells the party what she saw. They decide to go in with actions readied…

    As Diplomatic as a Baseball Bat to the Head

    1) Mouse shoots through the roof.
    2) All Players move on Bolba into the building,
    3) Beable casts Make Whole on the roof to seal up the hole.
    4) Lady Wisteria drops down to the ground and attempts a “diplomatic approach.”

    Of course all the Red Rope members swarm around Lady W, and are warily looking at the UFT hovering above their heads, while Golem Master B is riding Mouse 2.2. Nowhere to be seen, however is Sai-Siera. Lady W asks to speak to their leader. The troops back up and allow her to pass toward the back of the warehouse.

    However, upon entering, Lady W spots Sai-Siera with her See Invisibility. Sai is propped up against one of the giant boxes in the warehouse and has a longbow drawn, and pointed at Lady W.

    So, Lady W pretends that she doesn’t see her and continues walking toward the back of the location, and once she’s within 15 feet, in an abrupt motion, she fires her tanglevine to snatch the Bow from her. It wasn’t long before that action lead to posturing and eventually darn near stony silence from Sai-Siera. All of her questions were met with cold and pointed one word answers, although they did gain some information from her. The most important was that she was following up on the disappearances too, having her men go out at night and try to see what they can find.

    The PCs also learned that Sai-Siera’s scouts found what seemed to a whole human skin, shucked from the body. It looked like it was torn off, just like when you skin a wild animal. When the PCs questioned about the skin Sai mentioned that she had her men burn it, as it was several days ago.

    The PCs started throwing Knowledge checks. Nature, Planes and Arcana were to no avail.

    After this point, Sai-Siera had given them all the help she was going to and when they asked if she’d help them, she responded that “she was, and she already had.” Her folding her arms signaled the end of the conversation.

    Beable informed me that he was casting Hold Person, so we all entered initiative. Golem Master B Cast Hold Person, while making Mouse 2.2 fire his cannon through the top of the roof. Sir G swooped in on Bolba and snatched up Sai as she failed her saves. He shackled her and they escaped on mouse, but not before calling back to her minions “She will be safe,” etc etc.

    Lady W threatened the remaining minions to get out of her way. They complied and she walked out the building. Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B flew off to Mumford’s home. If Sai didn’t want to meet with Mumford to help the town, then Sir G would force a meeting.

    Meanwhile, Dr W remained in the warehouse. He picked up a smaller box and opened it. After pushing aside the hay it revealed a clay pot. He smiled, placed the lid back on it and tossed it to the nearest Red Rope member and said, “The town is starving to death. We need everyone’s help. Sell your merchandise, and help.” Without saying anything in return, he left.

    As Dr W was walking through the city, he was accosted by people asking him for money and food. He takes everyone around him and brings them to a dilapidated building. He casts Heroes Feast for the fifteen people that went with him. He comforts them and tells them that help is coming, be patient.

    It should be noted that Dr W did this against the warnings of Sir G when they first entered the town. His fear is that without enough food to feed everyone that it would start riots and such. Dr W did so anyway, just without the party around.

    Wrapping Up

    Once Sir G, Lady W and Golem Master B arrived at Mumford’s house, they asked if he’d like a meeting with the elusive Sai-Siera Shade. He agrees. The meeting place is on Bolba’s back, some two hundred feet in the air above the city.

    Once they are up there, Sir G explains to Sai that he is going to remove her bonds, and any sign of threat or agression will end with a nasty fall. She simply nods, and he unbinds her. She asks for her bow back, and Sir G says, “you will get it back after we talk.”

    The conversation doesn’t cover much, just what Sai’s men found, and a recap of what was happening to the city and only the fact that a giant Dracolich was targeting the city for some reason (Which was later discussed after the game, but it is assumed that The Sepelthorian is after the Eternal Candle that was here under the town). Through this, they are able to elicit Sai-Siera’s help – which was what they wanted in the first place.

    Now that the “why” was out the way, the PCs were on to the “how.” Ultimately, they decided on a message to the duke that was so long it took two Sending Spells.

    First Sending: “Sir, we need a detatchment of 50 soldiers, 4 construction golems, 12 construction workers and food for 5000 people. Dirge has become a hub for…

    Second Sending: … refugees. The thing we are after is destroying the surrounding cities. Use the clockwork dragons to carry everything here. Respectfully yours, Beable.”

    Afterwards, Sir G had a meting with all the Refugees, telling them that help was coming and that those able to work need to help with the efforts to get people housed and fed. The refugees just seem happy to be getting food, rather than starving in the streets.

    We ended the session there because it was super late, but at least no one fell asleep that night. :D The next game is scheduled for very soon, and I can’t wait! See you guys there!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-12-01 at 03:02 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 22: Skin Games

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B. However, Dr. W. was sick this night and thus was a no show.

    Much of the beginning of the game was spent discussing the fact that they were spending their time chasing the thing that doesn’t matter. They were in a town being sieged by undead while the planar shadow rift was still dormant. Eventually, it dawned on them (And as a DM, hearing the slight tinge of exasperation in their voices was music to my ears) that if The Sepelthorian wanted an undead army could build it easily, she wouldn’t need to resort to sieging Dirge and the surrounding towns for an army. The only reason they could figure she was moving so obviously was that she was drawing them away from where she was possibly going to strike – Rabs Progress. Golem Master B noted that the dead was kept in cemeteries in Rab’s Progress and that with the number of people there, it would be the perfect place for her to raise an undead army. She had set a trap for them and they had taken the bait.

    They discussed changing the plans from last game, and possibly sending the golems/reinforcements/construction workers back, or perhaps getting more guards instead, however Sir G shot this down. He stated that he wanted the guards in the city, and they could stay in their location to protect from the majority of the refugees while the attachment was on its way.

    A brief aside was taken to calculate distances and it was noted that the attachment would take another 4 days to move from their current location to Dirge.

    Taking this information to heart, Golem Master B moves outside the city limits, finds an area with a corpse of trees and casts Call Construct, bringing a Clockwork Dragon from his shop in Rab’s Progress. He figured that two Clockwork Dragons protecting the town were better than two.

    The group decided to head back to Rab’s Progress in the morning after hitting the hay (it was 7pm (in game time) by the time they had fully discussed their plans and such). So, Lady W set up a Secure Shelter for the group to rest in, just outside the town limits.

    Thick as Skin

    It was five AM (in game time) when the PCs heard someone running up toward the Secure Shelter. Out of breath and banging on the door, the visitor’s noise assures that everyone is awake.

    Standing outside is one of the Red Rope. Sir G tells him to catch his breath, which the man does after a few seconds. He then reports that there’s been another person’s been murdered. He’s got several of the watch guarding the place from the eyes of refugees, but he doesn’t know how long they will be able to keep the scene from the eyes of the villagers – possibly worrying everyone even more.
    Fearing a riot and trying to figure out if this had the air of supernatural about it, they figure they should try to get out there and take a look.

    When they arrive, there’s already a small crowd gathered around the scene, which was in a small alley in the mud. Once the PCs get there, Sir G orders the on looking villagers to disperse. Of course, they’re not too happy about this, but they follow his command.

    The scene was an interesting one. At first glance, there is a “meat body” lying on the ground, with its “skin husk” a few feet away. Drying blood was slathered everywhere mixing with the dirt on the ground making a nasty mud.

    The players at this point grumble that this would have been a perfect time for Dr W. to be there, so they decide to research as best they could.

    A quick scan of the ground and a successful survival check showed that the meat body staggered a few blood soaked steps before collapsing in the dirt. A second set of foot prints seemed to come from the skin husk. Also, right next to the skin husk was a single footprint of a large clawed foot.

    Sir G, with a nat 20 on his heal check to search the bodies determined that:
    1) The meat body is male.
    2) The skin husk is female.
    3) The meat body died of blood loss and shock, when its skin was violently ripped off.
    4) The skin husk is in tatters, as though something burst through it from the inside before it was discarded.
    5) The skin husk was days older than the meat body – which had only been dead for hours.

    Using all this, the PCs started with knowledge checks to see if they knew what it was. Once Sir G rolled a knowledge Religion check, he gained a plethora of information. Namely, they were dealing with an undead creature called an Ecorche. This undead monstrosity that can rip off a person’s skin with its talons, and wear the skin as a disguise. Once a person’s skin was stolen, death was imminent.

    The PCs decide as a course of action that they would do a fly-by “undead-dar” by casting Detect Undead while flying on Bolba over the refugees in the streets below, and see if anything would ding.
    Sure enough, he got two hits. Two "refugees" standing right next to one another in a throng of people…

    After a little planning, the PCs decided on a single Reverse Gravity spell to make the two isolated Ecorches fall upwards. Having no flyspeed – they were boned. No pun intended for the undead.

    Que the spamming of Sunburst from Lady W and Golem Master B, and a solid charge from Sir G. Sir G was the only one who got scratched during the scuffle, but not by both hands thankfully.

    Change of Plans and falling in reverse toward his testy death

    After taking a gander at the map of the location for a while, Sir G and company decide on a plan of action to get the refugees more food, and hopefully get people to work (seeing as how the reinforcements from Rab's Progress were still 3 days away). They decide to hold another “Refugee Meeting” similar to last session. Getting everyone in the town to come out to a nice open area, Sir G takes his ‘soapbox-position’ and starts another grand speech. He asks for at least 100 volunteers to fish in the nearby northern lakes, and another 100 people to start working on tilling fields etc. The plan was to get fish for the short term, and crops growing for the long term. He also asked for volunteers to help with starting a town watch. He only got 7 people for the watch, but the fishers and the farmers showed up in more than 100 to get the job done.

    All the while doing this, he casts detect undead again. Sure enough, near the back and in the middle of a throng of huddled together people, he detects another undead. This time, it was a member of the Red Rope.

    With a quick signal to Golem Master B, he rides on Mouse 2.2 out above the crowd. This action caused the Ecorche to maneuver its way through the back of the crowd and attempt to get lost down an alley. However, Mouse 2.2 was much too fast and Golem Master B simply had too much fun last time he used Reverse Gravity.

    Once the creature was trapped, it burst through its skin and Sir G rode up to charge it to death. Of course, it went about the same way last time did.

    In its death throes, the Ecorche spat the phrase “It’s just beginning” (in common) at Sir G, before testily dying – still falling (and spinning lazily) in reverse.

    Wrapping up (in skin?... ew!)

    We called it a night right here, as I was actually pretty tired and ready to get some sleep. The next game is in a few days, so be expecting another write up soon! See you guys there!
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 23: Clarification

    Joining us at the table were the usuals: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B. and Dr. W.
    We started the session with a recap of where we left off for Dr W’s player, seeing as how he wasn’t there last session. We ended the last game with the dead Ecorche still spinning lazily in the reverse gravity field.

    Golem Master B attaches the body of the Ecorche to a chain and shuts off the reverse Gravity field. It dangles beneath Mouse 2.2 swinging. The party hears sounds below them of people assembled below recoiling in fear, and as the party looks down, they see a shadow of something above them pass over.
    Sir G lets out an “Oh crap” and looks up to see a figure in the shape of a gargantuan dragon, but it was nearly transparent. He could see the clouds through its body.

    The Knowledge: Religion checks go around, and the group easily identifies it as a ghost of some type of dragon. Golem Master B inquired as to what type of dragon it was and with an absurdly high Knowledge: Arcana check, reveals it to be the ghost of a Black Dragon. And of course, its size is a hint toward its age and power.

    My description of this ghost dragon is that it’s flying at breakneck speeds towards the north end of town. Sir G states that he, Bolba and Lady W (who was currently on Bolba) follow as closely behind the dragon as possible.

    It easily outstrips them, does and aerial flourish and dives straight toward the ground where it disappears silently into the earth. The party comes to a screeching halt in that area.

    The players begin wondering what the heck is going on. Detect Magic/Evil ping nothing in the area, and the PCs begin discussing options of sanctifying the ground when I call for anyone with Knowledge: Local trained to make a check. Golem Master B gets the number, and remembers that there is a large underwater city beneath the streets of the Dirge.

    The players decide to follow the dragon into the Depths of Mudwater.

    In and out of the sunken city

    The PCs decide on an old tactic to create a hole. Earth to mud in a single hole downwards, then mud to stone in segments so that the weight of the stone forces the mud downward into the open area below.

    Lady W casts Light on a stone and drops it down the hole, then follows up with an Arcane Eye. The introduction of mud into the relatively still water made the visibility near impossible, but she was able to make two shapes darting around each other in the distance. One of these shapes was humanoid, the other was something considerably larger.

    Lady W breaks the spell, and tells the party what she sees. They decide to drop down the hole and cast Water Breathing on themselves. They plunge into the cold murky water and realize that their visibility is cut down to only 5 feet in front of their faces due to all the mud forced in the water.
    They were discussing what they should do when I had the PCs all make a perception check. The only ones who passed were Lady W and Dr W. They heard a voice speaking, but since they were underwater they couldn’t tell where it was coming from. It sounded like it was all around them. The voice said simply, “Where is it?”

    Dr W, who wasn’t present for the pervious events where they recovered the candle that was burning under the water, was thoroughly confused by the phrase. But Lady W figured that’s what it was mentioning.

    Lady W tells the group what she heard, and Sir G, stalling for time, asks, “What is it you’re looking for?” as he gets a read on detect evil. The first round detects evil in his presence – he begins to focus on it attempting to get more information.

    The speaker says in answer to him, “If you’re here, you know what it is I seek. The Creation Spark.”
    Sir G. answers, “I have it,” as he finishes his concentration on detect evil. He pings six distinct figures within his detect evil radius.

    Before he could issue an order, Sir G, Bolba and Lady W are hit by a line breath weapon. The energy shoots through them and drains 1 point of constitution from Sir G and Bolba, and Lady W takes 2.
    Sir G orders the group, “Up!” he didn’t want to fight inside the unfavorable conditions of the murky water.

    They sprout up out the hole and make a dash away from the entrance that they created just moments earlier. Dr W stays nearby, however. Sensing a battle coming, they disperse, and Golem Master B summons his Clockwork Dragon Construct to his side.

    Moments later, coming up out of the ground like steam or fog, rise not six but eight ghosts of humanoid figures and the ghost of a gargantuan Black Dragon.

    Roll initiative.

    Fighting the Graveknight and the Ghost Dragon

    The players and their constructs engaged, the ghosts and dragon fought back. Flying up out of the hole came a graveknight who bashed Dr W who was lingering nearby and sent him flying. Of course, Dr W responds by casting sanctuary on himself – luckily. Because the Graveknights next turn was to blast him with his devastating blast ability – which failed. Smirking to himself, he left Dr. W alone and turned his attention to the rest of the party furiously fighting the enormous dragon.

    At this point, Dr W realizes that the Graveknight is directly controlling the actions of the ghosts and the ghost dragon when he sees the Graveknight issuing commands to them and dividing his attention from the Doc.

    The ghosts went down slowly, as the party didn’t have ghost touch weapons. Several blasts from Golem Master B was enough to trigger the Contingency: Harm combo on the ghost dragon. After several rounds of back and forth tactics with the Graveknight joining the fun, Dr W wound up failing two attempts at dimensional anchor due to a minor displacement robe the Graveknight was wearing. Lady W also failed a flesh to stone attempt due to Spell Resistance.

    Sir G realized that out of all the things they were fighting, this was the only one that seemed to be actively searching for the candle – which was connected to the release of The Sepelthorian. They decided that they may want to question the Graveknight before killing it. The party agrees.
    Bolba does a grapple check against the Graveknight and scores a hit – then chooses to freefall to the ground. Uncertain on a ruling, about falling damage during grapple, I just winged it and said sure. Since this whole encounter has been taking place in the air, Sir G’s player rolled a d10 randomly to determine how high up in the air they were, With a roll of a 9, he concluded that they were 90 feet in the air.

    So down they fell, both Bolba and the Graveknight took 9d6 falling damage. At this point, it turned into a grapple war ended by a successful Hold Person spell from Golem Master B. During the one round that he didn’t manage to save against the spell, they stripped him of everything he was holding, etc. looting a +5 Heavy Steel Shield, a +5 Longsword and a Minor Cloak of Displacement.
    Once he saved against the Hold Person spell, the Graveknight awoke and struggled against his captors who had now pinned him. Sir G began to interrogate him, asking what he needed the candle for, etc. The Graveknight said nothing, ignoring them until…

    Surprise a ghost dragon!

    The ghost dragon they were fighting appeared behind them – which no one saw, and said, “He won’t give you answers. I wouldn’t were I in his position.”

    The dragon walked from behind them to near the Graveknight. “But I will answer for him,” he said.
    The party decided to destroy the breastplate of the Graveknight, but remained wary of the ghost dragon, because he pinged as evil on Sir G’s evil-dar.

    The dragon explained that the Graveknight took control of him as he appeared in the area. He haunts this area to prevent The Sepelthorian or her minions from taking the candle. He also explained that he was once a family member of Sepelthorian (the party makes a distinct realization that this dragon doesn’t call her “The Sepelthorian” but rather just “Sepelthorian”) and one of the ones she killed to become a Dracolich. Incidentally, destroying The Sepelthorian will put his soul at rest.
    Among the other things he discussed were:

    That the Candle (aka, the Creation Spark) is one of 5 artifacts used as a ritual to summon Irral from a similar shadowy prison that Sepelthorian was trapped in. She doesn’t need all 5 to complete the ritual, but the more she has, the more power The First Flame shall return with. And The Sepelthorian will try to collect them all before bringing him back.

    The 5 dragons who sealed The Seplethorian and Irral away, and thus were tasked with hiding the ritual artifacts were:

    A Bronze dragon named Zarkarthakis with the help of dwarves hid the Creation Spark (which the PCs have)

    A White Dragon Named Beltulfaracin hid the Heart of Ice in mountains of Xin (which a Knowledge: Planes identifies that they are on a quasi-elemental plane of Ice coterminous to the Elemental Plane of water)

    A Copper Dragon Named Gulxlartha wanted to hide his artifact somewhere where no one living could touch it.

    The last two were a Blue Dragon Named Carlixio-furathe, and a Green Dragon Named Demarilethe. He had no idea where either of the two were hidden, or any hints about where it was.

    Lady W also tried to get some clarification on the Vision she received about The Sepelthroian. To which the dragon was rather helpful, clearing up some of the metaphors - specifically, the fact that Irral was a dragon that Sepelthorian fell in love with and devoted herself to him by becoming a Dracolich. Irral's treasure stretched between mountains, and his wealth was immeasurable. And the metaphors of the 5 animals in the Vision rising up to stop him at the end represented the 5 dragons that sealed him away.

    Shortly thereafter, the Black Dragon Ghost vanishes, telling the PCs “Stop The Seplethorian any way you can. Do not let her collect the artifacts to complete her ritual.”


    Mumford came to congratulate them on a job well done and offered his condolences about not being able to afford anything for payment for their services. However, as the group was planning to leave and go back to Rab’s Progress, Dirk, the proprietor of the Sodden Stoat (the prominent bar in the town) flagged them down. He handed them two keys – the first was a room key for the Sodden Stoat (room 202) and the second was a brass and silver inlaid key with a moonstone on the handle.
    The party decided to check out the room, and when they did, they discovered it empty… except a box. The second key opened it, of course, and inside were several things:

    50 small packages of 100 platinum coins each, An Opalescent White Pyramid Ioun Stone and two pieces of parchment rolled together. The first was a map with a big red X on it. The second was this:

    Spoiler: Letter
    Our Magnanimous, Gracious, Impeccable, Sublime Saviors

    We of the Red Rope wish to thank you for all your help with bring order back to our city, and saving the lives of its residents. We hope that the contents of this box find you in good health, and is enough to encourage our continued favorable dealings with the nobles of Rab’s Progress. You’ll apologize if the contents do seem a bit light, as work has been a bit scarce lately.

    By now, you should have noticed among the contents a map. This map contains an X! How intriguing! We assure you that our business partners are not aware of the Xs appearance, and that location should have been relatively untouched for quite a long time. It would be an immense shame if the X were to remain unexplored, wouldn’t you think?

    With respect and all the love in the worlds,

    The Current Red Rope Administration.

    - A Single Strand can be Broken, Burnt and Destroyed. A Rope is at its Strongest when all of its Strands come together as One –

    Wrapping up

    They players decided to call it quits for the night as Dr W’s player and Lady W’s player both fell asleep near the end of the game. However, that was not before massive amounts of discussion about what their next move should be.

    They decided that protecting the Creation Spark was the first priority, and after much hemming and hawing decided on using Create Demiplane and permanency to hide it, following up Mages Private Sanctum permamancied to protect the area. Golem Master B has decided to store several golems on that plane as well.

    They also made a command decision to go after the X on the map as their next goal, so I’ve got my work ahead of me.

    Anyway, I’ll see you guys next session! Until then, keep it spazzy!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2015-12-09 at 12:32 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: City of Progress - (Master List) Campaign Journal

    Session 24: Demi-Plane creation and RP!

    Joining us at the table were: Lady W, Sir G, and Golem Master B. Dr. W. was under the weather, so he was a no go.

    The session this game was to be a short one, as Lady W started to fall asleep even before we started playing, so the PCs decided to head back to Rab’s Progress.

    Their first order of business was to check the duke and see if he was undead. After some formality of bristling from the duke, he acquiesces – and the results: He’s no undead. Sir G nods to Lady W for a detect scrying – the results: No scrying around.

    Finally trusting him they fill him in on everything that transpired. Telling him their suspicions about the city possibly being infiltrated by Ecorches – or anything else that can disguise themselves as human. The Duke agrees that this is an issue, but the duke interrupts him – explaining that the city has been under martial law since they left with everything on high alert. He explains that they can continue to do so if needed, but the drain on the economy would be more felt the longer they remain in that state.
    Sir. G proposes that instead of the same number of city guard, pull several into roaming groups, always accompanied by a paladin able to periodic detect evils and clerics for periodic bursts of channel positive energy – as they noticed the Ecorches transform when injured, this would jump trigger a transformation and expose the undead.

    At this point, the duke agrees and sends for messengers to deliver the orders. Sir G tells the duke that they need to speak with Lucian – the individual who was researching the artifacts before they told him to stop.

    They travel to his home on the Academ's (mages college) property and once they’re there, they go through the same protective measures – detect undead, detect scrying. Both come up negative. Sir G asks Golem Master B to cast Mages Private Sanctum and he does so.

    Golem Master B apologizes for his behavior toward him in the past. They explain the recent updates to Lucian, and explain to him to continue doing his research on the artifacts. He looks toward the duke for confirmation, and the duke nods. With a shrug, he explains that since the direct order he pulled all funding away from research of the artifacts, but he never stopped his own private investigation. Because he had done so, he was able to give them more information about another artifact.
    He explains that he had a name attached to a person who had the artifact related to acid. The name was “Slogram.” Golem Master B’s linguistic check reveals that the name is a semi-common one in Terran, and most common on the Elemental Plane of Earth.

    Once all this was done. The PCs went about creating their personal Demi-plane.

    Demi-Plane of ... something...

    After Golem Master B purchased the spell, I ran down a really fun description of how the planes all fit together in PF, and explained that the Demi-plane could be created between either the Astral or the Ethereal. After some genuine discussion of how Sepelthorian is somehow connected/was imprisoned on a prison on/in/near/coterminous to the shadow plane, they wanted to be as far away from that as possible.

    And thus, their decision to make it on the Astral Plane was made.

    From this point we could watch the cash fly out the window!

    He cast the spell and gave it the condition: Bountiful. 500gp used.

    Then he followed it with Permanency. 20,000gp used.

    The he cast Mages Private Sanctum (which oddly enough, extended beyond the size of the plane. Lol).
    Then he followed it with Permanency. 12,500gp used.

    The DM in me smiled a bit when I realized that this was their first demiplane. I was proud as a new father…

    Ahem… Anyway.

    Since it was “Bountiful” I asked them to draw an outline – which Golem Master B had brought graph paper for just such a purpose. He added 6 trees and a river flowing from the north end to the south end of the space. I asked him what type of trees he added and he responded with “Mother F****** trees!” … Some things never change.

    So, after the placement of the … “Samuel L Jackson trees” they placed the candle in a bag of holding and threw it in the center of the space. This was not what I expected, but whatever – moving on.

    At this point, I handed out my “personal updates” for each character, and this is what they got:

    Spoiler: Sir G.
    Sir Galarend: Under the direction of Bloodfist, he has turned an entire group of soldiers in the Rab’s Progress Army into Bloodragers, teasing out their magical talents and rage-powers through his tutelage. Take your lowest level group of soldiers and they gain 4 levels in Bloodrager.
    Also, while you were gone, the church watching the Kobolds have managed to make them a little more obedient. They aren’t causing the mayhem that they were last time.
    Lastly, the deaths and death toll of innocents are beginning to weigh heavily on your consciousness – you feel that an atonement of some kind (not just the spell – although if you wanted to do the spell, that’d be up to you, but I’m giving you the opportunity to RP your own type of atonement) may be in order.
    The duke has also requested a status update on the state of full alert of the army.
    Roll profession checks for the last two weeks normally. Divide the results by 20% due to the “martial law” stress placed on the city.

    Spoiler: Golem Master B.
    Golem Master Beable: When you pass by your workshop, you realize that one of your builders has placed a letter on a back table for you. The letter reads as follows:


    The last time we spoke we parted on no-so-friendly terms. I have some information which may remedy that. After the duke ordered a halt on researching the artifacts, I ordered my men to stop. However, my own personal dabbling has continued and has thus produced results. Please come see me at your earliest convenience.

    Lucian Nalo

    Also, roll normally for 2 weeks of profession checks. Increase the results by 20% due to an uptick in maintenance required and payment for golems used by the city.

    DM’s note, unfortunately this practically was negated by the conversation that the PCs had with Lucian earlier – as this reveal has already happened, we skipped it.

    Spoiler: Lady W.
    Lady Wisteria: Business has been suffering due to the “martial law” like state imposed on the city. Roll your profession checks for 2 weeks and reduce the results by 20% due to the added stress placed on resources and difficulty with getting goods in the city – as everything has become much more restrictive as of late.

    At this point, Lady W’s player fell asleep on the couch and that was that for her.

    The RP began in earnest with Sir G heading out and roleplaying his atonement. He spent a couple days helping Father Brogen (The priest of Iomedae who currently has the kobolds) by taking off his armor, and preforming services and duties around the church itself.

    Once that was done, he went out to “break in” Bloodfists new troops. After challenging them all to a duel – all 30 of them at once – they went round for round. Taking on more and more at a time until they all overpowered him. Lying on the ground, being pummeled by his troops, he was laughing and casting channel positive energy every turn. After this was said and done he congradulated Bloodfist and bought all the troops in that group a bottle of Old Law Whiskey in an act of celebration.

    Wrapping up!

    The session ended there – not a lot in the way of action, but enough to satisfy the hungry.

    Technically speaking, the next session has already happened – I’ve just been busy lately so I haven’t had a chance to write it up yet. It’s coming, I promise. I promise. Stay safe peeps, and remember to check for traps, then cast fireball on everything!
    Last edited by Nibbens; 2016-01-22 at 06:04 PM.
    Roll some dice, make some stuff up!
    Current campaign: City of Progress Campaign Journal
    This guide!

    A reading of notable information in The City of Progress, here.

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