Durham D&D

Going Forward from Here

This is an update rather than an adventure Log.

We discussed on Sunday that I will be moving in a few months and it would be good to transition the group into something that might make for a sustainable game in the future.

In the short term, partly because I’m hitting burnout as my internship approaches its end and I have extra work to do, I’ll be running The Lost Mines of Phandelver with new, randomly generated characters (one of whom died in the first session).

This will give us some fluff gaming that requires minimal prep on my part (having already read it previously), and yet leave room for some one off trial runs of games. Current proposals include:

- Jesse’s Campaign setting – a sort of post apocalyptic fantasy setting (akin to dark sun), where Chaos magic has wreaked havoc on the wilderness. (Justin has proposed playing a Chaos Sorcerer, I was considering a Priest of Sheogorath (Oblivion’s Daedric Prince (God) of Insanity)., but we’ll have to wait and see. - Microscope – a GMless campaign building game, beginning with the broad sweep of history and working down to finer details. - Mouseguard – a d6 based RPG where everyone plays mice (I haven’t really looked at the rules yet, but it seems a bit like Tales of Despereaux meets Princess Bride).

Note: we’ll have guests on June 19th who want to try out D&D 5e, so we should probably runs Mines of Phandeliver through then at least.

See you all at the game!

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Still Gaming

Apologies for anyone who might be following along. We are still gaming, I’ve just been swamped with work and other things so much that I have barely found the time to prepare for the game, let along to write these updates.

I will hopefully catch up at some point.

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Session XXVIII

(Pending 4/17 session)

Characters

Targen – Half-Orc Oath of Vengeance Paladin of Tyr (Sam)
Ellaway – Forest Gnome Wizard Enchanter (Michelle)
Isa – Human Way of the Shadow Monk (Jessica)
Bolton Thornhill – Halfling Battle Master Fighter (Jesse)
Ourbanos – Tiefling Trickery Domain Cleric of Mask (Will)
Captain Jim – Half-Elf Swashbuckler Rogue (Justin)
Brisco – Human Bard (Chris)

Rewards

Experience: 3200
Down Days: 10
Intangible:
Coins: none

Mundane Treasure:

Magical Treasure:

View
Session XXVII

Characters

Targen – Half-Orc Oath of Vengeance Paladin of Tyr (Sam)
Ellaway – Forest Gnome Wizard Enchanter (Michelle)
Isa – Human Way of the Shadow Monk (Jessica)
Bolton Thornhill – Halfling Battle Master Fighter (Jesse)
Ourbanos – Tiefling Trickery Domain Cleric of Mask (Will)
Captain Jim – Half-Elf Swashbuckler Rogue (Justin)
Brisco – Human Bard (Chris)

Ourbanos attempted to alter Niels’s memory of the event, but Niels was able to resist. He looked at Targen and said, “We don’t need you to end up in jail.” And then quaffed a potion and vanished. Jim through daggers where he had stood, but hit nothing.

The group decided to go an confront Zahrdahl Graystag about his involvement with the Cult of the Nine Vigils. Zahrdahl admitted to being an initiate. The cult had sought him out as a member of the local governing body, the Bevy, but Zahrdahl had never seen any of their faces. He was always addressed in solitude or called to meet in an isolated area. He only agreed because the Cult threatened to destroy the town if he didn’t, and they offered him protection when their masters were in control. He agreed to help our heroes, provided that the cult never learned of his involvement.

After checking in with Jebeddo, the group decided to follow up on their leads in Chult. Brisco knew of a Teleportation circle in Calimport and was able to take the group there quickly. In the enormous city, the group spent several days buying and selling magic items and stocking up for the trip. Jim arranged for a Galley to carry them across the sea.

Aboard ship they spoke with passengers who were headed to a city in the Chult jungle for the annual Dios sin Vida festival, a three day celebration of life which honors the dead. When the group arrived, they followed the other travelers down river to Oho del Rios, and the Rios de Sangre.

Arriving around sunset, they found the festival just beginning. The festival got off to a quiet start. People dressed in simple costumes and masks around themes of death. The entire city was alive through the length of the night. The group found no references to the fiendish incursion that was being experienced on the main land. References to the Erinyes, Cimeries, were all about. Some festival goers were even dressed up like her.

Learning from locals at the tavern, the group was able to discover that the town was run by a Matirarch whose son was in charge of the city guard, a group called Trueno Escolta. Three other groups, however, vied for control and influence. Each group was generally associated with a family, but no one could prove a connection.

- The Vallas Blancas – The Travieso family - The Nuevo Camino – The Santana family - Alacran Funesto – The Abascal family, several of whose members are priests of Obatala, the dominant local religion.

The night passed uneventfully and the next day was spent sleeping and recovering for most of the city. At dinner time, just before the festival was to resume, the group gathered in the tavern of the Bougainvillea to eat. The food was local but largely good. Ellaway sat with a group of Goblins and managed to convince them to join the humans at the family style table. Ourbanos chatted with two groups of merchants, one from Calimport, the other who had been here for a while because of delays from Baldur’s Gate. Ourbanos wrestled up the courage to tell them that their home city was gone, destroyed by the fiends.

At that moment, a grotesque fiendish creature burst through the front window. It stood ten feet tall, mouth agape, a maw filled razor sharp teeth several inches long. At the ends of its four arms were large hands with four fingers each, ending in claws the size of daggers. On its back were about a dozen large, translucent pustules, that when the light caught them right, could be seen to contain small spider-like creatures spinning around inside.

The room was filled with surprised people. The creature grab two of the Calimport merchants and rended their bodies, twisting them until they were dead, and then dropping them, limp, to the floor. There were screams and people running all around. Jim held his composure and attacked the creature. It pulled four of the pustules from its back and dropped them to the ground where they dissolved to leave spiderish fiends behind.

Targen and Ellaway leapt into action. Ellaway stunned two of the creatures into a hideous laughter, which from the mouths of spider fiends was terrifying. Bolton and Isa were overcome with fear and fled. Brisco shot a few arrows and then went to try to calm the other two.

While the fiend twisted its body to depart through the women, pulling itself up the side of the building, the group managed to dispatch the four spider creatures with considerable effort.

Running to the window, Targen could not find the larger creature. Ellaway cast a spell, looking for it, but the spell returned no answer. As Bolton and Isa returned with Brisco, Targen checked his wounds from the spider creature – a blemish, a black stain, remained on his skin where the creature had struck him.

Rewards

Experience: 3200
Down Days: 10
Intangible: A new-found respect for the threats of this changing world
Coins: none

Mundane Treasure: none

Magical Treasure: various exchanges of magical objects.

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Session XXVI

Characters

Targen – Half-Orc Oath of Vengeance Paladin of Tyr (Sam)
Ellaway – Forest Gnome Wizard Enchanter (Michelle)
Isa – Human Way of the Shadow Monk (Jessica)
Bolton Thornhill – Halfling Battle Master Fighter (Jesse)
Ourbanos – Tiefling Trickery Domain Cleric of Mask (Will)
Captain Jim – Half-Elf Swashbuckler Rogue (Justin)
Brisco – Human Bard (Chris)

In trying to find leads on what is happening with the fiendish invasion of Toril that wiped Balder’s Gate off the map and affected Waterdeep, Thay, and Tymanther, not to mention Ourbanos’s casino and Jim’s ship, there was additional time. The group decided to reopen the investigation into Targen’s mother’s death.

Everything seemed to point to the matter being accidental. Two things seemed with be outstanding, her warning about Niels and a strange piece of wood on the bridge. The group also wondered about Adlar Feshami’s connection to Targen. He married a Graystag and his son, Corwyn, is rumored around town to be the father of Cathira Graystag’s two illegitimate children (Cathira being Niels’s sister).

The group tried to summon Obatala, the fiend they freed in the tower, only to learn that wasn’t her name. She had lied. The summoned avatar of the real Obatala knew of the fiend, Cimeries. Both did the bulk of their work in Chult. It was reluctant to get involved and danger Chult which had not been subjected to the threats yet.

The group also summoned Mask, who sent what seemed to be a disembodied voice. Voice gave cryptic answers, like, “They are not where they are, and where they are not, you will find them.” The conclusion seemed to be Chult. Mask also revealed that the nearest prominent member of the Nine Vigils, the cult responsible for the fiends, was in Graydale.

Searching Niels’s office, the group found blackmail documents for prominent people in the heartlands, particularly leaders of the Dales.

Confronting Niels while using a Mind Reading spell, they got him to think about the cult of the Nine Vigils, and the name Zahrdahl who happens to be one of the Graystags, came to mind.

The group also learns that Niels is able to read minds as well.

We leave the group as Ourbanos is about to attempt to alter Niels memory.

Rewards

Experience: 3200
Down Days: 10
Intangible:
Coins: none

Mundane Treasure: Blackmail Records

Magical Treasure: none

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Session XXV

Characters

Targen – Half-Orc Oath of Vengeance Paladin of Tyr (Sam)
Ellaway – Forest Gnome Wizard Enchanter (Michelle)
Isa – Human Way of the Shadow Monk (Jessica)
Carl – “World’s Tallest Gnome” (Half-Elf) Red Dragon Sorcerer (Justin)
Bolton Thornhill – Halfling Battle Master Fighter (Jesse)
Ourbanos – Tiefling Trickery Domain Cleric of Mask (Will)
Anders Embershaper – Half-Elf Tome Pact w/ Elder God Warlock (Chris)

Temporarily Out
Midriana – Wood Elf Circle of the Land Druid (Andrea)

The powerful wizard, Ingus, had created a Magic Jar and placed his own soul in the receptacle and used it’s powers to take control of Ellaway.

(quick summary) – Ingus revealed himself trying to mass suggest everyone into a month of servitude. It got most people, but not everyone. They eventually caught and knocked out Ellaway’s body. They went back to town, eventually got Ingus out.

Jump ahead a few months to the year 1500.

Ourbanos found a Magic Rod and used it to create destination casino getaways. During one, a white haired man with an angel on one arm and a fiend on another approached him and said, “I’m sorry, but don’t worry, it all works out in the end.” As he walked away from the puzzled Ourbanos, two other patrons burst apart, leaving fiends where they stood. The fiends knocked Ourbanos out, taking the rod. Before he passed out her heard one of the fiends say, “can’t have a couple hundred getting away.”

Targen stayed behind and helped work on bringing the Dales to work with Graydale. Suddenly, things started going Graydales way. Targen hired a group of adventurers to go back to Ingus’s tower, but they never returned. Targen’s mother warned him to be cautious with Niels Graystag. A couple days later, she was crossing the bridge on the north side of town and Adlar Feshami’s horses spooked, knocking three people off the bridge. Targen’s mother was one. She struck her head on a rock and drowned in the river.

Ellaway stayed in town and worked with her uncle on spells and making backups of her spells. She completed her training with her Tome of Intellect. She also helped Anders work on research to pursue an artifact that he was looking for. Lastly, she researched a new Peanut Butter spell variant of the Web Spell – Puppynut Wubitubber.

Carl left in pursuit of Midriana and end up working for Koromobos Moon, though the rest of the group is unaware of what has happened with either of them.

Bolton went exploring in search of alchemical materials and went to work in a lab making potions. He hired a couple local laborers for help, and mass produced alchemical materials. In the process, he found the hilt that matches his pommel stone in what is becoming the sword of many pieces.

Isa went to Hillsfar to meditate in the temple. She was sent by her sensei to the plane of elemental Earth, where she found a fascinating object called the Kasaya of Earth.

New members of the group, Jim and Brisco were set upon by fiendish creatures at sea. Their ship was destroyed and they barely managed to make back to land. They learned of a destination casino getaway and decided to go and take the ship, only to find out it was a magical planar retreat. Again fiends interrupted their experience.

Jim and Brisco were there when Ourbanos came too. Isa had returned from the elemental plane to learn of the chaos that had infected the lands. She found her way to Ourbanos, Jim, and Brisco and suggested they go and find Bolton, Ellaway, and Targen.

Rewards

Experience: Jump to Level 11
Down Days: 10
Intangible:
Coins: none

Mundane Treasure:

Magical Treasure: Various magic items acquired in the interim.

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Session XXIV

Characters

Targen – Half-Orc Oath of Vengeance Paladin of Tyr (Sam)
Ellaway – Forest Gnome Wizard Enchanter (Michelle)
Isa – Human Way of the Shadow Monk (Jessica)
Carl – “World’s Tallest Gnome” (Half-Elf) Red Dragon Sorcerer (Justin)
Bolton Thornhill – Halfling Battle Master Fighter (Jesse)
Ourbanos – Tiefling Trickery Domain Cleric of Mask (Will)
Anders Embershaper – Half-Elf Tome Pact w/ Elder God Warlock (Chris)

Temporarily Out
Midriana – Wood Elf Circle of the Land Druid (Andrea)

The internal struggle of the group continued as Isa continued to plague the group by secretively stealing from the group. Ourbanos was able to remove the curses from Bolton, and after a conflict, were able to dispell the curses on her.

Before Ellaway’s spellbook was returned, the group used the last of the remaining magical pigment to create a tunnel and break away an exit for the angel, Arariel, who had agreed to banish the spirit from the Sword of Vengence the group carried. Once freed she vanished, before banishing the spirit. The froup commented on her servitude to the God Amaunator, God of Sun and Law.

Exploring the rest of the floor, they found a few mundane rooms and a lecture hall, containing a scroll of counterspell.

Using the “Advanced Students” door, the group traveled up the stairs to be greeted by a disembodied warning from Ingus. The next room, containing four pillars carved with faces turned out not to have faces so much as stylized glyphs and wards. Before realizing this, Ourbanos and Bolton had vanished and Carl and Isa had teleported to the other side. Carl came up short and was stunned. Isa found herself facing 8 skeletons in the adjoining room, all alone. While the remainder of the group worked to resolve the warded room, Isa teleported behind an invisible wall and took out all the skeletons in under half a minute. Bolton resolved the extra dimensional planar maze quickly and helped to bypass the room. The remainder of the group made it through and waited for Ourbanos to return.

In the next room, a series of traps changed the gravity and slammed most of the group around. Isa remained unaffected because of her slippers of spider climbing.

Down the hall, opposing rooms contained a collection each of magical swords, each containing a bound spirit. In one room, angels, in the opposite, bound fiends. The group took the great sword from each room. They then found Ingus’s personal library and lab, where they found some encoded notes with arcane symbols involved in trapping souls, along with a spell book and a book of advanced alchemy.

Another room contained the summoning circle and equipment the group decided were likely used in the creation of the swords.

Finally, a large room containing a ziggurat with a secret door to an interior chamber where they found skeletal remains and crystaline object that detected as magical. Ellaway identified the object as being capable of creating an anti-magic circle.

This left the group with two unexplored areas, both of which were barred from the interior.

Rewards

Experience: 2200
Down Days: 10
Intangible:
Coins: none

Mundane Treasure:

Magical Treasure:
– Scroll of Counterspell
– Anti-Magic Cylinder

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Session XXIII

Contents

Cast
Dramatic Reenactment
GM’s Review

Cast

Aleksy Gracjan Nowak (Sarmatian Commonwealth, Prince)- Sam
Domenica Vespucci (Vodacce, Fate Witch) – Jessica
Ennio Vespucci (Voddace, Duelist) – Jesse
Roberto Gallo (Castille, Sailor) – Justin
Azucena Esquivel (Castille, Agent of Los Vagos) – Michelle

Dramatic Reenactment

(With color added by the GM)

The scene was set, politics had turned it’s other cheek. Where once there was the politics of inaction, the Prince’s choice to conspire to create a true democracy, and break the chains of stagnation, had created a commotion. Gathering those who might support his father’s decrees, Prince Aleksy met in private with members of his fiance’s family and others, who shared a vested interest in the growth of democracy.

No sooner had they began their private conversation when Duke Sabat broke in and accused the Prince of treason. After a brief skirmish, the hopeful purveyors of freedom and equality escaped with their lives.

“What should we do now?” the Prince’s fiance, Domenica, asked between panting breaths.

“It’s your castle, don’t you know another way out?” the Prince’s old friend, Roberto, suggested.

“There’s a secret passage that leads through the basement. If we can get to it, it comes up near the docks,”

They would need to make their way through a series of rooms and halls to get there. Two rooms away from where the secret passage opened up, the Sabat guards called after them to “Halt!”

“This way,” the Prince called out to his companions.

Bursting into the ballroom, they found a balcony filled with Sabat guards, armed with muskets and crossbows. the Prince, a titan among men, grabbed a large banquet table and held it up like a moving wall. Azucena, the quietest of the small ones, tucked into the open space behind the mountain of a man, shoving his barricade forward. The Voddace siblings relied on their quickness to get them through the room, but the sailor was a man of another sort.

While his companions made their way quickly for the door on the other side of the room, Roberto dove beneath a banquet table. Grabbing randomly at bottles, he kept reaching around the table until he found the strong stuff. Mixing up a concoction falsely attributed to an Ussuran politician named Molotov, he rolled from under the table, lit the mix off a candle, and firebombed his would be attackers.

Finally, all of them through the door, a little worse for the wear, they barricaded the door to the study. Turning around they found themselves face to face with Sabat’s daughter, the Black Cat. She made a proposal of sorts to the Prince, but before he could answer, his fiance managed to catch the woman’s eye, and suggestively eyed the door of the adjacent room. Curious, Estera followed her into the adjoining room. Domenica closed the door behind them.

Azucena pulled up a chair and sat down as them men simply stared at one another for a good minute. The silence was finally broken by Roberto, “What just happened?”

Azucena sighed an indifferent, “Men…”

As the Sabat soldier began to pound at the door, trying to force their way in, the Prince and Roberto took to shoring up the bookcase with their own muscle. Ennio finally called out, “Sister? I think it’s time to go.”

A moment later, Domenica stepped out of the room, adjusting her dress ever so slightly. “Where’d she go?”

“Don’t worry about her, brother, she just needs a moment to herself.”

Azucena glanced out the window, “They’re setting up a defense outside.”

Domenica made her way to the window, and took a deep breath. Ennio had seen this before, she was about to deliver a speech. He tackled her to the ground. “I can convince them,” she shouted out.

“Get off of her,” the Prince yelled, trying to pull the man off his fiance. “Give her a chance.”

“It’s the fate of these people to aid the Prince in his righteousness,” she added, as Ennio allowed her to rise. “My future people,” she began once she reached the window, “Why take up arms against the man who hopes to set you free of the oppressive nobility, squandering away your life blood. Fight for your Prince! Fight for freedom!”

Her stirring words earned her a bullet wound, but turned several of the guards below. Soon, rather than shooting at the window, the guards below were in an argument about duty and responsibility. Prince Aleksy came to the window and encouraged them further until a fight broke out. From his vantage, the Prince used his knowledge of tactics to aid those who turned on their fellow guardsmen.

“If they’re going to fight for us, we should get down their and fight with them,” Ennio suggested.

“Agreed!” answered the Prince.

Domenica began knotting together curtains to make a rope to climb down. On the way, her grip slipped and she fell, landing with a bit of a thump. Ennio pulled his dagger and stuck it into the curtains, slowing his decent just enough to land safely with a flourish. “This way, Aleksy,” the tiny Castillian said, navigating a complex series of jutting stones to guide the Prince safely to the ground.

Meanwhile, Roberto decided to take his chances with the bush below, and simply lept. One of the guards fighting below was dispatched and his limp body shoved onto the bush just in time for Roberto to land on the added cushion of the body. “It’s seems this man came to our aid twice,” he suggested, as rolled back to his feet.

Captain Filip Kumiega arrived with the Royal guard and ordered them to capture the Prince and his accomplices.

“But sir, I’m not here with them, I came here to rescue you!” Roberto called out to Kumiega, as Azucena raced after him. The deception did not play with the Captain, but inside, Kumiega laid a deception of his own. Azucena walked into the trap of assassins who began to cut her down. She decided to ignore them and force her way through to Kumiega. Between the assassins and Kumiega’s pistol and sword, she was lucky to land him a minor blow before she fell helplessly to the ground.

Meanwhile, outside, Ennio and Aleksy made quick work of all but four of the guards. The four that remained, were caught by the glistening white of the fate witch’s revealed leg. She began to saunter off, back toward the castle, drawing all four of them… three, after Roberto shot the last one to turn. Having dropped their swords to follow the temptress, there was little they could do but surrender. Ennio and Aleksy ran toward the castle to help Azucena, with just enough time to hear him say to her, from behind his wall of assassins, “I should kill you now, but I think I will let the fire do the trick,” and then vanish off into a side corridor.

Aleksy and Ennio made quick work of the assassins and pulled Azucena from the castle before it was too late. Roberto called out to them as they emerged, “Get to The Choppa!” Moments later, Roberto’s ship, “The Choppa” set sale for safer ports and harbors.

In the coming months, their efforts to reestablish footing in the Sarmatian Empire met with little success. Roberto took the ship to an isalnd of diminutive aboriginals, hoping to resupply the ship, only to learn that what they wanted in trade was human flesh, and not the kind Domenica seemed to so readily offer. As the group fled to “The Choppa,” Ennio stood his ground, fighting off the hoards of tiny people while his companions made it to the ship.

Ennio then reached out to an old buddy from his Ambrogia dueling school who had connections with mercenaries, only to learn they had already been paid off by Sabat’s men, and instead set an ambush against them. Luckily, the Fate Witch foresaw the danger, and before he could lay the trap, she used her wiles to lay him up, and the group was never led into the ambush.

Domenica said, “I know of an island where people from all over gather for a grand feast. It’s a celebration of love and joy. But there will be people there who can help.” and indeed, she was right, there were people there who could help, many of them her “Exes” who didn’t all realize they were her exes. The disruptive fight that erupted from the love feast threaten to put them all in stitches. Azucena stepped in and grabbed the beloved host, the Monarch – formerly Prince – of the feast and threatened to end him, if everyone didn’t put down the bones and broken bottles with which they had been beating each other.

Realizing their efforts to find help in and around the Sarmatian Empire were quickly drying up, they set sail for Vodacce in hopes of securing the aid of Domenica’s father, the Count Vespucci.

Having a man of the cloth who was also the captain of “The Choppa” in their retinue, the Prince and Domenica decided to be married aboard the ship in hopes of cementing the alliance before anything more could interfere with their plans.

Arriving in Vodacce, however, came with disheartening news. Domenica’s father rejected offering any aid, wishing not to fall on the wrong side of a civil war. All hope seemed loss, until word spread about the Marquis de Rege’s Masquerade at the Rainbow House. Securing invitations, the now seasoned travelers made one last trip in hopes of securing any aid from the other well-to-do Vodacce nobility. They paired up and entered under false names, all except Roberto, who in his flamboyance was not only announced by his name, but immediately took to the dance floor.

Whatever music played, whatever dance was performed by the attendees, Roberto danced an elegant counter dance, disrupting every effort of the light on their feet crowd – and drawing every eye in the room, as the rest mingled and gathered information.

Domenica knew a good friend in de Rege’s court and was able to be introduced. Which each noble man or woman, the group managed to collect the right facts to tell the story to their particular interests or concerns, with little need for lies.

Meanwhile, Azucena noticed a strange man in a mask, watching her from the crowd. She immediately made for an empty side room and laid an ambush for him. When Kumeiga entered, Azucena made her move, knocked him to the ground and disarmed him. In a short amount of time, the small woman wrestled the large man into a chair and ties him up. She began to threaten him with pain, but it made little difference. Kumeiga was a man committed to his agenda,

Out in the courtyard, Sabat’s personal guard, Zyta, made her presence known and demanded de Rege turn over the prince. When de Rege refused, she insisted on a duel, and Ennio stepped in to stand in for the Marquis. The duel was fierce, Ennio drew first blood, but Zyta stripped him of shirt and scarred up his face. Ennio found a weakness in Zyta’s tactics and developed a pattern of attack and withdraw that routinely landed blows on Zyta. As the intensity of the fight ramped up, Zyta de-pants-ed Ennio, and took advantage of the flourish to land a devastating lunge. Both combatants looked to be on their final breaths, when Ennio draw on his last burst of strength and finished off Zyta, before collapsing to the ground himself.

GM’s Review

Overall, I like the system. The openness is wonderful for creating a great story. The mechanics flow reasonably smoothly. The basic system is easy to learn. Over all, the game is a good balance of simplicity that still allows for excellent story telling.

On the other hand, the system is also so loose that the highly creative can almost abuse the system. If all the players play well together, the system is effective, but if you have a mix of people who think and work one step at a time and others who view things in grand, wide sweeping motions, then some players are disadvantaged by the system and others need to be reigned in. This is true for other RPG systems, but more so with 7th Sea 2e. Of course, this was also a group shifting from a very tactical system to a very open one, and over time with more play, these things might even out.

We also found the system for dueling to be a little focused on a single player. It takes some time, especially with a very difficult villain, and the way this portion of the story was written, it left the other players a bit bored.

All in all, the system is great fun and functions cohesively. The main short coming of the system is that it seems to require either very agreeable players or a very skilled GM to keep the game in balance so that some players are not bored or out-shined.

As a GM, the things I will likely change when running it in the future is flushing out the villains more, statistics wise, so that they have advantages at some things and weaknesses that can be exploited elsewhere. I would also like to see a more thoroughly flushed out dueling system. There is something more that needs to be added.

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Session XXII

Characters

Targen – Half-Orc Oath of Vengeance Paladin of Tyr (Sam)
Ellaway – Forest Gnome Wizard Enchanter (Michelle)
Isa – Human Way of the Shadow Monk (Jessica)
Carl – “World’s Tallest Gnome” (Half-Elf) Red Dragon Sorcerer (Justin)
Bolton Thornhill – Halfling Battle Master Fighter (Jesse)
Ourbanos – Tiefling Trickery Domain Cleric of Mask (Will)
Anders Embershaper – Half-Elf Tome Pact w/ Elder God Warlock (Chris)

Temporarily Out
Midriana – Wood Elf Circle of the Land Druid (Andrea)

When we returned to our intrepid adventurers, they were departing from the room with large cages. As Midriana passed through a doorway, there was a momentary flash of light and Midriana was gone and an unfamiliar half-elf stood in her place. Carl was prepared to burn him where he stood, but Ourbanos, also being new to the group asked for patience. They learned that he had been trying to pass through this doorway for sometime. Ellaway explained that some places have portals between the planes and this might be one of them. The group tried for hours to find Midriana and bring her back, but they couldn’t find a solution, so the group carried on in hopes of finding another way to find her.

Meanwhile, Midriana had traveled through a planar portal to the City of Sigil, somewhere in the outer planes. Exploring her new surroundings, vividly different from what she was accustomed, she stood out. A strange looking elderly man approached her and said, “My dear, you seem to be lost. Could I be of some assistance.” After a bit of a conversation, the man explained that his name was Korombos Moon, a traveler from another world on the Prime Material plane, different from her own. His world was one not very accepting of magic, but he had explored and plumbed the depths and found this city to be more to his liking, and so built an establishment in Sigil. “You see, from the City of Doors, one can travel anywhere and anywhen. I am on odd breed of magician called a Chronomancer, and I travel through both planes and time, to keep balance in the multiverse. If you will agree to work with me for a time, I know ways to allow you to visit your friends, if only for a brief time. And in time, as repayment for your aid, I will see that you are you to them.”

Back at the tower, the group found two observation rooms, classrooms, a dining hall, magical kitchen and pantry, and a room that was half painted white. In the room were objects that when removed were found to be magical. The group identified and distributed them for use.

When they encountered a trapped woman claiming to be an angel, Targen used his special senses to determine that she was in fact a celestial. At the same time, however, he also realized that Bolton’s new sword contained an undead spirit. Trying to convince Bolton to give up the sword proved problematic.

Meanwhile, Isa has slipped away and become invisible.

Ourbanos convinced Bolton to return to the room where they found the objects, and placed the sword in the room. Bolton merely picked the sword up again. Ourbanos had realized that part of the room was magically dead, but the other part, where placed the sword, he didn’t realize until later, was a wild magic zone.

Once they were in the room, Isa placed the chime (which created a prison) in the room and closed the door, hoping to trap them inside. When Anders, their new companion tried to open the door, Isa attacked and became visible. Using her surprise and wild monk fighting skills, she brought him down to unconsciousness in mere seconds, and then declared that as long as no one opened the door, she wouldn’t fight anymore.

After much struggle and trial, the group managed to get Bolton and Isa into the magic dead space, where the curses seemed to have no power over them. They agreed to be tied up so the group could rest to recover the spells necessary to cure them. They left to try to free the Celestial with what magic they had left, before resting.

Alone in the room, Isa had her mouse chew her ropes to free her. Bolton seemed indifferent to the idea.

Though we have not reached that moment yet, when the group next awakens, they will awaken to two vital facts:

1. Bolton is now a woman.

2. Ellaway’s spellbook is missing, and she cannot prepare her spells.

Rewards (Pending)

Experience: 2200
Down Days: 10
Intangible:
Coins: none

Mundane Treasure:

Magical Treasure:

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Session XXI

Characters

Targen – Half-Orc Oath of Vengeance Paladin of Tyr (Sam)
Ellaway – Forest Gnome Wizard Enchanter (Michelle)
Isa – Human Way of the Shadow Monk (Jessica)
Carl – “World’s Tallest Gnome” (Half-Elf) Red Dragon Sorcerer (Justin)
Midriana – Wood Elf Circle of the Land Druid (Andrea)
Bolton Thornhill – Halfling Battle Master Fighter (Jesse)
Ourbanos – Tiefling Trickery Domain Cleric of Mask (Will)

When we last left our intrepid explorers, they were waiting outside the “principal’s office.” Just as they were ready to leave the room for later, Isa sat in the chair nearest the door and the mouth spoke, “You may enter now.” The door opened and Isa passed through, the door shutting her inside.

Meanwhile, Carl decided to continue on exploring and Targen followed to keep him out of trouble. They discovered a couple rooms that seemed to be set up for academy professors with robes and hats that magically adjust to fit the wearer.

In the “principal’s office,” Isa picked through the trinkets on the bookshelves and through the empty drawers of the desk. Using the mirror she found, she discovered a trigger inside the desk that expanded the desk top, revealing 6 more drawers and a music box figure. In the drawers were a Potion of Truth and the recipe for producing more, the key to the music box, and a Bottle of Boos.

Moving further along, they passed through a room with an illusion of Ingus Feyweather, stating, “You have entered the instructors’ wedge. Present your stripes, turn back, or be repelled.” Unseen forces soon after began forcefully pushing Bolton, who had entered the room, toward the stairs going down to somewhere on the previous level. The group used the two instructor’s robes to ferry people back and forth across the room without incident.

They then found a room with a balcony over looking the area below with the dragon and an adjoining room with a wall that could scry on the same space.

In the next room were three coffins containing skeletal remains and 6 skeletons without weapons or armor sitting against the opposite wall. When the sitting skeletons animated, the group disposed of them before they could act. In the room were two doors. One door had a sign that read, “for advanced students only.” Behind it were stairs heading up. The other door lead down a hallway to a circular room where a beautiful woman with black feathery wings, black armor, a black sword, and a whip sat within a circle of arcane runes, along with the skeletal remains of a body.

The paladin detected that the woman was a fiend, and they tried to talk to it, but it didn’t respond. Carl examined the runes and determined that it included the following spells and traits:
:
– Magic Circle (as the 3rd level spell) reversed to trap a target within and protect those without, and cast as a 9th level spell.
– Planar Binding (as the 5th level spell), cast as a 9th level spell.
– Permanent Binding – ritual effects and magic that make the circle and binding essentially permanent.
– Gate (as the 9th level spell)
– The circle’s physical existence is part of the permanency of the spell and thus could be broken by prime material creatures not under the influence of the magic (just by damaging the physical nature of the circle)
– The plane the Gate spell connects to is Dis in the Nine Hells

Ourbanos spoke to her in Infernal and she responded. He translated for the group. Targen insisted that everything she would say would be a lie. She explained that her name was Obatala, and that she was summoned and trapped here by an elf. The dead body was thrown into the circle a long time ago. She admitted to being a Devil, an Erinyes, explaining that her kind are fallen angels who once served gods but had lost favor and been cast out. Some of her kind accept their new role, serving higher devils, but others, like herself, seek redemption. She currently served Kelemvor, the god of the dead in the Nine Hells, who is not evil.

Ourbanos found her story believable but asked what caused her to be fallen. She asked Ourbanos not to share her story with the others. He agreed and she she explained that she had once served Tyr (the Paladin’s god), the god of justice, and too many times, the “justice” that Tyr called to have meted out was too harsh to Obatala, and she refused her duty. Ourbanos simply explained to the group that they needed to trust him about this, and that she should be set free.

Relying on the stories they had heard about devils and their obligation to adhere to oaths and contracts, they insisted that she give them anything she had that could be useful to them and swear an oath. She gave them her whip, a rope of entanglement, and spoke these words (in infernal):

“I swear an oath to my Lord, Kelemvor, that by his name I shall do y’all, no harm, seek my redemption, and to leave this plain as soon as I can.”

The group broke the seal and she thanked them before sitting and meditating. After about an hour, a tear in the fabric of reality appeared, revealing the hot, burning visage of the City of Dis, accompanied by the smell of sulfur and brimstone. She passed through the planar portal and departed from the tower. The rift closed behind them.

They continued on to a room with a single long table with piles of collected materials – 1 inch segments of string, torches, bowls, daggers, small clay statues, small door frames with locked doors, and stone blocks.

Isa easily picked one of the locks, some of the objects were gathered into the bag of holding after detect magic was cast on the lot and then the clay statues were identified as tiny clay golems. Those were collected as well.

Then they continued on to a room with keys hanging on the wall and three large cages. One contained the skeletal remains of a Griffon, which Bolton searched over for alchemical components. To the best of Bolton’s knowledge, the claws might have medicinal qualities, and the feather might cure blindness (though there were no feathers). Otherwise, some alchemists have been known to use skulls of large creatures for bowls and mortars, whether that provides any benefit is subject to debate.

Another of the cages appeared empty, and Isa immediately asked Carl, who had the keys, to open the cage door and lock her in. When all was resolved, Carl let her out.

The final cage was lined with metal and contained a boulder. Bolton tried to strike the boulder with his sword, but it rolled away. They tried to talk to the boulder, but it didn’t answer until Midriana spoke to it in Druidic.

The Galeb Duhr (earth elemental) explained that it was trapped by the elf that it came here to kill. It’s name is, Elbema’elolabefardapakigranbarjenfajopaquildevashar. Carl asked if they could call it Lola, and it answered, “Elbe, if you must.” It explained that it could not travel with them because it needed to to return to Varghess. No onw knew where that was. “Elbe” asked Midriana’s name and said he would tell Varghess about them and what they had done to free him. After Carl gave it one of his citrine dice and Ellaway gave it a marble, it rolled away.

Here we left our heroes, roughly half way done with the level.

Rewards

Experience: 1600
Down Days: 10
Intangible: A sense of having done something good, freeing an Erinyes and a Galeb Duhr.
Coins: none

Mundane Treasure:
– The key for the music box.
– The recipe for Potion of Truth (Rare)
– A copper coin bearing the image of a legendary sage
– A wooden puppet of a female elf aristocrat
– A troll’s claw
– A silver collar
– A rock with a piece of string tied around it
– A lacy linen handkerchief embroidered with the letters A.M.
– A small iron cage which holds the carcass of a tiny two-headed turtle
– An empty wooden box which rattles when shaken
– A steel mirror set in a fanged maw of bronze
– A loosely-bound folio filled with text of an unknown language
– A four-sided die engraved with the symbols of four demon lords
– Griffin claws (8), with possible medicinal alchemical properties
– A Griffin skull

Magical Treasure:
– A Bottle of Boos – a small bottle, when opened, emits boos that can be heard by all within 60’. All who can hear the boos (including the opener) must roll a charm based Wisdom Save (DC 15) or have disadvantage on all ability checks and attack rolls for the next 1 minute. The boos occur with each opening, but the magical effect only functions the first time it is used each day. Roll 1d20 when the magical effect is used, on a 1 the bottle stops functioning completely. (Something Ingus concocted in his youth and held on to. From Polyhedron Newsine 23, designed originally for 2e).
– A Potion of Truth – the person who imbibes this potion must tell the complete truth to all questions asked for the next hour. The compelling need to tell the truth is such that they must continually talk, trying to provide clarity or detail until someone stops them.
– Tiny Clay Golem (6) – AC 14 (natural), 16 when using dex to defend,
HP 23 (3d10+6), Speed: 20
Str 14 (2), Dex 15 (2), Con 12 (1), Int 3 (-4), Wis 8 (-1), Cha 1 (-5)
Has the damage and condition immunities of its large counterpart (MM 168)
Has the acid absorption, berserk (8 hp or fewer), immutable form, magic resistence, and magic weapons characteristics
It’s actions are the same as a normal Clay Golem except it’s slam attacks are +4 to hit and inflict 8 (2d4
2), and the Constitution save DC is 12.
– Rope of Entanglement

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