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Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Re: Session Summary #6
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on November 11, 2019, 08:31:31 AM »
I agree, lots of information for them to digest. All of that would be public information if they look in the right history books or pages on before it got scrubbed for this campaign. There is a little more public information reveal coming up and then they are probably going into the dark of discovery with no help from the history books.

Yes, if they had ready your latest campaign they would have seen the value of the wagon!
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Session Summary #7
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on November 10, 2019, 09:22:26 AM »
Session Summary #7

Cast of Characters
Theren Moonshadow, a Moon Elf Bard played by Payson
Lutheo, a Halfling Paladin played by Dale
Otep, a Half Orc Fighter played by Nelson
Akronos, a Human Wizard played by Alec
Ceress, a Saurien Monk played by Graham

The party is getting close to Freeport and have decided to skirt the town and follow the finger to the east of Freeport.

That morning they check the magical scroll from Boazman and he has responded to their request to find out more about the Conclave Freedom members.

Boazman has written:

I’ve done some more research for you on the 6 members of the Conclave of Freedom. Here is what I’ve been able to discover:
Tarmondan was a Female Wizard originally from Rukemia.
Hardin was a Male Cleric originally from Kitar
Geldan was a Male Wizard originally from Ormek
Kelandor was a Female Cleric originally from Rukemia
Illanor was a Male Wizard originally from the War Vale
Nikova was a Male Wizard originally from Mercia

After the war, Kelandor dedicated her life to healing others, working from sun up to sun down using her spells and natural skills with medicine and first aid to heal any that needed her. She lived for 35 years after the war, dedicating her life in Aridorn working at the Basiliarch, the famous cathedral of the Imarusian faith. After her death she was declared a saint by the church and has been interred in the Basiliarch.

Nikova went on to become a politician back in his home nation of Mercia. He rose to the status of Advisor to the King and served for many years. He had a large family and a large estate there in Freeport where he passed away at an old age. Nothing is mentioned about where he is buried but a family crypt or graveyard is typical in the Mercia tradition for nobles with estates.

Hardin became a crusader leading many battles for his home nation of Kitar into the borderlands with Duthelm. He spent the 12 years following the end of the Demon Wars helping Kitar retake lands that were lost to Duthelm. He finally lost his life fighting in the Duthelm held city of Storm Port, trying to retake it. His death was the end of the Kitar reclamation of land and the boundaries haven’t changed much since that time. As far a I can tell, his body was lost behind enemy lines.

Tarmondan, Geldan and Illanor were lost to the history books within a year of the end of the war. I haven’t been able to find where they went much less where or how they died.

The party responds and asks Boazman about the king at the time of Nikova’s return to Mercia. Later in the day he responds and lets them know that Jorit Mercia, the first of his name was King of Mercia 150 years ago when Nikova was his advisor.

The party decides to ask him two more questions, one based in where they are and what they are discovering and the other based on a false trail in case Boazman has been compromised. They ask him:

“What history can you give us about that king.

Is there any record of Tarmondan in the Myrian jungle and can you recommend a city to stay at in that area."

The response is “I’ll look up some information about Jorit of Mercia. No record of Tarmondan after the war. I know almost nothing about Myria except that the closest civilized nation is Kalimura and its capitol is Orrojek.”

The party continues on and they pick up the eastern road leading out of Freeport. It follows the coast for a few miles before turning inland towards Fishbaugh and eventually forking off to Brian’s Port. Several miles after leaving the coast there is a side lane that is greatly overgrown heading south. It obviously hasn’t been used in many years based on the growth and downed trees that haven’t been cleared off the road. About 100 feet off the main road down this side lane is a sign stating “By the Order of General Tomas Harn: Go No Further”. The party takes this as a good sign and are comforted in knowing that they probably won’t be bothered by others while they are exploring this area.

Theren turns Ceress invisible and the party sends him down the lane to scope it out. His moving is slow since he is trying to be quiet and he makes it a ways down the lane without finding anything except for overgrowth and neglect. He returns to the party and they all head down the lane to discover what lays at the end of fit.

The overgrowth is severe in this area with nature taking back the land that was once manicured and tamed. Rock walls can be seen peaking out from the overgrowth at the sides of the road leading to the south. After three miles down the lane and the party comes on what was once a grand gate. A pair of rock pillars that stretch 15 feet into the air and twin 10 foot wide iron doors would have been the entrance to an imposing and sprawling estate grounds. Now the left side of the gate hangs on by just the top hinge the the right gate is laying just inside the entrance buried by the grass and brambles.

The estate has fallen into terrible disrepair. Trees are overgrown or fallen down from past storms and neglect. The grass has gone wild and in many areas is overtaken by wild brambles.

The mansion is boarded up and run down. There are multiple signs placed around it stating “By the Order of General Tomas Harn, Do Not Enter on Pain of Possession, Death and Eternal Damnation”. This does not deter them and Otep strides up to the boarded up front door of the estate.

As Otep approaches the mansion with the rest of the party following him they can hear the sounds of the wind picking up, lightly whispering at first but increasing to a murmur and then a howl by the time they have gotten right up to the property.  There is the sound of the wind but no movement of air to accompany it. As they get closer to the mansion they can pick out voices in the wind but can’t decipher what they are saying. Occasionally, the noise is pierced by a blood chilling wail, an otherworldly sound of anguish.

This doesn’t phase Otep at all and he takes his mighty maul and smashes the boards across the front door. He then bashes in the door, breaking the door frame and sending the door swinging wide open. It’s dark and covered in dust inside with no signs of life. All of the windows are boarded up from the outside and the curtains are drawn closed on the inside. Otep strides in and he is followed by Lutheo. Theren and Akronos try to enter but are gripped by fear and can’t go more than a foot into the mansion. Ceress joins Lutheo and Otep and they start to explore the entrance way with the rest of their party staying outside.

The wailing picks up and and a floating apparition comes around the corner and into the entryway. The party quickly discovers that Otep is the only one that can hit it since he is the only one in the mansion with a magical weapon and all other attacks pass right through it. It attacks with both wicked screams damaging all and causing waves of fear as well as raking claws of necrotic damage. Otep does some good damage to it in return to the damage it is doing to the party but it eventually sinks into the floor, leaving battle. Many shambling undead with glowing blue eyes come down the halls to join battle with the party but they flee since they are already damaged and running out of resources.

Once clear of the house Theren uses his magical ring and throws two fireballs into the entrance to kill them. Something inside slams the damaged door closed and the party retreats to lick their wounds and devise a plan. They go back toward the main the road and camp for the night and make an attempt the next morning. 

While camping they ask Boazman “Do you know anything about undead that wail and make you cold and afraid and that float and are female? What are their vulnerabilities? Do you know if they regenerate?”

He lets them know that he doesn’t know what type of undead that would indicate but that ghosts often have a touchstone that would revitalize them.

The next morning they make another attempt on the mansion despite apparently being severely outclassed. They break open a window and plan to have Otep enter and fight while Ceress goes in another way to look for whatever the finger is pointing at with the help of Theren’s invisibility. Akronos casts Protection from Evil on Otep and Ceres to help them with the fear effects. It all goes pretty bad pretty quickly when the sounds of the breaking window attracts the apparition and it comes and attacks. Akronos and Theren both fail to hold themselves together and decide that leaving in fear is better than staying and dying. They loose concentration on their spells and the invisibility and and protection from evil wards end.

With the final words of “When luck is on your side, you roll with it” Ceress goes into an adjoining room through a window despite the plan falling apart.

Bad luck continues to be on his side and he catches his heel on the window sill while sneaking into the room. He keeps himself from falling but his clumsy entry alerts a pair of zombies that then chase him into the next room. Realizing that things are going exponentially bad he decides to dive out a partially boarded up window instead of getting cornered by these zombies with the glowing eyes.

Back with the rest of the party, Akronos and Theren support Otep with spells and the thrown Shadow Blade from a distance. Fire and ice doesn’t seem to effect the ghost but force effects do.

This is where session #7 ends. The party’s attempt on the mansion has not been going smoothly. The ghost is resistant to most of what the party has thrown at it, makes many of them terrified and the zombies with glowing eyes seem to be everywhere.
The Art of the Game Master / Re: Alchemical Gastronomy and You
« Last post by tanis on November 09, 2019, 08:49:20 PM »
I can imagine a culture, let's say Myrians or Borrellians, eating the hearts of things they hunt. Maybe a polar worm or... I can't think off the top of my head what might be a good candidate for Myria. ^^;

I do think their point about it being an interesting way to flesh out the culture of a setting is apt, though; these people are surrounded, sometimes even besieged, but fantastical things every moment of every day of their lives. There's real-world precedent for this sort of behavior, and I think that some things, like torgat hunts for instance, are already present in Khoras, so it seems like it's an interesting thing to think about, even if the specific ideas they provided aren't to taste. Why wouldn't people try eating at least some monsters. People eat all sorts of weird things, ya know?

But yeah, mostly I just enjoyed the exercise in thinking about ways that culinary culture and alchemy might intersect, and more broadly, the implications that a campaign setting's monsters and fantastical creatures might have for what people eat, and how they relate to the world. And further, how thinking about that might lead to better gaming and better world-building.
The Art of the Game Master / Re: Alchemical Gastronomy and You
« Last post by Drul Morbok on November 09, 2019, 10:05:18 AM »
Well, in any case I think that trollmeat, regenarating on the plate, would eliminate world hunger;-)

But as most "monsters" would be carnivores/predators, I'd also assume they are not too tasty for the human palate, especially if the are large and/or hunters.

But I could imagine that some parts, like tongues, could be considered "haute cuisine", if more for status than for actual taste ("because we can").
The Art of the Game Master / Re: Alchemical Gastronomy and You
« Last post by David Roomes on November 08, 2019, 07:00:52 PM »
I imagine many monsters don't taste very good.

However, in my opinion, many of them are valuable from an alchemical point of view. In other words, lots of magic potions require specific parts of monsters in the ingredients list. At least, that's the way it is when I DM. That makes slaying certain monsters somewhat profitable if you know what parts are valuable and can get the right parts to an alchemist/wizard while they are fresh...

Also, there's a lot of precedent for animal parts being used in alchemy. Eye of newt, wing of bat, etc....
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Re: Session Summary #6
« Last post by David Roomes on November 08, 2019, 06:57:51 PM »
That's a heck of a data download they got through the scroll.

My favorite line: "That is well outside of my scope of expertise."  Sounds like a lawyer's response...

They should have kept the wagon. Adventuring parties tend to accumulate loads of crap. Not just treasure, but miscellaneous junk. Wagons are great for mobile storage.

The Art of the Game Master / Re: Alchemical Gastronomy and You
« Last post by tanis on November 02, 2019, 08:19:52 PM »
No I have not. I have a pretty full plate when it comes to reading, but I may have to check those out. Thanks for the recommendation.
The Art of the Game Master / Re: Alchemical Gastronomy and You
« Last post by Slydog75 on November 02, 2019, 09:54:38 AM »
have you read the Demon Cycle Trilogy by Peter V. Brett?  They explore this a bit.
General Discussion and Questions / Re: Player's Guide
« Last post by Slydog75 on October 31, 2019, 03:03:08 PM »
Just sent it to your email.
Avisarr Campaign - 2019 - Run by Nathan Sherman / Session Summary #6
« Last post by Nathan Sherman on October 31, 2019, 11:58:26 AM »
Cast of Characters
Theren Moonshadow, a Moon Elf Bard played by Payson
Lutheo, a Halfling Paladin played by Dale
Otep, a Half Orc Fighter played by Nelson
Akronos, a Human Wizard played by Alec
Ceress, a Saurien Monk played by Graham

They have the bones of a skeleton that is missing two fingers on his left hand. The party has put the bones in the bag of holding and Akronos is carrying the bag of holding.

At the end of the last session while the skeleton, map, gem and the rest of the party were in Akronos’s rope trick extra dimension pocket, Theren took the finger out of the rope trick and checked which direction it pointed to. The finger pointed to the West despite the fact that the map points to Aridorn in the North.

Otep has the locked box with the gem and map in it. Ceress has the key to the box and the magical finger on a chain around his neck.

The party stays the night in the ruins by the sea and the next morning they have Lutheo check to see if the Silvan Circlet, the skeleton, the finger or the map radiate good or evil. None of these items radiate either good or evil. They then have Akronos detect magic on all of them to see what type of magic they radiate. The map and finger radiate divination magic and the skull radiates magic that doesn’t seem to have a type, but it is definitely the same type as the gem and the magical portal back in the ruins in the Snowy Timbers where they were all slave diggers.

While Akronos is doing detect magic, Ceress notices that the finger no longer points to the West, it now points to the South. After several attempts to determine what has caused the change they discover that the finger is actually pointing to the magical skull. When they put the skull back in the bag of holding (or the rope trick), the finger then reorients itself to point to the west.

They speculate that it might be pointing to the original owner of the finger, the skeleton that is missing two fingers on its left had and when that skeleton isn’t available in this dimension it points to the next closest Conclave member. The other option that they consider is that it is an instrument of the demon or the Black Sorcerers of Duthelm and it is trying to lead them where it wants them to go in an effort to free their dread lord from his banishment.

The party checks the communication scroll from Boazman again this morning and have no new communications from him. They write to him asking what he can find out about the Conclave of Freedom, are there any living members, are there any dead male human members.

Boazman has responded back when they check it later in the day. He says:
“The Conclave was made up of six members. Four were wizards, two were clerics. Four were men and two were woman. As far as I know, they were all human and have all passed away. My limited research has turned up the common known information:
Tarmondan Female Wizard
Hardin from Kitar, Male Cleric
Geldan, Male Wizard
Kelandor Female Cleric
Illanor, Male Wizard
Nikova, Male Wizard
I will dig into the conclave and the demon wars more and let you know what I find out.”

The party decides to follow the direction that the finger is pointing instead of going to the location where the map is now highlighting, back in Aridorn. The general direction of traveling west by north west for how ever long the finger takes them seems better to them than going back to Aridorn.

They get back to the town of Lands End by that evening and find that their gear that was left at the inn has been kept for them despite them only paying for one night and being gone for two and will be returned for a minimal storage fee.

The next morning they decide to purchase horses to help speed along the journey to the west since they have no idea if they will be traveling for a couple miles, hundreds of miles, even to the the middle of the ocean or the next contentment. Akronos goes to talk to Buczek the horse trader about horses since he did such a good job of negotiating passage on the ship for the party. After three hours of trying to get Buczek drunk in the negotiating process, checking to see if he has a ridding dog for the halfling (Buczek’s more than happy to let Akronos have a stray dog) he buys one ridding horse, three draft horse and a mule. He also gets the one saddle, tack and harness that Buczek has and a lead for each of the other horses.

It turns out Akronos has no knowledge about horses and that draft horses are trained for pulling things instead of being ridden. That plus the fact that there is only one saddle inspires Theren to return one of the draft horses and purchase a wagon and harnesses for the two remaining draft horses to pull.

The party sets out on the road leading west out of Lands End up the coast towards Kohara. What they thought would be one or two days of easy travel up the coast turned out to be three days of frustration of rough road and challenges with trying to manage a wagon and team of horses that no one was experienced with.

On the second day on the road, they checked the scroll and found a new message from Boazman. He would write out new information each time they cleared the old information, providing them with a long string of updates on his research on the Demon War and the Conclave of Freedom.

Boazman writes:

“After reading the last page of the banishing book and your questions about the Conclave I asked one of the other scholars at the university for a more in-depth understanding of the Demon Wars. What I learned might be helpful. This information can be found in the right history books but most people no longer care to learn about this “ancient history” from 150 years ago.

The ancient history of Duthem is dark. For centuries after having fallen to the ogres and goblins of the Malus Mountains, Duthelm was in political chaos. Only gradually did these belligerent races coalesce into a unified whole. But these races were warrior races, and war was inevitable. Led by the greatest chieftains among them, the forces of Duthelm struck out against their nearest neighbor, Kitar. The ensuing war began in 2563 C.Y., a little over 150 years ago.

Known much later as the War of Demons, it eventually engulfed all surrounding towns and villages and scarred the lands. Several powerful factions within vied for control of Duthelm and its capitol, The Citadel, and this fragmentation served to weaken Duthelm. As the war escalated in fury, Kitar sought aid from its benefactor, and Rukemia was pulled into the fray. Battle was joined, and things looked bleak for the divided leadership of Duthelm.

A year into this war, a dark cult devoted to the worship of the demon lord Draxorith had managed to rise in power and infiltrate the ranks of Duthelm. This cult was known as "The Knights Of The Abyss". As the war progressed, they gained a position of authority in the Citadel.

In the year 2564 CY, this cult, working with the Black Sorcerers, began to work on an ambitious project to turn the tide of war in their favor. As a nation of warriors, they needed a leader, a lord whose banner to flock to. The Knights of the Abyss declared this leader to be their own lord, Draxorith, and together with the Black Sorcerers were determined to summon him forth from hell and into their realm, to lead the forces of Duthelm to victory. After months of preparation, the sorcerers opened a gateway to the hells and summoned Draxorith into this realm.

Once he was summoned, the demon lord took the reins of the nation and led Duthelm in a large invasion into Kitaran territory. These events resulted in such an eruption of bloodiness between Duthelm and Kitar that it would shake the eastern realms to its core. Rukemias assistance to Kitar was now not enough to hold back the advance of Duthelm with Draxorith at the helm and the demons that he would summon in for battles.

Four years into the demon war, with the resources and manpower dwindling on both sides, a group of powerful Rukemian spell casters, four wizards and two high priests, united in an effort to boost the strength of the forces of good and crush Duthelm completely. They called themselves the Conclave Of Freedom and they created a mighty stronghold hidden by magic somewhere in the great forest of the Snowy Timber.

This fortress was built in the western reaches of the Snowy Timber along the Kitar- Duthelm border in the Krothian Hills, a hilly region of heavy mineral content at the foot of Mount Kir, a dormant volcano.

In this hidden lair the Conclave of Freedom worked long and hard for the final defeat of the wicked realm and its demon lord, Draxorith. The fortress, hidden by magic, remained undetected by Duthelm. Several members of the Conclave would regularly leave the fortress to join the battles while others dedicated themselves exclusively to researching in the fortress. After Geldan was almost killed and lost two fingers in a devastating defeat at the battle of Storm Port, the Conclave was more careful about risking their lives in battle and instead focused exclusively on researching the means to banish Draxorith.

The war dragged on for a couple more years. Duthelm gained in strength and the surrounding lands suffered. Finally, in 2570 C.Y, the Conclave attempted a bold plan. Under Kelandor's direction, they had prepared a very powerful magical trap within their hidden stronghold – a gateway to the darkness of the multi-verse... a doorway through which they would banish Draxorith back to his own realm... permanently. Without the focus provided by their dread lord, fragmented Duthelm would surely fall. This gateway, which was built as a great circular shaft in the largest chamber of their lowest level, was named the Conduit. The hall which housed this shaft was to be known as the Hall of Banishing. The construction of this magical trap was not made known to the general body politic of Kitar or the Rukemian Empire. No one outside of the conclave knew of its existence until after the war was ended and the hero’s told their story.

The Conclave laid a trap and lured Draxorith and a small strike team of his forces to the location of their fortress. They trapped him in the banishment spell in the midst of the skirmish on the grounds above the conduit.

As the spell ended and Draxorith was banished from this world the conduit sealed itself, brilliant light and peals of violent thunder cascaded through the area. Upon seeing their lord dispatched before their very eyes, the Duthelmian strike team fled in terror.

Realizing that there would be retribution for banishing Draxorith and not wanting the fortress to fall into Duthelm’s hands the Conclave tapped into power divination. They saw that the Duthelm forces would find them somehow despite the powerful protection magic and the mineral in the soil that disrupted magic detection from passing through it. Kelandor, the leader of the Conclave called upon the armies of Rukemian to reinforce their position.

Sure enough, the Duthelmian forces quickly launched an assault on the Conclave fortress as retribution for the loss of Draxorith less than a week later. With uncanny accuracy the Duthelmian forces zeroed in on the Conclaves fortress. Several thousand Rukemian forces had already arrived and were encamped nearby to defend the fortress. They were called in but arrived after the initial Duthelm strike team had gained entry to the fortress and battle with the Duthelmian forces ensued.

The forces of the Rukemian Empire was strong and efficient and they pushed back the Duthelm army. The battle was going in the favor of Rukemia but then Mount Kir, the volcano which had lain inactive for so many years, erupted violently. A thunderous explosion was followed by a cloud of ash that roared through the area, melting the snow covering the mountains. The resulting lahars/mudslides swept down the mountain and through the valley where the Duthelmian army was being driven back by the Rukemian forces.

As the armies of Duthelm and Rukemian did battle, the fiery storm of the volcano mudslide rushed down the mountain. A hasty double-retreat was begun, but it was too late. All soldiers present on both sides were swept away. The fortress and battlefield were completely obliterated, buried under a hundred thousand tons of mud, downed trees and dead bodies from both sides. This disaster left no survivors on the surface. Once the Conclave had defeated the Duthelm forces in the fortress and realized what had happened outside, they teleported out to assess the damages to their allied forces.

In the days that followed, both Duthelm and Kitar withdrew into themselves to lick their wounds. Kelandor and the other wizards and clerics were the only ones to escape the devastation and they were hailed as heroes and praised for their actions.

This event, joined with the banishing of Draxorith helped to bring about the end of the war and an unstable peace.

These events played out 150 years ago. The entire area was obliterated. The fortress was utterly buried. The Empire had won the war, but at a terrible cost of lives. The entire fortress was given up for lost and believed to be secure under all the dirt and magic blocking rock covering it for even the Conclave members couldn’t find it again with the strongest of their magic.

The Fortress of the Conclave, covered by a hundred thousand tons of rock, was eventually forgotten. Those few who remember the general location died off one by one. Since that time, no one has ever been able to locate the ruins of the Fortress of the Conclave and only small groups of the Knights of the Abyss and the Black Sorcerers have ever tried.”

The party took some time to let this sink in and then they had questions for Boazman.
Party - Did they trap or banish Draxorith?
Boazman - All records say “Banished”.

The party asked some questions of Boazman to verify that he was really Boazman and not someone that had killed him and was just trying to manipulate them, but he passed their test.

Party - Strictly hypothetically, just asking for a friend, if you trapped a demon in a green gem, how would you know?
Boazman - That is well outside of my scope of expertise.

The party spent more time talking about what all of this meant with the finger, the map, the gem, the green mist in the banishment portal and the recovery of what appears to be Geldans remains. Finally Boazman gets impatient and writes to them.

Boazman - Are you guys still there? Have you left this scroll and everything else on the road and run away?
Party - No, should we run?
Boazman - No, keep going. I think you are on to something important.

The party sets out with this new information, trying to figure out what they have stumbled into. They finally make it to the town of Kohara and get a room at an inn named The Fiddle. The next day they purchase some more ridding horses and sell the draft horses, mule and cart. They keep checking the finger and now it is pointing west instead of west by north west.

The next day the continue up the coast and eventually around the top of Penthar Bay. The finger now points west by south west, quite possibly at Freeport.

After several more days of travel by horseback they have Freeport in sight and the finger is pointing just to the east of the city and this is where session #6 ends.
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