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Thread: Rogue's Pathfinder Price of Courage Journal

  1. #11
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    Yes my first run through Price of Courage did. They went through the Woods of Lahue and met Fume while fighting cannibals.
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  2. #12
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    Default Session 3: Part 1

    The party awoke in their rooms at the Church of Mishakal and made ready to set out for their day’s activities. Prior to the morning meal, Sir Royse received a letter from Sir Pryam Torment stating that the work to refurbish an old blacksmith shop into Royse’s new siege weapon shop began today. It would take 16 days to complete, at which time men would be reassigned under Royse’s command. This completed the Leadership feat obligations, and gave me some time to deal with having a small army, lol. Meanwhile Gygax awoke in the room he shared with his new priest. I asked Chris what he’d named the NPC, and he replied Skippy. Everyone gave a laugh, and I realize we’ll have to go back to the drawing board on that. I told Chris this guy did have a life that he remembered prior to being raised from the dead.

    Breaking up that distraction, a bright blue light glowed through the small window to their room. Both men saw a spectral cerulean phoenix, an obvious sign from Habbakuk. With an audible screech, they watched the large bird take flight, moving down one of the streets. Looking out the window, none of the passersby looked up to take notice, and thus they both assumed none could see or hear the divine servant. Gygax and his acolyte gathered their belongings and quickly departed the church, heading down the same street. Again they saw the bird, this time flying east. The followed as best they could, all the while making progress towards Kalaman’s Fisherman’s Gate. This area was close to the docks and bay. They followed the phoenix for the better part of a half-hour through winding streets, this part of the city sloping upwards to higher ground. The spectral animal stopped and disappeared before a dilapidated building overlooking Kalaman Bay. It seemed to be an abandoned temple. Last session Chris had expressed interest in the Leadership feat as well, so I thought to plan for it. So many underlings!

    Gygax looked around, seeing that wild grasses grew around the large, fenced off yard. Hearing water none far off, and smelling salt on the gentle sea breeze, the priest saw seabirds roosting and even bees buzzing here and there. It seemed this a perfect place to establish a church. “Skippy” exclaimed that he remembered this place. When he was a child, it was a worship site to the gods of light, but he could not remember which one. I kept that vague on purpose. Habbakuk isn’t really known for having many churches, more just shrines. Nature types aren’t ones to hang out in cities. But since Habbakuk is a patron of the Solamnic Knights and it is Solamnia…why the hell not? They entered the building, the gate to the yard opening of its own volition. The wooden doors were barred and locked. Suddenly, Gygax’s medallion of faith glowed, and the doors swung open as well as per the Divine Lock spell provided in Key of Destiny. At first glance, everything seemed tinted in blue. The main worship room looked clean, with wooden pews stretching in ordered rows. They both saw people and priests going to and from the room. The vision faded, and the room became a garbage heap, dust and rats the only attendants. Skippy spoke in a fervor to say that he’d gather the people from yesterday to rebuild the place. Gygax agreed and spent several hours starting the cleaning process. Skippy left, returning later with 9 others. Gygax gave the acolyte 1,000 steel pieces to begin the reconstruction in earnest, and then left to join his friends in the late morning.

    He found his friends gathered for the noon meal, as the group was taking it easy after many travels. Ellinghad reminded them all that the Order of High Sorcery had requested the presence of the entire group due to all the dabbling with the River of Time. The group currently still had three time-displaced individuals among them, the current time being one year in their collective pasts. Dan jokingly added that there will be free food and beverages at the meeting for laughs around the table. Matt (Hyphen’s player) made a 25 Sense Motive check to Ellinghad’s 21 Bluff. Ellinghad corrected in saying he’d provide the food and beverage to more laughs. Getting serious, the mage shared that he needed their support. The others were hesitant. Ellinghad explained further that to show the Conclave they were above board and working towards the survival of Ansalon, that it was imperative that they all attend. I can say this took a while to get out properly in roleplay as Ellinghad continually hid information, trying to just have them go instead of fully explaining it was a formal inquiry. Several characters like Hyphen did not want to prove themselves to a governing body. After heavy debate, they finally agreed after Ellinghad explained a major benefit of attendance was researching Bastion. Being that Dalamar himself aided in the oversight of its construction, it could potentially aid their quest. They resolved to leave the next morning.

    Talk then turned to what Gygax was doing all morning. Lya deadpanned in asking who the old man was who stayed in his room the prior evening. Gygax explained that yesterday he brought Skippy back from the dead. As the players already knew the story, they just shrugged. Gygax kept the establishment of his church hush-hush for now.

    Hyphen left the church to spend some of his own hard-earned cash. As most everyone was world-building, he decided to open a curio shop. Through successful Diplomacy to Gather Information, he discovered that many kender were always rounded up in the evenings, spent the night in jail and were kicked out the next morning. They of course usually found their way back inside the city. His idea was to create a one-part shop, one-part hostel. Hyphen found a small two-story storefront for sale in Kalaman. He paid 1,000 steel for no questions asked. Once the owner, a bootmaker, left with his family, Hyphen moved in and started attracting others of his kind. He called it the Kender’s Pouch. The bottom floor had all types of nick-knacks and curios he’d collected on his adventures, open for trade or purchase from other kender or just about anyone else. Anyone wishing to stay upstairs for the evening paid by leaving an item in the shop. This also basically guaranteed a Pouch Grab for each level. Smart player, lol. Matt had studied the Kencyclopedia and taken inspiration from there. I liked the idea.

    The day passed with no other incidents, and the next morning the group gathered for the journey to Wayreth. As Ellinghad could only Teleport himself and four others, Sir Otto, Skippy and the animals stayed behind. Before they left, another courier delivered a letter sealed with the winged sigil of Shinare to Gygax. In it was an invitation from Lady Janetta Aurrafil, head of the church there in Kalaman. She gave salutations with an open invitation for audience at the temple. Lady Janetta had heard of his movement already, and wanted to aid in the legitimacy of the new temple to Habbakuk. The letter explained that as both of their churches were in the triumvirate for the Knights of Solamnia, it would be her pleasure to assist in any way possible. The letter closed with post script that Gwyneth Cordaric of the Brass Tigers had also asked about them. Gygax saved the letter, and told the group that upon their return from Wayreth, they had other business to attend to. Again he kept his religious exploits to himself, simply explaining that the high priestess of Shinare wished to meet them.

    Ellinghad cast the spell, spiriting the group away through the corridors of the magic. Though the spell was aimed at the Tower’s main entrance hall, he found his magic warped somehow. Instead of the hall, they appeared in a dark room, the floor made of obsidian. A beam of light shined down, but strangely from no fixed point to show the dimensions of the chamber. Three separate rows of chairs were organized in a half circle, one for each color of robes, 21 in all. Only nine were occupied, showing the Order was at a very low operational level. In the centermost chair sat a beautiful middle-aged woman in red robes, Mistress Jenna. To her left sat Cilvar Huntaway, the owner of the shop in Kalaman. To her right, Garn Half-Elven, a large gray rat eating a morsel of cheese upon his shoulder.

    In the staggered row of chairs to the left sat the White Robes, Lady Coryn Brinewater nodding to Ellinghad. Beside her sat Shaylin Moonborn, the elf mistress from Pashin. She looked pale and haggard, still obviously suffering from the Sunblight. Opposite sat a young man with blonde hair, his white robes chased with green. Ellinghad recognized him as the sylvan mage Kiro Dorova, known to work with the Legion of Steel.

    On the other side sat the black robes, Dalamar the Dark's scowl upon them. Lya did not take kindly to the dark elf’s intense stare. Beside him sat two dwarves. On one side, the bald and beardless Neidar Sledge Fatherless, chief Renegade Hunter to the Conclave. On the other, a wild-looking Theiwar, his eyes sewn shut. A glowing sensor in the shape of an orb floated above his head. This was Willim the Black, known as Mad Willi behind his back. Those who called that to his face usually didn’t live long.

    Mistress Jenna greeted them and asked to sit. Chairs sprang into existence in the middle of the circle. Beside each were small tables with tarbean tea and cakes upon it. Impressed, all of the group took their seats. Hyphen whispered that if shackles magically appeared on them, they’d have words later, between bites of cakes and slurps of coffee. Once everyone was comfortable and refreshed, Jenna noted that since several months ago, divinations revealed a tampering with the River of Time, including glaring changes that almost went undetected. She was interrupted by Dalamar, who impatiently wanted to know what they’d done and how it happened. Coryn asked for patience to allow them to explain it in their own time.

    This was a good roleplay moment for the party. Between everyone, they did a very decent job of explaining everything from the meddling of the Journeyman/Wayfarer to purifying the Tears and clearing out the Dragon’s Graveyard. They also shared the issue with the potential return of Takhisis via the artifact currently in possession of the Thorn-Knight Cole. This concerned all the wizards as separate conversations broke out, which was quickly silenced by Jenna. The head of the Conclave gravely shared that time travel magic was heavily restricted and only used under dire circumstance. Graygem races like Hyphen were expressly forbidden to use it at all. She condemned the actions of the Wayfarer, blaming him for the taint of Takhisis back on Krynn. Jenna then shifted the conversation to ask what the party was doing to find Cole?

    Hyphen interjected that a part of their quest was finding the evil progenitor dragon skulls currently in Cole’s possession. It was the Conclave’s fault for wasting their time here. Dalamar cut in saying: “you have a smart mouth, kender. And it is not nonsense…interesting.” Ellinghad glared at Hyphen and whispered for him to show some respect. Bored with the white robe and argumentative kender, Dalamar pointed at Royse “Knight, tell us of your time travels,” he ordered. Before Hyphen could interject, Dalamar cut him off saying “don’t get me started with you, as you don’t even belong on this version of Krynn.” Apparently Dalamar did his homework. Sir Royse shushed Hyphen, who was grumbling about how he gave the Tears over to be treated like this. Lord, this was good roleplay all around. Royse eloquently explained that in the future, a war between Takhisis, Frost and Chemosh devastated the face of Krynn. So when the opportunity to change the past came forth, he took it. This was the first time Royse or Gygax truly revealed what happened in the future, and the others were a bit amazed, in character of course. Dalamar then pointed at Gygax, asking his business here. Gygax told the black robe to calm down, which elicited a cold response of “I don’t think you know where you are.” Jenna and Coryn said nothing, allowing Dalamar to chase his present course. Chris (Gygax) said out of character that he’d never really thought of a backstory. I simply answered no better time than now. After a moment, Gygax explained that in the future Esilidor the tiger was killed on a mission, and the Wayfarer supplied a way to get him back. Repayment is the current quest.

    Coryn finally spoke, detailing that she approved of the party’s quests and goals working for the betterment of Ansalon. A known prophet herself, she said the future is currently in flux. Every spell she’d cast came with different answers. And thus she counseled the group continue and let them know of their progress. Ellinghad then swore upon the magic and his honor as a knight that they would do all in their power to avert a calamitous future. I then had the group make a Diplomacy roll, Royse having the highest modifier so he did the rolling. The others Aided Another, making a grand total of 42 with four successful Aid’s. It was enough to mollify even Dalamar. The three head mages in agreement, they agreed to not intercede with the group’s quest. Dalamar did promise to personally hunt them down should anymore disturbances occur. There was some grumbling and more back and forth from Ellinghad, but Jenna mollified his temper with a switch to other business.

    Jenna then moved the meeting to the new topic. Coryn asked to broach the subject of new membership into the ruling Conclave. Dalamar smiled ruefully and seconded the motion. Jenna nodded agreement, and Dalamar proposed Yap Sizzlegard as the black robe candidate. Everyone around the table groaned. Ellinghad tried to object, but Coryn cut him off before two words came from his mouth. Jenna nominated Ceres Kai-jere, a minotaur illusionist who would aid in administering more Tests of High Sorcery. Coryn followed with naming Sir Ellinghad uth Saxis. All three black robes noted their dissent. Coryn followed up that Master Yap was a known necromancer who aided a lich to almost conquer an entire country. Without Ellinghad’s assistance, Yap would be dead and Ansalon would have an army of undead to contend with. Dalamar smirked, silencing his compatriots for now. Jenna then confirmed and asked for votes. Master Yap and Ceres Kai-Jere were unanimously confirmed. Ellinghad received 7 of 9 votes, with Sledge Fatherless the only black robe vote for him. In the end he had aided the Renegade Hunters after all and Coryn's reasoning swayed him.

    That done, Jenna moved to their last order of business, the discussion of Bastion. The Conclave directly told the group that they had approval to investigate the wizard fortress. A number of nine wizards took residence there decades ago with no word back. It was thought lost until now. Jenna explained that securing it would be a boon for the Order so they could again use it as a place of study and defense against threats to the magic. She also explained that each of the five gates were guarded by extraplanar creatures summoned by Lunitari, Nuitari and Solinari. With no active Sentinels to grant them access, they would have to fight their way in. She did counsel to try and speak with the guardians first. The portals were also attuned to a different schools of the arcane, and required spells to be cast into them to power each. Though doubtful of any success, she gave Ellinghad a letter granting access, sealed with a sigil of her office as Master of the Tower and Order. They also briefly discussed the party’s business of collecting the skulls in the other parts of Ansalon. When Throtyl was mentioned, the sylvan mage Kiro Dirova spoke up, saying that he and Steel Legionaires needed assistance there against Cinder and that he could be found in the Stormshire Forest. The party agreed to look him up. At the mention of Cristyne Isle, Shaylin Moonborn also offered her assistance. She explained that her people and others from the mainland were currently in negotiations with the local government to establish a permanent settlement for any displaced elves from Silvanesti and Qualinesti. At the conclusion, Mistress Jenna asked them to report back and the Conclave would convene again to discuss next options for Bastion.

    Finally done with wiz-biz, Gygax offered to Teleport them back to Kalaman. He had the Travel Domain after all. The others agreed, and they appeared in the main room of the worn-down temple he’d discovered the day before. About a dozen people were picking up the garbage strewn about, and professional stonemasons and carpenters were going about restoring it. Gygax finally explained his plan, telling everyone of how it happened. He did this all over a summoned Hero’s Feast to soften the fact that he hid the information. He also offered food to his new acolytes. Gygax engaged Royse in discussion for Solamnic aid for the church. Being that Habbakuk was part of the Solamnic triumvirate, he agreed to speak to Sir Pryam on his behalf. The cleric also mentioned that their audience with Lady Janetta Aurrafil was due to her interest of support for his endeavor and of the Brass Tigers now home-based there. Gygax asked them all to attend and they agreed. From there they went to the Temple of Shinare.

    Wow, that was a lot of roleplay. This part was two hours of the session. The next will be a bit less chunky as it’s mostly combat.

    Next up: Assassins in the Church!
    Last edited by rogue; 08-11-2017 at 02:42 PM.
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  3. #13
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    Oh, and I forgot to add that Sir Royse allocated a room in his workshop to be Sir Ellinghad's magical laboratory. Figured that needs to be mentioned as well.
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    Nice write-up. I am grateful for your willingness to do that.
    "It's not a game of Final Fantasy where you can step outside the plot for a bit and train up your stats, it's a potentially apocalyptic final chapter in an epic drama." - Brass Tiger Captain

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    Default Session 3: Part 2

    The group found the temple of Shinare very easily. An impressive octagonal white-marble cathedral with rich ornamentation, the courtyard was crowded with priests and businessmen of all types. They waded through the masses, noticing banners of the Brass Tigers hanging from a squat wooden barracks across the yard. Gygax quickly found an acolyte and showed her the letter. The cleric ushered them inside to an ostentatious audience chamber set up like an amphitheater. In the middle sat chairs enough for the group. Another priest brought refreshments and assured them Lady Janetta would be with them in the quarter hour due to another meeting. They were left to their own devices for the time being.

    Moments later, the temperature in the room dropped. As the heroes could now see their own breath, bright flashes occurred as eight hooded assassins wearing leather armor appeared. Each wielded double kukris. While four moved towards the heroes, the others quickly drank potions and disappeared from sight on the Surprise Round. All with ranks in Spellcraft figured out they had turned Invisible.

    This is where I lost part of the recording and ended up losing part of the first round. Lya unleashed a nasty salvo on an assassin, dealing a good amount of damage. Four of the assassins entered combat, scoring minor hits with their kukris. The invisible assassins studied their targets for Death Attacks. Gygax cast Blessing of Fervor. Sir Royse slashed one with his holy longsword for 18 damage. Sir Ellinghad cast a Battle Magic Chain Lightning, with three of the enemy evading and one taking 20 damage to die in the process. Heíd been attacked by Lya earlier. Dan was a bit amazed that his magic did minimal damage for the first time in the campaign. High level play was finally catching up with them. Otto moved to aid, provoking attacks of opportunity for 41 damage from being flanked with sneak attack/Bleed/Befuddling Strike etc. The clerist missed his offensive due to Befuddling Strike. Hyphen made a successful Acrobatics check to Tumble behind one of the assassins. Though he couldnít flank due to Improved Uncanny Dodge, the kender dealt 9 damage with the Hellfire Lash.

    Lya opened Round 2, shooting five arrows with Blessing of Fervor. Yikes. She plugged him three times with one critical for 62 damage. The assassins moved around, taking five-foot steps for flanking. Sir Royse used his Step Up feat to keep out of danger. One of the assassins made the Acrobatics check to Tumble for a better position. Lya took 40 damage with Bleed and Otto took 22 from stab wounds. The invisible assassins studied and moved, all of the heroes failing very high DC 42 Perception checks. Gygax took a five-foot step and blasted a healing surge for 17 hps, undoing the Bleed problems for several allies. Sir Royse slashed an assassin for 15 damage, dropping him. Sir Ellinghad took a five-foot step and took a gamble on a Deep Slumber spell that fizzled. I reminded him that this is higher level combat and the days of 10 HD baddies were over. Sir Otto attempted a spell, provoking attacks of opportunity that disrupted the casting. Hyphen used his Cloak of the Arachnida to Web the entire room, slowing progress for the invisible assassins. It was a smart move despite webbing his allies. Everyone in the group made their save against the Web though. No worries there. I kept the save for the baddies to myself.

    Round 3 kicked off with the Lya again plugging away at an assassin. The webbing made the entire room difficult terrain, and thus the ranger could not take a five-foot step. Lya provoked an attack of opportunity, but the assassin missed. She hit with all five arrows for 82 damage in response. As each arrow dealt Arcane Archer energy damage, Lya made short work of my enemies. The lone visible assassin attacked the elf, but missed most of the attacks to deal a lowly 14 damage. Gygax used his Domain power to Dimensional Step to the corner of the audience hall. He drew the Shard of Light, and magical sunlight flashed from the blade. The True Seeing effect from the Shard revealed the remaining four baddies, ruining some of my plans. The only downside was Gygax needed to stay in place to continually shine the light. Royse attacked a now visible enemy, slashing for 25 damage with his holy longsword. Ellinghad cast icy Elemental Darts split between two assassins for 20 damage and 11 to another. Sir Otto moved through the webs, and attacked another exposed enemy for 20 damage with Gilthanasí blade. Hyphen, due to the ability of the cloak, took a five-foot step and unleashed a full attack on one of the enemy. He whipped for 26 fiery damage.

    On Round 4 Lya attacked again, getting slashed with a kukri for 8 damage. She put out more than she received, dealing 102 damage with two confirmed criticalís. The luckiest elf ever put down the closest assassin. The assassins moved around a bit, one provoking an attack of opportunity from Ellinghad who missed with his staff. I rolled horribly for the remaining baddies, two botching and losing his weapon from the critical miss deck and the other stabbing himself. With critical damage. Sigh. One did score a crit hit on Lya, further bleeding her for 31 damage. Gygax continued to point the Shard and cast Hold Person on an assassin who passed the save. Sir Royse continued striking with his longsword, dealing 59 damage to slay one of the enemy. Sir Ellinghad followed, defensively casting a Battle Magic Shocking Spark. All three balls of electrical energy hit, dealing an over-the-top 53 damage to dispatch another assassin. Sir Otto continued his struggle, attempting to incapacitate one of the enemy for questioning, but missed both times. Hyphen struck three times with the Hellfire Lash for 32 damage, dropping another enemy. This one did not die though, and was simply bleeding on the floor.

    On Round 5 Lya dispatched the last standing assassin with multiple projectiles. Gygax then used his Dimensional Step ability to the assassin at Hyphenís feet, using a Heal check to stabilize the enemy.

    As the din of battle receded and the web disappeared, the double doors to the audience chamber burst open. A group of six Brass Tiger soldiers led by Gwyneth Cordaric came on the scene, weapons drawn. Behind them several priests and a silver-haired woman dressed in ornate robes waited. Lady Janetta, they presumed. When Cordaric shared a boisterous greeting to her comrades and pronounced the room secure, the head priestess stepped forward. She apologized profusely for such violence in Shinareís Temple. Inspecting the bodies, she identified the corpses as Whitescale Assassins, Frostís death squads known to operate with extreme prejudice in Ergoth.

    The others decided to investigate, searching them for any signals of identity. Apart from their weapons, armor and invisibility potions, they found vials of a black viscous substance. Ellinghad quickly identified it as Allomanya, remembering they had found tincture many months prior in the apartment of a dead nobleman in Ak-Khurman. So editorís note, I introduced Allomanya way back in Key of Destiny, and one of my players actually became addicted to it at the time. Being that Lya and Ellinghad are the only surviving characters from the original campaign, itís good to finally bring this plot-hook back around. The wizard warned the group of the toxic and addictive qualities of the substance and collected them all for destruction. The others gathered the virtual treasure trove in the forms of Belts of Dex, Amulets of Natural Armor and +2 Keen Kukris amongst other things. After that haul, complaints of no treasure werenít heard next session. Thank God!

    I doled out XP and we left the game there in the temple. I will be working on Session 4 next week, with plenty of time before Session 5 occurs on April 1st.

    Stay tuned!
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    Default Session 4: Onward to Bastion!

    Hi there, my intrepid readers. As I sit down to review the recording of this session, I realize I made a very rookie DM mistake. Being that I hadn’t completed the campaign journal and didn’t review my notes from Session 3, there was an issue regarding Session 4. At the end of Session 3, the heroes defeated Frost’s Whitescale Assassins and were to speak with Lady Janetta before heading to Bastion. Well that didn’t happen. I totally crapped the bed and started the session back in their rooms at the Temple of Mishakal. So there was something left out with the roleplay encounter of what Janetta offered in the form of Tablets of Shinare and support for the Church of Habbakuk. The tablets look like any graphite writing tablet, the only difference being that anyone having a similar tablet can communicate in writing over any distance, even other planes of existence. When next we game, I’ll add this as a retcon along with what she planned to donate to Gygax’s pursuits.

    And thus we opened with the party back in their rooms, making ready to depart for the Lyceum, located across the Bay of Kalaman. During the day before leaving the temple, Hyphen decided after carrying the Tears of Mishakal for so long and seeing the kind acts of her followers, that he wanted to convert. This was kind of a big step as Hyphen was a self-proclaimed atheist since the beginning of the campaign. Bother versions of him. He started attending services and spoke directly with Father Jon Bolitho who imparted a gift before they left. The head of the church gave Hyphen a metallic holy symbol fashioned in the figure eight of infinity, telling him to go in peace. It wasn’t a medallion of faith, but I thought it a fitting gesture.

    The party left the temple to head for the docks. Once there they made Diplomacy checks to find passage to the island about a half-mile off shore. They found a fisherman easily enough who intoned that the Lyceum was known to be haunted. Ellinghad already knew that the Lyceum was a former training site for wizards before the rule of the Kingpriest. Shortly before the Cataclysm on the Night of Doom, the last true priests of the gods gathered there to cross over into the Beyond. He only tut-tutted the fisherman, and they paid him well to take them across. They made it in short order, left on the grassy shore of the island. The fisherman didn’t say goodbye to sail off in his boat without a word.

    The Lyceum was a two story, stone structure with no windows and only one entrance. Needle-like spires stretched from the roof, giving it a menacing look. They came to the doors emblazoned with the symbol of the three moons, but found no traps or magic on a Detection cantrip. The inside was cold and wet, with wind screaming through the empty halls. They searched the structure for the better part of a half hour, finally coming to a locked door, the only intact one in the entire building. Ellinghad did detect faint magic around it, but nothing dangerous. It looked like the door was magically fortified against age or damage. The wizard cast the Knock spell and failed. Hyphen brought forth thief’s tools and set to work, easily circumventing the lock.

    Inside was a large circular chamber. A platform led to a stone arch, and beyond that stretched the infinity of a star-filled sky and blackness. As they approached the arch, two trumpet archons coalesced into being. Ellinghad came forward, producing the writ from Mistress Jenna. He asked for access intoning they were on official business. The expressions of the archons softened as they examined the note. In a melodious voice, one lamented that they could not let them pass. It was the will of Solinari that only a Sentinel of Bastion could access the fortress. The archons politely asked them to leave, expressing they did not wish to fight any servant of Solinari or his friends. Thinking to perhaps try and open the portal without the permission of the archons, Ellinghad began casting a spell. This put the archons on guard and started the encounter amongst groans from everyone around the table. Dan the player apologized profusely, lol.

    As this session was combat heavy, I am not going to detail the entire rounds. It was long and slow with lots of back and forth between the group and the archons due to their damage reduction. Regardless, the heroes defeated the archons. Being that this was a potent fight, I made an exception of giving out XP. Everyone leveled. We took time during the session to get everyone up to date. As Bastion is not an easy chapter, I didn’t mind. I find it cool to note that Hyphen took the Inquisitor class and devoted himself to Mishakal. Ellinghad also took the Leadership feat (#FacePalm). That will bring our cohorts up to three after this chapter. I am going to have to up the encounters a bit. So without further ado, here are the new stats:

    Sir Ellinghad uth Saxis (LG male Solamnic human Wizard 5/WoHS 5/War Mage 5)
    , an intrepid member of the Solamnic Kingfisher auxiliary and renegade hunter.

    Hyphen Umlaut (CG male true kender Rogue 14/Inquisitor 1 of Mishakal), a bitingly sarcastic kender who is another version of the original party member from an alternate Krynn. He also bears the Tears of Mishakal.

    Lyajaida “Lya” Denissa (CG Silvanesti elf Ranger 10/Wizard 1/Arcane Archer 4 [Dragon Singer Template]), a quiet, prideful elven ranger who has accepted the call of the elven Dragon Singers.

    Grrrr (Large N male wolf), Lya’s steadfast bonded ally and protector.

    Sir Royse uth Seeckt (LG Solamnic human Noble 4/Cavalier 6/Solamnic Knight 5 [Rose])
    , an initiate to the Order of the Rose who holds a dark secret of the coming future which he is desperate to change.

    Gygax Polyhedron (LG Solamnic human Cleric 15 of Habbakuk [Animal and Travel]), a stranger who rides a tiger into battle and serves the will of Habbakuk with the Solamnic Knights.

    Esilidor, cub of Arathor; First Whisker Under the sea! (Large N male tiger), Gygax’s great cat and steed.

    Sir Otto Reichstag (LG male Solamnic human Fighter 10/Inquisitor 3 of Kiri-Jolith), a young knight-clerist who is Sir Royce’s current squire and assistant.

    After level-up, Gygax and Ellinghad cast spells of Divination and Abjuration into the portal to activate it. It took four spells to make it happen but they finally were successful. The heroes stepped through and…

    Next up: The Gallery
    Last edited by rogue; 03-31-2017 at 09:06 AM.
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  7. #17
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    Default Session 4 - Part II: The Grand Gallery!

    So hey, this gets me caught up! I’ll have an updated campaign journal for the first time in months. I did it! Anyway, back to the story.

    The heroes stepped through the open portal, instantly transported across the vast reaches of interdimensional space into the Gray. On the other side, they entered in a darkened room three stories high, with them on the top floor. Decorated in wood and marble, painted pictures hung on the circular walls denoting it as some type of art gallery. Each picture held an all-too-real looking landscape from around Ansalon. Behind them, the light faded from the portal which now appeared to be a portrait of the Lyceum in Kalaman. They also noticed three circles on the bottom floor colored black, red and white, most likely denoting some type of magical means of teleportation. Or so Ellinghad assumed.

    The party made Perception checks to hear odd, insectoid clacks. Hyphen’s sharp kender eyes caught monstrous figures hiding in shadow. Looking equal parts insect and reptile, four-armed enemies clacked their mandibles in a maddening alien tongue. Now with ranks in Knowledge Planes, Hyphen guessed them as xill, a strange race known only to the outer realms of the universe. Another factoid he gleaned was the xill used humanoid races to procreate via ingested eggs into the stomach. All the Aliens jokes resounded across the table. Fun times.

    We moved to initiatives. What was in the party’s favor is the way the gallery had 10-foot wide landings, allowing bottle necks of attack only on two sides. It kept them from being overrun by the dozen xill warriors.

    We began round 1 with the xill moving into attack position, catching most of the party flat-footed. Esilidor the Tiger became the victim of a critical hit with a short sword for 26 damage. Lya was also slashed for 19 damage. The rest staggered themselves around the landing, ready to step up if their brethren fell. Sir Royse drew his holy longsword, and ran through the nearest xill for 20 damage. Using his Spider Climb ability from the Cloak of the Arachnida, Hyphen scurried up the wall and on to the ceiling. The kender cast a light spell to negate the miss chance from shadowy illumination. On a reckless decision of being surrounded, Gygax grabbed his medallion of faith and prayed for an Earthquake spell. As this was a free-floating structure of conjured force in the Gray not connected to an actual planet or even asteroid, I simply ruled the spell failed. We quibbled a bit over it, but my ruling stood. Besides, being sucked out into the Gray to fall towards Krynn wouldn’t have been any fun. Esilidor clawed a xill for 17 damage. Lya moved away from her attackers on a restricted withdraw to safety. Sir Otto drew and loaded a crossbow. Ellinghad cast a Battle Magic Chain Lightning, immolating his initial target for 98 damage on failed saves, and 49 on three others on their right side.

    Round 2 kicked with more xill using Acrobatics to successfully tumble into better positions. A xill stabbed Royse for 42 damage on several attacks. The party then realized each xill had six attacks on the full round. Another xill fumbled, dropping a short sword. Two others ganged up on Esilidor, slicing the tiger for 51 damage. Sir Royse continued, activating his boots of speed to unleash four attacks. He slew a xill and stabbed another for 20 damage. This was where the players finally communicated and worked together. Ellinghad expended a Hero Point to move up the initiative track on the concurrent order as Hyphen. The wizard bellowed a warning yell that he would cast Freezing Sphere. Hyphen was potentially in the blast radius. Hyphen heard the yell and I allowed him to burn a Hero Point to take a special five-foot step to get out of the AoE. Hooray Hero Points! Ellinghad cast the spell with Battle Magic for 91 damage, and I crapped the saves again. Six xill on the left-hand side flash froze, but still continued to harry the adventurers. Hyphen ran across the ceiling and dropped behind the xill on successful Acrobatics checks to Jump and Tumble down, much like Spiderman. He lashed a xill on the left with Sneak Attack for 31 damage. Gygax created a buttressed Wall of Stone that blocked off the xill on their right side. Esilidor was horribly injured, and he didn’t want to lose the great cat again. Lya let loose arrows, killing two of the previously injured xill and further wounding another for 9 damage. Sir Otto fired his crossbow, finishing off another.

    Round 3 began with a flash of light issuing from three floors below. Most noticed three humans appear, running from the black teleportation circle. The xill regrouped, with the ones blocked off by the stone wall spending double move actions to run around the landing. The others pushed their attack, slashing Gygax for 7 damage, Royse for 12 and Hyphen for 17. Sir Royse continued his assault, finishing off two more xill with a Hero Point for an extra attack. Another flash occurred, and two human men and a woman appeared via a Teleport spell on the other side of the landing. The men wore armor decorated with the sigils of the Lilly and Thorn, while the strange woman wore robes adorned with those of the Skull. Dark Knights! The Lilly-armored knight and woman double-teamed the nearest xill, easily defeating it with the slash of a bastard sword and vicious roundhouse kick. Hyphen used his cloak to cast Web on two xill, gluing them into place on another failed save. Gygax cast Pillar of Light, conjuring an area of positive energy for others to heal from. Esilidor spent the round healing damage. Seeing a dark knight instantly put Ellinghad on the defensive. He leveled a Resilient Sphere spell at the Knight of the Thorn. While casting, I had Ellinghad make a Knowledge Nobility and Royalty check as a reaction that identified the man as Lord-Knight Theo Drawde, the Lord of the Thorn. Drawde easily made his Reflex save, only turning an angry glare at the Kingfisher. Lya again fired her bow, taking out another xill. Otto fired at a Webbed xill, dealing two damage.

    On Round 4, the two remaining xill broke out of the Web, making to escape from superior numbers. They attempted Acrobatics checks to jump down to the next floor. One made the check while the other fell to its death. Sir Royse made a higher Knowledge Nobility check to glean a few details about Lord-Knight Drawde. He knew Drawde was rumored to have formed an alliance with Frost, which seemed out of character given the fact that his parents were killed by dragons during the Dragon Purge. It alarmed him that Dark Knights working for their enemy mysteriously appeared in the same location as their quest. Royse came forward, hailing the knight by name. Lord-Knight Drawde nodded and stepped to the railing, sighting the final xill. He then cast a Chain Lightning spell that char-broiled the escaping beast. That ended the battle.

    Drawde approached, telling his subordinates in Nerakan to disarm for now. The Lilly knight sheathed his bastard sword, while they both fell in behind their leader. Being the closest person was Hyphen, Drawde stopped before the kender and asked him to lead the way in a surprisingly respectful tone. Hyphen nodded, dismissing his Web spell to walk towards the rest of the group. I made Knowledge rolls for Drawde, who identified them as the heroes of Nordmaar. Nodding respectfully, he said “interesting to see you all here” and then greeted each of them by name.

    This was kind of a cool moment for the players to be recognized for their reputation. Ellinghad asked what they were doing in Bastion. Drawde slyly replied that they “stumbled” on one of the portals and made the crossing six hours ago. They’d been working to eradicate the red demons and explore the fortress, beginning with the hall of the Black Robes. Drawde then suggested that perhaps if they worked together, it would be easier to secure and split whatever they found 50/50. Ellinghad asked what brought them here, and again Drawde evaded simply answering “treasure hunting.” Everyone made Sense Motive checks, but only Royse and Hyphen knew Drawde was definitely hiding something. Royse addressed Drawde respectfully with an accompanying Diplomacy roll, suggesting that treasure hunting is reserved for those of lower rank. Drawde smiled, admitting that he was searching for an artifact of some renown, but would not share anymore on the matter. Ellinghad became indignant, sharing that this was a fortress owned by the Order of High Sorcery and anything here was wizard business. Drawde simply suggested again that they should work together for a common cause. Before any deals were made, Royse asked to consult with his group alone for a few moments. Lord-Knight Drawde agreed, saying they would wait below by the teleportation circles. He then shared a stiff nod and turned around while his subordinates sneered and also took their leave.

    Once they were below, the party talked in earnest about what it would mean to work with the Dark Knights of Neraka. They did not want to allow Drawde access to the Dragon Skull. Royse also shared that he knew Drawde to be allied with Frost, which tipped any balance away from working with the enemy knights. The party agreed that they could not work with them, and needed to end the threat to their mission now. As the party made ready, they saw a flash of light as Drawde and his charges disappeared into the black circle. I made a successful Perception check from the monk skull knight, Lady Portia Gant, to overhear their conversation.

    We left it there with the party alone in the Grand Gallery. They decided to explore the White Robe hall first.

    This should be interesting with both groups working against one another. A change of note is that I am not using the dwarf Legionnaire that originally infiltrated Drawde’s group in the story.

    Our next session is this Saturday, so I’ll get that up in the coming weeks.
    Last edited by rogue; 03-31-2017 at 08:40 AM.
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  8. #18
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    This will be interesting. I don't think I've read an account yet where the PCs elected not to work with the Dark Knights. I like the mental image of the kender Spider-Man too.

    I'm curious, why did you dump the dwarf? It doesn't feel like you're guys will really need him and you don't have any Legionnaires...Maybe I answered my own question.
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  9. #19
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    So yes, the party had multiple opportunities early on to work with the Legion, and one of the earlier characters who was traded out was a Legionaire. But though they have worked with them, they mostly are just not interested.

    With two Solamnics, one of which is a Tower mage, a cleric with a loose affiliation with the knighthood, a kender now with Mishakal and the elf doing her own thing with dragons...they just shrug when I bring up the Steel Legion during game.

    Another impetus is XP being different in Pathfinder. The dwarf would eventually turn against the Dark Knights, which would change that final encounter. I also had a premonition that the party was not going to play ball with Drawde. Master Yap has really put them against ever working with evil NPC's again.
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tauren_Kai-Jere View Post
    I like the mental image of the kender Spider-Man too.
    Spider Kender, Spider Kender! Does whatever a Spider Kender does! Spins a web, steals a pouch. Spider Kender!
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