The Architect of Ruins

Hint of Trouble
VI.

Notes:

  • After searching the Temple of Hau’janaisiba, they follow the trail of what presumably fought the naga spirit. The trail led to the top of the Ghylfang Mountains, near an old abandoned watch tower.
  • They follow the trail back into town. Mesa asks about Edmund Dantes. Edmund ran into Nibelheim looking panicked. He left in a hurry.
  • The next day an villager approached Reuse. He was looking for his wife and feared she had wandered into a sinister looking grove.
  • Otto asked Rhaan to go to Hillbottom to see what was up with the delayed shipment of brandy. He also asked the dwarf to taste test several brews.
  • Ruta Skadi told Naryl that on the day of the festival they would see the face of their enemy. She also mentioned an unnaturally large wild boar roaming the woods and would be an excellent test for a hunter.
  • Gazal hands the partial letter from the temple to Keller, who then gets to work trying to reference everything in it. He’d be a day or two at least.
  • PCs go kill the blood sucking creature that got the villager’s wife. They returned the comb to him.
  • Later that day they find a halfling wagon that was raided by bandits. They head to Hillbottom with a wagon borrowed from Otto. Once there they learn that an Eladrin dressed in black was inquiring about the Sola Mark. It also seems someone who fits the description of Edmund Dantes had reached Hillbottom and fled south.
  • They decide to make Otto’s wagon look less dumpy to get the attention of any bandits. The bandits noticed. The PCs kill em.

Metagame

Two combats and two minor quests completed. The current experience value of the party is 1,579xp.

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Hau'janaisiba Gone
V.

After a quick breather, Mesa of tribe Ruhgzsh scavenges a rusty suit of chainmail from one of the old sleeping chambers of the temple complex. The rust almost fell off when he put it on.

The party continues through the temple, trying to avoid traps, and the many guardian constructs. After using most of the day and getting lost in the temple maze. Lacking an effective way of dealing with the many traps delayed slowed their progress down to a crawl. At the end of the day, they had to take a rest and were still not near the main sanctuary. During his turn on watch, Naryl Talowyn heard a battle roar sound off in the distance.

Seven Days to Oktoberfest

They awoke the next day and found the main sanctuary fairly quickly. Their rest had cleared their heads and Mesa was beginning to encounter familiar territory. Unfortunately, it seems as if they’ve arrived hours after a fight had occurred. There was blood on the floor and no sign of Hau’janaisiba anywhere in the temple. Whoever had done battle with the naga, appeared to be some sort of shapeshifter, and had lost quite a bit of blood. However, this creature had at least four hours on them and catching it in unfamiliar territory seemed unlikely.

Instead the party decided to do a thorough search of the temple. Including a sealed room that Hau’janaisiba forbade Mesa from entering. The room appeared to be a sleeping chamber well suited to a scholar. On the table is a letter, but only the first half of the letter is there.

Unfinished Letter

The letter appears to have been written during the time of the The Aeristhyde Empire (the last empire on Sola). It is addressed to Lord Ernst von Bahbem of the Bahbem Foundation, but since it is incomplete there is no signature, so you cannot tell who wrote it. In the letter the author appears to be summarizing the activity of The Empire and the rebellion in order to further discussion as to next steps. Unfortunately, it is that second half that seems missing. The author seems to have some access to the feywild or some method of gathering information of what’s being spoken about in the courts of the Feywild Masters, leading you to believe the author is of fey origin.

Gazal instantly recognizes the rarity of such a letter. Documents near the fall of Aeristhyde and the appearance of the Millennium Storm are extremely rare, particularly those about The Empire itself and the Millennium Storm. Scholars theorize such accounts were purged from record by the remnants of The Empire and/or servants of the Feywild Masters. Given what must be the chaos of that time, might not have been difficult. Still, it is assumed some records survive somewhere hidden in Sola. Much of the letter requires context to make sense of, which Gazal does not currently have. She would need several texts to reference many of the things the author mentions in order to make sense of it as many of the names/places mentioned in the letter no longer exist.

The author of the letter describes the vulnerability of The Aeristhyde Empire, at how thin their forces have been spread around Sola, naming possibly ways that von Bahbem might be able to maneuver in order to further the Foundation’s research. Much of the Empire’s plan to end the rebellion was an overwhelming show of force. Unfortunately, the loss of the battle fortress Tartarus in the Ihniko Forest has gravely compromised the empire’s ability to deal with the growing rebellion of Urza Major, led by a young King Arcturus.

Hundreds if not thousands of displaced warriors have made their way to Urza Major to join the King’s Army. It appears that Arcturus is able to communicate with Pelor and channel blessings from the god. He comments the empire was correct to send out their White Cloaks to eliminate such people, who suddenly let the population know the gods no longer slept. Such divinity inspires them and the empire does not want an inspired population. Unfortunately, the legend of Arcturus has spread to far to quell. The Aeristhyde Empire is not equipped to deal with such a rebellion as large as has gathered in Urza Major. They would need to leave other city states and territories, which would embolden those city states to reclaim their sovereignty.

Many of the Feywild Masters are unhappy with Fuhrer Ultenna’s campaign on Sola. There are calls to abandon a physical empire on Sola in favor of alternate methods of control that they have at their disposal, namely some way to control the winds to make it impossible for the rebellion in Urza Major to spread to other nations. Many in the court favor this approach since it minimizes Eladrin casualties, though some find the measure runs counter to their ultimate goal of providing a peaceful land for the low races to inhabit. Essentially, beating them down so they are unable to fight is quite a different beast from making Sola a place where people don’t need to wage war.

In any case, the author fears that the rebellion in Urza Major has pushed the Feywild Masters into a situation that makes some form of “ultimate solution” to maintain order on Sola a viable one. At the point where the letter ends, the author asks von Bahbem if he knows who, what, why, where is “Metatron,” a name he’s heard whispered from Lord Berion of Azterlaya.

Metagame

Two standard combats and a failed skill challenge. The consequence of failing the skill challenge was to be beaten to the sanctuary of Hau’janaisiba and missing the opportunity to gain the secret directly from the naga spirit; success would have led to an opportunity to speak with Hau’janaisiba (and another skill challenge to gain the secret). The current experience value of the party is 1,288xp.

Rather than two large gems, Macarius Tanalva discovered that the eyes of the statue were actually twelve smaller gems, each worth 100gp.

I’ve read a few threads on the boards regarding conjurations and things like opportunity attacks. This seems to be something left for the DM to define. With regard to the spirit companion I agree with the thinking that they do not provoke opportunity attacks as it’s really the shaman character moving the spirit. The spirit companion can’t move itself, so any movement of the spirit companion in my mind falls under forced movement. On the other hand, conjurations by default can’t make opportunity attacks. Conjurations have no actions, so can’t make an opportunity attack. To make an opportunity attack, the attacker must be able to make a basic attack. Conjurations have no actions. It’s the one who conjured it who grants it any actions it can take or is attacking via the spirit companion. Besides, higher level conjurations like Great Bear Guardian includes the statement “and it can make opportunity attacks,” which suggests to me that conjurations cannot do this by default.

Question of the Week

Other than a pair of scissors, what does your character have in their pocket right now?

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Hua'janaisiba Welcomes
IV.

Having found the black tree with the runes, they scavenged for branches, saplings, and vines to construct a raft. They wandered onto a lair of giant centipedes, which have in the past taken a child or two who have wandered into the forest to play. After taking care of that, they made camp and took a few hours to put together a serviceable raft.

Eight Days to Oktoberfest

The six chosen carried the raft back to the tree that Mesa believed would lead them to the underground Temple of Hua’janaisiba. When he pressed his hand on the runes, the earth on the north side of the tree parted and they could see an underground river twenty feet below. Roots jutted out from the earth, providing easy foot and handholds to lower themselves and the raft onto the river. Curiously, the river flowed toward the Ghylfang Mountains, rather than away, and the river started from right underneath the tree.

They pushed off an a few minutes later found themselves having to roll off to underneath the raft. Gazal and a couple of the others had just enough time to dump the water from their skins to make air bladders. The entire passageway was submerged with no place to get air for a few minutes. The strong current broke apart the raft and Reuse tried as best he could to hold them all together after Macarius passed out after running out of air.

The river dumped them into a cavern lake. Mesa could see an entrance to Hua’janaisiba’s temple. The walls were carved with intricate designs. As they approached, Mesa told the party some of why he wanted to come here and the potential danger of entering. Seeing not much else in the way of passage, they decided to go into the temple anyway, though both Naryl and Gazal both found themselves shaking their heads as to just how half-baked this pie was.

Mesa entered the hallway. Given its size, this was clearly a back entrance. As soon as he stepped in the floor collapsed and he found himself on his backside ten feet below. While in the pit he and Rhaan saw and intentionally triggered some spear traps. Then water began to seep into the pit. They pulled themselves out and the party watched to pit fill with water until it reached the top. Just outside the door they found a panel that extended ledges from the wall, which would have kept the floor intact. However, the hallway presented another surprise in the way of blade traps, which seemed designed to be able to swing outside of it’s narrow path. After paying some blood, they figured out how to disable the blades and make it across to the doors on the other side.

Mesa opened the doors and saw a large statue of a longtooth shifter and serpent wrapped around him. He stepped forward then instantly stepped back. He said the statue attacked him, but nobody else saw the statue move. With this, they decided to catch their breath and decide what to do.

Of course, they decide to enter the room with the large statue. As soon as anyone crossed the threshold, they saw the statue was animated as were the dog statues in the corners of the room. The statue unleashed psychic attacks. If his snake companion bit any of the heroes, they lost their senses and walked to the base of the statue, even if this opened themselves up to attack from the iron dogs. Rhaan eventually figured out that the psychic attacks were sight based and originated from the statue’s head. He yells this and tosses his cloak to Reuse who windmill slams it onto the statue’s head. The entire thing was mental. The images of the dogs disappeared from their minds and they saw that the dog statues still sat in the corners of the room.

Metagame

The party succeeded in finding the tree without being followed by Edmund Dantes (complexity 3) and were able to build a raft that could hold six people (complexity 1). In combat, they defeated a pack of giant centipedes and a room of psychic statues. They also disabled two of the three traps in the hallway. The current experience value of the party is 1,038xp. This is now a party of level 2 heroes.

I haven’t really run that many traps before. There’s one or two trap attacks I could have gone the other way on, but none of them were game changing. Also, this temple exploration is a quest created by Mesa, and there is a quest XP reward on the table. Ideally, I’d like for the majority of what you guys do be quests that are created by characters. So keep that in mind for when they party decides where to go next.

Is it just me or does this guy look like he’s looking to kill you because you took his Guitar Hero controller? Maybe it’s the mushrooms.

mushroomairguitar

Question of the Week

What does your character do as far as normal clothing and their general appearance? Do they try/plan to keep clean even while adventuring, wipe down gear during short rests, or do they keep the crust on as a daily progress bar? Do they wear whatever or do they have a sense of style? If you’re feeling lazy, here be the binary, you be sharp or you be slob?

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Death Taken
III.

They let the last wounded spider run off into the ruins of Helmsgaard and collapsed to the floor to regain their strength. After a few minutes of rest and refocus, the party made their way back to the entrance. Shouting and saber rattling could be heard from down the hallway. Naryl moved forward and saw many of the townsfolk had entered the caves armed, trying to forcefully remove the Kobolds from the caves.

Rhaan and Gazal were able to get the townsfolk to leave the caves while Mesa led the Kobolds back through the door. The Kobold who acted as their leader, Pun-Pun, gave Mesa a password in Draconic that he could use should he need to come through their territory. With that the inhabitants of Nibelheim resealed the door.

Two Days

They spent the next day taking it easy and on the following morning received a written invitation to meet Ruta Skadi at The Temple grounds at sunset.

During that day, Mesa met Longtooth Shifter while he was gathering medicinal herbs by a stream. From the looks of it the Shifter had been traveling for a long time. This stranger introduced himself as Edmund Dantes and said he was searching for an ancient temple to a serpent god that he believed was in the area.

Meanwhile, at roughly the same time, Macarius found himself tending to the family mill. It was slow and extremely dull. An Eladrin male, a few years ahead of his twilight, entered the mill, remarking how little has changed since he’d been in Nibelheim several years ago. He talked with Macarius about his mark. He introduced himself as Immeral Lavondyss of Rasmark and he was in Nibelheim to partake in Oktoberfest on last time. Before leaving he placed his “second gift” onto the counter. It was a small tube of residuum.

Late that afternoon an island, floating in the sky, emerged from the southern stormwall and drifted northward. It was visible for about an hour or two before disappearing over the Ghylfang Mountains and into the northern stormwall.

When they met with Ruta, she mentioned the island was a sign the Feywild was moving. She talked about the mark, the prophesy, and how the Feywild Masters will seek them out and kill them in order to maintain their hold on Sola. Only one of them would have the power to truly end the hold that the Feywild had over Sola.

She suggested that they seek a vision from The Oracle as to the nature of their fate. She produced five blue pills and five red pills. The blue were chosen by those who believe they controlled their fate. The red were chosen by those who believed that their fate was already set. Naryl and Reuse chose red, while the rest chose blue. All but Mesa consumed their pill, so he stayed behind and did not receive a vision from The Oracle.

Strange Vision

Rhaan saw the Great Primal Beast driven off a cliff by a creature whose shape kept changing and could not stay fixed in one form. Naryl saw a jaguar crushed by Melora. Gazal saw Telmerik, but it was not what she expected to see. These were fleeting and almost incoherent visions that seemed to last for moments.

Photobucket

Soon the five of them began to see the same vision. A death white tree, stripped of bark, devoid of leaves, branches like claws clutching upward to the sky, rose from where the oracle stood. From that tree descended four wraiths, malevolent spirits that sought to remove life from the living. They first attacked Naryl and Reuse, but soon brought death to each of the five.

With a start, the five of them awoke and found themselves in the garden outside The Temple with Ruta Skadi. She asked what they saw. Naryl asked if she knew what would happen, but Ruta did not. Had she known, she would have warned them. In spite of their near death experience, Ruta Skadi believed the fact they shared a common vision was evidence of a common path ahead.

Nine Days to Oktoberfest

The next morning all six went up to see The Oracle. They found four dead bucks and a dead doe, placed in a circle around The Oracle. Naryl decided to properly send off the spirits of the bucks. With Rhaan’s help, Gazal brought the doe down from the mountain. Ruta states that the deer had likely taken their deaths and spared them last night. What compelled the deer to take their deaths, Ruta couldn’t say.

Naryl suggested they leave immediately. Gazal suggested they go to Telmerik, where they could find out more about The Marks, Feywild Masters, and the storm. Mesa felt he needed to find the underground temple he fell into over a year ago and wished to avoid Edmund Dantes, the Longtooth Shifter he encountered the previous day. Mesa reckoned it shouldn’t be more than a couple of days to find the temple and see if there’s anything to be gained from it for this journey.

Metagame

For returning the Kobolds to Helmsgaard, the party completed a minor quest of their own design (there are benefits beyond XP for this). They were beaten in the combat with the wraiths and gained no combat rewards. This brings the experience total to 683XP.

Also, rather than info dump you at the game table, the info dump is linked in the text above and here: Feywild Masters.

Question of the Week

It’s dinner, you’re hungry, what’s the preferred method of dealing with it?

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Master of Puppets
II

Thick spiderwebs covered the back entrance to Helmsgaard. The small path which the kobolds hacked through the webs could still be seen as well as several dry corpses strewn on the floor. Mesa sought the spiders attention and began to burn away at the thick strands of spidersilk. Two spiders as large as humans pounced, followed by a swarm of a hundred blood sucking spiders, each about the size of a hand. The giant spiders seemed a bit weak, at least, not as fierce as they looked.

The webs made progressing further into the city difficult by making it hard to see more than twenty feet ahead. Rather than stumble through the city at random, Rhaan thought about the best place in a Dwarven city for a queen to lay eggs. Narrowing the search down, this let Mesa and Macarius easily follow the trail to a hole in the middle of a stairwell that led down to a mining cave.

Rhaan and Reuse descended through the hole in the stairs. Rhaan held a sunrod in his teeth, which illuminated much of the cave. It was a large, rough hewn cavern. Several tunnels connected to a the cavern and there was a stream as well. There was only one building, which was surrounded by Kobolds who stood up as soon as the two were halfway down the rope.

The Kobolds surged toward them. The rest of the party quickly dropped down the rope into the cavern. As the last of them made it into the cavern, a giant spider about the size of a grizzly bear, burst from the building. Once face to face with the Kobolds, they could see that they were corpses controlled by the spider, using her threads to move them about like puppets.

Naryl slipped through the Kobold line and landed a devastating blow early in the battle. This frightened the spider into backing off and attacking erratically. She was unable to recover and the party finished her without very much trouble at all.

Afterward, the party searched Helmsgaard for any remaining hunting bands. The last hunting band proved very dangerous as the party had expended more of their energy dealing with the spider queen than they had thought. They spent the better part of the entire day and found no more hunting bands. This section of Helmsgaard was clear.

Meta-Game Information

So far, for first level you have completed 4 combat encounters and two simple skill challenges giving each character 583XP. A “quest” bonus is pending upon resolution of the Kobold situation. In the cavern, you spent some time scraping up coins and got 120gp (20gp each).

You have until the start of the next game day to make changes to your character for free. After that point, changes fall under retraining rules.

Observations

Try to think of using daily powers outside of boss battles. While it isn’t important right now, since you’re still close to a safe environment, you should think about a more timely use for daily powers in light of the slow surge recovery rate while in the field. Daily powers save surges.

So far I like having given monsters eyes, ears, and the ability to adjust if the discussion on what to do goes over what’s reasonable for the characters to convey in a few seconds. I’m seeing more individual decision making, rather than having every turn decided by committee. I’m not opposed to general discussion and strategy, just the slowdown of an entire table micro-managing each turn. What I’m seeing might be a function of low-level play, but we’ll see how it goes.

Question of the Week

It’s a busy Friday night at the Laughing Dragon Inn. The air in the big tavern is thick with smoke and conversation. The entertainment has the crowd in a party mood and Otto is yelling last call. How’s it going?

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Broken Agreement
I.

21 der September:

Perhaps random chance, or not, six bearing the Sola Mark gathered around a stack of wood piled in the town square of Nibelheim, a northern town, surrounded by the Gylfahng Mountains. In recent years, Nibelheim has grown famous for an Oktoberfest celebration. Much of the town is busy preparing for the festival and not just the shops and inns, but also houses which get thorough cleanings to accommodate the relatives pouring in. The surrounding towns in Wagner’s Haven converge on Nibelheim for a weekend of food, lagers, ales, and dance. It’s a big party and every year Otto, of the Laughing Dragon Inn, tries to make it bigger and better than the year before.

After digging some post holes, the six managed to get several of the townsfolk to take over the task of actually hammering in nails, sanding boards, and putting the stage together. With the construction in more capable hands, as per Otto’s suggestion to pretty it up, they decided to find things to make the stage more festive.

As they picked flowers and vines from the forest and fields outside of Nibelheim, a pair of children walked down the path from the junkyard heading back toward town. Reuse, the towering male Goliath, naturally attracted the small children’s attention and they came running to see what he and the rest of them were up to. After hearing that the children had been helping small reptilian creatures in the junkyard, Macarius Tanalva who had lived in Nibelheim all his life, knew this wasn’t a good thing and suggested to his companions that they investigate these creatures.

They walked up the road to an opening in the mountains. The junkyard is a giant pit inside the mountain where the craftsmen, artisans, and inventors toss their scraps and failed experiments. In turn, others travel to the junkyard for materials. During the day, sunlight provides some illumination, but the villagers have setup arcane lamps to provide enough light to make the tunnel and scrapheap fairly save to navigate. The scrapheap is at least one hundred feet across and contains several generations of stuff. From the pit area, there are several tunnels that lead deeper into the mountains in all directions, much like spokes from the center of a wheel.

As they stopped to look around, a small reptillian humanoid scurried from the scrap heap into the far tunnel in the back. It was as Macarius suspected. Kobolds have come back to the junkyard tunnels. Five of the six carefully entered the tunnel to follow the Kobold. The female Tiefling, Gazal of Aherin, remained behind. She thought it unwise to pursue. The Kobolds had claimed the tunnels as their new village and had no plans to leave. A brief skirmish ensued, but the Shifter, Mesa of tribe Ruhgzsh, called for his companions to pull back. Naryl Talowyn, the Elf, also felt they needed to assess the situation and the withdrawal began.

They returned to Nibelheim and spoke with Otto, the mayor of Nibelheim and the owner of the Laughing Dragon Inn. He seemed troubled by the return of the Kobolds. He explained that several years ago, Kobolds had moved into the tunnels and their numbers rapidly grew. They began raiding the farms, leading the residents to fight the Kobolds back to where they came, which was Helmsgaard, an abandoned Dwarven city. It seems a back entrance from the city opens into the tunnels near Nibelheim. The villagers beat them back to the abandoned city and accepted a truce so long as the Kobolds agreed to never cross the door. It seems the Kobolds have broken the agreement. Otto was certain that in a short time, the tunnels would be filled with Kobolds and if they weren’t beaten back now, a lot of blood would be spilled later.

Afterward, Naryl sought out Ruta Skadi, the Half-Elf soothsayer, outside of The Temple. She was gazing at the stars when Naryl found her. The situation with the Kobolds troubled the Elf and he hoped Ruta could fortell one course of action as being better than another. She pointed to two stars in the sky which have been drifting closer together. The closer they got, the closer both were to destruction, which described the situation in the junkyard of Nibelheim. It was clear the Kobolds do not mean to be an invading force, but necessity would turn them into invaders by next spring as more of them crossed into Nibelheim. Allowing the Kobolds to stay in the tunnels would spell ruin for the town.

Gazal and Mesa chose to stay the night at the junkyard. None of the Kobolds emerged from their tunnel.

The six met at the junkyard that morning, some were ready to force the Kobolds out. Gazal asked Rhaan for some strong spirits. He ran back to Nibelheim and returned shortly. By then, Gazal had wrapped her hands in cloth and asked the Dwarf to soak the cloth with the alcohol. She decided to enter the tunnels, which the Kobolds had surely setup for ambush, to find out why the Kobolds had broken the agreement made twenty years ago. Mesa accompanied the Tiefling.

In speaking with the Kobolds, Gazal learned that a brood of giant spiders had taken over the abandoned city where the Kobolds lived. The Kobolds had actually carved the magically sealed door out from the wall in order to escape the spiders. When Gazal and Mesa returned to the party, Gazal suggested that if they could clear out the spiders, perhaps the Kobolds would return to where they belonged. It was clear they would fight rather than return to what they felt was certain death.

With that, the six entered the abandoned Dwarf city.

Question of the Week

On any given afternoon, what’s your character doing?

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Explode on Impact
Session 39

Soon after the Shadow Demon phasing through the metal floor, the party quickly made their way back to the room near the entrance of Tartarus. While Randuil had Arcane Locked the door, it wouldn’t stop any of the Shadow Demons from phasing through the wall. They set up a watch and took their chances on resting up.

Day 9:

They emerged from their safe room. Chances are they would not be able to use it again. Tartarus was much quieter. The arcane lines still glowed, but the intensity of the energy passing through them was less intense.

They returned to the room where they fought the Shadow Demons and saw it continued to a boiler room. The way through seemed tight. They could also see a blue glow several layers down. Kaltes could tell it was from more than one large source of light.

When they exited the room, Dri saw a large pot-bellied Solamith waiting in the hall. The demon ripped three skulls from its belly and hurled it at the door. The explosion caught all of them. The sound of the explosion brought Mezzodemons and Canoloths out from the other rooms in the area.

They decided to enter the boiler room from the bottom floor. The doorway was a large door that needed to be lifted from the floor to open. Ryva held the door open for his companions. As Grundin and Lunnin stepped into the passageway, the familiar darkness of a Shadow Demon fell. Randuil quickly moved through the darkness, but when he reached the other side he did not like what he saw. A giant flame serpent with blackface and many charred hands, so he turned around, telling the rest what he saw. They agreed to retreat and try another way.

Unfortunately, a Solamith a couple of floors above was hurling skulls down on them. He was in too good of a position that the party had no choice but to re-enter the boiler room they tried to escape. Kaltes cast a Stinking Cloud, which didn’t do much damage, but was effective in nulling the flame demon’s attacks long enough for Dri and Lunnin to destroy it. A trio of Kalaka demons were able to rip into Randuil, Dri, and Kaltes, who had a near deadly moment as each Kalaka slid him closer and closer to the flame demon. Fortunately for Kaltes, his defense was strong enough to keep him away from the flame demon.

After the flame demon died, the Kalakas decided to flee. Lunnin and Ryva pursued one down a narrow stairway and down a hallway. After dealing the finishing blows, the two Halflings could see movement at the end of the long dark corridor.

Meta:

  • Encounters, current day: 2
  • Milestones: 1
  • Encounters this level: 6
  • Current Level: 11th
  • Bottles of Dandelion Wine: 31

Try and have an 11th and 12th level item in mind, as these are the remaining slots for this level. Again, since we’re doing a crash course in Paragon Tier, I’m letting you guys decide the most advantageous item drops for the party.

I’ve not adjusted any of the monster stats since we’ve hit Paragon Tier. Next time, I’ll adjust them again.

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Upstairs Downstairs
Session 38

Day 8 (continued):

The party looked up the steps at the floors above. They could feel the heat through the Endure Elements ritual and they felt that the waves of heat bearing down was only getting hotter. The arcane energy veins were flowing with energy leading to the top of the tower. Continuing up through that heat didn’t look like a good idea, so the party reversed course and traveled down the steps to the first basement, where it was within the comfort of the Endure Elements ritual.

There were demon guards at the stairwell that didn’t pose too much of an obstacle. In searching the first basement level, they came upon a locked room with several stacks of shelf cases. On the shelves were metal parts. Grundin put some of them in his pack.

As they continued to search the room, they were attacked by Shadow Demons. The demons had knocked a few of the party unconscious, but after a long battle, the demons fled, phasing through the floor. Unfortunately, this leaves the battered party in a tough situation. No doubt the Shadow Demons are calling for help from down below. The room they’re currently in, may or may not be one they can secure, not to mention the Shadow Demons can phase through the wall and floor anyway.

Meta:

  • Encounters, current day: 3
  • Milestones: 1
  • Encounters this level: 4
  • Current Level: 11th
  • Bottles of Dandelion Wine: 33

Even though it was a 2-hour encounter, I liked the last fight. Toward the end of it though my brain was fried.

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Enter Tartarus
Session 37

Day 7, Continued:

The party enters Tartarus. The three remaining warriors from the hundred that charged tell them that they will guard their backs while inside.

Embedded into the metal walls and floors are veins of arcane energy that flow upward. There are also patches of brittle mineral deposits on the metal surfaces. The arcane energy creates an audible thrum throughout Tartarus. The air is also very hot, so Randuil cast an Endure Elements ritual to avoid heat exhaustion. After fighting magma demons and a beholder, they rested inside a storeroom, secured by an Arcane Lock cast by Randuil.

Day 8:

In the middle of the tower is an open shaft that continues both up and down. Grundin mentions that the engine of Tartarus would most likely be down below. The party decided to advance up the tower to investigate exactly what the arcane energy was powering. They made it up one flight of steps before they were attacked by a Canoloth, Kakalaka, and a Mezzodemon Beastlord. They found a Transposing Trident +3 on the Beastlord.

Meta:

  • Encounters, current day: 1
  • Milestones: 0
  • Encounters this level: 2
  • Current Level: 11th
  • Bottles of Dandelion Wine: 33

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A Ring of Fire
Sessions 35-36

A field of fire surrounded the monolith, which Grundin believes is the core of the Tartarus, the floating Eladrin battle fortress that fell into Ihniko Forest. Grundin knows that Tartarus has been hidden in the forest ever since it fell. Those in his order knew that The Aeristhyde Empire closely guarded its technology and had tried for centuries to reclaim Tartarus, but failed. If the engine of Tartarus is even partially intact, recovering it would be a major boon. But, first they needed to get past the fireball cannons mounted all along the towering structure.

An audacious Halfling walks to a lake where hundreds who seek the lady of the lake wait for her return. He gathers a small army of Dwarves, Dragonborn, and anyone else willing to rush the tower. The Halfling brings them to the edge of the fiery field. The guns of Tarturus pointed straight at them ready to fire as soon as they crossed the line. Walking along the edge of the field, the Halfling gets his men ready for a suicide run to the monolith. They charge, the Halfling and his comrades in front. Fire pummels the rush of men. The ground explodes and foul smelling smoke stings their eyes.

They make it past the ring of fire. Only a handful of the score remain. A large demon from the tower approaches. He rips an orb of fire from his belly and hurls it at the survivors. The Elf rushed forward, wanting none of that, and kills the demon before it could tear into itself again to produce more pain. Demons emerge from the fire and smoke and the survivors hack through them and eventually make it to the base of Tartarus.

As they climb the ramp up to the entrance, they see that the foul smoke swirls around Tartarus in a spiral pattern.

Meta You are now level 11. Select a Paragon Path.

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