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ZEITGEIST Adventure 1 Aftermath

Ambrus

Explorer
My group, Wolfram Court, just completed the Island at the Axis of the World adventure. They handily defeated the saboteurs and saved the Coaltongue from destruction, opened and held the sea gate of the island fortress, but were unable to prevent Asrabey from slaying the Duchess or absconding with Nathan Jierre. They have however managed to acquire Nathan's research notes, intend to question the late Duchess' spirit and quickly search the Fortress to learn what they can of the Danoran's activities before leaving with the Risuran navy in a few hours.

I have some questions about the aftermath however that I'm hoping to get some help with so I can address my players' questions:

• The adventure end states: "It should be clear that Danor was experimenting here with merging magic and industry, and that they’re on track to build military shipyards and gunworks." Umm... Is there anything indicating that that the players were supposed to encounter that I missed in the adventure? If true, would it have any bearing on the Obscurati's actual efforts on the Island with the Axis seal? Is it a red herring?

• What did the Duchess know or suspect was going on on the island and what had she uncovered after capturing the island? What did she get for all her effort?

• What will Asrabey do with Nathan after leaving the island? How does the two them being together impact the campaign?

• Having searched the forums, I found that the blue star and the alien world the island keeps merging with is intended to be Mojang; which is tied to artifice and craftsmanship. When described in the adventure however, it appears only as a swampy jungle inhabited by yellow frogs. What's that got to do with artifice? I'm trying to get an idea of what Nathan's research notes might indicate about what he was hoping to determine and his findings so far.

Thanks for any insight you can offer!
 

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arkwright

Explorer
I believe there are some minor mentions of empty factories, as well as a fully equipped fort. It is meant to foreshadow Danor/the Ob fortifying Axis Island over the course of Act 1-2 in prep for the Axis Ritual in Book 9.

The Duchess received word from Nathan that Danor was building new factories, weapons and warships on Axis Island, beginning to merge magic with tech in a way they can't do in the homeland due to the antimagic.

Asrabey tries to kidnap Nathan because Nathan mentions having seen Kasvarina, Asrabey's wife. This is purely a personal matter for him, and nothing to do with the Unseen Court. Asrabey receiving Nathan's information is not really within the scope of the campaign. My best guess; it makes him question Kasvarina's goals and methods a little earlier, but regardless he sides with Ob-Kasvarina eventually.

"Mojang, a wild artifice. Earth, Life Nature follows orders. Faintly purple surface. The terrain on this world is wildly varied, though only a handful of animals exist—such as yellow frogs – that exist seemingly independent of an ecosystem." The AP never specifies exactly how the 'artifice' aspect is expressed on Mojang. I suggest you lean into the Minecraft reference and talk about how nature can very easily be manipulated into workbenches/redstone switches/etc.
 

Ambrus

Explorer
The Duchess received word from Nathan that Danor was building new factories, weapons and warships on Axis Island, beginning to merge magic with tech in a way they can't do in the homeland due to the antimagic.
Thanks for the insight! :)

I find it a little odd that that's a cause for such alarm on the Duchess' part. I mean, of course Danor is trying to blend magic and technology to develop new weapons! Risur is doing the same themselves with the Coaltongue being the most prominent example. It'd be foolish for Danor to not follow suit and naive to imagine they wouldn't. shrug

Asrabey tries to kidnap Nathan because Nathan mentions having seen Kasvarina, Asrabey's wife. This is purely a personal matter for him, and nothing to do with the Unseen Court. Asrabey receiving Nathan's information is not really within the scope of the campaign. My best guess; it makes him question Kasvarina's goals and methods a little earlier, but regardless he sides with Ob-Kasvarina eventually.
Yeah, I got that. Just curious what more he was hoping to get from Nathan beyond what he's already heard. I know I can likely find the answer with sufficient research, but what was Kasvarina doing on Axis island two months earlier and who was the Crisillyiri man accompanying her?
 
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arkwright

Explorer
It's possible she thinks it's a bigger deal that it's happening on Axis Island in the middle of the Yerasol Archipelago rather than at home, since that could suggest Danor is prepping to invade Risur. Also this is in the context of Aodhan pursuing peace with Danor.

I believe Kasvarina was just doing an inspection of the facilities, with Leone Quital accompanying her. He accompanies her fairly often, like an incident where Leone protected Kasvarina when they were caught in a collapsing building on one trip.

As far as Asrabey knows, Kasvarina is still in Elfaivar coordinating her Vekeshi assassins. He doesn't know about her involvement in the Ob. Book 8 has a flashback scene with their last night together if you want further context.
 

Ambrus

Explorer
The Danorans couldn't really develop magical technology at home since Danor is entirely magic dead. The Malice Lands are likewise too dangerous to setup large facilities, so that leaves them only their holdings in the Yerasol archipelago, no? So it seems obvious that that's where Danor would need to setup its magic-tech facilities. It does seem a significant choice to have setup on Axis island rather than some other remote island. Perhaps Danor was aiming for transparency with its neighbours in Risur? After all, Lya Jierre readily admitted to the RHC about its fortifications and factories and even facilitated their visitation to those facilities, after a fashion. The evidence would appear to show that Danor is being reasonable and forthcoming about its activities rather than suspiciously secretive. I guess the Duchess' unreasonable suspicions is indicative of her own untrusting, prejudiced and militant nature concerning Danor; which in turn validates why her brother and the Unseen Court didn't see the need to take action.

Thanks so much for your help Arkwright! :)
 
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