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4E [Adventure]: Shards of Eldanarth (DM: MadAzolin, Judge: ??)


Shards of Eldanarth, chapter I: Garden of Stars

A Living 4th Edition adventure for high heroic level:

  • expected level for PCs is 7-10 (4+ PCs)

GM: MadAzolin


  • PC: Neurotic, Character: Martelai Luinil, level 8 warlock
  • PC: Voda Vosa, Character: Vermitrax, level 7 necromancer
  • PC: jbear, Character: Kane, level 8 swordmage
  • PC: nell1889, Character: Lilli, illusionist
  • PC: dimsdale, Character: Lerric, level 6 cleric
  • PC: MetaVoid, Character: Cyr, invoker

Welcome to the adventure.

This post will be kept up to date as main reference

Malenkirk's rules will be used along with several modifications of my own to make things easier for everyone:

The Malenkirk Conventions
Mal Malenkirk came up with some house rules for speeding up PbP combat that are now so ubiquitous in L4W that almost nobody actually bothers posting them anymore, which can lead to confusion. Here they are:

1. The DM rolls initiative for everyone to save time. Only one initiative value is rolled for all of the bad guys.

2. Any PCs whose initiative beats the bad guys get to act first. They can act in any order they like and their actions are resolved in the order they are posted.

3. The DM then runs all of the bad guys’ turns together.

4. All of the PCs (including any who won the initiative before) now get a turn. Play then proceeds with all the bad guys having another turn, then all the PCs, etc. Again, the PCs can act in any order, and their actions are resolved in the order of posting.

5. Effects that last until the end of someone’s next turn need a special rule, because the changing order of actions could otherwise lead to abuse. Such an effect gives its benefit (or its penalty) to each recipient for one turn only, no matter when that turn occurs in relation to the other recipients or the originator of the effect.

Example: Suppose that PCs Algie, Bertie, Cecily, Dickie, and Edna act in alphabetical order on round 1. Cecily uses a power that grants herself and all her allies a +1 to attack rolls until the end of her next turn. Dickie and Edna each benefit on round 1, as normal, because they act after Cecily.

On round 2, the PCs happen to act in reverse alphabetical order. Even though Edna and Dickie act before Cecily, they no longer benefit from Cecily’s effect, because they have already had it for one turn. Cecily benefits from it on her turn, just as she normally would, and Bertie and Algie benefit on their turns, even though their turns take place after Cecily’s is over.

This rule can be tricky to apply correctly at the beginning, so let me know if you have any questions about it.

Also, following rules will be used:
  • Simplified acting order for 1st round: If PCs have better average initiative, they act first, otherwise NPCs act first. This goes for 1st round of combat.
  • One short rest per encounter: plain and simple; exception to this is long rest
  • Unconscious PCs go first: they act before anything else happens, in effect losing turn. If they get back into fight, they continue acting with rest of PCs
  • One trigger per power: define single trigger for your triggered power and sort them by priority (see below for example). Triggered powers will be resolved by DM to minimize turn-reverting and waiting.
  • Dominated PCs go with NPCs: if someone is dominated, DM will play his turn and he will act with monsters.
  • Leveling up during adventure is legal, but character must be in home base to level up - this typically means Daunton or Bacarte
  • To encourage skill use in combat, skills will be given flexible treatment - basically if you think something might work and want to use skill for it, feel free to try. Most misc skills (such as knowledge) requireminor action. Some examples:
    • get generic info: knowledge: minor: 'what do I know about this monster?'
    • get specific info: knowledge: minor: 'this shimmering barrier that appeared here, what does it do?'
    • interact with some specific powers/effects: for example some monster powers can be disabled by using appropriate skills (ex: dominate that is breakable by religion or monster aura that can be disabled using arcana). This applies only to some specific powers and usually requires standard action and recognizing effects of such power
    • minor improvisation: minor or standard action required: mostly minor effects that have no clear rule treatment; ex: aiming attack at specific monster weakness (if it has one), exacting especially gruesome effect on grabbed minion monster, closing that crack in reality that just started opening...
    • major improvisation: generally requires multiple standard action, possibly expenditure of other resources such as healing surges, encounter or daily powers: basically if your character can do something similar, but effect you want is not described by the rules - example: use linked portal ritual to crack open that partially closed magical portal, using portal ritual to banish demon that just appeared back to hell, climb atop that iron golem so you can crack open its unarmored brain...

NPC stats and combat map: [sblock=show]
  • Monster mini-stats will be posted and kept up to date during the encounter. This will include defenses, HP and basic status effects
  • Monster triggered powers will not be posted or announced beforehand, keep eyes open in case those come into play
  • More exotic status effects or equivalent might or might not get posted beforehand, depending on monster and encounter
  • Auras will play at monsters' turn: to minimize turn-reverting, auras such as 'foe that enters aura takes 10 necrotic damage' will instead play as 'at start of creature's turn, foes in aura take 10 necrotic damage'
  • Google docs excel will be used for combat map(s)

Out of combat skills, skill use and dice rolls: [sblock=show]
  • Some skill effects will be put into blocks, along with DC (for example: perception DC 20); please do not look at these if you don't succeed appropriate skill roll or have equivalent passive skill level
  • Keep in mind this does not include all possible skill uses, some will be hidden for reason, so feel free to experiment
  • Use invisible castle or this forum's dice roller for rolls

PC stats / other stuff:

  • Please post link to full character sheet and keep your mini-stats block up to date.
  • If you have more then few immediate/triggered powers, put those into block of their own. Please keep number of triggers per power to 1, at max 2 if you really have to (in which case they should be sorted by priority, see example below). Triggered powers will be resolved by DM.
  • Decide beforehand on color used for character speech, try to keep it visible (don't use light yellow, please) and different from rest of PCs.

[sblock=example mini-stats]​ Status: Bloodied Init:+5 Speed: 5 Perception:22 Insight: 20
AC:21 F/R/W:17/18/22 HP:30/61 Surges: 4/8 Surge Value: 15 AP: 1
Languages:Allarian, Imperia, Draconic
Str:8 Dex:14 Wis:14 Con:14 Int:10 Cha:22
Powers:AtWill - JinxShot, Cutting Words
Encounter- SecondWind, Fox'sCunning, Twin Strike, Grappling Spirits, Hunter's Quarry,Majestic Word (0/2), Words of Friendship, Chordof Dissonance, Rhyme of the Blood-Seeking Blade,Virtue of Prescience
Daily- Arrowof Ill Omen, Arrow of Warning, Bracers of Archery, Inevitable Shot,Songbow of Vanishment, Warding Arrow
Full Character Sheet <-- link should be included here if possible

[sblock=example triggered actions]
  • Sorted in order of importance:
    - Opportunity Action (1/combatant): MBA if not marked and shift or attack not targeting me while in aura: +18 vs AC (+20 if slowed/immobilized), 1d10+8 and stance effect; 2 damage on miss
    - Opportunity Attack (1/combatant): MBA +18 vs AC (+20 if slowed/immobilized), 1d10+8 and stance effect
    - Guardian's Counter: (Immediate Interrupt) If ally w/ 2 sqs. hit by attack that drop them/bloodies and I am not also attacked: I and ally swap positions, I become target, and can make MBA after resolved; +17 vs AC (+18 if slowed/immobilized), 1d10+8 and stance effect;
    surge afterwards

Posting frequency / limits:

  • to be determined, current plan is to have it at roughly 48 hours per out of combat 'scene' or combat turn. If single PC lags behind in combat, DM will take care of his turn, if more then one PC does not post on time, we wait for a while
Treasure collected so far:
  • loot will be listed here

XP / time so far:

  • aventure start date: recruiting underway, adventure has not started yet
  • XP acquired will be listed here

OOC / Discussion / Suggestions ...

  • use [Adventure OOC] Shards of Eldanarth thread
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Almost done with recruiting, we will be starting as soon as everyone selects his speech color (please don't make it light yellow) and posts character info.

Voda Vosa

"I wouldn't mind one." Vermitrax says, walking slowly, his tone now closing and his writing gear folding inside the leather container and getting itself into the backpack carried by his shady servant. The tome flies and stores itself on a blue leather strap, that hangs on Vermitrax's side. The wizard walks up and, leaving his staff to stand by itself at his side, sits in front of Martelai.


"So, now let's see...tell me when and where are you born as precisely as you can. I will need to know if anything special happened when you were born, again, if you know." after some questioning, drawing of diagrams Martelai gives his prognosis..
OOC: [MENTION=51271]Voda Vosa[/MENTION], roll d20 three times, so I don't get blamed for bad rolls :)


A short female humanoid with a clinging ghostly green spider enters, looks for a suitably sized stool and occupies it.

"Looks like we're off with another mob of arcanists, Lotte. Probably a feature of IAC expeditions," says Lilli. Lotte declines to answer; her many eyes are locked on a nearby mousehole.


Lerrick moves into the room quickly the stops abruptly Oh!...sorry. See then quietly moves to one side of the room and stands, watching Martelei scan his charts in front of the one who looks like someone who has practiced the art of magic.


The invoker enters right behind Lerrick and almost bumps into her when she stops suddenly. Shaking his head at kids skitishness, he observes the ritual quietly.

[sblock=Cyr Stats]
Deva Invoker Scholar 8
STATUS: none
* Interrupt: Miraculous Fortune (damage reduced by 5, one ally get +1 power bonus to attack) - trigger: surprise attack by non-necrotic attack or critical hit by a non-minion
* Reaction: Preserver's rebuke

Initiative +12; Senses Passive Insight 25, Passive Perception 26
HP 50/50, Bloodied 25, Surge Value 12+1, Surges 7/7
AC 23; Fortitude 18, Reflex 22, Will 24

Resist 9 radiant; Resist 9 necrotic

* Battle Intuition - +2 to initiative, use Wisdom modifier instead of Dexterity
* Superior Implement (Accurate Staff)
* Coordinated Explosion - +1 to hit with blast and burst attacks if ally is in the area
* Staff Expertise
* Superior Will
* ImprovedDefenses

1 AP
Saving Throws:

Speed 5

Vanguard's Lightning
Hand of Radiance
Rebuke Undead
Preserver's Rebuke

Blades of Astral Fires
Second Wind
Memory of Thousand Lifetimes
Miraculous Fortune
Falling Leaves
Demand Justice
Use Vulnerability
Preservers Rebuke
Rebuke Undead
Tide of the First Storm

Silent Malediction
Searing Orb

Staff of the warmage (daily free enlarge spell)
Clearsense powder (consumable minor)
Iron Skin Belt (daily minor): gain DR 5 TENT
Curse Eye Tattoo (action point free): one enemy takes -2 to saves (save ends)
Gauntlets of Remote Action (daily move): switch places with floating gauntlet
Steadfast Boots (encounter minor): +2 all defenses TENT or until moved
Storm shards (free): Trigger: use 5- level thunder or lightning power: push the target 2 squares. If it cannot be pushed it falls prone

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Kane chuckles at Vermitrax' bad luck. He certainly could relate to that.

[sblock=Kane Arcane]
PC:Kane Arcane (jbear1979) - L4W Wiki
Human Hybrid Swordmage | Wizard 8
Passive Perception/Insight 16
AC:26, Fort:21, Reflex:22, Will:21, Speed:6
HP: (+0 THP) 65/65, Bloodied:32, Surge Value:16, Surges left:11/11
Initiative +4
Action Points: 1 (encounter):


MBA: Frostbrand Longsword +2, +11 vs AC, 1d8+4 damage
Freezing Burst, Phantasmal Assault, Sword Burst

Glorious Presence:
Aegis of Shielding:
Channelling Shield:
Dimensional Vortex:
Charm of the Defender:
Frostbrand Longsword (Freezing Blast):
Frostbrand Longsword (Extinguish Fires):
Evil Eye of the Vistani:
Boots of the Fencing Master:
Viper Belt:
Second Wind

Flaming Sphere:
Swordmage's Shielding Fire:
Fire Shield:
Dislocation Longsword:
Amulet of Psychic Interference:
Power Jewel:
Raven Cloak:

Combat notes:
Resistances: 7 Fire; 5 Necrotic, Cold, Poison
Boots of the Fencing Master: +1 item bonus to AC & REF TENT when Kane shifts.
White Lotus Riposte: When an enemy Kane has hit with an At Will Power attacks him on his next turn, they take 4 dmg (type is equal to the damage type dealt by at will power)
Gauntlets of Arcane Might: Kane gains 2 THP when he hits an enemy he marks with an Arcane power
Shimmering Cloth Armor: Kane's ranged and area attacks do not provoke OAtks
War Wizard's Expertise: Kane's arcane attacks vs allies take a -5 penalty to hit.

Jade, Feybeast HP (+0 THP) 32/32; AC 21 F/R/W 23/19/23
Perception +9
MBA: Claw: +13 vs AC; 1d12+4 dmg
Aura +2 dmg to all allies vs enemies in Fey Beast Aura; Kane gains CAdv vs enemies in aura


[sblock=Voda Vosa]
[MENTION=51271]Voda Vosa[/MENTION]
Well, it could be worse. This is save, attack and ... hm, some other attack.
No, it doesn't work quite that way. You don't choose when it happens it just does:
Cast Fortune:
Roll d20 three times and record the results in order.
These results replace the next three non-trivial rolls that target makes for any of the following types of rolls: attack roll, saving throw or skill check. At DMs discretion trivial rolls or rolls in non-dangerous situation cannot be replaced by prepared rolls. The effects end when all three rolls are used or on the next extended rest. The target doesn't know his/her fortune unless Martelai tells it.

"It seems that way. But you can assured that Fate always balances. If you start with bad luck, use powers of lesser potency. Wait until your luck changes. The stars will see that you are fairly compensated."


Igor suddenly cackles, seemingly appearing out of nowhere - 'My my... are we all here? Not me of course, I won't be going anywhere'. Smiling to himself as if he said something terrifically funny, he points at Martelai: 'Roll the dice... pay the price...' ... 'but we aren't here for joke and dance, are we? Our dear master has sent me to assist you with investigating this funny little thing' - Igor points at Martelai... 'uh... amulet I mean. He seemed certain that you can crack it yourself, but decided I am underpaid for my job, so he sent me to work a bit more...'. Refusing to shut up, Igor upturns patched leather bag and starts shaking it vigorously, spilling tattered papers, cracked runestones, gnawed bones, burnt scrolls and less useful things onto the table - 'He also sent me here if you will need some assistance with eldritch rituals'.
After rambling some more nonsense, Igor finally stops hopping around and sits by the table, obviously exhausted and happy at explanation he provided - 'As I see you have no more questions, let's see that amulet...'


Looking somewhat disgusted, Martelai offers him the thing.

OOC: for speed, assume that this kind of interractions go without complaint and that items are handed as requested (dangerous or seemingly dangerous stuff not withstanding)

Voda Vosa

"Poetical." Vermitrax says in reply, standing up, leaving the seat to anyone who would want a fortune reading. "What is to be cracked about this amulet then?"


Igor lifts amulet and dangles it before his oversized eye, obviously mesmerized by it... , 'Pretty pretty thing... I can see... magic... and... something else... is it Hells? Nah... Abyss? Nah... can't tell...' With sad look on his face, creature puts it on the table.
[sblock=strange amulet]
Light mithril chain is linked to triangular piece of strange grayish metal that seems virtually weightless and partially transparent, as if it does not entirely belong to this world. Single extremely complex silver rune is etched in its center, its meaning unknown.
Item radiates aura of powerful magic, but it seems its magic is dampened somehow, as if something is missing from it.
Obviously upset, Igor starts pulling various items from his bag - cracked crystals, broken chunks of metal, squashed beetles... on and on goes the junk while he grumbles to himself 'where is it... scroll...'. Finally he pulls out large scroll tube and slowly unwinds scroll from it.
Deep rumbling of arcane words echoes through the room, Igor's voice gaining power as he goes through the scroll, even as mystical glyphs materialize in the air around him, glittering in dark purple radiance.

[sblock=arcana DC 20 or religion DC 20]
Igor is obviously reading ritual scroll, magic has clear signature of conjuration and divination.
[sblock=arcana DC 25 or religion DC 25]
Analyzing it more carefully, you are fairly sure ritual is 'Consult Mystic Sages', yet there is something bit unusual about it - it is definitely arcana ritual rather then religious one. Also it carries more then tinge of necromancy about it - almost like being keyed to some actual dead sages rather then extraplanar ones one would expect from that ritual.
As Igor utters last word of power, room seems to darken and he lifts amulet high - 'Speak to me! I command you! Tell me what is this thing!'. At first nothing seems to happen...

[sblock=Insight DC 20]
While you cannot see anyone else in the room, you are certain you are no longer alone here. Concentrating, you can feel tingle of magic around you...
[sblock=Perception DC 25 or detect invisibility or equivalent]
Seven shadowy forms float in the chamber, set around you in the circle, ghostly forms of men and women robed in gray, old, hunched and long dead... you can hear faint whisper coming from them: 'Ask... one question for you, one and no more...'
[sblock=Arcana DC 25]
Magic is obviously active and while you cannot see entities summoned, you are fairly sure they are spirits or ghosts of mages and scholars of the past, long dead and buried. They were likely called by the ritual to answer question.
And then Igor screams, clutching his oversized eye as if someone or something poked it. With gurgling scream, he falls on his back, beer and junk falling on top of him. Scroll itself ignites with emerald flame and disappears before you manage to react and arcane glyphs disappear with rather unspectacular 'plop'...

[sblock=Arcana, Religion or Insight DC 25]
You can feel backlash of magic in the room. Even without knowing the ritual itself, you are fairly sure it backfired. Not an unusual thing either, for looking at Igor, you would judge his magical talent at level of junior wizard, not someone capable of performing proper divination ritual, scroll or not. Looking at wreckage, you are quite sure perfectly good ritual scroll was just wasted.
[sblock=Arcana, Religion or Insight DC 35]
While Igor's ritual performance was certainly bad, you felt something during the moment ritual backfired, as if someone or something else was responsible. Not sure how, you can remember voice - you heard it, but it was not directed to you - 'Ugly and unworthy, begone you thing, you are not fit even to join The Failed'.
As he stops mewling on the floor, Igor rises up slowly, still clutching his eye and points toward the table - 'I... I did wat I could, you take it from here... it is magical as you saw... and EVIL! Perhaps librarians can tell you more... or priests... or one of these accursed rituals... after all IAC didn't hire you for me to do all the job, right?'. After realizing what he just said, he suddenly stiffens - 'Erm... sorry, I didn't mean it that way, you know... eye and all... if you need more scrolls, I am sure IAC office will sell you few for a fair price - you see this one was funding we received for up-front. Bloody sages were useless, they said 'po...', i bet that was 'poke' before they poked me in the eye.'

Considering your little buddy failed and quite miserably too, It is now up to you to find out more about the amulet. Consider this an open ended skill challenge - I will give good ideas bonuses to skill rolls (and penalties to bad ideas), as long as you have credible explanation, most things can work.

Also considering pbp format, I will be using 'scenes' approach in situations like this one : 'scene' lasts for flexible amount of time, during it you can post, give ideas... please add skill rolls and results will be resolved on first-come-first-serve basis (though please keep number of posts reasonable). After some time has passed, let's say 24-48 hours, 'scene' will get an update and so on. Feel free to discuss / put suggestions in OOC thread (and/or do any in-character discussion here)

Btw, considering you are in controlled / nonhostile environment atm, feel free to do any shopping, resupplying...
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Lilli felt a little woozy; perhaps she'd had a few too many small beers in the tavern.

[sblock=skill rolls during Igor's reading]Arcana DC 20 as Igor reads scroll = 17


Insight 20 as Igor finishes the scroll = 16.


Arcana DC 25 when the scroll sets alight = 18.

I've certainly rolled a lot of threes in the last week or so.

Voda Vosa

Vermitrax murmurs something, while studying the amulet and thinking about what just happened. Being an expert necromancer he would try to relate with old texts he had read about the dark arts.

Necromancy History knowledge 28

Rolls during Igor's ritual: From my 'luck' rolls: 9+14: Arcana 23, 14+11: Inisght 25, 6+14: Arcana 20, finally: Arcana 16