Arendel’s Serpent's Skull Journal. (Complete! 06/25/13, With Pictures!)

Abciximab

Explorer
End of Session 61.​

You are quite welcome MrBoshaft, I'm glad you have enjoyed it.

The Characters are:

Arendel Whisperson – Human Fire Elemental Wizard 17 (Abciximab)
Max “Little” Hammer – Human Fighter/Rogue/Barbarian 11/4/2 (Peteinmaine)
Acemodius and Kay’Es – Tiefling Summoner 16 and his Eidolon (Mundinironhand)
Taraz – Aasimar Oracle of Life 16 (Brent)
Ka’Azbu – Human Ranger (I have no idea what level) (David)

So here we are in what is probably the last encounter of the campaign. The once castaway heroes are now battling the Avatar of Ydersius and his High Priest in an evil Temple below a long lost city.

The High Priest is still stuck within the confines of a Maze Spell (apparently Int was his dump stat) and the Avatar of Ydersius has crawled his way out of the caverns below. The fleshless skull on top of its body seems to slowly be regenerating flesh, so we can only assume the head was regrown from some ritual the High Priest performed on the petrified skull.

Stay tuned, the final battle will be fought next week and the journal should be up shortly thereafter. Hopefully Arendel will not be recording the party's final heroic acts from the great beyond.
 

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Abciximab

Explorer
GM Sosanso is losing his title, and will soon be just plain-ol' everyday Soanso.

He has decided to take the reigns as the party scribe however, documenting their journey through Rise of the Runelords (AE).

His fireside chat can be found right here...
 

Abciximab

Explorer
Session 62​

Kuthona the 7th (Cont.)

A palpable Aura of Fear washed over us all, though only Kazbu showed any signs of being Shaken by it. The Avatar’s fleshless skull roared as we all turned to confront it. I started out by casting a Prismatic Sphere as the others went on the offensive.

I was out of my most powerful fire spells. Luckily, I had mastered my opposition element some time ago and I unleashed a Cone of Cold and a Horrid Wilting upon the Avatar of Ydersius. Max was grappled by the Avatar’s tail in his attempt to bring General Aveshai’s greatsword to bear (it is particularly powerful against Serpent-Folk). As a result he spent much of his time punching the Avatar in the face with his mailed fist. I was beginning to think Max was enjoying that just a little too much for his own good. Luckily, Taraz was there to keep him healed up. Unfortunately, the Avatar had his own method of healing, as his flesh continually regenerated, healing much of the damage we were inflicting.

We weren’t particularly surprised when the High Priest returned from the Maze. When Ka’Azbu unleashed a volley of arrows at the Priest and missed every shot, I knew I had to do something about his defenses. After firing off one last Chain Lightning at the Avatar, I cast a Greater Dispel Magic upon his Priest. Ka’Azbu’s next volley did not miss. His body floating lifeless to the ground, the High Priest of Ydersius was no more.

As Ace recalled Kay’Es from wherever he resides when not adventuring with us, Max finally let go of the greatsword, drew forth his ancestral hammer and pummeled the Avatar mercilessly. At this point I was completely out of offensive spells and had to resort to channeling some of my defensive and utilitarian spells into Arcane Blasts, searing the Avatar with pure arcane power. Finally, it was Kay’Es’s sword that punched its way through to the heart of the Avatar, dropping it to the ground.

61Victory.jpg

We could see our task was not yet done, as the creatures flesh continued to heal even in death. Max quickly ran up and, wrapping the chain of his hammer around the Avatar’s neck, ripped the skull from the body. We watched in horror as the body quickly slid along the floor like a serpent, toward the pit it had crawled out of. There was nothing we could do to stop its return to the Darklands below.

So now, we are left with the skull of Ydersius and we must find some way to dispose of this horrid artifact. None of us dare touch it. Well, that’s not entirely true, as I had to shout a warning to Max. This is one trophy that he should leave uncollected. After a brief discussion, we have decided to seek our answers in the Tomb of Savith… after a short break, of course. As this chapter in our lives closes, I feel we have earned one.

Perhaps I could spend a little time with Athyra.
 

Abciximab

Explorer
End of Session 62.​


I considered using…

End of Campaign.​

…as the header, but there’s a good chance of a follow up. GM Soanso has a home brewed “Tomb of Savith” in the works.

It was a good end battle, not too easy, not impossible (Shackled City (3.5/Pathfinder blend) – “Blasphemy… let’s see… caster level 30… everyone dies, no save… Hmmm… I might want to change that.”)

It probably would have ended sooner, but Peteinmaine really wanted the final battle to be with the magical Greatsword that was the sister to the one that beheaded Ydersius in the first place. Beyond its Bane (Monstrous Humanoid), it was kind of a lame weapon and The Avatar wasn’t even a Monstrous Humanoid! +1,000 points to Peteinmaine for good RP, -1,000 for substandard magical weapons.

Now we are left with an evil artifact at our feet. We are currently cooking up a plan to keep the skull hidden until we can dispose of it. There’s a “slay Ydersius before Pharasma” solution that seems very unlikely at this point. We’ll see what solutions we might find in the tomb.

Overall, I think it was a great AP. I wasn’t a big fan of “Race to Ruin”, but building an adventure around travel is tough, both as an author and a player (as we found out in our Kingmaker campaign).

The “explore the ruined city part” was hardest on GM Soanso, as he had to flesh it out and plan ahead (“Wait, you’re going where?”). We tried to tell him our plans before the game session, so he didn’t have to keep the entire city fresh in his mind.

I had a lot of fun running a wizard from 1st to 17th level. I have always wanted to do that for… well let’s just go with "a very long time", since back in my AD&D days. The first time I sat down to play D&D (AD&D actually) was the second session for all the other players and the Magic User was taken, so I played a Thief. I played a lot of thieves (including thief/acrobats), paladins and the occasional cleric in those halcyon days of my youth and none of them got above 9th level. In fact, this is the highest level I have ever achieved with a character after… all right; I’ll admit it… over 30 years of gaming. I was almost always the DM back in those days, so most of my games as a player were either one shots or very intermittent.

So, a special thanks to GM Soanso for a great campaign and finally letting me achieve greatness with the one character class I really wanted to try from (literally) day one.

If there’s interest, I can ask the players to post final PDFs of their characters. We’re not total power gamers, so there wouldn’t be a lot of “that’s the build I want”, but it may be interesting to see the PCs from a player perspective.

Thanks to our readers, especially those who posted to let us know your thoughts and encourage us. I appreciate the feedback. I will post within Soanso’s SH, mostly GM follow up and images from the game. I’m also considering posting a few youtube vids of gameplay… not sure how interesting that would be. Hope to hear from you all in the new SH!
 

ibayboy

First Post
Hey congrats, that was a great read, I looked forward to all your new posts. I finished running SS 5 weekends ago. Me and the players had pretty much the same thoughts on it as you guys. Pt1 was great, pt2 a bit dry, pts 3&4 they enjoyed only with a LOT of prep on my part. Parts 5&6 were ok, they enjoyed the challenge, (and I liked running) of going against an enemy that was well prepared and quick to respond to threats. With telepathy and a militaristic structure, I could funnel info up the line to the mini bosses, alter spell load-outs and guards etc, and be ready for them much more than usual. I even claimed a "win" in book 6, when they went downstairs before clearing the upper level, and found themselves facing the transmuters and the marilith, resulting in 2 deaths and a hasty retreat. When they finally went back in upstairs, the transmuters beat them again! So thanks again for a brilliant journal. What is your next game gonna be, I am now a Bard/Witch captain of the not so good ship Besmara's Booty, in Skull & Shackles. link to my mini collection for SS http://s1290.photobucket.com/user/ibayboy/slideshow/Serpents Skull minis
 

Abciximab

Explorer
Hey congrats, *Snip*

Thanks, next up is our Rise of the Runelords campaign, to be documented in Soanso's Fireside Chat.

Didn't you start SS after us? You must have really whipped through that AP.

Looks like someone put a lot of work into cutting out the paper minis, pretty impressive. Soanso used them as well, they worked very well (though some of the art would occasionally be the butt of a few jokes). I have a full set of the prepainted Runelords minis, but they will be supplemented with the paper villagers set.
 

ibayboy

First Post
We play for about 9hrs every Sat, with only 3 players and a GM, we tend to go quite quickly. Also we aren't really into heavy talky roleplaying, preferring combat and a descriptive game style. I also made enough minis for all the random encounter tables which added a lot. However, I was having trouble with XP totals by book 3 and decided to stop tracking it. I wish I had done that from the start, as I can run it exactly how I want, with randoms etc, and just level them when appropriate. The GM is doing that for Skull & Shackles and its working fine. In this new game, one player is running a summoner, so I am making paper minis for the whole summon monster list, with up to 6 of each for the superior summoning feat. I've done up to III so far with lots of elementals, some of them get reused, sm/med elementals, ape/dire ape etc. They all get boxed up in groups by spell, I figure we'll use them in future games too, none of us really bothered with summoning in past games, but its been quite effective so far. I'm also making the mini set for S&S, but after this game i'll be running Reign of Winter and I think i'll just use what iv'e got not buy a new set. In saying that I do like making them!
 




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