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ZEITGEIST Avilona, Skyfall, and Flying.

Crispy120286

Explorer
Okay, this might be a long one. Im going to copy some text from the books because some of it confuses me and there are some inconsistencies. Maybe one of you can help explain it a bit better.

Campaign guide. 200 years ago the connection to the plane of air was damaged, so now no spell or magic item can allow for permanent flight. PCs can still have flight magic of their own, but no effect ever lasts longer than five minutes, and people still react to flying mages with amazement because of how rare the magic is. Only one person in the setting, the fey terrorist Gale, has the ability to fly perpetually at the start of the adventure path.

#1 Axis Island. As stated in the Campaign Guide, the Ancients who created the Axis Seal carved runes and symbols into trees as part of the ritual. These carvings, along with specially crafted golden icons, drew a small group of planes to this world. The ancients used magic to turn the trees to stone and lower them into the earth, ensuring a strong connection between the worlds.They then crafted smaller stone pillars, and placed them in a pit be-neath the massive golden Axis Seal in the center of the island. This locked the connections in place.The Danorans dug mines on Axis Island to retrieve iron ore, but Obscu-rati members guided their excavations toward the locations of the ancient petrified trees. For their ultimate plan, the Obscurati will need to replace the icons each tree is tied to, which is why Nicolas Dupiers has two already.The ancients did not know about the sea cave when they lowered this pillar into the earth. The force of tides and erosion broke the pillar, which weakened the world’s connection to Avilona, the plane of air. Recall that in Zeitgeist, flight magic is limited.

#6 Madman. Another challenge is an odd weather phenomenon that floats near the island. On the west coast, stretching between the island and the mainland, there is a constant storm system that produces incessant rain and erratic winds but, eerily, never any lightning or thunder.Thousands of years ago, this was the site of the Ziggurat of Avilona, where the Ancients protected this world’s connection to the plane of air. That connection was damaged two centuries ago—meddling by the Obscurati at this ziggurat coincided with the white pillar on Axis Island containing the golden icon of Avilona cracking—which resulted in the downfall of the dragon tyrants. Isla dolas Focas still hosts a few Ancient structures and the party might come across megaliths and primitive carvings of flying beasts.As for the ziggurat itself, it’s several thousand feet overhead, on a floating island hidden in the stormclouds.

#8 Diaspora. Centuries earlier, Kasvarina explains to Nicodemus and another Sovereign (who borrows a cigarette) what has gone wrong. They’d found the Ancient ziggurat of Avilona on an island in the sky, floating over the domain of some dragon tyrant. Kasvarina and a few researchers flew up to it, unearthed a golden seal, and found a portal to the plane of air. After extensive divinations they attempted to replace the seal with another one and steer the portal to a different plane. That succeeded for only a few moments before some powerful destructive energy blasted outward. Kasvarina and the others fled the island, and nearly died when suddenly their flight magic failed. Two problems are obvious. First, they can’t get back to the floating island to try again, not unless Danor’s engineers can use their new steam furnaces to power a mechanical bird. And second, clearly their understanding of the Ancient ritual was flawed. Kavarina thinks they’re lucky the damage wasn’t worse, and won’t risk testing at the ziggurat of Av until they know more. Nicodemus throws his cigarette away, then curses at Kasvarina for failing.

Description of Avilona in the Final Act: Avilona, The final murmur. Air, Death. Flight is limited to five minutes.

Couple questions here.
1) All the original planes have a petrified tree, Does the Obscurati make new trees for their new planes?

2) In the first module it is stated that the erosion is what broke the tree and caused the Skyfall. In the 6th module its revealed that the OB damaged the Ziggurat in Ber. Did the problem at the Ziggurat cause the problem with the tree? Or is that irrelevant? What connection do the Ziggurats and the Trees have?

3) Did Kasvarina, when she tried changinng the plane of Air, permanently damage it? is that why Avilona only allow flight for less than 5 minutes at a time? The skyseer vision of the bird dieing them actually seeing that bird when travelling to the plane later hints towards that.

4) What was flying like before the Ob tried changing the planes? How did that affect dragons specifically? Also does that affect other creatures who have flight speeds or only the magical flying of Dragons?

5) One of my players is playing a Dragon Disciple and will grow wings and get a fly speed soon, how will this affect her?
 

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arkwright

Explorer
1) No, the Ob are piggybacking off of the existing trees. Though that does make me wonder if they need to replace the sea-cave tree.

2) I've asked this question before, the answer I got was: all of the above. The combination of sea cave erosion + Kasvarina's interference + death of Avilona bird reference to the War for the Burning Sky is what weakened the plane of Air and its connection to Lanjyr.

3) See above.

4) My understanding is that prior to Skyfall, dragons could fly around at several hundreds of miles per hour doing long-distance travelling. Afterwards, not so much. Not sure if that's dev lore or my own lore.

5) Not sure.

I seem to recall being told that Avilona only limits magical flight. Lanjyr just happens to have basically no large birds so it's easy to assume all flight is banned. Might be that your dragon disciple can fly perfectly fine, it's just that they are unable to augment their flight, say by using the PF Haste spell to fly faster.
 

Crispy120286

Explorer
Ive never played or read the war of the burning sky, so i dont understand that refrrence. I think for my table at least i will have it that the plane itself was permanently damage when they first tried to change the seal at the Ziggurat. Perhaps that is what killed the bird?
 

The big trees can get dealt with later, for a solid long-term link. The main thing for the planar arrangement are the columns under the Axis Seal.

And yeah, Kasvarina breaking the ziggurat portal, or the tree cracking, or the big eagle dying - it's all metaphysically the same event, like how a heart attack hurts in your arm and causes a lack of blood flow and eventually death, but the cause is the heart's artery gets blocked. What's the cause of Avilona's air magic going away?

Honestly, I go back and forth. Most of the time I figure it's because someone completed the War of the Burning Sky adventure path and destroyed the Aquiline Heart. Morrus doesn't like me linking the two campaigns in the same world, though.

A fine ZEITGEIST-only explanation is that yeah, the Ob meddled, and since the connection was already a bit weak anyway due to the erosion on Axis Island, they broke it. This mortally wounded the giant eagle that is, like, the avatar of that world.

---

re: dragons, I wouldn't have them fly hundreds of miles per hour, but easily in the fifty or sixty mph range.

After things changed, they wouldn't be able to fly more than maybe five minutes at a time before becoming too exhausted to get back in the air. So for a dragon disciple, you might also limit it to five minutes per hour. Or, if you're playing Pathfinder, maybe after one minute, make a Fort save each minute (DC 20) or become fatigued; so if you fail twice you're exhausted and can't fly until you rest for 8 hours. It's a lot easier for adventurers to chase a dragon for a minute or two then catch it if it's stuck on the ground for the next hour or eight.

It's still really useful for combat or avoiding hazards, but you can't be permanently airborne. Not until adventure 9 has the planar switchover.
 

Oh, and the WotBS reference is thus.

The setting has four elemental spirits (fire colossal dragon, air colossal eagle, earth giant Dune-style worm, water colossal kraken). In primordial times the dragon would constantly chase the eagle through the sky, and one time it tricked it into a cave, where it couldn't fly. It tore ought the eagle's heart and started to drink its blood to gain its power. But in the cave the blind great worm called out, suspecting something was wrong. The dragon knew that if the worm heard the eagle's heartbeat stop, the worm and kraken would unite to punish the dragon, so the dragon buried the still-beating heart.

The Aquiline Heart becomes a myth about the source of all life, or a path to immortality. And some folks in War of the Burning Sky used it to become immortal. To kill the campaign's main boss, you have to destroy the Heart, but that will destabilize the elements and destroy the world unless someone sacrifices their life to fill the same role - becoming a source of life for the world.

(Or you could do what my players did, bury the villain under a ton of rocks so her regeneration didn't do naughty word for her, then fight over who gets to be immortal, while leaving a lot of the world's problems un-solved. Yay.)
 

Crispy120286

Explorer
That is great info! I think thats what im going to rule in my campaign. I do remember reading in an old 3.5 D&D book Dragonomicon, that dragons flight is magic based. So when the magical connection to the plane of air was damaged, all magical flight also was damaged. I like the dragons becoming exhausted part because it shows that they can still somewhy fly, just much more slower and not for long.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
This is a bit irrelevant, but I do hope the rules don't discourage your players from taking flight spells. My players fly (temporarily) all the time, to great advantage. It's still an incredibly useful tool, even with the ruling you stated. You may need to remind players that flight is still a powerful tool, even within the world of Zeitgeist.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I went with that flight was broken by all of the things and which happened first was unknowable with time not passing the same way on other planes.
I allowed nothing to fly which could not fly in our world , until the world broke so you could get some Big Birds( and bats and Pterodactyls) but nothing as impressive as a Dragon , Wyvern or Griffin. The Goblin flying on a bat was useful
 

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