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ZEITGEIST BSI: Bosum Strand Irregulars

roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
Man, I'd already forgotten about the omnibear. I'm kinda amazed the Gidim took them down. Go go mind monsters!

What's the party roster now?
They just reached 10th level in 5e.

We have:
Cazara: Tabaxi Monk (Way of the Open Hand)
IronPeak: Goliath Fighter (Eldritch Knight)
Alienor: Tiefling Fighter/Rogue (Battlemaster/Assassin)
Summer/Kasvarina/"Sassvarina": Eladrin Bard (College of Lore)
Ms. Gear: Warforged Wizard (Abjurer)

Alienor has a disgusting sniper build that can drop an average of ~130 damage on a surprised foe, but she hasn't had the chance to set it up yet. Cazara very-slightly rebuilt as Tabaxi (from Shifter) when Volo's came out.
 

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roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
How are you planning to handle leveling through the last few adventures in 5e?
Well, I realized too late that I had them several levels below where I wanted them. My first feeling was to level after each of the 8 major challenges presented by Adventures 10 & 11. But the Titans are all parts of one act, while the foreign problems are each an act unto themselves, so the balance felt off. I'm thinking of leveling them after each foreign problem. They just finished Ursaliña and made 10. I had Benedict Pemberton come swooping in on his airship as the jumped out of the self-destructing Leviathan. They're off to Granny Allswell next and then probably Axis Island and Drakr. Another level after Drakr feels right, since they probably won't face the Danoran fleet at Axis Island.

Since I'm adapting everything anyway, the levels don't matter too much. I just try to adapt things to fit their level. Still getting used to the balance there (see owlbear TPK), but thankfully Nicodemus had me covered there with the auto-stabilization. They probably won't make 20 at this rate. I'd like them to at least make 17 so the casters have 9th level spells. I may also just warp them to 20 for the final adventure or encounter, just so they get all of their class features.
 


roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
When last we left our intrepid Duchess-Constables, they had been taken prisoner by the Gidim in Ursaliña.

Cazara escaped the prison and headed toward the Bards' College, where she suspected the Gidim base to be. She managed to find her way to a tunnel leading down to a strange sphincter which led into a large bio-ship. Outside the ship, there was a great pile of discarded equipment: guns, armor, entire warforged wizards, etc. She revived Ms. Gear and the two of them gathered up everyone's gear (except the Crown of Risur, which was missing) and -- through Cazara's memories of Xambria's memories of Sijhen's memories --were able to convince the Gidim bio-ship that they were Gidim thralls who were authorized to enter.

Once inside, they proceeded along a fleshy tunnel that led to a larger cargo bay / mouth area. Gear made them both invisible and they snuck further into the biological vessel, which resembled a whale, or at least what one would expect a whale to look like from the inside. Traveling down a throat-like hallway, they came upon a sort of vivisection chamber. The unconscious form of Summer was laid out on a table wearing only a simple gray garment. Various tubes and tentacles had connected themselves to her body.

Gear and Cazara were able to reverse-engineer the connection process and revive Summer. However, they remained invisible, causing Summer to have a bit of a crisis as she tried to determine whether she was hallucinating or not. They got her cleaned up and began to explore the experimentation/medical area of the ship, where they found Alienor hanging inside a chamber in the wall. Gear managed to order the Gidim tentacles to deliver her to the "operating table" and also disconnect her from the ship. IronPeak was similarly freed. However, the king was not happy that her crown had not been recovered.

The group explored further into the titanic beast. They found a large control-room chamber. In that chamber was a ten-foot-tall pillar that was projecting a semi-translucent image of the entire city of Ursaliña. Beyond that pillar were many eye-like displays showing various areas around the ship and city. Near all of these controls was a single, somehow-familiar Gidim, holding the Crown of Risur.

"Hello," said Sijhen into their heads. "I am ready to negotiate the surrender of Risur."

When the various Duchesses who had met Sijhen mentioned that he had died, he explained that you could not kill a thought. This did not stop the group from trying. Sijhen's terms were that IronPeak would surrender control of the nation, and in exchange the Gidim would allow the entire nation to live. The Gidim would treat the people of Risur as their most favored livestock, keeping them alive for the purpose of consuming their thoughts. When tempers flared, Sijhen commented that they Duchesses were thinking delicious thoughts even now.

The negotiations were over. As the Duchesses attacked, Sijhen kept splitting into duplicates. Alienor used some grenades to seal the two entrances to the room, keeping Gidim reinforcements from arriving, but Sijhen was doing his best to be an army of his own. That all ended once Alienor broke out her repeating musket. She was able to keep Sijhen down to no more than two copies of himself at once. Cazara avoided the fight and tried to steal the large projecting rod from the center of the control room. Unfortunately, she lost control of her mind at this point and instead tried to attack IronPeak, which was mostly ineffective. The ship started to move out into the air above Ursaliña, flying higher into the dark sky as the fight progressed.

Eventually, the Duchesses prevailed and Gear was able to identify the large rod as a detector of planar energies. The group felt they might need this powerful piece of Gidim technology and removed it from its place, causing the Gidim ship to initiate its self-destruct sequence. Since Alienor had sealed the only entrances to the room, the group had to get creative. They worked out that the display panels were actually at the base of numerous eye stalks. Hacking their way into and through these muscular tubes, the were able to cut their way to the outside of the ship before it exploded.

Unfortunately, most of the Duchesses had used up their Jaunt abilities in the fight with Sijhen and could not easily escape from the ship. Fortunately, a flying ship swooped under them and they were able to jump down to the deck where they were greeted by Benedict Pemberton and his pantsless gnoll sidekick, Pardo.
 



roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
We have an important, nearly-live update from the Golden Legion Command Center on Egalitrix, where the Duchesses have crashed a stolen skiff into a diabolical conference room:

crash a meeting.jpg
 
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roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
I missed it. How did it turn out? Anyone sucked into a golden mirror and turned evil?
We actually had to cut the session in the middle of the combat.

Alienor snuck past a bunch of mirrors invisibly, so there was no reflection. Gear just got chained up and will be dragged to the mirrors at the start of next session. She tried to become a Lich in Ravenloft, so the player is ready to join the Golden Legion as well.

Cazara and Chyak are just doing wire-fu at each other while Paelyrion tries to duel Summer and IronPeak throws Pit Fiends around.

They brought Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cup-bearer to Ur-Zababa along. He ditched them before the crash to raid the treasury. Paelyrion then dumped a chunk of treasury on top of Rock Rackus (killing him, but for Rock's naivete). the little mummy popped out of that pile of gold and disappeared again. He'll probably be handy in case this very bad frontal-assault-with-no-support plan goes TPK-shaped. :)

Gotta do a summary write-up taking us from Adventure 10 to Adventure 12. It's just too hard to remember details 6 months down the line, unfortunately. :(
 

roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
Very small update to let y'all know that while I have had very little time to write updates, we are probably going to finish this month. One of our players is planning a move to the UK before the end of the year, so we've powered through the final couple of adventures and started doing occasional extra sessions. We broke in the midst of the Reida fight last night, with two PCs falling into the void (and ready to Dimension Door their way back), the 4th Age of the arc of Reida crushed into tiny bits, and the Voice of Rot still unbloodied. Tomorrow night, we will probably finish that fight one way or another.
 

roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
I missed it. How did it turn out? Anyone sucked into a golden mirror and turned evil?
I can now answer this properly. Ms. Gear, the party wizard who began the campaign as Constable James M. Chinast's Remarkable Mechanical Hat (i.e. the little Technologist summon), was sucked into a mirror and replaced with an evil version of herself. Gear's Plane Shift spell had been their escape plan, but Rock Rackus revealed that he can also Plane Shift. Cazara broke the Caeloon monk out of his chains and they prepared to leave. One of IronPeak's 5e character traits is "Leave no one behind," but after Evil!Gear Counterspelled Summer's Mass Cure Wounds, even IronPeak was willing to admit defeat and they left her.

Before the end of that session, they hit Ascetia and found out about their other selves back in the real world, so they never mounted a rescue attempt. The player has been running Gear back in the world and a Paladin Red Shirt promoted from amongst the ship's crew in the Gyre.
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
VOne of our players is planning a move to the UK before the end of the year, so we've powered through the final couple of adventures and started doing occasional extra sessions.
Funnily enough, we're losing a player to the States in a few weeks. If you weren't so far ahead of us, we could have swapped!

Great to hear about high-level lunacy in preparation for epic tier.
 

roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
Funnily enough, we're losing a player to the States in a few weeks. If you weren't so far ahead of us, we could have swapped!

Great to hear about high-level lunacy in preparation for epic tier.
ha! "Kasvarina is having another episode. Time for yet another new personality!"
 

roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
Kasvarina at the Gyre

It was all over. Kasvarina stood at the edge of what remained of the arc of Reida, looking down into the churning nothing beneath her. Alienor, who had joined the fight against the Obscurati to avenge her son Mort, had followed him into death somewhere inside the great belly of the Voice of Rot. IronPeak, who had ascended from the rank and file of the Risuri army to become King of Risur, lay dead upon the silvery surface of Reida. Ghostly demons looted her corpse. Cazara, the Executore-turned-Constable who had been like a mother to Kasvarina when her memory was wiped and she became Summer — Cazara had unleashed a final, lethal bolt of electricity from the magic staff she had found only a day ago, killing the Voice of Rot from within its own mouth. The great snake dragged her down into the void, not releasing its grip even in death. There had been another, a brave fighter who Kasvarina had barely gotten to know. She couldn’t even remember the woman’s name. Like so many soldiers before her, she had died for Kasvarina’s cause while Kasvarina still lived.

She took a moment. This place, this unfinished circle of history, was connected to her. She had been drawn to a circlet bearing its name, and that circlet had restored her memories, told her who she was, who she had been, who she could be if she let herself. This place had brought her back. Seeing her own history anew, as one looking on from afar, she knew she could make everything right, or at least make amends. She knew she would never be able to do enough to forgive herself her own deeds, but every bit of good balanced out just a tiny bit of the bad, didn’t it? The hopes of dozens of worlds and millions of people were with her. If she failed, they would all be enslaved or destroyed. The weight of it was too much to bear. What if it turned out like last time? What if she couldn’t bring herself to do the right thing for once in her life?

The golden circlet appeared in her hand. Reida believed in her. In her other hand, she held the necklace of Srasama, the necklace that her daughter — the ghost of her daughter — had given her on Ascetia. It was time to make one more sacrifice in Kasvarina’s name. She took a step forward.
 
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I feel there's something I have to share with y'all:

When our Skyseer saw a vision of Sijhen, she really locked onto the tentacles around his face. While everyone else screamed "Mind Flayers!" she just said, "like a weird alien cat with tentacles for whiskers?" When I told her that he was a warrior and conqueror who might be looking for new territory, she just nodded and called him a cat again.

When she had a vision of Gidim, she immediately called it Cat Planet. Alien, thoughtbeast, tentacle cats, but still --to her -- cats. When I told her she felt like the entire planet was alive, she got very excited about CAT PLANET, the planet that is also a cat.

Inside jokes, they do go on, as I'm sure you're aware.

So, now the whole group refers to Gidim as Cat Planet, and they are expecting to be invaded by more brain-occupying bipedal tentacats any day now.

Our skyseer player is also an artist. Today, she made a t-shirt: http://inksterinc.com/product/cat-planet/

I just wanted you to know that happened. I fully expect her to show up to the next session in her Cat Planet t-shirt
I was reminded of this just now, and sad that the Cat Planet shirts are no more.
 


roadtoad

aka skotothalamos
In a little under two hours, we will be resuming the struggle to complete the Axis Seal ritual. Someone suggested I put out a paper plate to use as the golden seal... and then this happened...

golden seal.jpg
 



Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters

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