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ZEITGEIST [Eberron] The Mark of Revolution, or: Not Quite Disco Heaven


For a few years now, the Gears of Revolution has been a sort of white whale of campaigns that I've wanted to run, but in my unending desire to make things as difficult as possible on myself, this rendition of Zeitgeist is not one of the usual sort. Instead of Flint, we have the City of Passage, the second largest metropolis in Aundair. The great conspiracy hangs onto the powers of Breland, House Cannith, and House Orien, and it is not a grinding gear of revolution, but a glowing mark. Eberron is one of my favorite settings, and one that this group of mine often plays in, so the majority of the party has a decent familiarity of the setting, which in retrospect may make certain aspects of this campaign that I force perhaps all that more obvious.

This campaign is being run in Pathfinder 2e, using the conversion by Miro Musci on this board. Previously, I also did a short Savage Worlds campaign based in a city that had somehow survived the Mourning thanks to a pair of Kundarak and Lyrandar excoriates declaring independence from Cyre at a particularly lucky time. Events from that campaign, as well as Embers of the Last War and The Ghosts of Saltmarsh, which was run by one of the players, may be noted here.

The Royal Eyes:
The first major difference is in the structure of the agency. Here, we follow agents of the Royal Eyes of Aundair, the crown's foremost intelligence agency which covers both domestic and international incidents, espionage, and intelligence. The local Passage branch holds an office of the Guardian Eye, the half of the REA that focuses on Counterintelligence, Criminal Investigations, Information Protection within Aundair borders. I told my players to imagine fantasy FBI surrounded by fey politics, inspired by the X-Files. Naturally, they immediately drifted to something more Harry Du Bois than Fox Mulder, which begs the secondary title.

The agents themselves are as follows:

Radros Serra ir'Tralen: Khoravar (Half-elf) Investigator
Radros is the son of a pair of minor nobles from Fairhaven, and earned a Bachelor's of Arcana in Wizardry from Arcanix. He intended to go for a graduate, but due to pressure from his parents decided to join the Aundairan military. His somewhat prestegious record found him a place in the Eyes after the end of the Last War.

Rhys Torwraenok: Elven Thaumaturge
Rhys, interestingly enough, also did several years at Arcanix, but instead of earning a degree found himself disillusioned with the typical academic process. He dropped out after realizing that structure didn't fit well with his worldview, and decided to focus more on a "vibe" based course of research. His knowledge of the esoteric earned him a position in the Eyes, a fact which astounds Radros to no end.

Dewey d'Sivis: Gnome Bard
Dewey is one of the many House Liasons to the Crown, and has specialty knowledge in information gathering, suspect interrogation, and countercharms. As a member of House Sivis, he has particular resources at his disposal, but knows that, if necessary, he may need to choose where his loyalty lies.

Duren Thorne: Human Monk
Trained in the great Fist of Dol Arrah, a monastery hidden within the Starpeak mountains, Duren has spent most of his adult life as a high-profile bodyguard for the high nobility, particularly one Juren ir'Wynarn, the Queen's son. Sworn to protect the nation and the crown, none can say that his patriotism is anything less than unmatched. However, after the unexpected exile of his ward Juren, he found himself somewhat lost back to his training, until he received a quite rapid instruction from the Royal Minister of High Magic to relocate to Passage and assist the Eyes. The purpose or meaning of what he's doing here is unclear.

As of now, we've made our way through three sessions, starting with The Dying Skyseer. Our record of finishing and sticking with stories and campaigns is quite good, so I hope that come a couple years from now, I can be proud of my players' level 20 characters and the story they've made.

But for now, of course, we have a new agent, a dead woman, and only the slightest hint to the existence of the grandest conspiracy Khorvaire has ever seen.

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Session One: The First Day

It was a somewhat rainy day in Passage when Duren Thorne arrived at the Eye Headquarters. Stover Delift, a finely dressed man with a limp, leaned against his cane outside to meet him. Delift was delighted, in that raspy faux-Mark Sheppard way, to have another agent on the team, and mentioned that Duren came well spoken of by the Royal Minister of High Magic, Harkover ir'Lee.

He called down the rest of the agents to introduce themselves, with the exception of Rhys who was out sick, and began giving the tour. Delift was about halfway through showing off the antimagic cells when Duren stunned everyone with a simple question.

"So, uh, who are you guys?"

A quick matter of confusion and questions revealed that Duren hadn't actually been informed about what he was doing here, or even what agency he was being sent to for that matter. A bit of clarification revealed that Duren know of the Eyes, but to his knowledge hadn't really worked with any before. He mostly considered them the scary blue cloaked fellows who spirited away criminals in the night.

The tour took them through the many cells in the basement, along with a warning about the Orien subrail being built only a hundred yards south. On the ground floor, they met brothers Vail and Michah d'Jorasco, who worked as the Jorasco alchemist and healers for the office respectively. Out of character, players from the previous campaign wondered why they would be here, as last they saw Vail was in Mint, a city technically in Valenar and Michah was in the Mournland working for the Big Bad.

Delift quickly finished the tour and told Duren to get settled in his office while he spoke to his boss, Saxby. Several minutes later he returned with good news: there was no mistake, and Duren was in fact meant to be here. Radros tried to cut in with a want for at least a little explanation, but Delift cut him off and said it would be discussed later. Radros and Dewey didn't much appreciate it but accepted the order without complaint.

However, they didn't have time to wonder, as Delift came back with what sounded like an easy case to welcome the new year. A woman found dead impaled on a fence forty feet from Journey's Home, the continental home of House Orien. House Orien has significant sway in passage, and Delift took care to remind them not to anger the house. On the other hand, they shouldn't let themselves be pushed around. Technically they rent that land from the crown, and as the arm of the Queen, they are well within their rights to investigate this. Best keep it away from the local constables when dealing with something on enclave grounds.

The Murder:
Journey's Home was in the central district, so it wasn't more than a short walk over to view the scene. The body gone and the mess being cleaned, the constable gave their quick assessment and directed them to Julian LeBrix for more information.

LeBrix was a pain, and they immediately suspected something off, and after gathering clues from the nearby crowd, the body of the victim, and LeBrix himself, Dewey managed to convince him to let him take a look around Baron Kwanti's office, and Dewey spotted a loose drawer of papers and a hidden bloodstain under the rug that LeBrix couldn't explain. They decided to take LeBrix to the office for interrogation. There, he clammed up. He stood by his words and claimed that if they wanted to turn the office upside down, they'd need either a warrant or not enough sense to piss off House Orien.

The Agents couldn't get him to crack, so they let him loose, figuring that the time it would take to get what they needed would be enough time for anyone at the enclave to tidy up any clues. However, Duren did have a crazy idea. When LeBrix mentioned Nilasa bringing breakfast, Duren decided, with no evidence, that the breakfast was drugged by fey terrorists, as it was the only thing that could possibly make sense. Naturally, everyone else called him a fool and tossed the idea, but Duren ran the way back to Journey's Home and swiped one of the three brigadeiros remaining to bring back to Vail for testing. Needless to say, he was vindicated.

For now, at least, they had a lead. Nilasa's boyfriend had mentioned the Thinking Man's Tavern, her home and workplace at the non-Cannith certified Alkahest factory, and the reports of a man clothed in black who had looted Nilasa's body after she had perished.

Maybe this murder was a little more complicated than it seemed.


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I'm also running the campaign in Eberron in the city of Passage. I'm curious about some of your choices for conversion. Are your player's going to read this thread, I don't want to give any spoilers to them. Otherwise I could send you my conversion notes of this adventure or we could discuss conversion in the Eberron conversion thread I posted a while back.


I'm also running the campaign in Eberron in the city of Passage. I'm curious about some of your choices for conversion. Are your player's going to read this thread, I don't want to give any spoilers to them. Otherwise I could send you my conversion notes of this adventure or we could discuss conversion in the Eberron conversion thread I posted a while back.
I'd love to see the conversion notes! That thread has inspired me in many ways and I definitely plan to use a lot of it. And my players shouldn't be lurking around here. I presume they know well enough to begone if they've somehow stumbled on this thread.

Session Two: +2 Authority

With a few leads to possible clues to investigate, the group decides to split up. Duren and Dewey head to the Thinking Man's Tavern, figuring they can learn some information there, while Radros circles back to Journey's Home to do one last round of investigation. Unfortunately, he discovers little else. It seemed that LeBrix had put the hammer down on information, and each of the workers he tried to pull aside either stayed silent or redirected him back to Lebrix.

Meanwhile, Duren and Dewey find the tavern almost empty. It was barely past noon, and there was little to do other than take some water to drink to pass the time, and try to mention Nilasa, in hopes that the bartender knows something. He recognizes her description, but has little more info. He tells them to come back later to talk to the musicians she often hung around.

They piddle about for a bit until Radros joins up with them, Rhys in tow. It seemed that he had gotten over his sickness and was brought up to speed on the way. All together, they decided that the Alkahest factory would be the next stop. There, they were able to flash their badges and get a meeting with Heward Sechim, the owner of the factory. He told them that he had expected something like this, but the news still pained him. He revealed that Nilasa had had some interaction with the renowned terrorist Gale, though to what extent he didn't know. They asked for a look around her room, to which he obliged, but found little other than a few tokens of personal items. It struck Radros that it was the room of either someone who had nothing, or who planned to make a quick getaway.

Heward asked if they would meet with his uncle Nevard, a skyseer out in the Grovewood. If Nilasa's death--the party had notably not called it a murder--was related to Gale, Nevard would know more. They said they would consider it, but made no promises.

They returned back to the headquarters to collect their info, finalized their report before heading back to the Thinking Man's Tavern. There, they were barely two steps in the door before being accosted by Barb, one of the older waitresses, about their asking about Nilasa. Barb told them to make themselves scarce if they were trying to cause trouble, but backed down after the group flashed their badges. The news of Nilasa's death hurt Barb, but she was willing to help by directing them to two groups Nilasa had occupied her time with: The Musicians and The Professors.

Once again, they divided their efforts, with Dewey and Duren speaking to the Musicians, and Rhys and Radros seeing the Professors. The Professors were simple enough, as Radros inquired (not entirely untruthfully) as an academic who had met Nilasa in passing and wanted to know more about their little group. The Professors gathered around maps and cartographic equipment told him they were students of the Passage Institute, and Nilasa had brought in shipments of maps from Thaliost to mull over. Their latest interest was in the Thranish volcano that had appeared with no warning, cracking open a village on the coast of Scion's Sea. They hadn't seen Nilasa in a while, but admitted that none of them were exactly close with her.

At the other end of the tavern, Dewey made a pleasant first impression with Jered Lawman (pronounced Lah-mahn), a halfling musician practicing chords to a worker's song about being poor. However, when they dropped Nilasa's name, the group became much more standoffish, and they had to carefully navigate the conversation without letting the lead slip.

Naturally, Duren pulled out his badge, claimed he was "the law", and they should tell him what they know. Dewey didn't even have time to facepalm before the Musicians erupted, telling him off and to get lost. Dewey tried to salvage the situation, but no one listened, at least until Jered raised a hand to calm the group. Instead of just heckling the pair until they left, he offered another solution:

"If you're the law, then, instead of bullying us for information, tell us why your authority is legitimate."

At that, Duren was proud to go into detail about how, as an agent of the Queen, he works with her authority, which is obviously right and correct because she was the queen. Jered poked the obvious holes in his circular argument, claiming that Breland was doing just well without a king anymore, but Duren didn't seem to understand that he was losing the debate.

Eventually, Jared conceded, if only on the note that his opponent was too patriotic to an unnecessary crown to be swayed otherwise. He, perhaps only for the sake of humor, offered up a pair of names to look into: Ford Sirtham and Tynam Starter, a pair who had allegedly had criminal dealings with Nilasa.

Practically dragged away by Dewey, Duren and he rejoined Rhys and Radros to pool their information. Two criminals and some cartographic and academic shipments? The connection was unclear.

But those clues would have to wait wait, as they needed to prepare to head into the woods to meet a Dying Skyseer.


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The agents began by running things by Delift. They're making an effort to be by-the-book sorts, keeping their boss in the loop. Delift thought it odd and somewhat funny that Radros would make a note of informing him that they would be heading into the Grovewood. Despite the notable fey influence in the Eldritch Groves, it shouldn't be too dangerous if they kept their wits about them.

"You don't get backpay if you get trapped in Thelanis for a decade, though," Delift noted. But for now, the late hour and lack of much immediate threat made their call to rest the night.

When morning came, they met at the agency to make sure they were ready. A decent trek, but not a dangerous one was the expectation. Vail, one of Jorasco's healers (and a notable NPC from the previous campaign), offered up a pair of healing elixirs, telling them that if they wanted something in particular like an antidote, to give him a day's warning. He'll make something alchemical for them every morning, but it would only last 24 hours. One of the perks of having House Jorasco here, it seemed.

The journey to Nevard's Henge was easy enough for most of the way. The trees were a little more vibrant than elsewhere, the heat more muggy and warm than the season would predict, and the sounds of Thelanial beasts chatting in the distance made them wary. Even when a quite-real horse with an arrow in its side came barreling past, they questioned whether it was worth investigating. They didn't consider long when they heard the cries of a woman in pain, and rushed to help.

A quartet of crossbowmen were pinned down by what seemed to be bandits, and the agents didn't hesitate to step in. Rhys drew his wand and hid behind a tree with Dewey, while Radros and Duren pressed forward. Unfortunately, holding back seemed to be the wrong idea, as the leader of the bandits rolled a nasty crit on Rhys, instantly dropping his poor level one. Deadly d10 is quite, uh, deadly.

Dewey was quick to revive Rhys, while Duren and Radros charged and took down several of the bandits. A daggerhawk tried to trip Radros up, but a quick pierce with the rapier put an end to that quick. Duren, blinded by battle, rushed at the leader to avenge Rhys, but was dropped just as his ally was with another lucky crit. At that, the bandits looked at their numbers and chose to run.

Hard-pressed to say they won, the agents grabbed their medical supplies and tended to the wounded. A brutal injury, but nothing a Jorasco elixir couldn't fix. They cornered the two surviving crossbowmen and demanded answers. They heard a woman, but there was none to be seen that would have cried out like that. The two men tried to turn the agents off with poor lies about how they were only carrying apples, but they cowered when the agents demanded to see inside the wagon.

As expected, a woman bound and gagged. They quickly stepped in to cut her loose, and the woman thanked them profusely. However, her thanks quickly changed into notes of irritation, as she mentioned that she wished she could have seen the fight, and next time she was going to play the bandit leader instead of the damsel in distress. It seemed much more proactive than sitting bound up for the whole scene. Or at the very least the wagon driver who gets shot immediately. One of the two, she decided on.

Radros tried to question her on what she meant, but Rhys caught on immediately. He pulled out a few cold iron shavings and tossed them at the woman, who scurried away as the iron left a burn on her bare skin.

"It's always fey, isn't it?" he asked. "This whole thing was a trick. None of it was real."

Duren claimed that his arrow wound felt real enough, but the woman cut in to explain that it wasn't really a scene if there was no danger. Besides, it was partially real. The big shootout between the crossbowmen and the bandits really did happen.... just, yesterday. After all, what were the odds that the agents would stumble into the fight at just the right time? Nope, it was just a reenactment.

Rhys cursed about how much he hated fey and didn't even wait to stomp off. The rest of the gang felt more or less the same way and left the fey to their own devices. It was doubtful the agents could do anything about it, and there wasn't much point in bringing them in for an arrest, they figured. They'd scatter soon enough, finding someone else to mess with.

The rest of their trek through the Grovewood proved less eventful, almost like the trees themselves were parting to allow them to pass. Soon, the tall stones and encampment of Nevard and his skyseers were ahead of them. Time to find out what he knew.


A year on, and the campaign still goes strong. We're down to three people as unfortunately Rhys's player simply became too busy to continue, but the rest of the Royal Eyes still work to best the organization they have come to know as the Obscurati. I suppose I shall share the highlights of what they have accomplished so far.

Sessions 3-11: The Plot of Mayor McBastard

Most of The Dying Skyseer went about as to be expected. They met with Nevard and made arrangements to lead him to Cauldron Hill. Knowing the risks they would face, they made the wise decision to load themselves up with ghost bombs and light charges should the spirits of Dolurrh break their way through and harrass them. Mayor MacBannin made a nice impression on them, seeming to be a knowledgeable politician who leaned a little heavily on the 'Let the important people know how much I helped the Royal Eyes' pressure, but nothing too out of the ordinary.

The attack on the hill was simply enough defeated with their defenses and a Counter Performance set up by Dewey the bard, but the strange ghastly figure did sneak away in the crowd. However, after the fight and Nevard's quest was the first unexpected part of the adventure. As Nevard told them of the visions of fire he foresaw at Heward's factory and his wish for them to go stop it, their response was to effectively blow him off. The party didn't really buy into the skyseers, seeing them as little more than druids past their prime and vestiges of the Eldeen Rebellion that still stuck around. So when Nevard iterated that they needed to help tonight, they said little more than placating comments that they would send out some constables in the morning.

Naturally, news of the fire came in the morning, and Alchemy Row burned for the rest of the adventure as Lyrandar raincallers worked to contain it. The Passage Post reported that a positive energy plasma factory next door was caught in the blaze, and had infused the fire with minor healing magics, though not enough to completely offset the burn. So if someone were to be caught, they would die a very slow, very painful death. They suspected Gale, who was their next interrogation.

Gale, hovering just outside of punching range, told the party that she didn't set the fire, but she had sent Nilasa in as a spy to Journey's Home. She also gave the party a short tale of the history of the Eladrin and their plight. The Eladrin used to be true fey, bound to Thelanis, but during the War of the Mark 1500 years ago, they sided with the Aberrant Marks against the dragonmarked houses, and in the process lost something integral to themselves, becoming mortal, yet ageless. The recent Mourning and the destruction of Cyre had locked the Thelanis feyspires to Eberron, and a millenium and a half of simmering anger was released all at once. Gale believes that the dragonmarked houses are to blame for these events and works to burn them down.

The rest of the adventure went fairly straightforward. They worked with Lorcan Kell to stop the wandsmugglers and find Wolfgang von Recklinghausen (who one of my players said is the most fantasy name generator name so far), and investigated the Dolurrh energies with Gale's ritual. They almost got wiped by the golem in what came to be known as the 'Bad Vibes Warehouse', but survived, though with all the researchers escaping.

They found Wolfgang, and Leone did his thing outside, his aberrant mark flaring as he manipulated metal. Radros made a comment about how at some point there was naturally going to be a fight where they side with druids against him, as that hits both themes and the druids would be immune to his powers. They managed to carry an unconscious Wolfgang out the chimney, but when Leone revealed that he had kidnapped Vail d'Jorasco, their headquarters doctor, they were forced to give Wolfgang and the papers up. But Leone is a liar, and sent a spike of metal through Vail anyway. Luckily, with a great roll on a medical check (and a bit of help from a fey), Vail lived. Additionally, Dewey had managed to spend the time during the negotiation copying down the notes in shorthand so they could investigate later.

Later, at the headquarters, they went through what Dewey copied. They managed to make the right connections with incoming shipments and payments to tie everything back to Mayor Macbannin, but here I had to pull a bit too much of a course correction. While the adventure seems to assume that Macbannin is confronted about the knowledge found, leading into the lab, instead the party focused more on the periphery of what they still had left. They were aware of the Dragonborn arsonists taking payment from Cillian Creed to burn factories down and the House Orien shipments being faked and rerouted to Cauldron Hull, but wanted to follow that through and set up stings to try and come to the head of that. I knew this would just circle them back around to information they already knew, so when they informed Delift, I had him not-so-subtly request they look at the root of things.

In retrospect I definitely pushed a little too hard, and afterwards my players informed me that even with the information they had about the Mayor, it wasn't a satisfying conclusion to the investigation. Oh well.

For the Mayor fight, I basically played his power as Senator Armstrong from Metal Gear Rising. Nanomachines Witch Magics, son. At least until he ran out of housestaff and he got blasted with a wand.

The lab was a fun exploration, and the players enjoyed the fight versus Cillian Creed over the roiling pit of Khyber's Blood. They also got to use their wits trying to figure out all the levers on the machines and pumps to shut it down. In the end, they killed Creed and shut the place down, though they did wonder what this strange machine was about that seems to combust oil to run a series of pistons to provide power. Ancient Dhakaani Goblin tech it seems was a little more dieselpunk than anyone expected.

Taking the Mayor into custody, we ended things out with what seemed to be a setup for the court session, as I asked them what they would say. Who would take the blame for this? House Orien for faking papers and shipping things off? Gale for her terroristic acts and sending Nilasa in as a spy? All on the Mayor, who was clearly up to something?

Alas, it wasn't to be. The Mayor was found dead in his cell from suicide, and it would be a long time before they got any answers.

Player's Review: Pretty Good/10. A little slow at the beginning, and the end felt somewhat disjointed. But the setpieces and characters were amazing.


Nice to see your campaign is still running. I'm curious how you incorporated Gale. As she is aware of part of the history of the Eladrin, is she also an eladrin in your campaign, I made her a half-elf of house Lyrandar. What's her backstory?

At the moment I'm concluding Digging for Lies for my players. So I'm very busy converting Always on Time. I'll try to post my conversion notes in the coming weeks. It's the most complicated adventure for conversion, because so many NPC's and you need to find a credible lightning rail route.

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