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WotBS Emeraldbeacon's Burning Sky (live game)


After spending a bit of time at the Seela village, and learning about not only the Song of Forms, but the rift among the Seela people between maintaining and stopping said song. Papuvin offered his quiet assistance in anything the party hopes to accomplish, while Vuhl pleaded with them to help his plan to stop the singing entirely. They were shocked, though, when Crystin collapsed, harrying Haddin for his apparent outward lack of concern for his daughter's well-being. Leaving her in the Seela's care, they returned upstream, feeling that there was a lot of information they were lacking.

Returning to the bridge watchtower, they slept through the night, then spent the day exploring the old city. A pair of ghasts were handily dealt with at the Shrine to Anyariel, and a passage to a secret underground basement was located quite by surprise. Decending, they found the bodies of two men, one seemingly alive, along with the mace of Bhurisrava. After incidentally alerting the Deva who protected the room, they began to piece together elements of the past, cluing themselves in that the Shahalesti survivor might be able to explain what happened so long ago.

They decided to explore the north of the river, but were interrupted by another denizen of the fire plane, a Salamander who tried to abscond with their druid (who was knocked unconscious multiple times, by its fearsome fiery attacks). Despite its demands for payment in exchange for her safe return, they pressed the attack, especially after Torrent finally proved useful, creating a micro-rainstorm to briefly suppress the forest's burning. Rescuing their druid, they decided to press on, finding the waterfall at the north end of the forest, where a strange, quadripedal creature emerged from the mists, and began to approach...

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After a few weeks off, the team is finally back in Innenotdar...

At the mouth of the White River, the team meets Nelle, a grizzled old Unicorn who provides them safe harbor for the night, helping them get a safe rest for the night, while sharing his own perspective on the forest, and the spirit that seems to be controlling the fire. He also grimly shows them the forest's "survivors," more than two dozen Taranesti whom have been burning for 40 years straight. After a fitful night, the Pal-Lock receives a mission (or an ultimatum?) from his celestial patron (and father?) in a dream; another team member gets a vision about the "Children of Trilla," coupled with deadly warning from Indomitability itself to stop wasting time. After cleverly managing a potentially dangerous encounter with a clan of mephits that had moved in to occupy the Salamander's recently vacated territory, the team makes it back to the Seela Village at night, stopping to rest after a long day's journey.

At Lake Seela, they find that Crystin is still only semi-conscious, in Vuhl's care, while Haddin has been prevented from seeing his daughter. Vuhl encourages the group to seek out the nymph Gwenvere, in that she might hold a clue to getting Timbre to communicate. In the morning, they wake to find that Indomitability's boon was gone, and only the proximity to the lake was keeping them from roasting alive. In frustration, they take another round of potions, and head off along the rim of the lake. Vuhl has been instructed to assemble as many of the Seela as possible, to fight back against Indomitability as soon as it is freed, to hopefully kill it once and for all.

Gwenvere is cautious and defensive, but upon hearing the party's wish to restore the forest (and the lake), and that they hope to honor Anyariel's wish to defeat the fire spirit once and for all, she relents and shows them into her grotto, sadly offering them the lock of Anyariel's hair, and begging them to take care of it. When meeting Timbre, she is burning horrifically, but she stirs at mention of her one time love's memory. Weakly, she shares the truth about the Living Blade, and offers to help another person to bond to the weapon. At their urging, she consents to come with them to the Seela Village, hoping that they might be able to douse her body as soon as the link is broken, that she may be able to survive.

Returning that evening, Vuhl has most of the village assembled, who look on in awe at the burning Dryad in their midst, the living embodiment of the forest itself. Papuvin, concerned, comes out to watch the occasion, as everyone discusses their intentions on how to end the burning once and for all. Vuhl offers a different possibility...

...as he draws a dagger and plunges it into Timbre's chest.


As Vuhl cackles madly, and Timbre crumples to the ground, all of the Seela begin to panic - save Tiljann, who had the opportunity to meet Timbre in person, and learn firsthand just how mortal she was. Frantically, she rushes forward to maintain the sing of forms, as the battle is joined. Vuhl is a brutal opponent, but one who seems more intent on distracting, disrupting, and generally causing mayhem. After a tense fight that featured numerous unconscious teammates, they manage to drive Vuhl off into the woods to lick his wounds, while they plan a way to save the Seela and end the burning once and for all, managing to keep the gravely burning Dryad alive.

The next morning finds a developing plan in the works: try to contact Indomitability via the dream seeds while safely away from the village (via the feather token boat), and deliver unto him an offer and an ultimatum: He will be freed, but in exchange, he must leave the forest peacefully. The plan only half-works... when one member takes a seed, he is able to find Indomitability, and present his terms... but when the resulting dream elementals quickly (and foolishly) begin to feed on him, he awakens, dispelling them while prematurely ending the dream (before receiving a response).

Assured that their message had been delivered (though without an answer), they proceed to try and extract the sword from the lake, readily finding it in the otherwise shallow waters. Through a combination of wild shape strength, and added muscle, they manage to dislodge it, freeing Indomitability, who promptly rushes to the shore... while also attracting the attention of a pair of angry Merrow. Indomitablility tries to advance on the Seela, only to be restrained by the heroes... and, considering that an act of aggression on their part, proceeds to tear into the heroes. Injuries are rampant on both sides, but when Hadden and Crystin find themselves in the crosshairs, the beast stops and stares at the girl... giving the archer enough time to put an arrow cleanly through its neck.

Finding the creature stabilize almost instantly, they debate with the seela for a moment, explaining that they should be able to safely end the song... and in a moment, they agree, letting silence echo across the lake once more. Hurriedly, as the forest begins to finally consume itself, the team douses the fire on Timbre, managing to keep her alive against all odds, though not before a mocking farewell from Vuhl; actually, Crystin explains, the Trillith known as Deception, a being not entirely unlike Indomitability itself.

As a light rain begins to fall, the heroes begin to lick their wounds, when another bitter voice calls out... that of Kazyk, who congratulates the team on ending the flames, but demands either the Ragesian Intelligence... or his pound of flesh.

SESSION NOTES: I decided to let Timbre have a chance to live, and honestly, really pulled my punches in the Deception fight... I probably could have TPK'd them if I REALLY wanted to. There were some rules questions that initially led to calls in the players' favor, mainly for the spell Moonbeam; they got some extra damage out of it that I'm not going to just give back.

I actually had Indomitability running away, when he ended up near Hadden & Crystin... then suddenly realized this was the first time that particular Trillith was so close to another trillith-bearer, and HAD to use it narratively. It was a serendipitous moment that let me give the heroes a little bit bigger win in the end.

Of course, now Kazyk is next... and they are heavily depleted on spell & class resources. Fun!


Kazyk's sudden arrival leaves the party with a painful choice... give up the intelligence, or risk their lives fighting this devil, while their resources are already badly depleted? The rogue decides, however, that inaction is the worst possible decision, and looses an arrow at the devil... and, whaddayaknow, crits him for half his health. Feeling that they might have a chance, the heroes rush to frantically heal themselves and take long shots at Kazyk, who calls in his Imp backup to make a series of attacks from an invisible position. The battle is tense, but short, as Kazyk falls prey to a barrage of arrows and eldritch blasts, with a moonbeam thrown in for good measure. The imps aren't far behind, as everyone nearly collapses.

Grateful for finally reaching a moment of respite, they rest momentarily, then speak with the now-conscious Indomitability, whom is now oddly calm and lucid. Explaining that his rage came from 40 years of unending torment, his encounter with Crystin has given him a new perspective on his own nature, and that of his "brother," Deception. Though he doesn't quite understand his own nature, he knows that he's heard a calling for all of the Children of Trilla to become free... and that he needs to understand what that means. Imparting his boon upon two of the heroes, he takes his leave. (Level-up fanfare plays!)

As the team prepares to leave Innenotdar, Tiljann persuades them to allow her to accompany them... as does a disoriented Shahalesti soldier, that they meet staggering out of the old elf village. Diashan doesn't understand what happened, but is grateful that the fires have finally begun to die down. He is evasive about the origins of the fire at first, but guilt eventually overcomes him, and he reveals that his people, not the Ragesians, started the fire for reasons he doesn't fully understand. In time, he's convinced to return to Innenotdar, and help the Seela in their efforts to restore the forest, a task he accepts as penance for his deeds (and those of his kind).

The road into Dassen is a winding one. A night spent in an abandoned watchtower helps them avoid threats in the mountains; two nights in Cornerwood sees them plot a path south, and purchase horses and a wagon for the long journey ahead. In Lady Timor's lands, they learn of the ruler's concern over the northern border, and generally good disposition towards Seaquen. But in Lord Rego's home, they find nothing but disdain for the southern city, as the Lyceum had refused to come to their aid in dealing with a mad sorcerer, years ago. Just under one week has passed, as they continue their southbound journey...

SESSION NOTES: I dialed back the Kazyk fight, because these characters were on death's door. If I'd truly ambushed them (approach from the cover of the burning woods, then misty step into their midst and UNLOAD) or used more cowardly tactics with the imps (turn invisible. Next turn, move into position, and ready the attack action for just before their turn. Spend the reaction to attack, then turn invisible on their turn and get out of melee. Repeat), I might just have TPK'd them.

I also decided that Diashan would be reluctant and an opportunist, seeing a chance to talk his way out of trouble, but the Druid rolled a nat20 on insight, and completely blew up his (admittedly weak) cover story.


Did someone keep the sword?
Yes... Papuvin assured them that it would be best in the hands of those who saved the forest. The Paladin reluctantly decided to take it, as he's the only one of the group that can really make skilled use of martial weapons.

I did decide to make a slight change, that it can only transform into a weapon with the heavy keyword, mainly because it would become a bit too powerful in his hands otherwise. He's a bit of a powergamer and minmaxer, and I wanted to make sure that if he wants this artifact-level weapon that's practically a Vestige of Divergence, he doesn't ALSO get his shield bonus on top of it (otherwise, he'd turn that into a longsword in a heartbeat).


Hmm... the venn diagram intersection of "heavy" & "non-complicated" weapons is only slightly smaller than "two handed" & "not complicated..." it only adds the Shortbow and Greatclub to the existing list of Glaive/Halberd (100% identical, so why bother having both in the PHB?), Greataxe, Greatsword, Maul, Pike, and Longbow... I already ruled that they could turn the living blade into a bow, but would need to provide their own bowstring...

They don't know about the fire ability yet, I'm planning on letting them discover it on their own... if nothing else, by the time that they rescue Katrina, and she "enthusiastically" burns down the witches' huts.


For what it's worth, I decided that if there's going to be a magical artifact that will be around all campaign, I should just make it fit for whoever chooses to take it. In mine, our monk wanted to be responsible, so it became living hand-wraps instead, morphing to fit her. Seemed in line with magical armor sizing up and down to fit whoever takes it. We have fun with the fluff sometimes and let the thing wrap with her movements to her knees or feet for different strikes.

My thoughts, if someone wants to take that up from a story perspective, I didn't want to limit it that way.


Journeying south through Lady Namin's lands, the team is endlessly herded south, constantly pressed by royal knights that they are welcome to travel THROUGH, but not STAY IN, these lands. Rather than detour into Lord Iz' terrain, though, they stay on the Prince's Way, gathering tidbits of information about Namin's desire to become the future spouse of the King, despite his happy marriage and many children. When entering Lord Rego's lands, they a very cool welcome... his agents portray the affluent lord as quite benevolent to his own people, at the cost of enmity towards any outsiders. Facing a heavy fee to enter his lands, they pay it, regretting that they can't do more for the refugees that can't afford the steep toll.

Lady Dene's lands, similarly, are quite wealthy, though offset by egregiously high prices. Selling their horses and cart for coppers on the gold, they overpay for boats to help them cross the swamp, constantly frustrated at extra costs tacked onto the price (oh, do you want oars as well? Oh, do you need help getting those heavy boats TO the edge of the swamp?). Eventually, though, after gathering some information about the terrain ahead, they make it to the murky waters, spending an evening at the shack marking the end of dry land.

The next day is full of difficult but uneventful travel, and they find a small island to set up a Tiny Hut for the evening, keeping watch for anything suspicious or dangerous. They find it shortly after midnight, as an eerie voice joins a strange light approaching from the waters. Wary, the watchman shakes their companions awake, knowing that trouble could be coming at any moment. When the dome collapses under Dispel Magic, the battle is quickly joined. The three witches H'andrea confuse, distract, and frighten the heroes, but seem unable to do much to the team, as the druid is ultimately left alone, begging for her life in exchange for their hostage.

As the night dragged on, the team traveled a short distance to the witches' home, and upon finding the skeletal forces defending it, made short work of both the undead, and the treacherous witches. In the huts, they found evidence of a magical project, to design strange vials of glass that bleed ceaselessly, evidence of cannibalism, and none other than Katrina, the sister of Gate Pass' hero, Rantle. After some exchanged pleasantries and a fitful night on the witches' isle, the pyromancer obliterated the homes of her captors, and together, they all set off into the dreary, drizzly dawn...

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