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emeraldbeacon

Adventurer
A few questions...

1. When the party returns to the Seela Village at night, how do you think them staying the night would be recieved? Tiljann, at least, would vouch for them, and Papuvin might allow a few of them to stay in his cave on Tiljann's word, but there isn't sufficient room for all of them in there, and most other Seela are still wary about these newcomers. Will they have to camp outside the village, or huddled around Papuvin's cave entrance, perhaps?
2. Do you think that it would be better for Kazyk to attack the party on their way back to the Seela village from Timbre's Glade, or while they sleep, at the village? The first one has a much higher chance of being a threat, since they'd be alone, and would have already expended some spell resources... but at the village, they might let their guard down... and the Seela are no real threat to Kazyk (though he would be significantly outnumbered there).
3. If the party does ask to bunk with Vuhl, would he do much beyond try to convince them of the futility of their plan? Would he steal anything, sabotage their supplies, or even harm them, or would he rely on words rather than actions, to impede their progress? (I would imagine that stealing some of their belongings, then planting them on Tiljann, could help drive a wedge into that relationship)
 

I don't recall the actual map, but I envision there being space in a cave. The seelae cramping together for a night to give the outsiders privacy is a pretty minor inconvenience compared to the imprisonment and fiery peril they've faced for decades.

For Kazyk, what sort of interaction do you want the PCs to have with the seelae. Maybe if they get into trouble and a few fey jump in and try to tackle the fiend, it will endear the party to them and make saving them a bit more personally gratifying. These days, I'm partial to combat with more character oomph, and a fight in the middle of the woods just feels like there's less 'story' to it.

With Vuhl, he has an agenda, but he's got to be careful about overplaying his hand. If he's suspected of direct chicanery to turn the PCs against Tiljann, the party won't trust his lies when he's hoping to trick them into releasing Indomitability.
 

emeraldbeacon

Adventurer
The party has pretty openly stated that they wanted to free the Seela from their curse by STOPPING Indomitability, not FREEING him, so Vuhl has changed his tactics to set the Seela against the party (or at least distrust them). The rebels that tried to stop Tiljann are already ill-inclined towards them, and it wouldn't take much to turn the rest of the dissenters. For the faithful singers, he's been hinting that these outsiders seem poised to upset the status quo of the forest and could disrupt the old song... all technically true, but significantly out of context. Either way, they'll get a cool reception when they return to town, save for Papuvin (who is endlessly kind and understanding) and a handful of the more faithful Seela.

As for Kazyk, as much as I'd like to have him attack in the village, he doesn't seem the kind to risk a situation with so many variables in play. I think my plan is to strike on the path from Timbre's glade back towards the lake, where the party would be surrounded by fire, with less opportunity to cut and run. This time, he's set a PROPER trap, rather than the more "honorable" straight fight he tried before...
 

emeraldbeacon

Adventurer
In the latest session, the party, now armed with all the information they THINK they need to get out of the forest, go back and forth over how they intend to stop the fire spirit of Innenotdar. After spending the night in a cramped cave, the wild mage barbarian gets a bizarre, semi-shared dream with Crystin, along with some cryptic statements about the children of Trilla. A few insight rolls later leads them to realize that Nelle had spoken about Trillith, as well.

I was silently screaming inside as almost the entire party was ready to consume dream seeds AT THE SAME TIME (thisisfine.gif), but they decided to forgo doing so for now. After thinking better about their initial plan, they returned the lock of Anyariel's hair to Guenvere, and asked her to help them in the lake, where she offered to persuade the Merrow to leave the heroes be, so long as they don't disturb the fishfolk.

Eventually, two champions dove into the water to claim the sword, but were only able to dislodge it slightly... at which point, the real fight began. Indomitability quickly began swimming towards land, while the other two desperately clung to the sword. Finally, the barbarian was able to pull it free, attuning to it and learning its secrets (this was the one player I really wanted to get the sword, TBH)... and promptly afterwards, as the session was ending, I dropped a double bombshell on the players... first, Indomitability used a legendary action, making the players all suddenly go "wait he can do WHAT?" Then, conveniently acting at the very end of the combat order, Kazyk sprung into action, and began furiously laying into Torrent, thankfully only connecting once.

Despite not having to deal with the Merrow (a big deal!), the heroes now have a two-front war on their hands, and a VERY angry Indomitability who's ready to "SEEL-A" the fates of those who kept him imprisoned for so many years...
 
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emeraldbeacon

Adventurer
I realize I didn't update from last week...

The fight took up most of the episode, as everyone seemed very keen on stopping Kazyk before anything else. With all the attention upon him, the devil wasn't able to fend off enough of the party's attacks, and was ultimately dispelled by a stray blast of radiant energy from the barbarian (whose wild magic never fails to amuse me).

Meanwhile, Indomitability took advantage of the opportunity to carve through the Seela, whose instantly panicked, but managed to maintain the song so far. The halfling monk, furious at being dismissed by the fiery being so often, continually charged after him... and Indomitability kept using his legendary actions to trip him then walk away, promising to return to finish him off once he was done with the Seela. Panicking, the heroes threw everything at Indomitability, though had a hard time whittling down his ever-recovering hit points... and out of spite, he finally revoked everyone's boon. Several potions of Stand the Heat were rapidly quaffed, as the fight continued.

In one turn, though, the rogue landed a nasty critical sneak attack while the warlock slapped him with Chill Touch. Injured and winded, the trillith-inhabited (unknowingly) barbarian challenged Indomitability, calling out his hypocritical attitude of seeking revenge against people whose only crime was trying to stay alive. Now knowing that the sword he held could sustain the Seela, the barbarian asked Indomitability if he would stop his rampage, should the singing stop voluntarily. He accepted the terms, and the party rapidly swept through the city, persuading the singers to stop the song.

In a tense moment of silence, they complied... then started laughing and crying as they realized they would indeed, survive, even as the forest burned. Indomitability finally addressed the crew, still defiant, but with a newfound appreciation for their tenacity. He granted his boons to those with the most unshakable spirits of the clan, then bid his farewell, and faded away as he galloped into the skies. Its fuel finally able to be consumed, much of the surrounding woodlands began to splinter and shatter, forty years' worth of burning finally taking its toll. But in a poetic stroke, the weather shifted, as a light rain began to fall upon the wood for the first time in decades. Everyone enjoyed a brief celebration, cut short when Vuhl seemed to speak directly into their minds, congratulating them on freeing his brethren, and complimenting their unorthodox means. The song of forms ended, he converted into his true form, a writhing mass of spectral black serpents, and promised to check in on them. Crystin shared that she finally understood: he was truly named Deception, both he and Indomitability were Children of Trilla, and they would indeed meet again.

Deciding to once more camp at the tower near the elf village, the party was interrupted by Tiljann before they left, as she begged them to take her with them. All seemed amenable to the addition, save the halfling monk, who complained about YET ANOTHER tag-along, to many laughs.

-----

One thing I've tried to do in this campaign is give the Trillith's true forms a more conceptual basis. Indomitability remained a stag, of course, and I translated Deception's black tentacles to a mass of snakes. Kathor's "Justice" is a black stallion, apropos for his origins, while Crystin's "Foresight" is a barn owl. Our barbarian is indwelt by "Zeal," represented by a wolf.

I'm trying to think of other animal-like representations for the other notable trillith that the party will meet. Balance might become a crane, while Agony is a grizzly bear (thanks to his captivity in the Scourge Prison). Other trillith that I'm not so sure about are Madness, Vigilance, Metamorphosis (the main ones that come to mind, but I'm sure there are more I'm missing). Freedom might not show an animal form at all.
 


Agony is coded with scorpions.

Madness has an illustration of a knotted infinite snake that somehow had multiple heads.

Vigilance is just Indomitability with a philosophical shift, so he's still a stag.

Metamorphosis could be a massive butterfly.
 

emeraldbeacon

Adventurer
No game this week as our gaming group suffered a pretty heavy loss. Only about an hour before game time, I learned that one of my players passed away. Everyone was pretty shook about it, so we called things off this week.

Now, I'm trying to decide whether to simply have his character fade into the background, or to do something symbolic with him, possibly even leaving the door open to bring him back as a surprise NPC down the line. I'm not sure if that's both tacky, and insensitive to his memory, though.
 

Oh no. I'm sorry. Please, yeah, do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your friends.

Sometimes things like this benefit from a bit of distance and time. A gamer friend of mine passed over a decade ago from colon cancer, and eventually I felt comfortable having a bit of an homage to him in my games as a famous hero.
 

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