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IRON DM 2014 Tournament

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
I didn't have any part in judging this match, so I don't want to speak for phoamslinger, but I do want to respond to this from my point of view.

While it is true that the first round does not have a hard word-count limit, I saw a few red flags as I read your entry, which I think were, at least partially, causes by or exasperated by the length and ambition of the piece.

In particular, there were several instances where you provided multiple versions of an ingredient. This is a great way to reinforce a thematic ingredient (because such iterations are linked through the theme), but generally only results in a multitude of diluted ingredients in all other cases. I think reigning in the entry might well have given you cause to focus on one of each a little more.

That said, I wasn't judging, so I only read the piece once. All of the above is merely an expression of a first impression.

I don't think I've had an Iron DM contest where I didn't have multiple uses of an ingredient, so I didn't realize that was an issue. For the record, I've won 1, taken 2nd in 1 and lost the first round in another (not counting this one). This would is my 8th adventure submission.

My issue wasn't with losing - I would have had no problems with a review that compared our ingredients and then said something like "it was close, but due to AA's extreme length, I went with SM." The judgement we received was roughly the equivalent of "AA was disqualified for an unspoken rule infraction before I could begin to compare them and so SM wins by default."

This was likely disappointing to SM as well, since seeing how well your piece fared both as a whole and on a per-ingredient basis is extremely helpful for any further Iron DM competitions - be it this one or a later one. I don't see why MortalPlague should not get the benefit of such a review just because mine was disqualified.
[MENTION=2342]phoamslinger[/MENTION], would it be possible to review MortalPlague's adventure at least on a general and per-ingredient basis so he has that feedback before the next round?

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Once A Fool
I don't think I've had an Iron DM contest where I didn't have multiple uses of an ingredient, so I didn't realize that was an issue. For the record, I've won 1, taken 2nd in 1 and lost the first round in another (not counting this one). This would is my 8th adventure submission.

It isn't an issue; it's just a red flag. It often means the author doesn't have a clear vision of how the ingredient fits in as an integral piece of the adventure. Most judges take it as a sign that they need to direct more scrutiny toward the usage(s), although they may not always comment on it. And it's been that way since the beginning; Nemmerel would certainly call someone out on it. But then, he'd probably think the judges are too nice, nowadays.

My issue wasn't with losing - I would have had no problems with a review that compared our ingredients and then said something like "it was close, but due to AA's extreme length, I went with SM." The judgement we received was roughly the equivalent of "AA was disqualified for an unspoken rule infraction before I could begin to compare them and so SM wins by default."

This was likely disappointing to SM as well, since seeing how well your piece fared both as a whole and on a per-ingredient basis is extremely helpful for any further Iron DM competitions - be it this one or a later one. I don't see why MortalPlague should not get the benefit of such a review just because mine was disqualified.

I feel ya. Sometimes it stings all the more when you've put as much effort in as you obviously did. Especially when the judgement's reasoning blindsides you.

Personally, I didn't see an implication of disqualification in there, though. It read to me as two entries evenly balanced on ingredient use, so the judge went through the rules looking for something to hang the decision on that would be less subjective than just picking a favorite. He latched on to the phrase, "brief adventure," and there you go. In the end, did bias slip in, anyway? Maybe. But the effort was made to minimize it.

[MENTION=2342]phoamslinger[/MENTION], would it be possible to review MortalPlague's adventure at least on a general and per-ingredient basis so he has that feedback before the next round?

This is a fair request. As would be a request for more detail on your ingredients' use.


Once A Fool
Round 2, Match 1: MortalPlague vs. Gradine

[MENTION=62721]MortalPlague[/MENTION] and [MENTION=57112]Gradine[/MENTION], you have 48 hours to post your entries to this thread. Please limit your entry to 3000 words. Please include a list of ingredients at the beginning of the entry and please do not edit your post once it is submitted. Neither the list of ingredients at the beginning of your entry, nor the title, will count against this limit, but everything else (including any definitions or descriptions of your ingredients that you may wish to include) will! Please refrain from reading your opponent's entry until after you have posted your own. You are on your honor to do so.

Your ingredients are:

Infinite Loop

Ice Frog

Chapel of Wings

Astronomer's Husband

Athletic Airship

Banal Competition


The Elephant in the Room (she/her)
Round 2, Match 1: MortalPlague vs. Gradine

The Ingredients
Infinite Loop
Ice Frog
Chapel of Wings
Astronomer’s Husband
Athletic Airship
Banal Competition

The Diamond Toad
A low to mid level “high” fantasy heist, set in the floating city of Caelum

The Diamond Toad is a heist adventure and thus works quite well with a “gang of thieves” party of characters, though can be adapted to fit many parties by having an important NPC require the Anora Major in return for providing their assistance. In addition, while the floating city of Caelum includes some fantastical elements (including the floating continent and its airships) these elements are not at all out of place in a less magical (or completely non-magical) steampunk or clockwork setting.

The Setting
Many centuries ago, so the stories claim, Nephelai, the goddess of the sky, looked down upon humanity, bound to the ground like so many other beasts, and took pity upon them. Through her inspiration, engineers developed the Silver Wings, mechanical wings that gave their ships the ability of flight. Mankind took their new airships to the sky, and made it their first order of business to colonize the floating continent above that had always seemed so far from their reach. Thus Caelum, the floating city, was born.

In the years since mankind has developed propellers and engines that allow their ships to fly with greater ease, but they still commemorate that first great invention with an annual festival, capped off with grand Race of the Silver Wings. Teams of athletes retrofit their ships with the ancient devices, requiring a steady team of rowers and peddlers to power their flight, and compete against one another in a relay contest of endurance, strength and perhaps most importantly: perception. While airships circle a set path through the city, each team’s spotters must be ever vigilant for the rally’s flags, hidden throughout Caelum’s labyrinth of soaring spires and connecting bridges. The first flags are often numerous and easy to spot, but as the competition continues the flags get fewer and harder to find, eliminating those teams that fail to find and claim each set of flags. This continues until the final flag, the victory flag, is discovered.

The elders of the city complain how banal the competition has become, spending most of their time regaling youths about how the Race used to take days. These days the competition’s planners have run out of unique ideas for flag locations, and the teams have memorized past locations, so the Race now rarely lasts more than an hour. Still, the Race is the culmination of the city-wide holiday, and most of the city, from the poor groundlings to the royal family, still turns out to watch the Race while it lasts. Stores are closed, homes are empty, and most of the city’s police and navy work the competition.

In other words, the Race of the Silver Wings is the perfect opportunity to pull off the crime of the century.

The Client
Jonas Stormcrow is a Navy chaplain and priest of Nephelai, goddess of the sky. He is famed through-out the city as a champion of the lower classes, and while this and his unorthodox relationship have earned him a few enemies in the aristocracy and church, he is generally regarded as well-liked, especially amongst his peers in the Navy. His husband, the recently named Royal Astronomer Quentin, has been rubbing many people the wrong way, including Jonas. The chaplain fears that the fame and wealth has gone to his husband’s head, culminating in the commission of sculptures commemorating the various constellations he discovered. The pride of his collection is the Anura Major, a pure diamond sculpture the Big Frog, Quentin’s most famous discovery and crucial to the Explorer Guild’s navigation. Jonas finds the sculptures not just unnecessarily gaudy but a major repudiation by his husband of his life’s work combating economic inequality. In an effort to teach his husband a lesson, Jonas has utilized his contacts to find a fence and team of unscrupulous characters (the PC’s) to pull off the heist. Jonas expects 50% of the cut, but can be haggled lower, which he plans to donate to charities that assist the poor.

Jonas is soft-spoken but confident man in his early 30’s. He is friendly and generally comes across as a nice guy, though as a life-long member of the economic elite his attitudes towards the poor, while well-meaning, can come across as incredibly patronizing.

The Score
Quentin’s entire collection of sculptures, each one commemorating a constellation in the night sky, is impressive, including a ruby-studded brass fox and a small emerald & turquoise sea turtle, but the Anura Major, a pure diamond frog sculpture the size of a large fist, is worth more than the rest combined. It is well-guarded in Quentin’s Royal Observatory, and while Jonas knows of a few of Quentin’s common passwords, he has never been allowed entry. In particular, Jonas knows that his most valuable treasures are guarded by clockwork sentries, golems and several traps, mundane and possible magical.

Gaining entry to the Royal Observatory is in itself a difficult task, as it requires first gaining entry to the Royal Academy. Normally the Academy is guarded by Naval patrols, but the Navy is currently pre-occupied with policing the Race. Regular guard duty is light but still present, and will require great stealth and cunning to get past.

Most of the clockwork sentries and golems can be defeated by some good old-fashioned hitters, through intrepid sneaks might find the command words in Quentin’s journals. Traps include mundane alarms and “pound of flesh” deathtraps, though the trickiest trap to catch and disarm is a motion sensor in the display room, which when triggered causes the display pedestals to lower into the secure vault below. The vault itself is protected by the toughest combination lock money can buy. Only the most experienced safe-crackers with the most sophisticated tools (and about an hour of drilling) can crack it, though Quentin is absent-minded and still keeps the code (encrypted in a mathematical cipher) on a note in his locked work desk.

The Mark
Quentin Stormcrow is the Royal Astronomer, recently appointed to the position thanks to his discovery of Anura Major, the Big Frog whose eye, the Gleaming Light, has aided the Explorer Guild in navigating and mapping undiscovered corners of the world, bringing Caelum untold wealth and prestige. While used to living a modern lifestyle at the behest of his husband, Quentin has let the fame and wealth go to his head, and has become more insufferable than he was previously considered. Like many new to wealth, he has a taste for flaunting it and a fear bordering on paranoia that he will lose it.

Quentin is in his mid-30’s, with a slight but unathletic frame. A professor of astronomy and ecclesiastical studies, he is extremely intelligent if occasionally a bit addle-headed. If engaged with in conversation he is overly pedantic and constantly demeaning, though never intentionally so.

The Distraction
The Race of the Silver Wings is a fine distraction, but is often too short for an enterprising team of criminals to make the most of. Luckily, Jonas knows exactly where the victory flag is due to make its appearance; hanging out of one of the windows his Chapel of Nephelai. If the victory flag can be prevented from making its appearance, the Race will continue indefinitely, its remaining competitors left to circle through the city in an endless loop, keeping the bulk of the city (including the royal navy) occupied.

Of course, getting to the flag’s location is almost as difficult a proposition as breaking into the Royal Academy. Jonas’s chapel is attached to Royal Naval Base. While Jonas will be able to disguise a few of the party members as new acolytes, it is still going to be risky (not aided at all by Jonas being a terrible liar). Once there, the party must incapacitate the race’s committee members or otherwise prevent them from displaying the victory flag when given the signal to. Instead, the party must devise their own signals, as they should display the victory flag as soon as the score is safely removed from the Royal Academy.

The Plan
Jonas has approached the party a week before the Race, giving them a small window of time to stake out the major locations and organize any additions they feel like making to the plan. Allow the party the opportunity to acquire and disguises and tools and plant them in helpful locations if necessary.

The Complications
There are two major complications. First, the race’s organizers know exactly when and where the victory flag is supposed to appear. They will be initially concerned when the signal they give to display the flag goes unanswered. While nervous at first, they will begin to see it as a blessing in disguise as they notice the crowds growing more and more excited when it becomes apparent that the remaining competitors are having difficulty finding the victory flag. The organizers will still send someone to check on their victory flag team, which will need to be dealt with by the party at the Naval Chapel, though if the heist goes down quick enough they may be able to avoid them.

A more major complication comes in the form of Mammatus Pearl, the diminutive sky pirate captain who has caught wind of Jonas’s plan (he’s no criminal mastermind himself and wasn’t as discreet enough in finding the party as he should have been). Captain Pearl plans to undertake the heist without Jonas’s help, keeping the entire cut of the score to herself. She will dispatch teams herself to the Chapel and Observatory, who will no doubt get in the party’s way and might call more attention to themselves and the heist than the party would like. They can be fought, tricked, or even potentially bribed with a percentage of the cut into helping out, though they are generally lazy and somewhat incompetent, and their “help” doesn’t amount to much.

Possible complications for the party:

  • A pirate trying to destroy a clockwork sentry accidentally breaks its control beacon, causing it to ignore commands and go berserk, attacking everyone.
  • A pirate accidentally triggers the motion detector in the Observatory’s display room, forcing the party to find their way into the secure vault to reach the Anura Major.
  • The pirates beat the party to the victory flag and have taken the place of Race crew. If the party incapacitates them without discovering their true nature, this will leave them with a nasty surprise when the real crew wakes up and busts out of the nearby closet!
  • A Race team with inside knowledge that the victory flag should have shown up at the chapel starts to get suspicious by the endless loop and begins looking carefully in the windows, calling the organizers if they spot anything or anyone suspicious.
  • The pirates and party strike up an uneasy truce at the chapel, only for the organizer’s investigators to appear, giving both sides an opportunity to turn on the other.

The Aftermath
People talk for weeks about how exciting it was to finally see a Race last a decent length of time. The organizers begin planning to delay the revealing of the flags in future Races later rounds, though being generally incompetent, their plan is sure to go poorly. Jonas is easily avoided if the party needs the Anura Major for some other purpose. Otherwise Jonas’s fence is fairly easy for anyone connected to the city’s underworld to find. If Jonas is not given his cut he grows angry and sets the city’s police force after them, naming them culprits who kidnapped him and forced him into helping. If given to Jonas it takes him several weeks to collect his payment for the score, though he keeps his word and pays the party their share. Depending on how the pirates are handled, Captain Pearl can become a fierce enemy or helpful ally.

The Sequel
Quentin tries his best to keep the theft under wraps, but secretly dispatches bounty hunters to track down the culprits. They are easily able to track the plan to Jonas. Even if the party gives the stolen goods to Jonas to fence, he has little loyalty to the party and is instead more concerned with placating with his husband. Unless they decided to allow Jonas to donate the entire portion of the score, he’ll give the party up easily. If caught Quentin has no plans to murder the party for their deeds; instead, he’s impressed by their abilities and wants to hire them to track the down his stolen sculptures and steal them back for him, and perhaps acquire even more items for him in the future. If they refuse he has more than enough evidence to turn them over to Caelum’s police. Unless the party wants to become fugitives they must comply until they can find a way out from under Quentin’s employ.

The Ingredients
Infinite Loop- The distraction: the Race of the Silver Wings, after the party hides the victory flag, becomes this. Without the victory flag, the remaining teams circle the city endlessly, trying in vain to find it.
Ice Frog- The score: The Anura Major, the diamond sculpture of a frog commemorating the discovery of the constellation Anura Major.
Chapel of Wings- Jonas’s Naval Chapel, dedicated to Nephelai, Goddess of Wings, and the location of the victory flag.
Astronomer’s Husband- The client: Jonas, husband of the mark: Quentin Stormcrow, Chief Royal Astronomer.
Athletic Airship- Airships powered by the Silver Wings; the muscle-powered contraptions that allowed the first of humanity's ships to take to the sky. These ancient machines are used to participate in the Race of the Silver Wings.
Banal Competition- What the Race of the Silver Wings has become, leading to short and ultimately unfulfilling competitions.


The Elephant in the Room (she/her)
Oh, my. Posted with more than 24 hours left! You must be awfully sure of your entry, Gradine!

More so that I get home from work tomorrow with about thirty minutes to spare, and I don't fancy cutting things that close ;)


The Queen Under The Stars
A 5th Edition D&D Adventure for 5th-8th Level Characters

The Elements:

Infinite Loop - Feleira's star-forged ring which allows her to share her immortality
Ice Frog - Fadden's frogs and their icy toxin
Chapel of Wings - Feleira's seat of power / owl roost / place of immortality ritual
Astronomer's Husband - Fadden is an ex-husband, whoever wins Feleira's hand becomes the new husband
Athletic Airship - Ethandril the giant owl is an athletic airship
Banal Competition - Counting the stars in the sky is a banal competition

The Background:

Feleira the Luminous, Queen Under The Stars is an immortal Lady of the Fey. She has long been a student of astronomy, though the fey practice astronomy in different ways than mortals. With a long life span comes a different perspective, and Feleira has spent her years painting the stars in their different positions as the centuries pass, forming a marvelous web of light and dark on the walls of her palace.

With her eye turned to the heavens, Feleira models many aspects of her life on the heavenly bodies above. Her romantic inclinations follow the path of a comet that comes every sixty years, appearing in the sky for a year's time before it departs once more. Sometimes, the marriage lasts beyond the comet's stay, but never for more than a few years; inevitably, she and her husband part ways.

The Queen Under The Stars possesses a magical ring, forged by ancient celestials from a star that fell from the sky. This ring protects Feleira from any disease or poison. It is also instrumental in a ritual of immortality, that Feleira's husband may share in her longevity.

Feleira's most recent ex-husband is a man by the name of Fadden the Fair. He was a Fey Lord of the Marsh, who dwelled in the great marshes of the Feywild. His were the creatures there, and chief among them, his frogs. He caught Feleira's eye at the last celebration, but theirs was a short-lived union. They split ways after merely two months, and so bitter was their parting that Feleira stripped him of the immortality he'd been gifted with.

The Hook:

"In the sky, a new star appears, and thus begins the revelry. Join with the fair folk beneath the jewels of the night sky, with food and drink of quality and quantity. This missive is your invitation to join in the celebration, where Feleira the Luminous, the Queen Under The Stars will choose her suitor.

At the High Perch, Ethandril will remain until the new moon. Appear, be swept up in the revel, and dance with the Queen for a chance at her hand."

The letter is scribed in an immaculate hand, on white parchment edged with silver gilding. It doesn't matter where the PCs found it, but it is in their hands now; an invitation to join the Queen Under The Stars at a grand party. Who could pass up such an offer?

Introductions And Mingling:

High Perch is a wondrous place, full of towering trees and a village amongst those giants. Bridges and walkways arc back and forth throughout, but the top of the tallest tree is the perch from where the village gets its name. And on top of the tree is an owl, larger than any dragon by a fair stretch. The owl's name is Ethandril, and he bears Feleira's Palace on his back.

The characters will find a tall ladder onto the back of the creature, where they will emerge at the edge of a large courtyard. Here on Ethandril's back is a labyrinthine net of towers and collonades, of gardens and beautiful buildings, all of it airy and wondrous. At the far end of the courtyard is an elegant, flowing structure with owl wing embellishments and plenty of open windows.

There are people here too; a myriad assortment of fey and mortals are mingling in the courtyard, all of them dressed in finery. Perceptive or insightful characters might notice a short man in a green doublet wearing an owl mask, sticking to the edges of the crowd and waving off any attempts at conversation; whether or not they notice him, they will meet Fadden later.

Before the characters can join in the celebration, they are met by an elf lady named Avellia. She wears stylized owl armor; a helm with sweeping horned brows, a beak for a noseguard, and a cloak of feathers. Perched on her shoulder is a great horned owl named Benthas, who does the talking. The owl will demand to see their invitation. His disposition will be much softer if any of the characters is dressed in any sort of finery, but he will still be authoritarian until he sees an appropriate letter. Avellia will interject with calming, soothing sentiments, and she will scratch the owl's head when he becomes agitated. Once the fussy owl has scrutinized the letter to his satisfaction, he will allow the characters to join the festivities.

Here, the PCs may mingle with some of the guests on board, and may seek more information about what's happening. In all likelihood, all they know is what was contained in the letter. Most of the guests on board know the details of the celebration, but the fey are coy and playful about sharing information. The PCs may also meet some of the following NPCs:

  • Priggs the Satyr, who loves to drink and dance, and is a shameless flirt
  • Bosterly Banderwick III, a young noble who fancies himself an adventurer
  • T'Raste, a beautiful elven bard here to chronicle the occasion
The characters may notice the court is very gossipy, and conversations keep circling back to lovers and ex-lovers, particularly about Fadden and Feleira. Other prior husbands are mentioned (Jinnael the Sly and Postrothal are mentioned most often), but Fadden certainly receives the most mention, particularly his strange fascination with frogs. The characters may also notice a set of large black boxes set off to one side, clearly gifts from a suitor. Anyone who examines them closely may hear the sound of something moving inside; they contain a number of ice frogs. If asked, NPCs may reveal they were placed there by a pair of men and a woman wearing owl masks.

A Sky Full Of Stars:

As the characters meet and greet, they will notice as Ethandril takes to wing, leaving High Perch far behind. The giant owl is a graceful flyer, and keeps his flight level and even. As he flies, the sun sets, and the sky darkens, revealing the canopy of stars far above.

Feleira the Luminous makes her appearance with a grand entrance; she descends from her chapel, her face skyward, bathing her pale skin in the starlight. Her beauty and grace are without peer, and while her eyes remain fixed on the stars above, she will sing a soft song in sylvan, welcoming their first light upon her face, and bidding them to stay through this night of courtship. Her dress is sleek and dark blue, patterned with tiny magical lights that mimic the stars above.

With the stars properly greeted, Feleira will turn her radiant gaze on the assembled suitors. She will greet them all, and will speak of the evening's agenda; a challenge first, and then a dance. At the culmination of the dance, she will gift her hand to a suitor who has impressed her.

The first challenge is this; count every star in the sky.

Feleira will remain outside, on a high platform where she may gaze upon the stars. The PCs may approach this in a number of ways; counting the stars will take an intelligence check. For complete accuracy, the DC is 20; the further off the result is, the further out the PCs are numerically.

Priggs will lose interest in the counting and will come over to bother the PCs; the satyr will poke fun at anyone still counting, boasting that he counted them all twice already. If he isn't kept from annoying the counter, the intelligence check is made at disadvantage.

The PCs are welcome to come up with an alternate way to count the stars. Or perhaps a way to amuse or entertain Feleira. Bear in mind that fey, even ones so serene as Feleira, have a sly sense of humor, and enjoy a clever take on a solution.

Dancing and Revelry:

After about an hour, Feleira will make her way to the suitors, and ask for an answer. Given a correct answer, or a reply that amuses her will put a character into the Fey Lady's good graces. Regardless of which sort of answer she is given, she will graciously invite the characters to remain for the dance.

As the murmur of conversation spreads across the courtyard, more and more owls will perch along the perimeter, or circle overhead, all emerging from the winged structure at the far end. Benthas and Avellia will check in on the PCs to make sure they aren't causing trouble; the fussy owl seems to believe that the characters are up to something. Avellia seems amused at the suggestion, and will mollify the owl's fears at every turn.

Priggs will be eager to show off his dancing abilities; hooves are the only way to dance, to hear him tell it. Bosterly Banderwick III will suggest that his training in all forms of dance will catch the eye of the Fey Lady. Neither one scored well with counting stars.

Observant PCs might notice Fadden lurking about once more, carrying an elegant black box in his hands. If questioned or approached, he is calm and polite, though an insightful character will notice he seems to be watching Feleira. His other owl-masked servants have all taken up positions near to the black boxes.

As the dance gets under way, Feleira will dance with anyone who catches her fancy. If the PCs did well with counting stars, she will gladly spin with any or all of them. Acrobatics would be the relevant skill, but allow a PC to use other skills creatively here, so long as they can explain how it would be of use. If the characters peformed poorly at counting stars, the Lady will not approach them for a dance unless they dare to request it of her.

Concluding the dance, Feleira will stand at the front of the assembled dancers, removing her ring and placing it on a velvet cushion before her. The ring is the focus for the immortality ritual, though that effect remains even with the ring removed. However, without her ring, the Queen Under The Stars is no longer immune to disease and poison; the time to strike has come. Before she can announce her suitor, a dart strikes her neck from a place of hiding. With a gasp, she will put her hand to her neck, her skin going completely pale, and shaking, she will fall unconscious.

What's Fadden Up To?

Fadden the Fair has slipped aboard the airship with three helpers, all disguised with stylized owl masks in black and silver. His helpers have carried four large black boxes, and positioned them beside the dance floor; each one contains three giant frogs, all of them hungry and waiting patiently for their master to release them.

He has a small black box his own which contains a blowgun and a dart tipped with a potent concentration of the toxin from the skin of his ice frogs, which freezes the blood in the veins and induces a great torpor.

While the crowd is mingling and chatting, Fadden is getting re-acquainted with the layout of things; he is trying to assess any of the possible threats in the crowd. While the assembled guests are counting stars, Fadden is keeping an eye out for a good point to launch his attack from. His helpers are setting up the boxes, making sure they are spread out so the frogs can attack quickly. As the dance progresses, the helpers are each near the boxes (the lady has two, while the men each have one box), while Fadden himself will move to his hiding spot, open up his blowgun, and poison the Queen.

It is possible for observant PCs to derail Fadden's plans. If they notice the suspicious activity and take steps to head him off, it is entirely possible that he never has the chance to unleash his frogs and poison Feleira. This is perfectly fine! Observant and pro-active characters deserve to have a chance to head off a disaster before it happens.

The Confrontation:

There is a gasp from the assembled court, followed swiftly by screams. Fadden's owl-masked minions have opened the large boxes and unleashed a dozen ice frogs, who are leaping about and are using their toxic skin to paralyze and render guests unconscious. Furthermore, a particularly large ice frog is bounding towards the edge of the courtyard, where it clearly intends to try and paralyze Ethandril himself! In the chaos, Fadden appears from nowhere and snatches the ring from its cushion, disappearing swiftly into Feleira's quarters at the head of the courtyard.

The characters must take action! They are the only ones; none of the others among the suitors are adventurers, and the guards were the first victims struck by the frogs. They may need to divide their efforts; the frogs must be stopped before they can devour the guests they have paralyzed or knocked out. The larger frog must be stopped before it can paralyze Ethandril, sending the entire airship into an spiral to the ground. And, Fadden himself must be stopped before he can complete the ritual and regain immortality. Surely once he is immortal once again, he will flee the airship with the ring.

Avellia and Benthas have moved to cut off the huge frog headed for Ethandril; she will cry out to the PCs that she'll hold it long enough that they can save the others. Without any aid, the frog will down her in a round or two. But it might buy them the time to deal with the dance floor frogs (or send help to her, should they choose). Either way, Fadden will have enough time to begin his ritual.

The key of it is the ring; if placed on a finger, it will cleanse a victim of the frog's toxin. If the PCs don't realize this, perhaps one of the NPCs tending to the wounded calls out that their magic does nothing to rouse the sleepers, and the ring must be found to cure them.

They will find Fadden at the Altar of Stars, a room at the far end of Faleira's chambers, where glass windows offer a beautiful view of the night sky. A telescope is affixed to a mounting, and it seems to gather starlight to focus it in a single point on the altar's top. Fadden has placed the ring on the altar, and there he speaks the words to the ritual that will grant him immortality.

The PCs will likely need to fight Fadden. He is too near to his goal to listen to any sort of reason. But if the PCs have a convincing argument, they can sway him to surrender peacefully. Otherwise, he must be brought low by force.

With Fadden defeated, the characters may retrieve the ring and return to Feleira, there to place the ring on her finger and remove the effects of the toxin.


Feleira will be greatly thankful to whoever places the ring back on her finger, and will declare them the victorious suitor. She will take that person as her husband (a largely traditional title, since she will marry a woman just as much as a man). There will be a great wedding, and the hero will be gifted immortality through the same ritual that Fadden was attempting. The husband's companions will all be granted gifts of sylvan riches.

It is likely that Feleira will tire of this new husband in the usual year and a bit. Additionally, the Queen Under The Stars is a very low maintenance spouse; she is amused to allow her husband to go off on adventures, so long as he or she brings something back for her. It is largely up to the DM how to use this unique connection for a character going forward. A marriage to a fey lady has many upsides and just as many challenges.

In short, her husband is in for a year that will be anything but dull.



[sblock]I love your heist. It feels very 'Lies of Locke Lamora' inspired, with the ships and the vaults and cultured society. Nicely done.[/sblock]


The Elephant in the Room (she/her)

[sblock]Thanks, I really enjoyed your adventure too! I especially love how evocative your writing style is. I try to be poetical at times but I find it so much easier to fall back into a more utilitarian style. Maybe I'm just a technical writer at heart. I know one thing; I'm really looking forward to the judgment![/sblock]

Voidrunner's Codex

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