WotBS Lykkenthrope's War of the Burning Sky

lykkenthrope

Villager
CRUELPIGS PARTY DO NOT READ UPON PAIN OF TOAD (unless the campaign is complete)

Meet the Characters! A healthy party of 5:

GROM a half-orc Berzerker Barbarian, mother was taken by inquisitors when he was very young (can’t actually remember it happening) so his Or father whisked them away to Gate Pass. His father was very over protective of Grom. Right before the start of the campaign when Rageisa was about to invade the city, his father went to the Gate to Ragesia and caused a disturbance not allowing any of the army in. It was reported that his father was struck down and body taken by the Ragesians. Grom then joined the resistance and was a neophyte with the resistance as the campaign started.
He is an unknowing host to a trilith. Thinking of going with Wonder, Curiosity, or Unpredictability. I just got the rest of the campaign so I’m not sure which other trilliths we run into, so haven’t honed in their name. But Grom is very open and fair to those he meets, while a quintessential “dumb” berserker barbarian, he is gentle and not quick to judge or anger.

VIC human abjuration wizard, She is a legacy member to the Order of the Aquiline Cross, with her father being a paladin of the new order. Her entire family (or so she thinks) was killed when Inquisitors came to her town to squash the rumors of a potential rebellion and to gather all mages. Vic had not yet started her magical education, so she was not a target. She saw her mother and father struck down and her sister (an evocation wizard) dragged away. Vic attempted to stop them and used a spell from her sister's spellbook that backfired onto her and blew her arm off. As she lay there almost dying, she sees an inquistor approach her and she faded to black. She awoke in a refugee camp being taken care of by a healer and her eccentric artificer husband. The husband fashioned a new arm for Vic that is able to hold one prepared. The arm glows with magic when it actively holds a spell. Vic still has her sister's charred book, but after she was well enough she began her own education to becoming a wizard. Focusing on abjuration so she could better protect those around her and not gather the attention of the Inquisitors. She is in Gate Pass to see about learning at Gabal's school.

SORIAN, wood elf path of the ancestors barbarian, When he rages he focuses on a small piece of wood from the burning forest. Has been in gate pass for 60+ years; He helped with the original rebellion 40 years ago and is a well known member of the resistance. However, with the current Mayor of Gate Pass thinking about letting the Ragesian in, Sorian has focused to protect his small community of Wood Elven Refugees.
I am expecting to flesh out Sorian a bit more in the Module 2. Let him really shine. While not alot to write, this PC has really gotten into character and super excited to see them interact with the campaign. Any advice on how to navigate a wood elf through Innetotdar forest is welcomed.

RESHI, brass dragonborn sorcerer, He has traveled from his small, isolated community from the mountains for aid. Their village never really had visitors or a threat from Ragesia due to the inhospital nature of the mountains that surrounded their home. However, more often they have found scouts making maps to their home and more and more soliders (while half dead) making it to their borders. Their numbers are small and they know eventually a large enough group could make it and that would be bad. Reshi, as a future leader of his village, left for help on foot as the teleporation spells have been not working. He decided to travel to Gate Pass to gain knowledge on how they have managed to remain free for this long. Along the road he gathered cruiel intelligence on the Ragesian's armys moevements heading to Gate Pass. Most in Gate Pass initially feared his dispotistion, having never seen a dragonborn before (most thinking he was a scaley Teifling), and this lead him to meeting Peppin and meeting members of the Resistance.
he wanted to make his character from Baulders gate and didn’t write a background. He asked me to assign him one...so i gave him the one i wrote above, but it really needs help to be fleshed out and intergrated into the story

ZE, half orc shadowdancer rouge.
former inquisitor, one of the inquisitors who attacked Vic’s family, This was the turning point for them and they left the inquisitors. Ze is aware of this and recogized Vic, but Vic has not recohnized them or the mask she wears on her belt. Lost most of their faith and access to the class. They were taken in by Rhuarc and taught the way of the shawdowdancer. Had a mild falling out with Rhuarc as he started becoming more like Leska with “his way or no way” rhetoric, she went out on her own to find her own way. She does have access to level 1-3 inquisitor spells, BUT has to wear her old mask to cast them. And only one use per ability per long rest and the spells and channel divinity give exhaustion points. So they’re mostly a rogue now.
 

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lykkenthrope

Villager
Session 1: Cruelpigs party do not read upon pain of toad.

The group met torrent at the Poison apple pub, took a fair while scouting the outside of the building and debated about breaking the door down, before finally deciding to knock. Torrent welcomed them in and explained the mission. They need to get vital military intelligence to the magic school Lyceum. The intelligence is currently with a spy for the resistance, a halfling named Rivereye Badgerface. His normal contact, Peppin, was killed a few nights previous. After getting the intelligence they need to smuggle it out of Gate Pass that is on the verge of being completely shut down on either end due to the approaching Ragesian army.

The group was surprised attacked by a band of apparent Mercenaries, that wear a red arm band. As the city began to be invaded by the Ragesian army, the leader of the thugs called off his men and the group allowed the thugs to gather wounded and flee.

With chaos ensuing, the group began running through the streets to get to the depository tower, where Pepin was set to meet Rivereye.

Vic stopped to aid the family and was praised by Torrent. The Grom and Sorian helped a woman jump from the burning building and saved her. All three awarded inspiration. (A poor man is still searching for his pet weasel as there was no time to assist him)

We ended the session as we approached the tower.
 
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lykkenthrope

Villager
Session 2: Cruelpigs party do not read upon pain of Toad

The group approached the depository tower and hesitantly entered. They ran into “Rivereye” and he thought that Sorian was Peppin. This didn’t immediately cause concern more than it caused the Barbarian to be annoyed. “Rivereye” led “Peppin” to a random locker for them to speak the password. This is when Torrent confirmed there was no password. Vic, the group Wizard, checked and saw the lockers did indeed have a type of arcane lock on them.

“Rivereye” seeing the writing on the wall went to flee but was grabbed by Sorian and lifted into the air and transformed back in Larion. Without further inspection our Sorcerer (from a safe distance himself) cast “knock” to open the locker. Vic thankfully had a scroll for Counterspell and stopped the trap from engaging. Larion used this distraction to attempt to escape. He called for Help and the Lantern came downstairs.

Larion was cornered by a friendly Grom, an unfriendly Sorian, and scary shadow Ze. Reshi attacked Larion as he was grappled so the Lantern engaged. (going off script) The Lantern made psychic contact with Grom, the only non-hostile party member and convinced Grom to make the party let larion go and promised to lead them to Shaelis.
Grom is my unknowing Trillith Host, so I saw the opportunity to have this be a way for his Trillith to start communicating wtih him. The Lantern will leave when they finish with Shaelis, but thinking of still having a voice speak to Grom and if he thinks its the Lantern then...yay?

They found Rivereye who told them he overheard those who attacked him saying they needed to keep the case safe for Shaelis. Larion was allowed to flee. Rivereye then returned to his post and the group went to Gabal’s School. They took a small rest on a quiet street before approaching the school right after dawn to an angry crowd.

The crowd saw Vic’s magical arm and pegged her as a mage. As the crowd was growing more tense, Diogenes exited the school gates to help pacify the mob. Welcoming the group in, the group was concerned that Gabal was not there and began demanding to see his office. Diogenes, not knowing anyone in the group, became defensive. When asked where they could find Shealis, Diogenes expressed his dislike for the Mage, but before he could explain why he didn’t like her Sorian picked up Diogenes and Raged.

Ze, who split off when the situation began to escalate, had been inside the dorms investigating, but not having found much except for a scared student.

The Lantern quickly spoke to Grom and said that Shaelis was in the dormitory, so they group went there. Leaving Diogenes shaking his fist at them.

Being led to Shaelis door, Sorian and Grom knocked and told her they were here about this case.

Shaelis opened the door and was already casting a spell at them.

And that’s where the session ended.
 



lykkenthrope

Villager
I think this is the first time I've heard of a PC attacking Diogenes. Ha.
right! I was so confused. Upon heavy reflection, I think it was because my group was itching to use their new characters abilities. The fight with kathor and at the tower was more start of a fight that became interrupted. It became a good point of discussion at the end of the session though, sorta a reiteration of session 0. That this is a nuanced campaign, you might not like everyone, but you should definitely hear them out before just punching (especially at level 3). I learned I need to ensure my PC's heard and understood the hook I gave them (this is my first non-one shot, so I am still learning too). But even after I explained why he didnt like her, that she was part of the group they were after, all but one double downed that they didn't like him. "he was shifty" lolololol
 


lykkenthrope

Villager
Session 3:

Cruelpigs party do not read upon pain of toad!

(DM Note: I realized where I had failed as a DM in ensuring they took the appropriate hooks from Rivereye after the found him before they entered Gabal’s school. Most of the party had forgotten they still needed to get the case and thought we were at Gabal’s to find Gabal to get help in escaping the city. So there was a bit of reiterating information that had been missed, a stern warning of be careful about engaging people you don’t know their level. And off we went)

The session started off fast, with Shaelis having just opened the door and seemingly cast Fireball at Grom and Sorian. As the giant ball of flames approached then, heat licking their faces, Sorian dove out of the way down the hall and Grom stoically accepted his fate. Except things were not as they appeared.
I went off script and had Shaelis cast Major Image.

The lantern archon psychically reached out to Grom and told him to not fear the flames before physically departing the building. Sorian joined up with Vic, Torrent, and Reshi to investigate the flames before realizing they were an illusion. As the party entered Shaelis’s room, they saw Shaelis fly out of her window heading deeper into Gate Pass, towards the Elven District. Ze seeing this from the ground (she had been exploring the burnt down tower) does an impressive jump into the open window to join everyone else.

A search of the room has them find 3 notes. 1 that is from a contact in Shahalesti explaining the mission to capture vital military intelligence that had been smuggled out of Ragesia and what contact in Shahalesti (Clathan) would be best to decipher the intelligence . The 2nd note was a map of the Elven Ghetto with the Carpenter shop highlighted. The 3nd note is from a “Carpenter”, regarding a door order, that was determined to be coded message about the case being retrieved from Rivereye and taken to the Elven Ghetto for pickup.

The end of the coded note was the door clue, had three PC’s roll for information on the different realms—which played out beautifully later when they each had a piece of the puzzle to share.

As they were walking to the Elven Ghetto they saw a Ragesian Wyvern crash at the entrance of the Elven District. Worried about potential wood elves, Sorian rushed ahead. They saw the signs that a warrior had crashed, was wounded, but still slaying innocent Gate Pass civilians.

Ze used her shadow to get the jump on the wounded warrior, but he grabbed a young woman as a human shield. Between Vic, Reshi, Sorian, and Grom the warrior let the girl go and was finally put down by Ze.

They hurried to the Elven Ghetto, where Ze was weirded out by a bird following them, but didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.
I had Sorian know generally where the entrance was, but as a Wood Elf he hadn’t ventured into the High Elf section before
After entering the High Elf Ghetto, Vic casted a spell to turn Sorian invisible so they would be able to pass through the district easier. Vic then shopped for a few items before being hurried along by the group.

As the party came upon the Carpenter Shop, Reshi noticed a rat out of place, but didn’t think much of it. It was just a rat. Eventually finding the hidden door, the party discovered a puzzle lock. Without inspecting the lock, Reshi stepped forward, prayed to Lady Luck, and randomly put the statues in an order and tried to open the door. Unfortunately luck was not on his side today and Reshi was poisoned and knocked unconscious.

I made a gut decision to change the actual outcome (opening the door and ringing the alarm) as I didn’t want one PC to kinda ruin the first puzzle for everyone wanting to have fun. So after he failed the as written Con11 save, I just let him be unconscious and the door remained locked.

Using information from the Carpenters note, the party made swift work of the lock. Well, except Grom who has having a nice talk with the voice in his head.
Been having most of these conversations in an a private text chat on discord, so when pressed by the other PCs, Grom has told the party hes “talking to a the god in his head” and everyone is rolling with it. I couldn’t have planned this better.

Before they entered the shop, an Imp revealed himself saying the Elves inside had stolen something from his Master. The imp asked for a partnership in taking their items back from the Elves. Ze was able to get the Imp to state he was after a case, but Vic struck a deal where the Imp could have the case if they could have what was inside. Sealed with a handshake.

They entered the room with invisible Sorian carrying the unconscious Reshi. The badgers weren’t immediately hostile until they saw the Imp. The Imp launched a surprise attack on the badgers and took out a badger with one slash and bite. Next up was Sorian, who felt a bit of shame for not being able to one-hit the badger like the tiny cute Imp had (haha).

Next was Grom, and following an internal conversation, he walked up and picked up two of the Badgers who loving snuggled in his arms.
I think Im leaning towards Propriety being his Trillith, “conforming to accepted standard of beahvior or morals” and “condition of being right, fitting”, ) and had the speaker in his head tell him if he believed with a true heart the badgers would not harm him.
The Imp thought this insane and attacked the last—still snarling--badger and Vic seeing the wounded badger on the ground was getting louder with their growls did put the last badger down. Combat ended with Grom holding the two now passive badgers. Sorian gave a healing potion to Grom to heal the badger he had attacked, but both badgers were still low growling and nipping at anyone who tried to approach.

Vic remembered that she had a healer’s kit in her pack and used one of its charges to wake Reshi up.

This is where our session ended.

Were skipping next week, and will resume for Session 4 first week of June.
 

lykkenthrope

Villager
Session 4: Cruelpigs party do not read upon pain of toad!
(Retconned that Reshi was still unconscious from the poison needle lock. As his PC was unable to join tonight)

The Imp reiterated that he had followed those who took the case to this building and that they must be upstairs. After carefully listening and hearing no movement, Ze sent her shadow up stairs to scout ahead. The shadow noticed two sleeping High Elves and one wooden chest. Going in through the lock, the shadow peeked inside the chest and saw a case with arcane symbols on the outside.

The group then went up stairs, with Grom—still holding two badgers—not worrying about being quiet. He woke up one Elf who was immediately threatened by the Shadow and they’re startle awoke their partner.

Ze, Grom, and Vic attempted diplomacy, though the Elves were very much set in their ways. They were waiting for Shealis and told to protect the case. They must keep the case safe for the greater good, but mostly for the greater good of Shahalesti. Sorian chose to go downstairs as to not make the situation worse with his presence.

The Elves might have begun being swayed when they noticed the Imp. The Elves told the group that the Imp was Guthwulf’s summon, and they must have been working for Ragesia as well. No amount of diplomacy was seeming to sway them.

Vic attempted to blind the Elves, but failed, only making them more made and resolute in their distaste for the group.

Grom put the badgers down, both of whom immediately attacked Vic. After a round of combat, Grom picked the badgers back up.

During combat, Sorian was able to get the case out of the chest and passed it to Ze to try and get it down the stairs. This caused the Imp to panic and go after Ze. Sorian rushed to Ze’s aid and nearly killed the Imp and reminded him they had a deal, he would get the case and they would get the contents.

The imp refocused his aggression onto the Elves.

Torrent, Vic, the Imp, Ze’s Shadow, and Sorian made quick work of the of the two Elves.

The party went downstairs and had Ze use her thieves tools to open the luck (after a bit of encouragement from the party).

They removed a very strange book form the case. Grom put a note inside the case in hopes the Elves were right and this was going right back to Guthwulf that stated: “even gods can bleed”. The imp took the case and hurried off to his master.

And that is where the session ended.

Two week break, resuming 3rd week of June.

Overall, a shorter session. I had wrongly assumed the party was going to go guns blazing to attack the elves to get the case. I didn’t have much diplomacy planned (I had prepped the safe house and the councilmens house after this for the bulk of tonight’s session that we didn’t even get to), but I did give them plenty of tries (with disadvantage). I wish I had been more prepared to pivot when they wanted to work with them though. But thats PC's for you. ha.

I’m worried my group hasn’t asked enough questions (or read the Players Guide…)and doesn’t have a full grasp of what’s going on. That’s a growing pain I see as a newer DM in a more complicated story. I’m hoping with the next session (the Safe House with Buron Watcher and The Councilmen being their only option for out of the city since they spurned Diogenes) they’ll take the opportunities I give them to ask for lore.
 

I think it's okay to just remind players out of character at any point of a session things you think their characters ought to know that might affect their choices. Good luck.
 

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