ZEITGEIST Question about starting Zeitgeist

There's not much in the Player Guide. Honestly, it mostly comes down to:

Some time between 1700 B.O.V. and 1000 B.O.V., an empire ruled by demons took power in the northern continent. Known as the Demonocracy, it produced centuries of horrors and tyranny, and its expansion was only stopped by the eladrin empire of Elfaivar to the east, and the naval defense of Risur to the south. Several grand states each pledge fealty to various Demon Lords throughout the empire's existence. The Demon Lords claimed to wield power from other worlds beyond this one, but scholars today believe such claims were just fictions to keep the people of the Demonocracy from rising up.

Then in 1000 B.O.V., the fisherman Triegenes from the western Demonocracy managed to attain godhood through an unknown method. He led a rebellion and liberated city after city from the tyranny of the demons. He established the Clergy, helped create the wards and rituals that would trap the lingering unholy essences of the demons that had been vanquished, and then eventually died and ascended to the heavens so he could forever watch over and protect the world.

Today the Demonocracy mostly only matters to Crisillyir, which still sends out priests, paladins, and godhands to track down evil artifacts or capture the occasional demon that has managed to hide out. They do not destroy these evil things, because their unholy energy will simply spread back into the world. Better to keep them locked away in vaults and tombs, or on rare holy days to throw them into the volcanic caldera of Enzyo Mons, a mountain that overlooks the capital city of Alais Primos. Generally, though, the Demonocracy is powerless and no longer poses any threat.

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Thanks RangerWicket - brilliant info.

Also, since I have you here: I am running the Adv 2 fight on Cauldron Hill at the moment and trying to describe the four monsters when I realised that some of the unlabelled art in the Campaign Guide might actually refer to some of the monsters - I guessed these three:

* <b>Cackling Crawler</b> http://i1006.photobucket.com/albums/af182/jacktannery/Zeitgeist/Corpse.jpg~original
* <b>Serpent-Maned Lion</b> - http://i1006.photobucket.com/albums/af182/jacktannery/Zeitgeist/MonsterLion.jpg~original
* <b>Vestige of Death</b> http://i1006.photobucket.com/albums/af182/jacktannery/Zeitgeist/vestige.jpg~original

But I couldn't find any art that fitted the hag wraith. Did I guess right that these art peices belong to this encounter, or have I just used random art from different adventures?.

Ha, and I actually got some of my timeline off by 500 years. (I was thinking 1000 years ago, and since the campaign starts in the year 500 A.O.V., I messed things up.)

• -1117 B.O.V.: The demonocracy arises, its monstrous rulers enslaving the primitive nations of the north. Risur keeps it from expanding south, and Elfaivar blocks its eastward growth.
• -500 B.O.V.: Triegenes the fisherman founds the Clergy in what is modern-day Danor, overthrows the demonocracy, then dies and ascends to godhood.

According to the church’s holy text, one thousand years ago a human fisherman named Triegenes from what today is Danor discovered the secret of divinity while lost in a storm at sea. He returned and preached about the divine spark within all mortals, and how by constantly challenging oneself, a person can become like a god. He inspired followers to fight beside him, and together they toppled tyrants, slew legendary monsters, and eventually established a new nation, based upon a hierarchy of divinity, where rank and reward were based solely on merit.

After his kingdom was established, Triegenes undertook the greatest challenge left in the mortal world: to defeat the demonocracy that oppressed the lands to the east. He confronted the abyssal lords who had taken residence on this world, sacrificed himself to banish them forever, and then left his mortal shell and ascended to godhood.


Update on our game http://www.rpol.net/game.cgi?gi=54669&date=1392585574

Still on Adventure 2 Dying Skyseer. Things are starting to get out of control....

- PCs find Skyseer Nevard and agree to do his quest.
- That night they visit thinking man's tavern and they REALLY hated Hennet Rinnus.
- Onto a PC contact (Benicen tReiss, Professor of Occult and Local History) for advice on Cauldron Hill. He offers them an illegal ritual to assist Nevard on the hill (bonds of forced faith) but they are totally horrified and threaten to arrest him (!). So they don't use it.
-Meeting with MacBannin is a great success; everyone gets on famously.
-Night on Cauldron Hill is fantastic, but the Vestige killed one ofour PCs and there is nothing they could have done about it - quite frustrating for them I think. Anyway the bloody Bleak Gate Assassin escapes again - they really hate him now. The dead PC found himself being boiled into a kettle by the ghost of a witch, his soul to be trapped in mysterious liquid - he gets away.
-Back to MacBannin - he's so smooth and the PCs are relieved to be in such good hands. Quick detour to revive the dead PC in HQ and then....
-Back to Sechim's factory to stop the arson, with backup from Lorcan Kell's gang (following on from Fog of War) and the RHC. Quite a dramatic scene here, lots of going up and down ladders, and PCs avert a fire. Valando is captured but Eberardo escapes, swearing vengeance.Interestingly PCs (unintentionally?) trick the dragonborn brothers into thinking that Lorcan Kell has turned on them, and they drop his name.
-Upon interviewing the thugs and Valando PCs discover location of Eberardo's secret hideout. They also find LeBrix's home address in Valando's pocket.
-They meet another contact and ask about the black grease they found (no info) and the chrome gun LeBrix claims to have used to kill Nilesa (they find out quite a lot about this, deducing it belongs to the Bleak Gate Killer rather than LeBrix) and discover Vendetta Bullets.
-they tap some underworld contacts and discover rumours about a weapon smuggling operation between the cloudwood bandits and the Family, and deduce Kell would be pissed off about it. They put out a message thatthey want to meet Kell to discuss a deal.
-Meanwhile, Carlao's squad is still watching Professor Kindleton (the PCs are using their Risur favour on this every day). On day 3 its reported that Professor Kindleton went to Central Station to check train times, then brought two new suitcases - they deduce she has contacted the doctor and is preparing to elope!
-Back to the consulate and they corner LeBrix, who confides in them about the nature of the missing documents and the danger to his own life. He vows to help them if they can recover the documents.

***At this point in the adventure the penny finally dropped with me and I realised what the story was about - it wasn't about solving Nilesa's death, as I had thought, but about recovering the Danoran documents. Now everything made sense to me, I could see the point of this adventure and I was able to understand how all thes eemingly-unrelated events fit together - epiphany! I feel this could have been made more clear for DMs at the start of the adventure: have Delft tell them to find the documents to avert a diplomatic crisis on the eve of the wedding.

-anyway, that night PCs go and meet Lorcan in the theatre of scoundrels. This was a really brilliant scene that everyone enjoyed a lot - WELL DONE MODULE WRITERS!!!! I recommend reading the exchange from post 642 of our game thread because it was really fun.

-Lorcan agrees that if the PCs stop the smuggling op and take out the Family ship, he'll give them the doctor; he tells them about the known wharf in Pine Island and the time of the operation. The PCs then tell him about the dragonborn brothers; how they believe Kell back-stabbed them and will enact their revenge. Lorcan is doubtful but the PCs press the point so he agrees that they should try and take down Eberardo - but he asks them a favour: Eberado possesses sensitive personal letters that Kell wants returned.

-The next day (Day 5) and Saxby is getting nervous; things are getting out of control. She calls Carlao and Delft into her office and discovers Carlao has a lead on the doctor's whereabouts (he's followed the boy messenger from Kindleton into the nettles). She wants the Danoran documents back in the consulate pronto without diplomatic incident,and she has other concerns, so she puts the PCs off the case -they've been too slow. Instead, PCs are sent to Dawn Square on crowd duty.

EDIT: also here's LeBrix's ransom note:http://contactsheet.org/cgi-bin/ran...Hermanos+Draconis&Button=Generate+Ransom+Note
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I'm glad your group hates Kell now. Just wait until they go to pick up Wolfgang!

(I was a bit confused by the side-plot with Kell's lady friend, but it sounds like an interesting layer to add, so there's a bit more nuance than just "when do we get to kill this bastard".)

I hope the party is able to get some victory in the short term before any more bad-guys get away. I worry that we put a bit too many cases of the villains getting what they want, which might frustrate players. The idea was that thwarting the villains' efforts would be satisfying and motivate groups to track the bad guys down, even if it is annoying when enemies escape.

Hell, when I ran the Cauldron Hill encounter, a PC action pointed and used some magic to basically fly from one mount to the other so he could engage the shadow man in combat, since he was afraid the guy would run. I really didn't want him sticking around long enough for the rest of the party to run over and join the fight, so the shadow man just tore the PC to bits, blinded him, action pointed, and ran away. The PC was tempted to chase after the guy, in the dark, on a mountain full of monsters, just because NPCs escaping is that infuriating.

How are your players feeling about the encounters so far?


(I was a bit confused by the side-plot with Kell's lady friend...

That was the lady from the House of the Blue Birds. After the skyseer vision of Mishados the blue star, Nevard told them that Lorcan Kell's mistress was an astral-name historian and might know something about the origin of the star's name. That's when I decided to re-use the Blue Birds woman and not invent a new NPC. Worked out rather well. Also she had asked them to do her a favour (get the cops to rob the 'House of the Golden Dragon') which they did, and which I can now say was a Family base.

How are your players feeling about the encounters so far?
I think they really like them. I certainly do - each is very dramatic and exciting.


Exciting development: a PC has used their Skyseer Vision power! I would be very grateful for any assistance. The questions are VERY specific.

Here's Adarun's 3 questions that he asked last night after watching the stars, before going to bed:

1. 'If we sneak into the Dragon Brothers' hideout, what unexpected obstacles, traps, and other dangers await us inside, and how can we best circumvent them?'

This one regards a side plot outside the module so I'll deal with this myself.

2. 'What unforeseen problems will we face during the smuggling bust tomorrow night and what is our best approach to thwart the smugglers and safely sink the Grinning Griffin, should that become necessary?'

Any advice on a suitably mysterious response would be appreciated. PCs have not yet decided how to plan the operation - delft pointed out the three main ways as per the module.

3. 'When, where, and how will the Bleak Gate Killer strike next and how can we best stop him without being killed in the process?'

This is Cillian Creed of course; I think he is due to strike in Dawn Square soon? Must check module.

2. (It depends on whether the party already found/dealt with the gnomes. But maybe:)

A grinning bird meets a silver fledgling, and it shares some of its seed. A cat in the dark might pounce and catch one, but not both. So the cat waits, follows the small bird and kills it with ease. Then it returns and pounces at the other, but it will have to fight viciously to bring the larger bird down.

3. A trail of oil weaves in and out of a gate, dripping from a tattered leash, and in the first light of dawn you see a jaguar's paw-print pressed into the burnt black slick.


Excellent - thank you so much Ranger Wicket. Here are the visions (the third one hints at a crocodile pet guarding the documents, which are also possibly poisoned):




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