Sagiro's Story Hour: The FINAL Adventures of Abernathy's Company (FINISHED 7/3/14)

Sagiro

Rodent of Uncertain Parentage
Did anyone consider trying to use some portable wealth to buy some new ones? Seems odd that they managed to put together several thousand gp for bribes when the rest of their stuff went missing.
Just to clarify: the party still has the vast majority of their stuff, as they made of point of scooping up everything they could before teleporting out. Stuff that's missing is:

- Almost all of Flicker's stuff. He's borrowed some spare weapons from other party members.

- Most of Morningstar's magic items, though she still has her armor, weapons and shield.

- A handful of Aravis's misc. magic items, though he still has his spellbooks and components.

Everyone else is still fully equipped. It helps that Morningstar casts a custom spell every night that allows folks to sleep comfortably in their armor. Most of the party does this as a matter of course, out of general adventurer paranoia.
 

jensun

Visitor
Doesnt Aravis have 7th level spells?

I was always under the impression that by this point standard operating procedure fro your average group of (justifiably) paranoid high level adventurers was to always sleep in a MMM.
 

Sagiro

Rodent of Uncertain Parentage
Doesnt Aravis have 7th level spells?

I was always under the impression that by this point standard operating procedure fro your average group of (justifiably) paranoid high level adventurers was to always sleep in a MMM.
Aravis has always tended to reserve his 7th level slots for offense and/or greater teleport. And while he will often use Leomnud's Secure Shelter or even rope trick while on the road, remember that, on the night of the attack, the Company was staying in what might well be the most expensive and luxurious inn in the known world. The party was not about to forego the comforts of the Golden Goblet, paranoid or not!
 

Sagiro

Rodent of Uncertain Parentage
Can someone remind me about Lord Dafron? I'm afraid I don't remember him.
Lord Dafron is a corrupt member of the House of Law in Mirj. He was running an extortion racket (long since thwarted by the Company) wherein his alchemist partner was making a dangerous and addictive substance ("Powder") that he would trick wealthy people into consuming.

Through a prodigious feat of sleight-of-hand, Dranko slipped Powder into Dafron's own drink, forcing Dafron to admit the scheme. The party confronted the alchemist (actually a Rakshasa, who had slain the original alchemist but who was continuing to work with Dafron for reasons of his own) and learned the formula for the antidote.

When the party sent a bottle of the antidote to Dafron, they included a second bottle with instructions to drink that as well, to make the cure permanent. In fact, the second bottle would have no effect save to turn the imbiber's skin blue for a few days.

To top this all off, the party started rumors in Mirj that Dafron had been "cursed by the Gods for his double-dealing," and also that Dafron may have been engaging in illicit activities with certain barnyard creatures.

No wonder, then, that Lord Dafron is in a revengin' mood. :devil:
 

StevenAC

Visitor
When the party sent a bottle of the antidote to Dafron, they included a second bottle with instructions to drink that as well, to make the cure permanent. In fact, the second bottle would have no effect save to turn the imbiber's skin blue for a few days.
A slight continuity glitch here -- the original notes (see session #86 in Part One of the collected Story Hour) stated that the potion would turn Dafron purple, not blue. But "Lord Purpleface" would have just sounded silly, of course. ;)

Sagiro, I remain in awe of your ability to bring back old plot threads and integrate them into the current story without any hint of railroading. In this installment alone, we have three old threads coming back into focus in an entirely natural and believable way. Firstly, there's Lord Dafron being behind the current assassination attempts on the party. Then, that mysterious warning from the Crosser's Maze to Aravis about Parthol's simulacrum (session #121 of Part One) is now revealed as coming from the part of Aravis left behind in the Maze when he gave it up. (Interestingly, something along these lines was speculated by various people at the time.)

Finally, and most satisfying of all, the solution to the mystery of Grawly and Thewana is revealed, and it explains what's happened to Tor as well -- just brilliant! Although I suspect that in this line, you meant Aravis rather than Kibi...
Kibi just looks confused. “What are you talking about? What throne? Who’s Thewana?”
...since Kibi took part in the battle with Davarian, and certainly knew Thewana.

It sent me thinking back to that confrontation with Solomea in the Crosser's Maze (session #109), where the party were given a list of eight questions, from which they could pick one to be answered:
1. Why did Califax warn you not to trust Praska?
2. Why are people trying to kill Grey Wolf?
3. Who killed Grawly and Thewana?
4. Why are rats and ravens attacking Aravis, and why do cats think he’s “like a cat”?
5. Where is the body of Sagiro Emberleaf?
6. What is the purpose behind the schemes of the Sharshun?
7. What is the full meaning of Step’s poem?
8. Who is ‘P’?
In the event, the party chose to ask for the answer to question #8, which alerted them to the threat from Parthol Runecarver. But in each of the other cases (except for #1, which I don't think has been answered at all, and #4, where we have some clues, but not yet a full answer), it's possible to see how, had the party chosen that question at this pivotal moment, they would have received information that would have sent the story off in a different, but equally satisfying direction. A really masterful piece of plotting.

On another note, the Collected Story Hour site has finally been updated with the latest chapter of the Company's adventures. This is Chapter 1 of Part Three -- I decided (with Sagiro's approval) that the Company's return to Tal Hae after restoring their proper timeline was a good point to mark a second major division in the story. I've slightly reworked the formatting of the end of Part Two so that it reaches a natural stopping point, so anyone who's previously downloaded that last chapter (Chapter 9 of Part Two) may want to grab it again for completeness' sake.
 

Sagiro

Rodent of Uncertain Parentage
A slight continuity glitch here -- the original notes (see session #86 in Part One of the collected Story Hour) stated that the potion would turn Dafron purple, not blue. But "Lord Purpleface" would have just sounded silly, of course. ;)
Well, yes, but it was a blueish purple. :p

Then, that mysterious warning from the Crosser's Maze to Aravis about Parthol's simulacrum (session #121 of Part One) is now revealed as coming from the part of Aravis left behind in the Maze when he gave it up. (Interestingly, something along these lines was speculated by various people at the time.)
This supposition, while logical and cool, is not necessarily correct. I would have had to know, way back then, that Aravis would leave a piece of himself in the Maze. While I've been able to anticipate some of the PC's actions, that would have been a feat of prognostication well beyond my means! (In fact, Aravis's decision took me completely by surprise.)

What going on with that vision/dream is, the piece of Aravis's mind in the Maze is having a conversation across the table with a mysterious benefactor, who looks like Aravis because that's the only way s/he is able to communicate with him. So, there are actually three "Aravises" involved:

1. The mind-fragment Aravis who's now loose in the Maze
2. The benefactor, also in the Maze, who uses Aravis's voice and likeness to communicate. This might actually be some aspect of Aravis, as time is somewhat meaningless in the Maze, or it might be someone else in the Maze who wants to help out.
3. The actual Aravis, not in the Maze, who (apparently) is receiving reports in vision/dream format from his wandering fragment.

Finally, and most satisfying of all, the solution to the mystery of Grawly and Thewana is revealed, and it explains what's happened to Tor as well -- just brilliant! Although I suspect that in this line, you meant Aravis rather than Kibi......since Kibi took part in the battle with Davarian, and certainly knew Thewana.
Correct. Good catch! Yeah, I'd been sitting on the Grawly/Thewana thing for a while, but they discovered it completely out of the blue. So, now they've added "rescue Tor from the Delfirians" to their huge to-do list.

It sent me thinking back to that confrontation with Solomea in the Crosser's Maze (session #109), where the party were given a list of eight questions, from which they could pick one to be answered:

1. Why did Califax warn you not to trust Praska?
2. Why are people trying to kill Grey Wolf?
3. Who killed Grawly and Thewana?
4. Why are rats and ravens attacking Aravis, and why do cats think he’s “like a cat”?
5. Where is the body of Sagiro Emberleaf?
6. What is the purpose behind the schemes of the Sharshun?
7. What is the full meaning of Step’s poem?
8. Who is ‘P’?
Right now, in real time, the game is about 20-25 runs ahead of the Story Hour. And as of today, the party pretty much knows everything about all the questions except for #7. (Though, technically, no one knows where Sagiro's body is now, or even if it exists at all!) And, on reflection, there are nuances of the Sharhsun's plots that the party doesn't understand, though it's safe to say that "changing time so the Emperor was never defeated" was far and away their main goal at the time the eight questions were presented. Of all the questions, that one -- #6 -- would certainly have had the most drastic effect on the game's ultimate direction.

On another note, the Collected Story Hour site has finally been updated with the latest chapter of the Company's adventures. This is Chapter 1 of Part Three -- I decided (with Sagiro's approval) that the Company's return to Tal Hae after restoring their proper timeline was a good point to mark a second major division in the story. I've slightly reworked the formatting of the end of Part Two so that it reaches a natural stopping point, so anyone who's previously downloaded that last chapter (Chapter 9 of Part Two) may want to grab it again for completeness' sake.
Thanks as always! Your .pdf's are still my most valuable tools in maintaining continuity and remembering details from years past.

-Sagiro
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
And as of today, the party pretty much knows everything about all the questions except for #7. [the full meaning of Step's poem]
Er, wait. I thought that in light* of what happened towards the end of the party's Het Branoi adventures, we did know what Step's poem meant.

* Get it? In light of? :p

Here is Step's poem; or technically... well, read on.

One Certain Step meets the party:
[sblock]Step had a dream some weeks ago about that he believes concerns the party: he saw a dense jungle, and a small bamboo hut hung over with vines; he saw a jet-black tower inside a ring of rock, with a gate of giant ribs; he saw two great swinging anvils, with small figures running between them; and he saw a huge black circle hanging in the air, with armies of evil pouring through them.

Still dreaming, he saw a scared text of Kemma, pages dry and cracked and long unused. He saw the book open, and words blazed out of them, but he could not read them. The next morning when he awoke, he went to the church library and found the book from his dream. In it he found an obscure poem whose meaning had never been gleaned, but which he believes is referring to the party.[/sblock]The poem itself:
[sblock]read the signs as the shadows flow
see a fearsome emerging foe
light must rive the last of five
but don't expect to come back alive

read the signs, you are not alone
those from lands that the foe called home
are fighting the war on a distant shore
to barricade the circle door

know them then by their mix of blood
man and holbytla and child of wood
know them each by their foreign speech
in the court of cats on the day of reach

tell them the door is close at hand
the foe can come forward in any land
his armies will roll through a skysteel hole
and turn their home to a bed of coal

go with them to your certain doom
and be the one in the lightless room
if the light will thrive you must contrive
to go with them to the last of five[/sblock]Everything in the poem seems to make sense, in the way of things once you know all the answers. (Which of course the players didn't at the time.) So what, if anything, remains to be explained?
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
On another note, the Collected Story Hour site has finally been updated with the latest chapter of the Company's adventures. This is Chapter 1 of Part Three -- I decided (with Sagiro's approval) that the Company's return to Tal Hae after restoring their proper timeline was a good point to mark a second major division in the story. I've slightly reworked the formatting of the end of Part Two so that it reaches a natural stopping point, so anyone who's previously downloaded that last chapter (Chapter 9 of Part Two) may want to grab it again for completeness' sake.
Wow. Steven I am impressed with the work you have put into archiving this story hour. Good work!
 

Sagiro

Rodent of Uncertain Parentage
Er, wait. I thought that in light* of what happened towards the end of the party's Het Branoi adventures, we did know what Step's poem meant.

* Get it? In light of? :p

Here is Step's poem; or technically... well, read on.

One Certain Step meets the party:
[sblock]Step had a dream some weeks ago about that he believes concerns the party: he saw a dense jungle, and a small bamboo hut hung over with vines; he saw a jet-black tower inside a ring of rock, with a gate of giant ribs; he saw two great swinging anvils, with small figures running between them; and he saw a huge black circle hanging in the air, with armies of evil pouring through them.

Still dreaming, he saw a scared text of Kemma, pages dry and cracked and long unused. He saw the book open, and words blazed out of them, but he could not read them. The next morning when he awoke, he went to the church library and found the book from his dream. In it he found an obscure poem whose meaning had never been gleaned, but which he believes is referring to the party.[/sblock]The poem itself:
[sblock]read the signs as the shadows flow
see a fearsome emerging foe
light must rive the last of five
but don't expect to come back alive

read the signs, you are not alone
those from lands that the foe called home
are fighting the war on a distant shore
to barricade the circle door

know them then by their mix of blood
man and holbytla and child of wood
know them each by their foreign speech
in the court of cats on the day of reach

tell them the door is close at hand
the foe can come forward in any land
his armies will roll through a skysteel hole
and turn their home to a bed of coal

go with them to your certain doom
and be the one in the lightless room
if the light will thrive you must contrive
to go with them to the last of five[/sblock]Everything in the poem seems to make sense, in the way of things once you know all the answers. (Which of course the players didn't at the time.) So what, if anything, remains to be explained?
I've said too much already. :devil:
 

Everett

Visitor
Everything in the poem seems to make sense, in the way of things once you know all the answers. (Which of course the players didn't at the time.) So what, if anything, remains to be explained?
No idea. But they wouldn't be visiting Thunder's stall if there were nothing left to discover about Step's story line, now would they?

And WHY, oh why do cats think Aravis is "like a cat"? Been waiting years for it.
 

Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
The fight in the inn was spectacular, a ludicrous avalanche of desperate tactics. Ernie and Flicker were in the -20s or -30s for hit points, but the daggers that the assassins used kept the victim alive and unconscious at that point.

Interesting fact: I seem to remember that Dranko got sick at Saum Derry's because I remembered, and failed, the poison's secondary effect a minute later. It brought his constitution (or maybe strength? I forget) down to single digits or zero, enough that I think I was going to die as soon as a buffing spell wore off. They really got our attention.
 

Aravis

Visitor
Doesnt Aravis have 7th level spells?

I was always under the impression that by this point standard operating procedure fro your average group of (justifiably) paranoid high level adventurers was to always sleep in a MMM.
Aside from what Sagiro has already posted on this, Aravis does not have the MMM spell.
 

Piratecat

Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
And we're bitter about it. He's such a slacker, I swear. In fact, when we played last night and slept overnight in a rope trick, Flicker was complaining about this very thing.
 

Aravis

Visitor
And we're bitter about it. He's such a slacker, I swear. In fact, when we played last night and slept overnight in a rope trick, Flicker was complaining about this very thing.
Okay, Okay! I feel really bad now. I promise, I will learn MMM and use ALL of my 7th, 8th, and 9th level slots for it...you know, just to make up for being such a slacker and a selfish lout.


;)
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
Sagiro: "The massive army of extraplanar ickiness swarms towards you, and--"
Aravis: "I cast magnificent mansion. We all pile in."
Sagiro: "But... the bad guys..."
Aravis: "Screw them. We're comfy in here."
Sagiro: "Uh... fine. Eventually you'll have to come out."
Aravis: "I've got 8 copies of it prepared. I'll just keep recasting them every couple hours, one inside the other*, then resting and refreshing spell slots. We're safe in our infinite recursion of mansions and there's nothing you can do about it."
Sagiro: "Nooooooo! All my years of work, wasted!"



* In all seriousness, I don't see anything in the spell description that says you can't do this. Other than the fact that it's suuuuper cheesy.
 

Aravis

Visitor
* In all seriousness, I don't see anything in the spell description that says you can't do this. Other than the fact that it's suuuuper cheesy.
Now that I have stopped laughing, that sure would get that look from Sagiro that we sure do enjoy.

It does beg the question about what happens to an extra-dimensional space when the extra-dimensional space that it was cast within goes away...I am sure the answer can be found in Onions...
 

Davek

Visitor
Now that I have stopped laughing, that sure would get that look from Sagiro that we sure do enjoy.

It does beg the question about what happens to an extra-dimensional space when the extra-dimensional space that it was cast within goes away...I am sure the answer can be found in Onions...
I think as DM I would allow it, but when the party finally does exit the last MMM they would not be where they started (some random extradimensional place)
 
It does beg the question about what happens to an extra-dimensional space when the extra-dimensional space that it was cast within goes away...I am sure the answer can be found in Onions...
If memory serves, doesn't placing one extra-dimensional space inside another cause both to be destroyed, and form a vortex into the Astral Plane? :p
 

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