We start with Queen Nevla and the angelic Ashima-Shimtu locked in an embrace
(aside do NOT google female angel in chains unless you want a lot of NSFW Images)
Manuel is distracted by the realisation that Ashima-Shimtu has learned the first person pronoun, but William and Ulvaar notice something strange happening
One of the Gnolls behind Pemberton turns Fuzzy then changes his shape to that of a Bewhiskered Red Kobold. Who launched into his speech
“Reneagade Tyrants should consider that others may be able to hijack their replicant links Fortunatly it is I El Extrano who has found this weakness and not your slow witted enemies. The box labelled bomb is your bedchamber is not an assasination attempt but a demonstration of kobold ingenuity.
No Fuming dragons should show patience. I am reporting from my study of the Ob forces on Axis Island. My agents and I have assembled a network of spying Purple frogs who arrived here from Mojang prior to the ritual , they have formed a hive mind and while we were not able to win them over with culinary conviction we revealed tp them the horrors of Danoran cuisine and they have done good work for us
Once our Canoodeling monarch and Incendiary capitalist are ready I will present their findings to you"
Catching the performance Manuel resists the temptation to applaud, A few minutes later Nevla and Ashima-Shimtu are paying attention again and their briefing on the defenses of Axis island begins
The Harbour fort has been reinforced with Lantern cannon and heavy gun batteries both for anti-shipping and anti-dragon use, and smaller batterries of guns have been set up around the coast one of which will be in the way of the airships approaching the Ritual site, The island is defended by Drakran wards but Kiov Hetman helped design them and can defeat their protections but except for a very stealthy approach they will still warn of intruders.
The Ritual site itself is protected by a pair of Lantern cannon turrets each surrouned by Anti-Dragon cannon on either side of the ritual site, outside of the range of the tendril of planar energy. Overhead six airships patrol one Squadron revolution, Liberte and Equality are commanded by Han the other 3 Ajax, Achilles and Agamenmon are under the command of Lya. On the ground three detchments of troops patrol
Danoran troops , a Battallion of Steam Tanks supported by shotgun armed tankrider suicide troops desperate to prove their value to society
Drakran Troops Tripod combat walkers with small lantern cannon and Ragnorak commando's in steam suits with maxim guns defending the forts, they have Frost Giant Auxiliaries with them
Beran troops. the Storm Bulls and famed Beran mercenary group of Kinetic Knight minotaurs wielding the power of their ancestor
A quick plan is hatched the SEAL team and some Kobold commando's will take down the coastal fortification , while the cloud bombers distract the main fortress. Then Cula and the Vekeshi along with most of the Pala monks and the last of El Extrano's troops will take out the lantern cannon at the Ritual site.
Tzertse will deal with the Frost giants they will follow him and change sides.
The assorted aerial units lead by Pemberton and his dragon fliers will then attack the other ground forces as necessary to keep them from intefering in the ritual, El Kevin will lead the dragon fliers while Pembertons daughter has been grounded in a locked room to make sure she does not join this fight.
The team asks questions and discovers that Kasavarina is onboard Lya's flagship and that there have been several arguements between Lya , Han and Nicodemus which suggests to them that Lya is not entirely onboard with the current Ob plan. They also discover that a Frog overheard an arguement about the use of Regulus between Nic and Han from which they conclude Nic is going with the Clockwork plan, they consider this insane as it is morally wrong and they fear that Outsiders and beings from other planets in the system would not be bound into the script and would be free to wreak Havoc.
They plan to sneak in and meet with Lya somehow , persuade her to defect and then have her try and convince Han to stand down. While they are debating this Nevla hits on the idea of using Share Memory to share their knowledge of all of Nic's questionable actions including ordering the destruction of Cherage and other cities, then decides that rather than just doing that with Han or Lya they should go big and use her remaining Miracle spell to share the memories with all of the people on Axis island to give them a real choice about standing with the Ob. They also hope this will mean less fighting with the Ob forces and Heroes should try to avoid killing people, and this gives a real chance to persuade the rank and file troops to stop fighting.
Manuel will sneak onto the island under a Mind Blank cast by Athrylla with the rest of the team inside the Absurdist web, when he is hidden in the forest beneath the Ajax he will take Nevla out of the web and she will use a spell to move them and the web onto it's bridge. There they will secure the loyalty of Lya and Kasavarina before trying the Miracle to win over everyone else.
Part 2 Endgame the Battle of the Ritual coming after I debug an SSIS Package
Before starting their was one last ally who had to choose her path, Ashima-Shimtu was torn she offered to stay and fight alongside Nevla but also thought that she could be of value seeking out Heavenly allies to bring back to help the team. Nevla decided she should go and try to bring back allies, and Nevla would be here when she got back with a final embrace Ashima-Shimtu planeshifted to find allies.
Then Manuel Master of the night took advantage of the world being in perpetual night and crept onto Axis Island, with a stealth total ovr 80 nothing on the island could percieve him , not even the ground beneath his feet noticed his passage. Soon he was beneath the Ajax and Nevla was removed from the Web and used a Spiralling Ascent spell to appear on the bridge of the Ajax alongside Manuel. On the bridge where Lya and Kasavarina, some of the crew started to produce weapons but Lya gestured for them to stand down, she asked why Nevla was here and Nevla explained they had a plan to complete the ritual and thought that Nic was going to implement some sort of crazy Watchmaker solution, after a moments pause Lya agreed that she could no longer follow Nicodemus the Ob had turned much darker than the group she had supported. Kasavarina stepped forward and breifly hugged the reincarnation of her daugher, Manuel noticed she was pocketing the components for her Chain lightning spells as she did so , apparently if Lya had not backed Nevla she had been ready to help.
As Lya agreed to aid them Nicodemus awoke Bourne
“Borne my boy,” Nicodemus says, and his voice is heard by everyone in the
entire world. “We were sabotaged, but you were perfect, indomitable. Before you
fell, you nearly completed our grand design.
“The world we created truly is better, thanks to you, but outside forces were able to move against us.
I have restored you, son. I know you are confused and have questions, but you have
to trust me. Together, you and I, we’ll finish this ritual and set it all right. Do you understand, Borne?”
The colossus turns his head to scan the entire horizon. He pauses at the
sight of the Gyre, but only a moment passes before he narrows his eyes in a
“Guide me, father.”
The players were dismayed by this but they had a contingency plan, Grappa was on the Coaltongue, the prime philospher of the Sons of Pala was on standby and they had Bourne's mother Kasavarina onside. They had to at least persuade Bourne to stand aside or help because they needed one of their ships to move the seal and it could not do so while avoiding Bourne.
Nevla cast her Miracle including Bourne in the targets, she carefully crafted the stream on memories to show how Nicodemus was responsible for the state of the world, his order to destroy cities, his murder of fellow conspirators, his histroy of treacherously decieving Kasavarina everything to show his allies he was a scheming villain no longer the once enlightened philospher he pretended to be, also she shared the groups dream of a better world and freedom for all and asked them to stand aside and let them save the world.
As she did so Kasavarina flew out to hover near Bourne and begged him to join them and build a world worthy of his efforts and sacrifices. Nevla's miracle flowed the new memories into Bourne and he turned to look at Nicodemus "Father is this True"
“Son, don’t listen to them. I made you, and you trust me. It’s
a damned combat, Borne, not time to discuss the nuances of
philosophy. I can hear them, son. Millions of people crying out
for you to save them! We finish this now.”
“Order. Justice. That’s what I’m creating. Selfishness will no
longer destroy what is good when free will is no more. People
will be moral because they’ll have no choice. For a thousand
years, chaos will be no more, and when the watch’s hand winds
down, yeah, then I’ll give these worthless people their freedom
back. But they won’t know suffering. I’ll have been their god,
one who can truly answer their prayers, who won’t have to let
evil into my world. I’m creating heaven, where no man will fear
tyranny. Whatever empty value you place on ‘free will’ pales to
the paradise this world will be.”
Bourne paused then turning his back on his Father he said "Mother , I will aid your allies , let us build a better world"
Han's airships launced white signal rockets the signal for his forces to stand down.
On the ground below there were some brief struggles as Ob loyalists were restrained by their fellows. Nic stood alone
"Fools all of you. You are unworthy of a better world , you have no vision petty squabbles and short sighted goals , I will build a better world You will not stop my, I and my allies will make this world worthy of my efforts"
The players were wandering what allies when ......
Dimensional portals opened up and the Shining legion began to deploy out onto Axis Island Lord Oswyn the magnificent in charge , flanked by Generals Marcus and Grumblejack. Marcus pointed his sword at Ulvaar and announced he had come for Ulvaar's soul (Interestingly Marcus is the former PC of Ulvaar's player).
At this point they linked with their selves from the Gyre and Ulvaar knew who Marcus was and why Marcus hated him.
The former Ob forces began to organise themselves to resist the Legion as the Coaltongue and Queen Nevla arrived to provide fire support accompanied by Pembertons Dragonfliers. Pemberton himself in his true draconic form lead the formation, Lord Kulp and Harkover launched themselves in Draconic form to take positions on his wing. William was heard to say if he gets killed in this fight we'll owe him a ressurection.
William and Manuel headed down to the ritual sight as between them they could manage all the difficult combinations of planar icons, Xambria and Livia Hatfield accompanied them as advisors which got them the maximum bonus for helpers I was allowing. Ulvaar flew off to one side away from everyone else so Marcus and his fear aura would not bother anyone else and challanged Marcus to come and get him. Kasavarina squared off with Nic and Nevla challanded 'Ozy' and moved to attack him, all agreed Oswyn hated disrespect and so fixed his attentions on Nevla.
While the allied force fough the legion Bourne and the ritual team raced to get the ritual completed before the Legion could break past their allies and intefere.
I was running this in an abstract manner strictly speaking it would take several rounds for each Piller to be changed , but that would mean the fights with the enemy commanders would end long before the ritual was done so it was one round of combat per pillar.
Ulvaar and Marcus was a slugging match, Ulvaar had more hit points but Marcus hit harder and the two hammerred away at each other. Nevla hit Ozy with an Implosion spell which failed and in return took a harm and a Destruction spell which hurt her.
Manuel juggled Gloriana, Celestia and Dunkelveiss carefully while Bourne shifted the pillar, as it was reseated three more portals opened from the first emerged the Lifeguard cavalry of Gloriana (In armoured cars), accompanied by the Grenadier guards and some artillery above them was the Gloriana dreadnought HMS Warspite with the magic of the Queen glowing from it. The second portal released three large and powerful Imperial dragons accompanied by a company of Iron Golems and a few Adamantine golems from Celestia. Both of these forces moved to attack the Legion and protect the ongoing ritual, from Dunkelveiss a Single eagle came through carrying Eriana the dwarven bard who moved to encourage her love Ulvaar.
Lya is seen duelling a Pit fiend atop the Ajax , while the Libery burns, the Airships are escorting the Risuri flying battleships which are beset on all sides by flying devils and a dogfight whirls around them as the Dragons and Dragonflyers aid the mighty ships. The ships pummel the Legion ground forces with Silver and Cold-Iron laces shells from their massive main guns.
Nevla used a mass Heal on herself, Ulvaar , Marcus and any incidental allies in range. Ozy hit her with more spells and they noticed a female devil coming to his aid, his paramour a Wizard devil of signinfigant power.
Ulvaar and Marcus exhanged blows.
Nicodemus stopped attacking Kasavarina
Nic groans in confusion, “Who are you? Get out of my mind!”
Then his voice changes slightly. “I’m who you should have been. We
opposed the holy war because the hierarchs cared more about victory
than following any sort of moral code. Now you’re just like them, and
just as blind. Our arrogance caused the Malice. You should have been
horrified by what you’d done, but you were too proud to stop fighting.
Well dammit, I’ve spent five centuries with the ghosts of those you
killed. Feel what they lost.”
He stumbles and screams,
snaps free of his confusion. His posture
changes to guarded optimism. Miller, now in control of the ghostly body,
calls to the party. “I have only a moment. For now he’s overwhelmed,
and I’ve ended his link to the sacrament. Quickly, destroy me. I don’t
have time to apologize for it all, but I can help you stop him. Kasavarina I am sorry”
With his defenses down Kasavarina hits him with Chain Lightning and his spirit disperses .
Nevla his hit with wracking ray's which leave her almost helpless.
Manuel finishes the Air Pillar with Hendreiki and Winghome, as the Pillar slides into position he see's a third icon appear and is confused for a moment. Three portals open from the first a flight of Dragons emerges and tears into the Ob Horde, from the second a force of Flying barbaric warriors lead by a women with what looks like a Blazing star on her forehad emerge and attack the flying devils from the second a nearly naked redskinned women riding a castle sized giant Crimson Mutant bat emerges which starts to feast on Devils while the woman casually slaughters any which come in reach. None of the pc's have any idea who these last ones are they did not come from any Gyre plane they remember
Nevla heals herself and is hit by more wrackign rays, level drain and the Wizard hits her with a Meteor storm, she is hurt
Kasavarina moves to help her but is attacked by Grumblejack and is unnable to reach her.
Ulvaar and Marcus pound each other, both are hurting
William and Manuel seat the fire pillar , there are no suprises this time Etheax and Wulfendyne are in place. Two giant Airships the size of a town emergy Castle Wulfenberg and Castle Hetrodyne, the second one has more Death Rays than cannon it also cackles maniacally as its guns annihlate devils.
Most of the Danoran airships are down by now, Lya stands atop the Queen Nevla duelling a pair of Pit Fiends
William and Manuel set up the Water Planes, this is the last one Manuel will be doing as for the important Life plane and Tricky time plane slot they will be calling on Williams ability to roll a 20 on demand via the powers of the Medium.
Ulvaar and Marcus fight hard , Ulvaar is hanging on the edge of defeat.
Nevla burns her last Heal spell to recover and is hit for more damage by Ozy and his henchwizard who tries to place her internal organs in Canopic Jars, she too is on the backfoot. Fortuantly neither Nevla or Ulvaar actually need to win these fights they are buying time for the ritual team.
Kasavarina and Grumblejack continue their dance, while fighting rages around the field, the defenders are being forced back towards the ritual site and have taken considerable casualties.
As the Water plane pillar is set in place more reinforcements arrive a regiment of Vampiric knights from Bathory supported by several vampiric nuns they stop a break through from the Legions forces.
William takes the lead on connecting to the planes of life calling on the Kings of Risur to role him a 20
Ulvaar gets hit hard by Marcus and goes down hard, Nevla rushes over to heal him as she does so she takes a savage hit from Ozy's spells (I believe another Destruction spell) and would have taken a Polar Ray and a Death clitch from the Wizard but Cula who has been fighting nearby takes the hit for her and goes down hard, her loyalty to Kasavarina lasting unto death.
The connections to the plane of Life form and portals open King Thasraldion rides onto the battlefield accompanied by a force of Treants and Anthropormorthic badgers riding War Hedgehogs, while a Mariarchi band accompanied by Skeletal cheerleaders and the King and Queen of Iretha Ket arrive providing bardic support to all of the none devil forces.
Nevla casts a spell of healing flames which helps bring Ulvaar back merely to the edge of death , it also causes Marcus to withdraw to Oswyn for healing , Kasavarina moves to protect Nevla . In the mean time William with the help of the others forces a 20 and connects to the chosen planes of time a very hard task . The last of the reinforcements they are expecting arrives as they connect to Evermeet and Ascetia. Galadrial the guardian from Evermeet arrives and kills a pair of Pit Fiends.
A pair of Pit fiends charge into the ritual site and are engaged by William and Padme while Manuel handles the Space column, Ulvaar is still dead, Nevla is trying to avoid joining him while the battle rages around them
Manuel finishes the plane of Death Amrou and they hope that it's protective effects will start to discourage the Shining legion
Finally Bourne flips over the Seal , finishing the Ritual however the odds still look bad with freindly forces having sufferred heavy losses and Legion reinforcements continuing to arrive.
As the Sun rises there is the sound of heavenly trumpets and in the sky overhead a host of angels arrives, lead by two figures one of which is quicky recognised as Ashima-Shimtu the second appears to be one of the Heavenly Gods of War Iomedea a god often honoured in name at least by the clergy.
Oswyn see's the new arrivals and orders an immediate retreat with the cry "God on the field " , as the legion Plane shift out so does the heavenly host leaving just Ashima-Shimtu who flies down to land besides the batterred Nevla.
And a new age of the world dawns.
We will be doing a wrap up next week, but after 32 months (less a six month excursion into Star Wars) the campaign is over.
A pair of pitfiends charge into the ritual area and are intercepted by William and Padme , Manuel is easily able to finish the last
(Written while you were posting your last comment)
Man, I remember one Thanksgiving in high school getting together with two friends, intending to play Battletech all weekend. One guy who would be referee set up plans for a 'planetary invasion,' with each side having a regiment of over 100 mechs, and various objectives, and then the other two of us would be the generals commanding the two sides.
In the first engagement where the dropships tried to establish a beach head, we had something like 12 mechs and various tanks and helicopters on either side. Due to a quirk of weapon loadout, most of the heaviest mechs had short-range brawling weapons, so they ended up in a nasty massive confusing scrum a few hexes from one of the dropships.
My friend/opponent decided to focus fire on one of my mechs. The way the game works, you decide who's shooting what - for each and every unit on the field - and then you resolve all the shots. He ended up rolling far better than expected, and did a massive amount of overkill damage.
At which point the referee pulled out the rarely-used section in the book about, "fusion reactors going critical if they are destroyed in one round."
We spent the next hour resolve a chain reaction. The mech's engine exploded in a nuclear fireball. That blast hit several mechs nearby that were already damaged. Some of that damage set off ammo explosions which proceeded to obliterate those mechs, which triggered a cascade of more nuclear explosions. Each one was . . . relatively pretty small - just three hexes (300 feet) - but by the end of the chain reaction, 7 mechs had been obliterated in an instant.
Then we realized we hadn't been recording damage to the dropship, because in Battletech you basically never attack dropships; they're too valuable. The ref, though, found the stats, and we figured out that um, yeah, it was gonna go boom too. And its engine was way bigger.
We had maybe three rounds of combat total before half the battlefield vaporized. That kind of took the wind out of our sails to finish the campaign. Demoralized invaders fled.
I'm glad your combat has a happier ending. However, whatever CG artists are going to be animating that for the film version will shake their fists at you.
We finished it in a normal evening session about three hours. The players spent less time plotting than I expected and we were moving along fairly quickly as all none pc action was narrative rather than mechanical, I had plans to split over 2 sessions but becasuse it became clear to me that Ulvaar and Nevla were going to be out of action about the time they got taken out I decided to not draw things out and let it come to an end/
The players enjoyed it and have ideas for what they want to do to shape the future.
I used to play a lot of Battletech, I think the engine explosion rule came out after my last campaign (nearly 30 years ago) but I looked at it and said this rule will ruin any campaign by blowing everything up. It seems I was right. I also backed the clan invasion kickstarter heavily and have around a hundred plastic battlemechs due at some point and a dropship so I will have to start playing it again.
I changed the structure of the battle a lot because my players had done a lot of work on the diplomacy side, I am glad I had planned on that because the Miracle to speak to everyone would have short circuited a lot of fighting anyway. I had the legion lined up partly to explain some of Nic's downslide to evil and largely to ensure some sort of climatic opponent. I also speeded up the time to change out each pillar as otherwise no pc could sustain high level combat long enough for the ritual to be done.
I determined planar complications by rolling a dice for each plane and on a 1 or 20 it had some unexpected complication and I rolled to see what other plane it effected.
Hendreiki rolled a random complication with itself so I had it create a world for the Cultural enemies of its people from the setting I stole it from, the Red Moon of Peloria which is where the Crimson Bat and Jar-Eel the Razoress came from.
Bathory rolled a complication with Dunkelveiss so Beer can now provide a large proportion of a Vampires nutrition, Vampire brewers are expected.
There was also a complication between Bathory and Gloriana which the players will discover in the wrap up.
Due to an emphasis on Earth and Air planes over water the global sea level is going to drop a couple of meters and Birds are getting larger. They also had a lot of life energy so people and animals tend to be healthier and live a bit longer.
Ordered civisilations and advenced technology are themes with a tendency towards individual human rights and liberties.
Hi it is the infamous Bat Manuel (who is the night) who has now been granted access to these forums as we have just finished and had the dramatic conclusion. I'm planning to read this through and possibly comment on the more lunatic ideas we had.
I would like to thank RangerWickett for writing a truly excellent campaign, which covered characters from 1st to 20th level and gave them an increasing role in a complex changing game world. Thanks to your campaign I took the concept of 'Batman, but with poor social skills and the ridiculous "non-lethal" guns from Arkham Knight and all the Bat Mobiles in the movies' and developed him into a kindly academic, desperate to make a better, fairer world. A Goblin who was torn between his love of spectacular weaponry and his desire not to hurt anyone. A character still not fully able to reconcile his role as a policeman, academic and pillar of the realm with his deep-seated knowledge the best way to fight crime and improve the world was to dress as a bat and use (non-lethal) artillery on low-level street crime.
I would also like to thank Andrew for running it very well and tolerating my frank abuse of the bludgeoner feat to create "less lethal" guns, the abuse of the Steamsuits Str 60 large size carrying capacity to create a 100 ton mobile heavy weapons platform, me stealing all the tasty 1920s Ordnance from the pathfinder "Reign of Winter" campaign for personal use, generous misuse of the Goblin Gunslinger feat to wield huge firearms while in a large mechasuit, frank abuse of the stealth rules to get base +61 stealth while in a steam powered Mecha, and putting up with of the occasional 5 page document on planar configuration planning. You tolerated a lot of enthusiastic silliness and rebuilt all the encounters to put up with some very optimised / horribly power gamed builds.
Also the Nock Gun is now something I will attempt to squeeze into any campaigns with firearms, as a Huge Greater Vital striking Nock Gun is a thing of terrifying beauty expressed in 48d8 dice of damage. (7d6 medium nock gun, + 2 dice step to 12d8 huge nock gun, x 4 damage for greater vital strike feat). I cherished every occasion I got to fire it
I applaud any munchkin-ing that does not annoy the other people in the game.
I'll always remember you declaring you were the night while in the Dreaming, and reality agreed so hard that the sun set.
In the original campaign I ran that inspired this adventure path (waaaaay back in 2004), one PC played a halfling in a mecha suit who got into a battle with Tinker Oddcog, but his character had just decided to betray the party and join the Ob. When the party found out and turned on him, he triggered his suit's "escape glider" which launched an ejector sea that could fly away. But they were indoors, so he ended up braining himself against the ceiling.
I'm glad your mecha PC had a longer shelf life.
Also, I'm honestly astounded that out of all the maybe ten different ZEITGEIST campaigns that I've seen people post about, only two PCs ever decided to join the Ob.
I did enjoy being the night, till around 5th level I was mainly the late afternoon, the early evening and the early night (suitable for workdays). Having Av go along with me was something Andrew did incidentally at first, which was surprising. Then we ended up using it strategically while doing an Agatha Chrisite reveal for the murder of Rock Rackus.
The non-static technology development in the game was great, as generally most campaigns and game worlds have tech that never moves in game time.
I think the most eccentric thing Manuel had on his steam suit an Espresso Machine and later a Mithril Waffle Iron, because it was on an equipment list and too ridiculous not to own. He enjoyed making Coffee and Waffles for various NPC's during the game and I had flavour texted his Alchemist Mutagens and Cognatogens as particularly strong coffee. He did look into ghost touch waffles at one point as he felt Nicodemus might just have ghost blood sugar problems and would possibly of calmed the hell down and listened to reason after a nice waffle or two.
The Hotchkiss 6lb Naval gun, Aasen Mortar, Rocket Grenade array, and Maxim gun where just the proper and necessary accessories for crime fighting. Although Mustard Gas (after the bit in the Bruces throne room) was vetoed by the university ethics commission
I would have liked a glider, or possibly a giant bat housing for my riding dire bat, but poor roger rapidly became a liability after about 7th level so I was largely not around for the Goblin Mecha stage of the game. I also failed to find a practical way of making the Mecha weightless for easy and dramatic deployment via dire bat.
I think the Ob's offer is not that good within context of the game. Starting as RHC constables starts the PC's as probably Lawful or Good with an initial loyalty to Risur. While Risur is not a perfect kingdom, most of its problems (poor working conditions, inequality, lack of democratic agency for citizens) are the default for most RPG Kingdoms. The RHC and Risur NPC's we encountered seemed reasonable people working for the common good of the the Kingdom. So there was nothing to undermine loyalty to this group.
Conversely our first experience of the Ob was them releasing Slijin, and generally trying to kill people and subvert our government. Which left a bad first impression, as did the later lamp and train based murder attempt. So they make a bad first impression relative to Risur.
The Ob conclave is very interesting and the point where I suspect people would debate turning. However, "do nothing to the ancient ritual that defines the world" still seems to be the best option at this point for any predominantly Good or Lawful characters. As it was presented to us there was no suspicion it needed to be changed or it was failing, merely that it could be changed. So while the Ob presented many interesting options (Millers Pyre, Panarchists) the risk to everyone on the planet appeared to far out weigh the benefit at this point. Also the Colossus & Watchmaker factions looked like a dangerous threat to the world.
Nicodemus clearing house by killing the Ob faction backing Colossus also did him no favours, it was an abrupt and merciless massacre using the ghost council, While it may have been for good intentions, it was the act of a merciless tyrannical monster and pretty much ended our sympathy for him. From that point Nicodemus had to go, if we could get an Ob run be Han or Leia we would consider working with them. But Nick was out a that point, an obsessive undead monster we could not trust to his word.
After the Ob's ritual failed and the Sun went out we attempted to approach them diplomatically. Our principle objection to there aims was disturbing the ancient ritual was dangerous, which was now both proven and a moot point. While we did not trust Nick we felt we might be able to work with the rest of the Ob to get the sun working again and deal with the hive mind problems. We even managed to meet the ghost of Leia and persuade her to accept a true resurrection from us. As we wanted her in a potential position to counter Nick and she could not do this as a ghost council member under his control. Unfortunately Nick appeared to be having a full screaming meltdown at this point and would not talk with us. So we where left with opposing him and attempting to convert the Ob to our goals.
The Ob conclave did very much inform our planar planning. We ended up building a variant of Panarchists & Williams Pyre, with a config using Fourmyle and Ostea to personally empower people, and Aretha Ket, Etherax and others to help people to be more tolerant of others. The extra planes Andrew added here where very useful. In keeping with the Panarchists, I did attempt to build Thrag into something so we could build a world where people did not need to fear death (what better equality and safeguard against tyranny?) but the other PC's where not persuaded.
I think if the conclave emphasised that the ancient ritual was failing and a replacement needed to happen in a short time frame we would have been more tempted by the Ob. Likewise if Nick had been gentler in purging the Ob at the end of the conclave (maybe imprisoned till after the ritual was done or just offered surrender) he would have retained our sympathy. The Ob was a odd mix of idealists and cynical pragmatists which made an interesting opponent. Although they should just have stopped with Bourne, as a 178,000 ton robot is a better achievement than most bad guys ever get.
See what I've had to cat herd...? dramatic eye roll
Anyhow, I've been playing Nevla, currently skimming through this thread; thanks for writing this RW, and for Andrew (I can imagine the GM cackling already from some of the early thread I have got through so far...)
And so a new age of the world(s) began , these are some of the consequences
As the new configuration of planets settled in those most involved in the process were able to channel some of the released energy to gain a wish effect.
Ulvaar Wished that his domain as a fey titan and duke of Risur would blessed with wise and compassionate leaders even after he inevitably moved away from the day to day leadership of the domain
William Wished that his domain as a fey titan and duke would always benefit from the wisdom of the monarchs of Risur to guide its leaders in their duties.
Manuel Wished for help in his project to unite magic and technology and as a result help the world progress with a union of magic and technology rather than the current divisions between the two.
Nevla Wished for the return of the Eladrin women to go smoothly , avoid conflicts and help the other refugee’s from the current unpleasantness
-El Kevin of course wished to become a Dragon, and indeed he did become a dragon, of course given his age he was not yet an impressive dragon
Bourne I was persuaded that Bourne should also get a wish having been heavily involved in the ritual. Bourne wished to be reborn and was reborn as the son of Kasavarina , the other golems created by the mindmaker also got the same option and were reborn as living people.
On returning to Risur the first event was a planned solemn burial of two empty coffins at sea, a small coffin which would be buried by the small folk Manuel, El Kevin and others , a Larger coffin carried by the other members of the team. It was at a solemn moment of the ceremony that Rock and his Harem climbed out of the Coffin after knocking and launched a massive musical affair and celebration of life instead of a solemn ceremony, even She Who Writhes joined in the Music. Rock would then depart on an interplanetary concert tour
Manuel checked in with Tinker and discovered he had vanished leaving behind his comprehensive notes on his many , many technoarcane schemes. The final notes seemed to be his investigation of smaller and smaller break downs of elements and their strange behaviours, this cut off in mid sentence. Over many years Manuel would realise that Tinker had discovered the basics of Quantum mechanics centuries ahead of his time and in this lay the true link between magic and technology.
Over time many engineers and scientists would thank Oddcog for breakthroughs and marvellous creations and it became clear that some of their prayers were being answered and eventually the Church of Oddcog would arise as the god of choice for technologists many considered that Tinker Oddcogs prophet was Manuel.
Returning to the palace Queen Nevla was surprised to discover that the annoying functionary who had tried to get her to make decisions about redecorating the royal apartments before her departure to Axis island had worked feverishly during her absence, avoiding being caught up under Ob control he had managed through dedication , hard work and some sort of mystical insight to produce apartments perfectly decorated to her requirements , including furniture modified to be comfortable to a winged being like Ashima-Shimtu. The functionary received a holiday and went on to become the premier interior designer and decorator in Risur making a fortune from his critically acclaimed work
State of Ber
In Ber the Bruse had resigned and retired to a country estate in Risur funded by his own money probably stolen from the state but at least his retirement avoided a civil conflict in Ber. Corta Nariz the Ork women the team had encountered while trying to recover Tinker from Ber had taken the government position and was working on reforming her nation. She sought to build a solid foundation for her country of laws, she wanted to make sure that when she was no longer Bruse her successor would be chosen by some sort of legal process. She wanted to move to democracy but feared tensions along racial lines would follow such a step.
She also sought to establish some sort of control over El Extrano and also the Executores dola Liberta for the latter seeking to bring in RHC advisors to help formalise their procedures and move them more to being a national police and anti-corruption task force.
These changes would be a struggle but the calmer and more altruistic attitudes of the people meant there was hope that Ber would mature as a nation.
State of Danor
In Danor Han Jierre has resigned and would eventually move to take up a post at the University of Philosophy and History on Ascetia. His successor as Soveriegn Lya Jierre was trying to deal with the complete discreditation of the political elite after their links to the Ob were made clear. She was seeking to revitalise the democratic process in Danor and had promised to step down after 10 years when she had a functioning democratic system working. Some areas along the borders with the Malice lands and the Dragon Isles were seeking to secede and eventually some of them would.
It would take time but when Lya stepped down Danor had returned to being a stable and prosperous nation although it lagged behind still in arcane matters.
State of Crissylr
Crissilyr was no more. The clergy had collapsed totally and many new religions each worshipping a single god has risen inspired by actual contact with their deities. However these new faiths could not match the unified political power of the old Clergy, a council of faiths did govern Alais Primos but outside of that there was no functioning government. Crissilyr fragmented into a patchwork of small states similar to those in the Malice lands. The land would be dominated by bad governance and border disputes for many years.
State of Drakr
Drakr recovered quickly their government system remained functional Vledheim Heid had been co-opted to run the government while new elections removed the discredited politicians from office, despite his best efforts he would remain Chancellor for 16 years before retiring to Ascetia. Drakr improved notably ,as the dour Dwarves became more cheerful under the influence of Dunkelveiss .
Along their border with the mountains of the Frost Giants a new realm ruled by Tzetse arose and became a sort of buffer state which kept the former champion of the undead times happy , busy and useful.
State of Elfaivar
Elfaivar was a bit of a mess but with power and potential. Their demographics problem had changed 180 degrees with the current population being nearly 80% female. The Crissilyan colonists were told to leave and over the next few years departed the nation, the Danoran colonists were able to reach a settlement and be absorbed into Elfaivar alongside the Risuri colonists.
A new tripartite monarchy was established forging permanent ties to Risur, Athrylla as crone represented the old guard, Sancia a general amid the reborn eladrin as mother and Nevla as the maiden governed the land and it was agreed that the monarch of Risur would always be one of the monarchs , aid from Risur helped rebuild the Eladrin nation and in return Eladrin magic helped improve matters in Risur as the nations slowly moved towards a merger. Part of this was build around the Eladrins desire to be strong and able to resist all future outside threats from the new planets, the beyond and anywhere else.
Kasavarina retired , she spent much time in Risur visiting her reincarnated daughter Nevla, raising her son Bourne and spending time with Luanga resurrected by Ashima-Shimtu’s powerful magics
With the support of Lya of Danor the blight of Eladrin slavery in Danor and Crissilyr was ended by the efforts of Eladrin soldiers and former Vekeshi assassins cooperating with the Danoran legal authorities
The Malice lands were improving greatly mercenaries and monster hunters wiped out the last of the great malice beasts and the nations were able to stabilise and improve their situation. Refugees from turmoil elsewhere , in particular Crissilyr and the Crissilyan colonies in Elfaivar settled here.
The Dragon Islands and Pemberton Industries
As per his agreement with Risur Pemberton took control of the Yerasol islands, those current inhabitants who wished to leave were bought out and moved to Danor or Risur. Many Gnolls from Ber moved to the islands and soon a fairly powerful state arose lead by Pemberton, and a harem of young red dragons from Wingover. As well as his daughter and son in law.
Pemberton industries would be active in Crissily and the Malice lands several of these smaller nations soon being dominated by Pemberton industries as part of a scheme to increase his power .
With Rock Rakhus along way away Harkover suggested that a royal wedding could be held without being upstaged by Rock and would allow several other relationships to be formalised in a grand ceremony which would be good for national morale
Nevla and Ashima Shimtu
Padme and William
Ulvaar and Erianna
Luc and Ottavia
Gale and Nilasa
Harkover and a lady Blue dragon who ran a network of public schools in Risur
Kevin and Teykfa
Drelft and Lauryn
The whole nation was able to witness the ceremony via the wonders of cinema as developed by Manuel. During his premier of the video he was tracked down the the triplet of goblin spies code name ‘Green Lady’ who had come to take him up on his offer of shooting lessions......
Publicly outed as a dragon Harkover became the permanent advisor to the monarch of Risur although with no legal power he would be available as a loyal voice fo wisdom and experience to the monarch
The Honeymoon and the fisherman
Ashima-Shimtu and Nevla departed for their honeymoon cruise onboard the Coaltongue as they did Nevla noticed an old Fisherman seated on the dock inside the secure area and ignored by all and recalled seeing the same man back when they first prevented the assasination of Aodhan (this is a retcon I did not think to actually have him there all that time ago). The old man raised his fishing rod in salute before walking away
Was now an Empyreal lord whose homeplane was this world, she was happily married to Nevla and became a god of Redemption. No matter what someones sins if he truly repented them he could find a path through her to redemption, often for those with impressive sins it was posthumous they would die seeking redemption and ascend to the heavens.
The first federation meeting
First meeting of the UFP- Council of 12. The new worlds had arranged their first meeting on the neutral ground of Pembertons Dragon Shield carrier but were determined to avoid that in the future. Twelve great powers were represented
Queen Nevla arriving on the Queen Nevla Dreadnought
For Hendreiki-- Kallyr Starbrow who flew in on a great Air elemental
For Peloria-- Jar-Eeel the Razoress who rode in on the great Crimson Bat
Gloriana-- Queen Gloriana (Elizebeth III) arrived on the newly built HMS Enterprise a carrier
Winghome-- Gwyneth the Silver dragon Knight
Wulfendyne-- Princess Zeetha and her assistant Higgs aboard a relatively small zeppelin
Av--- Beshala one of the wives of Rock Rackhus and part of the leading council of AV
Celestia-- Princess Xixi (Imperial Dragon)
Bathory -- Genevieve Du Point Du Lac Diudonne
Iretha Ket-- Queen Atchafalaya
Amrou-- Sargon of Uggat, whose father was the cupbearer of Ur-Zubaba,
Evermeet---- Galadrial who pointedly said she was not a diplomat but was here because the diplomats had not really woken up yet. She was keen to borrow some skilled bureaucrats to fix poor elven record keeping
Queen Nevla elected Chairperson of the Security Council among matters discussed where
Deplyment of peace keeping forces between HENDREIKI and PELORIA
Building a permanent diplomatic facility on Ascetia as well as the Babylon-12 orbiting station
Finally a military cooperation council was set up to discuss joint defense against Ghdim, Devils or other extraplanar threats.
The Ascetia University
The Monks of Caeloon set up a pair of universities on Ascetia . The university of Science and Magic , and the University of Philosophy and History. These universities served the post graduates of all the worlds. Manuel and the Lightning Weasel were prominent scholars in the Science department.
The University of Performing arts was founded on Iretha Ket of course.
The Distant Future
The Interplanetary constabulary
As travel grew among the new worlds so did interplanetary crime, smuggling and piracy. This lead to the formation of the interplanetary constabulary its first leader was Drelft , supported by key figures from other planets and nations including Kasavarina and Lya
The Next Monarch
Queen Nevla reigned for another seventy years , before she was guided to find her replacement with the next great crisis. An unanticipated interaction between Bathory and Gloriana had resulted in the creation of a vampiric conspiracy to take control of all of the nations of the system, the Camarilla lead by the Vampire demi-god Vivamort.
The conspiracy was thwarted by a team on Interplanetary constables
Bou-Vet Tiefling refugee from Danor and Vampire Slayer
Angel-- Vampiric Inquisitor from Bathory
Ivar Quickstep-- Hendreiki warrior and follower of the Death god Humakt
Mary Webster-- Glorianan Marine
Gimli-- Dwarven Fey Sorceror
Galadrial-- Elven Swamp Assassin
Bou-Vet (pronoucned BuuFeet) and Angel married and Bou-vet replaced Nevla as Queen after the defeat of the Camarilla, the last time that Nevla and her old colleagues took up arms to support their younger colleagues.
The Fate of our Heroes
His Duchy amidst the remains of the Voice of Rots domain grew up into a realm of culture set in tree houses amidst the forests and Bayou’s. He and Padme would rule for many years before stepping back from government in favour of one of their many children. They would continue to be a fading presence for centuries as more and more they were drawn into their role in the dreaming . The Duke of Duchess of their realm would almost always be a Medium channelling the spirits of the Monarchs of Risur to secure the prosperity of their realm.
His duchy amidst the mountains would likewise grow in prosperity and strength attracting immigrants from Drakr and becoming the second industrial center of Risur after Flint. He and Eriana ruled wisely until they stepped down in favour of the wisest of their children and remained an influence in the realm until their appearances grew less and less frequent as they were more and more dominated by the role of a Fey titan.
For the next several centuries Manuel trained the finest minds of a dozen worlds in Science and magic, his breakthroughs in these fields improved life for everyone and it was his discovery of the principles of the Drift drive which spread the people to the stars and earned Manuel his place in the heavens alongside Oddcog as one of the gods of science.
Retired to Elfaivar after her reign where she and Ashima-Shimtu tried to live quietly despite occasionally being dragged into interplanetary politics. She found herself becoming a mother figure to the Eladrin people and her old ties to Ssramma along with her close association with a demi-god lead to her gradually taking Ssraama’s place and becoming the Eladrin Fey goddess of Women.
Of course 1500 years later the planes were reset again and this time Manuels students had time to design properly complicated planar arrangements which could only be described using advanced planar calculus
That is thorough. And conveniently timed. I might snag one or two ideas to fit into the 5e setting book before we finalize the world's state after a 20 year time skip. (Though for the sake of adventuring, the canon version is a bit less rosy in the long-term; I'm glad we sort of agree that Crisillyir won't be doing so well.)
Congratulations on the grand game, and please let me know what your group gets up to in the future.
Man, I need to make a thread that compiles all the groups that have finished the campaign. I know there are at least 6 that posted here, but I wonder if any groups played it but never brag about it on EN World.
Feel free to take anything which looks fun. I cannot see anyway Crissylr comes out well the Clergy have been their nation for a thousand years or more and gets totally wrecked and discredited and there is no one to take their place. The family may do an acceptable job in an emergency for a short time but they are a criminal group and would make a horribly corrupt government in the longer term, I saw it a falling apart like the Soviet union at best, like Yugoslavia at worst. And if I was writing it as a campaign setting not a wrap up there would be many more problems, and I would have had to write the heroes out of the equation earlier.
The vampire conspiracy would be a planet hopping story of investigation and conspiracy ending up with facing down a demigod before he could drink the heartblood of Ostea and become a solar system devouring evil god on the scale of Rovogug.
We move onto an Ars Magica campaign set in Greece in something very similar to the historical year 1214 , and again of the PC Magi the only one with anything resembling social skills is the PC of the player of Nevla , although she can probably avoid becoming a monarch in this game.
Congratulations on finishing: @Andrew Moreton & players ! Thank you for archiving your adventures and sharing your opinions on this forum. I will be ruthlessly pillaging your ideas to fuel my own campaign.