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ZEITGEIST The affirmative action racial recruitment team of the RHC

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I forgot the interaction with the lost pyramid of Avilona , they received the Stargazer vision from Padme and immediately worked out it was a vision of the death of flight magic. Nevla remembered the Vekeshi initiation involving burning sacred fire into a mystics hands and was able to confirm that the hand seen in the vision had similar scars to her. They concluded this meant that it was probably Kasavarina who broke flight but could not decide it it was a deliberate attempt to screw the Dragons or some sort of accident, if it was deliberate they were uncertain if she was working for the Ob that long ago. Nevla believes the Ob deliberately broke flying to get the Daragons and hopes to use this to persuade Pemberton to hate the Ob.

Getting back to the attack on the pump room they opened up with Ulvaar hasting everyone, El Kevin launching a fireball which injured 6 archers and then Nevla charging in to use a detonate spell and kill those 6 archers, Manuel shot a priest and Padme moved towards the control panals on the catwalks.
The remaining Gnoll archers shot Nevla , and the Priest (reclassed as a kinetecist) blasted Manuel with fire which hurt, a second priest started the timer on the bomb.
El Kevin with Padme's help cut down the 1st priest and an archer, Ulvaar charged another archer wounding him and Nevla hit the last 3 with a Burst of radiance blinding them. The last priest blasted El Kevin with fire.
Manuel again shot a priest (his incendiary bullets were not doing as much as he hoped as the priests had a fair bit of fire resistance) , El Kevin ran forward and put 1 pistol round in the priest. Ulvaar dispatched the archers and Nevla ran up to the last priest and stabbed him with Padme arriving just after the priest went down, then the bomb went off flooding the room and electrocuting Manuel and El Kevin the rest being on the catwalks. El kevin dashed onto the catwalks picked a control panel at random and turned off the electricity.

They moved forward to Discover Kenna and the other hostages had been freed by Kobold Ninja commando's (I did not feel like throwing a wave of berserk Gnoll warriors and priests at them). So they pressed on and encountered the steam cart and duplicant head of Tinker, they somewhat carefully took the tram being careful to look out for traps. The conversation with Tinker did not get very far although Ulvaar took some offence about the Dwarf pet idea. When Pemberton took over the conversation they were polite but finally decided that they had to have Tinker and were not willing to try and sink the Beran fleet although Manuel had a bomb which he did not mention. Instead they pressed on to fact the music.

In a side conversation Manuel's player provided a convincing argument that Harkover should be a Blue dragon based on his personality so I may well change him over
 

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Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
The constables and Lya's team arrived at the same time with the constables on the rail cart and Lya's team who had come in via a secret entrance just behind.
We could not work out how the Crusher would fit onto the main map and ignored it which was a pity as I really wanted to push a PC through it. Everyone thought the Cart was a trap and would plunge into the lava at the earliest opportunity so they all got out (before it plunged them into the lava).
Nevla held back summoning a Bralani Azata for further healing and spellcasting support and a few buffs on herself, Ulvaar hasted all the constables ,Manuel activated his Mecha suit and considered himself the Dark Knight, Padme rushed forward and took cover behind a pillar and El Kevin moved up to the conveyer belt (but not close enough alas for the grabber arms, no one came in reach of them all fight) Tinker introduced himself by chaingunning El Kevin. This made them all consider that Tinker had a very good steamsuit as El Kevin was badly hurt. Lya had moved out behind another pillar leaving a cluster of Merten, Rush, Ulvaar and Manuel who got flamed as a Steam enhanced dragon swept down from the roof flamed them and glided on to land on the platform. Unfortunatly all of both teams had used Communal protection from Fire scrolls and so were not paying much attention to fire damage. (Every round the Tyrant beam hit someone for negligible damage)
In the second round Padme and Ulvaar moved to engage the dragon and Manuel shot her with a none lethal rifle round while getting closer for a Nock Gun shot. El Kevin was unwilling to hurt a dragon and shouted to his team to take her alive while closing in on Tinker. Merton also moved to engage the dragon while Lya skirted the dragon hoping to close on Tinker, Nevla and the Bralani as a mist cloud came around the corner, Nevla moved towards the dragon. The dragon gave Ulvaar a viscous clawing and pushed him back, Tinker chain gunned him as her had hurt the dragon.
In the 3rd round Nevla cursed the dragon so it had a 50/50 chance of doing nothing each round, the Bralani cst Blur on Ulvaar which Manuel protested as racism. Padme broke of from the dragon on moved towards Tinker, El Kevin reached the top of the platform, Lya joined Padme at the base of the stairs. Ulvaar charged the dragon agian hurting her, she did nothing , Manuel Nock gunned her on none lethal. Rush was invisibly brachiating around to get behind Tinker and find his body , it was slow going, Merton flailed at the Dragon his dice rolling would be abysmal.
Round 4 Manuel got chaingunned by Tinker who also moved over to El Kevin and punched him off the topplatform fortuantly he landed on the lower platform. Padme and Lya rushed Tinker both getting in a single attack Padme missed Lya hurt him quite a bit, the party marked Lya down as being absolutely lethal in melee(she is a 14th level swashbuckler 4 ahead of the pc's with great stats and pc level gear). Nevla closed on the upper platform , the Bralani moved to heal El Kevin but would do that next round. Manuel fired at Tinker missing , Ulvaar and Merton attacked the dragon Ulvaar did a fair amount of damage, Merton gave him a flanking bonus. The dragon retaliated and hurt Ulvaar, who fortunatly has a lot of hp.
Round 5 Tinker hit Lya in melee but failed to knock her anywhere, and missed her with a raygun , his chainguns hit Merton I believe. Lya , Padme and El Kevin let tinker have it leaving his suit very badly hurt so he fired time bombs hitting Manuel and Ulvaar disconcerting them. Nevla reached the platform and prepared to engage Tinker. Ulvaar and Manuel both removed the bombs (in Manuels case by taking off his steam suit) and both attached them to the Dragon, Merton flailed and the Dragon did nothing

Round 6 Pemberton walked out and told everyone to stand down or he killed the gnome he was carrying. Padme stood down until later in the round, Lya rushed over and stabbed Tinker for half his hp, Rush broke invisibility and fixed the Tinker suit in place with a rod. Padme and Nevla rushed to fight Lya, Merton through a sonic bomb at Ulvaar and Manuel nearly dropping them through the floor. Manuel moved to disarm the bombs on the dragon, Ulvaar healed himself , El kevin moved around to get a clear shot at Lya. Tinker suit chaingunned Lya and punched Rush into the laval although he avoided falling because he used one of his rods.
Round 7 Merton actually hit the dragon triggerring her rocket burst flight upwards to a perch taking Manuel with her, Ulvaar charged over and hit Merton. EL Kevin emptied his revolvers into the helpless Rush who fell to his doom in the laval (I may bring him back as a magma monster) Nevla and Padme laid into Lya who due togood rolls by Padme and poor rolls by herself was killed (Padme 'forgot' to take her alive). Manuel finished disarming the bombs with not much time to spare. Pemberton insisted that everyone stand down while they negotiated. The constables all backed off but remained in position to kill the dragon if they wanted too.

Then in a suprise change of pace , we cut to a scene of Ob officers arriving on a deserted island as I wanted to get this in this week and could leave the wrap up till next week if neccessary. Manuel was McDruid, El Kevins player (El Kevin will actually be retiring until Pemberton returns in book 10) too the Monster killing warrior, Ulvaar too the Dwarf Wizard and Nevla the Risuri court elf they were accompanied by the hitman who is probably possessed by Padme. The discovery that a lot of the Ob leadership were ghosts suprised them as did the appearance of Macbennin they had thought him gone but his appearance made sense of his death scene to them, Confirmation that Han Jierre was very senior interested them, and meeting Nicodemus in Andrei/Mr Mapples body had them interested , they could think that a construct may be a perfect hoste.

We pulled back to the present were it was negotiated that El Kevin would take a job with the dragon starting by teleporting his daughter who had been quelled by bwing hurt and her dad's anger leading the constables to conclude they had jsut beaten up a teenager and feeling slightly guilty except for Ulvaar who had nearly been eaten by this teenage dragon In return Pemberton promised to not send assassins after them, hand over Tinker and said he would look into the Ob and be back in touch if felt the constables could help him deal with them.

There was then speculation as TInker talked about the specifications of Bourne and they concluded that its job was to raise some sort of plate possibly a seal set up by the ancients and possibly linked to axis island although probably underwater . They also heard the Mindmaker was alive and living in the steelshaper and decided to try to find him ASAP as the Mindmaker knew more about the Ob and was helpful, Nevla also thought this may give Xambria a chance to move into a robot body. Tinkers inventions intrigued them and they think to help the Risuri militay particularly the navy they want advanced explosives, radios and analytical engines ASAP
 

Sounds like a crazy fight. Did it take the party the whole time to realize Lya and company were not really on their side, and just had orders to silence the gnome?
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
They never trusted Lya but the majority opinion was that the Ob would want Tinker back, so they expected a fight for Tinker after they captured him, there was a minority opinion from Nevla that the Ob would want Tinker dead to both keep his secrets and stop him building another collossus. It was very close when she went down Lya was due to act next and her full attack would shred Tinker.
It was an interesting and complicated fight
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
First a new Constable joined the team this session , with El Kevin being on 'detached' duty with Gradiaz the Steel Tyrant the RHC went looking for another constable who could keep up with this the most powerful and capable team of the RHC. William Plantagenet currently assigned to the Dreaming version of Shale to keep an eye on the Fey and to keep him out of the way of politics, William is an elf with strong fey ties who was one of the supporters of the Duchess although not involved in the actual assassination attempt, he is also the Nephew of Nevla's foster father although at the age of 121 he is somewhat older than her the two have met before many times and he is somewhat familiar with her . He possesses somewhat unusual abilities having the ability to empower himself each day by calling on one of the spirits of the former Monarchs of Risur. This means that given a days notice he has incredible flexibility when channelling one of the monarchs he change his surname to their name to honour the monarch he is drawing on.

In game terms he has the spirit medium campaign feat and is also following the Relic channeler medium class , he is always fairly competent in melee and a skilled diplomat but can either become a much better warrior (King Broyal the Dragonslayer), A charismtic leader (King Kelland), a sneaky trickster with different skills each time (Queen Zidi), a druidic priest (King Kelland again), a competent mage (The king who left the the black sword behind and whose name I foreget), draw upon the power of the divine(no king selected yet), or if utterly desperate gain the awesome power o wear heavy armour which the player has never bothered statting out it is so useless.

It is distinctly possible El Kevin may return in the future if and when the players ally with Pemberton
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Things started with the wrap up of the events in Ber. The team learned that the Beran army had taken the island form the Gnolls and Ber had started a new policy of displacing the rebellious Gnolls with loyal settlers from other tribes. Again in their debrief with Harkover they failed to ask the Big Question Are You a Dragon? They decided they did not need to know.. Wimps.
They also made sure Tinker was secure in a research complex and already he was starting to produce advanced explosives. Manuel gleefully updated his arsenal to include Grenade launchers , explosive cannon shells and a spare demolition charge just in case.
They then headed back to Flint to catch up with their freinds and relatives there while Constable William Plantagenat travelled back from the Dreaming to join them. While there they arranged to send the B Team, an Archeologist , and Livia Hatfield a magical scholar from the royal court with Gale to investigate the floating island in the perpetual storm as she was the only person who could carry a team of investigators up inside their painting. Gale having the power to fly and also control storm force winds landed on the island and located the Ziggurat, they got a report back that the Ziggurat was clear of traps and undead and showed signs of earlier intruders (destroyed undead and traps) and the Gold Seal was still there but had been moved from its proper location which lead them to conclude with Padme's vision that the Ob had broken it and that was why things could not fly. It seemed to them that the link to the plane of air must have been particularly fragile as messing around with the other 2 Ziggurats they knew of had not changed the world.

William joined them as they met with Governor Stansfield to discuss the situation in Flint. When he laid out the problems with Cauldron hill they remembered that they had only had 2 of 3 catastrophes but came up with a solution to cut down the number of monsters from the Bleak gate coming through. Luc Jierre would be asked to build some Lanterns fixed to the energies of the normal world and the Hill would be bathed in their light thus stabilising it in the real world and stopping transits from the Bleak gate. They chickened out of discussing with him the fate of his sister ....... only pc's with a decent bluff skill met with him.

The ongoing industrial unrest concerned them although the industrial trust they had set up was helping, and seriously considered going out to a series of meetings to try and stabilise things. Derlft was unconvinced that the unrest was actually getting worse and when the later learned of the deadline on finding the steelshaper they decided not to do anything.

The ships being wrecked and building a lighthouse did not seem to concern them.

William was introduced and welcomed to the team , particularly when it turned out he had a positive charisma so producing another constable who could talk to people!

After they left the meeting and were in one of Minister Harkovers 'secure' carriages Drelft explained about the letter from the Mindmaker and they realsied they needed to move immeditaly in order to make sure they could get to the Ob Symposium. They were excited to discover that William could do object reading but then very dissapoined that he could only track the letter back as far as Drelft's secretary instead they agreed it made sense to pick up his trail in Crissillyr and headed for the dock and their ship.
On route Drelft gave them the sending rings which they spotted the use of immediatly.

At the ship they were surprised to see Beshala with a gift for them and immediatly suspicous , they rapidly came to the conclusion that she had some ulterior motive so WIlliam and Nevla kept her talking while Manuel inspected her gift and discovered the trap. Then as Rock and Copperhat turned up they began an arguement with Beshala insulting her and pointing out how miserable her attempts against the Ob had been while they had struck multiple blows and even knew the name of their enemy instead of getting confused like some sill squid. In the end she decided not to smite them and instead begrudingly recognised their expertise and offerred her assistance if they ever needed help against the Ob in the seas around Risur.

Copperhat applauded them , and asked if they could do him a favour and look after the absurdist web for him while he escorted Rock to his afair with the Queen of the Fey. Also he thought they would need it as he could tell they had corpses in their future , they concluded this linked him to the voice of Rot but could think of no reason not to take it , and once they examined it , and determined no nasty suprises had been hidden in it they concluded it was really useful. By the end of the session they had discovered so many uses for it in prisoner storing and kidnapping .

The Sea journey to Crissilyr was uneventful , William channled Queen Zidi and became an expert sailor but the captain was already performing brilliantly so that did not help much
(At this point we discovered that it made sense for each ship of the Risuri Navy to be issued a Hat of the Master sailor which gave a +5 bonus in profession sailor to the officer wearing it for a mere 2500gp)

Arriving at Crissilyr the team realised that they were almost entirely illegal and controversial as they had a large number of guns and Siege cannon, a Steamsuit, an Eladrin possibly related to the most wanted Eladring terrorist in the world, links to stealing a steam train and crashing it off an incomplete bridge while kidnapping someone, and probably a few other malfeanses. Fortunatly with a quick channelling of Zidi, William was a master of disguise and combined with their various extraplanar resources they were able to hide all of the above. Seeing the Volcano they wondered what someone would have to do to make it erupt..... (I will remind them of this later)
Nevla has an item which tells her what spell of a particular level would be useful , today it recomended delay poison communal. So feeling somewhat suspicous they set out to meet their contact. Their Nevla pretended to drink, William and Ulvaar drank (fortunatly William was under the influence of delay poison, Ulvaar just has a fortitude save so high that drinking hemlock in a pure form would be largely harmless), Manuel deployed his steamsuit in a shadowy corner to dispense him coffee, only William noticed the giant Mecha in the corner further confirming Manuel as the Night.
After a short conversation they noticed that their host seemed suprised that none of them were ill , and William politey inquired if he had poisoned them , so he jumped put of the window of his office warehouse and landed in a pit trap repared by Kobold Ninja's which made capturing him easy. The Kobolds invited them to mee the boss, they briefly tried to work out how to transfer their prisoner without being spotted and then remembered the Absurdist Web and so stuck the Assassin without equipment in the Web until they had time to interrogate him.
They then met with El Extrano, they were indeed impressed , Manuel applauded as he vanished in a puff of smoke and they began to plan on working with the Kobold to track down the steelshaper. They knew he had been seen at the cathedral but decided that was a bad place to go, but that he had probably visited the family estate nearby. So they and the Kobolds went out to the estate. THere Manuel, William Zidi and the Kobolds crept in with a lowest stealth roll of 35 no one in the estate had a chance of noticing them. They looked through the papers and it looked like Leone had stayed there several months ago but they had no clue where he had gone from there. They considered this and stuck his nephew who seemed to be in charge in the Absurdist web and crept out to prepare memory modification spells for the interrogation and release.
 

Couple questions.

Maybe you mentioned it before, but what is the mechanic of William channeling Zidi?

What's that item that suggests useful spells?

Why have I not yet made a kobold ninja PC in any game I've played in?
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Vellum of Guidance(spell level) gives you advice of what cleric spell of that level would be useful in the next 24 hours in this case communal delay poison and the lack of combat expected meant they were expecting an assassin or similar.

William is a Medium from the Occult classes book which means his main ability is that each day he can channel one of the archetype spirits
Champion (Broyal)-- Makes him a very good melee combatant
Guardian (None chosen_- makes him useless
Marshall (Kelland)-- lets him boost other pc's
Hierophant(Druid-Kelland) gives him druid spells
Hierophat(priest no king selected) gives him cleric spells
Archmage (The king with the black sword) gives him wizard spells
Trickster(Zidi) -- Gives him 3 extra skills at max skill points and some rogue abilities

He can change the abilities each time he channels a spirit so on 24 hours notice he can be pretty much anything although he is weaker than a specialist , Nevla is a better cleric than he can be with Hierophant for instance. But Zidi lets him be a master of any skill he needs when he needs it

And only you can answer the Kobold Ninja Dilemma, although there was a Kobold with a pistol in part 7 he just did not get to use it
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
In breaking news El Extrano's train schedule is not in the POD or PDF of the combined Zeitgeist book.
Coming soon interrogation via Mystery play
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
They started off sneaking out of the Quital family mansion and took Pannini (the cousin) to an abandoned barn some distance ago which had been prepared. Disguises for all of them and the Kobolds were ready with most of them being background characters from the clergy's legends, while Nevla too the role of Saranae the fiery goddess of redemption and William the archmage took the role of Oswyn Lord of the shining Legion a figure of darkness and damnation. Some mild hallucinogens were provided and with the help of the Perform(Improvided scenes) skill of some of the Kobolds, Illusiw out he was a pious soul and soon believed his involvment with the dark conspiracies of his cousin placed him at risk and told them everything , Which was sadly little, they worked out the courier was from the Ob but could think of no magic which could let them eavesdrop on the conversation so they stuck panninni back in the Absurdists web and Manuel sneaked him back into his own bed past the heightened security of the mansion with absurd ease (stealth 51)
d
They went to the station and soon discovered Leon had gone to Naalam this relieved them as had instigated large scale arson and train crashes at the other end of the line. Once again they disguised themselves before boarding the train, Ulvaar just took an ironwood scimitar, combined with his Iron wood plate armour he was clearly some sort of mad dwarven druid, Padme dressed as the Stargazer companion of the druid. William was a nobleman from Crisslyr once again channelling Zidi, with a heavily veiled companion suggestive of being one of the enslaved eladrin *Nevla). Manuel put on a Kobold mask and hid with the kobolds.
On arrival at Naalam the unortunate ambush sort of happened , almost all the pc's saw the assassins before they attacked and ambushed them, the fight was brief , the local authorities accepted that it was self defense and arrested the surviving assassins, interrogation revealed the Satyr Krampus who had hired them and he was also arrested and revealed he reported to someone he only knew by his ring code which is how he used sending.
After this the party investigated Divination blocking and concluded that at their level the only defense was none-detection and they would burn through wands of nonedetection at a rate of about 10000gp per day. They procured one for emergencies and otherwise trusted the kings limited power to block divination of royal agents abroad to give them some protection.
They departed for Trekholm and this time the Kobolds did pay for their tickets before hiding, this reminded the players why they had not broken the law in Trekholm last time. Necromantic wizard law enforcement. Again with the help of the Kobolds and El Extrano they tracked Leon to Mirsk. Again El Extrano impressed them and they began to think the reason no Kobolds were seen in Ber was because all of them were highly effective agents in every other country.
They then planned on their take down of Leon going under nonedetection for their approach. They considered taking him down in the station and rejected it as going to lead to disaster . I described the station as being Similar to York station which we are all familiar with and they realised he would pull the roof down showering the entire array with broken glass, they would survive it but hundreds of bystanders would not that he would then throw trains at them was a secondary reason for not fighting him there. Next they considered derailing his trian on approach but could not think of a certain way to avoid a train crash and many dead. Finally they settled for creeping onto his train the next day , sneaking to cargi wagons then detaching the passanger wagons and attacking William channelled the archmage with spells specially selected for taking down the Steelshaper, Nevla prepared her spells for the same target , everyone dumped metal armour in favour of mage armour spells or Ulvaar's preprapared Iron wood armour and the same for weapons.

Edit
After the session Manuels player deduced from Tinkers inventions that magic must intefere with technology due to the planar conguration. He and Nevla's players are certain that before this ends either they will reconfigure the planes or have to fix it after someone else has, probably involving a Giant golem lifting a seal underwater or in a Volcano
 

I kinda wonder, if ZEITGEIST had been a TV series like LOST, how soon the audience would have figured out the Ob's plans from the clues available.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
The constables start creeping along the train to the first freight car were they remove the less stealthy team members from the Absurdist Web and then uncouple the freight cars from the passenger cars behind as this gives Leone/Magneto less trains to throw at them and also reduces the risk of collateral damage,
With this done they move through the freight cars towards Leone's private carriages of course the jolt from detaching the main part of the train has alerted Leone and his bodyguard ,as the train map we are using has a Piano then Leone begins to play a villanous overture as the 4 clockwork soldiers, 4 clockwork gunslingers, 4 Arcane Marksmen and 2 Witchoil powered pseudo golems fortify the last freight car ready for the constables. At this point I am in two minds if the force I have assembled is going to overwhelm the constables , I will soon see,
The fight starts with a volley from the clockwork gunslingers which largely misses, Manuel would love to suit up and blast them with a cannon but fears to use the steamsuit with Magneto nearby instead he runs up and unlocks the door to the carriage of gunmen, it turns out this is franlkly a waste of time. William casts a lightning bolt spell which blasts through the door both golemns numerous minions and deep into Leones passanger car, then using her recently aquired shoes of lightning assault Nevla transforms into a bolt of lightning and crashed into the middle of the enemy formation injuring several of them. Then the detonate spell she cast earlier releases its energy in a truly impressivly high damage roll a sphere of lightning blasts out and drops all 4 clockwork gunmen and 3 clockwork soldiers it badly damages both golems, the remaining soldier and all 4 arcane marksmen. At this point I start worrying that the fight is going to be one sided in the opposite direction. The lightning blast also leaves the carriage on the verge of breaking in two.

Padme rushes up and stabs the clockwork soldier in the back fatally, Ulvaar charges in and assaults a golem then the golems act one punches Nevla then moves away from the collapsing area and takes an attack of opportunity, the other one also punches her most of these attacks miss, the arcane marksmen blast her with scorching rays. Manuel moves forward past the breach in the train and casts shield, Padme moves forward and stabs the central arcane marksman , he dies, the train breaks in two and all the rear freight cars start to derail , only one Golem is left behind but he catches up soon as Leone rises from the piano and unleashes his power a shard vortex encompasses the pc's. he raises his shiedld and throws the golem at all the pc's except Padme doind a fair amount of damage and wrecking the golem. William casts confusion at Leone and fails, Ulvaar finishes the last golem.

The arcane marksmen step back and shoot at Nevla and Padme they all roll badly and all 9 shots miss Ulvaar moves forward and drops all 3 with a whip of lightning . Padme moves and attacks Leone but the metal shield largely prevents damage, Manuel moves up and throws alchemists fire on Leone, William Boneshatters him leaving him in pain and exhausted, Nevla hits him with blindness which he fails to save against. Using his magneto senses Leone hits William with the roof critting and smashing him through the floor (2 hero points to stop the huge damage spike killing him) then ulvaar moves up and hits him again the metal shield blocks most of it.

Manuel takes a chance and unleashes a nock gun blast with ironwood bullets which slams into Leone hurting him through the shield, William picks himself up on the rail tracks behind the train, padme lands a flurry of flanking attacks and draws blood, Nevla hits leone with a Boneshatter which flips him over the edge , his power surges restoring his sight and begginning a massive train crash. Leone rises from the whirling mass of train carriages and the fireball of the engine, Ulvaar rises up to meet him on wings of air and the two duel over the train crash with Ulvaar landing several blows and taking glancing blows from a couple of trains which he is tough enough to shrug off finally as the train comes to a halt the batterred Manuel and Nevla join in a burst of radiance dazzles and injures leone and Manuel fires an alchemical icendiary ironwood bullet from his rifle which breaks through Leones shield and knocks him out. Ulvaar grabs him with TK to stop the fall killing him,

When he recovers Leone taunts and insults the team but he is in mage cuffs low on hp and nowhere near the crashed train sp he can't do much , soon his exhaustion brings him to sleep and Grappa wakes up. He explains his plan, they decide that killing Leone by ripping his soul out is no worse than hanging him and the lich will be stopped from escaping. (With a side order that if they don't go the Ob will probably release the Lich and that makes this a better plan). They discuss the archeologist in the head and think that they can use this to transfer her to a duplicant of herself turning her into an Indiana Jones/Terminator crossover. Then rather than put up with Leone on their trek they stuff him in the absurdist web , which also means Grappa will be in charge when they pull him out. They report to Harkover and he asks for a copy of the mind switching spell. Manuel is further convinced he is a Blue Dragon in disguise.
While most of them are really bad at survival , William channels Queen Zidi and is now a master of survival making the overland trek easy

Nex week a Legion of my Finest Frost Giants guards the secret lair in the ice of the Lich of the Demonocracy
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
The write up above was for my players as Williams player was not avaialble this week my impressions are It was an impressive fight although I cheated a bit to keep Magneto fighting, his shield did not run out if it was breached more bits of metal just flowed into place and I gave him blind sense against anyone touching or carrying metal. The minions went down way faster than I expected to Leone/Magneto had to carry the burden of the fight on his own more than I expected. They agreed to the mind/soul swapping faster than I expected indeed I was concerned they might decide it was evil
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Again the Absurdist Web has become the basis of their logistic and movement strategies.

With the return of Williams player there was a brief revision of the ethics of Soul transfer and agreeing to free a Lich. They discussed with Harkover Lee via teleport and thought the Lich may have been weakened , they did consider that there was an expert who may know how powerful the Lich was and may be another source for the Soul Transfer spell. But they were even more afraid of Ahima-Shintu than the Lich and were worried to discover that everyone who had met her could use a sending scroll to contact her even through the wards.
Killing the Frost Giants was then planned, they decided to set up a secure base camp by using the Abusrdist Web to bring in 3 Squads of Risuri Riflemen and a pair of Field guns which were set up to cover the entrance to the Canyon, Manuel and Padme then sneaked in to try and blow up the Cave holding the reserve Giants with a demo charge but the totems and death bears detected them. The players were very worried by the demonic death bears suspecting they were more dangerous than the Frost giants. Manuel and Padme ran away staying in front of the chasing Frost Giants who re-enacted Rorkes Drift or maybe the Charge of the Light Brigade charging into massed riflemen plus cannon support b Willian channelling the first King of Risur as a Marshall and giving everyone +3 to hit and +5 damage which translated to of the 12 Frost Giants and 2 bears involved in the attack only 3 injured Giants made it out of the Valley of Death , Nevla blinded several of them but the rest could just not stand up to covering that much open ground in the face of havy firepower including Tinkers advanced explosive shells.

With the Frost Giants forced back on the defensive the Constables moved the firing line closer to block off any movement down the ravine and moved in to assault, as they moved along the rift floor they saw the lantern light and Nevla gor suspicous and cast Detect planar energy , immediatly they realised that the lanterns were a trap and started shooting them out except for a few they could grab with TK and shove into the absurdist web for later study. The waterfall pool the crossed easily as Ulvaar;s Life bubbles protected them from cold and water allowing them to walk through the pool.

On the other side of the pool they faced a mass charge by Frost fiants and William channelled the king to encourage Manuel to frankly terrifying activity he got off 2 blasts of cannister from his cannon in the first round dropping 3of the 4 front rank Ice giants then manged a Nock Gun blast leaving the Frost Giant boss badly injured as he reached mellee and hit Manuel, then before he could act again a Holy smite blinded 3 of the 4 follow up Giants and multiple rocket propelled grenade salvo from Manuel injured almost all the remaining giants , Ulvaar and Padme killed the one Giant who could see what was going on and the boss in a series of viscous strikes encouraged by Williams cheerleading, at the end of the 2nd round with 8 more frost giants including their chief dead for no real signs of harm to the constables the rest of the Frost Giants surrendered if given safe passage out of the rift. Their offer was accepted as they were just Ob Mercenaries , the 2 Ob scholars were taken prisoner and it was discovered the Ob were looking for strange planar meteorites, the players bought the Ob scholars evasion for responsibility for hurting the prisoners. They freed the prisoners and were going to agree to sent Gbortiy to escort them back to Drakr when they realised it would be safer and easier for all if they stuffed them in the Absurdist web and teleported them to Risur then sent them home.

They started to debate how to be prepared to kill the Lich if they had to, at this point as I know my players and did not want to derail into a full session of Lich killing prep I guaranteed them no combat with the lich. They did decide to keep Leones soul in crystal sphere so his death would not warn the Ob. The Lich was contacted , the soul transferred the spell learnt and the party teleported out instead of freeing him, his curse failed and they were free and ready to infiltrate the Ob
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I have given the players access to the Ob briefing material they will encounter next session, this is Manuels immediate response thoughts on a slow work day

Manuel
This is all very fascinating, and honestly more than a bit worrying.

Guessing where the artifact / box is

I'm guessing the box is under Axis island, possibly offshore, possibly submerged caverns, beneath. Logic for this is obviously the local planar weirdness (frogs!) and the planar icons we have. Which could be part of the calibrations / testing process for building new pillars for the box. Also its a neat callback and the name is a hint.

Inferred summary of hos it seems to work

From the OB statement (which is little more than a Pr statement)
  • The ancients built an artifact machine featuring a giant gold box and 8 pillars which can alter how the planes connect to this world.
  • Opening the box and changing the pillars changes the connections when the box is closed, which changes the basic propertied of the world, which may change the planets too!
  • There are multiple aspected planes reality can be connected to, possibly these are finite and the ob has a list, possibly they are infinite.
  • The Ob are building lamps / lighthouses to assist this transfer.
  • There is no control group, this is a change that will affect everything.
  • Possibly reality could be reset to its current configuration if damaged, however there would need to be surviving people who could / would do that.
  • Any reality changes that incapacitate Bourne and / or the ancient artifact machine are irreversible, as the box can't be opened and changed again if it doesn't exist or borne does not function.
What we can infer from the current setup

From the current configuration we can infer the the ancients altered this world to stop and hide from some external element as:
  • Nem, Plane of Death. Its trait is Annihilation, and it destroys any who try to travel from our star system of planes to the outer multiverse, and vice versa.
  • Apet, Plane of Space. The Distant Plane is responsible for keeping our world and its bonded planes far from the rest of the multiverse and less likely to attract extraplanar attention.
  • Urim, Plane of Earth. This golden world has fractured into many pieces, but its trait — Barrier — causes gold in our world to block teleportation.
  • Mavisha, Plane of Water. Its trait is Mystery, and it is responsible for the many islands that dot the world with their various secrets. We think this trait can be easily abandoned.
Which fits with the legend of Oswin and his golden legions invading, the stranded legions of the demonocracy etc.

Interesting unanswered questions:
  • How soon after doing this did the Ancient civilisation decline? I suspect they altered something that broke them (possibly a law / cooperation aspect) which cause them to fragment into the modern day orcs / goblinoids with there more chaotic society and lower mental stats.
  • Are the ancient temples the lantern equivalents of the ancients? If not why does the Ob think it needs lanterns?
  • The ancient temples has weird partial gate things, are these part of distributing the planar energy change or a bunker to survive it?
  • The Ob believe the plane of Avilona (Air) was damaged, we have seen the temple of air was damaged by Kasa-whats her name (big eladrin sorceress) on a time frame that fits flight breaking. So either the Ob is wrong, the Ob is lying, the ancient temples can attune to a plane sufficient to damage it when they are damaged (this is terrifying), its a composite between damage to the plane and temple or its the worlds most suspicious coincidence.
  • A lot of the Ob seems to be undead (27 ghosts & founder Nicodemus) these will have an interest in the plane of life, which does not seem to have been declared. So the Ob has an interest in maintaining a world where sentient undead are possible. Is there a secret undead world agenda?
  • The different factions of reality engineers working to complex philosophical goals imply either a deep, nuanced understanding of the artifact, the additional planes and how these would composite to change the world. Or (more likely) immense hubris. What evidence have the Ob got they can do this without utterly devastating everything? Do they have information on previous pre-ancient configurations? Where is this confidence from?
Guesses on Vital Planes for Borne to function

Bourne is vital to make changes to the artifact currently. Any change that incapacitates him prevents reverting or further changes. Once the changes procedure starts he is vital.
  • Jiese, Plane of Fire. Its trait is Cunning. The fire from this plane is less destructive than a typical elemental world, and its Flames can be used intelligently, like a tool. Our scholars suspect most worlds never achieve the industrial revolution ours has because they lack this trait. Changing this plane might stymie technological progress (required for technology).
  • Av, Plane of Life. This glassy hollow world is our moon and has the traits of Reflection and Dream. It allows our world to have the two parallel planes of fey and darkness, The Dreaming and The Bleak Gate. Changing this world would remove those planes and might have consequences involving dreams and undead. (required for Bornes witch oil power source to function)
Manuels perspective

Manuel would very much like to be able to tinker with the basic properties of creation! There is so much you could do! However he is aware that:
  • Experimenting with yourself guarantees you are working with an idiot.
  • Getting experimental consent forms for the entire world is going to be impossible.
So Manuel is reluctantly concluding stopping any tinkering is the correct approach until there is very strong evidence that the planar changes are easily controllable, extremely predictable, fully reversible and have occurred historically without massive death and disruption. While the current world is not perfect its far better than say "Endless Zombie without free will world". Something which I think the Ob has a decent chance of achieving by accident. Manuel is a "no change" vote.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Also is Harkover's picture based on Peter Cushing ? My players thought it was and that lead to s brief speculation he may be a vampire not a Dragon
 


Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Write up to follow but at the end of the session one of the players came to the conclusion that Nicodemus is the Ghost of William Millar.
Her logic chain is good, she was told that Kasavarina knew William Millar and her flashbacks had a smoking man visiting their home, from that she has decided that it is likely William Millar and Nicodemus are the same person, she is not certain yet but the other two theories are that he is a Gidhim and she does not believe that one, and that he is ghost of an unknown person and I suspect that the proponent of that theory will like the William Millar theory.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
The session started with the group preparing for their journey to the convocation they were uncertain of their ability to blend in as several of them lacked social skills , and they were uncertain of their ability to control a Gestalt, particularly Manuel who has a somewhat poor will save. They left all of their weapons and magical hardware on their normal bodies which were placed in the absurdist web which keeps them in stasis. They realised that if the bodies were in Temporal stasis they could cast combat booster spells before putting themselves away and wake up with a full set of spells active. To facilitate this William took up his hierophant mantle and they cast a lot of spells with minutes per level or longer duration.

Once they had prepared as well as they could have then we cut back to the first meeting of their disguised selves with Nicodemus. The conversation with him was fairly short but he came across as fairly human and reasonable, as he explained that the purpose of the convocation was to guide the Ob in their choices as the leadership such as himself felt they needed to check in with the wider membership of the OB to check their plans were approriate and that he hoped the discussions would be informative. The players were surprised at how sincere he and the others seemed in their honesty and somewhat idealistic goals, but they also concidered a 500+ year ghost or whatever may be really good at faking it.

Leaving their meeting with Nic they mingled a bit but Manuel and Ulvaar preferred to avoid doing to much talking as without a Gestalt they are very socially unskilled and may give themselves away. They talked with Hervinskugger and realised he was
a) dreadfully boring
b) a Genuine if unethical brilliant planar researcher.
Manuel got very interested in the techical details of the conversation, Pemberton probably noticed the social cluelessness and talking style of the goblin and also their use of language free communcation between the team and is fairly certain he has located the constables.
At the same time the team via William realised there was a Duplicant present and started to observe the crowds looking for those who did not eat very much remembering the change of behaviour of the Concillor in Ber when she was replaced

I had given them the presentations to read before this session and so we went straight to their opportunity to interview the representatives of the various plans
Manuel's player in particular had a lot of questions for them and I had to establish that the technical details were not necessarily well known by the faction representatatives (names of planes etc particularly as I can't name all of them) but the details of how it worked was.
The big overall impression they got was that the purpose of the lanterns was to spread the planar energies over the world and make a smooth transition between realities while the seal was open with the seal then closing to lock those energies in place , which will hopefully make them less keen to assault Axis island at this time.I consider this a misinformation effort by the Ob leadership with exactly the purpose of disguising how critical Axis island is.
The big bit of information they got was something I mentioned casually that Kasavarina had Known Willian Millar when they were talking to her disciple presenting Millar's pyre, Nevla's player spent the next 2 hours and the car journey home trying to fit this bit of knowledge with her other knowledge and concluded Nic was William Millar, I have yet to see if the other players believe her but the arguement she has put forward is fairly good and when they help Kasavarina in book 8 even if they don't get the vision which proves it the side information will be enough to make her certain.

The Arboreum plan they approved of except for the loss to technology which Manuel was not keen on, it seemed fairly safe and the questions they had about security and the effects on animals were asnwered to their satisfaction.
Millars Pyre they thought again was well thought out but the vulnerability to outside invasion and also the problem of psychopaths and others with no empathy they felt may be a flaw but overall Culani convinced them at the minimum it was a sincere effort to make a better world.
The Panarchists they approved of more after talking to Han , they had worried it would be a world of total anarchy but they were convinced he meant it as an anarchist utopia with the special abilities provided hopefully cancelling out the problems, they are still not sure it would work but at least they think it is a benign intent.
The Watchmen, they understood the point but frankly they did not like the idea and also thought it would collapse at the end. Further they were unconvinced that anyone could get a thousand year script correct.
The Collossus they considred to be like its proponent a scheme for power mad people to secure their power. They listened to her explantion about how new people could be granted powers and others have them taken away but thought the world would devolve into groups each dominated by a selection of Collossi feuding with each other and it would all end in tears, they are not fans and I suspect they want Miss Romana in a Jail when they get home.

They finished up inspecting the sample worlds and seeing if they lived up to expectations they did and they concluded teleportation and flight would be nice to have.
However they really think that despite the good ideas changing the world is a bad idea as if you screw up its a disaster and you ahve nowhere to go, if they had a spare planet to practice on Manuel would be all in favour of it but at the moment no.

Nevla is suggesting they should try to push for a plan which if it is implemented despite their efforts allows a good chance at a second shot when it goes wrong Arbatoreum, Millars Pyre or maybe Panarchist but Collossus and Watchmaker they think are really bad.

At the very end we had the first murder and that worried them, first they think a remade world influenced by the Voice of Rot would be really bad, secondly they are worried that they will be spotted by a series of interrogations as they screw up their gestalts. They did pick up the references to the witches but as the witches were clergy heretics they thought that several of the clergy may have access to similar rituals.

Next session of the 30th of December as on the 23rd I and another player are on Christmas holidays and it is the birtday of a third players child so no game.

Overall this session went better than I feared the players seemed to enjoy investigating the philosophical and practical problems for each of the new world designs and assimilated the data dumps of necesary information.
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
So how would Nicodemus respond to this question which Manuel's player is proposing


"Nicodemus, as the ghost of William Miller, whats your opinion on the Millers Pyre option? Is the name in poor taste?"
 

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