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ZEITGEIST The chronicles of Team Big-hearted And Determined (B.A.D.)

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I like the rifle, the direct opposite of the Gun armed goblin who could do none lethal damage with a cannon. Although he did occassionally none lethal people to death if he overestimated their Hit points.
Also more games should have weird events involving Cows
 

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Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
I just finished running Ars Magica scenarios featuring
-- A bronze Bull which magically attracted and stole everyones cows and lead them into a volcano for sacrifice
-- To avoid the cow theft and avoid angering Aphrodite to whom the cows were being sacrificed a magic item which created 100 temporary cows a day which were then sacrificed
-- Then so that the Cow stealing Bull could be used to move a sacred Zorastarian fire, without stealing every cow encountered along the way a Cow Bell which made the Bull indetectable to Cows was made

Also of course Glorantha the world were Cow stealing is a major activity

Instead of a BBEC maybe a BOD (Bovine Of Doom)
 


Echolocation

Explorer
Session 52
Courtesy of Angharad's player

Gariad went for a look see, found many snipers, as well as a decoy set up with a light, but if you were to go east, you'd find the main hostages, snipers and bomb. John and Ella went and snuck in through an access tunnel, while Lisandra and Angharad took the main entrance, but accidentally made enough noise to get noticed, so sneaky plan was cancelled, and bum rush the bomb was go.

John would turn into a rhino to slow down the train, Ella running around invisible, Angharad managing to make Lisandra sigh with exasperation. Our old friend Avvakir (PC of an ex-character, deva brawler friend of Roland) was found on the train, Lisandra freed him, and he dragged some of the terrorists off the train with him. After a brief scuffle, the party was now up to disarming the bomb.

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Dr Zubov or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.

Zubov does not speak much, but his prophet ally sure does. When he spots the party, he decries the futility in his actions. But he finds himself slipping into abyssal tongue as combat becomes imminent (I remade him as an oracle with the tongues curse):
"Just as anticipated by our great leader Grundun Zubov, the Lygostovs move as chess pieces on the board. Look around! Can you see? Yes, your king is doomed to perish within the next turn. Yet, you are powerless to stop him. Grundun, the voice of Komanov’s philosophy, heralds the end. And you, you have been chosen to be touched by the tendrils of this world’s fated doom. Do you know why we shave our beards? To feel the winter winds on our face whilst we slide down our mortal coil into the void. Come! Come ride this train into the frozen oblivion. Bare firsthand witness to the downfall of your kingdom! What a blessing, what a generous fate to behold! Now dohno, dohno i palupsta!!"

Drakan dictionary
Lygostovs = idiot/clumsy welldoers (antiquated slur)
dohno i palupsta = die and ferment

Abyssal insults
In combat, the prophet is compelled to speak in the demonic culture that lurks in the shared myths of Drakr. He hurls insults in abyssal, which sounds much close to Latin/Greek, such as "Ex Ullustra Lisko, Kilstoro" (Surrender your soul, child).

Ella, Lisandra and John worked together, while Angharad hovered. The three of them worked together fantastically, not failing a single time as they cut the wires, breaking apart the compartments and saving the day. Gosh they're talented.

Picked up a cool magic hammer. it does stuff, such cool lore stuff. Then team went to Hotel Aurum to organise the fall of the dragon. Dragon is too cool of an animal to be associated with Kell. Let's go with fall of the slimy lizard.

I wanted a cooler magical artifact than the +1 frost hammer from the book, so I took the flavour text of the 4E artifact and made this:

Hammer of the Lost Riders
Aura
faint necromancy CL 5th
Slot none; Price 18,312 gp; Weight 12 lbs.

This hammer shatters those who oppose you like fragile ice. But a blizzard swirls at the edge of your vision, and the longer you tarry from battle, the closer it looms.

This +1 frost warhammer has a jagged edge that constantly sheds shards of ice and snow, though the hammer never gets any smaller and this doesn’t weaken the weapon in any way. Whenever the hammer damages a creature, the target must succeed at a DC 14 Reflex save or a dark shard from the weapon lodges itself in the creature’s flesh. All healing the target would receive is instead converted to damage (untyped). Additionally, creatures embedded with shards can be subject to Touch of Corruption antipaladin ability and spells that inflict negative energy damage as if such abilities and spells had an additional 30 feet of range.

Removing a shard is a full-round action. Though, the target takes 1d4+1 frost damage, unless whoever removes the shard succeeds at a DC 15 Heal check. For every 5 by which the check exceeds the DC, an additional shard is removed. If either the target or the spell takes fire damage or is subjected to a spell with the fire descriptor, the effect immediately destroys all shards embedded in the target.

Minister Lee teleported us and our troops there, Angharad snapped his stick and gained some more allies. The party moving in, Angharad going to join his vekeshi allies with overwhelming force. John taking shots with Sydney running interference. Ella darting around, dropping aoe spells, while Lisandra held back, healing the wounded.

In an earlier session, Angharad approach the Old Stag requesting allies to take down Kell. The Old Stag handed the mystic a small twig, and told him to snap it when close to the site. When Angharad did just that, a howling wind bellowed from the hollow stick, whispering the words:
"Who answers the call of the mother, where hope lies,
Who answers the call of the mother? It is I"
The last three words spoken by the small group of allies teleporting into the battle.
The raid took place at the Grand Hotel. Each Vekesh ally taking a seperate floor. Asrabey Varal joined the fray by immediately teleporting to the second floor, Gale flew to the roof, and a crow (an old friend of Angharad) flew through the fourth floor, sending Kell's goons insane (resulting in many jumping to their deaths). A fey who owed the Old Stag a favor also joined, and communed with the stifled plant life of Parity Lake to form two massive weed-wrapped hands that clasped the building. Occasionally, a finger would enter a window and fling Kell's men out.

The party stormed the first floor, tracking Kell to a spa room.

But then, it all went wrong when a door was opened, where we though Kell was likely to be, but there was Connor, a click, and the screamed word "run" just coming through the gag he had on.

Connor was Lisandra's ex-boyfriend, who had gone quiet after joining the Kell's guild. In part, he did it out of jealously for Lisandra's gig at the RHC, wanting to show that he too could rake in gold and support their family of pickpockets and an Clergy priest with connections to The Family. The party correctly made an educated guess in assuming Connor was a mole for The Family, and previously contacted him via sending, skirting around Morgan's deal.

When the party went to Hotel Aurum, they interrupted a meeting between Sgt. Deb and her officers (the ones that remain, many had to return to the Cloudwood). Lisandra mentioned a mole within the guild had ratted out Kell's location at the Grand Hotel. In preparation for a raid, one officer contacted Kell to warn them of an imminent raid, and the presence of a mole. Kell joined the dots quickly, grabbed Connor, and cuffed him to a chair with explosives, before making his escape via the tunnels.

Throughout the campaign, Lisandra had encountered Connor occasionally. He pointed a crossbow at her in when Kell lured her and Angharad to the Theater of Scoundrels. In the ziggurat of Apet, Lisandra was briefly teleported to Connor, who was preparing for his first meeting with Morgan, though he did not reveal who he was meeting. Lisandra picked his coat.

Lisandra had hoped to patch things up with Connor. In this split second, it was clear she would never get the chance.

And that is what happened last time on Zeitgiest. Mostly.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
Session 53 - What we Lost in the Flames and on Flagstone
Courtesy of Lisandra's player

Last session began in an eruption of flame. Entering the Grande Suites spa in search of Kell, Team BAD and their military entourage opened the doors to find Connor instead, gagged and strapped to a bomb that eagerly erupted.

As Lisandra stared in horror from the doorway, eyes locked on her ex-lover’s, memories of their time together filled her mind. Hours studying his face as she sketched him, hidden away in their spot in the Old Mill. Talking of better futures and possibilities. The dream of being rich enough to not have to hustle for their living. Memories of how she had hurt him, with her long con in North Shore that took her away from him, and away from him. The memory of his lips on hers. She’d never get a chance to make things right. To return home. To have a future with him, better or not. She had always been terrified working for Kell would have ended with him dead. But never like this.

As the flames burst forward, eagerly sucking up all the oxygen in the room, splintering the walls and consuming everything in its wake a voice spoke in Lisandra’s mind, urging her to move. A spirit, though no one she recognized. Or registered, as she stood there frozen. Just as the flames came rushing towards her, the spirit flung closed the door, sheltering those in the hallway from the worst of the hit. As the Grand Suites were torn apart, the world went dark for Team BAD.

Across the city in the Central District, B Team were going about their usual itinerary escorting Mediator Brakken around Flint when the explosion happened. At first, the explosion seemed just a figment since, thanks to the fanatical Eshcatologist cult, explosions were not an unheard of occurrence in Flint these days. But as Dima shakes the thought off, Josiah’s keen eyes shift to her and he spots three figures in an alleyway across the way. Lorcan Kell, the snake in a tophat, is easy enough to recognize, flanked by his two bodyguards, decked out in full metal armor and several more thugs trailing behind them.

Serena orders Brakken to stay back, and the B-Team begins to approach. Carlao, evey the textbook constable, pulls free his badge and issues Kell an order to stand down and recites the cause of arrest. 985 accounts of burglary, 354 accounts of murder… and Kell interrupts, to cound each of the cistables present, correcting the body count to 358.

An all-out conflict broke out as B-Team met Kell and his lackeys head on in the open. They traded blows in a frantic battle. Kell struck Dima down to watch the chaos unfold as she bled out on the flagstone. She watched as Kell advanced on Josiah, taking him down with an enchanted machete as the gunslingers rifle jammed. She watched as Serena slit the throat of one of Kell’s guards, and as the other pinned Carlao down, wrenched his shoulder from it’s socket and pinned him down with plates from his armor that reformed themselves into an iron gauntlet. A dagger through the seams of his plate, and the cavalier took his last breath. Kell took a hit from Serena’s flying dagger, only to pull it free and turn it back on her, slicing her throat in retaliation.

Dima’s laboured breathing brought a twisted smile to Lorcan’s face as he and his bloodied bodyguard, Nick Reider, stood victorious. He ordered Nick to get the cleric to her feet as he pulled out a rusty blade.

“Take a good look at yer dead friends,” the Butcher ordered and gestured to the fallen bodies of her comrades. He pulls an old rusted blade from his coat and advances on her, “... cos it’s the last thing you’ll ever see.”

Back in the Grand Suites, Angharad came back to consciousness. His eyes opened to a scene of scorched and splintered wood, blast through walls and bodies littering the room he found himself in, one across the hall from where they had stood. He finds Ella and Lisandra breathing, but unconscious and wakes the tiefling first. As she comes to, he offers her Skeet, who had been laying detached a few feet away. As she reattached her shell-shocked leg and took in the devastation around her, Angharad moved on to awaking the medium.

The Cipiths stirring didn’t bring her to consciousness, but he hears her pained words of protest. I can’t. Leave me alone. But as he reached to pick her up and carry her out, the woman’s jolts awake, blue eyes stared up at him. She greeted them both a little disoriented and awkwardly. Nervously perky, even, you might say. Angharad recoiled at the odd change in personality and lla was quick to deduce that Lisandra was in fact being steered by Xambria. A very eager, and annoyingly perky Xambria who just wanted to get out and get on with their original mission.

As the team checked over the decimated spa house for aforementioned escape tunnels, shouting from above rose, and Azrabey came falling through the cracked ceiling, a screaming thug falling quiet in the Fey’s vice grip. He nods to the group, and promptly takes his leave.

After healing funneling quite a few wand charged into healing their wounds, Team BAD carefully made their way into the escape tunnels. The trauma of the explosion inspired careful checking for traps and other hazards along the way. Ella was able to make out recent tracks leading out past a pair of unmanned cannons, leading out to a sewer grate in Parity Lake. Angharad promptly received a message from Delft, informing him of reports of Kell spotted in Central, and the devastating status of the B Team who confronted him. From there, they hail down a carriage and head to the point Delft referenced. Police on the bloody scene fill them in on the recent happenings to the best of their ability and point the team towards the direction Kell and Nick left from. Thanks to some divinatory deduction from the frustrated tiefling, Ella found a bloodied crumpled sheet of paper that had been in Kell’s possession, according to her deductive vision. It looked as if it were used to wipe clean a blade before it was discarded. Strangely, it was not the blood that caught her attention, but the hand-written copy of B Team’s itinerary that laid underneath the stains.

How the naughty word did that happen?

Furiously, Ella shoved the evidence at Angharad, who tucked it into his scarf for safekeeping and the team set on trying to follow the tracks leading away from the grizzly scene. After a long, winding route through Central, and out into the Nettles, the Team found themselves in a rundown shack not far from Cauldron Hill. An out-of-place brick in the wall tipped Ella off to a hidden compartment that once held a few palm-sized objects in it. The footprints led from the compartment to the door, it’s frame embedded with rusted metal, where they vanished. With curiosity, Xambria inspected the hovel with curiosity and detect magic, noting a fading conjuration aura. Likely the spell needed to make travel work, as mentioned by Quentin in his statement. Que additional Gnomish swearing.

If the whole party was present, I would have had the players encounter Kell and likely enter combat. However, John's player couldn't make the session, so I just yeeted them to the Bleak Gate. One player previously commented that they prefer combats when everyone can attend.

With no amulets, or spell to follow, the defeated constables returned to HQ to check in with Delft. The offices were a sombre scene. A long faced greeting from Maxwell and sobbing drifting through the door to the morgue set the tone nicely after such a day. Xambria awkwardly broke off to wait in Team BAD’s office as Ella and Angharad continued to Delft’s office. After assuring their poor haggard boss that Lisandra was not part of the death count, Ella launched into getting Delft up to date with the events of the day. At the mention of Angharad’s ‘reinforcements’, he made a note to bring it up with the Cipith later, and when mention of the B-Team itinerary is made, he became livid for much the same reason Ella had earlier. It was Delft’s turn to swear profusely. There seemed to be a mole in the ranks of the RHC. He swore to get to the bottom of things, and spent some time updating the pair on what had transpired with the B-Team and told them not to speak to any other constables about their activities until the situation was sorted. Their report completed, Angharad went to his office to tell Fake Lisandra that Real Lisandra had the morning off and she should just get her home. Seemingly nursing a headache, Xambria was all too happy to oblige.

Before he left, the Cipith offered his home to Ella, should she want somewhere to stay that was not around family if she wasn’t in good spirits. She declined, stating she had a place to stay and stormed off. Bemused, Anghard made his way to the breakroom, stopping to share a drink, toast to the dead and listen to Pete share stories in their honor.

Ella had headed to the morgue to check on poor Dima, the source of the sobbing they had heard earlier, as she sat amongst the tended corpses of her fellow constables. Tear would have been shed, if Dima still had eyes, but Ella had plenty to shed for the both of them as they commiserate on the horrific events of the day.

Eventually, the tiefling took her leave, heading back to Lisandra’s apartment and knocking to see if anyone was home. It was Xambria who greeted her. Awkwardness ensued, but in the end Xambria assured Ella that Lisandra would want her to stay and the pair parted ways to end their evening, though not before Xambria had collected all of the loose sketches and notes from the desk, and took them far away from the curious leg that liked to make messes.

Exhaustion set in, and eventually sleep took hold.

Just before dawn, Ella awoke to movement in the apartment. She spotted Lisandra’s form quietly move through the lounge, placing her keys on the desk and leaving. Through the locked door, as if it simply didn’t exist. Blinking the sleep from her eyes, the tiefling scrambled to attach Skeet, and clamour for her clothes and Lisandra’s keys before sprinting off to tail her friend through the streets of Central and up towards Parity Lake. She watched as Lisandra approached the wreckage of the Grand Suites, slipping past the rope barrier and wandering through the charred and splinted remains. Eventually, she falls to her knees, sobbing. Through her tears, she called out to Connor, trying to find his spirit through the thick congregation of death that lingers there.

A familiar voice, distinctly not Connor’s answers. The same that told her to move when the flames had raced towards her. The spirit took a moment, as if sorting through the crowd of spirits present and seemed to pull one forward, presenting one one she requested. In the monochrome in between where Lisandra’s consciousness dwelled, Connor’s ethereal form came into view.

Ella eavesdropped with concern from hidden behind nearby rubble as the medium said her grief-stricken goodbyes to the man she loved. When the conversation left Lisandra reduced to a sobbing mess, the tiefling cast a message cantrip and to see if the woman wanted company. As her head rose, Ella stepped into view, dashing over as Lisandra nodded. More tears were shed, apologies conveyed and assuring hugs shared. When Lisandra had no more tears to shed, she steeled herself for the day ahead. A royal banquet and a trip to the Bleak Gate were still on the agenda, and if that was where Kell was hiding, she was not going to let her grief stop her from being there to put an end to him. With a quick activation of her shoes of reliable style, her soggy appearance neatened and she headed into HQ with Ella to their appointment with the tailors.

So one of the top five shittiest days at the RHC was to be brought to a close by attending the opening dinner to the peace negotiations between Risur and Danor, as guests of the Danoran figurehead; Lya Jierre. Otherwise known as the chainsaw blade-wielding royal bureaucrat that had previously dismembered most of Team BAD last they met. Snazzy new outfits were fitted, though Lisandra made use of her illusionary aid and dressed in something more practical than she appeared, and distracted herself by tutoring her fellows in a crash course on etiquette.

Oh, after Angharad got the disappointed Dad-talk from Delft about being a Vekeshi terrorist, of course. Apparently he didn’t know about that...

So to the Royal Square Team BAD go, dressed to impress and none to impressed at the idea of meeting with Ly again. But we know this job is full of doing things we don’t like in the name of the King. Despite reservations, the team was greeted by their old friend Avakkir who seemed to be the guest of Governor Roland, the brawny Deva near bursting from his tuxedo as he hugged each of them. He informed them they were right on time, and gestured to Lya’s massive ship, signalling the Danoran’s arrival.

The Danoran’s disembark to a small orchestral play of their national anthem, as ministers and bureaucrats allot behind the Head of State, Han Jierre, and his niece the Minister of Outsiders, Lya Jierre. Complete with her bodyguard entourage, of course. The fanfare came to a climax as Lya approached Team Bad. The Governor attempted to introduce the RHC’s finest, but was cut off by Lya’s own designation of the Team; the ‘good people’ she crossed blades with in Vendricce. Wow. That’s not awkward. Less awkward when she also included the assistance with Axis Island… Lisandra stepped up to fill the pleasantries, biting back her distaste at the scenario as Lya explained the events in Vendricce were a misunderstanding and thus her invitation an olive branch to mend fences. Afterall it was the RHC who struck first. Wasn’t it, Angharad? Lisandra was convinced there was much more left unsaid, but politely let the pleasantries play out.

Angharad was not so content, and upon going their separate ways, the Cipith casually dropped a threat on her brother’s life in Danoran, should there be any further misunderstandings in future. Ella and Lya weren’t the only ones to catch the comment, as the Cipith found the Danoran Minister of War glaring at him with a look that could kill. Catching the heightened emotions, Lisandra forcefully steers Angharad away from the glaring Danorans.

The dinner itself at Hotel Aurum is a typical five-course affair complete with formal introductions, fanfare and thinly veiled interrogation posed as light conversation. The first course was served with a side of moral philosophy, as Han Jierre became curious about the constables' opinions on how fair they felt the sentencing of the former Dutchess Ethelyn of Shale were. Ella professionally took up the response to inform him that her actions were reprehensible, and the punishments were befitting of the crime. Before the conversation continued much further, Lya spoke up to usher the conversation somewhere less loaded.

The second course was paired with Brakken’s curiosity on what hardships this concept of peace between two nations will face. While Minster Lee believes fear of industrialization to be an issue, and Lya a matter of convincing Danoran veterans with tales of barbaric Risuri will contribute, Angharard speaks up to add that a lack of cultural interaction for the everyday people of the nations, it will be a difficult feat. Grudges are hard to move past without proof to shift perspectives.

The third course is accompanied by Governor Stanfield inserting a little not-so-subtle grandstanding to brag about some of the changes he has helped modernize Flint with, such as the new railways additions, factory establishments in Parity Lake and Hotel Aurum itself. As a counterpoint, the Minister of War interjects with a few issues of her own to highlight, including stories of the corruption and suicide of Mayor Reed Macbannin, arsonist attacks on said factories, and most recently; threats of bombs and Royal Constables found dead in the streets. Stanfield takes it in stride trying to pass off the points as ‘growing pains’ in the rebalancing of an evolving society and ensures if there were any danger to the delegates, that he, nor the King, would hesitate in informing them of such. The Minister of War turns her glare onto the constables, demanding to know what they have done to make their city safer, and brags about the peace experienced in their capital Cheurge. Lisandra takes point and responds with the needling smile of a practiced noble-woman, informing the minister that the RHC works tirelessly with local authorities to keep the city as safe as possible, but should the peace talks go favourably, then perhaps the good people of Danor could give Flint a fer pointers; such as locking people up in curfews as they do in Cheurge just to keep citizens and guests safe. The Minister’s initial smile quickly turns to a frigid glare and Lya promptly makes her way over to engage the woman in hushed conversation. A guard sneaks in to approach Minister Lee, and the name Azrabey Varel is just overheard.

Sure enough, a moment later the doors opened and in marched The Seen of the Unseen himself and presented his sword respectfully to King Aodhan with a request: King Aodhan! I apologize for my disruption, The Unseen Court wishes to know more about the dangers Ekosiggan saw, and so I request permission to investigate further; to the Bleak Gate, to explore Cauldron Hill further. Your Nation owes me nothing, and if you wish to deny my request you need only say so.

The tension in the air was thick. The furious King attempted to save face, and turned the Fey away without hesitation, but there was a distinct lack of an actual refusal. Han Jierre suggested perhaps the King should deal with his uninvited guest, and his people will leave him to it. With that, the dinner was over. The constables follow Minster Lee and the King to speak further, at the request of King Aodhan and quickly make their way to a private room. Brakken, who seemed slightly nervous through the final dinner exchanges, followed, calling out that he had something important to report. As Minister Lee shut the door in the minotaur’s face and magically protected the door from outside intrusions, the King fumed. All element of surprise was lost due to Asrabey’s flair for the dramatic. But he conceded Fey's prowess in battle, and was inclined to send him along. For full transparency, Lisandra made sure the king knew Asrabey’s stake in the matter; his wife, who he swore to protect was likely in the Bleak Gate, and it was unclear on which side her loyalties laid. The King assured that the vows to the Court, and the politics with Risur would ensure Asrabey’s inability to move against us, and that he would see to it that Asrabey deferred to RHC order while in their company.

Before any further decision could be made, a voice urgently entered the minds of those present. Brakken’s voice. “I’m a telepath,” he explained, “I read the Jierre’s mind. Let me in!”

What, pray tell, did Brakken read from the minds of our favourite Danorans? What dangers lay in wait for Team BAD in the Bleak Gate? Whatever happens, it looks like peace talks are not exactly going ahead in the most peaceful direction. Hopefully we don’t die, or start a war. Keep your fingers crossed for us in the Complete Misadventures of Team Bad.
 


Echolocation

Explorer
I always feel guilty when the B Team gets butchered. How'd your players receive it?

Ella's player's thoughts: "Masterfully described and that much more impactful for having played them for several weeks but gods dammit Echo, why?! (It was very good. And definitely excellent fuel for hating Kell - not that we needed more of that.)"

The other players liked it too. Paradoxically, I think it made the session less oppressive, as the players turned their aimless despair of Connor's death to focused hatred on Kell.

Here's the scene:

Carlao holds out his badge, “I, Carlao, am a constable of the Royal Homeland Constabulary. Lorcan Kell, it is both my duty and pleasure to inform you that you are under arrest for 985 counts of burglary, 354 counts of murder-”

Kell interrupts: “Now I’m no numbers man, but…” Lorcan waves his index finger around, making it obvious he is counting the constables “I think that’s 358 counts of murder.”

In one lightning quick action, Kell pulls a machete out from his coat and impales it in a gap between Carlo’s upper and lower armour. “Quinten was a good mate, you know.”

The scene devolves into chaotic battle. Dima goes to cast hold person on Kell, but the woman flanking Kell counterspells it. Josiah opens fire on the gunmen behind Kell. Serena advances on the elven woman, Kate Glenn, after quickly deducing that she is armed with magic. The man flanking Kell, Nick Reder, closes in on Carlao, throws him to the floor. With his feet, he steps on the cavaliers back and with his hand he pulls Carlao’s arm backwards and dislocates a shoulder.

Dima looks between Carlao and Serena. She could help the cavalier, but she knows Carlao is best equipped to deal with a foe in melee. Instead, she opts to close in on Kate with Serena, knowing the rogue benefits from teamfighting tactics. Dima and Serena trade blows with Kate. Lorcan joins the fray by walking up to Dima, fury on his face, and striking her to down to near unconsciousness.

Then, a bullet pings off Lorcan’s tophat, knocking it to the ground. The gunslinger fires again, but Lorcan grabs Dima, and raises her off the ground to intercept the bullet. Then, Lorcan throws her to the ground. She is left bleeding, helplessly watching the fight unfold. Lorcan turns, smiling at Josiah.

He walks to Josiah whilst suffering a barrage of bullets. Some harmlessly skim his coat but one pierces his chest. Blood begins to pool. Josiah goes to solidify his victory with another shot. His gun clicks. And clicks again. It’s jammed. Josiah desperately tries to clear it as Lorcan closes in. Now in close quarters, Josiah does not stand a chance. He is killed in a matter of seconds, far faster than Dima fell.

Meanwhile, Kate tries to approach Lorcan to heal his wounds. In a moment of weakness, a bloodied Serena lands a critical blow, slicing Kate’s neck. She falls to the ground next to Dima.

Carlao manages to reach for his longsword and strike out at Nick, who retaliates by stomping on Carlao’s head. Claro nearly manages to break the grapple, but plates from Nick’s armour begin to dislodge, travel towards his hand, and manifest as an iron grip grasping Claro’s arm. Lorcan by this point is approaching Serena. Serena throws a dagger which penetrates Lorcan’s shoulder. He rips it out, and throws it back at the rogue. It flies past her, deftly slicing her throat. Blood pours out of her neck, and she too falls to the ground.

Kell withdraws another dagger from his coat and slides it along the ground to Nick. Nick and Carlao are now both bloody after their traded blows. The full metal monk and the cavalier reach for the dagger. At this point, Carlao sees the bodies of his fallen comrades. It creates a moment of hesitation that allows Nick to secure the weapon, and end Carlao’s life.

Lorcan reaches down for his hat, dusts it off and places it on his head. He tips his tophat to the Brakken, who stands paralyzed by shock. “Afternoon mediator.” His courteous greeting contrasts harshly with the pools of blood and lifeless bodies that decorate the floor. Lifeless except one. Dima’s breathing brings a beaming smile to the butcher’s face. “Nick, get her on her feet.”

Nick lifts the cleric to her feet. Dima, barely conscious, wheezes in pain. Lorcan checks his pocket watch. “Trust me, I would love to draw this out, but my ride out arrives shortly. So let’s make this quick.” Lorcan gestures around him. “Take a good look, constable.” Dima struggles to raise her eyes at Carlao, the noble, Serena, her good sister, and Josiah, prince charming. As Dima gazes, Kell inspects his machete, shakes his head and places it in the inner pocket of his coat. Instead, he withdraws this old, rusted dagger. “Take a good look at your dead friends. Coz it’s the last thing you’ll ever see!” Lorcan lunges at the dwarf with his dagger...Dima cannot even summon the breath to scream.

The scene is reflected in Brakken’s eyes, the minotaur still too powerless to move.
 


Echolocation

Explorer
It would be an honour.

I telegraphed the scene, rather than let my players dredge through a combat they were destined to lose. After the session, I explained my decision to the players, and they were happy with it.

Additionally, when writing the scene, I tried to give a scene of Kell's and Nick's tactics and abilities. For example, Nick immediately pulls Carloa off Kell, whereas Kell uses Dima to intercept a bullet fired by Josiah. If you do run the scene, I encourage you to do the same.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
Session 54
Courtesy of Ella's player

A fancy feast… interrupting fey… telepathic minotaurs… and secret meetings were the setting for our latest foray into constable-hood.

Oddly enough, neither the king nor Principal Minister Lee seemed to notice Brakken pounding on the insides of our heads as well as the meeting room door. This probably shouldn’t be surprising, since telepathy is something a wise king and his advisors would likely want to guard against…but fortunately for us Danor’s royal family clearly had no such wards in place, as Brakken informed us he’d picked up some rather interesting thoughts from them after Asrabey’s abrupt entrance into the peace feast.

Sovereign Han Jierre was apparently very concerned with our pending trip to the Bleak Gate - enough to send a messenger there warning the Obscurati of our impending arrival. Meanwhile Lya Jierre seemed rather more concerned with her uncle’s response to the situation than our own activities. Curious…

A rapid search of Hotel Aurum by Minister Lee’s lackeys found Han’s messenger for us while we kitted up for a Bleak Gate invasion. Brakken telepathically shared his memories of B Team’s experiences with us while we prepared, and then we rushed downstairs to interrogate Han’s messenger: a nervous-looking human man sandwiched between two guards.

His initial protestations that he was simply going for a walk withered under Lisandra’s Detect Thoughts spell, and the man quickly spilled the beans upon learning of this terrifying Risuri hoodoo magic. ‘The beans’ proved to be not very tasty. He was simply meant to take a letter and walk along the Stanfield Canal. The letter had some familiar-looking sigils on it but no signs of the magic required to transport it to the Bleak Gate. Perhaps the canal bridges themselves contain the enchantment?

We didn’t really have time to speculate on it, as the unfortunate messenger was bundled off by guards and we were bundled into a carriage with the king and principal minister. ...Have I mentioned how much I hate being trapped in confined spaces with important people?

The king wasn’t going to make it an easy ride either, as he immediately began quizzing us on who the team leader was. Angharad and John looked at Ella, and Ella looked at Lisandra, and Lisandra decided that she really didn’t like the direction John and Angharad were looking and stuck up her hand as tribute. The king was… understandably concerned by this conflicted interaction and asked us to justify our reasoning.

Alright everyone, please share your work with the class...

Lisandra tactfully alluded to Ella’s recent family issues and prior insanity and general all-round year of trauma without actually saying any of that, and John and Angharad subsided and went along with it - although not without a concerned look from the kineticist. Ella, for her part, was just very glad to have avoided this responsibility. Lisandra, for her part, quickly became very concerned about this responsibility: as the king impressed upon us that this was the most important mission of our lives and as the de facto leader Lisandra would be responsible for commanding the thirty-odd military coming with us.

...I thought we were constables, not army commanders?

Fortunately Delft Dad was there to reassure us as the carriages dumped us at the ritual site and the king made a big ole speech about just how very important we all were and how we’d lead this extra-planar expedition to victory.

Everyone, gather well within the confines of the powered rust that circles the bonfire. The Principal Minister has handed each of you a small bag of charms. When you travel to the Bleak Gate, you will be trapped there until sunrise. After sunrise, if you wish to return, tear open the charm bag. Be warned, it is said the sun barely pierces the land of the dead. Moreso, open the charms with caution. For when you do so, you will return to the equivalent position in our world. If that position would be a solid object, the physical trauma sustained to your bodies would be lethal. Ensure you return by sunset, by eighteen hours, for if you do not, you will be trapped in the Gate forever.

These are not risks without reward! No doubt you have heard the rumours, of shadows stalking the alleyways, of silent killers, of swift kidnappers. These monsters are real. There are traitors to our land shrouded by darkness. So desperate to hide their crimes that they operate in the land of the dead. But loyal soldiers, I do not send you alone. Instead, I send you with four of the finest Royal Homeland Constables. For a year, this unit has defended Risur from both within and beyond. You are to report to Constable Lisandra, treat their words as if it was my own. With these constables, you will cleanse this city of enemies, you will create a safer Risur, and you will make history!

The King’s concluding words coincide with the sound of his sword being unsheathed. Despite the darkness of the grove, the King’s blade glistens with the reflection of an absent moon. The king slowly slices the air vertically before him, and before you, a slither of darkness replicates the blade’s trajectory. Meanwhile, the Principal Minster clasps an orb of gold, and some of the powdered rust begins to slowly levitate. The slither of darkness begins to sporadically flutter in width. But to Lisandra, the flutters seem systematic, as if a mouth whispering, beckoning the words “enter, souls”. Suddenly, this mouth expands into a portal to unending darkness. You hear Bazza shout
“MOVE OUT!!”

Ha ha ha, yeah… that’s us: Obscurati-foiling extraplanar expeditioners extraordinaire! Who definitely didn’t come back from our last such mission minus three limbs and laden with trauma. We got this. Team leader Lisandra has got this.

(We’re all gonna dieeeee.)

On the upside: if we fail, Cauldron Hill will probably explode or turn into some kind of horrifying witchoil tentacle monstrosity or something and kill everyone, so there won’t be anyone left to mourn us.

Upside… right?

In the midst of all this stress Delft made a point of reminding us what our goals were: capturing Obscurati higher-ups, uncovering information on their operation, and finding firm evidence linking Lya Jierre to this (hopefully) nefarious organisation so the king can get out of his impending nuptials.

Pretty sure there are easier ways to cancel a wedding, dude…

Thus reminded of our purpose - and surrounded by Grappa, Asrabey, Bazza, and two dozen military soldiers - we were bundled through a portal to the Bleak Gate before we could change our minds.

Bazza was a specialist who worked under Dale, protecting Cauldron Hill, but has since been promoted since his introduction in Session 0. He is quite reserved outside work, in part because he has not fully mourned the loss of his comrade, Dazza, who served on the Coaltongue as security in its maiden voyage.

The other side was… dark. Creating a light we also discovered it to be bleak: covered in dead trees and shadows. That part at least was unsurprising. Shining like a giant beacon for everything that might possibly want to harm us, we set off toward the Bleak Gate version of Cauldron Hill - with Ella in the lead. The gnome tiefling proved to be a… somewhat ineffective scout: finding the entrance to the enemy stronghold while simultaneously being found herself.

Combat ensued, with Ella turning invisible (my, imagine how useful that could have been one minute earlier) and everyone else rushing to her rescue. Creepy-eyed humans with force-guns, shadowy figures made of ribbons, and terrifying Bleak Gate creatures in collars fought fiercely but eventually fell - taking two of our soldiers with them.

The one enemy left alive - a female mercenary with zero fucks to give about her job - gave us all the information she had. As per usual, it seemed we’d arrived just a little too late: whatever operation had been underway here was finished and the facility was being packed up. She hadn’t even seen their inglorious leader, Tin-tickler, lately. Ah well… at least there were still 40 odd guards and 100 engineers to take out our impotent fury on. As well as, you know… all the people deeper in the facility where our lady guard friend had never been…

An easy task for our force of 28 people and 1 geased construct!

Thus, with hope in our hearts, we entered the Obscurati hideaway: proceeding down the Tunnel of Empty Tedium to the Double Doors of Possible Doom Except We Don’t Really Know Because Our Guide Is A Gods-damned Geased Construct Who Can’t Tell Us Anything Specific And Has To Talk In naughty word Circles All The Time.

...Needless to say, we opened the doors.

The room beyond was… boring. Except for the hidden doors in each wall and the eyeball staring at us from the ceiling. But other than that? Very boring. John - originally from a circus - knew just how to liven the place up though: shooting the viewing lens on the ceiling and sending a veritable flood of guards our way.

Parties are always better with friends, right?

And thus here we find ourselves: deep underground in another plane of existence with up to 40 guards determined to send our souls to the Bleak Gate properly and then forward us all to the Plane of Nem like some kind of express extraplanar soul delivery service. Or possibly just trap us all here in witchoil and burn us into non-existence… Who knows?

I hope if we do get turned into witchoil then Captain Dale finds us and feeds us cocoa… That’s the kind of afterlife I could live with…except not, because we’d be dead. But you know what I mean.


Anyway.

Will Team B.A.D get out of this one alive? Will we find out why Asrabey’s wife abandoned him to live in a dismal grey-scale world on the other side of existence? And will John ever find this so-called Tertri Lashkov and get a cool-ass force-gun of his own? Find out this week: on Zeitgeist!
 

Echolocation

Explorer
Session 55
Courtesy of Angharad's player

Last time on Zeitgeist, Team BAD was in the middle of assaulting the Bleak Gate facility of the Obscurati. Guards were pouring into the corridor from two hidden rooms. The guards were trying to make use of their guns, to alert others further into the building, while team bad and the military were trying to dispose of them quietly. Once the guards had been defeated we went into the hidden rooms to look at the controls, and lay an ambush for those that would come check.

John, deciding that stealthly disposing of them wasn't worth the effort, fiddled with the control panel, drenching them in oil, and then igniting them. Ignoring Ella's attempts to stop him. Afterwards, our 25 soldiers and Team BAD would burst into he next room, fighting to dispose of the enemies as a group. 29 vs 40 became 16 vs 0. Ella mostly debuffing the enemies, Lisandra combining her magic and her blade, Angharad cutting people down with fire, and John.. John harassed an old dwarf for his technology...

Outside the facility, an Ob agent told John about a dwarf engineer who augmented their weapons. This dwarf quickly handed over his schematics to John, who later would use them to completed his Ballistic Launcher and Spatial Temporal Energy Resonator (B.L.A.S.T.E.R.).

Now, was the facility was explored deeper, the lights would cut out and a familiar, Crisillyiri, voice would greet the party. Bloody Steelshaper. He offered a ceasefire and a chat, and no one was willing to take him up on it, Lisandra telling him to go naughty word himself. Ella's heart would drop in a moment, as her fathers voice would come over the speaker, shouting for us to not trust him. He is a liar and a cheat. Leone quickly scolded his guards, demanding the engineering to be cuffed.

3 metallic constructs would come out at steelshaper's behest, seemingly intelligent and sentient, telling steelshaper they should've been given weapons. "They have an artifact of a goddess, we should have an artifact to match them." Sadly for them, they were right. Lisandra and her blade of Srasama destroyed one of the constructs. Angharad, seeing a large target that he didn't have to worry about keeping it alive, got to cut loose and used a summer blade on it. The last construct ran to the door and beat on it, asking to be saved. Asrabay though, he didn't give it any mercy, he just wanted his wife and would cut it down.

Ella would struggle with the control panel for the doors, until a strange voice coming from the walls would demand the doors open, in the name of Tinker.

And then they were in a large hanger bay, a gigantic statue made of metal. Walk ways elevated up 100 ft and elevators to access them. Steelshaper was flying around barking orders, Marcel; Ella's missing father. Ella would use magic to get to her father quickly, but Kell and one of his bodyguards would try and stop her, leaving her struggling with them, John turning into an air elemental to get up faster. Angharad and Lisandra would rush over tot he elevator, dodging Steelshaper controlling the giant metal statue to swing its arms at them. As the combat would continue, the thugs would drop. Norm would be ignored by Angharad, Ella getting grappled by Kell, and just staying alive and Grappa, that frustrating robot would not betray the party, but in fact awaken the giant statue.

1620613091233.png

Ella's Ob engineering father, Marcel, handcuffs Kell's bodyguard to the rail, whilst the constables close in on Lorcan to save Ella.

Grappa reaches out, placing his hands on collolsus. “My child. What brutes have deteriorated your mind? I would tell you who I am, but you will not remember me. Perhaps you can understand this:” Grappa softly runs his metallic hand down the colossus’ face. “The love that words cannot say.”

The colossus speaks with words that reverberate the entire chamber “Papa?”

Grappa tries to respond with his clicker, but his fingers vibrate, held by some invisible force. Steelshaper gestures as Grappa rises, elevated to eye-level with Leone. Grappa kicks feebly. “You! I knew I recognised this body. After all you have done, you came back! WITH THEM! You fool! You have ruined it all, again!” One of Grappa’s arms is ripped free, plummeting towards the witchoil below. Gears cascade and bounce off the colossus and the catwalk. As Leona speaks. “Destroying her was not enough?” A leg rips off. The metallic sheets that cover the wall begin to buckle. “You destroyed this project! Because of your ignorant folly, because you could not settle for taking one mind, this!” Leone stamps his foot “This is a glorified paperweight!” Leone rips off another leg. The sudden change in a centre of gravity gives Alexander Grappa an opening, who rotates and tries to crush Leone with his remaining hand. Leone grabs the hand, and propels Grappa back. He rotates Grappa, spinning him and rupturing his entire body. Remnants of gears, rivets, and wires spill forth, bouncing off the collous and catwalk. The affair ends in Grappa’s head falling into the darkness below. It spins slowly, looks up at the colossus, and with deep deliberation and emotion closes his eyes.

“PA-PA!”

A deafening rumble fills the chamber as a massive engine turns over. Black smoke begins to pour out of the vents along the colossus’ back, equivalent to a small factory worth of smokestacks. You recognise the smell of burning witchoil. Lisandra, you hear the screams of hundreds of souls being melted into oblivion. The colossus lunges its arm upwards, sending a massive palm straight for Leone. Leone holds out his hands as if pushing a massive boulder up a hill and the colossus’ clasp halts: “Your father sought to destroy you, Borne.” Leone is shifted slightly backwards as the colossus, the so-called Borne, lunges its hand forward. It’s halted once more. “You cannot” Leone’s knee buckles, “you must not liste-” Leone’s eyes roll backwards and Borne clutches the steelshaper and pelts the steelshaper into the witchoil pools below. The colossus takes a step forward, causing a massive tremor to shake the room. Everyone please make a reflex save.

My son, what have they done to you. And as there was this touching reunion, Steelshaper would kill Grapa, enraging the statue and making everything worse. Now the hanger was shaking as the statue killed Steelshaper. Woooo, naughty word you steelshaper. The statue would climb out of the mountain, busting its way through the roof as everyone scrambled to get away. In the chaos Kell would be killed as he was stabbing Ella to death, Angharad not letting her die, Lisandra and John dealing with Steelshaper's wizard.

Everyone would make it to a sideroom, before passing out from the sheer energy as the statue broke through the mountain. The group would wake up an undetermined amount of time later, every door was covered by rocks. Asraby digging us out, Angharad would join him with that, Ella dealing with her father. Eventually they would get close to making it out, and we would hear Dale's voice.

That statue, whatever it was had dragged us back to Lanjyr... and everything was going wrong. Yay.
 


Crispy120286

Explorer
That's fantastic. I like seeing other groups have their PC's related to NPC's. Your Ella the daughter of Leone Quital. Kieran, the alchemist in my campaign is the younger brother to Tinker Oddcog.
 

Echolocation

Explorer
Yes, I think only Angharad is not related to a NPC from the book. John is the adoptive son of Nigel Price-Hill. Lisandra is the lost daughter of Father Balthazar (from Book 4). Ella, the gnome tiefling, is niece to Tinker Oddcog. I skipped over Ella's family history in the last post, so I understand why you may have thought she was related to Leone. I will clarify things here.

Ella's father, Marcel (gnome tiefling from Danor) and Ella's mother, Effie (gnome from Risur) previously lived with Ella as a happy family in Danor. However, Marcel began to succumb to bleaching. Desperate from a cure, Effie wrote to her family, including her estranged brother, Tinker. Tinker promised Ella's father a cure for the bleaching, but he would need to sail to Flint to receive it. The desperate family traveled to Flint and took residence with a sizable portion of Effie's side of the family. Now, the story deviates depending on perspective. According to everyone except Marcel, Tinker was nowhere to be found. Marcel succumbed to the Bleaching in 470 AOV.

In reality, Tinker contacted Marcel and recruited him into the Ob operations. The Ob falsified documents to make it look as if Marcel died from Bleaching. Marcel's heart could barely take the blow of leaving his family, but he believed the Ob project could end Danoran-Risuri conflict; thereby, saving many more families than his own.

So what is the cure for the Bleaching? I changed the typical lore behind the illness. In this world, bleaching is caused by prolonged exposure to the same angular momentum. Gnomes must be near as many things spinning clockwise as are spinning counterclockwise. This comes from the fey dislike/sickness caused by spinning wheels. Ella's father, who mainly worked on perfecting gears, was exposed to the same gears spinning the same direction for years. Now, he carries a brooch of a gear spinning the opposite direction. His arm remains bleached, but the illness has not progressed.

In the downtime before Book 6, my players asked Marcel about his brooch. They seem to love this lore, thinking it befitting that a fidget spinner can save a gnome's life.

the alchemist in my campaign is the younger brother to Tinker Oddcog
I hope Kieran is as mad as Tinker.
 
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Echolocation

Explorer
Session 56
Written by Ella's player

Our constables last found themselves standing on a shattered hillside, watching an enormous freaking construct rampage through Flint on a childlike quest of curiosity and wonder! One that was getting thousands of people killed… As Captain Dale explained the situation, Delft Dad contacted us via Sending and told us to get our still-living butts to Hotel Aurum to help formulate a plan.

Kasvarina convinced Asrabey to help with the evacuation, and the rest of us dragged Ella’s hapless father through his first taste of sunshine in thirty years and into a carriage. As our constables traveled into the city, we the players found ourselves traveling through time: flashes of recent events slipping past almost too quickly to follow. Dale drinking coffee as Cauldron Hill erupted... A black-bearded member of the Battalion committing suicide deep in the bayou... Governor Roland secretly encouraging Avvakir to break workers out of locked factories once his guards were absent… The mayor of the Cloudwood dead in a morgue… and Nathan Jierre and Conrad Keppler studying the colossal construct through a shiny new telescope.

I gave the players a narrative montage of the Collosus' time in Flint. If people are interested, I can post the whole scene.

I will say this, though. Unbeknownst to the players, Roland had an ulterior motive for sending Avvakir out to save workers from Parity Lake. He was hoping the ex-constable deva would die. And he did. Roland has now begun to groom the Avvakir into an Ob agent. Avvakir will fight the party in Adventure Nine, but the players will have a chance to remind the deva of his past life to turn him to their side.

We eventually arrived at Hotel Aurum to find a much smaller but equally terrifying foe awaiting us: Aunt Maya.

She wasted no time laying into Ella and her long-lost father: scolding Marcel for the terrible job he’d done raising his daughter and Ella for not coming home in several days and did she know how much stress and grief she’d caused her great-grandmother? It finally ended when Maya realised that one of the people she was scolding was, in fact, someone who’d been dead for thirty years.

Ella took advantage of the momentary lapse in yelling to rush Marcel past the confused gnome and inside. There we found many important and influential people but only one that really mattered: Delft Dad.

Okay I lied, Pete was there too.

'
A constable who regularly works out of the break room. The skald bakes goods in hopes to lure colleagues in, which he then traps with captivating stories.

Delft apologised for the lack of pastries and King Aodhan took over: asking for our report, questioning Marcel, and informing us of The Plan.

The Plan - spearheaded by Frank [the royal technologist/aussie wizard] - was to shoot off a bunch of fireworks and hope the colossus followed them. Then once it was hopefully in the harbour we could distract it with boats while the king banished it to the Dreaming. You know: like giving a kid a bunch of rubber duckies at bath time and hoping they don't squirm too much while you wash them.

This sounded like an excellent plan with absolutely no chance of failure and really, what else were we going to do with a giant robot? Use it to fight giant kaiju battles with the fey titans?

...Apparently not. (Much to my disappointment.)

We unanimously agreed that leading the construct along the route that would kill more buildings than people was the best option, and with that decided headed off to the docks. Although not before Ella dumped her dad with Aunt Maya: figuring that if anyone could keep him safe from a giant witchoil monstrosity then it would be her.

The docks were… absolute madness, as hundreds of people tried to evacuate the city by any means necessary. Thames Grimsley was unsuccessfully trying to calm them down but it wasn’t until Lisandra made an inspiring speech that they actually started listening. They listened so well that they actually decided to join in the military’s efforts rather than obstruct them. Good job, Lisandra!

Even the Coaltongue wasn’t immune to all the commotion though: with the captain having apparently died to a heart attack at the sight of the colossus. Angharad recognised the sailor who informed us of this as none other than the Old Stag himself: also known as Rear Admiral Morris Dawkins.

The Cipith didn’t bother to inform the rest of us of this though, so we remained blissfully unaware that the head of the Vekeshi assassins I mean Mystics was present, as we nominated Lisandra as stand-in captain and prepared for the events ahead.

Fireworks were fired... spells were pre-cast... the king began his ritual… and the Coaltongue pulled out into the bay as the colossus approached. Naturally, mother nature decided this was the perfect time for a thematically appropriate thunderstorm.

Rain bucketed down as we began our game of chicken with the enormous metal-baby: struggling to keep the king out of his reach but close enough for him to complete the ritual. Borne swatted at ships like the aforementioned child throwing a temper tantrum at bath-time and left shining trails of witchoil glistening on the water’s surface.

The oil began to bubble, and rise, forming oddly, gruesomely familiar shapes: Angharad with melted features and stakes through his limbs, and John’s former partner with an oily explosive device in her hand.

Arianrhod, a fey tormentor/lover from Angharad's past was allied with Ekossigan. Honestly, the party did her a favour by killing the herald of seasons. Arianrhod wants Ekossigan's chair at the Court all to herself.

However, she has seen Angharad grow in power. Knowing he seeks vengeance and has powerful allies, she worries her seat at the Court will be shortlived. She hopes to kill Angharad so she may rule in peace.

An enchanter, Arianrhod must rely on allies to defeat the party. Using the residual torment of the souls embedded in Witchoil, and the party's greatest fears and regrets, she shapes the oil into forms that specifically disturb the party. Each emits an aura of a different emotion, to which the PCs occasionally succumb. Eventually, Arianrhod draws on Harkover's fear of his old tyrannical self to shape the oil into a massive dragon that encases her.

Angharad and John immediately turned on Ooze-gharad: annihilating it before it could act; and the eschat-oil-ogist blob only had enough time for a single attack before it was likewise destroyed. Something about the witchoil figure had managed to plant a seed of anger in John and Lisandra’s minds though, and as Ella walked away from Lisandra the oracle lashed out and stabbed the tiefling straight through the back.

Lisandra barely had time to apologise to Ella and heal her before more witchoil figures appeared: these ones shaped like Connor and an awful amalgamation of Ella’s family. Lisandra felt a much more natural anger overcome her as she looked at the face of her dead lover, and cut the doppelganger to pieces in a single full-round. Meanwhile Ella had to be saved from her Demetri-ooze family by John and Angharad - the gnome utterly unable to attack even semblances of her family.

There was one final horror left to endure though: as a nymph with twig-like figures emerged from the stormy waters and mocked Angharad. The Cipith had no time to respond to Arianrhod’s taunts before streams of witchoil rose up and surrounded the fey: forming a reptilian shape not seen in Risur in centuries. A dragon.

1620701776876.png

Things getting messy.

Looking upon this legendary terror, John, Lisandra and Ella all immediately fell prey to confusion: leaving Angharad alone to fight the fey. The witchoil wyvern turned to the confused constables and began to breathe in their souls, taking wisps of their very beings into the witchoil making up its form.

Ella dropped unconscious as Angharad lashed out at Arianrhod with a ferocious flurry of attacks: trying but failing to pierce her oily hide. The kineticist’s skin blackened as he put his all into the combat: destroying his own body even as he ripped apart Arianrhod’s. Witchoil melted off the dragon and pooled on the deck like black blood, and lightning flashed all around as the Coaltongue pivoted away from the rampaging colossus.

Green light gathered around the construct in the bay as on deck Arianrhod’s draconic form melted away. She sneered down at Angharad even as the oil dissipated: “You can’t defeat me. Why don’t we stop playing this game?”

The Cipith tried to respond but found himself stuttering as memories of his tormented childhood returned: filling him with fear. Lisandra was quick to remind the Cipith that he was not alone though: casting Remove Fear and giving Angharad a second chance to denounce his abuser.

As the Cipith stood tall - no longer a vulnerable, stolen child - his words had a visible effect on the nymph: shrivelling her body and leeching away her power as he formally rejected her for the first time. The fey fell to the metal deck of the Coaltongue and began to burn, her flesh melting away as she tried to flee. She never made it to the edge of the deck though: Angharad’s final words catching her and unravelling her on the spot.

The king’s ritual reached its climax as the fey vanished, and Borne turned to the ship with fury in its eyes. Before it could breach the Coaltongue’s defenses though, green vines of light wrapped around the colossus and dragged it into the Dreaming: leaving Flint bay suddenly, startlingly calm...

As the storm died down and the surviving ships limped back to shore, the king turned to us and asked our opinions. Should he tell the truth, and tell his people of this new, vague threat posed by the Obscurati? Or should he unify them against the familiar enemy of Danor and lay the blame for recent events at the other nation’s feet?

The truth, we all agreed. Tell your people the truth.

When the Coaltongue finally docked it was greeted by cheering crowds, and as we gazed out at these thousands we had saved the king commanded us to kneel. Taking his sword, he bestowed upon us our reward and our new responsibility: official knighthoods of Risur.

And thus rose Dame Eleanora Cassia Arista Demetriou of Flint.
And Sir John Price-hill of Flint - not Slate.
Likewise Sir Angharad Cipith of Flint - not Garrick.
And Dame Lisandra Arvantis of Flint - no longer Lyrie.

To recap, Garrick is the birthname of Angharad (the fey called him Angharad), and Cipith is the surname given to humans taken by the fey.
John was originally from Slate, merely travelling to Flint for a gun expo. Now he calls Flint home.
Lyrie Ward was the name assigned to Lisandra by her adoptive father, Father Otis. Lisandra Arvantis was an alternative name she used for high class grifts. In one such grift, the RHC used her crime as leverage to force her to gather evidence on her mark. She joined the RHC as Lisandra.

I gave the player a few boons the moment they were knighted. Firstly, they immediately leveled up. Secondly, their wounds began to close. They all gain fast healing 1 whilst within Risur's borders.

As we stood, the magic of the land rose with us: healing our wounds and wrapping us in its warm embrace.

Home.
Imperfect. Conflicted. Soot-stained. And half-destroyed. But ours. And safe.
For now.

So. What lies ahead for our new-made knights? In this land haunted by shadows and plagued by inequality... how will our futures unfold? Is there some prophecy yet hidden in the stars - far beyond our soot-stained skies - that even Nevard had not seen?

Well… I suppose there’s only one way to find out.
 


Echolocation

Explorer
Interim session / DM notes

In between thwarting the Ob's agents in Risur, the party mourned their dead allies and caught up with NPCs. This included attending an observatory opening at the home of Conrad Kepplar, a philanthropist who hands out scholarships to help those less fortunate and the minder of Nathan Jierre (he used the tiefling's presence as an excuse to build his dream extension). Ella talked shop with her Ob father. Too low ranking to be subjected to a geas, Ella's father shared the story of his recruitment and his knowledge of the Bleaching. Lisandra's adoptive father takes over the Gallo's School for Boys. Angharad uses his devastating blow on Ekossigan to leverage power over gremlins, hoping to amass his own small army to demonstrate his autonomy. John adds more upgrades to his gun.

One item my party missed from Book 5 was the unique daggers wielded by Connor (Lisandra's lover slain by Kell). The explosion was so devastating, I couldn't think of a reasonable excuse to have them present. Connor wielded two inferno daggers, an item shamelessly adapted from the Starfinder system.

Inferno Knife
Price
3,000 gp
Not all developments in military technology are successful. Originally designed by Pemberton Industries to be a perfect survival tool, the inferno knife combines the cutting prowess of a survival knife with the virtues of a lighter and road flare. By squeezing one trigger, the user can inject a small stream of fuel from the hilt’s reservoir onto the blade’s tip, and a secondary trigger can ignite it, creating a small torch to signal others or light campfires. The product’s launch was disastrous, and users filed hundreds of complaints about the knives’ needless complexity. As a result, inferno knives have flooded the market and become showy weapons for criminals and performers, though timing the blade’s ignition in combat remains an unpredictable art.

An inferno knife is a masterwork dagger. If the wielder of an inferno knife rolls a natural 20 on an attack roll, the target catches on fire. An inferno knife uses petrol as fuel. It contains enough fuel to remain lit for 1 hour, shedding light in a 20-foot radius. Each successful natural 20 reduces the remaining duration by 5 minutes. A single charge of petrol costing 5 gp in a technologically advanced region refills the weapon’s reservoir.

Here are some news articles issued to the players. I asked some players how their character thwarted the Ob in the downtime. I use the word "stern" far too often.

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1621846956615.png
 

Echolocation

Explorer
Session 57

We begun Adventure Six. The party is suitably hyped to travel to Ber. Upon arriving, the constables try to find Brakken and eventually trace him to the courtroom. They defend him well, uncovering Rush's involvement. Impressed with Gluacia, they allow both Brakken and Glaucia to travel with them to the Summer Court. Before leaving Seobriga, they drop by Mellisa's house. With the journalist, Ella reflects on her vested interest in the mission, as Tinker is family.

Though, just as a humanoid turtle is bringing out some lunch from the kitchen, Rush and his colleagues burst through the skyline, ruining everyone's day and meal.

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Mission debrief in Slate

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An uninvited guest.
 

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