• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

The Slave and Her Sovereign


Kosal does not look Chanvati in the eye. He considers the arm grasping his own and simply says:

"Do you remember the words of that night?

* The horde will wash over Bantouk. A bloodless coup. We must ally with them.

* The corrupt order of society will be undone...inverted. The low will be brought high...the laborers elevated...the slaves freed...society flattened."

PA'AVU remembers "that night," the night when dozens of hounds perished as collateral damage in the dispute between the Second Nation and their former guru, the now blind tiefling, sibling to her gos'btar's consort. She does not particularly remember the words, nor does she care. What she does care about is who will become "collateral damage" as those in power--financial and political--play their games of machination. Her stomach sours with the memory of saving the pampered few--leading them to safety--while being unable to rescue any hound beyond her own ... who actually rescued them. Do any survivors of the burning of Ruffly Gelded remember that? Or simply see it as their due? The latter, she imagines.

No, let the merchant prince and the revolutionary ponder the ways and lives of the citizens and denizens of Bantouk. The goliath has more earth-shattering business to attend to, quite literally so.

* A slow rumble...a shifting earth...a massive magma chamber in minor upheaval. The stone facade of The Black Stage features a huge overhang, protecting the actors and the audience from the rare rain that might intermittently douse Bantouk. If that were to fail, the death toll would be...dramatic.

The angry earth cracks the stone facade at its foundation...the fissure snakes up and spreads throughout...

Even before the fissure becomes visible, Pa'avu senses the shifting in the Stone and Earth. Vezzuvu is making a move! The goliath takes a deep breath to more fully access her l'pahb'gin and calm her inner turmoil. She knows she must prepare herself for her own countermove and the cost to herself in carrying it out.

She kneels upon the stone floor and--eyes closed in concentration--carefully places both palms against the surface. Stoneroot's Stoneblessed digs deep into her resolve and pours her energy, her power, and whatever healing power she possesses to encourage the stone and earth to receive her gift. She focuses on the granules of sand which make up the facade of the stone foundation, pulling them back into congress with each other, working to keep the overhang from breaking apart. The strain in doing so is intense. Her own lithoderms threaten to separate from her stony skin, and sweat pours down her brow in the struggle to pull them back in as well.

The goliath cares nothing about the cosseted audience, perhaps more for the working actors. No, she is concerned that this moment is where Vezzuvu is attempting to get yet another foothold here on the surface. This cannot happen, this further assault on Stoneroot's domain. This moment--largely unnoticed by all attending here--is far more important than the mere machinations of mortals.

  • Pa'avu uses her Encounter Power Earthen Renewal to draw upon Stoneroot's Blessing to see her way through disaster (Effect: spend a Healing Surge but regain no HPs) for a +2 Power Bonus to
  • her Primary Skill Heal check to keep the facade and overhand from falling: r10+12+2 Power Bonus =24 (leaving it up to GM whether this roll applies to this SC or an embedded one)

log in or register to remove this ad


Per @Manbearcat :

1) I think P's move here looks like Success 3 to me. Its sufficiently overt and showy and of sufficient stakes that it should directly curry favor that would be leveraged toward the goal of the SC.
2) As far as C's next move with Kosal and the 2N's "op" here, I think its contingent upon whether the move engages overtly/directly with the "parent SC" Goal or whether it engages with a nested SC with its own Goal (but that indexes the parent SC's Goal). The prospects here are many and it depends upon the move made and the context. Something (a) like exposing the 2N in grand fashion as manipulators of the crowd and basically indicting them so the rioters pursue the conspirators (more-or-less an overt move C makes which prevents a collision between the rioters and the riot police here and a massacre)? That would obviously engage directly with our primary SC. Something else that would engage with the primary SC would be (b) a nested combat with WIN CON micro-objectives nested within the combat for the final success.
Now if C's move here is (c) more covert (eg negotiating with or employing the 2N to make moves covertly to prevent the collision between rioters and riot police - which they have conspired to make), then I think we frame that as a nested SC and resolve that nested SC with the 2N for the final success in our current SC.

So, we're going with (c) from the above. Chanvati's goal is to get 2N to pause whatever op they are about to unleash in an effort to prove to them (as part of the audience at large) that Big Changes are coming to Bantouk, changes that will benefit all the citizenry in a compromise move from outright revolution, ie, the establishment of a Congress of representatives from various walks of life in Bantouk. Thus, again, per Manbearcat:

Nested C1, L+1 SC (DCs 14/20; 1 Secondary Skill available) for final success in parent SC w/ Goal:

With the aid of the 2N, forestall the riot : riot police collision in such a way that furthers both our aims.

"Listen, Kosal," CHANVATI hisses through clenched teeth, "there is too much at stake here, too much you don't understand, to risk with whatever 'bloodless' reprisal you think you're bringing upon Bantouk's privileged! Real change is coming to our society! I have been privy to the Empress's plans, and they include the establishment of a Congress of representatives to share in the responsibilities of government. A real say in politics for all people of the Empire, Kosal!

"But that is at risk if there is mass violence here in such a public venue!"

As if on cue, a panic begins to spread throughout the assembled. Some scream and push to the exits as they realize what Pa'avu's action has done: save them from the imminent collapse of the stone facade into the crowd. Others seem to recognize that their chants have drawn the attention of nearby Legionnaires ... bored Legionnaires, all too eager to relieve that boredom with random acts of violence enacted upon the citizenry.

"Kosal," the Psion continues, "I need your help, and the help of whatever Second Nation agents are here in the crowd, to keep this situation from devolving to violence. And I need the crowd here to bear witness to what I have to say about the Congress! Not scattered to the four winds in fear! Please, for the sake of a new future, of a future with real, positive implications for Bantouk's underclasses, will you help me?"

Chanvati makes a Primary Skill Diplomacy check in this nested SC to win Kosal and the 2N's aid in trying to retain the audience and keep violence from breaking out, r16+16=32 vs 20 Moderate DC. Success.



Complexity 1 SC, Level 12 (DCs 14/20)
Goal: Go to The Black Stage (Easy), where pantomime actors perform for the city's elite (and, occasionally, its underclasses), to sway public opinion on the matters of societal reordering in some grand way.
3/4 Successes/0 Failures/1 Secondary Skill Available


Complexity 1 SC, Level 12 (DCs 14/20)
Goal: With the aid of the 2N, forestall the riot : riot police collision in such a way that furthers both our aims.
1/4 Successes/0 Failures/1 Secondary Skill Available

Kosal stares at Chanvati blankly. Then...a slight turn of the head and a look down...then back up into the eyes of Chanvati...without breaking eye contact he deliberately pulls a whistle from an inner pocket of his coat and blows. Responses in kind are heard all throughout the crowd, on the stage, and backstage.

Members of the crowd part around the staredown between Kosal and Chanvati like a violent, rushing river would a lodged boulder. This is a mixed group of panicked folks and a few foolishly asking for a drunken beatdown by the riot police. (1) There is a massive buttress to the structure that could be brought down to create a huge obstruction that would prevent this section of the crowd from pouring headlong into the Bladelings and would force the Bladeling riot police to have to divert significantly to get to the Black Stage. However, that brings about danger to the Black Stage crowd. Further, (2) a large procession of Fire Brigade wagons pull up manned with a cohort of firefighters who are clearly also 2N members. That could also be used for an obstruction but it might put the 2N Fire Brigade at risk.

MEDIUM DC as default.

However, if you want to try to bring down that huge, structural buttress (Arcana, Force) or use the 2N's Fire Brigade to "bar the way," (whatever move that might be), you can attempt at the HIGH DC for 2 x Successes.

However (however)...if you fail with the buttress, there will be some deaths in the crowd and the crowd will mob you; HIGH DC to deal with that.

If you fail with the 2N Fire Brigade, we're going to a very difficult combat with multiple possible WIN/LOSS Cons for success in this nested Challenge. You'll have 2N members (as terrain) scattered throughout the battlefield array to help deal with the Bladelings and the ability to stunt with the Fire Brigade wagon.

If you have some other idea, we'll discuss!
Last edited:


The Psion breaks eye contact with Kosal and seems to notice for the first time Pa'avu's feat of incredible earthmending. Likely she saved dozens of lives just now. Still, the compromised edifice sparks an idea.

CHANVATI has moved earth and stone with his mind before. He has demolished protective walls and collapsed stockades. But this? He will need to bring the full force of telekinesis to bear upon the buttress if he even is to break it free from the Black Stage's overhang. And then to maneuver it just so, creating an obstacle to forestall the approach of the Legion of Ruth's enforcers? And do so without crushing innocents along the way? 'Tis sheer madness to even try!

He smiles wryly.

Raising fore- and middle fingers of both hands to his temples, Chanvati unleashes a telekinetic force so potent it is practically visible--and certainly is felt--by those nearby. He wrenches a section of the buttress free. Oh, the weight of the thing! He winces. Sweat beads on his brow. With the confidence now of the Master of the Ego Fortress, he shifts the buttress away and through the night air. All activity grinds to a halt as heads turn upward and mouths gape. Then Chanvati carefully, oh so carefully, positions the hulk of stone between the Black Stage's audience and the approaching Bladeling guards.

That ought to do! He exhales and staggers where he stands.

Chanvati uses Adept's Insight to bolster his efforts here, r4+1=+5 bonus to his Primary Skill Arcana roll to detach and manipulate the buttress as a barrier between audience and guard, r15+16+5=36 vs 28 Hard DC. That's 2 Successes.


Complexity 1 SC, Level 12 (DCs 14/20)
Goal: With the aid of the 2N, forestall the riot : riot police collision in such a way that furthers both our aims.
3/4 Successes/0 Failures/1 Secondary Skill Available

With the landscape-based blockade Chanvati provided, some time is bought to surveil the immediate situation. Rietka and Yazdan return from sequestering the crowd away from Chanvati as best as they can given the circumstances of an avalanche of humanity (and demihumanity). The swelling crowd ended up stampeding a not-insignificant number of folks. Myriad minor to medium severity injuries (twisted ankles, hip pointers, a serious facial contusion) make up the bulk of it, but a few folks are unresponsive and seem to have sustained head trauma.

Yazdan beseeches Rietka to help him triage and deploy the rote fieldwork as medics both of them garnered in their years of military service. Rietka helps reluctantly, uttering "...they're your people...not mine," under her breath. The 2N members of the Fire Brigade who are helping Yazdan hear her and that triggers and interesting and ironic surge of patriotism within. A pair of them, mid-triage, rise and growl a menacing "what did you just say..." her way.

You've got a triage situation and potential blow-up between Rietka and the 2N. Resolve one of those (MEDIUM DC). If successful, vignette the resolution of the other one and the parent Skill Challenge at large (as this would cement its success). If failure, leave it right there and I'll draw upon one of those two situations to make things worse.


PA'AVU hears the human's threatening tone and turns her head to get a better glimpse. She has been helping to remove the larger pieces of stone trapping citizens beneath them--stone from pillars toppled by the escaping crowds, and she now pauses in the act of lifting a particularly large section of broken pillar over her head. Her sudden pause catches the attention of not only Rietka and Yazdan but the two members of the 2N as well.

Catching their eye with a stony glare, the goliath effortlessly tosses the humongous piece of stone onto the pile of broken pillar, shattering it with a loud crashing sound. As all stare wide-eyed up at her, Pa'avu answers the query made of the bladeling with a loud and menacing growl:

"She said that they are not her people but yours, and yet ... she helps. You saved your own skin in the Ruffly Gelded, not making any effort to save your own hounds, yet here she is--however reluctant--helping. You should be thanking her!"

With that, she turns and continues her work of stone removal, her muscles flexing. The 2N pair hunker back down to continue bandaging survivors, giving Rietka a shame-faced nod of thanks.

* Pa'avu uses a Secondary Skill Athletics check to show off her strength (by effortlessly throwing the large stone) (+16 = Autosuccess) for a +2 bonus and an Encounter Power (Howl of the Alpha Wolf) for a +2 Power bonus to

* her Primary Skill Intimidate check to teach these bozos some manners! r8+13+2 SS +2 Power = 25 vs 20 Moderate DC. Success.
Last edited:


As Pa'avu "settles" the tension between Rietka and the newly-patriotic members of the Second Nation, CHANVATI turns his attention to aiding the Wardenguard and the few trained emergency personnel amongst the audience of the Black Stage. "Interesting, that," he thinks to himself, "how few among the privileged classes here have any skill to make themselves useful." He is rather surprised to observe that the Empress, still in disguise, is not among the useless; she lends what energy and aid she can, clandestinely, to succor her people.

But Chanvati does not linger at his task. With the few Bladeling Legionnaires milling about aimlessly now that tempers have been tamped down and the audience looking like it's ready to disperse, its evening's entertainment foreshortened by these events, his moment to act is now.

With a sprightliness matching his youth (if not his affect), he vaults onto the uneven persimmon floorboards of the raised stage and calls out in his clear tenor, "Good citizens of Bantouk! What a momentous occasion you are party to here, on the oldest and grandest stage of our fair city! No, I do not speak of the disappointment of canceled acts. Nor do I intend the near-catastrophe averted here to dwell any longer in your thoughts. What I mean is that you are at the vanguard of sweeping change that comes to our Empire, change that unites the many voices of Hageri together in common purpose to restore dignity, purpose, and strength through common vision."

The Psion withdraws his newly-acquired piezoelectric topaz zills from a pouch and punctuates his speech with percussive jangling as emphasis.

"Unbeknownst to you, our ruler, Her Imperial Majesty, Scheherezade, Beacon Omnipotent, is here tonight to announce a seismic shift
[out-of-character: what? too soon?] in the landscape of our politics, the establishment of a Senate of wise rulers from all walks of life to share in governance of the Empire, for who knows better how to aid Her Majesty in rule than those experts who have worked their lives in service to furthering our great city and nation.

"Come, Your Majesty, surmount the stage and share your vision for a bold and robust empire with your people!"

Chanvati reaches down a hand to help raise Scheherezade to the stage where she can deliver her news to the populace.

While this is largely fictional vignette, I want to add a mechanical component to ensure Scheherezade's announcement receives the enthusiastic response it warrants. Chanvati spends the 135 GP of residuum to cast the ritual Anthem of Unity to unite the audience behind the cause of Senate, to spread its tidings to their friends, family, and neighbors in an uplifting swell of support.

Diplomacy Skill Check (I think training is refreshed since the "encounter" part of the scene closed out?), r5+16=21. The listeners perform a task that lasts up to 1 hour and that poses no risk or reward to them. (If you feel the encounter still continues, I lose my training for that roll, which would knock it down to 16. The listeners perform an action that lasts up to 1 hour and that benefits them in at least some small way. In any event, I imagine the establishment of representative government benefits all in the city to some degree.)


Anthem of Unity Level 8 Ritual
The anthem’s invigorating notes fill the audience with pride and single-minded purpose.
Component Cost: 135 gp, plus a focus worth 680 gp Key Skill: Diplomacy

Category: Binding Time: 10 minutes
Duration: 1 Day

When you perform the Anthem of Unity for a crowd of ordinary people—peasants, commoners, artisans, and the like—you unite them behind a single cause. Only creatures whose level at least 2 lower than yours are affected by this ritual.

The crowd must not be hostile to you and must be able to see and hear you for the entire performance. At the end of the ritual, you can request a single service from the crowd, to which the members of the audience respond as if you were a trusted friend. You can request anything that doesn’t involve violence, put the listeners at inordinate risk or imperil their friends or family, or place them in financial ruin. For example, you might ask the listeners to help put out a fire raging in the city, hide you and your allies from searching guards, or provide you with shelter or food. A Diplomacy check made at the end of this ritual determines what sort of help you can request.

Diplomacy Check ResultEffect
19 or lowerThe listeners perform an action that lasts up to 1 hour and that benefits them in at least some small way.
20–29The listeners perform a task that lasts up to 1 hour and that poses no risk or reward to them.
30–39The listeners perform a task that lasts up to 6 hours and that poses a mild risk but at least some benefit to them.
40 or higherThe listeners perform a task that lasts up to 1 day and that poses a mild risk without any benefit to them.
The number of individuals affected extends to anyone who witnesses the entire performance, so the larger the venue, the more people you can affect.

Focus: A musical instrument you play as part of performing the ritual.
Last edited:


Okay, here's how we see things moving forward from this point ... at least a bit into the foreseeable future. Clearly, some time needs to pass in order for Scheherezade's reordering of Hageri's political structure to be effected: the selection (and election?) of Senators from various walks of Bantouki life, the building out of a command-and-control structure around the Senate to match that of the throne (I imagine the Empress steadfastly holding on to her own personal reins of power in this fashion), and so on.

During that time, we would like to pursue Pa'avu's Major Quest (Paragon): Break the bond of servitude our new allies in The Legion of Ruth owe to Vezzuvu, eternal enemy of Stoneroot. To that end, (1) rooting out and slaying the Duchess of Cinders is integral, for she seems to be the vision and ringleader behind those forces within the Bladeling Horde that revere and serve Vezzuvu. Thus, we would need to (a) locate the entrance to the underground magma chambers that threaten Bantouk with natural calamity and (b) exorcise Vezzuvu's primordial fury from this locale. Then (2), we need to return to the surface and break Vezzuvu's control over the Legion in convincing and lasting fashion.

Then, presuming all this goes off without too much complication, we desire to turn our attention once again to the first part (a, italicized) of Chanvati's Major Quest (Paragon), having achieved the middle part (b, bolded): Remake the Hageri political landscape such that (a) the Legion of Ruth retreats from Bantouk to its desert strongholds, (b) imperial power is counterbalanced by a Senate, (c) elevating House Audaseie (and himself as its representative) as Leader of the Senate.

That last part (c, above) can happen prior to, during and concurrent with, or after what has already been set out here. But, crucially, there is also the lingering threat of Grimtail Reborn, agent of Nerull. That needs our attention, as well, and would take precedence over Chanvati's personal aims in seeing himself appointed Leader of the Senate. So, should there prove to be a natural opening in how things play out, we will look to pursue engaging with that threat before any other NPCs are knocked off (no doubt, further earning Nerull's wrath!).

Also, we leveled up at some point during the previous conflicts, so I will return to this post and add in both Chanvati's and Pa'avu's new character summaries to the placeholders below before the action advances.

Chanvati L12
Chanvati, level 12
Human, Psion|Warlord, Time Bender
Discipline Focus (Hybrid): Telepathy Focus (Hybrid)
Warlord Leadership: Canny Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord: Hybrid Warlord Will
Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid): Hybrid Encounter Power
Human Power Selection: Heroic Effort
Background: Merchant Prince, Nibenay - Walker of the Exalted Path, Tyr - Embedded Spy (Merchant Prince Benefit)
Theme: Noble Adept

Str 9, Con 13, Dex 13, Int 21, Wis 13, Cha 18.

Str 8, Con 12, Dex 12, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 15.

AC: 25 Fort: 20 Reflex: 24 Will: 30
HP: 69 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 17

Arcana +19, Insight +18, History +19, Diplomacy +17, Bluff +17

Acrobatics +11, Dungeoneering +11, Endurance +10, Heal +10, Intimidate +13, Nature +11, Perception +12, Religion +15, Stealth +10, Streetwise +13, Thievery +10, Athletics +8

Bardic Ritualist: Ritual Caster
Human: Bardic Ritualist
Level 1: Staff Expertise
Level 2: Unarmored Agility
Level 4: Bard of All Trades
Level 6: Superior Implement Training (Accurate staff)
Level 8: Superior Will
Level 10: Improved Initiative
Level 11: Cunning Stalker
Level 12: Bardic Knowledge

Hybrid at-will 1: Dimensional Scramble
Hybrid at-will 1: Direct the Strike
Hybrid Encounter Power: Powerful Warning
Noble Adept Utility: Acolyte Power
Hybrid daily 1: Living Missile
Hybrid utility 2: Mind Shroud
Hybrid daily 5: Stand the Fallen
Hybrid utility 6: Rousing Words
Hybrid at-will/encounter 7: Force Grasp
Hybrid daily 9: Mind Blast
Hybrid utility 10: Dimensional Shortcut
Time Bender encounter 11: Bonds of Time
Time Bender utility 12: Time Strider

MBA +12 vs AC, 1d8+2 (once/encounter could be +18 vs AC, 1d8+2 with Bracers of Mental Might)

Power Points: 9

Ritual Book, Adventurer's Kit, Disguise, Writing case, Residuum (Any) (1350), Ceramic hand focus, Piezoelectric Topaz Zills, Acrobat Boots (heroic tier), Healer's Sash (paragon tier), Philosopher's Crown (heroic tier), Gloves of Piercing (heroic tier), Battle Harness Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +1, Accurate staff of Psicraft +1, Byeshk Dagger +1, Bracers of Mental Might (heroic tier), Choker of Eloquence +2, Floating Lantern, Imperial Oration (heroic tier), Focused Static (paragon tier), Chosen of Tectuktitlay
Glib Limerick, Unseen Servant, Animal Messenger, Hold Portal, Seek Rumor, Enchant Magic Item, Sending, Anthem of Unity, Inquisitive's Eyes, Linked Portal

Pa'avu L12
Pa'avu, level 12
Goliath, Barbarian, Stoneblessed
Feral Might: Thunderborn Wrath
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Ki Focuses)
Background: Wandering Duelist, Feral Raider, Noble's Guard (Wandering Duelist Benefit)
Theme: Iron Wolf Warrior

Str 21, Con 17, Dex 17, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 11.

Str 16, Con 14, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 10.

AC: 27 Fort: 27 Reflex: 25 Will: 23
HP: 98 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 25

Athletics +17, Intimidate +14, Endurance +13, Perception +19, Heal +13

Acrobatics +8, Arcana +5, Bluff +6, Diplomacy +6, Dungeoneering +8, History +5, Insight +10, Nature +14, Religion +5, Stealth +8, Streetwise +6, Thievery +8

Level 1: Monastic Disciple
Level 2: Monastic Adept
Level 4: Versatile Expertise
Level 6: Wasteland Wanderer
Level 8: Markings of the Blessed
Level 10: Improved Defenses
Level 11: Cunning Stalker
Level 12: Acolyte Power

Barbarian at-will 1: Howling Strike
Barbarian at-will 1: Pressing Strike
Monastic Adept: Crane's Wings
Monastic Disciple: Iron Soul Flurry of Blows
Barbarian encounter 1: Resurgent Strike
Iron Wolf Warrior Attack: Iron Wolf Charge
Barbarian daily 1: Thunder Hooves Rage
Barbarian utility 2: Iron Resurgence
Barbarian encounter 3: Thundering Howl
Barbarian daily 5: Rage of the Crimson Hurricane
Barbarian utility 6: Climber's Claws (retrained to Quicksilver Motion at Acolyte Power)
Barbarian encounter 7: Wolf's Bound
Barbarian daily 9: Rage of the Death Spirit
Barbarian utility 10: Howl of the Alpha Wolf
Stoneblessed encounter 11: Mountain Sweep
Stoneblessed utility 12: Summit Advantage

MBA: +19 vs AC, 1d10+10 damage

Adventurer's Kit, Climber's Kit (2), Crowbar, Grappling Hook, Hunter's Kit, Hempen Rope (50 ft.), Marauder's Hide Armor +2, Vanguard Greatsword +1, Rain of Hammers Ki Focus +2, Javelin (3), Belt of Vigor (heroic tier), Helm of Vision Unclouded (paragon tier), Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Boots of Free Movement (heroic tier), Badge of the Berserker +1, Gauntlets of Blood (heroic tier), Stone Spider Silk Strand [Sovereign Glue (heroic tier)], Stone of Earth (paragon tier), Verdant Presence (heroic tier), Elven Chain Shirt (heroic tier), Jade Macetail

Rietka & Yazdan, The Wardenguard

Rietka & Yazdan, The Wardenguard Level 12 Skirmisher (Leader)​

Medium natural humanoid, bladeling & human XP 700​

HP 116; Bloodied 58 Initiative +12
AC 26, Fortitude 24, Reflex 25, Will 24 Perception+13
Speed 6 Low-light vision


Ambush Leader
At the start of an encounter, one ally within 5 squares of Rietka & Yazdan gains a +5 power bonus to its initiative check.

Combat Advantage
Rietka & Yazdan deal 1d6 extra damage against any creature granting combat advantage to them.

Standard Actions​

(⚔) Spear (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +17 vs. AC
Hit: 2d8 + 10 damage.
Effect: Rietka & Yazdan can shift 1 square.

Javelin (weapon) ✦ At-Will
Attack: Ranged 15 (one creature); +17 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6 + 10 damage.

Skewer (weapon) ✦ Recharge ⚄ ⚅
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +15 vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d8 + 10 damage, and ongoing 10 damage (save ends).
Effect: The target grants combat advantage until the end of its next turn.

Triggered Actions​

Wardenguard ResilienceEncounter
Trigger: Rietka & Yazdan or an ally within 5 squares of them is subjected to an effect that a save can end.
Effect (Immediate Reaction): The creature subjected to the effect makes a saving throw against it.

Skills Acrobatics +15, Bluff +15, Nature +13, Stealth +15
Str 18 (+10) Dex 18 (+10) Wis 15 (+8)
Con 12 (+7) Int 21 (+11) Cha 18 (+10)

Alignment Unaligned Languages Common
Equipment: chainmail, javelin x3, shield, spear.

Hazard the Dog

A Dog Named Hazard Level 12 Companion Character​

Medium natural beast (animal) XP 700​

HP 95; Bloodied 47; Surge Value 23; Healing Surges 11 Initiative +8
AC 27, Fortitude 26, Reflex 25, Will 24 Perception+13
Speed 6

Standard Actions​

(⚔) BiteAt-Will
Special: Hazard cannot use this attack while Savage Protector is enabled
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +16 vs. AC.
Hit: 2d6+ 10 damage, or 3d6 + 10 damage while the dog is within 2 squares of an ally.

Pack Attack!Daily
Attack (Standard Action): Melee reach (one creature) +16 vs. AC
Hit: 3d6 +10 damage.
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, once per round when an ally hits the target with a melee attack, you can make a melee basic attack with combat advantage against the target as a free action.

Minor Actions​

Rabid LungeEncounter
Effect: The reach of Hazard’s Melee powers increases to Melee 2 and he ignores the effects of the dazed, immobilized, and slowed conditions until the end of his next turn.

Savage ProtectorAt-Will

Effect: Hazard gains +2 Armor Class, cannot use Bite, gains Snarl and Snap and Harrier. This Effect can be ended with a Minor Action.

Standard Actions​

(⚔) Snarl & SnapAt-Will
Special: Hazard must enable this power through Savage Protector
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +16 vs. AC.
Hit: 2d6 + 10 damage
Effect: Hazard marks the target until the end of Hazard’s next turn.

(⚔) HarrierAt-Will

Special: Hazard must enable this power through Savage Protector
Trigger: An enemy that is marked by Hazard and is adjacent to it shifts or makes an attack that doesn’t include it as a target.
Attack (Immediate Reaction): Melee 1 (the triggering enemy); +16 vs. AC
Hit: 2d6 +10 damage, and Hazard slides the target 1 square.

Triggered Actions​

Furious ComebackEncounter
Special: Hazard cannot use this while in Savage Protector
Trigger: Hazard’s attack damages an enemy
Effect (Free Action): Spend a healing surge.

Skills Athletics (Escape) +15, Perception +13
Str 18 (+10) Dex 14 (+8) Wis 14 (+8)
Con 14 (+8) Int 10 (+6) Cha 11 (+6)

Equipment: Sigil of Companionship (Heroic Tier)

Of note are the new U12 powers (Summit Advantage for Pa'avu and Time Strider for Chanvati) and Feats (Bardic Knowledge for Chanvati and Novice Power (to swap Monk's Quicksilver Motion into the U6 slot in place of Shrug It Off).
Last edited:


* Minor Quest (Convince the Empress that by establishing a new political order in Bantouk...) = 600 + 1400 (C1, Level 12 SC x 2) = 2000/2 = 1000


* 3100 coin/2 = 1550 apiece

* 1 art object worth 1500 gold (a souvenir given by the owner/operator of The Black Stage for saving the ancient building and its cultural heritage)

* 2nd Nation Promise
Before parting, Kosal and company vow to help aid you with a future endeavor in the city, no questions asked.
Consumable 500 gp
Power ✦ Consumable Utility (Minor Action)
Effect: You treat the result of a Streetwise check made in Bantouk as a 20.

Alright, in-line with the espoused goals above in darkbard's post, here is the structure for the next bit of play:

Level 14 (L+2), C5 SC
DCs 15/21/30
0/12 Successes
(4 Hard DC available)/0 Failures/5 Secondary Skill Available/6 Advantages available)

Prerequisite: Endure Elements Ritual or some other equivalent form of protection to deal with the horrific temperatures of Vezzuvu's Depths.

Special: There is no Extended Rest allowed for this challenge as the hour of calamity is nigh. Earthquakes that shake Bantouk are increasing in frequency and magnitude, pyroclasm and deadly gasses vent from earthen fissures, the combination signaling impending doom. At the PCs discretion, they can gain a more limited Recover (The characters locate a small oasis from the toxic fumes, awful heat, and hostile denizens to afford a momentary reprieve) action Requirement: Dungeoneering check vs Medium DC (21).
Effect: Each character restores 1 x Daily and 1 x Healing Surge.
Special: On a failure, the oasis isn't what it seems. Combat ensues (with an escape Win Con "on the board").

Macro Goal: Defeat the Duchess of Cinders and disarm the impending pyroclasm and basalt lava flow that will bring ruination upon Bantouk. Failure means this comes to pass and (a) the PCs have to engage in an SC to escape Vezzuvu's Depths before it collapse and then (b) save Bantouk's citizenry and historical artifacts from the cataclysm.

Staged Goals:

1) (4 successes) Locate and ingress into the subterranean bowels of the earth where Vezzuvu's volatile magma chambers threaten Bantouk and the Duchess of Cinder Lairs. Upon 3rd success, trigger combat against the gatekeepers (for 4th success).

2) (6 successes) Navigate the hazards, perils, and denizens of Vezzevu's Depths. 1 situation/obstacle will be a combat with the denizens where either (a) defeat or (b) escape is Win Con for success.

3) (2 successes) Defeat the Duchess of Cinders and defeat the volcanic threat to the city (nested SC).

Alright time to provision/outfit for your 4e-equivalent dungeon crawl! Pick out your roster of 4; Chanvati, Hazard, Pa'avu, and a fourth. Seems likely that Bita-Bousseh would be aiding in political matters topside, but if she goes with you, that's fine. If not her, then perhaps a Companion Character that is a combination of the Wardenguard (Yazdan and Rietka)? Or perhaps Arunny returns from the Hinterlands and we have a brief reunion?

Prerequisite: Endure Elements Ritual or some other equivalent form of protection to deal with the horrific temperatures of Vezzuvu's Depths.

Describe what you do to resolve this and make any attendant moves for both this and any further provisioning/outfitting for your journey into the burning depths of the earth beneath Bantouk to confront Vezzuvu's agents. If you generate a failure/twist, then stop there and I'll frame a complication. If you do not, proceed directly to making a "Locate/Reconnoiter/Lore/Contacts (etc)" move for the 1st success of the 1st layer of the SC; MEDIUM DC.

Staged Goals:

1) (4 successes) Locate and ingress into the subterranean bowels of the earth where Vezzuvu's volatile magma chambers threaten Bantouk and the Duchess of Cinder Lairs. Upon 3rd success, trigger combat against the gatekeepers (for 4th success).
Last edited:


Before the heroes depart The Black Stage, its owner, a wizened dwarf named Ponlikdur bestows upon Pa'avu as appreciation for her heroics in preventing his theater from collapsing a lindenwood marionette of Goliath proportions and representative features, the work of Xiao Lin, the renowned sculptor--"a collector's item drawn from our permanent exhibition! We call him Kavaki!"

* * *

Knowing that environmental calamity, stirred up by Vezzuvu's agent, the Duchess of Cinders, threatens Bantouk from below, CHANVATI wastes no time in making a stop in to The Genie's Lamp, that luxury consignment shop in Bantouk’s upscale merchant district, Mohair Rows, to procure, if he can, a scholarly work treating protection from the punishing heat and flames he knows they are sure to encounter in their journey into the bowels of the earth below Bantouk. There, he finds just what he's looking for, a dusty work of practices, ritual incantations, and warding disciplines entitled Foiling the Fevertouch of Fiends.

Chanvati makes a Streetwise check to procure the requisite item (a Ritual Book containing both Endure Elements (L2) and Protection from Energy (L7) Rituals), for a cost of 620 gp, r4+13=17 vs 14 Easy DC (Familiar Settlement and not dangerous situation) +10 Uncommon Magic Item = 24 DC. Failure.

Looks like I'm stopping right here!

EDIT: Below picks up after this prompt from @Manbearcat :

@darkbard on your Streetwise complication, I say we go with player-choice cost:

The occupation has created increased supply chain costs and inflation; 2.5 x the coin cost (1550) for the Ritual Book.


Your haggling with the merchant works, but the effort is time consuming and frustrating; take -2 forward to Chanvati's next Primary Check.

At your leisure, go ahead and choose, edit your post, and continue!

"Akra, you must be jesting. Fifteen hundred and fifty gold for the book? That's highway robbery!"

The proprietor of The Genie's Lamp merely shakes his head. "I wish I were joking, Master Audaseie. But ever since the occupation, trade into and out of the city has slowed to a trickle. Even when I am able to procure an item, I'm looking at two, three times the normal cost. The Legion sure isn't good for business." He shakes his head once again.

Chanvati's brow furrows. "No. No, it certainly isn't," he agrees. And grudgingly makes arrangements for the transfer of the required coin.

* * *

"You know what I ask of you?" Chanvati poses to The Wardenguard, Rietka and Yazdan, as they recline with him and Pa'avu around a low table sumptuously laden with all manner of delicacies. "To face the oppressive environmental conditions of the lava pools and brimstone-befouled cave networks beneath the city is one thing. I can protect us with warding magicks. But this Duchess and her servants. Well, Rietka, you know all too well her madness, her power, her threat."

The Bladeling lifts one eyebrow but remains silent.

"We understand, Psion," Yazdan says. "And there is no choice. This Duchess of Cinders threatens everyone within the city in the name of her Primordial Master."

* * *

The next morning Chanvati has received word back from his contacts--both personal and those within the Empress's Information Ministry. Surely one of the many diviners, seers, or more mortal agents has tracked the Duchess of Cinders's movements, knows of a comparatively-unobserved entrance into her lair among the magma chambers of the undercity.

Having an empire's spy network at one's service certainly has its perks, for a seemingly meek diviner in the Ministry's employ, a double agent who also serves as low-tier priestess to Mavi-ishiq within the church, ushers the heroes to such an entrance, deep below the Vault of Night Stars, central cathedral to the Lord of the Heavens in the city.

There, Chanvati spends several minutes reading from Foiling the Fevertouch of Fiends, strange words that sound like no language any of the others have heard. Then he ignites in a small bowl magical reagents and annoints each of the participants, himself, Pa'avu, The Wardenguard, even Hazard the dog, with a smudge of ash residue.

"This ritual protects us from the heat of the burbling volcano. Let us hope that twenty-four hours will suffice!"

Drawing upon the vast spy network available to Empire, Chanvati deploys By Decree of the Empress! (Consumable) here: Trigger: You make a Streetwise Primary Skill Check. Effect: It automatically succeeds, and you earn 1 additional Success in the challenge. That is use of Streetwise as a Primary Skill in the SC for 2 autosuccesses.

Oh, and as should be obvious from my highlight above, we're paying the exorbitantly jacked price rather than suffer a skill check penalty.

Chanvati spends the 20 gp residuum to perform the Endure Elements ritual upon himself, Pa'avu, The Wardenguard, and Hazard.
Last edited:

Remove ads