WotBS Tolamaker's Burning Sky

Bill T.

Explorer
Funny -- I concocted the town of Nashamport at the mouth of the River Nasham (on the Megadon side, of course). I think I would have named Gallo's land "Alydi".

Speaking of which -- @RangerWickett, is there any sort of story behind the name "Alydi"? It struck my players as a bit of an odd one-off.
 

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The adventure's first draft was written by my friend Lydia Dene, but she wasn't able to finish it, so I fleshed it out and gave it a level of polish . . . while on pain-killers after knee surgery. Which is why the inquisitor tries to cut out your ACL if he catches you.
 

Tolamaker

Adventurer
I've decided I'm going to keep this all on one thread, just for ease's sake. I won't bring chapter one in, but I'm going to rename the sessions accordingly.

Session 13
Orwin and Aripos ate some funny seeds, and dream strange dreams. They dream of orcs and goblins and elves dancing around a fire. Two men, an orc and an elf shake hands, while a human woman looks on in anger. In the sky above, an enormous thing disappears into the clouds, and an impossibly enormous eye stares down at them. Attracted by their dreams, an antlered serpent dragon attacks them. They manage to defeat it, and sleep soundly through the night.

In the morning, the party say their goodbyes. Papuvin asks them if they've seen Vuhl. No one has seen him since shortly after the fight with Indomitability.

Start of Chapter 3
The party leaves, and begins traveling to Seaquen. Leaving the forest, they're reminded that it's winter, and wrap themselves up tightly. Tiljann has never lived anywhere colder than a lake in a forest fire and is freezing, but excited to leave the forest. Gruz tells her the story of the Dawnbringers, a group of heroes in some long-forgotten realms who defeated a vampire lord. He then swaps stories with Diashan about military life, and learns that she is also a captain, who served in Ragesia against the Morusan Empire, and then joined a diplomatic delegation to Innenotdar. Gruz shares that his company did somewhat shady work in Ostalin, and they were all wiped out by a strange creature, leaving only him alive. Mishka and Eluriah think they're flirting, and tease him endlessly. Diashan is oblivious to the whispers.

On the road, they pass a group of hobgoblins, a woman and her three husbands. Eluriah heals one who had a nasty wolf bite, and the hobgoblins tell them that they're going to try and find elven treasures left behind in the forest. Gruz convinces them to stay away from the Elfroad, as all of the best loot has been taken there. The hobgoblins warn the party about wolves ahead.

What do you know, dire wolves attack. Thanks to Eluriah's watchful eye, the party is ready for their attack, and the wolves are summarily executed.

Post Session Thoughts:
This session was fun! The dream elemental fight was a bit of drag, because the elemental didn't land a single hit. In a strange way, that kept the players' fears alive longer, because they didn't know how much damage it would deal, or what would happen to them in the dream world. Ah well.

I forgot the tower along the path had a lock until they had entered it, so I made them make a check instead of auto-avoiding the fight encounters. Nothing above a 10 with advantage.

I'm beginning to feel the strain of too many companions. Not because of fight balance, but because I don't have the bandwidth to include every character in a session. This session, Haddin and Crystin basically didn't exist, and Diashan disappeared a few sessions back. I can't wait til Seaquen so I can start shedding them. Not that I dislike them, I just feel like I can't do any of them justice while I'm spread so thin.

Changes to the adventure
I made the dream elemental stay in the dream world, just to keep the fight short. If they had been hit, I would have had other characters notice them convulsing, and waking them would bring them out of the dream world. What would have happened if they died? I don't know, I didn't plan that far ahead.

I changed the hobgoblin encounter to a non-combat, and made it a brother-husband situation just because I found a single female hobgoblin portrait among 100 male ones, and thought it would be interesting.

End of Chapter 2 Thoughts
If I were to go back, I don't know if I'd change much, other than a few fights I feel like I could have ran better. I maybe would have presented the truth behind the start of the fire a little more clearly, but it's been fun trickling it out as well. The two highlights were uncovering the love triangle, and the tower mini-dungeon that was more dangerous than Indomitability's test.
 

Tolamaker

Adventurer
Session 14
The party manages to get meat and furs from the dire wolves that attacked them. Gruz tries to talk to Haddin about his warhammer, and Haddin just says it belonged to his younger brother. Gruz feels awkward, and ducks out of the conversation. They come to the town of Cornerwood, a former trade town that has fallen into ruin since trade from Gate Pass has ended. The party restocks on supplies, and asks questions, where they find out that refugees from Ragesia have been pouring into western Dassen. Rumor is most of them are going to Seaquen, because they're mages. Mishka tries to bond with a pigeon to find out if anyone is following them, but the pigeon gets distracted.

In the town of Brightstaff, Orwin is able to buy a pearl for Identify, and Aripose steals 100 silver from a banker. At the local hot springs, they meet an elf-woman, who asks Eluriah if she's married. She says there are good prospects and dowries in Shahalesti.

On the road, near the border between Churnett and Namin, they meet a knight patrolling. He introduces himself as Quincy Felthuf, and he tells them the troubles Churnett has faced in the past decades: The Fire Forest has cut off trade, a sorcerer named Psi Lu set a storm that wrecked their industries, and a dragon named Vorthax-Hul terrorized Brightstaff and stole the Brightstaff. Gruz asks for news of Gallo, and Quincy says he believes that Dassen is largely peaceful.

Post Session Thoughts
This one felt a bit rough, because I hadn't completely reaquainted myself with the adventure, but I think I got my feet underneath myself eventually. I liked the encounters in central Dassen more, and was thrown off when they agreed with Torrent that traveling by ship would be better, so I had to read straight from the book occasionally. The players enjoyed the roleplay, and meeting all of the NPCs, whether they were pre-written, or randomly generated. The elf woman had a whole backstory that they never asked about, because they were rather put off by her talk of marriage while they were all naked in the springs.

Gruz's player is getting a bit more spotlight as he's the only Dasseni, and its fun for the other players to ask him for obscure knowledge for him to make up.

Changes to the Adventure
I don't think I changed anything in the adventure, but I did add something to the traveling (EDIT: Actually, I changed Lsi Pu's name to Psi Lu, because I found it funny. His brother will probably be renamed Ngonsi Lu). I always find travel incredibly boring, and I'm not great at introducing RP elements, so I made an informal downtime system where players could simply say what they're doing while they rest each day, and I'll figure out the benefit they get when they reach Seaquen. They seem to enjoy it, and it led to some good moments.

Pretty uneventful session, other than everyone laughing at Quincy Felthuf's name, but good stuff.
 
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Tolamaker

Adventurer
A question for anyone else, is there an explanation for why Seaquen didn't help with Lsi Pu? I didn't remember reading an answer (up to chapter 5), and I'm curious if there could be a satisfying answer.
 


emeraldbeacon

Adventurer
It's been so long, I don't even remember what Lsi Pu needed help with, or when he would have asked Seaquen for help.
Dinner and a Story (E2). Quincy Felthuf is a knight of Lord Rego and is patrolling the road. He offers to have a meal with the heroes and listens intently to their tales of adventure, only scoffing with a sneer at their intention to go to Seaquen. He shares a hatred of Lyceum with Lord Rego.

The duke requested the school’s aid decades ago to help prevent a sorcerer from tapping into the power of an air primordial trapped on a peak in the Tundra Mountains. The school declined to help and the sorcerer, named Lsi Pu, completed the binding ritual. He gained the fury of a storm that he unleashed on Rego’s castle and lands. After a two-week reign of terror, Lsi Pu suddenly released the creature and disappeared, leaving behind a devastated duchy that was once Dassen’s strongest.
 

Tormyr

Hero
A question for anyone else, is there an explanation for why Seaquen didn't help with Lsi Pu? I didn't remember reading an answer (up to chapter 5), and I'm curious if there could be a satisfying answer.
I got the impression that Seaquen was quite young at the time, and they decided it was far enough away to be Dassen's problem (while they were trying to be independent of Dassen). If Lsi Pu causes a ruckus on a mountaintop, who does it really hurt?
 

Tormyr

Hero
It's been so long, I don't even remember what Lsi Pu needed help with, or when he would have asked Seaquen for help.
It was a portion of the additional content from the 4e edition that I incorporated into the 5e edition. Essentially, a number of encounters were added to the journey from Innenotdar to Seaquen to foreshadow and give context to story elements (primarily for adventure 4).
 


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