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WotBS advice needed (SPOILERS galore)

trencher7

Villager
Hello WotBS sages,

Warning: if you plan to play in this campaign do not read any further!

You have been warned!


I will use this thread to ask questions whenever they come up.


My group consists of 6 players (a half-elf bard, a human barbarian, a dwarf fighter, a dwarf ranger, a human cleric and a dragonborn sorcerer) and coming from a Long time Call of Cthulhu tradition the focus lies on actual roleplay and not so much on fighting.
After we finished the burning wood the group just defeated the witches and their crocodile in the swamp and are about to free Katrina.
The burning wood was great to play in Terms of roleplay but whatever could go wrong, actually went wrong. The barbarian tried to cross the wood with Crystin as fast as possible, while the other characters took their time. This was because they thought they would not have enough potions of stand the heat for all and they would have a better chance if two of them tried to be as fast as possible. This lead to the Point that only he got the offer from indomitability and without any further questions accepted to free him. So now he waited for the others, told them that they had to stop a song in a village full of evil fey creatures and they all agreed to follow. Long story short, they took a couple of minutes to listen to Vuhl and Papuvin and then decided to stop the song via "Silence". The Trillith were freed, Tragedy appeared, the Seela and the wood died and they instantly knew that they did a mistake.

Next session they took their time to explore the forest and found some of the clues but they only came up with more questions. They even met Nelle who could give them some hints but to make sure that my group understood that their reckless Actions will mean consequences Nelle also died after the meeting.


So the group decided that in Seaquen they have to get some answers and I`d like to know what information I could give them in order to give them some kind of success after all these setbacks but WITHOUT spoiling to much of what is about to come.

They want to find out in Seaquen:
- Why does teleporting no longer work? (Is it at this moment possible to give any answer to this?)
- Is there any information about the Trillith/ Trilla herself available?
- What does one know about the song of forms (they only know that there might be one surviving Seela, Etinify, who might know the song of forms)
- Is there any common knowledge about Etinify available?
- What exactly is at this point known about Coaltongues death?
- What exactly is at this point known about Coaltongues relationship to Trilla/ her mother?

Thanks in advance!
 
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hirou

Villager
I have not run but only read through WotBS, so take this with a grain of salt:
-from "general arcane point of view", recently local plane of fire became entangled with all teleportation magic; it's reasonable to assume that the reason "why?" is something a) magical b) of immense power c) connected to teleportation and fire. Coaltongue should be renowned by teleporting entire armies through the pillar of fire, but it's up to you whether this could be the only visible solution (maybe drop a tale of his assault "from the sky" as an "unrelated" tavern rumor/story?)
-the name of Trilla herself should be obcure but available to historians, as a young dragon, captured by Coaltongue many years ago.

A general word of warning: if your party is not particularly interested in combat, read ahead of time through the adventures and redistribute some EXP from battle encounters to quests (or just forget EXP alltogether and just give out levels by story progression, as it is done in Zeitgeist, later campaign). At later levels, particularly in 4e, IMHO there are a lot of fights only required to provide the party with required amount of EXP for next level.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
If they got all 3 opposing offers and still tried to silence the song, then they made their choice.

As for information they might find out in Seaquen:
- Why does teleporting no longer work? (Is it at this moment possible to give any answer to this?)
The timing points to Coaltongue's alleged death, but no one can be sure without divination magic or by visiting castle Korstull.
- Is there any information about the Trillith/ Trilla herself available?
Not really. Trilla was only evacuated under Gate Pass ~60 years Before the Scourge. Few trillith have escaped the dream world since then. With little contact, people did not even know there was something to research as Trilla's evacuation to Gate Pass was only know by a few Taranesti.
- What does one know about the song of forms (they only know that there might be one surviving Seela, Etinify, who might know the song of forms)
Some of the elves in the ghetto at Gate Pass might be refugees from Inennotdar and would be aware of the Song of Forms, but they would likely not know the song itself. Their best chance at this point is Etinifi, and he has a vested interest in making sure the trillith win.
- Is there any common knowledge about Etinify available?
It is highly unlikely. Etinifi only wandered for roughly a year before attaining immortality. He would have laid low afterwards, ashamed of what he had done, until Leska captured him a few years later.
- What exactly is at this point known about Coaltongues death?
That Coaltongue is dead is an uncorroborated (but accurate) rumor. Basically everyone present in the castle is undead and have not left the vicinity. The assassin's absconded with the body and are lying low.
- What exactly is at this point known about Coaltongues relationship to Trilla/ her mother?
Few probably know about Trilla. Only a handful of Ragesian and Taranesti soldiers were present at the creation of the torch and many of them would have died. Syana was killed; the bone devil was killed; and Jesepha is insane and in the dream realm. More would have know about Syana, but only that she was the guardian of the Taranesti, that Colatongue killed her, and that her skeleton is in Castle Korstull.
 

trencher7

Villager
If they got all 3 opposing offers and still tried to silence the song, then they made their choice.

As for information they might find out in Seaquen:
- Why does teleporting no longer work? (Is it at this moment possible to give any answer to this?)
The timing points to Coaltongue's alleged death, but no one can be sure without divination magic or by visiting castle Korstull.
- Is there any information about the Trillith/ Trilla herself available?
Not really. Trilla was only evacuated under Gate Pass ~60 years Before the Scourge. Few trillith have escaped the dream world since then. With little contact, people did not even know there was something to research as Trilla's evacuation to Gate Pass was only know by a few Taranesti.
- What does one know about the song of forms (they only know that there might be one surviving Seela, Etinify, who might know the song of forms)
Some of the elves in the ghetto at Gate Pass might be refugees from Inennotdar and would be aware of the Song of Forms, but they would likely not know the song itself. Their best chance at this point is Etinifi, and he has a vested interest in making sure the trillith win.
- Is there any common knowledge about Etinify available?
It is highly unlikely. Etinifi only wandered for roughly a year before attaining immortality. He would have laid low afterwards, ashamed of what he had done, until Leska captured him a few years later.
- What exactly is at this point known about Coaltongues death?
That Coaltongue is dead is an uncorroborated (but accurate) rumor. Basically everyone present in the castle is undead and have not left the vicinity. The assassin's absconded with the body and are lying low.
- What exactly is at this point known about Coaltongues relationship to Trilla/ her mother?
Few probably know about Trilla. Only a handful of Ragesian and Taranesti soldiers were present at the creation of the torch and many of them would have died. Syana was killed; the bone devil was killed; and Jesepha is insane and in the dream realm. More would have know about Syana, but only that she was the guardian of the Taranesti, that Colatongue killed her, and that her skeleton is in Castle Korstull.
I think they made their choice after Indomitability´s offer. After that they listened to Papuvin and Vuhl but thought that stopping the song would be the best course of action. Now they have to live with the consequences which culminated in a couple of hours of very deep roleplay between the characters. Great session but they now have a feeling of ignorance of what is going on and they desperately need some sort of success and gaining some information in Seaquen would be a great start.

Thanks for your insight.
 

Lylandra

Explorer
Well, teleporting does work, but it turns you to a crisp. Scholars (and those with sufficient planar or arcane knowledge) might guess that something must have happened in the astral plane as summoned creatures are affected as well. There might be theories like this among the mages in Lyceum. Pristina and Kiernan might even have slightly different kinds of theories.

Regarding Trilla: Some Shahalesti know that she vanished, but these are the ones who committed genocide. Shaaladel knows about the torch's creation and I guess some of his high wizards would know as well. This is why he was after Trilla in the first place. It is up to you whether you'd want to give these informations to Shalosha as well and I'd rather say she doesn't know about her father's true colors.

Regarding Etinifi: If you wish to use it, you can import the 4e storyline "Tiljann's Quest", even if Tiljann is dead in your campaign. In this storyline, Gilver Fern, Head of Lyceum Student affairs, actually knows Etinifi. He also knows the Song of Forms though I don't know if he knows it completely. So if they ask about the Seela, Gilver might tell them that a Seela named Etinifi came there ~50 years ago in search of hints about old myths. He then found info about the sunken temple of Aquila, saw a mural depicting the Aquiline Heart myth and left his sigil on the wall.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
I think they made their choice after Indomitability´s offer. After that they listened to Papuvin and Vuhl but thought that stopping the song would be the best course of action. Now they have to live with the consequences which culminated in a couple of hours of very deep roleplay between the characters. Great session but they now have a feeling of ignorance of what is going on and they desperately need some sort of success and gaining some information in Seaquen would be a great start.

Thanks for your insight.
Interesting, this could be the launching point for them looking at problems on multiple levels. One of the prevailing themes of WotBS is "healing the land" ravaged by war. The Fire Forest of Innenotdar has a tough moral quandary for low-level characters (not saying hard choices are limited to any level; just they often do not show up so early in a big story). That the players ran with their choice and kept the role play going is great. :)

There likely will be frustration as they reach Seaquen and most of their questions go unanswered. That should be short-lived as they are sent on a few side quests to acclimate themselves to Seaquen. Even then, helping the refugees work together or rescuing the dragon's egg can be more nuanced than a traditional "go kill something" quest. One of the things I really appreciate about WotBS and Zeitgeist is the nuanced and multi-layered stories and villains. The sheer amount of short- and long-term treachery in Shelter from the Storm is impressive.

As for the Song of Forms, the wizards at Lyceum could produce enforced flesh, but they probably need more information (madness' attack) before they could make real progress. It might not be ready until they return from Castle Korstull.

If you read [MENTION=6816692]Lylandra[/MENTION]'s game reports, you really get the sense of how The Fire Forest of Innenotdar is "training wheels" (as tough as it is) for what comes later in terms of negotiation and dealing with NPCs.
 

trencher7

Villager
Thanks a lot!
Great insight here!
I am really looking forward to "Shelter from the Storm" for the aforementioned reasons.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Thanks a lot!
Great insight here!
I am really looking forward to "Shelter from the Storm" for the aforementioned reasons.
I came across a knowledge check for Trilla in adventure 2. It will be a DC 23 Intelligence (Arcana) check in the 5e version. If none of the heroes are successful, you could have Simeon or someone at the Lyceum make the check with advantage (via research and help) and see if they know anything.
 

trencher7

Villager
Thanks again!
Hopefully I will be able to come up with a list of probable information I am willing to give my group in Seaquen.
Maybe you all could have a look at this and tell me whether this might work or whether I am spoiling too much in advance.
 

trencher7

Villager
I think that because my group seems to not have a way to learn the song of forms anytime soon (or maybe never...) I will follow the route of Lyceum´s magicians coming up with the enforced flesh spell. Maybe I will have my group fight Madness and seeing that they stand no Chance as Long as the creature is incorporeal. Together with the magicians they can then develop the spell.
[MENTION=6816692]Lylandra[/MENTION] could you please point me to where exactly to find the 4e Tiljann´s Quest concerning Etinify? I am willing to buy the mentioned supplement if I just knew which one it is :)

So now my group will get some answers (even though just vague ones it seems) in Seaquen. I think I will message them and ask in advance whether there is more they´d like to investigate concerning the background so that I will be prepared in advance.

BTW: maybe someone could just tell me what is common knowledge about the Torch itself?
 

Lylandra

Explorer
So, your group also completely missed the Living Blade? Ouch. One of my players is still using it at level 20 (though I upgraded it a bit with Weapons of Legacy ideas).

For Tiljann's quest: This is a sidequesi in the 4e version of Shelter from the Storm (adventure #3). I found this 4e adventure to be extremely useful due to the fact that it offers two suggested routes through Dassen to the Lyceum which 1) eases prepwork for the DM and 2) gives you and your players a bit of info on Dassen in advance.

I can only imagine how hard it must have been to prep a 4 weeks journey without any hard info on the country you're travelling through (playing #3 before #4 was even released). Okay, you can always go the "Haddin charms the captain" route... ;)

Edit: Common knowledge about the torch?
1) It can teleport armies
2) Coaltongue devastated masses of enemies with it (he was an epic level character wielding an epic level artifact)
3) It looks very... crude and improvised for an artifact
4) You can use it to scorch revolting villages -> it produces some sort of magical flaming effect
5) It is most likely the most feared item on this continent
 
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trencher7

Villager
Thank you, Lylandra!
No worries, they retrieved the sword from the stag´s corpse after Indomitability fled from it. They now also know whom it belonged to and want to find out more about Anyariel. Luckily this is more or less covered in the 3.5ed., which I am using, so that I can prepare something for them to find in Seaquen.

Also the trip through Dassen was overshadowed by the inner conflict of the group about what happened in the wood (they more and more realize that they did something veeeeery stupid) and how they could avoid a repetition in the future. So they more or less stayed away from settlements only sending Haddin to get what they needed for the trip and after they realized how he got the stuff from the merchants although they always gave him some money to actually pay for the goods the situation within the group got even worse (which lead to really intense roleplay within the group).

One of the Players just messaged me a couple of minutes ago that he would like to have some background information about Dassen but this can be found in @Tormyr´s new 5e player´s guide.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
I think that because my group seems to not have a way to learn the song of forms anytime soon (or maybe never...) I will follow the route of Lyceum´s magicians coming up with the enforced flesh spell. Maybe I will have my group fight Madness and seeing that they stand no Chance as Long as the creature is incorporeal. Together with the magicians they can then develop the spell.

@Lylandra could you please point me to where exactly to find the 4e Tiljann´s Quest concerning Etinify? I am willing to buy the mentioned supplement if I just knew which one it is :)

So now my group will get some answers (even though just vague ones it seems) in Seaquen. I think I will message them and ask in advance whether there is more they´d like to investigate concerning the background so that I will be prepared in advance.

BTW: maybe someone could just tell me what is common knowledge about the Torch itself?
Reread the "If the Seela Died in the Conclusion of chapter 2. The song is ingrained in the heroes' minds. So they still have access to it if you wish. Maybe remind them of it in a dream on a long rest?

EDIT: Strike that, it is the second paragraph of the "Consequences" encounter.
 
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Tormyr

Adventurer
Thank you, Lylandra!
No worries, they retrieved the sword from the stag´s corpse after Indomitability fled from it. They now also know whom it belonged to and want to find out more about Anyariel. Luckily this is more or less covered in the 3.5ed., which I am using, so that I can prepare something for them to find in Seaquen.

Also the trip through Dassen was overshadowed by the inner conflict of the group about what happened in the wood (they more and more realize that they did something veeeeery stupid) and how they could avoid a repetition in the future. So they more or less stayed away from settlements only sending Haddin to get what they needed for the trip and after they realized how he got the stuff from the merchants although they always gave him some money to actually pay for the goods the situation within the group got even worse (which lead to really intense roleplay within the group).

One of the Players just messaged me a couple of minutes ago that he would like to have some background information about Dassen but this can be found in @Tormyr´s new 5e player´s guide.
Nice job with Haddin! ;)
 

trencher7

Villager
Nice job with Haddin! ;)
You can´t imagine... They hate him so much right now :cool:

OMG: The more questions I have, the more stupid I feel...

Is there any common knowledge about the creation of the Torch?

And thanks a lot to all of you who contributed to this thread so far!
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
You can´t imagine... They hate him so much right now :cool:

OMG: The more questions I have, the more stupid I feel...

Is there any common knowledge about the creation of the Torch?

And thanks a lot to all of you who contributed to this thread so far!
That would be hearsay and rumor. Only a few were present at the creation of the torch...and half of them ended up dead or missing.
 

StreamOfTheSky

Villager
The burning wood was great to play in Terms of roleplay but whatever could go wrong, actually went wrong. The barbarian tried to cross the wood with Crystin as fast as possible, while the other characters took their time. This was because they thought they would not have enough potions of stand the heat for all and they would have a better chance if two of them tried to be as fast as possible.
Did you know Stand the Heat is available as a 1st level spell in the new spells section of the campaign? I provided the info to my party before they even left Gate Pass, so they could prep by buying up the material component. The cleric, sorcerer, and (once 4th level) ranger could have always cast it some more (expanding it to the bard spell list wouldn't have broken anything, either) if they ran low on potions or supplemented each day so less potions could be used. If Torrent was with them, she could also cast it.
They're also supposed to be able to find the caravan in the gorge early on w/ a ton more of the potions. So I mean...while they can't spend a month in there, they should have felt safe being there for up to a week. May have helped lead to less rash decisions.
(agreeing to help Indomitability of course removes the problem entirely, but you can't expect most parties to do so)

Anyway, answers below:

They want to find out in Seaquen:
- Why does teleporting no longer work? (Is it at this moment possible to give any answer to this?)
The Wayfarers can tell them about the Burning Sky effect, in fact that's the reason they've suspended their teleporting services. No one currently knows why it is, but it started around the time the Torch and Emperor Coaltongue went missing...
- Is there any information about the Trillith/ Trilla herself available?
Try looking in Chapter 7, I think that had some knowledge checks to know who Trilla was (daughter of Syana), though I'm not sure they'd have access to the books/resources to know about that, or the battle between Coaltongue and the Taranesti elves yet. I had no one in Seaquen know of the Trillith or had ever heard of them before. The lack of info early on made my party super paranoid about Deception's return. Savor it, I say :)
- What does one know about the song of forms (they only know that there might be one surviving Seela, Etinify, who might know the song of forms)
The never got to talk to Tiljann or Papuvin about it before they made their bad decision? That's going to be tough with all the Seela other than Etinfi dead now... The seela learned the song of forms from the Worldshaper Worm, one of the four primal elemental creatures that in the campaign seem to be afforded the status of creators of the world. I guess the best option would be a bard in the Wayfarers or Headmaster Simeon in the Lyceum happening to know the song from research, if you want them to be able to learn it anytime soon. Otherwise, not till they meet Etinifi, way later on.
- Is there any common knowledge about Etinify available?
I'd say no. The Seela could have told them some things, but...so much for that.
- What exactly is at this point known about Coaltongues death?
He was last seen at Castle Korstull in Sindaire, and was in the midst crushing a rebellion by nobles there. No one seems to know what happened to him and the Torch, but he's presumed dead and Leska's ascended the throne in his absence. A huge area miles around the castle is now treacherous with a firestorm raining liquid flame, and no one who has ventured into the firestorm for any significant amount of time is known to have made it back out.
- What exactly is at this point known about Coaltongues relationship to Trilla/ her mother?
As above, they might be able to find out about the battle between his army and the Taranesti and Syana, and that Trilla was Syana's daughter, held captive by Ragesia to provoke Syana into fighting. But that'd be pretty obscure knowledge early on. Someone from the Shahalesti region might know about it. But that's about it for now.
EDIT: Oh, the campaign does cover them learning the song even if they kill all the Seela. Well, if you think suddenly learning it once one of them learns Sylvan is to easy/random, or they have no idea they need to know Sylvan, you could still get a Wayfarer or Simeon to help them research it.
 
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Tormyr

Adventurer
Did you know Stand the Heat is available as a 1st level spell in the new spells section of the campaign? I provided the info to my party before they even left Gate Pass, so they could prep by buying up the material component. The cleric, sorcerer, and (once 4th level) ranger could have always cast it some more (expanding it to the bard spell list wouldn't have broken anything, either) if they ran low on potions or supplemented each day so less potions could be used. If Torrent was with them, she could also cast it.
They're also supposed to be able to find the caravan in the gorge early on w/ a ton more of the potions. So I mean...while they can't spend a month in there, they should have felt safe being there for up to a week. May have helped lead to less rash decisions.
(agreeing to help Indomitability of course removes the problem entirely, but you can't expect most parties to do so)

Anyway, answers below:



EDIT: Oh, the campaign does cover them learning the song even if they kill all the Seela. Well, if you think suddenly learning it once one of them learns Sylvan is to easy/random, or they have no idea they need to know Sylvan, you could still get a Wayfarer or Simeon to help them research it.
Interestingly enough, stand the heat is one of the easier spell components with a cost for PCs to create themselves, especially in the fire forest.
 
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trencher7

Villager
I knew that stand the heat could be available as a spell but I didn´t want to make it too easy for my group. Knowing that there would be more potions in the wood I was not concerned that the heat would cause them any real trouble. But somehow my group was not paying attention to search for any clues which, coming from a long Call of Cthulhu tradition really surprised me.
 

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