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ZEITGEIST [Zeitgeist] Nathan and Asrabey

Siberys

First Post
This last weekend, I completed Island at the Axis of the World. The party burst into the observatory as soon as Nathan started speaking, then agreed to the plan Asrabey suggested - after which he promptly slew the Duchess and absconded with Nathan. I have a few things I'd like some guidance on relating to this turn of events.

First of all, Nathan. I misunderstood the section on Asrabey's motive for taking Nathan, and had him tell the party the Unseen Court wanted Nathan and that he'd refuse to leave without the Tiefling. Also, because Nathan never got to figuring out the Varal connection, Asrabey would have no reason to think Nathan knows anything about Kasvarina. I can play this off fairly easily - Nathan let slip something about Kasvarina earlier and Asrabey lied about the Unseen Court, my players are none the wiser - but I wanted to see if anybody had ideas for different directions I could take this.

Secondly, one of the PCs (a Pixie Bard Docker) was very upset at this turn of events and has effectively declared a vendetta against the Dreadnought. I'd like to foster that, but I also want to see how I can fit it into future installments of the campaign. Namely, Asrabey doesn't show up again until adventure 5. There's a Vekeshi Mystic in the party, so he'll approach her for help with the Ekossigan thread, but I'm sure the Pixie would balk at helping Asrabey and might want to start a fight. Do you have any ideas for how I could approach running these? Luckily that's several adventures down the line, so I have time to think about it.
 

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A pixie bard? Well, you could play up the 'royal court' element of the Unseen Court, and have Asrabey send the pixie faux-gracious letters of thanks for his assistance, and try to develop a 'hostile pen pal' relationship. Maybe have him ask the pixie to extend his warmest regards to Gale and to invite her to attend a gathering one night, where Asrabey would intend to train her to be a better warrior. (Gale would probably accept the invitation, but rebuff Asrabey's violent demeanor.) And if the PC shows up instead, the two could exchange insults and perhaps have a non-fatal contest.
 

Siberys

First Post
Hrm, that's an idea. Maybe I could combine that with the Gale subplot in the Dying Skyseer somehow? Perhaps instead of a daylit meeting at the falls, it's an evening fey revel that Asrabey is attending as a representative of the Court? While the Vekeshi gets to speak with Gale about the mirror, and the party as a whole can follow up on the leads the Gale meeting would normally have, I can let the Pixie and Asbrabey have a flyting contest or something. I'll need to look into the timing though.

I want the result of the night to be Asrabey's less of an out-and-out villain and more of a stubborn and unlikable pseudo-ally so I can run the bit from adventure 5 more-or-less as written.
 

Siberys

First Post
So, this is what I'm currently working with for a change to adventure two. I need to more "formally" write this up, and I still have some wrinkles to iron out, so if anybody has any suggestions feel free to introduce them.

Gale's Canary is more-or-less a magical invitation to a Fey Revel. Same location, but the time isn't able to be set by the PCs - it will be the nearest night following the receipt of the canary by the party which isn't covered by a "pre-scheduled" event. The revel is celebrating some obscure celestial event that the party's skyseer will have heard of but which others wouldn't be aware of - probably a Beltane-style summer festival with splashes of Bachanalia tossed in for good measure. Anyways, the revel serves mostly as a backdrop for the delivery of the Gale plot-bits, and for the Vekeshi in the party to deliver the mirror.

Asrabey will also be present, as a bodyguard for a representative of the Unseen Court. I expect his presence to result in some PCs getting on his case and him bristling right back, and I'll have whatever fey lord I settle on de-fuse a fight if the PCs try to start one. Either way, I expect words to be exchanged between at least the Pixie and Asrabey, and I'll have the lord find the whole thing amusing and permit a duel - of insults! They'll offer a fey boon to the party if they win, or bind the party to an undefined favor if they lose. (the favor would be cashed in in adventure 5, when Varal seeks aid against Ekossigan)

My plan is to run the Flyting duel as a game of Blackjack, played to five hands. This has the benefit of not really requiring any decisions on my part (having the "house" stand at 17 is a pretty good representation of Varal's relative lack of skill at this sort of thing), so I can switch focus off the Pixie easily without ruining the minigame.

Each hand, the Pixie will be allowed to make a Bluff, Intimidate, or Insight check to allow her various ways to "cheat", and I'll also allow her to use another one if the player actually comes up with a sick burn.

What I still need to determine;
- What other fey are present, and which member of the Court is Varal escorting?
- What boon should the party/pixie receive?
- What can the party do, beside speaking with Gale, while the Pixie's throwing down?
- Will this succeed in pushing Varal from "villain" to "unlikeable pseudo-ally"?
 

Andrew Moreton

Adventurer
Have you read adventure 9 with the two courts in it?

If so I would pick your favorite fey lords from that module , at least one from each faction but not the leaders and give a preview of the tensions among the fey lords. I would probably use Beshela and have Asraby accompany her although her alliance with the duchess may make the players issues worse, it also foreshadows Asraby's later betrayal of Beshala.

While my party don't have an issue with Asraby they view him as a dangerous killer loyal to the unseen court and an eladrin with an understandable grudge against Danor and tieflings one the party Eladrin shares , so I expect they will work with him later I find I quite like the idea of having a preview of the unseen court sometime before adventure 9 I may throw it in after adventure 2 or before adventure 4 when there are periods of downtime.

You could have other fey gamble with the pc's or have musical contests or whatever skills these interesting mortals have, maybe have Rock Rackhus there seducing a fey in his great style .

Possibly if it suits your game emphasise Gale's bad experience at the hands of Danoran Tieflings and make it clear this has happened t o several eladrin women to make Asraby;s attitude more understandable. I seem to recall he rescued a women in an earlier round of the Risur/Danor war acting as an effective ally to Risur.

Wether this will change your pc's attitude is hard to tell, I hope it works , thanks for the idea of a Fey Soiree it should be fun for my game
 

Siberys

First Post
So this is what I settled on (4e rules, if anyone cares to use them for themself).

I went with Olazdor, Thisaldrion, and Rock - Olazdor has neat parallels to Gale, and Thisaldrion let me "preview" Rock. I figure between Gale and all that with Rock and Asrabey, the PCs will have plenty to do, even if part of it is just cheering on the PC in the Flyting contest.
 

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