Players and Characters
We finished in the Great Library where the PCs cannot take an extended rest, so I’ve included current status. The PCs will hit a milestone after the next encounter.
- Nick: Lucan the half-elf Paladin (level 8). 1 Action Point, 72 hit points, 10 surges, all daily powers.
- Chris: Jon the human Artificier/Wizard hybrid (level 8). No Action points, 55 hit points, 6 surges, all daily powers.
- Dave: Erevan the half-orc Fighter (level 7). No Action Points, 60 hit points, 7 surges, all daily powers.
- Brian: Mr. White the githzerai Assassin (level 7). 1 Action Point, 41 hit points, 7 surges, all daily powers.
- The campaign is now level eight. This sets the mean difficulty level of the encounters, determines non-fixed skill check DCs (see page 126 Rules Compendium) as well as the level of treasure. All characters not already there advance to the base xp of level 7 (10,000). All companion characters also advance to level 7.
- We ret-conned Mr. White back to an Assassin since the Avenger just wasn’t working. All core story elements are the same – he is still an agent of the Raven Queen and the sword formerly known as Graefling is still stowed in Lucan’s pack.
Welcome to Thunderwind
The PCs left Verdwood behind after ensuring the Amaghana soldiers who fell to Nevrath were given a proper burial by the Erathinians. Their companions, Armando and Ugarth, stayed in Verdwood. The journey to Thunderwind lasted two days, half of which was spent climbing an ancient, steep Eladrin road that wound up through the mountains to the plateau. After a brief encounter at the ruined bridge, the PCs were allowed into the city.
Thunderwind Plateau is a series of cliffs spread across the massive waterfall that crashes for miles through heavily-forested mountains. Most of the city was washed away during The Collapse, and what remains is overgrown, crumbling, and crawling with grafitti. Most Eladrin fled to the Feywild during the Collapse, but those on Thunderwind Plateau were trapped on the mortal world. These Eladrin call themselves the Quenya, which means “Left Behind” in elvish. The Quenya are a society in ruin. They have turned inward, enamored with themselves and obsessed with their own history and the petty machinations of high society. They are ruled by Mathis, “Lord High Drama Queen” and director of the epic opera Gateways of Hope. Mathis believes that performing the opera to perfect completion will result in re-opening the gateway to the Feywild, where the Quenya can rejoin the Firenya (The Ascended). As a result, the opera continues to grow and consumes every resource the ruined society has to offer. It is now 18 hours long and still unfinished.
After dining with Mathis and learning about the opera, the PCs were given the run of the city. They were told to grab an empty dwelling wherever they liked and to be ready to view the opera in three days.
- 60 xp each for traveling from Verdwood to Thunderwind Plateau.
- Erevan, 60 xp for bonding with Lyra the Swordmage over the fall of Eladrin society.
- 60 xp each for gathering Sahlfruit out from under the beaks of the Owlbears.
- 200 xp each for roleplay in Thunderwind.
- Jon, 60 xp for offering to acquire books on history for Mathis from the great library.
- Jon was taught the keys to the arcane bridges that connect the city districts.
Quenya Key Plot Points
- The city plateau has two entrances from the south. The High Road is a collapsed bridge guarded by the Eladrin. The Low Road leads through Piper’s Orchard, a tangled forest of Sahlfruit trees overrun with giant spiders, Owlbears, and other Fey creatures. This path leads to an old rope bridge that leads directly to the library.
- Sahlfruit trees are native to the Feywild and do not survive well without a portal nearby. The fruit is highly addictive and poisonous to creatures of non-Fey origin. The Quenya will pay 1000g a pound for Sahlfruit (about 50 of the cherry-sized fruit). Gathering is a delicate process as the berries must not be crushed to maintain their potency. Gathering 1 pound of berries takes an hour and requires an untrained DC 16 thievery check to keep them potent. If the PCs use one of the special silk eladrin sacks they get a +5 to this check.
- The city is in ruins, with several buildings partially washed-away, their interiors open to the air. Everywhere there’s garbage, graffiti, and overgrown vegetation. Each of the city’s six districts is on separate plateau, which project up from the falls (here, the falls are more like steep rapids). The districts are connected by arcane bridges that can be summoned by anyone trained in Arcana. A character who knows the keys must pass a DC 12 Arcana check to raise the ancient stones from the river on currents of arcane energy. Without the keys, a character must pass a DC 25 Arcana check to create the bridge. Once raised in this way, the bridge will exist as long as there are characters on it and for five minutes after that.
- Town Square – home to many bars and shops, as well as the Swordmage baraks.
- Theater – the old colosseum, now where Gateways of Hope is performed.
- Residential – Crumbling, overgrown, white towers where the Eladrin make their homes.
- Gateway – Where the portal to the Feywild was closed.
- Academy – The old seat of Eladrin learning. Now haunted by the spirits of the Left Behind. Home to the Great Library.
- Park – the northern plateau, another broken bridge leads to the pass north to Terena.
- The Quenya are a sad lot. They wile their days away debating the merits of third-rate Eladrin poets and artists from their past. They wear their tired finery to a never-ending series of parties and gossip endlessly over barely-drinkable wine and the narcotic blur of Sahlfruit nectar. Despite their cultural decrepitude, the Quenya retain some of the skills of their past. All are at least moderately proficient with arcane magic. Among the second-rate artists and society poseurs, the Quenya host an array of Bards, Swordmages, and Sorcerers.
- The Swordmages were the lowest class of the Eladrin military. They’re now the sole protectors of the Quenya. Virtually all of the remaining Swordmages are female.
- While virtually all Eladrin arts were lost, the Quenya are still skilled silk-weavers. PCs may purchase any cloth armor, including Rare, up to level 14 at book prices. More unique or powerful items may require additional time to make. The weavers require the anchor threads of the Fey Spitter and Phase spiders from Piper’s Orchard to ply their craft. They will buy these threads for 1500 gold each. Each spider lair will have 1-4 lines salvageable. This requires a successful (untrained) DC 16 thievery check. Failure snaps the line into a gooey, worthless mess. The Quenya use Silknives to gather line. These give a +5 to the thievery check.
- The Opera seems to be some kind of elaborate ritual.
- Mathis, “Lord High Drama Queen of the Quenya” – director, writer, and star of Gateways of Hope. Self-appointed leader of the Quenya. Drag Queen, Dilettante, powerful Bard.
- Lyra - Commander of the Quenya Swordmages. Distant acquaintance of Erevan before The Collapse. Exasperated, proud, pragmatic.
- Rivaine – Senior Minstrel. Flighty, distracted, catty.
- Vyrellis – Legendary Bard of the Eladrin. Former head of the the Arcane Academy. Not seen since The Collapse, though many claim to hear her voice. A genuine talent, with a voice that made even Erevan tear up.
The Academy District
There are two approaches to the great library. The upper approach is through the haunted Academy district. It is shorter (1 encounter), but infested with distraught Eladrin undead. The lower approach goes back out through the city and through Piper’s Orchard. It is longer (2 encounters) but allows the PCs to gather Sahlfruit and anchor threads. Unless the party finds some way to permanently secure the routes, these encounters will reset each time they leave the library to take an extended rest.
The PCs elected to take the high road and battled Poltergeists and Corpses of Despair (note that the stats used in battle were slightly different due to some tuning I did in the Monster Builder to bring them in line with MM3/Monster Vault standards).
The Great Library
The Great Library was ripped in half when the plateau it was built on washed away. What is left is still massive – a warren of levels upon levels extending down into the plateau. These levels are all missing their west wall, which looks out across the falls as they churn away to the west. Also during the chaos of the Collapse, a fire broke out, destroying several of the remaining sections and trapping many scholars.
We finished our session with the PCs proceeding down a broken stairway to the first level of the library.
- The library contains books and scrolls of every topic. Books can be found matching any topic that there is a skill for (skill books have no mechanical value but may have story and monetary value). In addition, players may attempt to find scrolls for any ritual up to level 14. The skill rolled to find a ritual is the same as the skill used to cast it. Books may also be found on the manufacture of magic items up to level 14. These books are worth 1/2 the gold value in reagents to someone casting a ritual to create the item.
- For each hour in the library, each PC may search for an item. The skill used to find a book or scroll is the same as the subject (i.e. PCs would used Dungeoneering to pour through books on Dungeoneering and find the topics they desire). The DC for this check is 16. Failure means no item is found, but the PCs may retry.
- A PC may use a generic Perception check to look for treasure or artifacts. The DC for this check is 24.
- Splitting up gives a PC +2 to their skill check. If a character chooses this option, the DM chooses their position at the start of combat.
- The PCs may stay for as long as they wish, but the library is crawling with all manner of undead (including Wraths!) For each hour they spend searching the PCs will face one wave of undead.
- As long as they stay in the library, the PCs may not take an extended rest. The PCs will get a small xp bonus for each combat beyond the first two without an extended rest.
- If all PCs fail their check, they become lost. They must spend one additional hour in the library trying to get their bearings (and cannot search for items). During this hour they will face an additional encounter.
- Retrieving one scroll for Uldor will award 90 xp per PC. Retrieving both will award 220 xp each. Finding the ritual to control the pylons requires a DC 16 Arcana or History check. Finding the dwarven ritual requires a DC 24 Perception check.
- Mathis will reward gold and xp for retrieving books on History and Portal Magic. He will award 50 xp per book up to 10 books.
This entry was posted on Sunday, January 30th, 2011 at 6:28 pm and is filed under Sessions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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