Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Epic Game Night: Rain of Squids & Burning City

The guys have been harping on me for a while to run an Epic-Level Campaign. I guess I should've been a little more limiting in character creation options.

ISHATHAR is a Githyanki Warlock who was stripped of his power & position among his own kind and stranded on Oryld. A number of unsavory deals with a number of unsavory devils (and demons) later and he's a powerful Warlock bound for hell - regardless of how good his intentions. ISHATHAR's first encounter with civilization on Oryld was in the city of Fallcrest, where he built a home and participates (from behind the scenes) in local politics and the defense of the city.

SHAL-MOK is a Genesi Cleric of Bahamut native to the Elemental Chaos. He's spent most of his life traversing the planar boundaries, exploring the multi-verse. SHAL-MOK came to Fallcrest with ISHATHAR, whom he met and adventured with in the Outer Planes.

THEODOCIOUS is a Minotaur Fighter (we have a long and somewhat bizarre justification for the naming of Minotaurs, and THEODOCIOUS is a perfectly acceptable name for one) whose Clan turned from the worship of Baphomet in favor of Meuheuhah (Unaligned deity and something of a gaming mascot) and was wiped out by the Baphomet-worshiping Clans. THEODOCIOUS escaped the slaughter and spent the remainder of his leveling-up hunting down and destroying demons. THEODOCIOUS and ISHATHAR hooked up in the Abyss shortly before they met SHAL-MOK.

In Fallcrest, things are pretty much as described in the DMG. ISHATHAR participated in some of the Heroic Tier Nentir Vale adventures but most of the party's XP came from destroying demons in the Abyss. Major differences include the presence of the Yellow Sons (Scions of the King in Yellow) - a cult which has taken over the recently abandoned Wizard's Tower.

ISHATHAR suspects the Yellow Sons of being behind recent political changes - the legalization of Slavery (humans can own non-human slaves or human slaves with a permit, non-humans can own non-human slaves with another permit), the legalization of Necromancy, and (just days ago) an ordinance was passed allowing the use of slaves in Necromantic Ritual.

This is about where the first session picked up.

The heroes were discussing how to address the obviously evil political turn, when the earth shook and the sky opened up and it started raining horrible squid-like abominations. The heroes had to fight off the Bep'Nar Squidmites (home-brew monsters), protect the locals, and try not to let the city get destroyed.

One of the Squidmite's (and all of these creatures from the Deeper Darkness - I need a better name for that, but the heroes haven't done any research yet, so I've a little time) powers is Insanity. I've created my own rules for Insanity, based primarily on 4e diseases. I'll detail it later.

After a series of encounters in the city, the heroes made their way out of the Knight's Gate to investigate the sounds of further battle. They rescued a party of lower-level heroes before the Yuugulugnor (another home-brew creature - basically a Hydra with different descriptors. Also a horribly indescribable monstrosity.

When the Yuugulugnor appeared, all time stopped. A White Minotaur appeared on the horizon, flanked by a human male in brilliant plate armor and a woman in simple, brown robes. This was the only conversation I could reasonably script before play began, so it's the one I can include here:

"These are your champions?" the man asked. "I don't like it."

The woman replied, "it is as I have foreseen. All will hang on these three. These three and one other. But that one I cannot see clearly, I only know that they will know this trio and -"

"What?" the minotaur huffed.

"I can say no more," she replied, looking at (d3) SHAL-MOK. "We are not as secluded as first imagined."

The minotur sized up THEODOCIOUS, checking his gear and looking at his teeth and basically inspecting him like one might inspect a prize-winning horse. He clappped THEODOCIOUS hard on the shoulder, shouting, "I like it!"

The human male was looking at the beast in the distance. "Is this it, then? Is this the Sleeper in the Darkness?"

"No," she said, "that one lies still yet. They have not yet awoken its fell slumber. The Yellow Sign holds fast."

The Minotaur spit.

"How much time," the man asked.

"I know not," she said, "only that the Universe will be torn asunder, Madness will bleed across the world and the Sleeper in the Darkness will rise again and bring doom to Gods and Men."

"Unless," the minotaur said.

"Unless these three save the day?" the man asked?

"I only know that they will try. I cannot see beyond that. I fear the future this foretells."

"You think they'll fail?"

"I cannot see beyond it..." she said, trailing off.

"Fuck off," the minotaur said, "you see that big bitch over there?" They all looked at the Yuugulugnor. "I bet the whole of Long Hall and the Feasting Horns that my boys here will lay that fucker down."

"I'm no fan of gambling," the man said, sizing the heroes up, "and I'll not wager on the fate of creation."


"As goes the battle, so goes the war then," the woman said sadly.

The minotaur laid his hand on THEODOCIOUS's shoulder and said, "fight well boy. No pressure." He turned to the man and said, "do it."

Pelor raised his hand and motioned. The sun began to continue it's track across the sky. The trio was gone and the monster was charging. The heroes all received MEUHEUHAH'S STORM BLESSING (if an enemy forces movement on the character, at the end of that movement the character can shift 1 as a free action. As an encounter power, the character can fly 9 squares).

The heroes defeated the Yuugulugnor and that was the end of that session.

* * *

Tonight's session started with SHAL-MOK preserving the body of the Yuugulugnor and transporting it to his Temple for later study. They then started focusing on saving the city. I have no explanation for these priorities; it just played out that way.

This was an extended series of Skill Challenges - putting out fires, killing any leftover Squidmites, rescuing the wounded and stopping looters. They ended up saving the day (though 30-40% of the city was in ruins and the Lord Warden was killed).

SHAL-MOK raised the Lord Warden (almost completely derailing my campaign, btw) and that helped set the ball rolling on the restructuring of the government (over half the Town Council was killed) and rebuilding the town and looking after displaced residents. That left the gaping hole in the sky (actually the Far Realm "colliding" with the Material Plane), and the Yellow Sons for the heroes to deal with (ISHATHAR really hates those guys).

Luckily enough, the closest library just happened to be in the Yellow Scion's tower (which used to be the Mage Guild before the war). SHAL-MOK and THEODOCIOUS both possessed Hats of Disguise, and so dressed as Sons in Yellow and bluffed their way into the Tower. ISHATHAR decided to try the Diplomatic route afterward.

SHAL-MOK and THEODOCIOUS easily made their way into the Tower, which was much bigger on the inside than outside. They discovered a central room on the ground floor with a bizarre crystalline structure surrounded by four iron and stone thrones. SHAL-MOK thought the thrones reminded him of Spelljamming Helms. They also discovered a ton of maps, for different worlds and different planes. I can post the tower maps once they've finished exploring them.

With further exploration they found a hallway that seemed to go on forever, A stairwell that goes up and down just as far, and what appeared to be Denomolus's desk (Denomolus is the leader of the Yellow Sons).

Meanwhile (jumping back and forth between the two parts of the split-up party), ISHATHAR "diplomacied" his way inside and the players pretty quickly realized he wasn't in the same tower. The Githyanki was shown the Library where he decided to get on with his research (the other two were in disguise, he figured they'd approach him); but after a couple hours, he came to the conclusion that all the relevant information had been removed from this library.

The heroes left their respective towers (because it was time to call it a night).

No comments:


Free Online Dating from JustSayHi

88% Geek