Tag: demons

Adventure Log 4: The Infernal Deal

abyssal leap

You and the Elders wait for a few moments as Kaiil exits the chamber to retrieve the stone. It’s an awkward, uncomfortable sort of silence until she returns, bursting in through the door. It’s apparent right away that something is wrong. “The stone…it’s gone!” She says, staring wide-eyed at the Elders. As a one, they gasp, then start chattering amongst themselves. It’s a moment before Erden rises from his seat.

A full month since the last session, but it was necessary! After the party split and caught me off guard last time, it took me a bit of time to figure out how I was going to proceed. I spent some time considering the backstory of each character, plus the details of the adventure so far, and worked out some common themes. Once I did that, putting together the next phase of the adventure was much easier.

The session started with the party recovering in the home of their new acquaintance, Kaiil, in the city of Bane. Shortly after, Kaiil brought them before the Council of Bane, a half-dozen strong group of Elders led by a man named Erden. Erden explained some of the history of the town to them, and how they came to be there, before revealing that the town council held another Demon Stone, similar to the one that had brought them here. He had a great deal more information to share with them, but once the party heard about the Stone, they had little care for anything else.

Unfortunately, as they soon found out, the Demon Stone held by the council is gone. They were able to locate it magically, but it was not quite so easy—the Stone was no longer within Bane, but on the far end of a series of underground tunnels. While planning this next session, the dungeon itself, I wasn’t sure how to map it out, so…I didn’t. Instead, I built some random tables:

table1.PNG
table2.PNG
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I designed a few significant encounters for the encounter table, went through some books and chose some fun monsters for the combat table, and that was it. I’ll note one major change—prior to play I swapped the number ranges for the Scrying Chamber and the Roll Combat Table entries, as on test rolls I discovered that the Scrying Chamber came up absurdly often.

In play, I just kept a d8 and percentile dice on hand, and rolled them for each new chamber—including if the party went back. The idea is that the tunnels, being on the plane of Abbadon, twist back and forth on themselves constantly, the better to torment whatever creatures may wander within them. It was interesting to watch the party tackle it—they understood the basic concept from the start that the dungeon was unknowable, but treated it more as a standard maze than a completely randomly generated dungeon.

Kaiil caught up with the party at some point, and they encountered the Contract Devil in the Scrying Chamber. I knew that that, had Yodelhim been present (instead of being whisked back with the stone last session), he’d have certainly taken the deal, but I wasn’t entirely sure about the rest. As it turns out, Delanna barely hesitated, trading her soul for three wishes. She spent the first immediately on restoring some of her former glory (to be later detailed as her backstory unfolds), then pocketed the other two for later. It was a significant moment, because her actions very clearly sent the message to the rest of the party that she had plenty of secrets. I can’t reveal too much of the private details here (the party will sometimes read this blog), but she made some interesting strides with regards to advancing her character’s personal story.

After that, the party moved on, battling a few other creatures, before finally encountering the last chamber, where the stolen Demon Stone had been used as the centerpiece to a large iron gate, transforming it into a permanently-open portal back to Otharion. Here too, Kaiil found her mentor, Elder Erden, conspiring with the demons. As she surged forward and distracted them, she bought the party an opening to steal the stone and dive through the portal before it collapsed. They found themselves back on Otharion, in the deserted ruins of a palace courtyard, rather than the temple where they’d first made the journey. It took only a moment for Titanus to recognize the place as his long-fallen homeland.

There, we broke for the evening. Next time around I’ll run a solo session with Yodelhim, then we’ll return to see what surprises await the rest of the party!

PARTY STATUS:

Rested. Titanus is suffering from a diseased rat bite.

CURRENT THREADS:

  • Back on Otharion!
  • The Mysterious Tome – Found!
  • What secrets await them in the dead kingdom?

Adventure Log 3: The Infinite Bridge

abyssal leap

Just as you begin to get your bearings, the ground begins shuddering beneath you. Loud cracks echo in the air around you as the earth splits in several places, large stone spires rocketing from the fissures to loom against the blackness, that same faint luminescence highlighting their twisted, craggy shapes. The spires continue to burst forth on either side of your party, from a pair of rows that arc slightly towards each other at each end, methodically forming a circle around you. When the rumbling ceases, there’s only one small opening left—your only means of escape.

As you move towards it, the rumbling resumes, and the crack of the earth in that last open spot echos off of the twisted stone spires forming your prison. This fissure is larger than the others, and you soon see why—it’s not a spire rising from it, but a great, twisted throne, a thousand faces carved into its face, each in apparent agony. Something rests on the throne, but it’s difficult to make out the nature of the occupant; something about him—or her—seems to be hard to look at almost. Every time you try, you find yourself looking elsewhere instead, unable to remember what you saw.

The first part of our third session had the party still clearing goblins out of the temple ruins; they were able to surprise a large group of them in the central chamber, and took solid advantage of that surprise by nearly eliminating the goblin chief in a vicious opening attack. From there, it was essentially cleanup; once the rest of those creatures were mopped up, they had time to apply their first gained level (hooray!), and take stock of their surroundings. The room was dominated by a large dais framed by an archway; in the center of that dais was a notch perfectly sized for the staff they’d found. Stone in staff, staff in notch, and with that, the party took their first steps into the overarching story of the campaign.

They found themselves in the area described above; a sort of twisted arena overseen by a shadowy creature. That creature began attacking the party with minions, but they held their own better than most sacrifices. At some point during the combat, the staff, stuck in the ground in this new place, began flashing once more; only one member of the party took hold of it. The rest focused on the creatures they were fighting. The staff gave a final pulse of light, then vanished taking that party member with it–and stranding the rest in this new realm.

This is where things will get hairy. I’d designed the encounter under the assumption that the party as a whole would either move toward or away from the staff when it began blinking again; silly me, I hadn’t considered that only some (or one) of them might. As it stands, there’s no way for that party member to reunite with his company under current conditions; I’ll be operating with a split party for some time now. Still, since I had two complete adventure paths planned, it’ll be fine; I can just run them both.

At any rate, the rest of the party was saved from a series of ever-escalating encounters by the arrival of a new NPC–a tiefling sorceress by the name of Kaiil. She whisked them away from the arena via a teleportation spell, safely delivering them to the new city of Bane. Bane will be their new base of operations for this leg of their adventure; they’ll have to work on finding a new way home without the staff.

Yodelhim, our half-orc wizard, was the one who made it home; however, upon his arrival back in the temple, his head was hit with searing pain, and the shadowy creature whom the party had faced had an offer for him…time will tell if he accepts it.

Today was the first session where I got to use the new set of Pathfinder Pawns I’d ordered, and they really, really helped a lot. I’m extremely pleased with the purchase, and I’ll definitely be picking up more–especially since the party used a few monster pawns to denote themselves, lacking any other form of representation. I also plan on ordering more map tiles for future dungeons. For the map of Bane, I reached out to someone on Twitter and commissioned a map, giving him a basic description of the locale–and OH MAN, did he deliver. Because I didn’t need a copyright or anything, he posted it on his personal store at DriveThruRPG.com. It’s listed as “The Infernal City.” Check it out, kick a buck or two his way!

PARTY STATUS:

Healthy and rested.

CURRENT THREADS:

  • Stuck in the demon realm–find a way home!
  • The Mysterious Tome – Found!
  • Yodelhim Goes Solo!