Episode 26: Just Desserts

The 5th Editon playtest campaign.
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EvilGenius
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Episode 26: Just Desserts

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The PCs will make it back to Farweald with no further incidents. The forest seems quiet and calm on your journey. Now that the final portal has been closed, you are all conscious of a faint tingling feeling in the back of your minds. It's a consistent feeling, neither increasing nor decreasing with your journey.

As you near Farweald, you run into a logging party, cutting timber for new construction. They are happy to see you returning (you have been gone for a little more than a month). They relay that everything is stable in Farweald. Many buildings have been replaced or repaired. Overall, there is a welcome feeling of cooperation among everyone in town. It seems that the challenge of rebuilding coupled with the winter weather has really brought everyone together, especially considering the calm and steady leadership of Constable Tierney.

Later that day, you approach Farweald. There are new sections of the palisade wall, which looks mostly patched now. Coming in from the west side of town, you still see the menacing form of the Grandwood, towering above the rest of town, dark and abandoned.

You loop around and come into town through the north gate, just as you did the first time you arrived in Farweald. But this time, you are welcomed back into town by everyone you meet, and you see much of the debris has been cleared away, and many houses repaired. Everywhere you look you see humans and tieflings working together to rebuild, and everyone pauses what they are doing to offer at least a friendly wave as you pass by.

The center of town is similarly busy. The traditional tents and carts are almost all absent, replaced with neatly stacked building supplies. You return all of the friendly nods and waves as you continue south to your new temporary home, the Wheel Inn.

The proprietor, Eygun Whealan, is surprised but happy to see you. He has kept your rooms for you, where Thulik and Alizar have been staying. Eygun prepares a meal and some warm drinks for you as you make the adjustment to being inside, near a roaring fire. You settle in for lunch, happy to have a roof over your head once again (except for Onarra, who still seems a little agitated to be out of the woods).
Another daring escape for the intrepid Spaceman Spiff!

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Re: Episode 26: Just Desserts

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After your meal, Eygun, sits for a few minutes and catches you up on a few things in Farweald.

Current Power Structure of Farweald

Acting Mayor Harkin Tierney
Council Currently empty
Constable Harkin Tierney (male human fighter)
Guard Hania (male human rogue/ranger)

Adventurer Resources:
Thulik (male half orc bard)
Akriah (female tiefling rogue)
Beltane (female tiefling cleric of Trithereon)
Nahala (female tiefling rogue)
Gimdriss Hammerheart (female dwarven bard/fighter)
Helarik Hammerheart (male dwarven rogue/fighter)
Master Amreas (male elven eldritch knight)
Master Illorg (male dwarf fighter)
Jorius the Glorious (male human fighter/paladin of Pelor)
Kirrith (female half elven rogue/ranger)
Rill the Survivor (male human battlemaster)
Tyndal (human female, 1st fighter)
Pantamon (gnome female, 1st fighter)
Hospitality “Tally” (female tiefling, 1st ranger)
Rat (male tiefling, 1st rogue)
Karl (human male, 1st fighter)
Dador (male human cleric of Pelor)
Priagon (male human paladin of Pelor)
Jedona (female aasimar celestial sorcerer of Pelor)

Faction Leaders in Farweald
Tieflings Akriah and Beltane
Humans Harkin Tierney
Dwarves/Elves Gimdriss Hammerheart
Hunters Kirrith
Builders Masters Illrog and Amreas
Healers Dador of Pelor
Business Basheem of Ekbir (male human money changer/devotee of Moqul)
Another daring escape for the intrepid Spaceman Spiff!

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Re: Episode 26: Just Desserts

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Thulik soon joins you and catches you up on what he's been doing during your absence.

1. Thulik traveled south to the Singing Pools to take council with the dryad, Delphine, looking for information on the Mother's former apprentice, the green dragon Valos, know to you as The Master.
.... a. Thulik found that Valos always had a thirst for secret or lost lore. The Mothers taught him how to offer magical knowledge to beings in return for their servitude.
.... b. One of the topics of Valos's obsession was an ancient Sueloese archmage named Kossoth the Greedy. Kossoth's quest for never depleting magical might led him to create the Book of Infinite Souls. There is a very old book, a copy of a copy of a copy of Kossoth's personal journal, detailing the creation of the Book and insights into how it worked. This copy of a copy of a copy is called Esoteric Pneuma. The last known location of this book was in the ruined library of the Duke of Tenh.

When Thulik relates that information, all of you recover the memory of a mission that you had all undertaken long ago, before you had lost part of your soul during The Ritual. Erk had asked the group to help him recover a book of ancient information that was located in the ruined library of the Duke of Tenh. It was a perilous mission, but you successfully traveled to Tenh, fought off the various monsters guarding the library, and recovered a very old looking book with the holy symbol of Boccob imprinted on the front cover. Erk happily took the book and relinquished all other claims on treasure recovered in the entire expedition. He never spoke of the book again ...

.... c. Delphine also related one intriguing piece of information about Valos's ancestry. She's not exactly sure, but she thinks that Valos had some other type of creature (or maybe just a different dragon type) as an ancestor. She thinks that because descriptions of Valos mentioned some different color scales, and the Mother's hinted that he had 'other' abilities than typical for a green dragon ...

2. Thulik has also been perusing the journal containing all of the legends of the Book of Infinite Souls, recovered from the efreeti in the City of Brass.
.... a. There are numerous cryptic references to what happens to souls who are 'devoured' by the Book. It seems like the souls are not immediately consumed, but rather held in reserve somehow until their energy is needed to power the spells cast by the Book. There is an old story of someone who was able to communicate with a soul that had been drained into the Book. The soul seemed beset somehow, and then contact was lost as the Book's master used the Book to cast a powerful spell.
Last edited by EvilGenius on Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Episode 26: Just Desserts

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The PCs met with Constable Tierney to give him an update on their missions and to find out what has been happening in town. Tierney related that things were largely quiet, but demands on his time were becoming a problem; Farweald needs a Council again. Tierney said that he had no interest in being a mayor or somesuch, or in being on the Council itself. He just wanted to get back to being the Constable. But then Tierney said something that stunned the gathered members of The Friends of Farweald; Tierney wanted one of them to volunteer to join the Council!!

After a moment of stunned silence, the PCs mostly replied with variations of, "but why, though". As Constable Tierney explained, having one of the PCs on the Council would serve as a good deterrent to anyone seeking to infiltrate Farweald or to cause trouble in town by re-igniting old prejudices. Also, the PCs were almost the only people who had consistently been warning about The Master and taking steps to thwart his will in Farweald. By electing one of the PCs to the Council, Tierney hoped to restore the confidence of the remaining population that they were now free of The Master's influence and would remain so.

None of the PCs seemed eager to accept such responsibility so Constable Tierney asked them to discuss the matter amongst themselves. The town was going to have a big meeting the following day in the City Hall building to discuss and elect a new council.

The PCs also informed Tierney that their nemesis Dapple Goodberry was released back into the world and was now a werewolf (as if he wasn't dangerous enough before).

The PCs retreated back to their rooms at the Wheel Inn to debate this strange new turn of events in New Farweald.
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Re: Episode 26: Just Desserts

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By the time the next day's town gathering happened, the PCs still had not made any particular decision about either joining the new Council or not. However, they did catch up with the tieflings in town and relay the events surrounding their successful closure of the elven village portal. Akriah told the PCs that she intended to join the Council, and hoped she had the PCs support.

The actual townhall meeting saw the following:

1. Dador, cleric of Pelor, announced that he wanted to join the Council and heavily implied that he thought it necessary to stand as a guard against impure, aka, fiendish influences, including the towns population of tieflings.
2. Akriah, of the tieflings, volunteered for the Council
3. Gimdriss Hammerheart used her bardic training to full effect as she gave a 5 minute impassioned oratorio about her vision for a more unified Farweald and her determination to join the Council and work for that unity.
4. Bannock got everyone's attention by lighting up his flaming sword and announced his intention to join the Council.
5. Nenyan Paquet, a stern and elegant looking woman, announced that as owner of the lumber mill, she was instrumental in the rebuilding of Farweald and thus deserved a seat on the Council.

Then Constable Tierney asked the town if they should expand the Council to 5 members or keep it at the traditional 3.
1. Akriah favored leaving the Council at 3 members, fearing that the tieflings voice would be diminished
2. Dador favored increasing the Council and recruiting even more members.
3. Nenyan Paquet favored decreasing the number from 3 to 1 and instituting noble titles
4. Gimdriss favored increasing the council to 5, fearing that leaving the Council at 3 members would leave more people unrepresented, as before.

Bannock backed increasing the Council to 5 members, noting that he may be absent for a while since the PCs still have adventuring stuff to do.

The town ultimately backed increasing the Council to 5 members, and accepted the 5 who had stepped forward to be considered.

So as of now, the Farweald Council consists of:

1. Akriah, of the tiefling community. Akriah was the leader of the tiefling community for at least the last 4 or 5 years. Her sister is Beltane, the cleric of Trithereon who is the primary guarding of Cyvos, the young silver dragon (son of the PCs slain mentor, Quirinseyru). Akriah and her sister Beltane are also the illegitimate daughters of Bern Haupt.

2. Gimdriss Hammerheart, of the dwarven community. Gimdriss has always dreamt of a life of adventure like in her books of dwarven history. She secretly studied ancient dwarven bardic traditions as well as the dwarven ways of war. After fighting bravely in the Day of Fire, she seeks to atone for her father siding with the enemies of Farweald. Gimdriss has a twin brother, Helarik Hammerheart, an accomplished fighter, used to looking out for his 'little' sister.

3. Dador of Pelor, leader of the Pelorite reinforcements called for by Bannock. Dador is a good man but is still taken aback by the sheer number of tieflings in Farweald and has become more and more dismayed as he has learned more of the demonic infiltration of the town over the last several years.

4. Nenyan Paquet, owner of Paquet's Lumber Mill. Nenyan has a prominent strain of imperious Sueloese in her bloodline. You don't know much about her but from what you saw of her during the meeting, she probably doesn't have many friends, just servants.

5. Bannock, of the (Fiery) Friends of Farweald. Bannock has been on a 'redemption tour' of sorts in Farweald, but it's not wrong to point out that he does bring a certain amount of straight-forward baddassery to the Council. Enemies of Farweald will certainly have to think twice about shenanigans under Bannock's watchful (flaming) eye ....
Last edited by EvilGenius on Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Episode 26: Just Desserts

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After the votes and the outcomes were known, the people of Farweald made their way home. However, Onarra, Thulik, Quarion and Brigga were all approached individually by other parties ....

Brigga was approached by Constable Tierney. He relayed that the Farweald guard had taken a lot of casualties during the Day of Fire, including the stalwart Dunaric. Constable Tierney asked Brigga if she would consider joining the Farweald Guard, bringing her impressive martial skills and even more importantly, her magical acumen to the defense of Farweald.

Brigga was clearly uncomfortable with the offer and demurred, citing their continuing mission against the dragon, Valos.

Onarra was approached by Akriah, who asked if Onarra would be interested in helping shepherd Farweald into a more balanced approach to their use of the natural resources of Farweald.

Onarra seemed receptive to helping Farweald chart a new path forward.

Quarion was approached by Master Amreas, the elven master smith in residence in Farweald. Master Amreas asked Quarion if he would consider establishing the religious presence of Rillifane in Farweald, and perhaps a hospital since the superstitious people of Farweald have begun to really trust Quarion in matters of healing.

Quarion seemed receptive to establishing a hospital and/or shrine to Rillifane, either in Farweald or in the woods nearby.

Thulik was approached by a human man by the name of Ulhen. Ulhen explained that he used to work at Ye Olde Gaming House, Farweald's hub of entertainment. Ye Olde Gaming House was completely destroyed in the Day of Fire, as were several other popular taverns/inns (Tinker's Rest and Pef's Place). Ulhen though that the time was perfect for someone as accomplished as Thulik to build and open the new premier entertainment venue in Farweald, one whose stature would certainly be enhanced by Thulik's own stellar reputation.

Thulik seemed decidedly non-plussed by the idea but did agree to think about it a little bit more.
Last edited by EvilGenius on Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Episode 26: Just Desserts

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The day after the momentous town meeting/election, the PCs planned on taking the Haupt Journal into the demonic shrine below the Grandwood to see if they could unlock its secrets.

First though, the PCs planned out their magical defenses and realized they needed a few expensive spell components. Spell components that they used to acquire at the now closed Haupt's Wonders, Farweald's high end merchant, owned by the late Bern Haupt.

The PCs cleared their intent to procure spell components with both Akriah, who was one of Bern Haupt's surviving heirs, and with Constable Tierney.

The PCs found Haupt's Wonders untouched by the Day of Fire (all of the 'unbreakable' pottery looked far too common to be carried at the expensive and exclusive store). It was also locked tight and no one had the keys.

Rather than break down the door, Onarra examined the lock then deftly disarmed the two traps on it and unlocked the door.

Even in the gloomy interior, the PCs quickly found the expensive spell components they were searching for. Given who the owner was, the PCs gave the store a quick once-over and made a startling discovery. In the back was a locked room emanating the palpable odor of death. Onarra was able to open the door and the PCs found piles of broken, torn, blood-and-gore covered adventuring gear and clothing, littering the room. The grim contents reminded the PCs of the ghastly fate that befell those successful adventurers who made it back to Farweald after defeating the horrors in the woods; playthings or meals for the rakshasa, while their finest possessions were cleaned up and put on sale in the front room.

More determined than ever, the PCs proceeded to the abandoned Grandwood. They made their way up to the third floor bedroom of Bern Haupt, then opened the secret door to the long staircase leading into the unholy fiendish temple below.

The PCs debated where to begin their investigations and settled on the main fiendish alter room. Thulik opened the red leather journal constructed from the remains of Bern Haupt to see if he could decipher the script now. As he watched, the indecipherable squiggles began to move about until they resembled the Common tongue, spelling out extraordinarily vile insults. But then, the script changed again and began to form magical runes, flipping past as though someone or something was reading off an incantation.

Almost immediately, a large, grotesque form stepped out of a dark shadow on the altar. The form was the horrifying cross between an ape and a boar, with small feathery wings that seem like nothing if not a mockery of the wings of angels. The demon emitted a nimbus of scintillating light, and those within it's radius felt a constant assault on their minds.

The terrible fiend immediately flew into a rage and began to attack the PCs. After a few tense moments, the PCs seemed to be getting the better of the fiend until they saw that Haupt's Journal was still open and the runes were still glowing and changing. To their horror, another terrifying fiendish form stepped through the inky shadow on the altar! This was a demon that the PCs had fought before, a glabrezu. This tall, heavily muscled humanoid shaped demon had huge claw/pincers at the end of its arms and two smaller, human arms sticking out of its chest.

Quickly realizing their peril, Thulik tried to close the still active Journal. Thulik met surprising resistance though and had to struggle to physically force the book shut, which banished the demons.

Panting from the unexpected fight, the PCs warily eyed the terrifying book and contemplated which room in the complex they would try next ....
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Re: Episode 26: Just Desserts

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The PCs thought they would try the sepulcher chamber, below the smaller chapel, next. After cautiously making their way to the chapel, Onarra went in side to scout the area. She found a medium sized chapel with an altar at the front and a double line of pillars supporting the roof. On each of the pillars was a sputtering torch, providing dim illumination in the area. The torches all seemed just on the verge of sputtering out, but none of them did. Onarra moved through the area safely, but when Thulik entered the chapel, the journal flared to life, snapping open and glowing as pages turned and magical runes materialized.

The doors into the chapel magically slammed shut and locked, trapping Bannock outside of the room, while those inside of the room were plunged into magical darkness. Thinking quickly, Thulik cast a continual light spell, cancelling the magical darkness and restoring the prevailing lighting conditions of dim, flickering torchlight.

On their guard, the PCs successfully noticed the huge shadowy figure that detached itself from the wall behind the altar, along with the several smaller shadowy forms darting around the pillars. Quarion successfully banished the shadow demon and then was able to protect himself with the sanctuary spell which warded off any attacks against him which would have possibly caused the banishment to fail. The rest of the PCs were able to dispatch the remaining shadows, but not before one pierced Onarra's heart with an icy claw. Onarra fell to the floor, her strength utterly drained by the shadow behind her.

After dispatching the shadows, the PCs started to help Onarra, when the elf suddenly sprang back to life, sputtering about being in some kind of magical library and being sent back because it wasn't time to be there yet.

Not knowing what to make of Onarra's strange death vision, the PCs continued down into the sepulcher to try and find somewhere in this complex where the Journal would reveal its secrets. However, the sepulcher was obviously not the correct choice, as Haupt's Journal once again flared to life, hitting the PCs with a faerie fire spell, just as a huge marilith crashed into the room and unleashed a whirlwind of attacks. The battle was short but fierce as the PCs managed to hold the monster, then slay as it was frozen, defenseless.

However, after the creature fell to the floor, the PCs realized that they had not been fighting an actual demon, but rather, an iron golem fashioned in the form of a marilith, with a minor illusion spell making the construct look more authentic.

Battered and bleeding, the PCs caught their breath and contemplated what area of the fiendish temple they dared explore next ....
Another daring escape for the intrepid Spaceman Spiff!

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Re: Episode 26: Just Desserts

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This is Onarra's (near) death experience.
The mortal world goes dim before you, and you feel yourself slipping away from your body. You can feel a corrupting negative energy eating away at your essence, but then you get the sensation of very fast movement. You feel your consciousness slip away into oblivion.

Then the harsh sound of battle surrounds your awakened consciousness. You look around in confusion and can’t quite understand what is happening. You are in some type of vast … library, maybe? Or laboratory? You are standing next to a glowing, open book with metallic covers. You recognize it from the vision of The Ritual. It’s the damaged Well of the Worlds.

You hear a thunderous roar, and your head whips around. You don’t see the source of the roar, but you do see Brigga, and Bannock fighting back to back. All around you, you are beset by men, elves, dwarves or other humanoids. Some distance away you see some larger figures which could be ogres or trolls maybe, but your vision is immediately drawn to a pulsing sphere of inky blackness. As you watch, the figure of a human man elongates and a wail escapes him as his form is drawn into the sphere of blackness. A crackling fills the air around you and a book flies off of one of the many bookshelves surrounding you. The book covers burst open, pages turning and magical energy shoots out of the book toward an unseen ceiling.

You hear a booming voice in your head declare, “it is not time, yet, Onarra! Return!”

You again get the sensation of very fast movement and then immense cold and pain as you open your eyes.
Some of the details are unclear, but Onarra thinks that with quiet contemplation or perhaps with magical aid, she may be able to recall more information ...
Another daring escape for the intrepid Spaceman Spiff!

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Re: Episode 26: Just Desserts

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You are making your way back to the stairs out of fiendish temple after successfully using Haupt’s Journal to speak with the trapped, tortured soul of Bern Haupt himself. You pass back through the main fiendish temple, keeping a wary eye on the Journal that summoned multiple power demons here, but it seems quiet.

You exit the temple into the hallway overlooking the central charnel pit, its floor covered with a thick carpet of bones and old, rotted flesh. As you begin to move past the pit toward the exit, Haupt’s Journal bucks and jumps in your hands! The Journal snaps open, pages glowing and flipping past, settling on the dark portal page once again. Bern Haupt’s screaming, decapitated head rushes back into view, straining against the magical pages imprisoning it.

Bern’s bloody visage screams with rage, straining to escape the prison made from his own flesh. “VENGENCE!!!!! My friends, release me from my prison!! Destroy this cursed flesh and FREE ME!!!”

The Journal bucks back and forth in your hands as Bern’s head continues to howl and thrash in fury.
Another daring escape for the intrepid Spaceman Spiff!

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