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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« on: July 12, 2004, 07:18:31 PM »
Please help me out on this one. Don't be afraid to criticize, I am confident in my abilities. I also realize that I sometimes miss the target completely :D

Ideas would be received with thanks, give me everything you got.  :D

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This campaign is the first of three campaigns describing the prophecies and the coming of Camhol, the mortal son of the sun god. It is a high level campaign.

---------------------

Near the summit of mount Arak’nui, the remnants of the elven race still lingers. Their hearts darkened, their spirits broken, they have turned to evil and embraced demon-worship.

Once they dwelt in the forests of Mir-en-Tarnil, unknown by men, protected by superstition, nature and illusions. But when the dead god Natal returned from his millennia of banishment everything changed. The seers got ill and one by one they died. Strange raiders clad in black leather killed and abducted elven watchers in the outskirts of the forest. The spirits of the elven nations, from before the coming of men, were defiled in their temples.

A band of elven warriors, priests and mages were assembled, led by the 8000 year old white mage Sildurion. Together they cleansed the temples, visited the ruins of the elder nation and travelled the dimensions. At last they succeeded. They confronted Natal with the relics of the ancient heroes and they banished him back whence he came. In the end it was all a failure. Sildurion had his own, hidden, agenda. They had failed to see the signs and they had to pay with their lives. Sildurion ascended and became Sil’Durhon, the traitor god, the creator of the half-elves.

The elven nation was broken by Natal’s armies, and then sacked, raped and murdered by the roaming soldiers and brigands. The newly assembled church of Sil’Durhon organized raids into elven country and abducted the elven maids. They became imprisoned in the inner sanctums of the Sil’Durhonian temples. Nothing more than birth-machines spawning the blasphemous half-elves.

But one seer escaped. She is now followed by an entourage of broken elves and their last surviving noble. For three centuries they have been on the run. Loathed and feared by the human populace, hunted by the Knights of Sil’Durhon and the clergy of his church.

Darkness and bitterness has consumed them, and they have turned away from their gods and summoned demons to inhabit the flesh and souls of the willing. Shadow dancers these elves are called, and they are an instrument of revenge, wreaking havoc wherever they dance into the midst of the enemy. It was an alliance hastily made in those desperate days three centuries ago, but as the elves witnessed the agony and change visited upon the shadowdancers they regret the decision more and more.

Now Lumaratha, the goddess of wild nature and elves, has once again visited the seer in her dreams. For 300 years the goddess abandoned her race, starting the minute they embraced demon-worship. Now the seer has had visions of a saviour. A human saviour even, Camhol, the mortal son of the Sun god, Fhalgharod. It is the only chance for the elves to redeem themselves and lead their surviving kin to the last sanctuary.

The prophecies cannot be mistaken. They have all foretold this moment. The seer is to lead a group of guardians down into the kingdoms of men and retrieve the sword, demontongue, from its demonic owner and deliver it to Camhol at his hiding place, the ruined city of Bluarc which is partially buried in the northern glacier.

Defeating the demon-lord, Xolthog, who is the owner of the weapon will not be easy, and will require all of their abilities, as well as three lesser artifacts.

The first artifact is a crystal bell. Its name is “Beloth” and it lies somewhere beneath the college of higher magic. When it is struck, it dispels all magic, mundane as well as divine as long as the tone lingers. It is the only way so few individuals could break the arcane defences of the demon lord.

The second artifact is “Cuirath” and is actually a tallow candle. When the wick is lit, it protects everyone within 10 yards from scrying and detection by magic, eyesight or other senses. But when others come within 10 yards, they are all as visible as the conditions normally would allow. Being a candle, it has a highly limited duration and winds could easily extinguish it. Using it is the only way they can enter the dark lord's citadel unnoticed.

The third artifact is a dagger fashioned from the hip-bone of a Satyr. Only by thrusting such an item into the demon-lords chest, can he truly be defeated. Everything else would only banish him temporarily for a year. Alas they do not need to defeat him in order to steal demontongue, but not doing so will have serious consequences in the following campaigns.
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2004, 09:08:43 PM »
I am going to assume that this is the overview and the players won't have all this knowledge. If they do then it is just A to B to C kill D the end.

There is a lot of references, but not a lot of background so I find it a little hard to follow because I don't have the whole picture. For instance, demontongue wasn't mentioned till the last sentence, I assumed they were just suppose to kill a baddie but then I see a weapon is mentioned, but not explained why near the top.

The magic items are awesome and I like the way they tie in and are required to fight Xolthog.

Shadowdancers are cool and have a good history as to why they become. There has got to be at least a small group of good elves somewhere though. I think they would have a role to play in all this. Lumaratha would have probably stayed true to them and now finds it time to try and rescue the rest of her children. Perhaps the good elves are keepers of the Seer (of whom I would like more of).

I am sure you know exactly where you are going with all of it, but for me, I need some more details to give more input. Very interested.

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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2004, 05:07:24 AM »
This is something I have just recently started fleshing out, so all details aren't clear yet. But here is what I had in mind.

The plot: The players won't know all the details. They will have a prophecy, probably very cryptic and slightly poetic, to follow. They will rely on the visions of their seer to advance further, and those visions will only be invoked in certain places and under certain conditions.

The seer can try to strengthen the visions, but doing so will require a terrible sacrifice. The benefits will be tempting, but the sacrifice will be awful. I have not worked out the details of that sacrifice.

If the seer dies, then the players will have failed.

The weapon: Demontongue will be referenced in the prophecy. It is a weapon of pure evil, an artifact even. It has chaos mutilating effects* and will twist and test the will of its carrier. It will be an awesome weapon, but will inflict terrible grief upon the elves.

Something will happen to the weapon, to Camhol or to both after he receives it. I haven't fleshed out what yet, but he will heal the carrier-elf somewhat, although not completely. (Beyond his powers?)

*Chaos mut. effects resemble burn-wounds. Often fangs and the like protrude out of the wounds, and sometimes the wound seem to boil very slowly. Sometimes other effects, like the skin becoming translucent, will also be visited upon the victim.

The seer: I haven't fleshed out this lady properly yet. I have ideas concerning her though; perhaps she uses herbal potions to induce the trance-like state in which she receives her visions. Perhaps the visions require her to be chaste... (If she loves someone (a player?) this could complicate things...) Of course the player that agrees to roleplay her would have many wishes for her traits too... She will certainly love her people and despair for their fate. She will also be sensitive for the captured elf-maidens held prisoner in the temples. If she nears one of these unfortunate ladies, she will sense her pain and anguish.


Strolen: Yes, good elves... I agree. Unbeknownst to the players there are elves on one other continent, but perhaps there is a clan of good elves hidden somewhere on this continent too? They could have protected the seer, and she could return with promises of salvation and a quest?

This introduces the possibility of dissent. Some of the fallen elves may be in opposition to the return to the light. That could require the players, the seer in particular, to persuade the elves that this has to be done? Perhaps the leader of the opposition would be willing to resort to murder where he failed to persuade?
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2004, 01:41:16 PM »
The cast:
There will be seven players. They will never play more than 4 at a time. Thus they will travel in two groups, where the game centres on those attending the gaming session.

The seer: Ilyanathila
Described above

The conjurer: Mabulon
-Responsible for the pact with the demons. He has spent the last couple of centuries regretting that decision. Often he gets sick with despair and he hates what he has become. His rage has long since abated.
-He is a skilled conjurer and has great mastery over the darker aspects of magic. He can summon and bind many darker entities but loathe doing so; indeed he will only use his abilities as a last resort. (he started delving in the darker arts as a desperate countermeasure in the conflict versus Natal)
-In his youth he received some training as a temple guardian of Lumaratha
-His primary field of expertise used to be tree-gardening. He nourished the elven homes and gently persuaded the trees to grow as to provide shelter for the elves. He absolutely loves trees and can communicate emphatically with them.

The Lord: Carcassul
-Was one of the advisors of the King and Queen
-Was the warden of the westernmost part of the elven nations and was responsible for the defence of those woods. To his shame he ran away, leaving his men behind. Not a soul knows of this, but Carcassul has hated himself every second thereafter. (He ran in sheer terror when he saw the carnage that Natal's Slayers (Undead elves clad in black leather armour) visited upon his men)
-Is a skilled (and he is an elf) bowman and a master with the rapier and main gauche.
-Has a great love of books and can only find peace when he buries himself in musty old tomes.

The scouts: Haulin and Zulieth
-Twin brothers. (Something almost unheard of among the elves).
-Highly skilled at subterfuge and archery
-Contested over the love of Ailanye, the daughter of high Gardener Tremoyl. She disappeared during the battle of Silver Gap (Against Natal) and the brothers often ponder about her fate.
-Spoke out against the alliance with demon kind, but was alone in this protest. They would not, however, go against the rule of lord Carcassul.

The Shadowdancers: Formerly Curthyn and Epiron
-Although both are shadowdancers, they retain their former skills as border-hunter (Hunted intruders) and forest watchman
-Curthyn saw Lanathaie, the love of his life, ravaged by a large group of human brigands. With his ghastly wounds he was unable to help her, and he saw her will to live fade away at the hands of the brutish thugs. He was rescued against his will by Prince Falathol. The prince supposedly fell shortly thereafter while defending the heart of the capital against the human defilers. Curthyn was the first to volunteer to become a shadowdancer.
-Epiron lost all of his friends defending the western forest. Later he discovered that Lord Carcassul had also survived, but that was to be expected of a man with his abilities. (Epiron believes). Epiron later discovered that his two sisters had been taken away to the southern human empire.

The shadowdancers will be worked more out in detail. They will also have the fiendish part of themselves to play out. They could easily become a liability for the group, and I will certainly keep the group on the edge and wary about these two elves.

What do you think? Any ideas or suggestions?
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2004, 06:37:15 PM »
Episode: The citadel of Xolthog

When the pc's approach the area of the citadel, they will probably be confused that it is not there. What they do not know, is that the citadel exists on another dimension that is only accessible through a rift in this area.

The rift is located at the base of a large tree with strangely grey bark and blackened leaves. They can find the location of this rift through the conjurer's tree-empathy or the seer's visions. They could also stumble upon it by pure luck. It is not visible by normal eyesight, except that they may detect instabilities, almost like ripples through water. The rift creates ripples when there is a shift between the planes of existence, i.e. when something happens on the other side of the portal. Thus anyone on the other side would see a lot of ripples when the characters investigate it and/or travel through it. Travelling through the rift takes approx. 10 seconds.

To activate the rift, they need to utter a certain phrase. This phrase Xolthog's brother Galaruz whispered to the tree when he created the rift. (The purpose of the citadel is to keep Xolthog trapped in one place (the brothers have warred for an eternity)). The phrase can be learnt in several ways. 1) If they free Celemion from the depths beneath the college of higher magic AND tell her of their quest, she will provide it. 2) If the seer attempts to discover it through visions, she will be granted a sight. In the vision she will see some ruins of a mansion nearby. In the cellars of that mansion will be a tomb, and in that tomb lies the iron-bound tome known as the Tome of Origin. She will get a sense of general direction and proximity to the ruins.

The ruins are not haunted, nor infested with monsters and abominations of any kind. Of course the ruins are old, and some natural hazards exist. For instance parts of the building might easily collapse, but the real danger is the tome itself. It is legendary and all of the elves will have heard the name. Those who succeed their history or magic lore checks will know that it is a volume of great scholarly value. Within its iron-bound pages lie many of the secrets of creation. Many of those secrets are terrifying and will shake the very sanity of the readers, while other is so marvellous that they will enthrall the reader utterly. The seer will know exactly which page to open, and indeed she will open that page at first attempt. The players should know that continued reading is of great risk.

3) The tree itself knows the phrase, but is unwilling to share it. Only if the conjurer makes a critically successful check against his persuasion skill, will he be able to play "guess the phrase" with the tree. (He is only able to communicate empathically).

The citadel:

Once through the rift, the elves will arrive in a darkened room. It will be cold, uncomfortably so, and investigations will reveal that there is an iron door out of the room and an iron hatch on the floor. The iron hatch is in reality a window, and if opened, will reveal a drop which has no bottom. Indeed they can only see dark blue sky beneath them. The citadel clings to a large city-sized rock with reversed gravity, which is suspended in nothingness. The rock is filled with holes in which winged creatures nest. If anyone in any way tries to travel outside the walls of the citadel, they will be harassed by these hungry creatures.

The citadel is large but there are some distinguishing factors:
- Xolthog is obsessed with the war against his brother and underlings of Galaruz will be chained, stretched and hung in various places. If the pc's allow themselves to be detected, they will assume the pc's are agents of Galaruz.
- The interior seems strangely abandoned, but when they do meet the inhabitants, it is either a chaotic host of fiends storming through the halls, on their way to some rift to wage war on Galaruz, or it is a few individuals silently walking around on some unknown business. The situation should stress caution. (Some lonely imp as comical relief?) It should be clear that they would benefit from good tactics if they are to go to battle.
- Xolthog is situated at the "(BBottom" of the citadel. A central shaft will go directly into his quarters and stairs skirt the edges of that shaft.
- If the tallow candle extinguishes, the PC's will soon be assailed by a host of fiends. The fiends will be relentless until the candle is lit, or the PC's leave.


The upper citadel:
Xolthog may not enter the upper citadel, not unless the "(Bloneliness" in the lower citadel is freed.
- Several mosaics throughout the upper citadel provide teleportation points for spellcasters of required magnitude.
- Some portions clearly houses an army while others seem totally abandoned.
- It is so cold, that at some point they may notice frost on their clothing.

The lower citadel:
Here they may meet Xolthog's emotions. These are extensions of the arch-demon that wander the halls of random, constantly emitting his feelings. No other fiend may enter these floors.
- Xolthog's sorrow: Long before they actually encounter this entity, they will hear a slow, lamenting voice and accompanying piano music. It will be the saddest song the pc's have ever heard, and will probably move them to tears. If they get close to this entity, they will witness a strange man playing the piano while a middle aged lady sings the mournful song. They will float slowly through the air far above the characters. Any character hearing this song must check against his resistance to see whether he will be incapable of harming Xolthog. (The crystal bell will dispel this effect).
- The rage of Xolthog: This avatar is the embodiment of the hatred Xolthog feels toward his brother Galaruz. Meeting this avatar will not be pleasant. The first indication that the avatar is approaching, will be a tremendous roaring scream drawing closer and closer. Then the demons within the shadowdancers will begin to respond by dancing faster and faster as the scream grow louder. Then the air before them will suddenly become distorted, and the avatar will emerge within 10 yards in front of them.
- Xolthog's loneliness: This one embodies the loneliness of Xolthog, especially after his brother imprisoned him within this dimension. They will hear the heartbreaking crying of a child and investigations will reveal that within a neighbouring room, there is a hole in the floor. Peering through this hole will reveal a cage suspended in chains above the infinite drop. Within this cage is a child, alone and vulnerable. If they approach the cage, they will sense something dangerous about the child and the seer will scream in pain. For a moment the appearance of the child will shift to something far more frightening. If they decide to release the child, they will be granted permanent bonuses to their statistics, but Xolthog will have been released from his eternal prison. In addition, the chains holding the cage will break, and the liberator may plummet for an eternity. Xolthog will have left with demontongue before the pc's manage to reach him. This will complicate matters terribly.
- The lust of Xolthog: This phenomenon shows the demonic lust of Xolthog, and would have an irresistible effect on weak willed humans. The pc's are elves, and will probably feel revolted by the sin and lack of soul in this encounter. The characters will hear moaning and cheering, feasting and singing long before they actually get to see this phenomenon. If they do get to witness this, they will see an enormous hall, filled with naked men and women, succubi and incubi. Fat men will devour vast amounts of food and will be glistening with fat on their breasts and their faces. It will be a scene depicting all aspects of (human) lust.

Xolthog's Quarters:

When the PC's enter this room, they will not lay eyes upon some terrible arch-demon. In stead they will see a venerable old man, strangely resembling their dead King. (Or father, grandfather, etc.). He will be a charming fellow and he will try to make them feel foolish for wanting to harm him. There will be food and wine and music. There will also be ravens everywhere. On the floor, several large rectangular areas have been removed, revealing the infinite chasm below. Here they can see more ravens circle, some flying through the holes to land on some cabinet, mirror or desk. The room is filled with luxuries of every sort, including some very fine vines of elven manufacture.

Xolthog will be charming and hospitable. If they desire, they may sleep over and he will not harm them while they sleep. They will get their every desire catered for, and after a while he will try to convince them to seek out his "(Bloneliness". He will also warn them against his "(Brage" although he would not describe them as his own.

If the PC's attack, he will still be in the form of a venerable old man, but with an angry expression of rage on his face. He will surely draw the longsword Demontongue, which is actually made of a demons tongue. It is black as sin and full of small hooks protruding from the edge. Ancient runes cover the side of the blade and noxious, black fumes steam from it. During the battle they may catch a glimpse of Xolthog's body beneath his clothing, and it is covered with chaos wounds.

The ravens will take an active part during the struggle. They will harass the spellcasters and archers and viciously attack any that close in on Xolthog.

Without the crystal bell, the defences of Xolthog will be formidable. He will appear invincible and magic will not affect him.

Xolthog will withdraw from anyone carrying a dagger fashioned from a satyr's hip bone. The carrier will get the satisfaction of witnessing panic in the eyes of Xolthog. The ravens will protect Xolthog at all costs against the carrier.
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2004, 04:43:58 PM »
Xolthog's different incarnations of emotion is a pretty cool idea and I love how that whole scenerio is played out.

The only unique thoughts I had while reading were about the seer. I was thinking that maybe it was a curse instead of a gift. I was sort of thinking that the seer would have many uncontrollable 'sights' that, depending on the intensity of them, might wear here down, send her unconscience, or just make her dizzy for a bit. Being a seer is a big deal and a big power and maybe this would offset that a little instead "I try to see where the book is." "Ok, you see it in a vision and it is this way."

The herbs could actually stop the visions so she can function normally so as long as she has an inventory of herbs she doesn't have to worry about them attacking her. If she stops taking the herbs, the visions start coming back. And it shouldn't be that suddenly she has a backlog of visions. She cannot predict when they happens so if they are in need of a vision or some help, they have to wait for the herbs to wear off and then wait for the visions. They work of greater need, but perhaps she also has many other visions that may or may not be related to what they are searching for. A boy falling off a cliff, a ember starting to burn down a house, a couple getting married, etc. They may be kicked off depending on the not so immediate surroundings. If they are in a town and do it she may quickly get overloaded and pass out without seeing the true vision while other times just nothing.

So now, she can be a normal character with whatever powers, but when she wants to use the vision she has to deal with the results. Makes the visions a little more important, makes them think ahead to when they want to try and use it, also gives it more oompf then just another skill the player has.

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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2004, 05:36:05 PM »
Genius... Bloody genius. That is an excellent suggestion, it cannot be done any other way. This adds a whole new dimension to the setting. Thank you!

I am currently writing two episodes; the Chambers of the arcane and Coven of the red moon(witches coven). I can't help it, but I am feeling kind of Harry Potterish when I am writing about the chambers. I really want to shake that feeling. I will post that episode shortly and hopefully you guys will help me shake it ;)
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2004, 02:56:23 PM »
Episode: The Arcane Chambers

Introduction: Six hundred years ago, the emperor of Belemar* organized the college of higher learning and the college of higher magic. These colleges would strengthen the empire and provide them with valuable information and magic, which could be used in the best interest of the empire. Alas, it did not take long before the college of higher magic decided they did not need the empire and their constant demands, and declared their independence. There was not much the empire could say about this. Of course they sent a couple of legions to suppress these unruly elderly men, but all those that entered the woods surrounding the college valley, always came out on the same spot they entered. Fire would not touch the trees and the legions went home. Today the college is still independent and is ruled by the council of supreme mages.

*One of the nations that now is part of the southern empire

Description: The college consists of seventeen great towers and many lesser towers soaring above the valley floor. The central tower is called the Mahjora-uth-Arcaie, and houses the assembly of mages and the council of supreme mages. The lesser towers are the abodes of the great mages, while the greater towers house different cabals, circles and covens. Only great mages have towers and the rest are considered apprentices in service of the great mages.

Deep beneath the central tower laid the chambers of the Arcane. This is where the mages, witches and warlocks place those creations they deem to dangerous. The crystal bell  eloth  was such a creation. Shortly after it was created by Magnus of Cormalth, it got in the hands of a cunning mercenary captain known as Harlan Marcus. Let's shorten the tale and just say that the mages in the college valley did not like to have Harlan and his men roaming about the valley, helping themselves to the mages valuables. The bell rendered the college magic useless, and the mages locked themselves in, awaiting Harlan, armed with brooms, pottery and kitchen utensils.

The bell was later recovered, together with Harlan himself, and both were locked away in the chambers of the arcane.

Overview: This is one of the optional places the PC's may visit prior to entering the citadel of Xolthog. It will be referenced in the prophecy all three campaigns will be based upon. The part of the prophecy concerning the elves quest will describe all three of the required items, but only vaguely. This place will be the easiest to identify, and will contain  the well of Urthmok , a rather peculiar oracle.
The council will send underlings to investigate if the PC's fail to disable the glyphs on the entryway to the chamber of regrets before they pass or if the watch mages patrolling the forbidden garden detect anything out of the ordinary. The watch does not normally enter the chambers.

Reaching the Valley: If the PCs are to reach the valley, they have to cross the college forest. This forest is enchanted and illusions will lead most people astray and back the way they came. The PCs are elves however and from a forest that were defended in a similar manner. They will probably fail a couple of times before they realize the situation but then they can use their innate abilities, the conjurer's tree-empathy or the seer's gifts. The forest is home to few creatures but the Urghul beast is one notable exception. This Gorilla shaped creature with ram horns live in the forest. Its primitive brain is not affected by the illusions. It has razor sharp teeth and is a carnivore with greedy appetite. It weighs in excess of 1400 lbs./635kg

Entry: To gain entry to the Chambers, the PC's must sneak past the guardians of the valley and enter the forbidden garden outside the central tower. To do this, they must be wearing robes of the order and medallions of the order. These can be stolen from apprentices or masters of the college when they can be found travelling outside the valley. If they do not have these items, the guardians of the valley will be alerted and the PC's will be in for a nasty surprise. Within the forbidden garden lies the entrance to the chamber. They will need the gatekeeper's key to unlock the door or they could pick the lock, but that requires a special success or better. Beyond the door are the stairs that lead down to the first level of the chambers.

The guardians of the valley: These differ depending on the nature of the closest great tower. If they are close to the tower of the Caarthian, a cabal of arch mages, the guardians will probably be summoned spirits drifting around, whispering the secrets that d**ned them and compelled them into the service of the cabal(in some ancient language). If the closest tower is of the red moon, a witches coven, the guardians will probably be cult-zombies carrying the necklace of the red moon. These zombies will erupt from the earth and attempt to drag the characters down beneath the soil. Their grip will affect the health of the character and will seep the strength out of him. Some of the towers do not care about the surroundings and wildlife will have claimed those areas, while other towers employ the watch mages that patrol out of the central tower.

The First Level:  Chambers of Folly : Harlan was the mercenary that looted the college aided by Beloth, the crystal bell. He was later captured and locked within the antechamber where he starved to death. The mages have since placed his remains on a throne of stone and equipped it with a crown and sceptre. Both are made of iron and glass.

The items within the Chamber are mostly cursed in one way or the other, more harmful than of use for the college. Many of the beneficial effects are unknown to the college.

A corridor leads to the other rooms and the stairs down.

Room #1:  The well of Urthmok: This large, circular room is dominated by a circular well built into the floor. The Well is built of white rectangular stones and on the upper edge there is a plating of copper. The stones around the well differ from those in the room and it is obvious that the well wasn't originally placed here. An inscription on the plating reads  Urthmok's well, keeper of secrets. Oracle of the ancients.  Within the well is murky water. When someone poses a question to the well, lots of mouths form out of the water. They will answer with many, many different voices in disharmony and slightly out of synch with each other. The answer will always be condescending, but true. In addition to this truth, the oracle will also taunt the speaker and hint about some flaw or secret that the speaker does not wish exposed/revealed. If the speaker tries to ask more than one question, the oracle will only taunt. Every character will get one answer.

The well was created by the arch-mage Urthmok and is the only item of his that still is known. The creation required the soul of a living being and the mage thought his annoying apprentice would suffice. Urthmok did not realize that the well would inherit the personality of the sacrificed person.

Room #2: The nightmare Orb: Within this circular chamber a dark red coloured orb the size of a clenched fist lies discarded on the floor. It is the only item within this room and the PC's might notice that the chamber seems untouched for quite some time. Dust clings to the orb and when the PC's enter it suddenly starts rolling in their direction.

This orb is the creation of Margas Uerval, an apprentice that got hold of a tome of great value. Sure of himself and more than a little haughty, Margas decided that he was ready to create an orb of dreams based on the theories within the tome. The result seemed flawless and Margas paraded through the college with the orb. The following morning his fellow apprentices found him in his room, dead from a heart attack and with an expression of utter horror on his face.

The orb needs to be placed in the hands of the user while he sleeps. It actually works, although the user needs to be in control of himself. If the user manages a meditation check he can guide his dreams and affect the actions of others. The user will travel through a dreamscape vaguely resembling reality but distances and appearances will be distorted. In this fashion he can travel to a person and plant a suggestion in his subconscious which might be effective. The chance increases if the other person sleeps, but then he might have to encounter the nightmares of the other dreamer.

If the user fails his meditation check, potentially fatal nightmares will occur.

Room #3: The Lord's Circlet:  A golden circlet rest in a niche in this room. It is smooth without jewels or any kind of ornamentation. Anyone not of noble blood that dons the circlet will become completely obedient. They will obey all orders, from anyone, that are not suicidal, no matter how silly they seem. The face of the wearer will reflect how he truly feel; tears might tumble down the cheeks while he fights his former friends or he might blush while doing something he might otherwise find embarrassing. The only way to remove the circlet is to order the wearer to take it off. The characters might not immediately notice anything but over time the willingness of the wearer might seem suspect.

If the circlet is donned by a true lord its real powers awaken. The lord will seem more capable, more inspiring. Everyone within sight of him will have a higher morale and will fight better and more savagely. His appearance will dishearten the enemy and their morale will easily crumble. In addition he will have the loyalty of his people in life as in death and if he is deserving they might come back from the dead to defend him, but only for a short while.

If Lord Carcassul dons the circlet, the spirits of the elves slaughtered in the western forest where he ruled will hear him beckoning. He will feel them drawing closer and closer, feel their sorrow and disappointment. After some time they will catch up with him and bow down in the dust, weeping. They will raise their heads and look at him with eyes full of despair. Thanuvel, Carcassul's lieutenant, will come to the front and will be their spokesman, his trembling voice filled with sorrow. The dead of the elves are denied passage to the afterlife by some unknown power and Carcassul is their last hope. All they know is that only the fallen lord and his companions can redeem the elven race and save them from d**nation. They have haunted the forest since the elven defeat. The third campaign will revolve around this unknown power and will centre on some of the elves, Camhol and other unmentioned characters.

The origins of the circlet is unknown, although there is a reference in the Tome of Origin* which claims that the arch-angels of Fhalgharod appear wearing similar circlets.

* Described in the episode: The citadel of Xolthog

Room #4: empty room: This room is empty save for a small, crushed table of charred stone. The walls are also charred and portions have crumbled away.

Room #5: Mask of unearthly Beauty: The witch Clarionne was never considered pretty, yet she craved the love of the prettiest of men. When she fell for the Paladin Prince of Silmar he sent her away, he did not want to marry an old crone that dabbled in the darker arts. Heartbroken she swore that he would regret that decision and she set about to create a mask that would not only hide her unremarkable features, but also lend her an appearance of absolute beauty and charm.

After several months of research, collecting rare ingredients and carefully sewing the mask, she put it on and looked in the mirror. Her heart nearly stopped for what she saw was a thing of unearthly beauty. Dazzled she went to the Prince in his city, often stopping to view herself in the mirror. When she arrived old men died of heart failure, women gaped and men fell to their knees in admiration. She soon had a huge following of lovesick men and jealous women. The Prince's council heard rumours of a lady that held the entire city in her hands. Afraid of a coup and fearing that this was the workings of a demon, he rode out to capture her and burn her at the stake. As he rode up to her he fell in love and his male instincts battled with his Paladin sense of honour. He quickly pulled a sack over her head and ordered her burnt at the stake. As the flames consumed the sack, a wind came by and carried the mask away.

The mask is made of white silk that is burnt on the edges. It will give the wearer another appearance based somewhat upon his natural appearance, but far prettier. The mask has been damaged and the wearer will view the world as Clarionne did before she died; everything will look terribly ugly and the persons you love the most will appear threatening. The wearer might fall in love with himself and many others certainly will.

The Second Level:  Chambers of Regret : The archway leading into the chamber of regrets is flanked by glyphs. These glyphs are wards that will alert the council watch mage. There is a mosaic in this room that enables the college magicians to teleport into the chamber. The items stored here are considered outright dangerous. If the PCs make any loud noises or if the  faces of the antechamber  scream, Celemion will be alerted and she will cry for help (from the PCs). The PCs will hear this as muffled cries from some unknown location.

The antechamber: The first room is octagonal with relief illustrations of gargoyles on the lowest part of the wall. The ceiling is dome shaped. This room is the last line of defence for the items hidden below. If the characters enter it without chanting a certain mantra, the defences will be activated. This is common knowledge among the watch mages and the seer will get a warning vision if she does not use the herbal potions.

When the defences are activated ghostly visages will appear from the upper portions of each wall. The walls with exits have no ghostly faces, thus there will be a total of six faces partially emerging from the walls. The faces will seem distorted and terrifying with scowls and grimaces of utter displeasure. Each face will have a distinct attack.

Face #1: Scream of souls. Its scream will rend the soul from the body and the victims will die.
Face #2: Scream of battering. The scream will be so staggering that it will knock the characters off their feet and into each other or a nearby wall.
Face #3: Scream of insanity. The scream will shake the very sanity of the characters.
Face #4: Scream of terror. The scream will terrify the characters, make them run away panicking.
Face #5: Scream of anguish. The scream will give the PC's a nervous breakdown.
Face #6: Scream of unconsciousness. The scream will knock the PC's senseless and make them sleep for a long time.

The faces will scream four times, one at a time. The screaming face will be selected at random. The other faces will stare menacingly at the characters while they are inactive. The screams affect all PCs.

If the watch mages are near the entrance to the chambers, they might hear the screams (3% chance each scream).

Room #1: Music box of Mordalin: This is an unremarkable and worn music box of wood painted dark brown. It requires a key to open and the key is not in the room. The lock is of excellent make, even if it does not look the part and is magically strengthened. Only the key or a dispel followed by lock picking can open it.

The music box is the creation of the warlock Mordalin, the fabled ruler of the lost realm. He was a practitioner of the darkest arts and his name is never mentioned. If anyone does mention it, silence and scared whispering will follow. It is taboo. This box was found a long time ago in the heartlands of the lost realm, in the marsh of the dead. When the box was taken, the marsh dried out and became a peaceful place.

When someone opens the music box, the figurine of a lady clad in a black dress will begin to turn. Weird, slow music will play and slowly thick fog will pour out of the box. The music will not be stopped and the lid will not close until 10 minutes have passed. Strange marshlights / wisps will float out of the box along with the fog and after a while the surroundings will appear like a dark dream world. The box acts like a beacon to all restless spirits and roaming dead. The fog will not disperse for a day, unless the wind is strong. If left open, the area of the fog will widen until it covers a very large area.

The box has some beneficial effects; it doubles the strength and duration of all dark magic. It weakens the will of the undead, making them easier to control and it helps the creation of undead.

Room #2: Flail of the apocalypse: This circular room is empty, save for a small table where a flail with seven chains lies. There is no ball on these chains and they are inscribed with various runes. If touched, the flail chains will twist and twirl themselves up the arms of the unlucky person and then establish a stranglehold around the neck. It requires much strength or dispelling to free the person before he chokes.

This flail is the weapon of V'rul the fallen* and each chain holds the essence of a great hound of the apocalypse. This flail enables V'rul to summon the hounds** and given his hatred of the college, the council found it best to store his weapon here.

* V'rul was formerly the apprentice of the witch Atianna of the red moon. When she killed his secret love, another apprentice of hers, something snapped within the innocent young man. Over time he acquired great power and transcended to lichdom. Atianna discovered this and sought out his phylactery. When he returned from the forge of the apocalypse, where he had created the flail, Atianna waited. One look at her new necklace and V'rul knew he was her slave. V'rul hates the college and everything within it and only remains because of Atianna's power. She is not stupid enough to let V'rul keep the flail though, and together with the council she removed it from V'ruls possession and hid it here.

** They appear, collared, at the end of their given chain

Room #3: The crystal bell: In this chamber they will find the crystal bell.

The unseen chambers: An illusionary wall is located in the chambers of regret. This leads to the chamber of holding and the chamber of forgetfulness. If the crystal bell is struck, it will temporarily dispel the wall. The wall appears to be a section with some shelves with pottery. The pottery and the shelves will feel solid to touch.

The chamber of holding: This circular chamber holds several steel bars in the walls. These are the entrances to four prison cells of which only one is occupied. Within that cell sits a beautiful (for a human) and elderly lady. She has a black evening gown and a blue metallic necklace. The necklace sits tight and has some symbols engraved on it. (it is a necklace made of blue Tharkhite, a metal that defies magic and makes spellcasting impossible). Her face is slightly wrinkled and worn with time but it is obvious that she has once been very pretty. Her hair is jet black with streaks of grey at the temples. If asked she can tell that her name is Celemion and that she was the head of the summoner's coven. She made the mistake of criticizing the head of the college, Master Lyriel Thalaren and this is her reward. It was not an official sentence and Celemion and her coven did not even know of this place. If freed she will travel back to the summoner's tower and resume her duties but she will enquire whether she can do anything for the elves first. If told of their quest she will brighten up. She is a summoner and Xolthog is a name that she has heard. She has a huge volume about  the eternal war of the brothers  as she calls it and she can tell the pc's that Galaruz trapped his brother in his own citadel. Only a secret phrase will enable anyone to enter the citadel, although there are  other entrances from other places . She will tell the PCs the secret phrase.

The chamber of Forgetfulness: When Sil'Durhon ascended to become a god, the essence that was Natal was banished. The spells of Sil'Durhon devoured his power but could not undo him. Within the halls of time was the mirror of memories and within this mirror Natal found his final resting place. But memories hold power and can be awakened. Sil'Durhon knew this and ordered his half-elf lead armies to conquer the college and seize the orb of chaos which was the key needed to enter the halls of time. The council eventually learnt why their valley was under siege and sent the masters of the towers to fetch the mirror within the halls of time. They returned, although they had lost more than three fourths of their number, and the college master placed the mirror of memories somewhere safe. Here.
 A large, golden mirror dominates this tiny chamber. Red carpets lay on the floor and wooden stool has been placed in front of the mirror. On the stool is a mortar filled with a strange murky liquid (Thel; a narcotic fluid inducing euphoria when sipped). The golden mirror has ornamentation resembling dragons entwined around hourglasses.

If someone stares into the mirror, they will only see hazy reflections of themselves. Something will continually change though and if they study it, they will discover that their appearances slowly change from very young to very old. This only happens within the mirror. Further study will reveal small persons trapped within the mirror; elves, humans and other. If anyone utters the name  Natal  aloud, his visage will show on the surface, pleading and charming. They can actually hear him speak within their heads, begging them to smash the mirror with the wooden stool.
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2004, 05:19:01 PM »
I can barely see any Potterishesquenishisms. The dog and mirror for the most part but because they are so dissimiliar, I wouldn't get it.

The music box is awesome!

Afraid I don't have anything very constructive to say on this portion except I hope the players are careful.

Oh, and some of these items better hit the main site.  :P  :lol:

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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2004, 05:46:18 PM »
I don't know. I had a college of magic in my world long before Harry Potter was published, but I can't shake the feeling of Hogswart... Never mind, its probably just me.

If you have any good ideas concerning the episodes, those posted or those not yet written, post them here! I know roughly what to do until the witches coven but I'm pretty blank after that.

I think I'll read some of the main site plots to spark my imagination.
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2004, 08:19:02 PM »
Non player characters/Coven of the red moon:

Witches of the red moon currently located at the abbey: (The red moon coven is a very large coven and even has its own tower at the college of higher magic.)
All the witches are sent on a hunt for a familiar when they join the coven. Those familiars are bewitched men. When they become elders they have to sacrifice their familiars in the summoning ritual that bond them with a darker power known as Azarghuel. They lose a part of their humanity in this ritual.

Eilira, human female age 19.
Eight witch of the abbey.

Eilira is an innocent looking female with large blue eyes. Her lips are full and often she pouts and behaves in a childish manner. Several of the older witches favour her and she has become severely spoiled. It does not help that she is the youngest and prettiest daughter of the wealthy merchant Ardel Anthony of Cormalth. Her little tantrums are oddly enough considered cute by the elders. She wears far too much perfume and is given too much candy. Her belly has slightly begun to grow and thus she is currently in a state of panic, whether pregnant or a glutton, it can’t be good.

Familiar: Zacharye Sulla, human male age 31

The oldest son of councillor Marcus Sulla of Cormalth, Zacharye was a popular man among the social elite of that city. He is a handsome man with curly hair and a strong physique.
Eilira fell in love with Zacharye when she was on her hunt. He was not the least interested in the spoiled little brat, so she bewitched him. Now he stares longingly at her all day long and is often the target of her irrational fits of anger.

Lathia, human female age 25
Seventh witch of the abbey

Lathia is a plain looking young woman with a fragile constitution. She has been with the coven for some years and has second thoughts. She is too afraid of the other witches to do anything though and is tormented at night by nightmares. In those dreams she relives the summonings and sacrifices committed during her years at the abbey. In particular the elder witch scares her and she has made a voodoo doll of the elder witch that she uses to expedite her demise. The doll is hidden beneath her bed alongside a pouch filled with needles, poisons and living dung beetles.

Familiar: Shade of the long tree, human primitive male age 14

Lathia did not know what to do on her hunt. She wandered about and encountered a tribe of primitive plainsmen. There she was made welcome and for a time she forgot about the hunt. But after a while she had nightmares about her fate should she abandon the hunt, and she hastily bewitched the young son of her host and hurried back. When she returned home with the love struck child she was made the laughingstock of the coven. She still is.

Mira, human female age 32
Sixth witch of the abbey

Mira is a woman seeming quite sure of herself. She favours white robes, proudly displaying her red moon necklace and a lot of cleavage in the process. She is friend with everybody and is vulgar and brash. If she could, she’d have dozens of familiars. She keeps everyone at arms length from her inner feelings.

Familiar: Gareth of Salagan, human male age 24

Mira was a client of Gareth’s when she visited the port city of Salagan. He was the prize gigolo of the white swan bordello, and known widely among the bored housewives of the upper class as a most worthy investment. He is strong, firm and pretty, with a gleam to his eye.

Dara, human female age 34
Fifth witch of the abbey

Dara is a woman from the south. She hails from the inland city of Bin-Erek where she made a living as an apprentice of the Lord High Vizier. He required special services from her and she denied. Complications followed and soon she was on the run. The elder witch found her freezing and lost in the cold northern forests and granted her protection. Dara adores the elder witch and the two regularly dine together.

Familiar: Karone Kell, human male age 35

Dara fell in love with Karone and the feelings were returned. This happened on
midsummer night, two years ago. She did not have to bewitch him and he happily returned with her to the abbey. After witnessing some horrendous sacrifices and ghastly summonings, the love ended and he ran away. Dara hunted him down and bewitched him in his sister’s living room. The sister was shocked to see her brother turn from hate and loathing to deep love with just a look, he did not even say farewell. She has hired two Hexenjaegers (Witch hunters) to hunt Dara down and free her brother (The hexenjaegers have found the abbey and are currently plotting the liberation of Karone and the destruction of the abbey).5

Gerdala, human female age 38
Fourth witch of the abbey

Gerdala is an unpleasant lady always wearing the same brown gown. Her mouth is locked in a permanent frown and her eyes are small and intensely staring. She is the offspring of the elder witch and her previous familiar. Gerdala spent her childhood playing in the forest and did not get much affection from her family. Some times she gets her familiar to play the piano. These are the only times when she can be heard laughing and she will dance all night long.

Familiar: Therrick Gerovius, human male age 65
Gerdala never had much interest in men but Therrick is a prized possession of hers. When she was young, she often snuck into the village and listened to the music played at the shrine during weekends and at the monthly market. She would dance with wild abandon and the locals sometimes spotted the strange girl as she bounced around between the buildings.

On her hunt she did not hesitate. She went to the royal music hall that she had so often read about in the books. For months she attended the evening shows and studied which musician she enjoyed the most. Then one night she waited in an alley and when the musicians exited their chambers, she went straight to Therrick who followed her without another word to his follow musicians.

Therrick is an aging man with grey hair and moustache. He has begun to neglect his appearance as Gerdala keeps him locked in a small room when she does not need him. He is smitten with her but she only wants his music, thus he lives only for the next session of piano playing and laughter in the study. His wife and seven sons looked for him for a long time but the wife recently died and the sons have sworn to punish their dad for leaving with another woman.

Elder Nadia, human female age 47
Third witch of the abbey

Nadia is an elderly lady that has recently gained a lot of weight. Her hair is curly and often uncombed and she has dark eyes

The previous elder witch just recently died and Nadia is new to her position. She is afraid of her new consort, the dread lord Azarghuel. She has been used to ordering her familiar around for a long time and is uncomfortable with the reversed roles.

Nadia is a somewhat chubby having spent the entire time since her elevation visiting the abbey kitchen. She is scared about the fact that she has lost most of her previous interests and even more scared that she does not care. Most of all she is scared by the pregnancy of Elder Famina and has begun to fear the full moon summonings. She fears the stellar constellations will show that it is her turn to carry the children of Azarghuel.

Elder Famina, human female age 54
Second witch of the abbey

Famina is renowned for her lack of hygiene. Her hair is full of lice and her teeth have rotted away. She had the plague as young. She survived, but her body was ruined. In spite of this, Famina is a woman of great humour and even greater intellect. She often wears the red ceremonial robes of the coven and can be seen on the mountain trails and forest tracks around the abbey. She never ventures down to the village.

Famina is pregnant and may give birth while the PC’s are at the abbey. The father is the demon Azarghuel or so she would have everyone believe. In reality, the Satyr of the abbey forest is the father and he loves Famina as much as a Satyr is capable of. Famina has a nasty feeling that the elder witch is wasting away as punishment for her infidelity against Azarghuel.

The elder witch, human female age 64
First witch of the abbey

The elder witch is an old crone slowly dying of some unknown and seemingly incurable disease. Her hair is silvery white and long. She will be lying in bed and her breath will difficult to detect, she seem almost dead. Once in a while she will moan with pain.

She will be fit enough to sit in bed on rare occasions, usually before the night of a full moon and always before the coming of the red moon. She will look totally exhausted save for her eyes who will look unnaturally alert. She will speak in raspy whispers and with great effort.

When the second witch of a local coven becomes first witch she forsakes her given name and becomes one with the coven. Only upon attaining the highest honour; tower master of the college, can she use her name again.

Non Player Characters/The village of Herschburg:
The inhabitants of the village are immigrants from the western side of the mountain. Thus the village and its inhabitants have outlandish names. Given the elves reputation it is unlikely that they will venture into the village.

Juergen Knapper, human male age 34
Hexenjaeger

Juergen is a hexenjaeger of the Holy Order. His face is gaunt and his hair is half length and raven black. He wears the amulet of the holy order, resembling the talon of an eagle. The amulet is made of blue Tharkhite, a metal that defies magic. It does not grant him immunity but increases his innate resistances. If placed around the neck of a magic user, the necklace will prohibit all spellcasting. In addition he wears a chainmail, target shield and wields a longsword.

Juergen plans to sneak into the abbey come next full moon. Witches are often preoccupied with their deviltry at that time and it is thus the best occasion.

He may run into the elves outside the abbey or perhaps within. Wherever he may meet them, he has heard of the vile elves. They are not much better than witches and their proximity to the abbey clearly show their allegiance. He is a tactical genius that never fights when outnumbered and always strike at the worst possible moment.

Stein Haussberger, human male age 22
Hexenjaeger

Stein is Juergen's apprentice in the witch hunter craft. He does all the tedious work. He would be a good looking youngster if he hadn’t looked so grim. He carries the amulet of the holy order, chainmail, target shield, longsword and several flasks of lamp oil. He idolizes Juergen and carries out his orders no matter how grotesque.

Magda Hersch, human female age 78
Nun of Fhalgharod

Magda is an old, blind lady often walking in the woods with her grand daughter Elise. Magda always wear her white and gold nun’s outfit. When the characters meet her, she will be sitting alone crying in the woods. If approached she will beg the newcomers tell their names. It will be evident that she is blind and she will not fear the elves even if their accent is very odd indeed.

She will rant about the abbey and the defilers occupying it. “That lady seemed so nice but something isn’t right I tell you! I can feel it even if the others say otherwise!� She will tell that the abbey was once a place of gathering for the pilgrimages across the mountains. It was sanctified in the name of Fhalgharod and Magda was the last caretaker. Then one day another woman came by and said she was the head of the nuns sent from Silmar to take over the care of the abbey. Magda was somewhat astonished by this and even more astonished when she was evicted from the abbey. But Magda has always been able to discern the truth of words and the lady spoke the truth… She is sure... She does not understand anything anymore.

At this time Elise will come running and if the elves do not withdraw she will begin screaming when she sees them. “Demons, demons in the forest� She will then run away, leaving her grandmother behind.

Non Player Characters/Other:

Inuus, the Satyr of the abbey Forest
Piper of the forest glades

Inuus is a Satyr that has inhabited the abbey forest since he was created at the beginning of time. He is a large Satyr with fully grown horns and powerful hoofs. He is a heavy drinker and sometimes wanders about the forest greedily downing wine. He is also a lover of music and can be found playing his Flute of seven reeds.
Inuus has a legendary lust and in addition to Famina of the red moon, he mates regularly with the three nymphs of the forest. Once he has mated with someone, he gets possessive and will forcibly resist any attempt to leave the area. Within a glade in the forest he has hoarded the skulls of all mortal females he has mated. (He removed their skulls after their demise and did not expedite their deaths. He is their captor and their protector).

Inuus is incredibly strong and can affect minds with his flute. He should not be taken lightly. He seldom ventures out of his forest, only occasionally doing so to visit Famina in the abbey or scout the landscape from the mountain ridge. He will appear threatening and challenging to any male that approach his females.

7’2� / 400 lbs

Rasoul Ahmed al-Khatif, human male age 43
Envoy from the city of Bin-Erek

Rasoul is an experienced envoy and has served his Caliph for over two decades. He is a smooth talker and quite charming. He always wears the latest fashion from the south and uses plenty of expensive perfume. He favours red clothing. At his left hip hangs his rapier from a scabbard. He is a master swordsman and often competes at fencing tournaments. He is extremely vain and is always shaved. His hair is black, half length and visibly thinning. He has a scar on his chin, a token of gratitude from the Duke of Ur-Kanesh for delivering such wonderful news. Rasoul was able to talk his way out of being executed and was thrown in the dungeon instead. When his master sacked the city a year later, Rasoul was freed from prison and given a small farm as compensation.

Rasoul has been sent far north to the abbey with one purpose. The Caliph and his advisor, the Priest Fielor of Sil’Durhon, want to know whether the latest omens foreshadow the coming of the so called saviour.

Ibrahim al-Hutuf, human male age 38
Bodyguard and manservant of the envoy

Ibrahim is a medium sized individual. He always wears grey clothing and a scimitar. His hair is kept very short and he has a small, thin moustache. Ibrahim is very skilled with his weapon. He served as a lieutenant ten years ago, during the period of frequent border skirmishes between his empire and the northern kingdom of Silmaroth. He is absolutely loyal to his master and carries out his duties with military precision.

Jasmina, human female age 15
Human sacrifice

Jasmina was born in Bin-Erek. Her mother was a pleasure slave from the bordello district and her father some client of hers. She spent her entire life playing in the back room of the Honey bee bordello. Last month Rasoul purchased her after making sure she had not been touched by men. He has been very kind to her thus far.

Jasmina is a pretty and innocent young girl. Her hair is jet black and curled. She wears too much cheap perfume. She is subservient and humble and has been told all her life that she is of no consequence. She is utterly uneducated and has just discovered that there is a world outside the bordello walls.

She is to be sacrificed when the moon is full (human sacrifice strengthens the witches divinations).
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2004, 08:34:06 PM »
The Coven of the Red Moon

This scenario is about the dagger that is needed to permanently banish Xolthog.

Remember that the scenario stresses atmosphere and not combat. Care needs to be taken to make sure the atmosphere is right and that the characters don’t just wander from place to place bored. Keep them alert. Possible encounters for the combat oriented are the Satyr, the nymphs, forest animals, the rune wraith, the coven, the villagers, the forest troll, the nightmare ghosts and the envoys. In addition the witches keep all manner of pets, ranging from cats to rats and serpents. They might also have some pet that is less of a cliché.

Goals:
-Understand the prophecy and locate the abbey.
-Find the Satyr
-Create the dagger

The scenario can be solved in a number of ways:
-They can slay the satyr and carve a dagger from its hip bone. This is something the shadowdancers probably will favour and the others won’t.
-They can talk to the satyr and convince him that their cause is a just cause. Then he will direct them to the remains of his slain rival, Lupercus. Lupercus hip bone can then be used to create the dagger. Lupercus remains are located in the area of the abbey lake.
-They can romance the nymphs of the lake and get them to tell about Lupercus’ remains.

The prophecy:
The prophecy speaks of the dagger made from a Satyr’s hip bone:

“[…] Zarghuthen the Hermit, beloved of Aahr our lord of time, has once again spoken of the future. Let the truth be told to the children of Laumaetha. (Ancient Bluethon for Lumaratha)

Long hair, dirt and grime.
Adder’s bride, marked by time.
(This portion is about the witch Famina).

Child bearer’s lover, the ancient beast,
Carries the secret, the hidden piece.
(This portion is about the Satyr and reveals that he has the dagger).

Northern mountains, fallen faith,
blooded moon, female krait. (Nocturnal snake)
(This portion reveals the location of the dagger to be near the abbey where the coven has taken over).

A dagger carved from Satyr’s bone,
Sharpened hip makes demon groan.
(A dagger made of a Satyr’s hip bone will be useful against Xolthog)

Zarghuthen howled these words after the audience with the white mage of the elves had ended. His howling ended with the heartbroken whispers ‘woe to the people of the forest, woe and eternal sorrow. Long shall they fade and in the last of their days shall they fall to a traitor. Their very souls shall be in peril and their blood shall be abused. May the goddess have mercy on them’ ”.

The Abbey of the red moon:
The abbey of the red moon is an old convent of Fhalgharod. It is a beautiful building located at the top of a small hill surrounded by the forest of the abbey. In the distance to the west is the mountain range known as the Cyllearean Mountains. The ocean in the east can be seen from the abbey if the weather allows it.

A small brick-road, partially overgrown by grass, wind down the hillside. It stretches through the forest. Close to the village, in an oak-covered part of the woods, is a brick-bridge wide enough to let a large wagon cross.  Within the forest is also an idyllic lake, a place where the young village couples romance on hot summer nights.

The abbey itself has been erected on the levelled hilltop. Once the abbess made her nuns keep the grass short, the hedges trimmed. But now the garden is overgrown, the abbey decaying. Some of the hillsides (south and west) are steep and bricks and large stones have been used as a foundation to make the hilltop level, thus brick-walls can be seen several places on the western hillside and one place on the southern side.

Forest of the abbey:
The forest of the abbey is a mixed forest with thick coniferous woods at its heart. At the edges grow oak and ash and the trees are more spaced. Moss covers much of the forest floor and several streams run through the forest. Their waters are icy cold and originates from the ice and snow in the mountains.

Scene: Travelling through the forest, the pc’s will discover tracks of a large hoofed creature. Strange thing is that it seems to walk erect. If they follow the tracks, they will lead to the small forest lake. There they will encounter yet more tracks, these of barefooted human females or possibly small men. It seems like the females and the hoofed creature was dancing together. The human tracks originate from the lake and it seems they arrived by a small canoe. They obviously left the same way.

The hoof tracks continue to the abbey, where they abruptly end near the south edge. At this location there is a sheer cliff some forty yards up to the abbey.

Searching might discover nearby holes in the cliff face. These small holes have been carved as to not be seen by travellers. This ladder ends 10 yards above where a small tunnel concealed by bushes is hidden. These bushes are called Fyrmaen and carries small yellow berries called Camlob. The berries have the ability to heal the body naturally. The tunnel leads to the portion of the abbey called the hidden sanctum.

Scene: At some point the characters will feel watched. But when they search the area they will discover nothing. They will feel no ill will or hostility from the watchers and an idea check will reveal that the spirits of the forest have gathered to watch the first elves seen in several thousand years. Upon seeing the shadowdancers the trees will begin to creak and grate for some seconds in protest against this abomination. The elves will feel an atmosphere of sorrow and regret, even though they might not understand why.
The shadowdancers will not feel watched, having lost their affinity for nature.

Scene: The elves notice a foul stench carried by the wind. It smells like rotting flesh. The shadowdancers will growl and will feel compelled to hunt down and eat the source of the smell.

The smell originates from a moss covered cave in the coniferous part of the forest. Within the cave dwells a forest trolls and the smell comes from the rotting corpse of a small girl. The troll is strong and brave but will turn to stone if exposed to daylight. He is not very bright and do not know any language other than the speech of northern troll kin.

His tree-trunk club can kill a man with a single stroke. Luckily he is slow.

Abbey Lake:
The abbey lake is a peaceful place. If they stay here for a certain period of time some interesting things might happen. It lays south of the abbey. The southern edge of the lake is a marsh full of reeds, while the eastern edge rise fifteen feet above the water, an excellent spot for divers. The western edge is shallow and has a small, muddy beach.

Scene: (While resting and after a certain amount of the story has passed) Three unnaturally beautiful ladies emerge from the lake. They head towards the nearest, non-shadowdancer, elf. The ladies will be charming and will try to engage any pretty elf in conversation. The ladies are not terribly well oriented about anything outside the immediate area. If some elf manage to romance one of these ladies, they might tell about the remains of Lupercus IF they are told of the elves quest.

If an elf has smitten one of the nymphs they will attempt to get him to stay permanently.

If Inuus discover that one of his nymphs has abandoned him for a mortal he will be enraged. The poor individual will know the full rage of a fully grown Satyr.

The Village of Herschburg:
In the valley below the abbey lays the village of Herschburg. Its buildings are two to tree stories tall and made of bricks covered by white plaster. Wooden beams painted dark brown can be seen on the surfaces. The roofs are covered by red tiles.

In the middle of the village lies the village square. There is a small, round and unadorned fountain here and two to four local merchants gather on the square each day to sell food and clothing to the villagers. The only public buildings are the town hall and the tavern of the broken keg, both located at the square.

The elves will not be welcome in the village and will be engaged by a scared local militia if they do approach the villagers. They villagers will be scared out of their wits and will employ ranged tactics like hiding behind their tower shields while drawing their crossbows. Then they stand upright, partially hidden behind their shields, and launch their bolts. Their skill is not terribly great.

If the elves charge the militia, most of the militiamen will flee in panic. If the hexenjaegers are in town (late afternoon/evening) they will follow the militia and will not flee. Instead they will use the confusion to ambush any bloodthirsty elf (i.e. the shadowdancers) following the fleeing militiamen.

The eastern Abbey hillside:
Eight black rams graze along the road here. They are large creatures, maybe five feet at their shoulders. They retreat from anyone closing in on them, even elves, and seem strangely fey.

The rams are the witches’ animals and can be called upon by their owners. On the night of a full moon the rams gain the ability to run on the winds and talk. On rare occasions the coven rides nude to the witches Sabbath astride their rams, as witches are wont to do.

The Garden of the Abbey:
The garden is in a serious state of neglect. The grass has grown tall and small bushes and trees are growing everywhere. The statues circle, of the fifteen saints, is covered in bird droppings. The inscriptions on the statues cannot be seen anymore, having been totally covered by weed.

The hexenjaegers can be sometimes be found sneaking through the garden at night.

Scene: (night time) the garden is filled with ravens. Amidst the ravens walks a lone lady. She is softly singing to herself. Or is she singing to the ravens? After a few minutes of singing, she exits the garden through a door into the abbey.

Scene: (full moon) a large bonfire has been lit in the centre of the gardens. A pregnant and repulsive old hag is throwing small items (dung beetles) into the bonfire. The other witches stand in a circle around her holding hands. There are a total of seven witches all wearing red robes with red, crescent moon necklaces around their necks. A shrill scream climaxes the chant they are performing, and the centre figure faints. She is shortly thereafter carried inside the abbey by the scared and panicking women.

Scene: (dawn, unless it is the night of a full moon) A large man, hoofed but walking erect, enters the garden. His head is bearded and he has large curved horns, at least two feet long, protruding from his forehead. He is nude with only a reed pan flute hanging from a thin, worn rope around his neck.

Right behind him is an old, ugly crone. She is apparently pregnant and the couple stops outside a large window. They seem to argue in agitated whispers and then the beast howls and starts dragging the woman after him. The woman utters a syllable and her hand becomes black and smouldering and she rests her hand on his wrist. With a horrible roar he lets her go and shakes his head. Then they hesitate for a moment before hugging each other. The crone remains while the beast descends the garden well.

After a minute several half naked women appear and look around. They all start to question the pregnant crone who whisper something then withdraw inside.

The Abbey cellars:
The cellars have a low ceiling and even lower doorways.

The wine cellar:
Huge amounts of wine have been hoarded in this cellar. The walls are lined with the fine vintages of the abbey. The wine supply seems to be dated from before six years ago and no newer wine is present. One chamber has had its wine partially replaced with empty bottles.

The abbey archives:
This small chamber has had its walls covered with bookshelves. Within these shelves scrolls have been placed.

The scrolls are mainly records of purchases and written records of unusual activity. Three passages detail the coming of the red coven: (The seer will know they are here if her visions have not been rendered useless by herbal potions)

“Shultar the eight day of the month Kaldamar, Aahr 972 after the landfall:
Today the strangest of women paid the abbess a visit. She claimed to be a member of a powerful order of sisters dedicated to divinations and healing. While I sensed that she was untrustworthy, there was also a ring of truth to her words. I did not like the looks of that woman but the abbess says I am too suspicious of strangers.”

“Tirendil the seventeenth day of the month Arbanagh, Aahr 972 after the landfall:
The strange woman came by today. Her wolf fur cloak was coated with snow and she was cold and sick. The abbess bade sister Magda and I take care of her and nurse her back to health.”

“Tirendil the third day of the month Dhaarnaz, Aahr 972 after the landfall:
The abbess passed away today. The plague has taken everyone now, except sister Magda and me. In a matter of days this strange affliction has decimated our order. Our spells don’t work and we are left defenceless. My strength is now leaving me and I fear I shall fall victim to the plague as the other sisters have. I pray to Fhalgharod for mercy and that he will protect poor Magda. The plague cost the use of her eyes and now she will soon be left all alone. I know that the ungodly woman we nursed is responsible for this. I could feel her weave her blasphemous spells when she thought us asleep. The abbess would hear none of it though and I was forbidden to talk to her. The sanctity of the abbey has been ruined now and I will retreat to the hidden sanctum where I will die close to my god.”

The prophecy of the coming saviour can be found within this chamber, as can the prophecy of the dark war. (Relevant in the third and second campaigns)

Scene: (if the elves rest in the cellar) the hilltop was a sacrificial site in the ancient days before the rise and fall of Bluethon. The wards of Fhalgharod banished the pagan spirits that haunted the hilltop but now that the wards are gone, they have returned. Within the cellar wanders a spirit known as a rune wraith. In life they were chieftains and shamans of their tribes who failed to administer the law of their tribes. They were corrupt and were d**ned for it, cursed to forever walk the earth and judge the living.

The air grows chill and there is a strange tingling through the flesh of the elves. Dark shadows dance on the walls and the shadowdancers growl, their demonic senses alerted to some unseen presence. Suddenly a vaguely humanoid shape materializes. It is composed of translucent dark mist, a rune wraith. Its face bears a cold, emotionless expression. It will stare intensely at all the characters, one at a time. If engaged it will do battle draining the life force of its victims with its gaze and killing with its touch. It will not attack those that restrain themselves. If left alone, it might tattoo a rune into the chest of one random character before disappearing. The tattoo will reflect the soul and actions of the chosen individual and will be a boon if the character has been true to his cause and a bane if he has not. Regardless of the nature of the rune; it will bring searing pain to the bearer whenever he is in the presence of a rune wraith.

The hidden sanctum:
A small altar with fifteen small statuettes (the fifteen holy saints of Fhalgharod) on has been placed against the far wall in this room. In front of the altar lays the skeletal remains of a human clutching a medallion (the holy symbol of Fhalgharod). A lion face relief has been carved into the wall above the altar and from its mouth runs cold water (healing and cures any non-magical disease). The chamber is dimly illuminated by a crystal ball resting atop a shelf on the wall (provides light. Any individual peering into it will feel inner calm if of good alignment or feel uneasy if of evil alignment).

A sword has been inserted into a custom made slot in the altar. Its hilt is the only part showing and is made of polished ivory with a pommel of polished steel (although some dust covers it now). If drawn they will see that it is a bastard sword with a blade of polished steel and the ricasso has a rune engraved (Rune for courage). It is a beautiful weapon and one that the followers of Fhalgharod believe to be blessed by their deity. It is not magical however, but in the hands of a true believer it will bolster his skill as well as the damage he does. It is considered a lesser relic by the church of Fhalgharod and is called “Suns searing”.

A hatch leads through the ceiling and into tunnels beneath the abbey. The coven does not know of these tunnels, except Famina who knows that there is something down there but now what. Only Magda and Inuus know the tunnel network and Inuus use the tunnels to reach Famina so he can mate with her.


The abbey interior:
The abbey interior is lavish and filled with expensive carpets, extravagant furniture and silver candelabras. Huge paintings of the fourteen abbesses that have served within the abbey adorn the entrance hall. Landscape paintings adorn the other chambers throughout the abbey. The walls are made of bricks, as are the fireplaces and stairways.

The abbey has fallen into a serious state of disrepair and cobwebs and dust adorn almost any room. The rooms are inhabited though, so cobweb won’t block doorways and windows. Some of the witches do not care for dust and cobweb and has cleaned their rooms.

The witches roam the abbey at will and thus there are no scenes for meeting the witches inside. Use their description and reason instead.

The abbey east wing:
The abbey east wing is reserved for dining and guests. Currently the envoy from Bin-Erek and his manservant occupy two of the rooms. Their sacrifice has been locked within a third room whose window opens towards the south side of the cliff. The envoy is enraged that he has had to spend almost a week here now and the hags still won’t see him. If the elves chance to listen they will hear him venting his anger on his manservant. After dusk he will be drinking heavily and complaining as usual. His manservant won’t be present though and will be sitting in his room reading letters of romance from Tatiana, a girl from the border city of Ohenaakar. He asked her father for her hand before he departed for the abbey and is longing for his return.

The abbey west wing:
The bedrooms of the coven members are located here. This is also where the elder witch lies sick in her bed. She occupies the room formerly belonging to the abbess of the convent.

Nightmares come to life: The elder witch is bedridden, dying of some unknown disease. This disease is in reality a poison and hails from the Dorwale black thorn. While out gathering herbs, the elder witch stung herself on this dreaded and extremely rare plant. Its poison brings slow, wasting death filled with nightmares. This time a strange twist of fate has increased the potency of the venom. The elder witch employs a strange necklace, the elder’s dream pearl necklace, to project herself into the dreams of other’s. Thus she has visited young Lathia and tormented her.

The necklace has one property she is unaware of; it can project the dreamscape of the wearer unto reality. Thus the wearer could project a ghostly image of herself to any known place. Unfortunately this only applies if the wearer knows what he is doing and is in control of himself via meditation or the like. The elder is neither in control nor does she know what she is doing. She has fevered nightmares induced by a cruel poison and she triggers the necklace unconsciously.

Her dreams have brought her back to her childhood and reunited her with her abusive dad. She is constantly on the run throughout the convent, the dreams merging with reality.

Thus the elves may encounter a frail ghostly girl running screaming through the halls of the abbey. She might run straight through a character, resulting in his bodily temperature dropping a couple of degrees. Behind her comes her dad; wearing a thick cape and a hat with a buckle on, much like a pilgrim’s hat. His form seems immense and ghostly shimmering. Off goes his belt and he will run after the terrified girl lashing wildly with the belt. The characters will probably get hit by the belt and will lose the use of any limbs hit for the next couple of hours due to the cold. In addition the cold will result in some frost injuries. Then the pair will get out of sight and disappear. Shortly thereafter they will hear a heartbroken scream fading into miserable sobs. The ghost cannot be found now, having faded away. The sobs will linger though as will random screams of pain. Attacks won’t affect the ghostly projections but might make the elder witch scream. These ghosts won’t be met outside of the west wing.

These ghosts are the reason for the fear in the witches’ coven.

The abbess’s room: This room is larger than the others and will contain the sick elder witch (see description). She wears a pearl suspended from a golden necklace on the inside of her white nightgown. The elder witch favours white and especially white linen.

Beside her bed is a silver tray with a china cup and can. The can is filled with tea which is warm at dusk and dawn. The tea contains a soothing herb which calms the fever and nightmares. Thus the characters won’t meet any ghosts at dusk or dawn when the elder is fed by her friend Dara.

Sample west wing noises:
No other noises than the screaming of the elder can be heard during the projected nightmares.

#1: The elves hear a piano being played somewhere ahead. Someone seems to be singing along but the song does not match the melody at all. While the piano is being played by a true master, the singer often misses the tones and ruins any pleasure they might have had from listening.

#2: The elves hear a glass breaking followed by the enraged howl of a human female. “You imbecile can’t you do anything properly?” the voice will scream. Then they will hear someone slapping someone and a frustrated scream. Then silence.

#3: Several female voices can be heard snickering and laughing. “Bring your boy Lathia, let us see you two lovebirds dance”. The voice belongs to an obviously young female. Many other voices laugh at this and someone can be heard running away.

Other: The cast has enough notes to create a dynamic scene outside as well as inside the abbey. Study the cast and roleplay.

Notes:
-The witch hunters/hexenjaegers are prowling through the surrounding are at night. They will consider the elves as enemies but won’t attack until they are at a disadvantage. Remember that the elves are masters of stealth and might not be noticed by the hunters.
-The witches are panicking. The elder is dying, the second elder is pregnant and faints during divinations and the last elder is eating herself to death.
-The goal is not to slay the women nor raid to the abbey. The goal is to get the dagger.
-If the characters ever let their guard down, make sure they regret that decision.
-This is not a combat oriented mission. Remember atmosphere. Sounds, weather, description, emotion and voice acting. Remember them all. Engage every player and bring the game to a personal level.
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Tying it all together
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2004, 05:34:51 AM »
The coven scenario got rather long and still I did not write down everything. Usually I just keep everything in my head and just a couple of pages with maps and notes written down.

This scenario had some loose ends. After reading MoonHunters mystery post I realized I had to clarify those.(excellent article by the way)

Information:
-The characters have a well of information at their disposal, the seer. Whenever they get lost, she will be there.
-The well of Urthmok. This oracle can be found in the chambers of the arcane at the college of higher magic. It will give some straight answers as opposed to the prophecy and the seer's visions.
-The conjurer's tree empathy. The trees have stood there for a long time and the forest knows alot of secrets.

Finding the convent:
-The characters can ask the well of Urthmok (the prophecy concerning the college will be much easier to interpret and thus the well easily found) or the seer could use her visions.
-They could research the matter, sneaking into human libraries. There they could find references to the red moon and its cult.

Discovering the dagger:
-The characters can eavesdrop and spy on the locals and the coven. Sooner or later they will discover the Satyr and Famina.
-The seer can use her gifts to find Famina and Inuus.
-The conjurer can converse empathically with the trees and be led in the right direction
-The characters can kidnap and force information from the victim(s)
-The characters can burn the forest (not really elf-like) and force a confrontation with natures spirits (and the Satyr)

I will focus on the scenarios and write in between information after, unless something urgent comes up.
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Balance
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2004, 07:09:37 PM »
Some of the three magic items required to defeat Xolthog could devastate the scenarios if they could be used freely.

-The Satyr dagger is just a bone dagger against any creature not specified as having a weakness against it. It will be of less use than an ordinary dagger.

-The Tallow Candle is consumed by the flame. It has a short duration.

-The Crystal Bell is made of crystal. It could easily break if the characters depend upon it too much. A small crack could be the first sign of overuse and should warn the players against further unnecessary use.

The next scenario will be posted as soon as I decide upon what scenario to create. I am dissatisfied with the coven scenario too. It lacks something. I would be grateful for all advice.
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2004, 11:16:43 PM »
Hey, Ancient!
This campaign is awesome!
Are you going to do the next one?
Currently Reading: "Kafka On The Shore" by Haruki Murakami

Currently Listening To: "Piece Of Time" by Atheist

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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2004, 02:16:19 AM »
I will.

We have played the campaign for some time now but I fear my players will read this. Thus I have decided to post new additions the friday afternoon before a session. The next addition is called "A black day for the black legion" (saturday evening) with an introductory friday evening adventure called "By the Prince's Tomb". I have not the time to translate my friday evenings but the saturday climax-story will be posted.

The fact that my players know and love Strolen's is also the reason why I have kept the "deeper layers of the onion" from this site. I will post them after the campaign is finished.

Ultimately I trust my players, but they have had some indiscretions in the (distant) past and I have grown cautious. (Ok, no total trust then)
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2004, 10:25:27 PM »
Black Legion Scenario v. 1.0 is now finished

Note: This story is not for the faint of heart as I focus on the savage nature of war. Do not read it if you are easily offended.


A Black day for the Black Legion

Background:
The town of Golothei has been a godforsaken backwater for several centuries. The only notable thing about the town has been the Asylum of Karasthyrys, named after the candle mage who lived there prior to the founding of the Asylum and, incidentally, its first patient.

The town lies at the southern edge of the mountain range known as the Cyllerean Mountains and is embraced on three sides by hills and the mountain known as Arakili in the north. The river Pado runs through the town from the waterfalls in the west and southeast towards the lowlands and the ocean. It is from a small river island on the Pado that the black tower of the Asylum soars above the other town buildings.

The town, which produces the blue ornamental tiles one often finds in the homes of the rich, has become the base of the Black Legion, formerly the Emperor’s Legion, also known as the white pheasants of Cormalth (the fallen imperial city). After the defeat of the empire when the empire became yet another province of the larger Southern Empire, the Caliph-Emperor wanted to disband the imperial legion, the very symbol of the conquered nation. Alas he could not do so without risk of rebellion. So he moved the legion to Golothei instead, hoping its relocation to this remote backwater would disintegrate it from the memory of the people.

Three centuries has passed, and still the recruits come flocking to the call of the legion. The white pheasant was removed from their black uniforms, and it was renamed the black legion, still the recruits come. Among the populace the legends are whispered and they speak of the heroes of the Legion, and the heroics the legion has yet to perform. The legion is the last symbol of their nation and something the Caliph-Emperor desperately wants to eradicate.

The Tribes of the Ugeroth:
In the Cyllerean Mountains several tribes of the Ugeroth live in their secluded mountain villages. The barbarian savages are strong, relatively intelligent and are rumoured to sacrifice humans upon the altars of their chaos gods. The Ugeroth has a grey tinge to their skin, which is wrinkled and weathered. They sometimes file their teeth fang-like and the adults adorn their bodies and face with Maori-like tattoos in swirling patterns.
The Ugeroth prefer two-handed weapons and carry furs upon their shoulders. The use of these weapons is a display of strength and the Ugeroth with the largest weapon is most usually the chieftain of the village. The Chieftain is also the Shaman-Priest of the tribe and is responsible for the rituals and sacrifices to their gods. The Ugeroth is virile and the number of “frills” (female pleasure-slaves) is a measure of their potency and worth, second only to the size of their weapons.

Lately something has stirred the tribes and caused them to gather in ever larger numbers. The villages have united and march under the banner of the Great Chieftain Taurhagus, a warrior with a ridiculously large sword and scores of frills. He is a potent Shaman-Priest as well. (This is directly linked to campaign two (birth of the saviour) and three (the dark war) and foreshadows things to come. The Ugeroth is just one of many peoples one the move.)

The town:
The once quiet town of Golothei has become the centre of a fell converging. The tribes of the Ugeroth, the fallen elves, the knights of Sil’Durhon, the Black Legion and the crazed mage Karasthyrys has all chosen this time to unleash themselves upon the town.

While the townsfolk hide in their cellars or have fled to the northern part of town, the tribes are sacking, raping and burning throughout. Women can be heard moaning and screaming as the warriors claims them as their frills with brutal desire, and men can be heard howling in panic as their bowels gush forth and their families are being raped and murdered before their very eyes. Pigs and cattle are being herded or barbequed on the spot.

All the while, the Black Legion is valiantly trying to defend the town, but they are undermanned and cannot withstand the onslaught of the Ugeroth. The Legion has rallied at the Asylum and has fortified the Isle of Karasthyrys and the only bridge leading to the northern part of town. There they have butchered much of the madmen and thrown them out of the windows on the northern side of the tower, where a mound of nude and broken corpses lie.

The town has become a dark and dismal place. Now the air is full of screams of dying men and women being ravaged. Children lie dying in the gutters screaming for their mothers, while parents dare everything to find their small ones. Every once in a while explosions light up the town as the Shaman-Priests call upon their chaos spawned magic and most often the target is the asylum of Karasthyrys.

 The townsfolk that hide throughout the town are panicking and the conspirational theories are blossoming. They whisper of the Caliph-Emperor, surely he is the cause of the Ugeroths unexpected assault and they whisper of Karasthyrys and the curses he undoubtedly cast upon the town, when the townsfolk seized his tower and put him in chains all those centuries ago. The townsfolk feel threatened and insecure and feel that the world is against them. Any sighted elves would probably be demons of the netherworld come to consume them…

In the northern part of town, the knights of Sil’Durhon have created a field hospital where they treat the wounded, all the while searching for the blasphemous elves. The knights patrol the town and act as a watch, while the Legion defends the river and the bridge. This part of the town is defended by the sheer steepness of the hills and mountains and thus it was impractical for the Ugeroth to invade from this direction. There are several shepherds’ paths up into the mountains though.

Enter the elves. The elves will arrive by a dimensional gate to the northern part of town where the knights of Sil’Durhon hold sway and hunt them. The priests of Sil’Durhon have divined that the elves will pass through and they dogmatically search the streets for signs of the blasphemous race.

The elves objective will be inside the Asylum, where the Candle Mage Karasthyrys created his candles.

Rumours:
Several rumours can be heard in the town and among the black legionaries.

#1: The riot: One night the patients of the Asylum rioted. They wanted Karasthyrys dead as they claimed he “did things to them”. The staff lost control and locked themselves out of the tower while waiting for the legionaries. After they had restored order, Karasthyrys was found hanging in the attic. A sickly smile covered his face. Beneath him, on the floor, a single, extinguished candle stood. (This story will sometimes be told by townspeople blaming Karasthyrys “curse” for the current state of affairs).

#2: The Shaman-Priests: The Ugeroth Chieftain Shaman-Priests stalks the streets looking for children to sacrifice. Those taken are brought to the statue of the late mayor, which serves as an altar for the time being. Do they do this in his honour? That would surely prove what a blackheart he really was. *spit* (This story makes the rounds among the frightened population)

#3: The Black Legion is what the Ugeroth wants. They are the reason for all this suffering and if there is a way to surrender them to the Ugeroth, it should be done, as soon as possible. Everyone knows the Caliph-Emperor has a thorn in their side. He did not have to go this far, did he?

#4: A little girl is out there, separated from her family and lost within enemy territory. She is a smart girl though and the Ugeroth has probably not caught her yet. Too bad about her mother, being carried away by those barbarian brutes! Poor lass, may the gods have mercy on her soul.

Incidents:
#1: The madman: As the PCs close in on the northern side of the Asylum, they will notice a mound of nude, dead people. They seem to have been tossed out of the windows of the tower and the angles in which they rest after the fall seems painful and sometimes dishonourable. When they sneak past the mound they will hear a cackling from within mound. If they decide to dig into the mound of corpses, they will discover a frightfully thin man with a thick, dirty moustache and broken legs. “I am the baron of Ohenaakar”, he will claim. “I am free at last”. He will then plunge into a rant where he vows vengeance against his treacherous mother. Then he will order the “peasants” (elves) to carry him to the army so that he can assume command of the town’s defences. If the PCs ignore him, he will create quite some noise.

Twist:
A deeper darkness shrouds the area and a sudden chill is felt through the bones. The "Baron" withdraws within the mound and covers himself with a corpse. "Begone" he whispers, fear evident in his voice.

#2: A man dressed in white robes walk down the centre of the street. Behind him a clustered swarm of white butterflies linger. Suddenly a band of Ugeroth with dripping wet clothes besets him, as they are emerging from beneath the Asylum Bridge. The butterflies fly past him and descend upon the largest Ugeroth who tries to wave them away. Soon they cover the man and he starts screaming and runs for the river. After three steps he collapses dead and the butterflies disperse. The remaining Ugeroth slay the robed man and flee into a nearby building.

Upon inspection the corpse of the robed man reveals him to be a priest of Sil’Durhon, while the corpse of the Ugeroth is full of inflammatory swellings and his face is bluish.

Soul-Flies:
Karasthyrys spent many, many years researching the nature of the human soul. In his studies he explored dead corpses, the human aura and he even served at a temple of the god of the dead. Long ago he studied the nature of sanity, emotions and the soul. In these studies he managed to mutate common flies and enabled them to feed of the emotions of humans, to affect their souls. He soon lost interest in the flies, and he used narcotic candles to keep their numbers down, but he could not destroy them. Now their numbers are growing and they thrive in the tower. For some reason, they do not exit the tower, so they have not spread outside the tower.

When in the vicinity of these flies, humans will grow nervous and fearful. Prolonged exposure might result in a slipping sanity and strange behaviour. The elves might react in a similar manner, or they might be totally unaffected.  

The Cellars, where the patients dwell and wherever there are legionaries, are places where the soul-flies thrive.

Sample Journal Entries:
#1: The patients have been calmed, thanks to the centurion and his men. While we found Karasthyrys hanging in the attic, as we feared, something was wrong with the scene. The other patients were hiding in the cellar, and nothing can convince me that they had just murdered him. They were too scared, too disturbed. We could not convince them to speak of it, and even the hermit lasted several hours on the bench.

#2: It happened again. The guard outside my bedroom here on the fourth floor left his post and fell asleep outside the tower. He claims to remember nothing of the incident, just like the previous one did.

#3: The flies bother the patients. Ever since the death of Karasthyrys they have preyed upon the patients with infernal intensity. We are lucky that these red candles of Karasthyrys seem to drive them away. I find the scent most pleasing too. We have gotten orders to stay away from some of the other candles, although the warden was sparse with his comments.

#4: Folgor escaped again, and this time he was found in the bedroom of the warden’s wife. He wore her blue evening gown and was dancing in the candlelight. The night-watch has slipped in his duties several times and my intuition tells me I must keep an eye on him. Each incident has included Folgor and I think something may be going on between those two.

The Asylum:
The Asylum tower of Karasthyrys soars above the town from the Asylum Island on the river Pado. Its black walls and the legends about the madness of Karasthyrys have earned it a dark reputation. Its status as an asylum has done nothing to improve that reputation.

Now the madmen have mostly been slain and the first, second, fifth and tenth squad has barricaded themselves inside defending the bridge. The Ugeroth seems to want the north town badly and to get it they have to get across the river, thus the tower is relentlessly attacked.

The Cellar:
The cellar of the Asylum is moist, with water three inches above the floor. The cellar has a low ceiling, which is vaulted, and the doorways are arched. Anyone above 5 feet tall would have to crouch to move around in the cellar. The patients’ drinks, bathes, piss and more in the water. Human faeces float around and the cellar reeks of sewage and sweat.

In the cellar are all the remaining madmen, having been locked in by legionaries. There are five remaining madmen, among those “Three in one” who claims to be three legionaries locked within the same body. The cellar is full of the raving of the madmen, whispering, laughing, and running splashing through the water and talking to no one in particular. Particularly eerie is the three tonal screams of “Three in one”.

If the PCs manage to talk to “Hermit Alexander” in his “cave” in a corner of the cellar, he can tell them that “Three in one” was known as Folgor the Maiden just a week ago. He claimed to be a “woman trapped in a manly vessel” as he used to say. When the legionaries expelled the staff, Folgor escaped to the attic and when he came down he had changed to become “Three in One”. “Hermit Alexander” will soon be annoyed with the “woodland nymphs” (the elves) and will ask them to leave his “forest swamp”.

If the PCs talk to “Three in one”, he will howl with panic and claim to be several legionaries trapped within the body of a madman. “Don’t think we are a madman, you have to believe us! Just let us out of here, our friends will know” he will claim while sobbing with strange three tonal nuances. Sometimes his speech will be clogged, as if he has difficulties coordinating his tongue. Then he will scream with a single voice “Shut UP! I am the squad leader, you will obey ME!” When he does this, his eyes will roll up back in his head for a short while.


The Ground Floor/Entrance Hall:
The entrance hall is lavish but has been hastily barricaded, as can be seen from the planks nailed across the iron reinforced double doors of oak. The doorknobs are made of iron and resemble angels with the wings as the handle. The baroque furniture has been thrown in front of the exit as the legionaries neither know their value, nor care for anything except their lives and holding the tower.

A circular mosaic adorns the floor and a stairway climbs both up and down along the eastern wall. The walls have been carved with relief scenes of a procession of hooded men carrying candles and treading upon men and women in a writhing mass beneath their feet.

If they study the mosaic pattern they might realize that the symbols combine to form a text and that if they concentrate upon the text it will prove readable. (If they know the language). It is actually a spell written there, a ceremonial spell of binding (used by Karasthyrys when summoning in this chamber).

The First Floor:
This used to be the floor where Karasthyrys meant to house his apprentices. Unfortunately his reputation kept all apprentices at bay. The staff of the asylum turned these chambers into confinement cells and used them widely to punish the patients. Many cells have wall shackles or straight jackets (made of soft leather).

The first squad has been stationed on this floor and its surviving nine members sleep in shifts in the chambers. At all times two men keep watch armed with short bows, peeking out the windows momentarily before withdrawing before enemy magefire or arrows take them down. This squad has a squad-mage, Mirkosi, who is the strongest of the few remaining mages in the tower. Yet he is still shaking with exhaustion, his gaunt face pale and shining with sweat.

The legionaries seem nervous and a battle seems to be imminent. They will likely not bother the PCs overmuch unless they have done a poor job at hiding their features. Of course, several cloak engulfed armed men moving through the tower will also seem suspicious.

The Second Floor:
This floor used to be the study and library of Karasthyrys, but the staff redecorated and put the correction facility here instead. Thus the floor is littered with small chambers with bookshelves full of instruments of torture. In the main chamber several benches with leather straps stand.

In this chamber the PCs will feel a dark influence “observing them”. The shadows seem to move, and something is definitely wrong in the main chamber. They cannot pinpoint it, but SOMETHING is wrong. (The legionaries think so too and thus the chamber is abandoned).

If the PCs search the chambers, they will find some secret niches in the walls, with the panel doors slightly ajar. In one of these niches, they might find a journal written in the local language and detailing the activities in the asylum prior to the Ugeroth assault. (Se Journal Section)

When in this chamber, the PCs will:
-Hear footsteps in nearby chambers, but no one is there.
-They will see movement in the shadows, but no one is there.
-They will hear the metallic noise of torture instruments falling on the floor, but when they investigate, nothing has changed.

The Third, Fourth and Fifth Floor:
These floors hold yet more legionaries, all the remaining squads as a matter of fact. They will not talk to the three legionaries Karasthyrys has possessed, but will mutter that the tower is cursed and that all who dwell within will become mad. Here the battle will be felt, as explosions will shake the walls whenever the Shaman-Priests of the Ugeroth release their powers upon the tower.

The squad witch, Hueroma of Salagan, will be found here, with half her face burnt away. Her scalp has been exposed and her left side is burnt from the scalp to her waist. Half her hair hangs down on her right side, full of blood and singed at the edges. It is a miracle that she is alive at all. She will be shouting insults to the Ugeroth as she tries to neutralize their magic. All the while, the Black legionaries will be firing arrow upon arrow with exhaustion making their every move painful. They will not likely notice the elves if any care has been taken to hide their presence. They will simply be too hard pressed to notice unless a PC does something foolish.

The Elves will observe a strange moment when passing through one of these floors. Nearby legionaries will be occupied with firing arrows from the southern window room, when a dark presence fills the room. Then the legionaries will cease their firing and whimper for a second, before the presence withdraws and they resume their actions with low voiced curses.

Karasthyrys:
When the PCs first encounter Karasthyrys, he will seem like three very strange men. They call themselves Rhus, Astor and Keros. They have an uncanny ability to talk and move synchronized and actually the soul of Karasthyrys occupies all of their bodies.  Rhus and Keros carries short swords and tower shields, banded mail and black legion uniforms. Astor only carry the uniform.

Karasthyrys is actually quite pleased with himself, for he has never possessed three bodies at once. His centuries long existence within a candle ended when the unfortunate madman Folgor burnt some of his candles when he decided to have a “ladies evening” in the attic. Most of Karasthyrys magic is bound within these candles and the third candle Folgor lit contained Karasthyrys soul, which fled the candle through the smoke and entered Folgor’s body through his nostrils. When three legionaries came to fetch the madman, they found a terrible arch-mage instead of a lunatic, and got more than they bargained for… They got trapped in the body of Folgor, Folgor got trapped within the candle and Karasthyrys got three bodies to use and abuse.

Karasthyrys will carry a red book bound with leather. He will seem very protective of it, cradling it in his arms.

The Attic:
By the time the PCs reach the attic, it will be alight with dozens of burning candles. The room has an oppressive feeling, as if the room has drawn its breath and is waiting for something to happen. Karasthyrys is waiting in the shadows of the attic, which is where he abides his time. It is the place where his property was stored after his capture such a long time ago, and. books, scrolls, and hundreds of candles can be seen strewn on the floor. Windows give a view north, south, east and west. The southern window has been crushed and a portion of the wall has collapsed. As the PCs enter the attic, the door will slam shut behind them, and the locks will click into place.

Karasthyrys will be thrilled upon seeing the elves and will step out of the shadows to their right, mumbling about the powerful and otherworldly aura of their souls. Remember that the three possessed bodies often talk in unison. The seer will particularly intrigue him, and Karasthyrys/Rhus will light a candle for her, and should she accept it, her soul will be at risk of being drawn into the candle. If the PCs are friendly, Karasthyrys/Astor will light three narcotic candles, which will possibly knock the PCs out. If they are hostile, he will fight with two of his possessed legionaries and cast spells with Karasthyrys/Astor. His magic is potent and of the soul warping sort.

The burning candles in the room release fumes filled with the essences of captured souls. A creature with a strong soul, such as Karasthyrys, has nothing to fear. The weak-willed must beware, as the captured souls are slave bound to Karasthyrys and if any PC is unlucky enough to be possessed, his own soul will enter the candle, which will be extinguished, sealing it within.

If the PCs withstand the possessing souls, Karasthyrys will attempt to leave. He will bring a handful of candles with him, including the tallow candle of the prophecy.

Scented Candles: Karasthyrys just love candles. The majority of his candles are not magical however, and are ordinary candles with fragrances of rose, orange or lemon. These candles are made purple, dark orange and nauseating yellow in colour.

Candle of the Soul: Karasthyrys has enchanted these few candles. Whenever the wick is lit, it will release any spirit within if it can enter a body through its olfactory organ. Then the soul will “Swap places” with the victim, which is trapped within the candle. The wick immediately extinguishes and the soul is sealed within.

Karasthyrys has the magic necessary to enslave the soul within the candle, although that is a ceremony that requires several hours of chanting, as well as some of his blood. (Or of the body his soul occupies).

The souls trapped within the soul candles will be in terrible torment before they are able to possess a body. If they cannot possess a body before the candle has burnt down, they cease to exist and their souls disappear.

These candles have been made black.

Candle of Colours: This candle contains a narcotic substance, which will intoxicate those in the vicinity. The effect will make all colours seem to float around and the affected will be in a state of euphoria. It will make those affected extremely relaxed.

One side effect of these candles is that the soul-flies become docile and eventually die from its scent. These candles usually are coloured deep red.

Tallow Candle: This candle is the zenith of Karasthyrys work. He is quite proud of it and has secured it on (one of) his person(s). It is described in the campaign introduction. This candle has been made white.

A Note about the Candles:The candles do not last very long. They are made of tallow and come in different colours. He made his candles on the fifth floor, where the equipment he used is placed in a storage room.

The Red book of Karasthyrys: This book details Karasthyrys studies of soul warping magic. Within its pages they might find a couple of fell spells and a detailed discussion on the nature of the soul and its connection to the physical body. At the last page a strange rune has been drawn, unknown by any living Rune Master and unwritten in the book of the source. It is the secret rune of Karasthyrys, the very thing defining his power, fuelling his soul. A disruption of this rune would undo Karasthyrys and tear his soul from the fabric of this dimension, sending him to the halls of the dead, long overdue.

The Chase:
Karasthyrys will try to escape, if he cannot warp the elven souls or capture them in his candles. He will preferably do so without having to resort to the tallow candle. He will readily sacrifice two of the bodies he is possessing to make his escape. Once out in the streets he will use his soul magic to snuff out the life force of any Ugeroth who oppose him. Any encounter with a potent Shaman-Priest should prove interesting and Karasthyrys will most likely win. While the Shaman-Priests elemental chaos magic is brutal and highly visible, the magic of Karasthyrys is sinister, unseen and deadly.

The Final Battle:
Karasthyrys might be able to lead the PCs on a wild chase through the town. This chase will end outside the burning Town hall by the Statue of the late mayor. The mayor, proud upon his horse, now wears the corpses of seven little children as a cloak; their faces open in eternal, silent screams of terror. Here he will encounter the Great Chieftain and here the PCs will have their last chance of defeating him before he disappears.
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2004, 08:18:52 AM »
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The Ugeroth:
The Ugeroth comes united by the visions of their Shaman-Priests. They have had a gathering and there the Shaman-Priests dueled in strength and magic. All of the Shamans shared the visions, no matter how untalented they were at spell-craft, and they are able to whip the Ugeroth into frenzy with their speeches of the coming age of darkness. The exodus of the Ugeroth is directly linked with the third campaign. They know nothing of the Caliph-Emperor, or about the town itself. They have come following their visions and dreams of glory.

The motives of the Ugeroth lie within the Asylum itself. Their visions speak of “The Master of Souls” and how the Great Chieftain must “bind the soul of the master of souls, and bring it to the fire within the mountain”. In his vision, Taurhagus witnessed Karasthyrys as he ran from the elves through the town. In his vision, he saw himself facing his deadliest adversary ever, by what he perceived as “the altar of the horse-lord”, an Ugeroth god of chaos. Taurhagus has used a long time preparing the town hall square for the coming of Karasthyrys. He has performed the ceremony of the seven innocent souls, he has enchanted his tattoos with wards against soul warping magic, and he has purified his body with only water to drink. He has also prepared a small, bronze chalice and filled it with mountain water. This water will then be the prison of Karasthyrys soul.

The Great Chieftain will perceive the elves as the shepherds of his god, come to herd Karasthyrys to this very place. Of course, Karasthyrys might never make it to this square.
If he does meet Karasthyrys here, he might even be facing more trouble than he thought and it will be up to the PCs who they will let win, if any at all.

The Ugeroth has been told of their gods’ shepherds, as they call the elves, but do not know how they look. They have been told of general traits, so any encounter with the Ugeroth might easily be quitted, with the Ugeroth falling to their knees worshipping the elves and begging forgiveness for their ignorance.

The Ugeroth will cease their assaults if they capture Karasthyrys and will withdraw to the mountains after a couple of days of “recuperation” in the south part of town.

The Black Legion:
The Black Legion has not been prepared for this battle. They are no longer the elite fighting force they were in the days of the emperor. They cling to the honour of the legion and this is all that keeps them from a rout. They are “Black Legionaries and legionaries do not run away”. The legionaries outside the asylum are scared witless and pray for their brothers in the tower. The legionaries within the asylum are exhausted to the extreme, and have not the strength for fear and worry. They are only concerned with staying alive and once in a while, one of them goes berserk, cursing at the enemy and disregarding his own safety, while firing arrows upon advancing Ugeroth.

The legionaries are divided into squads consisting of three four man teams. Each team has a team leader and each squad has a squad leader (Centurion). Each squad has a squad-mage, a spell caster of minor powers. Usually the only role the squad mage has is to neutralize the magic of the enemy.

The head of the legion is Quintus Varro, a noble from Cormalth. He has risked much to move with his bodyguard, the tenth squad, into the tower. He is obsessed with his personal glory and the glory of the legion.

The Knights of Sil’Durhon:
The Templar Knights of Sil’Durhon, the white god, has divined that the Elves will come through northern Golothei on their quest of evil.

(The church of Sil’Durhon focus on the pursuit of evil and only the upper echelons of the church know about the darker secrets of their religion. The “initiated”, as the high priests name themselves, forfeit their former vows of nobility and follow the real edicts of Sil’Durhon, the imposter god. This transition is painful and the majority will not accept that their god is a lie. Instead they violently seek to purge the evil cult that has obviously infiltrated their temple. Only the traitorous readily turn their back on their faith and is accepted among the ranks of the “initiated”. The others are slain, backstabbed by those they perceived as friends and mentors.)

Their field hospital is under the supervision of High Priest Sil’Maulug, a “white shield of the order”. He was the first birth of a Meruwian (“Love’s Cradle” in corrupt elvish. This is the name the church has given the captured elven maids spawning the half-elves. Sil’Maulug is a half-elf)

The knights role in Golothei is to find the elves and kill them, barring any maidens (the seer), which is to be captured and initiated as a Meruwian. The Knights will pursue onto the bridge from the northern part of town to the isle of the Asylum, but will not pursue beyond. The knights will defend the northern town valiantly alongside the legionaries if the Ugeroth should get across the river or secure the bridge.
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2004, 09:47:09 AM »
The Objectives of this campaign:

1. Foreshadowing
This campaign will foreshadow the second and third campaign. The players will experience much they cannot explain, much they will understand better in the future. I want to confuse them a bit, leave them bewildered but with a general understanding that "something big is brewing". More foreshadowing has occured on friday evenings and on the online sessions, and I will include those in later posts.

2. The Redemption of the Elves
I have played upon the shortcomings of the elven race in this campaign. Too perfect for creation, cursed by the god of the sun and betrayed by their own. The elves are on the brink of extinction, being slaughtered by humans, the very "cattle" species that exhibit only flaws where they are perfection. Then they embrace darkness, invite demons to share their flesh and souls. When they realize their error, it is too late. Some souls are already trapped with the shadow demons, and still now, 300 years later, they remain as if to remind them of their folly. The shadowdancers are broken beings, more animal than elf and nothing they can think of justify the sacrifices that were made.

Then there is a flicker of hope. An elven maid, unspoiled by the fall of her brethren, appearantly returning from death and guided by the prophecies of old and her own godgiven visions, has returned to deliver them to their salvation. But first they must embark on a quest. A saviour must get his symbol, the demon tongue sword. With evil the good shall cleanse the world.

3. Preparation
This campaign will harden the elves and two of them will have to continue after the campaign. Which two will be left in the hands of the players and the choice must not be made until the third campaign.

Final Words:
Thus I am finished with the main events of the first campaign. The second campaign will concern the guardians of the newborn saviour and their flight from evil. It will slowly build up momentum and hope, and will end when they arrive at the sacred sanctuary of the elves, the last retreat of that race. Here the two first campaigns are vowen together and answers will be given. And as ever with answers, new questions will arise.

The first and second campaigns are relatively simple and are the two prequel campaigns to the third campaign, which will be the most elaborate and devious one. In the third campaign, the full meaning of what they have experienced will gradually dawn on the players.

The players must escort the saviour on his quest and several unsettling discoveries will surely crush the illusions they nourish about the world, the gods and the very quest they pursue.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2004, 09:38:37 PM »
Within the Dreams of a Merchant
version: 0.4 alpha (under construction)

Introduction:
The elves failed miserably to retrieve the candle from Karasthyrys! One of the shadowdancers not only lost his life; the soul of the elf within was annihilated and the soul of the shadowdemon was trapped in one of Karasthyrys candles. (This is what happened to my players. This scenario can easily replace the "A black day for the black legion" scenario or the following scenario can be a follow-up in case of failure)

Stunned with disbelief, the elves watched Karasthyrys depart and were too afraid to interfere when he turned the tables on the Ugeroth great chieftain. Karasthyrys trapped Taurhagus forever in the very chalice he had prepared for the Candle mage's soul. Then Karasthyrys stepped through a portal and was gone from their eyesight.

Now the search is on. The elves scour the hills and mountain for trails from where the portal exited, yet they have not had any luck. Then one day the seer gets a vision:
"Within a foggy forest, as strange and alien as a dream, the master of souls rest. He has gone into hibernation and his body is hidden deep within the forest, swallowed by a marsh from which only his face can be seen, smeared with mud and emerging from the soil. The forest is alive with flies, the very flies they encountered in the tower and the soul of the forest is hurting so very bad. Throughout the forest a whisper can be heard, and it is a whisper filled with pain and fear.

GM facts:
When Karasthyrys fled from the elves, he released one of the souls from his candles. This soul belonged to the wealthy merchant known as Belodon of Salagan (before his death long ago). The soul was sent into the body of a wounded tribesman of the Ugeroth and the confused Belodon ran from the war torn town and travelled towards the home he once knew.

But so much has changed! His family line is extinct. Murdered by a partner merchant of his, undoubtedly to gain control of the large shipping firm they co-owned. Now his name has been removed from the firm name and only "Canderius Shipping" remains. He is trapped within the body of a savage tribesman and has been forced to wear a large cloak to hide his features. His kind is not allowed in the city and is imprisoned and enslaved on the spot by city guards. Worse yet: The empire he once knew is no more. His nation has been usurped by the Southern Empire and the language he spoke has degraded into an accent he has difficulty understanding.

A Mysterious Murderer and a City under Curfew:
The city watch are swarming like angry bees. They stop all suspicious characters and examine them on the spot. All who cannot account for their current business are hauled to prison and thrown behind bars. All citizens have been ordered to stay home after dusk.

The reason is foul murder. Someone is killing wealthy citizens of the Canderius line, one by one. No one has caught the murderer, but he has been seen in the alleys, stalking the shadows, hidden within a cloak. The murderer is obviously of great strength, as he has broken the spine of his three victims. He is also deviously clever and no trap has yet been sprung, the city guard is still looking for the "Alley Murderer" as the populace now call him. Wherever he has captured his victims, the murderer always come to an alley in the merchants district and there they die. This alley is now heavily guarded and the murderer has not acted since the last full moon.

The Canderius family has been greatly upset. Their agents now prowl the city, scanning the crowds and desperately try to discern the nature of their enemy.

What are you doing Belodon?
Now Belodon hides out in one of his former warehouses. He knew about a secret basement, which obviously has not been used in decades and sleep down there with the rats.

He has discovered the fate of his family. He tried to enter his family mansion and was met by a servant who rudely informed him that the Belodon line had been extinct for centuries, and that this was now the Canderius residence. Later that week he was studying the city history in the imperial library and when he discovered the truth, he began to cry. His fair daughter, his lovely wife, his father so old and fragile and his strutting son in law, forever trying to impress him. All dead, all gone because of the greed of Canderius. He had considered him a friend. Trusted Canderius with secrets and helped him find a suitable wife...

So Belodon has vowed revenge! If he cannot get to old Canderius, who is now long dead, then his relatives will suffer as did his own.

As for Karasthyrys: He has long been plotting his escape. He is legendary and has many enemies, at least that is what his twisted mind perceives. To escape these enemies, he has long been preparing Belodons soul, manipulated it and weakened it. Now he has found a way to enter the dreams of Belodon and within those dreams he now dwell, waiting for the day his enemies give up the hunt, waiting for the day he will awaken.

-The forest filled with soul flies is a dream, so is the marsh. The visions of the seer will guide them to the warehouse where they might discover Belodon, but the seer will understand that it is not Karasthyrys. She will sense Karasthyrys and his soul collection within him though. And the seer might remember that her vision seemed like a dream.

-To enter the dreams of the merchant, the elves will have to rely on the seer. And her visions will speak of the temple of the Dreamer, the god of the sleeping. Only within his temple can they enter Belodons dreams and end Karasthyrys once and for all. (In addition to getting the tallow candle, of course)

-If they are within his dreams when he awakes, Belodon might be trapped in a waking nightmare forever. It is not possible to enter his dreams while he is awake.

-If Belodon dies, so does Karasthyrys and the tallow candle becomes another one of the many myths and legends of the land.

-Much of the story will occur within the dream, which has yet to be detailed.

Why Belodon?
Belodon once sought the help of Karasthyrys. Like so many others, he had need of the mage's help, but was not interested in paying his debts when he had gotten what he wanted. Thus Karasthyrys sent some local thugs to retrieve Belodon and ultimately his soul.

Belodon proved to be a most devious opponent however, and  when all the agents he sent failed to return, Karasthyrys himself had to leave his tower and travel to the big city. It was the most frustrating chase Karasthyrys had ever been on. Belodon evaded his every step and the hunt lasted for nearly a year. In the end it was the physical weaknesses of Belodon that gave him away, as he was found in a local opium house. When he tried to run his large bulk and excessive fat made him easy prey.

Thus Karasthyrys has chosen Belodon for his cleverness . He has selected the Ugeroth body because of the strong physique of their kind. After all, Karasthyrys reasoned, where can I be safer than within the dreams of a brilliant barbarian on the run.
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2004, 09:30:23 PM »
Edit List:
September 23rd 2004
The "Objectives" post.
-Edited "Foreshadowing" section.

The "A Black day for the Black Legion" post:
-Edited "The Chase" section
-Edited "The Attic" section.
-Edited "Candle of Colours" section.
-Removed Karasthyrys from the "second floor" section and changed it.
-Added "Karasthyrys" section.
-Edited "The Second Floor" section.
-Edited "The Third, Fourth and Fifth Floor" section.
-Added "The red book of Karasthyrys" section.
-Added "Soul-Flies" section
-Added "Sample Journal Entries" section

September 24th 2004
The "A Black day for the Black Legion" post:
-Edited "Candle of the Soul" section.
-Added "Scented Candles" section.
-Added "A Note about the Candles" section.
-Edited all the candles and added colour.

September 25th 2004
The "A Black day for the Black Legion" post:
-Corrected some of the spelling errors.
-Edited "Incidents" section.

September 30th 2004
The "Within the dreams of a Merchant" post:
-Added a new scenario to supplement the "Black Legion" scenario.
-Added "Why Belodon?" section.
-Added "What are you doing Belodon?" section
-Added "A Mysterious Murderer and a City under Curfew" section

October 1st 2004
The "Objectives" post:
-Edited "Final words" section.

October 3rd 2004
The "A black day for the black legion" post:
-Corrected some of the spelling errors. I see something new every time =)
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2004, 07:40:10 PM »
Interesting, yet disturbing.
Just a little bit, and then I'll give a full critique.
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2004, 06:18:09 PM »
Notes:
Campaign idea:
The campaign is a natural consequence of previous campaigns in the setting. 300 years have passed and the elves are not only in decline anymore, they are on the run. I tried to imagine what the elves would do when abused and hunted by a "lesser race".
The campaign was inspired by my older campaigns. The "death dancer" elven class in my setting was the basis for the "shadow dancers".

Citadel of Xolthog and the Arcane Chambers:
The citadel and the chambers were made during a sudden surge of creativity. There were no special sources of inspiration, except my previous campaigns.

The Coven of the red moon;
The coven of the red moon was an enjoyable scenario to create. The translated prophecy is based on popular "magic verses" that were common in norway during the 15th century. The witches and their coven is based on norwegian and european folklore. The abbey is inspired by english abbeys.

A Black day for the Black Legion:
This scenario was rushed during a period of intense stress. I had three simultanous deadlines and actually slept very little during the period I wrote it. :evil:  The soul candles are inspired by two sentences in Steven Eriksons "Deadhouse Gates" book from the "A tale of the Malazan book of the fallen" series. I guess the intense warfare is inspired from those books too!

Within the dreams of a merchant:
This scenario was also slightly inspired by Steven Eriksons books. In the books a "dead" god lives still in the dreams of a character. Another source of inspiration was London during the late 18th century, I intend to make Belodon a "Jack the Ripper" kind of character with a peculiar twist. Most of the adventure will occur within the dreams of a seriously disturbed and broken murderer. I am still pondering on how to pull that one of successfully,..
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2004, 06:56:13 PM »
Great stuff!
It is rather world-specific, but that can be adapted.
I see a very dark strain to this world. Is the whole world corrupted because of Sil'Durhon? Or is it merely a sign of the decay of things because there are no longer any elves? What's the deal?

Also: Where are you going with this? What does "Black Day for the Black Legion" or "Dreams of a Merchant" have to do with the main set story arc? Are they just sidequests?

One last thing- I love the idea of the priest of Sil'Durhon being followed by a cloud of white (yet demonic) butterflies. Mind if I use that?
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[Coldforged: Tabletop Campaign]1: Prophecies of Redemption
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2004, 07:27:05 PM »
Use what you want dear Captain. If I can inspire I am glad.

Actually the whole world is rather corrupted and it mostly began with Sil'Durhon. (It is not the full truth as will be evident in the third campaign).

The first and second campaign is about the world and how it has been corrupted, perceivably by Sil'Durhon, and the third campaign is about "righting wrongs". The entire story actually has several onion layers that will not begin to peel of until the third campaign.
Right now I am "setting the stage".

As for "Black day" it suffers from hasty development and thus does not have all references to the prophecies and such, that it ought to have. Yet in that scenario they should have obtained the "Tallow candle" which will enable them to enter the citadel of the demon lord unnoticed.

"Within the dreams of a merchant" is in development and has not yet been fully explained, but it is a follow-up to "Black day" as the players did not
"accomplish mission".
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