Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Beginning Of The End

Naoidheamh 23-34, 6639; tomorrow is Beastnight...

The Party:

  • Rig Bigny, Gnomish Beastmaster
    • Flit, bat familiar
    • Clench, Wardog War-Badger
    • Midnight, Panther
    • Noona, Lion
    • Faufe Yitaw, Dogwere (Badgerwere?)
      • Rawf, Wardog familiar
      • Aroof, Wardog familiar
    • Llarm Paphyra, Elvish Polydoctorate
      • The Metal Man, construct
  • Caranthir, Human Leader of Men
    • Rhea Trueheart, Elvish Nightblade
    • Lucille "Luce" Burwood, Fighter
    • Elenora Garrard, White Mage
    • Gimli Trollriver, Dwarven Fury
  • Gróin of Norston, Dwarven Sapper
    • Laurita Gomez, Priestess
    • Herman Thorpe, Ectomancer
      • Baelnar Grimtor, Dwarven Sapper
  • Crolack, Thrassian Gladiator
    • Kurt Steinbacke, Dwarven Deep Monk
  • Mor Gibs, Wonderworker
  • Saphira Moonstone, Gold Skinscribe
    • Pentzkin Singletossle Pocketspringer, gnomish beastmaster
    • Alun Tsornyl, Sylph Ranger
  • Te'a Tsuki Megumi, Elven Polydoctorate
    • Harvey Usagi, Rabbitwere
  • Fayleen Ross, Darklord
    • Zai-car, Zaharan Ruinguard
  • Aingeal Bàs Eleonara, Witch

Before I start, I'd like the point out that when we started, we had a total of four players. Now, we have nine, plus another three that have retired. That said, the current major story arc is beginning its inevitable turn towards closure. Even so, this world still has a lot of stories left in it. There are still a number of continents to explore; they may not be as detailed as Mor-Thir, but they still have their stories. There are still planes (aka planets) to find; the [REDACTED] homeworld, which will kick off a rather large storyline, and possibly even a journey to the [REDACTED], which (some of?) the players have (maybe?) visited before (or have they?). And then there's the huge planet with 8 moons... And even beyond all that, I have two different "years later..." storylines. Seriously, there is a lot of wear left on these treads.

But enough of that, back to the present! After hanging around a little - and picking up another party member, Aingeal Bàs Eleonara, a witch - the party decided the best next course of action would be to visit all the various countries they had stayed in before, and try to convince the leaders to send a unit or two their way. While they began, Aingeal and Crolack went to hunt down a dangerous thief. After intimidating a group of men, the two headed to the bad part of town. A little more intimidation later, and they found who they were looking for; or rather, where. The Thrassian "knocked" on the door, sending it crashing to the floor, and the two wandered in. Aingeal decided to try to seduce the guard, which sadly didn't work. The thrassian, not to be outdone, roared angrily, scaring the guard enough to fire his arrow down the hall; the Thrassian charged the door, knocking it off its hinges and thumping the guard pretty soundly.

Their target was sitting, terrified, on a soft chair; after discussing how best to torture the man, they killed his companion and dragged the fellow off to claim their reward: a whole 20 gp!

Meanwhile, the various party members were teleporting around all over the place, talking with the Winter and Summer Fae, the True Elves, the king of Mareten, the Hill, Deep, and Mountain Dwarves, the Northern People, and even the Gnomes, as well as a number of other associates they had found along the way. They tried to contact a few old friends, but they seemed... oddly out of touch. They couldn't find the silver dragon they had freed from the tower, for one.

Caranthir sent Rhea to investigate the Spire; she and Gróin teleported there, and she spent some time creeping through the area. She managed to learn some about their troops, and found that there was at least one living person there, likely a mage. She explored the first two levels of the tower, then left, safely.

After returning, Gróin again teleported away, this time to speak with the gnomes, taking his henchmen, Aingeal, Crolack, and Saphira and her henchmen. Aingeal was suitably freaked out by being turned into a gnome, and Gróin quickly lead them to sample the GodBrew. Baelnar and Alun managed to stave off its effects long enough to reach the god's pub. It was empty, save for a barkeep and a single drunk. The drunk happily sloshed over to them, burbling stories and trying to offer them a drink; he mentioned that all the gods were off planning "shomeshing shooper mmmmportant," which is why they weren't there. As the two felt themselves being pulled back to Mor-Thir, he called after them, "Come back shum time wi' shum frens! An' tell'm Bacchus sent ya!"

Once recovered, the group approached the judge-of-the-day. It was a younger gnome; Aingeal once again attempted to seduce him - not her finest seduction, but... well, this gnome was easy. He fell in love with her immediately, and began gushing sweet nothings to her. When she asked if he'd get her an army, he agreed: the Queen's Guard had returned just a few days ago, and he would be just the right man for the job! Irritated at the prospect of only a single gnome, Aingeal attempted to intimidate the gnome. As it turned out, the gnome was into that sort of thing, and offered his Furry Handcuffs. Not fuzzy handcuffs, oh no. Handcuffs for furries. Aingeal, repulsed, took the advice of the nearby scribe, and quickly left to visit the queen. The queen treated them to tea, and listened serenely to their story. Afterwards, the party decided it was probably best to leave town immediately... before the judge ended his shift!

The gnomes, and everyone else who volunteered to send units, were told to collect their men at a central location, where Gróin could teleport them a unit at a time to a staging ground, then from there... directly to the tower.

Speaking of volunteered units, the results table for the diplomatic unit requisition looks like this:

  • 2-: Hostility: lose favor
  • 3-5: Apathy: no troops, but at least you don't lose favor
  • 6-8: Grudging Support: lose favor, but gain units anyway (melee/ranged)
  • 9-11: Support: gain units (melee/ranged, plus leaders for each)
  • 12+: Enthusiastic Support: gain units, (melee/ranged/special), plus leaders

Each faction had different numbers and types of units; some had no melee and/or ranged (the mages, for instance). Diplomatically speaking, most factions have a -2 modifier, because... well... they don't want to get involved. The Northern People and the people of Grove are especially anti-evil and anti-undead, so they didn't have that modifier. Due to being physically near, the Northern People and the True Elves had a slight positive bonus; the Gnomes, Mountain Dwarves, Hill Dwarves, and jungle lizardmen got a positive bonus from talking with people of their own race. However, the Hill dwarves are trying to build up their army, and the Mountain Dwarves, Deep Dwarves, True Elves, and Gnomes are somewhat insular, so they all got slight negative bonuses. Adding it all up...

The Northern People (rolled 11, modified to 12), the Summer Fae (rolled 17, modified to 15), and the Grove (rolled 11, modified to 12), and the Gnomes (rolled 12, modified to same) all pledged Enthusiastic Support. The Mage College of Riverbend (rolled 12, modified to 10) and the jungle lizardmen (rolled 11, modified to same) both pledged Support. The King of Mareten (rolled 10, modified to 8) and the Hill Dwarves (rolled 11, modified to 7) pledged Grudging Support, though the party's reputation with both kingdoms has dwindled. The Church of Alehim, under Ajeela's efforts (rolled 9, modified to 5) had an Apathetic reaction, as did the True Elves (rolled 7, modified to 4), the Dark Dwarves (rolled 9, modified to 5), and the Northern Dwarves (rolled 9, modified to 5). The Winter Fae, who already hate you... still hate you (rolled 8, modified to 2).

The resulting units you've been given loaned are as follows:

  • Northern People
    • 120 Berserkers (1 unit), lead by a 5th level barbarian, Forest Leaf
    • 120 (lvl 1) Paladins (1 unit), lead by a 5th level paladin, Johan Gustafsson
  • Summer Fae
    • 30 Green Men (heavy melee), lead by a sylph, Bryn Silveroak
  • Grove
    • 120 (level 2) Bladedancers (1 unit), lead by a 5th level bladedancer, Lori Grove
    • 120 (level 2) Clerics (1 unit), lead by a 5th level priestess, Julia Williams
  • Mareten
    • 240 heavy infantry (2 units), unlead
    • 240 longbowmen (2 units), unlead
  • Riverbend Mages
    • 2 lieutenants (5th level mages), Herbert White and Rees Haley
  • Hill Dwarves
    • 120 Vaultguards (1 unit), unlead
  • Jungle Lizardmen
    • 240 Lizardmen (2 units), lead by two sub-chieftans, Bas Mnosh and Ra'kaka Portann
  • Gnomes
    • 120 gnomes (1 unit), lead by the Commander of the Queen's Guard
    • 5 Roc Lobbers (1 unit consisting of 5 sets of 4 level 2 Gnomish Tricksters and a level 2 Gnomish Beastmaster driver, all mounted on a Roc), lead by the eldest of the Roc Prepper Sisters, Gnomish Beastmaster Marakkalani Twistspackle Torqueslip. Her other four sisters drive the other four Rocs.

I will, of course, print off all the information for the armies, the leaders, and some info for how these large-scale battles go, so everyone can pick-and-choose who controls what. While you don't need a lieutenant for each unit, it may help. PCs can take part as officers or independent heroes, if they are able. This is a battalion scale battle, so an average unit is 120 men.

Finally, you know from Rhea's recon that the tower has one, possibly more, living creatures. Rhea saw skeletons, zombies, wights, necropedes, death chargers, bloodhounds (the undead ones), wraiths, harpies, wyverns, and manticore in the area - over 2,000 individuals - as well as a huge bone dragon. Chances are, there are more troops elsewhere, if for no other reason than undead are easy to store. Knowing about the harpies allows you to equip friendly units with earplugs. That will allow the units to ignore the effects of the harpies' singing, but each unit costs an extra activation point to activate. You also know a foul darkness lays over the area, blanketing the skies with clouds, and darkening the hearts of any who dare tread that unholy ground; most likely a Forsaken Sinkhole of Evil. That means Turn Undead will not work! Additionally, reversed/necromantic spells cast 2 levels higher, while lawful divine spells cast 2 levels lower, and the undead will be tougher...

XP from encounters: Aingeal and Crolack each got 113 XP, from taking down a vile thief and his accomplice.