Session 12, Part 2

 By Shamus Dec 21, 2006 24 comments

The players hear the voice of Fiore. It is a very quiet (they can’t even tell if it is truly audible or simply in their minds) but it is also potent. It is a cold, feminine voice.

What or who is Fiore? Is “she” really the spirit of a mountain? The spirit of a people who were genocided long ago? A demigod who abides within a mountain? Some ancient ghost or spirit?

This was left for the players (and, by extension, the readers) to ponder.

The conversation with her went on for a while. The players worked out that yes, this really is the Fiore of old. Yes, she was imprisoned by the Dwarves. Yes, she created the curse. Yes, this box is a prison for her spirit which blocks all of her supernatural power. Her power only extends far enough to fill this room with grass (which she sort of can’t help, actually) and allow her to “speak” to anyone within a few feet of the box.

Finally, Fiore asks if they have come to free her. The players were just looking for answers, really. They are not sure what to do. Then one of them (Eomer or Skeeve) asks if the box could contain the spirit of Mordan.

Fiore thinks it can. The players never question this, which I would have if I were in their shoes. I’d expect an imprisoned being of incredible power to be willing to give me just about any story to get me to open the box.

They deliberate for a while, but the solution seems too perfect to really consider walking away. They agree to free Fiore.


She thanks them. However, she warns them that they should be quick. Once she is out she is going to kick everyone off of the mountain. Once she is released, they should run. For their lives.

They agree. Eomer picks the locks. The lid is pulled back, and a brilliant light floods out. The ground begins to shake.

Skeeve pitches the Orb of Mordan into the box and they quickly lock it shut once again. Then they make a mad dash for the surface. As they run, they can feel the tunnel collapsing behind them.

They charge out of the broken stone doorway into the late afternoon light. The ground is shaking violently and a gargantuan column of black soot is shooting out of the mountain. The invaders that have made their homes and fortunes on the slopes of Fiore for the past few centuries are going to leave, or die.

They head south as quickly as possible. It is snowing ash. They are tired but they press on, not wanting to rest at the foot of the mountain in its fury. After dark the mountain subsides. Ash fills the air. Enoch’s light can barely penetrate the black fog. They do their best to hold a direct southward course desipte their lack of bearings.

If I had been more diligent I would have Googled around and found out how far volcanic ash can spread, how deep it gets, and how long it hangs around once the mountain settles down. I wanted to create a situation where the mountain itself was perilous to approach, but I didn’t want to go Pompei on them. The island itself should be fine once they dust everything off.

By morning they draw near the sea and find they are at last escaping the cloud. They have been awake and on the move for over twenty-four hours by now. They are coated in ash, bruised, and weary.

Summoning the last of their strength, they press on until they reach the Mages Archives. Once there, they collapse and sleep for the next two days. Endo and Garret prepare them a cooked meal in the kitchen. Once they have cleaned up and eaten, they meet in the library to plan their next move.

Mordan’s Orb is imprisoned in a magic-proof box which was strong enough to hold a being as mighty as Fiore. That box in now buried in the unreachable depths of the mountain, and they alone know where it is. This is probably an even better prison than his former one, although they still need to see to the difficult job of getting him into it. They still need to defeat Mordan one last time. If he is struck down now, his spirit will reform within the box, and he will be trapped forever.

The curse of the mountain is also lifted. Everyone wonders what effect this will have on the Queen and her minions.

And what effect will the mountain’s erruption have on everyone?

They have many questions, but they are a two day’s journey from the answers. First things first. They rest.

End of Session 12
20424 comments. Hurry up and add yours before it becomes passé.


  1. -Chipper says:

    Wow. Nice solution for Mordan and for the curse. I’m not sure, had I been in the party, that I would seek to defeat Mordan at this point to imprison him. I don’t see where it is the party’s responsibility*. If they could get off the island now & get back to the mission they were originally on, they should do that. Beside that, I wonder if Mordan is such a powerful character that they can bet they will lose a couple PCs to him in battle.

    Also, now I’m wondering about the rules of phylactory ownership. By putting it in the box, does it still belong to Skeeve? In which case, yes, they will have to deal with Mordan.

    Based on what you’ve written to this point, I’m guessing the intrepid adventurers DID attempt to take down Mordan.

    *- though I guess I can see the point of view that they did release him (though were tricked into it) & should try to undo that.

  2. Shamus says:

    Yeah, Skeeve still “owns” it.

  3. marshall says:

    as for the ash from the volcano..i know that when mt. Saint Helens erupted back in the 80′s in Washington, the ash settled at least into Montana two states to the east, and it was about an inch thick from what people have told me about it. So your mountain could cover the whole island if the winds were going the right way

  4. Brian says:

    Great campaign, excellent job. Makes me want to pick up the dice again.

  5. Deoxy says:

    I still think they should have arranged somebody to take the thing out to sea with some device ready to destroy it, and the person who sets off the device commits suicide before the device finished the job. No More Mordan. Much better solution.

    Though having beings of ultimate evil around does make for much easir campaign making, so I guess it was a way to help the DM out. :-)

  6. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    We talked about destroying the phylactery at sea. But no one wanted to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Also Mordan was using an old trick of his. Mordan would send a flock of magic birds to any boat that left the island. The birds would then perch on the boat and squawk incessantly. If any of the birds were killed they would explode in fire and the ship would burn into the sea. Because of this the queen had docked all the ships and closed the ports. OH and also it wasn’t the phylactery that blew up in a nuclear sized explosion. It was the owner, which was ME!

  7. Patrick says:

    As the player of Eomier ( not Eomer *cough cough ) my character was annoyed when first stranded on this island, and more than resistant to taking up the quest to get the orb for Noreeno when asked to in the first place. Not only out of character did I know nothing good would come of it, but even in character Eomier has a distaste for authority in general and didn’t trust Noreeno as far as he could throw him. When he and the party realized they had been tricked, Eomier’s first reaction was quite frankly “F**k this place and thier dumb orb, lets get on the first boat out of here and let these people fight thier own stupid civil war”. Right up until he started to learn the story of Fiore from the exile Norvus.
    When he learned that the mountain was ‘trapped’, he found this totally unacceptable and, just as much as he wanted to help free his friend Skeeve from his own curse and entrapment due to the orb, he wanted to release the mountain. To free Fiore. This was just as much his task as any other, reprecussions to the people of the island be damned.
    The fact that this helped cure both problems at once was just a benefit, and even if it hadn’t he would have freed Fiore, even if his companions had tried to stop him he would have anyways.
    I suppose in some ways Eomier is in some ways part ranger in this regard. He has a strong respect for the land, and an even stronger respect for freedom in all aspects. If you would choose to read his backstory this might make more sense as to why.

  8. Shamus says:

    Yeah, yeah. I spelled your name wrong. At least I uh… always spell it wrong?

  9. MH says:

    Consistency is good ;)

    Although, one might contest that there are a few holes in their plan.

    1) Are the ‘good’ spells of the Orb active? Why didn’t Mordan just reform next to the phylactery in the first place?
    2) Two words: Lich. Phylactery. It stands to reason that, given time, Mordan *can* find his phylactery no matter what.
    3) The box was strong enough to hold Fiore, but wasn’t it designed to do just that? A phylactery is different.
    4) The mountain collapsed on the box, how can you be sure it’s still whole?
    5) If someone kills Skeeve, the ownership switches to him. Does the orb move?

    Anyhoo, great campaign. Can’t wait to see how it ends.

  10. EricStrom says:

    Hey all,

    I stumbled onto this fascinating narrative after consuming “GM of the Rings” whole. I keep seeing the idea of trying to destroy the phylactery as a *Bad Thing*. The plans I have seen so far involve trying to destroy the Orb ownerless. The problem is that Morden wins in this case, suddenly having an army of Grave Fiends equal to a third of the population within a one-hundred mile radius. Oh, right, he has to build a new phylactery. Oh well.

    What I am wondering about is what would happen if the owner is on another plane when the phylactery is destroyed? This is an interesting speculation, and I would be interested in hearing the result.

    The only other plan I have is finding ways of resisting the effects and being battle-ready after destroying the Orb. There are several mid- to high-level spells that can help with this, such as Death Ward and Magic Resistance.

    Ah well, just some thoughts well after the fact.

  11. Bren says:

    The mountain makes me think of that Gorillaz song “The Mountain Called Monkey”

  12. Turgid Bolk says:

    Destroying the orb would be a good thing, in the long run. Mordan ceases to exist as soon as the orb is destroyed. In the short term you have to deal with the death and gravewalkers, but hey, no more Mordan.

    My idea would be to take it deep into the heart of goblin country, then destroy it. Instant undead army! Let the gobbos deal with the results. Assuming, of course, that they are sufficiently isolated. Still requires a sacrifice, though.

  13. Hal says:

    Hm . . . re-reading everything here, a thought occurs to me now (quite a bit late, I realize).

    Freeing Fiore lifted the curse. So, what would have happened had the party grabbed as much loot as they could carry in Fiore’s chamber, THEN freed her? Would the curse still apply to it? Or would it be harmless once she was loose?

  14. Shamus says:

    Hal: They would have been cursed for two minutes or something, until she was free.

    It essentially would have been a harmless thing to do.

  15. Drud says:

    If your players ever read that last comment they’ll be going ‘NOOOO!!’ :)

    And thanks a lot for putting all of this up! I love reading it, and I’ve picked up work on my own campaign world again! :D

  16. Musoeun says:

    Called it. Totally called it.

    Also I shouldn’t have read this whole thing in one night, but it is awesome.

  17. Nick (aka Huron) says:

    The reason Mordan didn’t break out of his prison was because it would destory his phylactery, but that just means he’d be destoyed if he was ‘killed’, surely? Why didn’t he break out straight away, make himself a new phylactery (this one won’t have the Good Spells on either) and get back to the slaughter?

    We all have to hope Skeeve dies of natural causes too.

    I can see how a box powerful enough to contain a spirit would also contain Mordan, even though it would do it in a very different way to his previous prison.

    If he were to be ‘killed’ and then reappear beside the orb, will he be all squished inside it?

  18. Wind-Up says:

    He didn’t destroy it because it was powerful enough to contain him. Duh! You may remember the whole thing about how none still living have the power to create another prison like that, or however it was worded.

  19. Sydney says:

    So, uh…nobody thought about the ethics of dooming a mountainful of sentients to death, then?

  20. Nameless says:

    They’d already stopped mining because of that one sidequest, so there wouldn’t be anyone.

  21. rayen says:

    i was in hawaii for a month with my cousin who lives there. SHe actually lives on the island with the volcano. THere are tree things a volcano can do, A)spew forth stream of lava burns everything it touches eventually cools and hardens. There is another liquid like lava that is very hot and mixed with ash I can’t remember what it’s called but it moves faster than lava and is just as hot. b) ash itself, kinda like the deadliest snow ever. Hawaii actually doesn’t get much of this due to the kind of volcano they have. but it’s what hardened pompei and is hot can choke a person and can fall hundreds of miles away. Not a threat as long as you keep moving and don’t get trapped or covered in it. c)Vog, Volcanic fog, This is what i imagined your characters going through. This is actually a big problem in hawaii especailly if the winds are bad. Very thick it’s like a a really dense fog filled with steam and smoke from the chemical reactions in the volcano. Sometimes it hovers around the top of the mountian like a cloud but if the wind is bad it comes down and covers the place.

    just my thoughts.

  22. mazer says:

    Wasent the orb on the outside of the last prison? Thats why skeeve was able to grab it wothough breaking the wardings or picking the locks? Couldent they have just left the orb on top of Fiores prison and had him reform inside with her still trapped?

    depending on how they got along maybe morden would even be able to kill her and remove the curse, not that it would do him much good.

    rayen, I think your thinking of a pyroclastic flow, which is basicly superheated mud and ash. I believe thats what took out pompei.

  23. pate of the spear says:

    Dude fiores a diety and mordans only a lich fiore probably would have blasted him off the face of the planet and your still stuck with a curse

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