Session 13, Part 2

 By Shamus Dec 28, 2006 9 comments

The party rides away from the Dwarf camp, and heads around the southern side of Lake Emlin. By nightfall they reach Della Minera, where they freed the slaves a couple of weeks earlier. To the north is now a huge area of tents and soldiers. The last shreds of the Alidian army are here, defending the bridge nightly against attack.

They rest here for the night and then head to Fol Thron.

They head for the Citadel, but as they pass by the Mages Guild they see the place is surrounded by a crowd. Skeeve stops to see what is going on. The place is surrounded by town guards, who are keeping everyone at a distance.

Skeeve asks a nearby guard what is going on. The guard begins to explain, but is cut off by a thunderous BOOM from the tower above. Another town guard comes sailing out of one of the second-story windows and lands with a thud nearby. Black smoke pours from the window.

Enoch heals the still-smouldering guard, while Skeeve has the nearby captain explain.

It seems that they located a secret chamber within the Mages Guild tower which was being used as a meeting place for some of Mordan’s followers, or the members of his cult, or whatever they are. They arrested these members, (who were mostly wizards) and are questioning the other guild members, trying to get a feel for how big this secret group is, who the members are, and how they remained hidden for so long. This has put the guild out of business for a couple of days, and has only added to the chaos of the two-headed invasion they are facing.

His men are now trying to search the place, which tough going because the place is filled with traps. Without the help of a trusted wizard they are running into problems like the one everyone just witnessed.

Skeeve offers to help out. As a member of the party who is (apparently) serving the Queen, as a newcomer to the island, and as someone who was already grilled under Zone of Truth a few weeks earlier, he is above suspicion. The captain takes him to the second floor, where there is a group of very nervous guards trying to search the room without getting crushed, incinerated, poisoned, or blown to bits. Skeeve has them clear out and goes to work.

This was a slapdash sidequest I came up with on the spot. Pat (who plays Eomer, the party spokesman) was absent, and it seemed like not having him around would really mess up the meeting they were about to have with the Queen.

Skeeve stopped at the Mages Guild and got dragged into a situation where someone had found a secret chamber in the guildhall. It was filled with magical traps of various kinds. Skeeve went in, dealt with the problem, solved some puzzles, and in return got a load of new books.

One of these books contained THE SECRET TO CURING THE TORMENTING BLINDNESS OF THE QUEEN.

Now, all of this was due to a screw-up on my part. This book should have been at the Mages Archives on the southeast tip of the island. A secret chamber here in the guildhall really doesn’t make a lot of sense, but this was a book I intended for them to find if they reached the Archives. They earned it, and I wanted them to have the chance to cure the queen if they chose to do so.

The cure would take away her near-immortality, but would end her blindness and her suffering. She could go back to living a quasi-normal life.

This was a crucial plot / quest item, and I managed to forget it. Sigh. It happens. I patched over it.

Also, I neglected to detail some of the other books they found at the mages archives.

They found a rather difficult book by Songmage Forwinol. It details the magic he added to Mordan’s Phylactery in order to trap him. It details the steps needed to place the orb onto a container in order to turn it into a trap for the Lich. The orb magic is quite beyond Skeeve, but the trapping proceedure is easily understood. Using the book as a guide, they could return to Mordan’s tomb and (assuming they could get in and reach his original prison) affix it to his coffin once more. This book is no longer needed (since they used Fiore’s prison instead) so I neglected to mention it in Session 12.

So, in the Mages Archives they found:

  • Directions on how to re-set the trap in Mordan’s tomb. (Assuming they could ever reach it, and it hasn’t been destroyed.)
  • Hints on how to find the entrance to Fiore’s prison.
  • A couple of spells for Skeeve.
  • If Enoch hadn’t finished the Book of Norvus by now (or if he had skipped that sidequest altogether) then the key history they needed would have been provided here. The only thing is that he wouldn’t have gotten the fun of decoding it himself, not to mention the XP. The history was available at the archives, although they already knew it.
  • The cure for the queen’s blindness. Oops.

So, they went all that way and found books they didn’t need, books they never used, spells that were useless to everyone but Skeeve, and a book I forgot to give them. I remember them feeling a little cheated when they finally found the place and all it really had that interested them was a HINT of how to find Fiore. Ah well.

Skeeve takes Eomer (who is an NPC right now, remember) into the tower and they puzzle their way through the various traps. Once complete, they search the place. They are supposed to tell the guards when they are done, but Skeeve wants a look at the spoils first. He finds a book which details the cure to the Queen’s curse. This is too valuable to pass up, so he grabs it.

They then head downstairs and report that their work is complete. They are paid for their trouble, and then head for the Citadel. They plan to meet with the Queen this time.

End of Session 13
9Nine comments.


  1. Deoxy says:

    AH! NEED MORE!

    I can quit any time…

  2. -Chipper says:

    I find this whole thing fascinating. It seems RPGs are the closest thing we currently have to the holonovels played in Star Trek Voyager. This whole scenario is so much more complex than the very basic D&D I played as a teen; there would be one dungeon or castle to go thru & it would have random stuff thruout, with the goal being finding one certain thing.

    How much time went into creating this campaign? How much did you have planned before the first session? How much prep work was there prior to each session? There must be some interesting complexities not found if you were to write a straight-foward story.

    Thanks again for continuing to chronical this campaign.

  3. Shamus says:

    The prep time for this campaign was about three weeks of nights & weekends. Most of that was spent on the map and generating the dungeons.

    Weekly prep time (to create the “adventure of the week”) was pretty variable. Sometimes it was three hours. Sometimes it was five minutes. :)

  4. freefall says:

    I noticed you have a lot of time on your hands. When you do the notes on the campaign and those things about how far behind you are, I noticed you took extra time that could be used to just continue with the actual thing. Also, you add a lot of notes into the actual sessions that if people were paying attention, they would know. Finally, in session 10 part 3, you say that they ride on their horses. But you are forgetting that they left their horses in the halfling village when the soldiers were looking for them. How could the get the horses back? Yes, I am a hard critic but I am also curious

  5. Shamus says:

    If you think I have a lot of time on my hands then your perception is even worse than your manners. Entertaining “hard critics” falls pretty far down my list of priorities.

    Keep in mind I am writing this stuff many months after the fact. Yes, they left their horses, so they walked, not rode. Like I said: It was months ago.

  6. Faentur says:

    I have to assume that freefall’s comment about session 10.3 was made _before_ Shamus put in the note about the party getting new horses at the Citadel. Otherwise he’s twice the sweaty he seems to be. :P

  7. thumper69 says:

    Freefall, you’re not a critic, you’re a jerk. If you can’t enjoy reading a story that someone provides for you at no cost, at least have the decency to not waste all of our time with your meaningless negativity.

  8. Ellywyn says:

    … Well, at least you didn’t have Elrond Half-elven show up at their camp and go, “Here is the book.” :P
    When my Seed campaign finally gets off the ground (a couple people are really busy and haven’t had time to gen characters yet), I have -got- to remember to be careful about leaving out such important plot-related artifacts. Of course, then I’ll likely forget some non-item plot thing instead… ah, such is the life of the DM.

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated and may not be posted immediately. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!