Sorry if this information is disjointed. It mostly wasn’t meant to be seen by others :)
Act One: The Spoils of War
Introduction: The party joins their brothers at Ashmar Fort, a temporary encampment two miles west of the encampment of the Heralds of the Great Leveler, a heathen force which has risen up from the countryside in Selahin. At the fort their chapter leader Master Amutus tells them that the Heathens have amassed a force of eight thousand, while the Order numbers only five thousand, and that the Heathens were virtually unknown two years ago. While Master Amutus is alarmed by the rate at which the enemy force has grown, he is comfortable knowing that their allies, the Selahins have a force of twelve thousand on the way, and that the Heathen supplies will exhaust within a fortnight. However, the chapter’s Standard Company has not yet arrived. They were to pass through Haeger’s Keep, and meet with the messenger there, who would give word via messenger pigeon.
Stage One: The party must travel to Haeger’s Keep to disocver the fate of the Standard Company, the temporary marshaling ground for Order assets. Once they arrive, they must make a perception check, DC 20. If they succeed, they will notice something is wrong in the keep. If they press the issue, they may discover that the dozen or so guards of the keep have been replaced by Heralds. The Pigeoneer of the Keep (who is accompanied by two Order knights) will tell them that he has not received word from the Standard Company, and he will tell the party that the Company was supposed to be carrying the Flag of Galerius, the most revered banner in the Order. If the Heralds went undiscovered at the gate, they will send a spy to listen in, who has a DC 18 check to be discovered. If the party goes to the Keep’s tavern, they will learn from a gather information check that the Keep’s lord, Baron Haeger has sent his men to assist the Order at Ashmar Fort. In the tavern there is a solitary crossbowman who is drinking his troubles away, named Ditani. Ditani attempted to join the castle guard but was refused for unknown reasons (the Lord of the castle is sympathetic to the Heralds.) The Pigeoneer will tell them that the Standard Company was supposed to be traveling on the road between the village of Jegunda and Haeger’s keep. The party can make one last DC 20 Perception check to notice the Heralds on the way out of the castle. (If the Heralds are discovered, the party can trace the corruption up to Baron Haeger, who has sent his men away and replaced them with Herald infiltrators.)
Two day’s travel up the road, they will find the corpses of fifty or so knights, with their equipment removed. From the bushes, Knight Journeyman Temal (who is fatally wounded) will tell the players that the Company was ambushed by the Heralds of the Great Leveler two days ago, and that they took the Flag of Galerius into the wilderness from whence they came. Also, a very large man with a multi-headed great flail was leading them (see: Grandiron). An easy tracking test by the party will reveal that enemy traveled back to Haeger’s Keep with a large force in tow.
When the party returns to Haeger’s Keep, they will find that it has been taken over by the Heralds. (If the party foiled the gate conspirators, the Keep’s wall will have been blown open by cannon.) Inside the Keep, the large man can be seen finishing his plunder of the castle along with his men. He leaves a dozen or so of his men behind (including the false gate men, or Freelander mercenaries if the gate guard conspiracy had already been foiled.) The Large Man and Baron Haeger will then take the majority of the force and head towards Fort Ashmar. At some point along the way, the enemy force will break off and head towards their own line. The party should then travel to Fort Ashmar with word on their mission.
Stage Two: Master Amutus is upset that the Flag of Galerius fell into enemy hands, but he is thankful that the party did not throw themselves at it recklessly. The debriefing is interrupted when a messenger tells Master Amutus that the Heralds are mustering to attack. The first line of battle from the Order rides out to engage them, while the party either joins the second line of battle, or guards the camp (depending on the players’ titles.) Regardless, as they are getting ready to go to their positions, a gust of wind overtakes the Fort Ashmar, and a force of Heralds appears from behind the Order’s lines (brought by a portal as the party later finds out.) The party is instructed to guard the Fort’s southeastern entrance as waves of Heralds pour into the camp. After the party has fought off a few waves, the order to retreat is given by Master Amutus. Amutus also tells the party to locate Likus of Madena. As the party retreats up a mountain pass with hundreds of other Order personnel, they are cut off by more Heralds, with the party escaping through a side path. The party retreats to a safe position overlooking the battlefield, where they see the first line of battle from the Order routed and destroyed. It appears that the Order is finished.
Introduction: With the Order wiped out, the party must make a Knowledge (Local) test for Selahin to know of allies in the area. They will learn about Likus of Madena, a Selahinian scholar in Madena. The party can then go to Likus, or attempt to find the Flag on their own by tracking the Large Man (improvise).
Stage One: The party will enter the city of Madena, a sprawling center of mercantilism, knowledge and the arts. They will find Likus’s manor in the wealthy section of town. He will provide the party lodgings while they are in the city, but he cannot give them a lot of money because of his debts. He realizes that the Heralds of the Great Leveler are a serious threat to Amuron, and he decides to devote his efforts to understanding them. He tells the party that there is little he can do without information on the Heralds, and so he gives them a series of tasks. The first is to acquire a religious text from the Heralds in order to understand their motivations and plans. The second is to learn about the mysterious Large Man and his role in the Heralds.
Task #1: The players must find information about the Heralds in order to find out where they could find their religious writings, or they could travel to their territories in eastern Selahin. A Gather Information check DC 16 will lead the players to a traveling merchant, who tells them strange missionaries have been preaching in the Caleparr Province of Selahin.
In the Caleparr Province, they will run into an old blind missionary for the Heralds who carries only bread, rags and a walking stick. He preaches a doctrine of forgiveness for those who accept his teachings and purgatory for those who deny him. He also speaks blasphemy about the Saints. The party must choose to kill him or let him go on. Later on, the party will find the village of Garanev, which has a strange mission on the outskirts. If the party ventures closer to the mission, they will find a force of thirty or so Herald converts, zealously defending their church. The party can either storm the Temple (BAD IDEA), sneak in and steal the text, or appeal to the town for help. Sneaking in will require difficult Stealth checks versus the guards. Once inside, they will find a documents room with a lock DC 25, with a noise generating traps DC 20. The key is on the priestess, who sleeps upstairs. Inside is a tome of religious text in four strange languages, Aquan, Terran, Ignan and Auran. If the party is discovered, they will have to fend off the entire congregation, including a few elite warriors and the Priestess.
However, given the powerful inhabitants of the church, it is wiser to appeal to the village for help. The villagers have varying attitudes about the converts ranging from apathy to anger. However, the prevailing feeling about the converts is that they will be driven off sooner or later, because they inhabit a cursed building. If the party inquires about the nature of the building, they will learn that several centuries ago a demon took up lodging in the church after clearing out the Saint Daenita the Redeemer worshipers inside. A provincial militia succeeded in destroying the demon later on, but it is believed that the Demon’s spirit still resides within the building. The town distrusts the party because the Order was slow to respond to the problem. The party can attempt to consort with the demon and have him kill the Heralds, but that has obvious repercussions. First, the Priestess’s anti-evil wards must be lifted before the demon can be released.
The sheriff believes that the converts must be driven out, but first the town must be convinced via a town hall meeting (the village’s lord is away fighting the republicans in Varlawn County for the Kingdom of Aldros.) The sheriff advises the party that in order to make the people believe in the efficacy of their case, the party must prove themselves to the town. The primary issue to the town is the goblin presence in the surrounding area. Also of concern is the long half mile walk to the nearest body of water (which can be fixed with irrigation or by digging a better well to replace the old one).
Once the town meeting is commenced, the players must make 1-2 sentence arguments if they wish to assist in the diplomacy check. None of the Heralds will be in attendance, but the party’s argumentative opposition will put forward this argument, “Amuron is a battleground betwixt the forces of Heaven and the forces of Hell. Heaven is always stronger than Hell, and so for mortals to assist the Saints in their righteous war is a blasphemous insult to their might! The Saints do not need our help, and when they do fight, it will be with a great fire which burns all those involved. It is not our custom to fight for our Saints. Do we shut closed the mouths of those who speak ill of those we worship? No! We put our hands over our ears and refuse to listen. That is the wise course of action.” If the party wins the argument, a mob will descend upon the church, and the party must be quick to retrieve the holy text before the Priestess escapes with it. (See above for info on holy text.)
Introduction: After the player characters return home from dealing with the cult, and with the indecipherable holy book in their possession, they return to Likus of Madena. Likus believes that in time, he can decipher the text, but it will take several months. He advises the players to raise funds, because “the cost of warring upon the heathens will be immeasurable.” He points out that various organizations around town are hiring contractors to perform work.
Hooks: Here’s a list of job opportunities for the party.
1. The Animan Society requires contractors to investigate a precious metals influx.
2. The Madena Guard has a list of bounties.
3. The Arcane College of Madena requires help in a murder investigation.
1. The Animan Society is facing competition from local merchants, who are somehow capable of selling precious metals at unfairly low prices. They recommend confronting the merchants about this. The investigation leads to a mine, where a captive Earth Spirit is synthesizing metals against his will, a process which has left him lusting for vengeance.
2. There are several bounties available. The first is twenty gold for Judbertus the Snarler, a vagrant who was seen spitting on a statute of Sumuten, a famous Oligarch. The second bounty is two thousand five hundred gold for Balderard, a Freelander Captain who assaulted and murdered a dozen pilgrims on their way to Theonis, (DO NOT READ THIS ALOUD he is believed to be hiding in Nevker Village along with his men, and he was framed by his commander, Gauwinald.) The third bounty is 50 thousand gold for the pirate lord Buloruk of Wyrbluff, who commands the pirate vessel the Copper Kite. See far below for Buloruk notes.
3. A wizard professor named Gurbaeus was found dead in his villa. Lacking investigators, the wizard’s college is looking for outside help in solving the case. The suspects include his best (and only) friend Atziasto of Caldogar who is an engineer (they are frequently seen arguing over the issue of superiority of magic versus technology, centering on the volatility of magical power sources), his star pupil Idutadne (feels neglected due to Gurbaeus death, but she only seems to care about the letter of recommendation to a Sestinian magical college which Gurbaeus will no longer be able to write for her), and his manservant Sacesin. (During the investigation, it becomes clear that the manservant is hiding something. He knows that Gurbaeus would venture into his study, and then disappear for a while. After a thorough search, the party will find a secret passageway into an underground study room, filled with candles and an open book lying on a pedestal. It turns out he was trying to find a magical power source which could be used to power mills indefinitely with only an initial investment of 350 gold. The ritual is written down in the book. Gurbaeus has enough ingredients on hand to perform the ritual one more time, if it is performed, a devil will be summoned. He offers to tell the party the secret of magical powering if one of them signs a contract. If attacked, he will summon imps to help him fight the party. Once the devil’s body and Gurbaeus’s book have been turned in as proof, the group will receive two thousand gold as hush money.)
The Quest for Buloruk
The party will have to travel overland from Madena to Lebonet. While crossing the border, a group of Freelanders will approach them. With a knowledge local check of DC 17, the group will know that these Freelanders are called Bordermen, and they slay those who attempt to cross the border, if they have foreign accents from anywhere except Lebonet Selahin and Wyrbluff. They are a nongovernmental force. The party will then travel to the Lebonetian Coast and seek travel to the Wyrbluff capital. They have two choices
1. Take a Lebonetian ship the Severed Chain, which is cheap and inexpensive. The party will be at great risk of pirate attack, especially from Buloruk. 30 gp per person
2. Take a Wyrbluffian ship the Agile Cutlass, which is considerably more expensive. The party will most likely have pirate immunity. 100 gp per person
The party will then arrive in the capital of Wyrbluff, called Raganon. The city is home to King Barrigan the Indomitable, the warrior-king of Wyrbluff.
His castle is a simple stone hall, guarded by a few dozen dwarf warriors. The party will require a pretense if they intend to enter, but if they are dressed as Vindicators they will get in without difficulty. Inside the hall they will find a Herald diplomat attempting to solicit the king for assistance. The king is dismissive to his claims due to the Herald’s small size and their chosen enemies. However, he is accepting to them because they are foreign diplomats. If the party tells Barrigan that they are searching for Buloruk, he will ask that they bring Buloruk to him instead of the Madena authorities. He will offer them a bounty of 30,000 gold, and a favor as well. To assist them in their mission, the king will loan them a ship with a crew. If the party attempts to kill the emissary, they will have to evade his guards, and if the King becomes aware of their intentions, he will assign a detail to protect the emissary. If the emissary is interrogated, he will eventually reveal the location of a Herald’s construction project in the Kalana Mountains of Eastern Selahin (see end of notes), the likes of which he is unaware. The site is a giant mine in which people are being transfused with metal.
The party then travels to the straits of Coudiag, where there is a series of islands. First they arrive at Kingstead Island, the capital of Penmanford. The party can travel to the various Penmanford islands to discover what is there.
1. Kingstead: Ruled by a pirate lord. Bounty hunters searching for Buloruk have entered the city and are now bothersome to the local lord.
2. Wellsham Island- Rumor: Its ruled by Lord Sigamek, but pirates have invaded his land. Truth: A band of Freelanders are attempting to foment revolution, but are thus far unsuccessful. Lord Sigamaek actually is Buloruk, but only the very few know this.
3. Narazar Island- Rumor: The island is a desolate place that rejects all who attempt to settle it. Few leave the island unscathed. Truth: The island is crawling with the undead.
4. Lingbadon Island- Rumor: Ships that sail around the island tend to run aground or sink. Truth: A sea monster destroys ships that approach. And the Mimahan live here.
5. Barella Island- Rumor: There are savage gnolls and goblins that live on the island. Truth: An island orc tribe lives there in isolation.
Bounty Hunters searching for Buloruk: Saddat, Turkellian
Saddat leads a mixed band of adventurers and he plans to turn Buloruk into the Madena authorities for 50,000 gold. He is a mistrusting and cynical adventurer from Bourdegen.
Ruthermach- Arch mage in service to Buloruk
Carvituis- Captain of the player’s ship, the Lightfooted Ogre (given by King Barrigan).
Saloch- leader of the “shark eaters” wyrbluffians mining for gold
Tavell- Priest of the Mimahan
Delaro- Captain of a Buloruk vessel
Mimahan- The race of fish people
Lingbadon: The Mimahan have invited the party to their village. There they will meet with Father Tavell, who is a hostage and is failing to convert them. The shaman, named Uigloke, tells the party that they have enemies on the island, a group of “shark eaters” who have taken up a residence. Uigloke cannot handle the problem himself because he has too few warriors and does not want to leave himself vulnerable to other Mimahan tribes.
The Shark-Eaters are an encampment of twenty or so Wyrbluff pirates, and their captain, Saloch, is aware of the location of Buloruk’s wizard, Ruthermach. He will give them this information if they destroy the Mimahan village.
After the group has accomplished the task set out by the Wyrbluff pirates, Saloch will give the party information on Ruthermach. Ruthermach lives on the island of Wellsham. There, Lord Sigamek will greet the party because the captain of the party ship has done Sigamek a favor in the past. Depending on how much information the party gleans, they will know what Ruthermach looks like and his backstory. Otherwise, the party will simply be invited to a feast held by Sigamek in honor of the captain. Sigamek will be poisoned and the feasters will blame it on the pirate Buloruk. Ruthermach will identify himself to the party in a private meeting and propose to them the idea of a coup. The coup involves the party killing Captain Delaro and his men, while Ruthermach deals with Buloruk. Ruthermach will give Buloruk to the party once this mission is done. However, this is a lie and if the party catches Ruthermach on this, they can turn the tables and capture Ruthermach. If interrogated, Ruthermach will reveal that Lord Sigamek is Buloruk and that the poisoning (if it happened) was staged.
The party will seek out to kill Ruthermach. They will arrive in Welsham city, and after some investigation they might find Ruthermach. Alternatively, they could follow the Novenican Brigadiers in their search, but with risk of discovery. If they follow them, eventually the Novenicans will quarrel with the town guard, resulting in a skirmish where the Novenicans succeed then retreat out of town.
After the party has spent some time in Welsham city, they will hear that Delaro has been executed. His body will be shown around the city to everyone. If the party is astute, they will notice that the mysterious assassin is watching them more closely. After some time, the Novenican Brigadiers will assault the town, hitting Ruthermach and his body guards. Their force will be routed in several rounds. Alternatively, the party may find the Novenicans and convince them to fight alongside the party versus Ruthermach.
If the party continues to stay in Lord Sigamek’s castle, they will be spied upon after Delaro turns up dead. If they decide to live outside the castle, a force of town guards will confront them, and ask them to leave.
The party will find d5000 gold from the Dragon’s hoard. Then, they will travel towards Ruthermach’s castle. From the exterior, it appears empty, unless the party makes a DC 29 perception check, which will reveal movement inside of the castle. Once they enter the hallway, Dwarves with crossbows will ambush them from the catwalk, while Ruthermach gives a speech.
Ruselian- Mysterious bounty hunter who killed Delaro
The party has several options on how to investigate from here.
1. Interrogate Ruselian, he will reveal how he killed Delaro. His employer told him that Delaro would enter an abandoned hovel outside of town, expecting to meet his commander.
2. Investigate the strange rumors. Lord Sigamek assigned one of his nobles with the job of sailing to a remote island named Sibylon on an exploration mission. He has since left town. Asking the sailors will reveal that the island has already been scrutinized, and that there is nothing of interest there.
Guard Captain Karka
Saddat now has a grudge.
After Buloruk has been dealt with, the party now has charge over the Ambassador of the Heralds to the Wyrbluffians. His name is Denegal. If the emissary is interrogated, he will eventually reveal the location of a Herald’s construction project, the likes of which he is unaware. The site is a giant mine in which people are being transfused with metal.
After telling Lyman’s father the fate of his son, the party will continue their journey back to Selahin. Once they arrive, they will find that Selahin has a new faction within its walls, the Heralds! Crowds of people are publicly praying according to the new religion, while being led by a priestess named Saavedra.
Saavedra is a popular figure amongst the converts, while being heavily opposed by Waldico, a blacksmith who has the support of conservatives. Waldico can be seen leading a mob of horsemen who assault the Heralds, who are protesting peacefully. The party will then seek out Likus. Upon arriving at his home, they will find Herald soldiers looking for Likus, but they can only find his Patron, Baron Sido (the party will remember that when they last saw Likus, he was too wealthy to require a Patron.)
Act Two: The Hand Which Strangles Most Arch Abnegator
Introduction: The party will travel from Madena to the Caldogar city of Palethos.
On the border, they will be confronted by Peranthian Knights. They will read off a list of laws, and ask that anyone who is in violation of these laws step forward so that they can be refused entry.
1. We do not permit the entrance of Republicans, nor the practice of Republicanism, because Man is too impure to rule over himself. “Whoever is a Republican, speak now to be denied entry.”
2. We do not permit the practice of the arcane, nor do we permit those practices which are derivative of the arcane because it is the divine magic of the Saurians, who are the greatest enemies of our ancestors. Whoever is a practitioner of the arcane; speak now to be denied entry.
3. We do not permit the entrance of slaves or slave holders because ownership of men is the delineation of individual responsibility in the name of sloth. Whoever is a slave or slave holder, speak now to be denied entry.
4. We do not permit the entrance of followers of illicit faiths, such as adherents to the teachings of Burglen and Victiana, nor do we permit the entrance of animal worshippers or the Heralds of the Great Leveler. Whoever is a follower of an illicit faith, speak now to be denied entry.
5. We do not permit the entrance of foreign organizations which have been deemed unlawful by the High Abnegators and our sovereign King Hildaris, including the Animan Society, The Brothers of the Sword, The Imperial Cathrapacts, and The Commerce League. Whoever is a member of such organizations, speak now to be denied entry.
All weapons must be peace bonded, and a tariff must be paid for all magical items brought into the country.
After they have entered Caldogar, they will travel through the countryside, noticing a distinct lack of bandits. They will enter the city of Palethos, and arrive at an abandoned manor that Baron Sido will attempt to renovate. In the meantime, he introduces the party to a local agent named Curzo. They will together suggest several places to get started.
Criminals, to provide muscle.
The wizards, who mingle with the nobles in secret opium meetings.
A murderer, named Humboldt the Scarred.
The criminals will offer to gather a crew if the party agrees to help them assault a Peranthian. Afterwards, they will offer to meet them at an old warehouse, where they will be ambushed by the Solid Hand.
The wizards can be found with a gather information check in the noble quarter. They will arrange a nighttime meeting called a “Gathering”. There they will mingle with noblemen who smoke opium profusely.
Having saved Marzo from the clutches of the Solid Hand, and with a captured prisoner in tow, the group now must shift its attention elsewhere.
After the party returns from the Saurian Corridor, they will hear from Curzo that the Queen of Osmirge is coming to Palethos in a few weeks. Sido will be disturbed after hearing of the death of his son, Nontuccio.
The party can choose to broaden their ally base, investigate other claimants to Caldrect power, or attack the Solid Hand Monastery in the mountains.
The party now will deal with wizards and the queen of Osmirge.
To gain the help of the wizards, the party must free their leader Anseguio from court, legally if possible. Anseguio is charged with Saurian worship (or the use or Arcane magic), attempting to bribe a government official, and possession of forbidden texts. If convicted of any of these charges, Anseugio will be executed within minutes of his pronouncement of guilt.
An abnegator serves as the arbiter of the court case, and five randomly selected members of the local Temperance Council are tasked with determining guilt. The court is held outdoors for public viewing, but if there is an execution it will occur in private. Sumurites
The first day of the trial begins with the opening statements of the defense and the prosecution. On the second day, witnesses come forth to present their testimony. On the third day evidence is presented and closing statements are made. On the fourth and final day the jury reveals their verdict and the arbiter determines sentencing.
Borcho the river porter witnessed Anseguio casting a spell. Borcho is capable of recognizing Anseguio’s face.
Sworn Hitaro witnessed Anseguio attempt to pay him seventy-five gold pieces to not arrest him at Anseguio’s home.
Residue from the ingredients Anseguio allegedly used to cast a spell were found at his home and at the scene that Borcho witnessed it took place.
A forbidden volume was found at Anseguio’s residence. The volume is The Hidden Works of Saint Daenita the Redeemer a controversial book that says Saint Daenita used feminine wiles to convince the Kalmar Brothers group of bandits to convert.
To dissuade Queen Imelda from assisting the Peranthians, the party must find out what she stands to gain from helping them. After some gather information checks, they will find out that Queen Imelda wants to bring in marble from the Peranthian owned mines in Caldogar. If Imelda assists the Peranthians, she will reestablish the old marble trade routes between the two nations.
Elephants have been brought in to help Sido’s secret Osmirge force. The factions have arrived in the city and have taken up their quarters. Sido = in Merchant’s Quarter Lords = Noble Quarter Republicans = North Slums, Sumurites = South Slums. Sworn Hitaro has been bluffed by Jerrad into leaking the habitat of a chosen enemy stronghold when the time is right. The republicans are maneuvering their army closer to Palethos. The Orcs are now following a new leader named Rathag who works for the Heralds. The party favors the border lords and Republicans. The Border lords plan to starve the Peranthians by cutting grain production.
Battle has begun. 6:30 left in battle. Renault is dead and Mortinio is complacent. Rathag Sido and Dutalio still remain.
Act Three: The End of Mere Travels
After collecting the pair from Selahin, the party travels to the Lompstone Confederacy en route to Caer Masham. Upon entering the border regions the party will notice the cold weather looming in the upper reaches of the mountains ahead. The party can choose to take the short cut through the cold mountains or take the long road on flatlands and hills.
If they take the route over the mountains they will encounter a stone fortress operated by Lompstone Dwarves. They demand 2000 gold as payment for using their passage. If the party refuses, they will encounter a giant who offers another approach. He will show the party a sage passage around the fortress if the party agrees to help him kill a group of werecats.
After the party arrives in the Plane of Rage, they will be escorted to a barracks where they will meet with other Descendants pressed into service. The first is Albyn, a faithful man from Aldros who has crafted a shrine to Saint Daenita (he speaks Selan).
Kadon = Glass people
The second is Shemish an Uray who is third generation living in Rage. He is adamantly for the code presented by the Empress and he embodies it wholly without revering the Saints. He explains his philosophy to the party and calls it the Code of Repression. It requires hourly meditation, a strict diet, and a steadfast observance of lunar motions (which have an effect on moods.) The purpose of the code is to prevent the loss of oneself to the baser influence of Rage which is omnipresent in the Plane.
The Party will then be ordered into the Ruins, where the sense of familiarity will strengthen (Wisdom check DC 12).
(Encounters: Boalisks, formian warriors)
The party will encounter drawings depicting an ancient history. They depict Giants descending from the sky into a new world. The Giants build monuments to the Sun which shines down upon them. The Giants grow horns and become shorter, which saddens them. After the first two encounters, they will find a chamber with a crystal suspended in mid-air. Whoever comes adjacent to the crystal will be attacked by it, where it subsumes itself into the skull of its victim. The victim then has visions of the following…
You are in a strange place filled with colors and bizarre shapes. With you are four others just like you, they have claws and sharp teeth, but their form seems to be imperceptible, and they are always silent. You join the gang as they travel around their bizarre plane, and they encounter objects but for some reason you know them as ideas and emotions. Each time, they bare their teeth, snarl and then attack, until the object is sundered, and they then drag the object with them. Even you partake in this action when it is your turn, and you do so without any hesitation or self-doubt. After the spoils of the day are assembled into a pile for eating, the others take part but you feel your face beginning to change. You feel a new mouth forming to replace your old and your fangs wither and fall off. With this new mouth you speak your first word to the others “Why?” The others look upon you, and they bare their teeth.
The victim is fatigued from this vision. The crystal seems to be nowhere in sight afterwards. The next chamber depicts the construction of a great building by the horned creatures. The creatures continue to live their lives until a plague of locusts arrives. The creatures enter the great building and they all pray together. The locusts descend upon them as they pray and they are devoured.
The party is travelling to Jatu in hopes of meeting with the Empress, who will theoretically tell the party how to escape from Rage. The city is a heavy bastion with overgrown outside areas filled with the Uray underclass. Inside the city proper, they will notice that only Kadon and purebred Uray are found there. A salesman will offer to sell the group a map of Rage created by the brilliant cartographer Uzurjan.
Upon arriving at the Empress’s supposed castle, they are asked for the information pertinent to the Heralds of the Great Leveler (by a Planewalker creature resembling a crab-human). After receiving the information, the Planewalker will apologize to the party because the information is not important enough for the Empress’s ears. The party will be rewarded with a sum of 8000 gold.
On the way out a group of well-armed Uray will walk into Planewalker’s office. If the party stays around they will overhear the conversation, in which the leader of the militants complains that their last job yielded no fruit and they desperately need new work. Planewalker offers them work that requires them to save civilians from
20gp a month for lawyer.
Bryan’s Return Map Score = 19
Act 4: With What Little Understanding…
The party arrives back in Theonis with a group of approximately 50,000 refugees and counting. The leader of the Theonis military, Lord Marshal Genadius approaches with a combined force of around 1400 and calls upon the leader of the “invasion”. A prominent Uray citizen named Qunoch (profoundly deformed) wishes to speak for the entire civilization, and he is backed by a gang of like-minded people. If the party cannot find a solution to the problem in three days, then Genadius will attack the refugees in full force.
Qunoch’s speech: “I am Qunoch, first Primate of Jatu. Before we came through to this new realm, you trusted me to lead you under the auspices of our now departed Empress. Now, I ask you to trust me again when I say this. We are in a strange land my fellow Uray; it is the home of our ancestors. Forget everything you have built for yourselves in the past; this is a new realm with new obstacles to overcome, and new enemies to defeat. Just as our noble Empress sacrificed herself to save us from the Invaders, we must also make sacrifices to find our place in this world. Beyond us lies an army of ancestors, eager to send us from this realm. Would you allow them to cast you aside merely for the sake of their convenience? Wherever we choose to settle, we will have to fight to preserve it, and to fight we must be united. I ask you to join me in the fight to preserve our way of life, the way of the Uray. Stand tall and let no ancestor order you around, for you are a now a citizen of the Uray Nation!”
After the problem is solved the party will be invited to speak with the High Bishop in the Temple of Saints. The party will explain their story to the High Bishop and his aide (who Lyra recognizes earlier as the crying priest) named Yoachim. Once the party mentions the Travelers and their involvement, the High Bishop will say “This is troubling news indeed” and Yoachim will say “High Bishop we must tell them, they have earned the right to know.” The High Bishop will demand that Yoachim be silent and not say another word.
If the party inquires about the secret, they must make a DC 30 diplomacy check. If they fail, than the High Bishop will say “such knowledge is not meant for those outside of the clergy.” They can then attempt to speak to Yoachim about it later, and the party must succeed a DC 25 diplomacy check. Either way, Yoachim will be discovered by a female assassin and will be killed by a poisoned crossbow bolt. The assassin will say “wait, dispose of me if you must but not before I deliver this message. The High Bishop summons you to speak to him one hour before dawn at the Temple of Saints. You will tell no one what has transpired here until after you speak to His Holiness. If you transgress, than you will fall victim to my Sisters.” The party can choose to let her live or not.
If the parties inquiry is successful or if they answer to the High Bishop’s summon then they will hear the true story of the Pillar of Saints if they agree to take the oath of silence.
After they have given up the search for information or accepted the facts as they are, they will adjourn to the Vindicator Headquarters. There they will meet with the new Grandmaster Appellian of Novenicum. He will inform the party on the progress of restoration and will them that they have visitors, Likus of Madena and an emissary from Imperator Kentsillian.
The party will be asked to find the Rod of Gelnee from the wizard Theitrius. They have accepted the task, but will now be followed around by Sister Dealba to protect the Conclave’s secret.
The search for the Rod begins in Savia, the capital of the Dominion. If the party inquires about the political situation, they will find that the Novenican Senate is preventing the Imperator from engaging in extraterritorial excursions and that Kentsillian believes his armies were pulled out prematurely from Aldros.
The party may start by attempting to locate people important to Theitrius. They will meet with an alchemist named Witaros attempting to transmute metals. Theitrius was a former customer of his and all his orders were delivered to an unseen man named Goodman Herrok. Herrok will speak in a raspy voice through the door, and say that he will not be taking visitors. A DC 20 Bluff check will get the door open.
Herrok is an Eidolon disguised as a leper, and it takes a DC 25 perception check to notice his true nature. He will setup a meeting between the party and a Cusalvoist agent, whether or not he trusts them.
The Cusalvoist is another Eidolon, who meets the party in a one window room. The stranger speaks long enough to determine what the party is doing, and if he determines there is a possibility of foul-intent, then fireballs will be sent into the room. The players will then fight wizards and Eidolons.
After the fight, the party will be warned by messenger that if they continue to search for Theitrius, than they will not live forever.
Goodman Porcotia (Mr. Friendly)
The party is in the town of Mosae ruled by Lord Famarellian, a young ruler whom the party have reason to suspect having ties to Theitrius. The players currently have information about movement of troops into the wilderness to fight bandits, who apparently have been fought away from the vicinity of the town.
The party will have a day to ask around the town for the whereabouts of Theitrius and on the situation of the soldiers in town. Later in the day, a knight will introduce himself to the party as Sir Bereuset. He will at first calmly assuage the concerns of the party and offer to assist them by offering several false leads to Theitrius. If he is insulted in any way, he will show signs of palsy. On the second time around, he will become agitated and rude to the party. If he is insulted once again he will berate the party as being beneath him which may lead to him eventually revealing that he is a Demon Lord named Skathwalla. He may reveal that Theitrius is a wise-pawn to a greater power that will reward him for service while the party members are foolish-pawns to powers that will destroy them arbitrarily. He will also mention their contact with the Demon Avatar Ezzerthurkhan underneath Caer Masham and their attack on Girotz the Beguiler.
3 Fort locations nearby
Red Herrings: Gereymo the Freelander, criminal moneyman, Tiber forbidden text salesman, fishmonger, Saddat the Demon Hunter. Gereymo is leading his force of soldiers in the woods of Novenicum. His army contains three hundred freelanders. Lonesus is an ex-bureaucrat working for the local criminal cartel. If he is harassed, criminal assailants will assault the party. A forbidden text salesman has several volumes in his collection, including “The Hidden Works of Saint Daenita” and “The Protocols of the Elders of Theonis”. The fishmonger named Zeru the Red is rumored to be involved in illicit activities. A group of warrior types is apparently involved in demonic activity. In reality they are led by Saddat, Seiken’s arch nemesis.
Merius- Crime lord
Once Bereuset’s ruse is discovered, the party can then attempt and locate Theitrius camp.
The party has investigated Lonesus and killed Tiber.
Theitrius main camp consists of about 7 magic users and about 60 soldiers, plus 30 more patrolling nearby. The party should be encouraged to turn back and investigate some more.
Lord Famarellian is giving a public announcement through his politician
The Demon Hunters are led by Goret and consist of a few clerics, and they are here to kill a Demon purported to be in this area. They are ad hoc group acting in the absence of the Vindicators, and they complain that there has been a surge of demonic presence in Novenicum since the Vindicators were routed. They also have a formerly possessed woman in their company who tells them her story of a prideful entity trying to manipulate her.
The Freelanders are led by Gereymo, who recognizes some of the party from the previous encounter in Selahin. Gereymo has not had any dealings with the Heralds since they “betrayed” him and thus may be willing to assist in any violent action against them.
Zeru the Red has not been paying his tariffs in full and if Bereuset is mentioned, he will say that he found the man to be a bit odd.
Underling = Cominic
2391 GP in reparations
Before the trial begins, Father Luso will confront the party. He will try to show that a mysterious number of miscarriages have occurred in the last 3 weeks, and that no children have been born in that time. When investigating the home of Madelia the Farmer, they will hear a girlish scream from the barn. There the party will find a dead Hell Hound.
Father Luso will advise that the party not go ahead with the trial, while Sir Bereuset believes in getting “this business” over with as soon as possible so that Lord Famarellian can govern against these incursions. If the players decide to go ahead with the trial, they will encounter signs that suggest one or more members of the tribunal are possessed. On the night before, a Demon Hunter will warn the party of symptoms to watch for: palsy, the odor of sulfur, a leering gaze. The Demon Hunter promises that if the party does not ward out the infestation that the blood of the wicked will fill the streets. “You are like the priest, who heals with faith. I am the like the doctor, who heals with the leech. Either way, the plague will end.” When asked how he will do this, he will say “There exists within Descendants the Chord of Righteousness, which need only be struck by the right player.”
If the party decides not to go ahead with the trial, they will be prompted to search out the leads they had previously acquired. Alternatively, Father Luso will suggest that they scour the Blood Sworn Caves.
Daggosarat: An old clerics tower built 700 years ago. It contains a necromancer-wizard with an army of undead. He will suggest an alliance against Theitrius.
Crooked Teeth: A series of old watch towers overlooking the western pass, built back when the Hobgoblins were a threat to the Amurite Empire. Freelanders may be found here, led by Gereymo the Blue Cape.
Amurite Lighthouse: Built to safeguard lake-based commerce, became irrelevant after lake-based trading ceased in the area. Upon approach, the party can make a DC 25 Perception check. If they succeed, they will notice winged creatures perched atop the lighthouse, surveying the area. Otherwise, the party will approach and be swarmed by a pack of Magaav.
Sir Bereuset was killed by the Party, but Theitrius lives on to perpetuate the Cusalvo Dynasty. The future is grim for Novenicum.
The Assault on Kalana
Once the Gelnee business has been wrapped up, the party will get the opportunity to travel to the Kalana Mountains. After crossing the border, they will find that entire villages have been abandoned. At the city of Madena, they will find that it is mostly empty, with a few Herald Scavengers greeting them with cries of “Volae Infa” (PCs who speak Amurlect will understand that they are saying “Life Everlasting”.) If they search the city, they may run into Heralds and a giant war Golem (colossal size). The players fooled their way through the Heralds, and convinced them that they are to report to the Kalana Complex.
At the Kalana Mountains, they will find a massive work camp. Here is a list of important sites in the Kalana Complex.
Reception: Here, people are brought in and processed, to make the determination about whether or not they will be workers or placed in storage. It is guarded by a dozen soldiers and one Elevated.
Golem Housing: Golems are created and stored here before they travel towards their destinations. If the party chooses to assault it, they will have to fight a Golem.
Worker Housing: The minority of civilian Heralds are present here. It contains around three thousand workers who travel between the barracks and the quarry.
Quarry: This wide expanse is where the Venecium Ore (a highly volatile and magical substance used in much of the Herald’s technology) is mined. The Main Aqueduct feeds into the Quarry, which powers the conversion machines.
Main Aqueduct: This provides water from the Cistern to places all over Kalana. If it is disrupted, many will die of thirst within a few days.
Peripherals: The stored people are kept here. They are heavily guarded to ensure the hibernating peoples’ survival.
Nucleus: The Nucleus houses the Forge, the centralized system that can turn Descendants into Elevated. Here they will find Grandiron guarding the forge, but first they will encounter the leader of the Heralds, Zijadis. Zijadis is a two thousand year old vampire who will argue with the party over the efficacy of the Heralds’ mission. He also has possession of a Godstone, which allows him to communicate with the Overgod. He will offer it to the players so that they may learn of the Overgod’s plans.
The party is now trapped in the Third Peripheral, where Heralds are bearing down upon them. Oxley has interfaced with the Elevated technology, allowing them to disorient the enemy, and escape undetected.
After making their way to the Nexus, the party meets Zijadis, a two-thousand year old vampire who is leading the Heralds. He explains that the world will be destroyed by the Overgod because the Descendants of the Amurites had failed in their duties. He explains that one of his colleagues, a wizard from two thousand years ago, had made the mistake of teleporting inside the Pillar of Sanctity, causing the Amurites to be raptured. He gives the players his Godstone, a device which taps into the Overgod’s mind (meaning that the Overgod could not lie to the players.) The Overgod answers the players’ questions before giving them a command.
The Overgod’s Speech
“You may not be able to understand what I have to say, but if I am to expend energy on communication, it may as well be with those who work in my service. I know you better than you can know me, and so introductions are unnecessary. Please ask any questions you might have so that I may tell you what you must do.”
On animals and the Non-Descendant Races: “They were created by accident after the dawning of the universe, just as everything in your world was. After I ceded my infinity, matter and energy were created, and it has expanded and coalesced into all that is around you. After I created your ancestors, I had to teach them that the animals were less than they were, because they were purely material whereas you have more: a soul.”
On souls: “The soul is the driving force of your creation and is what gives you true life and awareness beyond what a being of your limitations would naturally have. It is a sad thing for you to cede it for power, or to twist it unnaturally. Each of you has a soul which is bound to your bodies closely, more so than the Amurites which preceded you. To make the transformation, I fused your souls more closely, but I left enough detachment between the two pieces so that the connection could be separated if your kind proved to fail as did those before you. Your kind has advanced to the point that they can forge their souls into their bodies just as a blacksmith forges iron and carbon into steel. It is something that none of your predecessors had ever accomplished due to their inferior forms. I take this as evidence that my design is improving, and that my goals may still yet be attainable. However, I cannot allow this forging to take place because your kind is not capable of solving the larger problem. The souls are finite, as they come from me, a finite being. I cannot afford to spare any part of essence merely because some of my creations zealously adhere to their survival instincts.”
On demons: “When the universe was created it began with multiple tiers, or planes. On each one, malevolent entities were forming from the material I had ceded, and they had to be destroyed. As my power was greater than theirs, destroying these primordials proved a simple task. However, my power was too limited to defeat all of them and so the deepest planes which were beyond my reach had survivors. These primordial entities coalesced into stronger beings which proved indestructible by the time I finally reached them. Their domains spread uncontrollably until I developed the Travelers. You met with the Colonist, the entity calling itself Ezzerthurkhan beneath the Fortress of Caer Masham. That entity and others similar to it hail from the deep planes, but it seeks out other planes for which to reside. It is in their nature to expand, subvert and destroy. You also had dealings with the entity calling itself Tarkazor, a pawn to the greater entity which calls itself Skathwalla and before that you met another which calls itself Girotz. That variety of entity seeks to corrupt Descendants, and use the power of your souls harnessed through worship to feed themselves. Their malevolence comes from their plurality. Unlike you, they will never reach infinity because they are incapable of destroying their competition and thus are doomed to expend all the universe’s resources in conflict against each other.”
On Travelers: “They are my servants, designed by me to carry out their tasks with unwavering loyalty, and with built in fail safes to ensure they do not fall. However, unlike you they do not have souls. Rather, they are optimized for power and fortitude and thus they lack the creative potential that you have. I directed them to the place you call the Plane of Rage so that they may convince the entity calling itself the Empress to release its Descendant subjects back to Amuron. I use them to fight the malevolent entities from the deep planes, but they are not powerful enough to eliminate the entities entirely. That will ultimately be your responsibility.”
On Descendants: “They are permutations of the original design. I had hoped that by binding some of the Amurites more closely to their souls that the remainder might develop into a greater species through the use of Descendants as labor.”
On Amurites: “I am a finite being, just as you all are, and thus I am incapable of solving all the problems of the universe. In an attempt to remedy this problem, I have created hundreds of species, including the Amurites. They are greater in design than their progenitors, but they proved ultimately incapable of performing the tasks required of them. Thus, they were recalled and their souls were repurposed so that a new design could be used in their stead. The next generation will be born on a distant planet, elsewhere in the universe so that it will not be tainted by the fallout of previous failed designs before it reaches its xenith. The ultimate design will attain apotheosis, raising them to beyond my level in capacity, and thus will be able to solve the problems I was incapable of solving.”
On the Saints: “You have worshipped ideals of beings which had lived in Amuron. The Saints themselves have been or are being reprocessed into my material. The shift in focus of your worship from me to the Saints has expedited the need for your reprocessing. Your worship has caused the genesis of thus far benign entities which resemble the Saints, however their power continues to grow as they are worshipped by the Descendants. It is inevitable that these Saint entities must be destroyed or else they may turn malignant or be absorbed by malignant entities.”
On Heralds: “They possess a greater understanding of their creative potential than others of their kind. However, they are blinded by their survival instincts and thus would rather seek out more years of life than serve the greater purpose. Using the ingenuity I gave their forefathers, they have found a way to blend their souls and bodies into one, rendering their souls completely unsalvageable in the process. The result is the true harnessing of their soul’s nearly unlimited capacities for life extension, meaning their forms will last for an indefinite amount of time. This harnessing was meant to occur for the first time for the species which was destined to solve my shortcomings. Instead, it has happened to the Heralds, under the direction of the entity calling itself Zijadis.”
On the Leveling/Reclamation: The Heralds call it the Great Leveling, but it is a reclamation of souls from your world, so that they may be repurposed and put into the new design. However, while the souls of the Amurites could mostly be reclaimed without difficulty, the Descendants have fewer degrees of separation between body and soul. To separate the two, a purging must occur, a process which will take eons. During this time, you will suffer immensely until you have forgotten of your bodies. This is necessary to eliminate any impurities which may infect the next design. It is not perfect however, as you may have noticed once you visited the Plane which you call Rage. There you saw the old buildings which you helped build in one of your past lives.”
On the Overgod’s mission to the players: “The entity calling itself Zijadis has led arcane researchers to the creation of a Forge. This device not only enables Descendants to become Elevated, but it also serves as the focal anchor of their existence. If the Forge is destroyed, then the Heralds will lose their capability to create new Elevated, and all of the Descendants stored in the structures which are called Peripherals will die. This is the only way to ensure that no more Souls are expended frivolously, and it will path the way to the complete destruction and reclamation of your species.”
Zijadis explains that after two thousand years of searching, they believe that their plans for world domination were the only way to preserve humanity and all of the cultural progress which has been obtained. The Overgod does not see humanity’s progress as valuable, and so the Heralds believe the Overgod is a malevolent entity that is incapable of recognizing humanity for its greatness. However, the Heralds must change themselves to the Elevated, a type of creature which is beyond humanity (similar to the Warforged of D&D.)
The dilemma the players face is one between faith and humanity, and they must decide on their own if they joined the Vindicator order to preserve life or to serve the Overgod, because it is uncertain whether the Heralds or the Overgod is best suited to saving the Universe.
The players chose to side with the Heralds of the Great Leveler, allowing them to conquer the world and save some of the populace from the Overgod’s destruction. The players decided that their humanity was more important than their faith, and their decision may have complications in the long run. The future is uncertain, but it is known that the Elevated Heralds will attempt to stem the tide of the growing demonic presence, and that the Overgod will create a species that is even more advanced than the Amurties, and that they will be placed on a distant world.
<hidden> Alternatively, if the players had searched for Saint Sophenia, they would have discovered that she was the last surviving Amurite. Her ascension to the top of the Pillar of Sanctity would prove to the Overgod that the Amurite’s were capable of existing beyond the Overgod’s reach, changing the Overgod’s mind about destroying the people of Amuron. A new religion centered on Saint Sophenia would be created, and the Overgod would disassemble himself to serve as a magical power source for the Descendants (allowing for the creation of Super-Clerics with 9+ spell casting, among other things.)