Ghosts of Fallen Stars (Iron Gods)

The Defense of Torch
Session 40-41 (June/20/2018, June/27/2018)


In-Game Date: 4711, Sarenith 23 to Erastus 7

Things Done

A small downtime of nearly 10 days came and the PCs attended personal matters. In it, they received very important news from Zellara regarding the origin of Hellion’s magic. Then they were ambushed by Red Mantis assassins sent from Starfall. Daemer also had to fight a bounty hunter who was sent after him.
After this downtime, a small army came all the way from Starfall to put a stop on the nascent rebellion occurring in Torch. Tactical warfare ensued and the PCs defeated the small army with their own units that they have been recruiting and training for some time.

Events
  • More Mysteries About Hellion: Zellara appeared after a long time gone. She stated that Pharasma revealed to her the nature of Hellion‘s magic after the Torch Bearers captured a portion of it. The magic turned out to be divine in essence. A strange thing, since Hellion didn’t figure as a true deity or demigod. According to Zellara, we was more like a mysterious entity, made of electrical impulses without a traditional body. But there was more. Pharasma analyzed the sample and found that it had the same “imprint” as the dead god Aroden‘s magic. So, Hellion’s divine magic is the same as Aroden’s. How Hellion managed to get such magic is unknown.
    Zellara explained more who Aroden was and then asked the PCs an important favor. As Saruk once said: “I only know that Hellion once spoke about his father being in Silver Mount. And also that he could get even more divinity within Silver Mount, to rule the world, just like his father taught him”. It is possible for more of Aroden’s magic to be within Silver Mount. Zellara mentioned, in the name of Pharasma, that if the PCs have a chance to enter Silver Mount, they should search for any fragment of Aroden’s essence. If they find it, they should use the Harrow Deck to contain the magic and Zellara will appear to take it from there. The Torch Bearers would literally be saving the world because of this. So they agreed although still somewhat puzzled as to what all of this could mean.
  • The Red Mantis Strike Again: One afternoon as the sun was about to set and the Torch Bearers patrolled the streets of Torch, a group of three Red Mantis assassins appeared to kill them. They fought from roofs and some closed-in towards the PCs. Then an elven woman appeared and called Daemer by full name, claiming to be a distant relative and to know more of his family. She called Daemer to follow her trough an alleyway where they could flank the Red Mantises. But Daemer was suspicious and didn’t follow, so the woman approached and stabbed him. The woman kept attacking Daemer, even casting darkness to gain advantage in the alleys, until Daemer was near death. But the rest of the PCs helped Daemer after they killed the other Red Mantises. One of them was interrogated and he confirmed to be sent by Starfall and also told that he didn’t know the elven woman.
    Daemer, on the other hand, found a note in the woman’s body that read: “You won’t find Daemer in Torch for the next days. He just left for Hajoth Hakados, accompanied by four more. Though he will probably return to Torch afterwards. Send my next payment to Torch’s Boarding House.” Daemer decided to investigate this.
  • The War: During the day of Erastus 6, a group of hunters arrived to Torch to warn about an incoming small army, a couple of hours away from Torch. In their own words, there were like 100 persons, possibly 200, and they were bringing catapults and metal men. The military leaders of Torch, the Torch Bearers, assembled the militia (and other units sent from Scrapwall) that they have been training for many weeks. They also hid some civilians in the underground Nebula starship and evacuated others. And then the clash commenced.
    Enemy catapults launched boulders against Torch’s walls and commander Daemer attempted to destroy them with Torch’s own catapults, but directing catapults were not his forte. The northern walls were breached and enemy units poured in, bent on raiding and destroying Torch. Ratfolk trappers commanded by Clarence put traps in several places while Torch’s militia commanded by Daemer kept hammering the enemy.
    Unfortunately, Torch’s Guildhouse was destroyed as gearsmen units trashed the place and enemy catapults rained several boulders on the Guildhouse. Meanwhile, on the western Riverside district of Torch, Steel Hawk ambushers commanded by Gorim stopped the Starfall mercenaries pouring in before they could wreck Torch’s Garrison. In the end, the remaining forces of Starfall went south to destroy the Town Hall, and they almost did, but Torch’s remaining units managed to vanquish the remaining gearsmen and technomages. The battle was over and war with Starfall official began.
  • Praise by the Ghost Wolves!: A group of Ghost Wolves scout was traveling the area, following the marching Starfall army from afar, and thus witnessed the battle. When Torch was victorious, these scouts shouted from outside the town’s wall, in Hallit: “Good battle. Great victory! If you want an alliance with us, send your best warriors to our lands”. And they walked away.
  • A Final Interrogation: The Torch Bearers interrogated a few captured soldiers and learned that the small army was sent from Starfall to quell any rebellious forces in Torch, destroy key places that would weaken the town, and re-establish the fear of Starfall. They also told more of Silver Mount: how the area was an adventuring place were many went missing before the Technic League banned access to the place except for their own expeditions.
Mysteries and Loose Ends (some more important than others)

1. What could mean what Zellara said regarding Hellion or Aroden? Could it be possible that when Aroden died, he left some of his magic in the world, which Hellion somehow captured? How this happened? Could there be more of this divine essence in Silver Mount?

Awards

XP:
For session 40, 2,200 xp were granted to Clarence, Daemer, Gorim, and Remiliano. For session 41, 3,000 were given to Clarence and Gorim and 2,250 was given to Daemer because he had to leave amid session.

Treasure:
Useful loot that they got from the Red Mantises and the elf assassin: keen vicious falcata, +1 enhanced studded leather armor, potion of Cure Wounds + 8 (4d6 + 8), +1 enhanced studded leather armor with mask of the mantis, (x2) studded leather armor with mask of the mantis.

GM Commentaries

The first session was a varied one, not so intense, which combined role-play, combat, and some tactical warfare in the form of a minigame. As always, these kind of sessions offer a calmer pace after intense sessions like those two of ambushing the convoy.
The second session continued the wargame and was a test-run of the tactical warfare game that we will run when the PCs invade Starfall.

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The Grandiose Ambush of a Technic League Convoy
Session 38-39 (May/30/2018, June/6/2018)


In-Game Date: 4711, Sarenith 23 to Erastus 6

Things Done

Preparations for ambushing a Technic League convoy were continued. Then the PCs attacked the convoy in a brutal and grand battle, resulting in victory and returning to Torch with plenty of money for their war against Starfall.

Events
  • Preparations: The Torch Bearers continued their plan for attacking a Technic League convoy. They planned certain actions, advantages, and bought some items. Then they departed to the area where the caravan was supposed to pass. They saw some scouts ahead, detecting ambushers, but they hid thanks to magic (Clarence used invisibility plus illusions to mask their scent against dogs). Without these scouts finding them, the PCs had a much better chance to ambush the convoy in a suitable spot.
  • The Battle Commences: They spotted the Technic League convoy coming near a stream and surprise-attacked them while they were crossing the stream, rendering their wagons stuck in it and making the League agents slow to reach the PCs. With a combination of magic, ranged attacks, and magic items, they dealt considerable damage. For the next minutes, attacks were exchanged; the convoy using laser pistols and grenades. The Torch Bearers managed to kill several agents and destroyed some gearsmen.
    Meanwhile, the PCs spotted a band of Ghost Wolves barbarians with their dire wolf atop a nearby hill, observing the combat, their purpose unknown.
  • The Challenge Rises: Fearing for their lives, the convoy upped up the ante. They were transporting a chimera pet and guardian inside one wagon, so they let it out to attack. Also, the convoy leader, lieutenant Zaitev, took out a rocket launcher and fired one at the PCs. The blast was serious and Clarence almost died again. The situation got really dire for the Torch Bearers.
  • Overturning the Odds: But the PCs overturned the odds thanks to their careful planning, for they had hid two charges of cylex near the stream. Clarence used his telekinesis to get one charge closer to the convoy… and Remiliano detonated it. The blast was so immense that it blew two wagons, killed several agents and gearsmen, and Remiliano blew up more horses! The chimera and the remaining robots were destroyed. Zaitev launched another rocket at the PCs and this prompted them to use Clarence’s magic to teleport to Zaitev and beat him dead.
  • A Tornado!: But not all danger was gone. While fighting Zaitev, a tornado formed nearby and headed towards the caravan! They hurried up in destroying Zaitev and gathering the wagons to drive them fast out of the tornado’s path. But Remiliano miraculously conjured a smaller lesser tornado and clashed it against the big one, debilitating the latter and changing its course. Such a great feat of might bought them more time and more victory.
  • The Ghost Wolves Pursue: The last problem came when the nearby Ghost Wolves decided to pursue the convoy, now in the hands of the Torch Bearers, apparently to raid it. But the drivers that the PCs hired managed to outrun the Ghost Wolves and thus they headed towards Torch. Capturing the convoy wasn’t easy, but they managed it, and now the PCs have a better chance of striking at Starfall and changing the politics of Numeria.
Mysteries and Loose Ends (some more important than others)

Nothing new at the moment.

Awards

XP:
This intense adventure netted the PCs these experience points: 5,000 to Daemer, Gorim, and Remiliano. 4,200 to Clarence (he missed the session 38 but his character was used so he got 50% out of it). 3,800 to Ezekiel because he was only present during half of the session on both sessions (so, 75% each).

Treasure:
Some special items that they got from the caravan were: Cardioamp, Trauma Pack, Inferno Grenade, Signal Booster, Commset, Nanite Canister x3, Battery x10, veemod goggles (white), amulet of health +1, timeworn stun gun.
The rest of mundane items were given to the units of their growing army.
Also, gold and jewelry stolen from the caravan are going to be used for the war efforts.
Finally, I discounted money from items bought (potions, feather tokens, etc) and discounted the cylex too.

GM Commentaries

These were two rather-intense sessions; this recap doesn’t do any justice to the adventure. I wasn’t pulling any punches. Yet with your preparations and ideas, you were able to defeat what could be the second-most harder adventure so far (the first could be all the fight against Hellion and his minions).
So yeah, the sessions were awesome. And the way you defeated the tornado was the most insane manner I could have imagined.

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From Demons to Unwelcome Visitors
Session 37 (May/23/2018)


In-Game Date: 4711, Sarenith 18 to Sarenith 23

Things Done

Having successfully defended Castle Urion, the PCs negotiated some things with Caroliss, discovered new mysteries, and then departed to Torch to find that Technic League tax collectors came to town. The PCs fought them in an open and hostile declaration of war. Then they investigated some intel that a League convoy was going to pass nearby soon and planned to ambush it.

Events
  • Aftermath of the Demonic Invasion of Castle Urion: After the blood pool ritual components were destroyed and Clarence began closing the portals, the knights eliminated the remaining demons. Everyone in the castle regrouped to count casualties, tend the wounded, burn demon corpses, etc. Messengers were quickly dispatched to Mendev to warn of this demon incursion. The Torch Bearers then learned a lot of information from an interrogation of the captured spy and a private audience with Caroliss.
  • Interrogation of the League Spy: The Torch Bearers and Osric (on behalf of Caroliss), interrogated the Technic League spy in a castle tower. After manipulative interactions (where Osric tossed the ball of negotiating to the PCs), they learned that the Technic League suspects that the Urion knights are hiding a technological artifact in their castle and the spy was searching it. Nothing else was learned from the spy and as soon as Osric debriefed the information to Caroliss, she ordered for the man to be imprisoned in the castle (even when the PCs promised him freedom; but Caroliss was the real authority there).
  • Audience with Caroliss: Then the commander of the knights summoned the PCs to her office where she asked for total transparency regarding the PCs’ plans. In exchange, she pledged Sarenite troops to their cause (the knights themselves couldn’t join the war because of a neutrality oath sworn and their mission against the demons). But she also made a request: that if the PCs ever went to Silver Mount, that they search for an item called a ‘Godar backup’ that the knights need. Sensing some confusion, Caroliss unveiled a big surprise.
  • The Godar Device: Caroliss, with Portia and Augustus, took the Torch Bearers to the castle dungeon where she showed a spherical device that when activated, conjured a holographic projection of a face. Named Godar, the device could speak for itself and thus it and the knights gave a lot of information:
    • The knights of Urion managed to find such secret device three years ago when they were exploring the area south of the Scar of the Spider. They named it the “warp-plotter”, an eight-inches-diameter sphere of glaucite and horacalcum with grooves filled with violet light. The device displayed a holographic face and began to speak with them. Via magic and skill, the knights learned its Androffan language and managed to know a lot more of the device.
    • Turns out that the “warp-plotter” device has a simple AI called Godar who describes itself as a ‘wormhole navigational scanner’. Godar was in charge of aiding in plotting the wormholes created by the starship Divinity’s engines, before this starship crashed into Numeria and became the so-called Silver Mount. The knights of Urion studied it and now want to re-purpose it for tracking in advance dimensional anomalies caused by demonic teleportation. The scanner currently has a range of only a few hundred feet because it is slightly damaged, but if fully repaired, it can track teleporting creatures and objects across hundreds of miles. The device let the knights know that it needed something called a ‘Godar backup’ and that is what Caroliss asked the PCs to retrieve if they ever went to Silver Mount.
    • However, there is more. The device and Godar once were linked to another device called the Divinity Drive (located inside the Divinity starship) and, to some extent, Unity – which Godar disclosed to be a superior artificial intelligence. When the Divinity starship crashed, Godar sensed a source of energy underground that it never sensed before, but resembled the substrate of dimensions. Godar also sensed that its superior, Unity, changed dramatically in terms of “nature”. Unity was no longer code and energy but also held something which Unity later called “divine magic”.
    • Godar couldn’t remain longer in the Divinity, for when a female android fled the starship, one of the devices she brought with her was the sphere with Godar inside. She traveled with the device but she later gave the sphere to a robot companion she managed to reprogram. The robot took the device south, on a journey to Absalom, but was destroyed somewhere north of Castle Urion, before the knights discovered it.
  • Clarence’s Sentient Sword: The Godar device and limited AI also said something remarkable: that it detected, inside the room with the PCs and the knights, “low levels of the unknown energy detected before in the Divinity”. It said this while pointing a light towards Clarence. Portia and Augustus strongly suspected something and decided to explain more to Clarence, although Caroliss reminded them that what they were about to speak is taboo.
    On one hand, according to Godar, when the Divinity (Silver Mount) starship crashed, Godar sensed a source of energy underground that it never sensed before, but resembled the ‘substrate of dimensions’. Godar also sensed that its superior, an artificial intelligence known as Unity, changed dramatically in terms of “nature”. Unity was no longer code and energy but also held something which Unity later called “divine magic”. On the other hand, Augustus told more about his studies and concluded that Clarence’s sword (sentient too, according to Clarence) was dipped with Arazni’s blood in the 39th century (when Knights of Ozem went to Geb) and Godar detected an “unknown energy”, which could possibly be energy belonging to Arazni or Aroden himself. And Godar detected that same energy found underground in the Divinity. This led these knights to think that there are more fragments of this energy, or “divine magic” as Unity called it, and it could be possible that these energies are actually fragments of Aroden’s energy. Portia and Augustus then explained who they really are: they are a rogue group of Iomedaen knights now secretly called the “Omen Seekers”, who are traveling Numeria to prove the theory that Aroden could have left fragments of his essence scattered all over the world. Clarence’s sword, its energy, and the same energy found in the Divinity could be an indication of it.
    Finally, after all this long explanation, the Knights of Omen asked Clarence to seek within the Divinity if there is more of that energy and try to retrieve it for them. They also told Clarence they could join the knights after that mission. As a token of gratitude for everything, Augustus held a religious ceremony in the name of Aroden to ‘unlock’ the potential of Clarence’s sentient sword, imbued with the essence of either Arazni or Aroden. This was successful and now his sword has more power.
  • Back to Torch: With all the business concluded in Castle Urion, the PCs teleported back to Torch to continue their war efforts. The town council told them that they learned some intel that a Technic League convoy was probably going to pass near Torch in the coming days.
  • Warm Welcome to the Tax Collectors: Hours later, a few citizens of Torch alerted the Torch Bearers that several task collectors from Starfall were about to reach Torch to demand their taxes. The Torch Bearers were not going to allow this and, as military leaders of the town, decided that it was time to openly declare war to the Technic League. So they setup an ambush in the town’s market, killing a few tax collectors and capturing others including two gearsmen. As usual, an interrogation followed.
  • Scouting for Another Ambush: The Torch Bearers, having learned of an incoming Technic League convoy passing near Torch, decided to scout the likely route for a good place to setup an ambush. They also did some alterations to the surrounding landscape to facilitate the ambush.
Mysteries and Loose Ends (some more important than others)

1. So many revelations! To begin with, what is the ‘Divinity Drive’ device to which Godar was linked and is aboard the Divinity starship (also known as Silver Mount)?
2. What was the strange energy that Godar detected underground when the Divinity starship crashed into Numeria?
3. What is the strange energy that Godar detected in Clarence?
4. Who was the android that fled Divinity (Silver Mount) with the Godar device?

Awards

XP:
1,400 xp to Daemer, Gorim, and Remiliano. 700 xp to Ezekiel. An extra 200 xp to Remiliano for good role-play with Caroliss.

Treasure:

  • Caroliss gave 3,000 gp to Gorim and Remiliano.
  • Clarence got a special reward for his sword.
  • The captured Technic League agents that came to Torch had this significant gear: timeworn laser pistol (5,000 gp), 10 silverdisks

Misc
The Torch Bearers also earned 35 more ‘build points’ to use towards their war efforts. With them, they can build more units, fortify Torch, and more.

GM Commentaries

This was one of those ‘small sessions’ that often follow an intense adventure. The session started with role-play and interactions with NPCs (Remiliano’s player did a good job at role-playing). Several revelations and further mysteries were found. Then I threw a bit of combat to spice things up. Overall, satisfied with the session.

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The Demonic Invasion of Castle Urion (Part II)
Session 36 (May/16/2018)


In-Game Date: 4711, Sarenith 18

Things Done

The battle against the demons went more intense as the Urion knights and the PCs held back the line and fought back, with a glabrezu captain appearing to instill more chaos and fear. Meanwhile, Clarence kept chasing the suspected Technic League spy and disabled him. Then the PCs discovered that the portals used by the demons to enter the Castle were opened by a series of ritual components placed all over the castle. They had to search for three remaining ritual places and deactivate them.

Events
  • Fallen Cultist Interrogated: The castle commander Caroliss ordered for anyone to fetch the cultist who fell from the griffon, in order to interrogate him. The cultist told that he sided with a demon-worshiping cult since he chose the strongest side to win the Mendevian crusades. But because he felt a bit of empathy towards the knights, he disclosed that he and his comrade placed several blood pools used for rituals all over the castle that would trigger portals in intervals, and the demons could circumvent the castle’s magical wards and teleport. Then the cultist killed himself.
  • Fighting Back the Demonic Invasion: As the battle raged on, more demons appeared including the leader of this invasion, a fearsome glabrezu. Caroliss, Osric, Portia, and the PCs fought them in a bloody battle where Caroliss almost lost her life. In the end, the glabrezu was killed by their combined efforts and Marlow Bramblefoot finished the glabrezu. But another portal also opened outside the castle to the east with more demons appearing.
  • Clarence and the Technic League Spy: Meanwhile, Clarence chased the suspected Technic League spy through the castle corridors, until Clarence cornered him and the two fought, with Clarence winning with magic and knocking him unconscious. With this finished, Clarence joined the counterattack against the demons.
  • Dispelling the Portals: As most of the knights and Gorim fought the demons, Remiliano departed to seek the hidden ritual components that opened demon portals. He first found one blood pool in a stable and, failing to deactivate the ritual, he decided to disturb and destroy the ritual. This unleashed a magical backlash that killed two horses, including Gorim’s horse! Then, Remiliano told Ezekiel to seek another portal in a chapel. Unable to find it, Ezekiel overturned the entire chapel’s furniture until the hidden blood pool was destroyed and exploded.
    Remiliano learned of the last remaining ritual blood pool from some servants, and it was located in the western granary and chicken coop. Sensing that it was about to activate a portal, Remiliano ran towards it and cast an electrical blast inside the building that destroyed the last ritual pool. However, he didn’t dare to enter the place, for he knew he just made a chicken massacre.
    Finally, Clarence arrived to the courtyard and saw the portal that was still opened in the air, 100 feet from the ground. Sensing an urge coming from his sword, and remembering the words that Osric told him, he tried to use his sword to close the portal. So he cast telekinesis and lifted the sword in the air towards the portal. Then he concentrated his magic on the sword and the portal, and it closed! The Torch Bearers and the knights were ready to close all the remaining portals.
Mysteries and Loose Ends (some more important than others)

1. Why there was a Technic League spy in the Castle?

Awards

XP:
2,800 xp to Clarence, Gorim, and Remiliano. An extra 200 xp goes to Clarence for being creative when closing the portal in the air. An extra +2 xp goes to Remiliano for the two horses he accidentally killed, and +1 xp for all the chickens that he accidentally killed (don’t ask).

Misc
+1 replenished Conviction to Clarence, Gorim, and Remiliano, because this was such a good and challenging session that you all managed very well.

GM Commentaries

Another great session. The combat was intense but mostly because of the urgency and rush of having to find all portal-opening ritual components before they activated more portals. Every player did a great job!

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The Demonic Invasion of Castle Urion (Part I)
Session 35 (May/9/2018)


In-Game Date: 4711, Desnus 31 to Sarenith 18

Things Done

The Torch Bearers continued their ascension up the underground deep well in Chesed, being pursued by macabre kytons bent on kidnapping them. Through cooperation, they managed to escape such dungeon with Velesk alive, who pledged support in the PCs’ war against the Technic League. With this mission completed, the PCs journeyed towards Castle Urion to see how they could help in the war. But after an afternoon of introductions and talks, the PCs were caught in the middle of a demonic invasion of the castle.

Events
  • Climbing to Safety: The Torch Bearers kept rappelling up the deep well under Chesed to escape the kyton jailers who wanted to kidnap them and the prisoners they rescued. Through well-done climbing attempts, cooperation, attacks towards the kytons, and the useful teleportation magic of Clarence, they safely reached the top with Velesk (except Daemer, who fell all the way down to the bottom water). Unfortunately, the prisoners Proktur and Carpio were kidnapped too to the Plane of Shadows, probably to be tortured until they too become kytons. After all the rest climbed to safety, the kytons vanished. The PCs and Velesk were able to exit the dungeon.
  • Pledge of Allegiance: Velesk, still scared and shocked from the encounter with the kytons, lamented the loss of his fellow prisoners but vowed with even more strength to eliminate the Technic League. He went to his old shop and house to gather his supplies, and then told the Torch Bearers that he was going to contact and assemble his old comrades (rebels in Chesed) to join the PCs’ army in Torch. But he also said that he was not going to stay in Chesed. The PCs thus decided to offer a safe haven for him in Scrapwall, in the hands of Redtooth, now that Scrapwall was safer thanks to the PCs’ efforts.
  • Back to Torch: The Torch Bearers departed Chesed to deliver Velesk to Redtooth and then they continued to Torch. There, they attended some personal matters and war efforts.
  • Journey to Castle Urion: For a long time, Clarence has been curious about what a Urion crusader named Osric told him about his sword and about visiting Castle Urion to learn more. For this reason, and to search how the Urion knights could help in their war, the Torch Bearers made a journey to Castle Urion in the southwest of Numeria. The trip took nine days during which they passed near the Dagger River, the Gorum Pots (geysers and hot pools), the Marstol farming village, and the site of the Rosewar. They reached the Castle but discovered that they were not welcomed.
  • Castle of Paranoid Knights: The PCs found that the Urion knights were not accepting visitors and were turning them away. Osric eventually spotted Clarence and let him and his companions inside. Then they were introduced to Caroliss Mineran, the leader of the knights, who exchanged some introductory words and invited them to a banquet that evening.
    Osric took them to the chapel to pray for Iomedae and revealed that the knights are paranoid because they suspect that the Technic League and/or demon cultists have infiltrated them. The PCs learned more of the situation and then were taken to some guests quarters.
  • The Banquet: At night, the Torch Bearers went to a banquet in the Castle, where they saw different personalities: crusaders and recruits, sarenites, Osric, Portia (leader of a group of knights of Ozem), and even Marlow Bramblefoot (who was securing contracts with the knights). They were all discussing recent problems in Mendev. Osric presented a man named Augustus to Clarence, who examined his sword and saw that it belonged to the knights of Ozem, but from the 39th century! (the present century is 48th). Also, the Torch Bearers tried to spot any possible spy in the banquet and got highly suspicious of a crusader who might be a Technic League agent.
  • The Demonic Invasion Begins: Just when they were going to confront the possible spy, some knight burst into the dining hall to announce that demons appeared to the north. Caroliss saw them through a window and immediately ordered everyone to take arms and defend the Castle. Knights and Lucky Bastards mercenaries went outside armed as Caroliss kept rallying troops.
    Then two men (demon cultists) appeared in the courtyard, mounted on a griffon, but one of them was shot and fell. The other used a ritual to open a portal in the air, and more demons appeared in the courtyard near the PCs. An intense battle was imminent.
Mysteries and Loose Ends (some more important than others)

1. Again, what relation could the kytons have (if any) with the Technic League or the whole plot so far?
2. What is really going on in Castle Urion?
3. So, Clarence’s sword belonged to the Knights of Ozem from the 39th century. What else could be learned of it?

Awards

XP:
820 xp to Clarence, Daemer, Gorim, and Remiliano. Ezekiel played half the session so he gets 615 XP.

Treasure
Velesk gave some treasure to the PCs as further gestures of gratitude for saving his life:

  • Javelin of Lightning (1500 gp)
  • Potion of Cure Sickness (900 gp)
  • Potion of Haste (600 gp)
  • Scroll of Teleport (1600 gp).
GM Commentaries

This was another good session with a good dose of intense moments, combat, and roleplaying. It was also nice to revisit Scrapwall. Keep up the good work, players!

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A Macabre Jailbreak in Chesed
Session 34 (May/2/2018)


In-Game Date: 4711, Desnus 31

Things Done

The PCs ‘rappelled’ and descended a deep well in the dungeon below Chesed, encountering afterwards a strange prison, with only a handful of prisoners and zero guards. They explored the prison and then went with the prisoners up the deep well. But suddenly, tenebrous horrors known as kytons appeared to collect the prisoners, and a persecution followed.

Events
  • Descending the Deep Well: The exploration of the underground tunnels below Chesed continued. Using ropes and the help of their comrades, the PCs rappelled down a deep well of 100 feet without problems. Gorim and Remiliano decided to descend differently and jumped into the pit (Gorim holding Remiliano), using a ‘harrow card’ in midair to alter reality and fall slowly. Once in the flooded bottom, they saw a pathway to another area of the dungeon: a desolate, abandoned, and eerie prison.
  • The Merry Gang of Prisoners: In the ancient prison, illuminated by glowing fungus, the Torch Bearers found several prisoners in the tunnels, which were ‘camping out’ and butchering a darkmantle for food. The prisoners introduced themselves. Proktur, a dwarf, was the first of the group to be thrown 4 days ago into the pit by Technic League agents. Then a middle-aged woman named Alina was thrown, followed by a weird man named Carpio and then Velesk (the possible leader of the Chesed rebels, who was imprisoned in the Technic League offices for almost 2 months before being thrown here). They have explored the dungeon but haven’t found another exit.
  • Lord Farmer: The PCs also discovered a crazy man named Lord Farmer, who was in the prison before Proktur. He scarily rambled about horrors, corpses, chains, torture, pain, shadows, and more, apparently saying that something was going to come for the prisoners.
    The PCs continued exploring other corridors, killing more darkmantles, but they never found another exit, so they decided to climb up the deep well and backtrack their way.
  • Jailbreak against the Kyton Jailers: When the Torch Bearers and the rescued prisoners were about to exit the prison, horrendous kytons appeared to collect the prisoners. They entangled Lord Farmer and Alina with their chains and vanished away with them. Ezekiel, really afraid of the kytons, knew that the prisoners were taken to the Plane of Shadows, for he comes from there and has seen these horrors and their macabre deeds in such plane.
    They fought the kytons for a while but realized that they were too strong and started to flee via the well. While they were escaping, Remiliano said prayers to Zon-Kuthon in an attempt to gain safety from the kytons; this obviously didn’t work, but the kytons got a special interest for him. Then the PCs climbed the well using their ropes and the kytons followed them, prompting them for a ‘vertical’ battle while they rappelled.
Mysteries and Loose Ends (some more important than others)

1. Who was Lord Farmer really? He was in the prison before the rest and saw the kytons first.
2. Why the kytons appeared there to collect prisoners? Since the Technic League was throwing prisoners in that well, do they know about the kytons?

Awards

XP:
1,200 XP for Clarence, Daemer, Gorim, and Remiliano. Ezekiel was absent for the entire session but his character was used, so he gets 250 XP.

Treasure

  • Boots of Striding and Springing
GM Commentaries

I liked this session because it had a mixture of exploration, role-play with the prisoners and Lord Farmer, combat with the kytons, and a dire situation where skill checks are much needed.

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From Androids to Missing Rebels
Session 33 (April/25/2018)


In-Game Date: 4711, Desnus 21 to Desnus 31

Things Done

The PCs came out of the Blacksun starship ruins with their goals accomplished and negotiated and talked more with Samrak. They witnessed the recovery of Valaris and learned more of Casandra. Then they went back to Torch to handle a few errands and continued their journeys towards Chesed, to establish contact with rebel groups there. They entered a dungeon hoping to find more.

Events
  • Aftermath of the Blacksun: Once they emerged successfully from the Blacksun, the following occurred for the Torch Bearers:
    • They were brought to Samrak for debriefing. Samrak ordered a contingent of androids to enter the ruins, confirm their success in neutralizing menaces, and bring back the “thought harvester” robot.
    • Then the Torch Bearers were treated as guests for four days while the android scientists finished researching how to bring back Valaris from her comma. During this time, they experienced more the communal living and feeling of camaraderie of the androids. They also spoke with Meyanda about more things, including negotiations for participating in Torch’s war.
    • The Torch Bearers and the androids gather together in a laboratory for awakening Valaris. They use a reprogrammer “though harvester” robot to facilitate the process of eliminating her comma and bringing her memories back. Then Valaris awakened, recognizing the Torch Bearers but asking where she was, all while a flood of old memories came to her head.
    • Valaris then remembers and speaks about a lot of things. First, she spoke of how Konir was not her true father, although she felt extremely thankful for being her adoptive father. She also remembered her android nature and her story with Unity and the mysterious person named Casandra (see below).
    • But when the PCs decide to head back to Torch, Samrak ordered their capture: nobody was leaving his enclave, much less with vital knowledge of it. But then Remiliano convinced Meyanda to intercede, and she advocated for the PCs’ resourcefulness in combating Unity and saving Numeria. Samrak let them go and apologized for his outburst. Then everyone involved discussed more things for the war against the Technic League and Unity, and Samrak delivered some treasure and knowledge. He explained the memory facets that the PCs have gotten and their purpose (to modify artificial intelligences). Gorim also took the opportunity to erase some fragments of Hellion‘s programming that were ’stuck’ in his robot companion’s software.
    • In the end, Valaris decided to stay among her kin, the androids, and all of them suggested the PCs to seek out Casandra in the ‘Scar of the Spider’ valley if they want to know more of Unity.
  • Casandra and Valaris’ Story: As Valaris told once she was re-awakened, she and Casandra were android friends that met almost six decades ago. To read more about their story together, see this page about Casandra.
  • Back to Torch: With Clarence’s teleportation magic, the Torch Bearers returned to Torch the next day. They stayed for 1 day there, during which Dolga and Seranna warned them that the Technic League might come to collect taxes during the next month of Sarenith. They usually send small groups (the big group that came with the big robot apparently was big because they came to capture Konir). Joram also told them that he brought to town a rare and great magic item known as an Arcane Anvil.
  • Onwards to Chesed: The Torch Bearers then departed to Chesed once more, this time with the intention of securing the help of the rumored Chesed rebels. When they arrive to the metropolis, they see an altercation between slavers and some freedom fighters led by a man named Lucas. The freedom fighters were trying to unchain some Tymon slaves and hide them in the city for an hour (accoring to Chesed law, if slaves are not registered within an hour, they become free men). Guards, Technic League hirelings, and some gearsmen repelled the freedom fighters and they had to flee.
    The PCs pursued Lucas and talked with him about finding the Chesed rebels and their leader, Velesk. Lucas told them to seek his alchemist shop and also to look around the tanneries.
  • Chesed Underground: Looking around for Velesk, the Torch Bearers found some clues that pointed out that Velesk was exploring a dungeon below Chesed. So they gathered supplies and went there, travelling through many dark tunnels and stairs. Eventually they found a deep well, measuring 50 feet in diameter and around 100 feet deep. They decided to climb down using ropes, to search for Velesk.
Mysteries and Loose Ends (some more important than others)

1. What else can be learned of Casandra? Especially in relation to Unity, the Technic League, and Numeria.
2. What is the purpose or function of the second ‘memory facet’ crystal that they found inside the Blacksun ruins?

Awards

XP:
500 XP for Clarence, Gorim, Remiliano, and Ezekiel. Daemer was absent for the entire session but his character was used, so he gets 250 XP. Note that for this session, I was not very strict with the usual XP award rules and assistance.

Treasure
Most of the items they accumulated during their exploration of the Blacksun were returned to them, except for some futuristic armor and a signal jammer.

Misc:

  • +1 replenished Conviction point to Clarence, Daemer, Ezekiel, Gorim, and Remiliano.
  • The Torch Bearers also earned 35 more ‘build points’ to use towards their war efforts (the first points were not written in any session recap). With them, they can build more units, fortify Torch, and more.
GM Commentaries

This session happened after another canceled session, again for technical reasons (power went out). The session contained mostly long role-play scenes, and then a bit of investigation. It had a slow pace, but was a bit of a break after four sessions exploring a big dungeon.

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Do Androids Dream of Digital Prophets? (Part IV)
Session 32 (April/11/2018)


In-Game Date: 4711, Desnus 19 to Desnus 21

Things Done

The PCs finished their last goal in the Blacksun starship ruins: to shut-down the EMP fields so that the enclave androids could enter. Gorim died during a battle with pesky spider-like monstrosities, but Clarence teleported with him to Torch for resurrection. Then a couple of days later, they returned to Samrak’s Haven to continue the mission in the Blacksun. They fought a strange intelligent ooze and accessed the ship’s bridge computers, learning more of it and disabling the EMP fields.

Events
  • Death of Gorim: The spider-like monsters in the cold, oxygen-void room continued their relentless attack on the Torch Bearers until they were able to kill Gorim with their infectious volleys of shrapnels. Everyone fell back, taking Gorim out of the place, and were confused as to what to do next.
  • Expedited Resurrection: Clarence then suggested to teleport back to Torch where they could seek Joram or Divanya‘s help in resurrecting Gorim. He disappeared alone, taking Gorim’s body with him. Then after a few hours of preparing rituals and gathering expensive components, Joram was able to revive Gorim with the help of Brigh. Clarence and Gorim teleported back to Samrak’s Haven, something that surprised the androids who did not accepted it positively.
  • Return to the Blacksun: After two days of resting from their first ordeal in the Blacksun, the Torch Bearers descended once again to the cold level of the control bridge. There they found a strange blob who spoke to them telepathically: apparently an unknown intelligent ooze. It explained how it has been captive for centuries in stasis pods of the starship, awaiting to go outside.
    But when Remiliano told it that they wanted to use the bridge’s computers, it refused and insisted that they were broken. Gorim suspected otherwise and began to work with the computers, contrary to what the ooze’s said. But the ooze got desperate and angry, and attacked the Torch Bearers with strange force attacks and gooey slams that drained their intelligence. With enough attacks, they destroyed the ooze.
  • Blacksun’s Computer Holograms: The Torch Bearers continued working with the computers and found several interesting holograms in them. One was a map of the Blacksun starship and the other was a diagram of the interstellar convoy. There were also some partially-corrupted logs that spoke of the fate of the convoy and the Blacksun. The PCs learned more of the whole mystery of the starships.
    Finally, among these records, the PCs found a command to disable the EMP fields, and their final mission in the Blacksun was complete.
Mysteries and Loose Ends (some more important than others)

1. What were those spider-like monsters and the bizarre blob that could speak?
2. The “Dominion of the Black” was mentioned again, this time in the ship’s logs. What it could be?
3. What really happened to the Divinity and its interstellar convoy that crashed in Numeria?

Awards

XP:
1,600 XP for Clarence, Daemer, Gorim, and Remiliano.
Important: Gorim died but was resurrected. This gave him 1 ‘negative level’ (which imposes a –1 penalty on all checks). This negative level goes away when he acquires an “amount of XP equal to: the minimum amount of XP for reaching the next level minus the minimum amount of XP needed for the current level.” This calculation at the current level 8 means that Gorim needs to gain 8,000 XP for the penalty to go away.

Treasure

  • Accumulated treasure: In this session they accumulated: an ornate expensive-looking shortsword, 100 silverdisks (worth 10gp each), a sealed metal box (red card access).
    While not a treasure, we must account that Gorim had to spend 5,000gp on his resurrection.

Misc:
+1 replenished Conviction point to Gorim for forum role-play.

GM Commentaries

This is another session where we started late (40 minutes). That made the session be shorter and it got slow anyway. So I decided to skip a whole level of the Blacksun dungeon (level 4). It was really dragging along after four sessions, in part because of several delays but also because I made it quite long and strenuous. So cutting it short was a better decision.
In general, I’m mildly satisfied with the whole dungeon. There were cool or interesting moments, some nice challenges, but there were some long and slow parts.
Regardless, let’s try to be on time for the game.

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Do Androids Dream of Digital Prophets? (Part III)
Session 31 (March/28/2018)


In-Game Date: 4711, Desnus 19

Things Done

The Torch Bearers continued exploring level 3 (Research Labs) of the Blacksun starship ruins. They found the robot that Samrak told them to seek within the mnemonics lab, and captured it, not without having to fight a long and strenuous battle first. They explored the rest of the level 3 and moved to level 1 (Bridge and Datacenter) to try to disable the EMP fields. But they were ambushed.

Events
  • Memory Harvest: As Samrak predicted, the Torch Bearers discovered a unique robot in the Blacksun’s Mnemonics Laboratory that was capable of extracting memories from people. The robot, alarmed, attacked them and a long battle followed where the robot grappled and clawed at Gorim several times and also deal considerable damage to Clarence and Ezekiel. The robot was resilient too, withstanding many attacks.
    At some moments, the robot injected two pointed cables into several Torch Bearers and invaded their minds. At last, it was successful with Daemer, and extracted memories that would help it answers some questions it pronounced: “Are you here to destroy Unity? Did the Divinity commanders sent you? Did the Dominion of the Black sent you? What are you doing here? Why do you want to take me? Who is Valaris?”
    But the Torch Bearers disabled the robot with EMP blasts as planned, ready to carry it later. They also extracted some data from the computers in the room.
  • Further Exploration: The Torch Bearers also explored the rest of level 3, visiting other laboratories, collapsed offices, a storage room with another inactive mannequin robot, and a genetics lab where they found toxic gas made of specimens that decomposed centuries ago, and a hole leading to some place below.
  • A Cold and Void Space: Finishing with this level, the Torch Bearers went to level 1 (Bridge and Datacenter) to try to disable the EMP fields. For some reason, the level was devoid of warmth and oxygen, making it very perilous to stay for long. The Torch Bearers entered a computer room and where ambushed by bizarre ‘spiders’ made of both organic and metallic materials.
Mysteries and Loose Ends (some more important than others)

1. The robot in the Mnemonics lab said something about the “Dominion of the Black”. What could it be?
2. What relationship could be among Unity, the Divinity mothership, and that “Dominion of the Black”?

Awards

XP:
2,020 XP to Clarence, Gorim, and Remiliano (even when Clarence’s player arrived a bit late, I’m awarding 100% of the XP here because he is making quite the effort to attend). 1,010 XP are given to Daemer and Ezekiel because they didn’t attend but their characters were anyway used.

Treasure

  • Accumulated treasure: In this session they accumulated: metal boots, futuristic armor, flare gun, signal jammer, and a mechanical bird with two circular chips. They also obtained another memory facet crystal (this one is yellow; the previous one was blue).
GM Commentaries

That was one of those sessions where I feel that we didn’t do much. Due to some glitches and problems (including with myself) we started late and also had interruptions. Plus the combat with the robot was quite long and lasted two hours.

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Do Androids Dream of Digital Prophets? (Part II)
Session 30 (March/21/2018)


In-Game Date: 4711, Desnus 19

Things Done

After battling two rogue robots, the Torch Bearers explored more areas of the Blacksun starship ruins. They found interesting things and dealt with even more menaces, such as a room haunted by ghosts of dead androids and a nanite cloud bent on ‘dismantling’ them. They also made their way through several research laboratories, manipulating the gravity to clear obstacles.

Events
  • Battling the Robots: The battle that the Torch Bearers had with two malfunctioning medical robots was tough with quite a lot of damage. Gorim sustained the most damage from the ‘torturer’ robot’s many saws and needles. Yet their special aide Ezekiel beat the robot really hard with his punches.
  • The Crew Barracks and a Sad Tale: Exploring the rest of the rooms in this level, they found what were the crew’s barracks, discovering some technological items to loot, a damaged stasis pod that was leaking some radiation, and fragments of the personal log of some crew member, which read: I can’t believe, I can’t accept, that after a year of exploration, this grand voyage across the stars will end in a calamity. We were severely crippled in an ambush by unknown forces and Unity couldn’t handle it, and now it’s broken. My family back in my home of Androffa will not see me again. I promised my own daughter that I would be there to take her by the hand and walk her into her first school. And that I would also be there to take her back home. But now she will be alone, without her dad, which she loved the most
  • A Haunting of Ghost Androids: The Torch Bearers then entered an elevator and descended to level 3: the research labs (level 4 was inaccessible). They discovered a device that could manipulate the gravity in some rooms. They also entered a dark, creepy room where the ghosts of three androids assaulted the PCs and suffocated them for a while. They rushed fast past this room.
  • First Gravity Puzzle: Ezekiel rushed with Daemer towards one research laboratory and immediately fell and hit the ceiling. This is how they discovered that the gravity in this big laboratory was reversed. With the device they found earlier, they controlled the gravity and made it normal. However, there was a big pile of rocks blocking the way ahead, so the Torch Bearers invented a way to clear them. They suspended the gravity, making the rocks float a little, and then pushed a heavy console/machinery towards the rocks, hitting them like billiard balls and clearing a path.
  • Second Gravity Puzzle: They entered a second research laboratory, where the door ahead was nonoperational. The only way forward was via a duct 25 feet above the floor. But the walls of the room were coated with a ceramic-like, polished, white material and climbing them was extremely difficult. To make matters worse, a cloud of thousands of nanites appeared in the room, surrounding the Torch Bearers (especially Ezekiel) in a storm of microscopic slashes and punctures, injecting them with debilitating chemicals. The Torch Bearers hurried and suspended the gravity again to be able to float towards the duct. But they already sustained a lot of damage; Ezekiel was much debilitated than before. They continued their way forward to more rooms of the starship ruins.
Mysteries and Loose Ends (some more important than others)

1. No new mysteries in this session.

Awards

XP:
1,380 for Gorim and Remiliano. Remiliano takes an additional 200 XP for figuring out how to resolve the first gravity puzzle. Clarence and Ezekiel, who were present for half the session, get 75% of XP (1,035). Daemer’s player was absent but we still used his character for the whole session, so he gets 50% of XP (690).

Treasure

  • Accumulated treasure: In this session they accumulated: +1 enhanced corrosive light crossbow, 3 nanite canisters, 6 batteries, 1 chemalyzer, 1 radiation detector, 1 camera, a green access card for the Blacksun.
GM Commentaries

This was a good session. We started at the right time and thus wasted no time. The session had a good mixture of things: high-damage combat, exploration, traps/hazards, and puzzles using different gravity scenarios. I liked how everything unfolded, especially the combats (although bad rolls made Remiliano perform poorly, but good rolls made Ezekiel shine). The exploration of level 3 was well done, even when you guys were very paranoid and thus marched slowly, but that was part of the purpose of this level. Also, how you dealt with the gravity puzzles was good.

However, I want to give two pieces of advice to my players. First, combat and hazards greatly depleted hps and resources. Although you have been playing well, I advise to maintain caution as there are more dangers and damage ahead.

The second advice is that you should remember to throw more checks of Perception, Stealth, and Investigation, especially this last skill before leaving a room. There is loot and clues in this dungeon that you have overlooked and only because you are forgetting to throw proper routine checks. I know that you have paid attention to those details before, but for this dungeon you keep forgetting.

Overall, I’m very satisfied with this session and of course, with my players.

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