Monday, April 9, 2012

Of Recent Adventures in the World of Samoth


I’ve continued to run my World of Samoth campaign in the past few months, and it’s interesting because I just looked back at my past blog posts about it, and the last time that I blogged about “the last session” we played was back in September of 2011.  In that post, I was actually talking about a session that had happened two months prior, in July.  So, this post is going to be a little bit length because it’s actually recapping three different sessions. 

What Has Come Before

The group of adventurers was in the middle of a pretty wicked combat with a horde of undead, including a spell-weaver lich and a bunch of modified “Sons of Kyuss” that I stole from one of the “Age of Worms” adventure paths in a Dungeon magazine I own.  I hate statting up NPCs and monsters using 3.x/Pathfinder, so I mainly do my best to raid my old collection of Dungeon magazines and nab encounters out of them to use in my games.  I don’t even bother doing the conversion from 3.5 to Pathfinder – it’s just not worth it and my players don’t know the difference. 

For a brief paragraph explaining each character, you can see this post.

Anyway, my players, and their associated characters, had gotten themselves into a quandary. Through a combination of extremely poor planning (or was it laziness?) and the dreaded clock signaling that the session was to end in about 30 minutes hanging over them, the group descended into a narrow, 5’ diameter well, one at a time, without prepping any buff spells.  They sent the unarmored cleric/sorcerer down first because he has a staff that radiates daylight as per the spell.

Upon dropping into the room, the cleric/sorcerer (Jeremi) was immediately beset upon by a large group of powerful undead and was nearly incapacitated before the next character, a holy warrior (Sombra), dropped into the room behind him and also found himself surrounded with the odds very much against him.  By the time the other two characters, a paladin/sorcerer (Sameer) and a monk (Shao), finally descended into the room, the situation was looking grim.  The cleric/sorcerer and holy warrior had been knocked unconscious, and although the paladin/sorcerer used some minor healing spells to resuscitate them, through a bad miscommunication, the monk had left the room using his abundant step ability, thinking that the paladin/sorcerer was right behind him.

That’s where we left off back in July of 2011, and sadly, due to work and family commitments, our group wasn’t able to get back together to resolve this combat and continue our adventurers until March, just a few weeks ago!

The Group Reconvenes

Picking back up, we’ve had two sessions in March and our next session is planned for April 29th.  It promises to be a big one based on what happened last time.  A quick recap:

17th of Ebupell, 504 D.E. (for a calendar of the World of Samoth, see here), Free City of Ryn

With Jeremi and Sombra raised to consciousness via the minor magical healing of Sameer, things might have been looking up for the adventurers but for the disappearance of Shao, the mysterious Eastern monk who had just recently joined their company.  Shao had fled at the first sign of adversity and it didn’t look like he’d be coming back to help.  Drawing upon his arcane sorcery, Jeremi summoned a wall of force to divide the undead foes, and Sameer and Sombra rushed into the horde, felling many of the foul creatures.  As suddenly as he had disappeared, Shao returned, seeming to step out of nothingness to engage in hand-to-hand combat with the undead lich leader.  With superhuman speed, Shao dispatched all of the lich’s mirror images and then succeeded in taking down the lich itself using a power he calls ki.  The remaining undead were destroyed, and the Company returned to the headquarters of the Ishari Lier to speak with the undead elven guardian who had sent them on their mission.  He had been busy translating the journal of their former comrade, Usoruhihn, and had discovered that Uso had joined the Company specifically with the hope of being able to find seven ancient artifacts he was trying to collect for some unknown purpose.  He noted in his journal that most of the world’s major religions utilized the number “seven” as a common motif and many in fact even mentioned seven powerful artifacts, but in each instance, the list of artifacts was different.  Uso believed that he had “cracked the code” and knew which artifacts to recover, and even suggested in his notes that at least one, if not two, of the artifacts were in the possession of the Company without their knowledge. 

Uso’s Discoveries of Ancient Secrets

Uso’s other notes involved discovery of the “folds in space” which seemed to connect different planes of existence and allow other dimensions to manifest themselves on this planet (a concept that the elven lich translated the journal had difficulty explaining because he had no context for how to explain this discovery), as well as notes about the “six original sisters” who seemingly were the progenitors of the elven race and the mothers of the six types of pureblood elves.  Further investigation had revealed that the “proto-elves” had also seemed responsible for the creation of all of the other humanoid races of the world, which had acted as a form of slave-labor for the ancient fae elves. 

With this information, the Company left to plot their next move.

18th of Epubell, 504 D.E., Free City of Ryn

Jeremi attended the Basilica of Hallowed Tolnan, the largest Ætonist cathedral he had ever seen in his life.  He had heard rumors that the old Pontifex Rex had died and a new one had been elected.  Entering the church in his Illumination garb, he was saluted and treated with the proper amount of respect and fear by the guards outside the Basilica.  Gazing in wonder at the inhumanly high ceilings and the majesty of marble, gold, and platinum adorning the place of worship, Jeremi was met by Archcleric Elek Rigatos, who had received a note from a messenger from the West addressed to Jeremi.  The Archcleric mentioned that many similar notes had been given to him in the event that he should encounter traveling members of the faith. 

Jeremi Receives News Concerning His Former Mentor and the Company Leaves for the West

The note informed Jeremi that his old mentor, Cristobal Arino, had been elected to office of Pontifex Rex after the death of the previous leader, and that his coronation was imminent.  It served as an official invitation for Jeremi to return home to witness the coronation, along with his companions, or failing that, to return as soon as possible to pay his respects to his former teacher.  The note mentioned that, as a member of the Illumination, Jeremi could command the Archcleric to secure the services of a ship to bring him and his comrades back to Esoría.

19th of Epubell through the 13th of Saarh, 504 D.E., at sea

The Company boarded the Esorían ship Represalia (Reprisal), which turned out to be a slaving ship owned by the vile Radillar family, with whom many members of the Company had had dealings before in one manner or another.  While on board, an argument broke out between Jeremi and Sameer regarding the status of the slaves and what should be done about them.  Jeremi argued that they were serving a “greater purpose” and that the slaves should be left to their fate, as attempting to free them could draw the attention of the authorities.  Sameer argued for setting the slaves free and killing their captors.  In the end, the Company used some of the riches they had plundered in Ryn to buy the slaves.  Jeremi intended to later set them free after going through the proper channels, so as not to arouse suspicion. 

14th of Saarh, 504 D.E., Barríd, Esoría

The Company landed in the port of Barríd, where Jeremi had spent much time in the past, and immediately secured wagons and horses to make the trek to the Holy City of Arile, the home of Universal Ætonism.

21st of Saarh, 504 D.E., Arile, Esoría

The Company Splits and Jeremi Confronts His Former Mentor

The Company approach the outskirts of the walled fortress city of Arile, and parted ways, as Sameer has a severe distaste for the bureaucracy and bigotry of the Ætonist church. Sombra chose also to stay outside the city walls, fearing that the bounty on his head could get him into trouble.  Lastly, Shao, although curious about this famous city of the West, debated whether to accompany Jeremi.  Later, without telling anyone, he snuck into the city, seemingly undetected.

Meanwhile, Jeremi rode into town and went immediately to the main Cathedral, which looked like it had been built in an attempt to mirror the majesty of the Basilica of Hallowed Tolnan in Ryn, but which fell just short of the mark.  The Most Holy Cathedral of Dor, First Among Hallowed Patrons was a magnificent structure, but many suspected that Arino would be making changes upon taking power in order to improve its grandeur. 

Jeremi was escorted into the main receiving area, where the newly crowned Pontifex Rex, Cristobal Arino, sat on a raised dais at least 15 feet above the floor, draped in exotic and rare furs, and bejeweled in all manner of rings, necklaces, and broaches. 

During his audience with the new Pontifex Rex Arino, Jeremi was questioned as to how many souls he had recently converted to the faith as well as how many heretics he had rooted out and destroyed.  After seemingly verbally sparring with Jeremi, but with an obvious boredom and an air of anxiousness about him, Arino finally announced that Jeremi was a heretic under Ætonist Law and was under arrest.  As a minor official read the list of charges, which included consorting with heretics, blasphemy, using arcane magic, lying to a superior in the church, and fomenting revolt against church doctrine (among other charges), a group of Illlumination Guards surrounded Jeremi.  He was clearly out-numbered.  Arino nearly begged Jeremi to resist just so he could destroy him, but later announced that there would be a public trial "for show" - Jeremi had already been found guilty.  As Jeremi pondered his next steps, the troops moved in to disarm him, and Jeremi glanced up near Arino's throne on the high dais, and saw to his amazement a few of the evil artifacts he had seen before in his adventures.  Interestingly, many of the artifacts had been in the Banevault back in Verundhi the last time he had seen them.  Arino had sent Jeremi there to seal up the Banevault, constructed by the Pre-Ætonist prophet Danar in a long-forgotten age, to prevent any of the evil artifacts from falling into the wrong hands. Or... had he?

While this was happening, Shao noticed a tail following him throughout the city. 

Next Time in the World of Samoth

That’s where we left off… I’m so curious to see what’s going to happen at the next session.  How will Jeremi answer the charges against him?  Will Shao be able to shake the tail that’s following him?  Will Sombra and Sameer realize that Jeremi has been gone far too long and attempt to sneak into the city to save him?  

Hanging: Home Office (laptop)
Drinking: Tap water. Planning on a 2007 Fess Parker Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir with dinner.
Listening: "Some Day My Prince Will Come" by Miles Davis

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