Eliode: The Strophean Chronicle

The Dwarven Front: Part 1
Heading into the hills

The party begin their journey into the mines.

Settling for their first night at one of the mining communities, they hear how this close to the home land there are no problems with the goblins.

Another days travel sees their first encounter with a small bunch of goblins which pose little to no threat.

The road ahead has been blocked by an avelanche and between them the skills they apply clear the rocks without mishap.

As the trail leads through a lush valley the party are set upon by spiders. During a fierce battle Tabba Silverside is brought close to falling unconscious but they finish the spiders off.

At the end of the valley a waterfall a warlock magic circle and a mysterious cavern await their further investigations.

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System Change
Will the home brew systems death allow for a smooth transition..?

Ok so my attempts to adapt the OtE system to a fantasy setting didn't run smooth.

While the home brew game was very cinematic and a good deal of fun, I was having a nightmare managing to keep the npc and threat stats balanced and invariably everything seemed underpowered.

There's been enough interest in 4th Ed for me to run off to my FLGS (Eclectic Games in Reading) and pick up copies of the core rules and Keep on the Shadowfell. With plans for Si and I to run a D7D game between us in the near to mid future it seemed a wise investment… but it also begged the question – What about Eliode? Would that work as 4th?

Well in and around last nights game we discussed and investigated the potential, some had their doubts but I've spent £100 on the books and in the end that kind of upfront reasoning buys you the deciding vote. TBH I think we can have an even better game with D&D

There will be some problems…

The open ended magic system the home brew has allowed will be stifled by the structured powers and spells list. As such we've worked a story element that explains the sudden drop and throttle in Onza's magical prowess. Its not perfect but lets see if Iain wants to play a wizard, warlock or the Spell Sword class from the Forgotten Realms players hand book (hmmm more expenditure)

Tabba's nothing like a standard core playable race, but low and behold the Monster Manual gives easy bolt on rules for playing such a character. While his extreme strength will again be capped a little we should be able to put a build together that keeps the character going the same places Rich had in mind.
Hmm the slightly secret elements of Hannah's character Lily took me into the early hours but we've found a build and a story development that I think still gives her plenty of the same reveals later in game. Still look forward to splitting the party :)

Arwen's Tattoo abilities and the loss or animal companions for Rangers is another issue, we're looking at making a new Daily power for some of this, and maybe a ritual-like ability, though some of his story development may need a home brew prestige class… or whatever they are called now.

The items of power that the party has picked up include Hessian, the Gloves of Grace and the Obsidian Mirror. I may just have to accept that at a low level they have simply been very lucky and gained access to some things a tad out of their power level… but let's see how the characters are built before I judge how to deal with this.

Finally then – Expanding the party with one more player. It's agreed that Lee is the current best candidate, though I will need to ensure he can make it alternate Wednesdays.

And why do I write more here than in the story overviews… Because I want the players to come in and add details about the actual sessions. Where as I thought I needed to open all this up for discussion and further feedback.
 
Cheers  – Mike

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Market Day
A brief interlude before beginning "The Dwarven Front"

Lily, Arwen and Tabba shop in the market, marginally concerned when Vo’epheous Onza fails to turn up as arranged.

Redforges town crier calls out the news -

"Treaty with neighboring Palanquas, Human nations to fight alongside  Dwarves.

Portia Clark still at large – Murder suspect missing, any information on her whereabouts should be brought to the watch house.

Marcus Hattman by royal commission to raise an armed division – able bodied men to apply at the barracks office.

Lare numbers of fey sighted along south coast.

By order of the Magewright of Redforge will the following people please report to the watch house – Lily Williams, Tabba Silverback, Arwen Skinner."

Onza  has been pulled up to face a trail – accused by the magewright of "Excessive magic use within the city limits", and suspicion of being a "Rogue Wizard".

Onza's counsel, Peter Clark. gathers witnesses and character references that speak out and give testimony that he hasn't turned rogue but Magewright Collins still slaps a hex on Onza restraining his magical powers. (This is an in game explanation for the upcoming change in magic system.)

The Dwarven Front – Prelude

Signing up with Kurtis Tenfold, Palanquin merchant, the party make final preparations for an extended journey into the mountains.

Joining the caravan, twelve goods carts each with a driver, two heavy supply carts, 19 armed militia, the four party members and Kurtis himself head out west towards Bedford and the southern mountain pass.

On the outskirts of the farmland a family of grizzly bears meets the convoy, Arwen has the soldiers stand down and with the others soon makes easy work of dispatching the two parents, taking the young adult buck as a animal companion.

On reaching Bedford the caravan rests and Arwen and Bear stroll into the woods to forage, Kurtis sells the last few items from his recent trip to Mazurka and declares that they will strike out for the pass in the morning.

 

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The Fallen Temple of Darkness: Part 4
Escaping from the temple

The party now faced the task of escaping through the temple, facing all the horrors remaining.

The first stage of the their offensive was to set up a defensible position in the chapel, opening the door and dealing with the shadow hounds as they poured in. Using the holy light from the orb to manage the number of hounds in the room at any one time, Vo’epheous Onza established a large trapping spell that would ensnare the shadow hounds.

Using this tactic they were able to clear enough space in the next chamber and then fought their way to the upper level. Room by room they fought their way back to the entrance chamber. Keeping the fiends at bay until the last of them returned to the upper level.

Staging an explosion using the holy orb to ignite a barrel of pitch, they cleared the chamber beneath them of the assembled shadow fiends, then returned to clear out the last few surviving minions of the evil deity that had despoiled the temple.

Leaving the sewers the four friends and their patron returned to their lodgings to rest. Only stopping off at the temple of light to thank them for their assistance and to have the obsidian hand mirror looked at.

 

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Flashback 1: Apprehend Bandits
Shortly before the campaign begins the heroes tackle a bandit attack

Portia, Lilly, Tabba and Arwen are called together by Collette to intercept some of the city's criminal element. Auntie has overheard Lazz Duerkin plotting to hit a coach. Tabba checks with Robert at the coach inn and finds out the Hatmann family are due to return to town in the next day or so.

Heading out with a hope they can stop the attack or at least help the four friends arrive as the thugs are attacking the coach.

Leaping into combat the party subdue the thugs and rescue the guards but are too late to save the passengers.

The Hatmann name belongs to an influential family with many responsibilities in town. When the bodies are handed over in Redforge the party finds out that there are papers on the gent's body. These papers indicate a royal decree that Palanquas and Strophea are forming a treaty to assist the Dwarves against the Goblins.

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The Fallen Temple of Darkness - Part 3
Descent into darkness

Sewers are bad

The party tools up and heads down into the sewers. Exploring the filth drenched depths they face hazards and skirmish with a nest of rats, but eventually find the blood stream that was mentioned in Mayor Roper's notes and following it find an exit back to the streets.

Given the opportunity to return to the surface and clean up and heal wounds they retreat, and once clean and patched up they return to the town house on High Crescent to inform Lady Sanja. She joins them now dressed in dark black bindings still as shrouded but now without the finery. With the two elves in tow she joins them as they return and enter the temple.

 

Race Through the Temple

With the map in hand and a source of holy light the party progress quickly through the temple facing only minor resistance.

Reaching the lowest chamber they face a desiccated figure wrapped in dark shadows. A fierce combat against this creature eventually ends in victory.

The players locate the prophecy scroll for Lady Sanja and prepare to head out of the temple.

At the doorway shadow hounds gather ready to tear apart anyone trying to leave.

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The Fallen Temple of Darkness - Part 2
Investigations continue

Further Suspicions

 

Both Mayor Wellard Roper and Lady Sanja came under suspicion during the murder investigation. Even though they were cleared of the crime in question there were details that came to light that bare further research.

Why did the Mayor object so strongly to the research done by Rufus? Why is Lady Sanja so interested in the temple beneath the city? Are either of them hiding some other secret?

The party decides the mayor is further connected to this and may have put Portia up to the killing and so they opt to break into his office and his home to find if there are any indicators of further involvement. They also hope to get a look inside the town house rented by Lady Sanja.

 

The Municiple Building

Onza's magic puts the guards on the rear entrance to sleep, Lilly and he slip inside and start to scout out the building. They find his office without trouble and begin to search for further clues. Nothing out of the ordinary come to light but some attention is paid to the large portrait of his deceased wife hanging on the wall.

When Tabba Silverside and Arwen follow them into the room the minotaur manages to turn the portrait over revealing the back of the frame. Here a smooth solid slab of obsidian dark glass reflects back the light from the candles in the room.

This strange feature is the only odd thing about the room. And after a little more searching the building the four friends leave.

 

The Mayor's Mansion

Breaking into the mansion, Arwen and Lilly find a shrine hidden in the abandoned cellar. Artifacts at the shrine include a statuette of a blind beggar, another slab of obsidian, a leather strap with puncture marks running along it, an incense burner and a foot operated fan. Also stuffed into the side of a chair Arwen finds notes in the mayors hand writing indicating a pact with the dark god, and a sketched map of the ruined temple.

By the time they get out of the mansion morning is coming and so there is no time to visit Sanja's town house. Though they got away without being caught the streets are uncommonly busy with guards. It would appear Portia has managed to escape from the cells and the guards are trying to find where she has gone. Lilly mentions that there is reason to believe Portia would go after Lady Sanja and admits letting slip that Rufus had been working for the mysterious lady may have been a mistake.

 

The Town House

After a moment to examine their findings at Murrymugs the friends decide to simply take what they know to Lady Sanja and potentially interigate her to find out what she knows.

While Onza prepares to visit the Hattman soul breaking ritual in the town's dead land, the other three continue to High Crescent.

Greeted at the gate by town guards and then led inside they meet the silent elves. Then Sanja joins them, and discussions begin. They discover her interests lead to her reading a lost scroll that will settle scholastic debate about a prophecy. That it has been her life's work to locate and collate all the pages of this prophecy and this page should bring great revelations.

She requests that if in their investigations they discover a way to enter the temple that they include her and the elves in any attempt to explore the abandoned ruin.

Arwen warns that she should be aware the Mayor has a vested interest in the temple as well, and Sanja admits she is aware the Mayor knows more than he is letting on.

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The Fallen Temple of Darkness - Part 1
Death in the books

Back Cover – Introduction

A murderous betrayal drives recently reunited child hood friends to uncover a twenty year old secret. A secret so enticing that reclusive Elven scholars have crossed a continent to unearth the legacy hidden under the sewers of Redforge.


The players must discover why the master librarian was killed, and further still learn why his research was so dangerous that the town itself would be threatened if he had been allowed to locate the Fallen Temple of Darkness.

 

Introductory Meeting

The players warm up their in-character muscles by meeting in an inn.

Tabba works as bouncer and bar man at the Fair Harvest inn.

Lily Williams and Vo’epheous Onza arrive with Portia (a friend who I had presented as a pick up PC who could be treated as party cleric if any players came in unexpectadly).  

Arwen Skinner comes in a little later, and instantly occupies the bath room.

Portia is usually a quiet and self conscious girl, pretty but not confident enough to make any more of her looks. But tonight she seems to have found a new strength and actively pursues Arwen on whom she has had a long running crush.

The others discuss their recent encounters and this drives them to pick up on the plot elements that have been seeded.

From these discussions the group decide to investigate the murder the next morning, and each returns to their own abode. Lilly in her mourning has drunk herself into a state and Arwen and Portia walk her home. Portia then gets walked home by Arwen and she invites him up stairs.

 

The Scene of the Crime

While Tabba and Arwen Skinner create a distraction Onza and Lilly revisit the crime scene. Here Onza uses his sorcery to strengthen Lilly's recall and puts her back in the memory of finding the dead body. He connects with this mental scene and the two of them explore the room in her mind.

The murder weapon, a letter opener has been discarded on the floor. The blood spillage forms a pool on the desk but there is a large rectangular gap where something has been removed.

Further evidence draws their suspicions and lead them to an unfortunate realization.

Suspicions

At first rumors about a disagreement between the Mayor and the Master Librarian casts the players attentions to the mayor's office.

Other suspicions rest on the patronage of Lady Sanja.

Finally enough evidence is gathered to implicate Portia; the murder weapon was her office letter opener, and a motivation is discovered when it turns out the Rufus' research was leading to the discovery of a temple dedicated to the evil god of the dark night. Portia herself is a advocate of the god of light and it is believed she struck out to deny anyone access to the temple of evil.

 

Citizen's Arrest

They find the missing book in the chapel of light, and when Portia is confronted she confesses in front of a priest of her faith. They question her and ask why she killed Rufus – "because his research was dangerous he was looking for an evil place." – They point out he was researching on behalf of Lady Sanja and that it was not to reopen the temple. But she is not repentant.

Portia is handed over to the city guards and the heroes retire for the night.

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Pre-Session Story Lines
Before playing each character got a brief intro story...

Arwen Skinner – Woodsman/Ranger

Returning from a hunting trip Arwen over hears voices quarrelling in rhyme. These voices belong to various members of the fey. For some reason a large detachment of varying wee folk are migrating south.

 

Content Not Found: lilly – Junior Librarian/Rogue

Lilly has been working at the library transcribing religious studies and pantheon legacies into new tomes. This works are on loan from a mysterious golden robed visiting lady. In exchange this Lady Sanja has had the head librarian working to research some local history. On the morning before the campaign begins Lilly finds the head librarian dead at his desk – murdered.

 

Tabba Silverside – Minotaur Butcher/Warrior

Tabba has been working on a shipment of meats which is being transported to the dwarven front. In the midst of the work being done his father brings two elves into the building. The sight of elves away from their home land is enough of a rarity that that night in the inn the minotaur, himself an oddity, shares his story of elves and discovers the two elves have been spotted elsewhere in town poking their noses into odd places. 

 

Vo’epheous Onza – Swordsman/Wizard 

Returning from the university institute high in the mountains north of Strophea Onza is travelling with a bereaved  brother and sister when the coach shakes with a sudden impact. On investigation the wizard finds a veritable stampede of all sizes of fey rushing from the north heading south. When the crazyness subsides the coach continues, at the next coach house his story of the strange incident and his minor wounds receive some attention.

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