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FR - PF1 - Corruption Spreads

Page history last edited by Jon Goranson 3 months, 3 weeks ago

Corruption Spreads 

 

November 9, 2020

 

The group catches its breath.  Kydri is defeated.  They still don't know what that means.  Did they cleanse him?  Or did they destroy him?  

 

They take a breather and discuss what to do.  There is the corruption they saw on their way here.  Do they check to see if more has come back?  Do they head back to Nesme?  Back to Silverymoon?  

 

After discussing it, they decide to head back to check on the corruption and then to Silverymoon.  As Drewgan activates the rod to transport them, it's almost as if it is alive.  Sylvanus or a piece of him asks him to check on some corruption and Drewgan agrees, letting the nature god pick their destination.  They appear in a forested area.  To the south, they see trees that are purple.  As most trees aren't purple, this worries them. They head over there to see what is happening.  

 

A voice tells them to leave.  It is their area, the matron has them guarding the entrance and the area.  They try and learn more as a dragon reveals itself to them.  It's not a typical dragon.  No real wings and it sinuously slithers toward them.  It tries to convince them with words to leave and then pushes a compulsion at them.  It doesn't work and only pisses Raz off, who attacks.  

 

When it was only the one dragon, maybe three horses long, they were fine.  Then another dragon of similar size appeared but where the first one was crimson and beige, this new one was green and teal.  It also tried to convince them to leave.  The huge green dragon that appeared was worrying.  The fourth dragon was just extra.  It was as large as the green and had some kind of poison in its bite.  Volhoric didn't like it.  Marcus slammed a feeblemind into it and while it didn't use other abilities, it still attacked out of instinct!  

 

Raz gave as good as he got until he was overwhelmed.  At one point, three dragons attacked and he held on for thirty heartbeats, which was about twenty six, maybe twenty seven, more than Marcus thinks he could have done!  Dakxer is able to bring him back, Volhoric uses some potions, and Drewgan also heals himself after being the subject of the dragon's attack.  After the two smaller ones fall, it doesn't take long for the two bigger ones to also fall.  

 

They know they need to find out the source of the corruption but it did take a lot out of them to fight the dragons.  They decide to head to Silverymoon, rest, and come back.  

 

As they start walking toward Silverymoon, after a half hour, they notice they aren't seeing anyone in the fields.  No workers tending the crops, mending fences, chasing out animals, or herding animals.  Drewgan finds the dead horses and wonders if this is the same patrol they told about the corruption.  Did they only get this far?  They look at the horses and see puncture wounds that line up with giant spider bites.  Knowing that, they find some spider tracks, but the tracks all disappear within thirty feet of the horses.  Phase spiders?  Must be.  And none of the guards.  They mutter prayers for the guards and keep going.  

 

They find more and more evidence of people taken.  Farm tools, dropped in the fields.  Sacks of picked apples, which Volhoric samples to verify that they are, indeed, apples, dropped in the orchards.  More tools for fixing fences.  A few sheep and goats outside of a fenced area.  When they can finally see the walls of Silverymoon, they see field workers again but nothing for ten miles or so.  And then another storm is approaching.  They get to the gate and talk to the dwarves about what they saw.  The guard directs them to Fergal, captain of the watch guard.  There is another storm coming and the guards are worried as not all patrols are back yet.  They might be bunkered down at some villages, depending how fast the storm caught them.  The group says they didn't see any from the south west until they arrived at Silverymoon.  The guards nod and talk about signals but will need the bards or mages to help since no torches will stay lit when the storm hits.  Already, the wind has picked up and torches would have a tough time staying lit in it.  The guard give them directions to the barracks and Fergal.  

 

The group thanks them for the directions and heads to the barracks.  They speak to Fergal and he is concerned.  He sends runners to get the latest reports on patrols coming back.  Fergal asks a few more questions then thanks the group and asks where they are staying, in case he has more questions.  

 

"The tree," responds Drewgan.  

 

"Ah, the Golden Oak.  Know it well.  Thank ya for bringing this to me," responds Fergal.  

 

As the group heads out again, they get the idea to go see the High Mage.  As they walk toward the golden oak, Drewgan suggests they go to the High Mage.  He wants his council.  They agree and walk there.  Several times on the journey to the High Mages, in the flash of lightning, as the storm rolls over the city, members of the group see giant shadows in alleys!  Not the giants themselves, just silhouettes of them, standing down an alley.  It's almost as if the lightning revealed them?  After checking out the first few, and not finding any evidence of giants, they keep going.  

 

When they get to the High Mages, they all think something is off.  There are lights coming from inside and it takes them a bit to realize that candles are lit but not fires.  There is no big glow coming from the house.  As they walk to the front door, all notice panes of glass missing on second floor windows.  Volhoric goes up and scampers up the wall.  He finds the missing pane next to the lock, allowing easy entrance to the manor.  As he looks into the room, he finds evidence that the servants aren't gone.  When they stayed here, the servants would not have been that sloppy.  Seeing nothing else, though, Volhoric comes back down.  The rest of the group is thinking something is up and they have found a rune on the door.  Volhoric goes up and studies it.  

 

They basic design of death runes are similar.  It's a good thing, too, or that would make Volhoric's job that much more difficult!  He knows it's a death ward and starts the disable motions to get rid of the magical trap.  As he traces the first portion, skulls start bubbling out of the door.  Human skulls, or at least demi human, but half sized and staring at him.  Was he doing it wrong?  As he traced the next route, he knew something was off.  Not only did more skulls bubble out of the runes on the door, but he could tell there was something different about the design.  

 

Volhoric rarely sweat but he could feel the cold sweat run down his back.  He was doing this wrong.  He had made faulty assumptions and was on a dead end to disable the trap.  He started to retrace backward, trying to reset the magic without setting it off.  It didn't work.  Purple and yellow light shot out of the rune, slamming into Volhoric and sending him flaying back twenty five feet.  Raz was there to catch him but he had blackened burn marks like lightning on his body.  Volhoric coughed and purple smoke escaped his lips.  

 

"Ow."  

 

"The good news is that the trap is off the door," says Marcus, looking at it with detect magic.  

 

Volhoric gives him a thumbs up.  Volhoric also noticed that one of the gems on the necklace that protects from death magic had shattered.  It had shattered and he was still blown that far away and hurt?  Wow.  

 

Dakxer heals Volhoric and they make their way into the manor.  The foyer is off.  Detect magic reveals evocation spells slowly fading but nothing looks amiss.  Until they look closer at the room.  Near a pedestal holding a vase, pieces of the vase are at the base.  As if mending magic hadn't gotten all of the pieces back together.  Scorch marks are on the painting frames.  Tassels of the tapestries are gone or burnt.  There was a fight and someone worked to cover it up.  

 

When they checked the top two floors, it became apparent something had happened.  The High Mages study and magical testing laboratory was empty.  Everything had been taken.  Ink, bottles, scrolls, books, quills, beakers, and more are gone.  

 

When they get to the servant's area, they finally find them.  They are all dead.  Precise cuts slit their throats or pierced heart or lungs.  They were all arranged in a sleeping dorm on the beds.  Drewgan could sense the preservation magic used on the bodies, also preserving the macabre way they had died as well.  Detect Magic again showed that all of the preserve spells joined at a Create Undead spell.  It was a strange configuration, one they hadn't seen but could guess it would go off if disturbed.  

 

Dakxer was that disturbance.

 

He actually tried to dispel it but when his dispel magic encountered the spell, nothing worked.  He expected certain tell tale threads of magic to be entwined at certain points to make the necromantic sigils needed for the spell.  None were where he expected them to be.  As with Volhoric before him, he realizes it's too late to stop and instead of disrupting the spell, he watches in horror as he activates it!  The servants twitch and start to sit up.

 

14,250 xp

 

GM Notes

  • I figured out part of what I am missing in these session but it's just for me.  I think the players are fine with how they have gone. 
    • I like the details of the spells, such as when Volhoric went to disarm the spell.  I also like the detail in my write ups but I get lazy on those depending when I do them
    • Like the details I did with Nesme, the different areas, and the NPCs.
    • Doing that with the areas helps give flavor to that area.  
    • I also realized, for example, that I hadn't gone into details of the servants of the High Mage.  Instead of being able to say, "the bed isn't made right" and that making the player suspicious, or allowing a roll for his character, I had to explain it all.  That's the sort of thing I want to do, show, not tell.   
    • It's possible I have high expectations that make me frustrated when I don't meet them.   
    • This also slows things down to do these descriptions.  It also challenges me to have a broad vocabulary so that descriptions don't sound too repetitive.   
  • BADD - Bothered About Disposable Dragons
    • definitely needed to be better about dragons and how they were played.  
      • They are a fun antagonist to use but to be scary need to win, which means characters die. 
      • I think I need to make them a lot more interesting. 
    • In some ways, they have too many abilities.  
      • When they can do a lot of attacks OR one or maybe two special attacks OR a spell, they aren't as effective as I think. 
      • Maybe I should have had lair abilities or some other potential effects. 
    • That's a standard problem when there are fewer or one bad guy.  There are powerful outer planar creatures but if they characters can hurt them, a six to one ratio of rounds means the bad guy loses. 
      • That's not bad but the point is for them to lose, most of the time, but for it to feel like they might not have.  I do what I can to have that happen but it can be tough.   
  • Raz - oops, orc ability to stay up.  I completely forget that he could have been fine but it still worked out.  
  • I like getting into details such the field workers but it's tough at times to remember what they do.
    • For example, farming.  There is a lot of manual labor in it, especially for medieval technology, and I blanked on reasons the workers would be in the fields, when there are many reasons for them to be.
    • Same for people in the town and other jobs. 
  • At least I have plans for what is next! 

 

 

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