Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gifts of the God Mages : Pathfinder e01

Gifts of the God Mages
May 2012 - ongoing
Pathfinder

Episode One: The Tomb of the Elven Princess

As my latest game for the people of Indigo-Entertainment, I've borrowed liberally from the Forgotten Realms comics of Rags Morales, Dave Simons and Jeff Grubb.  Given how the games will be held every (or at least we try to every) Friday, I've decided to make each game session a self-contained quest where the players are tasked to help Dwalimar Omen, Minder, Foxilon Cardluck and Vartan gather up all the artifacts they can to lock them away in the extra-dimensional portal that exists inside the flying galleon known as the Realms Master.

This move would allow me to have a different mix of players with each game, without too greatly sacrificing the sense of continuity with each session.

So far, the players are a mix of mostly first timers to the Pathfinder/Dungeons and Dragons system and some who have tried it before.  As of this blog post's writing, there are seven players already interested, and I'm expecting around four more to join in!

Currently, the cast has a mix of the following classes:

An Air Elemental Bloodline Half-Elven Sorcerer.
An Elven Fighter.
An Half-Elven Necromantic Wizard.
An Elven Cleric.
A Halfling Rogue.

Soon to join are the following:
A Dwarven Paladin.
A Human Rogue.
An Elven Druid.

And I've heard of talk of someone hoping to be joining as a Monk.
Oh yeah, they haven't decided on names yet.   HEheheh!

In this first game, I had the players hear of a supposed long ignored Elven Princess Tomb that they decided to try raiding.  They found the tomb quite easily, and its stone door was marked in Sylvan with a message that stated: She is Within.  The entrance was at the base of a hill, and when the Sorcerer flew over it to look around, he found a pit filled with humanoid bones stripped clean of any meat and metals.

With the rogue picking the lock, the group made their way inside.  The Cleric shot a lit arrow into the catacomb in hope of scouting ahead.  The group slowly made their way inside, none of them noticing how the tomb did not bother to have any torches or light sources along the staircase leading down.  At the bottom, the group found a series of square metal boxes that had a button each and Sylvan writing.  While some members decided to move deeper into the tomb to investigate, others stayed by the boxes to try to discern what purpose they served.   The Sorcerer tried a Detect Magic spell and it nearly blinded him with the results.  The whole tomb, it seemed, was magical in nature.   The only part that didn't reek of magic was some rectangular area at the center.   The door behind them silently slid shut, with only the Rogue having noticed since he alone could not see in the darkness.  Using a Rogue Trick, however, he learned a bit of magic and cast Dancing Lights to serve as a light source.

As they looked around, the Wizard tried pressing one of the buttons and an illusionary image of an elven maiden appeared and began addressing them all like a welcoming host to an event.  Further exploration of the tomb began to suggest it was some kind of an auditorium with four pillars at the center of the chamber, flanked by rows upon rows of seats.  At the center of the pillars, a massive rectangular stone structure that bore some other Sylvan markings as well.  The Fighter found himself trying another button which seemed to be labelled Sponsors, and from that another illusionary host appeared.  However, this one spoke of the Kingdom of Tor and on cue, four fiery hounds manifested flanking the stone structure at the center.

The group grew alarmed as a second host appeared, this time speaking of coming from the Kingdom of Erus and two tree-like things manifested as well in the center area.  The fighter released his hand on the switch to interrupt a third host that appeared that was about to speak of the Hordes of... something.  The Sorcerer cast Detect Thoughts and to his horror sensed evil thoughts emanating from the tree-things.

The Wizard's knowledge of Spellcraft made something apparent:  These new manifestations were not Illusions.  And his warning cry coincided with the four Hell Hounds charging forward to attack!  Quickly the Sorcerer tried to direct the group to gather back at the entrance, but the group splintered in response to the attack.  The Wizard ran towards the tree, thinking of using it perhaps as cover only to find it launching a tentacle strand at him with paralyzed him upon contact!  The two trees, it seemed, were monsters as well, and a massive toothed maw erupted hungry for the elf.

As the fighter struggled to take the Hell Hound down, the Cleric summoned a Viper to help turn the tide of the battle.  The Rogue leapt behind the seats and used his Stealth to conceal himself, hoping to find a perfect moment to use a Sneak Attack on the closest possible target.  The Sorcerer flew towards the tree-monster and used his Mage Hand to drop an vial of Alchemist Fire into its maw.  As the tree-thing howled in anger, the Sorcerer followed through with a Burning Hands spell directly into its mouth!

The tree-things cried out in Sylvan, "Yield" and vanished in a display of magical light.  Freed from his paralysis, the Wizard used the spell Scare to force the Hell Hounds to dart away.  Silence once more filled the tomb.  The group convened at the center and investigated the rectangular "tomb".  The writing on its surface bore a strange message:  Incomplete Repairs Yet.  Finding a break in the tomb's structure, the Sorcerer and the Fighter broke the thing open and the Rogue slid inside to check what was within.  The Sorcerer picked up the first thing closest and found it to be a paintbrush made of ivory.  The thing looked brittle and old.  It seemed to suggest the structure was just a temporary waiting shed of a construction crew that probably worked in the tomb.

A crack of light alerted the group that the tomb's door was opening, and as it slid open, a robed figure stood at the entrance and addressed them all. Questioning if they were tomb raiders and what business they had with the tomb, the group readied themselves for another possible fight.   The man identified himself as Dwalimer Omen and explained to them he is here to claim an artifact "that would best be kept safe from falling in other's hands."  The Cleric questioned if he can be trusted and the Wizard demanded that he would best explain what he does with these gifts of the god mages.  Omen invited them to join his quests, if they were willing, and admitted, "I would rather you worked for me than be someone I have to deal with."

The Rogue, inside the structure, found more and more old tools such as pigments, nails, hammers and more - lending more evidence that the structure was merely a construction shelter.  Just before he opted to leave, however, he saw a purplish clear diamond and felt a compulsion to take it.  Failing his Will saving throw, the Rogue slid the rock into his pocket and made his way outside, choosing to keep it secret from his allies.

The group gathered outside the tomb to see a flying galleon waiting above.  Pulling out a small tube from his pouch, Omen lays it down on the ground and asks it to unfurl. A portable hole expands and begins to swallow the whole hill away.  "That," Omen explains, "Is how I gather them."  At Omen's call, a stone Golem named Minder brought the ship down and the group were welcomed aboard the Realms Master.  Omen explained how through the ages, god mages mad with power crafted these artifacts in their bid for control.  With those wars long past, their artifacts remain scattered through out the realms and Omen feels it is his duty to ensure they do not fall into the wrong hands.  When questioned on how many he has retrieved, he gives the number 453.  When questioned on what he does with them, he showed them a particular door in the ship locked with numerous normal locks and sealed with numerous magical ones.  Opening it, the group sees a massive realm filled with varying artifacts floating in silence.  Airless, timeless and secure, the pocket realm was where Omen stored each and every artifact they have found, "And it is there where they will stay forever."  He asks them if they are willing to join him on his weekly quests and tells them to simply be at the port if they wish to.   A winged woman arrives and teases Omen about new recruits.  She asks them if he warned them of how high the mortality rate of every new group gets and Omen tells her to be quiet.  The winged woman introduces herself to them as Jasmine and promises them the experience will be worth it.

Omen ends the meeting with a gift giving.  He asks Minder to bring him "the bag" and from the bag, each adventurer drew out a gift which was intended for them.  The Wizard finds five scrolls worth of new spells!  The Fighter draws out a chain shirt which visibly can adapt to look like other clothing.  The Cleric finds a Ring of Protection.  The Rogue finds an Amulet of Natural Armor.  And the Sorcerer draws out a massive Staff which he accidentally tests and nearly causes the Elven Wizard to fall asleep (but Elves being immune to such easily break the spell's effect.)

"You can tell your friends," Omen informs the group, "And if they are interested they can join when I return next week.  The rules will be simple, the artifact in question will be mine.  Any other spoils are yours to keep as you see fit."  And with that, the Realms Master takes to the air and leaves.

*

Clearly, the weekly mention is in relation to the fact this game will be run every Friday night after work at Indigo-Entertainment.  I warned the players that this game will not "save" the players from death if they do something ill-planned.  And in many ways, I am excited to see how this game will turn out in the passing months.

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