Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gifts of the God Mages : Pathfinder e07

Gifts of the God Mages
May 2012 - ongoing
June 13th Game Session

Episode Seven: A Trap Within a Trap

On the seventh game session of the Indigo-Entertainment Pathfinder chronicle, the stories were now taking a new direction.  Given the size of the group, and the growing story line, I had decided to approach the games in this manner:

Opening Scene
Game Proper
Closing Scene

This way, every single game will feel like a self-contained episode of a show, will contribute to the growing metaplot, and yet have enough time for the fight sequences.  Given the time allotment to each session (around two to three hours only) for a five to seven player game, I had to sacrifice my usual storytelling style and instead make the battle/dungeon crawl more prominent.  But no way am I turning this into just a roll-fest.  After the tragic first game I ever had, I made a promise that all Tobie games will always have a story to remember.  I was not about to back out of that promise just because I was running Pathfinder.

In this game session, the following players were present:
Ramza, CG, Fighter-Wizard
Caishn, CN, Rogue
Jazintho, CN, Wizard
Galvindir, LG, Cleric
Baus, true Neutral, Barbarian-Wizard
The game opens a meeting occurring in some dark room where the candles are lit low and the lanterns are hooded.  A grand circular table receives a number of guests, mostly men, some women, and a few of them are in robes.  The topic:  the assaults being conducted upon various cities through out the Realms.  It soon becomes apparent that the Lord of Doranth, the Lords of Waterdeep, and the Elven Queen of Moonshae Islands are among those in the secret meeting.  Most voice anger towards the unprovoked attacks upon their territories.  The Elven Queen unsympathetically states her domain remains unblemished and labels the issue "a Human problem," a statement which raises more ire from the others present.  Eventually, a voice suggests that perhaps it would be time to protect one's domain with powerful magical means.  The Marduk of Al Qadim heckles the suggestion as he reminds them of the magical chaos that makes even the power of the City of Haluraa unstable.  The robed figure, King Zalathorm's vassal,  Azoth Fereas reminds them there are powers that the magical chaos is unable to rattle:  "Artifacts," he mutters with a smile, "And I believe we of Halruaa know of a man who can provide us the defenses we require."

The game then jumps forward to the Realms Master.  The ship is spinning in a whirlwind, as it remains anchored to a whirlpool in some desolate sea.  Omen calls out to Ishi and Jasmine, who use their mobility to try and secure more of the fluttering sails to the battered masts.  Ramza, the new captain, struggles to come to a decision whether they should wait for the party below to reemerge with the artifact, or leave and return when the weather is calmer. "This is not a natural storm," Omen intones, "I sense the magical quality of the destination below may be behind the assault we are taking."   Ramza reluctantly commands for the ship to be taken out of the whirlwind.  A full mile away from the site.  But just before he has it carried out, Minder throws him a subtle suggestion:  "An opportunity does exist to focus on what you are experienced with, and to pass the reins of command to someone else.. a First Mate perhaps?"  Ramza agrees and asks Foxilon Cardluck to take charge, just before he leaps down to scale the chain of the anchor to join the adventurers below.

The Realms Master uses the Astrolabe to move its location.  The results surprise Ramza.  The ship is literally there one second, then gone the next, and Ramza crashes into the waters with a cleanly severed chain in his hands.  He swims to the entrance of the tomb, a small patch of land in the center of the whirlpool and slides inside to find the others.

Earlier, the group split into two groups as they found the entrance leading to a junction of four chambers.  Jazintho wastes no time and hurries down the eastern corridor, not caring that the "wizard" Baus followed him.  On the western corridor, Alcarin and Galvindir take charge.

Jazintho and Baus trade barbs frequently, with the Half-elven wizard clearly showing his disdain for the Half-Orc barbarian-wizard.  The two are so focused on their insults that neither notice they walk straight into a pit trap! Falling painfully twenty feet, the two gather their wits and consider a way out.  But as Baus tries (and fails) to climb the steep surface, Jazintho whispers to the Demon Child if it can provide a means out.  The Demon Child teases it may if Jazintho tastes Orcish blood.  Jazintho mistakes this as a command to kill Baus.  And in hopes of giving him an edge against the more trained fighter, Bestows a Curse upon him as Baus attempts to scale the wall.  But Baus had earlier Detected Magic and sensed a powerful source below.  Botching his Spellcraft check, he mistakes the great power to be an Infernal Necromantic source.  This misunderstanding does not make it easier for Jazintho, whose specialty school has always been Necromancy.  The Barbarian strikes at Jazintho, disrupting his attempt to throw a Phantasmal Killer at the other.  As the two consider their next moves, they hear the voice of their captain Ramza above them as the captain had opted to check the eastern corridor.

Alcarin and Galvindir walk the western corridor with some level of care, but the two are busy sharing talk of the gods they serve.  Alcarin is surprised to learn from Galvindir that he was visited by Pallas herself, but before they could get into further details, both fall prey to another trap:  A Falling Block Trap!  Both are smacked painfully by the stone blocks and quickly utilize their healing abilities to recover their strength.  The corridor ends in a large chamber with a door at the end of a second narrow corridor.  But this time more wary, both see the many holes that dot the walls of the corridor and sense another trap (if not more) waiting for them.  Galvindir summons his signature Pony once again, but refuses to have it go ahead as a test dummy.  Alcarin, eager to move forward, runs ahead.  Galvindir follows with the Pony behind him, not wanting to separate the group.  The first row triggers sand that begins to fill the chamber.   The second triggers a barrage of Javelins that fly from the holes.  When they reach the second corridor, however, Alcarin alone notices the magical sigil that glows before an Electricity Arc Trap is unleashed.  The dwarf escapes it, but in his attempt to pull Galvindir down with him, instead throws Galvindir into the electric arc's path.  The Cleric is painfully electrocuted, and his contact with the Dwarven Paladin means he too takes some of the pain.

Ramza casts Enlarge on the Half-Orc to assist in their escape of the pit.  Jazintho uses the now Large Baus to clamber out of the pit and continue down the corridor.  Jazintho triggers a magical sigil on the ground and is Teleported away.  The two others are oblivious to this event.  Ramza, however, tells Baus it may be best to follow the others, and as the two reach the main junction at the entrance, Baus admits he called his Rage during his square-off with the Half Elf and needed some time to rest.  Ramza leaves him alone and hurries down the western corridor, dodging another Falling Block trap, and reaching the main chamber to see the others in the other side of a chamber that was waist deep in sand.  Alcarin bashes at the walls and finds a hollow where the corpse of another dwarf with a hammer lay.  He convinces the others to follow him (instead of simply traverse the sand and head back) and continues to batter a path through the walls themselves.  He strikes another hollow, and before any of them could react, they are falling into the darkness.

Baus notices some writings at the ceiling of the entrance and is frustrated to realize they are in a language he does not know.  Ishi Barasume arrives, asking him how the others are.  She tells him Omen had made a mistake (actually he had lied) and tells him the tomb is not a tomb at all.  It is a tower.  And it wasn't owned by a former Elven wizard.  It was owned by an Elven Inquisitor.  It was a place where evil was exorcised!

Jazintho finds himself in a domed chamber, and the relief statues of elves and gods come alive, asking him if he is ready.  If he is willing.  And if they should begin.  Jazintho says yes, even if he is uncertain what this will entail.  From the domed roof, a crack shatters, and his three friends drop into the location to join him.  As the three recover from the fall, Jazintho sees every statue raise their heads in their direction and bathe them in white burning light.  The exorcism begins and Jazintho finds the the Demon Child suddenly expelled as a dark shadow that clings to his leg.  It tempts him with power! With magic! But when it sees that others are witness to its presence, it demands to Jazintho that it needs a host body.    As if in response, Galvindir is suddenly flanked by a horned man and a woman with a lance.  Alcarin, on the other hand, is surrounded by a Protection from Evil.  Ramza, it seems, is the sole option.  As Jazintho begins casting Lightning bolt to strike him, Ramza retaliates with a Blindness spell! The Lightning bolt strikes first, however, and Ramza is brought to his knees.  Alcarin interposes himself between them, and Lays his Hands on Ramza to help him recover from the pain.  Galvindir takes this opportunity to speak to Jazintho and try to convince him to free himself from the demon.  "True power is earned.  Not given.  You are better than this!"

When the Cleric sees Jazintho is too far or emotional to reach, he asks Pallas for help.  She tells him, "I can help you, but remember what I told you.  You have sworn to protect my Chosen.  Then know this, he is my Chosen."  Galvindir sees to his surprise that Pallas was referring to Jazintho, not to Alcarin as he originally thought.  "In his destiny lies the destruction of the world, as well as its Salvation.  And only you can help him reach the proper choice."

The Demon Child screams again, but this time Pallas' light is far too great.  The Demon dissipates and is no more.

Minutes later, back on the Realms Master, Omen admits he had inspected the vault and noticed a number of artifacts missing.  He suspected one of the group was possessed by the Demon Child and had lied to the captain to bring them here to vanquish the demon.  Ramza finds the artifact of the Tower, however, but Omen tells him it is not for his eyes to see.  The group lock up Jazintho for the nonce in a room, to consider what is to be done to the elf.

None of them notice, however, Jasmine talking to Ramza, and suggesting to him that they stick together.  She asks him again if he is a wizard and he admits he is excited to learn new power.  Jasmine, of course, can only smile.

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