Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gifts of the God Mages - Pathfinder e06

Gifts of the God Mages
May 2012 - ongoing
June 10th Game Session

Episode Six: Three Years Later

On the sixth game session of the Indigo-Entertainment Pathfinder chronicle, it was time to bring the game to a new level of danger.  The players were much more accustomed to their classes and many were already targeting their preferred Prestige Classes.   This meant they could now be held accountable for any mistakes, wrong judgement, and vulnerabilities they fail to compensate for.  Starting with this game session, I warned them that the "nice" DM has ended, and now, dead PCs will not be "saved."

To give the players some more "fuel" to survive, I set the game three years later, and allowed them to have two levels free, as well as 15,000 gold to spend.  (Players who were not present in this session were to have two levels free, but only 10,000 gold to spend.)

In this game session, the following players were present:
Rondo, CG, Sorcerer
Ramza, CG, Fighter-Wizard
Caishn, CN, Rogue
Jazintho, CN, Wizard
Galvindir, LG, Cleric

The game opens with the players being told that Three Years Ago, the Realms Master was destroyed.  The fire that rained down on Doranth was a vicious one and the city took a major blow.  During the session, details would soon be shared leading to this sad picture:  While Dwalimer Omen and Elminster were with the two others in the tavern, a sudden magical storm of flames erupted and ignited most of the city.  The Realms Master was not spared from the burning rage.  While Alcarin and the others sought to help those they could, Minder and Vartan Hai Sylvar were both struct by the flames and were trapped by the sinking ship.  Using his last breath, Vartan cast a spell for Minder to be transformed into a flying form, and Minder sadly failed to react soon enough to save the Elf in return.  Elminster died in the flames.  Omen vanished.   Ishi, Foxilon and the rest arrive to see the horrible carnage, and while most of the crew depart to find new lives now that the questing ship they gathered in was gone, Alcarin and the original crew salvaged what they can from the ruins of the Realms Master.  They learned the pocket dimension was intact and could be carried with them, as was the powerful artifact that served as the ship's engine: the Astrolabe.

Ishi, Minder (in her dragon-like form) and the late Vartan Hai Sylvar

And so, three years later... Galvindir was meditating at a small shrine deep in the woods.  During his prayers, the maiden in white armor appears to him and petitions for his help.  As he considers doing so, Erastil himself has his avatar appear before Galvindir and accuses the woman of attempting to steal his loyal priest.  She introduces herself as Pallas, and tells Erastil in exchange, she will extract a vow from her "chosen Paladin" to watch over the Cleric.  The two gods seal the pact, and Galvindir is told to head for the City of Waterdeep as his first task.  She warns him of a coming war and tells him there will be a great responsibility in his hands which may turn the tide of the war.  When asked what threat is coming to affect the Realms, Pallas intones darkly, "The God Mages are coming."

Rondo spent the last three years searching for more of his Bloodline.  The Stormborne seemed harder and rarer than most lines.  Going as far as the lands of Al Qadim, Rondo learned that there the Stormborne were known as Children of the Djinn, and their lineage was hailed as powerful and deadly.  Rondo was given the offer to remain, but reminded that one chooses what one will call one's family.  And from that, Rondo realized he wished to find the crew once more.   His journey would eventually lead him to the port of Waterdeep.

Ramza struggles to find a mentor for his Archery skills and eventually visits the City of Halrua in hopes of gaining magical training.  There, he discovers that Dwalimer Omen (whose name he drops in hopes of getting a foot in) is known as a thief and is wanted by the city itself.  But when another strange moment of magical chaos strikes the city, Ramza escapes and opts to return to Doranth.  There, he chances upon a drunken Dwalimer Omen, who has no recollection of how he survived the fire.  Months pass and he helps Omen regain focus and determination.  The two eventually receive an invitation to head to Waterdeep upon hearing word that the Realms Master is supposedly docked there.

Caishn lives a life of bliss with his "wife" Nuala in a small house in the woods.  But events turn a strange direction when Nuala seemingly has moments where she uses magic without thinking, or acts differently from usual.  At one point, he finds she has a new ring that she loves: A Ring of Telekinesis.  Confused by her moments, Caishn however is quickly distracted when the urge for adventure returns.  With Nuala excited to join him, the two decided to head for the City of Waterdeep where adventurers tend to find good beginnings.

And finally Jazintho's tale uncovers a dangerous twist.  The Wizard HAD succeeded in opening the vault but had only time to steal two artifacts:  A polyhedral bone and a deck of cards.  Both had unexpected and unpredictable magical effects when used (with at one point the bone die struck Jazintho to death, but an earlier roll actually allowed him to be resurrected instantly.)  To the surprise of the other players, Jazintho seemed to be friends with Jasmine (whom they all remember him striking down with his Lightning spell) and the two opted to head for Waterdeep, also after receiving word of the Realms Master being active there.

The group's reunion at Waterdeep is short-lived however.  Literally seconds after they find each other by the port, a magical chaotic event once again happens.  Skeletons rise from the ground, led by a Skeleton Champion that sat upon a steed of bone.  The group dispatch of the undead quickly, using their best skills, spells and weapons at their disposal.  But the skeletons, it would so happen, were just the start of their troubles.  With a deafening cry, a massive skeletal Tyrannosaurus Rex stomps into the scene and only with their combined efforts and Dwalimer Omen's Incendiary Cloud do they succeed in bringing it down.    I fail to remember whose sharp eyes catch a robed figure with a skull mask seemingly the master of the undead assault, who vanishes in a gateway when its undead army begin to fall against the city's defenses.

Port side, Nuala (who was inadvertently thrown into waters) gets rescued by the combined efforts of Galvindir, Rondo, Ramza and Caishn.  They find the Realms Master crew at the port, who all seemed surprised to see their old friends.  The new ship is bigger, with four masts of sails, three lower decks, and better weapons.  Most are surprised to see the new appearance of Minder, who seems quiet given her guilt over Vartan Hai Sylvar's death.  The crew are doubly surprised to learn Dwalimer Omen is alive and excitedly welcome the chance to serve under him again.  But Dwalimer Omen does not forget a debt, and he announces Ramza as the new Captain of the ship.

The group, however, fails to notice Jazintho and Jasmine plotting at the wayside.  Jasmine, as it turns out, is Surea in disguise and the drow has noticed an ebbing in her power.  Even her Ring of Telekinesis seems to malfunction at times.  The two realize the Realms Master and all its artifacts can be theirs if they find a way to get rid of Dwalimer Omen.  "Jasmine" tells Jazintho she will handle killing the Wizard, after all such an act requires a woman's touch.  Jazintho will handle gaining the support of the crew to make one of them the new Captain when the chance comes.

A darker turn for the game, indeed.  And definitely an exciting direction the game is headed.

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