Sunday, August 12, 2018

Soldiers and Officers of the US Army

Presented here are stats for the soldiers and officers of the U.S. Army, for use with the Savage Worlds and The Sixth Gun roleplaying games.


Personnel
Presented here are stat blocks for soldiers and officers in the U.S. Army. They represent different levels of experience, based on the character advancement rules from page 43 of the Savage Worlds core rulebook. While the traits are left rather generic, the GM should as always feel free to customize more important NPCs.

Infantry Soldier, Private (Novice)
This fresh-faced recent recruit has yet to experience the trials of combat.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d4, Fighting d6, Notice d6, Riding d4, Shooting d6, Survival d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 5, Toughness: 5
Edges: None
Hindrances: None
Gear: Uniform, Winchester '76 rifle (Range 24/48/96, Damage 2d8, RoF 1), bayonet (Damage 1d6+1d6; Parry +1, Reach 1, 2 hands).

Infantry Soldier, Corporal (Seasoned)
These soldiers have been tested in battle and seen some of their comrades fall around them.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d4, Fighting d8, Notice d6, Riding d4, Shooting d8, Survival d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 6, Toughness: 5
Edges: Combat Reflexes, Marksman
Hindrances: None
Gear: Uniform, Winchester '76 rifle (Range 24/48/96, Damage 2d8, RoF 1), bayonet (Damage 1d6+1d6; Parry +1, Reach 1, 2 hands).

Infantry Soldier, Sergeant (Veteran)
A grizzled veteran of numerous battles, this soldier has been given command of a squad, made up of ten new privates along with a more experienced corporal.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d4, Fighting d10, Notice d6, Riding d4, Shooting d10, Survival d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 7, Toughness: 5
Edges: Combat Reflexes, Command, Leader of Men, Marksman
Hindrances: None
Gear: Uniform, Winchester '76 rifle (Range 24/48/96, Damage 2d8, RoF 1), bayonet (Damage 1d6+1d6; Parry +1, Reach 1, 2 hands).


Horses
Refer to page 160 of the Savage Worlds core rulebook to find stats for horses. Note, too, that while most horses should be treated as the Riding variety, some battle-hardened ones might be considered to be Warhorses.


Cavalry Soldier, Private (Novice)
This soldier is just as green as any new infantryman, but has a horse.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Knowledge d4, Notice d4, Riding d6, Shooting d6, Survival d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 5, Toughness: 5
Edges: None
Hindrances: None
Gear: Uniform, Colt Dragoon .44 pistol (Range 12/24/48, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1), cavalry saber (Damage d6+d6). 

Cavalry Soldier, Corporal
This rider—and, maybe his horse, too—has managed to survive a few battles.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Knowledge d4, Notice d4, Riding d8, Shooting d6, Survival d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 5, Toughness: 5
Edges: None
Hindrances: Beast Bond, Combat Reflexes
Gear: Uniform, Colt Dragoon .44 pistol (Range 12/24/48, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1), cavalry saber (Damage d6+d6).

Cavalry Soldier, Sergeant
 These capable horseback combatants are given command of squads. 
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d10, Knowledge d4, Notice d4, Riding d10, Shooting d6, Survival d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 5, Toughness: 5
Edges: None
Hindrances: Beast Bond, Command, Combat Reflexes, Leader of Men
Gear: Uniform, Colt Dragoon .44 pistol (Range 12/24/48, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1), cavalry saber (Damage d6+d6).


Customizing Officers
The different officer templates include suggestions for choosing hindrances, to reflect the widely varying personalities of commanders in the field. The following options are especially recommended.
  • Major: Arrogant, Bad Luck, Bloodthirsty, Code of Honor, Delusional, Habit, Heroic, One Arm, One Eye, One Leg, Overconfident, Vengeful, Vow, Yellow
  • Minor: Big Mouth, Cautious, Deathwish, Delusional, Habit, Loyal, Mean, Stubborn, Vengeful, Vow

Officer—Lieutenant (Novice)
It might seem counter-intuitive to everyone but the soldiers under their command, but these fresh-faced graduates of West Point and other such schools are every bit as green as their underlings. A lieutenant commands four squads (see the Sergeant, above, for details).
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Investigation d4, Knowledge d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Riding d4, Shooting d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 4, Toughness: 5
Edges: Command
Hindrances: Pick one Major or two Minor
Gear: Uniform, Colt Dragoon .44 pistol (Range 12/24/48, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1), cavalry saber (Damage d6+d6). 

Officer—Captain (Seasoned)
The captain commands two squads directly and eight indirectly through two lieutenants.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Investigation d4, Knowledge d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Riding d4, Shooting d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 4, Toughness: 5
Edges: Command, Command Presence, Hold the Line!, Inspire
Hindrances: Pick one Major or two Minor
Gear: Uniform, Colt Dragoon .44 pistol (Range 12/24/48, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1), cavalry saber (Damage d6+d6).

Officer—Major (Veteran)
The major commands a brigade of four companies.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Investigation d4, Knowledge d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d4, Riding d4, Shooting d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 4, Toughness: 5
Edges: Command, Command Presence, Fervor, Hold the Line!, Inspire, Leader of Men
Hindrances: Pick one Major or two Minor
Gear: Uniform, Colt Dragoon .44 pistol (Range 12/24/48, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1), cavalry saber (Damage d6+d6).

Officer—Colonel (Heroic)
The colonel commands two regiments directly, and eight more through two majors.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Investigation d4, Knowledge d10, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Riding d4, Shooting d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 4, Toughness: 5
Edges: Command, Command Presence, Fervor, Hold the Line!, Inspire, Leader of Men, Natural Leader, Tactician
Hindrances: Pick one Major or two Minor
Gear: Uniform, Colt Dragoon .44 pistol (Range 12/24/48, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1), cavalry saber (Damage d6+d6).

Officer—General (Legendary)
The general commands a brigade of six regiments.
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d4, Investigation d6, Knowledge d10, Notice d10, Persuasion d8, Riding d4, Shooting d4
Charisma: --, Pace: 6”, Parry: 4, Toughness: 5
Edges: Command, Command Presence, Connections, Fervor, Hold the Line!, Inspire, Leader of Men, Natural Leader, Scholar, Tactician
Hindrances: Pick one Major or two Minor
Gear: Uniform, Colt Dragoon .44 pistol (Range 12/24/48, Damage 2d6+1, RoF 1), cavalry saber (Damage d6+d6).


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Campaign Notes for The Godsharp Saga


In case anyone's interested, here are my notes from running the Godsharp Saga as my weekly home campaign during the past school year. 

-Nate 


12 September 2017: “Out of the Blue”
The PCs, relaxing at a local taverna in a fishing village on the Middle Sea, happened to be present when a wizard arrived; moments later, a strange fog rolled in under the front door. Some of them heard arcane chanting and went to investigate (but not Eitel, because he was apparently busy). In the fog, although they could still hear the chanting, they could not see the source of it. When dretches appeared and attacked, Edward rushed back inside to help the wizard, while Yobari tangled with the one out front and Sicart pursued someone he thought to be an invisible thief. Following his tracks, Sicart learned that he'd boarded a ship, the Fortuitous, that was preparing to set sail. Edward slew one dretch with help from Eitel's magic missiles, but the other one overwhelmed Yobari after the monk succumbed to the sorcerer's sleep spell. Edward and a returning Sicart managed to fend if off until it disappeared, though. In the aftermath, Thaddeus explained how he'd plotted the likely location of a falling star, and then recruited the PCs to help him pursue the thieves.

19 September 2017: “Out of the Blue”
Setting sail from the village, the PCs encountered a storm. While Eitel and Edward headed belowdecks, Sicart and Yobari climbed the ratlines and furled the foresail. A loud thumping brought everyone to the cargo hold, where a rat swarm burst out of the bilge, but Eitel felled it with a sleep spell. 

In the morning, the shp's lookouts spotted land; circumnavigating claw island, they saw masts in the cove. Making a quick plan of attack, the Intrepid sailed alongside and grappled the Fortuitous. After some archery sniping, Yobari jumped aboard and—aided by another sleep spell from Eitel—won the day. 

Interrogating the survivors, the PCs learned that the others had gone ashore looking for a “trading outpost.” They set out in a ship's boat, and had to fight off giant crabs as they landed. Sicart picked up the enemy's trail and led an expedition through the jungle; a leopard pounced on Edward, but Eitel made it sleep, too, before Sicart killed it. 

In the end, the PCs decided to make camp and Thaddeus sent his owl to summon help.

26 September 2017: “Out of the Blue”
Oswald (the owl) found a fishing boat, a charter taking Arcturus to Alacudi village, and led the cleric to Claw Island. There he joined the party and they proceeded inland. They found the trading fort, seemingly abandoned, but discovered weird zombies in the house, which they defeated with swordplay and lots of double-chained kama action. There were also strange, tentacle-headed quadrupeds in the warehouse, along with infected bodies. Sicart was infected, too, but Arcturus helped cure him. 

Moving from the maquis into the swampland, the PCs encountered a patrol of lizard fold and managed to defeat, but not kill, them. Thaddeus used to let Eitel speak with them, and the sorcerer arranged a visit to their village. Their they found the thieves, imprisoned; they learned that what the wizard saw was not a falling star, but what the lizard folk called a “winged house” like travelers use to visit their island.

3 October 2017: “Out of the Blue”
Acting on the lizard folk's information, the PCs sailed out east of the island and found the wreck site. On the sterncastle of the crashed vessel they could see the remains of the helmsman, an elf. Yobari dove into the water and attracted the attention of an aquatic eel, but managed to fight if off. He also saw a crab swarm in the hold and informed the others. Deciding not to venture into its grasp, the PCs instead used ropes aboard their ship to hoist up the downed one and drag it in toward shore. There they made camp for the night, and defeated a nocturnal attack by three sahuagin. Learning that the sharkmen had looted the wreck, the PCs sailed out to their lair, chummed the water, and then ambushed the remaining sahuagin. From them the PCs acquired the elf's magical items, along with a waterproof scroll case. After reading the notes and inquiring about Syeknyg, the PCs learned that the lizard folk regard him as an honored ancestor; they agreed to lead the PCs to his tomb.

17 October 2017: “Out of the Blue”
Accompanied by the lizard folk, the PCs ventured to Syeknyg's tomb; after certain ceremonial preparations, they opened it. The entry was occupied by two ghouls, whom they slew. Further inside they found a statue depicting the lizard man traveler, along with his former bedchamber—which contained some kind of magical orb—and kitchen. There were also four chambers, aligned to the four elements, and each occupied by a creature of that type. They killed the hellhound, shot and ripped apart the caryatic column, defeated the water elemental and fought off the stirges. From the chambers they acquired four plaques inscribed with arcane symbols of the elements, and then fitted them into the sides of a small pyramid held by the statue. That opened a secret door, revealing a new puzzle. The PCs managed to solve it, after suffering a few jolts from the electrical trap. This opened the trapdoor into the upper level, where they found an undamaged aethership.

24 October 2017: “Among the Stars”
The PCs negotiated with the lizard folk to have five accompany them on their voyage beyond the heavens. Furthermore, Captain Josephson will run the trading post; the PCs claimed the Fortuitous for themselves; Thaddeus kept the wrecked Scintilla for his research; five human sailors agreed to join their crew, too. They loaded 500 gp worth of trade goods aboard their ship, along with casks of palm wine, barrels of water, smoked meat and dried fruit, a few caged birds that Sicart caught, and a dead elf in a liquor barrel. The PCs christened their vessel the Homeworld. From research they learned that the elves' Starfort Station was located on a moon of an outer gas giant planet, and so they they raised their vessel up into the sky, beyond the clouds into the star-strewn black of aetherspace, before taking a bearing on Kronos and sailing thither. 

En route, one PC spied an approaching longboat, crewed by clerics of Sol; they proved to be huecuva and the PCs slew them. At another point they saw a blinking light among the asteroids; this turned out to be a will-o'-the-wisp, which they also managed to slay.

31 October 2017: “Among the Stars”
Continuing their voyage, the PCs noticed an approaching ship. It was crewed by a single gnome, along with a formerly caged ravid that had broken loose and was animating objects all over the ship and using them to attack the gnome. Elias steered the Homeworld into a position above and facing this newcomer, and the PCs stormed aboard it. With much swashbuckling, sniping, spellcasting, and sword- and kama-play, they defeated the ravid and rescued the gnome. 

Later a phase spider attacked in the hold of the ship and killed a crew member before the PCs chased it away. 

Finally, reaching the frozen moon of Kronos, the PCs were hailed by an elven galleon; they conversed, and then went “ashore” in their ship's boat. Elias decided to remain as part of the crew instead of staying on the moon.

7 November 2017: “Among the Stars”
The PCs met with the elves, who were led by Admiral Solinus, and reported what they'd learned. They also handed over Captain Quinariel's body, preserved in a barrel of liquor, along with his journals in the waterproof case. Learning that the late elf had worked extensively with with a druid named Mr. Lemuel, they decided to seek out that half-elf in his ice dome garden. 

On arrival there, they were attacked by a decapus that charged up out of the water. They managed to slay it before it dragged away a party member. In the aftermath of the attack Mr. Lemuel welcomed them into his home and workplace; he explained that attacks by unusual monstrosities were becoming more and more common in the area. Moreover, he mentioned that his assistant, an arborling (“tree man”) named Mr. Akham had gone missing during a routine boat trip on the nearby water.
The PCs agreed to go in search of the lost arborling. Following its intended route, they spotted a sunken longboat and dove for it using potions of water breathing. They fought off some fiendish giant crabs, and then found and followed a trail to a cavern entrance guarded by a skum warrior.

14 November 2017: “Among the Stars”
After a night's rest, the PCs headed back to the skum lair. They managed to ambush the guard and slew him before he could raise an alarm, in part because Yobari smashed his conch. Eitel used a mage hand to raise the portcullis. Down one tunnel they found a statue depicting Lamashtu, goddess of monsters; it was actually a caryatid column, but they defeated it. Then Sicart led the party on a slow, quiet killing spree through the skum sleeping quarters. In the deepest part of the caverns they face the skum chieftain—a sorcerer in his own right—and his guards, and managed to defeat them.

21 November 2017: “At a Crossroads”
Finishing up their business on the moon of Kronos, the PCs headed for the Crossroads settlement in the asteroid belt. On arrival they dealt with the port inspector and then fought off a mimic that was posing as flotsam. At the Sign of the Ourobouros tavern, Eitel flirted with a barmaid (Kira), and then Edward urinated on some orc sailors who were harassing her and a brawl ensued. There was much tripping a punching, and Eitel unleashed grease and web spells. The PCs won the fight, and the orcs were forced to flee—but swore they'd have their revenge. 

Heading back to the Homeworld, the PCs were ambushed once again by the phase spider; it almost dragged away Sicart, but Edward slew it with a well-placed arrow. Arcturus cured Sicart's poisoning (again).

5 December 2017: “At a Crossroads”
During the Festival of the Comet, the PCs participated in numerous events. Sicart engaged in armed combat against a number of opponents, including dock workers, orc sailors and even elf soldiers, winning each round. When the two faced off against each other, however, Yobari prevailed. Edward challenged a dockworker and an elf in archery, but was defeated in the end by Captain Corwyn. Yobari also took home a laurel crown for defeating various opponents in unarmed combat. Additionally, Eitel did some carousing and won some gold by wagering on the contests. 

After an evening of celebrating, the prepared for the next day's Asteroid Belt Regatta.

12 December 2017: “At a Crossroads”
For the Regatta, the PCs competed against the orc merchantman Abattoir, the elf galleon Steadfast, and Axelrod the gnome's bark Redoubtable. They kept pace for much of the race, running through open space before entering the belt and dodging asteroids, and even fought off a mi-go attack. It was then, however, that they noticed a cog frozen into the ice of the comet, and decided to approach, draw alongside and go aboard it, and then explore. Due to the heat of the approaching sun, though, chunks of ice from the asteroid began to break free, causing tremors. That also freed a nabasu demon that had been trapped, but the PCs managed to slay it. In the process they recovered the dimensional shackles with which it had been held captive.

9 January 2018: “At a Crossroads”/“Beneath the Sands”
The PCs rigged a towline to the cog, the Venture, and pulled it free of the comet. Upon returning with it to Crossroads, Arcturus went aboard the plague ship and healed its crew. Lieutenant Vanderwald went with the PCs aboard the cog, which they agreed to sell to the Royal Interplanetary Company for 2500 gp (with Governor Reda and Captain Corwyn in attendance). After a few nights in town, the PCs were at the Sign of the Ourobouros when Arcturus heard a strange whispering voice outside the tavern's front door; he alerted his comrades just before a strange cloud of darkness rolled into the place. Wading into it, the PCs found that it concealed a spear-wielding demon. They defeated it, but still had reason to believe that a female spellcaster—whom they were unable to confront—was responsible for this attack. 

Aboard the cog they also found a journal. 

30 January 2018: “Beneath the Sands”
Eitel set out to recruit an artillerist; he found a half-orc named Grosh, who was once part of the Abattoir's crew. The the PCs bought a keg of powder and other equipment for the swivel guns. They read the journal and set a course based upon the information in it. 

Arriving at Tyr, they landed outside the zigurrat. Sicart recognized the mouths of some crude tunnels dug into the ground, and so the PCs waited for something to come out of the tunnels before opening up with their swivel guns. The emerging creature–a rhemoraz—retreated, however, forcing them to go out on foot and engage it. Edward slew it with a shut in the mouth. After that the PCs, led by Sicart, snuck into the ziggurat and murdered a couple of troglodytes before one managed to sound the alarm.

6 February 2018: “Beneath the Sands”
Combat erupts! The PCs pressed the attack down one hallway, until Eitel filled it with a web. One troglodyte managed to escape and summon reinforcements, however, leading to running missile combat in the dining hall between Edward, Sicart and the trogs. The high priest attacked the party from behind, but Eitel hit him with irresistible laughter and Arcturus followed that with searing light.
After defeating those foes, the PCs found a secret staircase in the library and headed upward to explore the next level.

13 February 2018: “Beneath the Sands”
The PCs, led by Sicart, ventured up to the next level. They fought off the mohrg ambush and then recognized the electricity trap built into the elemental lock puzzle. After some deliberation (and a couple of shocks) they solved the puzzle, thereby gaining access to the orrery chamber. They studied the orrery and recognized that it contained a planet in between Tyr and Thonar, where the aseteroid belt currently lies. At the same time, unbeknownst to the, a shadow demons possessed Sicart with a magic jar spell. 

The shadow demon didn't reveal itself until the PCs were approaching Homeworld. At that point Sicart backstabbed Silas, hoping to crash the aethership. Eitel used a web spell to entrap the characters, but then himself was possessed. His fireball killed Silas. The other PCs were able to subdue him, however, and regain control of their vessel, even though the shadow demon escaped.

20 February 2018: “Beyond the Pale”
The PCs went to the City of the Sun first, and there started spreading word about the firearms and gunpowder that they proposed to sell. Arcturus checked in with his church, too. After that they arranged a quick demonstration in a local tavern with a pistol, and promised a bigger demonstration back at the island. 

On sailing to the island, they met with Captain Josephson; he gave his report and the lizard folk had a mostly happy reunion. Yobari donated gold to the widowed wife. The PCs rigged up sailcloth tents for the visitors, arranged various trade goods for sale, and set out copious amounts of food and drink. The demonstrations—of a pistol and a swivel gun—went well; the PCs accepted 5500 gp in earnest money, and Yobari signed the contract for delivery. Sicart captured more wild birds for Mr. Lemuel, and Yobari sent a letter to his abbot. 

At the Temple of Ptah the PCs interviewed two lower-ranking clerics before being directed to the high priest, Imhotep. After hearing their story, he led them down to a secret archive in the catacombs. There they found a large tunnel had been dug into them, and a bulette waited for them. It was accompanied by a succubus who was rummaging through the archive. They managed to slay the bulette and the demon, and thus discovered a bit of poetry—written spontaneously by someone traveling through the belt—that the succubus had sought.

27 February 2018: “Beyond the Pale”
Yobari speculated that the poem refers to Gaea, Kronos, Freya and Tyr; X marks a spot in between them. Presented with that surmise, Imhotep conferred with his people and then presented the PCs with a communication scroll and some incense of meditation. The PCs also haggled for a cargo of chickens. 

En route to Crossroads, the PCs ran into the Redoubtable again. They kept their distance and recognized the medusa who'd kidnapped Captain Axelrod for what she was. Eitel ensnared her in a web, which he and Arcturus followed with a barrage of searing light and fireballs. After that they healed Captain Axelrod and then chastised him. 

On approaching Crossroads, they were accused of piracy, and decided to leave and mull over their options. They believed that Governor Reda's wife, Nora, is the succubus.

13 March 2018: “Beyond the Pale”
While the PCs were deciding what course of action to pursue, they saw the Abattoir approach Crossroads and dock. They decide to maneuver the Homeworld alongside the upper story of the Governor's House and go in through the windows. Sicart went in first, hitting Cornelius Vanderwald with a sap but not felling him. Arcturus cast silence on him and then ran through into the hallway. Edward hit the succubus with ineffectual arrows, and Eitel followed with a fireball that also failed to harm her. Yobari leaped in and hit her with a flurry of blows, again to no effect. Eitel then used a web and Arcturus unleashed searing light. Governor Reda fled into the hall. Yobari switched to his cold iron kama, and they beat the succubus into unconsciousness.

20 March 2018: “Beyond the Pale”
Seeing a woman—indeed, a dryad—fleeing from Captain Cyrus and members of his crew, the PCs stepped in and rescued her. She told her story, about the orcs raiding her home planet, and suggested that Mr. Akham, an arborling, might be able to provide more information. The PCs therefore went back to the frozen geyser moon of Kronos, to speak with Mr. Lemuel's assistant. He told them about the interplanetary portal that leads back to his home planet, which is closely guarded by the Elven Navy. The PCs headed back to Starfort Station to meet with Admiral Solinus, but were attacked by a vrock along the way. They defeated it.

10 April 2018: “Beyond the Pale”
Arriving again at Starfort Station, the PCs met with Admiral Solinus. The discussions went well, but were interrupted by the spectre of Althea, who had died from the loss of her bonded tree. They sent her to eternal rest with a flurry of kama strikes, the channeled power of Sol and three lightning bolts.
With an elven escort the PCs proceeded out into the gas giant's ring, where the elves concealed and guarded the interstellar portal. Taking their ship's longboat through it, they found themselves in another star system, in orbit of the planet Sylvanus. Heading planetside, Eitel used his fey intuition to find the scar in which the necromancer had been working the magic for his foul construction project. There they were attacked by a demented earth elemental and almost lost Yobari and Sicart. They defeated it, however, and then were greeted by Harmony, a lillend. She had much to tell them. 

17 April 2018: “Into the Eye of the Storm”
Armed with what they'd learned from Harmony, the PCs returned through the interstellar portal to the Sol System. They apprised Admiral Solinus of what they knew and then arranged transportation back to the Asteroid Belt aboard an elven galleon. While exploring it they were attacked by a bebelith creeping along their hull. While Edward and Yobari rushed to the attack, Eitel trapped it with black tentacles and then hit with a lightning bolt. Arcturus blasted it with searing light and Sicart swung in from the rigging to sneak attack it. It killed him before the rest of the party could kill it. For that reason they returned to Mr. Lemuel, who conducted a ritual to reincarnate Sicart—as an elf. 

Back in the Belt they found an asteroid in the expected place—based on Yobari's interpretation of the poem—and ventured into the cave inside it. They parleyed with a pair of xorn, and then negotiated with the haunt that remained of the Formian Queen. They promised to destroy the Godsharp, so she told them where to find it: in the eye of the unending Great Storm that swirls through the atmosphere of the gas giant planet Thunar.

24 April 2018: “Into the Eye of the Storm”
Arriving at Thunar, the PCs and their elf allies steered their way into the eye of the storm. During their descent they were attacked by a huge air elemental, but Arcturus dismissed it. Eitel spotted the ship of the dead on the edge of the eye and the PCs charged to attack it. They swept the decks with the elves' cannons—loaded with shot—and thus claimed that ship. They they stormed into the entrance of the hidden temple, alongside which the ship of the dead hung in the air.
Inside they faced off against the succubus, defeating her again, and then sought out Cyril the necromancer and his ghasts. In a hard-fought battle they won the day and thus took possession of the Godsharp.

1 May 2018: “Into the Eye of the Storm”
Upon returning to the moon of Kronos with the Godsharp and telling of their adventure, the PCs heard another story from Admiral Solinus—one that told of an elven expedition to explore a black hole, but that ended in disaster, causing the crew of the arkship to abandon their vessel and flee back to the Sol System through their interstellar portal. The important detail, of course, was that they could find a black hole if they were willing to face the thing that had ruined the expedition. They were willing. 

Traveling through the portal, they arrived in an even more distant system. There they could see the black hole, along with the star on which it fed, along with the derelict arkship. As they approached, three elf musketeers mounted on griffins—and wearing necklaces of adaptation—flew out to attack their longboat. Eitel used lightning bolts, Yobari unhorsed one, Edward delivered a storm of arrows, Sicart defended the boat, and Arcturus kept everyone alive. Moving further past the arkship, however, the PCs were confronted by the weird creature that inhabited it: a colour out of space. 

The PCs managed to run from this strange, incorporeal thing; they reached the event horizon of the black hole and cast in the Godsharp. It was sucked into the absolute darkness and disappeared. At the same time, the colour out of space tried to flee back through the portal, but they ran it down and slew it, and then headed back to the Sol System.

8 May 2018: “Into the Eye of the Storm”
Passing back through the interstellar portal, the PCs found the elves waiting for them—and intending to arrest them. In response Eitel opened an acid pit on their sterncastle; Admiral Solinus managed to spring clear of it, but other officers were not so lucky. Yobari also grappled an officer and threw him bodily into the pit. The sorcerer also made many of the elf crew members fall into a deep slumber. Arcturus tried to dispel magic on the elf commander, but failed; he succeeded, however, to break enchantment, forcing the shadow demon that had possessed him out of his body. Then the cleric jumped into the acid pit to heal the officers trapped in it. The shadow demon tried to flee off of the ship into open space, but Edward and Sicart jumped into the void (wearing necklaces of adaptation) to pursue it, and Eitel eventually slew it with magic missiles

Following the battle the PCs returned to Starfort Station for debriefing, during which they concluded that the demons must be operating out of some stronghold on the Prime Material Plane. Following up on that, they headed to the lawless asteroid freehold known as the Grotto. There they encountered some of the remaining orcs from the crew of the Abattoir; Edward paid them a substantial bribe, thus learning that they'd made numerous runs to a remote island in the Middle Sea on Homeworld. Knowing that, the PCs hired the orcs to pick up the cargo of firearms that they'd purchased from the merchants on Crossroads and deliver it to the buyers with whom they'd met back on Claw Island.

14 May 2018: “Into the Eye of the Storm”
The PCs did some shopping at the Grotto before heading for Homeworld. They did a slow nighttime pass over the Island of the Minotaurs, and Sicart spotted some faint firelight close to the bottom of a waterfall. They set their vessel down on a nearby river and approached through the water, but were themselves noticed. Diplomacy won the day, however, and they learned that these were refugees who were stranded on the island and sought to avoid enslavement. They led the PCs to meet with Amalthea, the nymph guardian of the area. 

She told them more about the minotaurs and their demon allies—including where to find the entrance of their labyrinth, and thus the lair beneath it—and gifted Edward with a lock of her own hair. (Eitel made a good impression on her, of course, but seemed like a bit of an automaton in doing so.) The PCs took a day to deliver the refugees to Alcudi village, and there prepared to strike out against their foes. 

Traveling once again in the Homeworld's longboat, the PCs approached the area described by Amalthea. In front of the cave entrance they saw to metal-skinned, bull-like creatures grazing on the surround rocks; they opted to pepper the monsters with missile fire from a safe altitude, chasing them away.

22 May 2018: “Into the Eye of the Storm”
The PCs brought their longboat alongside the entrance to the labyrinth and ventured inside it. Sicart noticed the infernal automatons that were standing guard, and managed to alert the others, but he did not detect the invisible quasits in the maze. Eitel dropped two of the constructs into an acid pit while the other PCs attacked and defeated the second pair. They also recognized that some sections of the walls could shift, but Sicart disabled the ones he found and the others used detect evil spells along with ranged attacks or area-of-effect spells to find and kill the quasits. 

Moving forward, Sicart and Eitel noticed the minotaurs' approach from multiple directions. Eitel hindered the half-fiend monsters with black tentacles, and then Yobari moved in and dismantled them. At the same time, Arcturus softened up the others with a holy smite before Edward and Sicart slew them with bow and blades. 

In the center of the labyrinth they found a spiral staircase leading downward...

12 June 2018: “Into the Eye of the Storm”
Arriving at the bottom of the stairs, Eitel granted Sicart greater invisibility so that the rogue could do some exploring. The quasits knew to expect intruders, however, and used detect magic spells to search for them, so Sicart slew one and the battle was joined. The PCs made quick work of the normal minotaurs, but then fiendish ones emerged; Eitel trapped them in black tentacles. Arcturus cast holy lance on Edward's bow, and the archer began sniping at them. That was when two vrocks appeared, infecting Edward and Yobari with their spores. Eitel managed to hold one of them, and Edward and Yobari slew first the free one and then the other. Then the glabrezu arrived via greater teleport, and for a time Sicart was forced to face it alone, suffering an unholy blight in the process. The others rallied to his aid, however; Yobari managed to trip the demon, and he and the others did it considerable harm before it used greater teleport to escape. In searching the rest of the stronghold, though, the PCs found its portal to the Abyss, and used dispel magic to seal it once and for all.


Monday, July 30, 2018

Adventure: Into the Eye of the Storm



This adventure is designed for use with the Pathfinder roleplaying game; it draws the party into a plot involving a secret elven colony and wicked magic. While it is written for a party of eleventh-level characters, and intended as a sequel to the scenario Beyond the Pale, it can easily be adapted for parties with more experience and/or as a standalone scenario.



Adventure Background
Over the course of the past year, the PCs have discovering hints about a grave threat to the solar system; it seems that a hoard of demons has been working to acquire a relic known as the Godsharp, an artifact that can be used to destroy a planet. Their intention is to obliterate Homeworld, the source of many intrepid heroes who stand against the demons. To that end, one of their servants—a half-orc necromancer named Cyril—has create a ship of the dead, one that he can use his wicked divine magic to repair in the heat of battle. He apparently intends to use that ship to acquire the relic, and then stage a final assault on Homeworld. It's up to the PCs, then, to take the Godsharp from him and destroy it once and for all.


For the Gamemaster
After building his ship of the dead, Cyril set out for the asteroid belt to visit the area in which the Hiveworld once made its orbit. There he used necromantic magic to commune with the spirits still inhabiting that space, and from them learned where the azata concealed the Godsharp—in an extra-dimensional space in the middle of the everlasting storm on the gas giant planet. Luckily for him, his ship of the dead can weather the storm because he can channel negative energy to repair it in flight. Thus prepared, Cyril and his minions have set out for that planet in order to claim their prize, intending to take the relic back to Homeworld and use it to destroy that planet. It's up to the PCs, then, to discover where he's gone and then, hopefully, to foil those efforts. 

Before they depart, the PCs should also take care of any supplies, refitting or other such preparations that they deem necessary.


Part 1: The Floating Graveyard
Once they head into the asteroid belt, the PCs face a number of challenges. First and foremost is the need to find the correct place in the asteroid belt, something they can accomplish with information from the orrery in the troglodytes' ziggurat or a DC 25 Knowledge (geography) or Profession (sailor) check. Failing that, divination spells could provide that information. 

As they approach that location, the PCs face the difficulty of steering an aethership into the tangle of drifting rocks, which requires DC 15 Spellcraft or U.M.D. checks to weave through the first small asteroids, assisted by the crew's DC 15 Profession (sailor) check. Failure means that the vessel suffers a collision, causing it to suffer its base ramming damage—that is, 7d8 for a dhow, 8d8 for a bark, 9d8 for a junk and 10d8 for a merchantman or a galleon. 

The PCs are in for another rude surprise when they learn that one of the asteroids is inhabited by a somalcygot. Becoming aware of the various metals to be found on the party's aethership, it decides to attack.

Somalcygot: Refer to page 234 in Bestiary 5 for details.

Making Contact
A little further into the belt, the PCs find an area that is rich with powerful energy of an unusual sort. The destruction of Hiveworld has left behind a potent spiritual residue, one that retains some of the slain formians' memories but that doesn't manage to manifest in the manner of a ghost. Essentially, it's a huge conglomeration of psychic energy that doesn't have an outlet, and one into which spellcasters can tap by using the right spells. 

In game terms, the PCs can cast spells such as speak with dead or similar magic. While the specific effects of those spells vary, and thus it's up to the GM to adjudicate the exact result of such magic, in the end the PCs should be able to establish a connection with what remains of this hive mind. That, then, brings them to their next obstacle. Cyril and his demonic associates convinced this remnant of the formian consciousness that they intend to punish those who were responsible for destroying the Hiveworld; said claim is essentially true, insofar as the demons are planning to destroy Homeworld, thereby eliminating all of the good beings in the solar system so they can conquer what little remains for their wicked masters—and that includes destroying any good immortals who interfere with the plot. Essentially, the demons will be able to run roughshod over their ancient enemies because the good immortals will no longer have any allies to support them. 

The PCs, however, cannot rightly make any such claim. That is why they must be careful in how they communicate with the remnant. Said spirit asks them why they want to know the location of the Godsharp. Any response other than a desire to punish the azata is met with refusal. The PCs, therefore, need to spin a compelling lie if they want to learn where that relic can be found. This requires a DC 20 Bluff or Diplomacy check, depending on the nature of the argument, with bonuses or penalties assigned as always for good or bad reasoning or roleplaying. For reference, the GM may wish to consult the stat block for a formian queen.

Formian Queen: Refer to page 110 in Bestiary 4 for details.

As long as the PCs succeed, the hive mind tells them where to find the Godsharp—inside an extra-dimensional space in the middle of the great storm on the gas giant planet. Should they fail to obtain that information, the PCs may need to use powerful magic or other means to learn what they need to know.

Sabotage
Knowing that the PCs are not behind Cyril, the demons launch another attack against them. This one takes the form of two kalavakus demons that teleport onto the PCs' aethership and attack. After granting themselves haste, they try to command the pilot into crashing the vessel, and then tear into others with melee attacks. Should they be badly hurt, then they invoke their enslave soul abilities on weaker or more wounded enemies, hoping to rejuvenate themselves.


Kalavakus demons (2): Refer to page 78 in Bestiary 2 for details.

Once they've dealt with this challenge, the PCs can head for Thunar.


Scrying
Although the PCs won't meet him until the next scenario, the leader of the demons is a nalfeshnee who possesses a crystal ball. As they have become more and more of a threat to his plans, the demon takes time to scry on them and, when possible, to sabotage their efforts. This should




Part 2: The Unending Tempest
The voyage from the asteroid belt to Thunar is, for once, uneventful, and the PCs have time to prepare for the coming confrontation.

Navigational Difficulties
Approaching the great storm on this gas giant world should be an awe-inspiring sight. After all, it is larger than all of Homeworld, and boasts slashing wind and driving rain beyond anything ever seen on the PCs' planet of origin. While the eye of the storm is a little more calm, it's still not pleasant for steering an aethership. In game terms, treat this situation as a windstorm (see page 439 in the Core Rulebook for details). This requires sailing checks with a DC of 20, just as if the vessel were engaged in combat. On a failed effort, the pilot loses control of the aethership and it is blown in the direction of the wind (roll for scatter). The pilot may try again on the following round, but being blown off course could also result in a collision. 

There's also the matter of finding the entrance to the hidden shrine, something that can be handled by casting the appropriate divination spells. The PCs might also guess that Cyril's ship of the dead is already located there, thus aiding in their search.

Here There Be Monsters
The heart of this tempest is home to a banshee, a creature gives vent to her endless rage as part of the raging winds and driving rain. Cyril was able to deal with her using his necromantic magic, in this case using his ability to command undead. While she is thus pacified, he and his minions position their ship so that they can access the extra-dimensional space in which the Godsharp is kept. When he sees the PCs approaching, he sends her to deal with them first.

Banshee: Refer to page 41 of Bestiary 2 for stats.

The banshee is a being overwrought with sadness and anger, the spirit of the azata who created the Godsharp and now regrets having seen it be used to destroy an entire word. For that reason, she guards the entrance to the extra-dimensional place in which it is being kept. Initially, she declares the PCs to be “interlopers” and attacks with all of her fury, trying to prevent them from gaining access to it. During this battle, however, those who consider the situation carefully might recognize how Cyril was able to work around her. That can be accomplished with a DC 25 Knowledge (religion) or (arcane) check. Given that information, the PCs can then try to negotiate with the banshee by convincing her that they wish to destroy the Godsharp rather than let it be used once more against Homeworld. Doing so requires a DC 30 Diplomacy check, with circumstance bonuses or penalties assigned for good or bad roleplaying or reasoning, at the GM's discretion. 

However this conflict is resolved—if the PCs can talk their way past the banshee or if they defeat her in combat—she gives them a final clue regarding how the artifact can be destroyed: “Only in the dark embrace of a black hole can its music be silenced.”

The Enemy Vessel
Cyril's ship of the dead hovers next to the entrance of the extra-dimensional space in which the Godsharp is located. What is more, the necromancer and his minions stand guard while his mother and her fellow demons go inside to claim the artifact. For his part, Cyril opens up by casting his defensive spells, until the PCs' ship arrives and he orders his undead crew to attack. Then he casts offensive spells such as unholy blight, flame strike and various touch spells via his spectral hand.

Captain Edward Morris
CR 7
XP 3600
Male human ranger 8
CN medium humanoid
Init +6; Senses Perception +11
DEFENSE
AC 19, touch X, flat-footed X (+2 Dex, +5 armor,
+1 Dodge, +1 Two-Weapon Defense)
hp 57 (7d10+14)
Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +5
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Two scimitars +1, +11/+10/+5 (1d6+5)
Ranged NA
Special Attacks Two-Weapon Fighting
STATISTICS
Str 18, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +7; CMB +11; CMD 23
Feats Dodge, Endurance, Great Fortitude,
Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting
Skills Climb +14, Heal +11, Perception +11, Profession (sailor +11), Stealth +12, Survival +11
Languages Common
SQ Favored enemy humanoid (orc) +4, humanoid
(goblin) +2; favored terrain urban; hunter's bond,
woodland stride
Combat Gear Chain shirt +1, masterwork cutlass,
cutlass +1, hat of disguise
Spells per Day: 2/2
Spells Prepared (Caster level 4th): Resist
elements, speak with animal

Edward Morris is something of a rarity among
rangers, one who lacks a moral compass. He is a consummate mercenary, motivated solely by the profit he can make in exchange for his service. Right now, Baron Stephano is his employer, even if the ranger has to turn a blind eye toward some of the activities in which the tiefling necromancer has been involved.
Typical Crew Members
CR ½
XP 200
Various warrior 1
N medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses Perception +1
DEFENSE
AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10 (+1 Dex)
hp 6 (1d10+1)
Fort +3, Ref +0, Will +1
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Shortsword +2 (1d6+1)
Ranged Light crossbow +1 (1d8)
Special Attacks None
STATISTICS
Str 13, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +2; CMD 12
Feats Skill Focus (Profession)
Skills Climb +5, Profession (sailor) +8
Languages Common
SQ None
Combat Gear Shortsword, light crossbow, case of 10 bolts



Cyril the Necromancer
CR 12
XP 19,200
Male tiefling cleric 3/wizard (necromancer) 3/mystic theurge 7
LE medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses Perception +3
DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +2 shield, -1 Dex)
hp 33 (3d8+3d6+6)
Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +13
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Falchion +6/+1 (2d4)
Ranged Light crossbow +6 (1d8)
Special Attacks Channel negative energy
STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 17, Wis 17, Cha 14
Base Atk +6; CMB +6; CMD 16
Feats Combat Casting, Extra Channel, Greater Spell Focus, Greater Spell Penetration, Leadership, Scribe Scroll, Selective Channeling, Spell Focus (necromancy), Spell Penetration
Skills Heal +12, Knowledge (arcane) +12, Knowledge (religion) +12, Linguistics +12, Spellcraft +12
Languages Common, Abyssal, Celestial, Draconic
SQ Orc blood, orc ferocity, weapon familiarity, aura, channel energy 1d6, domains (madness, trickery), orisons, arcane bond, arcane school, cantrips, combined spells (4th)
Combat Gear Mithril chain shirt, falchion, holy symbol, light crossbow
Spells per Day: (Divine) 4/5+1/5+1/4+1/4+1/3+1; (Arcane) 4/5/5/4/3/2
Spells Prepared: (Divine) Bleed, detect magic, guidance, resistance; bane, comprehend languages, doom, entropic shield, lesser confusion, protection from good; augury, bull's endurance, desecrate, invisibility, owl's wisdom, resist energy (usually fire); bestow curse, dispel magic, nondetection, prayer; confusion, divination, freedom of movement, unholy blight; flame strike, nightmare, spell resistance, true seeing; (Arcane) Detect magic, light x2, read magic; identify, mage armor, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, shield; blindness/deafness, cat's grace, invisibility, spectral hand, whispering wind; dispel magic, fly, vampiric touch x2; enervation, fear, stoneskin; magic jar, teleport

Cyril is a strange individual, the son of a succubus who has delved into the art of necromancy in order to gain power over the undead, both to aid his mother and for his own ends. As such, he is aloof among “mortals,” as he refers to them. Even so, he has gathered about himself a cadre of fellow Lamashtu worshippers. Cyril knows that he plays a vital role in his mother's schemes, and takes pride in that fact. After all, how many new subjects will be available to him after they destroy Homeworld?


Cyril is aided by a gang of wights, which act as his boarding party.

Wights (6): Refer to page 276 in the Bestiary for stats.

In Another Dimension
The entrance to the hidden shrine is a set of marble stairs that seem to hover in the air at the center of the great storm. They have a rippling color similar to that of Thunar's storm, something that would require a DC 25 Perception check to notice them if not for the fact that Cyril's ship is pulled up alongside them. The rest of the building is not visible, since it exists beyond this dimension.


1. Main Hall
Broad steps the color of sandstone lead up to a pair of large doors; they are closed when the PC's arrive. Opening them requires a DC 15 Strength check. Inside the main hall is a long chamber with two rows of five columns that lead to a raised dais. Atop the dais stand two jackal-headed statues that animate an move to attack any newcomers. Left here long ago to guard against intruders, the statues attack ceaselessly as long as someone is present.

Clay golems (2): Refer to page 159 in the Bestiary for stats.

2. Servants' Quarters
Comfortable beds still remain in these sleeping quarters for those who once served in the palace, but otherwise the room is empty.

3. Dining Room
A broad table surrounded by sturdy chairs fills the center of this room, which was obviously used for serving elaborate meals.

4. Kitchen
The far end of this chamber is occupied by a broad hearth filled with ashes long since gone cold. There's also a spit for roasting meat, along with preparation tables surrounded by barrels and urns.

5. Bath
A short set of stairs leads down into this waist-deep pool. It is, however, empty.

6. Bedchamber
A large, sumptuous canopy bed with gauzy curtains fills the center of this room.

7. Shrine to Ptah
This chamber is dominated by an elaborate shrine, one that includes a life-size statue depicting an old man wearing regal clothing, one who has a shaved head and an elaborate beard. A DC 15 Knowledge (religion) check can identify him as Ptah, a god that some consider to be the architect of all creation. The state is flanked by trays for burning incense. A DC 30 Perception check can also reveal a secret panel in the floor at the statue's feet, and a second such effort reveals the mechanism for opening it: pulling on the statue's elaborate beard. Inside the secret compartment is the Godsharp

Before the PCs can claim this relic, however, Mistress Nora makes her move. She is lurking in this chamber using her ethereal jaunt spell-like ability. While thus protected, the succubus tries to use her dominate person ability or, failing that, suggestion, to convince the PC who retrieves the relic to giver it to her. If she is successful in doing so, then Nora uses ethereal jaunt again in order to escape. If that doesn't work, then she resorts to more direct means.

Mistress Nora, the succubus: Refer to page 68 in the Bestiary for stats.

The Godsharp
Aura strong evocation; CL 20th
Slot none; Weight 3 lbs.
DESCRIPTION
This item looks like nothing more remarkable than a small golden harp with fifteen strings. Divination magic can reveal its true power, however. It is attuned to something the immortals call the “music of the spheres,” an inaudible harmony created by movements of the stars, planets and other aetherial bodies. As such, when it is played it can disrupt those movements. In game terms, it can have the effect of an earthquake spell that has the Empower, Enlarge, Extend, Maximize and Widen Spell feats applied to it. Activating this power requires a DC 30 Perform check, and the spell effect can be invoked once per round as long as the performer keeps making successful checks.
DESTRUCTION
The only way to destroy the Godsharp is by dropping it into a black hole.

Part 3: All or Nothing
While the exact location of this final battle can vary depending on previous developments, a few of the more likely possibilities are addressed below.

Attack on Homeworld
If Mistress Nora managed to acquire her prize, then she immediately teleports back to Homeworld, where she has one last ally ready to help her unleash its power. This is a cloud giant named Aeolychus, one who is skilled in music and a fearsome combatant. They target the Holy City first, using the harp to unleash a wave of earthquakes upon it.

Mistress Nora: Refer to page 68 of the Bestiary for stats.

Aeolychus the cloud giant: Refer to page 147 of the Bestiary for stats.

This should make for a dramatic battle, with all manner of hell breaking loose in the city as the PCs try to recover the artifact. Refer to the previous scenario, “Beyond the Pale,” to find maps of those places.


The Lost Arkship
The only known means of reaching a black hole is through an interplanetary portal, one that was towed by an elven arkship out to an unfortunate encounter with a weird alien power. This item functions in the same manner as the one described previously, during the events of Beyond the Pale. The elves have frozen it into a block of ice, however, in order to keep anyone or anything from interacting with it. Rather than leading into open space above the planet Arborea, however, it opens into a stretch of deep space in which a wrecked arkship drifts in front of a black hole and its companion star. 


 The cause of this calamity was an entity known as a colour out of space. It dwells in this location because of the powerful gravitational effect that the black hole exerts upon its companion star, an effect that the colour finds rejuvenating. When the arkship arrived, the colour attacked its crew; the elves were forced to flee in their longboat back through the interstellar portal that they were towing, and then to seal it off from the other side. Since then, the colour has slowly been preying upon the animals aboard the arkship, driving some into a frenzy and draining others until they succumb and acquire the colour-blighted template.

Colour out of Space: Refer to pages 38-9 of Bestiary 4 for stats.

More dangerous than that, however, is the sole creature that has survived from the colour out of space's preying upon the arkship's animals and crew—Brindisi, an adult bronze dragon. It leaps up and out from the arkship's cargo hold right after the colour out of space engages any newcomers.

Brindisi, adult bronze dragon: Refer to pages 104-5 in the Bestiary for stats.

While the dragon presents a daunting challenge, PCs who succeed at a Knowledge (dungeoneering) check of DC 25, or a DC 30 Healing check, can recognize that something is wrong with this normally good dragon. With that in mind, any sort of healing that restores the dragon's drained Charisma lets it break free from the colour blighting. 

The dragon's collected treasure can be found in the cargo hold of the arkship; this includes 3007 gp, 9801 sp and 29,954 cp, along with a scabbard of keen edges and a periapt of wound closure.
Keep in mind, too, that, if Mistress Nora or any of her demon allies have survived previous encounters, then they can also make appearances here.

Destroying the Godsharp
During all of this fighting, the PCs must somehow also throw the Godsharp into the black hole. To do that, they have a variety of options; a few of the more likely ones are detailed below. 

One possibility is that they steer their aethership toward the dark mass, and then throw the instrument overboard when they are on the edge of its event horizon. This requires a series of Use Magic Device or Profession (sailor) checks, with the DC increasing from 15 upward each round as they approach the black hole. The benefit of this is that it also determines the DC for any efforts made to intercept the harp once it is thrown, such as a Fly check or Strength effort. Failure on a check for the pilot, however, means that the aethership begins to fly out of control, and a second check is required before it is pulled over the threshold of gravity and lost forever. 

Magic can provide other means, too. The PCs might use a mage hand to deliver the artifact; teleport spells to move closer and then to escape; a portable hole tied to an arrow or other projectile; or something similar. These strategies are, of course, going to need some adjudication on the part of the GM. 

As long as the PCs do somehow manage the task, then they have won an epic victory.

For a breathless moment, the harp seems to disappear into the shadows that surround the black hole, and nothing happens. Then, visible but silent, ripples of unspeakable power seem to flow through the circle of infinite darkness, radiating out and across the very fabric of space itself. Just as quickly, though, it is gone.



While there may be some more combat left to resolve, it amounts to little more than a mop-up action. After that, the celebrations can begin. The elves who accompanied the PCs out to the interstellar portal fire salutes to honor the heroes, followed by feasting with plenty of complimentary speeches. Bards begin to write stories and songs about this deed, too. While most people in the Sol System don't even know what they've accomplished, the PCs find that they have an endless, warm welcome in all those places in which the scope of their deeds is known.


Setting the Scene
To provide a visual for the black hole and its companion “feeder” star, the NASA website provides an excellent image.






Conclusion
This final battle, then, brings the campaign to its conclusion. By now the PCs, if they succeeded, are major heroes in the solar system. They should be 12th-level characters, if not higher. Even so, here are some possibilities for what they might do in their retirement.
  • An elf character who has proven to be brave and honorable could be recruited to join the Elven Navy. Such an elf would like be given the rank of Captain, along with command of a galleon, and could even rival Admiral Beryl for authority.
  • With Luciano Reda discredited as the governor of Crossroads, a character with a knack for politics might organize the people to hold an election for a new leader. Given the Royal Interplanetary Company's sizable investment in the settlement, however, this would not be without opposition.
  • Considering the nearly limitless possibilities for exploration and discovery throughout the solar system and even beyond it, one or more PCs might want to set up a trading company or go off in search of other stars and worlds. The Church of Ptah is interested in such business, and is happy to recruit capable adventurers for the task.
  • There's also the question of what the PCs do with the troglodyte ziggurat on the cold red desert planet and the shrine hidden in the middle of the gas giant planet's great storm. Either of these structures could make an excellent stronghold, a base of operations for whatever kind of business the character(s) wants to conduct out of them.
  • It's also possible that one or more characters want to go back to Homeworld. This might seem disorienting at first, given that the PCs have become accustomed to life in space, but they might have elements from their background stories that need to be resolved. Indeed, given that the PCs saved Homeworld from total destruction, they should be regarded as great heroes there. With few people having witnessed the battle, however, it's possible that the locals don't believe such outlandish tales.

Determining these details not only helps provide a satisfying conclusion to the campaign, but also helps set up background for the players' next adventures among the stars.


This concludes the Godsharp Saga.