Monday, February 18, 2019

The Larks Revisited

As the first post of those presenting material that I used at Con of the North, here are character sheets for the crew of the Skylark, raised up to 5th level.

-Nate




Horace
CR 4
XP 1200
Male human fighter 5
NG medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +2
DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 Dodge, +2 armor, +1 enhancement)
hp 42 (5d10+10)
Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +3
Resist Bravery +1
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Longsword +11 (1d8+7)
Ranged Light crossbow +8 (1d8)
Special Attacks None
STATISTICS
Str 17, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 12
Base Atk +5; CMB +8; CMD 20
Feats Cleave, Dodge, Great Cleave, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Profession: sailor), Weapon Focus (longsword), Weapon Specialization (longsword)
Skills Climb +11, Profession (sailor) +10
Languages Common
SQ Bravery +1, armor training 1, weapon training 1
Combat Gear Leather armor +1, longsword +1, masterwork light crossbow, case of 10 bolts, pouches containing a captain's logbook, 9 gp and 9 sp

Horace is the captain of the bark Skylark. While he and his fellow adventurers discuss and vote about all business matters, such as which cargoes or passengers to take, or what course to set, but during battle he gives the orders. This human loves nothing more than the freedom of commanding a vessel under sail—except, of course, the chance to cavort at a tavern in port and, most importantly, his trademark mustache. 

Horace hails from Alcudi, a small fishing village on the northern coast of the Middle Sea. The sailor learned to handle a ship while serving aboard fishing vessels, but always dreamed of greater glory. He found the opportunity to pursue it when he and his comrades discovered the wreck of an aethership, which they used to to refit their bark the Skylark. While for the most part they make their living through traditional charters and cargo runs, they are always open to more adventurous opportunities. 


Uriel

CR 4
XP 1200
Male half-orc ranger 5
CG medium humanoid
Init +1; Senses Perception +10; Darkvision 60 ft.
DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 armor, +1 Dodge, +1 Dex)
hp 47 (5d10+15)
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +3
Resist Orc ferocity
OFFENSE
Spd 40 ft. 
Melee Longsword +10 (1d8+5), shortsword +8 (1d6+4)
Ranged Longbow +10 (1d8)
Special Attacks Favored enemy
STATISTICS
Str 19, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +5; CMB +9; CMD 20
Feats Cleave, Dodge, Power Attack
Skills Climb +12, Handle Animal +8, Heal +10, Perception +10, Stealth +9, Survival +10
Languages Common, Orc
SQ Intimidating, orc blood, orc ferocity, weapon familiarity, 1st favored enemy (humans), track, wild empathy, combat style feat (Two-Weapon Fighting), Endurance, favored terrain (water), hunter's bond (hunting companions)
Combat Gear Leather armor +1, longsword +1, masterwork shortsword, longbow, quiver of 20 arrows, 50-ft. coil of silk rope, pouch containing 6 gp and 4 sp

Uriel was born and raised among the clans of the Barbarian Lands to the east of the Middle Sea. Indeed, he even trained to serve as a scout for some of the mercenary bands there, but found that he could not stomach working for blood money. That was why he left home, wandering westward until he reached the territory of the Northern Empire. There he faced tremendous intolerance because of his ancestry, but found that he was more readily accepted among sailors and their ilk. Indeed, that was how he met up with the other crew members of the Skylark, with whom he is now fast friends—and especially with Maximilian. The half-orc now leads shore parties and boarding actions, when needed. 


Maximilian
CR 4
XP 1200
Male halfling rogue 5
CG small humanoid
Init +9; Senses Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 12 (+5 Dex, +2 armor, +1 size, +1 Dodge, +1 enhancement)
hp 31 (5d8+5)
Fort +3, Ref +10, Will +1
Resist Halfling luck
OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee Short sword +10 (1d4+1)
Ranged Short bow +9 (1d4)
Special Attacks Sneak attack +3d6
STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 21, Con 12, Int 14, Wis 9, Cha
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 18
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +15, Climb +10, Disable Device +10, Escape Artist +13, Knowledge (local) +10, Linguistics +10, Perception +9, Sleight of Hand +13, Stealth +17, Use Magic Device +7
Languages Halfling, Common
SQ Fearless, halfling luck, keen senses, sure-footed, weapon familiarity, sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding, Evasion, rogue talents (resiliency, surprise attack), trap sense +1, uncanny dodge
Combat Gear Leather armor +1, shortsword +1, short bow, quiver of 20 arrows, set of thieves' tools, pouch containing 5 gp and 9 sp, elixir of vision

Max was born in the City of the Sun, at the heart of the Northern Empire. He never had much use for religion, however, nor any affinity for “drudge work.” What is more, he saw hypocrisy in many of the high and mighty from that city, and thus took to a life in the shadier parts of town. In general he tried to do good for the people around him, but the powers that be didn't necessarily see it that way. Before trouble could catch up to him, he signed up with a ship's crew—and that's how he met his companions aboard the Skylark

The halfling serves as lookout aboard the ship, and thus can often be found perched in the crow's nest, but also throws himself into fights when necessary. He also acts as quartermaster when needed. Max is fast friends with Uriel, and sometimes assists Lucinda with navigational work. He knows that Konrad doesn't always approve of his methods, but he has also come to learn that he can count on the dwarf cleric in a pinch—and afterward, if that pinch involved throwing, and taking, punches. 


Konrad
CR 4
XP 1200
Male dwarf cleric 5
LG medium humanoid
Init +0; Senses Perception +4; Darkvision 60 ft.
DEFENSE
AC 17, touch 10, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +1 enhancement, +1 shield, +1 enhancement)
hp 41 (5d8+15)
Fort +8, Ref +2, Will +10
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 20 ft.
Melee Warhammer +5 (1d8+1)
Ranged Sling +3 (1d4)
Special Attacks None
STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 19, Cha 13 
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 14
Feats Extra Channel, Iron Will, Selective Channeling
Skills Diplomacy +9, Heal +12, Knowledge (religion) +12
Languages Common, Dwarven
SQ Slow and steady, defensive training, greed, hatred, hardy, stability, stonecunning, weapon familiarity, aura, channel positive energy 3d6 (6 times/day), domains (artifice and knowledge), orisons
Combat Gear Chain shirt +1, light steel shield +1, masterwork warhammer, sling, pouch of bullets, silver holy symbol of Ptah, healer's kit, pouch containing 2 gp, 6 sp and 9 cp, cloak of resistance +1
Spells per Day: 4/4+1/3+1/2+1
Spells Prepared (Typical): Detect magic, guidance, resistance, virtue; animate rope, bless, comprehend languages, protection from evil, remove fear; hold person, shield other, spiritual weapon, wood shape; dispel magic, prayer, stone shape

Konrad, son of Kazmir, grew up serving in the temple of Ptah in the Holy City on the southern coast of the Middle Sea. There his life was steeped in religious tradition and ritual, and he developed a zeal for learning. Part of education, however, is exploration, and that's why he chose to leave the insular life of the temple behind. When a bark with an adventurous crew, the Skylark, happened to be passing through port, he asked to join them and was accepted. 

The dwarf serves, not surprisingly, as the ship's healer—but can also hold his own when it comes to a fight. He finds Lucinda to be a font of knowledge and, due to their varied backgrounds and exploits, respects the other officers, too. Although they tend to be less disciplined than he would prefer, at least when they are ashore, Konrad appreciates their sense of wanderlust. 


Lucinda
CR 4
XP 1200
Female half-elf wizard 5
NG medium humanoid
Init +2; Senses Perception +2; Low-light vision
DEFENSE
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex, +1 Dodge)
hp 25 (5d6+5)
Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +4
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.
Melee Quarterstaff +2 (1d6)
Ranged Light crossbow +4 (1d8)
Special Attacks Spells
STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 19, Wis 11, Cha 12
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 14 
Feats Dodge, Greater Spell Focus (evocation), Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Spellcraft), Spell Focus (evocation)
Skills Craft (writing) +12, Knowledge (arcana) +12, Knowledge (geography) +12, Knowledge (history) +12, Knowledge (local) +12, Linguistics +12, Spellcraft +13
Languages Elven, Common, Draconic, Halfling, Dwarven, Orcish
SQ Low-light vision, adaptability, elf blood, elven immunities, keen senses, multi-talented, arcane bond (familiar), arcane school (evocation), cantrips
Combat Gear Clothing, spellbook, pouch of spell components, quarterstaff, light crossbow, pouch containing 5 sp, ring of protection +1, cloak of resitance +1, potion of fox's cunning
Spells per Day: 4/4+1/3+1/2+1
Spells Known: All cantrips; burning hands, comprehend languages, identify, jump, mage armor, magic missile, shield, shocking grasp, true strike; flaming sphere, invisibility, locate object, scorching ray; fireball lighting bolt

Lucinda was born and raised in the vast tract of sylvan forest known as Arcadia. Her father was a human wizard, and her mother an elf druid. She inherited his interest in arcane magic, leaving home at a young age to seek a tutor so that she could study evocation in particular—something of which her parents disapproved. It was while traveling that she met the crew of the Skylark; although they didn't seem like fitting company for her at first, she won their respect through her spellcasting ability, and they earned her friendship because of their open-mindedness and willingness to visit new (and sometimes dangerous) places. 

The half-elf serves as the navigator aboard the bark. She enjoys conversation with Max and Konrad the most, and tolerates Horace's good-natured flirtation. Uriel seems somewhat unsure what to make of her, but respects her abilities. 


Polly the Parrot
CR --
XP --
N tiny animal
Init +2; Senses Perception +6; Low-light vision
DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 size, +2 natural)
hp 13 (5d8-5) 
Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +4
Resist None
OFFENSE
Spd 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)
Melee Bite +6 (1d3-4)
Special Attacks Details
STATISTICS
Str 2, Dex 15, Con 8, Int 8, Wis 15, Cha 7
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 8
Feats Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Finesse
Skills Fly +5, Perception +6
Languages Common
SQ Alertness, improved evasion, shared spells, empathic link, deliver touch spells, speak with master

The mascot of the 'Larks is Lucinda's familiar, a parrot named Polly. She uses the bird for spying on foes, delivering messages to allies, and even in combat when needed. During quiet moments Polly usually finds a place in the rigging to rest, or a perch in the captain's cabin if there are treats available.   


 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Beyond the Veil


This post presents a number of encounters that the PCs could have while exploring the Winding Way, the realm that lies between places, time periods and possibilities.

-Nate




Introduction
The Winding Way is a realm that exists between different places and time periods. It can be a gateway to almost any possibility, including parallel worlds and alternate histories. The normal means of gaining entrance is to find a Crossroads, a place where the boundary between this world and others has worn thin. Failing that, it is sometimes possible to force open a portal using terrible magic, something that happened recently inside a US Army for on the American Frontier. 

Hell to Pay
For more information about the ritual that caused this rift to be opened, refer to the scenario in which it happened. 



Adventure Synopsis
This supplement presents a number of encounters that the PCs can experience as they make their way into and through the convoluted twists and turns of the Winding Way. As such, they can be run in any kind of order that the GM desires, as ways to add drama to the PCs' exploration of this realm. If the Player Characters are pursuing a specific objective inside the Winding Way, then these encounters could be run in order as a series of challenges as they pursue that goal.

For the Gun Master
GM's who wish to have more insight into the strange nature of the Winding Way, can reference the following comic books.
  • The story arc “Ghost Dance,” from issues 30-5 of The Sixth Gun, detail Becky Montcrief's journey into this realm in order to learn more about the power of the Six.
  • The spinoff series Valley of the Dead also ventures into the Winding Way, and details a battle against the aspiring God of Death known as Yum Kamil.
  • Finally, the first five issues of the spiritual successor to The Sixth Gun, Shadow Roads, shows how characters can using this realm to travel between locations on and beyond this earth.
Involving the Heroes
The PCs could decide to explore the Winding Way for any number of reasons, including the following.
  • An associate of theirs goes missing through the rift, and it's up to them to go find that unfortunate lost soul.
  • Alternately, an NPC who could hire the PCs to go in search of a friend or family member who has gone missing.
  • One or more of the PCs might wish to seek knowledge or some other objective by venturing into this realm and exploring the possibilities to which it leads.
  • Indeed, that endeavor could be based off plot elements revealed in stories told during one or more Interludes during previous adventures.
  • Finally, the PCs could have been present during the events of “Hell to Pay,” and seek to explore the rift following that battle, perhaps after some terrible creatures emerges from the rift.

Scene 1—The Rift
Beneath Fort Arneson lies a network of tunnels that were dug in the shape of a pentagram as part of Angelica Smith's attempt to summon and bind a Crossroads Demon. Assuming that the heroes succeeded in foiling her efforts, then there is a hole in the center created by the massive flux of magical energy. Narrow holes provide access to the tunnels, and they are pitch dark inside. In their middle is a gaping hole that descends one hundred feet to the surface of the water in the chamber below. 

Any efforts to climb down the hole require a successful trait check at a -2 penalty, due to the lack of handholds and slippery nature of the surface. That should be modified, of course, based on any equipment or other arrangements that the PCs can make at the entrance.




Scene 2—Underground Lake
The chamber underneath the rift is partially flooded, filled with water to a depth of thirty feet. The walls of this chamber are sheer, meaning that characters must make Swimming checks in order to move around it. There are only two areas that provide solid ground on which to stand; one is a narrow ledge in the middle of the chamber, which is also home to a constrictor snake that inhabits this area; the other is a platform that leads into the exit from here. Remember, too, that it's important to know what kinds of light sources the PCs have for illuminating the darkness.

Constrictor snake: Refer to pages 162-3 in the Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition for details.

Useful or Valuable Items
It's possible that previous visitors to the Winding Way—ones who did not survive the experience, that is—left behind some of their gear; this could include the following items.
  • In an old leather sheath there is a tarnished silver dagger, one with a moonstone embedded in the base of the hilt.
  • Wrapped in an old bit of cloth are three sticks of dynamite.
  • A gold pocketwatch has stopped, but resumes if it is wound. Additionally, there's a black-and-white photograph of a woman inside the hinged lid.
  • Finally, there's a letter. Its contents are left to the GM to determine, but can certainly provide a plot hook for some kind of unfinished business.




Scene 3—Columned Chamber
A series of natural stone columns connect the floor and ceiling in this chamber, which is on average about twenty feet high. Strung between many of the columns and the wall are thick webs, ones spun by the giant spiders that inhabit the chamber.

Giant spiders: Refer to page 163 in the Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition for details.

There is one spider for every two PCs (rounded up). They try to strike from above, hoping to trap victims in their webs, before moving in to bite.




Scene 4—Chasm and Rope Bridge
A robe bridge stretches more than one hundred feet in length from one end of this chamber to the other. The ceiling rises thirty feet overhead, while the floor plunges sixty feet below. There is also a narrow cave that is home to a wolf raptor, one of the more dangerous inhabitants of the Wind Way.

Wolf raptor: Refer to page 31 in the Winding Way adventure for details.

The wolf raptor waits until one or more characters have moved out onto the bridge before leaping out from its lair and attacking. It uses its Death from Above ability to lift PCs off the bridge and then drop them for a wicked fall.




Scene 5—Skinwalkers' Lair
At some point the tunnel opens up into a larger cavern. From the entrance (1) the PCs might be able to hear (with a Notice check) the presence of inhabitants. Beyond there is a broad chamber (2) with a firepit in the middle that serves as a common area. From there branches of the tunnel leads to a midden pit (3) in which the skinwalkers deposit their waste and refuse, as well as sleeping quarters for the clan's male and female members (4 and 5), respectively. Finally, the end of the branches into several different tunnels (6), each of which leads to more branches and, eventually, other places, times, and possible realities.

Skinwalkers: Refer to page 79 in the Sixth Gun RPG rulebook for details.

There are a number of skinwalkers present here equal to the PCs in the party. They are territorial, moving to challenge any interlopers when they become aware of them. Even so, the PCs might be able to negotiate safe passage with a successful Persuasion check, with bonuses or penalties assessed based on reasoning, roleplaying and other factors.

Moving Forward
Beyond this, the tunnels can lead to all kinds of destinations; here are a few suggestions.
  • Characters who have unfinished business of their own—such as elements revealed during characters' stories during Interludes or by other means—could have a chance to investigate those matters, perhaps gaining insight into those affairs.
  • They could also witness scenes from the past that impact on the current storyline, as observers who are not able to change the flow of history.
  • In either case, this could allow them to interact with people who are deceased, thereby gaining information that would otherwise have been lost, and especially if they missed some key detail during previous activity.
  • Finally, the PCs might also re-experience moments that did not go well for them, with a chance to learn what they could have done differently in order to have succeeded. At the GM's discretion, they could even be able to correct previous mistakes, finding that the outside world has changed once they emerge from the Winding Way.

Scene 6—Other Encounters
During their exploration of the Winding Way, the PCs could have numerous additional encounters; presented here are a few of the possibilities.
  • The ghost of the Indian boy Small Raven, unable to find eternal rest because his body's hand was cut off and turned into a Hand of Glory, is able to enter the Winding Way, and can act as a guide for the PCs. Use the stats for a haint from pages 75-6 of The Sixth Gun RPG.
  • At another point a wraith emerges from one of the tunnels, exploring this newly created rift. It is likely to attack the PCs, given its hunger for life energy. Refer to page 82 of The Sixth Gun RPG for details.
  • This activity also attracts a crossroads demon—possibly even Kalfu himself—who wishes to learn what has transpired. As long as the PCs are respectful, the demon can provide information about the Winding Way and perhaps even help navigate for them. Refer to page 74 of The Sixth Gun RPG for stats.
  • It's quite possible that the PCs encounter a dangerous swarm of vermin in these tunnels; refer to page 163 in the Savage Worlds Explorer's Edition rulebook for details.
  • The PCs might encounter other travelers making their way through the Winding Way; this can be a good way for the GM to introduce new NPCs and their stories into the campaign.
  • As the tunnels begin leading toward other places, time periods and possibilities, of course, any number of creatures might come wandering into the area.
  • The most dreaded inhabitant of the Winding Way is the dream stalker, detailed on page 30 of the Winding Way adventure.

Epilogue
Due to the unusual nature of the Winding Way, this scenario can end in countless different outcomes, depending on the desires of the players, the needs of the campaign and the whim of good or bad luck. As such, the myriad possible further adventures are already mentioned above.





Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Spacefarer's Almanac, Volume 1

As a supplement to the material presented in The Aethernaut's Handbook and A Gazetteer of the Sol System, this is the first installment in what I'm calling The Spacefarer's Almanac.

-Nate 




Thursday, January 17, 2019

Riot and Ruin



This supplement is designed for use with the 1st Edition of the Pathfinder roleplaying game, using the Aetherial Adventures setting; it sets up a series of scenarios based around the notion that the heroes of the Godharp Saga campaign fail to stop the demons' plot to devastate Homeworld, thereby leaving the planet devastated and overrun. 


Texts for Reference
To find an overview of the adventures in the Godsharp Saga, refer to the following article from the d20 Pirates blog.




There's an old saying that no GM's plot ever survives contact with the PCs. Building on that premise, this supplement works on the assumption that the heroes who participated in the events of the Godsharp Saga failed in their efforts to stop Nora the succubus and her demonic allies from laying waste to much of Homeworld.

A “Points of Light” Style of Campaign
The starting premise of this campaign is that Homeworld has been overrun by the demons. As such, it's an awful place in which to live. Even so, there's plenty of opportunity for heroes to find adventure in such a setting. Indeed, it's a world in which isolated bastions of civilization and hope remain in a world that is otherwise filled with villains and monsters. While the situation is undeniably dire, it is also a time in which those who are bold, skillful and lucky can win tremendous glory.

The Powers That Be
At this time, the demons and their allies are the unquestioned conquerors of Homeworld. After all, they control the Godsharp, and all others are at their mercy. Detailed below are suggestions for how other factions from the Aetherial Adventures setting have fared during recent developments.
  • The Church of Ptah is the first target of the demons, since its clerics know the most about the history of the Godsharp and how it can be wielded. As such, their temple in the Holy City is destroyed first.
  • Among other factions, the Cult of the Void and the Disciples of the Destroyer are likely to become allies of the demons, given their bent toward death, evil and chaos.
  • Such is also the case with the troglodytes of Tyr, who also worship Lamashtu and could begin expanding their empire.
  • The Sol Society and Guardians are staunch enemies of the demons, since they embody freedom and goodness, and so would be the next foes targeted.
  • Conversely, the Navigators are a faction that might be recruited by the demons because they can provide information about the other organizations, even if their members feel conflicted about cooperating in such a way.
  • As long as they cooperated with the demons, such as by hauling supplies for them, members of the Royal Interplanetary Company might also become allies.
  • Those who belong to the Order of the Lion are not likely to agree with such an arrangement, however.
  • On other worlds, the Dwarven Mining Guild might be recruited to craft weapons and armor for the demons, while the Elven Navy would stand against them.
  • Similarly, the giants of Wodan are likely allies, while some of the genies from Freya—notably the efreet—could ally themselves.
  • The Freebooters' Fellowship is a wild card that could go either way in this conflict.
Places of Interest
The scenarios of the Godsharp Saga provide plenty of locations that can be used for adventures, including the following possibilities.
  • Claw Island, along with the trading fort and tomb located on it (from Out of the Blue), could become a bastion of resistance for those who wish to oppose the demons.
  • Starfort Station (from Among the Stars) could hold out for some time, but the demons would eventually target it using the Godsharp. They would also seek to gain control of the interstellar portals that the elves have hidden among the rings of Kronos.
  • Depending on how the Interplanetary Company casts its allegiance, the Crossroads asteroid colony (from At a Crossroads)could be a staging point for the demons' aetherships, or another place where the PCs and others can stage their resistance.
  • The troglodytes's ziggurat on Tyr (from Beneath the Sands) becomes a major stronghold of the demons, a place from which they launch attacks on foes in the asteroid belt and beyond.
  • The center of the demons' power on Homeworld is the labyrinth on the Island of the Minotaurs in the Middle Sea (from Beyond the Pale), and the portal to the Abyss remains open there.
  • With the Holy City in ruins following the demons' attack, it could be overrun by undead created and commanded by Cyril the necromancer, who use the ruined Temple of Ptah and its catacombs as their base of operations (also from Beyond the Pale).
In the same way, the Gazetteer of Homeworld provides additional options.
  • As mentioned above, the giant strongholds on Wodan and the floating genie island of Freya could be places where the PCs find friends or foes.
  • The pristine forests of Arcadia and the desert wastes to the south of the Middle Sea can provide havens for those who fight against the demons.
  • The Barbarian Lands and, beyond them, the Eastern Kingdoms, are places where the PCs might seek allies to aid in their fight—provided they can convince those others of the threat the demons represent beyond the vicinity of the Middle Sea.
  • Humanoids and giants from the mountains beyond the Northern Kingdom would likely go on the rampage and offer their allegiance to the demons in exchange for aid and—more importantly—plunder.
  • In the asteroid belt, the Grotto serve as a valuable hideout, and the mobile facilities of the Dwarven Mining Guild would serve well to bolster any naval force that's being assembled by the resistance.
Planetary Ecologies Revisited
The encounter tables provided on pages 15-19 in the Gazetteer of the Sol System can be used to provide ideas for populating different locations with monsters. Just match the table with the appropriate region on Homeworld or other planet for ideas of level-appropriate foes that the PCs might encounter there. Those, then, can be used to “stock the dungeon” in some of the places of interest mentioned above. 

Note, too, that certain types of creatures not included on the regional tables for Homeworld can also come into play. This is especially true of the undead, which would be drawn to the power of Cyril the necromancer in his stronghold amid the ruins of the Holy City. Additionally, the minotaurs might begin experimenting with building different types of constructs, especially if they can be powered by infernal means.

Plot Hooks
Finally, here are some more suggestions for plot hooks and other story elements from which to build adventures.
  • The defeated PCs from the Godsharp Saga—those who survived that ordeal—would become important NPCs in this campaign.
  • More powerful demons would also likely travel to this plane and Homeworld in order to help take command of the ruined planet. While they provide even deadlier foes for the PCs, their presence could also lead to infighting and other intrigues.
  • In order to build their empire on Homeworld, the demons would seek to enslave any who possess useful skills.
  • At the start of the campaign the PCs could be part of the crew on a ship that works for the demons, or—even worse—could have been enslaved by them. As they go about their work, then, they witness just how terrible their employers or masters are, but then have a chance to free themselves from such onerous work.
  • The campaign might even begin during a stopover in the little port town of Alcudi, the same place where the events of the Godsharp Saga began.
  • Gathering together the scattered remnants of groups devastated by the sudden onslaught, as well as overcoming with diplomacy any differences between them, is a vital part of organizing any large-scale resistance against the demons.
  • At the same time, providing food and water for larger groups in this newly devastated land presents a challenge in its own right.
  • The demons and their allies would jealously guard the skies around Homeworld as well as access to aetherships of any kind, making overland travel slow and dangerous, and the acquisition of ships crucial.
  • All the while, too, the demons would continue to utilize the Godsharp as a potent weapon against locations in which their enemies dwell, especially if there is a sizable force massing against them.
  • The demons would also send their agents to hunt the PCs and, if they are able to discover their identities, any loved ones that the PCs might have.
  • Given the scope of this catastrophe, good outsiders such as the azata and possibly even angels could become involved in this conflict.
  • In order to defeat the demons once and for all, then, the PCs must raid each of the fiends' numerous lairs, as well as those of their allies; close the portal that is providing access to this plane of existence; secure the Godsharp so that it cannot be wielded against the forces of the Sol System; and then slay any remaining demons, especially those who have taken command of their evil forces.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Celestial Council

In the aftermath of the Godsharp Saga campaign, the powers that be in the Sol System begin to coordinate with one another in order to protect against similar threats. For that reason, here is a description of the organization known as the Celestial Council.

-Nate



The Celestial Council
In the aftermath of what has come to be known as “The Incident”—an attempt be demons and their allies to destroy Homeworld using an artifact known as the Godsharp—several of the powers that be in the Sol System decided to form an organization “for the purpose of mutual assistance, information and defense.” The members meet four times a year, on the day before each solstice and equinox, to share any news they've heard and to debate any mutual decisions that they might choose to make. The venue for each meeting varies, with different members taking turns in hosting.

Members
Current members of the celestial Council include the following individuals.
  • Brother Ibrahim, a priest of Ptah, represents the Free Cities of the South on Homeworld.
  • Marshall Leomund, a cavalier from the Order of the Lion, speaks on behalf of the Northern Empire.
  • Captain Aelwyn represents the Elven Navy.
  • Delve Captain Rorik, son of Rudrig, is the agent for the Dwarven Mining Guild.
  • Minister Yun is the representative for Emperor Zhu, who rules the Eastern Kingdoms.
There has also been talk of including other members, such as the giants of Wodan, the genies of Freya, and even a representative of the Barbarian Lands on Homeworld. So far, the existing members have chosen to keep the Council small.

Recent Business
Some of the items with which the Council has been dealing include the following.
  • There is an ongoing investigation into the aformentioned “Incident,” to make sure that no further danger remains from that business.
  • As its first act, the Council awarded a special commendation to those heroes who helped foil the demon's plot; it consists of statues depicting the heroes, engraved with their names, and inscribed with a plaque bearing the words, “For service to the Sol System above and beyond the call of duty.”
  • The Council has also been discussing an increase in pirate activity throughout the Sol System, including attacks on omas that are being used for interplanetary travel.
  • If and when a being should be accused of a crime that harms the inhabitants of Sol System's different planets, then the Council is tasked with considering evidence against, passing judgment on determining the punishment of said individual(s).
  • There's also the question of adding new members, a proposition that is supported by the elves and dwarves, but that the humans oppose.
  • Occasionally the Council receives from other star systems, including ambassadors from the arborlings and the kasatha.
  • Agents appointed by the Council keep tap on the various factions that are active in the Sol System, especially the Cult of the Void and the Disciples of the Destroyer.
  • A continuing concern is the spread of aetherial travel on Homeworld, something that the humans would like to control, but that the elves and dwarves believe should be allowed to happen freely.
  • The Council also keeps track of threats to the different planets presented by rogue comets, asteroids and other such bodies.
  • In order to promote interaction and cooperation between various groups of beings, the Council has adopted the Festival of the Comet—an annual competition involving martial prowess, artistic skill and aethership navigation—as an important intercultural event.
  • Toward that same end, the Council has been working to bring individuals from various cultures to attend the important holiday observations of others, such as solstices and equinoxes, birthdays and anniversaries, and the like.
  • Along more mundane lines, the Council brokers trade agreements between the parties that its members represent.