Saturday, September 24, 2022

Bad Blood

The newest scenario for use with Treasure Hunter Adventures and the Savage Worlds RPG pits the heroes against a band of mercenaries operating from a long-lost stronghold of the Inquisition. 


Bad Blood

Friday, September 23, 2022

Third Preview of Bad Blood--Three Telegrams

 For the third and final preview of Bad Blood, here are three cryptic telegrams found amid the Inquisitor's other items. 


A telegram sent from Nikolaos, Island of Crete (Greece), to Bamberg, Bavaria (Germany), dated 13 June 1886:

It is done. Constantine's mother

will collect no more relics.

A telegram sent from Munich, Bavaria, to Bamberg, Bavaria (Germany), dated 13 June 1886:

The King's man shall trouble us no more.

A telegram sent from Cairo, Egypt, to Bamberg, German Empire, dated 13 January 1912:

The American adventurer went in search of Constantine's mother and the King's man, but his work has come to an end.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Second Preview of Bad Blood--Sketches

For the second preview of "Bad Blood," here are sketches taken from a long-lost journal belonging to a member of the Inquisition. 


Here are two depictions of female deities, Demeter (above) and Freya (below). 

The next one depicts Walpurgisnacht, the night of the year on which, legend has it, witches gathered to celebrate and the boundary between this world and the next was thinnest. 

Finally, here is a note--including the impression of a signet ring--taken from the journal. 

Sunday, September 18, 2022

First Preview of Bad Blood--Maps and Pictures

Here's the first preview of the next full scenario for Treasure Hunter Adventures; this one's called "Bad Blood." This one focuses on some of the pictures and maps. 

Above is a drawing of medieval Bamberg, in Bavaria, Germany; below is a map of the city. 

Next comes the map of a stronghold used by the Inquisition. 

Finally, here's an elaborate clock that forms one of the puzzles. 


Friday, September 16, 2022

Trailer and Release Date for National Treasure: Edge of History

It seems that the final trailer was released, and the release date for the series announced, at D23 over the weekend. Here are my thoughts.

  • It's cool to see more of Harvey Keitel's character, Peter Sadusky. I always suspected that he knew more than what he was telling.

  • The reference to “daughters of the plumed serpent,” spoken by the character played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, seems to imply to the Mesoamerican mythical figure Quetzalcoatl.

  • It also seems that the late father of the main character—Jess Valenzuela, played by Lisette Olivera—will play an important part in the story.

  • Indeed, later footage implies that Sadusky knew Jess's dad.

  • It looks like we might see a full-on treasure room, possibly filled with items found by Benjamin Franklin Gates (played, of course, by Nic Cage in the movies).

  • Finally, the two-episode premiere is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14th. If the suggestion of 10 episodes from is accurate, then it should run until February 8th.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Spelljammer Campaign Notes

Here are my notes from the first full session of my new Spelljammer campaign. I'm running Spelljammer Academy as a lead-in to Light of Xaryxis


Spelljammer Campaign Notes


Al—Crishymm, male thri-kreen barbarian

Aric—Illyan, male astral elf sorceror

Brent—Durgo Hawklyn, male human cleric of Chauntea

Geof—Globulus Splort, plasmoid fighter

Michael—Rixian, male water genasi druid

Orientation”—September 13th

The action opened with the heroes aboard the spelljammer ship Moonraider. An astral reaver slammed into the side of it, and the resulting impact killed off Captain Sardax. With her last breath she implored the heroes to hold the top deck at all costs. They acquitted themselves admirably, charging into battle and cutting down the attacking reavers with axe and sword cuts, arrows and an icy spell. Then another explosion rattled the ship—only to freeze in the middle of the action, and then be revealed as an illusion used for training purposes, one depicting the Battle of H'Catha. Boatswain Tarto commended them on their performance, and then gave them a list of duties to complete as their orientation at Spelljammer Academy.

From there they went to the reception and met Sor-Kur, the thri-kreen receptionist. She gave them their welcome kits, including uniforms, toiletry bags and gear vouchers. Next they headed for the dormitory, where an astral elf named Veena tried to take Rixian's bunk assignment. He stood his ground, Glob added an insult, and a fight ensued. With a flurry of punches, along with a couple of mind sliver spells from Illyan, the heroes convinced the elves to bunk elsewhere.

Next they attended a tour of a visiting spelljammer ship, a flying fish ship. During the tour, Rixian noticed a hobgoblin officer, Vashnik, meeting with a captain on another dock; Vashnik seemed to pay a bribe in exchange for a bottle of something. Rixian chose to sit on that knowledge for now.

On the assault training obstacle course, Crishymm ran out to an early lead, but then got into trouble. Glob had some trouble with the spinning wheel of maces, too. Crishymm was the first to complete the course. Illyan used magic to reach the top of the climbing pole, and the rest of the heroes finished the course as well.

Next, Crishymm and Glob visited Mister Blip, the autognome quartermaster, to requisition gear as part of the Spelljammer Corps. At the same time, Illyan, Durgo and Rixian reported to Saerthe Abizjn, who started training them on attuning to and operating spelljammer helms. During that exercise, Abizjn asked some probing questions, which the heroes answered to their satisfaction.

Finally, after completing their checklist of tasks, tBoatswain Tarto asked them to delivery a package to the quarters of Mirt the Merciless, the Academy Head. He was still sleeping, recovering a meeting with offworlders the night before. Mirt told them to open the package and leave it on the rug; eight neogi hatchlings erupted from it! With a flurry of spells and melee attacks, the heroes slew the neogi. Mirt rewarded them for their service. In the aftermath, they heard a worried Mister Blip mention that the attack had been a ruse to draw away security personnel, and that another theft had occurred...

Loot: Requisitioned gear for Crishymm and Glob; a 50-gp gold ingot for each character

Experience: Advance characters to level 2.

Trial by Fire”—September 27th

On the morning before their first (illusionary) spelljammer voyage, the heroes gathered in the refectory for breakfast. There they heard rumors that a pistol belonging to the cook, Winston Ryeback, had been stolen. They also met a fellow cadet, Miken Haverstance, who was worried that he wouldn't live up to his team's expectations. They managed to raise his spirits.

Reporting to the Simulations Deck, they were greeted by Boatswain Tarto and Saerthe Abizin, who briefed them about the mission—sailing into the asteroid belt to recover a logbook from a wrecked vessel. They put Durgo on the helm, with Illyan acting as captain and the other party members serving as shipmates. En route they ran into a school of electric space eels, but managed to avoid taking too much damage. Approaching the asteroid belt, they spotted the wreck and came at it from above. Globulus jumped overboard, with a rope tied around his waist, and retrieved the logbook.

Heading back to Toril, they found themselves ambushed by githyanki pirates aboard a squid ship! The two vessels traded artillery fire before the heroes made a ramming attack. They missed! Having drawn in close to the enemy, however, they decided to board them. Durgo gave Glob some healing, and then the plasmoid, with Crishymm, led the attack. At one point Crishymm found himself surrounded by enemies, but he held his own. Illyan contributed guiding bolts from the deck of the party's ship, and Durgo provided more healing. The heroes won the day.

Continuing their return trip, the heroes found Miken and his team adrift, having suffered from their own encounter with the electric space eels. Glob threw over a rope and pulled the two vessels aside each other, and then the heroes provided aid and evacuated the wounded.

Loot: Award of 100 gp for each character

Experience: Advance characters to level 3.

Realmspace Sortie!”—October 25th

The heroes awoke abruptly as Boatswain Tarto was shouting and throwing garbage cans; they dressed, packed their gear and ate a hasty breakfast before heading to the Skydock. The hadozee briefed them about their mission, heading to H'Catha to recover an adamantite asteroid, before boarding the hammerhead ship Flight Foundling and heading into orbit over Toril. There they made rendezvous with a derelict beholder tyrant ship, where they went aboard, bringing a good deal of gear and accompanied by Petty Officer Winston Ryeback (male giff cook), Miken Haverstance (male human adept), Krik'lit (female thri-kreen carpenter's mate) and Pfredd (male plasmoid).

Once aboard, they divided up the equipment; Ryeback and other other shipmates headed below to set up the galley, while the heroes devised a means of moving the spelljammer helm up to the command deck. As they did so, they triggered a spin cycle trap, and the ship began spinning wildly! They were knocked around a bit by that, but eventually Rixian struggled his way onto the helm and, with help from Durgo, gained control of the vessel.

Later the heroes heard noises from the cargo hold and headed below to investigate. There they found piles of debris, out of which three clockwork horrors attacked! This was a lengthy battle. Crishymm used his axes and Glob struck with his scimitars, and the horrors counterattacked with sawblade claws and bites. Durgo did a lot of healing, and eventually Rixian's thunderwave spells helped turn the tide of the battle. In the aftermath, the heroes found pieces of dismantled autognomes—along with a survivor named Wizpop—amid the debris. Working with Krik'lit's tools, Durgo figured out how to reassemble the autognome.

They had a short rest back up on the bridge, before Mike emerged from one of the tunnels with alarming news. The heroes headed below again, with Glob and Crishymm leading the way. There they found the newly created galley engulfed in flames, with a trio of magma mephits causing the chaos. Rixian used create water to help douse the flames, while the plasmoid and thri-kreen led the charge in melee. In spite of the mephits' fire breath and tendency to explode, the heroes won the day.

Loot: Two potions of healing issued to each character; five pearls worth 100 gp each from the debris; a spell scroll of rope trick.

Experience: Advance characters to level 4.

Behold H'Catha”—November 7th

Following the heroes' request for aid, Boatswain Tarto and Saerthe Abizin arrived aboard the hammerhead ship Flight Foundling. They sent Krik'lit and Miken Haverstance back to the Academy aboard that vessel, but they stayed aboard the Tyrant Ship with the heroes. The combined group reached H'Catha without incident; Saerthe kept the ship hovering above the shore of the Spindle, Tarto lowered a rope ladder, and the heroes ventured ashore.

There they found evidence of the meteorite impact, along with tracks leading into one of the caves in the Spindle. Glob spotted ahead, but the spectators saw him. They introduced themselves as Greelob and Orlob, and explained that they were vying to guard the meteorite, which a one-eyed ogre had dragged here, its lair. Glob convinced the two spectators to have a duel to settle the matter, and Orlob won it with a ray from one of his eyes. Crishymm snuck into position, and then he attacked it and Glob turned on Orlob. The heroes defeated those enemies, loaded the meteorite into their bag of holding and departed.

On the way back to Toril, they fell out of cruising speed due to an asteroid in their path. Qitru the githyanki appeared, riding a star lancer, and called for the release of Miken Haverstance. The heroes explained that Miken had been taken back to the Academy, but Qitru did not believe them and so attacked. The heroes defended themselves vigorously, and so Qitru had the star lancer turn invisible and they tried to flee. Rixian shapechanged into a mole and spotted them, but they still managed to escape to their waiting vessel. The rest of the return trip was uneventful; the heroes resumed ordinary duties, while the officers called for a briefing.

While the heroes worked on chores the next day aboard the Flight Foundling, an unknown vessel arrived and giff stormed from it aboard the hammerhead ship, demanding that they surrender it. The heroes refused, of course; Rixian responded with moonbeam, and Durgo used guiding bolts. Glob jumped into battle, too, and the giff were not successful with their grenades. Just after the giff fell, two githyanki warriors appeared, hauling Miken with them. The heroes defeated them, too, and Rixian healed Miken's injuries.

With that, the heroes completed their training at Spelljammer Academy, and were prepared to be sent away for new opportunities...

Loot: Two muskets, one or more grenades (determined randomly after the first one is used), and a magical item of each hero's choosing as a graduation present (+1 rod of the pact keeper, +1 shield or weapon, bag of holding or goggles of night).

Experience: Advance characters to level 5.

Astral Rain”—November 22nd

Having completed their training at Spelljammer Academy, the heroes ventured back out into the rest of Toril aboard the galleon Belligerence. There they had a chance to do some shopping and to inquire about possible crew positions aboard spelljammers; they met Captain Elaina Sartell. While visiting a local tavern, they felt the earth tremble, heard the thunderous eruptions, and rushed outside to see what was happening. There they saw strange crystalline vines rising up out of the ground. Captain Sartell urged them to flee.

Some of the smaller crystal vine-things were mobile, and six of them attacked! Illyan hit them with a fireball, and the rest of the party dispatched the others. There were more eruptions and more tremors, and the heroes saw a building collapse on a group of fleeing locals! There were more of the creatures—which they later identified as astral blights—that attacked those helpless people. The heroes rushed into battle, slaying the blights, and provided healing to the wounded. Crishymm flew into a rage and Rixian took the form of a powerful ape.

Arriving at the docks, the heroes found a local rogue, Traevus, leading a bunch of goons who were presenting the locals from boarding ships to flee the city. Combat quickly ensued, and the heroes made short work of these ne'er-do-wells. After that they boarded Captain Sartell's galleon, the Moondancer, along with as many of the locals as it could hold, and set sail. This was a spelljammer; it lifted off from the sea and soared into the sky.

Loot: None.

Attack of the Star Moth”—December 6th

Once the Moondancer had left Toril's atmosphere, Captain Sartell gave them a tour of the space galleon. She explained that she wanted to seek more information about these strange occurrences from an acquaintance on the Rock of Bral. They started to hear some grumbling among the refugees whom they'd taken aboard, questions about where they were headed, and when they'd be able to return; Illyan help calm their fears, and the others helped them settle in aboard the ship. The PCs also did some fishing to help supplement the provisions they were all sharing. They also identified six refugees who were competent sailors and recruited them as shipmates.

Before long, they spotted a star moth that was closing with them. Realizing that they couldn't outrun that vessel, Captain Sartell and the PCs decided to come about and engage. They handed out weapons to the shipmates, including a surprising number of hand axes from Crishymm, and showed the sailors how to throw grappling for closing the gap. The astral elves aboard the star moth—the Dark Star—seemed haughty at first, but soon changed their tune. Rixian opened the attack with an ice knife and Illyan added a chromatic orb. Glob slipped across and maneuvered into position to backstab, while Crishymm raged and charged into battle. Rixian cast shillelagh and joined the fray, while Illyan added magic missiles and another orb. Glob spilled one elf's guts with his scimitars.

After defeating the astral elf warriors, the PCs headed below decks and found the spelljammer, an astral elf star priest named Altura, on the ship's helm. Recongizing her predicament, she surrendered, and even explained the astral seeds that they had planted on Toril. The PCs locked her up and split their crew between the two vessels, and then continued on their way to the Rock of Bral. As they approached the asteroid cluster, they found a nautiloid ship lying in their path!

Loot: The star moth Dark Star?

Treacherous Salvage”—December 20th

The PCs boarded the nautiloid and began exploring. Psurlons attacked them! Crishymm charged into battle; Rixian hit them with a thunderwave, and then cast shillelagh. Illyan hit them with sacred flame, and Durgo provided healing. Crishymm pressed the attack and was reckless, killing one of them. They retaliated with psychic crush. Illyan took out another one with a chromatic orb, and Glob spilled the guts of another one with his scimitars. (He took a moment to taunt the dying psurlon: “You gonna clean that up?”) Rixian finished off the last one with an acid splash.

After that fight they continued exploring. The PCs found a number of beheaded mind flayers; with Wisdom (Medicine) checks they confirmed that a sword was used to decapitate them. Durgo climbed up to the bridge and found the ioun stone. They also discovered that the sphincter-door to the mess hall was sutured shut with ropes and hooks.

On the prison deck they found evidence of the battle that occurred on the ship, and then ran into the quaggoth. They caught it with a web spell, and then Rixian shapechanged into a giant spider to attack. Durgo blessed his comrades, and Crishymm surprised the others by casting a guiding bolt. Together they slew the quaggoth.

Loot: Ioun stone (reserve) with one casting of shield; 23 gp and 117 sp in loose change; a 50-gp bloodstone ring; a +1 breastplate that is embossed with tentacles.

Experience: Advance characters to level 6.

A Friend in Need”—January 3rd

(At the start of this session, we had a little business left to finish from “Treacherous Salvage.”)

The PCs finished exploring the derelict nautiloid, and concluded that the mess hall, with its sphincter-door sutured shut, was the last area to examine. As they approached, a human-sounding voice called out to them for help, so Crishymm slashed open the sutures and rushed in to help. He found a neh-thalggu waiting in ambush, which attacked with its claws and bite. In response, Crishymm and Glob opened up with axes and scimitars, while Durgo and Illyan hit it with a guiding bolt and a big magic missile. Rixian shapechanged into a cat to slip in behind it, and then whacked it with his shillelagh. The neh-thallgu tried to mind blast Durgo, but failed, so it became invisible and tried to escape. Glob chased after it, though, and managed to find it by extruding an appendage. Illyan toasted it with a fireball and the others, blessed by Durgo, managed to cut it down.

After that the PCs continued to the Rock of Bral. There they discharged the hadozee that had crewed the star moth Dark Star, but retained the sailors from Toril—Miriam, Beryl, Jebediah, Conrad, Beryl and Esmerelda. They also held on to Altura, the astral elf star priestess, as their prisoner. Glob completed the ritual to summon a space owl familiar, which he named Hootie. With Altura in tow, they headed to the Happy Beholder tavern, where they met Commodore Krux. After telling him their story, he agreed to accompany them back to their ship.

Outside the Happy Beholder, four astral elves confronted and attacked them! Durgo hit one with a guiding bolt, and Crishymm charged in with reckless axe attacks. Illyan hit one with a chormatic orb (acid), and Rixian conjured a flaming sphere. Crishymm cut down one, and Glob another. Durgo healed his comrades. Illyan finished the third with toll of the dead, and then Glob cut down the last one.

After loading supplies, they set sail with Krux for Topolah's tower. En route, they spotted an esthetic that was pursuing them!

Loot: None.

Living on the Edge”—January 17th

The reigar, traveling in an esthetic, closed with the party's ship. Rixian was on the helm at the time. The esthetic screamed at them, causing them considerable harm and disabling their helm for a few hours. Rixian healed himself, as did Durgo. Hastain the reigar boarded their ship using dimension door. Crishymm missed with a guiding bolt, as did Illyan with a chromatic orb. Hastain summoned their golem, which engaged with Crishymm. Rixian summoned lightning! Durgo hit with his guiding bolt, and Crishymm critically hit the golem. Illyan hit the reigar with a chromatic orb, and received a chromatic bolt in return. Durgo hit the reigar with another big guiding bolt and Hastain was laid low. Crishymm continued piling damage on the golem, and Illyan finished it with a magic missile. After a bit of discussion, the PCs jettisoned the unconscious reigar.

Left addressed, the lookouts spotted a pod of kindori; Rixian recalled that they are attracted to lights. Durgo cast a light spell to bring them closer, and then swam out into the air pocket in their midst. The cleric of Chauntea used healing magic to make them feel good, and was prepared to use sending to communicate them when the helm started working again. The PCs continued on their way.

Arriving at Topolah's tower, Rixian did a good job of bringing their star moth alongside the rickety docks. They made introductions, and Illyan made a strongly positive impression on Topolah. After giving a tour, she offered them the wildspace orrery in exchange for dealing with a predatory void scavver nicknamed Big Momma. The PCs agreed, and prepared to go hunting.

Living on the Edge”—January 17th

The PCs waited in the jolly boat for a short time before Big Momma attacked! Illyan hit her with a thundering chromatic orb. A couple of other spell efforts missed their mark before Glob hit the scavver with an arrow. Big Momma frightened them with her gaze! Illyan cast toll of the dead, and Rixian called lightning. Crishymm hit her with some javelins, too. Then Glob put an illusory bag over her head (and she threw a natural 1 on her save), causing the scavver much confusion. Taking advantage of that situation, Durgo attacked her with a spiritual weapon, and Illyan hit her with a chromatic orb and a fireball. Glob's arrow finally slew her.With that task accomplished, Topolah guided the party to a meeting with Grimzod Gargenhale, commodore of a fleet opposed to the Xaryxian Empire. 

En route they saw evidence of a big battle; they found Gargenhale in command of a galleon in rough shape. Illyan was not so persuasive in talking to the vampirate, but Durgo spoke of behalf of Toril and was more convincing. Just as Gargenhale agreed to help the PCs, however, his crew mutinied!

The PCs gave chase in their star moth. After drawing alongside, they boarded the galleon. This was a big fight! Rixian became a wolf and leapt aboard the enemy vessel, while Illyan hit it with a couple of fireballs. Glob and Crishymm waded into battle, and Durgo helped, too. The PCs were able to take control of the galleon; in its brig they found Xedalli, an astral elf who—along with her twin brother Xeleth—are heirs to the Xaryxian throne!

Loot: Periapt of health, 2 potions of superior healing, oil of etherealness.

Experience: Advance characters to level 7.

Grave Alliance”—January 31st

The PCs waited in the jolly boat for a short time before Big Momma attacked! Illyan hit her with a thundering chromatic orb. A couple of other spell efforts missed their mark before Glob hit the scavver with an arrow. Big Momma frightened them with her gaze! Illyan cast toll of the dead, and Rixian called lightning. Crishymm hit her with some javelins, too. Then Glob put an illusory bag over her head (and she threw a natural 1 on her save), causing the scavver much confusion. Taking advantage of that situation, Durgo attacked her with a spiritual weapon, and Illyan hit her with a chromatic orb and a fireball. Glob's arrow finally slew her.

With that task accomplished, Topolah guided the party to a meeting with Grimzod Gargenhale, commodore of a fleet opposed to the Xaryxian Empire. En route they saw evidence of a big battle; they found Gargenhale in command of a galleon in rough shape. Illyan was not so persuasive in talking to the vampirate, but Durgo spoke of behalf of Toril and was more convincing. Just as Gargenhale agreed to help the PCs, however, his crew mutinied!

The PCs gave chase in their star moth. After drawing alongside, they boarded the galleon. This was a big fight! Rixian became a wolf and leapt aboard the enemy vessel, while Illyan hit it with a couple of fireballs. Glob and Crishymm waded into battle, and Durgo helped, too. The PCs were able to take control of the galleon; in its brig they found Xedalli, an astral elf who—along with her twin brother Xeleth—are heirs to the Xaryxian throne!

Loot: Periapt of health, 2 potions of superior healing, oil of etherealness.

Experience: Advance characters to level 7.

Trust Issues”—February 28th

(The group voted not to play on February 14th due to it being Valentine's Day. We played this session remotely due to the weather.)

Xedalli introduced herself and told of her brother's betrayal (Xeleth, heir to the throne of the Xaryxian Empire). Commodore Krux told the rest of his story, too, how he'd been defeated in a battle with the Xaryxian Fleet. Krux and the PCs took some target practice with Krux's musket, but didn't have too much success with it. They did some astral fishing, and introduced Altura, their captive, too Xedalli.

Upon arrival in Doomspace, they used Topolah's wildspace orrery to find the planet Aarun. While Globulous took the helm, the other PCs formed the away team and ventured down to the surface. There they found Major Blastimoff in trouble, being chased by five aartuk warriors and an aartuk priest. While the warriors engaged Crishymm in melee—with little success—Rixian cast erupting earth to hinder the priest, and then Illyan hit him with a chromatic orb (acid). Durgo summoned a spiritual guardian that cut down the priest. Rixian hit one of the warriors with his shillelagh, and it hurt him pretty badly in return, but Durgo channeled divinity to heal him and then conjured a spiritual weapon (longsword) to aid in the battle. Illyan twinned toll of the dead to deal with two more of the warriors, while Crishymm pressed his attacks, and Commodore Krux even waded in with his longsword. The PCs and their allies won the day.

Then two bulettes erupted from the ground! Crishymm charged one of them, and Commodore Krux fired his musket at the other. Illyan missed with a chromatic orb, as did Durgo with a guiding bolt. Rixian shapechanged into a dire wolf, bit one, and dragged it to the ground (trip attack). Then Durgo and Illyan hit with new spell attacks, and the tide of battle was turned.

In the aftermath, Major Warwyck Blastimoff told them about Vocath the Mercane, and how he could be the key to building a coalition against the Xarixyan Empire.

Arena of Blood”—March 14th

Based on what they'd learned from Major Warwyck Blastimoff, the PCs headed for Vocath's moon. Upon arrival they surveyed the docking platforms and then moved in to dock at #7; the mercane's guards seemed alarmed by the arrival of a star moth, until they introduced themselves. They met with Vocath and quickly came down to business, agreeing to fight as gladiators in his arena.

When the two b'roghs appeared, Rixian shapechanged into a dire wolf and attacked one of them. Globulous used his illusion to put a box on one's head, to good effect. Rixian tripped his opponent, but fighting from the ground, it rended him pretty badly. Durgo provided some healing. Illyan's spell efforts were not so successful; he failed with toll of the dead twice. Rixian used shillelagh to pound on his foe, and Glob finished it with his scimitars. Crishymm contributed mightily, as well.

Realizing that there was a mirror of life trapping underneath Vocath's balcony, Illyan hit it with magic missiles! It shattered, releasing the rest of its monstrous contents. Those included a braxat, brown and gray scavvers, a spacy guppy and a megapede! Illyan gave Glob greater invisibility, allowing him to attack with relative freedom. The brown scavver swallowed Rixian, but Illyan slew it with a chromatic orb. Glob cut down the gray scavver, too. In a heroic effort, they also cut defeated the megapede.

That was when Prince Xeleth, riding on a dragon, crashed through the dome overhead and called for them to turn over Princess Xedalli!

Discord and Diplomacy”—March 28th

Upon his arrival, Crown Prince Xeleth made his demand: that the PCs and their allies turn over Princess Xedalli to his custody. They hesitated, contemplating violence, until both Vocath and Xedalli herself encouraged them to comply. Illyan helped talk them into cooperating, and Xedalli dropped her ring of shooting stars in the sand at his feet before letting herself be led away. After Xeleth departed, Rixian found the ring and Illyan started wearing it.

Then they began negotiating with the various factions who were present. The humans were friendly, but Durgo's speechifying didn't impress them too much. A gift of ten healing kits and his demonstration of how to use them, however, won them to the cause. Although the aaracockra were indifferent, Illyan won them over with his gift for persuasion. The thri-kreen were already friendly, and Crishymm took advantage of that fact by hosting a tremendous feast and telling tales of his prowess in battle. The aartuks were also indifferent, and insisted that the PCs prove themselves in combat. Rixian took up the challenge, wrestling their leader. At the start of the bout he shapechanged into a giant constrictor snake, and was given freedom of movement. Thus he won easily. Finally, Illyan convinced the indifferent Ssurans with his charisma and by promising to help repair the broken landing leg on their Spelljammer vessel.

Experience: Advance characters to Level 8.

Mind Flayer Over Matter”—April 11th

En route to the Rock of Bral for supplies before their voyage, the PCs encountered Dagaz the Githyanki. She challenged them, but then made an offer—loot and assistance, in exchange for aiding her with a mind flayer problem in Vermillionspace. There they encountered a flying fish ship that had seen better days; the crew aboard it told them to leave the area. They detected that something was awry, however, and opened the fight. Crishymm and Durgo started with guiding bolts and killed one of them. Illyan missed with his own such effort, but did not miss with a chromatic orb of thunder. Glob charged into battle with his scimitars, and the others helped him with the battle.

From there, the PCs ventured into an asteroid belt where the mind flayers was trying to open a portal for a horror from beyond this plane. The PCs slew the mind flayers and closed the gate for good.

Loot: 4 art objects (250 gp each); Manual of the Golem

Nightspider Dead Ahead”—April 25th

As the PCs emerged from Vermillionspace, they were ambushed by a nightspider! Their two ships traded some artillery fire; once they were close enough, Illyan went after the other ship's weapon crew with a fireball. Then Glob and Crishymm fired their ranged weapons and then stormed aboard, and finished off the artillerists. From there they engaged with the rest of the crew, making relatively quick work of the neogi. The umber hulks proved to be tougher foes, of course, and managed to confuse Crishymm and Glob. Even so, the other PCs were able to hold their own, and so they prevailed.

Space Invaders” and “Crowning Moment”—May 9th

During their brief stopover at the Rock of Bral, the PCs traded the Manual of the Golem and tentacle-covered breastplate +1 for items more useful to them, including a cloak of protection; a ring of protection; a pearl of power; a scimitar +1; and what Durgo picked. After that—and laying in provisions, ammunition and other supplies—they assembled their fleet and headed for the Astral Sea, bound for Xaryxisspace and a final confrontation!

Arriving in Xaryxisspace, they saw the Citadel and the astral elf fleet surrounding it. Since they were traveling aboard a star moth, the devised a plot to act as if they were being chased by the rest of the fleet that they'd assembled, and make a beeline for the citadel. Illyan used flag signals and a Persuasion of 28 to sell the deception! The other crew members added fake blood on the decks of the ship, burning oily rags, and more to complete the effect. When the Xaryxia tried to pull alongside them, they claimed to have many wounded who needed immediate aid (Illyan's Persuasion = 23).

Durgo was piloting, and managed to land the star moth in the garden of the Imperial Citadel. With some assistance from Commander Corelleth, they pushed their way into the Temple of Light. Glob became invisible, and trailed the others unnoticed. When High Priest Andavier asked if anyone wanted to defend Princess Xedalli against accusations of treason, Illyan stepped up to do so (and used Persuasion of 23). His words turned many in the crowd against Prince Xeleth, who then called for trial by combat to settle the matter. Princess Xedalli named the PCs as her champions, and Prince Xelleth called for the Zodar!

Experience: Advance characters to Level 9.

Crowning Moment”—June 5th

With the announcements made, the PCs entered battle with the Zodar. Glob and Crishymm both hit it with their swords and axes, respectively. It tore into them with its crushing fists, and then hit Rixian with a forced teleport. Rixian responded with an ice storm, and Illyan caught it with Bigby's hand. Durgo missed with his guiding bolts. Glob and Crishymm continued to press the attack with their blades, and Illyan added toll of the dead. Durgo and Rixian provided healing words for those two combatants, allowing them to keep up the battle, and the PCs defeated the Zodar!

With that, Princess Xedalli won her claim and was declared Empress. She asked for Illyan to return her ring, which he did. To reward her champions, she called for them to be arrested! At that point the voice of the Zodar spoke clearly, instructing the heroes that they could save their world by throwing the ring of shooting stars into the stream of light from Xaryxis.

The fight to save Toril was on! Moving quickluy, Crishymm grabbed the Empress in a four-armed grapple and started carrying her toward the stream of starlight in the astral font. The royal guards moved to intercept them, attacking the thri-kreem fiercely. Durgo hit her with hold person, at which point Glob extruded a tentacle and snatched the ring from her finger and headed for the font. Illyan caught up the guards in a web. Rixian bolstered Crishymm with a healing word and then joined the battle to guard the thri-kreen's flank. Durgon added a word of his own and channeled energy on him, too. Then Glob conjured a mage hand and used it to deliver the ring into the stream of light.

With that Xaryxis began to flare, sign that it would soon explode. The PCs raced back aboard their star moth ship, took to the sky, and fled the Citadel. After a journey through Astral Space they returned to Realmspace, where they found that the crystalline vines which had overrun Toril had shattered and collapsed. They had save the world!

Friday, September 9, 2022

Reach for the Stars from Kobold Press

This is the first in what looks to be a series of articles, Reach for the Stars, from Kobold Quarterly, who certainly have some gaming credentials. It is called "Quick Space Adventures," and reminds me of the adventure generators that come with a number of Savage Worlds settings. This looks functional and fun, and I am intrigued by the possibility of future articles. 

Update: I'm adding links to different articles for ease of reference. 


Quick Space Adventures

Rare Materials

Space Magic

Stellar Bestiary

Deep Space Ancestries