For tonight's game, I used stats from Elemental Evil. I think I based the bad guys on the air cultist numbers.
(George) Theran - Elf Mage
(Jessie) Bidam - Dragonborn Fighter
Bidam leveled up to 3, and decided to become an eldritch knight.
The Brothel of Slaking Intellectual Lusts
The next day, still beast-poxed, Xaldra Miloni showed up. She needed help with a job. This was my way of trying to make them feel connected to her, and also to run them through a Planescape: Torment plot that I liked from the computer game.
Basically, the heroes had to go to the Brothel of Slaking Intellectual Lusts and find the lost/stolen veil of one of the Sensates (she's a medusa - she really needs that veil). It was stolen by a guy who was magically disguising himself as an armoire in the building. I ran him like he was a bit of a pervert.
The players really got a kick out of this, and got to interact with a few of the sensates. Remember, this is the place where beautiful women talk to and listen to anyone who comes in.
I made sure to have them meet Fall-From-Grace, who is a succubus who abandoned her evil ways. She is a great NPC, maybe the coolest succubus NPC in D&D (check out my article on the succubus and see for yourself).
There's one sensate, Kimaxsi Adder-tongue, who has spiky hair and goat legs. She is very cruel. People come in just to be insulted by her. Bidam figured out that Kimaxsi likes to be insulted back, and after a few volleys of vile, profane insults, the two took a liking to each other.
The reward for finding Marissa's veil was a 3 month stay in Sylvania, the gate town to Arborea. This launches us right into Chapter 5.
Return to Sylvania
|Sylvania is #5 on this map.|
Theran ends up losing at a game of strip poker. Bidam runs into his enemy, Titanicus, who defeats her in a game of chance and Bidam ends up having to spend a night in a rotating vomitorium.
The modron march eventually comes through the town. The people treat it like a festival, painting the modrons, putting beads on them, stuff like that.
The adventurers lost sight of their friend Xaldra during the revels, and the next day she still hadn't been found.
It turned out that she'd been abducted and brought to a wizard in the woods. The wizard, named Valran, was doing experiments like the Tacharim did in chapter 3. He was trying to merge people and modrons into one monstrous creature.
So Xaldra did return to the suite, but in "modronoid" form. She had arm blades and was completely insane with rage! The heroes subdued her and brought her to a jail where she could be held and restrained safely.
The Bleak Cabal
The guards were wary, but the adventurers won them over. They played dice (Theran won). It turned out that these guards were members of the Bleak Cabal, a faction that believes that there is no meaning in the multiverse. They follow three main points:
- Quit looking for meaning
- Accept whatever happens
- Look inward
Valran's home is in the shape of a flower. Jessie insisted it was a mustache. They explored the place, which has a lot of neat little rooms in it. They found:
- A magic stone that repels small insects (for use in a dining area).
- A room with over a dozen glowing colored stones. Experimenting showed that the stones became inert when taken out of the room. They would eventually learn that these were sensory stones that held memories of the people Valran had abducted.
- A tapestry that, when touched, showed different landscapes.
- Another tapestry in a room with a crystal ball that Bidam immediately figured out was sort of like a security camera. It showed the exterior of the building, as well as the interior rooms.
The heroes found the room, exploded in and got the surprise on him. Bidam scored a critical hit. Poor Valran never had a chance (I gave him a few first level spells and about 35 hit points). They knocked him out and tied him up.
To their dismay, the modronoids broke out of their room and came rampaging down the hall towards them. Bidam killed two and then they barricaded the door shut. They could hear the other modronoids shambling like zombies out in the hallway.
The heroes forced Valran awake and questioned him. They learned that Valran was a sensate, and wanted to merge with a modron to experience what that was like. Valran admitted that pressing a sensory stone to the chest of a modronoid could infuse the creature with memories from its old life and restore some of the modronoid's sanity. They'd still be a hideous monstrosity, but perhaps they wouldn't be insane murder machines.
Theran put his finger in Valran's ear and cast firebolt, killing him.
"Curing" the Modronoids
What followed was a pretty insane plan. The heroes ran out into the hall, ducking modronoid attacks. They got two modronoids to chase them to the sensory stones, and then Bidam fought them while Theran grabbed sensory stones and pressed them to the modronoids, until the right one was used and the modronoid gained its memories.
Bidam has a high AC so this worked for a while, but Bidam took a few slices and then Theran got cut down! Theran was dying! There were two modronoids trying to murder him while Bidam frantically tried to use the sensory stones.
Jessie remembered that she had belief points, and used them to pick the right stones and to render the modronoids inert. Bidam healed his trusty wizard buddy and stabilized him.
Bidam carried Theran's unconscious body around. He freed the prisoners and the modrons. Then he went to the crystal ball room. He was curious about it...
The Crystal Ball
Bidam plopped Theran to the ground and touched the crystal ball. Poor Bidam. He failed a saving throw and was paralyzed! And in this adventure, he was not paralyzed for a minute or even an hour. He was paralyzed until someone cast dispel magic on him!
Hours later, Theran awoke and saw Bidam standing there, paralyzed. He knew they didn't have a lot of time before the Bleak Cabal guards would come to the complex. He would have to get Bidam out of there....
That's where we had to stop. This was the best session of the campaign so far! I didn't think much of this adventure when I read it, but as is often the case, it comes off differently when you actually run it.
My players have vacations for the next three weeks (George next week, and Jessie the two after). I'm trying to get "guest stars" to fill in, but Sunday at midnight is a hard time for most people to make.
Click here to go to Session 6, where the heroes go to Limbo and battle slaads