Those Adventure Path marathoners from the Order of the Amber Die are back again with a report from their play through of Pathfinder Adventure Path #122: Into the Shattered Continent! As usual, there be spoilers! Read the following at your own risk!
In our first marathon of The Azlant Odyssey, we got off to the finest start in any of our projects for the Paizo Blog: we discovered an ample amount of treasure, held party deaths to a zero count, and acquired enough allies to put together a solid team for any challenge that might present itself. For this second marathon, we wanted to capitalize on our early gains by significantly developing the colony of Talmandor's Bounty while exploring the island around it, and "Into the Shattered Continent" offered exactly that.
To enhance immersion, we brought the beach to us by utilizing AdventureScents to make the room smell like a sandy coast. We also engaged several live-NPCs to play the roles of colonists and other indigenous inhabitants of ancient Azlant, complete with a locathah mask that stared back at us the entire time. Lastly, our GM assembled a collection of images to project on the wall that matched locations we'd be visiting, as well as a soundtrack that included hours of waves crashing against the shore.
This adventure was divided into three parts, with the first being one of the largest sandboxes we've ever come across in 145 published adventures that we’ve played. So massive, in fact, that we pushed our GM near the limit and broke our record for the longest single marathon in Order of the Amber Die history!
- Adventure: Pathfinder Adventure Path #122: Into the Shattered Continent
- Marathon Length: 119 hours, 45 minutes
- Session Hours: 68 hours, 10 minutes
Highlights from Into the Shattered Continent:
- The marathon opened with shock and betrayal. Having accidentally chosen to bring two dominated colonists into our midst at the end of "The Lost Outpost", they turned against the colony in the downtime between adventures. Orchestrating a surprise raid by skum, the traitors targeted our spellcasters and caught nearly all of them alone or off-guard. Two of the colony's respected priests were slain, but we fought off the assault with aid from a couple of celedons, whom afterwards insisted on teaching all present how the goddess Acavna (not the party) had granted us a successful defense of the colony.
- Searching the ruins of Azlant has turned up much in the way of Pathfinder Society lore, and through opportunity three of us are now members (Ezren, Kyra, and Lyra). Alright, we'll stop holding back. We got to follow in the footsteps of an expedition from the first EVER Pathfinder Chronicles! And there's more...
- The island of Ancorato is not an easy place to traverse, and it literally bled us: blood-sucking stirges, a blood-obsessed sea hag, blood-draining ugothols, a blood-siphoning shark, blood-feeding plants, blood-drinking chupacabras, blood-frenzied sahuagin, blood-empowered vampiric mists, and an evil gillman cleric with the blood subdomain. Lesser restoration, please?
- In the final encounter, we faced our second betrayal when our closest friend and confidant, Carver Hastings, turned into a faceless stalker who had long ago replaced him. Worse, his allies—also former friends but now stalkers—tried to burn us alive in the colony's government building. All but Ezren escaped out of the windows, when Valeros decided to eschew safety by kicking down the front doors and going back in after the old man. With Kyra's air bubble to protect him from smoke inhalation, the fighter waded into the flames to save our wizard, and gave us one of the best slow-motion rescues of any campaign.
- The Amber Die itself got behind this adventure and dished out some pain, with nine natural 20s that left some heroes facedown. We dodged the die when it mattered most, though!
Author Robert Brookes referred to this adventure as "a sandbox of exploration and discovery," and its myriad encounters perfectly expanded the feel of our continuing odyssey. While survival was the premier skill for volume one, diplomacy became the focus skill of volume two. We entreated a water naga for aid, stopped a witch hunt, quelled a hunger strike, bartered with locathah, counseled a larcenous teenager, forged an alliance with indigenous creatures, intervened when tensions rose among colonists, solved a kidnapping, comforted a blind cyclops, and traded magic items with a paguroida.
While we don't have any iconic character deaths to report, we did want to devote this section to a colonist whom we had come to know and respect. Anya Sandstrider accompanied us on several excursions, where she taught us how to better spot danger, discover tracks, and even hunt boar. Our mistake was taking our friend out of her element on our deepest dive yet: a reef swarming with sahuagin and sharks. When we were surrounded by hammerheads and the future was murky, it was her spear and timely calm animals that gave us a momentary lifeline. Ezren fired off a buoyancy spell and we shot for the surface, but it wasn't until we reached air that we realized Anya wasn't with us anymore.
Best Quote From Marathon 2
Adam (GM): Alright guys, welcome to marathon two of The Azlant Odyssey. Kyra, make a Fort save or die, coup de grace.
Kyra (nervously): Ummm...ummm...ummm...24?
Adam (GM): You survive. Twelve damage. You awaken from a normal night's sleep to see a skum standing over you, with its trident in your gut and blood spilling out onto the sheets. Roll initiative.
We managed to thoroughly scout the island, discover generous Azlanti lore, and fend off an attack from within by an enemy we know very little about. Despite repeated betrayals from old friends, we couldn't have made it through this adventure without our newfound allies: a locathah ranger named Koloshkora, and a young strix oracle called Oorka. Our party now has the ability to draw on playmakers that excel in specific environments, with the locathah leading underwater, and the strix aiding overland. Our next move is to figure out who or what has been guiding the repeated attempts to subvert our colony—and eliminate them.
For character builds, questions about The Azlant Odyssey, additional content and more, see our thread here on the Paizo forums.