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Okay, I have some time for a recap now.
So, this campaign is the first one that takes place in my homebrew setting of Mystralas. To be specific, in the continent of Esvel, in the land of Elefris which is considered one of the two main bastions of humanity.
That status has been both a blessing and a curse, considering the fact that the deity of humanity, Zarus, is Lawful Evil and his followers have managed to push through laws that have made non-humans second class citizens at best. By the time the adventurers arrive at the capital of Valche, the non-humans are living in slums. Anyway, the royal family is having two even bigger problems. The church of Metrean, the god of civilization and fire, has had an artifact stolen from its cathedral. To make matters worse, the crown prince has gone missing around the same time. While the Metreanians blame the Zarusians for the theft, many more believe the prince ran off with the key.
Having his hands full with politics, the king hired a group of adventurers to find the prince and the key. They were not heard of in a while, so it was assumed they had failed. Here is where the player characters come in. They were hired by the local marquess to help out, and they decided to take up the mission, each for their own reasons. After some run-ins with various organizations vying for power in the area, they tracked the key and the prince down to a pseudo-nation below the capital, a dreadful patchwork city called the Midden, hidden in the mountains bordering Elefris and a few other nations. There, they dealt with the leader of a thieves' guild called the Mirkbloods, who were led by the Mirkblood Savant, a Worm that Walks comprised of leeches. They also dealt with an evil sorcerer and his assistants, taking back an artifact that was stolen from a kitsune ninja clan that one of the player characters happens to be a part of.
Two months have passed since the prince and the key were returned. Living conditions for the non-human residents of Valche have quickly improved, and most of the Zarusians have been driven out, though they had sworn to have their revenge on the meddlesome adventurers. Other threats seem to loom about though, as a red dragon has awoken on a nearby mountain, and some new criminals are trying to assassinate the local nobles. Speaking of such, they are not sure how to feel about the sudden power shift, considering many of them are human and Zarus IS very pro human, while only two of the five player characters is a human. The king needs to decide what to do about quite a few things, and is probably hoping that the player characters that helped out with his son would be willing to give his nation a helping hand once more. He did get them a nice guildhouse and noble titles as a reward for their services, and the marquess has faith in them as well.
Speaking of the characters, they are...
- Sage, a Human Oracle who looks like Dalai Lama
- Heglash, a Human Cleric of Lady Meidred, the goddess of Blood
- Xyltats, an Elf Cleric of Sumgudd, an eastern god of the Sun
- Driana, a Tiefling Alchemist, who converted to the church of Metrean
- Seo-Yoon, a Kitsune Ninja who was sent to retrieve an artifact but sticked around for adventure
While most of the player characters are either Lawful Neutral or Chaotic Neutral, the tiefling recently changed from Lawful Evil to Neutral Evil.
Then I'll get to doing a recap or two when I find the time.
I have some stuff planned out for next session, which is going to be on Saturday unless something comes up.
Anime: Fate Stay Night
Fun fact: Jesus is nothing more than a false prophet for Jewish folk.
They still believe in God and the words of the Old Testament, quite many rather fervently. Other fun fact is that Judaism usually focuses much less on Hell than Christianity. The omnipotent deity is harsher to the living (compare his actions in the Old Testament to the ones in the New Testament), but from what I have seen and heard from an aspiring rabbi as well as some actual ones, that Paradise called Heaven awaits all folks minus the evil ones. As for what happens to them, that's kinda hard to say. However, being non-Jewish does NOT make you automatically evil. So long as you are more or less a decent person, God has no reason to send you to Hell.
1) Do Desna and Pharasma get along well? I do not recall mentions of the relations of those two being present in any of the books thus far.
2) Would you say that those two deities are the main ones for prophetic visions? I recall Desna's followers having dream visions that can tell of things to come, while Pharasma actually has "Prophecy" in her portfolio.
While on my way to work, I imagined an ending scene for the campaign, which would take place a few years after the events of the last book.
I happened to get said mental images while this was playing in my head.
The first image was of the weather changing as the seasons go by in the kingdom of the Greenbelt, the former realm of the Stolen Lands enjoying peace after countless years of unrest.
Oleg and Svetlana sit by a fireplace, enjoying a moment of peace and quiet after a day's hard work. Much had happened in the years since they met the four heroes, but the two remained together and happy throughout all of it.
Kesten Garess walks about the streets alongside Akiros Ismort, badges of honor hung upon the ceremonial armor the two wore. They were once rejected by their fellows, but both had been given a chance at redemption, and enjoyed their new lives in the kingdom.
The other reformed bandits sat outside drinking beer, enjoying the cool wind on an otherwise sunny day. Auchs had bought new toys with some of his money, amusing the other men with his antics.
Jhod Kavken watched over a temple to Erastil, where he was joined by other Erastilians such as Akiros, Loy Rezbin, Latricia, Kiriv and his wife Jix Scriak in a prayer, before they all went about their day normally.
The citizens of Varnhold and the former Fort Drelev celebrated the day of the four heroes (called Founder's Day and celebrated on the 8th of Calistril) with joy, dancing on the streets and reenacting their great deeds with theater play and other fancies. While the citizens of Varnhold approached the Nomen Centaurs with a peace treaty, the folks of Fort Drelev began trade negotiations with Pitax.
King Irovetti walked past Pitax wearing robes that hid his features around the same time, seeing the realm prosper under the restored rule of the former trade houses. He smiles to himself a bit, and carries onward on his journey. Some of the people look at him curiously, but fail to recognize the former king.
Meanwhile, Nugrah walked in the woods alone, visiting the graves of his son and wife. He spoke a prayer to the gods before leaving the area, thinking about his past until he heard Bokken and the Old Beldame calling out for him. The three continued walking towards Oleg's shop, laughing as they talked about the bygone years and all the wacky antics that had ensued.
Deep in the swamps, King Vesket of the Lizardfolk and King Garuum of the Boggards meet up at a zone unclaimed by either. The two glare into each others eyes, size each other up...and then shake hands, Vesket grinning and Garuum smirking. Both the Lizardfolk and the Boggards around the two cheered, the former roaring with vigor and the latter croakingly loudly and raising their fists in the air.
Chief Sootscale of the kobolds had called upon his people to meet at the king's hall. There, they declared that they would not be a tribe, but a people. The kobold declared himself a king, and his underlings cheered. He then brought the egg of a dragon from behind his throne. They shall do the silver dragon they met proud, and raise the spawn of Ilthuliak into a dragon free of evil, yet one that still had the same black scales as they did.
Topper Red walked about the various cities and towns of the Greenbelt, singing his songs about the four heroes as well as the legendary figure Reik Javik (an alias Sage had used with Alter Self on occasion). He stopped to take a break at a tavern in the capital of Stagshelm, where he fondly recalled how he met the four and how he ended up in the situation he is in now.
Malvien had returned to Nex with his assistant Zafina, the two plotting to strike at the Scrivenbough directly. Catching the followers of Abraxas off-guard, they received high honors from the Council of Three and Nine, who banished Gen Hendrikan after he suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the elven wizard.
The fey that lived in the Greenbelt area were listening to Nyrissa singing (hence the link to Return to Slumber), Liadain watching with a faint smile on her face while others spectated with awe. Faeries and nymphs as well as a familiar baohban sith soon danced around her as well, making it a truly beautiful performance for the lucky few that saw it. Falchos talked with Ascalon the Horned Hunter on the side, while Tiressia tended to a few trees. Liadain soon turned to watch the sun set on the horizon, thinking about his beloved apprentice Ciaran somewhat wistfully.
Ciaran stood by a cliffside in an unfamiliar land, watching the sunset and thinking about his home. Briar begins to glow in his hands, speaking to him of something that awaits the two not too far away. He then dashes onward, continuing his adventures with a grin on his face.
Oruda and his brother Rokhura watch younger members of the Tarkhan clan while they train in the arts of a ninja. They turn to look at each other and nod. Oruda then walks away, disappearing into the shadows while Rokhura continues to oversee the training of their apprentices.
Kiriv and Jix were having a relaxing evening walk, followed along by some other family members who asked about how they were doing and how their children were growing up. All was well with them, and they continued their merry way before getting home before sundown to enjoy the cozy feeling of home.
Sage and Layla watched Euphemia and Tatiana as they practiced their spells, both girls seeking to outdo one another in impressive but safe ways. Horagnamon observed quietly on the sidelines, eating some seeds and perching on Tatiana's shoulder once the two were finished casting. The wizard couldn't help but smile, holding his beloved's hand as the two watched their adopted daughters enjoying their lives.
I read through all this while listening to that song I linked. I felt it helped a lot.
The website crashed when I was making the latest (and final) Kingmaker recap.
Warning, this is a VERY long post.
The End of a Thousand Screams:
Story: So the last time we left the game, Nyarlathotep had sent the viler servitors of Nyrissa to wreak havoc upon the Greenbelt since the heroes restored Nyrissa's soul instead of killing her. While some beings like the Nightmare Rook and the Mandragora went back to the First World, ones such as the Knurly Witch, Ilthuliak, Kargstaad and the Wriggling Man were now spread out in the Material Plane with plans of their own to enact. The heroes quickly began devising a plan on what to do.
Kargstaad was approaching Varnhold with his giants. Ilthuliak was seen fighting another dragon to the south of Candlemere. The Knurly Witch was seen near the territory of the lizardfolk, and the Wriggling Man was walking about near the boggard areas. Nyarlathotep was not seen, but he had warned the group about something that would happen at Candlemere once all the other threats were taken care of.
The heroes soon came up with a plan. Kiriv took the kobold commandos, Munguk and a cannon golem Sage had built with him to combat the giants. Meanwhile, Sage called upon the help of Nyrissa and a shaitan named Azhar Farid El-Amin (whom he had befriended upon gaining the True Name Discovery) in getting to working on the craziest plot he's come up with thus far. He wanted to use the power of Wishcraft as well as the power bound in Briar to create an Artifact of his own, one he would use to seal away one of the thousand masks of Nyarlathotep.
Sage almost died, and the two beings assisting him were temporarily weakened, but they succeeded in creating the Chaos Binder Mask, though Sage had no idea of when he'd find a chance to use it. Meanwhile, Kiriv managed to take down the giants, and the group planned their next move. Sage decided he'd try to talk with the Worm that Walks, as he seemed to be the least likely to just outright attack. Meanwhile, Ciaran and Oruda moved towards the Knurly Witch's house, planning to try and take her down. Once the wizard arrived, he attempted Diplomacy, appealing to the humanity that the Worm that Walks once had. Since he was given no real backstory, I had come up with some ideas in the past.
While the Wriggling Man was ready to attack, Sage's words got through to him, and he recalled a name. Naramsin, an old Arclord and associate of Nex. He had gone to find knowledge regarding both the eldritch and the fey, but died long ago, coming back as the being he is today. He recognized the marks of an Arclord on Sage's robes, and was convinced to aid the man, though his alignment had not yet shifted from Neutral Evil. The two spellcasters then joined up with Oruda and Kiriv, who found an injured Vesket near the Knurly Witch's house. They call out the witch, who confronts them before a fight breaks out. Unfortunately for her, she gets crippled early on in the fight by debuffs and a critical hit. The fight ends with her getting petrified, to add insult to injury.
Once all the threats were taken care of, the heroes returned to their castle. There, Nyarlathotep showed up once again to taunt them about the monster that will emerge from Candlemere. Sage and Ciaran soon noticed that the Eldest were nearby as well, preventing the Outer God from leaving before he had his business done. Sage took the chance, and struck the Mask into Nyarlathotep's face. His spirit was bound, causing all the other incarnations of the deity across the cosmos to howl in anger as a shard of them was lost within this artifact. Sage then split them to pieces, and scattered them across time and space, though he kept one piece of the mask on himself. The heroes then went to see what was going on in Candlemere, where they were greeted by the sight of a Shoggoth. Thinking fast (and being as insane as he usually is), Sage beseeches the spirits of Yog-Sothoth and the Sorcerer of Omens one last time, to open a gate towards Azathoth for just a mere moment.
Just then, the tower itself turns into a massive gate, opening to a blindingly bright realm of alien terror. The shoggoth approached the party but began to get sucked into the portal, and Sage threw the last shard of the Chaos Binder Mask into it as well. Both were thrown into the endless depths of the Blind Idiot God, but the gate began to pull the party in as well. Ciaran failed his Dexterity check, but Oruda grabbed hold of him. Seeing the hobgoblin getting pulled in, Sage grabbed a hold of him, and Kiriv in turn grabbed Sage with one hand, while digging his claws into the ground with the other. The gate closed, and the four survived the ordeal in one piece and with relatively intact minds. Victorious, they returned to their capital as legendary heroes, having overcome each and every threat that came at them, marking them in history as ones who beat all odds to hold the lands given to them.
Epilogue: The tale of the four heroes of the Greenbelt is almost over. While most of the council the heroes had gathered remained in the kingdom itself, Wilda Roché chose to venture towards the Worldwound to take the fight to the demons. There was no mention of who'd take the Ruler's spot in the kingdom after her, but surely someone worthy of the throne was up for the task.
Naramsin aka the Wriggling Man left to the Outer Planes, having decided to continue his research into the arcane secrets while also planning to look for Nex himself. Sage asked him to visit from time to time, and he said he'd do so if he could.
Malvien began a new journey, parting ways peacefully with the heroes. Irovetti took to traveling as well, shifting from chaotic evil back to his old chaotic neutral alignment but finding no real place for himself in neither Pitax nor the Greenbelt.
Other folks such as Akiros, Jhod and Oleg enjoyed life in a more peaceful kingdom, which also prospered from the great deeds of the heroes as well as from the blessings of the fey that had been granted upon them after all these ordeals.
Ciaran is called by the Eldest to the First World, where he was asked to decide whether Nyrissa should be given her old deity status back, or if it should instead be given to his mentor Liadain. Giving it some thought, he decided that Liadain would be happier staying with the fey in the Material Plane, so Nyrissa was given her old title back. The tiefling then left the Greenbelt, finding adventures of his own with Briar in hand.
Oruda chose to stay at the Greenbelt Kingdom, where the rest of his clan soon moved in. The ninjas chose to guard the realm, reamining in the shadows though one among them stood in the light of fame for quite some time.
Kiriv was able to retire as all the major threats to the realm were eliminated, settling down with his beloved wife and children to live a simpler life. He was hailed as a hero alongside his comrades, but chose not to brag or boast about it.
Sage, riddled with scars both physical and mental, took his time to recover from all these hardships with his two adopted daughters, giving up his adventuring life much the same way as Kiriv did. Nearly two years after the emerging of the First World Blooms, he meets Layla, the woman he had fallen in love with in the past. The two share tales from the years they were apart, and soon find themselves married, deciding to raise Euphemia and Tatiana together.
All in all, I really enjoyed this campaign, even though I had to let the players get away with some rather crazy s*** a few times. However, they had fun and I had fun, which is ultimately what counts here if you ask me.
Sort of related but not exactly the same thing is the fact that the other races have gained a better foothold at the Inner Sea as well as other areas ever since Aroden died in my version of Golarion.
Oh, I don't mean my parents' house. I mean the first house I moved into with my roommate.
I probably forgot to tell you guys about how me and my roommate had to move to another house while the old one was being renovated.
But for me, moving back to that house is a good thing, so long as they didn't remove the lock on my door. My roommate has a bad habit of barging in without knocking...
I'll continue from earlier with some more stuff from my setting, which is named Mystralas.
Humans have a presence in two of the six continents (Esvel and Ifria), and really only have a strong influence in the former, though the first and greatest human civilizations emerged in the latter. The most infamous one was the Manos (from which the word Human ultimately derives in the setting), a sort of pseudo-Mesopotamian kingdom that later became an empire ruled by a demigod king known as Gilgamesh. Considering the fact that we have Mesopotamian gods like Nergal as demon lords in Pathfinder, I figured adding Gilgamesh into the mix wouldn't be too bad an idea. Anyway, these ancient humans created the art of necromancy and enslaved many of the other races in Ifria, only to lose everything when the empire fell apart after Gilgamesh returned from his quest for immortality as the first undead in the world of Mystralas and struck down the pantheon that had wronged him in the past.
Before all that happened though, humanity was at war with a race that later became the troglodytes. These powerful lizardmen called themselves the olyndytes. They were masters of the arcane (they invented conjuration magic) as well as zealous believers in the divinity of dragonkind, giving tribute to them on some occasions while killing them to drink their blood so they can gain a part of this divinity on other occasions. They considered all humanoids that lacked scales as cursed wretches that need to be eradicated, which eventually got them into war with not just humanity, but the other core races as well. The olyndytes were allied with kobolds, lizardfolk and serpentfolk, but as time went on the latter two abandoned the sorcerous dragon priests to fend for themselves. Eventually the situation turned so bad that the olyndyte rulers turned to summoning demons to bolster their lost numbers. Dabbling with the taint of the Abyss led to their downfall, as most olyndytes degenerated and became the troglodytes, with the last great olyndyte king becoming the demon lord Zevgavizeb after attempting to devour the demons he had summoned to power himself up. Some olyndytes may still remain in stasis or as undead, but they are a rare find.
The fall of the two empires in Ifria led to many races that served under either the humans or the olyndytes there to find their own paths in life. Gnolls were slaves to humans for quite a long time (their natural strength and endurance didn't help things), and many carry a grudge on humans to this day as a result. While quite a few are rather savage and cruel, an insightful leader among them created a nation for them where they trade with other beings such as catfolk, lizardfolk and local elves. Most of them are against slavery, though the more evil ones find it fair to make slaves of humans as revenge for their past treatment. Lizardfolk mostly live in the swamps and jungles with only a few other beings to contend with (boggards being one of the main nuisances), and the ones in Ifria have also became famous as beast tamers, riding on the backs of dinosaurs when in battle. Catfolk are less grudgeful against humans than gnolls are, but are still careful with them. The more human-looking ones tend to be traders or adventurers (how legal their actions are tend to vary with the individual), while the more feral looking ones live simpler lives in the savannah type areas.
Orcs are quite similar to those depicted in other settings, though they are less inclined to Chaotic Evil than the ones on Golarion. Many tribes teamed up with Centaurs to raid nearby kingdoms every now and then, but the two races got beaten by the sheer military might of the goblinoids (as in goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears) and generally haven't recovered their holdings since the last great war between the two factions. Dwarves dislike orcs due to their tendency to raid the tunnel systems they've set up, though kobolds sometimes engage in similar activities as well. Elves dislike orcs because both races practice druidism, but in wholly different ways. It also doesn't help that orcs and elves have nearly completely opposing views on what the ideal environment to live in should look like. Orc attitudes towards humans tend to vary, which is why half-orcs are not found in every possible area where the two races run into each other.
Warforged also exist in my setting, but they were built by a group of dwarves that found the sixth continent before any other race did. The problem was, said place has such a collection of dangerous flora and fauna that even the natural resilience of the dwarves didn't help them too much at survival. So they decided to build something that could resist every disease, poison and monster that came their way. Funny enough, most of these dwarves took to living in the wilds after getting used to the environment around them, leaving the warforged to live life as they see fit in the mostly abandoned cities of stone built by the first dwarven clans that settled there.
There is one somewhat large nation stuck between the borders of Esvel and Ifria that is a host to a great deal of monstrous humanoids living together in a cluster of city-states that occasionally agree on shared matters but otherwise keep to themselves. According to legends, most of them were human once but their cruelty incited the wrath of the gods, who cursed them with the forms they have nowadays. All the beings living there are based off Greek mythology, so we have Minotaurs with a slight Spartan theme to them, another set of Centaurs who live a more agricultural lifestyle on the hills compared to their southern neighbours, and many other examples. Some humans live there as well, but the area is generally considered too dangerous to tread in by most folks that aren't experienced with the politics and culture there, since a faux pas might get you enslaved, killed or turned to stone, depending on where you happen to be.
Giants and dragons are tied into the main origin story of the creation of the world, and would probably need an entire section for themselves if I wanted to start talking about that.
Okay, so there is a lot of stuff I've worked on for my own setting that sometimes spills to how I work out things in Golarion as well, but here are some main ones.
Centaurs draw inspiration from the huns and other nomads, generally leaning more to Chaotic Neutral and Chaotic Evil. It's also a nod to the ancient Greek version of centaurs who were rather nasty in general.
The goblinoids once had a link to the fey but then developed into beings of their own. Elves were also fey once but they kept a stronger link to nature than the goblinoids did, a reason why the two beings don't often get along.
My hobgoblins are very Mongolian when it comes to their culture, though adding in the fact that they incorporate goblins and bugbears into their society with the same efficiency as they do with war and trade with other races spices things up.
Kobolds are still not taken seriously, but that's only by the common populace. Experienced adventurers and generally smart people know not to mess with the little buggers since they ARE related to dragons, and a large faction of kobolds who have declared themselves the masters instead of serving the whims of some solitary egotistic dragon have even founded a nation of their own in one continent of my setting.
Dwarves are mostly the same as they are in most settings, but have an extensive underground system that connects the surface world to the Underdark / Darklands, and has enabled them to find ways to get across the seas to other continents before anyone else. I am considering integrating most of the gnomes into dwarven society, though they still carry a fey undertone despite their affinity with the earth.
There is a lot more I could talk about, but it's midnight here and I need some sleep so I can survive another day at work.
On one hand, I am against the death sentence as a general rule for a multitude of reasons. However, it seems that most people who commit the crimes warranting such don't have an inch of empathy towards other people and won't feel any remorse after doing such things. Either way, I worry this discussion will get so heated that this thread will get locked, so I think we should stick to the actual discussion on whether or not it is right for the paladin to execute the prisoner. I still lean to it being fine, since from what I recall the developers have said that killing is neutral and murder is evil. Lawful execution of a criminal doesn't seem like an evil act by those standards.