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Belkar Bitterleaf

Maevis's page

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If you have improved trip, you get to make an attack if you succeed.

Not sure if they gave him that though.

So we're steadily getting into it. Most of the above has been weaved in, though I make modifications on the fly as it suits me.

Done with Zenith Trajectory now. Things I'm contemplating:

PC's met Jill two times, first after defeating Kazmojen, where she swooped in to collect "guild taxes" (=stealing PC loot), second and time during flood season, where she tipped off the PC's of Triel's location, claiming that it would be bad for business if Cauldron drowned, in return she demanded to be invited as the bard's date to the demonskar ball. The PC's noticed that she disappeared and then re-appeared during one of the main events.

Conceptually, I'm picturing Jill as a mix of being amused by the PC's drive to do stuff, though mostly looking out for herself, potentially making a play to see if she can learn who holds the strings. The Wee Jas "Law and Order" PC wants to parade her in front of judge and jury, so heh, and I'm a great fan of making repetitive use of the same NPC's where I can. So ideas on how to continue to make use of her would be welcome. As are ideas on why she wanted to get inside the Demonskar Ball.

More pressing perhaps would be Red Herrings for Zenith to blurt out in his fit of madness. If it can somehow make the PC's find it in their heart to suspect Lord Taskerhill or the Church of Wee Jas for foul play. I made a long list of things that are not truly red herrings, too long list, to be honest.

With Demonskar Legacy, the idea is to replace most of the opponents after they've left Redgorge with demons, the climax will be them facing the aspect of Adimarchus, intent on destroying Alek's soul so that Valanthru can't use it to summon forth Ravannah.

After this, I am replacing the test of the smoking eye with a trip to Sasserine where they are to track down the hidden temple to Hextor that is there, and was involved in the kidnapping of Sarcem (so that he can be sacrificed, the wands of control water was simply a cover up).

From there, I'm bridging it back on track for Secrets of the Soul Pillars, except that Embril Aroustinai is actually a good gal (in an evil sort of way, but on Valanthru's trail, and the only one he fears more than the ever victorious PC's). Though I'm wondering how to make the PC's want to smash through the Cathedral of Wee Jas. Make Ike an agent of Valanthru? Or leave a lot of hints about them being involved? Like Adimarchus being misguided about Wee Jas, or simply not above a little bringing down a Lawful church? (Generally, I expect them to believe all that Adimarchus will tell them, and he'll tell them the truth, as far as he knows it, yet ferociously disagree with his plan of action to destroy Alek's soul).

But I'm a bit short on ideas to bring all of that together. Though one way might be to put Alek in to round out the team, as they're down to three players now, and they *might* want to keep Alek close after a certain reveal.

Those hobgoblins that the PC's captured rather than killed got summarily executed.

Though in my Cauldron, goblins are classified as pests rather than persons.

CR 14, basically a Glabrezu with elite array stats, can't use summon tanari, can't voluntarily leave the plane and is outsider(native) so can't be banished.

So I think the following happens depending on how many times PC's rests:
1: All slaves will be moved to the cells, goblins are sent up as a scouting party, will figure out that Ghelve's locks are heavily guarded. The lift between Jzadirune and the Malachite Fortress is sabotaged*. All slaves moved to cells, remaining hostiles organize themselves for the best possible defense.
2: They leave for the underdark, slaves in tow.
96h after: They arrive at underdark trading post.
120h after: Pyllrak hires some guards and drags the children away, Kazmojen sets up shop and sells 1d4 slaves per day, and then disappears.

If the PC's fail to rescue the children and bring Kazmojen to to be them.

*Thinking like it's rigged such that instead of descending at 20f/round, it falls down and deals 6D6 falling damage, with a group of (hob)goblins assaulting them while they're prone and hurting.

The question is how close. Addition of an underdark trading post would be fun though.

Honestly, Kazmojen must realize that his operation is compromised and that it's best to pack up and leave. So I think we're looking at how long it takes for him and his goblins to leave, slaves in tow. Pyllrak probably accompanies them, his Lemures dead.

All in all, what's left in the Malachite Fortress is:
Hobgoblins: 10
Goblins: 5
Hammerer Automatons: 2
Slaves: 13

So lots that can be done with that.

Throwing in some mercenary Drows would be interesting, though in such a case, there must be some sort of civilization within a day's march, and that would come along with a bunch of questions on what sort of consequences this already would have had for the Cauldron region, and would have for the remainder of the story.

Now there's a thought, we know of one other entrance to the underdark nearby (Crazy Jared), there might be another in the direction of Kingfisher Hollow (where Vervil Ashmantle are holed up) which might be an angle to get some half orc mercenaries in, give more blue duke foreshadowing.

So the status is like this, PC's have cleared out about half of Jzadirune and driven out the remaining dark one's and skulks (they fled with their loot to the underdark, Kazmojen doesn't know that.) Ghelve's locks has a dozen town watch guarding the place, with PC's and Stormblades (the latter yet to only have succeeded on providing comic relief) making forays.

They have also made their way into area M22 (direct route, more or less), and killed or captured (and not handed over to the town guard) like 16 Hobgoblins. They've definitely raised the alarm, though they retreated to the surface.

Now they're considering to clear out the rest of Jzadirune and resting before going back down into the Malachite fortress.

I as a DM have two considerations to make:

#1: stormblades and Jzadirune, how much of it does it make sense for them to have cleared out? (Northernmost part remain unexplored by PC's). They've had a day, more or less, to work on it. Although a fun idea is to have the Raggamoffyn's taken stormblades captive.

#2: What does Kazmojen do? Shore up defenses? How? Flee?
Pyllrak takes off with the four children? (Terrem isn't important in my story).

Logic might suggest that he takes all of his wealth and marches out, slaves in tow. The PC's knows how to track, so that shouldn't be the end of it.

thank you.

So I ordered the book, though with me being in Europe it might take some time for it to arrive. Though we finished Savage Tide this weekend, so we may not wish to wait for quite so long, and I do have Dungeon.

1. The book provides character traits, I found this list, are these ones accurate? -traits

2. Anything of noteworthiness that was changed in Life's Bazaar from Magazine to book?

3. Could someone provide a short summary of Drakthar's way?
-What relation, if any, does it have to the rest of the story?
-What sort of opponents does the group have to face?

I would assume that, unless the PC's keeps the entire affair secret somehow, there will be a clean-up operation.

Stormblades doing it and then gloat afterwards sounds like a very good idea to me.

Lots of fun could we have with a group of leaderless skulks, creepers and goblinoids that can't really go back into the underdark...

So for chapter 5, I have this framework:
PC's goes to Sasserine where they are to take down the hidden temple of Nerull, and defeat the cleric that was behind Sarcem's abduction and the attack on Pelor's temple.

They also are supposed to find out that Shebeleth is an impostor, I have a fairly decent idea on how to make that fight survivable for the PC's.

Anyway, does someone have a suggestion for an already written adventure that might be adapted to fit the part? I have access to most Dungeon Magazines.

Most of the story is going to be handed to the players as background material. With the part about Rakshasha's and Ravannah taken out (because Valanthru did that on purpose, and that would be spoiling the big reveal). And twisted around to represent the fact that details gets a little muddled over the years.

Maybe some sort of demonic mini-invasion of redgorge can happen to replace some of the events of the demonskar legacy? Might have to decide that these demons has lost some SLA's, because all of them besides quasits and dretches has g. teleport at will...nah scratch that, Surabar's wards prevents them from just teleporting in.

So idea being that nabthataron knows that V betrayed them, he knows the name he used when dealing with Adimarchus, he knows that V is a master of disguise, and he knows that V is somewhere in Cauldron. His plan is to open a portal to the Abyss, with some help, and then destroy the entire city, kill absolutely everyone there. Hopefully, one of the causalities will be V. If not? Destroying the cities of mortals is still good sport.

Need to make it believable that he would order an assault on redgorge, diversion? Finish off what he failed to do 500 years ago? Simply being a demon, and therefore prone to do it just because he feels like it?

All, if not most of the encounters in this chapter happen during the demonic invasion of Redgorge, so the PC's should be rested for Nab. Then have Maavu/chisel send them on Alek's trail. Let them catch up to him having dispatching a Vrock or two, but getting thrown into negatives by Vrock spores, gives PC's a little time to save him, and maybe patch him up to be of help against the Glabrezu.

Then they win the prize of information dump as above. Maybe have Nab cooperate with some Nerull cultists, which should hopefully put the PC's in the mood for a trip to Sasserine. Though given that at least one PC is going to have family members, I might be nasty and kidnap one.

So I'm changing hookface into a very old black dragon now, CR stays the same, but built in fluff with him being the offspring of the black dragon Zelkarune which is mentioned in Sasserine background for Savage Tide (I'll be using Sasserine as a starting point for the PC's, and I'll actively encourage that PC's are attached to Sasserine for some reason, they'll be back there for chapter 5, trashing a temple of Nerull). Valanthru has allied with the dragon with promises of vengeance against the murderers of his mother.

Also expanding on the background. Writing up a summary of myths and legends about the founders of Cauldron. From the PC's perspective:
6-7 millennia ago, an empire of fiends had enslaved millions of mortals. Treating them as symbols of prestige, and as food. Who these fiends are vary greatly from tale to tale, if players ask about it, the answer is that every single evil outsider found in any source book is mentioned in at least one tale, though MM1 variants are the most common, by far. The truth is that it's the Rakshasha's and their demigod emperor (much like Iuz) that bound all sorts of fiends to take care of the dirty work for them. Eventually thirteen half-brothers, born from different mortal mothers, but sharing the same father, a Solar using his change shape ability and the same cloak of khyber trick that valanthru uses. While the families of sarcem and alek believes him to be sent by st. cuthbert and the family with the Pelor cleric believes him to be sent by Pelor. The truth is that he served the forces of good and no particular deity. Assuming that ever becomes relevant. The Solar teaches his offspring the ways of magic, and the thirteen uses their knowledge to overturn the Rakshasha, binding Ravanah to Carceri, unable to actually kill him. Then scattering in the knowledge that separation will ensure that Ravanah never can break his bonds.

Enter the machinations of Valanthru, tracking down each clan, infiltrating each in turn and planting subtle alterations into their collective storytelling. It takes him thousands of years, but in the end he manages to replace the most important part of their legends, the one about why they scattered to the winds. The stories only speak just enough of the Rakshasha to avoid any suspicion as to why they are not mentioned at all, while all other fiends are included. The stories speak of the curse spoken by the dying breath of the emperor that made the land inhospitable and forced the clans to go separate ways. Valanthru introduced the idea to Lord Taskerhill that the curse had been broken, and gave him the means to contact Surabar, who in turn built Redgorge by his magics and summoned the other eleven.

As a little sidestep, the Taskerhills have their own version of the entire myth which pretty much put themselves as the leaders all the time. I'll make an attempt of putting Lord Ankhin in the evil, yet not bad guy, category. Putting PC suspicion his way. Playing that house up as the evil rich nobles that wants to rule everything. This was deliberately introduced by Valanthru more than a thousand years ago in order to create friction in Redgorge, making the Taskerhills hungry for power. As it happens, he'll use it once more in his end game to divert PC attention away from himself. Making a strong connection between the church of Wee Jas and the Taskerhills goes a long way to get the PC on that track.

Fast forward from there and we have Valanthru first attempting throwing hordes of demons at Redgorge, and would have succeeded if it was not for Surabar sacrificing himself to save what remained of the city and it's people. Then overall migration into the caldera to build Cauldron, since the demonic invasion pretty much ruined the arable land around Redgorge. And Valanthru hatched his new scheme to release his master.

I think I'll have the PC's meet Jill on their way to Kazmojen, she's been collecting tithes and isn't going to stick around for a fight. If necessary, she'll demonstrate that she's way out of their league.

Alternative event is if PC's takes days to explore the place, they stumble upon the Stormblades that had their asses handed to them by her hand,using sap because she doesn't want their parents breathing down her neck for killing them.

Also thinking of replacing the striders with Pelor's Shadow Guard, the striders motivation is tied to the now non-existant cage-wrights, while the Shadow Guard would have every motivation to investigate what's behind the attack on Pelor's temple.

At least the way I read things, they did not so much intend to blow up the city as harvest the power of the Volcano to fuel the ritual.

I am aware that Terrem doesn't qualify, so I don't plan on having him be one of the shackleborn.

I think I'll insert an attack on Pelor's temple by some evil group (Nerull?) that burned it down and only Kristof survives, in the backstory, except that whoever V wanted wasn't killed, only captured. Reportedly, blasphemy was being used, and then magical fire to incinerate everything quite thoroughly. What people don't know is that the blasphemy was meant to paralyse him for easy extraction, while people believes the intention was to kill everyone quickly. Reasoning there is that V wants to secure a few of the targets ahead of time. He also considers the church of Pelor as the bigger threat, given that there's three high level clerics there, so he wants them out of the picture before his plans starts to unfold in full.

Stormblades is Orbius creation entirely, and the reason as to why he has been running the adventurer's guild in the first place. He needed the descendants of the thirteen to rise in power, and luring some of them to the life of an adventurer is one way to do that. Probably going to have used trap the soul on a few shackleborn adventurer's earlier. Todd was adopted by the Vanderborens on V's machinations, he also helped raise them to high enough status for Todd to hook up with the other three stormblades.

Any thoughts on last laugh? They seem to be good candidates as early antagonists.

Other candidates for the thirteen could include Jill and Thifirane.

So here's what I'm thinking for main plot alterations.

Instead of Adimarchus, there's the demigod Ravannah, the Rakshasha overlord. He was defeated and slain by thirteen heroes long ago, their epic magics ensured that he was imprisoned on Carceri, forced to abide by the rules of that plane: In order to leave, you must become stronger than whatever imprisoned you there.

An attempt was made 500 years ago to free him. As it happened, the descendants of the thirteen were still community leaders in Redgorge, the straightforward idea was to get a re-match with them, by winning, it was believed that Ravannah's chains would be broken. Surabar Spellmason (one of the descendants of the thirteen) defeated the army of fiends though, but several of the family branches in Redgorge were wiped out completely, making further attempts of this strategy require that distant relatives had to relocate to the area and enter the nobility. The split between Redgorge and Cauldron as where the surviving families choose to settle complicates matters further.

By the rules deities must abide by, Ravannah can only have one servant on the material plane to see to his release, Orbius is that agent. The new plan is more insidious than a direct assault. The soul cages. Orbius has devised a ritual where he will drain the lifeforce of the true heirs of the thirteen directly below their city. By doing so, he will break the bonds of his master.

To qualify as "true heirs" Orbius needs one direct descendant of each of the thirteen, and each must have at least 10 class levels.

The one's I have in mind as candidates are:
Zenith Splintershield, one of the dead/missing clerics of Pelor, Alek, the stormblades and Sarcem. Leaves five others, which may or may not feature in the story. Not sure about Todd though.

The entire flood is all about securing Sarcem, Valanthru covering up his kidnapping by making it look like an extortion attempt with the wands of control water sounds intriguing. The disappearance of the body might tick PC's off to that things are going on in the background. If questioning tongueeater or any of the trio (or their replacements, which likely will happen, see red herring dragons comment earlier), which is unlikely that they get to do in other ways than speak with dead. They'll learn that a cleric of Nerull paid them 3000GP for the live body, presumably for live sacrifice. That gives a hook into Sasserine quest later.

I'm thinking smoking eye is replaced with taking out the hidden temple of Nerull, which is where the PC's truly throw a wrench in Valanthru's plan, and discover lots of hints.

Given that my Kazmojen isn't going to be a Duergar and that I'll build Orbius from scratch to make him the end boss, I don't think I can make use of it.

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Okay, so this is happening. Basic outline as far as I'm thinking:

"Chapter 0" starts in Sasserine, where the PC's are hired as caravan guards to escort Avner Merravachi*, he's stand in for his uncle who's away founding the colony on the isle of dread and is escorting his cousin to her wedding, the PC's are substitutes for the house guards that his uncle took with him and that the Merravachi family has not yet recruited replacements for. Besides barraging the PC's with Avner's usual self-centered banter, they'll be visiting the lucky monkey, meet shensen, that plays the part of the mysterious half-drow bard. Do a little bit of foreshadowing on what's going on in Cauldron, kidnappings, banditry on the road, tariff's and taxes being increased. Notably though, I'll play up the weather, specifically having Avner's grandmother note that the rainy season never had started this early in her lifetime. PC's are going to be soaked to the bone when they arrive at Cauldron.

*Group has done Savage Tide, so they're familiar with all that stuff.

On the way, I am tempted to have a goblinoid raid on the caravan, to get the blood pumping. Tie it into the "dragon syndicate". Arriving at Cauldron, there'll be a very heated argument between Avner and the guards at the gate that's charging an insulting (in his mind) toll on entry. PC's will be directed towards the adventurer's guild, where they'll meet Celeste, who's the manager, she has them see the guild's sponsor, Valanthru, though a brief introduction of the stormblades as they leave his office and make a comment about "wet rats", looking at the PC's with contempt (the stormblades have particularly shiny and fashionable gear, them being noble and such). Valanthru will happily greet the PC's, and plays the role of the armchair adventurer, the elderly elf claiming to have done a little bit of dungeon delving in his young and wild days, implying that a little bit means lots. He is very interested in the PC's exploits, and kindly informs them of the bounty placed on the kidnapping case. Though regrettably had to give what small resources the city provides to his guild to the stormblades due to their parents. He suggests that the PC's go to the church of St. Cuthbert, as Jenya has been looking into the matter and the Stormblades are much too proud to ever consider to consult her about any findings.

Skipping the encounter with Ruphus Laro in the streets, Chapter 1 picks up at the church of St. Cuthbert, and proceeds as written, except that Kazmojen is now a dragon, one of Hookface's offspring in league with his siblings and, through intermediaries, Valanthru. The Rakshasha's plans are simple: Get a spike in crime so that hiring additional city guards becomes a public demand, and get an extra source of income. Also, as added feature is the Stormblades rushing in after the PC's win and starts talking about dividing loot (and knowing the players, they're not going to react kindly to that).

Chapter 2 is played more or less as written, except that there's an older (or perhaps two from the same clutch of eggs) dragon sibling behind this plot, which basically accounts for the same.

With Chapter 3, I am tempted to re-write it. I don't see why Valanthru would send the PC's to retrieve Zenith. Given the importance of him, the cagewrights would send someone a little more reliable to do the job, like scry, teleport, grab and teleport back. Although, given that teleportation could be tricky business in the underdark, maybe I can get away with it anyway. They can use expendable PC's as plan A, then risky teleportation as plan B. Gottrod assaulting them at Crazy Jared's might simply be revenge for killing his siblings. The dragon in the underdark could be of same color of the rest to make the PC's believe that the dragons are important to the story.

Chapter 4, up and until the demonskar part, I like it, from there on though, I'm not sure how to play it. Could be a good idea to introduce Shebeleth as new high priest of St. Cuthbert. How to play it with Alek, I don't know, the duel backdrop is too good to throw away, might in fact have Terson (buffed to the max by his friends) kill Alek in the duel for shock value, though having Alek in charge of the town watch might make things interesting.

Chapter 5, I'm thinking that the sudden shift with Shebeleth in charge makes Alek/Chisel worried about him and sends the PC's back to Sasserine to look into various matters, eventually unearthing evidence of the fact that Shebeleth is an impostor. Main question is how PC's can deal with Shebeleth without getting wiped out, given that he's supposed to return for Thirteen cages.

Chapter 6 is where the raid on the church of Wee Jas occurs, I'm leaning towards Embril to be the main enemy of Orbius at this point, and given the fact that she's the only spellcaster to rival him, the only one he fears. So his play is to use the PC's to throw St. Cuthbert and Wee Jas at each other's throats, taking advantage of Embril being absent.

chapter 7, 8 and 9 play out more or less as written, with most of the big reveals coming in chapter 7.

That's the plan so far, anyway.

So, I give this a 50% chance of happening. Anyways, giving this more thought.

So I'm thinking to play around with red herrings, I mean dragons.

Taking a cue from scourge of the howling horde adventure, where there's a wyrmling running a slaver operation, having some Hookface offspring instead of Kazmojen there, then a slightly older one behind the wand theft in flood season. There's yet another dragon (though black) in Zenith Trajectory, not including the one attacking at Crazy Jared. It might fit better with hookface being green or black due to LE, or I just declare that only outsiders can have fixed alignments in my game, should I desire to keep the pun, greens and blacks are easier on the CR, too. I sort of like the idea of an enterprising draconic mafia family. Ties the earlier events together. Having PC's finding cryptic notes, ledgers documenting "tithing" to the last laugh or something.

I am leaning towards presenting Valanthru as an "armchair adventurer" a philanthropic noble sponsoring all sorts of cultural events, ranging from lavish parties for the nobles to hosting "bread and circus" stuff for the masses. For the PC's, he'll first appear as the sponsor of the adventurer's guild. With Celeste as the day to day manager, making her into a fairly ordinary Aasimar socialite (expert), her primary use for Valanthru is to use her to deliver lies to adventurers. She has no chance against his bluff skill, and PC's doesn't get the chance to pit their sense motive against it.

Of course, he's got fingers in every pie, the last laugh simply being his way to control vice in Cauldron. The idea I have with him is to wait with the big reveal until after secrets of the Soul Pillars. Essentially turning Embril from villain to a!#*%$*. The idea of mine is that Embril suspects something is fishy about Valanthru, and therefore acts unfriendly towards the PC's because she views them as his pawns. Valanthru uses this to set things up so the PC's can raid the temple.

Would that be possible to pull off? For the first three chapters, a lid can be kept on Valanthru's identity. Though it looks difficult to not spread the seed of doubt in chapter four. Shebeleth taking over as bishop of St. Cuthbert might provide a nice distraction and backdrop for chapter five though.

That could potentially give the PC's Embril as an ally for the remainder of the adventure. Or maybe she'll pull a "Help stop the ritual or I'll have your souls destroyed" dick move in retribution. I'm thinking Ike throwing out a scroll of sending, or having telepathic bond, screams "help", followed by Embril popping in, Bead of Karma Blasphemies the party (they'll not like that much) into paralysis for the "oh s*$$"-effect.

Magic can do it.

Theoretichally, air pressure in those caverns could be sufficiently high to push the water down, but then they'd have to be hermetically sealed.

Well, magic can do it.

I don't remember if the area of cauldron is given anywere, but if we assume one square km, the decanter does max 1650 cubic meters. There's a million cubic meter to spread that out over for comparison, the decanter provides the equivalent of 1.7 millimeter of rain per day, that's not much.

iirc, it is mentioned that they intend to use the wands to add to the problem to create pressure on Cauldron to pay up.

Thinking further ahead, I find it more Rakhsasha like to actually have Vhalantru being behind the slavery operation in Life's Bazaar, and an agent of his (another Rakhsasha) is the one behind the whole thing. He allows the adventurers to shut it down because it's stirs up too much attention, and he cannot allow people to start doubting him and his "adventurer program" to keep Cauldron safe.

This Rakhsasha could make for an interesting recurring villain in the early game.

The scene I am envisioning is that he lies on a couch, with some of the more attractive slaves captured scratching behind his ears and stuff, then orders them to put a knife across the throat (A unique sort of dominate that is useless in combat, 10 min casting time, gives target +4 on the save, 4th level slot.) and kill themselves if the PC's comes closer, for Life's Bazaar, he's just going to play with the PC's for his amusement, like cat and mice, as he's under orders to "loose" to adventurers intent on crashing the party.

Unknown where he might pop up again though, chapter 5 maybe.

Not a bad idea.

Also, I was thinking to go back on the Shebeleth as new High Priest of St. Cuthbert. Need to brush up on the Alek plotline, may have to change it.

Idea is that at the end of demonskar legacy, Alek puts them, possibly accompanies them, to Sasserine to follow up on some clues, eventually leading them to the hidden temple of Nerull that is briefly mentioned, the PC's gets to shut down an evil Temple and defeat Khyron Bloodsworn (who tries to escape using word of recall when things go bad). They'll find notes and correspondance foreshadowing later events, among which a letter dated at the same time Shebeleth arrived to take control stating that "The meddling of the Church of St. Cuthbert is now taken care of". Adding up to suspicion would be to have Shebeleth be the one to send Alek on a suicide mission on Valanthru's bidding, which is the meddling refered to.

Shebeleth should probably cut off the PC's in a "Now that the strength of the Church is fully restored, outside agents are no longer required" Having a couple of lower level clerics and another holy warrior with him to complete.

One way to deal with things is to make Thifirane and Fetor pop away after their defeats, those two can then replace Freija and Thearyn in Thirteen cages to cut down on things.

Could possibly have Shebeleth appear as the main villain of the plot set between demonskar legacy and secrets of the soul pillars, and have him do the same. That battle might be more than they could handle, so would have to force the PC's to be smart about it. CR17 at LvL12 is kinda harsh, espescially a cleric with blasphemy prepared.

I like the idea of introducing several of the cagewrights early, only to piss off the PC's by having them all escape, then they get to kill them one by one as the three prevents teleportation magic. Ike could go that way, too, trimming the list further. Don't know if there's anyone else potent enough?

My understanding was that Valanthru used the PC's to get Zenith back, not merely sending them on a suicide mission.

It doesn't look like he views them as a threat at that point, after redgorge, yes, very much so.

Although I think my preference is that they are set on a path by Alek's last words that leads to them stumbling across a cagewright plot and face to face with one of the villains.

Far too many high level characters involved for this to work in Eberron, but I see where you're coming from there.

Do not like the idea of Shebeleth coming in as Sarcem's replacement doesn't work methinks.

What I am thinking is to replace test of the smoking eye with an adventure or two elsewhere, Alek putting the PC's on the way, decent possibility to introduce some of the other villains. Do the siege of redgorge, then have Valanthru send them off on a mission where the idea is that his cagewright assosciates are to kill them?

Not sure if I ever will run it, depends on what the RL group wants, we're still a fair bit away from finishing Savage Tide, but I like to ponder.

Having read through the campaign, I want to cut away Adimarchus completely, Thirteen cages is to be the Climax.

Plan is to pick up on some of the hints about making Valanthru a patron, the premise is that the PC's are from Sasserine and hired as caravan guards, making a stop at the lucky monkey (also picking up a few hints here and there about that), where the PC's are introduced to a few of the rumours about what's going on in Cauldron, also going to have the "Cauldron breeds adventurers" motivation. The cargo they are guarding could be anything from standard goods to a nobleman's bride (liking the last idea, could be fun), maybe an encounter, maybe not.

They meet Valanthru who redirects them towards the temple of St. Cuthbert and they stumble across the mugging scene.

For the rest of Life's Bazaar, I don't plan to change much, maybe make Valanthru helpful in finding the orphan, he's not going to appear to grab the boy at the end, prefering to use other tools (like the PC's, and having some nondescript backup-plan if that fails), remaining hidden.

Also, I don't want him to be a beholder, but rather a Rakshasha using the spell in the Stormreach supplement to fool even true seeing. Tacking on sorcerer levels to get the CR right. Having him be the mastermind of the whole plot to open up a portal to Carceri. And the one they have to defeat at the end of thirteen cages. This is mostly me adding a personal touch based on the fact that a Beholder is generally raving mad, while a Rakshasha is a manupulative behind the scenes bon vivant with eternal life, and therefore having the neccesary long range perspective to have pulled off the entire Shackleborn thing.

Not sure how to play their earlier combat with him, they might defeat him only to see him teleport away (and should they kill him, he has contingencies for that, so pop away anyways). Embryl could be added to the final battle to increase the ECL without making him more powerful, or she could replace one of the other villains that just seems to be there as a high level NPCs for the PC's to kill.

Might also be appropriate to simply replace several of those NPCs with other Raksasha's and perhaps bound outsiders/Demodand allies. I'd prefer to replace NPC's with backstories that only the DM knows about with NPC's/monsters without such backstories but more obvious connections to Orbius/Carceri.

Test of the smoking eye would obviously have to be thrown out of the window, but what of demonskar legacy? Any ideas on how to tie things back on track for secrets of the soul pillars?

Also would like to figure out a good motivation for Embryl and the rest of the Church of Wee Jas, one idea is that Embryl simply is madly in love with Orbius and Wee Jas tolerates her actions because of this. Perhaps Demonskar Legacy sets the PC's on the trail to Sasserine where suspicion and concern about the events of Cauldron puts them on the path of confrontation of the church, and Iverson&co is merely defending the Temple from what he believes to be evil enemies, unaware of what Embryl really is up to.

On expansion on that, the rivalry between the stormblades and the PC's (which should be a lot more present than the campaign makes it out to be), in no small part engineered by Valanthru, is a direct cause to the hostility shown towards the PC's. Perhaps one of them gets to be a Wee Jas cleric.

For the PC-stormblade rivalry, I was thinking that the stormblades show up after the boss-fight in Life's Bazaar (or as deus ex machina) and starts claiming their "fair share" of the loot, and tries to squeese as much credit for putting an end to the kidnappings as they can.

That's the ideas I have currently. Thoughts? Comments?

ok, thanks.

Mostly to sate my curiosity than anything else, I have not found an answer to the question, and I can't exactly look into the GM notes either, seeing that I'm playing in the campaign, all I have seen yet is references to "recent events" in the player's guide and maybe one or two of the player supplements.

Savage Tide seems to start about a year after Age of Worms ends (or at least that's what the GM said), so I could dig into that path to see if anything is said there, but that might spoil the fun if we ever embarked on that campaign.

So anyone knows or have a good idea about how much time passed since shackled city?

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