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I've been running LoF with a mostly Core party of four and it hasn't proven much of a challenge as written. An optimized archer has pretty much dominated it with help from very competent wizard and cleric. Poor rogue/fighter hasn't had much to do. I advance by XP which has helped to slow leveling down and make the AP more challenging. I toughened things up early on and character level fell behind in Book 3. We completed all of book 4 at level 8 and it wasn't a problem other than powering down the final encounter
Spoiler:It def ratcheted up the tension quite a bit.
and having the Proteans show up after a few rounds of an 8th level party holding off the shaitan.
As for updating, I tend to just sub PF monsters and pull PF NPCs from somewhere to sub in for the 3.5 versions. At this point, there are tons of PF NPCs around to pull.
Amir 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Karethas 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Kzrira 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Varkata 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
lotsa gnolls 1d20 ⇒ 20
Regrouping above the village, the Heroes listen a moment to gauge their success. The Lower Town is in chaos as the gnolls try to figure out what is happening. It is unlikely any reinforcements will be making it to the Upper Town for a while. Additionally, all is quiet at the Temple.
Amir sails the carpet down toward the Palace which has been taken over by the gnolls and turned into something of a makeshift fort. It is hard to make out exact numbers in the faint light of the setting crescent moon, numerous shadows are seen in the upper windows and dodging along the roof line.
With Kzrira behind him and ready with her deadly arrows, Amir swoops to within a hundred feet of the building and they are met with a volley of arrows from the gnolls.
Karethas swoops lower to watch the door.
The Heroes of Kelmarane take to the starry sky. Kzrira rides upon Amir's carpet for now as the rogue guides the rug high above the dark town. Varkata flies lower skirting the settlement to approach the defiled temple at the back of the bluff. Karethas starts at the lower town.
Swooping down on the gatehouse that separates the lower and upper town, the wizard casts a spell engulfing it in thick fog and then creates a clangor within the cloud. The alarmed cackling of the gnolls within the tower mingles with the wizard's illusory sound even as Karethas flies upward to join Amir and Kzrira. They peer toward the temple, but cannot see how Varkata fares in the faint light of the receding crescent moon.
As the occupied town sinks into darkness, no lights appear. In fact, it seems the slaves are locked in their quarters and only the cackles of guarding and itinerant gnolls are heard.
sooo? It sounds like you all are going after the lower towers first- one by river, one at foot of bluff. fog? silenced arrows? What are your actions?
Cloaked in invisibility, Amir flies swiftly toward the town on his magic carpet. Kelmarane has changed once again from the place Amir became intimately familiar with as he guided the development of the village after the Heroes freed it from the gnolls of the Carrion King.
He first sees slaves working the fields under the indolent watch of their gnoll masters. Then he sees that sadly, the lower city is burned and in ruin again. It looks unoccupied besides the armed watch towers that the gnolls have re-established. One he notes with ire is the home he made at the old ferry crossing over the river near the bridge (bb15) and the other, the gatehouse separating the lower and upper town where Falar was almost devoured by a giant hyena (ao35).
The upper town is in better condition with some strange variations. The Battle Market is now gleaming bronze windowless building with only one stout gate across from the palace (ah26) where lazy gnolls hang out harassing slaves. There is another gnoll guarded watchtower (aa10) over the treacherous narrow path up the back of the bluff near the Temple that has served Abadar and Sarenrae and now Rovagug based on the rude murals of devouring maws and many-legged horror.
I'm really not understanding Kzrira's assertion that it would be better to scout at night considering only one of you has darkvision and with limited range at that. Even moonlight will be minimal and not available very late into the night in its current phase.
How can a human see farther than a gnoll in the dark?
Nefeshti nods at Varkata's request. "Certainly pursuit of Jhavhul will lead into the fiery grave of Xotani and perhaps even to the City of Brass. Amin"
Varkata senses nothing changed, but when she places her hand in the cook fire, it does her no harm whatsoever.
She considers Kzrira. "I fear you would fall behind should you walk upon air rather than ride. The carpet can carry two, but if you wish to travel upon your own... Amin."
A small bronze figurine of a griffin appears in Kzrira's hand.
Kzrira- first come, first served on the carpet. it's been DONE! ; )
If that's the way that you want to go though, I'm thinking more a mount. Maybe a bronze griffin figurine of wondrous power, but we'll make it 6 hours per DAY and it's more of a construct with hardness and immune to fire and cold. That seems more interesting anyway.
The ascended Djinni smiles at Amir. "A wise decision. Both Efreet and Jann can fly and would have a great advantage if you could not. Amin."
To Karethas she replies, "I believe that you already have skill beyond your years, but a stronger connection to magic will serve you well in the wishwarp. Amin.
Karethas suddenly feels more in touch with the magical forces than ever before and a wonderfully brilliant carpet appears floating knee level next to Amir. It is finely woven with thread of pure white, glittering gold and deepest red in fantastical patterns. The five by ten foot rug looks as if two could sit or stand upon it quite comfortably.
Nefeshti appears stepping out of the campfire. "Jhavhul does not care about Kelmarane. He has left the place to the gnolls and a viceroy to keep an eye on thing it appears. His forces are concentrated at the Pale Mountain. Should he succeed at his mission, Kelmarane will be no more."
"The gnolls should be routed quickly and the captives in the Brass Tower freed ... and I sense that there is something dark at the Temple as well."
Having finished tending their flock of one and prepared your breakfast Hadar and Hadra listen attentively. "Great lords, the Iron Monk now rules Kelmarane from the Brass Tower," says Hadar.
Hadra elaborates, "The devils left him in charge when they went to the mountains."
"Though one devil stayed behind to help him," finishes Hadar
Nefeshti can see that this will not be an easy decision so she encourages you to sleep on it. A miracle is powerful magic and should not be taken lightly certainly. She can wait to leave until the morning or if you would rather save your miracles until the assault on Pale Mountain, she will bestow them when she returns.
Varkata gets properly soused to draw on inspiration from the Drunken God and soon enough a doggerel of questionable worth slur from her lips.
"There once was a Kelmerane crew,
Alright, it sounds like Karethas is going for Greater Spell Control (or whatever you might call it- +4 to level checks.)
I just think that a magic carpet has to happen at some point so I encourage that.
Communal spells... well, Planar Adaptation suits the obvious end game well, but wouldn't be of immediate use. Though what I might allow is that the PC that took that wish could use it as Resist energy (non-communal) CL 11 here on the prime and then spread the love as Communal Adaptation on whatever plane you land.
Varkata Steeleye wrote:
Her brow furrows for a moment, "Would it be possible for that miracle to be cast when you return?"
The Peri smiles. "Of course. We would just need to do it before we approach Pale Mountain. The wishwarp would make it very dangerous."
As if reading Karethas' mind, she continues. "I do not know if a miracle could overcome the wishwarp. It would be like blowing into a storm, but perhaps one could wish for great control of your magic and have better success in your efforts."
Nefeshti's radiant face darkens as she speaks her enemy's name. "Jhavhul is no typical efreeti. It is no accident that he has recruited among the followers of the Rough Beast. Have you been to Pale Mountain? Yes, I see. Then perhaps you know what lies below the House of the Beast? Jhavhul is half-mad with lust- for power and for Ymeri, the most powerful being on the Plane of Fire. To impress her and prove his merit as her consort, he would do the unthinkable: resurrect the Spawn of Rovagug!"
"Katapesh was not always a desert waste. Millenia ago, in the Age of Destiny, the pharaohs summoned armies of genies- djinn, shaitan, marid and efreet- to build their cities and fight in their armies. We helped them take the green lands of the south and after Ancient Osirion fell, some stayed and ruled these fair lands in peace for millenia more ruling jann and human alike. But it was not to last for the land rumbled and a great heat rose from below to dry out the land and burn the fields. Xotani the Firebleeder, rose from the pit and lit the night with a thousand thousand fires. The green lands of what would become Katapesh, the peaceful towns, the gentle people, all turned to cinder and dust. It took a hundred wands- the greatest wizards of all Garund- to finally defeat it and the fool thinks that he could control it."
"Jhavhul built the House of the Beast on the ash heap that covers Xotani's remains. He lures in the wrathful and grants them one wish for their own use in return for two wishes disguised as prayers to the Destroyer. In truth, these prayers seek to resurrect the Spawn Xotani and bind it to Jhavhul's will. With a thousand wishes he could resurrect the Firebleeder, but not a million wishes will grant him power over it. It would turn Garund to ash, kingdoms burn, millions would die..."
"We trapped Jhavhul just before he succeeded last time, but those wishes remain active warping reality around Pale Mountain. How many more wishes does he need? Fifty? A dozen? We must move quickly- I have been gone centuries or more. You know this place better than I now. Free Kelmarane. Gather any who would join our cause. I will seek the unseen and rally those that remain."
"I have been told that this is now an Age of Lost Omens, but I sense this is your destiny. When I was Queen of these lands, I called my closest viziers and generals the Templars of the Winds and even now I feel their presence within you: Andrathi, my warm and worldly South Wind, is here in Spooky and Vardishal, the icy North Wind, somehow is linked with the Tempest staff. Perhaps it is just memories of old stirred by returning to this place, but I sense that this older gentleman here bears a blade which I would swear bears the mark of Davashuum, my stealthy West Wind that steals the sun. And this priestess, I sense some djinn influence upon her soul that makes me think of Pazhvann, my lucky East Wind. Maybe it is my own will to make it so, but I sense that indeed, you are the Heroes that have been chosen to to defeat Jhavhul once and for all."
"Even so, for all your power and bravery, I cannot think that you can face an army of Efreet alone. What aid can I offer? When I ruled this land, I had a great cavalry of Jann that patrolled the skies upon flying mounts. Many were lost in the Battle of Pale Mountain, but I am certain that the survivors remain hidden in the Brazen Peaks nearby. I will seek them for a second and final assault on Pale Mountain. Perhaps some Djinn remain in these empty seeming desert as well."
"I will gather what help I can and I advise you to do the same. Free those that are captive in Kelmarane and if you know any others that would save this world from Jhavhul's madness gather them quickly!"
She pauses and gives a brief peaceful sigh before continuing, "I grew old and died as all mortals must. I was judged upon the Spire by the Lady of Graves and sent to my eternal reward. The Bright Angel honored my sacrifice and made me Peri, one of the few immortal djinn that forsake their heritage to pledge themselves to Her. I thought I would never leave the Afterworld. All my grief was gone, I had no reason to think upon it again."
"Then word came that Jhavhul had escaped Kakishon and sought to finish what he had started so long ago. I admit that I could not help but think of Andrathi once again and even after all these years, a glimmer of hope. But I would never leave my Goddess' side unless she ordered it."
"We heard from an Archon that heroes had purged the stench of Urgathoa from a sacred oasis in Katapesh not long after. It was then that Sarenrae called upon me to find these heroes and support them in driving Jhavhul and the foul Efreet from this mortal realm before they could do the unthinkable."
The celestial smiles faintly at the little genie. "Rise, Little One. I no longer bear that title. I am only a servant of the Dawnflower."
Spooky finishes his circling of Nefeshti and returns to Kzrira giving his ragged ears a shake before fading away again. Rombard lays off Karethas' robe and turns to butt at Hadar and Hadra who just stand and gawk at the radiant being.
Nefeshti's glowing eyes dim slightly, "When Andrathi was taken into the very trap that he lay for the Efreet, I knew he was lost for all time. I grieved for decades, maybe a centuries. I do not know. I lost track of all: my knights, my people, time itself. No one could stir me."
"It was the simple monks here that finally touched me. The ones that established this Chapel to Sarenrae in the name of my lost general, Vardishal. What a strange thing to do. The djinn have no Gods. We live beyond the mortal realm. Why would we prostrate ourselves to our cousins?"
"But many of the monks had suffered and lost as well. Driven from their homes in Osirian across the deserts into the gnoll infested wilds of Katapesh. I found companionship in these simple men and women and their honoring of my lost companions. I realized that death is necessary for life and I used a wish to cast away my immortality to become mortal and worship with these simple monks."
"Andrathi was my world. I am Nefeshti." The darkened hall of the monastery is lit with brilliant light as a radiant being appears before you. She has skin as pale as a dove's breast and wings of fire, her eyes are blue as the hottest flame and her hair shines like burnished copper. She wears a gown of sky blue and yellow that flutters in a breeze that you cannot feel.
Suddenly, the Tempest staff jerks from Karethas' grasp as Gen appears and prostrates herself before the holy creature. "My Queen!" she gasps.