I love there are so many directions each individual GM has taken with Adivion Adrissant and his story and indeed their own players/characters' stories.
A mighty thanks again to Brandon, Wes and all the rest responsible for such a great AP - one with such a well woven multiple story arc that continues to inspire.
As some other enterprising storytellers including one Gary Gygax have said: 'There always wheels within wheels ...'
Well, let me chip in. I went to further explore what Brandon was saying about Adivion being all about Tar-Baphon and not caring about Whispering Way. In his journals (that players found in Renchurch), Adivion talked about how exactly did he find himself on a position of a leader of Whispering Way. Before his coming, Whispering Way was under the rule of a council called Council of Whispered Dead consisting of Nalthezzar, Urca Namat, Grey Friar and Socorro. Adivion managed to convince the first three that his plan can be successful, but Socorro wasn't falling for that and both proud and ancient, didn't want to be overshadowed by an arrogant mortal and tried to kill him. But, Adivion killed him and put his phylactery in a Temporal Stasis (I ruled that that would stop him from rejuvenating). Since they knew about Socorro a long time ago (both the PCs and their characters), now they're further impressed that he managed to destroy The Butcher of Carrion Hill.
And also, when they're looking for the Whispering Way's HQ in Ashes of Dawn and activate that gargoyle which gives them a clue where it is, it mentions that a translucent image of four liches appears at the cardinal points surrounding the projection of the city, demanding the fifth catechism of the Whispering Way in harsh whispers.
So, I made those for liches be Nalthezzar, Urca Namat, Grey Friar and Socorro as a sign of things to come.
I've been going over my version of Adivion's arcana. It seemed I had overlooked Ghost Blade, which would enable him to apply the brilliant energy enhancement to his weapon. I could add it but doing so would mean giving up one of the four arcana he already possesses. Arcane Accuracy and Quickened Magic are very good and they are ones I would like to keep. That leaves Lingering Pain and Hasted Assault. Of those two, which one would you be more willing to part with? I obviously respect your opinion, so be as honest as you can.
I obviously respect your opinion, so be as honest as you can.
Wow, that's so nice to hear! Thank you, you've made my day. :) I also enjoy reading your additions to Carrion Crown. Too bad you didn't post here earlier, could have used some of your changes.
Back to the question. Well, you should definitely get rid off Hasted Assault. Here's why - Lingering Pain is really, really good way to spend a swift action. It basically means forbiding the caster you hit the ability to cast spells on his next action, since given the amount of damage Adivion can dish out, makes that Concentration check next to impossible. Second of all, there are many ways to gain Haste. Aside from the obvious of just casting it using spell combat, you can also quicken it, or my prefered method, get him Boots of Speed. They activate as a free action, and even if they dispel it, he can just resume being hasted on the next round, since all they did was dispel the effect for that round. So, you can be hasted AND use Lingering Pain. :)
I can't remember whether I shared my final version or not, but since we're talking about it, here he is, along with full gear, feats, skills, prepared spells and spells cast upon himself prior to final combat:
Obivously, he's not a Magus, because it made no sense to me that a leader of a necromantic cult such as Whispering Way has access to FOUR necromancy spells, three of them being lvl 1, but maybe it can help someone out flesh out their own version of Adivion.
Since my group is an experienced one, I also gave him one more level and he'll be riding Marrowgarth (who'll flee the previous battle).
I'll check with the bosses and see if I can't post a few discarded elements of AA from my original turnover. In particular, his stillborn lich template added some since-removed elements that might help you guys level-up the toughness of the encounter. I don't suspect my original magus has any more tricks up his sleeve than you guys have come up with (and probably less, though he was heavier on necromancy spells), but still exciting to see you guys really going to town with him. Let's see what I can do...
It has been over a year since I wrote this guy, but I'll check my turnover when I get home. I could be totally off my rocker on the amount of necromancy on his spell list, but I thought I recalled more, though that might not be a possibility with the magus spell list, which is what I think you're implying. I didn't do anything fancy, though, unlike you sneaky GMs. =-)
though that might not be a possibility with the magus spell list, which is what I think you're implying
Yes, that's what I was going for. It's impossible for him to have more than 4 necromancy spells as a Magus, which is a darn shame.
I'll still call him stillborn lich, whether you find those notes or not. :)
I'll check with the bosses and see if I can't post a few discarded elements of AA from my original turnover. In particular, his stillborn lich template added some since-removed elements that might help you guys level-up the toughness of the encounter.
We just finished the pentultimate session and my PCs killed Marrowgarth (though not before she killed one of them), before she got the chance to Dimension Door to safety. My original plan was for her to retreat when she was on low HP and be included in the final encounter. Unfortunately, she did not succeed.
Since I don't want Adivion to face the party alone, I'll give him four Daughters of Urgathoa (with another 3-4 levels of cleric, so they'd be lvl 10 in total). 5 of them versus 5 of the party (4 PCs + animal companion) will be the first stage.
Second stage will be Adivion retreating into the undead storm and summoning two advanced and giant Bone Golems. This stage is intended for him to harass the party with spells and give them a bit of relief from his full assault (far more deadly than spells), while keeping them on their toes by Bone Golems.
Third stage is all out assault.
Here are a few goodies to help you out. Didn't get word back, but I'm pretty sure I'm alright here.
I'm assuming your Adivion has already consumed the Carrion Crown elixir, and is just persisting in that state around Gallowspire?
The cinematics of my original encounter didn't really allow for that. In fact, it didn't really allow for Adivion's survival at all. Of course, that could have been tricky ("Hold on, guys! He's self-destructing! Let's just hang back and let nature kill him for us!"), which is undoubtedly why it was changed.
So this addition wouldn't work as well for you cinematically if he's already transformed, because in this version, he sees the PCs, drinks the potion, begins his change, and then flares in incredible power before burning himself out like a 4th of July sparkler.
I think I mentioned it upthread, but there was a round-by-round mechanic that intended to display the terrible might of Adivion's transformation, allow him to slap PCs around for a few rounds where everything seemed hopeless, then suddenly show everything going wrong as his own body -as it is not the proper subject for the elixir, starts crumbling under the weight of the Tyrant's soul.
Round 1-2: Adivion's shadow takes animate form and gains density as it clambers over his shoulders like a corpse clawing away from the grave. Treat all of Adivion's spells as Empowered with no change in spell level.
Round 3-4: Adivion's physical decay continues as the shadowy form hovering above him takes on more substance and independent action, gaining a withered humanoid shape that superimposes over the magus' body. Treat all spells cast by Adivion as maximized as though using the Maximize Spell feat with no change in spell level.
Round 5-6: Adivion's body takes on the familiar withdrawn, parched appearance of a lich. The disembodied, shadowy soul takes on a frightening aspect of a similarly lich-like creature sheathed in iron armor and a bladed helm with massive curving horns. Spells cast by Adivion remain maximized, and he benefits from a haste spell.
Round 7-8: Adivion's eyes widen as the Tyrant usurps his disembodied soul, which remains incorporeal and attached to the forsaken lich, but gains the distinctive form recalling the Whispering Tyrant's appearance from legend, and seems to act with more independence. Adivion's flesh begins cracking further and crumbling off in sloughs, revealing rotten, yellow bone beneath. Spells remain maximized, but Adivion loses the benefits of haste, and he gains the confused condition.
Round 9-10: Adivion's form is now little more than a crumbling skeleton encased in armor, his flesh littering the battleground around him. His disembodied soul has now taken on the black, shadowy form of the Whispering Tyrant, the red pinpoints of light that previously peered from Adivion's eyes now firmly glowing from the incorporeal form of Tar-Baphon. Spells cast by Adivion are empowered, but he gains the staggered condition.
So, yeah -you could do something like this, if you could justify the cinematics of it. Maybe even do away with the bad conditions he gets, just to show this surge of power. It certainly gives him a boost if you feel he's just going to be mincemeat. The daughters of Urgathoa addition is a nice one as well. You also got the minor deaths (CR 10) from the back Bestiary that might help.
Another intriguing thing I played around with was the possibility of this dark shard of the Tyrant's soul escaping even after Adivion died. I was kind of going for a Sauron-when-his-spirit-fled-to-Dol Guldur-in-Mirkwood kind of thing, and this little escaped spark had the possibility of becoming full-fledged Tar-Baphon given enough time to recoup and feed. Could have interesting campaign ramifications post-CC, and its appearance also makes for a neat little "gotcha" moment that I love when PCs are in victorious "loot" mode:
Death of Adivion: Despite the timing of Adivion's demise, his disembodied soul lingers, carrying with it the spark of the Whispering Tyrant's soul drawn forth from Gallowspire. A round after the fatal blow that crumbles Adivion's body to dust, the infected remains of the disembodied soul animate as a greater shadow. This now-independent creature may maliciously attack PCs in revenge for their interference, or it may try to flee downward through the sarcophagus to preserve the freed essence of Tar-Baphon. If it escapes, this seed may prosper and grow in some dark place in the world, germinating like a malignant growth that may yet threaten Golarion with the Whispering Tyrant's resurrection if not sought out and destroyed.
Beyond that, I don't have much to offer mechanically. My version of Adivion, which isn't nearly as tweaked as some of the versions you guys produced, was more of an too-smart-for-his-own-good swordsman that relied on the Reposition feat, telekinesis, and a ring of the ram to try to maneuver people toward the edge and push them over, but I have a feeling that might be a little sedate for you guys, and certainly not of much use if too many folks are flying. =-)
I'll put some more thought into a few things you can do. Even without Marrowgarth, you've got this!
Thank you Mr. Brandon Hodge, you are ever a Southern gentleman and a scholar.
What a lovely Easter treat.
I hope there is an Adivion mini someday.
In my campaign, where the players are actually interacting with Professor Lorrimor in four 'epilogue' sessions some years before Haunting of Harrowstone and leading up to the events of Carrion Crown, its the professor who has a 'hunch' that his former student and now patron Adivion may be planning some nefarious ends with the years he has had the Professor research parts of a certain formula (the Carrion Crown).
In brief, not only does the Professor gather a cadre of students to oppose Adivion (the PCs), ultimately the Professor 'adjusts' certain parts of the formula which in turn convinces Adivion he himself can be the host for the Whispering Tyrant. So as Adivion places the elixir upon his lips, it's the professor who gets the last laugh after all.
Like a Neutral Good version of:
Whoaaaah! One of my favorite quotes, and expertly appropriated here!
That's the long con, isn't it? Love it! And it plays in pretty well with the little surprise I always intended Adivion to have when he quaffed the potion.
To offset the above super-powers that Adivion received, there was another element to the final battle that I didn't post, because in retrospect, a solo encounter with the BBEG was a bad idea. My thinking at the time, however, was that since I was giving and already CR-appropriate Adivion these crazy boons, I needed to offset it for PCs to make it equal again. As such, I had these "friendly" haunts appear a few rounds into the combat if PCs were getting jacked. They were the souls of those who sacrificed themselves to seal Tar-Baphon in the first place, and were mechanically a haunt that could grant some backup abilities to PCs, like blessing of fervor, some cures, etc. Just a little something to offset Adivion's surge that, looking back, wasn't necessary.
Again, great cinema, and while this stuff is great for my home games, it doesn't always work in published adventures when you've got too much going on in a big climatic encounter, so there's good reason you never saw it. =-)
I like what you've presented, particularly the 'Death of Adivion' as that gives me something to work with to set up the beginning of my Heirs to the Tyrant/Vampire War mash-up that continues the campaign. I previously posted this in the Shadows of Gallowspire thread, but have since made adjustments to take into account changes to the campaign:
Continuing the Campaign:
In the aftermath of the PCs battle with Adivion, a skull-sage of Geir, a seraptis in service to Kaltestrua, and Quinley Basdel (who after the events of 'Ashes at Dawn' has become an agent of Malyas) will show up to investigate what happened. Acting as the voices of their respective masters and having felt the presence of the Tyrant, the three decide that the time has come for Ustalav and the rest of Golarion to feel true might at their respective commands. Looking for a chance to both settle scores and reclaim his place as the top vampire, Malyas will initiate it all by unleashing his army on Caliphas. The PCs will run around trying to deal not only with the unfolding Vampire War but the plans of the other servants trying to secure the power of Whispering Tyrant, while Adivion waits as the seed of Tar-Baphon's essence germinates within him....
I'm still trying to come up with plots for the other servants of the Tyrant to run concurrent with the Vampire War scenario, though I'm thinking that they'll be more like 'flies in the ointment' and that anything they accomplish will be strictly behind the scenes should Malyas fail in his own bid. Like finding a way to destroy the lesser seals holding the Whispering Tyrant in Gallowspire to cause the Great Seal to fail. I'm not exactly sure what effect that would have on Adivion should the final barrier be breached (possible acceleration of the germinating seed of Tar-Baphon's essence within him being most likely but not necessarily the only thing that could occur as a result).
Anyway, I'm still working on my final version of Adivion for use in Shadows of Gallowspire but in addition, I'm also working on a possible Tyrant hybrid of Adrissant as well, just to see what I could come up with (may have to use Little Red Goblin Games 'Legendary Levels' to pull that off as I'm pretty sure that particular stat block will require me to do so). I'll post both here when I'm done.
Thanks, Brandon, I'll definitely use something of those. My Adivion is already beefed up mechanically, so giving him Empowered/Maximized spells might be a tad too much, but I'll be using the cinematics.
I especially like the idea of Tyrant's soul usurping Adivion's (might change that so their souls merge into one).
Not sure if you guys so it or not back there in Shadows of Gallowspire topic, but here's a mini I'll be using for Adivion:
Well, here's the final version of AA for my campaign. Thanks to TKD for his previous input.
Adivion Adrissant CR 18
Male human forsaken lich magus (kensai) 17 (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic 9; Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 55; Pathfinder Adventure Path #48 pg 82)
NE Medium undead (augmented humanoid)
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
Aura delusory aura (100 ft., DC 23)
AC 30, touch 23, flat-footed 21 (+4 armor, +4 deflection, +9 Dex, +3 natural)
Speed 30 ft.
Str 22, Dex 16, Con –, Int 22, Wis 12, Cha 20
Prerequisite: Magus 9
Benefit: Whenever the magus enchants his weapon using his arcane pool, he may spend 1 additional point from his arcane pool to add the brilliant energy and ghost touch special abilities to the list of available options.
I also managed to get my first version of Reborn Tyrant Adivion done as well. Turns out I didn't need Legendary Levels to do it, but the Advanced Bestiary sure came in handy. Comments are appreciated as always, especially with this one.
Adivion Adrissant, The Reborn Tyrant:
Adivion Adrissant the Reborn Tyrant CR 23
Male human advanced dread lich magus (kensai) 20 (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic 9; Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 55; Advanced Bestiary pg 80)
NE Medium undead (augmented humanoid)
Init +20; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +33
AC 49, touch 36, flat-footed 33 (+6 armor, +4 deflection, +16 Dex, +7 natural, +6 profane)
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Str 24, Dex 22, Con – , Int 30, Wis 20, Cha 22
Undead Servitude (Su): Same as the bones mystery (Adivion gains Command Undead as a bonus feat; can channel negative energy a number of times per day equal to 3 + Charisma modifier, but only to use Command Undead; can take other feats to add to this ability, such as Improved Channeling, but not feats that alter this ability, such as Alignment Channel).
I looked at the Reborn Tyrant as an opportunity to rebuild Adivion somewhat, but not completely. My idea was that the fragment of Tar-Baphon's essence was enough to change Adivion into a powerful lich (represented with the advanced and dread lich templates, as well as the level boost) but not enough to remake him into a complete Whispering Tyrant (why he's still a magus as opposed to becoming a necromancer). This is still my first crack at this, and while I'm trying not to fully optimize him, the build needs to be able to challenge multiple adversaries. So again, thoughts, comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated to help get this done.
Toadkiller, I'm planning on doing something very similar to your encounter with Adivion. However, I've statted down the Night Harrows rivals and are making them reoccurring villains throughout the second half of the campaign, especially the evil Cleric (whose name escapes me at the moment...)
I will likely have at least her and maybe any remaining living members of the team to join Adivion on top of Gallowspire. We'll see.
I'm using the Night Harrows too! I'm rather taken by their diversity.
On the subject of Adivion, My Mentor GM thought I was crazy when I said something like, "Oh, I'm not making him the head of the Whispering Way". To that affect, I didn't cut him either. He's been at the funeral, he'll be present at only the trial, and will be there for the 6th book. I, however, decided that his professional relationship with Lorrimor was too important in his life, and promised the man that he'd never join them. No, instead, Adivion is a man with many contacts and strong influence. When cultists of the Way were getting interested in Adivion's ideas of the Carrion Crown, there was another head of the Whispering Way at the time that felt a bit rivaled by Adivion's influence.
Long story short, only Adivion left their one brief meeting alive to become the unofficial head of the Way, using them to only his gain in the end.
Thank you for your input.
If the levels bother any of you, lower them to something you find acceptable (dropping it down to 17 would put this version's CR right at 20). That aspect is more for my group of players, who would expect something more.
This was just a first draft and I came on strong with it. I'm still trying to work out certain details and I'm looking at different things. We'll see how it shapes up next time.
No need to add magus levels I think.
I just want to make sure that it was understood that The Tyrant Reborn I presented was for after the events of Shadows of Gallowspire. My PCs wouldn't encounter this version until months after the Vampire War/Heirs to the Tyrant scenario planned for my campaign played itself out (when they learn that elements of the Whispering Way had found a way to break nearly all the seals holding Tar-Baphon in his prison).
A lich can continue to gain levels (the only documented exception I'm aware of is Darklord Azalin Rex and that's a result of being cursed by the Dark Powers of Ravenloft [can never raise above his current experience level nor learn new spells]). To say that Adivion could not rise in level after his transformation seems a bit restrictive to me, especially when his enemies will. Three may be too much (I did say I came on strong) but he'll get at least one for my game (if nothing else than to give him the spell blending arcana for the enervation and greater false life spells). A CR 21 Adivion against 9 to 11 17th level characters [essentially two APL 18 groups] would be just as fun for me as a CR 23 one. For other groups, even the CR 21 version may be a bit much to deal with. I'll take that into consideration with my next post of the Tyrant Reborn.
I'm almost done with another version of the Tyrant Reborn, which I'll post by tomorrow (I hope). This one involves him being part ghost/part lich (with the idea being that he possesses bodies to continue his existence). I took the idea from the Dark Empire version of Palpatine. Doing research, I rediscovered the Suel lich from Greyhawk, dug up my old Dragon mags and set about re-purposing the template for Pathfinder.
This is my second version of Adivion as the Tyrant Reborn. Still not finalized yet, but I like how this one came along. There's an insidious aspect to this one that appeals to me on so many levels. Like being able to monitor his enemies through the use of different bodies to better prepare himself for another deadly encounter.
Tyrant Reborn, umbral lich version:
Adivion Adrissant CR 20
Male human advanced umbral lich magus (kensai) 18 (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Magic 9; Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 55)
NE Medium undead (augmented humanoid, incorporeal)
Init +18; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +30
Aura fear (60-ft. radius, DC 24)
AC 29, touch 29, flat-footed 14 (+5 deflection, +14 Dex, +4 shield)
Speed 30 ft., fly 40 ft. (perfect)
Str - , Dex 22 , Con –, Int 26, Wis 18, Cha 20
Malevolence (Su): After his defeat at Gallowspire, Adivion became a spectral parasitic being that must periodically steal fresh bodies to inhabit. Once per round, an incorporeal Adivion can merge his body with a creature on the Material Plane. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell (caster level 18th) except that it does not require a receptacle. To use this ability, Adivion must be adjacent to the target. The target can resist with a successful Will save. A creature that saves is immune to Adivion's malevolence for 24 hours. If the save fails, the creature dies, its spirit leaves its body, and Adivion's spirit animates the body as per the magic jar. Creatures slain in this way can only be brought back with a miracle or wish.
Ghost Blade (Su)
I purposely made this one lower level than the last version to gauge the power difference between the two. Once again, constructive comments and ideas are always appreciated.
We just played through day two of the Beast's trial last night, and my setup for introducing Adrissant was as follows:
During testimony by one of the PC investigators, the other party members recognized the corpulent Councilman Hearthmount watching the proceedings from the gallery. When Otto Heiger asked the PC witness to identify his comrades (because they infiltrated Vorkstag & Grine's with a warrant from Daramid after presenting evidence that they were linked to several of the killings, and Heiger is trying to nullify the search warrant), Hearthmount stood and left. Two of the PCs who cared less about the trial decided to pursue him and wrenched him off his carriage before he could escape, intimidating him into telling them what he was up to in Lepidstadt.
Hearthmount explained that he was asked by a generous anonymous donor from the city of Caliphas who funnels money into Ravengro's coffers to determine who was working for Gustav Kapel to prove the Beast's innocence. Heartmount already disliked the PCs from their interactions during "Haunting of Harrowstone" and was all too eager to oblige. He was to write down their names and descriptions and leave them in a rented mail box in Lepidstadt's post office for the patron to pick up later.
After "convincing" Hearthmount to provide misinformation in his letter and escorting him to the mailbox to make sure he didn't lose his way, one PC seduced the mail clerk on duty while the other one stole a ledger listing who paid for each post box. The box that Hearthmount's letter was dropped in is listed as belonging to the estate of Adivion Adrissant - the first mention of his name so far in the AP.
Since I don't own the later modules of this AP yet, I had an idea about AA for my campaign that I wanted to run by you all. We're smack in the middle of HoH, btw.
One of my PCs, a human fey-blooded sorceror, is in Ravengro because his dad used to adventure with Professor Lorrimor, so he's there to pay his respects to his dad's old friend. However, his father disappeared a while ago and the Professor was never able to tell him what happened. Which made me think, "well why can't the PC's father be AA?" There would be some kind of Darth Vader-esque appearance and identity change, and some kind of reveal at the end.
Before I thought of this, I was going to use Adivion as Kendra's fiance and have him show up once or twice during TotB and maybe the third chapter as well. Would there be a way for both to be true? Maybe he can discover in the Professor's notes some wedding plans or something, and then when they meet Adivion later, Kendra (who is still interested in him even after her father refused to allow her to marry the new AA) can simply tell them this is her new fiance if they bother to ask.
Does this present any problems with the storyline of the later installments? What kind of event could have caused this PC's father to drop off the face of the earth and change his identity and motivations? I'm thinking his black blade might have gotten the better of him and that combined with discovering the formula for the CC, his "Mr. Hyde" finally broke free.
Sure, why not? I don't think Adivion's family is ever mentioned later on in the AP, so I don't think you're going to have to make too many adjustments later on to make your ideas work.
Just nipping in here to post another letter I mocked up for Adivion to taunt my players with. I know it's not exactly smart of him to reveal himself as the mastermind, but I find adventure paths work much better when the players have a name (if not a face, yet) that they can pin their hatred to.
This letter was found on Auren Vrood after the players killed him in Feldgrau - sealed with the brilliant AA seal somebody posted earlier in the thread, almost as if the writer had anticipated that the player characters would turn up and defeat Vrood. Bonus points to anyone who can spot which famous confrontation I liberally cribbed from in writing it, especially towards the end..
I suspect that you believe congratulations to be in order. No doubt you think that your actions have averted some great calamity, and undone the work of generations. Alas, this is not the case. Again and again, you bite at the heels of my compatriots, and yet always too late. The Way's work in Feldgrau is done, and your presence here is meaningless.
Do not mistake me, for I have enjoyed observing your progress. You are not heroes born, but you try so hard. I wonder why that is? Do you feel that you failed Petros in some way? I suppose you did, at the end, for none of you were there to help him in his last hours. Ah! There we are! Too late again! Something of a theme to your endeavours, it would seem.
Still, I bore some respect for Petros, and in his memory I offer you one chance at life. Let your efforts end here, in this village of the dead. Return to your employers and tell them of the mighty blow that you have stuck against the Whispering Way, accept your reward, and be about your business. It is your only hope of survival, for if you continue on this path, your deaths are assured.
You seek to oppose not an individual, but a mighty organisation, the full extent of which even your dogged investigations cannot hope to comprehend. You have this one chance to stand clear. Fail to take it, and you will be trodden beneath our feet.
For the glory of the Way,
What're the weird capital letters after Adivion's signature, you ask? Oh, that's just the explosive runes he had put on the letter. He didn't want to leave any evidence lying around tying him to the Way, after all! It worked quite well - in the original word doc the letters are very small, so as soon as the person reading the letter started squinting at them, I whipped the letter off him and did 6d6 damage. My players are really building up a healthy dislike for Mr Adrissant!
Adivion just kidnapped Kendra in my game, after training her up to a fifth level Wizard, so that she'd be worthy of hosting Tar Baphons spirit.
She is there the adoptive daughter of Petros Lorrimor, having been rescued from the Whispering Way when she was but a little lass, by the adventuring party of Petros Lorrimor, Adivion Adrissant, Abraum Chalest and Edjureus Modd. She is one of the last surviving descendants of Tar-Baphon to boot, so she'll be a perfect vessel for him.
That's close to what I'm doing -- except Kendra and Adivion are in on it together, and with the added twist that Adivion's a double agent sent by the Esoteric Order to infiltrate the Whispering Way, who then decided to go triple agent and complete the Carrion Crown plan himself, while getting the PCs to kill all of his rivals in the Whispering Way!
Here are the two letters that my PCs are going to find when they defeat Vrood:
This one's on Vrood's body:
I must congratulate you on your successes thus far. Though of course I continue to regret some of the extreme actions that you undertook without my approval -- was the death of my friend Professor Lorrimore really necessary? And surely that business with His Excellency the Count could have been handled more elegantly -- overall you've done admirably. I am certain the Tyrant will reward you handsomely when His glory is restored.
But alas, there comes a time when one must make sacrifices for the greater rewards to come. You must prepare yourself for that possibility in the days to come.
Here are your new orders:
Continue with the operation in Feldgrau. Build Our Master's army as quickly and efficiently as you can.
However, in a few days it is very likely that a small group of operatives from the Order will arrive. They will be extremely powerful and difficult to stop. You must do everything in your power to destroy them; however, I expect that they may very well be too much for you.
If that is the case, IT IS IMPERATIVE that you allow them to defeat you in such a manner that they believe that your death completely destroys our plot. They must believe that you were the lone mastermind behind it.
It is to this end I have left you with a copy of the Effigy and a reasonable stand-in for the Warden's ghost. And of course you should have no trouble acquiring a suitable stand-in for the Packlord's heart.
You know of course that death is nothing to the Master, and if you do all that He requires your reward shall be ten times as great when He comes.
In His Ever Silent Name,
And when they read that one, this one is going to magically appear on the back of a message they've already received:
If you're reading this, then you've disposed of Auren Vrood. In so doing you've performed a great service to this land, and indeed to the world. Alas, I fear you shall never gain the fame you deserve. It is likely that only I, Kendra, Judge Daramid, and the other members of the Order's innermost circle are likely to know of your accomplishments. But rest assured, we shall remember you forever in our secret records.
With Vrood's death, not only have you thwarted the Whispering Way's most serious plot in our lifetime, but you have also given me the opportunity to strike at the very heart of their organization.
I regret that I cannot give you any details about the nature of my continuing mission, though I'm sure you understand the paramount need for secrecy. But it may come to pass that I need to call upon you for some measure of aid in the future. Who knows, that day may come quite soon. I know that I can always count on your skill, your strength, and your dauntless ravery even in the face of the greatest terrors.
And may I say that I always remain your friend and ally,
And they'll also find this little note from Kendra, sent via message spell attached to a bat, and intercepted by the Prince's Wolves in Feldgrau:
To the Opener of the Eye,
Phase One successful. Beginning Phase Two.
I hope I can keep 'em guessing all the way to Gallowspire!
Hm, if you are so liberal with throwing Adivions name around ( I mean "AA" really doesn't lend itself to anyone else in the AP, does it? ), then don't wonder if they'll try to confront him sooner.
And if my players found such a letter from Kendra, you bet that they would confront her about it.
And if Adivion commanded Vrood to make players believe they've destroyed the plot, why would he keep that letter on himself? That'd be kinda... dumb.
And they'll also find this little note from Kendra, sent via message spell attached to a bat
You mean Animal Messenger, right? Because Message spell doesn't work that way... But then again, Animal Messenger is a bard/druid/ranger spell...
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Yeah, animal messenger. Kendra keeps a stack of scrolls of it on her.
And who said Vrood was smart? Or that he completely trusts Adivion? ;)
And he's going to have it *quite well* hidden on his person...
He ate it, and it's still in his stomach. Good thing the PCs have mending.
captain yesterday wrote:
I'm aware of that. Maybe you just have a higher opinion of what constitutes average than I do. ;)
SUCH lovely creepy wonderful ideas!!! I've had AA and the WW scrying on the party through a piece of treasure that I planted and he's been leaving or having delivered creepy/taunting/stalker-ish notes for them here and there. It's creeping them out and making them furious but they haven't yet figured out the method of his spying =)
SUCH lovely creepy wonderful ideas!!! I've had AA and the WW scrying on the party through a piece of treasure that I planted and he's been leaving or having delivered creepy/taunting/stalker-ish notes for them here and there. It's creeping them out and making them furious but they haven't yet figured out the method of his spying =)
I'd like to do something like that after book 3. What method is he actually using? Because I thought scrying was detectable. I could be wrong, I haven't used it in a while.
I've given AA a crystal ball and in several guises they have met and spoken with him several times. I am adding in some extra material to the plot since I plan on continuing the campaign with the Whispering Tyrant and his escape from Gallowpire as a very high level campaign for some time. But be nasty tricky, a little bit of disguise work or simple spells can really throw the players off, a "well meaning" stranger or towns person npc can find out quite a bit about them and a scroll of invisibility is all it takes to slip notes where they will find them. =)
Woof, just finished the campaign. Adivion was really a major encounter, as I rebuilt him into something challenging for my group. He was based on Toadkiller Dogs version, with better equipment, better saves, other feats and spells and some more changes.
Also, that version was only phase one of the encounter. In the second phase, Adivions soul ripped itself out of his shattered body and attacked the group as a ghost wizard. Since the session was really advancing in time and I didn't want to finish on just the last blow ( next week we begin Jade Regent ), I kinda threw the fight on that one, foregoing phase three completely, where Tar-Baphon would personally take over the corpse of Adivion and give a last good physical assault on the group.
Instead I just had him take over the corpse and taunt the group some. Well, and burning out the eyes of the mouthy halfling Wizard, replacing them with black flames which see everybody as rotting corpses. ^^
All in all, a good ending to the campaign, although I really had to work on a challenging end fight.