The Beginning of the End: A Pawn's Dilemma

Game Master caster4life

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Male Rogue/Artificer Gestalt 5 | HP 33/33| AC 17 | Saving Throws - Str (0), Dex (+8), Con (+5), Int (+6), Wis (+2), Cha (+1) | Passive Perc - 12 | Init +4 | 1st Lvl Spl - 3/3 | Inspiration | Ammo - 235

My initial instinct is actually to sign it, once we've made sure it's not going to bite us in the ass. Currently, there's nothing in it that means we have to work towards her goals - only the safeguarding of the lodestones against the Abyss, and that does not need to be in her hands contractually. That gives us a lot of wiggle room to work against her while sticking to the terms.

I mean, we absolutely need to make sure 'You are now my slaves and your souls are mine, blarggAOIWHRAZ HAAHAHAH!!!!!!!" isn't written on the back or hidden in invisible ink or something else like that. And we'll need to be wary of any addendums she wants to add to counter ones we need to add in.

The main thing is the final part, 'In cooperation with the patron' part. She might be able to bend that one, so we'll need it clarifying.


M Warforged (Envoy)
Resources:
P1st 4/4 | P2nd 3/3 | W3rd - 0/2 | Hexblade's Curse 1/1 | Channel Divinity 1/1 | Lay on Hands 25/25 | Divine Sense 5/5 | HD 5/5 | Inspiration 1/1
Paladin 5/Warlock 5 | HP 44/44 | AC 20+2 | STR(-1) DEX(+3) CON(+2) INT(-1) WIS(+3) CHA(+7) | Init +3 | PP 10

One of the issues S. A. M. would take with the contract is its lack of specificity. For example, who are these "unnamed forces of the Abyss"? Are we dealing with 1, 10, or 100 lodestones? It has no duration on it so we would presumably be bound to protect a lodestone for as long as we are capable of giving it our best efforts, i.e. until we die or perhaps afterward. To Enziver's point, lack of specificity on the duration of the contract may implicitly signify indefinite duration.

So I think S. A. M.'d want to nail down a duration and a specific foe or number of foes. If we protect a lodestone from Demonic assault, is our job done, or do we need to protect it from all future assaults as well?

Indentured, indefinite servitude is a high price for some (admittedly cool) magic items. And believe me, those gloves are tempting.


F Human (variant)
Resources:
Sorcery Points: 5/5 | Spell Slots 1st: 4/4, 2nd: 3/3, 3rd: 4/4 | Hexblade Curse: 1/1, Favored by the gods: 1/1, Inspiration: 0/1, HD: 5/5; Kit used on: X
Sorcerer 5/Warlock 5 (HP 43/43 | AC 13 | Init: +0 | Passive Perception: 14 | Str -1, Dex +0, Con +6, Int +0, Wis +4, Cha +7)

Olivia's preference if she is to sign a contract is to keep the not lying to each other clause and drop everything else (and then define the duration of their alliance as something like 24 hours after one party informs the other their alliance is ending). But then, I'm also not that interested in the magic items (which is a general problem I have with 5e).


Combat:
Superiority Dice: 4/4 | Second Wind: 1/1 | Action Surge: 1/1 | 1st: 4/4 | 2nd: 0/3 | 3rd: 0/2
HP 44/44 | AC 18 | Saves STR +7 DEX -1 CON +5 INT +6 WIS +3 CHA -1 | spd 30 | Perc. +3; Pass. 13 | LG Human Fighter / Wizard 5 | HD 5/5 1d10+2 | Insp. 0/1 | Init: +2 | Effects:

Horat: Int 16, Cha 8. ;)

Those gloves really are tempting!


M Warforged (Envoy)
Resources:
P1st 4/4 | P2nd 3/3 | W3rd - 0/2 | Hexblade's Curse 1/1 | Channel Divinity 1/1 | Lay on Hands 25/25 | Divine Sense 5/5 | HD 5/5 | Inspiration 1/1
Paladin 5/Warlock 5 | HP 44/44 | AC 20+2 | STR(-1) DEX(+3) CON(+2) INT(-1) WIS(+3) CHA(+7) | Init +3 | PP 10

OOC I know there's got to be a trap in there somewhere, but in character I think S. A. M. would find the chaotic evil Abyssal forces more heinous than the lawful evil devils and would probably believe he owes some fealty to the princess who gave him such power. As such, in character, I believe S. A. M. would sign with some reservations. He's not the most intelligent nor most wise robot.

That said, I'm not interested in forcing Olivia to sign. Where's Liv when you need her? haha. If we walk away, we end up with two foes, which could be really cool, especially as S. A. M. and Olivia battle their... uh... devils. We make a powerful foe and still have to fight the demons at the Lodestones anyway, this time without fiendish aid.


F Human (variant)
Resources:
Sorcery Points: 5/5 | Spell Slots 1st: 4/4, 2nd: 3/3, 3rd: 4/4 | Hexblade Curse: 1/1, Favored by the gods: 1/1, Inspiration: 0/1, HD: 5/5; Kit used on: X
Sorcerer 5/Warlock 5 (HP 43/43 | AC 13 | Init: +0 | Passive Perception: 14 | Str -1, Dex +0, Con +6, Int +0, Wis +4, Cha +7)

I wouldn't worry about "forcing" Olivia to sign it. Her getting her way is less important to me than her being absolutely convinced it's a terrible idea. So if we do sign it and things go horribly wrong, absolutely expect an "I told you so" from her. ;-) But in character, there are a couple of ways I could spin it to get her to agree to sign.

Also, we will be getting Liv's opinion on the matter later, probably after we've made a decision.


I think you know that this decision will have consequences but also won't break the game either way.

So it sounds like Horat favors signing, Sam favors signing, Olivia is against, I'm guessing Liv is in favor but I'm not sure she gets to vote, and Enizver seems sort of against signing?

E, can you clarify your position? If it's 2-2 we'll need to think/discuss a little more. Or the party can decide to roll 1d2 to decide. Whatever works for you guys.


Combat:
Superiority Dice: 4/4 | Second Wind: 1/1 | Action Surge: 1/1 | 1st: 4/4 | 2nd: 0/3 | 3rd: 0/2
HP 44/44 | AC 18 | Saves STR +7 DEX -1 CON +5 INT +6 WIS +3 CHA -1 | spd 30 | Perc. +3; Pass. 13 | LG Human Fighter / Wizard 5 | HD 5/5 1d10+2 | Insp. 0/1 | Init: +2 | Effects:

Horat isn't in love with signing. But he sees it as a means to combat a clear threat. The fiend isn't making up that demon incursions are an issue. His decision is swayed to a lesser degree by a genuine hatred of demons but that more stems from his overall nature.


F Human (variant)
Resources:
Sorcery Points: 5/5 | Spell Slots 1st: 4/4, 2nd: 3/3, 3rd: 4/4 | Hexblade Curse: 1/1, Favored by the gods: 1/1, Inspiration: 0/1, HD: 5/5; Kit used on: X
Sorcerer 5/Warlock 5 (HP 43/43 | AC 13 | Init: +0 | Passive Perception: 14 | Str -1, Dex +0, Con +6, Int +0, Wis +4, Cha +7)

Liv is actually against signing. She wants freedom and is smart enough to know that the devil probably has magical ways of actually enforcing the contract.

But at this point, I tend to think it's less a question of "Are we signing" and more a question of "Are we signing the contract as it currently is." I get the impression that both Horat and SAM are in favor of signing as is because they really want those gloves (though I suppose also worth asking if there are duplicates of items or if those two are going to be fighting over who gets the gloves). I'd prefer to limit the contract to only the truthfulness clause.


Male Rogue/Artificer Gestalt 5 | HP 33/33| AC 17 | Saving Throws - Str (0), Dex (+8), Con (+5), Int (+6), Wis (+2), Cha (+1) | Passive Perc - 12 | Init +4 | 1st Lvl Spl - 3/3 | Inspiration | Ammo - 235

Sorry, I was having a sleepy day.

I think signing the contract is a viable choice that I wouldn't oppose, but yeah, I'd rather find another way. Devil's are the mutliverse's best lawyers. If we're clever and work hard we might avoid getting completely screwed over, but it's risky. If nothing else the unavoidable consequence is that we're working with devils to secure vital points of reality. We're gonna find out what the Monster Manual has for good-aligned monsters.


Well the trouble is, "good-aligned" doesn't mean "at your beck and call." Contacting Celestials and getting them to help you isn't easy. I'm not sure what you would even do to attempt that at this level.


M Warforged (Envoy)
Resources:
P1st 4/4 | P2nd 3/3 | W3rd - 0/2 | Hexblade's Curse 1/1 | Channel Divinity 1/1 | Lay on Hands 25/25 | Divine Sense 5/5 | HD 5/5 | Inspiration 1/1
Paladin 5/Warlock 5 | HP 44/44 | AC 20+2 | STR(-1) DEX(+3) CON(+2) INT(-1) WIS(+3) CHA(+7) | Init +3 | PP 10

I interpreted Enziver’s remark as we will end up in combat with good-aligned monsters. Am I mistaken?


Male Rogue/Artificer Gestalt 5 | HP 33/33| AC 17 | Saving Throws - Str (0), Dex (+8), Con (+5), Int (+6), Wis (+2), Cha (+1) | Passive Perc - 12 | Init +4 | 1st Lvl Spl - 3/3 | Inspiration | Ammo - 235

No, that's pretty much it. No matter our intentions we're working with devils to take control of reality. At best most good-aligned creatures will see us as deluded or mislead. At worst they'll see us as willing agents of a princess of hell.


Combat:
Superiority Dice: 4/4 | Second Wind: 1/1 | Action Surge: 1/1 | 1st: 4/4 | 2nd: 0/3 | 3rd: 0/2
HP 44/44 | AC 18 | Saves STR +7 DEX -1 CON +5 INT +6 WIS +3 CHA -1 | spd 30 | Perc. +3; Pass. 13 | LG Human Fighter / Wizard 5 | HD 5/5 1d10+2 | Insp. 0/1 | Init: +2 | Effects:

That bit isn't as concerning to Horat. He was forced to fight on the same side as demons, and for a lot less important reason.


Alrighty we want to keep moving forward so someone propose amendments or let's sign or let's not sign. Either way, we want to proceed.


Male Rogue/Artificer Gestalt 5 | HP 33/33| AC 17 | Saving Throws - Str (0), Dex (+8), Con (+5), Int (+6), Wis (+2), Cha (+1) | Passive Perc - 12 | Init +4 | 1st Lvl Spl - 3/3 | Inspiration | Ammo - 235

Well, since we're tied, anyone wanna flip a coin? No proposed amendments if we do sign.


F Human (variant)
Resources:
Sorcery Points: 5/5 | Spell Slots 1st: 4/4, 2nd: 3/3, 3rd: 4/4 | Hexblade Curse: 1/1, Favored by the gods: 1/1, Inspiration: 0/1, HD: 5/5; Kit used on: X
Sorcerer 5/Warlock 5 (HP 43/43 | AC 13 | Init: +0 | Passive Perception: 14 | Str -1, Dex +0, Con +6, Int +0, Wis +4, Cha +7)

I already proposed an amendment, but I think we don't get into a more agreeable state with it.

I'm fine flipping a coin. 1 = Sign, 2 = Don't sign?

Oh, but I would like to confirm if there are duplicates of items before signing since Horat and SAM want the same thing. Or at least that if there aren't duplicates and we sign, it's not going to be an issue.


Combat:
Superiority Dice: 4/4 | Second Wind: 1/1 | Action Surge: 1/1 | 1st: 4/4 | 2nd: 0/3 | 3rd: 0/2
HP 44/44 | AC 18 | Saves STR +7 DEX -1 CON +5 INT +6 WIS +3 CHA -1 | spd 30 | Perc. +3; Pass. 13 | LG Human Fighter / Wizard 5 | HD 5/5 1d10+2 | Insp. 0/1 | Init: +2 | Effects:

I'm also fine with flipping a coin, given the split. I suggest that we do it IC.

I wish I had thought of that question before Horat said that he had no more questions.


F Human (variant)
Resources:
Sorcery Points: 5/5 | Spell Slots 1st: 4/4, 2nd: 3/3, 3rd: 4/4 | Hexblade Curse: 1/1, Favored by the gods: 1/1, Inspiration: 0/1, HD: 5/5; Kit used on: X
Sorcerer 5/Warlock 5 (HP 43/43 | AC 13 | Init: +0 | Passive Perception: 14 | Str -1, Dex +0, Con +6, Int +0, Wis +4, Cha +7)
Sketchy contract wrote:
Upon initial signature of this contract, the patron will provide each of the mortal undersigned with a powerful artifact, negotiated before signature.

If it's an issue, that would come up before signing when we're negotiating the items (I also assume if people really wanted to, they could try pitching different magic items to the ones she presented).

For the record, if we sign the contract as is, I currently plan to go for the ring of spell storing.


I think Horat doesn't even need the gloves because he can cast with a two-handed weapon in hand no problem.

But no, there are no duplicates of the items.


Combat:
Superiority Dice: 4/4 | Second Wind: 1/1 | Action Surge: 1/1 | 1st: 4/4 | 2nd: 0/3 | 3rd: 0/2
HP 44/44 | AC 18 | Saves STR +7 DEX -1 CON +5 INT +6 WIS +3 CHA -1 | spd 30 | Perc. +3; Pass. 13 | LG Human Fighter / Wizard 5 | HD 5/5 1d10+2 | Insp. 0/1 | Init: +2 | Effects:

In that case, I'm interested in the Mantle of Spell Resistance. Horat will have to make quite a few saves methinks.


M Warforged (Envoy)
Resources:
P1st 4/4 | P2nd 3/3 | W3rd - 0/2 | Hexblade's Curse 1/1 | Channel Divinity 1/1 | Lay on Hands 25/25 | Divine Sense 5/5 | HD 5/5 | Inspiration 1/1
Paladin 5/Warlock 5 | HP 44/44 | AC 20+2 | STR(-1) DEX(+3) CON(+2) INT(-1) WIS(+3) CHA(+7) | Init +3 | PP 10

Flipping a coin IC sounds like a great solution. I don't think Olivia or I should do it because we sort of make up the two polar opposite positions on this, and she's our patron anyway. I suggest either Horat or Enziver does it IC.

I aim to take the gloves of the warrior mage if nobody objects. I think they are powerful enough as-is, but I would probably try to haggle with her and would be happy to haggle on anyone else's behalf. (I have +7 to persuasion)


F Human (variant)
Resources:
Sorcery Points: 5/5 | Spell Slots 1st: 4/4, 2nd: 3/3, 3rd: 4/4 | Hexblade Curse: 1/1, Favored by the gods: 1/1, Inspiration: 0/1, HD: 5/5; Kit used on: X
Sorcerer 5/Warlock 5 (HP 43/43 | AC 13 | Init: +0 | Passive Perception: 14 | Str -1, Dex +0, Con +6, Int +0, Wis +4, Cha +7)

She claims to be our patron. Olivia doesn't buy it and as far as Liv's concerned, she essentially Olivia's patron. :-P


Combat:
Superiority Dice: 4/4 | Second Wind: 1/1 | Action Surge: 1/1 | 1st: 4/4 | 2nd: 0/3 | 3rd: 0/2
HP 44/44 | AC 18 | Saves STR +7 DEX -1 CON +5 INT +6 WIS +3 CHA -1 | spd 30 | Perc. +3; Pass. 13 | LG Human Fighter / Wizard 5 | HD 5/5 1d10+2 | Insp. 0/1 | Init: +2 | Effects:

Haggling could net us benefits. I say aye.

And true, we have no way of knowing how truthful she's being on the matter of patronage.


Male Rogue/Artificer Gestalt 5 | HP 33/33| AC 17 | Saving Throws - Str (0), Dex (+8), Con (+5), Int (+6), Wis (+2), Cha (+1) | Passive Perc - 12 | Init +4 | 1st Lvl Spl - 3/3 | Inspiration | Ammo - 235

We could probably barter a sum of gold. We're not that short on coin but it certainly wouldn't hurt.

And if we go for the contract I'll grab the item to make the Thunder Cannon magic. I kinda assumed it was why it was there.

If everyone's cool Enizver will do a coin flip in a couple of hours, when I have a break at work.


Combat:
Superiority Dice: 4/4 | Second Wind: 1/1 | Action Surge: 1/1 | 1st: 4/4 | 2nd: 0/3 | 3rd: 0/2
HP 44/44 | AC 18 | Saves STR +7 DEX -1 CON +5 INT +6 WIS +3 CHA -1 | spd 30 | Perc. +3; Pass. 13 | LG Human Fighter / Wizard 5 | HD 5/5 1d10+2 | Insp. 0/1 | Init: +2 | Effects:

I'm fine with Enizver oiling his thunder cannon and flipping that coin.

TBH I considered the oil for Horat's halberd but the mantle would be more useful considering the attacks coming in.


M Warforged (Envoy)
Resources:
P1st 4/4 | P2nd 3/3 | W3rd - 0/2 | Hexblade's Curse 1/1 | Channel Divinity 1/1 | Lay on Hands 25/25 | Divine Sense 5/5 | HD 5/5 | Inspiration 1/1
Paladin 5/Warlock 5 | HP 44/44 | AC 20+2 | STR(-1) DEX(+3) CON(+2) INT(-1) WIS(+3) CHA(+7) | Init +3 | PP 10

Will post in the morning.


Combat:
Superiority Dice: 4/4 | Second Wind: 1/1 | Action Surge: 1/1 | 1st: 4/4 | 2nd: 0/3 | 3rd: 0/2
HP 44/44 | AC 18 | Saves STR +7 DEX -1 CON +5 INT +6 WIS +3 CHA -1 | spd 30 | Perc. +3; Pass. 13 | LG Human Fighter / Wizard 5 | HD 5/5 1d10+2 | Insp. 0/1 | Init: +2 | Effects:

I'll get to catch up and post tomorrow.


I hope you guys aren't too frustrated about this conundrum OOC. It is the name of this game, quite literally. And the original interest check for this game specified it would be deeply involved with the Blood War. Who are the good guys in the Blood War? But I understand that only Horat and Enizver were part of that original interest check so hopefully the others aren't caught too off-guard.

If it makes you feel better, things won't always be this way. My most recent gameplay post is foreshadowing that you guys will eventually be able to attempt daring infiltrations of one of the Nine Hells. But you're certainly not there yet and won't be for a while. So you need to pick a side or try to play both sides off of each other or something. You can't just not interact with them. The stakes are too high.


Male Rogue/Artificer Gestalt 5 | HP 33/33| AC 17 | Saving Throws - Str (0), Dex (+8), Con (+5), Int (+6), Wis (+2), Cha (+1) | Passive Perc - 12 | Init +4 | 1st Lvl Spl - 3/3 | Inspiration | Ammo - 235

In my defence I had loooong forgotten about that detail. But I'm certainly not upset. As a good character, Enizver will be very much looking into playing the two sides off against each other as much as possible, because he has no wish to see either of them win. If that proves impossible, I'd probably go with the devils. At least they won't change there mind and eat your family the next day 'cos of the lols.


F Human (variant)
Resources:
Sorcery Points: 5/5 | Spell Slots 1st: 4/4, 2nd: 3/3, 3rd: 4/4 | Hexblade Curse: 1/1, Favored by the gods: 1/1, Inspiration: 0/1, HD: 5/5; Kit used on: X
Sorcerer 5/Warlock 5 (HP 43/43 | AC 13 | Init: +0 | Passive Perception: 14 | Str -1, Dex +0, Con +6, Int +0, Wis +4, Cha +7)

I didn't know what the Blood War was prior to this.

Olivia's current plan is "Find out what the lodestone is, and then just guard it while trying to keep it out of anyone's hands." Though she's also not about to say that in front of the devil/demon. Even though that's pretty much all he's asked us to do anyway/he hasn't said anything about us handing the lodestone over to him (she's expecting him to try to do something tricksy to get it though).

So I'm not really bothered by it. But I also feel like I don't really know enough to know what to ask, especially since Olivia generally feels like she shouldn't trust anything either side says anyway. But if other people have questions, I want them to ask to see what info they get before ending questioning to go find the lodestone.


M Warforged (Envoy)
Resources:
P1st 4/4 | P2nd 3/3 | W3rd - 0/2 | Hexblade's Curse 1/1 | Channel Divinity 1/1 | Lay on Hands 25/25 | Divine Sense 5/5 | HD 5/5 | Inspiration 1/1
Paladin 5/Warlock 5 | HP 44/44 | AC 20+2 | STR(-1) DEX(+3) CON(+2) INT(-1) WIS(+3) CHA(+7) | Init +3 | PP 10

It sounds like our next move is to head to the lodestone Abraxas is referring to and protect it from Fierna’s onslaught. We don’t necessarily have to align ourselves with the demons. Theoretically we could do what Liv is suggesting and guard it from both sides. You guys okay with that?

IC S. A. M. would be interested in working with the devils until that proves untenable. Perhaps we can force Fierna into a better bargaining position if we hold the next lodestone she wants.


Combat:
Superiority Dice: 4/4 | Second Wind: 1/1 | Action Surge: 1/1 | 1st: 4/4 | 2nd: 0/3 | 3rd: 0/2
HP 44/44 | AC 18 | Saves STR +7 DEX -1 CON +5 INT +6 WIS +3 CHA -1 | spd 30 | Perc. +3; Pass. 13 | LG Human Fighter / Wizard 5 | HD 5/5 1d10+2 | Insp. 0/1 | Init: +2 | Effects:

Apologies for delay. This week has been tricky for me getting to update pbp.

I'm up for denying the lodestone to both evil parties.


Combat:
Superiority Dice: 4/4 | Second Wind: 1/1 | Action Surge: 1/1 | 1st: 4/4 | 2nd: 0/3 | 3rd: 0/2
HP 44/44 | AC 18 | Saves STR +7 DEX -1 CON +5 INT +6 WIS +3 CHA -1 | spd 30 | Perc. +3; Pass. 13 | LG Human Fighter / Wizard 5 | HD 5/5 1d10+2 | Insp. 0/1 | Init: +2 | Effects:

A heads up. I'll be at a con for most of today and playing D&D for most of tomorrow.


M Warforged (Envoy)
Resources:
P1st 4/4 | P2nd 3/3 | W3rd - 0/2 | Hexblade's Curse 1/1 | Channel Divinity 1/1 | Lay on Hands 25/25 | Divine Sense 5/5 | HD 5/5 | Inspiration 1/1
Paladin 5/Warlock 5 | HP 44/44 | AC 20+2 | STR(-1) DEX(+3) CON(+2) INT(-1) WIS(+3) CHA(+7) | Init +3 | PP 10

Some lucky rolls. I would be up for some shopping, then a rest before finding passage north to the Great Bay of Wind.


F Human (variant)
Resources:
Sorcery Points: 5/5 | Spell Slots 1st: 4/4, 2nd: 3/3, 3rd: 4/4 | Hexblade Curse: 1/1, Favored by the gods: 1/1, Inspiration: 0/1, HD: 5/5; Kit used on: X
Sorcerer 5/Warlock 5 (HP 43/43 | AC 13 | Init: +0 | Passive Perception: 14 | Str -1, Dex +0, Con +6, Int +0, Wis +4, Cha +7)

Does anybody know how much it costs to get cold winter gear? Is there, like, some kind of standard kit meant for dealing with cold climates? I assume we at least need warm coats but maybe also special bedrolls/tents or something?


Male Rogue/Artificer Gestalt 5 | HP 33/33| AC 17 | Saving Throws - Str (0), Dex (+8), Con (+5), Int (+6), Wis (+2), Cha (+1) | Passive Perc - 12 | Init +4 | 1st Lvl Spl - 3/3 | Inspiration | Ammo - 235

There doesn't seem to be anything that I can find.


Combat:
Superiority Dice: 4/4 | Second Wind: 1/1 | Action Surge: 1/1 | 1st: 4/4 | 2nd: 0/3 | 3rd: 0/2
HP 44/44 | AC 18 | Saves STR +7 DEX -1 CON +5 INT +6 WIS +3 CHA -1 | spd 30 | Perc. +3; Pass. 13 | LG Human Fighter / Wizard 5 | HD 5/5 1d10+2 | Insp. 0/1 | Init: +2 | Effects:

Ah. Horat would look for cold weather gear if the topic came up. I suspect he wouldn't think of it himself, being from a very warm land.

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