The Azlant Odyssey
Let's get this out right away: It's an awesome feeling to complete an Adventure Path. As we all know, you don't have to scan the message boards very hard to find stories of how many groups almost made it to volume six of an AP. Not too long before the historic events of 2020, we assembled for exactly that: one final marathon of Ruins of Azlant. Our odyssey was at its conclusion, and what made this marathon equally nostalgic was that it was our last adventure of the Pathfinder 1st Edition era.
Author Thurston Hillman gave us everything we wanted in the final volume: enormous creatures, complex battles (some underwater), deadly magic, a climactic final encounter, and the powerful items we had patiently climbed so many character levels to see. All we had to do was find a way through the gathering army of ulat-kini, locate the secret facility know as the Compass, and stop a veiled master from setting off a doomsday weapon. No prob!
To help bring the marathon experience to life, we were joined from Seattle by OAD member Savannah Broadway in the live-NPC role of Imiolana, a pure-blooded Azlanti. We also contacted our friends at Black Bard Studios for their help in creating a 3D setup for the final encounter, along with the custom lusca and seashell buildings you see below. The talents of Geordie John Studios were used to create much of the beautiful colony display, and the artists of Blue Table Painting did the fantastic paint work on our character minis.
The end of this Adventure Path also saw two new players achieve 100 hours at our table and become full members of Order of the Amber Die. The first was Julian Dappolone, son of OAD member Michael Dappolone; the second was Robert Pontious, also of Know Direction, who flew in from Rhode Island. Congrats to Julian and Rob, and welcome to the Order!
- Adventure: Pathfinder Adventure Path #126: Beyond the Veiled Past
- Marathon Length: 100 hours, 50min
- Session Hours: 63 hours, 15min
Highlights From Beyond the Veiled Past
We boarded our apparatus of the crab one final time, cranked up the music (Borgore's Dolphin Attack), and launched an amphibious assault against the massing forces of the veiled master. These fights saw us facing units of the "troop" type from Bestiary 6, a monster mechanic we look forward to seeing again in Pathfinder 2.0!
Like ioun stones? You'll get plenty of them in this Adventure Path. You'll also get a CR 17 ioun golem, which can steal your stones--absorb their power--and fire them back at you. Just plain awesome!
The Amber Die said farewell to this campaign the best way it knew how: by gracing everyone in the room with a 20-20-20. If you've seen it happen, you'll never forget it.
While defending the colony's new tavern, Valeros squared off against Sharopech, an ulat-kini fighter older than the fall of Azlant itself. In a slugfest that would have made Foreman and Ali jealous, the two threw out more than four hundred damage in three rounds. When it was over, the skum was face down and the beer was safe.
We recovered an unholy sword made of throneglass, a material once part of the Imperial Palace in Azlant. Kyra grasped the blade (known as Empire's Fall), and used her prestige capstone ability to seek Sarenrae's aid in performing a miracle. The weapon was reborn as Dawnflower's Hope, and was with us to the end.
Getting to plan, develop, and defend our own colony made this Adventure Path unique. We watched proudly when the first stone structure was erected with the help of our stone shape and ant haul spells. Alongside colony-building, crafting alliances and relationships with many of the communities we encountered turned out to be one of the defining features of this Adventure Path. In fact, by the time we reached the final encounter, our odyssey wasn't even about us so much anymore, it was about the NPCs who stood alongside us for volumes of play and ultimately outnumbered us in the party.
As the party tried to broker a peace between the colony and nearby locathah, several ugothol assassins were present in disguise. The author's deadly expertise with stat blocks was evident here, leaving us to deal with the bodies of Kyra, Imiolana, and Valeros.
Once inside the secret Azlanti facility, there was the small matter of dealing with some of its still-active defenses, which included intelligent clockwork soldiers; unfortunately, they had already taken out Koloshkora before we understood the threat they posed.
Best Quote From Marathon 6
(talking down a yarahkut inevitable and two clockwork leviathans)
Adam (GM): "Go ahead and bust out the best Diplomacy check of your career."
Dan (Kyra): "Ummm...(rolls, silence)...(more silence)...forty-three?"
Adam: "Dude, that's awesome, why did you mess with us?"
Dan: "Because I rolled a six."
The Ruins of Azlant Adventure Path by the Numbers
Note: All data has been compiled across six volumes of play.
Total marathon hours: 646 hours, 45min
Actual session hours: 349 hours, 55min
Longest single session: 17 hours, 45min
Real-life months passed: 21
Days passed on Golarion: 191
Highest DC reached on a skill check: 78 (Koloshkora)
Aboleths slain: 4
Group consensus on most valuable skill: Linguistics (Azlanti)
Caffeine consumed: c. 60,000mg
Party Teamwork Feat: Lookout
Uses of Aquadynamic Paragon (whatsoever): 1
Total damage received: 4,263
Kyra (Exalted Prestige Class)
Blessed Surgery medicine domain power: 64 uses, 22 successes
Uses of Divine Boon prestige ability: 22
Merisiel (Relic Raider)
*Character was gloriously disintegrated underwater during volume four
Successful uses of Curse Sense: 1
Successful uses of Disable Curse: 0
Ezren (Sword Binder)
Successful uses of the Stabbing Spells trait : 2
Spells cast underwater: 51
Successful uses of Sword of the Mage ability: 20
Most frequent enemies employed: ulat-kini, ugothol, merfolk, sahuagin
Strongest party defenses faced: freedom of movement, ride the waves
Highest enemy single attack damage: 192 (deep merfolk sorcerer)
Favorite NPCs: wyrwoods, Mordant Spire elves
Marathon prep hours: c. 590
Pages of notes collected on Ruins of Azlant: 81
How it Ended
Thoughts of previous final performances upped our anxiety as we gazed across a stone catwalk toward the doomsday device we had long sought. Opposing us was the veiled master Ochymua, accompanied by two aboleth wizards--yet that's not what made the fight difficult. The entire room was a sphere of water with air in the center, and the water was fair game as passable terrain. Our aquanaut and locathah guide swiftly dove in and were upon the aboleths in short order. The battle turned into high-level Pathfinder's version of synchronized swimming, where your character's speed and method of locomotion determined your role. The encounter was further complicated by the arrival of Jazradan, a fated Azlanti leader in ghost form who wasn't exactly on our side. OAD history was made, with an astonishing fourteen disintegrate spells firing back and forth as we struggled over the doomsday weapon. Things looked pretty bleak for a while with three characters trapped in maze spells, but Paizo developer Eleanor Ferron gets a nod here for designing such a competent companion in Imiolana, whom ended up bringing down both Ochymua and Jazradan before the device went off.
It was the cleanest victory we've had in our years on the Paizo blog, but Kyra said it best regarding everything about The Azlant Odyssey: "We didn't just win. We succeeded."
Lastly, a sincere thank you to Managing Developer Adam Daigle for his support throughout this project. There is a great deal of patience and effort required to present an entire Adventure Path on the Paizo blog, and he's been with us through three of them now
For character builds, questions about The Azlant Odyssey, additional content and more, see our thread on the Paizo messageboards
Follow Order of the Amber Die:
Order of the Amber Die: Beyond the Veiled Past
Friday, September 18, 2020