Linking Adimarchus directly to Dry'yrd and the Cagewrights....?!


Shackled City Adventure Path

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My idea is to link Adimarchus directly to Dry'yrd and therefore the Cagewright plans. This will create a better flow in the final stage of the path and give the players a better reason to hunt down the fallen angel in the end.

Adimarchus is the ultimate bad guy of the Path. He is the final encounter of the campaign and final step to ensuring Cauldron remains safe...yet he is locked in a cage and has no real influence on anything.

In reality he is a 'toothless tiger' who only starts to effect the party and the Cauldron in the final adventure. Sure a few Cagewrights are effected by his 'madness' including Fetor (SotSP) but if you removed him from the SCAP altogether it would have minimial to no impact on the campaign as a whole (Test of the Smoking Eye adventure the exception).

To me this seems an complete anticlimax.

The Cagewrights are the real villians of the Path. They are the ones from the first adventure manipulating the city, hunting down Shackleborn, weakening the churches and guard, infultrating(sp?) the government and ultimately almost destroying the whole city.

Adimarchus has nothing to do with the campaign until the end.

Adimarchus' Corrupting Madness

My idea is to have Dry'yrd be 'controlled' by a far more coherant/conscious Adimarchus than what is presented in the HC. From his prison Adimarchus can reach out with his insane nightmares and gradually corrupt a persons mind. He did so with Fetor, Shebeleth, Alurid and others to varying degrees.

My idea is to have Dry'yrd completely corrupted. He was the first creature to be touched by the fallen angels maddening dreams and has gradually fallen more and more under his control.

Cauldron was chosen as the location to create the permanent planar gate because of the large amount of Shackleborn, availabilty of future 'prisoners', isolation from potential threats (ie other cities/forces of good) AND, most impotantly, because it was directly aligned on Canceri, with Skullrot - Adimarchus prison.

When the gate is created the demodands would pour through but Skullrot would also tumble from the sky onto the city, destroying the prison and releasing the fallen angel.

When the party face Dry'yrd, Adimarchus directly controls the demodands smaller head. The smaller orders screams insanely at Dry'yrd, refering to him as his slave, to destroy the party.

When they finally kill Dry'yrd, the smaller head remains alive long enough to threaten them - 'His death matters not for I am Adimarchus and he was but a servant..my pawn, there are other Cagwrights that still live that I shall control. I have hundreds of corrupted minds that I can use.... even in your very own group' and laughs insanely before either being killed by the party or dying on his own but not before staring directly at the party member with the Smoking Eye and/or Dream Haunted Trait.

This party member feels a flash of searing pain and falls to the floor holding his head screaming. Have them make a Will Save DC 30. If they fall, they attack the party laughing insanely as they do, speaking with the same voice. Each proceeding round the character can make a new save or the party can intervene.

Before the character is realised Adimarchus will say - 'It is only a matter of time before he/she is completely corrupted and mine to control..'

In the aftermath of the battle the party will find Dry'yrds mad wanderings written down on a parchment made of dryed human skin revealing his/Adimarchus plans (anyone have an alternative method for revealing this other than the clique diary?)

Hopefully this links the Dry'yrd with Adimarchus, gives the party more reason to hunt down the other Cagewights and ultimately the fallen angel.

As usual, just my thoughts at the moment

Delvesdeep


I've also had the Cagewrights ultimately be pawns of Adimarchus - but worshippers as well - they want him free, and the whole 'make a portal' plan is all about freeing Adimarchus, but sort of a 'first step' to that goal.

However, in my group, Adimarchus has already made one major attempt at escape, but it didn't work out so well. He tried to escape via a dream, and was thwarted by the cage that holds him, and his dual-personality/form issues.

Basically, the 'dream' Adimarchus splintered into two beings, both human, a woman who called herself Addy, and a man who called himself Markus. Neither had all that much of a memory - just terrible dreams of Adimarchus' past, and they were taken in by a madam of a house of ill repute near Kingfisher Hollow (where they pretty much appeared). The madam eventually put together enough money to have the two healed - but when the healer healed Addy, she realized all of who she was right away, and managed to quickly alter her story, brand Markus as a dangerous villain, and left him addled, all the better to manipulate.

Addy eventually drove the madam insane, blamed Markus, and had Markus made victim of 'Memory modification' spells to leave him an adventurer. Addy knows that - while somewhat powerful as mortals go (I've made her a Bard/Mindbender) - she's not got enough punch to get the rest of herself out of the cage in Carceri (ie: Adimarchus), but she does have the ability to manipulate others into doing this for her.

Since then, this brainwashed male half of Adimarchus - now calling himself Crake and one of the party PCs - has been having bad dreams about his previous life, but thinks he's going a bit mad. Throughout the 'Test of the Smoking Eye' he's been stunned at the things he's seen in his dreams, and is a tad worried about it. Addy was the one who brought Kaurophon to meet the PCs (after arranging for him to 'save' her from some thugs she hired, and then manipulating and charming him into thinking that the PCs offered him the best chance of gaining the smoking eye template). She's staying behind, and will launch a second attempt (with the Stormblades, who she has since charmed en masse) if Crake shows signs of not wanting to free Adimarchus at all. Crake is a shoo-in to get the sign, as he's been getting dreams about fighting someone into the pillar of fire, but strangely, not being burned. If the PCs come up with something else, that's fine, too, but I'm hoping to spin it towards Crake.

So, at the penultimate scene with Adimarchus in his cage, it'll be Addy who tries to free the insane outsider to free the rest of herself, and she'll be absorbed into him with a touch - and that will trigger all the rest of Crake's real memories, and allow me a great big 'reveal' about who Adimarchus is and what the over-arc storyline has been. Crake's dreams have been good drivers for the rest of the story as well, but it will be nice to tie everything all together.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Maybe slightly less cliched than the characters finding a diary would be that after Adimarchus' possesion attempt on the Smoking Eye or Dream Haunted character, that character begins channeling Adimarchus more directly when he / she dreams.

No more vague dreams and symbolic imagery, but now when the charcter sleeps Adimarchus' mad ramblings actually issue from his / her mouth.

Someone should notice this sleep talking soon enough, and over the next several nights they can pick up the gist of Adimarchus' (and the Cagewrights) plans.


Mothman wrote:

Maybe slightly less cliched than the characters finding a diary would be that after Adimarchus' possesion attempt on the Smoking Eye or Dream Haunted character, that character begins channeling Adimarchus more directly when he / she dreams.

No more vague dreams and symbolic imagery, but now when the charcter sleeps Adimarchus' mad ramblings actually issue from his / her mouth.

Someone should notice this sleep talking soon enough, and over the next several nights they can pick up the gist of Adimarchus' (and the Cagewrights) plans.

Much better suggestion Mothman. Thankyou.

This would also be a great way to foreshadow the location of Embril and her/Adimarchus' further plans to release the fallen angel from his imprisionment. It could also be used to foreshadow Dark Myrtal and Skullrot in general and warn the party of Vhalantru future appearance etc.

Adimarchus would be completely oblivious to his rambling nightmares.

Thanks Mothman.

Any other comments, advice or suggestions

Delvesdeep


I see the same issues, and one of the steps that I've taken to rectify the situation is to use the Istvin storyarc from Dungeon, replacing Istvin with Cauldron and using Adimarchus instead of Lloth. It requires some tinkering, but it's working with my party so far.


>> When the gate is created the demodands would pour through but Skullrot would also tumble from the sky onto the city, destroying the prison and releasing the fallen angel.

Wouldn't that mean that the players would immediately fight A? They'd go from Thirteen Cages straight to that fight?

Here's how I've modified things, for what it's worth:

Adimarchus is mad. So mad that anyone anywhere close to him would be driven insane as well. His contagious madness resulting in the destruction of multiple societies when the gods decided to lock him far, far away so that he could harm no one else. The cagewrights are a madness cult hoping to bring him back.

Demonskar Legacy: Within the Demonskar complex, the PCs discover a gate. This gate takes them close to a planet that happens to be next to where Adimarchus was locked away. The prison itself appears as a chaotic colored moon in the sky. The planet is completed destoryed - everyone drived mad and savagely killing each other.

Test of the Smoking Eye: Dropped this completely. The player have an adventure on the destroyed planet, trying to find a gate home (the other gate being one way). They learn of the planet. They also learn that Festor was here.

Foundation of Flame: Goes as written

Thirteen Cages: Rather than trying to open a gate to Carceri, the ritual with tree is attempting to MOVE Adirmarchus's prison closer to the PCs home planet. PCs stop the ritual and the cagewrights, horray!

Strike on Shatterhorn: Skipping entirely probably

Asylum: That evening, the PCs are called outside to admire the new star that has appeared in the sky. Uh-oh, they stopped Adirmarchus' prison from getting right next to their home planet but has stilled moved too close. Over time, their home planet will go mad. The PCs will have to journey to the prison and kill A to save the planet.


DMFTodd wrote:

>> When the gate is created the demodands would pour through but Skullrot would also tumble from the sky onto the city, destroying the prison and releasing the fallen angel.

Wouldn't that mean that the players would immediately fight A? They'd go from Thirteen Cages straight to that fight?

No this will only occur if the ritual of planar junctioning is successfully completed by the Cagewrights. So, in all likelihood, the chance of this is very slim.

You basic idea that the Cagewrights are a cult of madness is a good one.

In terms of moving a mad moon closer to the material plane while I can see it has merit it would require a great deal of changes and work on my behalf to modify my campaign this way.

I'm following your suggestion on dropping out Strike on Shatterhorn and I can see a far bit of work ahead for me just with that change, let alone all the other changes you have made.

One thing I definetly appreciate about you DMTodd is that you don't that things on face value and are willing to make changes and modify things to fit. I share similiar principles but I not quite to the same extent as yourself ;)

My changes are well documented in this and the other thread about the Cagewrights.

Though I do believe all the Cagewrights should be moving towards the same goal and that being Adimarchus freedom and perhaps, as a secondary focus, creating the permanent gate to allow his demodand army to spill into Cauldron.

The do like your idea about the Cagewrights being a Cult of Madness, I could work with this...

Perhaps Shebeleth and other Cagewrights could have additional powers of insanity - ie ability to cause confusion, feeblemind, insanity...

Any other ideas from anyone?

Delvesdeep


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:


Any other ideas from anyone?

Delvesdeep

Ok Delvesdeep, your work around SCAP is so exciting that it is pushing me to bring my contribution.

Just a small preface first.
SCAP is a very good campaign but two things are a little bit weak IMHO. The first one is that boring “Kill the boss to end that level !” for each chapter. As a consequence, the second issue is you have a lot of difficulty to manage a consistent and exciting story line for the players and for the DM.

I think Adimarchus must be in some way the ultimate threat for Cauldron and so the final target – if not then you can forget the last chapter !. That said, the other unmovable things are the madness plague, the Shackled Born and the Carceri plot – I mean having Adimarchus jailed. Ok … we keep that then.

But what do you think about Adimarchus not searching to be freed but only to find “the peace” – at least when he is not to deeply involved within a madness crisis. A. is no more the Big Boss but could be an ally or/and a fanatic mad demon.

So we have three type of A. affected people:

A) The one who are the elected ones (to help him to recover peace : perhaps through a complex ritual where a sacrifice will heal him – something with a flavour of “the kiss of the prince”. I’m sure we can build a very nice plot around that). The PC should be of that type indeed. And it explains also with more strength why Vhalantru is removing all adventuring parties from the landscape. It is on top of all to avoid A. to be healed. And it’s also possible to have a new reason of why Alek Tercival must die : he is the stereotype of an elected one who can save A.

B) The second who are the mad ones. They have no exact idea of what’s happening and are only collateral damages on the battle field. But we can use them for bringing some information or to attack/rescue the party or to increase the thrilling atmosphere. I think it is possible to find some of the villains and to put them inside that category. Then we have no need to explain why they came and went. No need also to preserve their life, they are only mad people who will be used by the DM at his very convenience to bring excitement in the game. The more the time goes the more the mad ones will be present (see next).

C) The third are the Cagewrights. They are indeed the true bad guys. They don’t want to free A. but to bind him for their own plans. For that they need another ritual (which can be basically the one describes by the SCAP with few adjustments.). For their own ritual we can imagine they will try to lure the PC because of some common needs of both rituals - It is now possible because they are close to the success and adventuring parties are not more a big threat. At the end of the day it will also prevent some of the Cagewrights to be in danger during the final process. One of the consequence of the preparation of the Cagewrights is that the madness of A. become more and more destroying. Also it has started to spread around Cauldron with a potential deadly end because the phenomenon is no more longer under any control. The only way to stop it is to complete one of the rituals.

… and for sure the demons who jailed A. don’t want him to find peace neither to be freed from Carceri … But because demons are demons the Cagewrights have managed to find some allies here.

So what possibilities now ? We can save a lot of the campaign. We have more solid reasons for the villains acts… and I agree we can simplify the C. structure as started by you Delves. We have plenty of potential ends for a lot of chapters with not necessary “Boss is killed” as a conclusion - because we can manage having a lot of other targets like searching for information, finding part or artifact for the ritual, trying to find allies from the demons side and to fight them later (I love this one) and so on. Also we create many opportunities of different ends which are all very satisfying for the story:
- PC haven’t understood any thing but kill everybody but A…. and become mad
- PC haven’t understood any thing but kill everybody and a mad A…. and save the world
- PC are clever and save A. but without finding all the CageWrights… world is safe but what about them ?
- PC complete the ritual of the CageWrights and are quite sure to have a success but will have a very bad surprise at the very end.
- And a lot of perverse / tasteful other ends…

Your feeling guys ?

Be Creative.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I've begun studying everyone's proposals for strenthening A's links and foreshadowings. This is good stuff and I'm planning to pinch a number of these ideas to ensure that my players begin, at a much earlier stage, to see hints of the real power behind the challenges that they've been overcoming.

- I love the idea of a madness cult and slightly altering their special abilities and spells (and RP'ing elements) to better hint at A's involvement

- The change for Dry'yrd to be insane and for his (its?) second head to speak of Adimarchus is brilliant! That provides the PC's with a wonderful clue. I may follow with slight alterations to other Cagewrights, but I'll need to noodle a bit further on this.

OTHER THOUGHTS

I've decided to create a short nightmare level for the PC's to adventure through and escape from, prior to their actual trip to Orthrys, on Carceri. This would represent a world-altering effect of Adimarchus' insanity and Dark Myrakul's torments. The effects shouldn't impact Occipitus since the PC's now rule that plane, so I'm considering having effects play out over Cauldron, or perhaps have the PC's battle through a nightmare/dream (or maybe adding a few lower levels to Skullrot). The intent of this nightmare level would be to impress further upon the PC's that there are powerful insanity magics at work and to hint at the demon/angel schism of Adimarchus.

Hurm.


Sorry I've been off the boards for a few days so I haven't had an opportunity to reply earlier.

Ridolfin - Firstly, thanks for all your praise over my work. I really appreciate it.

Secondly I really like some of you ideas. Can I clarify I few of them with you to make sure I understand where you are coming from first?

Here is what I believe you are saying -

1Adimarchus does not necessarly need to be destroyed for his madness to stop threatening Cauldron. He can be 'saved' but only with the help of a 'hero' of some type.

2Other fiends and/or powerful being know how this can be achieved but may or may not want this to occur.

I am confused a little by your reference to having to kill the bad guy at the end of every adventure. What do you mean by this and is this really a problem?

If I've correctly understood your post then I think you 'saving idea has merit. The only problem i could forsee is making the final encounter a bit of an anticlimax - nothing to kill or challenge the party.

Off the top of my head, perhaps the party can tear the two parts of the fallen angel away from each other leaving the angel part weak and helpless but the demonic portion more than capable. The party would have to battle the 'evil' Adimarchus to free the angel.

To make sure the battle is still as challenging to the party considering that the party have to face off against two extremely powerful Adimarchus in the Hard Cover, you could have Athux (Graz'zt's son who originally betrayed Adimarchus) appear and attempt to destroy the angel once and for all.

Athux could use the exact stats presented in the book for the 'good' Adimarchus which would reduces the workload revolved around making this change. Perhaps as a dramatic end, the angel Adimarchus drags himself to his feet and makes the final blow to kill his betrayer.

The aprty would then have to take the weakened angel back to the Seven Heavens to seek forgiveness from his pride and ambition, armed with the new knowledge that the fallen angel was manipulated into his crimes against heaven in the first place.

A question for you and for anyone else who cares -

How will the party 'split' Adimarchus in the first place?

One suggestion could be that the party earlier learnt of Adimarchus' initial search for power and how, unbeknowst to him, it was a disguised Anthux that gave angel an artifact that seduced Adimarchus to call upon infernal powers and caused him to be cast from heaven. sharing this knowledge with Adimarchus and perhaps the artifact itself could 'free' the angel from his internal link to darkness.

Any other suggestions?

Delvesdeep


Hurmferd wrote:


I've decided to create a short nightmare level for the PC's to adventure through and escape from, prior to their actual trip to Orthrys, on Carceri.

This would represent a world-altering effect of Adimarchus' insanity and Dark Myrakul's torments. The effects shouldn't impact Occipitus since the PC's now rule that plane, so I'm considering having effects play out over Cauldron, or perhaps have the PC's battle through a nightmare/dream (or maybe adding a few lower levels to Skullrot). The intent of this nightmare level would be to impress further upon the PC's that there are powerful insanity magics at work and to hint at the demon/angel schism of Adimarchus.

Hurm.

This is a good idea too. So you would use this to foreshadow Adimarchus' increasing insanity and its ballooning effects?

Perhaps the nightmare could start to have an effect on Cauldron similiar to what has happened on Occiptus. Locations could start to briefly change to what they 'will/would' look like if Adimarchus insanity continues to spread.

Perhaps some areas are effected more than others and are left in this nightmare-like state longer than there normal state. These areas could be locations that have had the most evil or madness such as the Church of wee Jas, Town Hall, Valantrus Villa etc where maps are conventiently included :).

These pockets of madness could be filled with crazed citizens, demodands etc.

Question - what would/will be the ultimate goal of the adventure?

I think the more foreshadowing you can do of Adimarchus the better. His madness is the key and anything that showcases this is good IMHO :).

Delvesdeep


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:


1Adimarchus does not necessarly need to be destroyed for his madness to stop threatening Cauldron. He can be 'saved' but only with the help of a 'hero' of some type.

Correct. What I have on the top of my head: as Adimarchus’ fate came from a love betrayal then his redemption will come from a true love sacrifice. This one can only be done by a female LG character who succeeded in the smoking eye test. Only her will be allowed to enter the cage. As she is in, Adimarchus (demonic), will hurt her to the death but at the very last time he will stop, starting screaming has a mad being. He will collapse to the ground of the cage, his eyes full open as he was contemplating another world. Indeed he reminds the first kiss of Athux and start saying some words about it (made this as a mad speech). At that time, the female LG character has two options: she kills the demon with his sword or she kiss the scaring face.

If she chooses the first option then the demon’s appearance is changed in a crying angelic Adimarchus who stand up and breaks the sword in his hands when the cage is changed in a river of tears. The party will have first to defeat the angel and after the demon (but without Alakast). If they are successful, the LG character will become more and more strange during the next weeks and months. He will start in secret to built a new cage… If they are vanquished then only the demonic Adimarchus will stay and if some cagewrights are still alive they will bind him,… if not then Cauldron will become the realm of madness and cruelty.
If she chooses the second option then the demon will split in two. The door of the cage opens widely and the angel push his brother out of it then heal his saver and let her leave the cage to help his friends. At that time we can have any other development as Athux coming (or even summon by the angel) or whatever you can imagine appropriate

One of the good trick here is the party has to manage to have a female LG character !!! It can happen through sex change and alignment change through the course of the SCAP, perhaps with some dreams or madness causes. I’m sure you are able to play with this one as I’m. In one of my two parties I’ve a dwarf paladin of Moradin I will be delighted to change in a sexy LG pin-up at the very end ! In the second one I’ve a bard dancer who prefers boys and I’m sure the transformation will be great too.

delvesdeep wrote:


2Other fiends and/or powerful being know how this can be achieved but may or may not want this to occur.

Yes you caught it too.

The Cagewrights (or some of them) know the story and would like to manipulate the party to kill the angel. Then they can manage to subdue the demon without huge loses.
The demon (forget his name)who look at Adimarchus don’t know all the story but can be manipulated (prior in the SCAP) either by the PC either by the Cagewrights to help or to attack the other camp. At the very end he will be alerted by some thing (if you decide it) and he can oppose a first challenge (or an added one) to the PC when they are trying to help / kill Adimarchus.

delvesdeep wrote:


I am confused a little by your reference to having to kill the bad guy at the end of every adventure. What do you mean by this and is this really a problem?

It is mainly a personal feeling. I don’t thing it’s a real problem if your players don’t care about it. Because the party has poor knowledge of the behind the scene line then they are not able to determine whether or not a NPC is an important piece of the story. So they kill a lot of them in a Video Game Boss anticlimax which is looking poor in regard of the subject IMHO.

delvesdeep wrote:
If I've correctly understood your post then I think you 'saving idea has merit. The only problem i could forsee is making the final encounter a bit of an anticlimax - nothing to kill or challenge the party.

I think we can manage that as described above…

Anymore ideas / comments ?

Be creative

Liberty's Edge

delvesdeep wrote:
Hurmferd wrote:


I've decided to create a short nightmare level for the PC's to adventure through and escape from, prior to their actual trip to Orthrys, on Carceri.

Hurm.

Question - what would/will be the ultimate goal of the adventure?

Delvesdeep

After reading all of the responses on here - I have concocted answers to may of the questions (forgive me if it seems out of sequence - i do not yet know the timeline very well in the campaign arc).

First off the splitting of A's personality into two is a great concept - like Smeogal and Golum. But having two seperate manifestations is an awesome idea.

Instead of the cliche' diary that gives the mad ramblings that you were concerned with, perhaps after that encounter, the PCs learn of a way to enter the thoughts of the "good" half of the A; Todd - you could use one of the Vistani tricks or perhaps one of their natural drugs/herbs to enter into his/her dream world.

Think of the movie "The Cell" to get ideas for this nightmare realm. Also for those of you who have played DDO (dungeons and Dragons Online) and went through the Vault Of Night (VON) series, you may remember the quest that we had to go into the woman's mind to free her of her catatonia. That, too, will prove good fodder for ideas.

To answer the penultimate question of "What would the ultimate goal of the adventure" be in the nightmare realm - to locate the "good" center of mind in the madness and talk with her/him/it directly - and gather the info that was originally planned for the diary - and any other ground laying foreshadowing needed.

This can further move the plotline that there are indeed two "sides" to A, and if the right one can find peace, perhaps that ultimately saves A - once the PCs battle the evil side.

I'm certainly going to pursue these ideas more, once my own campaign is under way.

Robert


Ridolfin wrote:


Correct. What I have on the top of my head: as Adimarchus’ fate came from a love betrayal then his redemption will come from a true love sacrifice. This one can only be done by a female LG character who succeeded in the smoking eye test. Only her will be allowed to enter the cage.

I really like the idea of Adimarchus' redemption but I am unsure about your idea with the LG female character. I just feel this is a little limiting and ungainly. The whole love angle I'm not sold on either particularly considering Anthax was wriiten up as a guy in the Hard Cover (not that their anything wrong with that :))

Perhaps Adimarchus redemption can occur using another method?

Just my opinion and still very creative ideas though

Delvesdeep


Robert Brambley wrote:

After reading all of the responses on here - I have concocted answers to may of the questions (forgive me if it seems out of sequence - i do not yet know the timeline very well in the campaign arc).

First off the splitting of A's personality into two is a great concept - like Smeogal and Golum. But having two seperate manifestations is an awesome idea.

Instead of the cliche' diary that gives the mad ramblings that you were concerned with, perhaps after that encounter, the PCs learn of a way to enter the thoughts of the "good" half of the A; Todd - you could use one of the Vistani tricks or perhaps one of their natural drugs/herbs to enter into his/her dream world.

Robert

I also like Hurm's nightmare idea. Perhaps the party need to enter into the Dreamplane (Manual of the Planes) where they find great black and red rivers slowly expanding out from a great lake of darkness. Through the glittering haze the party can see the real world and the growing insanity that the leaking madness is creating.

Stepping into the inky darkness of a stream sends the players hurtling into Adimarchus' insanity and into his darkest dreamings.

Here the party must battle through the dark mirages of his memories, retracing his life to find the moment he committed the terrible act that caused him to be cast from heaven. Here they may find the angel Adimarchus watching also, swallowed up in his own grief.

Perhaps he initially sees the party as more demons of his mind and attacks them. Perhaps the party need to literatly(sp?) battle his inner demons before he is released. The party may also witness something he, in his complete obsession has missed, that he was infact duped into his initial act of treason in heaven. Perhaps Graz'zt manipulated him into accepting a item whic gave his increased power by duplicating his persona and abilities but ended up dividing his soul into two distinct portions?

Everyones ideas cretainly have great possibilities here..

I'll keep thinking

Delvesdeep


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:

... but I am unsure about your idea with the LG female character. I just feel this is a little limiting and ungainly. The whole love angle I'm not sold on either particularly considering Anthax was wriiten up as a guy in the Hard Cover (not that their anything wrong with that :))

Perhaps Adimarchus redemption can occur using another method?
Delvesdeep

I agree, the love flavour of the Adimarchus fate and redemption is mainly a twist of the initial story in the SCAP. I agree some sex changes of Anthax may be a good move as well. I can also understand the romantic perfume may disturb some players / DM. To be honest I’m bored by the fact we (as DM) often neglect the great potential of such themes. After all, the Nazgul is killed by a girl falled in love, Anakin is tortured by his love for the two women of his life, Jeanne d’Arc religious passion made her the icon of a whole army…

Also you can manage great links between love and madness and jealousy and treachery etc… And not only in the backstage but through the adventure and with the players. (I remind you your idea of a love affair in between Triel and Skylar which was exquisite)

To stick more on the thread and about your LG female remark. I really don’t think it’s limiting or ungainly… Imagine one of the quest of the PC can be to find this women and to protect her against the evil side (why not Lady Knowlern ?) . Imagine also one of your PC can use some powerful spell to become the girl. Or imagine some strange powers of Adimarchus nightmares can change one of the PC in that way. I remind you that you have not to reveal the whole story at an early stage so that it will never be obvious for the PC or their recruit to kiss or to kill Adimarchus in the face à face. You can also always manage a success (but harder and less tasteful) in having the party defeating Adimarchus as per the Book.

Anyway the very important points are:
- To avoid to make Adimarchus a perfect monolithic and invisible villain through almost all the SCAP (it became obvious when you created this thread Delves ;-)). Don’t worry a lot about how to deal with that. – my suggestions about love and redemption are here to illustrate how the concept can be solidified.
- The link with Drydd and the Cagewrights should be different that “A is the evil God who plays behind the scene” and the Cagewrights are his victims – my reverse proposal of having the Cagewrights attempting to dominate Adimarchus is again a personal hint which allows the PCs to have earlier knowledge about Adimarchus.
- To increase the madness and the dream/nightmare importances in the flow of the SCAP and their impact on the PCs. - I have seen a lot of good stuff around. Thanks guys :-)

I’ll finalize my own synopsis but I’ll keep thinking too.

Be Creative

Liberty's Edge

delvesdeep wrote:


I do like your idea about the Cagewrights being a Cult of Madness, I could work with this...

Perhaps Shebeleth and other Cagewrights could have additional powers of insanity - ie ability to cause confusion, feeblemind, insanity...

Any other ideas from anyone?

Delvesdeep

Take a look into the Return to Temple of Elemental Evil for inspiration on Madness Cults. The clerics in there worship Tharizdun (the ultimate 'mad' god), and there's a Madness Domain and other info in there that can be of interest.

I'm trying to figure out how to connect SCAP to Tharizdun if I go forward with the ideas presented in this thread (which at this point it seems probable - with the nightmare/dreamscape level and all).

This is because the last big module I ran for my players was that module, and they as players alreayd have learned to hate Tharizdun and what he means to civilization.

Robert


OK, some questions for anyone who cares...

Assuming you are going to -

1 Make the Cagewrights a cult of madness intent on unleasing Adimarchus insanity upon Cauldron

and

2 Going to allow Adimarchus' 'good' half to be saved

and

3Intend on inserting a side trek or adventure of some kind allowing the party to enter into Adimarchus' nightmares (ie through a 'dream jaunt', travelling to a dream plane etc)

Then....

What would be the parties direct and specific goal?

What would they need to actually do to save Adimarchus?

How would they enter this nightmare realm of insanity?

What would be the direct result of finding/saving Adimarchus in this nightmare?

Any ideas are welcome for at the very least they generate further ideas :)

Thanks

Delvesdeep

[b]


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:


Then....

Any ideas are welcome for at the very least they generate further ideas :)

Ok my two copper coins again. ;-) But first I have a preface which can be added IMHO to the plot as it his written in the SCAP. Sorry it's long and perhaps with language mistakes.

PROLOGUE
During the past thousand of years jailed in his cage, the Adimarchus despair and his every day attempts to escape have resulted in a strange result. Adimarchus became mad and created in the same time a new private Plan. It is a chimerical assembly of the more important places / life events in the Adimarchus story (so many cages …)
This plan has a very property, in the Cauldron area. It his able to mix with the Dreams domain. One of the consequence has been the ShackleBorn.

That would only have a small effect on the material Plan and the others whenever a human named Dry’ryd haven’t entered the story some centuries ago. He had remarked the ShackleBorn presence around. He decided to find out what was happening and focused in the dreams area. Then he discovered the dreams were able to show some strange things which were indeed some overviews of the Adimarchus private Plan. But Dry’ryd didn’t stay on the border of the private plan, as many of Cauldronite do. He found out a way to enter the Plan.
When inside and through multiple visits Dry’ryd met the two Adimarchus: the angel/despaired and the demon/mad. Even if Dry’ryd did not look yet a monster he was still a malevolent being. He mislead the angel and he agrees with the demon to learn more about their story. That done, Dyr’ryd stopped all travel to the private Plan because his appearance was changing deeply. Nevertheless he continued his researches in other knowledge places and got the whole story. So he deduced that Carceri and Cauldron may have some links.

But the main discovery of Dry’ryd was a powerful and exotic enchantment which allows to him to bind and to mix at will the dreams of one or more beings with the private Plan of Adimarchus. Then, he was quick to realize he had found the ultimate powerful arm. If he could manage to only keep the mad/demon part active in the private Plan then every spirit projected here will become mad, at least temporary. No army, nor individual will be able to resist to him and he will first dominate Cauldron and thereafter the whole material Plan.
The only think the clever Dry’ryd didn’t understand has been he was himself mad in a certain manner.

Since that Dry’ryd pursues his target. To achieve his goal he has founded the Cagewrights. The organization has still been spotted in the past. Some secret battles raised through the CW and the Striders or the good Cults of Cauldron or Sasserine. Eventually, over the decades, the CW have got together all the needed pieces of knowledge to be able to destroy the angel Adimarchus. They have to open a passage through Carceri, find out the prisoner, enter his cage and split him in two incarnations. Then, they will destroy the angel half and they will captured the demon half. Finally, they will come back in a secret place in Cauldron where Adimarchus will be jailed in an another cage.

In their quest the Cagewrights have to battle three main enemies:
1 The demon who jailed Adimarchus
2 The angel half of Adimarchus who whishes to find freedom but on top of all he wants to recover the peace. He is sending hints through dreams so that he can appeal one (or more) savers on his private Plan.
3 The usual do-gooders as the Striders who will try to destroy the Cagewrights without knowing their exact plans.

Now the answer to the questions...

] [b wrote:
What would be the parties direct and specific goal? [/b]

Heal the madness on Cauldron --> Destroy the CW and Save Adimarchus (or kill him by default)

][b wrote:
What would they need to actually do to save Adimarchus? [/b]

Give freedom to the Angel in Carceri with a gift to the demon

][b wrote:
How would they enter this nightmare realm of insanity? [/b]

With the help of their dreams and thanks to the enchantment of Dry'ryd (possibly on items from other CW)

][b wrote:
What would be the direct result of finding/saving Adimarchus in this nightmare? [/b]

The angel will give a cryptic reference (an enigma) on how the party should give the freedom to the real angel in Carceri. If in the private Plan the party is wrong in dealing with the angel/demon then the DM can even manage to have some clue for the final stand.

Done. I hope it will be of some help.

I'm currently playing with the CW (as per your simplified organization of the villians) to give to each of them some interresting connection with the story above.

Be Creative

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:

What would be the parties direct and specific goal?

What would they need to actually do to save Adimarchus?

How would they enter this nightmare realm of insanity?

What would be the direct result of finding/saving Adimarchus in this nightmare?

Any ideas are welcome for at the very least they generate further ideas :)

Thanks

Delvesdeep

[b]

Delvesdeep,

Some ideas I came up with based on this discussion, and your questions;

As I see it, the party’s ultimate goal would be much the same as in the official scenario: to end the threat posed by Adimarchus and his madness to Cauldron (and the world). However, there may be two (or three) options for achieving this.
Option 1: fighting and killing Adimarchus much as detailed in the adventure path.
Option 2: finding a way to restore Adimarchus to sanity and “goodness”.
(Possible) Option 3: finding a way to restore Adimarchus to sanity and restore him as the ruler of Occipitus – so he’ll forget about Cauldron and concentrate on getting his revenge on Grazzt (after all, the designs on Cauldron and the material plane always seemed to be a goal of the Cagewrights and/or the demondands rather than Adimarchus).

I like the idea of restoring his sanity by travelling into his psyche or dreams. Perhaps rather than having two physical forms that he can switch between (the angelic and demonic forms), Adimarchus physically appears as the angelic form, but the demonic form exists within his mind and represents his madness and/or evilness. A way of restoring him to sanity may be to battle the demonic Adimarchus within his dreams – slaying that representation restores him to sanity (and whether it also effects his alignment is up to you to decide). Since battling this one form would not be as challenging an encounter as an Adimarchus that can switch between the forms, you may need to increase the power of the demonic form, or give it allies within the dream (other demons? Dream elementals? Creatures from Eberrons Nightmare realm?).

Instead or as well as the battle with Adimarchus’ madness personified, there may be a roleplaying sequence required where the players must interact with Adimarchus and convince him that there is a reason to return to sanity – love, revenge, the joy of life, whatever. Probably this sequence could only happen after they slay the demonic form.

Entering the nightmare realm may follow the rules for the Plane of Dreams in Manual of the Planes (I think there is a spell that lets you travel there, there's a feat - Lucid Dreaming - that lets you take more control of things in your dreams, and you may be able to get there through the Astral Plane I think. But better might be a story specific way of entering, such as a character with the Smoking Eye template or the Dream haunted trait might be able to enter the nightmare (and bring the other characters along) on locking eyes with Adimarchus, or rendering his angelic form unconscious or some-such.

The direct result of saving Adimarchus? His madness ends. The way I see it, Adimarchus, whether good or evil, never really had designs on Cauldron - this was the Cagewrights, partly inspired by Adimarchus' captivity and madness. End the insanity (which DOES threaten Cauldron and the Prime material) and you end the threat. Whether Adimarchus then seeks revenge on Grazzt, persues love, or seeks redemption is up to him (or you, or your players). Of course, with his madness ended, if he remains evil, the players may decide to end this evil threat whether or not he intends immediate harm to them or Cauldron.

As an interesting aside, perhaps it has always been in Adimarchus' power to destroy the cage that holds him, if only his insanity could be ended. Only a demon lord or someone more powerful can break the cage. The Smoking Eye template does not give a character that power, but the power to enter Adimarchus' nightmare and possibly end his insanity. Just a thought...


Ridolfin, I'va had a rethink about your love idea. I think I could use it.

Assuming Adimarchus was cast from the heavens for a crime of some type I would think his deepest regret and key to reclaiming his soul could be love.

I really like your clarifications Mothman and I believe that Ridolfin's love idea can also be built into the overall concept.

Adimarchus was cast from the heavens for a crime of ambition - perhaps when he was forced from his celesteral home he left behind his love and his 'heart'. This love could easily be one of the two angels found in SCAP - Nidrama or Celeste.

Perhaps the secret to tearing Adimarchus from his madness is entering his nightmares and combating his 'Inner Demon' but saving his soul requires the party to learn his hearts secret and bring to him his lost love and heart.

This can be learnt from Adimarchus mad rambling which a relayed to the party following their battle with Dry'yrd through the party member effected by the Smoking Eye/Dream Haunted trait.

Perhaps Nidrama/Celeste need to first be rescued from Embril who has still has Celeste locked in Vhalantru's painting. Instead of Strike on Shatterhorn, the party need to find Embril who has hidden away in the Necropolis beneath the lake in the Haunted Village. Alurid is there, Vlad (if she escaped) and the Necromancer Spellweaver.

This location makes far more sense than Shatterhorn to me even if you just tranfere the actual dungeon considering all of the remaining Cagewrights at this stage are linked to death/necromancy. Throw in a lich, some kopru ghosts and you have a better a more meaningful adventure.

Instead of Embril attempting to Mind Jar the party she has entered the Plane of Dreams with the aid of the Spellweaver to attempt to directly channel Adimarchus' madness into Cauldron
and perhaps manifest Adimarchus 'Inner Demon' onto the world.

The party can claim the receptical and cast their own minds into the nightmare to free him from his madness. His innane thoughts and memories retell his life but other creatures of insanity plague his dreams and attack the party.

They find the angel adimarchus watching his love be striped away from him and eventual find the 'Inner Demon' tormenting the a real vision of the Angel Adimarchus.

When the Inner Demon is destroyed the Good Adimarchus remains locked in the cage now fully aware of his predicament and the loss of his love.

Physically travelling to Skullrot and releasing Adimarchus will only bring a rage of despair upon him and he will attack non the less. Bringing with them Adimarchus lost love will calm him and allow the weakened angel to be at peace in his heart and leave him exhausted.

Unfortuately Anthux has been monitoring his greatest conquest and will gate in (perhaps with a couple of Balrogs?) when Adimarchus is released, attacking Adimarchus first before turning his anger upon the party. Perhaps during the battle Anthux reveals that he had duped the angel in the first place to commit the crime that cast Adimarchus from the heavens. Having Adimarchus kill the Demon Prince with the final blow would be a satisfying dramatic climax and ending.

The final step will be to take Adimarchus back to the Seven Heavens to be finally given the peace he has lacked for a millenium....

These collective ideas just keep growing don't they :)

Delvesdeep

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

In order to fully redeem himself, Adimarchus needs to let go of his thirst for vengeance. This is something the party can learn from the accompanying angel (it should be Nidrama, this could also be her way to redeem herself, as Caleste is also used in other AP's). So the party has to stop Adimarchus from taking out his rage on Anthux, somehow...

When Anthux gates in, things will get interesting....

perhaps Nidrama sacrifices herself to spare Adimarchus..
perhaps the party needs to hold Adimarchus in check, before he does the same crime again...
perhaps the party itself takes on Anthux...


Good lord, what would I do without you guys?! We only just finished Life's Bazaar, but I was still getting concerned about the the story super-arc, and couldn't think of useful ways to do exactly what you're all talking about. Is anyone going to be compiling all this information and posting it somewhere in a more cohesive format?

Thanks again,
Olodrin


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Olodrin wrote:

Is anyone going to be compiling all this information and posting it somewhere in a more cohesive format?

Thanks again,
Olodrin

I definitely like the progress of that thread. I’ve still bought a lot of your ideas and the last posts were very good at reconnecting major thoughts. I try to work a little bit more in that way...

Now I’m quite sure that In My Cauldron:

About Adimarchus Threat:
· Adimarchus will have a double personality and will search for a redemption.
· It’s demonic side will be a deadly threat, in his mind and later on for Cauldron
· Before or after the CW will be vanquished the mad Adimarchus will have to be subdued on the Dreams Plan or on his own “private mind plan”
· The last epic scene will be to free the jailed Angel from Carceri and to allow it’s redemption (and to avoid a new cycle to start)
· Celeste or Nidrama will have a prominent role in Adimarchus salvation

About Cagewright Threat:
· I will play the CW as an organization created to serve the Dyr’ryd despotic plan.
· Only Dyr’ryd is fully aware of the Adimarchus condition but never he will reveal all.
· Only six Masters and Apprentices are the CW (See DelvesDeep Thread on the topic)
· The Master CW are only aware of some pieces of the truth about Adimarchus.
· The Apprentices CW mostly ignore the Adimarchus name.

About some hints and footprints of the main arc:
· Dreams of a lost soul crying for freedom will come to the good PCs as NPCs trough the SCAP.
· They will be able at some time to see fading scenes of Adimarchus Dreams / Nightmares.
· The Schakleborn and Haunted Soul will fall in temporary madness with more and more violence. Some will even been transformed physically.
· The CW (Masters) will have some powers / items which will allow them to project others in the Adimarchus Plan / Mind.
· The Striders as some others do-gooders will have some knowledge about the CW and their preparation of the planar jonction with Carceri (but not all details and nothing about Adimarchus).
· A very old bardic song about the love of two angels will become very popular in town.
· If the name Adimarchus is searched very deeply at the Blue Crater Academy very old tales will present him as the master of the Hell’s jails (Carceri indeed)
· A strange poem / motto will appear through the dreams of Cauldron’s citizens and become more and more obvious in Town:
§ Hurt by The Heaven,
§ And again forever bind in Hell.
§ Coveted by evil Men
§ The Mad One grow and despair.
· If this poem is told to Nidrama or Celeste she will complete it without knowing for what reason by:
§ Evil Men can die,
§ While in a dream The Jailer is lurking.
§ But healed by forgotten love
§ An Angel will reborn.

And I add also below some draft stuff about the Cagewrights and links with the main Arc (I express all my gratitude to Delvesdeep who did all the job for the New CW) - beware it's long as a day in Hell.

MORE ON THE (NEW) CAGEWRIGHTS
The upper levels know the identity of all the members of a lower rank.

Dyr’ryd :
Grand Master. The only one who knows the ritual to split the two personalities of Adimarchus and also how to find him in Carceri. Also the only one able to create the enchantment able to throw you in the Plan / Mind of Adimarchus. Unfortunately he found a way to enchant some items / substances (sand …)

The Masters :
All the Masters are aware of the name of Adimarchus and about the Dry’ryd’s enchantment to reach the “Mad Dreams Plan”. Each of them possesses at least one item (or much more) charged by the enchantment.

1. Vhalantru (Cauldron self appointed 'Mayor')
Knows the other Masters but has no information about the rituals. His aim is to rule Cauldron and to do intelligence for the CW. He has never visited the “Mad Dreams Plan” but he knows the Adimarchus name.

2. Nulin 'Fish' Wiejeron (Assassin & Last Laugh Jester/Guildmaster)
Knows the other Masters and the Grand Master. He visited the Plan / Mind of Adimarchus but only once and has no real recall but he is now feared in panic to be jailed in a cage. Nulin is able to project a victim in the « Mad Dreams Plan thanks to the enchanted darts he collected from Dry’ryd. His aim is to grow the power of the Last Laugh so that it will become the most powerful of the material plane. For sure during the process he plans to eliminate all the other Cagewright.

3. Shebeleth Regiden (Spiritual Leader of Addimarchus)
Knows the other Masters and the Grand Master. He visited the Plan / Mind of Adimarchus too often and is now a religious fanatic : he now preach for extremism in every religions. Adimarchus is for him the God of the fools and the just whatever the cult. The Shebeleth fanaticism will grow again an again during the SCAP. The priest has developed a beverage which allow to plunge a lot of believers in the nightmare side of the “Mad dreams Plan”. Most of them will come back of this type of journey at least half mad.

4. Embril Aloustinai (High cleric of Wee Jas)
Knows the other Masters and the Grand Master. After Dyr’ryd, Embril is the more knowledgeable of the Cagewright. She is aware of almost all the ritual and their goals. She has often visited the “Mad Dreams Plan” especially when the SCAP moves forward. It is the reason of her absence. She is so aware of the two personalities of Adimarchus. She is fallen in a strange love for the Angel and she would like to seduce him. But she doesn’t know the split ritual even she knows Dyr’ryd has one. Up to you to decide if the story will go right or very wrong (as a lot of love story do).

5. Gau Kleeoch (Minotaur Fighter)
Knows the other Masters but has no information about the rituals. His aim is to rule the armies of the Cagewrights to take vengeance on some old enemies. She has never visited the “Mad Dreams Plan” but she knows the Adimarchus name.

6. Alurad Sorizan (Blackgard/cleric)
Knows the other Masters but has no information about the rituals. His goal is to rule the secret police of the future Cagewright tyranny. He has visited the “Mad Dreams Plan“ and has been back with a sadistic madness. He loves to throw some of his victim in the “Mad Dreams Plan” then to go after them in a crazy and horrific hunt.

Apprentices
The Apprentices knows their own Master and are aware that they are a part of a larger organization. The aim they know is the Cauldron fate for their domination. This will be done through very big powers the Cagewrights are collecting.

1. Zarn Kyass (Blue Duke - apprentice of Gau Kleeoch)
No particular Knowledge of the plot but the fact his master is in contact with five others.

2. Fetor Abradius (Loremaster - Apprentice of Shebeleth)
The only one apprentice to be aware of the main ritual to reach Carceri. He has visited the “Mad Dreams Plan” but he is sure to have been in Carceri. He knows that the Masters have in their possession a power / spell / object to visit the Plan has he did.

3. Khyron Bonesworn (Leader of evil Adventurers - apprentice of Alurad Sozizan)
He is the very follower of Sorizan and the one who carry out all the blood crimes and manhunts outside of Cauldron on the Material Plan. His master has described to him a very strange realm where all the more exciting hunts are possible. No way is open to go there but some dreams.

4. Ike Iverson (Wee Jas 2nd in command - apprentice of Embril)
He is aware that a big cage will be installed somewhere under the town (Cathedral or elsewhere). A strange picture has been given to him to describe the paintings and fresco needed to adorn the room where the cage will be installed (indeed they depict Carceri environment). A very important guest is awaited to enjoy the place.

5. Velior Thazo (2nd in charge of the Last Laugh - apprentice of Nulin 'Fish' Wiejeron)
That only one apprentice is aware that at least four members of the Nobility and the Clergy of Cauldron are belonging to the Cagewrights. Actually he only knows that Ike and Thifirane are in.

6. Thifirane (Cauldron Noble -Apprentice to Vhalantru)
She knows the best all the other apprentices and she plans the meetings. She owns very old documents. Within them some hints of the Cagewrights, centuries ago, may be found. It is stated that the founder start his job at this time which can be precisely determined. Another research for that precise time in the past at the Blue Crater Academy will pop up the name of Dry’ryd, a strange demonic monster who lived hundreds ago and had two heads with a smallest one always asleep.

Ok, Time to sleep also in France ;-)))...

Be Creative


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

IDEAS ON MADNESS

As we strengthen the impact of Adimarchus' madness upon the Cagewright cult and nightmare scenario, It's also worth plotting to allow madness to have an impact upon our PC's. I've decide to pillage and convert some ideas from a Call of Cthulhu module (i.e. "The Truth Shall Set You Free" by Bruce Ballon) and use them as the party gets closer to Adimarchus. Here's the briefest of a summary of some effects that can be used.

THE ONSET

- Make a DC25 wisdom roll for the party. Whomever fails would begin to experience symptoms of madness and the DM informs the character(s) that they have fallen into a catatonic state for 1d3 days. In actuality, the PC's have learned something of Adimarchus' madness and torment, but that knowledge is so awful that they have repressed the information. When they awaken after the 3 days (or after a Cure Disease spell is cast) they remember nothing.

Any character who failed the initial Wisdom roll is subject to additional Wisdom rolls, one per week thereafter. If the characters pass the wisdom roll in the future, then they lose the symptoms until another failure. Each time a Wisdom roll is failed, the DC is increased by 1, thus the character becomes more and more subject to increased madness.

GENERAL THOUGHTS ON ROLEPLAYING MADNESS

- The key is to use skill rolls. The affected character(s) will misinterpret stimuli and be fed odd ideas by the DM. At first these ideas would be minor. They slowly grow in intensity until suddenly the character realizes, "It's all real!" At that point, only the DM knows that the player character is psychotic.

- A player may eventually begin to believe that his or her character is not sane, but the player character is not so lucky. For example, the DM says that a player's character is convinced that his friend is about to pull out their sword and attack them, and the character then realizes that this friend is actually a demon (or doppleganger). The player decides that the character does nothing. Knowing the character would be freaked out for not trying to defend himself/herself, the DM increases the DC of the Wisdom check for Madness (or alternately could lose a point of Wisdom).

EARLY SYMPTOMS: The afflicted start to notice that things are a bit odd. They notice some people staring at them, or think that they are being laughed at when they hear someone giggle, and so on. Sometimes in the morning, with failed CON rolls, they feel somehow "insubstantial" for a few minutes. At other moments during the day, with a failed WIS roll, they get the impression of viewing the world as if it was a painted backdrop. They now experience deja vu a few times a week. The afflicted are otherwise functional, and able to maintain their adventures.

- The afflicted could start to have more intense symptoms, perhaps becoming convinced that they have developed psychic/psionic powers. This may include voices in the shadows, Watchers dressed in black with strange masks, and images of death.

LATER SYMPTOMS: The afflicted encounter a Mysterious Friend (an imaginary friend who only is seen by the character and feeds the character (false) information). This friend would explain the (false) evils of their current situation and outlines a plan to save the world.

LATEST STAGES: The character responds to hallucinations and delusions, and will likely try to kill individuals from his past who he now considers demons (dopplegangers). With the help of the Mysterious Friend, the afflicted will also attempt to gather followers to challenge the forces aligned against Adimarchus, and in fact will be forming a cult dedicated to freeing the demon.

This path would present unique roleplaying challenges, and may threaten the end battle with Adimarchus since the afflicted character would not want to kill the demon, but rather only free it.

I'll need to think about this a bit more to ensure that it's a logical series of events, but I'm sure that the end result will be a very memorable and dramatic campaign ending.

Hurm.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
Ridolfin wrote:
Time to sleep also in France ;-)))...

I was so tired yesterday that I forgot the most important... which is to thank the contributors in that thread !

Thank you then to: Delvesdeep, Bram Blackfeather, Mothman, Gwydion, DMFTodd, Hurmferd, Robert Brambley, Oliver von Spreckelsen and Olodrin

This is not a way to say bye bye or to stop the flow of that stuff guys ! Please continue to expand the path as you do and everybody who cares is welcome :).

Even if that thread mainly makes sense if you aren't too far away in the SCAP (I'm DMing two groups one ended Life Bazaar's and the other Drakthar's Way ;-)), I agree with Olodrin that some document compiling / giving more cohesion to our thoughts should be great. How can we organize together to finalize that and to post it on Koramado site ?

I think it will rock if we should have both the CW structure and the Adimarchus Arc and the Dream / Madness compiled in the same document.
We have also to remember the initial aim presented by Delvesdeep: How to make the SCAP more cohesive and the villians more memorable.

Any other idea or Interrest??

Be creative


There are some really great ideas here. I especially like the idea of having Dyr'ryd's head be completely controlled by Adimarchus.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
zoroaster100 wrote:
There are some really great ideas here. I especially like the idea of having Dyr'ryd's head be completely controlled by Adimarchus.

Yes, thanks to everyone for the ideas, this could be a really cool way to go!


I like the idea of Nidrama having to throw herself infront of Adimarchus to save him from Anthux. Perhaps the weakened Anthux attempts to strike the fallen angel down first when he arrives and Nidrama hurls herself infront of the demon prince to protect her love.

I was also thinking that perhaps instead of the newly 'healed'
Adimarchus returning to the Seven Heavens that perhaps he could return to Occiptus to reshape the plane once more. Perhaps he altars the plane to take its old form of rolling hills of cloud, twilight sky, gentle song of heaven carries with the soft wind etc.

Perhaps to join raise the plane up to join with the heavens once more Adimarchus needs to enter the Skull and step into the flame - Sacraficing his life to redeem himself...

He could be ultimately distroyed or he could reform in the Seven Heavens as a simple glowing ball or petitioner. When he steps into the flame the plane begins to change instantly and elevates into the sky causing them to cling to the walls. When the plane settles they could walk out of the skull at witness the planes tranfermation and rejoining with the Seven Heavens.

The Arch-Angel Haloen who first banished the lost angel can appear before the party and tell them to not feel sorrow for 'he gave up his life to redeem his soul and now his soul will start anew' and holds out her hand where a small glowing ball of light with gentle fly from the broken skull and hover above her hand.

Or something like that.

Question -

When should the party enter Adimarchus Nightmares to face his Inner Demon? -

When they confront Embril and her mind receptial?(before the start of Asylum)

When they first stand before the angel and look into his insane gaze/smoking eye?(During Asylum)

Delvesdeep

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Personally I like the idea of running Asylum - seems like a very characterful adventure, and I like messing about in the Lower Planes - so delvesdeep, I'd do it when they meet Adimarchus in Skullrot.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Also, while I think all the ideas presented in this thread have a lot of merit, and any path you take could benefit the game, I would take some caution with using Nidrama (or Celeste), Anthux or even Adimarchus too heavy-handedly. You dont want to take the spotlight away from the PCs.

Whatever the final solution for restoring Adimarchus sanity or redeeming him might be, it should be the PCs who act on it. They are the heroes of the story after all!


Mothman wrote:

Also, while I think all the ideas presented in this thread have a lot of merit, and any path you take could benefit the game, I would take some caution with using Nidrama (or Celeste), Anthux or even Adimarchus too heavy-handedly. You dont want to take the spotlight away from the PCs.

Whatever the final solution for restoring Adimarchus sanity or redeeming him might be, it should be the PCs who act on it. They are the heroes of the story after all!

Good point to make Mothman. My idea about Adimarchus' sacrafice to rejoin Occiptus to the Seven Heavens I foresaw as more of an add on to the story as a whole more than taking the place of Skullrot etc.

The SCAP finishes with the death of Adimarchus in the original write up. Adimarchus redemption and the joining of the taunted plane I felt was a satisfying conclusion.

While the players are not directly involved in Adimarchus decision to sacrafice himself to rejoin the plane I can see them finding this very emotional, memorable and fitting to the story arch as a whole.

Just ideas afterall

Delvesdeep

Liberty's Edge

delvesdeep wrote:
Mothman wrote:

Also, while I think all the ideas presented in this thread have a lot of merit, and any path you take could benefit the game, I would take some caution with using Nidrama (or Celeste), Anthux or even Adimarchus too heavy-handedly. You dont want to take the spotlight away from the PCs.

Whatever the final solution for restoring Adimarchus sanity or redeeming him might be, it should be the PCs who act on it. They are the heroes of the story after all!

Good point to make Mothman. My idea about Adimarchus' sacrafice to rejoin Occiptus to the Seven Heavens I foresaw as more of an add on to the story as a whole more than taking the place of Skullrot etc.

Delvesdeep

Delvesdeep - I believe Mothman's point of allowing the PCs to the be heroes was more geared towards your quote of

"I like the idea of Nidrama having to throw herself infront of Adimarchus to save him from Anthux. Perhaps the weakened Anthux attempts to strike the fallen angel down first when he arrives and Nidrama hurls herself infront of the demon prince to protect her love."

With that in mind, I did some brainstorming - this is jumbled list of rambling that came as a result of such daydreaming. Perhpaps any portion of it can springboard further developed ideas.

First, I am confused by the comment of Nidrama saving "her love." I have not yet read through the entire book yet, but I thought that Anthux, not Nidrama was Adimarchus' life-love. And Anthux was really Graz'zt, correct? (or a minion of his?)

IF we go forward on the concept that Nidrama is Adimarchus' love then I think that the final battle can still have Nidrama perform such a self-sacrifice in order to save him and STILL have room for the PCs to be the heroes that Mothman cautioned about and I might add, I fully agree with his notion.

I thought about other areas of literature etc that has "nightmare / dream scenes" akin to what we have been discussing.

Examples of them are: Nightmare on Elm Street series of course. In them, Freddy invades the dreams of poor helpless individuals and he "controls" the enviornment due to his omnipresence in the dreams. In part 3 "Dream Warriors" the protaganists learn how to shape the dreams to their own whims to better combat Freddy.

Also, there was a trilogy of Planescape novels called the Bloodwars trilogy. In one of the books (I think it was the first), their was a crazy bauriar who held some sort of philosophy that he was the center of the universe. Everything that he encountered, he did so because he "imagined" its existance. He was being chased by something monstrous and he blamed its existance on his own dark imagination and fears. The protagonists in the book stumbled on this scene, and he was convinced that they only did so because he was "imagining" someone coming to help him and save him. To him, their sole existance was because he imagined or needed them to exist.

Also, in the Disneyland production of Fantasmic (which is my favorite attraction in the entire park), it explores the power of imagination and explore's Mickey's mind/imagination/dreams. During which the villains interject their own thoughts and somehow invade his dreams and suddenly Mickey is faced with all sorts of nightmares - thus the Demon on the mountain shows up, some of the villains show up to harrass him (Monstro, The Evil Queen, Ursula) and ultimately Malificent transforms herslef in the evil dragon. Finally Mickey realizes it is in fact HIS dream and should therefore have control over it if he can overcome his fears etc, and ultimately conquers the dragon and returns Disney-ish Happiness to the realm of his imaginations!

IF the idea presented in these threads has the idea of Nidrama (or someone else in the role of Addy's love-interest) sacrificing herself and Anthux facing off all is part of the "Final epic battle" then I have used the above brain droppings as puzzle pieces that helped me conceive something along the lines of:

Adimarchus' personality has split much like Smeagol/golum due to the madness that the Cagewrights (Dry'ryd specifically) has caused over the centuries of captivity. In the final confrontation, the PCs enter Adimarchus Id/ego mind and must ultimately confront and kill the "Bad side" of Adimarchus (Golum), which at the time is in command of the mind/imagination/nightmares and can control the environs a la the movie "The Cell" or as I pointed out that Freddy can do in his movies. Think of the things that transpire in the Freddy movies to denote evil and his power....darkness clouds the room suddenly. Fire blazes out of control. Black shutters fall and seal out the light. Doors lock and bar, etc etc, leaving the viewers worried for the heroes. Many of these things are flavor-enhancing effects that the rules for the game don't necessarily make room for them. Once the bad side is defeated, good side is freed of it's evil alter-ego, but he is still caged. Furtherore his Smeagol psyche is shattered; lost, alone, frightened - like many weaker identities in someone with multiple personality disorders. At this point the heroes have saved the day and been in the "heroes." The party can converse with the caged and shattered Adimarchus. But then Anthux enters the nightmare - another figment of his imagination - the real reason for his incarceration, his exile from heaven, and ultimate reason for his insane and destroyed state. Remember the party is IN Adimarchus' mind - and thus in his hidden thoughts and repressed memories, Anthus still exists, and perhaps some part of Adimarchus did know the truth at the time the two were amicable with one another - that truth of course was always ignored as we typically do when we are in love - we live in denial of negativity because love is blind. BUT now Anthux appears; with "Golum" gone, Adimarchus' mind is more clear and his hidden thoughts and fears of Anthux' truth surfaces.

The PCs face off with Anthux - already beleaguered due to the fight with "Golum" and it shouldn't take long for the party to realize they are over-matched. Once Anthux has incapacitated most of the party members in one way or another, he turns to the shattered form of Adimarchus to taunt him as to his true identity and threatens to finally destroy him forever.

Enter Nidrama (though I am still confused as to their love relationship vs Anthux' faux relationship with Adimarchus). After a brief interaction, Anthux informs Nidrama that he intends to destroy her lover and he will then deal with her; perhaps incacerate her in the "cages" to replace Adimarchus. She leaps in and sacrifices herself to save her love. He suddenly awakens, sees the truth of her sacrifice, remembers that he was once a powerful angel, regains his confidence, and has that divine moment of truth and triumph. Remembers as "Mickey Mouse" did that it is in fact HIS mind, and HIS dream and HE should be in control.

Suddenly the chamber changes, darkness replaced by light, holy symbols painful to Anthux appears everywhere. Anthux is terribly weakened. But still from inside his cage he cannot finish off Anthux. He routes the PCs and encourages them to strike the demon while he is weakened.

Thus the PCs again do topple the main bad guy and appear to be the heores in accordance to Mothman's concerns.

Afterwards I really like the ideas Delvesdeep uses for Adimarchus' ultimate sacrifice and redemption. I especially like the gold ball of his reborn soul.

Thoughts anyone?
Robert

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Robert Brambley wrote:


Delvesdeep - I believe Mothman's point of allowing the PCs to the be heroes was more geared towards your quote of

"I like the idea of Nidrama having to throw herself infront of Adimarchus to save him from Anthux. Perhaps the weakened Anthux attempts to strike the fallen angel down first when he arrives and Nidrama hurls herself infront of the demon prince to protect her love."

Robert, yes, thats what I meant. Sorry for the confusion delvesdeep, I should have quoted to clarify.

I think the idea of Nidrama loving Adimarchus was generated on this thread - maybe an idea of Ridolfin's? I'm not entirely convinced by it, BUT, with a little tweaking of the background it could explain why Nidrama volountered for a tour of duty on the prime material in the Cauldron region - she knew that some time in the future events in this area would play a pivotal role in restoring Adimarchus. Also explains why she helps them in Demonskar Legacy and eventually "falls" to directly help them in Asylum. Gives her actions a little more motivation.

I like your thoughts and examples on the dream adventure, some good ideas in there.

Liberty's Edge

Mothman wrote:

Robert, yes, thats what I meant. Sorry for the confusion delvesdeep, I should have quoted to clarify.

I think the idea of Nidrama loving Adimarchus was generated on this thread - maybe an idea of Ridolfin's? I'm not entirely convinced by it, BUT, with a little tweaking of the background it could explain why Nidrama volountered for a tour of duty on the prime material in the Cauldron region - she knew that some time in the future events in this area would play a pivotal role in restoring Adimarchus. Also explains why she helps them in Demonskar Legacy and eventually "falls" to directly help them in Asylum. Gives her actions a little more motivation.

I like your thoughts and examples on the dream adventure, some good ideas in there.

I'll have to do more research on this issue tonight when I get home - as to who exactly is Nidrama as it is actually written in the story.

That being said, HOW about: (*this considering my understanding that she is/was an angel, correct?) Nidrama was always Adimarchus' lover (eons ago), and Anthux (is Anthux Grazz't or a minion of his?) actually portrays/impersonates Nidrama for a time - during which Adimarchus pligth and fall from grace is done due to his blind love of an imposter unwittingly.

That involves them both.

Question then becomes: why then does Graz'zt care to dupe Adimarchus so, by plotting his demise by disguising himself or his minion as Nidrama?

Robert


Sorry guys I haven't checked the boards today.

I've been working on all of this to be placed on the RPGenius.com site.

Currently I'm just finishing the Dreams to use for the Dream Haunted Trait and then I'll finish with the Nightmare Realm which mimics these dreams...to a point.

I've also finished writing up the Cagewrights, added more foreshadowing and the changes that would needed to be madein 13 Cages & Strike on Shatterhorn.

Robert - I've also explained the use of Nidrama and Anthux (he's male - not that there's anything wrong with that! ;)) so I believe Adimarchus 'love' for him is more a platonic love and a love steming from their similiar angelic backgrounds.

Including Nidrama allows for a means for Adimarchus to redeem his soul while killing his Inner Demon saves him from his madness.

I'll post up what I have done in parts when I'm finished or need help

Thanks for thoughts and ideas

Delvesdeep

P.S. Mothman I take your point about Nidrama throwing herself infront of Adimarchus. This is not included.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Robert Brambley wrote:


That being said, HOW about: (*this considering my understanding that she is/was an angel, correct?) Nidrama was always Adimarchus' lover (eons ago), and Anthux (is Anthux Grazz't or a minion of his?) actually portrays/impersonates Nidrama for a time - during which Adimarchus pligth and fall from grace is done due to his blind love of an imposter unwittingly.

That involves them both.

Question then becomes: why then does Graz'zt care to dupe Adimarchus so, by plotting his demise by disguising himself or his minion as Nidrama?

Robert

Athux is Grazzt' son (and minion).

Why would Grazzt wish to dupe Adimarchus? Because he can! Because it appeals to his sensibilities as a prince of deception. So that he removes Adimarchus from play without throwing dozens of demonic armies at him. So that he can give him a fate worse than death (demon's like this sort of thing) ie, send him mad by having his lover betray him.

Delvesdeep, thanks for compiling all this and making sense of the different ideas, let us know when you get to post it up at RPGenius.

..... i still think that a romantic (or even platonic) love between Adimarchus and Athux works better than throwing Nidrama into the mix, but it's definately a feasible idea as I outlined above, and I look forward to see how you work it in your final complilation.


delvesdeep wrote:

Currently I'm just finishing the Dreams to use for the Dream Haunted Trait and then I'll finish with the Nightmare Realm which mimics these dreams...to a point.

I've also finished writing up the Cagewrights, added more foreshadowing and the changes that would needed to be madein 13 Cages & Strike on Shatterhorn.

Wow! I love the many suggestions and will happily grab your collected info. I have two concerns that can easily be handled.

-1- Things shouldn't be too dependent upon any one person. My worry is that with the rate characters die in this arc, a Dream Haunted PC might not be available. There must be alternative suggestion for the DM. Actually this connects to my other concern.

-2- Some of us are running things from the magazine, not the hardcover. Since I'm since early in the arc, I'm a bit fuzzy on later details, but I think the Dream Haunted Trait might be one of those differences.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi everybody. First of all let me say how pleasantly surprised I was to find all these brilliant ideas on the conclusion of the SCAP. I must admit that the original end of the story arc never pleased me, but I put off rectifying it to a later date - which would be right about now.

The suggestions in this thread greatly inspired me to work on my own conclusion of the campaign, and since I found your ideas so helpful, I just had to share my findings with you as well. I have to warn, you, it is a long post, but I hope you'll read it and give me your feedback.

I definitely like a lot of the suggestions made in this thread. I’ve never liked the way the SCAP ended. In that respect I fully agree with what someone said earlier, it feels like the last two adventures in the AP are just two more almost plotless crawls leading up to yet another boss. It’s not the fact that they lead up to another boss that is the problem, it is that they add little to the plot.

If the PCs wanted to stop the Cagewrights’ plans, they did so in “Thirteen Cages”. “Strike on Shatterhorn” never struck me as an interesting adventure because it seems weak on added plot. Asylum was slightly better, but still provided little motivation for the PCs to undertake this adventure other than the vague indication that Adimarchus’ madness might become a new threat in the future. I believe that my PCs would not risk releasing an encaged insane demon prince in the feeble hopes of defeating him, when this is all the motivation they get. Moreover, this 'weakish' conclusion to the campaign does not provide the necessary satisfaction I look for.

I also prefer the idea of the possibility that Adimarchus and Occipitus can be saved, especially if the PCs can play a central part in this plot.

So here’s what I’ve come up with. As suggested above, Adimarchus’ good and evil side have manifested as two separate creatures. The evil side is obviously the leader of the Cagewrigths, Dyr’ryd. The thirteen have but one goal, to set their ‘father’ free from his eternal prison.

The good side, which was obviously much weaker, manifested in one of the PCs, thus drawing the PCs much more into the final plot.

Once the PCs have finished the test of the Smoking Eye, this PC starts getting ‘flash backs’ in his dreams of Adimarchus’ past. This is also the perfect way to ‘foreshadow’ Adimarchus himself, as well as his dark side Dyr’ryd (who I’m seriously considering giving a more appealing appearance – I was thinking of a dark Adimarchus-like angel with a cancerous growth on his right shoulder which actually is the warped head of Adimarchus).

The ritual performed in “Thirteen Cages” indeed opens a gate to the Abyss, not only summoning a host of demons, but also Adimarchus’ prison itself. After the PCs have destroyed the remaining Cagewrights (in Cauldron itself, not in Shatterhorn – in my campaign the PCs will already have destroyed about half of these thirteen before the adventure begins anyway), they will have to confront Adimarchus himself. They will have to do this by entering his mind and destroying his inner demons (the whole dreamplane idea simply rocks). During this adventure the PCs will probably be accompanied by Nidrama. (Note to self: when the PCs start in this metaphysical realm, they will be at full health and spells.)

In the dreamplane the PCs come across different key moments of Adimarchus past – see Adimarchus’ background story for more information on this. First they meet the angel Adimarchus who has just learnt the disturbing news that the species of ‘men’ has been put above the ‘angels’. Through roleplaying they will have to try and convince the doubting angel that his pride should fold to the will of the gods. Alternatively, you could have his pride personify as a creature that the PCs have to defeat. After the PCs have successfully completed this task, the PC who is Adimarchus’ good side incorporates this first manifestation of Adimarchus, thus gaining certain angelic powers.

After this the PCs will encounter other aspects of Adimarchus’ downfall and insanity (always in the scenes as Adimarchus lived them himself), such as the treacherous angel Layah trying to poison Adimarchus’ mind, Adimarchus right after his break-up with Nidrama (again a roleplaying encounter), some of the fallen newly transformed angels, dark Myrakul the torturer and the demonic insane Adimarchus himself. Every successfully completed encounter turns the Adimarchus PC more into an angel.

When the PCs have completed their ordeal through Adimarchus’ mind, they return to the real world, where they can now open Adimarchus’ cage easily. This release also summons the true villain of the story, Layah, in her current form (which is much older and therefore more powerful than the one the PCs encountered in Adimarchus’ mind). The weakened Adimarchus joins the PCs in this fight, finally sacrificing his own life to defeat Layah, making the PCs who is his good side into a full reincarnation of the original good angel Adimarchus. The PC now has the power to tear Occipitus loose from the Abyss and return it to Celestia, taking his place among the host of angels there and concluding the AP in a much more satisfying way.

To be able to play the plot like this, I needed a more complete picture of Adimarchus’ past, so I rewrote it to the following story, which is inspired by the original Adimarchus story in SCAP, ideas on this board and the story of the fall of Lucifer.

Adimarchus’ background story
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven
(Milton – Paradise Lost)

Adimarchus was the first and foremost among the angels. He was respected and even revered by his peers and obviously very powerful. He was also lucky in love, because he had the lovely and beautiful angel Nidrama at his side as his ‘eternal’ companion.

One day an order arrived from the Triad, the union of the three gods Tyr, Torm and Ilmater (I am using the Forgotten Realms setting in my campaign) that men was to be served above all else, even above the angels themselves. Naturally, Adimarchus and some of the other angels were surprised by this news, even shocked and offended. A new angel, Layah, caught Adimarchus’ ear and fed his indignation. What the archangel did not realize, was that Layah was actually a demon sent by Shar, the Dark Goddess, to poison his mind. Adimarchus ended up being the voice of discontent among his peers. During this process he also broke with Nidrama, who did not share his sentiment on the ‘offensive’ orders from above.

Adimarchus assembled a host of like-minded angels around him, intending to appeal to the gods themselves to make them see the error of their way. Several of the ‘good’ angels tried to reason with the rebels, including Nidrama, but their efforts failed. The conflict inevitably turned into a full scale war, which shook the very foundations of Celestia and could only end in tearing apart the fabric of heaven and casting the rebels into the Abyss along with a part of the heavenly realm.

The fallen angels turned into wretched demons and most of them perished because they were unable to sustain the terrible changes they had undergone. But Adimarchus who was proud and strong, survived and became the demon prince of the newly created domain Occipitus, gaining even more power.

Layah stayed at Adimarchus’ side, as his new princess. Somehow she managed to keep her angelic appearance and she became a permanent reminder of what he once had been. Meanwhile she kept poisoning his mind and feeding his madness. When Adimarchus fell into a heavy conflict with the demon lord Graz’zt (a conflict that Layah had helped create), she played her final part in the demon prince’s downfall. During an epic battle between the forces of Adimarchus and Graz’zt, Layah fell into enemy hands and was imprisoned on Carceri. Adimarchus could not bear the loss of the one thing that still bound him to his former glory and abandoned his armies to be slaughtered by Graz’zt’s forces.

He found Layah in Skullrot, the prisoner of Dark Myrakul, a powerful lichfiend. He traded his own freedom for Layah’s release, only to see his treacherous love turn into her true form, a black-skinned fiend who was in fact Graz’zt’s devoted daughter. As a result Adimarchus’ madness became complete insanity. So great was this insanity that Adimarchus’ cage could not contain it and his deranged will infected other creatures. Some of those formed the demonic alliance of the Cagewright (or simply the thirteen, as I call them in my campaign), whose ultimate goal was the rescue of their imprisoned ‘father’.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
MrVergee wrote:


Hi everybody... I just had to share my findings with you as well. I have to warn, you, it is a long post, but I hope you'll read it and give me your feedback.

Welcome in this thread MrVergee.

I like your work on Adimarchus background. Plenty of these ideas are very good and well connected.

Just few comments / hints:
Take care you don’t have one PC becoming too important. IMHO, it can bring you some difficulties in running the adventure and it could unbalance your players satisfaction. Why not having all the different players affected by some temporary angelic / dreamed powers one after another. Rather than the final transformation of one of your heroes at the end, why not having each of the party’s members giving back the fragment of the power he got to allow the final redemption of Adimarchus (or his resurrection) – I think it should create a big role playing scene for the final conclusion of the Path. (You can imagine that some of the PC are going to keep their angelic gift rather than sacrifice it for an Angel… but some others will have a different aim !).

For me the demon side of A will be defeated in the dream plan prior to the Carceri plot (Asylum) – For sure we can adapt the encounter to the strength of the party and also manage to have a very nightmare / madness taste in the new plot replacing Shattertorn.

In Asylum, now the target is:
· To find the cage (with a weakened angelic A. inside)
· To free Adimarchus of the cage, thanks to Nidrama or/and some other means (Smoking Eye)
· To destroy Layah or Antux
· To restore Carceri / Adimarchus in the Heaven

Last thing: I’ am still working on how to foreshadow the story very slowly during the earlier steps of the SCAP.
IMHO it is more simple to see Dyr’Ryd as an opportunist who wants to use a very destructive power for himself (Dr Folamour like story) rather than an incarnation of Adimarchus. Then I can foreshadow Adimarchus and The CageWrights in two different lines which will only obviously merge when close to the end of the arc. So I should keep a very good control of the revelation of the last act but with the opportunity of building a net of small hints all along the way.

Also, Delvesdeep is currently gathering some ideas around the subject to make them in one thing. Knowing his previous work, we will certainly be in awe….
Don’t forget to have a look on his baby when it will come (luckily before nine months ;-))

Just thoughts as usual.

Be creative

Liberty's Edge

MrVergee wrote:


Hi everybody. First of all let me say how pleasantly surprised I was to find all these brilliant ideas on the conclusion of the SCAP. I must admit that the original end of the story arc never pleased me, but I put off rectifying it to a later date - which would be right about now.

The suggestions in this thread greatly inspired me to work on my own conclusion of the campaign, and since I found your ideas so helpful, I just had to share my findings with you as well. I have to warn, you, it is a long post, but I hope you'll read it and give me your feedback.

I like a lot of the ideas that were shared here. I especially like the idea that Adimarchus trades his freedom for the freedom of another.

IMC, where Anthux is portraying Nidrama for the purpose of having Addy fall from grace, I think I will use that notion - that he trades his freedom for hers - only to then learn that all along he had been duped.

That being said, for my own purposes, I am strongly hesistant to put all the onus on any one PC. I fear that would give an unbalanced experience for all players upon conclusion, and it may also lead the DM to making special arrangements to spare that character from imminent destruction at some point in the campaign since he knows how intregal that role is to the campaign. So I will not be utilizing that method at any level.

The psuedo-christion mythology that you borrowed for the purposes of Adimarchus is similarly brilliant. I have already begun to find ways to spin that in a story/tale that would be applicable to my campaign world.

Finally, as a group here, I think something we'll need to brainstorm and share are examples of creatures that will be manifestations of Adimarchus' insanity. Thoughts of darkness, jealousy, dread, hate, hoplesness, bretrayal takes physical form and the party must vanquish them to free his mind and spirit little by little - sorta like the PCs are antibiotics fighting off the disease; with each of these dark twisted manifestation, neurons and synapses are being severed from the evil/insanity or his memory of the turmoil is being zapped.

So what physical manifestations could be planned to combat our heroes? blobs that drain wisdom? Any creatures from any of the Monster manuals / fiend folio seem a good fit for some of these?

If we use MrVergee's ideas that the trip through the dream realm is like a storybook chain of events - each encounter providing more clues and and more backstory then each dark emotion that associates with that element of the story could/should manifest into a creature is appropriate for that emotion. One for betrayal, one for his anger/hate, one for despair or apathy etc. Over the course of story of his life that is to be encountered there are a number of these negative emotions that would have dominated his psyche at that time.

Robert


As i have mentioned previously, I am currently compiling the ideas presented in the thread (well at least one version byt the look of some of the more recent posts/ideas ;)) and I have arrived at a point where I am looking for a bit of feedback.

I have finished almost the whole document with the exception of the final dream (Adimarchus' crime and loss of Nidrama) and Adimarchus Nightmare Realm.

As I have written previously the Nightmare Realm will follow through the reverse sequence to the dreams (which by the way could be uniformly shared at night, characters taking 'turns' or left with one player)with the final encounter/dream being the one dream the party has not dreamt themselves.

I have a number of ideas how to 'present' Adimarchus' Nightmare Realm -

Nightmare Realm 1 - Sequential Story Board
This idea involves the party moving through the Nightmares/Dreams in reverse order to how they had the dreams ie Anthux's betrayal first, Adimarchus' abandonment of his army next etc

Through this Nightmare Realm the party would relive the dreams but would have to combat nightmare creatures in each.

I do like your idea Robert of 'labelling' each such creature/encounter with a negative emotion, I'll have think about this one.

One obvious negative of these idea is that it gives the players no freedome of choice what-so-ever/railroading them completely as they move one one dream sequence to the next in order.

Nightmare Realm 2 - Inner Consciousness.
This idea centres around the idea that Adimarchus' Nightmare Realm is broken into two - the inner/dark mind and the surface dreams.

The other ring is a circular corridor with 9 'doors' spaced around the outer wall. Each door leads to one of Adimarchus' dreams.

The inner wall of the circular corridor appears to be transparent with thousands of horrific angelic (Adimarchus) faces, each baring one of 9 different emotions, pressed up against it. The 9 faces are - howling in terror, weeping with despair, giggling insanely, screaming with anger, silent in horror, crazed with fear, wracked with agony, laughing with power or staring evilly.

Passing through each door the party step into a different dream mimicing the dreams they have recieved in the past. in each dream the party must uncover a fragment of Adimarchus lost sanity and return it to the Inner Wall.

When the party place the fragment into the wall, one type of the faces (terror, horror, despair, insanity, anger, horror, fear, agony, power or evil) - Should I change any of these? fade away. When the first eight fragment are found the last door can be opened into the final dream where he committed the crime (and lost his love) that expelled him from heaven.

Once this final fragment is found the Inner Wall will fade away revealing the Inner Demon (Adimarchus in demon form). In the Inner Consciousness, the Inner Demon will continuely change the environment to hinder the party, summon creatures of madness/nightmare etc.

When the party defeat the Inner Demon they will be hurtled back to Skullrot (healed and with spells back) before Adimarchus once more. Here Nidrama can open the cage and assist the weakened Adimarchus from his imprisionment.

This act unfortunately signals Anthux (use a dark version of Adimarchus the angel statistics) who gates into Skullrot with two Balor who will be determined to end the threat of Adimarchus to his father forever.

Let me know your ideas

Delvesdeep


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:
Let me know your ideas

I think you would like first a feedback about the two alternatives (Sequential vs . Inner Consciousness). For me the second one is much more appealing. Few (or not so few) words to emphasize my point:

1- We can suppose than the inner circle cannot be reached but only at the end of the SCAP when sufficient knowledge is gathered by the PCs. The outer circle could be a very different story. It is possible to make it like the generator of the dreams / nightmares which struck the Cauldron area. Also we can allow the PC’s to enter that circle in a more “real way” and earlier in the arc (why not through dreams or through tricky traps / ritual / magic from the CWs) . There they may have to confront with some underpowered manifestations of Adimarchus past or madness. I see the outer circle as a large ring world mostly flat with a sky mostly heaven like and a ground mostly Carceri like. But in the sky can be featured cages at some places with something or somebody in… and on the ground you can manage to have some small areas like heaven. All of this, as you have already understood, feature the destroyed mental sanity of Adimarchus

2- I like the idea of the wall in between the two circles. But the picture I have in mind is two walls indeed. One through the outer circle and the circular corridor : this one can be reached from the outer circle but it is impossible to go through it from there. The second one through the corridor and the inner circle with doors as you mentioned. I like also your description of the faces expressing some terrific emotions which can cover the outer wall.
3- A perhaps good idea is now to find a way to link each of the PCs with one of the emotion depicted and so to have more immersion of the players in the final dream sequence. I will develop this idea just below.

delvesdeep wrote:
type of the faces (terror, horror, despair, insanity, anger, horror, fear, agony, power or evil) – Should I change any of these?

I understand the magic mean of the “9” but what do you think of having the same number of doors than your number of players (likely with one final one and perhaps one for Nidrama – note for self). The doors have each one of the faces of the emotion you suggest but the faces are these of the adventurers… They will have to confront one of their inner demon / madness behind the door. This can be foreshadowed within the whole SCAP through the dreams or situations of each of them. For sure the inner demon will have to be linked to Adimarchus story by some point but also to the PC. Also, all the party will be allowed to support the PC during his “performance”.

It is no more possible to have a frozen number of doors (9) and then we have to choose what number depending of the DM need. I propose to sort the emotions by order of importance so that we can adapt the emotions choice to the situation of the DM:
First: Weeping with Despair / IMHO to reserve for Adimarchus
Second: Giggling insanely / one of the PC – perhaps spell caster or priest or bard
Third: Howling in terror / one of the PC – perhaps a barbarian / warrior
Fourth: Laughing with power / one of the PC – perhaps a priest or spell caster
Five: Crazed with fear / one of the PC – perhaps a paladin or a priest or a thief
Six: Screaming with anger / one of the PC – perhaps a monk or a druid or ranger
Seven to Nine: staring evilly , wracked with agony, silent in horror

I hope it helps

Be creative

Liberty's Edge

delvesdeep wrote:
When the party place the fragment into the wall, one type of the faces (terror, horror, despair, insanity, anger, horror, fear, agony, power or evil) - Should I change any of these? fade away. When the first eight fragment are found the last door can be opened into the final dream where he committed the crime (and lost his love) that expelled him from heaven

Well, I for one like the second option more. The point is that the PCs "witness" the story to some degree - not necessarily in order. This reminds me a bit of the Light in the Belfry module for Ravenloft. Or better yet - its shaping up a bit like Dante's Inferno.

That being said, I think the "dark emotions" personified would be more apt to be altered based on the DMs campaign and what backstory he's planning to go with for Adimarchus. I for one, am liking the pseudo-christian theme presented the other day.

In so doing, jealousy would be a major emotion to be played upon for the angel's feeling towards humans etc.

Finally, you listed horror twice, and you also listed fear and terror; aren't they all pretty much the same? Enough so to be tough to differentiate I believe.

Robert


Robert - godd point with the amount of similiar 'emotions'. I had a rethink after I read over the dreams I wrote up so here are the new traits that will need to be collected.

In reverse order of the dreams -

Madness (Final dream/Anthux's betrayal)
Fear (Adimarchus' abandonment of his army to rescue Anthux)
Pride (Scoffing at warning of Graz'zt army)
Anger (Anthux's attack on Adimarchus)
Horror/Pain (Occipitus' transformation/descent & Inner Demons duplicity into ensuring that he claims rulership over the plane)
Revenge Adimarchus' attempted Invasion of heaven
Agony Graz'zt price for awarding Adimarchus his army
Anguish Cast from heaven/Adimarchus' trial
Despair Adimarchus crime

I am unsure which trait to use between Pain & Horror during the dream when he wakes on Occiptus when it first settles in the Abyss and transforms and when he is fooled into becoming ruler of the plane by his Inner Demon. Pain fits better but I have already used Agony and am concerned about doubling up.

Any advice here?

I am thinking also that the challenges faced in each dream when the party enter the Nightmare Realm will reflect the dream.

Anyway the ideas people are coming up with are excellent, please keep the inspiration coming.

Delvesdeep

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
delvesdeep wrote:

Robert - godd point with the amount of similiar 'emotions'. I had a rethink after I read over the dreams I wrote up so here are the new traits that will need to be collected.

In reverse order of the dreams -

Madness (Final dream/Anthux's betrayal)
Fear (Adimarchus' abandonment of his army to rescue Anthux)
Pride (Scoffing at warning of Graz'zt army)
Anger (Anthux's attack on Adimarchus)
Horror/Pain (Occipitus' transformation/descent & Inner Demons duplicity into ensuring that he claims rulership over the plane)
Revenge Adimarchus' attempted Invasion of heaven
Agony Graz'zt price for awarding Adimarchus his army
Anguish Cast from heaven/Adimarchus' trial
Despair Adimarchus crime

I am unsure which trait to use between Pain & Horror during the dream when he wakes on Occiptus when it first settles in the Abyss and transforms and when he is fooled into becoming ruler of the plane by his Inner Demon. Pain fits better but I have already used Agony and am concerned about doubling up.

Any advice here?

I am thinking also that the challenges faced in each dream when the party enter the Nightmare Realm will reflect the dream.

Anyway the ideas people are coming up with are excellent, please keep the inspiration coming.

Delvesdeep

More excellent ideas delvesdeep and others!

I'd go with horror for this one delvesdeep, for the reason you stated (pain is similar to agony) and also it just seems more of a "horrific" moment for the little tiny bit of "good addy" looking on than one of pain.

As others have already stated, I too prefer the second option you presented above of the dream / nightmare / revelation.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Robert Brambley wrote:


This reminds me a bit of the Light in the Belfry module for Ravenloft. Or better yet - its shaping up a bit like Dante's Inferno.

Robert

Nice connections / references Robert. Playing up on the Dante's Inferno reference could be quite cool ... though I doubt my players would get it!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

The Nightmare Realm with the doors is excellent (you should also go with horror for realizing the fate of Occipitus as it plunged into the Abyss).

The final door should show the symbol acquired in "Test of the Smoking Eye".

Each time upon completion of the dreams behind the doors a part of the invisible mark of the Smoking Eye becomes visible (i.e. glowing) on the face of its bearer.

When the complete symbol is visible on his face, the sign on the door will respond to the glow and the doort will finally open.


Oliver von Spreckelsen wrote:

The Nightmare Realm with the doors is excellent (you should also go with horror for realizing the fate of Occipitus as it plunged into the Abyss).

The final door should show the symbol acquired in "Test of the Smoking Eye".

Each time upon completion of the dreams behind the doors a part of the invisible mark of the Smoking Eye becomes visible (i.e. glowing) on the face of its bearer.

When the complete symbol is visible on his face, the sign on the door will respond to the glow and the doort will finally open.

Another great idea Oliver! So by the bearer of the invisible mark you mean the Shackleborn character? What happens if no one in the party are Shackleborn? Perhaps the character with the Dream Haunted or Smoking Eye could manifest this symbol then. Another idea is to have the person who first touches one of the fragments (if none of the other options are available).

Great work - keep the ideas coming

Delvesdeep

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I mean the person who acquired the mark during the "Test of the Smoking Eye", though the person with the "Shackleborn" trait could also show it (it would be great to discover, that both these marks have a shared origin - being residual power of Adimarchus, but I can be worng about that, as I do not have the HC at hand @work).

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