My group just finished House of the Beast, and are moving on to The Jackal's Price. They're trying their damnedest to derail the plot, without really knowing anything about it.
For some reason, they have decided to keep their possesion of the Scroll of Kakishon as secret as possible. They haven't told Almah, or anyone else in Kelmarane about it. They ARE researching it, and having exhausted both their own abilities and the resources in Kelmarane, have decided to move on to Katapesh in hopes of finding out more. Because they haven't told Almah, they don't have an introduction to Rayhan.
Almah DID manage to send Garavel and some troops with them, though.
Zayifid survived the final battle in the House of the Beast, and is stirring up trouble with the Sons of Carrion. At the same time, Undrella, who has fallen in love with the party's bard, was given a task by said worthy to find out whatever she could about Zayifid, and to meet the group in Katapesh in a couple weeks. He plans on ditching her at some point - so I need to flesh her out as a valid adversary, perhaps give her some Alchemist levels.
I'm not sure at what point in Katapesh she's going to show up.
Zayifid will make another appearance in the battle at the Oasis
The party's cleric has been dealing with Lesaar - promised him that he would help send him back to his own plane in return for safe passage under the House of the Beast. To do so, he is researching a variant of the Dismissal spell (which he can now cast) that does not have a chance of sending awry. His research in Kelmarane has failed to find what he needs for this, but I did manage to drop Rayhan's name as an expert in Planar Travel.
Lesaar, meanwhile, is playing a waiting game. He's a little disgruntled in how long it's taking the cleric to come through on his end of the bargain, so he's hedging his bets. He alone knew about the scroll; and is bargaining with emmissaries of Father Jackal - Radi Hamdi, who has managed to join the group under guise of a merchant in need. The party is VERY suspicious of him, however.
So Lesaar and Radi are plotting together to steal the scroll. Lesaar is smart enough to let Radi take the fall when/if the attempt fails, but I need to figure out how that is going to play out.
I like the recurring characters and villains in this AP - and want to keep them involved. Any suggestions?
My group had some similar things happen.
First, they also tried to keep the scroll a secret. However, they soon discovered they were finding little to nothing out in regards to it. If they are doing their own research, are they not consulting with anyone? How are they doing the research? There isn't much of a library in Kelmarene and I wouldn't expect them to find much on their own elsewhere. As soon as they mention it to anyone, I'd have that PC get back to them. Eventually the Jackal's minions, will learn of this, but I would have that one contact put them in touch with Rayhan
Zayfid lived a long time in my campaign too. In fact, he finally died at the Oasis. Unless you want to start adding to his power, his usefulness as an opponent is going to run out. And it will be difficult to have him tag along to the other locations in this AP.
As for Undrella, I think adding levels of Alchemist would work well.
We also had Lesaar hanging around for quite a while. My groups negotiated a means of return with Rayhan. If you like keeping him around, he may have a reason to be present when the PCs are taken into Kakishon. I'm not sure he'd jeopordize his return home by allying with Radi. By this point the PCs should have displayed considerable power compared to Radi, who would be a weak partner in comparison. He's been stuck in Golarion for a long time, he may be smart enough to be a bit more patient, even if the PCs are making a minimal effort.
Maybe a better route would be to have Lesaar convince Radi to find someone who can provide answers on what the scroll does. That way, he is not directly opposing the PCs, but is advancing a possible route home.
You could have a crazed wizard who's been searching for the scroll confront the party when they get into town. He or she should have an obvious means of knowing the party has the Scroll, like an artifact floating in the air pointing at whoever is carrying it. Like Kuroth's Quill or some other minor artifact: http://www.canonfire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Kuroth's_Quill
He or she should have an obvious means of knowing the party has the Scroll, like an artifact floating in the air pointing at whoever is carrying it.
Arcane Sight would work. Unless the scroll is encased in lead or something then it would light up like a Christmas tree to Detect Magic/Arcane Sight.
I'm agreed about their own research being a dead end. They're going to need a expert, unless they want to spend years working on it in secrecy. I'll be able to drop Rayhan's name quite a few more times, I'm sure.
Alchemist levels for Undrella seems pretty much an no-brainer to me, too. The trouble I'm having with her is exactly where to re-introduce her. In the AP, she doesn't reappear until the final chapter; the PC Bard's actions have pretty much determined that she'll show up sooner.
Lesaar is very smart (INT 17), and being immortal, is very patient, although he's been waiting a long, long time. He sees Radi not as an ally, but as a connection to others who could be allies (Father Jackal). He's just trying to play both ends at this point. He's the current source of leaks about the secrecy of the scroll, so I want to keep him out of the crosshairs. When Radi gets caught, he might let slip that Lesaar is involved - I need a suitable means for Lesaar to deflect suspicion. The party already knows he's evil...
After the debacle in the House of the Beast, Zayifid is not going to confront the party directly again. He's going to want powerful allies...getting sucked along into Kakishon my be just the ticket for him. But he's got to be around for that to happen, and that means getting involved with Father Jackal as well. Here's another area where I need a good idea - how to get these two into bed together?
And remember, it doesnt matter if they keep it secret or not. The power of the item screams across the desert and alerts those who have been searching for the scroll for centuries.
The question is, i assume, is how do you get the PC's to Katapesh?
Remember, there is only a 200gp limit in Kelmarane, so that might help get them to katapesh. The scroll could be stolen and taken to katapesh. The pc's are high enough to do divinations if that were to happen.
There are many ways to get them there that would fit your game and your pc's.
I always hate to give exact ways as I dont kow your pc;s or the game style or the history of the game.
I am DMing it as we speak, so I am very familiar with the AP. I even had the mage in Katapesh Rayvan? right? Help the pc's after the Howl of the Carrion King to craft magical items. So he has already been introduced to the pc's. I have set up three separate character story arcs that will take the pc's to Katapesh just in case.
This was something I planned for from the begining of my campaign, so I am not in the predicament that you are in.
This part of the AP was definately something that needed to be well planned for. As a matter of fact, the first three of the AP's were where most of the work needed to be done as a DM. Once your out of the Jackals Price, it is almost impossible to derail at that point.
Hope this helps and good luck.
|DM Dan E|
Zayifid living is capable of fixing most plot derails IMO. He wants the scroll, knows the party has it and is capable of executing all sorts of indirect and devious plotting to make it happen. Even if he dies at the oasis (and that seems a bit of a waste) his machinations could live on to affect the group.
If they get to Katapesh and find even the most lowly beggar knows their secret (because Zayified spread the rumour) then your pretty much back on track. Rayhan could contact them at that point or they could be compelled to seek him out in a number of ways. Say by the authorities when a riot nearly starts.
CuttinCurt - getting them to Katapesh was no problem. They decided to do that without any prodding at all, when they realized they couldn't find information on the scroll in Kelmarane.
DM Dan E - now that's a GREAT suggestion. Zayifid spreading the rumor that the PC's have the scroll will attract the attention of both Father Jackal and Rayhan (amongst others). Sets the stage in Katapesh quite nicely.
That also means there's going to be many more theft attempts - so the PCs will need to be on their toes. Riots galore!