I just ran the Darl Quethos encounter this last week, and Darl had to plane shift out with the Sunfire twins at the end. (Fun battle, but really bad rolls by me including a failed dispel of a sphere of ultimate destruction sealed his fate.)
Has any one used Darl again before the end of the adventure path? I'd really like to have him re-occur but I'm kinda stuck on ideas of how to do it.
Darl want secrets, but after LoLR there's really nothing left in the AP that would interest him it seems. There's always revenge but that seems a little too obvious as a motivator to have him show up again.
Anyone use him again? How did you do it?
Our DM used Quethos to great effect in our AoW game. Long after the villain fled our party, abandoning his poor, devoted Krekie, our characters had split up to run some side adventures (fighting some local monsters we'd heard about when visiting Sasserine, helping the poor of Alhaster, etc.). My character was celebrating a job well done at a tavern when suddenly someone offered to buy her next glass of wine, and when she turned around, out of the blue, there was Darl Quethos. The following scene of him politely chatting with my character over a drink, with the implied threat that he could instantly kill everyone in the tavern with little more than a thought, was one of the absolute creepiest I've ever been in.
Basically he was offering to aid our party in some way, to rid the world of those ridiculous Ebon Triad "heretics," though it was unclear what he might expect in return. Barring that, he hoped for a non-aggression pact with our group. Saying she couldn't speak for the group, my character agreed to meet him in a day's time at a specified location.
The heroes went into the meeting thinking it was a very obvious trap, and ultimately, who's to say it wasn't? Quethos was unarmed, "to set our minds at ease," though a powerful cleric with an evil artifact for an appendage brings little in the way of peace of mind. He had no hidden allies, only the most basic of protective spells. And he tore the group apart anyway. The only way I can really approach the way the DM ran this scene is to reference the character of Ben from LOST, and the subtle half-truths and manipulations he would use. The party started arguing about what should be done with Quethos, arguments turned into heated words, and when some party members tried to kill Quethos and some tried to stop the others, a HUGE fight broke out. (IC, that is. OOC, we pretty much agreed that scene was awesome.)
Quethos died that day, but he died laughing, because he had gotten this big group of extremely accomplished and generally noble heroes to turn on each other, not just physically, but giving voice to a campaign's worth of irritations, misgivings, and bad blood. All without lifting a finger, even in his own defense. Quethos lost the Hand of Vecna, but he was arrogant enough to believe he could easily get it back, and certain enough of his plans that death was nothing to him. He just had his followers return him to life with their own priestly powers. Conversely, the damage he did to our party and their trust in one another, darkened all our interactions for the rest of the campaign.
Sorry for the long anecdote. To sum it up, remember that Darl Quethos is an incredibly insightful foe, and that there are more ways than direct combat to hurt the PCs. There are innocents to threaten, dirty secrets to learn through divination, friends and family members to menace while the heroes are away. Really, directly attacking the PCs is about the *least* threatening thing he could do to them.
just did the Darl Quethos encounter I changed him up a bit to make him more vecna and less cleric guy. gave him levels in loremaster, contemplative, divine oracle, and thaumaturgist...
he was killed in the end though but as you said death does not stop Darl. I will probably have his vecna people bring him back.
the chaotic nuetral wizard guy took the hand of vecna and ran away with it as the cleric of pelor and the lawful good sorcerer tried to stop him. he ran, cut off his arm and attached the hand. he passed the save and came back which I have my own doubts as to whether or not he should be exiled or destroyed by the group. at which point I will take the PC and the player will reroll another character.
we already discussed this... he isn't doing this to gain power, its a character move, he is well aware he could lose his character.
Thanks for the input. Courtney!, that seemed like a fun encounter. Not sure I have the dramatic chops to pull it off, though. My party is in the middle of Kings of the Rift, having just found the first key. I will basically have one more chance to interject Darl before its too late. But since my guys don't really go for "downtime" much, they are likely to head straight to the Wormcrawl fissure after getting the phylactery.
I've been thinking that maybe Darl is done for this AP though. I've been meaning to run a "looser" campaign after this, one starting with "Mad God's Key" and have the campaign revolve around the developments of that adventure.
I thought I'd make Darl the focal point of the next campaign. Not the same party, but it would be the same players so it'd be almost as good.
GregH, that sounds like fun! Feel free to PM me if you want to chat about it, whenever you do run that game. AoW is probably the most memorable campaign my group has ever played, and I still love hearing about the events and characters.
wordelo, I am still slightly surprised that one of the more power-hungry characters in our game didn't make a grab for the Hand, though he was a bit cowardly, and I suppose he knew the bulk of the party would not be okay with him possessing such an artifact. It's cool they went for it in your game, though!