Trying to come up with long term subplots for my RotRL campaign. Spoilers.

Rise of the Runelords

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So, first of all, spoilers ahoy.

So, Lamashtu’s presences seems to be littered all throughout Rise of the Runelords, and it helps move the plot along well enough, but I feel the god’s role isn’t very well conceptualized and she just sort of pewter’s out towards the end. I mean, in one section it even mentions her “plan” for the Lost Coast, but we never even get a hint as to what this may be.

I had a PC drink some of the Waters of Lamashtu. He’s a chaotic neutral Teifling Witch with aspirations of becoming closer to his demon heritage in a similar fashion to what Naulia was trying to do. When he was hit with a wave of Naulia’s channel negative energy, Lamashtu reached out to him made him an offer. She will ask him to betray his allies at some point and in return she granted him the Mark of Lamashtu and allowed him to become a cleric of her patronage. He is allowed to hide her Mark and worship her in secret.

Now, obviously there are several points where this would become relevant. The Lamias worship her, the Scribbler is a guardian of her temple etc. I think the thing I struggle with the most is that she’s just a cool god and I like her to be a more prominent, behind the scenes type villain. What is her plan for the Lost Coast?

One of the suggestions for after the campaign is the awakening of the Great Old One Mhar. Since Lamashtu is the Mother of Monsters, and this is one epic huge monster, perhaps her goal would be to enslave this great and powerful being? The PC’s wouldn’t need to interact with either deities, and Lamashtu would appear at a certain point when Mhar is summoned and steal him away to her plane of existence. Hopefully Karzoug would be defeated at this point, or not. I kind of like to leave things open ended. But I wouldn’t even need to deal with what she does with Mhar, she would just have him and use him for whatever future plan she has. This would allow the aforementioned PC to betray the party and serve his god without having too great an impact on everyone else, and since it’s the end of campaign we can just wrap up whatever happens after the fact. Unless he manages to do this all in secret. Maybe he can even be the next big villain if we decide to do something like that.

Anyway, thoughts? Is this too big of a deviance from the established lore? Has there been attempts by gods at things like this before? Is there some severe consequence of this that I am unaware of by having a god attempt to enslave a sleeping Old One?

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Alright. I came up with the entire projected plot line for this, which I will post here in case anyone is ever interested in having this be a part of their own game. Major spoilers ahoy.

So I looked into how a person transform into a demon, as Naulia has the potential for doing so. The entire Rise of the Runelords campaign was actually very easy for me to come up with something for this. Granted, things might not work out like this, but if they do I think it would be very entertaining for everyone involved.

Lamashtu's plan for the Lost Coast is to "birth" Mhar into the Material Plane as a twisted, deformed Great Old One. When his birth is completed she will transport him to her own realm to raise him. She is going to build a demonic fortress upon his back and use him as a portable war fortress at some unforeseen point in the future. I'd like the details for this to be vague, because this is a story for another place and time, and right now she is just focused on getting Mhar.

Using the guide for Demonic Transformation, this is how I fit each ritual step into the equation:

First Ritual – Accept Lamashtu’s offer. My player has done this. He succeeded his save when he drank the Waters of Lamashtu, making him highly attuned to her demonic influence. When he was hit by a wave of Naulia's Channel Negative Energy, Lamashtu took the oppurtunity to contact the PC. She offered to make him a Qlippoth in return for his services, as he is a Teifling of Qlippoth descent who wishes to grow closer to his demonic heritage. This granted him the Mark of Lamashtu feat and allows him to take levels as a Cleric of Lamashtu.

Second Ritual – Make a significant sacrifice to Lamashtu, which must be a loved one. This specific PC is a Witch with a Scorpion familiar that has been with him his entire life. I'm deeming a sacrifice of the scorpion to be an adequate. The next day the familiar will be replaced with a Quasit who will be in the permanent guise of a scorpion, but can still change at the PC's request. The PC will always be aware that this is not his original familiar. He will need to make a DC 15 (+1 for each consecutive success) Will save each week. If he fails, he will have a 10% chance to fail all his spells cast for that week. If he succeeds he will not suffer any penalty. Five successful consecutive will saves will remove this penalty forever.

Third Ritual – Free Malfeshnekor and Axival but must receive one of their kidneys each in return for their freedom. The kidneys must then be soaked in the blood of a powerful cleric so that they can “purify” the blood and cause it to become profane in a bone skull bowl made from the skull of person completing the ritual. Afterwards the blood must then be consumed, then after a week the bowl must be refilled with the ritualist’s own blood. The two kidney’s will fuse together and create a pulsating, ever bleeding “heart”, a minor demonic Artifact. It has no apparent bonuses at the time of creation.

Fourth Ritual – Lamashtu had a powerful Unconscious Agenda spell placed on one of the Denizens of Leng. When they see the PC's Quasit, they will request the profane artifact that he created so that they can use it to tamper with the Leng Device. This will attune it to Lamashtu’s demonic energies, which allow her to “birth” Mhar properly into the Material Plane once the device has been activated. This will imbue Mhar with the Fiendish Template, twisting and deforming the great Old One. Once the birth is completed, the PC will transform into a Chernobue, a type of Qlipoth in line with his heritage and Lamashtu’s ideals.

That's pretty much it. This is going to be right at the end of the campaign, so I'm not going to have to worry about continuing on with one of the PC's being a demon. Heck, the other party members might even try to kill him, and I think that would be an acceptable fate. If anyone is interested I'll return as some future date and let everyone know how this all turned out. I had fun trying to come up with this stuff, even though it is pretty dark. I would love to try and figure out how to do a divine transformation some day.

johnpaulroth wrote:

Alright. I came up with the entire projected plot line for this, which I will post here in case anyone is ever interested in having this be a part of their own game. Major spoilers ahoy.

I might use that for an npc rather than party member but I had been wondering the same as you in regards to Lamashtu and how to make a fuller use of her in the campaign. Then I read somewhere that she has seven daughters....there are also seven runelords all of whom have great power but will be weak initially on their return.

Not fleshed it out in full yet but obviously this then helps tie in why Nualia is working for both Lamashtu and the Runelords as her goddess wants the runelords to be awakened so they can then be killed and replaced by her daughters....

Grand Lodge

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This is a pretty old thread, but I have to say I like a lot of what Johnpaul came up with, so I'm glad to see it resurrected at least for that.

Here's my take on the Lamashtu subplot.

My Take:
- Lamashtu had followers among all of the Runelords, from my understanding, as they were relatively pro-demon rulers. Alaznist was particularly so, encouraging her subjects to worship demon lords of their choice, although she was personally more closely aligned to Yamasoth, the Qlippoth lord. While Runelords are of little consequence to Lamashtu personally, they undoubtedly 1) brought many followers to Lamashtu and other demons and 2) created space for monstrous races (such as lamia) to exist in society. Thus, it's better for Varisia to be in the hands of a Runelord than not, but it's not the best option (which would be directly under demonic / Lamashtan control).

- We see Lamashtu's influence throughout Varisia. Just in this adventure alone, we see the remains of her chapel in the catacombs of wrath (Book 1 Part 3); her new cult at Thistletop, and the remains of an old cult that was wiped out (Book 1 Part 4); her involvement in the Hook Mountain Massacre and attempted destruction of Turtleback Ferry (Book 3 Part 5), as well as the organizing at Jorgenfist and harvesting of Greed (Book 4 Part 4).

We also see some of the scheming she was up to in Thassilon's day, with the Black Magga's nearly-indiscriminate destruction (Book 3 Part 3) and Xaliasa's spying and backstabbing (Book 5 Part 1).

With the addition of the Sandpoint Campaign Setting Guide, we see that Lamashtu keeps an eye on the Lost Coast with the help of a powerful elven witch - along with Xaliasa, she is one of the strongest of Lamashtu's disciples, and we get a clue about what Lamashtu's really up to.

- So, looking at this, I think we can say two things.

1) If Lamashtu embeds people in many communities and organizations, she is sure to end up on top - she's always on the winning side. That's how it works with the Runelords, and that's why she's helping Karzoug at Jorgenfist and not causing any trouble at Hook Mountain.

2) Lamashtu would prefer her people be in control, and she has been in the process of grooming Nualia to be the person in control. Once she has burned Sandpoint, the surge of power will give Lamashtu an opening into the region - to release Malfeshnekor and revive Xaliasa, I imagine. Not to mention turn Nualia into a half-fiend.

Lamashtu's plans for Nualia:
First, Nualia needed to burn the bones of her father and restore Lamashtu's shrine - which she has done, taking on an aspect of a demon. Erylium was probably enough for Nualia to know this.

Second, Nualia needs to make a great sacrifice, ensuring many souls come to the Abyss. This she aims to do in Book 1, but if she succeeds, she will be transformed into a half-fiend. Erylium or Malfeshnekor could have advised this, but the massive surge in power recieved by the runewell of wrath could give Lamashtu the opportunity to release Malfeshnekor and revive Xaliasa. Now with half-fiend Nualia, Shrine Guardian Xaliasa (reunited with his familiar, who has a direct line to Lamashtu via commune), and Malfeshnekor, Sandpoint could become a base of operations for Lamashtu's army.

Third, this fresh army stands to be crushed immediately - after all, Pazuzu's forces are gathering at Grubber's Hermitage as this is all happening, and the Red Bishop is more than a match for Xaliasa. This, I believe, is where Issandra (the elven witch) comes in handy. She's had her eye on the region for a while, and probably understands better than anyone the threat the Red Bishop poses - BUT, she is worshipped as a goddess by gnolls on the other side of a portal she keeps somewhere in the Tors. Between Nualia's unification of the Hinterlands goblins and Issandra's gnoll forces, they could quickly fortify and protect Sandpoint, the runewell of wrath, and Lamashtu's chapel. Now, Pazuzu has no one to open the seal holding Uvaglor, and can't hope to take the Lost Coast through military force.

Fourth, under counsel from Issandra and Xaliasa, Nualia reaches out to Mokmurian's forces, stating that they have no conflict with them. Meanwhile, the lamia priestesses of Jorgenfist do what they can to steer Mokmurian and Karzoug away from that location, giving buying Xaliasa time. Meanwhile, the hag coven at Hook Mountain

Fifth, Nualia, and a few members of her assembled forces, follow Xaliasa's advice and seek out Runeforge in anticipation of battle with Mokmurian and Karzoug. I think there's a decent chance that Delvahine might serve Lamashtu, but even if not, Nualia might genuinely be able to emerge equipped with dominant weapons she puts in the hands of her companions, not to mention gnolls. With some luck, Nualia might emerge with Delvahine and her daughters as well, who, incidentally, can also weird dominant weapons to full effect.

Sixth, to ascend to a full-fledged demon, Nualia must defeat and sacrifice either a powerful member of a rival faith or a lawful or good outsider (at least CR 9). The head clerics in Magnimar and the Red Bishop make for some good targets, but Nualia has a few options. Her ascension might not be immediate, but on the anniversary of her burnt offering of Sandpoint, Nualia needs to begin her sacrifices - with her advisors beside her, the first anniversary may well be enough.

Last, we come to the toss-up. Will Karzoug return to the world first, or will Nualia ascend first? If she ascends, little could stop her and her forces from entering Xin-Shalast, bringing many to their side, and quashing Karzoug while he's still weak. Meanwhile, Nualia transforms into a true demon - the ultimate perversion of something Desna loved (a double win!). With access to Runeforge and Xin-Shalast under her control, Nualia could become the demon-queen of Varisia, killing each Runelord as they attempt to rise, and establishing Lamashtu's total control over Varisia, the nation perhaps closest to Desna's heart.

Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Askar Avari wrote:
Meanwhile, the hag coven at Hook Mountain...

The hag coven what?! You've got me on tenterhooks!

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