The Worldwound Incursion
Home campaign rules: PCs built on 25 point buy, with a special Session 1 Only option to try to roll up even better characters. New races allowed are half-dragon, half-drow, half-dwarf (mul), and half-ogre. Mongrelmen were added once the party met and befriended these creatures. The classes allowed are all Core Rulebook classes plus gunslinger, magus, and witch. Characters begin with 200 gp to buy equipment. Characters have two traits, one of which may be from any Paizo rulebook, the other of which must be a campaign trait from Worldwound Incursion. Experience points awarded based on expected level progression as shown in the front of each module, not encounters. The year in 4718 (to match the Real World year), so it is a little different than the default for the adventure path.
Mythic adventures home campaign rules: Non-mythic PCs begin with 3 pre-mythic power uses which they can use to surge, stabilize, and save themselves and their allies from death. These points replenish every session for pre-mythic characters (and once per day for mythic characters, or faster, depending on tier abilities). Surge is a free action that may be taken at any time, even if it's not your turn, even if you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to act, though not if you are dead. Surge adds 1d6 plus half your mythic tier to any d20 roll by yourself or an ally. Once you surge, no one can use mythic power or other abilities to influence the roll further. For one mythic power, as a free action, stabilize yourself or an ally (once you are mythic, you no longer need to stabilize yourself). For two uses of mythic powers, convert death of yourself or an ally to brink of death (one hit point away from death, stable and unconscious). There are other changes that will come up in future modules as the party gains power, but for Worldwound Incursion these are the only ones that matter.
The party consists of:
half-dwarf (mul) ranger
half-elf cleric of Iomedae
halfling rogue, later rogue/wizard (universalist)
human wizard (universalist) (joined second session)
mongrelman barbarian (joined later)
half-ogre fighter (joined later)
half-dragon (gold) paladin of Sarenrae (joined later)
The first session had only the first three PC, with the wizard joining in the second session. The setup in Kenabres worked great. The players enjoyed working with the NPCs. The cleric played diplomat, quickly winning the friendship of all three, though the ranger and rogue kept taunting Horgus Gwerm. Anevia Tirabade became their favorite quickly, as she had a helpful disposition and, once the cleric gave her some talk-therapy to mitigate her depression and worry about Irabeth, she was almost a full party member. Aravashniel continually declared himself the wise leader of the party and called the cleric and wizard his apprentices. He quickly connected with the wizard over that character's Riftwarden mark (from his campaign trait) but didn't reveal the significance of this connection until much later. His wand of false life won him the friendship of both the wizard and the rogue (who could Use Magic Device). Horgus Gwerm was the most fun, though. At every opportunity, he made snide remarks, both about the other NPCs and the party members. His insults were paid back many times, and the cleric had to step in over and over to calm him down and prevent Horgus from running off. The other PCs seemed to think this would be just fine, but the cleric wanted to keep the aristocrat safe.
The underground portion of the module played very well. I threw in random encounters at great frequency, since the PCs are high powered compared to the default assumptions of the module. I ran every random encounter at least once before they were through. The bat swarm challenged the party the most, just because at the time they had no good way of fighting a swarm. Once the party made it to Neatholm, they were even with most of the remaining encounters in the underground. A cave fisher gave them some trouble because they only had the scale of Terendelev for levitation and most PCs though they could Climb better than turned out to be the case. Fights with cultists exposed them to fear and Will saves for the first time, which was fun. The final underground fight with some dretches also threw them some trouble, since the stinking clouds affect both visibility and sickness, though luckily the clouds only last a couple rounds.
Initial explorations of ruined Kenabres worked out well. By this time I had a poster map of Kenabres, which helped the party visualize their travels. I plugged in random encounters every chance I could, but the party got to Defender's Heart before I could throw everything at them. They had the hardest time with the invisibility-using, monster-summoning half-orc in the Tirabade residence. As has been noted elsewhere on the forums, this guy's picture is not supported by his statblock, making me think there was a change between what the artist was told and what the final opponent turned into. Also as part of this exploration, the party captured the cowardly Chaotic Evil fighter and tried to redeem him, but he managed to escape when a group of cultists hit the party during transport. They gleefully cut him down, making me wonder about the future of this band of heroes when more chances for redemption crop up.
After reaching Defender's Heart, the party traded Anevia for Irabeth, who welcomed the chance to get back into action (though the couple spent one day together before adventuring). The party mopped up the final cultist bases, eventually tracking the trail of destruction back to the Gray Garrison. At about this time, the mongrelman barbarian and half-ogre fighter showed up and joined the party, followed a session later by the half-dragon paladin. The party did very well in the Gray Garrison, taking two and a half sessions to clear it out, without any escalation of enemy forces (however I did double the number of cultist and tiefling opponents on the second floor, just to make it interesting for this powerful party). I decided the other mongrelmen (rangers) were not needed as part of the exploration party, but joined the defenders in patrolling outside the Gray Garrison so as to keep out reinforcements.
For the final session, the party had reached 5th level. They finished up the second floor with little trouble. I maxed and doubled hit points for encounters with single opponents, just to slow things down. The half-ogre could make quick work of anyone in melee range, so the trick was to keep him shuffling behind the others and squeezing here and there. When he got in range, it was game over for the bad guys. The party ascended to the third and final floor and had a tussle with the fiendish minotaur before the oracle came out. Based on another suggestion from the forums, I wanted her to cast animate dead on the minotaur, but the cleric got a lucky silence spell off on her, and she fell soon after.
The mul ranger struck the wardstone with the rod of cancellation and the final encounter ensued. The party enjoyed the scenes that flickered before them. I used Real Word years to remind them of how long ago various events occurred ("late in the thirties" means the same thing to the characters as it does to the players, for instance). At last, the party received the wash of mythic power as the wardstone net collapsed, transferring its energy to them. They saw the gate into the Abyss and all the armies of demons waiting to storm in, just for a moment before the gate collapsed and only the babaus remained. I didn't increase the number of these demons or add a vrock (as others have suggested). It turns out that these demons had virtually little hope of getting through the party's temporary DR for more than a scratch here and there, except when they used teleport to position themselves and then four of them flanked and sneak attacked the half-ogre, bringing him to unconsciousness. Still, the cleric revived him, and the party proved victorious.
The module lasted ten sessions and ended with the party just reaching 6th level/1st mythic tier. This is the third time I've run an Adventure Path starting module, and all three times it's been a great experience (the others were Rise of the Runelords and Second Darkness). The previous Adventure Paths eventually petered out (module 6 for RotRL and module 5 for SD). This time I think I can keep the campaign going through all six modules. I have some experience with Mythic Adventures and, with some easy modifications, I think the "new" options in that book can keep the players interested in this path clear to the end.
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
Sword of Valor
The mongrelman barbarian (Scab) only joined us for a couple adventures, as the player had taken a graveyard shift at the local VA Hospital and could no longer play on Friday nights to the wee hours of the morn.
The party consists of:
Will Corgan, male half-dwarf (mul) ranger
Sorsha, female half-elf cleric of Iomedae
Randall, male halfling rogue/wizard (universalist)
Sergio, human wizard (universalist)
Tum Tum, half-ogre fighter (eventually left the party)
Ranoka, half-dragon (gold) paladin of Sarenrae
The party was eventually joined by:
Satvia, female elf druid (eventually of the Order of the Leaf)
Patches, male dire lion animal companion
Also the cleric of Iomedae eventually took as a cohort:
Irabeth, female half-orc paladin of Iomedae
Queen Galfrey raised the heroes to the status of "Knights of the Fifth Crusade," handed out the righteous medals, introduced the party to the paladin army the Knights of Kenabres, and introduced them to Aron Kir, Sosiel Vaenic, and Nurah Dendiwhar. To get started with mass combat, the party fought a mock battle against an equal force of paladins, which ended with victory after a single roll. So they fought a second battle with two more armies of equal size, and it took them two turns to win. The mass combat rules seemed to work in the party's favor at this point. We handled the decision-making about tactics and then turn-by-turn strategies by passing the "leader" role around the table clockwise after each decision and subsequent die-roll for resolution (during combat phases). So far, so good.
I felt good about characterizing Aron Kir: I gave him a slight stutter to indicate a kind of nervousness, but he always made piercing observations about how the army should maneuver. I also felt good about Nurah Dendiwhar. While she would sing the army's praises to bolster them in battle, when she addressed the commanders she often spoke sharply and critically, like a trusted advisor who is unafraid of contradicting the principle leader in order to help that person see a different perspective. Unfortunately, I did not have a hook for Sosiel Vaenic, so I let him fall out of focus until things heated up with Aron a bit later.
The party and army marched north to Drezen, through Valas's Gift and on to Vilareth Ford, where they made quick work of the tiefling army and even defeated Umestil before she could escape to warn her ally. The party rescued the Kamilo Dann and her wounded survivors and convinced them to join the army. Eventually the Battle of Vilareth Ford became a metaphor for success against the demons and a sign of hope to those joining the Fifth Crusade.
Next the party arrived in Keeper's Canyon, and here the mass combat rules produced an unmitigated disaster. At first things seemed to go well, as the party got the drop on Exorius and struck the dretches effectively. Then it turned out that Tum-Tum (the half-ogre) was made commander as we went around the table, and the player gleefully ordered the troops to engage in a "reckless" strategy against the dretches, who were already aggressive. Unfortunately, although the dretches were almost destroyed, the dice rolls were 1 for the party and 19 for the tieflings, a massive differential leading to the near obliteration of the Knights of Kenabres. Ranoka (the paladin) rallied the remnants of the troops and the party formed up to protect an ordered retreat. We ended up fighting a tabletop combat between the party, 20 dretches, and Exorius. That was a great way to tie in standard play with mass combat and give the players a way to change defeat into victory. Nonetheless I ruled that the party's army had been reduced to 18 badly-wounded survivors: no longer an army. The victorious tieflings harried the survivors and picked through the dead as the party limped away. Thus the First Battle of Keeper's Canyon became known as a horrible defeat and setback for the Fifth Crusade.
Remembering that they had fought three other groups in Kenabres, the party retreated to the ruined city and recruited enough paladins to reform their army. Even though the players knew the defeat was the result of rolling a 1, the characters in the party resented Tum-Tum for calling a reckless strategy and resolved never to let him decide strategy again. The party returned to Keeper's Canyon and handily defeated the tieflings in the Second Battle of Keeper's Canyon.
At about this time, Ranoka the paladin followed Nurah Dendiwhar around the camp, detecting evil. Naturally she had taken a precaution against such a simple tactic, but she saw what he was doing and pretended to be doing the same -- claiming she had found evil in Aron Kir's tent. She led the paladin to the tent and, when he threw open the flap, he saw Aron Kir shooting up shadowblood. This led to a confrontation, with Nurah urging the party to arrest Aron Kir and Sosiel Vaenic standing up for his buddy while expressing disappointment that he'd started using again. Nurah made the point that the party could never trust Aron Kir again because even if he tried to go clean he could be tempted by a demon quite easily and would do anything for a fix. The party accepted the logic of her advice and put Aron under arrest, although they allowed Sosiel to become his warden. The party was not oblivious to Nurah's biting personality, but they felt she was offering good advice, plus they were accustomed to Horgus Gwerm exhibiting eccentric behavior, so they didn't suspect she had hatched the plot against Aron.
The fight for the lost chapel played out well for the party. Nulkineth and Maugla both had double max hit points but lost readily enough. Sorsha (cleric of Iomedae) discovered the troublemaker Arles Jhestander and corrected his negativity. The fight with the vescavors was likewise none to difficult for the party, with the vescavor queen having double max hit points as well. They closed the abyssal rift without incident.
Reaching Drezen at last, the party took the cemetery destroying the ghoul army in ranged combat before defeating the berbalang in the vault, then they wrenched Southbank from the tieflings and cultists, and finally they turned to Paradise Hill. At this point, Tum-Tum left and the druid Satvia took his place (the player had not realized this was a 1st to 20th level campaign and preferred a more complex and well0-rounded PC).
Unfortunately, the schir army at Paradise Hill got another lucky roll against the paladin army, wiping them out. I described how the demons hauled the wounded and helpless survivors into their dugouts beneath the hill, and screams of agony issued forth. The party followed the shirs into the dugouts and defeated scores of them in tabletop combat, eventually leading to a decisive battle against the vrock Pozlixt who had, as usual, double max hit points.
Although the party freed the mercenary army from the schirs, they realized that to complete the siege of Citadel Drezen they needed another paladin army from Kenabres, and they sent Sorsha and Ranoka back to recruit. I warned them that they were leaving Kenabres perilously undefended, but the party felt they had no other choice.
While those two were gone, Nurah Dendiwhar seduced the weak-willed Tum-Tum to here side, convincing him that his erstwhile companions had abandoned him because they couldn't see his inner goodness. After Tum-Tum smashed some of the defensive fortifications of the mercenary army, the party tracked him into the haunted vault and subdued him while Nurah turned invisible and escaped. The party banished Tum-Tum into the Worldwound, where (unknown to them at the time) he joined up with Nurah again and lay in wait.
The cleric and paladin returned with the third army. The party took the Ahari bridge, destroyed the watchtowers surrounding the citadel, and set about entering the citadel. This was when Soltengrebbe struck, again with double max hit points. The climactic battle ended in victory, although Irabeth was struck down and subsequently raised. The final battle for Drezen proved the party victorious, and the exploration of the citadel began shortly thereafter.
The party entered from the sky, choosing the southwest corner. During the fight with Jestak I became less enamored of the double max hit points idea because it seemed to drag on a pointless combat; she could hardly hit the characters, and they were pouring damage into her round after round without much suspense or interest. The hp idea worked for her because she was a barbarian, but I toned it down and just went with max hp for the rest of the adventure, except for the battles with Staunton Vhane and Eustoyriax.
When the party fought Staunton, they also faced Joran Vhane, several babaus, and a pair of half-fiend minotaurs all at once, but the large size of the party meant the battle quickly tilted in their favor. To make it more interesting, I gave Soulshear (Staunton's glaive) the ability to drain a level on a critical hit. That got the party's attention when their cleric took a negative level. Still, they won and found his journal, which became a constant point of reference for the rest of this adventure and well into Demon's Heresy.
Alerted of the shadow demon's presence below, and with Will Corgan's tracking ability detecting that the Sword of Valor lay in the dungeons, the party proceeded to the dungeon of Drezen. Here I used Eustoyriax's at will summon shadow ability to the maximum, filling the entire area with shadows. They only last for 10 rounds once summoned, and Sorsha's nearly constant application of protection from evil prevented their natural attacks from connecting, so they act more like scouts than combatants.
The party found the passage to the corruption forge and headed south, leaving the cells unexplored and the vampire Theruk Nul unmet. They had little trouble with the salamanders or Chorussina and her schirs, but when they came at last to Eustoyriax, they faced a truly climactic battle.
For the mythic shadow demon, to make it truly scary, I applied a mythic "path of the creature" rule: the mythic rank (or mythic tier) of a villain becomes a bonus to its AC, saving throws, attack rolls, damage, save DCs, CMB, CMD, and skill checks. This bolstered its magic jar ability to DC 28.
Eustoyriax got very lucky in winning initiative before Sorsha acted. She had neglected (!) to cast protection from evil communal before entering the creature's lair, so it used magic jar on her -- she was just in range. She failed the save and the demon began using her body to mock her values, especially her relationship with Irabeth. Not only that, the demon caused her to excrete shadowblood, and she even smeared this substance into Irabeth's mouth, causing the paladin to experience evil. Eventually, driven out of the cleric's body, the shadow demon seized the wizard Sergio's body. He would have preferred to druid Satvia but she was out of range. But at last he was driven from the wizard as well, and the demon was defeated.
Sorsha claimed the Sword of Valor used the Mythic Leadership feat to raise Irabeth to mythic power. The half-orc paladin acknowledged that some of what the demon had said in Sorsha's voice had moved her and stirred a truth she had not wanted to acknowledge ... that even though Irabeth is pledged to Anevia, she has curious feelings toward Sorsha, feelings she has tried to ignore, but hearing the demon profess desire for her had made her question herself. Now she felt it was perhaps best not to stay so close to Sorsha, as temptation might lead to downfall, should Irabeth ever give in. Sorsha assured her that this was all a trick of the demon, but Irabeth knows in her heart there is more to it. To Irabeth, Sorsha is practically an avatar or herald of Iomedae, and a kind of uncouth fascination with Sorsha's beauty can lead to perilous outcomes.
When at last the party returned to the army camp with the banner, Irabeth sank into Anevia's embrace. Sorsha told everything that had happened, and Anevia accepted it without jealousy, knowing that demons work to sow division among heroes.
|1 person marked this as a favorite.|
The party consists of:
Will Corgan, male half-dwarf (mul) ranger / champion (Stolen Fury)
Sorsha, female half-elf cleric of Iomedae / hierophant (Touched by Divinity)
Randall, male halfling rogue/wizard (universalist) / trickster (Chance Encounter)
Sergio Glassjaw, human wizard (universalist) / archmagi (Riftwarden Orphan)
Satvia Sinbacan, female elf druid (eventually of the Order of the Leaf) / hierophant (Child of the Crusades)
Ranoka, half-dragon (gold) paladin of Sarenrae / guardian (Exposed to Awfulness)
Iggy, male gnome fighter/sorcerer/rogue / champion (Stolen Fury)
The party includes these NPCs:
Patches, male dire lion animal companion of Satvia
Irabeth Tirabade, female half-orc paladin of Iomedae
Later they are joined by:
Arueshalae, female risen succubus master spy 6/trickster 3
Demon’s Heresy began with session 21. The PCs began the adventure at 9th level/3rd mythic tier.
Joined by the gnome artificer Iggy, the party set about rebuilding Drezen, starting by redeeming the corruption forge. Irabeth accepted the Queen’s appointment as mayor and agreed to stay in the town until the party discovered an area that required extensive exploration, whereupon she would rejoin them.
The group then decided to clear the hexes around the city while Iggy stayed behind to purify Soulshear, Staunton’s Vhane’s vile weapon. After a couple random encounters with a group of fallen and a foul coven, the party felt they had secured the immediate area. Meanwhile, the purified glaive Purity’s Suture turned out to have amazing properties against demons, including the ability to summon a planetar. The party, understanding the value of the new glaive, immediately sold it and used the proceeds to fund Iggy’s creation of whatever items they really wanted.
Although the glaive was sold to a crusader, at this time it is uncertain whether said crusader later fell prey to demons intent on taunting the mythic heroes. If so, the demons will undoubtedly convert Purity’s Suture back into an evil weapon, this time with even more power than the original.
The party’s trade in magical items required a steady flow of reagents and miscellaneous goods from Kenabres, but a dragon-like creature known as the woundwyrm had attacked several caravans, disrupting the flow of traffic. Joined by Iggy, the party set out to deal with this threat, but even with Will Corgan’s incredible tracking skill, they could not locate the woundwym on the road to Kenabres. Instead, they cleared the derakni from Eagle Rock, then found Wintersun Hall, where they barged in, killed all the barbarian guards, and confronted Marhevok Grunhul-Wintersun. Ranoka defeated the barbarian in single combat, while the party helped destroy the frost drake.
Using teleportation, Sergio ferried the party back to Drezen, but one of his trips went wrong. He ended up near a mausoleum bearing the family name of Sinbacan, the same as the party’s druid. After returning to Drezen and resting with the party, Sergio led the party back to the family crypt where they confronted the ghosts haunting Satvia’s past.
There followed a foray into the Marchlands to find the woundwyrm, with the party ready to return to Drezen with teleportation as necessary. The party had several random encounters during their travels, the most memorable being a group of four retrievers, who inflicted enough damage to make Iggy fear for his life.
Realizing the creature would be found west of the road, and led by dreams of the mul ranger, the party explored the area around the molten cascade, encountering the molten scar, where they saved Aruvashniel who had been abducted and was about to be sacrificed. Will Corgon killed the vrock and reclaimed the power that had been stolen from him. They stumbled on Delamere’s Tomb by accident and ended up redeeming Jesker Helton.
When they returned to Drezen, they learned that Anevia had discovered a secret temple not far from the town, in a hex the party had though they had cleared. Joined by Irabeth, the party cleared out the Fallen Fane. Sorsha realized she was the Inheritor’s Daughter, and Irabeth fell on her knees in awe. The news began to spread upon their return to Drezen, but Sorsha flubbed a few attempts to play up her newfound family connections, and the commonfolk were divided on whether this was mere puffery or if she was really semi-divine by birth.
Still accompanied by Irabeth, the party then tracked the woundwyrm down finally, killing Scorizscar. Iggy reclaimed his stolen fury thereby, and all the party enjoyed looting the creature’s lair. They found the letter Trever Vaenic had written to his brother and returned to see Sosiel Vaenic immediately. Sosiel, having assumed the role of vice-mayor while Irabeth was adventuring, proclaimed the following day Trever’s Day in honor of his brother.
Randall had visions of his strange benefactor calling out to him. Unsure what this meant, but desperate to find out, he enlisted the aid of the party. Soon they discovered and attacked Arueshalae’s Redoubt. The party made use of the features such as the hallowed and forbidden areas to make short work of the annis cleric and various scavengers.
Arueshalae proved to be a likeable companion, once the party accepted that she was genuinely interested in redemption, and the paladin confirmed she had no evil intentions in her soul. She offered to aid her skill with the bow and her charm abilities to the party’s arsenal, and they accepted. She formed a bond with Sergio Glassjaw and granted him a boon.
Returning to Drezen, the party kept the succubus out of town (she said she could disguise herself and enter town with the party, but doing so would be dishonest and might rouse the people to rage if they found out they’d been deceived). They discovered another horror: during their adventure to rescue Arueshalae, Aron Kir had been abducted.
They set off immediately to find him, Will Corgan tracking him to the Greengate gorge and the entrance to the Ivory Sanctum. The party defeated the basilisks readily, but, in an interesting turn of events, Sorsha accidentally destroyed one of the humanoid statues. When the party used the basilisk blood to restore the petrified people, the destroyed one turned out to be an innocent young girl, the daughter of a couple who had been chased into this dead-end and then turned to stone.
Sorsha used a resurrection scroll to restore her from the dead. The girl opened her eyes, sat up, and proclaimed Sorsha “the Daughter of Valor and the Child of the Sword Light.” The people, who had been worshippers of Iomedae, immediately joined in with her admiration. In short order, these became the foundation of the Order of the Daughter, a Lawful Good cult based out of the fane near Drezen.
The battle to rescue Aron Kir, shut down the Ivory Sanctum, and confront Xanthir Vang occupied four sessions and the party only rested once, for one hour, to recover hit points. The party had little trouble with templars, blackfire adepts, half-fiend minotaurs, kalavakus demons, locust swarms, or the coloxus, but an encounter with two specially advanced neh-thalggu rocked them back. Beyond the neh-thalggu, the party freed Aron Kir and Sorsha healed the damage done to his brain (he had been partially lobotomized), but the party did not exactly save him.
When the party encountered a gang of templars and blackfire adepts on the west side of the sanctum, these foul creatures summoned a third specially advanced neh-thalggu that dimension doored to the party’s rear guard and wrecked havoc. Aron Kir died to a death effect (mythic circle of death), and Sorsha had to use her last resurrection scroll to revive him. After that, Irabeth agreed to depart with Aron Kir and head toward Drezen, so as to avoid the dangers of the Ivory Sanctum.
Jerribeth, advanced to make her a challenge, proved daunting to the party at first, but Sergio got off a lucky dismissal spell and sent her back to the Abyss. Having read the caveat at the beginning of Midnight Isles (where dismissal can be used by demons against PCs, the GM should prepare ways to return dismissed PC back into the action quickly), I applied the same rule to Jerribeth. The party did enjoy a short breather before she returned, but when she came back, she had rallied several templars to her side, and she was wary enough to teleport away once it became clear the party was simply was simply going to hack her to death. She remains a loose end.
The party retreated and rested for an hour before returning and exploring the northmost passage. The specially advanced thanadaemon was not a big threat in itself, but because Sorsha had neglected(!) to cast death ward on her companions, the energy drain trap proved unsettling. Sergio reclaimed his family heirloom, a blessed book with all spells of levels 4 through 6. When the party turned to the southwest of the temple, closing in on Xanthir Vang, they had a minor struggle with the deraknis because the party was running out of resources.
Even without most of their spells and with only a few points of mythic power left, the party pressed on. They opened the door to Xanthir Vang’s room. The worm that walks used an illusionary projection to mock the party and banter with them while he rallied the last four blackfire adepts, established telepathic communication with them, and prepared
several surprises for the party.
Most important of his mocks was this: “While you’ve been wasting your time here, I have captured your precious Citadel Drezen. Even now, your erstwhile companion Tum-Tum, and his lover, the halfling bard Nurah Dendiwahr, stand within the walls of the Citadel, together with my lieutenant, who will make sure your army of paladins does not interfere. Your Sword of Valor has fallen, fools.”
First he activated a special forbiddance effect to prevent the party from escaping by teleportation or dimension door, but without restricting the ability of Chaotic Evil characters to use extradimensional travel. He then used a mythic conjuration to send his two retrievers into flanking positions north and south of the party. The retrievers occupied the party, particularly on the south, whether the creature bit and grabbed Randall, then proceeded to pin him before he escaped; though in his escape he provoked an attack of opportunity, got bit, and was again grabbed. His freedom only came when Iggy and Will Corgan killed the construct.
Xanthir Vang used greater invisbility and hovered above the party while the blackfire adepts showered glitterdust on the characters, exposing all their invisible characters. Xanthir Vang used disintegration on Sergio but the wizard avoided the worst of the beam. As part of his mythic advancement, Xanthir Vang could cast mythic magic missile once a round as a swift action without expending any mythic power. I assumed this would inflict 35 hp on average or 50 hp if it was maximized with his rod. Each round he focused all his magic missiles on Sergio Glassjaw.
The blackfire adepts attempted to harm the characters, but they had little effect. Arueshalae, having won initiative in this combat, managed to cast charm monster on one of them before hostilities commenced, sowing doubt in the adept’s mind about whether the party was really a party of demons and this was all a big misunderstanding. The other three adepts fell quickly to the party’s concerted attacks once they finished the retrievers.
Sorsha used invisbility purge to expose Xanthir Vang, and Satvia cast mythic baleful polymorph on him to turn him into a naked mole rat. He saved and suffered a partial transformation. In keeping with his wormy powers, the polymorph only affected a single worm out of the tens of thousands that make up the villain. That worm, now somewhat naked mole rat-shaped, ran off into the dungeon as Xanthir mocked the druid, “You have secured my victory, fool! Even if you strike me down, from that single worm I shall return!”
To make him more of a challenge, Xanthir Vang had been altered to summon only good creatures, so he summoned a lillend azata followed by a bralani azata. He threw a cloudkill in the center of the room to slow the party down. Luckily Sorsha had spell resistance the worm did not overcome, so she was completely immune to the poison cloud while everyone else took at least a few points of Constitution damage. Sergio fell, was healed, and fell again until Arueshalae and her charmed blackfire adept dragged him out of the cloud. Xanthir then focused his magic missiles on Randall, who, having been injured by the retriever’s bite and grab, fell to unconsciousness.
When at last the remaining members of the party brought down Xanthir Vang, he split into two equal parts. His equipment teleported away at this point, so he became much easier to hit, but each of his two parts could cast mythic magic missile once a round. The party quickly realized they would be in for trouble if he split into four, eight, et cetera. Desperate for a solution, they searched through their powers and spells remaining.
Sorsha had a stone shape spell. Using her intelligence to discern how she could cause the most damage with this spell, she realized she could destroy one support column and cause the entire Sanctum to collapse. She triggered this cataclysm as the only way to defeat Xanthir Vang, even though it inflicted 18d6 hp of damage on everyone in the sanctum (Ref save DC 21 half). The collapse destroyed the rest of the worms but also killed both Sergio and Randall, as well as the charmed blackfire adept.
Randall was reincarnated as an orc the next day, but the fate of Sergio remains unknown.
As the dust settled, the party understood they had little time to waste in returning to Drezen. Tum-Tum, a ferocious half-ogre with a magic flail and mythic power, could pose quite a threat by himself, but bolstered by a bard and mysterious lieutenant, who knows what he might have wrecked?
Demon’s Heresy ended at the close of session 30. The PCs ended the adventure at 12th level/5th mythic tier.
Making easy encounters challenging requires raising the CR of encounters to match the power level of the PCs. This is especially true with mythic rules. Some builds seem unfair but the players have a blast playing them. For example, Iggy uses the proven combination of titan’s bane, a Small character, reduce person, and sneak attack. Satvia uses mythic baleful polymorph to one-shot big bad opponents, as well as combination of powers on fire seeds to inflict hundreds of points of damage on anyone who lacks sufficient resistance to fire. Will Corgan and Ranoke, who have more or less standard builds for an anti-evil-outsider ranger and a paladin, seem overshadowed by comparison.
I benefit from reading the experiences of the others with Mythic Adventures and Wrath of the Righteous. Many people have commented that Mythic Adventures makes the game far too easy for the PCs. Knowing that, I devised many ways to up the CR of encounters. Some techniques work better than others, so its an ongoing experiment. The game sessions are my lab.
At around session 24, I asked my players how hard they want the game to be. From their response, I realized the CR of encounters lags by the same number as the mythic tier of the party – at least throughout this module. I expect it will get worse in the upcoming modules, but my nasty path of the creature abilities will keep the game tough enough to entertain the players without making it impossible.
All this leads me to believe Mythic Adventures could be rehabilitated by teaching GMs how to alter encounters on the fly to make them more fun. I’m convinced that the lofty heights of PC power allowed by these rules disrupt the ability of an encounter designer to pre-determine the correct CR based on APL, since mythic powers vary so widely in applicability and usefulness, often depending on the situation.
Nonetheless, in the hands of a skilled GM with a plan for handling the problems others have documented, the first half of the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path has proven to be an outstanding success.
The Midnight Isles
The party includes these NPCs:
The party consists of:
Will Corgan, male half-dwarf (mul) ranger / champion
Sorsha, female half-elf cleric of Iomedae / hierophant
Randall, male orc (originally a halfling) rogue/wizard (universalist) / trickster
Satvia Sinbacan, female elf druid (Order of the Leaf) / hierophant
Ranoke, male half-dragon (gold) paladin of Sarenrae / guardian
Iggy, male gnome fighter/sorcerer/rogue / champion
Will Corgan: A mul is a rare half-human, half-dwarf hybrid. Usually this combination is impossible, but with powerful magic it can be done. Tragically, Will’s father served the demon army and forced a captured crusader woman to give birth while magically controlled by the demons. He sold the baby to a wealthy merchant family in Kenabres who worked for the demons, so the boy would be raised as a guard. When Will reached adulthood, the cultists ensorcelled him, led him into the Wordwound, and underwent an ill-advised ritual to absorb his mul power. Rather than surrender, Will burst free of the charms and tore open the cage of a half-ogre, who then went on a rampage, killing the cultists. Will freed the other prisoners and escaped, returning to Kenabres. The gnome Iggy owes him his freedom, and the helpful half-ogre, Tum Tum, traveled with Will briefly. Tum Tum turned against the party and Satvia burned him to death with fire seeds. Throughout this adventure, Will continues the fight against the forces that bred and captured him.
Sorsha: Having learned the truth of her birth, with a new flock of devotees who believe her to be the Divine Daughter of Iomedae, Sorsha loses control in a whirlpool of new challenges. Her companions, jealous of her stature, demand that she step down as party leader and allow Will Corgan to lead. They bicker with her about the good or evil of selling magic items that could be used against the crusaders, and Sorsha’s cohort, Irabeth Tirabade, even questions her judgment. In addition to headaches from her companions, at the end of this adventure she realizes her heritage comes with a price and not just power. The final encounter with Hepzamirah proves once again that her mother’s enemies desire to destroy Sorsha. Now it becomes clear they want to kill her in order to absorb her power, and, more terrifyingly, the daughter of Baphomet comes close to accomplishing her goal. More powerful enemies await in the future.
Randall: Rather than use mythic power to sustain his life, the halfling accepted death and reincarnation as an orc; during this adventure he does so again and becomes a gnoll. This transformation endears him to the risen succubus Arushalae, who once shepherded Randall to safety when he was a youngling lost in the Worldwound. Randall receives not only her anarchic gift but the tenderness and curiosity of her heart as well. His relationship with her blossoms at the end of this adventure and adds richness and relevance to her background.
Satvia Sinbacan: This shy elf woman prefers to keep herself perfectly hidden. In the form of a phantom fungus, she uses greater invisibility on herself almost all the time. Because she wears the legendary headband of the Green Leaf druid, she is undetectable by divinations and other standard means of defeating invisibility. Nonetheless, her powerful baleful polymorph and fire seeds attacks draw the attention of powerful enemies who take pains to keep their eye on her even when she thinks she’s hidden, as she later learns. Aware that someone will always be watching, she makes a fateful choice and gains a new ally during this adventure.
Ranoke: The half-gold-dragon paladin finds himself tested not so much by the environment but by the moral decay of his fellow party members as the temptations and challenges of the Abyss set in. The other characters’ propensity to ignore the long-term consequences of their actions and to surrender their better judgment to greed and lust, as well as the willingness of Sorsha to accommodate such sinful behavior, frustrates him to no end. Irabeth Tirabade often adds her voice to his, but the two paladins can see the only valid resolution would require breaking apart the party, which is unacceptable in the face of dangers and the greater good they can accomplish by staying together. Grudgingly, the half-gold-dragon paladin accepts his place in the party by the end of this adventure, but he never surrenders his right to critique the moral failings of his companions or berate them for sliding into evil.
Iggy: Iggy has little chance to employ his beloved crafting skills once the party sets out for the Midnight Fane, and even when the party has free time in Alushinyrra , they find it easier and more efficient to buy items than to construct them. Having mastered the art of tiny fighting, Iggy consistently demonstrates his gnat-like ability to dart around man-sized and larger foes, poking them with so many holes they sluice out their life blood in a matter of moments. Always loyal to his allies, Iggy pledges his allegiance to Will, going so far as to change his alignment to match that of his friend.
These NPCs accompany the party.
Arueshalae, female risen succubus master spy 6 / trickster, fond of Randall
Patches, male dire lion, animal companion of Satvia
Irabeth Tirabade, female half-orc paladin of Iomedae, cohort of Sorsha
Arueshalae: Born the daughter of Nocticula and the deposed incubus Ziforian, Arushalae had always been a favorite of her mother until she ran away from home and began worshipping Desna. When she returns to the Abyss in this adventure, her presence instantly draws Nocticula’s notice, When they meet, the demon lord considers allowing her daughter to go free, worship Desna, and rise out of her demonic ties to the Abyss. By the end of the adventure, Nocticula finally allows Arueshalae to return to the Prime and complete her redemption. Arueshalae has avoided physical intimacy for fear of draining the life energy of her mortal lover, but once she completes her redemption by wedding Randall in the eyes of Desna and the party’s companions, she will be freed of her curse and can make love normally.
Patches: Once a wolf, now a dire lion, Patches has one true ambition, to return to his original state. This desire and the knowledge that his mistress Satvia can reincarnate him should he die drives him mad with fury, and he eventually becomes a barbarian. Patches thus has no concern for his own safety, but so far the more powerful enemies of the party have avoided slaying him, focusing instead on the humanoid party members. Patches hopes to correct this injustice with claws and jaws.
Irabeth Tirabade: The first and most loyal devotee of Sorsha, Irabeth has followed her companion faithfully thus far and continues to do so as they enter the Abyss together. She owes Sorsha an unpayable debt for the mythic power they won during the Battle of Drezen, and, being a paladin, Irabeth must use that power to help the party defeat Deskari and close the Worldwound for good. Like the half-gold-dragon paladin Ranoake, the party’s casual acceptance of evil and injustice flusters her. She finds her trust in Sorsha strained at times, and even sides against her friend in the vote to make Will Corgan leader, citing the necessity of religious independence from martial decision-making, a curious argument from a follower of Iomedae. By the end of the adventure, Irabeth has weathered the worst of her conflict with Sorsha, and she dedicates herself to her friend whole-heartedly once again as they return to the Prime.
The Midnight Isles began with session 31. The PCs began the adventure at 12th level/5th mythic tier.
Session 31: Upon learning of the imminent arrival of Queen Galfrey of Mendev, the party devoted their first burst of mythic energy to the arduous task of cleaning up Drezen to make it presentable. When she arrived and explained the mission, Randall insisted that Arushalae accompany them, and Galfrey recoiled. Sorsha’s quick diplomacy explained the succubus’s quest for redemption in terms acceptable to the Queen, and, along with a couple of the Queen’s guards, they soon all wind walked to the Midnight Fane together. Session 31 ended with Mutasafen fleeing for his life with Patches in hot pursuit while Queen Galfrey urged Sorsha and the others to rally and wipe out the rest of the opponent on this side of the rift.
Session 32: Minagho emerged as a clever opponent who eluded death at the party’s hands and escaped through the rift. The party rescued Yaniel, and Irabeth offered to give back her armor, but was refused. The crusader bestowed her sword Radiance to the half-orc and joined Queen Galfrey’s guards outside the Fane. After wiping out Ursathella and the thugs, with some cool knockbacks of the royal monarch into the grinder, Galfrey and Sorsha worked together to close the rift, with the party putting Ibaheniel to a quick end.
Session 33: When Arushalae first set foot on her birth plane, she spoke a short prayer, just name of her goddess, Desna. Her mother heard her favored scion speak this insolent blasphemy and answered in her own way, blowing away the darkness and clouds to reveal a beautiful star-filled night, just as Desna might – but only for a second before laughing at the deception and allowing the true sky of her Midnight Isles to appear again. She whisked away Arushalae and allowed the party to solve the riddle of the Vasglar Shrine, but once they arrived in Alushinyrra, Arushalae returned to them. She explained that her mother had effectively disowned her and would not speak with Arushalae or her friends until they gained enough notoriety – and her mother had dropped hints that she expected something truly impressive.
Arushalae told the party her plan, to find her father Ziforian, assuming he was still alive, and restore him as seneschal of Alushinyrra. Since, when it comes to tools that may be useful later, Nocticula tends to lock them away safely rather than destroy them, Arushalae suspected her father was indeed still living. If the party could gain enough notoriety to win access to the House of Silken Shadows – a preliminary to anyone hoping to meet the demon lord herself – Arushalae could coax one of her sisters, a sightless oracle, into divining and revealing her father’s location. Then the party could rescue him, restore him, and get on Nocticula’s good side. The party liked this plan, and it unfolded as described.
The party enjoyed the immensity and depravity of Alushinyrra, including some random encounters with demons selling slaves and daemons ferrying skiffs of souls to their torment along the city roads. At first the party gained notoriety for showing their true colors and getting into fights, and then they ended up going after Minagho.
Will Corgan had used create treasure map on skin taken from the corpse of Ursathella, which led the party to the lamia’s apartment in Alushinyrra. There they found a crystal ball with a green leaf inside it, which their enemies had been using to spy on the party – specifically on Satvia, as the item overcame her legendary item’s undetectable ability. After destroying the thing, they were about to leave when the party met Nezirrius. The half-invidiak ankou struck a deal, offering to find Minagho’s location for the party in exchange for a +3 unholy scythe that Nezirrius had long coveted and the party now possessed.
Session 34: The party had to wait for Nezirrius to get results, so they set about winning the day at Battlebliss. Even getting to the famed arena involved encounters with powerful demons such a shemazarian, but the party had no trouble defeating such opposition. In their battle against Gelderfang, the entire spectacle would have been over in a few seconds had not a spectator interfered. The spectator at first seemed to be the Ardent Dream, Shamira, a bold and lethal ruse, but she quickly became apparent as Minagho, the lilutu demon ruler of Raliscrad whom the party was hunting. She teleported to her hideout before they could catch her, but Nezirrius had tracked her successfully.
Session 35: The party went to battle their enemy at Minagho’s hideout. Again, she used deception to lure the party down a deep, spiral ramp to an underground chamber, where they thought they would find her true form. Instead, they encountered a decoy husk left behind as Minagho teleported to the top of the long ramp and the husk invoked a dimensional lock immediately after. Nezirrius, having been lured along with the party, tried to make a deal with the lilutu, but the party could not abide such treachery and killed the half-ividiak ankou. The rear guard of the party, Arushalae and Ranoke, fought Minagho as best they could while the others returned, and Ranoke smites proved the end of the lilutu.
Session 36: The party learned from the blind succubus oracle that Ziforian was in the Undersump. As price for this knowledge, Will Corgan had to provide his services to the blind oracle, an act that had interesting repercussions. They followed a passage in the city’s sewers into the sewage-stained lobby of a bizarre luxury hotel called Sump Tower, staffed by succubi, where everything was both beautiful and somehow stained with sewage. They were told Ziforian was a special guest of Mr. Sump, and his room number was 1304, on the 13th floor. When they took the elevators there, an ambush ensued, consisting of a colonized creature made of putrid oozes, four marilith demons and all their summoned babaus, and a clever black pudding named Seymour.
Session 37: The party entered the penthouse, plundered Mr. Sump’s treasure, fought off a colossal Iathavos qlippoth, and then found Ziforian and Mr. Sump lounging on the beach of a sewage-filled ocean. The real estate tycoon refused to allow his friend to return to the Midnight Isles unless the party gave him all their treasure, but they bargained him down. Eventually he agreed to let Ziforian go back if the party would hand out brochures to his new beachside hotel. The hotel wasn’t doing as well as he had hoped for some reason, even though Mr. Sump compelled all his own demonic followers to spend all their time off there. The party passed an extra mythic trial by negotiating successfully with Mr. Sump. (Although the name was never mentioned, Mr. Sump is, in fact, the demon lord Jubilex.)
Session 38: The party returned triumphantly to Alushinyrra in session eight to find that to no one’s surprise Shamira little loved the return of Ziforian. Despite his cowardice in the ensuing battle, after Shamira’s inevitable defeat at the hands of the mythic heroes, Ziforan became the new celebrity lover of everyone’s favorite demon lord. The party received the coveted invitation to visit Nocticula personally in the Vault of Graves. There, all the Prime party members accepted the demon lord’s gift of 15,000 gp, taking this value in gems rather than magic items, except Ranoke and Irabeth, who abstained, and Satvia and Patches, who asked for more. In a private erotic ceremony, the Queen of Succubi bestowed her gift of profane ascension on both the druid and her animal companion, marking them as tainted and allowing her to read Satvia’s mind and see through Satvia’s eyes as she pleased, no matter the undetectable ability of her legendary item.
Session 39: The party traveled to Colyphr, where they fought their way to Kestoglyr’s barge.
Session 40: Will Corgan had been detained by the blind succubus oracle, who apparently had not understood that muls are sterile. She had foreseen herself having the hero’s child, so she insisted he had cheated her, even though he fulfilled his end of the bargain. Now he rejoined the party through Nocticula’s gate. Randall animated the water orm that had previously towed the barge and the party made their way to the river gate, where they encountered four catoblepases in addition to demoniacs and hezrous.
Session 41: The Fulsome Queen spoke to the party, offering to help them if they would eliminate Melazimira and the ants crawling in the tunnels below. Although suspicious that she would betray them, the party accepted her offer, and she told them a prophecy: “No man or woman born of mortal womb shall send great Hepzamirah to her tomb; the daughter of the goat-faced lord need fear neither spell nor sword –” and then she giggled. “The daughter of Baphomet knows that prophecy. That much I told her, that much she believes, but there’s more: Hepzamirah ... need fear neither spell nor sword, save from she who will lay the daughter low, the woman born of a goddess who will strike the telling blow.” She went on to explain that this wasn’t a prophecy of Hepzamirah’s death, exactly, but of her defeat, and that either Sorsha or Arushalae might be said to have been born of a goddess, which gives the Fulsome Queen hope they will fulfill the prophecy.
In the dragon’s lair, the party encountered two adult dragons, blue and red, consorts of Melazimirah. The entropic umbral dragon returned to her lair during the fight, the corpse of one of the catoblepases in her jaws. Once she and the blue dragon were killed and the red driven off, the party descended the shaft, obliterating the kavalakus demons operating the winch in the Temple of Baphomet, but not before the demons cried out telepathically for help from all their brethern. The session ended with doors opening all around the party as demons poured forth.
Session 42: As soon became apparent from the Abyssal shrieks of excited demons, Hepzamirah had promised four hours of planned time off to anyone who kills one of the party members. Thus motivated, Kralisq, the advanced glabrezu, sent his three servants, advanced succubi, to use their dominate person ability against the party. When he ascertained the party would most likely bombard him with an area effect spell, he shut the door to his room, cast veil to appear as a prisoner, and teleported to the sacrifice storage, where he pretended to be one of the victims, frequently calling to the heroes for help. However, after the first two gibrileths emerged and failed to harm the party before dying, the kalavakus Xuneki sealed off the sacrifices by leading his dretches into a bombardment of stinking clouds which had little effect other than to block line of sight and slow movement.
Early in the battle, Sorsha felt like a tug and heard a bell ring. She realized that a cleric of Iomedae on her home plane had cast summon greater planar ally, and, because Sorsha was on another plane, she could respond to the spell’s hook. She opted not to, since her current mission preoccupied her, and she was relieved to notice some other entity responded to the summons.
The two half-fiend mythic minotaurs occupied the melee combatants while Hepzamirah made her way into the shaft below the party and stayed suspended in air outside the range of their vision. She cast mythic blade barrier, greatly injuring Sorsha, Irabeth, and Ranoke. No one knew where she was or where her spells were coming from. She used blade barrier to trap anyone who started off over the pit, moving the mythic version of the blades up and down in a sweep, which caught Satvia and almost killed her as well. Within a couple rounds, both the cleric and the druid were unconscious. Meanwhile, the tiefling demoniacs poured out negative energy to force the spell casters to expend mythic power or die, even at the cost of their own lives. One of the tieflings screamed, “Yes mistress! We will force them to use their power so you can absorb it!”
Things looked bleak for the party when Sorsha fell. Ranoke grabbed her to convey her out from the shaft, but Hepzamirah dispelled his air walk while he and Sorsha were flying above four blade barriers. The resulting drop cost Sorsha even more mythic power, but finally revealed to the party where their main foe was hiding, down the shaft and out of sight of the party’s 60-foot darkvision. She continued to throw blade barriers and flame strikes at the party, but especially at Sorsha. Ranoke bravely chanelled energy to revive the cleric, but once she was conscious, he tried to fight Hepzamirah in melee. Sadly, Blancher scored two critical hits and used the foe-biting ability to double its damage both times, eliminating the paladin with one full attack.
Helpless, with only a few hit points remaining, Sorsha faced defeat. She flattered Hepzamirah, saying there was no need to kill of her companions. Hepzamirah agreed that if Sorsha came willingly to her fate, she would call off her forces. Sorsha surrendered, and Hepzamirah kept her word – but not before she effectively sealed off the shaft with numerous blade barriers.
Hepzamirah dragged Sorsha down to the lower tunnels and threw her into the disposal pool so the fiendish rot grub swarms could finish her. The daughter of Baphomet settled on the lip of the cave above and gloated. Sorsha remembered, though, that she held the talisman of pure good. Fingering the charm, she invoked its power. As Iomedae was known for her loyalty to her companions and their loyalty to her, the effectiveness of the talisman was confirmed by Sorsha vouching for the party and the party vouching for her. Hepzamirah fell into the crack at her feet.
Arushalae then heard the whispered call of Nocticula, and warned the party to follow her through her mother’s shadow road, which opened in the chambers above. The party stepped through, emerging near the site of the disposal pool so they could see Hepzamirah slide into the ground, but they were still cloaked in shadows.
Hepzamirah’s father then appeared, killing her to absorb her power. Baphomet laid bare his plans: his forces had attacked on the Prime while the party was engaged here, and they had captured the herald of Iomedae. Now, infused with the power of his daughter, Baphomet had come to take a second beloved prize from the goddess: her daughter Sorsha, and after he devoured her, he would stalk down and eat all her friends.
Nocticula struck, bending time to fill the unwanted visitor with so many crossbow quarrels that when she revealed to him the symbol of death on her wings and pointed at him with her finger of death, he knew his end was at hand, and only the power of Abyssal Regeneration allowed Baphomet to slink back to his tower in Blackburgh among the bones of his ivory labyrinth, there to await vengeance in the next adventure.
The party accepted Nocticula’s congratulations and assurances she would not allow further plundering of crystals from her plane. They returned home through her magic and learned that Baphomet’s boast was true: demonic forces had waged a surprise attack on Nerosyan, and the high priest of Iomedae had summoned the Herald of Iomedae, only to have this powerful being captured by an ambush of demons dedicated to that specific task. What comes next is the subject of the next adventure.
The Midnight Isles ended at the close of session 42. The PCs ended the adventure at 15th level/7th mythic tier.
Since the Midnight Isles begins the second half of the campaign, player characters now finish developing background mysteries and begin to approach resolution. Likewise, NPCs who accompany the party have clear motivations that will continue to guide their behavior until the end of the adventure path.
The party of 6 PCs and 3 NPCs in my campaign demand upgraded opposition. Adding the mythic tier of the party to most aspects of their opponents and making enemies’ hit points max, double max, or more keeps combats in the right range for this group. Most of the time the players experience the joys of overwhelming tactical advantages. For the bosses, I altered enemies and bent rules as necessary to surprise, entertain, and challenge the players.
I made Minagho’s ability to combine husk and spell-like abilities more seamless than the rules envision. This allowed her to escape certain death in the Midnight Fane and even threaten to trap the party when they tried to finish her in her own lair.
I gave Hepzamirah several abilities in addition to adding the party’s mythic tier to most aspects of her stats. She had enough hit points to survive five full rounds of an assault by the party, but to enforce the prophecy all damage inflicted by any single attack or spell was capped at 1 hp per die, multiplied by the critical modifier if it scored a critical hit.
I added everything in session 36 and 37 as well as the story of Ziforian as Arueshalae's father and Nocticula as her mother. The side trek to the Undersump is my own invention, called Arueshalae's Family Reunion.
For the last two sessions, Arueshalae gained a gift from her mother: the legendary Voidstar Nightbow. Using the mythic rules for legendary items, her starbow became an intelligent, spellcasting item. Combining greater invisibility and the undetectable ability makes her much more powerful as a military ally of the party. In addition, I gave her all ten levels of master spy and then gave her four more levels of shadow dancer, adjusting her skills as necessary to qualify for the prestige class.
In the next module, I intend to keep the combats fast paced and exciting by limiting the hit points of enemies but enhancing their threat in various ways. I had devised more cruel methods to torment the players than I ended up using, so those arrows are still in my quiver for the Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth.