DrMathison.org Forum: Eberron Follies -- Eberron - what next? (3 posts)
  thread created on 9/20/08 at 21:06
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drmathison       (9/20/08 at 21:06)
Eberron - what next?
Quoth Dave:
Quote:
Things left to do in order to get the machine going:

- Recover Fernia orb: guarded by a half-fiend black dragon and an army of fanatical lizardmen
- Recover Irian orb: somewhere in the clutches of the Blood of Vol
- Secure the machine: somewhere in a city full of degenerate elves built in/under an artificial island

Other issues:
- The Preceptor: where is he and what is he up to?
- The Bell of Ashtakala: what's going on with that? Is Kurt going to end the world by accident?
- The Thing in the Door: it's still there, still bad, still might get out
- The Mantle of Mourning: there's a hobgoblin running around with an artifact dedicated to the god of skinning people (seems to be a thing with badguys)
- The Helmsman: Lord Merriwinkle claims that this has been dealt with. Just thought I'd throw it on here.
- Guntram Von Kleist and his sleeping apprentice: where'd the epic wizard go?
- The Lords of Dust: probably not happy with you after you banished a rajah back into his volcano (also see: bell of ashtakala)
- Whatever is in that statue in the basement of Von Kleist Manor... it's prison isn't looking as solid as one might like

Soooo... we probably won't play for a while, since the next time I will be heading up is around October 4th for Gozer's nuptuals, and I just don't see us playing that weekend. However, it'd be good to have some kind of idea what you guys want to get up to next so I can plan for it. Any ideas?
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drmathison       (9/21/08 at 12:56)
Re: Eberron - what next?
I'm of two minds about Vol... On the one hand, I don't want to try to get her orb and wind up fighting her in her base. On the other hand, I don't want to go after the other orb and have her show up to take a shot at us when we are "done" with that fight and low on resources. (I was convinced that was what was happening this time when those emerald claw assholes showed up...but I guess we lucked out?)

So I don't know what we should go after next. If we go after the machine itself, we will lose the initiative in the sense that we will then have another stationary base that we have to defend, and that the bad guys can attack whenever they feel like. So maybe it's best to leave that for last, when we can make sure to be there more often.

Here's something to look into (speak with dead, spies/bribes, divinations, etc): How did those emerald claw guys know where and when we were going to be? I can try scrying some of the guys who got away to see what they are up to.

Mathison is willing to put some money into an "adamantite greatsword +3 fund" or something if that will be less likely to end the world. Think of all of the fun you could have... it would even be possible to apply an "align weapon: good" oil to that for piercing DR! Then we could put a permanent obscure object on the bell and dump it in a lead vault somewhere inside the planar seal... or maybe destroy it or something if I don't think that would be "bad". I'm sure pliers could
get lots of XPs out of that thing...

What is the Mantle of Mourning?

Another thought: I am thinking about putting 9 grand into trying to research a 9th level "discern location"- or scrying- type spell that can pierce mind blank. I don't know if that would work, but if it did it would let us clear up a lot of outstanding issues (helmsman, priest of the keeper, preceptor, maximilian zeigler, etc).

I guess if we have some downtime, I may as well scry Ajar Shef and those dolgant monk assholes who got away from dr owlbear's tower, just in case it turns up anything interesting. (any objections?)
Edited by: drmathison
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drmathison       (2/15/09 at 10:51)
Re: Eberron - what next?
The rest of this thread:


Ed:
Quote:
I am all about doing the dragon mission before Vol. I doubt she has many more 19th level monk duelist superfreaks to send at us. I also fully support getting the machine last.
I would not be opposed to cleaning up some of the loose ends Dave mentioned first, like something about a baddie trapped in a statue in a basement, hunting down (and maybe getting more bio-engineered organs from) Kurt's great-grandfather, checking up on the Pre(er?)ceptor, etc. At some point I should also go whack that gnome that killed my brother, though I don't know that it requires in-game time.
Yeah. Gotta go back to work now. More thoughts next break.
Quote:
- The Preceptor: where is he and what is he up to?
I'd like to know. Let's track down another chamber pot.

- The Bell of Ashtakala: what's going on with that? Is Kurt going to end the world by accident?
I honestly have no idea what this is all about. Weren't we waiting to end the world with the planar machine? I feel that if the sword's use will end the world, we're gonna have to take it from Kleist, 'cause he probably isn't worried about it.

- The Thing in the Door: it's still there, still bad, still might get out
I say we capture somebody and throw 'em in there to see what happens. Preferably the Preceptor or the Helmsman.

- The Mantle of Mourning: there's a hobgoblin running around with an artifact dedicated to the god of skinning people (seems to be a thing with badguys)
I'd like to get this. This was the genesis of me getting a ring of feather fall, 'cause the guy wearing it jumped overboard and died, and by the time we got to his corpse somebody else had already robbed him of this item. The whole jumping off of Kleist Tower just sealed the deal.


- The Helmsman: Lord Merriwinkle claims that this has been dealt with. Just thought I'd throw it on here.
I still say we bullrush him into the Door with it configured to trap him in the Quori room.

- Guntram Von Kleist and his sleeping apprentice: where'd the epic wizard go?
I also have no idea about this sleeping apprentice. Who is he/she/it? But my prior statement stands.

- The Lords of Dust: probably not happy with you after you banished a rajah back into his volcano (also see: bell of ashtakala)
Unless we can just go kill these guys, I don't see that there's much we can do about them. I would say we could give them back the Bell as some sort of peace offering, but honestly, fuck 'em. I mean, are the Lords of Dust really the type of guys we want to be happy with us?

- Whatever is in that statue in the basement of Von Kleist Manor... it's prison isn't looking as solid as one might like.
So there's something imprisoned in a statue in the basement of Von Kleist Manor? I also have no idea about this. I hope it's a vampire remorhaz.


Dave:
Quote:
Preliminary investigation/divination reveals that:

- The heads of Sgt. Vorj Colworn (the sorcerer you just killed) and Colonel Bram Balog claim that the Emerald Claw had already located the Temple of the Dreaming Serpent and had set up a watch on the entrance (with someone who could see invisible), figuring you guys would show up and do your thing. Both of them were hired immediately after the debacle at the volcano of the rakshasa rajah.

- The head of Herzog Joseph Von Zu Loran is not forthcoming. It merely laughs and promises vengeance.

- The head of Markgraf Alberich Drescher is in far too many soggy pieces to talk to you.

- Lord Merriwinkle has sent you a memo to forget about the Helmsman for now. That's an order.

- Baron Ajar Sheth, Guntram Von Kleist, Prince Damien ir'Wynarn (the Preceptor), Bischoff Erlich Von Waldgraff (the lich priest of Vol that escaped), and the bugbear that took the Mantle of Mourning seem to all be either mindblanked, in another dimension, or otherwise warded.

- The Mantle of Mourning is a hooded mantle sewn together out of human faces that moan continuously that granted regeneration and various other profane benefits. The bugbear chieftan that jumped off your airship was wearing it, assuming that he would simply regenerate from the fall. Unfortunately for him, his high priest stole it, leaving him a very dead. The bugbear priest is at large.

- Scrying on the 3 dolgaunt monks reveals them training in a monastery built in subterannean cavern cut with lava flows. Khyber shards line the walls of the cavern. The monks have been observed communicating with mind flayers and dolgrim (the purple double goblin guys), as well as a deformed, hunched figure in a hooded black cloak (you've fought him twice... both times he commanded rat swarms and fled as a swarm of rats).

- Scrying Orson of Brey River (the name Andrus was given for his brother's killer) reveals a pitiful naked gnome confined to a dank cell. A zombie jailer brings him minimal rations.

- The Bell of Ashtakala is non-destructible. Legend lore would tell you more. (see legend lore candidates below)

- Mathison's best guess on what is in the basement of Von Kleist Manor based on the wards and emanations would be "Demon Lord."

- Guntram Von Kleist's apprentice is in temporal stasis in the Von Kleist Manor. She might be able to answer some questions. She also might just attack you. Hard sayin, not knowin.

- Maxamillian Ziegler was a simulacrum of the Lord of Winter, a hate from the old times. Divination on Max doesn't turn up much... that simulacrum may have been destroyed. The actual evil sorcerer is imprisoned inside of the glacier near Castle Von Kleist, which is currently melting because you guys removed the Risia Orb from the area. See: legend lore.

- Extant "superfreaks" known to be in the service of Vol: Barn Ajar Sheth (empty vessel tatooed monk), Bischoff Erlich Von Waldgraff (lich cleric of Vol), Erzherzog Hildebrand Von Abendroth (vampire lord), Erzbischoff Malavenor (elven mummy high priest of vol), and Graf Johannes Ackerman (notorious necromancer and war criminal). More assholes are certainly possible.

- If Mathison wants to research a 9th level divination to bust through mindblank or whatever, he can certainly do a version of "Metafaculty" from the Expanded Psionics Handbook. Wish will certainly do the same job. Also worth checking out form the EPsiHB is "Hypercognition." It might possibly help, but mostly it just seems very Mathison.

Things worth Legend Loring (costs 250gp/per, but probably worth it):
- The Bell of Ashtakala
- The Lord of Winter
- Guntram Von Kleist
- The Mantle of Mourning
- Jade carniverous eel ball (the thing in the basement)
I promise to actually give you results. If you can think of other things, we can do those, too. I just don't want to assume you spending thousands of gp without the go-ahead.


Ed:
Quote:
Well it certainly sounds like that gnome will keep.


Me:
Quote:
If the Emerald Claw anticipated and staked out our target once, it's possible that they'll do it again... It would be funny if we could arrange a counterstakeout of the dragon's lair, and ambush their recon team. Maybe not particularly useful or valuable, but certainly funny. Before we go for that orb (whenever that may be), I would like to see if we can pull this off (I guess this would involve us scrying the area with the door, possibly getting out with "detect scrying" on,
etc).

In general, I want to keep an eye on Merriwinkle in order to make sure he's not under any strange magical effects (e.g. mental compulsion from the Helmsman or the Preceptor). Ubiquitous detect magic and occasional greater arcane sight observations made at (elaborately pseudo-) randomly determined times would probably take care of this. It occurs to me that he is a potential weak link in our chain of command.

Let's legend lore and "analyze dweomer" the Bell. Also, I'll ask Kragesh to look into it through conventional means (assuming it's knowledge(religion)...if not, i'll look into it). Andrus is probably right and we may have to act on this soon. (On the bright side, it has been pointed out that Mathison's "greater magic weapon" can make any old greatsword into a +4, for 17 hours...)

(For Ed: the background for this is that the Bell certainly sends souls to the Lords of Dust, though we don't know exactly what they do with them. In any case, the general effect is getting stronger as it sends more and more souls. In particular, we had a "problem" recently where the Bell was used to kill the skin-taker, who had 400-some-odd souls stored in his body...the Bell tolled for hours, sending rather a lot of spiritual energy to the Lords of Dust. Additionally, when we went to see the Daughters of Sora Kell (the hags), the doomseer-type-one told us that we were fucking shit up with that sword.
Put another way, "all my recent data points to something big on the horizon".
"What do you mean 'big?'", you might ask?
I would then tell you: "Well, let's say this Twinkie represents the normal amount of psychokinetic energy in the Sharn area. According to this morning's PKE sample, the current level in the city would be a Twinkie 35 feet long weighing approximately six hundred pounds.")

The fact that the Mantle of Mourning guy can't be scried suggests to me that he's joined the "House Tharashk Hit Squad Revenge Squad" and we will run into him in Vol's employ... this is possibly something to ask the Talking Heads about (i.e. learn what other heavy hitters are working for her).

I think the Zeigler, Demon Lord in the basement of vKM, Guntram, Guntram's apprentice, and the Quori in the Door are all things that we shouldn't fuck with at this time -- unless we have reason to believe that any of these things is leaving its period of relative stasis and may become an active problem in the near future. Exactly how "melted" is the ice on the Lord of Winter?

I forgot about that rat guy. Fuck that guy.

As for the next adventure:
My understanding is that, as we stand now, most of us don't want to deal with Vol, and Kleist doesn't want to deal with the Fernia orb for another level so he can get a specific feat for it. And I don't think getting the machine right now is a good idea, since it gives us an additional known-location base that we have to continuously protect. So, as an interim project, I think we should focus on hunting down the preceptor and getting rid of his ass. This, of course, may change based on the results of investigation into the other potential problems.
What do you all think of that idea?

As for spells:
Metafaculty ( http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/psionicPowersGtoP.html#metafaculty ) is an interesting idea...costs XP, though, which is a little rough. Also, I guess mind blank exists for a good metagame reason and maybe we shouldn't fuck with it. I do like hypercognition ( http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/psionicPowersGtoP.html#hypercognition )... but I am unsure as to its actual effect. Dave, can you please list some examples of things that one could use that roll for? Also, I have sort of wanted to research a spell that is the "greater arcane sight" equivalent of detect thoughts, rather than detect magic. I figure it would be 9th level. Any comments on this, dave?

In any case, I am certainly in the market for a new 9th level divination spell... either Foresight sucks, or I don't understand what it is supposed to do.

My actions (unless anyone has an objection or suggestion):
- Legend Lore schedule:
1. Bell of Ashtakala
2. The Preceptor (unless we tried this already?)
3. Guntram
4. Jade carniverous eel ball
5. Lord of Winter
(6) possibly: our Employer(ess)? It would be interesting to see what we can learn about her, if we think it could be done without pissing her off.
(7) possibly: the Helmsman (did we try this already?). In any case, I do like the idea of shoving him into the Door with the Quori and seeing what happens... I don't know how practical that is, though.

I don't think that the mantle of mourning guy is really all that important, but I could be wrong and it might be worth 250gp just to be sure. Maybe if we get through all the rest of them (they take a long time) without incident, we can give it a shot.

Requests for the rest of the group:
Please try to come up with a list of questions for Kragesh to ask our talking heads (emerald claw employees).

Edited by: drmathison
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