[Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

A game that seems to change settings every couple of years; currently following the Age of Worms Adventure Path.

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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by JPetherick » Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:17 pm

"As my companions point out, the offer is fair," says Worrel.

"I am probably too accustomed to receiving charity. While my companions prepare for the trip in their way, where should I stow my gear? Would anyone object to my personal devotions to Mitra this evening?"
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by kabkal » Mon Apr 19, 2021 7:49 am

Lola agrees to the traveling arrangements. Since we have two days until travel, she will find a comfortable place to rest and meditate. She will not join in the gambling.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by ElectroZman » Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:26 am

Tex shrugs, I 'spose we need a place to stay fer a couple o nights.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by CGM3 » Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:32 pm

Cyrius is comfortable with the arrangement, and agrees with Texudus that accommodations should be found until the day the caravan leaves.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by patransom » Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:32 am

Having negotiated a deal with Nidlit to travel to Tula in two days time, the party splits up for a time, going variously to their pre-arranged accommodations or to Zalamandra's Emporium for some entertainment and gambling.

OUT OF CHARACTER
I am hand waving the need to set up a place to stay. Everyone except Ardrea would have made long to medium-term arrangements in town long ago. Master Penkawr will gladly give Ardrea a place to stay for a couple of days, as a favor to his old friend Marzena.

 

For those who go to Zalamandra's: Upon entering, you encounter a small desk station manned by a grinning, businesslike human attendant named Gaspar. The thin, balding man smiles wryly, a gesture accentuated by his upcurled moustache. He explains that the house charges three coppers for access to the “Gallery of Science” along the first floor’s central corridor, and three silver for access to the lushly decorated upper floor, which features a large gaming hall, an exclusive entertainment club, and the infamous Veiled Corridor, where any pleasure may be obtained for the right price.

According to Gaspar, attractions currently featured in the “Gallery of Science” include:
  • The famous "educated savage" Shag Solomon, a caveman from the far north who can carry on enlightened conversations on almost any topic
  • The amazing contortionist Tom Shingle
  • The combustible magician Ariello Klint
  • A two-headed calf named Esmerelda Jr.
  • The alluring fortune teller Chezabet
In addition to music, drinks, opium, and the Veiled Corridor, the upper floor offers several rotating games of chance, currently including:
  • Dragonfire, an ante-based card game
  • Norebonne, a polyhedral dice game
  • A contest known simply as the Rat Game, in which four rats scurry to be the first through an open-topped maze. When the winner reaches the labyrinth’s central chamber, an attendant injects it with a serum that immediately triggers a rabid frenzy. At this time, four doors built into the sides of the maze slide open, revealing four tiny spear wielding jermaline. Patrons wager on all aspects of the ensuing melee.
OUT OF CHARACTER
Let me know if you want to play out any of this or move on with the trip to Tula. Also, it looks like Lola and Worrel still need to update their character sheets with loot acquired in the last adventure (see here).

 

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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by ElectroZman » Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:50 am

Tex has a good time at Zalamandras. He sees the side shows, gets good and drunk on ale (but not to the point of passing out) while placing small bets on games of chance. He avoids the Rat Game.
OUT OF CHARACTER
No need to play it out. Just let me know how much he wins or loses.

 

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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by kabkal » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:13 am

patransom wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:32 am
OUT OF CHARACTER
Also, it looks like Lola and Worrel still need to update their character sheets with loot acquired in the last adventure (see here).

 

OUT OF CHARACTER
Sorry, thought I had done that. Here is the updated sheet.

 

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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by smeltdm » Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:13 am

Prost, also has a good time at Zalamandras. He sees the side shows, however, he makes a point of faking getting drunk. He will play the games of chance, if he can he will attempt to use the fancy ivory dice he has been caring around for all these months or is it years. He will only take 100 gp to gamble with. He sticks mostly to the dice games, while placing small bets on the other games of chance. He will try the rat games once thou.
OUT OF CHARACTER
Also will chose to let you roll it out rather than bogging down the game. If you need a series of rolls let me know and I will PM to you. :8

 

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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by JPetherick » Tue Apr 27, 2021 8:34 pm

patransom wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 10:32 am
OUT OF CHARACTER
Also, it looks like Lola and Worrel still need to update their character sheets with loot acquired in the last adventure (see here).

 

OUT OF CHARACTER
Updated CS for Worrel is here

 

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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by Jinxs-3d » Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:59 pm

Ardrea will settle in for the next couple days, while we wait for the caravan to leave.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by kabkal » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:37 am

Lola hangs out, does some research on where we will be going, the route we will be taking and praying for guidance for the best spells to prepare.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by ElectroZman » Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:05 am

kabkal wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:37 am
Lola hangs out, does some research on where we will be going, the route we will be taking and praying for guidance for the best spells to prepare.
Thats a great idea. Later the next day, after a good sleep in and large lunch, Tex will see if Lola found out anything interesting and also brush up a little bit about the lands, flora and fauna between here and Tula.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by CGM3 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 8:43 pm

Cyrius will touch base with the regular caravan guards to learn what they anticipate on the journey.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by patransom » Mon May 03, 2021 11:18 am

Tex has a good time at Zalamandras. He does not win at any of the games of chance, but because his bets are small, the losses don't add up to much. The total cost of his night out is 3 gp, the great majority of which is spent buying sufficient ale to get good and drunk.

Prost also has a good time at Zalamandras. He does very well at the dice game, thanks in part to his fancy dice. Although he loses badly at the other games and spends some money on admission and drinks, he ends up 25 gp ahead for the night, a tidy profit on his 100 gp stake!

Over the next couple of days, Lola and Tex do more research, while Cyrius questions the regular caravan guards. This doesn't provide much more information than what the party already knew about the route they'll travel, but they do learn quite a bit about their destination, Tula the City State of Mages (see this post here).

The trip to Tula takes several days but is entirely uneventful. Furthermore, by arriving with this established caravan, the party avoids having to deal with the gate guards upon entering the city (probably saving some bribe money). After saying goodbye to Nidlit and the other caravan staff, with whom they've become friendly over the course of their travels, the group takes in their new surroundings...

The city is not a wide sprawl like one might expect. It is built vertically, rather than horizontally. A huge monolithic structure of stone in the shape of an eight-pointed star rises up from inside the walls, dominating the horizon. This is the Monolith of the Chromatic Mages. Inside it and the eight colorful towers that rise from the points of the star is where the wizards have their great school. The rest of the city’s buildings are built one on top of another, flush up against the sides of the wizard’s monolith, creating a series of terraces in each section of the city. A huge canal runs from the west into an artificial harbor that joins the city on its western half. Mystical waterfalls run down from the top of the monolith into this harbor and various small ponds and fountains throughout the city.

Specifically, the party finds itself in the Hawkers' Square Marketplace (location A on the map here). The market square is cobbled with well-worn stones and scored by deep wagon ruts. Throngs of people of all races, some bearing exotic raiment, crowd the streets. The creak of wagons and neighing of horses is interrupted by the call of merchants hawking their wares and the shouts of customers haggling over prices. The air hangs heavy with the smell of civilization, the stench of sweat and refuse mixed with the aroma of fresh baked bread and fire-roasted meats.

OUT OF CHARACTER
Seems like the 5 gp each paid to Able Carter Coaching Company might have been money well spent. Having made your way to the great city, now what will you do?

 

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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by JPetherick » Mon May 03, 2021 8:20 pm

Worrel seeks out a temple of Mitra, if such exists within the city. He has money for a tithe, news to share and wishes to learn what he can about the city and recent events. If there is no other temple of MItra, he will seek a temple of an allied god. And, if he has a chance, he will determine whether he can purchase any equipment for the coming journey.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by patransom » Tue May 04, 2021 8:41 am

JPetherick wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 8:20 pm
Worrel seeks out a temple of Mitra, if such exists within the city. He has money for a tithe, news to share and wishes to learn what he can about the city and recent events. If there is no other temple of MItra, he will seek a temple of an allied god. And, if he has a chance, he will determine whether he can purchase any equipment ...
OUT OF CHARACTER
To find out where anything is in the city, make a Diplomacy check to gather information

 

JPetherick wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 8:20 pm
...for the coming journey.
OUT OF CHARACTER
The journey is over (for a while); Tula is your destination. Now what was you were supposed to do here? :hmm:

 

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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by JPetherick » Tue May 04, 2021 10:02 pm

Worrel asks politely for directions to the temple dedicated to Mitra. Unfortunately, the locals appear to have some loathsome customs and they don't take kindly to Worrel's devotion to the light.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by Jinxs-3d » Thu May 06, 2021 9:09 pm

Ardrea looks around and says Evan, Worrel would you please ask around and find us directions to the garden district? We really should find the Sage Eligos that Master Penkawr told us about.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by smeltdm » Fri May 07, 2021 9:24 am

We should shop. Venders like to talk, especially if they think they can make a sale. Prost will move through Hawkers' Square Marketplace, looking for anyone he may know from his past, listening to other conversations, on the off chance that may get a clue about the whereabouts of Sage Eligos and the Garden District. Prost is also haggling for any deals on halfling weapons and or ammunition for his sling staff asking leading questions about the Garden District, and Sage Eligos.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by ElectroZman » Fri May 07, 2021 3:51 pm

Tex nods in agreement to Ardrea, but then tags along behind Prost, giving him plenty of room to talk up the locals. He's browsing for upgrades to his weapons, ammo, quiver, armor and anything else useful to him.
OUT OF CHARACTER
Is there anything like this here: https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wo ... ent-quiver

 

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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by kabkal » Tue May 11, 2021 9:05 am

OUT OF CHARACTER
Sorry, RL has been a kick in the butt the past month. I hope to have everything figured out this week and will then get back on line with regular basis.

 

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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by kabkal » Tue May 11, 2021 1:50 pm

Lola feels like she just woke from a slumber and takes in her new surroundings. She agrees shopping might help gather information. So, she will go with the shoppers, look around and really try to listen in on conversations, without being obvious that is what she is trying to do.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by patransom » Tue May 11, 2021 7:42 pm

Worrel politely asks a passerby for directions to the temple dedicated to Mitra. Initially, the man glares at him and mutters something about "another slackjawed yokel" under his breath. However, he quickly realizes that Worrel's question is quite a reasonable and simple one. The man explains that a small temple of Mitra can be found on the north side of the Temple Plaza district (C on the map here).

OUT OF CHARACTER
Fortunately, a 1 is not an automatic fail on a skill check and Worrel is diplomatic enough to get an answer to such a simple question.

 

Prost moves through Hawkers' Square Marketplace, listening to conversations and asking questions. He doesn't recognize anyone, but is able to gather the following information:
  • The Garden District is located at D on the map here.
  • Eligos is well known and has a fine manor house, located at 19 on the map here.
  • Items for sale in the marketplace itself consist of ordinary equipment at ordinary prices, but pretty much anything an adventurer might want can be found somewhere in the city. For example:
  • There's a halfling craftsman by the name of Zimy Aldfoot who might sell the kinds of weapons and ammunition Prost is looking for. His shop is in the Guildsmen's Terrace (B on the map here)
  • For other sorts of magical equipment (maybe including an Efficient Quiver), the best known magical merchant is Kalifrien the wise. He has a shop in the Midnight Muddle neighborhood (E on the map here), located just below the Garden District.
OUT OF CHARACTER
Lots of leads on places to go! Where to now?

 

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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by smeltdm » Tue May 11, 2021 8:46 pm

As every regroups Prost shares what he has found out and suggests We should make haste and speak to Eligos in the Garden district. Then after we speak to him we may make better decisions on what we need to shop for the next leg of our trek.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by JPetherick » Tue May 11, 2021 9:21 pm

Worrel enters the Temple of Mitra, quietly performing the rituals due of a paladin returning within Mitra's bounds.

After praying, he seeks out the Chief Priest and relates what he has learned concerning the shoggoths and the worms. He also asks, "Have you heard of anything similar near here?"
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by ElectroZman » Wed May 12, 2021 9:15 am

Sounds good Prost, says Tex. Lead on.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by CGM3 » Wed May 12, 2021 7:10 pm

Cyrius goes with Prost and Texudus.
Over on Discord, I go by Gryphon
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by patransom » Thu May 13, 2021 12:16 pm

OUT OF CHARACTER
I edited my previous post. Eligos' manor is located at 19, not 20. I also added the Temple of Mitra to the map. I've attached to this post a version of the map that shows the party's route through the city so far.

 

So that Worrel can visit the Temple of Mitra on the way to Eligos' house, the party travels around the inner perimeter of the city, leaving the marketplace (A), passing through a tunnel underneath the Mages' Monolith, crossing the lowest tier of the Guildsmen's Terrace (B), across a bridge, through another tunnel, and across another bridge to reach the Temple Plaza (C). The center of the plaza is dominated by a huge cathedral devoted to the goddess Athena (5). Crossing the north end of the plaza, past the cathedral, the party finds the Temple of Mitra (21), a more modest structure built into the lowest terrace of this quarter of the city.

Worrel goes inside the temple to pay his devotions. After praying, he reports to the high priest, a man named Kilang, about the shoggoths and worms. Kilang has never heard of such things, but agrees that they sound terrible and advises that they should be smited, preferably with fire.

Armed with this useful advice, Worrel rejoins the party in the plaza and the group proceeds north towards the next tunnel. Up ahead, standing atop a covered rain barrel, a man screams at a public that seems keen to ignore his ravings. Dressed only in a ratty robe and waving a long, charred staff, the balding human man seems to be shouting himself horse, yet the crowd still passes him by without paying much attention at all. Passing nearby, the party can't help but overhear his rant:

Listen to me, you children of Tula, and hear the doom that builds before your blind eyes. You in your house of gold and you in your hovel of mud and even you in your mail of metal, none of you are safe from the doom, from the Age of Worms. Oh yes, it is coming. Have you not heard the dead dragons roar? Have you not smelled the rot festering under your very nose? Have you not dreamt of the worm that walks, bringing decay to all he touches? Fools, you are all fools! Your doom is upon you! The end is in sight and none of you shall be spared. Decay is the future and the future is here!
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by ElectroZman » Fri May 14, 2021 9:08 am

Tex will stop when he hears the mans ravings and, from about 10 feet away, inspect him closely while he continues to pontificate.
Any ideas where he is from? Any special markings, emblems or items that might identify him?
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He studies him well.
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Re: [Active Thread] The Hall of Harsh Reflections

Post by patransom » Fri May 14, 2021 10:21 am

ElectroZman wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 9:08 am
Tex will stop when he hears the mans ravings and, from about 10 feet away, inspect him closely while he continues to pontificate.
Any ideas where he is from? Any special markings, emblems or items that might identify him?
Image
He studies him well.
Other than being rather dirty, poorly dressed, and standing on a rain barrel shouting crazy talk, there's nothing special or distinguishing about the man. He appears to be of Ghinoran descent, like much of the human population around here.
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