Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Seattle Campaign 3.0: The Party's Test for Medianhood

4/25/10 Return to Loxian and Loxias, Tests for Medianhood

--the adventuring party returns to Loxian
--Tirdim (for the Academy), Wren (for the Temple of Possos), Telisa (for the Temple of Mannan Aia), and Lanthorn (for the Temple of Turus) must test for promotion; Loxias arranges to be the administrator of the Tests; the party will be sent as a group on the Tests, each will be rewarded including the non-Testers like Galen and Riseif
--the party receives a letter from the Temples at Grand Takare; each of the Testers also receive individual letters
--Loxias tells the party they have a week to prepare for the Tests; once the Test is begun they will not be able to pause
--the adventurers are brought into Loxias's audience hall on the morning of the Tests; Loxias tells them that the Tests will involve each of them, addressing their strengths and weaknesses; Loxias also offers them one last boon--a trial of chance--he tells them that skill and determination and luck will be a part of the Tests
--Loxias gives them an opportunity to select from several boxes: selecting will either bring them something useful, bring them something negative, or nothing at all; they receive a scroll of water walking and a scroll of median protection from fire and a potion of water breathing
--Loxias tells them that the Tests will be in six parts: The Test of Wood, the Test of Steel, the Test of Water, the Test of Fire, the Test of Flesh, and the Test of Time; the magic of the Tests will be part-real and part-illusory, they will never leave the audience hall of Loxias's manor but what they see, sense, feel, and fight will be real
--to begin, Loxias has one of the party to roll dice (again invoking Luck); the dice will determine the number of days they will have to complete the Tests; Riseif rolls a 5 (on 3d5) so the party will have five days; if the party does not finish the Tests in five days, they will fail the Test of Time
--the test begins and the party is swept into a magical vortext; the room seems to shift and ripple and the group is transported (there is the feeling like teleportation) to a small room with stone walls, floor, and vaulted ceiling lit by some sort of soft, ambient light; in the center of the room is a five-sided stone table; on the table is set with six objects: a wood carving in the shape of a tree, a small iron replica of a greatsword, a crystal sphere filled with water, a piece of fire quartz, a mask made of curious leather, and in the center, an hourglass.
--the hourglass marks five days and the sand begins to flow; the party explores the chamber and the objects; they are magical and discover that to start a test they must hold the object and declare, "Let the Test of ___________ begin!"

--the party decides on the Test of Flesh first
--the room ripples and changes as before and the party appears in a vast underground chambers; the chamber is divided by a impossibly deep chasm; on either side of the chasm are ledges and steel "doors" (plain steel plates set into the wall with no handles or locks) with a length of sturdy chain attached to the middle of the door; across the chasm is a two foot wide bridge of wood
--on one door are the words "make whole" and on the other door are the words "the chain"
--with everyone holding hands, the party can reach across the bridge and chasm; the party decides to be the "living chain" and in doing so the magic of the doors sends an electrical shock through them; each time there is a jolt of lightning, the metal doors begin to resolve taking on other features (like a door handle and lock)
--after several successive electrocutions (and nearly falling into the chasm), the party makes the doors appear; Galen unlocks one door and opening it reveals the starting room; he unlocks the other door and reveals a treasure chest full of loot (200 Lc, 2 magical daggers dedicated to Turus, 8 minor healing potions, and 6 special potions)
--the party heads into the starting room, shutting the door ends the first Test; the party decides to rest to heal up; Tirdim sets to work on identifying all of the objects; Tirdim critically fails on identifying one of the special potions and destroys half of his reagents (natural 100% on Spell Success%) and then he attempts to identify the potions again and critically fails (another natural 100%, then rolling another 10, that's 5 10s in a row) destroying the remaining materials and one of the potions as well
--the potions are augmentation potions (2 for +1 DEX, 1 for +1 CON, 1 for +1 STR, and 1 for +BODYpts, 1 destroyed)

--the next morning, the party decides on the Test of Water
--the room shifts and changes and the party feels like they are transported again, this time they appear in the middle of the ocean; below them, about 10 measures down, is the wreckage of a ship
--Wren calls upon the power of Possos to empower some of the power to swim; they give Lanthorn (since he's the heaviest and non-swimmy) the potion of water breathing
--in the wreckage, they discover two giant eel-like, ray-like sharks protecting a silver holy symbol to Possos; Riseif decides to draw the attention of the sharks; Wren gets the symbol and they kill one of the sharks and drives away the second
--Wren puts on the symbol and the Test ends; the entire scene seems to collapse, drain away into the symbol; the party is returned to the starting room

--the party decides to do the Test of Wood next
--the party is transported to a deep forest, somewhere far away from civilization, and seemingly out of season (there are leaves on the trees)
--in the distance, they spot a clearing; heading to the clearing, they come upon a great oak tree, a treeant tending to the trees around the clearing; they approach the treeant and it ignores them; they attempt to get the tree's attention and it wonders what they want; high in the branches of the tree, they see a silver medallion hanging
--the party plans to figure out how to get the medallion

5/2/10 Test of Wood Continued, Test of Steel

--Galen attempts to jump up to the higher branches of the treeant and to take the medallion; his first attempt he falls but is saved by his belt of safefall; his second attempt is successful and as he takes a hold of the medallion, there is a peal of thunder and a bolt of lightning strikes Galen knocking him out of the tree; he is knocked unconscious but revived by Telisa
--the treeant takes notice of the party now and picks up the silver medallion, a holy symbol to Mannan Aia; the tree plunges the medal into the ground and says that in order to get the symbol they must earn it; they must seek out four plants: wizard's breath (an uncommon but not terribly difficult plant used as reagents in most magical rituals), balm of evening (a very rare flower that can be used to make a powerful sedative, the party has seen this plant before), white woodrose (a common flowering vine but a white flower is extremely rare), and an aged acorn (an acorn from a blessed oak tree)
--the party sets off to find the different flowers; they discover that stepping out of the clearing produces unforeseen results--the clearing seems to be moving, following along with the treeant, even though while you are in it there is no sense of movement
--the party discovers all of the flowers over time, they return to the clearing, and Telisa plants all of the plants; the treeant causes a young oak tree to grow on the spot; in the branches is the holy symbol; Telisa takes the holy symbol and puts it on and the Test ends

--the party heals up and and decides to proceed with the Test of Steel
--the small iron sword becomes a magical great sword; a door appears on one wall; Tirdim identifies the sword as a median great sword dedicated to Turus
--the party goes through the doorway and appears upon a stone pedestal in the middle of a large underground lake; a small beach is in the distance, two tunnels lead out of the big cavern; closing the door, the test begins
--in the distance, on the shore of the lake, people with jet black skin enter dressed in bone and leathers, painted to look like skeletons (they look like they are from the Third Continent, Tyurraeans perhaps); they accuse the party of blaspheming their sacred pool; they begin to fire arrows at them; the party struggles to reach the shore
--Lanthorn is given the scroll of water walking and he charges ahead to the shore; Lanthorn makes a charisma attack and scares off some of the attackers
--the party attacks and defeats the tribal men and a giant darkling; taking one of the passages, they discover a small chamber where a tribal woman has been left, bound, and collared; attached to the collar is a silver holy symbol to Turus
--to take the collar off requires hurting or killing the woman; they discover that the woman is meant to be a sacrifice to "he that will come," meaning a priest of Turus
--the party discusses what to do about the woman; the woman freaks out and says that if she is rejected then she will be killed anyway and tries to kill herself; the group stops her
--Lanthorn eventually realizes that if the woman is meant to be a sacrifice, meant to be for him, that he can accept her but instead of killing her set her free
--in setting her free, the collar shatters releasing the woman and the holy symbol; Lanthorn puts on the symbol and the Test ends

--the party rests and heals up for the next and final test, the Test of Fire

5/23/10 The Test of Fire, Completing the Tests

--limited attendance (only three of six made it to gaming); Telisa, Riseif, and Lanthorn succumbed to stupid disease
--Tirdim begins the Test of Fire
--the party appears in a broad, domed chamber; the walls and floor and ceiling are gray stone
--they are surrounded by thin, flickering, fiery hemispheres of flame; 23 barriers; each wall of fire is only an inch thick and set about a foot apart; the walls give off no heat until you get very, very close to them
--in the distance, through the walls of fire, they can see a door in the far wall
--on the ground, a symbol of fire has been carved into the stone and the lines:

a sacrifice of power
a sacrifice of knowledge
a sacrifice of pages
or a sacrifice of self

--also on the ground is a fine quality book, bound in leather, with gilded pages; the book looks like a spell book; opening the book, each page seems to contain a formula but the text and notation are completely garbled; Tirdim attempts a translation spell to no avail
--the party deduces that they must either sacrifice themselves, wound themselves on the walls of fire, or rip out pages to be burned
--Riseif, Lanthorn, and Galen volunteer to try sacrificing themselves
--entering a wall of fire inflicts fire damage (approximately 30-40 points of PRC damage to average defense); the damage is dangerous and drains the party's healing ability and potions; however, a sacrifice of self does cancel one wall
--sacrificing a page to a wall will lessen the effectiveness of the wall; one page reduces the wall's damage slightly, two pages reduces the wall's damage slightly more, and three pages will cancel a wall entirely
--through a combination of sheer determination, healing, and careful use of the pages, the party manages to get through all 23 walls
--Tirdim walks away from the test with a number of spells to enter into his spellbook; the test is frustrating because every page that is burned up reveals what spell it is before it is gone (e.g. losing the formula for invisibility or cone of frost was a tough loss)
--the party makes it to the final door; the door is magically trapped; everyone is extremely wounded; Galen decides to pick the lock and does so successfully (bypassing the trap)
--the party returns to the starting chamber with one day remaining on the hourglass
--the hourglass reveals a message saying that they have completed the tests but they can use the remaining test to repeat any of the prior tests for a second time, for a different reward; the group decides it best to cut their losses (particularly given their weakened condition)
--the Tests for Medianhood end

--the party reappears in the audience hall of Loxias; he congratulates all of them on their hard work and perseverance; the party is returned to their rooms, healed, cleaned up, and tended to
--they return to Lord Mayor Loxias once they are rested
--Tirdim must complete the practicum portion of his mage test; Loxias tests Tirdim on his forms and tracings; he also requires Tirdim to perform identifications for five magical items (given the fact that Tirdim failed identifications so miserably during the test); Tirdim passes both the forms and identifications with flying colors; he identifies a median mana reservoir (a ring), a median wand of shards of ice, a bag of holding, boots of stealth, and a medal of command
--Lord Loxias commends all of the group and says that he will send word to the Temples and the Academy recommending that the priests and the mage be Raised to medianhood; he gives everyone an additional monetary reward and allows them to keep the magic items Tirdim identified
--the Lord Mayor suggests the party rest for a week or so, train, and prepare; he will send them on their next task soon; the wraith still wanders the realm and the evil adventuring party led by Rissa Ittar and Joven Iirago are also at large

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