Posted by : David Guyll August 24, 2017

Cast
  • Humal (level 11 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 11 dwarf war cleric/druid)
  • Sumia (level 11 elf rogue/ranger/wizard)

Session Highlights
After their conversation with Icosiel's spirit was concluded (and they were certain he wasn't going to give them any more magic loot or boons), the party wandered about the tomb's twisted tunnels for a time before finding an exit.

They walked about the surface for awhile, but didn't see Sionsiar's icy disc until, given that they all possessed the ability to fly anyway, were preparing to take off: it suddenly appeared, bobbing about as it struggled against the storm's powerful winds as it pushed through the stormsphere.

Once it was through it moved towards them, halting some distance from the tomb. Looming over them, Sionsiar asked if they retrieved the rod fragment. Corzale confirmed that they had, and Sionsiar explained that she could use it to divine the location of the other fragments: each rod fragment did something else, but as the rod was assembled it would acquire new powers, which sounded like a great deal to everyone.

Unfortunately, right after she placed it on the ice disk, Humal realized that this "Sionsiar" was an exceptionally well-crafted illusion. Fake-Sionsiar darkened and unfurled, like something between a shadowy flower and octopus: it was Seruya. Or, rather, one of her many forms that Humal was all too familiar with.

Corzale scooped up the rod fragment and tried to take off, but she didn't get far before Seruya's tendrils wrapped around her legs. Seruya probably thought it was going to be difficult pulling her back, but Corzale was more than happy to take the fight to her: Corzale she reoriented her gravity towards the disc and plummeted right into Seruya, glowing hammer first.

The hammer's divine light was especially potent, destroying the tendrils binding Corzale with each strike. Seruya shrieked with rage and pain, and began furiously slashing at Corzale. Her attention completely focused, Humal and Sumia would have had an easier time assisting Corzale, but before they could intervene Humata burst forth from the ice disc and slowly drifted towards them, muttering something about being tired and not wanting to have to do all this.

Humal wove an illusion of a holy warrior to mentally assault Humata, while Sumia hung back and loosed arrows. They weren't sure how much damage the former was inflicting, but it was clear that the latter wasn't doing much: as her arrows mostly clattered off of his scaly hide Humata literally yawned, and a wave of exhaustion hit Sumia so hard she fell asleep.

Humata then conjured a sword and approached Humal, but before he could carve his half-brother up an undulating sheet of what looked like flesh burst from the clouds. It struck what remained of the ice disc, and rolling about like a carpet. Once it stopped moving it then folded in on itself, before quickly expanding and stretching out into a humanoid shape.

It was Doppel-Filge.

He shouted at Humal and Corzale to keep the demon's busy (not that they really had a choice), and then went about carving symbols into the ice. Seruya didn't know who he was or what he was doing: she couldn't afford to turn her back completely on Corzale, but was able to direct at least one of her tendrils at him. She managed to slice off of one of Doppel-Filge's arms, but in response he grew several more and continued working at a much more frantic pace.

Allustan teleported to Sumia and administered one of their magical healing potions, instantaneously healing her wounds and reviving her, but then Humata skewered Humal with his jagged sword, rendering him unconscious.

One step forward, one step back.

Sumia did what she could with her arrows to draw Humata's attention. Once he was close Allustan took her last healing potion and teleported to Humal: it didn't replenish his spent magical reserves, but he still had enough to create another illusionary force to plague Humata with.

Despite losing a few more arms in the process Doppel-Filge managed to complete his work, just after Corzale had used up the last of her Favor but before Humata could finish hacking Sumia apart (more out of annoyance than anything else). Doppel-Filge told Humal he'd need another body and extracted the mind shard. The doppelganger shell flopped lifelessly to the ground, only to rise a moments later, eyes glowing blue and body covered in icy cracks.

It pointed at Seruya, and in Sionsiar's voice asked if this was the demon that had been troubling them so. Humal said yes, and Doppel-Sionsiar said...something. They didn't hear what she said, for they were all struck temporarily deaf. For a moment Seruya didn't move, and then her body, such as it was, crumbled to dust, and then even the dust vanished.

Doppel-Sionsiar explained that she had destroyed both Seruya's body and soul: she would never trouble them, or anyone else, ever again. She then pointed at Humata and declared that he was next. Humata muttered something about this being more trouble then it was worth, and drove his own sword through his head, killing himself before Sionsiar could.

Design Notes
Really not sure when this should transition to the next adventure, so I'm going to keep using the A Gathering of Winds cover image for now. Once they actually leave the tomb I'll switch it over to The Spire of Long Shadows.

Since Humata killed himself his soul will return to the Nine Hells, and over time reconstitute another body. So, he'll probably be back.

Melissa might start going more into diviner with her level-ups, which means I need to work on the divination tree some more. She's currently trawling the D&D books for a divination spell that looks interesting enough to her.

Speaking of more talents, Kelly (the player of Corzale) talked about some new cleric talents, as well as changes to the cleric.

First up are auras, which would be based on the Hymn class feature that the cleric used to have in a very early draft: there was a battle hymn that gave everyone bonus damage (which I used with my Dagon-cleric), and a protection hymn that gave everyone bonus AC (would probably just be DR now). Might have been others but I can't think of them.

You'd need to spend a talent to acquire a hymn (originally they were automatic, but I think that's a bit much what with all the other stuff a cleric gets), they'd have prerequisites based on what the hymn does (ie, War Domain for Hymn of Battle), Swift Action to activate, only one at a time, and they'd affect all allies within a certain distance (probably 10-30 feet based on what it does).

Just gotta figure out what they'd do, exactly. Hymn of Battle would probably just add +1 damage, but a rank up or other talent could add +1 to hit, and maybe an even bigger rank 3 talent could give an extra attack (might require a Favor cost for that and give it a limited duration).

Another idea was changing how Healing Domain works. We talked about two different changes: the first is having you buy in more talents to make it heal more, but the one I think we both preferred was taking a second talent on top of Healing Domain, and from then on you can spend +1 Favor to up the healing amount by two dice.

So, 1 Favor heals 1d8+Wisdom, 2 Favor heals 3d8+Wisdom, 3 Favor is 5d8+Wisdom, etc. I think the cap was no more dice than your cleric level, though. The main reason is this way a cleric can handle larger amounts of damage: doesn't really mean much when you take like 30 damage, and the cleric only heals 5ish points.

Lastly was spiritual weapon. Playtesting a version that conjures a glowing weapon made of divine light, and is basically a dancing weapon. For now we're going with 1d10+Wisdom radiant damage, and a duration of 1 round per level, which even at low levels would be nice because hey, free attack!

Unrelated note, our kobold vote is almost up to 100 votes, and looks like the "let-the-GM-decide" won, followed by grown-from-teeth and ate-a-dragon.

Announcements
It look a lot longer than expected, but we finally released The Jinni. As with our other monstrous classes, this one is more faithful to the mythology (so don't go in expecting elemental-themed jinn).

After putting it to a vote, the next couple of classes on the docket are the warden (think 4E D&D warden) and apothecary (gotta go see what they're all about).

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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