Perihelion

Get That Ship!

The heroes are mounted on giant eagles. The eagles could not make it to another planet. Rather than fly back to the surface of Gaia, the heroes decide to chase down the ship that released the beholder.

The heroes approach the ship and come under fire from trebuchets that throw scatter-shot.

Scatter-Shot Trebuchet – standard action, Dex vs. Ref, ranged 15, burst 5, +2 proficiency (if proficient with ship weapons), takes a standard action to reload. Damage: 3d6+6.

As the heroes approach, they yell, “They killed that eye thing!” and “Do not let them land!”

They fight several minion guards as well as the First Mate (Human Pirate Captain MM2).

Just before the First Mate dies he says, “Ok, ok. We’re no match for you. But you should flee now. Believe me, you do not want to meet the captain, or his guests!” The crew seems to shudder at the mention of these “guests”.

Just then they hear a voice from below deck, “What are you cowards doing up here? Where’s the Beholder?” A burly man emerges from the hatch. He wears a modified Liathonian uniform which includes a hat made from a bear pelt. Behind him are two Mind Flayers. They attack!

In the captain’s quarters they find another clay homunculus! When they place the homunculi next to one another, they dance, and their backs come together and form a flat surface. Glowing ruins appear on the surface, and it becomes a large book which is still attached to their backs. The books contain detailed plans for a battleship that’s extremely large. The ship, which is called The Terror, would be 1,000 feet long!

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Escape from Gaia

They find a Stormwalker’s Cloak (PHB 251) and 3 Potions of Vitality (PHB 255).

The heroes have successfully broken Feyrynne out of prison. While resting in the Jolly Aler, they hear a town crier announce that Liathonia has entered a full scale war with the Elvish Council of Aethon.

In addition to the heroes, the group hiding in the Jolly Aler includes:
  • Feyrynne
  • Ty
  • Zathan
  • Larshen
  • Lydia

Ty tells them the airship is waiting at a farm a little ways out of town. He’ll have to smuggle them out there. He gets a large cart drawn by oxen. In the cart there are a number of barrels, which the heroes and others will need to get in, then Ty will cover those will a bunch of old farm equipment and other goods, that he’s “trying to sell to farmers.”

Ty offers to take the people they rescued with him to Slavoltia, where they will seek asylum (Slavoltia always remains neutral). Feyrynne insists on going with the heroes so she can connect with Sylnanian troops and help fight the war. Larshen and Lydia will go with Ty. Zathan will go either way, depending on what the heroes want.

They will want to know Feyrynne’s explanation for attempting to assassinate Jolen.

Feyrynne says, “This is not the first time The Elvish Council of Aethon has interfered in the workings of the solar system. After the war of the gods and the titans, when the worlds were formed, came the age of dragons. The common races were little more than a curiosity to the dragons, until the rise of Tor the Devourer. Tor was an Elf who gained tremendous power, threatening the balance of power in solar system. There was a debate among the Great Wyrms. Should they meddle in the affairs of the common races? They decided they needed to act, because even their own power was threatened by Tor. But rather than attack him directly, they empowered seven elves to destroy Tor. They succeeded, and the elves came to be known as the Elvish Council of Aethon.”

“To this day, The Council works to maintain the balance of power of the Realm of Aethon. The Dragons are masters of divination magic, they identify threats before they become more than the common races can handle. The Council eliminates threats. I know it may sound crazy to murder a child who hasn’t done anything yet, but they’re never wrong. On advice from the Dragons, the Council has stopped countless potentially Realm-shattering events. We were able to head off an invasion of Illithid from beyond the realm. Most recently, we took care of Qigdil Bigil, Governor of the District of Wren, on Tarnar, the Halfling home world. Bigil was beginning a campaign of ethnic cleansing. He had only killed a few members of neighboring districts, but it would have gotten much worse.”

“The Council uses non-elf assassins whenever possible. We like to avoid politically sticky situations like the one we’re in. We like to avoid wars, but we’re prepared to fight. If you hadn’t been there to save Jolen’s life from the Oni Mage, we wouldn’t be in this mess. I don’t hold it against you, besides, you can redeem yourselves. Jolen must be killed. The collateral damage requited to make that happen will be considerable, but it must happen!”

If they ask Feyrynne what color the dragons are, or whether they’re good or evil, she’ll say, “I don’t know the color of the Great Wyrms. These are beasts who have been around since the birth of The Realm of Aethon, their perception of good and evil is very different from you and I, so even if you knew their color, it would tell you very little about their intentions. Imagine an ant eating crumbs off your floor. One day, you decide to sweep up, cleaning is good, right? Well, the ant starves to death because you’ve robbed him of his next meal. That’s all we are to the Great Wyrms. Once in a while a member of the common races allies with a greater power, a god or a demon or something else, and the balance of power in the Realm is put in jeopardy. If that is left unchecked, the balance of the planes, and all of existence, could make a seismic shift. The Great Wyrms don’t want this to happen, so they use the Council to help keep things in balance.”

When they’re in the cart on the way out of the city they get stopped at a check-point. Luckily, the guards seem pretty lazy, and they believe Ty’s bluff about the contents of the cart. While this is taking place, the heroes hear two other guards talking, “Jolen is the best king we’ve ever had. He doesn’t take no shit from nobody. I heard he sent a message throughout the solar system and said, ‘If you’re not with us you’re against us!’ So, unless other nations and planets want their asses handed to them on a platter along with those puny Elves, they’re gonna fight with us. So far, Gallurn has joined up with us, along with the Dwarves of The Mithril Mountain Consortium, all the most powerful Halfling tribes from Tarnar, and the Goliaths. I’m sure more will join once we start splattering some Elf brains.”

The other asks, “Who’s fighting with the Elves?”

“Pffft. Losers. A bunch of the Eladrin Sultans, the Gnomes, and the Shifters. Not sure what the Half-Elves will do yet.” Just then as the cart is pulling away, he notices that Ty is a Half-Elf, and yells, “Hey! Halfy! You pussies gonna fight with us or are we gonna have to burn you’re little moon till it’s nothing but a chunk of coal?”

Ty says, “We’re not fools, we’ll fight with the Liathonians, of course.” Ty’s bluffing, and it works. In reality, Ty doesn’t know what the Half-Elves will do.

They arrive at the farm. Ty is greeted by a kindly old Half-Elf named Peren. He shows them to his rickety old barn, which isn’t very big. Inside is an equally rickety airship, it looks to be 100 years old, at least. It has no artificial gravity. They have to tie themselves onto the ship. The ship has 8 pairs of Weightless Flippers, which give the wearer a fly speed of two in weightlessness.

As they take off in the ship, they’re spotted by a patrol of Liathonian guards on giant eagles. They get close enough for the heroes to be identified, and quickly flee back to a larger ship a ways away. The eagles are much faster than the heroes new ship.

The ship comes barreling at the heroes, but begins to bank just before entering combat range. They hear someone on the ship say, “They broke that Elf out of the chamber! Release the thing and get out of here!” Just then a chamber in the hull of the ship swings open and a Beholder flies out! The ship commander says to the guards on eagles, “You make sure they die!”

4 Guard Minions on Eagles (use Griffon MM 147, fly speed 6)

Beholder (MM 32)

The Beholder burns the ship, but the heroes get the giant eagle mounts from the soldiers.

The Eagles could not make it to another planet. Rather than fly back to the surface of Gaia, the heroes decide to chase down the ship that released the beholder.

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Prison Break 2: The Octo-Chamber!

Slammer finds a grate in the floor where he can see down into a cavernous chamber with a water floor 90 feet below. Suspended 40 feet above the water is a wooden platform where Feyrynne is heavily chained. Four walls of the octagonal chamber feature arrowslit windows.

Hobart picks the lock and they lower he and Auren down into the chamber. They take arrow fire. Auren teleports Feyrynne out of her binds. Baulder summons magical statues into each of the arrowslit windows, which causes the four guards to storm through a secret door near the grate and engage the heroes in melee. They manage to get out of the chamber and defeat the guards.

Just then, Warden Müller rushes out with his two pet gorgons. The gorgons’ petrifying breath turns both Hobart and Silence to stone! Warden Müller slides Slammer into the hole! But then Auren blasts both Warden Müller and the stone Hobart into the hole. The halfling statue strikes Slammer and the Warden, knocking the Warden into the water where he is quickly eaten by his own shark. It’s a hard fought victory.

In Warden Müller’s office, they find treasure, including

The heroes, along with Feyrynne, haul their two stone companions back to Zathan and out of the prison.

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Spell Jammer

Hey guys. I don’t have to time to look very far into this at the moment, but I just discovered that there’s an old 2nd Edition campaign setting called Spell Jammer that seems somewhat similar to Perihelion. Here’s a fan made website where a lot of the content has been updated for 3rd Edition rules, along with some fan-made content:

http://www.spelljammer.org/

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Prison Break

Zathan has agreed to help the heroes break Feyrynne out of jail.

Ty, hearing plans of the prison break, reminds the heroes that he can also buy some adventuring gear for them. “You never know what you may need.”

Zothan can only teleport the heroes one at a time, and a maximum of 30 feet. He tries his best to remember the layout of the sewer system in relation to the prison. He’s pretty sure he can get them in to a lower dungeon portion of the prison.

He draws them a crude map of the prison as best as he can, including where he believes Feyrynne is being held.

They travel through the sewers until they get to a point where the tunnel ends at a brackish pool of water. Zathan says, “The only way I can get within range of the lowest chamber in the prison is by swimming with you through this underwater tunnel for a ways, then teleporting in. I’ll have to do each of you one at a time.”

Zathan teleports Hobart in first. They swim to a point, Zathan teleports, and the two of them are still underwater. They swim up for several feet and reach the surface. They are in a large chamber, about 50 by 70 feet. 80% of it is covered in water, the rest is a small island of dirt in the corner. There are no doors, only a wrought iron grate on the ceiling, 25 feet up. The island is covered with humanoid skeletons.

Hobart and Zathan swim to the island, and Hobart waits while Zathan goes for the others. Baulder comes next. As the two are waiting for the others, they hear/see a ripple in the water, seemingly larger than what Zathan could create by swimming. Silence arrives next. Panting, Zathan says, “Three down, two to go!” and jumps back in the water. He swims on the surface for several yards, and just as he’s about the dive down, a HUGE crocodile comes up out of the water and immediately captures him in its jaws. It does a quick chomp and swallows him hole. They hear Zathan scream as he slides down the beast’s throat.

Feymire Crocodile lvl 13 Elite Soldier

Once they kill it, they get Zathan back and he gets the others.

They manage to get out of the chamber and into the main part of the prison. They kill a few guards and make their way to the main floor. They fight their way through the guard headquarters, and to a long hallway. Slammer finds a grate in the floor where he can see down into a cavernous chamber with a water floor 90 feet below. Suspended 40 feet above the water is a wooden platform where Feyrynne is heavily chained. Four walls of the octagonal chamber feature arrowslit windows.

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Rules Questions / House Rules

I’ve been reading about rules questions on the D&D Forums:

http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19686342/Rules_Q38;A_FAQ__ask_a_simple_question

I’m going paste in a few that we’ve been doing wrong, or that I’ve been wondering about. If you have rules questions post them in the comments and we’ll work it out.

Actions

How do you disarm someone? The writers purposefully left out disarming as a basic option (although some powers like ‘Exorcism of Steel’ allow it). However, when an enemy is defeated you can describe them as disarmed instead of slain (addressed in WotC’s Podcast #29) Note: This means that if you want to capture rather than kill someone, you just need to say so.

Do you provoke an Attack of Opportunity when standing up from being prone? No.

General Combat

Which dice do you max on a critical hit? If a bonus (like from a weapon or feat) causes you to roll extra damage dice when scoring a critical hit, those dice are not maxed. Other dice like hunter’s quarry, sneak attack, warlock’s curse, etc. are all maxed.

Close Blast or Close Burst do not have the keyword “Ranged” or “Area” and as such do not provoke Attacks of Opportunity.

Only three things draw an Attack of Opportunity: A non-shift move out of a threatened square, using a Ranged or Area power in a threatened square, or when it specifically created by way of a power.

Magic Items

The rules say that you’re limited to how many magic item dailies you can use based on your tier. I’d like to have a house rule where that’s not the case. You can use each of your items’ dailies each day.

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Raining on the Execution Parade

During his speech to the crowd, Rodger Liathon praised the heroes as being instrumental in tipping him off about assassins in the royal palace. Three suspects are now in the process of being given trials that don’t seem altogether fair. Before the assassin’s axe can fall on the first convicted traitor, the heroes rush the stage, and Auren casts a spell making he and his allies invisible.

A hush falls over the crowd, and Rodger screams, “I’ve been deceived! Kill them!!”

The fight begins and troops surround them. Two of the prisoners fall in battle but are healed. The old man, Zathan, uses teleportation to help the heroes and the prisoners escape one by one to the sewer beneath the city.

During the battle, Hobart pickpockets an ornate key from one of the royal guards.

Rodger runs away during the battle.

Zathan is disturbed by the recent rash of paranoia and propaganda, especially because he was nearly executed on a hunch. He’s willing to help the heroes in some ways, but he’s still concerned that there really is a force trying to destroy Liathonia, which he cares for.

Zathan says, “We’re in the sewers beneath Vegolis. This is a vast network of dank and disgusting tunnels, home to all manner of vile criminals and monsters. The network of tunnels goes very deep, no one knows how deep. We’re certainly not the only fugitives hiding down here. Let’s find a place to rest and plan our next move.”

They enter a chamber and an elite Dweomer Eater Rust Monster jumps out and attacks them.

After this, they come upon a hallway that some of the heroes recognize. It’s the tunnels connected to the bar they own, The Jolly Aler! Last they heard, the bar was being run by their old friend Ty, the half-elf warlock (one of my characters).

If they take the tunnel into the basement of the bar, they go up to find the bar empty save for Ty. He seems to be in a bad mood. He’s happy to see his old friends, but he’s troubled. He says, “The stupid city guard ruined business! Look at this shit!” He opens the door to show them a sign crudely nailed to the door. It reads, “OUTSIDER” then in smaller type, “This sign must not be removed, by order of the King.”

Ty says, “What the hell? I’m HALF human for Avandra’s sake! Ever since Jolen became king, being suspicious of non-humans has become the new in thing. There are rumors of deportations and jailings in the Dwarf and Halflings ghettos. Things are bad.”

Ty helps them by shopping for them at an Eladrin’s magic weapon shop. They get %20 off due to slow business on account of the suspicion of non-humans in Vegolis.

Ty also says he can arrange an airship they can use for escape. He’ll have it waiting at a friends farm outside of town.


A note on treasure and magic items. I was just reading something that said that each character should have three main magic items, one that’s your level +1, one that’s your level, and one that’s your level -1. Also, gold equal to one item of 1-level, which would be 13,000 per character at this point, or 65,000 for all five of you. I think you’re below this, which I’ll need to fix somehow.

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Through the Glowing Door

Having defeated the undead goblins and the Tomb Tainted Hill Giant, the heroes look upon an ornate door with a slight purple glow.

Through the door, they find their way to an ornate burial chamber. They confront Garreth Liathon, a long-dead Liathonian king who is now a Lich, and three ghosts. In the chamber with the Lich and ghosts there’s a small clay figure, a homunculus. It is magically animated. It moves rather slowly, and does not speak or attack.

Garreth Liathon, Lich – lvl 14 encounter, 5,200xp

Lich Human Wizard (lvl 14 Elite Controller, MM 176) xp 2,000

4 Ghost Legionnaires (lvl 13 Soldier, MM2 119) xp 3,200

Before dying, the Lich makes a last ditch effort to kill the homunculus. The homunculus does a little display when examined. During this display, it mimics a short dance with an invisible partner, then positions itself in what would be shoulder to shoulder with its partner, runes on its back then begin to glow and move, they seem to search for activity to the one side of the homunculus’s back, but finding none, they fade away. The homunculus does the ritual again, and the same thing happens.

The Lich’s phylactery is located in the coffin. The heroes destroy it.

Read aloud:

After defeating the Lich, you continue into further chambers. The chambers are clearly tombs, with places for bodies cut into the stone walls for bodies, but there are no corpses. There are a few scraps of burial rags, and a few rusty shields and swords, with ancient Liathonian markings. You soon see a stairway leading up, and see sunlight. When you reach the surface, you’re among several mausoleums and burial structures. The tombs seem to be undergoing some maintenance, with scaffolding around them and masons tools, but there are no workers present. The entire area is surrounded by a temporary curtain make of wood and canvas. You hear the hustling of people and excited voices on the other side of the curtain.

When you go out, you find yourself on a busy street in downtown Vegolis, the capital city of Liathonia on Gaia. There is a sign on the curtain that says, “This cemetery is closed for repairs and improvements, by order of the King.” People seem excited and anxious, most are moving in one direction. Make a streetwise check. You learn that they are moving toward the palace. People have heard that there is a public trail for some members of the royal court who have been accused of treason.

When you arrive in the plaza near the royal palace, you find a stage surrounded by throngs of excited people (nearly all human). Vendors are selling meat on a stick, children sit on the shoulders of their parents. Excitement is in the air. As you arrive you hear a familiar voice midway through a rousing speech, it’s Rodger Liation. “Solidarity will see us through these times, my brothers, solidarity! Take heart, be diligent! The forces that seek to destroy our great nation shall not succeed!” Behind Rodger three humans kneel, an old man, a crying middle aged woman, and a young man, each bound by heavy steel manacles. Behind them stands a foreboding executioner with a black hood and huge axe, as well as two well-armed royal guards, clearly a cut above the common patrol units. Jolen is nowhere to be seen.

Rodger continues, “Yes, dear brothers and sisters, the very soul of our nation has been under attack. Our King, sweet, dear, beloved Jolen, can’t show his face in public for fear of assassination. I am here in his stead, to conduct this public trail according to the fair and judicious dictates of the ancient crown.” The crowd cheers. “Before we commence with the trail, let me say a word about diligence. We all must be diligent, enemies of the crown could be among us. If you see any suspicious behavior, tell the authorities immediately! You can never be too careful! As I’m sure you all remember, King Jolen and then King Tharrick, Avandra rest his soul, where nearly killed just a few short weeks ago in this very plaza. The attempt was thwarted by a brave band of adventurers, and… Wait a minute! That’s them right there! Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to these heroic souls. They thwarted that first assassination attempt, delivered Jolen to me, then hunted down the vile Oni Mage assassin in the far reaches of the galaxy. Alas, as clever as they were, they failed to see another threat, Feyrynne, the vile Elf disguised as Jolen’s nanny! This oversight cost our great nation the life of King Tharrick. At first, I did not want to forgive this oversight. But alas, these great heroes quelled an undead invasion that would have threatened our outpost on Crisium, for which I am thankful. But even more importantly than that, they extracted crucial information from the vile creature behind the invasion. And that is why we are here today! These heroes, our dear friends, have redeemed themselves, they’ve let us know that there are assassins in our midst! People near to our sweet king who wish him harm! Well, thank you again, dear friends, because today we bring these wretches to trial before they can do any harm! Let the trial begin!”

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Perceptions of Perihelion

This is a forum topic on how different races might perceive the nature of Perihelion. Here’s Adam’s ideas to get it rolling:

Perhaps different races argue about what’s really going on in the planet’s movement? I.e., the Dwarves could have ancient traditions of believing the planets’ movement is like celestial clockwork, with a fixed axis that has spiritual significance for them. I’d love to see someone’s artistic conception of this.

Maybe the goblins could believe the whole of Perihelion is spinning down a celestial drain—like those funnel contraptions that you drop pennies into and watch as the coin goes round and round? The coin is Perihelion, the funnel is the firmament (whatever’s outside Perihelion), and beneath the drain is… Abyss?

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A Brain in a Jar?!?

They hear that a chanting noise is coming from the temple in the center of town. They cut through the zombie hordes to get to it and kick in the front door. Inside, they see 8 rather tough looking zombies, a hideously smelly ghoul about to stab a bound Eladrin child, and a brain in a jar of liquid floating above it all.

In the temple they find a brain in a jar and his helpers chanting.

The Temple – Encounter Level 13, 4,000 xp

Treasure: Helm of the Eagle, PHB 248, and 3,000 gp, and scroll of Raise Dead.

The Jar will say, telepathically, “In the shadow of Valhent, death shall eclipse life!”

As soon as combat ends, more zombie pods begin falling from the sky, one smashes through the ceiling of the temple. The zombies inside are quickly destroyed, but it gives the heroes a chance to see that the pods are coming from directly overhead.

The heroes return to Rodger Liathon to report on the condition of Beldium. They tell Rodger that the Brain in the Jar told them there’s a spy on Gaia intent on killing Jolen. Rodger believes this, and thanks them profusely for telling him, and for taking care of the undead nearby.

As they fly at the source of the pods, they can’t see where they’re coming from. Suddenly, they smash into the surface of Valhent, destroying the ship and injuring them all.

When the ship crashes, it smashes one of several catapults that a few undead goblins are using to launch human corpses at Crisium. Three goblins immediately flee into a nearby mausoleum. In the mausoleum, there are stairs that lead to an underground layer.

As the Goblins run into the mausoleum, one jeers and says, “Go ahead and chase us! You’ll never get to Garreth, Pete will smash you to paste first!”

In the layer they find a chamber that has a bridge over a pit. The surface of the bridge is a Spectral Tendrils trap. In the pit there’s an Undead Hill Giant. The goblins are in protected nests on the walls, shooting at the heroes.

The Giant’s Chamber – 3,000 xp

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