Perihelion

Investigating Kigahara

The heroes land on Kigahara, with hopes of finding the massive ship being constructed inside its hallow shell.

Mordecai emphasizes to them that they will need a clear strategic advantage in order to sunder the ship. It’s weapons, defenses, and crew will vastly overwhelm them unless they have a plan.

Studying the plans will reveal that the ship is powered by a collection of three crystal shards. The crystals are described as being both inert and invincible when they are on their own, but when they’re brought together they become highly powerful and unstable. The plans show that the crystals will have a special holder built in the middle of the ship, called the Power Vortex. The plans instruct the builders to keep the crystals out of the ship and away from one another until the ship is complete, at which time they can be loaded into the Power Vortex and the ship will be operational.

The plans also show that the crystals will power the ship’s main weapon, which is some type of ray, but it’s not clear what the ray’s effect will be.

The crystals are described this way:

The Shard of Unending Darkness

The Shard of Eternal Flame

The Shard of Infinite Earth

The heroes land the the surface of Kigahara. It seems to have a solid dirt surface like any other planet. The surface is mostly covered with a dense pine forest. A gray, gloomy fog hangs in the air, obscuring visibility beyond 30 feet. Colors seem duller here, sounds seem slightly quieter as well. Being on the planet feels depressing and draining. While here, the heroes maximum number of healing surges is reduced by one.

Careful investigation leads to a secret door that leads to a series of tunnels built by large humanoids. The see light coming from further down. They find that lower rooms contain windows and balconies that let in a gloomy, bluish light. Looking out, they see the gaping expanse that is the hallow center of the planet. All along the planet’s interior wall are elaborate stone cities, made up of structures that hang from the ceiling, like inverted sky scrapers. They’re in one such building now. Scattered among the buildings are enormous stalactites, some hundreds of feet long. Many are covered in bulbous, milky blue fungi which lets off a faint glow.

There is what a appears to be a relatively dull, small sun floating around inside the planet. It casts a cool, dim light.

When they peer down into the dark center of the expanse, their eyes barely see an impossibly large almond shaped structure. It’s The Terror, the Liathonian super-weapon. They see ships and huge flying bats coming to a fro, ferrying workers and supplies to the ship.

Just as they’re taking in this sight, they’re attacked by Stone Giants and a Liathonian human. There will be the possibility of knocking opponents off the balcony they’re on. This will send them falling toward the center of the cavern, where The Terror hangs in air.

3 Stone Giants (MM2 124)

1 Stone Giant Runecarver

The Stone Giants have medallions with an ancient script. A history check reveals them to say “Order of the Infinite Earth.”

They set it up to look like the giants killed one another by fighting over 1,000 gp. They run to the surface to hide.

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More Undeath in Liathonia!

As they’re dropping their payload on Gaia, they encounter a group of Lithonian soldiers on horseback. They also have a cart that seems to be a hearse. They flee, but cause the hearse to crash, releasing a floating skull from the casket. It attacks Auren and Silence!

Also, level up to 15!

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Something Fowl in Yarlinshire

In the temple in Yarlinshire there is an undead human priest and three Half Elves that have been transformed into greenish undead creatures. The priest wears a uniform that seems to be a mix of military and religious, he seems to be a chaplain of sorts. A few things are curious about his uniforms. One, it appears that the religious symbols, once referencing Avandra, have been defaced. And two, all of his gear seems to be very old, a history check reveals that it’s all antique.

The three heroes were quickly overwhelmed, and retreated.

They return and kill the priest and the half=Elves he’s transformed. They open a cursed tome, some are helped, others are hindered.

After that, they need to get the displacer beast to Thaddeus, the Elvish general. He will give them 15,000 gp. Thaddeus is impressed with their work, and would like them to help with delivering the beast. He’ll give them another 15,000 gp if they successfully deliver it to Liathonia.

“We’ll need you to deliver the beast, but we’ve got another package, as well.” He then shows them below deck in his ship, where he has a large cage with 20 extremely angry gnolls. In another smaller cage are the gnolls weapons. “You’ll need to drop the beast and the gnolls a little ways apart, we don’t want them fighting each other. You’ll have to drop them both in the country, not the city. There’s a small farming village, Windell, not far from Vegolis. Drop the beast and the gnolls on opposite sides of this village.”

“You’ll be able to lower the cages down from your ship, but you’ll have to fly your griffons down there to open the cages. Try not to get hurt. I trust you’ll survive.”

If the heroes try to insist on hitting a military target, Thaddeus will say, “No, you’ll attack the target as ordered. If you drop these creatures into a military encampment, they’ll do some damage, sure, but they’ll be taken out very quickly. We need the beast and the gnolls to disrupt food production, pull troops away from the front lines, and ultimately, hurt Liathonian morale. Do the mission as ordered, and you’ll receive your reward. If not, deal’s off. I’ll be sending Pt. Feavin with you to oversee the mission.”

Pt. Feavin is pretty low level, and he seems it.

The heroes are wary about the target. They get Thaddeus to agree to give them 20,000 gp to investigate and destroy the ship they have the plans of, and they get to speak to the Council once they complete both missions.

As they’re dropping their payload on Gaia, they encounter a group of Lithonian soldiers on horseback. They also have a cart that seems to be a hearse. They flee, but cause the hearse to crash, releasing a floating skull from the casket. It attacks Auren and Silence!

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Massacre at Broladeshire

They travel to the valley, and find the village smoldering. In the center of town is a large pile of bones, they find no survivors. Silence flied in to look for evidence, he notices that bodies not in the pile are not bones, they look like there were killed just yesterday. They all appear to be Brolades. He also notices very fresh graves. He exhumes them, and finds fallen Yarlin soldiers. When he gets within 5 squares of the bone pile, he is attacked by it. He managed to fly away before it can strike.

They kill the animate bones, but they’re rise within a day. In the pile of bones they find a clue. A half-burned letter written in Elvish. They can only read fragments of it.

Silence knows that Yarlinshire is in a nearby valley, just 15 minutes by eagle.

They split up, only three of the heroes go to Yarlinshire.

When they arrive at Yarlinshire they are not attacked, but they find that things are quite tense. People seem to be waiting around for something. Silence recognizes a few faces, and they recognize him. They act wary, but not aggressive, no one attacks.

They talk to Kadon Yarlin, who Silence had traded with as a young man. Kadon says they’re each waiting their turn for the “transformation”. Den Yarlin, the patriarch, has told everyone that due to the threat from the Elvish Council, we must ally with Liathonia to survive. Liathonia has sent a special Priest to give us a blessing that will help us be more fierce in battle. The blessing is called a transformation.

In the temple there is an undead human priest and three Half Elves that have been transformed into greenish undead creatures. The priest wears a uniform that seems to be a mix of military and religious, he seems to be a chaplain of sorts. A few things are curious about his uniforms. One, it appears that the religious symbols, once referencing Avandra, have been defaced. And two, all of his gear seems to be very old, a history check reveals that it’s all antique.

The three are quickly overwhelmed, and retreat.

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A Snag on Charlon

Once they have the beast knocked out, they have a limited time to get it on the ship. While they’re working on that, they’re approached by a Liathonain soldier and a Half-Elf. The Half-Elf wears the crest of the Yarlin family.

The human has a raven perched on his shoulder. It flies off and transforms into a Human wearing a Liathonian sergeant’s uniform with a cap that looks like a raven. He says, “What are you boys doing? And more importantly, what are you doing with that Liathonian galleon?”

They attempt to bluff, claiming that they’re on a special mission from Jolen to capture a displacer beast. Sergeant Raven does not believe them, and shouts, “Bullshit!”

Roll initiative!

When they defeat them, they check out their gear. On Sergeant Raven they find a scroll of Shadow Walk, and a scroll of Eye of Warding. His raven cap allows the wearer to transform into a raven once per day, for as long as the wearer wants, gaining fly speed 6 but loosing all other powers.

The Half-Elf had a +3 Lifedrinker Longsword. Silence notices that this is a “heritage sword,” a very important item passed down for generations through Half-Elf families. Heritage swords are never sold or traded. When a Half-Elf inherits one, he keeps it until he dies, if he can help it. The markings on this particular heritage sword indicate that it’s from the Brolade family, Silence’s family!

Broladeshire, the valley where Silence grew up, is half a day’s journey from here on foot, and just about an hour by airship.

They travel to the valley, and find the village smoldering. In the center of town is a large pile of bones, they find no survivors. Silence flied in to look for evidence, he notices that bodies not in the pile are not bones, they look like there were killed just yesterday. They all appear to be Brolades. He also notices very fresh graves. He exhumes them, and finds fallen Yarlin soldiers. When he gets within 5 squares of the bone pile, he is attacked by it. He managed to fly away before it can strike.

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On the Front Line with the Elvish Council

The heroes have captured a Liathonian galleon, The Trinity, and the plans for a massive battleship called The Terror. Feyrynne is still with them.

They received a +3 Cloak of Survival (PHB 250) from human captain. It’s the skin of a bear’s head that sits on the wearer’s head, and the pelt forms a cloak.

They see the Council fleet, and a ship approaches. On the ship they meet an Elvish general named Thaddeus. Thaddeus is very happy to see Feyrynne alive and well, and immediately gives the heroes 5,000 gp and a +3 Orb of Reversed Polarities (PHB 238). He tells them that there is much work to be done, and the service of such great warriors would be appreciated and compensated. Feyrynne tries to speak for the whole group, saying, “We just want to help the war effort! We couldn’t possibly accept additional rewards for such duty. It is our mission to defeat Jolen and his evil empire!” The heroes may speak up…

Thaddeus offers the heroes 15,000 gp if they capture a fearsome displacer beast that haunts a forest on Charlon. He wants to use it as a weapon against the Liathonians. Thaddeus gives them a vial of milky white liquid. He tells them to pour this in the beast’s open wounds as soon as it falls, and it should stay alive and unconscious for at least 30 minutes. In order to land on Charlon, the heroes will need to fly their giant eagles down. The Trinity is too large to land, but they can attempt to set it in a geosynchronous orbit. To get the displacer beast back up to the ship, they’ll need to drop a long cable attached to a winch, which the Trinity has.

The displacer beast is nursing displacer kittens, and is guarded by a Briar Witch Dryad. Shortly after landing in the area where the beast should be, they find large, six-footed paw tracks, along with some smaller tracks. They come into a clearing and see the beast with the two young ones nursing. Just then, a female Half-Elf (the Dryad in disguise) emerges from behind a bush. She says, “You weren’t thinking of harming this innocent creature, were you? We’re blessed to have such wonders from the Feywild.” If they ask her about the war, she’ll try to play along, but she really doesn’t know anything about it (bluff check). If the conversation persists, it will become more clear that she has no idea about the war, and that she will become violent if they threaten the displacer beast, she may even strike first.

They down the displacer beasts, and the Briar Witch Dryad runs away, saying, “Those were innocent creatures! They don’t want anything to do with your silly war! They way you behave, you’ll destroy us all!”

Once they have the beast knocked out, they have a limited time to get it on the ship. While they’re working on that, they’re approached by a Liathonain soldier and a Half-Elf. The Half-Elf wears the crest of the Yarlin family.

The human has a raven perched on his shoulder. It flies off and transforms into a Human wearing a Liathonian sergeant’s uniform with a cap that looks like a raven. He says, “What are you boys doing? And more importantly, what are you doing with that Liathonian galleon?”

They attempt to bluff, claiming that they’re on a special mission from Jolen to capture a displacer beast. Sergeant Raven does not believe them, and shouts, “Bullshit!”

Roll initiative!

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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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