/vx/ - Videogames and Paranormal

If you want to see the latest posts from all boards in a convenient way please check out /overboard/
Note: JS is reccomended to be able to post effortlessly, but I am working on a system where that won't be needed.

By clicking New Reply, I acknowledge the existence of the Israeli nuclear arsenal.
Select File / Oekaki
Password (For file and/or post deletion.)

The Battle of Brindol.jpg
Screenshot (233).png
Red Hand Of Doom: Part IV, The Battle Of Brindol
Welcome to the fourth installment of /mlpol/'s first running of the classic 3.5e campaign, Red Hand Of Doom.
Having successfully thwarted the Red Hand's allegiace with the Ghostlord, our heroes await the culmination of their labors up until now, and their strategic planning and dialogue will lay the groudwork for this chapter's events. Now, they prepare to face the Red Hand at the last stronghold in Elsir Vale.

The Red Hand has nearly reached the walls of Brindol: the horde should arrive in less than two weeks, Burning towns as they march along the Dawn Way and driving an increasingly large wave of refugees before them. Time is scarce as the horde draws near, and our heroes are bunkering down for what may be the greatest battle in their lifetimes.

At this current moment, our heroes have only just met up with Brindol's defense council. They'll be communicating their gathered intel, raising allied morale, bonding with important NPCs, flaunting their abilities (the "no dick-measuring" rule is hereby suspended), and proposing battle plans that will make or break the battle, while I make some warcraft and morale checks. It will certainly be interestng to see what they come up with.
But first and foremost, they'll be introducing themselves.
145871 145873
2Q (1).png
"i am Sister Night Shroud, a member of the Shadow Guard, Servant of Pelor, and Practitioner of the Dawn to Dusk and Dusk to Dawn Styles. i'm commonly referred to as the socially awkward younger sister of the local temple." greeted a small; pale; human girl of 5'1" and 90 lbs with long black hair and massive blue eyes. clad in a black elven starweave dress in a minimalist gothic style with stockings, mary janes, a bladeless hilt sheathed a shadowsilk belt, and a blindfold worn like a headband.

"i was initially sent to find the War Wizard Cromar. turns out he wasn't there and most of his possessions weren't there. so i went to the swamp to search. hobgoblins of the red hand were enslaving Saurians or Lizardfolk as they are commonly called." cue the excitable little girl

"the ogres guarding the port die like a breeze in a tunnel. the razorfiends, though dangerous, were only deadly due to the terrain they guarded. and the black dragon adopted cowards tactics till i taunted him to come down by wounding his pride by rubbing myself all over his horde. he acted recklessly and with our combined might he fell. we found Cromar's head in a bag." cue the little girl's pitch getting more cheerful

"we return the ghost lord's phylatery. after several greling trials through his lair. then he transforms into an undead were lion and slauhters several hobgobliins. we capture thier living uncious general. a hobgoblin woman named Uali. we try twice to interrogate her, stormclouds come each time, we take her out the 3rd time."

"on the way to the ghost lord, we convince giants to not consume us, i call another dragon a coward to make it charge recklessly. this dragon retreats, even though it proves she falters before the lion."

"we also returned some recovered artifacts to the elves and got showered with gifts for it. making friends with giant owls."

"and we delivered the gold to the dwarves. to recruit thier services, and bribed bandits to pursue work. the bharghests and dragonspawn we fight during our patrol are deadly, but even scarier, is the small mounted horde of green dragon spawn that got fireballed than sliced to death by the power of the sunblade within this hilt i recovered from the ghost lords lair."

"an ooze dissolved my habit, but i managed to replace it with an elven dress. but tis better than walking around half dressed."
Artorias Greenmarsch, Mercenary/Hero
>For the first time in a fucking while and a half, Artorias removes the Platinum Helmet to reveal a middle-aged man with shaggy but short brown hair and piercing green eyes
"Artorias Greenmarsch, cleric in service of the Platinum Dragon and adoptive father of Billie Greenmarsch, the steel wyrmling you see here disguised as a small child. (pats Billie on the head and has her say hi). I've served my church for 22 years, and I served in the armed forces of my home kingdom for 5 before I left. Before they sent me here because of a vision that was woefully sparse on details, I traveled the continent providing help where I could and fighting for just causes when I was asked to."
"Since getting here, I've joined with this group and provided my services to them in defeating this horde of green assholes. Along the way, I've personally struck down a black dragon, securing the support of the Tiri Kitor for you, and helped turn away a white one in the thornwastes. I've also either killed or assisted in the killing of hundreds of servants or spawn of the whore Tiamat, and took part in the raids that killed two of the three dead Red Hand generals."
"I'm also the one responsible for conducting the negotiations between the Ghostlord and, by proxy, all of you and thus convincing him to not continue producing undead for the Red Hand's war efforts. I'm also the one who made sure that that one (pointing at Umbrie) didn't screw up the entire process by doing everything in her power to piss him off or get us all killed along the way. After dealing with him, we interrogated one of the Red Hand generals we captured and got what information we could from her before killing her, and I've been communing with Bahamut daily to patch up the numerous holes in it all."
"Lastly, on the way here, I also assisted in the delivery of your payment to the dwarven mercenaries you hired since the two guards you sent to guard it died along the way. If you want me to expand on anything I've mentioned, just ask; otherwise this is about it for me."
>Artorias returns the helmet to his head and crosses his arms, awaiting any questions from the assembled council about either himself or Billie
Aral Tel'thuen'slaugh Avaemaskan
>Soranna did recognize the elf, but any description she gave before might be just a little off by now. If for nothing else, then simply because Aral's eyes have changed color since they last met, and he happened to have lost most (if not all) of his hair by this point, as if by an unfortunate Fireball mishap. Not that it bothered him much: No time or reason to care about matters so frivolous when an army of goblins is invading. The actual cause of his irregular appearance was, of course, tapping into an ancient reserve of accumulated power through joining a ritual of druids he had no real business attending - but this information could only be deduced by an expert in either druidic lore, or perhaps of the arcane sciences.
>Noticing the silence after a while, he speaks. It's probably his cue.
"Aral Tel'thuen'slaugh."
"The one who found the goblins' map? Yes, yes, that elf. Unfortunately my expertise in goblinoids proved to be of limited help thanks to the Red Hand's diverse resources, but ever since our failed mission to the Dwarf Bridge, I made it a personal goal to understand their greatest assets in the same manner. Dragons of the chromatic variety. Studied their movements. Their abilities. Their weaknesses. Ways to defend against them and hurt them where it matters. I'm happy to report that I can kill a large sized draconic creature in just under 12 seconds."
"The next one won't get away, you have my word. Not between me and Summer Star."
>Aral hold up his relic bow. Not very high, just about eye height, so that she can say a few words and occupy the same general position in space where one's face would be when they talk and happen to be standing upright. Maybe because it seems appropriate. Maybe as an effort to make a talking greatbow feel just a bit more natural in conversation. Alas, the true reason is that he wanted a few seconds when his eyes could dart around the room in a vain effort to search for someone who could save him from this public speaking nightmare. Maybe Soranna! No? Not this time? Ah well.
Alright, with all of this, today's session will go by a little smoother.
Ngl, I've been feeling a little under the weather since my second shot of covid vaccine yesterday, but I'll still be running.
I'm going to give you the benefit of th doubt and give you a chance to correct that you were a bit less open about the operations of the Shadow Guard (the church really doesn't like it when you talk about their secret police). Your master, Lady Treldora Goldenbrow, is right there, and she looks rather glad that you made it back alive (followed by a look of annoyance if you actually namedropped the SS Ninjas and the Shadow Guard).
Tredora (female Aasimar in white robes; Blonde hair and violet eyes; halo blazing), the local high priestess, mostt prominent Cleric of Pelor, and Baker In Chief, does put a good word in for you though, and the Council is visibly impressed. Usually a gentle, soft-speaking, kindhearted person, the recent atrocities of the Red Hand appeared to have stirred some dormant rage in her heart (they don't call the Shadow Guard "The Burning Hate" for nothing); she's become quite fierce and vocal on the subject of Brindol's defenses.
Your Diplomacy check has been modified by your affiliation score with the Shining Light of Pelor, and it has been raised.
...And promptly droppped back down to what it was for associating with undead. Sorry :p
The entire council gasps as you namedrop the local boogeyman (the Ghostlord) who was half-responsible for laying waste to Rhest. They chatter amongst themselves.
"Well, if what you say is true, you are more courageous than I am." Lord Jarmaath acknowledges, humbly
Lord Jarmaath, a Crusader of Pelor himself, instantly seems to take a liking to you, despite your apparant age. He knows that Monks of Pelor start their training young. Perhaps you might have bumped into him, or even known him personally, since the Shadow Guard have some subtle relations with the Lions of Brindol.
Tredora Goldenbrow's relationship with Lord Jarmaath is an open secret in Brindol; no one speaks openly of it, but everyone knows the two are lovers.

You see Immerstal the Red, who had been leaning against the wall with a look of bored skepticism, suddenely jolt to attention as you mention the great War Wizard Cromar, and confirm that he is dead. It appears that this news took him by surprise. An indiscernable expression falls over his face as you mention that you acquired is head.
The Coucil is visibly impressed by Artorias, if a bit perturbed by his ruffian demeanor. Some of them seem under some disbelief that you slayed a dragon, but Lord Jarmaath comments with a nostalgic chuckle that someone finally finished off "Little Reggie" in Rhest. You also see Kiliar confirm your accounts in the corner of the room.
The Brindolian Soldiers, particularly Captain Lars Ulverth (The leader of Brindol’s Lion Guard), seem to stare in jealous awe at the lions on your armor; apparently, relics of Rhest are highly prized in Brindol. Your Diplomacy check has been modified by the Ornate quality of your armor.
There is no temple of Bahamut in Brindol, but Lady Tredora assures the council that Bahamut's Order is a just church (if inferior to Pelor's) that raises many paladins, and staunchly opposes the Cult Of The Dragon. She elaborates that this helps to explain the motivations of the Red Hand, answering questions.

Billie (human form, as usual) introduces herself with almost-alarming eloquence, giving a polite curtsie. the council stare at her quizically, before she helps herself to food at the table.
Lady Tredora, who ran an orphanage in her time, fails her bluff check to hide a warm smile, and discretely hands the child a small satchel as Aral begins to speak.
The Tiri Kitor Elves have apparently given Aral quite a good word in the past few weeks; Sellyria Starsinger has written and performed several ballads about how he vanquished the Harrowblades. At this point, the Council of Brindol would have been told not only that he's uncontested as the deadliest archer in the vale, but also the second most powerful wizard.
>"Yeah, that's right. He's the real deal!"
^ You hear hear Summer shout loudly before the council in her sonorous voice, a couple of which give a startled gasp. She's grown a bit more uppity and bombastic since you supplied her mana.

In the room, you notice Immerstal The Red: the most powerful Wizard in Elsier Vale. He's been staring directly at you throughout the whole speech, and you notice his eyes glowing with enchantment as he sizes you up. His expression seems skeptical and not-so-friendly, but he's visibly fixated on you.
From the tattoos on his arms and neck, you tell that he is indeed a Red Wizard: a powerful arcane overlord.
... I think...?
Night Shrowd, from a passive religion and local check, you will know from your prior relations that Tredora Goldenbrow is a Cleric capable of casting at least 4th level spells (that you've seen), and that she is a Radiant Servant of Pelor. You cannot make out her exact class distribution, nor can you discern her approximate level without a very high Sense Motive check.
Perhaps she'd have higher level spells if she just bought off her LA, and didn't blow a bunch of XP every day to produce healing items for Brindol.
She is also one of the town’s most recognizable faces; as an aasimar, her ethereal beauty has left many worshipers in the throes of a hopeless infatuation.
Depending on how young you were when you entered the church in Brindol, this woman may have practically raised you. I probably should have fleshed that out earlier, but here we are.
>blowing XP on making healing items
>not just using spells normally and autistically hoarding XP to make yourself as broken as possible
gotta hand it to those NPCs, it's almost as if they don't have a set of rulebooks telling them exactly how to live their lives to the best effect!

It was more of a sarcastic remark directed at myself about me allowing the PCs to come dangerously close to outleveling the most powerful NPCs in the region by unecessarily scaling-up their encounters up until now, which I'm coming to regret since it might make the next few battles seem a bit too easy... The High Priestess supposed to relatively be a bigger deal than she might seem at the party's current level, but I can't just add extra caster levels to NPCs because that gums up the world balance, so I say that her effective Cleric level has been reduced by XP expenditure, LA, and multiclassing. I also mistakingly implied that she'd be available to offer 5th level Cleric spells earlier in the campaign, which was inacurrate, so perhaps a little in-world explaination involving personal sacrifice could fix that.
It would actually fit the theme I'm going for, because Tredora's demeanor would have changed since Night Shroud last saw her anyway. She's visibly drained by her recent efforts.
Also, I wanted to point to the fact that Tredora Goldenbrow is the producer of most of the spell wafers (cookies) that the party has been consuming up until now. It ties into Night Shrouds backstory, and her flaws, and exemplifies Tredora as a priestess of Pelor, and to a lesser extent as a caretaker.

Fair enough, I was more just making a jab at how NPCs aren't usually that well optimized over anything else.
i guess i wouldn't use the exact terms. or namedrop the Shadow Guard. but would still like to at least share that i'm a servant of pelor and the stealthy unarmed sort.
Now begins the downtime period during which the PCs prepare for battle.
Artorias Greenmarsch's Player, the Man Without a Title
Today on the Red Hand of Doom, shit started off pretty alright and quickly grew fucky! How? Well, I'll tell you, except for names which I forgot over the course of a 4-hour nap!
>The party introduces themselves in the Brindolian war room, and all the important guys and gals ask their questions of us
>The most noteworthy of these is the wizard who replaced Cromar in the court, who asked to see Cromar's remains
>We oblige, he takes the skull and leaves, and we finish answering questions and rolling diplomacy checks to get everyone onboard with our ideas
>After that, we take a small hiatus to get ourselves in order for the next while and continue on
>First order of business is to make sure that wizard isn't doing anything super stupid with the skull since we just remembered that that's where all of Cromar's most powerful spells are
>Along the way, though, we finally meet back up with Jorr and get our horses back! Yay!
>But we continue on, off to the wizard's shop
>When we get there, we're greeted by his Gynosphinx
>She informed us that he's not taking visitors due to working on said skull, so we kill some time by taking care of some shopping while we wait for him to finish
>Artorias in particular wants to know what that ghost lion is doing in his shield besides biting anyone who gets too close, so rolls are made and as it turns out the lion is now also a companion spirit for the party!
>Following this revelation, he needs a name
>We throw around names, and the sphinx suggests Ikelos (I actually had this one written down!), the greek god of nightmares who liked appearing as a lion
>Welcome to the party, Ikelos!
>Maybe Ike for short in the future, we'll see
>However, our shopping takes less time than his wizardry so we go up to speak to him ourselves
>The sphinx, however, blocks us!
>She makes it clear we're not getting past her, but allows us to answer a riddle to at least try
>inb4 children's book of riddles
>Nope, turns out it's that same riddle that's been thrown around since Odysseus!
>featherless biped, take it or leave it
>you may add broad, flat nails if you so choose
>The sphinx seems genuinely surprised that we bodied her riddle so quickly, so we move past while she thinks of better material
>When we get to the wizard, he's trying to lockpick the skull
>After some tries, we get his attention and inform him of what we need to before sticking around because this doesn't seem too safe and when has an adventuring party ever done the smart thing
>Artorias decides that this shit is taking too long and tries to speed it up by removing the curse, but the only thing that happens is we all get sucked into the far realms
>Oh boy, the campaign's gone planar! Fucking excellent!
>Well, it's not like we don't have ways to get home, right?
>Yeah, Artorias has access to planeshift so all we need is time!
>... And a steel tuning fork
>Well, let's try to find some way to take the steel we have and make it into that steel fork
>The only lead we have is tracks leading from where we are to elsewhere, so we follow those tracks
>Along the way, we get jumped by two massive monsters that could only be spawn of this plane
>Motherfuckers literally rose out of the shit on the ground and put themselves together like a reversed video of jello under a blowtorch
>They die, but not before dealing some damage to Aral and Umbrie
>Umbrie then tries to heal Aral after it's all over, and granted, he's healed
>Problem is, he now has a tumor on his arm
>And when the tumor is dug out, it has a face
>Get me the fuck out of here
>Right, we're working on that
>In the meantime, back to following this track
>Until it seems like the entire lovecraftian plane has decided to throw a surprise party for us
>And by surprise party, I mean an ambush
>And by an ambush, I mean a few non-undead bonedrinkers jumped us and then everyone and their mother jumped on the pile too
>I would've been a better help, but at this point I kept getting grappled because touch AC is fucking low
>Bye bye, constitution, I'm gonna miss you
>Eventually though, the tide is stemmed and everything suddenly gets cold enough to make us take nonlethal damage
>Camp is made, Artorias gets to thinking about how the fuck he's gonna use a shuriken and 20 crossbow bolts to make a tuning fork, and Aral and Umbrie decide to investigate some noises they hear
>Lol ok, have fun dying
>They go out and see a wizard evaporating hordes of the motherfuckers that jumped us, and the wizard also sees them
>Old elven looking guy, weirdly friendly and almost impossible to tell what the fuck is going through his head
>Let's call him Sheogorath until >That Guy reminds me of his actual name when I post this
>Sheogorath turns out to be a friend of Cromar's, and offers us safe passage home as a gift
>Not being stupid, we accept and everybody goes home
>Along the way, we also get some neat powers!
>Umbrie gets some stat buffs, Artorias and Billie get the ability to cast wind wall once a day without using a spell slot, and Aral goes Super Saiyan
>Also, turns out we've been gone for no time at all and the initial wizard is very confused as to why we're suddenly beat the fuck up
>Far Realms, enough said
>Time to take care of what other business we need to deal with!
>Go to the church of Pelor, call in some favors to get put back in good shape, find a lady who helps me make a scroll of revivify
>Umbrie also purchases 12 wands of lesser vigor on my behalf
>Pic related
>After this, everyone splits up to take care of their own last-minute shopping needs before the battle of Brindol begins
>OOC this was just a good stopping point for us all to take care of various things that we'd be doing away from eachother
Next time on the Red Hand of Doom, the party splits up to tackle sidequests in the final stretch before the horde reaches Brindol! Can we get the last few victory points we need to "win" the game, or will saving the veil be the only victory we get? Tune in next week to find out!
Artorias Greenmarsch's Player, the Man Without a Title
After looking back through the channels, I have reminded myself that Sheogorath's name is actually Father Llymic, my bad
Screenshot (234).png
Screenshot (235).png
Highlights from today's session:
Artorias Greenmarsch's Player, the Man Without a Title
Ah yes, the entire Special Ed class that jumped us
I had a lot more I was going to use, but i was getting tired and you guys ended up making it out the easy way by accepting Llymic's Gifts.
Still, you haven't seen the last of the Cerebrotic Mire, or Father Llymic. It'll always be a part of you, lurking right there in your collection periphery :)

Still, you could count yourselves lucky you decided to visit the Red Magic and Sundries, because if you hadn't been around to be shunted into the Mire on day 30, Immerstal might have been lost instead.
Monster highlights from today's session:
>Bakemono Ninja (x 15)
>Blackspawn Stalker (x1)
>Bluespawn Stoneglider (x 50)
>Greenspawn Zealot (x1)
>Santa Claus(?) (N/A; ambient cerebrotic presence)
Variant illustration of a less well-fed blackspawn stalker, which might atually be a bit closer to what appeared in the dining hall.
Artorias Greenmarsch's Player, the Man Without a Title
As usual, time for a recap!
>Party decides not to split up at the last moment
>We actually stick together and do a bit more shopping around and strategizing on what we need to do before the battle
>Aral's making bigass trees to help us fight, Artorias is making a magic mine field around the city, and Umbrie is...
>Well, I'm not too sure what Umbrie's doing
>Probably something with the church of Pelor and how she's some kind of superspy for them, I guess
>Anyway, we decide these things and then it's night, so we all head back to Jarmaath's place to do some other shit
>Said other shit being learning how to meditate for a team skill!
>We all get down to it with Aral taking the lead, when all of the sudden father Llymic comes to visit us
>He informs us that we all now have cerebrosis, and thus are able to do shit focused around the cerebrotic mire
>Well then
>Now that that's over, time to take care of our nightly activities and get some rest
>Well, we would've if that sorceress we met back out in the sticks hadn't finally arrived to meet us!
>Umbrie provides pleasant conversation to distract her while Aral pulls Artorias aside after botching two sense motive rolls
>While he and Artorias are in the closet together, Aral tells Artorias about his true feelings
>No, it's not a confession of love, you homos!
>The two have a back-and-forth about how the sorceress seems kinda sketchy all the time, but how there's still four of us and only one of her, not to mention the level gaps
>In the end, they come to an agreement to ambush her with an interrogation tomorrow when Artorias gets back his zone of truth and commune spells again
>Once the two men come back out of the closet somewhat more relieved than when they went in, they find out that Umbrie and the lady have actually made some extra progress in their conversation, gaining us some new info and an invitation to dinner!
>The extra information is that apparently she's part of a noble family here!
>Very interesting
>On the way out, we make sure to tell Jarmaath where we're going
>He tells us to say hello to the family's matriarch for him, since she hasn't been out in weeks
>Some shit ain't right
>Well, we're going there now so we'll figure it out soon
>When we get there, sorceress makes us wait outside for a while before letting us in, and while we wait Umbrie hears her go across the building and get into an argument with someone else
>When the argument's resolved (peacefully, I might add), she finally lets us in only to immediately stop in the kitchen and scream
>Time to roll initiative!
>In the kitchen, there's a massive ugly blackspawn stalker!
>Also, suspended from the ceiling around the area are several human-sized cocoons!
>This looks bad
>Umbrie punts the not-drider of the ceiling, but it immediately climbs back up there and bodyslams her for big damage, upon which more than a handful of small spiders come spewing out of everywhere
>The floor? Spiders
>The ceiling? Spiders
>The walls? You guessed it, spiders
>This massive pile of spiders then ensnares all of us as a mob, dealing some damage and leaving us all grappled
>Luckily, Aral's bow Summer Star has the ability to cast fireball at 20th level!
>Everything goes from spiders to fire, and Artorias is caught in the blast with a critfail and gets launched across the room
>The room is now also on fire
>Well, time to kill these things and then leg it!
>Not-drider goes down when Aral runs it through with a volley of arrows, and the smaller spoddlers are wiped by the party's combined efforts
>Notably through all this, the sorceress has been doing fuck-all
>Just sitting there and having a meltdown
>I mean, yeah, her family's dead, but she could at least try to avenge them
>When we get done with the spiders, we all head back out into the entryway to find 15 ninjas, some blackspawn raiders, two enemy clerics, and a greenspawn zealot
>Artorias caves in the zealot's skull, Aral and Umbrie make short work of the clerics and raiders, and everybody starts popping ninjas
>Summer Star at some point also puts up a fire wall, exacerbating the fire problem
>Oh well, we can deal with that later!
>What do you mean, 'later means now'?
>... Oh
>When everything's dead, we grow wise to the fact that the mansion is now burning to the ground and grab the cocoons to drag them to safety
>When everyone's outside, the cocoons are opened to reveal their very dead occupants, the rest of the sorceress's family
>Aral then bravely runs inside the burning building to see if anyone else needs saving while Artorias tells the gathering crowd to get help and wait on standby if Aral finds anyone in need of healing
>Nobody is found though, and even worse, the sorceress has bugged out for some odd reason
>The guard is notified about her and set to watch as well as being informed about how to make sure no more red hand assholes sneak in, and the council is assembled to be informed of these happenings
>After all that is taken care of, we decide to track down the sorceress!
>The owls are called and we collectively make chase with Aral at the lead, following her tracks as she leaves the city
>Her tracks also seem to shift a few times along the way, from losing her heels to gain some speed to starting to run as she realize she's being tracked, to even shapeshifting into a giant spider to run away even faster, and teleporting along the way a couple of times for good measure!
>After a while, we decide that we've been chasing her long enough without seeing anything new
>That's when we remember a scrying shard that we got a while ago!
>Perfect, but I had to do things IRL that forced me to cut the session short
>Leaving it to next week, then!
Next time, the scrying shard! Will it help the party find their missing sorceress, or will it just flop? I don't really know, but that's kind of the point! Anyway, see you all next Saturday!
Nice recap. Take your action point as usual.