Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby ManthisFocht » Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:21 am

((Apologies for lack of response, work has kept me occupied. Ian has an fPM to review with your lewtz, and I will have a summary/wrap post up this weekend! I promise!))
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby ManthisFocht » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:13 am

As the Astral ship begins to pull away from the orbiting god rocks, the central blue orb lashes out with its tendrils of raw energy with more ferocity and power than you’d seen previously. This sustains for several seconds longer than before, but after it climaxes, becomes much more dormant. Only a soft, slowly pulsing light can now been seen and it eventually fades from sight as the ship sails away at best speed. After several minutes you are able to catch your breath and let the trembling caused from all the adrenaline subside a bit. You all hear Captain X and his crew below, triumphantly cheering and singing various songs (all out of key and attempting to drown out one another) poorly sung below.

Over the din of celebration, the Captain bids you all come below. As you make your way towards the hatch and begin to unceremoniously cram yourselves in, mechanical arms from the belly of the ship begin to collect the various bits and hunks and chunks of the god rock from the deck both large and small.

Much as you had been in the past, you are dumped into the main deck below to the hoots and jeers you hard heard above, only MUCH louder below deck – more uproarious than any tavern room you’d seen in Waterdeep or anywhere besides… and with half the space. Wine, ale, and grain alcohol are showered about with no regard to the wonton waste of good booze. For pirates, you find this very indicative of just how elated they are. Of course, what pirate wouldn’t be elated that their super weapon’s test run had been a quite devastating success and they had secured enough ammunition for many battles to come?

Over the next few hours, unbridled celebration becomes a more modest feast with food and drink abounding. As the loud cheering gives way to a more respectable volume, one can now hear the whirring and cranking of machinery in the lower decks. Even in the aftermath of such a great victory and during a well-earned celebration, the work never stops. You are all invited to the Captains table, which after a far more… recognizable… meal of delicious food, he beckons one of the attending crew to bring forward “The Gift”.

Within a matter of moments, a relatively small, but ornate, oblong chest is brought to the table. A space is cleared before the Captain’s seat at the head of the table. From behind his ear, he produces a rather generic looking key and applies it to the lock. With a *click* the lid pops slightly ajar – it is open, but only by the smallest of cracks and impossible to yet peer inside.

The Captain directs that your glasses be topped of, his as well, and then clears his throat.
“Ladies n’ gentlemen, what I have before ye is a treasure most impressive. Our agreement be only that I take ye to Isvarya Talifar. But seein’ what a fine job ye did n’ on account of me good mood after the canon worked, I’m in quite a generous mood. Ye lot got me enough o’ the godrock to last a hundred battles a hundred times that size.”

He smiles at each of you and opens the chest, revealing 4 rings and one mask. The rings each appear unique from one another, each with runic inscriptions. The mask, too, has cryptic markings that appear as tear drops coming from the eye sockets, which are inlaid with the darkest, most pure, jet black stones you’ve ever seen.

“Not only did ye perform admirably, but there seems to be a touch o’ destiny wrapped around each of ye. These were all recovered from one o’ them Sentinels ye smashed on me deck. We were breakin’ ‘em down fer the rock and these came out. No doubt about it, they be marked fer you lot.”

The first ring that Captain X produces is as pure white as a virgin snow, light as air, and slightly cold to the touch, as if it were made entirely of ice. He places it in the palm of his hand and extends it to Kurik.

The second ring looks slightly larger than the others, and almost hovers around Captain X’s fingers as he goes to pick it up. It seems like it never actually touches him, but comes infinitely close. The Captain is able to handle it just fine, despite its eerie quality, and hands it to Tahiri.

The third ring has 3 precious stones inlayed across the top of the band, one each of red, blue and yellow. As the Captain picks up the ring, it seems that the stone shimmer brilliantly in the otherwise dim lights around the dinner table, but as he hands the ring to Tyrani, it appears that the stones pulse and glow all on their own – flickering at random intervals with varying, muted, brightness.

The fourth and final ring is very bland in appearance, looking as though it was forged from fine, sturdy steel. It is polished and clean, but doesn’t glean like rings made from more precious metals. The Captain seems to struggle somewhat picking it up out of the case and when he hands the ring to Rhyl, it becomes obvious why. The ring rolls into Rhyl’s outstretched palm and the palm immediately drops several inches, as if a weight was dropped into it, as if the ring weighed as much as a dagger many times its size.

Lastly, Captain X takes out the Mask from the chest. The mask itself is made from a soft, cream colored porcelain but what catches your attention are the deep, mesmerizing black Jet stones that have been laid into the eye sockets. They are as black as the void that surrounds the ship and the way they bulge from the finely crafted facial features is both unnatural and unsettling… They just STARE at you. Etched into the cheeks of the mask are runic symbols, identical to those etched around the interior of each of your ring bands. The mask is then handed to Devdan and the chest set aside from the table.

As you each receive the items from Captain X, you feel an immediate attachment or affinity to them, like one might imagine a puppy feels after a master returns home after a long day.

“Ye’ve helped me n’ me crew more n’ ye can possibly know, and I thank ye fer yer service on me crew. But, our agreement be at an end and it’s time you land lubbers head back to port… A much more simple matter than the way ye got ‘ere, I assure you. Ye bled fer me n’ me crew. Once the food n’ drink be gone, just plop into yer bunks and dream the wildest dreams of home… Where ever that may be.”

Leaving it at that, the Captain finishes his cup and departs the room, with another round of cheers and jeers from an increasingly intoxicated crew. His cryptic instructions give you pause, but ultimately you decide that, hell, had he said nothing that’s what you would have done anyway, so you oblige. Sleep comes easy, as you realize that it’s only been perhaps a ten-day since you actually left Waterdeep, though it’s felt oh so much longer.

As the Captain had ordered, not that you needed the prompting, your sleepy thoughts drift towards home, and one by one, you fall into a deep, peaceful, natural sleep.

When you awake, it is not at all what you expected. You all rise within moments of each other in a strange, but familiar place… no longer on the ship. It is a semi-private room of an Inn, 6 bunks in all, and the familiar scent of eggs and fresh bread wafting through the air. You’ve all been in Waterdeep long enough to recall that is the smell of breakfast at the Grinning Lion.

The items that were presented to you, as well as your regular gear, is all neatly packed away and clean as if it had never been used and you are still in possession of the godrock that Tahiri had snagged during the battle. After collecting your things and sharing a few confused looks from through bleary eyes, you head down stairs where Ethran is already sitting, flanked by 5 plates, each stacked high with all manner of breakfast foods.

((So there you have it. Item details will be fPMed once they are finalized with Ian and XP will be added then as well. Any further actions on the storyline can be sent to me, but might be better suited for Ian, if he needs me to fill in the blanks I’ll be happy to collaborate. Any questions can be posted here or fPMed.

Thanks again for playing, it was a long and bumpy road but we made it. If you have any comments on the DMing of the adventure, I’m all ears. This high level stuff is not my forte and I’d very much like to improve, so your input would be most helpful.))
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby Stam » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:26 am

[Thanks for running!

Detail: Mostly pacing. It seems like you had a good balance of puzzles, not-puzzles that we treated like puzzles and varied encounters (pushover, difficult for some, and DIRE OMG TPK!) but there were entire sessions where almost nothing moved forward.

The plot direction was almost entirely on rails, but that was the nature of this sort of thing where none of us had any idea where we were going or how to get there.]
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby J.C. » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:41 am

I too would like to say THANK YOU for running. You were able to keep it moving and interesting and definitely challenging, something that at this level of play is a feat in itself.

IC. Kurik would have picked up a small chip of the Godstone from the deck and slipped it in his pouch before heading down below decks to celebrate.

Thanks Jimmy
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby Kemian » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:07 am

Jimmy,

Thank you very much for running. My only criticism is the same one that Stam had, that of story pacing which can be tough to figure out. You had a nice mix of puzzles and different kinds of fights. On the whole very enjoyable.

Thanks for running.
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby Raina » Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:30 pm

Thanks for running!
I think my main thing to note is what others did - pacing. Trying to get a jump on getting things started right away, nudge us along if we seem lost and confused (as.. we.. frequently are), and keep things moving. I know I had to crash earlier than most which didn't help on my end.

Beyond that, seemed to go pretty well!
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby JuneBarcarolle » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:11 pm

Thanks for the game. It was a blast. :)

And I'm going to ditto what the others have said. Pacing is one of the hardest parts to get down. But I still had lots of fun. And now we have new toys. :)
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby Kemian » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:51 pm

Ian,

Any way we can schedule a time to ICly meet up with Ethran by this weekend? or possibly do at least the first part via forum thread and we can do the actual resurrection ICly as an event that doesn't require a DM? At this point Sunday is likely the best time for Stam and myself but I have no idea if that is good for you.

(Apologies for hijacking this thread but it was directly related ICly)
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby ManthisFocht » Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:45 am

((Hijack away))

((Mini-update: item details have been approved. Over the next few days I'll have fPMs out to each of you with the details and fluff to your items. Feel free to share them... or not. Up to you.))
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby Ian » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:16 pm

[Sunday--that is, technically today as of 15 minutes ago--isn't looking good for me, as late afternoon and evening have been claimed already. From Tuesday onward this coming week would be fine, though, starting after about 6-6:30 CDT.

Question before I start on some setup work: Will anyone be insisting on being present for the initial exchange with the Auctioneers, or will you be handing items over to Ethran to make the exchange himself?]
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby Stam » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:22 pm

[Not here. Tahiri's fine trusting Ethran to get the job done.]
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby J.C. » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:35 pm

Hmmm, hadn't put much thought to it, but I am thinking if Dev is there, Kurik will be there to back him up. So depends what and where Dev does what he does.

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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby Kemian » Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:03 am

During the week the earliest I can make it is 7PM CDT thanks to my lovely commute. Devdan will trust Ethran to make the exchange as an honest broke just as Ethran can trust that Dev will make a blood and entrails canvas of his organs if he double crosses us.

With all of that said, Tuesday or Thursday is probably best days for me personally.
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby Ian » Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:03 pm

Once the party returns from their trip to the Astral Plane, Ethran Drakhat is quick to meet with them.

With the unspoken understanding between himself and Devdan, he relieves the party of their supply of corpse-rock, studying it intently and expressing some surprise in the process at the quantity you managed to come back with. He insists that at some point you regale him of the story of how you acquired it, and whether or not you think you could acquire more in the future. He does note that with the quantity you came away with, he might be able to wrangle more out of the Auctioneers than they originally promised.

He also relieves Seraphina of Tantalus Vivilor at that point, and Dev of his lock of Susanna's hair. He notes, "I will contact you once I have made the exchange successfully. I expect it to be several days thereafter before we can proceed with the ritual, as I will need some time to study Corbonek's and ensure I can perform the ritual correctly. Once I am confident of that, I will invite you all to assist and observe at your desire."

[Tuesday at 7pm CDT work for people, then?]
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Re: Three Sheets to the Astral Plane!

Postby Stam » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:48 pm

"I knew we'd exceeded expectations, but didn't know we'd outdone it by that much." Having seen what the godrock could do under the right circumstances, she adds, "I think we should all keep at least a tiny bit, maybe a pebble apiece - unless there are specific quantities for which you already know of for specified uses?"

As Seraphina is relieved of the book, she removes the fine golden chain that holds the Crystal Skull and offers it to the Hin. "I'd mentioned this to Dev already, back when I thought we'd be visiting the Sleeping Dragon instead of the graveyard, but here - take this in trade. Where I'll be headed, it's probably going to be deemed inappropriate wear."

[Time works for me.]
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