Friday, June 22, 2012

The Gathering Session 10

The Cast:
Variel, Elven Priest of Corellon Larethian
Link, Elven Fighter
Draco, Dragonborn Rogue Fighter (Dusk Knight)
Tesla, Tellurian Rogue
Jacob the Rooster, Halfling Cleric of Markus
Barracus the Lightbringer, Human Fighter

•  Variel expertly weaves a ritual to return his party to the Tomb of Yawgmoth and finally bring all 14 kuo-toa eggs to A'Yanna.  He's able to draw in his two missing companions, Barracus and Lord Martin so the group arrives whole, in the council chamber of the Tomb...only to find it filled with undead creatures and slaughtered kuo-toa.

•  The Gatherer's arrival coincides with A'Yanna being chained to the top of the council's steps by 2 of the loathsome undead creatures.  Draco rushes through the horde and begins trying to free her, while Martin flees down a corridor in terror.   Variel recognizes the foul monsters as nim, undead from a distant plane, their existence the product of the Mephidross.  The Gatherers begin attacking the undead that surround them and Jacob calls forth a powerful blast from his god, Markus, that vaporizes six of the undead and begins driving the rest from the room, compelled by his faith. 

•  From the far left hallway, a mycosynth laden being with a human head enters the room, bellowing orders to the fleeing undead and wielding a great sword whose blade emits blinding daylight and deepest shadow, simultaneously.  The nim's leader casts a necromantic spell on Jacob, Barracus, and Link while charging at Draco, who is still freeing A'Yanna. The nim's leader rips Draco's tail off and runs the great sword through the dragonborn's back so deeply, the blade impales A'Yanna as well.  The necromancer drops the great sword and bellows, "I am Geth, lord of the Vault of Whispers and master of the nim, and today you will be executed for your trespasses!"

•  Variel rushes to the fallen A'Yanna and begins healing her, while the others begin assaulting Geth.  Draco, touches the blade that has ripped out his guts and blue energy begins to surround him in a powerful aura.  The dragonborn is raised into the air and is transformed by the energies coming off the sword.  He is sheathed in full plate armor, half decorated in black, half in white.   All of the he color drains from his scales and his eyes turn the electric blue that cascasdes around him like a cocoon.  Finally, the blade that ended his life, now rests easily in his hands...Draco the Thief is dead, and Draco the Dusk Knight stands reborn.

•  The Dusk Knight immediately joins the battle against Geth, who begins to fall back at the power of the combined assault of the whole group.  The necromancer breathes dark life into 8 of the fallen kuo-toa and screams, "I curse every Phyrexian that haunts my home and my debt is paid now and in full, you have duped me and I will have my recompense!"  Geth then Planeswalks out of the Tomb leaving the Gatherers to make short work of the kuo-toa zombies and the remaining nim that served the Lord of the Vaults.

•  Draco discovers that he has been chosen to wield the Sword of Light and Shadow, a powerful weapon with profound consequences for him and his Plane.

•  A'Yanna thanks them for their loyalty and bravery and offers them seven pearls that, like wisdom, will prove valuable at the most difficult of times.  She also explains that her people have chosen to leave the Tomb, and feel they have served their purpose as caretakers and honored their promise to the Wizards.  Martin decides to accompany A'Yanna on her journey.

•  The Gatheres then track down Mr. Ocax and purchase several wondrous items from him.  One of which they use to help Barracus reappear as the Lightbringer for their return to Shoal'Barrac, so he may endorse House Levin'Xar and repay that debt.  Then they depart for the drow city by teleporting with another item purchased from the neogi, a belt that allows Barracus to use the Teleport spell.

•  Jacob has a long discussion with Barracus about reinfecting him with the Phyrexian oil, but the smith backs out.

•  Barracus meets with Matron Keela'Vor but she forgoes his endorsement after seeing Draco's transformation.  She warns the Lightbringer that his fate is tied to that of their Plane and after getting more information from the smith, she is concerned that Draco has been made someone's pawn.  Barracus understands her concerns and promises that he will return to the city after they stop the Ebon Handed Janissary, then if she wants his endorsement, he'll give it to her.  The Gatherers then rest up before setting out to hunt the madman trying to raise Crosis the Purger.


The characters rose to level 9 tonight and Draco's player wanted to turn his Rogue into a Death Knight.  He had strong and well thought out ideas on the process and I tried to let them dominate the story.  I added in parts of Magic: the Gathering Lore to tie it closer to the world I'm portraying.  I'm very excited about some of the developments that have occurred with several of the characters and am now trying to bring those things to the rest of the cast.

I felt bad that the session was shorter than usual and fell slightly guilty that this session, essentially, was all about Draco.  But I deeply appreciate his enthusiasm and will make it up to the other players by striving to do the same for their characters.

I have batting around the notion of possibly experimenting with a couple of game systems that I have interest in to represent moving to different Plane.  DnD Next is getting close to reaching a cap at 10th with the rules I have and I have interest in seeing more of 13th Age, HackMaster 5, Dungeon Crawl Classics, RuneQuest 6 and Dungeon World.  It would also allow me to sell those game better.

However, I have suffered from GameMaster ADD for nearly my entire gaming life and that is my only hesitation.  I don't want to blow up a campaign because of my past failings.  So, I'll contemplate it some more and probably share the idea with the group.  

I do think it could be a neat way to showcase Planes and an interesting twist, but the downside would be tracking the character sheets.

So, it's a definite maybe.

I also have to honestly reflect on how much of this comes from nearly losing a player over switching from Marvel Heroic Role Playing to TSR's Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP) and his dissatisfaction over the DnD Next system.  At one point he was prepared to leave both games.  I'm always torn over trying to be a good friend and trying to tell a good story.   Of course, I can honestly say I really like what I've seen of DnD Next and would just like to see more.

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