Things that will happen:
- The storm that battered the fleet was a symptom of Mask of Winters' masterstroke against the Marukan Alliance and the Varsini Protectorate. Through Void Circle Necromancy and over the course of Calibration, he creates a shadowland that stretches from the coast of the Inland Sea to the Grey River and from 60 miles south of Mishaka to just south of Puyo.
- On the last day of Calibration, the Mask's legions make their final attack on the Marukan Redoubt, capturing it and putting all within to the sword or worse. This marks the demise of some 15,000 soldiers and countless civilians -- including most of the First Field Force. (Also includes some 35 warstriders.)
- Suda shows up! And she has leads on where to find the next two pieces. She also reveals that she is a Sidereal Exalted. She'll be as surprised by the news of the Mask's victory as anyone else. She pushes Kaizoku to search for the First Age shipyard.
Things that might happen:
- Sidereal assassin on Kaizoku!
- First Light of Grief decides it's time to cut loose, and chops up most of the Redoubt's command structure
- Tense meeting with the commandant, learning about the Mask's strike.
- What else?
- Taimyo Hane Namiko -- Commander of Marin Bay. Professional, courteous, distrustful of non-Lookshy folks. An older Dragon-Blooded woman, Earth aspect.
- Kazei Renbutsu Takahiro -- Security Commander at Marin Bay. A lot like Garibaldi from Babylon 5. (Male)
- Taka Chiaki (female)
- Chikaba Kagetoki (male)
- Suda Rusako -- Sidereal posing as an idle noble caught at sea by Calibration.
- 1 Story Arc 3: Dragons Upon the Winter Sea
- 2 Dangling Plot Threads
- 2.1 Realm Civil War Notes
- 2.2 Session 20
- 2.3 Session 15 & 16
- 2.4 Session 12
- 2.5 Session 11
- 2.6 Session 10
- 2.7 Session 8
- 2.8 Session 7
- 2.9 Session 6 Notes
- 2.10 Session 5 Notes
- 2.11 Notes for Session 4
- 2.12 Session 3
- 2.13 Adventure Hooks
- 2.14 Themes
Story Arc 3: Dragons Upon the Winter Sea
E-mail from TonyC on 2/2/05
We pretty much decided to hunker down until just before Calibration. The three week downtime will be used to repair the ships, train, and waiting for news. The Kamsa will be asked to try and contact the other tribes and pass word that Kaizoku would like to talk with the other sun-lord. We'll try to recruit some of the Kamsa to replace our losses. Perhaps they won't join us en-masse, but there must be some people who's willing to give it a go. They'll need to be trained too.
Hmmm, timeline needs to include the events at the manse with the demons and Kaizoku's past life.
Anyway, next week we should start in the place indicated in the arrow message, waiting for the people who sent it to show up. That's the "mission". Find out who sent it and why, and deal with it appropriately.
Dangling Plot Threads
- Barada and his vendetta against the captain.
- The lost First Age shipyard.
- Mask of Winters's war with Lookshy.
- Relationship with the Walker in Darkness: Is he a friend, or a foe?
A clue to the next piece's location can be found in the Library of the Golden Fane.
Other piece locations:
Previously I had one in Lookshy, one in Rathess. Ditching that idea -- I want to keep them in seaports to maintain our nautical theme.
Realm Civil War Notes
Back from the holidays, and I figure we can start things off with a properly piratical bang: A big sea battle!
Setup: By pure chance, or something, the Solar Wind Fleet comes upon one of Barada's trireme wolfpacks...
What needs to be done:
- Barada's squadron
- Officers. Five Dragon-Blooded captains, plus a sorcerer.
- Trireme Tender
- Solar Wind Fleet
- Needs to be roughed out enough for the battle
Session 15 & 16
I am hoping this will be the final Celeren session. Dangling threads:
- The Thief of Crows has been captured and is being held on the Nimbus while her gear is on the Stormhammer
- Pouch of sand. Formerly the property of the Thief of Crows. "The pouch is full of sand. The sand seems perfectly normal save that it has a strange green tint in some lights and from some angles." It's sand from Cecelyne, which provides a bonus to summoning Cecelyne's progeny... and also tends to attract them. The pouch itself is an ordinary, albeit rather nice, silk pouch; it had been under the effect of an Emerald Circle spell that rendered it impossible to open.
- Warstrider security system. As noted elsewhere (?) it causes the user to gain Resonance if they're not an Abyssal. Figuring this out requires an Int + Lore roll with 5 successes. Abyssal Access Web. (IIRC)
- Ash Rose Island: The captain wants to check it out on the captured warbird.
- The box. Monkey has accumulated 11 successes on it so far; it requires 15 on an extended Int + Lore roll, each roll taking one hour. Formerly property of the Impeccable Craftsman. The box's mate is in Eagle's Launch, in the the Library of the Golden Fane. See the session notes for Session 15.
Well, Monkey wants to steal the Reducer of Cities' warstrider, while the Captain would like to lure in the skyship that's preventing Lookshy's Skyguard from helping with the evacuation.
Why must they make things so difficult?!
Elements that need to be created:
- In the Air
- SkyShip. (Base on the Skywolf)
- Skyship escorts (Nemissary hybrocs and riders)
- Skyship crew (mostly war ghosts, I expect)
- Skyship Abyssals -- A Daybreak and a Day. The Day's an archery expert, the Daybreak an artisan. (With a warstrider? Maybe -- probably a flying bird instead, though) 50 xp each.
- On the ground
- Common and Noble warstriders, and their war ghost wearers
- Lookshy extras
- Lookshy warstriders
- Marukani extras
- At sea
- Ash Rose Island
Following up on session 10.
- Stormhammer and Nimbus head for Celeren. They should arrive in Celeren on the 22nd of Descending Wood.
- At Celeren, they meet Suda. She tells them that the trail of one of the pieces has led her to the Library of the Golden Fane.
- Three days until the evac fleet arrives.
- Celeren is under siege by two full legions of undead troops commanded by the Reducer of Cities. They have made no move yet, though.
- The undead hybrocs and their nemissary riders harry the city, but they (and the other undead) are held back by wards and sorceries constructed by Lookshy and the local gods.
- Plan A: They wait for the fleet.
- In this case, they get to watch the storming of Celeren. Juggernaut will arrive while the refugee fleet is loading. A frontal assault will be tried and will probably fail. This will be followed by the Graceful Student of Sorrow infiltrating the city and casting Cantata of Empty Voices; if this is not counterspelled (and the only one who can do it is Suda), he will then raise a lot of the city as undead. The area of effect for the Cantata is almost all of the city and a good portion of the docks.
- Kaizoku will probably be asked to escort the refugee fleet northward. This will involve a couple attacks by Floating Dead squadrons and their Swimming War Machines. It will also probably take up the rest of the session.
- Plan B: They go out and try to hunt down the Floating Dead.
- In this case, they have one lead to go on: Ash Rose Island, one hundred miles off the coast of Thorns. (Maybe.) Celeren is a major port, and the harbormaster has made a pet project of tracking the reported depradations of the Floating Dead. Ash Rose Island seems to be their center point.
- Ash Rose Island is not, itself, a shadowland, but a monstrous soulsteel artifact has been erected on it that allows ships entering and leaving its harbor to transition between Creation and the Underworld. The pirate base is actually in the Underworld.
- Naturally, ARI is well guarded by two squadrons of ships and numerous Swimming War Machines.
- Following this path will be... interesting.
There are only two places of note here:
- Ash Rose Island
Celeren is divided into two cities: Pasture and Port
The caravan raid went successfully. Sort of.
Present date: Middle of Descending Wood.
What I'm thinking about doing for this is a Dunkirk choice: Lookshy is impressing as many ships into service as possible to evacuate the city of Celeren. Juggernaut is advancing on the city and will reach it in a few days. The PCs can try to avoid getting involved, which'll require avoiding Lookshy with ships pretty much altogether.
Meanwhile, JesseLowe/V'neefBarada has rejoined his fleet, and is preparing for another anti-pirate operation in the north, against a band of raiders that are harassing one of V'neef's client kingdoms. He doesn't really have a choice in this -- orders from Fleet Admiral V'neef Ririon don't leave much leeway on what he's supposed to be doing this season.
Distance from ambush point to Lookshy: 800 miles
Distance from Lookshy to Celeren, by sea: 785 miles
Distance from Lookshy to Port Calin: 413 miles
Distance from Port Calin to the Imperial City: 1,100 miles
Distance from Port Calin to the V'neef client kingdoms that are being harassed: 1,200 miles.
- Shozei Teresu Kado : Lookshy captain.
- The Lookshy Navy : Kado's squadron.
- Admiral V'neef Barada : The old nemesis.
- The Realm Merchant Fleet : Barada's squadron.
- The Northmen : Raiders along the northern shore, pushed south by the Bull of the North. A coalition of 5 tribes, led by a council of elders. Semi-civilized barbarians. (Vikings, basically.)
- Patrol ships : A small squadron that CK might swipe.
- The Floating Dead : The undead pirates that will be harassing the evacuation effort.
- Ash Rose Island : The target HQ for Mask of Winters if the PCs decide to be all commando. The secret harbor of the Floating Dead.
Having fixed CK's daiklave in a quick jaunt through the Shadowland of Walker's Realm, the PCs plot the raid on Walker's caravan. Or they just plan to swipe the piece, somehow.
The caravan is led by a Ghost-Blooded JesseLowe/GatashOfSijan), consists of 24 yeddim-drawn wagons , and is escorted by a mercenary company 125 strong. (One scale is elite troops, led by a thaumaturge; the rest are dedicated mortal troops). It is accompanied by the deathknightJesseLowe/AmbassadorToTheUnfortunate, who is new and trying out her wings.
Each wagon is crewed by five teamsters (Regular folks, extras), is drawn by 2 yeddim, and is about the size of a box car (shaped a bit differently, though). Three wheels to a side, minimum. It can hold up to ten tons of cargo, and weighs about four tons. (I think: How much can a single yeddim pull as cargo? What are the structural constraints of Age of Sorrows wagon manufacture?)
Contents of the caravan:
- 6 wagons of, essentially, caravan supplies. Extra fodder, replacement parts, a small smithy, etc.
- 6 wagons of war materiel: Weapons, armor, etc., etc.
- 6 wagons of raw materials: Iron, copper, bronze, good stone, good wood, cloth, cotton, wool, etc.
- 2 wagons of food: Primarily grains and the like, but some preserved meat, cheeses, etc.
- 6 wagons of trade goods: These are finished products like furniture, clothes, etc.
- 2 wagons of special stuff: Treasure, artifacts, etc. These are the most heavily guarded.
How the caravan's arranged:
- The mercenary company surrounds it, marching. The elite troops are mounted and act as a wider perimeter.
- The wagons are too wide to move abreast on the road, so it's a single file. The yeddim are yoked side-by-side, though.
- The first section of the caravan is the trade goods and food. The treasure wagons are in the middle. The raw materials and war materials are last. The caravan supplies are interspersed throughout the line for easy access.
JesseLowe/AmbassadorToTheUnfortunate rides near the front of the caravan on a yeddim palanquin. JesseLowe/GatashOfSijan patrols the entire caravan on his warhorse, accompanied by his fang of cavalry. He makes a circuit every hour or so.
The caravan is going to be raided by a pair of Abyssals commanding a scale of nemissary cavalry on around the 8th of Descending Wood. The raid is commanded by the Dusk Caste Fist of the Storm, who is aided by the Daybreak [[[JesseLowe/OldPMSessionNotes/Ten]]-LeavedScholar | the Ten-LeavedScholar]].
Mail and Steel Stats: Caravan
Under Gatash's command are 5 scales: 1 of cavalry and four of infantry. All are elite troops as from the main rulebook.
Elite infantry Scale
Hand-to-hand damage +3L
Ranged Damage +3L
Movement 300 yards
Elite Cavalry Scale
Hand-to-hand damage +5L
Ranged Damage +3L
Mount Valor 3
Movement 450 yards
Mail and Steel Stats: Raiders
UnderJesseLowe/FistOfTheStorm's command is a single scale of undead Nemissary cavalry, in stolen Marukani warriors and horses. (That's 50 nemissaries; half in the horses, half in the men.) These are standard nemissaries from the main rulebook, but armed with self bows and slashing swords instead of poleaxes and wearing buff jackets instead of breastplates.
Hand-to-hand damage +5L
Ranged Damage +3L
Mount Valor 4
Movement 450 yards
First stop ought to be the city of Tender, a small river port a few miles down stream. Though nominally independent, it is heavily influenced by the power of the Walker in Darkness and sees some trade with his realm. Tender is a trading town, founded a few centuries ago where the Cloudy River flows into the Yellow. It has a population of around twenty thousand, and supports little heavy industry. Its port can handle almost any ship likely to dock there, and a small shipyard is in operation as well.
Tender is ruled by a pair of monarchs advised by a council. The Day Monarch is responsible for all things under the sun, including trade, public works, civil law, and the like. The Night Monarch is responsible for those things that the stars shine on; by custom, this includes war, criminal law, and dealings with the dead. The militia acts as both civil defense and city watch, and is currently backed up by a competent mercenary company. A Guild factor controls much of the commerce through the port.
Religiously, Tender is pretty firmly in the grip of the Hundred Gods Heresy, although there is a small Immaculate shrine a mile south of the city.
Staying in Tender: There are many inns and caravan hostels available in the city. The one most suited to the PCs is the Bed of Lakmi, a three-storied building with a good-sized courtyard in the center. The PCs head into Walker's Realm to look for a First Age ruin.
Local Figure: Flowing Lion is a scavenger lord now fallen on hard times -- none of his recent finds turned out at all well. He knows the location of the manor, and will be available after even minimal searching. He's a pretty skilled survivor, and will have no problem leading the party to the ruin. He's pretty sure it still exists in the Underworld, and will lead them there if persuaded. Difficulty 7 on a presence roll, since the Underworld terrifies him.
Session 6 Notes
Hey, this thing's movin' pretty quickly. I like.
Repairing Captain Kaizoku's Daiklave
There are two options to fixing the daiklave. Get someone else to do it or do it himself.
- South of Great Forks, in the shadowland surrounding the Ebon Spires of Pyrron, dwells the ghost of one of the greatest smiths of the Age of Sorrows. He could repair it, though it would probably be tainted to some degree, and he would require payment – probably not in jade. The ghost's name is Cati Rutig, and he dwells in an abandoned village surrounded by hungry ghosts. The price he demands is that the characters capture the hungry ghosts and aid him in soulforging them; some of the resulting soulsteel will be used to repair the blade. Cati Rutig is a sullen, crippled ghost, cunning and evil. He is bound by the terms of a bargain, though. White Soul Weeping provides this information.
- In Nexus itself are a few artificers who could repair the blade. However, Kaizoku is banned from Nexus and the price would therefore be very high. The adventure will involve sneaking back into Nexus, negotiating with the smith, and laying low while the work is completed (as well as making sure the smith doesn't betray the PCs).
- Kaizoku does have the skill to fix it himself, but would require some material (including a little orichalcum) and space to work. Complications involve getting ahold of some orichalcum, finding tools and workspace, and (of course) actually fixing the thing.
Session 5 Notes
Well, Graceful Oak was unceremoniously mugged by Captain Kaizoku, so her grudge is pretty damn futile --- unless she returns as a ghost... Hmmmm... Pity she's a DB, otherwise I could have her come back as an Abyssal, but a ghost sounds pretty good.
In any case, I've figured out the first "season" plotline: Tracking down a lost First Age naval depot, in a race against two Deathlords and a V'neef admiral.
The depot was once a First Age salvage and mothballing center -- relatively worthless to the navy, but a gold mine to an Age of Sorrows buccaneer. It's located near Eye And Seven Despair's territory in the Southeast; specifically, it's on the river that marks the southwestern border of the shadowland Bayou of Endless Regret. This could cause problems... During the Usurpation, most records of this backwater place were lost, as the Dragonblooded mutineers were cut to pieces by the (still-active) automated defense system, which the now-dead Solar commandant could no longer countermand.
The key to finding this depot is a puzzle map that one of the Solars commanding the depot had made for his children as an amusement while he was stationed there and they were on the Blessed Isle. It is composed of several pieces (probably 5) which, when properly assembled, will create a map of the region in relation to the Blessed Isle. It is a neat feature of this puzzle that it can never be assembled in the same way twice. Whether the map is a hologram, drawn on a flat surface, or created out of the artifact itself I have not yet decided. In any case, the adventure bits are more important.
Admiral V'neef Barada had two of the pieces. One was stolen by Captain Kaizoku, who then unwittingly sold it to the Minister of Unleavened Mercy. The third piece is in the hands of Suda Rusako. The fourth is in the armories of Lookshy, while the fifth is in the ruins of Rathess.
Aside from Suda Rusako, two others know of the naval depot: Mask of Winters is one, while V'neef Barada is the other. Walker in Darkness will soon discover what he has, but will be a late starter. Eye and Seven Despairs is probably going to get curious as well, but not till later. He's too busy ganking his servants.
At the moment, we're busy planning for session 5. The session opens with Suda waiting for Captain Kaizoku in the inn (which, I've suddenly decided, is the House of Jade Sea-Foam). She is here to begin persuading him that she is an ally, offering nothing but good advice. She expects him to be suspicious, so she's going to start by giving him some free information. (Where Admiral V'neef Barada is, for starters.) She'll also tell him the story of the depot (needs a good name) and offer to help him find it -- for a price. Finally, she'll casually ask if he's got the second piece. He'll remember it as part of the lot sold to the Minister. (It was an ivory scroll entitled "Meditations on the Water Dragon; the scroll is unimportant, but one of the rods is part of the puzzle.) She's not going to be too terribly happy about this, of course, but will try to conceal her disappointment.
Then the demons attack. Or, alternately, a pair of Graceful Oak's students challenge the two Solars to single combat in revenge for their master's death.
Beyond this, I think I'll have to improvise.
Notes for Session 4
- Kustarto, the auctioneer
- Pekanbaru, a Guild prince (Looking for profit)
- The Minister of Unleavened Mercy (In a cover identity: Master Termagant, a "merchant of death")
- An Immaculate Monk named Graceful Oak, sent to buy back the items if necessary and possible. (Female)
- Shan Lo-du, a hedonist (Looking to do some conspicious consumption).
- Ishlatcha, Fair Folk (wood) noble (Looking to feed on the emotions of the crowd and possibly pick up a few pretties.)
- Onlookers and passersby
Umm... river pirates attack boat.
Characters arrive in Nexus. Cap. Kaizoku tries to unload his plunder, and grab a ship.
Things that might happen:
- Get a clue towards a First Age naval depot in the Southeast
- Assassination attempt by Realm ninja.
- Auction! In the Big Market.
Characters to encounter
- A mad holy man
- A guild prince
- Street urchins
- Rival pirates!
- Still Moon
- The Auction
- Stealing a ship
- Lost First Age ships/stuff/depot
- The black yacht
- MaskOfWinter's war
- WalkerInDarkness' sabotage (and eventual war)
- V'neef's efforts
- Wyld Hunt
- Undead pirates
- Rescuing crewmembers from V'neef
- Breaking MaskOfWinter's blockade
- A rich prize
- Cynis slavers (the Realm ships they saw at Lookshy, bound for Greyfalls)
- Encounter with ApostateInTatters
- Learning sorcery
- Encounters with the spirit courts
- Setting up a haven/harbor
- Obtaining letters of marque
- Toppling the Realm
- Opposing the DeathLords