The Golden Wastes

GM Notes - February Game
Akbar's Vision

When Akbar leads the group in restoring the Order of the Phoenix at the shrine, he has the following vision as everyone says their vows.

Akbar sees an old phoenix, still grand but weary with age. It knows its time has arrived, and it goes far into the mountains away from the civilization of men. At the very top of these peaks, it builds a great nest made of straw and various herbs. It now lies in the nest, taking its last look at the world it knows. Satisfied that its work in the world is at an end, it then immolates itself in a flash of great flame and light during a beautiful sunrise. When the flames die down, there in the nest, which remains untouched by flames, is a young phoenix arrayed in bright colors like its parent before it. Although many centuries of life and wisdom is now lost, the line is again purified, young and fresh, ready for a new life.
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The vision then switches, and Akbar then sees an old man wearing a holy symbol of Varna (the king of the Immortals). He has gathered about him a ragged group of battle weary warriors with terrible wounds. Some will live, others will surely die. It is obvious they have been in a terrible battle. The old man has in his hands five clay tablets. Another man has a single phoenix feather, clutched like a soldier defiantly holding his regimental battle flag. They talk amongst themselves, and then all swear an oath upon the feather even those who soon die afterwards from their grievous wounds.
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Akbar then opens his eyes and sees the party making their own oath in an echo of what he has just seen.

Other information of the last game session might be posted as additional Adventure Logs.

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GM Notes - December 2011 Game

The Night of Dark Terror
The planar “bubble” from Erebus unleashed a terrifying Nightshade from the realm of shadow. This was the ritual that the Faceless One performed. The Nightshade came to the surface at night in Velos and the Shadows that accompanied it quickly slew and transformed the dead into more of their kind. Eventually, the population noticed and fled in panic. The city watch was quickly overwhelmed, but sounded the alarm which brought the PCs as well as the Overlord along with his personal amazon guard, the Sable Brothers, the Imperial Wardens, and other defenders of the city. Together they stopped the terror, but only at great cost. Hundreds of people perished, around 1-2% of the city’s population. The night has become known as the Night of Dark Terror.

The party at House Gerami
Several days after the Night of Dark Terror, Samedi attended the party thrown by the House of Gerami. In Velos, it is typical that the major noble houses throw a luxurious feast after the first monsoon of summer to display their wealth and power as well as to reward their followers. Samedi had managed to be invited to the parties thrown by all three of the major houses, but choose to associate himself with the Gerami.

People met:

  • Asad Gerami, head of the noble house descended from bedouin lineage
  • Talia Gerami, his eldest daughter and likely heir
  • Shaka, blacked skinned Magister of the house from the Askari Freeholds
  • Imam Farraj, family chaplain, a cleric of Rudren
  • Himtach and Suket, the philosopher and his albino daughter, invited guests of House Masoko
  • Oxynthus, a decadent noble
  • Massena, a sarcastic crone
  • Father Despoden, a cleric of Decimus
  • Kumba Masoko, leader of the Masoko and ally to the House of Gerami
  • Obain Gerami, Captain of the City Watch and cousin to Asad Gerami
  • Master Thiatles, leader of the city Calibani, he recently switched allegiance from the Idrisid to Gerami
  • Prince Nangeri, noble leader of the nomadic yereni confederation of the Golden Wastes & old ally to the House of Gerami

An important topic of conversation was the disappeance of Kella Gerami. She mysteriously disappeared months ago, but still no trace has been found. This is what is known:

  • Kella was last seen to be at the house of Musa Gerami, a mutual cousin of Asad/Talia and Kella.
  • She had broken off an old dalliance with Syphax, Master of the Games at the Hippodrome.
  • She had spurned the advances of Mohammed Idrisid, the young head of the Idrisid family.

The party also learned additional information at the party:

  • That the head of the Idrisid ambassador sent to the Saurians was just returned to the city by Crocotta minions of the Beast King.
  • That jaded young nobles speak of a secret coterie they call the “Court of the Pale Queen” where all sorts of debauchery occurs.

Discussion with Tempus
After the party with the Gerami, the player characters met wit Tempus, Grand Prior of the Sable Brotherhood, in his office at the Sable Citadel. There, they shared everything they knew about the Night of Dark Terror and what they had found underneath the tunnels of Velos. In return, Tempus told them whatever he knew that could help them understand the notes and items they had found.

The notes of the Faceless One referred to the Seal of Zubab. The name “Zubab” refers to Zubab, the Lord of Maggots, a quasi-deity and one of the harbingers of the Conqueror Worm, one of the Great Beasts. Zubab was one of five such harbingers. In their entirety they are:

  • Zubab the Lord of Maggots
  • Salt the Albino Rat
  • Orthryx the Two Headed Jackal
  • Nemain the Corpse Ripper
  • Kazamot the Winged Terror

Tempus also told the player characters what little he knows about the Company of the Phoenix, an old and defunct group of heroes. The records of the Sable Brotherhood makes reference to the Company of the Phoenix, but only as a rival to the Brotherhood. They became defunct centuries ago.

With the city in turmoil about the recent bad news – the cursed sandstorm, the Slithering Horror, the zombie lord gathering an army of the dead, the Night of Dark Terror, the disappearance of Kella Gerami, and imminent invasion by the Crocotta, the player characters asked Tempus what would be the most important way they could help. Tempus suggested two things.

First, investigate the Tomb of Shaddad which was despoiled months ago and which may be the “tomb” that the Faceless One mentioned as having found the Seal of Zubab.

Second, slay the Beast King in the House of the Beast to prevent an attack on the city.

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GM Notes - November 2011 Game

This post is for easy access to notes left in the last game.

Here are the notes found in the Faceless One’s journal.

Other items found included two tomes, the Meditations on the Worm and the Courtiers of the Abyssal Monarchs.

There was also a strange undead thing covered in writhing black worms kept in a large glass tube. The notes of the Faceless One make it clear that these worms were experimented upon magically, and that they were originally found in the Tomb of Shaddad (see its mention in the Open Jobs page). He seems to have created a new kind of undead monstrosity.

There was also a group of treasures kept separate from the rest, a Lapis Lazuli Cylinder Seal, an orichalchum sword with a carnelian phoenix ornament stamped on the hilt which is aligned to Law, and a silver brooch that is a scarab of protection. As Samedi mentioned, these seemed out of place compared to other items.

Also, I don’t think I mentioned it at the end of the scene because I forgot, but right before he was “slain” (as much as a Simulacrum can be slain) he uttered the words, “My doom is to be your doom.”

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The Door to Chaos

Notes from Samara’s Journal some time just before the summer monsoon:
The days of the Chaos
As disturbing as the ghoul attack in the sewers was, and to know were were deliberately followed through the muck for revenge by the unwholesome things is little to nothing compared to the Door that led us to the Faceless One. Behind this door is a temple devoted to chaos where the very walls themselves could reach out and grab you. Its very strange spiral design on the upper level leads one to believe the very architecture is corrupted by chaos itself, and indeed it is, one of the pillars in the lower level tried to grab me, it is a twisted and vile place. Its inhabitants are were-rats and the faceless one himself along with two wizard guards. Disturbing was the Horror of the most vile of spells unleashed, and in addition the thing in the tube. Vanquished though our foes are the faceless one turned out to be a simulacrum a powerful wizard is still on the loose. I know there is only a very few powerful wizards in this city capable of doing such advanced magics.
This leads me to four possible conclusions:
1st would be the Magic shop merchant “The Seer” who also wears a mask (like the faceless one) and may or may not have the talents to perform such things, I must find out. His proximity to Achmed the butcher and his lack of reporting the horrors next-door that he must of noticed give some great suspicion. And a low profile yet magical position he has held is a good cover.
2nd It is one of the known and powerful wizards of Velos, who have reputations to protect, may be the culprit. The spell creatures face was covered, obviously to protect his masters identity,as the face would have a great likeness if not a direct match to the practitioner. This of course includes My “Master Pizentious” and the pleasure mages. This very possible suspicion tears at my heart and I would like to discount it immediately, however I am no longer so naive.
3rd The “Knig of shit” is some how behind this. Though it seems unlikely at first, he may have the talents needed to accomplish these tasks, he was seen at Achmed’s and could of planted the note, that started our journey below the city. However, he only spends most of his time looking for the tablets, so he may not have a clue.
4th the dastardly wizard has not revealed any clue to who or where he is and research is needed.
***I would also pose that there may be some conspiracy among some of the players or at the very least manipulations as the notes from the simulacrum suggest certain events have definitely been manipulated.

Other things:
I would consider giving warning to Judge Gongde on the Faceless ones infection and contagion and back up our findings with the notes from his lab.
We will need to deal with the spell books, I need to make some specific arrangements with the paladin on these matters (I have some Ideas). I do not see any way to keep the books secure, to leave them anywhere is a huge risk to have them on you is a death sentence(burned alive). We have precious little time.
***My consult with the paladin will be immediate, I will not let him leave without discussing plans.
The sisters?? defiantly a suspicious arrangement and they may have a clue to who is manipulating things (if not directly.)

4th there is an unknown Player who remains so convoluted in mystery we haven’t met nor heard nor seen

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Akbar - 10.1.11

Notes from temple of white flame:
Thalhoon is the leader of the white flame cult.
Working with Saurian prophet who is a druid (and eats mushrooms)
Also working with Faceless man who is excavating below the temple for arcane reasons.

Summary:
Decided to go back up. Rested, and I got my celestial mount.
Kassib collected info about stinky guy. There are multiple stinky guys, and is not the same one we met before coming to Valos. This one in Valos is still chaotic. He goes to the serpents egg inn on Wednesday and back to a flop house.
Samara learned new spells from the book.

We then went to take care of the Saurians.

…To be continued

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GM Notes - October 2011 game

At the end of the last game session, Samara wanted to research some things before the next game.

This is what he learned about the history of Dag Zahag, told in the manner of one of the street storytellers.

Inquiries about the area above the sewer system with all the rats.

Master Pizentious gives an update on the vial of black liquid given to him.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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