Cronch Time

there may be a little overlap between this session and some of the very end of Destabilation, but in general, the creation of the statue of Perai Luun on 6/25 marks the end of that session and the start of this one

Side Sessions To Run

  1. Run Aida and Darias talking to Hrisa about being "Chosen"
  2. Run Darias talking to Torin and his family
  3. Run Maleos talking to his family about being "Chosen"
  4. Aida - any ideas on spending her Gold Token
  5. Carol - Aida's Perai Luun song
  6. PC conversations with Anita and Matthias (the formerly bewormed)
  7. Aida to talk to Margaretha re: Cherise Godo Glass
  8. Darias to talk to Donal about getting the rebels involved in things

Problem Checklist

  1. Hawa Travert being out and active again
  2. Getting the potentially-mythic to achieve mythic status
  3. Getting the worthy to achieve mythic status
  4. Finding the worm that escaped from the Violetford candymaker
  5. Setting up shrines for Perai Luun
    1. Bryn Hume has already recruited Shimone Rosalinda, Margaretha Callistus, and Uri Krejci to build 1 in Violetford and 1 in Brightmill ASAP
  6. Moving the PCs' families to the Godswatch and dealing with how this messes up their lives
  7. Rounding up the other dominated humans on the Island and/or dealing with them in some way
  8. Dealing with the collections of "free worms" Maleos found
    1. Large group (11) in Brightmill
    2. Large group (26) in Golddale
    3. Single worm in Violetford
    4. All data as of 6/26
  9. Reading in other High Priests as justified
    1. Boccob: Adrasteia Moores, Brightmill
    2. Ehlonna: Mabella Lawson, Brightmill
    3. Erythnul: Cronus Lyon, Violetford
    4. Heironyous: Uri Krejci, Violetford
    5. Hextor: Gerolamo Xanthe, Golddale
    6. Nerull: Farrell Ignazio, Violetford
  10. Resolve Stormwall's actions
  11. Aida's plan to test crossing the Bridge

Available Resources

The Down Days

In the aftermath of the Festival and the battle that followed, the PCs were busy. They had to find people who would be threatened and bring them to the Godswatch; prepare shrines to Perai Luun; coordinate plans with all of the priests and Stormwall soldiers; and explain everything that had happened to them to their families.

Hrisa Yaren

Darias and Aida decide to just come clean with Hrisa.

  1. This is going to break your mother's heart for a couple of reasons. First, she always knew Aida was going to be putting her life on the line to some extent, following in her father's footsteps in the Watch, but she didn't think it'd be THAT dangerous (the accident that killed your dad was kind of a fluke, after all - horrible but uncommon). She had made herself okay with that knowing Darias would be basically safe and more than capable of supporting himself, and that you'd all probably be close enough for festival days and things of that nature. Now, though, you're telling her of times you've almost died (perhaps), and you're definitely telling her of things that are critically dangerous that you're putting yourself in front of. Your mom's kind of personally devout with a particularly soft spot for Pelor (Hearth), but this is much more devotion to the gods than she ever expected from either of you, especially Darias.
  2. Second, your mom is now hearing that, even if you survive everything happening now, you're essentially moving away forever. Your mom loves Isle. It's her home. The idea of up and moving to the Home of the Demons… it doesn't appeal. Even with the promises you can make about how it's not really like that, it's also not her home. Aida and Darias try to emphasize that the Bridge should be crossable, so it wouldn't be permanent, but that doesn't help a huge amount, at least not immediately.
  3. Aside from all that, you also have a situation where people, relatively many people, have actually died as the result of your actions - not that it's your fault or even that you directly caused this, but war and combat on Isle has always been a very remote historical echo of a thing, and now it's becoming very real. That's terrifying.

The long and short of it is that, as of right now, your mom is feeling scared, alone, a little abandoned. She's not going to get over that immediately. That's not to say she doesn't understand your positions, your need to make your mark in the world, and she respects your duty to the gods and to your fellow Islanders. She's just scared for her babies and worried she's going to be left all alone.

The Taylans

Well, we know that after the priests rounded up our families and brought them to the temple, Maleos's first action upon seeing his mother holding a wrapped package was to scowl, walk straight up to her, grab it out of her hands, and shove it at the nearest priest saying "find out what the candies are poisoned with immediately. We need to get the antidote out to the people yesterday." Which I intended as overly paranoid roleplaying, but apparently further inspection would reveal that Maleos was right on the money this time. Who knew?

Beyond that, he's oddly barely dreading the inevitable confrontation with his parents. It's literally the least of his worries.

He promises upfront that although his tale is unbelievable, he knows which bits are literal and which bits are metaphorical, and that he will reveal all at the end. General strategy is to retell his story, tailored to his audience; he'll try to appeal to his father by framing things in terms of risk and reward, and his mother by playing up how the lessons he learned from her in his youth applied throughout his adventure on Isle. Then at the end, he'll reveal that most of the embellishments he made were not to the demons or strange vistas we encountered, but rather to our own group's teamwork, camaraderie, incredible luck and competence, and the poetic sense of justice and righteousness that held the narrative together.

"The sad truth is, the cunning mage didn't Marry the beautiful cleric. The roguish blacksmith didn't learn the True Meaning of Friendship. The brave warrior didn't slay the multi-headed demon worm with her last ounce of strength. Instead we scrabbled and fought for every inch of progress. We threw dirt in our enemies' eyes. We rushed into situations barely knowing what we were up against. And it was only by the blessings of the gods, leveraged for all they were worth, that we managed to nudge their machinations along as much as we did. Now comes the final push, where we finally prize our homeland free from the Usurper's grasp, stamp out its corrupting influence once and for all, and reconnect the humans of Isle with the lost humans of Across. The rest of it was pretty much literal and true, at least from our perspective, and fortunately, I have physical evidence. Behold: The Book of a Thousand Pages."

He'll then show them how the BoaTP works and encourage them to add statements to it that poke holes in his version of events.

That's Plan A, anyway. No child's plan ever survives first contact with their parents. But Maleos figures he'll pivot once he sees what he's up against, not before.

Torin and Family

Okay. Based on some rolls here, I think this is going to go something like this.

Torin and his family aren't going to be happy with you, but you do have priests with you to back you up, trusted people - like Bryn Hume, for example, which is crazy. She's an anvil of a woman - hit her as hard as you want, she doesn't move, just makes the world bend around her.

Once you finally get the family to buy the explanation and understand what's going on, they're clearly terrified. Someone's trying to kill them. That's not great. The priests got them like 6 hours before poisoned candies showed up at their door, so if you tell them that, that will just reinforce the danger they were in and how important it is for them to be here, but it's also scary as shit. Torin's angry. He wants to kill whoever's going after his family, but you tell him he can't, not directly. He's got to trust you to do this for him, to repay him for all the things he taught you over the years, all the times he let you work through the night, burning his coal, all that.

What finally works is that you distract him and give him an indirect way to get back at the people who threatened him and his. You talk him down from fighting by telling him there's a much more important thing you need for them to do. You need his family cooking for the soldiers, because they're gonna need her chili, desperately, as soon as this fight is over. It's a life-and death thing. And even more importantly, you need Torin to help you with the Stormwall's equipment. You've found that some of those materials you talk about on Demonhome are here, too, but in such tiny amounts.. and one of the places you've found them is in these hammers. You need to show him how to work with this stuff, because you need help going through all this equipment to make sure it's 100% or better for this fight. You need him to build the weapons to kill the worms. And you trust him to do the job. Basically, you distract his killing instincts by having him take them out on metal and wood instead of someone's throat.

And then you tell him you named a wolfhound after him. And he throws a mug at you.

Torin's Family

Only two of Torin's children, Veronique (15) and Vladimir (12), are with Torin and Alissa at the camp. Torin's other children are elsewhere:

  • The eldest, Cloelia, is an experienced Competent priestess of Olidammara.
  • Vanessa is in Golddale and very pregnant, hence the resistance to travel. Cloelia and Vanessa and their families are staying together in Golddale and have various Olidammaran wards and guards at their disposal.
  • Alaia is still in Brightmill; despite her father's best efforts, he was unable to talk her away from her position at Brightmill's City Hall. Bryn Hume has quietly put some priests to watch over her as best they can.

As far as the Pike family members at the camp, Torin and Vladimir will quickly be put to work at the forge. Vladimir, though still young, is clearly going to end up being a giant of a man; at 12, he's already 6' tall, and he seems ready to surpass his father's already considerable height.

Veronique is the most put out by this situation. She has been apprenticing as a baker as well as studying to be a chef, and this has pulled her away from those pursuits as well as her budding potential suitors. At 15, there are very few people even close to her age at the Stormwall camp; Veronique will likely latch on to Aida shortly after her arrival. Veronique is tall and slender, a combination of her mother and father. Though she has no combat experience, nor the direct desire to gain any, she is a dab hand with a knife.

Esme's Apprentices

Maleos and Esme discussed this and sent some priests to retrieve Esme's prior apprentices, the ones ehey could find. She's had a few, and Maleos feared they would be targeted by assassins.

TODO Dale - write up more as desired

Margaretha

Margarita wasn't a part of the deworming in the tent but she WAS a participant in the defeating of the three Usurper Avatars. therefore she knows what's at stake, or at least realizes that there's a storm a brewin and she seemed happy to be a part of the solution.

With all that in mind, Aida would approach Margarita when she's on her own, frankly stating that Cherise is wormed and therefore anything Margarita can do to contribute to her deworming (behaviors, patterns, quirks, things to look out for, etc.) would be of even more importance now than her vast knowledge of the Bridge. Aida would also see if Margarita would want to be a part of the party who teleports to bring Cherise back, but would leave it up to Margarita to decide either way and Aida would honor that.

Margaretha will go with the team to get Cherise. The two do have a relationship that's lasted years, so she does, in fact, want to be there.

Donal and the Rebels

Darias talks to Donal about bringing some rebels in to help. Donal reluctantly agrees once Aida convinces the guard to issue pardons. Abenner, 6 archers (generally rogues, fighters; one ranger; all low-to-mid level), and 2 mid-level wizards volunteer to help. When Darias suggests having the rebels scout worm locations, Donal reluctantly admits that the rebels don't have the level of resources they'd have liked to project. He suggests that maybe wizard familiars and his companions could do some forward recon, though.

Aida joins in to the conversation and suggests a few things. First, she suggests that the rebels who can't politically be offered full pardons can instead be offered "community service" penalties to repay their debts. She even suggests that some of them could scout Demonhome with the PCs as a part of that service to the community.

Aida handles the negotiations with the Watch; Darias handles Donal. They work out some agreed-in-principle options allowing the rebels to begin to be reintegrated into the large society of the Isle.

Darias suggests that the Stormwall may want to consider recruiting additional ranks from some of the rebels as well, as he fears once the Bridge connects properly with Demonhome again, there may be additional risk to the Isle.

Interrogating the Formerly Bewormed

TODO

DEWORMING DAY PLAN OVERVIEW:

  1. Take out Hawa Travert
  2. Take out everyone else
  3. Take out the literal piles of worms
  4. Heal/raise the shit out of people
  5. Arrest or detain as needed

Notes on plan's implementation:

  • Islanders we have started on the path to Mythic will be in the circle at the Godswatch waiting to help deworm everyone who comes back.
  • Darius will be the main designated worm-puller and he will serve as a teacher (by example) to the others how to properly de-worm. So really you'll want to pop a bronze when the first batch of worms comes back).
  • As the groups teleport back to the circle the wormed are hit with at least one poisoned crossbow bolt that will weaken the worm.
  • Darius and others will start deworming.
  • Aida will pop a bronze, then a silver, then control all 10 of the Godswatch statues as needed (details to be worked out but she's discovered the Godswatch statues were Luun's Lieutenants and are very powerful demons who, like Luun, have died, but since they are artifacts they can be controlled with a silver—duration longer if she pops a bronze first).
  • Maleos will pop a Bronze, use the Compass to target all the worms, and share the Compass's illusions with "his allies," meaning the people who'll be doing the teleporting and the PCs and as many other compatriots as the bronze lets him include. (He won't be using a Silver at first because he'll stop existing in a form that Has The Compass if he does.) He'll then cast Chain Lesser Telepathic Bond on the "group leaders" of the teleport teams so we can relay information through Mal, starting the first round.
  • The statues will also help with deworming, especially Pelor has he has a freaking argia sword.
  • Strongest Mythic casters should teleport the Corrupted humans, since we know that Mythic counters Worm.
  • (Corrupted are wormier than Pacts are wormier than Dominated.)
  • Maleos has seen himself, the compass's Energy Disk, Aida wielding her hammer, and Darias wielding his hammer pull worms out of humans before. He therefore surmises that all Mythic humans may be able to do this.
  • He further anticipates that this ability is an intended function of the Stormwall Hammers, because it just makes a lot of sense given the mythos. (Remember, they're not weapons. They're tools.)
  • Given the previous two points, Maleos has encouraged the Stormwall to attempt this after they see Darias do it. Worst case scenario, it doesn't work, and they resort to smashing worms. They don't have anything else to do until the worms are ripped out anyway unless they're closer to the wormpiles than the wormed humans.
  • Maleos suggests Esme go with one of the teams headed to Golddale since she knows the place well.
  • AoE attackers should go with the groups planning to teleport the Wormpiles. If the wormpiles scatter and can't all be teleported as "one entity," these evokers will hose down the room with fire after the teleports have been tried.
  • If Maleos manages to get Carbry's staff as part of his Shadowform, he'll be the AoE attacker to Brightmill. Otherwise he'll leave it to a High Priest. We'll arrange a signal beforehand to fork this the moment after he pops the Bronze.
  • Anyone on the teams going after the Wormpiles need to be Mythic or have chips inside them that prevent Domination/mind control, since they'll be literally touching Worms.

Contingencies (AKA Maleos's Morbid Monomaniacal Musings):

  • If the worms somehow know what we're up to the first round, all bets are off and we'll just have to salvage what we can. Most likely cause of this would be Scrying on low-level participants or the lone worm in Violetford literally crouching in the bushes watching us prep. (BoaTP confirms Hivemind — "What one worm knows, all worms know." BoaTP was unable to confirm or deny any specific theories as to the mechanism by which this is achieved.)
  • If there are more worms than expected or worms in new humans, "Maleos's allies" will know it as soon as he pops a Bronze.
  • Statues and/or Watchers should be able to bring overwhelming physical and magical force to bear if needed against the actual wormpiles, so brute force probably won't be a problem.
  • Targeted Dispel Magics on the more powerful Corrupted humans should help prevent their nastiest Surprises.
  • Int, Cha, and Wis buffs provided by the lowest level priests should make it harder for the worms to make their Saving Throws VS the teleports.
  • If the wormpiles all Scatter and try to find new hosts, the Consecrated ground should slow their movement, Stormwall probably aren't ideal hosts (bonus to save, higher life force, etc,) and I'm pretty sure they can't enter Mythic characters. Hence, Mythic Stormwall are to try to prevent worms from reaching the non-mythic Stormwall, who are to prevent worms from leaving the circle. Under no circumstances should worms be allowed to physically reach civilians or the clerics working the rituals. (Do we have the resources to cast Flame Barrier around the circle if it comes to this?)
  • The usurper may use its ability to send Visions to non-mythic, non-stormwall characters who don't have some manner of implanted magical item protecting them from such influence. This could result in low-level clerics botching the ritual or civilians taking drastic action to aid the Usurper, but is unlikely to do much, especially if we're all expecting it.
  • Conversely, the worms might all combine to form one big wormpile/Avatar. If this happens, getting the injured humans whose backs just exploded to safety is the immediate priority. Mythics with healing spells should cast them this round. PCs will engage the giant-ass Worm Avatar they come together to form to buy everyone else time to get the victims to safety and join the fight.
  • Any unspent Teleport spells after initial acquisition could be used to get victims to the medical tents after worms are out of them, especially if they exit by exploding out the backs.
  • In the highly unlikely event that the Usurper attempts to communicate or reason with us, Maleos reasons that the only sane response to almost literally anything it could say is "I'll pass that message along. Maybe it'll reach Nerull. Now stop trying to get out of your cell! And hold still so I can break your avatar(s)."
  • If Aida takes control of the Nerull statue, Maleos will Invisible it. Before the fight, he warns everyone that if Nerull's statue starts to move, AVERT YOUR EYES from it. Doesn't work like that. Oh well, worth a try.

Names of the Avatars

These are the names of Perrai Luun's trusted lieutenants, each of whom game their last ounce of strength to protect Isle in its early days. One name is etched into the base of each of the Godswatch statues, including the one we just built:
Boccob
Cicero
Ehlonna
Tholth
Erythnul
Ma'keth
Fharlanghn
Zenza
Heironyous
Verra
Hextor
Kleinne
Nerull
Dorath
Olidammara
Slai
Pelor/Perai Sol
Alala
Perai Luun
Rill

Weird, huh? Maleos suggests that maybe after all this is said and done and Isle's timeline realigns with that of Across, we could think about adding shrines for each of these lieutenants? He especially wants to see how Aida feels about that after the fight, since she'll be working the most closely with each of them.

The Watchers are also soldiers from Perai Luun's armies.

Aida and the Avatars

When Aida used her Silver boon, she immediately merged with the presences incorporated into the Godswatch statues. Her physical body disappeared, replaced by 10 new "gem fusion" bodies that look like a merger between Aida and one of the aspects of the god corresponding to the statue she'd merged with. These "gem fusion" bodies are larger than Aida (averaging something like 6'6" to 7' tall) and all act simultaneously. Below, see how the PCs reacted to seeing (Darias and Maleos) or being (Aida) these new demigods.

Note: Carol, please feel free to refine these physical descriptions and add to the descriptions as you want, so long as the tweaks are still basically in line with what's presented below.

Boccob

Passion: Looks like a thin, nicely-berobed version of Aida with glowing white eyes and wild-dancing hair.
Battle: Looks like a thin, tall version of Aida robed in opaque scintilating armor (including a helm) and carrying a flaming wizard's staff.

Ehlonna

Passion: Highly toned down version of nymph-Ehlonna with a translucent but selectively opaque gown draped in emerald moss.
Battle: Giant (Titan's Rage) version of Aida wearing Plate Mail of Thorns and carrying a bladed longbow.

Erythnul

Passion: 8-Pack-Abs Aida with thighceps and torsocalves, roughly a foot taller than regular Aida.
Battle: 8-Pack-Abs Aida with thighceps, torsocalves, and Stormwall plate and carrying a longsword and shield, sized per Titan's Rage.

Fharlanghn

Passion: Friendly, outgoing Aida with more weathered appearance, a little thinner, and more wiry like a long-distance runner.
Battle: Elderly version of Aida leaning on a walking staff and clad in well-worn plain clothing.

Heironyous

Passion: Adult Aida with longer, darker (greyer) hair and features ("stormy" in appearance).
Battle: Fully camo and almost impossible to really see clearly.

Hextor

Passion: Adult Aida with longer, darker (greener) hair and features ("roiling" in appearance).
Battle: Large, Aida-shaped water elmental.

Nerull

Passion: Black-skinned Aida with glowing silvery eyes.
Battle: Shadow Aida, no light escapes.

Olidammara

Passion: Toned-down version of seductress-Olidammara with Aida's features.
Battle: dozens of seductress-Olidammara mirror images flitting in and out of existence.

Pelor

Passion: Golden-skinned, bulky Aida.
Battle: Golden-skinned, golden-armored Aida with argia-laced greatsword.

Perai Luun

Passion: Silver-skinned, bulky Aida, but not quite as bulky as Pelor Aida.
Battle: Silver-skinned, silver-armored Aida with a veneresite-laced longsword.

The Battle of the Bewormed

All I wanna do is see you turn into ten giant womans, ten giant womans!
All I wanna be is someone who gets to see ten giant womans
All I wanna do is help you turn into ten giant womans, ten giant womans!
All I wanna be is someone whose enemies get giant woman'd
Oh I'd better Consecrate and I just can't wait to see the people you are together
If you give it a chance, you could hurl a huge Lance because you are some giant womans
You might even like being division'd and if you don't, it won't be two minutes
But if it were me, I'd really wanna be ten giants oh man, ten giants oh man!
All I wanna do is see you turn into ten giant womans

The PCs and the Stormwall, along with support from various temples and some freelancers, set up a battleground near the Godswatch. Aida used her silver boon, and everyone used a Bronze as well. In due course, the PCs sent out parties to retrieve each of the dominated people and forcibly de-worm them. The PCs accomplished this in relatively short order; afterwards, Aida traded memories amongst her temporary fused personalities to ensure they could write down as much as she could "remember" about the Island.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License