Campaign of the Month: February 2016

Rise of the Durnskald

Azca Et'Zeryx Valt - Roth Ulman Excerpt 2
Session 54

Excerpt from the advanced text “Azca Et’Zeryx Valt: Roth Ulman” detailing the nature of how Azca pertains to the interactions of planar physics.

“Azca is a powerful force that shouldn’t be trifled with by the untrained. Under certain circumstances and with the correct foci one could inadvertently cause certain unintended interactions affecting the stability of the plane. These interactions can be extremely difficult to anticipate and the consequences can be dire, occasionally qualifying as apocalyptic. Therefore take the following warnings to heart:

  1. In any interaction that uses or requires a form, do not deviate from said form.
  2. Conversely, if a form is not called for do not introduce such a static element to the weft.
  3. Interactions should only be performed in warded and secluded locations such as a containment field.
  4. Transmutation interactions are too dangerous and unpredictable.
  5. Always remember to take amplification into consideration.

Let’s get right to it then. As I’m sure you are already aware planes consist of several layers which are bound to each other by elementary forces. Azca can be used to weaken or strengthen these elementary forces using the following principle:

Change = ((Total Layer Potential added to Elementary Force Strength) multiplied by total amplification)) divided by (Total Stasis Potential added to Azca Potential)

Used with the theories presented in Azca Alumud C’et Vastrl: Volumes One, Two, and Three it should be readily apparent that even the smallest change may have a much larger impact than initially predicted. This effect is even more pronounced when extended over a duration of time. Standing point foci should generally be avoided for this reason, the Azca Potential generally continues to grow for as long as the foci is present. The exception to that would be if the foci itself was inside of a containment field (as it should be). The containment field should severely dampen the amplification effect of the foci (which is the generally intended purpose of a stasis wave-fluctuation based containment field after all), nearly cancelling out the amplification entirely. This allows you to extend the duration of your interaction dramatically.

Take note though. Obviously the amplification cannot be entirely nullified, to do so would render the foci pointless. Given that information a foci securely contained within a stasis wave-fluctuation based containment field must still steadily amplify the Azca Potential. If left unchecked eventually one of two things is accepted to happen; either the plane is bled dry of Azca entirely (leading to mass extinction), or the foci will fail catastrophically (in which case I sincerely hope that your containment field is very strong).

Azca scholars aren’t entirely sure what happens should the containment field fail. Obviously the accrued Azca would breach the field, that much can go unsaid, but what effect would manifest from such a breach is most unpredictable. The best case scenario is that a conduit with the astral plane is formed, acting as an enormous vent for the energy. The cataclysmic Azca backlash that devastated the plane of Athas might be considered a worst case scenario by some, I feel that the denizens of Athas may have gotten off lucky considering the circumstances.

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Journal entries for session 54:
Luon – Luon’s Journal – Session 53-54
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 54
Salin’ess-Khahaan – My Bird
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Twenty-Six
Krellem –
Cara –

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Da'aftamath
Session 53

They did it. I would’na believe it if I had’na been there meself. Them shaman greens made a door’a black, it goes what knows?

They do. Aye, they knows, it being made by them and all. Built a tomb around it they did with a door of unscratchable. Left a pile of dead greens inside. I know because I was in there, I’na seen anything of the like. Terrible omens await them that built this place. Them shaman greens will die w’in a fortnight or I’m not a dead goblin. Maybe they already dead. Maybe that bit on the other side of the black killed them right when they crossed over. Maybe they the lucky ones. Them D’mans and their like are drawing ever closer.

Still though, them shaman greens beat the big d’man. Huge as a tree he was, always shrouded in a smoke fire. Big molten iron eyes he had.I’ve seen his kind before, come from down in the depths of Oster’toth. Nasty lot that.

Maybe I stay here, keep a watch over the door of unscratchable. If the D’mans figure out how to open’t it would’na serve. Maybe I stay here, guard this place, keep out the D’mans.

I got a score t’settle.

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Journal entries for session 53:
Luon – Luon’s Journal – Session 53-54
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 53
Salin’ess-Khahaan – This is why we cannot have nice things
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Twenty-Five
Krellem –
Cara –

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Destruction
Session 52

They watched his fight with the flaming demon from the fire in the center of the village. Nearly all of the tribe was there to watch their chieftain die at the hands of the beast. The shaman had been able to scry the creature using the flames once the tribe on the other side of the portal had given them a name.

A’ki.

None could have guessed it would be A’ki. He was supposed to be a great hero who fell fighting the darkness centuries ago in the Abyss. Here he was now to put a violent end to everything he touched. It didn’t make any sense.

Chief Razimuth landed the first blow, slashing at A’ki somewhat clumsily but managing to keep his distance.

The shaman knew what had to be done and the preparations had already been underway. There was a legend that the lords of the Abyss couldn’t see innocence. If A’ki came from the Abyss perhaps he too shared their weakness. The fight between A’ki and Chief Razimuth confirmed their suspicions, A’ki seemed to be blind to Chief Razimuth’s attacks.

A great gate would be erected to hold the corruption and the monster that brings it at bay. It would be a magical gate, brought from the other side of the portal by volunteers who could never return to their homes. The gate would be built into the entrance of the cave and enchanted using the blood of the innocent. This was their best chance at keeping the monster from accessing wherever it was that the gate led to.

Chief Razimuth had landed several blows against A’ki, drawing blood several times. He saw an opening from behind the monster, leaping onto its back and stabbing savagely. A’ki stumbled and fell from the impact, Chief Razimuth landing just a few feet in front of him. A’ki cocked his head to the side at the sound of Razimuth’s landing, then reached out abruptly and caught the chief directly in the face with his fist. Chief Razimuth staggered to the side, spitting out teeth and coughing. A’ki stood tall and reached down to the source of the sound, picking Chief Razimuth up by his skull using just his massive armored gauntlet and dangling him ten feet above the ground.

A’ki chuckled sinisterly, then closed his fist. A moment later Razimuth’s headless twitching form dropped to the ground and A’ki limped away.

Journal entries for session 52:
Luon – Luon’s Journal – Session 52
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 52
Salin’ess-Khahaan – Strange Lizardfolk Temple
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Twenty-Four
Krellem –
Cara –

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Discussion
Session 51

Contact had been made, the people from the other side of the portal were lizardfolk.

They had hacked his people to pieces like that even though they were one and the same? Chief Razimuth had been rendered unable to even speak for a moment when the shaman told him why they had done such a horrible thing.

“There isn’t anything that is allowed to pass through the portal.”

That had been the extent of the discussion, nothing else was given as a means of explaining the atrocity that they had committed against his people, his father.

Razimuth wept for his people and his grief, but something kept nagging at him. That wording had been very particular. Why not just say that nothing was allowed through the portal? The answer struck him almost immediately, “Nothing” wasn’t allowed through either. They were guarding the portal against the sickness of the land that destroyed everything it touched. They were guarding it against the monster in the jungle. Razimuth knew that his people would not escape, the thing would annihilate them all.

Could nothing be done? Must they simply wait to die? No. Razimuth had had enough. He gathered the council and told them that he was going out to drive the monster off. He knew he couldn’t hope to slay the beast but perhaps he could wound it enough that it would seek an easier target elsewhere. Maybe he could buy his people enough time to escape.

He grabbed his father’s greatspear and bade farewell to his people, naming the wisest of the shaman as the new chief should he fail to return.

He knew he wouldn’t be returning.

Journal entries for session 51:
Luon – Luon’s Journal – Session 51
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 51
Salin’ess-Khahaan –
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Twenty-Three
Krellem –
Cara –

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Devastation
Session 50

Chief Astenfang was dead, her remains a gory mess that stretched at least ten feet in every direction from where she had tried to take a stand. The monster had crushed her like she was made of rotting fruit, then turned and simply walked away.

Razimuth had tried to stop her. The thing in the jungle was far more powerful than anything that his tribe had ever encountered before. It stood over twenty feet tall, bristling with muscle and seemingly made of smoke. Razimuth had been the first to see the monster coming, seeing it from his post in the watchtower because the beast’s flaming red eyes made it plainly visible in the eternal twilight that now blanketed the land. He had even tried picking up his father’s greatspear but he was still weak to wield it effectively. If only they had more time to prepare maybe this could have gone differently.

He thought about it for a moment. No, that would have gone no differently if we’d had fifteen years to prepare. That thing appeared to be unstoppable and had to be avoided or else all was lost. The others were looking to him now for leadership since many of the more elder lizardfolk were in no state to do much of anything other than wail uncontrollably. The others were dutiful warriors and fearful fathers, great at taking orders but terrible at giving them.

Razimuth’s first act as chief of the tribe was to call the council of shaman, peaceful contact had to be made with the people from the other side of the portal.

Journal entries for session 49:
Luon – Luon’s Journal – Session 50
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 50
Salin’ess-Khahaan –
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Twenty-Two
Krellem –
Cara –

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Desolation
Session 49

Razimuth was crestfallen when he heard the news. The scouting party that Chief Astenfang had sent through the portal had been slain, their bodies tossed unceremoniously back through the portal to lay in a heap of limbs, heads, tails, and torsos. Razimuth took the news especially hard as his father, Akker’roth the great warrior of the Sunscale tribe, had been among those who would never look upon their homeland again.

To make matters worse the light of the titan seemed to be growing fainter each day, now twisting the landscape like it had twisted the hatchlings and elders previously. Even the plant life was affected, gnarling, withering, and blackening like the sky. Something truly horrible was happening here, something that Razimuth didn’t think his people would be able to escape. Chief Astenfang had been wary but hopeful when Razimuth had given her the news of the portal’s discovery, that hope had turned to ash when she saw what had become of her scouts. No more would be sent, the tribe couldn’t spare the men. Every day the bounty of the land became smaller and smaller. Less animals appeared in the jungle, less fish were in the water, less birds were in the sky.

The land was dying and no one knew why.

Journal entries for session 49:
Luon – Luon’s Journal – Session 49
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 49
Salin’ess-Khahaan – Tick Tick
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Twenty-One
Krellem –
Cara –

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Discovery
Session 48

Razimuth raced down the cave, brimming with excitement over his discovery. Chief Astenfang would surely see the value of this, she had to, it was monumental. Literally.

Razimuth snickered at his joke to himself as he jogged outside the cave complex. He had been exploring deep beneath the surface in the sub-level of the cavern where the shaman council had made their proclamation of power a few days ago. They had been searching for a new source of raw Azca since the sun went dim to perhaps reverse the calamity; his people worshiped the light of the titan and it had nearly gone out around twenty days ago.

That had been a very bad day, one that Razimuth hoped he would be able to forget. He had seen horrible things happen to the children and elders, their twisted forms and shrieks still haunted his dreams.

He shivered involuntarily at the memory. He was almost home now, the cave wasn’t far from the tribe’s riverside village. Soon he could tell Chief Astenfang about the portal. The portal would be their salvation.

Journal entries for session 48:
Luon – Luon’s Journal – Session 48
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 48
Salin’ess-Khahaan – After the ruins
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Twenty
Krellem –
Cara –

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He Watches
Session 47

The master looked at them quizzically.
“Ah, yes. Welcome home little ones. I trust that the intruders have been adequately dealt with?”

They globbered in unison excitedly.

The master seemed less than amused at their antics.
“What do you mean by that precisely? Am I to assume that they have not been killed?”

G’Hauth glurried to the master in a dismissive fashion.

The master eyed G’Hauth wearily.
“So you let them escape. Are you sure that they have gone from our lands? We will have much bigger problems to deal with if word of our little enclave here reaches the elementals.”

G’Hauth floopily willomied, using a pseudopod to draw a crude map on the ocean floor. G’Hauth gesticulated towards the map, emphasizing the trail away from the ancient ruins near the shoreline.

The master closed all three of his glowing orange eyes, nodded, and bid them to leave his sanctum.

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Journal entries for session 47:
Luon – Luon’s Journal – Session 47
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 47
Salin’ess-Khahaan – I Wish For Friends
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Nineteen
Krellem – none
Cara – none

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ARC Historical Analysis - The Sandscale Tribe
Session 46

Status:
Annihilated, survivors likely assimilated into the Greenscale Tribe to the north west.

Description:
The Sandscale Tribe was a large, prosperous, and somewhat gregarious lizardfolk culture that inhabited the coastal jungles of Organith during the Age of the Citadel, peaking around C5850. They were a religious and artistic tribe that valued the solidarity and piety of its people, building large temples dedicated to Semuanya. These structures are thought to have attracted the unwanted attention from the Swamplurk Yuan Ti, leading to intense and bloody conflict. The Sandscale Tribe was eventually brought to ruin by the treacherous barbarian king Kurgen Vost when he commanded his forces to attack their lizardfolk allies.

Archaeological Significance :
There are several ruined temples located along the Organith coast that have recently been discovered, they are considered to have historical value. To date, no settlements have been located.

Journal entries for session 46:
Luon – Luon’s Journal – Session 46
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 46
Salin’ess-Khahaan – On the way to some ruins
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Eightteen
Krellem – none
Cara – none

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ARC Logistical Analysis - Abberant Ocean Elemental
Session 45

Origin:
This creature is unlike anything we’ve encountered so far. It is clearly an elemental but it seems to exhibit several physiological traits of various oozes as well. Could corruption be the cause of such a malformation? It is unknown.

Appearance:
The creature itself is fairly large, taking up the space of several small fishing skiffs or perhaps an elephant. It is deceptively difficult to quantify how much volume an amorphous creature takes up. The creature is the color of the ocean water from which it was created, rendering it effectively invisible in that water unless it is moving.

Dietary Needs:
Low. These creatures do require sustenance, a fact we didn’t learn quick enough to preserve the first two captured specimens. They seem to feed on whatever they absorb in much the same fashion as a Gelatinous Cube. They are predominantly composed of water so their food requirements are low, approximately 2 pounds of fish every few days was enough to keep our third specimen alive and somewhat active. When they are in the water their needs change, using water for sustenance instead.

Temperament:
In a word? Angry. These creatures are not intelligent and whatever force animates them also imbues them with a need to destroy. They prefer to attack things smaller than themselves, regardless of the threat those things pose. Rafts were attacked as quickly as balloons or people.

Intelligence:
Minimal. These creatures would be far more dangerous if they could strategize or retreat.

Combat Ability:
Fair. They can attack with many pseudo-pods of various sizes and lengths that they project from their core, battering their targets. They have a somewhat small range, our specimens weren’t able to strike at targets more than twenty feet away. Not all of the creatures are precisely the same though, it is assumed that larger specimens would have a longer range. The creature can also grasp a target and absorb it, generally killing the target via suffocation or, when no other targets are present, via the application of blunt trauma from within. Also, it should be noted that these creatures are very difficult to kill if they are in contact with a water source. Our fifth specimen, when in contact with the ocean, was able to withstand several large barrages of arrow fire.

Vulnerabilities and Immunities:
Cold works, as does electricity. Fire appears to do nothing. Acid is also ineffective. Aural damage was reduced in effectiveness. Piercing weapons were basically useless. Slashing and bludgeoning weapons were effective. Positive and negative energy attacks operated within normal ranges. Poison wasn’t effective. Disease was also useless. Force damage, as always, proved effective. Immune to suffocation. Starvation or dehydration is possible if time consuming. All of this was rendered useless if the creature was in contact with an external water source unless massive trauma was inflicted all at once.

Recommended Action:
Regular patrols along the fishing routes to keep the creatures at bay, they pose a large threat to fishermen and their ilk as well as anyone traveling by small seafaring vessels. When found, engage and exterminate.

Journal entries for session 45:
Luon – Luon’s Journal – Session 45
Sorathin – The Journal of Sorathin (The Green Knight) Session 45
Salin’ess-Khahaan – Arriving at the Elemental Kingdom
Thoragen – Thoragen Entry Seventeen
Krellem – none
Cara – none

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