Tobold's Blog
Sunday, October 30, 2016
 
Zeitgeist: The Dying Skyseer - Session 12

In the previous session the constables of the Royal Homeland Constabulary had found a warehouse in which apparently monsters had been created by ripping out the hearts of jaguars and replacing them with vessels full of witchoil, an evil substance powered by capturing the souls of the dying. Examining the evidence left behind, Eldion made a discovery: From his politician background he had worked some time for Mayor Reed Macbannin, and so he could identify some handwritten notes about the witchoil of being in Macbannin's handwriting. Very suspicious given the substance in question, but hardly proof that would stand up in a court of law.

In any case, the group had a different task to perform first. The dying skyseer Nevard Sechim had announced that he would proclaim the vision he had when the group helped him to spend the night on Cauldron Hill to the population of Flint that day at noon on Dawn Square. In fact finding the warehouse had been part of the group providing security for that event. So now the constables returned to Dawn Square and found that a large number of citizens had gathered to hear the proclamation, and the whole thing had turned into some sort of festival with vendors selling food and drink. There was a platform from which Nevard would speak, with some of his followers setting up a podium. There were also two groups of druids with porcelain masks drawing two small chariots to left and right of the platform.

While the constables were clearly suspicious of those masked druids, the arrival of Nevard and his entourage made them rather escort the skyseer than going after those druids. But when Nevard had reached the platform, something happened: The chariots, which had rusty iron arcs to hold up a tarpaulin (like a wagon in the Wild West) and the fountain which had a rusty iron ring as a decoration all served as portals to the Shadowfell plane. From these portals 5 of the flayed jaguars that had been created in the warehouse emerged, and the 10 masked druids turned out to be skeletons that joined the attack.

Most of the group took up a defensive position around Nevard on the platform. To everybody's surprise Aria chose to remain on the square and cast spells at the enemies. That was very unusual for the player, who has a long history of playing glass cannon classes and hiding behind his fellow group members. And it clearly wasn't a good tactic, because he went down after one round, when the flayed jaguars attacked him as the closest target. Luckily he was only knocked unconscious, not dying, but it took several rounds before somebody from the group could come to his aid and revive him.

The skeletons were just minions, who went down quickly. But the flayed jaguars were rather tough. Now the idea behind that was that the group had learned that the jaguars had a heart of witchoil protected by a steel plate. And I told the players that they could instead of a regular attack try a strength check to rip off that steel plate. But in this campaign all the characters had chosen more exotic character classes which worked with other stats than strength, even the tanks. So they didn't really feel confident about strength checks, and only one of them tried and rolled low, so they gave up on that idea. They never found out that once the steel plate was removed, the flayed jaguars could be killed by a single blow, so the fight was a bit tougher than planned and took a while.

Nevard survived the fight and made his proclamation, declaring that his vision had clearly shown a danger to the city of Flint coming from Cauldron Hill. So he offered refuge in the Cloudwood to the people living close to Cauldron Hill. His vision was full of dark images, like a dark figure towering over the city, being controlled by others, and three birds, one of black silk, one of black steel, and one made of stars. The group not having enough information to decode this vision further, we ended the session at this point.

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