Godless Zombies

The Porting Wizard
Where'd those zombies go?

(Thanks James!)

After saving one of the labs (in the mountaintop) in the previous
session our heroes used a teleportation circle located therein in an
attempt to catch up with a necromancer. Said spellcaster is in
possession of a type of skyrock that we need – one which can help
clear up the aberrant taint currently contaminating most teleportation
magics. The circle took us into Thrain (or what was once Thrain,
anyway) – but didn’t take us directly to the necromancer. Once there
Archie (and others, this is the part where my notes fail me) performed
a ritual to determine where exactly we should go, which ended up being
NW.

After travelling some distance we found a large group of zombies led
by a small humanoid (non-zombie) who began summoning sky rocks out of
a gathering storm using magical lightning. Livia, on scout duty
(Ladyhawke style), noticed most of this happening, and reported back
to us (not before the necromancer attacked her with lightning from the
storm though). We moved quickly forward to confront the spellcaster,
and Oak attempted to speak with her. Rather then answer she simply
teleported away. Archie began to re-cast her ritual (to find where
the necromancer had gone) but this time we had to defend her from some
of the zombie horde in the area (most ignored us and wandered off, but
about 7 or 8 did not). The zombies were full of some kind of deadly
spores which did additional damage to everyone around them when they
were struck in melee (except Molasar, advantage – being already dead).

We defeated them, and Archie finished the ritual, this time pointing
us SW.

We ran off again, this time knowing that the necromancer wasn’t far
away. As we approached her again Molasar took bat form and flew above
the zombies and their mistress, hidden from sight in the storm and
darkness. After conferring telepathically with Oak on their plan (try
to speak again, but if she goes to cast a spell Molasar attacks from
surprise) we confronted her a second time. Oak asked to speak with
her, and then when she seemed to not be interested, asked what she was
doing here. She responded by saying something to the effect of “Here
- I’ll show you!” and began casting some kind of spell (maybe).

Molasar turned from bat to human (err… vampire) and dropped out of
the sky directly above her.

Roll initiative – to be continued…

(Side note – a good number of sky rocks were recoverd by the group as
well (mostly Jen and Becky, Kim also has one that looks suspiciously
like a 2-handed sword already…).

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Detect Teleportation ritual

Detect Teleportation
Looking at the manipulation of space through arcane means, you read the signatures of recent magical travel to point the way forward.
Component Cost: 400 gp
Market Price: 1,000 gp
Key Skill: ArcanaLevel: 10
Category: Exploration
Time: 10 minutes
Duration: Instantaneous

You cast about for the most recent teleportation effect used, whether power, item or ritual based. Upon locating it, you then focus in to read as much as you can from the magical residue.

Number of creatures teleporting . . . Modifier
Two to Ten creatures 0
Eleven or more creatures +5
Only one creature -5

Arcana Check Result Maximum Range
9 or lower 1 miles
10–19 10 miles
20–29 100 miles
30–39 1,000 miles
40 or higher Anywhere on the same plane

You can only detect teleportation if within range. With success you are able to point the way towards the most recent teleportation within the range you achieved, or a lesser range you choose.

For every 5 points by which your check exceeds the range’s DC, you can also learn one additional piece of information about the teleportation:
Direction of travel
Approximate distance of travel
Number of creatures teleporting
Approximate time since teleportation
Type of creature teleporting, or most common type if more than one creature

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Book Follow-up

The book recovered from Veyii, the one that both the Baron and Allabar’s friends want, is very hard to read.

On each page is some complex symbol, almost surely a powerful arcane rune. They are accompanied by a dizzying array of annotations, commentary, and other scribblings.

Staring at the central runes on each page is … hard. It starts to hurt a little, and your eyes play tricks on you as it looks as if the long curls of the symbols are actually moving. That couldn’t be happening though.

The introduction to the book includes numerous warnings against reading or analyzing the contents, or sharing the information with others.

Veyii mentions that it is part of The Codex, but does not talk about it much beyond that.

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Skyrock Follow-up

You’ve assembled quite a collection of sky rocks so far, most in a Handy Haversack if I’m not mistaken.

Their sizes … are not constant. Sometimes they get bigger, sometimes they get smaller. Perhaps a good topic for further investigation. I will classify them as small, medium, large and extra large.

All of them have a strange lightness to them, as if they weigh much less than you’d expect. They give off light, sometimes more sometimes less. They feel powerful when you hold them, and often are warm to the touch.

You found two small ones near the abandoned farmhouse, by the outskirts of Copperforge. They are a light brown or tannish color. They make you feel swift as the wind as you hold them, as a bird of prey. I believe this same type is also what you used for Archie’s staff and Skip’s belt. They also appeared at the Lake by the mountain where you fought the lake ‘god’ who emerged from the water.

You’ve amassed many rocks that have a rich blue hue. One of them is in Oak, another in Swiftfoot, and some were traded to the warforged. Tharaszap has a few too. You have 16 small, 5 medium, 1 large and 3 extra large pieces. As you take them out of the bag to examine them in the Mountaintop you find that they don’t stay still. The small ones especially seem to vibrate a hum, moving slightly as they are near each other. Oak also seems to have an attractive force on them. These rocks make you feel friendly and inspire you to seek out new communities with which to trade and exchange.

The two halflings you met briefly when leaving the Necromancer’s lair had a rock that was pink in color, and they felt strongly that it could be a strong method of channeling healing magic, perhaps even to cure the zombie menace. They are seeking more like it.

At the Necromancer’s lair you saw a cage or shell that Veyii had made for his wife Deena, to protect her. These rocks were in a magical lattice and glowing bright white with energy. They also looked to be burning.

Veyii has a large number of sky-rocks that are dark purple, and seem to be effective at letting him create and control undead. Archie had one medium long piece that she allowed Veyii to use (I think) to amplify his assembled pieces’ powers so he could subdue the undead dragon. When Veyii uses the set of sky rocks it looks like a hand made up of individual pieces, about 5 or 6 feet long. You often feel very hungry while he’s using them to channel his magic.

Recently you’ve encountered a number of sea foam green rocks. Kira (Becky) has a staff with two pieces of this material on it, and she saw more in use when she was a captive. Resiv (the warforged who the town guard brought to you after his strange awakening) seems interested in these especially. You’ve collected 2 small, 2 medium and 2 large rocks yourself, and the warforged have at least 1. As you manipulate the sky rocks they make you feel like roaming, going your own way, seeking out new places and being free of your troubles.

Anders (Ben): you and I should also talk separately. :)

So what do you want to do with them? Any questions?

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The Mountaintop's Foes
Floating balls of tentacles

We pick up mid-fight, as a group of aberrant creatures seems to be trying to kill or capture you from your barracks.

You finished off the two beholders (big orbs of eyes) and their tentacular allies. Archie returned from the void, but Tawar eventually died in the void with Swiftfoot along too. The strange tentacled Ceentale (kalashtar buddy) escaped out the portal that almost swallowed Oak. Investigating the cells you find one exploded body, very gory.

Tawar is revived as Oak and Molasar call in some big favors at the Mountaintop, and upon further questioning by Molasar about the ritual, it appears that the healers had some trouble until they used (and consumed) one of the sky rocks that they had gathered.

Searching through the remains of the big beholder bodies, you find all sorts of useful parts contained in them. One of their internal organs seems to be salvageable into a Salve of Power (see below). Some of the harder bits of stuff are also magical, including a Citrine Solitaire. Some of the bony pieces of the beholders retain some psychic energy, giving you one Psychic’s Ring.

Archie and Allele are also able to extract some of the magical essences from the eyes and eye stalks. This allows you to apply those essences to one weapon that is +2 to make it +3, and one armor that is +2 to make it +3.

After resting up from the long fight you are greeted by a warforged messenger, Libram, who has come to collect the Necromancer’s Book. Libram also brings an offer of information, food, and medical supplies (which the Mountaintop is now quite low on) in exchange for rare metals and ritual components.

Libram agrees to trade for some of your sky rocks, and tells you that Allabar started the plague, probably by using some small biting insects sent from its realm to Eberron to spread it through blood infection. The believed reason was to weaken the gates and allow more easy transport of larger things/creatures to Eberron.

Libram also knows of an item that can cleanse the corrupted portals that are being made. This special staff is possessed by a wizard who leads a large group of undead. The wizard is believed to be working with accomplices, and she frequently uses teleportation magic. She’s been hard to track, but Libram knows she is headed towards the Burnt Wood (northern Thrane, near Tronehold, North of you right now).

The warforged really want the book, but you say that you need time to examine it further first. Libram is also very interested in the adamantine horse, but is not allowed near it. You trade some beholder pieces to Libram in exchange for him teaching Archie the track teleportation ritual to follow this strange wizard.

Things I still owe you:

description of what the sky rocks potential magics are, so you can make stuff out of em what’s in the book how archie’s new ritual works details about Anders and Allele’s escapades (please email me the notes)

Items from today:

Psychic’s RingLevel 12 Common

This crystalline ring glitters with psionic energy, allowing you to communicate telepathically.

Ring Slot 13,000 gp
Power Encounter (Free Action)

You use the psion’s send thoughts power.

If you have reached at least one milestone today, the messages that you and the target exchange can be up to 50 words long.

Solitaire (Citrine)Level 11 Uncommon

This irregular yellow crystal channels healing power to you in battle.

Wondrous Item 9,000 gp
Power (Healing) Daily (Free Action)

Use this power when you score a critical hit on your turn. You spend a healing surge.

Salve of PowerLevel 10 Uncommon

This stoneware jar periodically renews a potent unguent that can restore a character’s power.

Wondrous Item 5,000 gp
Power Daily (Minor Action)

When salve of power is applied to a creature, the target can expend one healing surge to regain the use of one encounter attack power (instead of regaining hit points). If the target has no healing surges remaining, it cannot benefit from the salve.

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The Church's Surprise
Did you know he had a sister?

This needs some embellishment, anyone got some narrative?

Retrieve Kira (Oak’s sister) from the basement of the church

Apparently she was kidnapped by aberrations for six months

Shore up the town against flooding during the big rainstorm

Hey, that’s not just a rainstorm

Go up the mountain to retrieve sea foam green rocks while repelling most of the zombies

Get to Mountaintop for some much needed rest

Have rest interrupted by strange arrival of a second copy of Kira’s buddy Ceentale. They escaped together from being forced into working for Allabar’s forces.

Interrogate them both in the jail; decide to lock them each in a cell and rest

Go to sleep

Ambushed during sleep by beholders and other aberrations in barracks, some of whom teleport themselves and you

Fight to be continued

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The Necromancer's Cave

(rough notes from email draft)

Entering the cave
Through long, very round tunnel
Scuttling swarm coming from smaller, orthogonal passage
Sealed door with light behind it
Study with desk and two skeletal animals tussling
Looks more worked, less natural
Anders is not noticed actively by any of the creatures so far
Two doors out from the study: one heavily locked, one slightly ajar with sounds of movement
Light also coming from farther in, and talking

The party (Oak?) announces its presence loudly, provoking attack. Swarms from in front and behind move toward the loud noises.
As the skeletal creatures die, some of their bones clatter off through the doors, pulled by some unseen force.

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The Rocks' Descent
So many rocks, so many zombies

After the warforged had been subdued, everyone turned their attention to gathering the fallen and still falling skyrocks. Oak appeared fully able to move around, and could tell where the nearest rocks were at any given time.

The fog still clung heavily, restricting vision, but the unmistakable sound of large groups of zombies carried through, as the mysterious rocks of different sizes (from handspan to full human armspan in width) continued to fall.

These zombies gathered together quite closely, grabbing at any who came nearby. Many sported sharp teeth that dug deep during their death throes, puncturing Skip’s leg twice. Some of these creatures had flowing viscera, entangling intestines around Oak and others to drag them in closer and squish messily.

Among the falling skyrocks appeared a large cloud of shimmering energy, washing over parts of the battlefield, which seemed to help Oak greatly and slightly impair the zombies caught in it.

Some zombies did get to some of the skyrocks, bursting into flashes of energy upon reaching their goals. No one knows what causes this to happen, but there are theories.

As the battle raged on, Anders spotted a warforged lurking by the broken wagon, staying out of the fight. After cleaning up the last of the zombies and gathering up numerous skyrocks, most of which end up in the bag of holding Archie carries, the party returns to the wagon to check on the unconscious warforged hostage and Kraas. Both appear bruised but alive, although the wagon has been ransacked and there are warforged tracks leading further east.

Anders tracks them for a while, with help from Livia, but is pulled back by Oak’s orders, so the gang can regroup and bring Kraas back to Copperforge to install him as mayor properly. The warforged have escaped for now, though without their comrade held hostage.

Scouring over the debris of the wagon and the remains of the combatants, you find:
Belt of Raging Endurance

The amber glow spreading from this behemoth-hide belt swirls into the spirit aura of your rage, shielding you until the glow flares red.

Waist Slot
Property

You gain 1 healing surge.

Power Encounter (Immediate Interrupt)

Trigger: An enemy hits you and causes damage.

Effect: You gain resist 15 against that attack, but you also take 10 damage at the end of your next turn.

Guardian Shield Level

Activate the power of this shield to defend an ally from attack.

Arms Slot: Any shield
Power Daily (Immediate Interrupt)

You can use this power when an adjacent ally is hit by an attack. You are hit by the attack instead. The ally is unaffected by the attack. You then gain resistance to all damage equal to half the damage dealt by the attack (if any) until the start of your next turn.

Boots of Sand and Sea

These wax-coated coverings help you glide over the earth when you are lightly encumbered, and might save you when the current runs deep.

Feet Slot 5,000 gp

Property

Gain a +1 item bonus to speed while wearing light armor or no armor.
Power Encounter (Free Action)

Gain a +5 power bonus to an Athletics check to swim.

Amulet of Protection +3

This light blue amulet increases your defenses.

Enhancement Bonus: Fortitude, Reflex, and WillNeck Slot

Rogue’s Belt

No one can hold you, no chains can restrain you, and no bars can contain you while you wear this slick belt.

Waist Slot 9,000 gp

Property

You can attempt to escape a grab or restraints as a minor action.

Ring of Uncanny Judgment

This ring resembles the scales of justice bent in a circle, and it broadens your judgment of your surroundings.

Ring Slot 17,000 gp

Properties

You gain a +2 item bonus to Insight checks.
When you mark an enemy, you automatically know the distance and direction to that enemy at all times while the mark persists.

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The Warforged's Wagon
More fun than a barrel of animated tools

The party heads east following after the warforged who have taken Content Not Found: Kraas and seem to have a metallic horse with them. The tracks become erratic, and less controlled, suggesting that the horse does not stay under their complete control.

As the hours pass, the weather becomes foggier, and a storm begins to close in. Not a rainstorm, but another massive fall of skyrocks, seeming to end up right on top of the party. The large group of zombies is still in pursuit, now masked by the fog but surely spurred on by the storm. The warforged party, from the tracks, seems to double back.

Soon after the first skyrocks fall to the ground the warforged appear, attempting to gather up the rocks in their wagon. Visibility is poor, and discussion with the warforged soon turns to fighting, as they show no interest in giving back Kraas or the goods they stole from town.

The battle is chaotic: strange flying tools aggressively protect the warforged, and Oak goes down from being struck directly by a three-foot long skyrock. Content Not Found: Tharaszap flies around gathering skyrocks, and a half-orc climbs from the inside of the wagon to take control of the big metal horse, riding it away and over some of the warforged. This woman seems to have a wolf with her, who shows the ability to teleport after being struck by a skyrock directly in the shoulder.

Magic from inside the wagon continues to aid the warforged and attack the party, but numbers prevail and the warforged are overwhelmed. One tries to escape but cannot outrun Molasar and Anders. The last warforged surrenders, knowing it has no chance of escape.

What was in that wagon?
Why were they fleeing east?
What made them turn around?
Who is this woman on the horse?

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Something in the Lake
The Lake's God (?)

All right guys, unfortunately (or fortunately) for you, this is Dan who was taking notes this session, and I tend towards an extremely silly stream-of-consciousness style when doing so. So, with that in mind….


We are escorting a couple to the lake in the past so that their kid can get baptized! He knows the way to get there. We find the remains of some falling dragonshards. The elders that we find in the lake village aren’t letting anyone near the lake, including us! OH NOES. Livia remonstrates with them because our party is comprised of Cool Dudes. The elders tell her that the dragonshards are changing the behavior of the people who go to the lake often! Some of them fell into the lake. The makeup of the lakevillage council has changed so now you can’t go to the lake without getting its approval. This confuses the heck out of the rest of the party because we have no idea what the lake does.

So then she explains it! Once you start drinking from it you get at peace with the world, and you also need to keep drinking from it or you get sick. There’s also a prophecied lake-embodiment-avatar person that this village has been searching for.

AND we can also not talk to the council for another day because they do not want to be disturbed until then, and we need to talk to the council to get a lake permit. We nod and smile and walk away and plan to blatantly subvert the council’s desires. Anders goes down to the lake to reconnoiter. He finds a sleeping guard by the lake edge for some reason. AND THEN THE GUARD WAKES UP. He searches around a bit but doesn’t find Anders, and Anders can’t see any sort of magical alert traps or anything. The guard goes and dunks the side of his head in the lake for some reason and walks back up. Then Anders SEES SOMETHING in the lake. It is probably a monster. He also notices a recently dry riverbed that suggests a flood of some kind. The guard goes back to sleep once he reaches his post again.

Meanwhile Livia talks to her family, and they say that the elders are saying “collect the dragonshards, stay away from the lake”. The elders bring back water so people don’t die. Kras reconnoiters the town and sees a lot of sleeping people, and Skip watches the pregnant lady, which isn’t creepy at all. Archie does a tech demo for the villagers. Then someone steals her staff. Muscle Squad Extreme is on the case. We go to the elder’s yurt to try and find it. We intimidate the hell out of this guard. But then it turns out that Livia dated the guard in Lake People Kindergarten or something and she sweet-talks him into letting us in.

The elders are being weird but they offer to take us to the lake that night. Very suspicious.

AND THEN THE LADY GOES INTO LABOR. Anders and Skip go after a couple of people who are running toward the central elder yurt. We stole a moon rock from them! Actually two spiky donuts. And then Skip and Anders go back to the pregnant lady. We delay a whole crapton of people chasing after us as we take the pregnant lady to the lake. There may be some explosions involved.

Then a glowing man comes out of the lake. Anders is going crazy from skyrocks at this point, but he thiiiiiiinks that he may look like an avatar of The Fury. Sort of. Then he possesses Archie. We end up fighting Lake Jesus. Livia is upset by this, and defends Lake Jesus very inconveniently. Skip kicks 20 people at once. Then he also gets possessed and jumps into a lake. Then a bunch of people punch a bunch of other people and we disperse a mob. Then Livia sees a slithery thing where Lake Jesus should be and is totally disillusioned. Then she throws a spear through it. AWESOME. Turns out it is a minor quori, and it explodes and skyrocks fly out. BEST PIÑATA EVER.

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