It’s a dark day in the pens. Mina has failed as a gladiator, almost dying in the process, Zar has in fact died, leaving Hakku in paroxysms of guilt, and Kindrok has returned from his imprisonment, almost dead from apparently repeated torture.
Kindrok was tortured to within an inch of his life, but eventually his captors became convinced that he had told them everything he knew.
Quick & dirty torture rules: Roll Intimidate vs. Will. Every success results in the revelation of one piece of information. A failure ends the torture. (This will not work against actual PCs, but it works for Kindrok.) | Well, that doesn’t work. Kindrok only stops being tortured on a natural 1. But it should be Will here, not Fort, because it’s presumed that the torturer can keep going until he breaks through the physical resistance of the subject. Okay, let’s try: The torturer rolls Intimidate vs. Will (with situational modifiers for equipment as laid out on pp. 37-39, The Book of Vile Darkness, but I’m not worrying about that here). If the check succeeds, the character makes a skill check to see if any information is revealed: Bluff, Endurance, or Diplomacy. Insight can be used as a secondary skill. Other skills may be used if they can be justified; for instance, Intimidate may work in some situations (threatening what will happen when others find out the character’s been tortured, for instance) After 3 failures, the character…dies? After 6 successes, the torturer is convinced that the character has told him all he knows, whether that is true or not.
This is not what I’m doing, though, or Kindrok fails/dies. Perhaps they let him go after the 3 failures, thinking they’ve told them all he knew.
Kindrok is broken. He’s become a blubbering fool. He told his torturers most of what he knew or remembered about the VA. What they really wanted was names, and he gave them three: Vistna, Quistine and Suldin.
Not sure; find out.
Middle of the night, I believe.
It’s getting downright chilly at night. Blankets are hard to come by, as they’ve mostly been taken by the stronger. The weakest, who have no blankets but need them most, are left to shiver in the cold. Occasionally it drops below freezing. There is dew every morning.
- Retcon: Mina was not allowed to leave by the Tembo. Instead she was knocked unconscious (below 0 HP), and awoke to find herself outside of the pit, with a scratched-up Lissan standing over her with concern. Everything else happened as stated. It’s up to Sarah what Mina remembers or recounts.
- Don’t forget to time the session & take regular breaks (10 minutes every two hours).
It’s low sun, so -2 adjustment to the temperature chart. Wind doesn’t matter unless it’s Storm or better. Well, I suppose Strong would result in a nice breeze in the city.
4: Warm/cool, 2: No wind.
No moons to speak of. The moons are rising in early morning, with not much more than pale shadows of themselves visible. They rise earlier every day.
Press Gang (though Eramas should come in again. Eremas will not ask to join the party, nor will Kindrok invite him. But Eremos will join in any fight Kindrok is involved in.)
Shanghaied (Zar; Shanghaied is still Mahlanda’s story as well; that innkeeper obviously has a racket going.) (also…where’s Chari? Still in the pits, I assume, kitchen help like Mahlanda? She will try to insist she gets rescued too when Mina tries to rescue her)
A—Friend in Need
What’s the current status on this? I believe that Zar has to turn something substantive in by tomorrow night or he dies(?).
D—Plots (this has not been followed through completely)
Serious Offense (Kindrok)
Liurgand has tracked Mina throughout her escapades of the evening, and will turn her/them in tomorrow(?)
Theft (in progress)
E—Kindness of Strangers (in progress)
After consulting with Jason, we have come up with solutions to all of the plot holes engendered by Kindness of Strangers and Dispatches.
The mission into the pens is to kill as many slaves and guards as possible; with Ktandeo dead, the faction of the VA that favors more direct action and a more violent approach to defeating Kalak has become unbound and decided to act on its own to do whatever is necessary to slow down construction of the ziggurat, especially since it seems that the assassination plan has fallen through. This faction is led, more or less, by Faldar.
However, the plan goes awry. It was extremely bold: To sneak into the slave pens under cover of Invisibility and massacre the slaves. However, their plan was foiled by an over-alert Templar, who rouses his mates and manages to turn what would have been a simple massacre into an all-out fight. Most of Faldar’s accomplices were killed.
The rationale for his later contacting the PCs for a mission into town is that he is now persona non grata with the mainstream of the Tyrian VA, and most of his compatriots are dead or in hiding.
Sarah/Mina believes that Mahlanda is Sadira. She is not; I’m not sure what her role or importance is; perhaps it doesn’t matter. But she is not in Faldar’s faction.
Don’t forget that all of the major encounters in Part 1 lead to encounters in Part 2, and adventures after the module ends. These need to be worked out, as there are some incompletenesses and inconsistencies.
Kindrok will be captured and tortured tomorrow for information regarding the Veiled Alliance. His performance will be based on die rolls; Endurance? Fort? Bluff, perhaps. This can be figured out in advance, if I have time.
- Also remember that there are several unusual races in the pens—gith, etc.
- Don’t forget about Liurgand, who is trying to insinuate himself into the group.
Start pointing out that the weaker slaves are starting to die off from the decreased rations.
- Morrow 3rd is in 6 days.
- Any astrologers will notice that we’re getting near Low Sun, when Guthay(?) will be in conjunction with the Dark Sun. (What did I decide about this? Is this a year after both moons were in conjuction? Or before?) [told Haaku]
- Sunsickness rules for the Pens: Anyone who gets enough food and water during the day cannot worsen on their Endurance check the next morning.
- Work on Haaku some more. In particular, he never got his vial back. I think this should happen after he heals a guard or something.
- It’s time to move to Part Three.
- Plot holes
- The templars were looking for a “Renegade Preserver.” Most people have no idea what that is. However, that might explain why no one gave her up. Nobody likes a sorcerer, but if they have no idea what a Preserver is…
- Timor got passed by the party, but ended up conversing with Rhotan before the party arrived. Oops. How did this happen?
- There was another one I can’t recall ATM, I thought regarding the rescued half-elf.
- Make a detailed session plan/narrative. A bald encounter list is not enough. Imagine out every session before it begins.
- Look—again—into a combat planner for iOS. I’m getting tired of using Sarah’s phone.
- Have a note that says, "Heal disease overnight—no “full sustenance.” What does this mean?
- The death of Kalak on Morrow 3rd.
The Verdant Passage
- Hexameron 15: Kalak discovers the amulets, Sadira escapes and meets Ktandeo, Rikus is hurt by the Gaj, Tithian takes Agis’ slaves, Sadira is captured by Radurak.
- Hexameron 17: Agis meets with other nobles in the Red Kank (p. 102, “two days” since Caro’s escape (possibly not the same day as he was taken? But it really seemed like it was.)
- Hexameron 18 or 20: Radurak sells Sadira to Agis (some confusion there; Agis says that his meeting with Ktandeo on the 17th was “a few days ago,” but Sadira being captured by Radurak was clearly “three nights past.” (p. 140) Yeah, this is a serious problem. This has got to be at least the 20th: “In the days following the uprising in the square…” (p. 136). I think the author was counting three days from the incident at the Red Kank, which is incorrect. She was captured two days before that, so it’s actually been five days.
- Hexameron 18 or 20: Tithian discovers passage from Ziggurat to Golden Tower, Caro contacts Tithian (“three days,” from when Caro was turned (or, more likely from the incident at the Red Kank), p. 154).
- Hexameron 20 or 22: Agis meets Tithian in the stadium (“Two days earlier, when Agis set her free,” p. 168).
- Hexameron 22 or 24: Agis meets with Ktandeo. Ktandeo dies. (“Two days” after Agis’ meeting with Tithian, p. 199)
The longer timeline makes more sense, and fits fine with the events of the campaign. It’s the 24th now, so Ktandeo dies tonight; in a couple of days, Kindness of Strangers will occur. I may forward the current date (since I deliberately set up a timelessness to the pens) to match that, since I want Kindness of Strangers to occur before Mina’s escape attempt. (Done. Jumped from 25th to 27th. This is still flexible though.)
Kasia—Korvin’s concubine, rescued from trade caravan. Currently attached to an unknown templar (Larkyn).
Chari—slave girl rescued from trade caravan, attached to Quistine. Currently a slave in the pits (in the kitchens)
Mahlanda (her name is unknown to the party)—preserver the party saved from the templars. Currently a kitchen slave in the pits.
Terric—‘pissant.’ Slave pit overseer (at least one of them).
Fyrian Wynder—the half-elf the party saved from the wastes during Road to Tyr. Described on p. 61-2, City-State of Tyr. Of course they don’t know his name. An ally.
Rhotan Vor—We know who he is. No one actually has the Favor of House Wavir, but they might be able to get word to him to ask him a favor.
Ktandeo—Probably impossible to contact, he will not be willing to help.
Timor—A senior templar. Described in City-State of Tyr. An enemy.
Turloff—A wealthy merchant. Described in City-State of Tyr. An enemy.
Sadira—Probably impossible to contact. They have no idea how. In fact there is no one left in the party who has met her. Also true of Ktandeo. No one knows her name.
Hamash in Freedom. Now a pit slave.
Verrasi of Minthur—Nobleman. Object of hatred for the PCs. Described in Freedom.
Eremas. Views Kindrok as a boon companion and a comrade-in-arms. Described in Freedom.
Mandax—Templar, enslaved Quistine once. Described in Part 1C, Freedom.
Torban—half-giant commander; captured Kindrok. Described in Part 1D, Freedom.
Maku—dwarf overseer. Not sure what happened to him, as everyone got moved to Boss’ group.
Cruerex—Informer. Described in Part 2D, Freedom.
Unused NPC names
Refer to the Combat Assistant app. Make sure to pre-enter monsters.