Archive for June 10, 2017

The Devil’s Riddle: Interlude: Cut scene prep

Posted in The Devil's Riddle on June 10, 2017 by Carl

This session prep started normally enough:

Q: Encounter en route? NO

But it then took an unexpected detour;

Random Event: A Setback to the thread ‘The Fury, and the Glory to Come’ occurs, involving the Overindulgence of War

Interesting. The Fury thread was introduced from a throwaway line back in Session 24 that my bad guys spoke through two reanimated flayed villagers: “The Harvest is complete. Hail to the Fury! Hail to the Glory that Was and Will Be!”

Just a bit of colour at the time, based off this random event: “An Action is taken by Captives, involving a Celebration of Anger”. It seems the GM Emulator is interested in exploring this thread. Something has gone wrong with the adversary’s plan it seems, perhaps related to their summoning of an ancient evil being compromised by the bloodthirsty actions of the agents of the Dark.

Seeing as this is a solo RPG there’s nothing stopping me from using a cut scene to pull back the curtain a little on our bad guys. To do that some prep is needed. Let’s see where they are, who they are and what they’re up to.

Q: Are they in the smuggler tunnels? YES
Q: Are Jesters present? YES
1d4+1=4
Q: Anyone else? EXCEPTIONAL YES

I figure that either means a powerful master or many minions. Or perhaps lots of potential victims. Which is it?

Q: Master? YES
Q: Undead? EXCEPTIONAL YES

Oh, that can’t be good. That says to me that we’re dealing with a big bad mastermind undead. And nothing says big bad mastermind undead like a lich. Gulp. Logically that’s got to be the Fury, the thing they are trying to summon. It sounds like the Jesters are communing with their master.

Q: Anyone else? NO

So what do these undead bozos have to chat about? We know from the captured thug back in session 19 that the Jester the party killed was obsessed with capturing the bookseller in order to get his hands on a book that would aid in returning an ancient power. That bookseller was confirmed dead back in session 23.  Is that what this is about?

Q: Does this relate to the bookseller’s book? YES
Q: Do they have the book? NO
Q: Do they know where it is? YES

Uh-oh. Perhaps they raised the bookseller’s corpse and asked him. That would explain the delay. That, along with the focus on the Devil’s Riddle Inn’s Harvest ritual, as well as the reversal of that ritual, could explain the Fury’s setback.

What I’m unsure of at this point is why this book is so important, and why it exists. I could just go with the flow, but I’m curious what the GM Emulator will tell me, and unless explored it feels like a bit of a plot hole.

We saw in session 26 that by weakening the boundaries between the world and the Dark desecrated ground serves as an access point for agents of the dark to reach this world. But apparently that weakness is not sufficient to allow a being of significant power (the Fury) through, just its minions.

We also know that at least one of those minions, the Jester with the face of High Cantor Ander, travelled here from Rufus and Lilandra’s abandoned world. We also know that the Light and Dark are constants across the worlds of this multiverse; they sit above and below  each of the worlds, and touch each of them (as does the feywild).

So this book must contain a ritual to further break down the barriers between the planes, beyond what can be achieved by consecrating or sanctifying a place. That leaves three further questions;

Q: How did the bookseller get the book? The Answer involves Truly Bizarre Creation.
Q: How did the Jesters learn he had it? The Answer involves An Incredible Display of Stupidity, and could affect the thread ‘The Elysian’.
Q: Where is the book now? The Answer involves Evil Creation.

The Elysian was mentioned briefly by Lisandra back in session 2: “I have once read of such a thing. A being of myth near whom none could touch the Source. A creature of such supernatural beauty that none could look upon it for long without being driven mad. A creature who’s mere presence meant utter destruction for the spawn of the Dark. The Elysian.”

In this context I’m going to read “ritual” for “creation”. I interpret these answers as meaning the book was in the possession of a half-mad wizard who tried to use it to pierce the veil; this ill-advised attempt went spectacularly wrong and the wizard was killed, but in so doing attracted the attention of a hugely powerful being of light. This, in effect, was exactly what the Jesters were planning to do, only they wanted the Fury to come through instead.

The attempt attracted the attention of the agents of the Dark; a Jester was dispatched but by the time he reached the site the book was gone; most of the wizard’s library had been pilfered by an opportunistic rogue. They got on his trail, captured him, but have only now focused  on discovering where he hid his stash.

That location is back at the Inn, under the bed of the room where the Harvesting ritual took place.

That’s it; I think I have everything I need to create my cut scene.

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