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shidara
Here for a while
(4/28/03 1:43 pm)
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Interesting Dilemma - need input.
Okay, IMC my party (Avg. level: 10) had been able to counter-scry Hedrack, and came up with the cooky plan of teleporting right outside his bedchamber and ambushing him. Long story short, Mage was disintegrated, Hasted 11th-lvl Barbarian blew 4 arrows of Human slaying to kill the big H.

Bummer.

They then grab a handful of the Mage, use a grappling hook to drag Hedrack's body out of the room, and hack him up and stuff him into a bag of holding, and then beat feet out of there (having to fight a Lesser Planar Ally Demon assigned to guard the already-defeated Earth Door), and fly back to Verbobonc to get a Ressurrection cast, leaving Hedrack's remains with the Cleric of Pelor for a litttle Speak with Dead action. . .

Which leaves the Outer Fane in the hands of Varachan and Naquent.

Technically, Varachan would be next in Chain-of-command, but he's been trying to keep a low profile and will most assuredly get his cover blown when put into power - he can't cast any spells, enter any area warded for Evil or make true contact with Tharizdun, so how is he supposed to maintain his facade?Aalso, do they alert the Triad?

Basically, this is a complete curve ball that I had not anticipated occurring. I am at a loss.

So I throw this situation out there for you, the collective masterminds in cyberspace. What would *you* do with this? I need some advice, some ideas.

The party is gone for 2, maybe three days. The Invisible Stalkers, Greater Earth Elemental, and Flesh Golems are dead, and the giant Horn from the tabernacle has been taken by the party. Naquent and/or Varachan discover Hedrack missing later in the same day he is killed, and use Commune/Augury/Scry to determine his fate. Or do they? Maybe varachan disvoerd the death and covers it up? damn, too many options here!

I've got 2, maybe three days of game time to kill in the Outer Fane. What happens?

Shidara

Kylearanon
Here for a while
(4/28/03 2:08 pm)
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Re: Interesting Dilemma - need input.
Wow, thatīs a severe blow.
Since I am not that far into the topic yet, I canīt really say how the doomdreamers would react.
But speaking from my position, I would say, they would be definitely about to get Hedrackīs body back and resurrected with all due haste. The DDīs kind of depend on him. He leads the whole Fanes and CRM, keeps track of the important stuff and keeps it off the DDīs back.
Well, noone is irreplaceable, but Hedrack is a loss the DDīs would definitely miss and not easily forgive. Oblivious as they are to everything ... THAT they would notice.

So I would assign a little rescue and retribution mission lead by Falrinth. He can teleport right in with some buddies, cause some confusion and get back with Hedrack in no time.
And it has to be Falrinth cause he seems to be the only guy able to teleport. Give him some nasty boys along and they should be fine.
And Hedrack will be quite angry once roaming this world again. So they want a 'Speak with the Dead' with Hedrack ? They might be kind of impressed with his speech ... consisting mainly of magic enchantments and stuff !

Kyle, who wonders why only the good guys should always be able to bring back the dead

Edit: I just had another idea. Varachan could slip the party a note that THIS wasnīt the smart thing to do. You donīt just go knocking at the dragonīs door if you canīt stand the heat. He could even be the one HIMSELF who initiates the a.m. rescue mission. In fact, from his point of view that would be the smart thing to do. Cause then he wouldnīt blow his cover and would even stand in good regard with Hedrack thereafter, right ?! Hedrack would owe him big time :) .

Edited by: Kylearanon at: 4/28/03 2:29:00 pm
Infiniti2000
Still here? Wow.
(4/28/03 2:52 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Interesting Dilemma - need input.
Personally, I like the idea of Hedrack having an "affair", of sorts, with Naquent. Therefore, she would likely find out first. Furthermore, I think she is interested in gaining control of the OF, but knows she cannot defeat Hedrack. However, she does realize that Varachan has not been 'showing strength' of late and thinks she has a chance to take him out. He's acting weak, whether or not he really is weak, and he is ripe for the plucking.

A. Varachan finds out first. He might realize that he is in a bad position. If he tells anyone, then he will be put into power, but is impotent to really maintain control. After all, one in power in the temple does not to show power on occasion. He might be able to pull it off, but it would be very difficult. For sure, he would try to cover it up and say that Hedrack is away on business and will be back soon.

B. Naquent finds out first and before she tells anyone else, she ambushes Varachan and kills him surprisingly easily. Possibly, she gains info on him first (commune) and finds out his dirty little secret first. This is even better because now she can first torture him for information about the party and his items. Her next step is to kill the party at all costs and as soon as possible. A brief plan is presented below.

I'd go for B. Do not underestimate the serious danger this poses to the party. First, they lose all the items Varachan had in his possession. Second, they lose all the information Varachan had that could have helped them. Third, they now have no allies left in the OF (see below).

Naquent should realize that the party is very powerful and is very determined to destroy the OF and the ToAC in general.

1. She will send a letter to the IF, but will be ignored. I'd write this up and put it in Tychon's possession. Tychon told Naquent, "I'll deliver it to the Triad 'immediately'. Thanks for the 500gp." The Triad doesn't care about the OF. The strife and destruction just fuels to the Dreaming Stone.

2. Naquent tortures Varachan for information, then kills him, burning the body and dumping it in the Stalagos. The party must use a true resurrection to get him back, assuming they know enough about him to do so.

3. Naquent then realizes what a threat the prisoners pose, so she will execute them as well, or have Thrommel dominate them.

4. She will plan an expeditionary force against the party, using Varachan's crystal ball and various divination spells, possibly getting help from the illithid and drow on the diviinations. Dirass's spellbook isn't specified, so choose some good 4th and 5th level divination spells. She will then get Ukemil and his lions, Chymon, the dark nagas, and one of the assassins (Victor) on a similar teleport/destroy missions. Although they can't teleport, you should catch the drift. Note that there are no humans. Time it so that Naquent can scry the battle using the assassin (who will remain undetectable, hopefully, until an assassination attempt is made). The second wave will occur the following night: other assassin, Thrommel, Daagra (the Annis), and the arrowhawks. Naquent then awaits the party (if they still live) in an ambush in the Greater Temple, with the hounds, succubus, Satau (the illithid), the drow (if they wish to join her), and any other minor foe left. This only leaves the Cornugon and Tojanida as major foes. I'd think that if Naquent is finally defeated, the Cornugon leaves. If the drow did not join with Naquent in the final ambush, they would also leave at this point.

This is nasty, but warranted given the situation. If the party wants to play those kinds of tactics (which are obviously legal, I'm all for them) they should expect them in return. IMO, I think they acted rashly before understanding the Outer Fane. They probably think that the OF is as unorganized as the CRM. Oopsy. It's time to disabuse them of that idea. Hopefully, some party members will survive the first wave. :)

Ordos1
Here for a while
(4/28/03 4:26 pm)
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Interesting Dilemma - need input.
I know how it must feel to lose such a good character. Don't lose hope however. There are MANY possibilities.

1) Have Naquent take over with Thrommel.
2) Have Thrommel take over, and turn Naquent and Varachan into vampires (can you say nasty level drain from 3 vampires)
3) Have the 2 drow elves throw their weight in.
4) Have Naquent send a new set of Stalkers out to steal the bag of holding when everyone is asleep.
5) Have someone take a bit of blood off the floor of Hedracks room and clone him (the drow mage would be a good candidate to do this... it may take time however...).
6) Have someone from the inner fane come and take over.

I agree it may seem hopeless, but seeing what the PCs just did will wake EVERYONE up in the Inner and Outer Fanes. This will make them VERY diligent and if not a little vengful.

Do the same thing to them that they did to you. Have the drow mage scry the party, use Nightmare on the mages (give him the spell if he doesn't have it -- no one will know), once the mages have been scryed, teleport in with elementals that have are Silence cast on them. Bring the assassains along too with poison (of your choosing) attack with arrows and haste, capture one guy (preferably the mage -- since that will terrorize the group) and teleport back. Then throw the mage into the Infernal machine a few times... and have them come find him.. heheh...

I know it would have been more fun to use Hedrick, but i'm sure there are MANY ways of getting him back. Just take a deep breathe, and play the evil guys to the MAX of their abilities.

Hope this helps.



madfox
Still here? Wow.
(4/29/03 12:22 am)
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Re: Interesting Dilemma - need input.
I have little to add to what has been said above. Though personally I use more defenses against scrying and teleporting. The Book of Eldritch Might III gives some nice items and spells that would severely hinder scrying. I think it was Book I that has some nice spells against teleporting.

On a minor side note though - you might want to reread speak with dead. The corpse need to be whole and somehow cutting a corpse to pieces would make speaking with it impossible. I also feel pitty for the cleric of Pelor. Unless his defences are better then the PCs he sure is in for a nasty surprise. Even when Naquent does not want to raise Hedrack, she certainly wants to body back to prevent it to be used to gain information.

shidara
Here for a while
(4/29/03 6:39 am)
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Re: Interesting Dilemma - need input.
I ruled that as long as the speaking apparatus - ie, lungs, throat and mouth - were intact, the body could be spoken to. They made sure to trim away the excess arms and legs, and crammed his stumpy torso into a Bag of Holding.

As for the assassins, those are both dead - One, after a successful death attack on the mage, and the other slain in his sleep by the party on another teleport blitz attack. My party was deathly afraid of the Assassins. Hee hee!

As for Thrommel, I'd rather he not "take over." He is a servant of the temple, not the other way around. IMC, they're still very wary of him, and unsure how or if to use him. when and if Naquent takes over, she'll be just desperate enough to put him into action, and maybe even summon a LPA or two to roam the halls in disguise . . .

Thanks for the interesting suggestions, all! Keep it up! I have a few weeks before our next session, so I have plenty of time to mull this over . . .

Shidara

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