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msherman
Faen
(7/22/03 9:12 am)
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First contact from Varachan?
When should Varachan make his first contact with the invading party?

IMC, the party has destroyed the main gate and earth temple (though the earth temple will be repopulated soon with some reinforcements). They are about to attack the NBC. I had Varachan start scrying them, as his interest was piqued when he heard rumours about the invading horde that sacked the Earth Temple; he started with fuzzy third hand descriptions of the barbarian that killed the swordmaster and after a week of trying, is now scrying them pretty regularly. The party's noticed the sensors a few times.

Is it too early for him to contact them directly? Maybe if they're successful against the NBC, he might think it's time, and might send a Quasit with a note to meet them at the bridge.

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(7/23/03 6:54 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: First contact from Varachan?
Varachan should attempt first contact as soon as you deem it worthwhile, quite honestly. I would suggest you not continue with the scrying, however. If anything, Varachan would start attempting to divert everyone's attention away from the intruders, not bring attention to them, which might happen if the party gets too curious and start's scrying back, checking out the Outer Fane.

Re: Earth Temple
Is there any reason to repopulate it? The additional forces probably would take over the Earth Temple without, say, some sort of "high priest" of the temple. Maybe they'd just join the NBC.

The Outer Fane (including Varachan) would not notice the intruders until two temples are down, or at least serious havoc is wreaked through the CRM. How could Varachan distinguish between intruders working for good and an outside force hired by an opposing temple or complex? You need to consider these aspects and come up with reasonable answers.

Just some thoughts.

msherman
Faen
(7/23/03 9:07 am)
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Re: First contact from Varachan?
Quote:
Re: Earth Temple
Is there any reason to repopulate it?
As I mentioned in another thread, the party left dead bodies everywhere, and took off for two weeks. During that period, Naquent came and Raised Uskathoth and the Swordmaster, and Uskathoth animated himself a small army of undead and then left the temple to find new forces to bring back. They're about to return with 3 weeks worth of restock; I think they'll take the earth temple and the main gate, combined.
Quote:
How could Varachan distinguish between intruders working for good and an outside force hired by an opposing temple or complex?
That one's easy: using his Crystal Ball w/ Detect Thoughts. He heard about the destruction of the Earth Temple, and one of the few living Trogs the party left (the two women from the living quarters area) who had witnessed the fight with the Swordmaster described the barbarian who had brutally murdered him and stolen the Sword of Earth. Varachan was naturally interested in finding out who sacked the temple, so he started scrying. Now he's found the party, understands their motivations due to the Detect Thoughts, and thinks they may just be his ticket out of here. But he's not sure they've proven themselves, yet, so he's just going to keep watching for a while, before he tips his hand.

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(7/23/03 11:52 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: First contact from Varachan?
"As I mentioned in another thread, the party left dead bodies everywhere..."

Oh yeah, that's right! Good plan! :)

"...so he's just going to keep watching for a while, before he tips his hand."

Excellent. Then, back to your original question, I'd have him contact the group right before they are about to take down the second temple. Something along the lines of "You are gaining the attention of the Commander of the Outer Fane. This cannot be avoided, but keep one eye open while you sleep. Know that you have an ally. Destroy the messenger as he cannot be trusted."

This would work to warn the group about an assassin. The only problem with this is that it is dangerous, because the message can be lost into the wrong hands. Even better, if you can write it, would be a message written to party as if they were a part of the CRM. e.g. "You must be working for one of the temples, but your presence here will not be tolerated forever. You are gaining the attention of the Commander of the Outer Fane." Someone else here a while back (was it Andorax?) wrote something along these lines and it was brilliant. If you can find it or someone can repost it here, that would be perfect.

msherman
Faen
(8/2/03 6:35 am)
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Re: The Letter I sent
Here's the full text of the letter I sent. The scene went really well. Half the party was off exploring the back rooms of the just-defeated NBC, while the Cleric of Pelor (ostensibly the leader of this party) and the Barbarian were standing in the Great Hall, healing up. They both rolled poor spots, and were very surprised when the Quasit appeared right behind them. The Quasit handed a letter to the cleric, saying in a pompous english butler's accent "A message for you, sir." He then stood there with his hand out, while the cleric read (to himself; this was a nice change, usually this party reads all written handouts aloud when they get them!). Half way through the letter, he started tapping his feet, and said, "My tip, sir?" Almost immediately, the cleric got to the end of the note, turned to the barbarian, and said curtly, "Kill it." The Quasit gulped, we rolled initiative, the Barbarian won and sliced the Quasit in two with a single stroke of her Sword of Earth.

Quote:
Greetings, Infidels.

You are not alone.

I have been watching you, and take heart in your quick and vicious progress against the temples. Be warned; soon enough, I will not be the only one interested in your exploits. For now, my master seems happy to believe that your actions are simply the result of the usual temple infighting, greater glory to our lord (indeed!). However, he will take notice soon enough, and when he comes to me for council, I dare not speak falsely. The time is not yet right for me to reveal myself, but I will do what I can to foil my master’s efforts to block you. In the mean time, the temples’ hatred for each other is their weakness -- use it. And keep one eye open while you sleep.

Be further warned; the Earth Temple shall rise again. You were sloppy the first time, leaving many dead eyes that saw you, and many dead tongues that wagged. Do not repeat this mistake. The depths of the Stalagos can be your ally in this regard.

This messenger is not to be trusted -- kill it. Destroy this message as soon as you have read it -- if it were to fall into the wrong hands, all would be lost.

May your god guide your hand swiftly against my own.

(This next part was written in a much hastier scrawl than the rest of the note, as I jotted it down after the party completely wasted all their buff spells during the fight with the NBC)

Post Scriptum: I was watching the battle you fought with Oamarthis, Riu Lotaas, and their men. I must caution you, take more care in the future not to squander the precious gifts from your god! It is more advantageous to first spy on the enemy, then plan the attack, and only then call upon the favour of your lord to bolster your swords. Alerting the enemy to your presence, and then retreating while your magic expires, will not prove successful in the future. Be warned; while the temples are poorly organized, and prone to infighting, debauchery, and other such sundry weaknesses, when the time comes for you to breach the Outer Fane, you will not find it nearly so prone to defeat.

The best part was that the Cleric, who keeps all the written handouts for the party, finally noticed that I've been picking my fonts for written notes intentionally. He noticed that this note was in the same font as the one from "High Priest of the Outer Fane" (to Terrenygit). I'm looking forward to the Cleric using his brand new Commune spell to ask who is the High Priest of the Outer Fane, only to wonder why the handwriting of those two notes doesn't match the handwriting on the one note they have which is signed "Hedrack" (to Uskathoth). :)

Infiniti2000
Verrik
(8/2/03 8:19 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: The Letter I sent
Very nice! Very good job by the cleric.

Did the group comment about the "watching" part of Varachan's letter? I'm hoping they realize that they are being scried, and not always to their benefit.

msherman
Faen
(8/2/03 8:50 am)
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Re: The Letter I sent
While they didn't detect the scrying in this session (I rolled using the new rules at the start of the session), they did detect it a few times in the previous session. No-one actually said "Hey, this is the guy who's been scrying us," but I'm pretty sure they put two and two together. At this point, they really have no reason to trust Varachan (I didn't include any gifts with this letter), and they've said as much; here's an email exchange between me and the Cleric's player the next day:

Cleric: Spy? How, pray tell, if they're (the guards in 206) watching the only entrance with bows drawn? Also bear in mind that the time remaining for existing buff spells was running out.
Me: Don't ask me... find out who wrote that note, and ask him. Bear in mind, there's a reasonable chance that the person who wrote that note is insane. :)
Cleric: Maybe I will. With a pointy stick.

I'm thinking Varachan's next communication with the party will consist of a woefully out-matched gang of guardsmen he sends to "kill" the party, one of them carrying a sealed package which, when opened by the party, will be found to contain some scrolls or potions and a note saying only, "A gift -- use it wisely" in Varachan's hand. I'll probably send that to them after (or perhaps during) their assault on the Kobold-re-fortified Earth Temple.

deafdungeonmasterRIT
Litorian
(8/2/03 11:03 am)
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Hmm
I think Terran, the insane druid, would want to take over Earth Temple to grow more plant and even create needleforks to open up his "business".

Terran have a score to settle with Hedrack!

Cordo Crowfoot
Litorian
(8/2/03 1:09 pm)
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Re: First contact from Varachan?
Quote:
Even better, if you can write it, would be a message written to party as if they were a part of the CRM. e.g. "You must be working for one of the temples, but your presence here will not be tolerated forever. You are gaining the attention of the Commander of the Outer Fane." Someone else here a while back (was it Andorax?) wrote something along these lines and it was brilliant. If you can find it or someone can repost it here, that would be perfect.


This discussion was in Abelard's log found here:

pub102.ezboard.com/fokayy...2668.topic

I bumped it as it was about to fall off onto page 21.

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