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fjeTheNarrator
Ebon Hand Cultist
(3/1/04 9:09 pm)
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Reversing A Death Curse

I think it was msherman that used this first ...

:)

The crowning battle against the Earth Temple, Uskathot, Snearak and a Fiendish Xorn are all that remains (of a really huge battle). The party is on their last legs, down to a handful of spells and some CLW wands ...

The mage remembers the Bead of Force he has in his pocket. Toss, boom ... Fiendish Xorn trapped in an OtiSphere.

Six-to-two, even with Uskathoth and Snearak buffed to the gills and running two Spiritual Weapons apiece (my favorite spell EVER) they just couldn't swing it. They'd been on the wrong end of a Prayer and it just kept them from dealing enough damage to take anybody down. (Though half the party had been in negatives at one point or another.)

Snearak falls, then Uskathoth ... as he crumples around the barbarian's greatsword (the Sword of Eath, in fact) he reaches out and grabs the barbarian's shoulder and gurgles: "I curse you ... half-breed." and expires.

Hee.

So they explore the rest of the earth temple, finding each of the guard rooms on the edges ... the Druid uses Animal Empathy to ease past the Dire Apes to rescue the rogue who fell down the pit and they decide to head back to Verbobonc yet again (taking Tenaris with them, dropping off the commoners in Rastor ... mmmm, more plotline).

Long story short, after some money on divinations the Bbn/Clr figures out what he has been cursed with ... the angry stench of a troglodyte. As we ended the session he asked the local clergy to cast a few more divinations for him and discover how he can get the curse removed ...

My current plan is to have them return through Rastor ... the human commoners know the "secret" of the "Religious Retreat" and asked to be dropped off by Rerrid (who the party knew was "safe") to work toward turning the town against the Cult. When the party goes through, Tal Chammish is going to send a group of addicted townsfolk out to stop them, threatening them for sending "troublemakers" into town, etc etc.

I suppose I could link lifting the curse from the Bbn to lifting a "curse" from a group of people ... phrase it somehow ... where his freeing the townspeople from the drug's addiction would free him of the curse.

Good? Any ideas? Something suitably arcane and mysterious that would tell the Bbn what he needs to do without coming out and saying it? Hrm.

--fje

msherman
Briar Beast
(3/2/04 4:26 am)
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Re: Reversing A Death Curse
Interesting idea. It wasn't mine. :) I think I might steal it, though.

I like the idea of linking the Barbarian's curse to freeing the townsfolk from the clutches of Tanbrosh. Does the Cleric in your party have access to Divination? If so, try writing a subtle but not too cryptic rhyme to describe the linkage. If not, perhaps the party could ask Rerrid for advice in lifting the curse, and he could offer to sell them a scroll of Divination.

Make sure you decide on a caster level for the curse, and let the party know what it is on a successful spellcraft check, so that they know they have the alternative option of lifting the curse by finding a powerful cleric and paying him to cast Remove Curse. Of course, they'll get less XP that way (I'd recommend half the XP they'd get for the Tanbrosh method), but they should have the option.

Bluesman
Staj
(3/2/04 2:38 pm)
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Re: Reversing A Death Curse
Dying curse of earth's dark priesthood,
Stench of lizard's fear shall linger
While the taint of blood grows deeper
In the folk of helpless Rastor.
Purge the townsfolk!
End their thralldom!
Only this shall free your comrade.

fjeTheNarrator
Ebon Hand Cultist
(3/2/04 6:02 pm)
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Re: Reversing A Death Curse

Very cool.

:)

I'll lay that one on them. They'll get a kick out of that, I think.

So far they've been entirely ignoring Rastor, thinking it to be a den of evil. They keep taking the six-day ride back to Verbobonc when they need a safe place to recoup and plan ... which, of course. leaves the temple forces to recoup and redistribute.

--fje

Infiniti2000
Night Beast
(3/3/04 8:28 am)
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ezSupporter
Re: Reversing A Death Curse
I really like the idea of removing the curse, but I have one nagging concern. Why would the removal of a curse from an evil creature require a good deed? Shouldn't it be something (not necessarily evil) that relates to aiding troglodytes or lizard-kind of some sort? Perhaps you can put Reokallitan or Ukemil in some situation that either one must be helped, and freed. To use a similar idea to the above, say Tal has a troglodyte sorcerer alchemist prisoner, helping him make the poison. This works well in the 3.5 conversion since Tal as a pure rogue cannot take craft (alchemy). Thus, you can still use the above idea (verbatim) and the party will not actually remove the curse until the troglodyte is saved and freed.

Caedrel
Ghoul Worm
(3/4/04 3:30 pm)
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ezSupporter
Re: Reversing A Death Curse
There's probably two sorts of death curse - there's the straight out revenge type thing (eg. wicked stepmothers on various princesses). The invoker of these usually don't intend for them to be lifted at all, but for it to dog their antagonist's steps for the rest of his or her days. Breaking this sort of curse usually requires something to offset the original intent of the curser.

The other sort of curse is the geas, where the curse exists until certain conditions are met eg. the gypsy cursing Angel to get his soul back until he finds true happiness. In this case, the conditions are usually much more aligned with the nature and alignment of the curser.

In this case, it sounds like the curse very much belongs to the former camp rather than the latter, hence the requirement for good deeds to break the evil curse... :)

fjeTheNarrator
Ebon Hand Cultist
(3/7/04 10:00 pm)
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Updated: Thanks!

Well, I tossed Bluesman's poem at them. :)

I like to intersperse a little humor in my game, so I put it in a scribbly font and signed it "The Orakle" and had it sent down from the drunken oracle of the church of Olidamarra (the Rg/Clr is a priestess of Olidammara).

They rubbed their chins, looked around, and said:

"So we have to purge the town?"
"Man. I thought they were mostly Dwarves ... it takes alot to make all those Dwarves go bad."
"Yea..."
"Well ... if they gotta be purged, I guess that's what we've got to do ... though I guess I'm going to feel bad about killing all those people."

"Wait ... Lemme read that again ..."

So after a thorough re-read they realized the Oracle probably meant that the purging should be a freeing from evil of some sort, so they loaded up and rode into town ...

Sort of.

I've been keeping up with the encroachment of the seasons (Love my DMGenie) and the day they arrived in Rastor it was 31F with a howling wind and driving sleet ... so they decided not to try and call out "the evil people around here" and ducked into the temple of Moradin to get warm and ask about what's been up from Rerrid.

Well ... apparently some temple folk came riding into town a week back. The two peasants they'd rescued had been speaking out against Tal Chammish and the Temple to everybody that would listen ... which was very few ... then they're suddenly hauled away "for some questions" by half a dozen well-armed men. Rerrid spoke out at this point, but Thandain silenced him and more or less put him under house arrest.

They decide that Tal Chammish needs a firm talking to from some swords and head out into the miserable morning to kick down his door and make with the stabbing.

This is where the new party NPC pipes up.

Laurana is the Elven cleric of Olidammara ... drunken, disorderly, loud, but not a bad sort.

Her sister recently decided to accompany her ... Saraphael ... blonde, blue-eyed, saccharine enough to put somebody in a coma ... and a total pacifist.

((The Clr/Rg was tired of burning all of her spells on heals, and the party Rog/Ftr recently quit ... so I added a 4th level Healer from Mini's Handbook. My fiance is the Rog/Clr ... she handles the RPing for Saraphael and Laurana and I take care of the stats/spellcasting for Saraphael.))

Saraphael thinks it would be rather wrong to hack holes in Tal Chammish if he could possibly be a thrall of the Temple too. And nobody knows exactly what kind of "Thrall" he has the people in ... if it is a monetary thing or he has some of Thandain's family kidnapped, killing him could be more trouble than its worth.

So they decide, instead, to parley. Hoorah!

After some discussion and some traded Bluffs and Sense Motives and a real weirdly threatening conversation where the Barbarian "casually" asks Tal to look over The Sword Of Earth they get tired of playing cat and mouse and the Clr/Rog uses her Charm domain spell to cast ... Charm.

And Tal blows his save.

So they have a Charmed Tal ... They sit him down and have a really cheerful conversation about the local flora and the interesting alchemical properties there-of and how GLAD everybody is to keep Tal happy ... and how that makes Tal even happier. He shows them his stash, where he has enough Tanbrosh to keep everybody on his list sky high for three weeks.

Here's where the Healer comes into play again ... she's got an insane Heal check ... so after some examination, she figures out how nasty Tanbrosh really is ... and everybody realizes that none of the clerics are high enough level to cast Neutralize Poison ...

So everybody gets together to help out on the alchemy roll to concoct an antidote ... which takes a week ... and then I roll to see how long it'll take their potions to free the people of Tanbrosh addiction ... 3 weeks. Between Rerrid, Saraphael, Laurana, and Hanaur (Clr/Bbn) they have enough people with Heal to cure everybody, but even working full-tilt everybody is going to die 4 days before they can be saved. They only have 2 weeks of Tanbrosh left.

So the people not working with the sick villiagers go to put some pressure on Tal Chamish ... none of whom have good Intimidate skills ... so Tal tells them, logically, to go screw themselves. He knows they can't kill him, because they need him. They'll have to play the game HIS way or he won't reveal the secret of making the Tanbrosh.

Here I thought they were going to fold ... but come to save the day is Jondar The Nearly-Evil Wizard ... I've already told him, any more questionable actions he's going to be rolling Will saves. A blown will Save and Jondar slips over to the voice of Tharizdun and then I'M casting 22 DC fireballs.

Jondar is going to force-feed Tal some Tanbrosh ... taking the save ... because it's the only trick he feels he has left. He force-feeds it to Tal and says: "There. Now it's in YOUR hands, Tal. Make more Tanbrosh, or die. It's wholley up to you. Even if the others want to save you, they can't now."

Jondar passes his save ... by 2.

It was actually a rather good RP moment because everybody at the table knew what was at stake, and it was pretty much their last card to play, and Jondar was the only one willing to risk himself to make it happen.

Tal folds, takes them out in the woods, and shows them the process for creating the purified Tanbrosh.

Everybody at the table cheers as the remaining time passes and slowly the townspeople come down off of their Tanbrosh addiction. Tal Chammish goes on trial (as much as they secretly liked the fat, greasy, ugly fellow) and the city of Rastor is once more safe for Dwarves and Orcs to engage in trade and misegenation. Hanaur, as a half-orc, feels rather at home.

And then they wonder ... what about the curse?

A bolt of sunlight cuts through the cold gray clouds and strikes Hanaur as he stands in the yard of the local Inn ... and he feels funny. He lets out a great, thunderous belch ... and a charnal smoke rises from his mouth. The smoke twists and forms the face of an angry Troglodyte. The apparition screams a curse and is blown to tatters on the wind.

It is over.

Nobody even had to roll a Hanaur-Stench save because there wasn't a drop of combat in the entire "quest".

--fje

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