Jerascht - Part 2 - Knowledge is Power

Story Notes

The Sardians have breached the defenses of Jerascht and are in the city! Even more concerning, they have made their way into the Great Library! At the request of Dresden, the party now pursues the Sardians inside. Of more importance, perhaps, is that "Weylyn" was allegedly last seen in the Great Library as well...

 

PATERNA HEREDITATEM: The Theocracy Agents within the library were specially trained for their mission and given protections against magic. They are all IMMUNE TO SPELL, SIGN, AND MAGIC TRIGGERS. Players may still use these effects on each other, but may not use them against the agents.

 

OPPORTUNITY: Several scenes are denoted with a player name in the title. If the player is present, they can gain something that may prove useful in later content. These story items do not have tags (sorry Thad), and will be kept track of by the writer and player. Other narrators are under no requirement to allow these items to work in other content, and may choose to suspend the effect at their discretion; they may be removed from play at the discretion of ownership.

 

THREE-MODS-IN-A-TRENCHCOAT: This content is to be run immediately after "Jerascht - Part 1 - The Shunning of the Magicks" when it is run for the Docents (anyone invited by Malkonius).

Materials

Cones (3)

Monsters

ALLx Theocracy Agent (Theocracy Agent Knight-Commander)

ALLx Golems (Black Shuck Hound of the Ravening)

1x Davi Sureshadow (Black Shuck 4th Circle)

1.1 – The Burning of the Great Library

Narrative
Making your way into the Great Library, you step over the bodies of several wizards. The golems in the entry hall are still disabled, and the magical lights that normally light the library are out...

[AFTER NARRATIVES]
Following the smoke, you see light up ahead; the Theocracy has started to put the library to the torch! Hearing your approach, they turn their attention away from the fire and draw their weapons!
Scene Notes
Before combat, set out the three cones a decent ways apart. Read the Spawn Point cards aloud for the party.

ANNOUNCE: Due to the thick smoke in the area, all players are afflicted by the flaw "Always Dazzled"! "Adapt Gas" may be used to negate this effect!
ANNOUNCE: The Theocracy Agents are IMMUNE TO SPELL, SIGN, AND MAGIC TRIGGERS. players may still use these effects on each other, but may not use them against the agents.
ANNOUNCE: Each cone is a Spawn Point. It can be cleared with "Conjure", "Call Ice", or "Imbue Ice". Monsters do not have to wait a minute to respawn if within sight of a player.
COMBAT: Theocracy Agents
ACTIVE COMBATANTS: Monsters will not attack players who are clearing Spawn Points unless they are the closest target and the monster is not currently engaged. The players actively fighting you are a greater concern than the ones trying to put out the fire!
REINFORCE: Monsters respawn at Spawn Points. They may do so on uncontested Spawn Points while within line of sight of players, on a "10-count".


Once the Spawn Points are cleared, continue to the next scene.
Narrative Effects
Adapt Darkness (Easy): As your eyes adjust to the darkness, you can see smoke coming from farther inside the library!
Explore (Hard): It takes some time as you fumble in the darkness, but you can see a faint light nearby, and smoke coming from farther inside the library!
Light (Easy): As your eyes adjust to the light, you can see smoke coming from farther inside the library!
Locate (Very Hard): It takes some time as you fumble in the darkness, but you can see a faint light nearby, and smoke coming from farther inside the library!
Track (Medium): It takes some time as you fumble in the darkness, but you can see a faint light nearby, and smoke coming from farther inside the library!

1.2 – House of the Muses

Narrative
Making your way through the library, you fight off several more groups of soldiers attempting to set the collected knowledge ablaze. As you make your way deeper you hear raised voices from nearby.

[AFTER NARRATIVES:]
Just before you round the corner, you hear struggled words in Drakeric and hear a sudden roar of wind as several Sardian soldiers are flung down the hall along with fist sized chunks of ice. Rounding the corner you see another robed figure on their hands and knees, collapsing to the floor as several more Sardian soldiers turn their attention from them to you!

[AFTER COMBAT]
The Sardians dispatched, you can now reach the robed figure on the floor. Ahead of you are another pair of doors, covered in runes. There are several golems in the hall, who appear to have been halted in the middle of action; one has fallen over against the doors. Unlike the other golems you've seen, these have been crafted to resemble actual people, granted twelve foot tall people.
Scene Notes
Read the 1st narration, then allow the players to use any Narratives they wish. If they haven't used an applicable Narrative after a few moments, read the 2nd narration and proceed to combat anyways.

ANNOUNCE: The Theocracy Agents are IMMUNE TO SPELL, SIGN, AND MAGIC TRIGGERS. players may still use these effects on each other, but may not use them against the agents.
COMBAT: Theocracy Agents


After a few waves, read the third narration. Have the monsters take up positions as the deactivated golems. The players must get through the door, but have several ways of doing so. Regardless of the method, continue to the next scene afterwards.
1) Just "Breach". They can smash their way through the golem and the door, it will just take time.
2) Healing the Librarian. The players can bring the Librarian back with any amount of healing. They can RP briefly (see below), reactivate the golems, and let the party into the vault.
3) Activating the golems. The players can attempt to activate the golems. If they do so without healing the Librarian, the golems will think they are a threat and attack! Afterwards the party still has to open the doors, but can do so by studying the runes on the door (or by "Breach").


1) Multiple Narrative checks, get to it!


2) The party can heal the Librarian and RP briefly. When RP dies down, the Librarian can work on reactivating the golems and let them through.
LIBRARIAN - RP NOTES:
You are one of the Librarians.
You were fleeing from the Sardians when they cornered you here.
You were hoping the golems would be active.
These golems guard the vault; they would only have moved if someone tried to gain access to it.
You think you can reactivate them, as long as no other Sardians interrupt you.


3) Narrative checks to reactivate the golems. If successful, initiate combat!
COMBAT: Golems
Narrative Effects
Breach (Golem/Doors; Medium, Hard, Hard): It takes some time, but you manage to break through the golem and the doors.
Commune Corpse (Librarian; Impossible): They aren't dead yet!
Dispel (Door; Hard): There is no visible change in the door. ["Breaching" the door becomes one step easier; "Inspect Magic", " Speak Drakeric" and "Translate" become one step harder.]
Explore: Up ahead, arounda corner, you see a group of Sardian soldiers have cornered another wizard!
Forecast (Activate? Easy): Dangerous.
Inspect Arms (Golems; Easy): Examining the golems it takes you a moment but you realize what they are; they are each carved in the likeness of an immortal. In this case, the members of the Forsyntheril.
Inspect Magic (Reactivate Golems; Medium): The golems are reactivated! Though, upon seeing the Librarian on the floor, they move to attack! [COMBAT]
Inspect Magic (Open Doors; Medium): Studying the doors themselves, you realize they are magically sealed and activated. If you can read the runes inscribed on them, you may be able to get them open.
Inspect Wound (Librarian; Easy): His wounds are recent, likely caused by the Sardian soldiers you just fought.
Resurrect (Librarian; Impossible): They aren't dead yet!
Sabotage (Doors; Impossible): After a thorough check, there are no accessible mechanical components to these doors! No locks, no handles, and no visible hinges!
Speak Drakeric/Translate (Open Doors; Medium): It takes you awhile to translate it, but you manage to decipher the runes on the doors. A fairly obvious solution for anyone who knows magic, you speak the command word to activate them.

1.3 – Chilly Reception [WEYLYN]

Narrative
Entering the vault, you stand before a seemingly endless, expansive array of rooms. While some thought has been given to the layout, it would take decades to find anything specific without assistance. From somewhere off in the distance, you can hear someone in the vault. Approaching cautiously you end up in a section of the vault dedicated to the nether.
Another group of Sardians is currently rifling through books, magic items, and relics; obviously looking for something. They haven't noticed you yet, but something has. Nearby you see a reaper, it had been impassively watching the Sardians, but now turns it's gaze to you. Some form of magical barrier keeps it confined.

[IF THE REAPER IS FREED]
The reaper nods slightly to you, drifting from its dais; without a sound it extends its arm, and calls forth a blade of pale ivory. The first Sardian never knew what killed him, the others turning and yelling as the reaper strikes again.

[TO WEYLYN]
A run in with a reaper is never a pleasant ordeal, so you're glad to see them go. As you search the Sardians, you find a ring.
Scene Notes
The players have the option of releasing the reaper. If they do so, it will let them be and attack the Sardians. Once combat is over, the reaper will disappear back to the nether.

ANNOUNCE: The Theocracy Agents are IMMUNE TO SPELL, SIGN, AND MAGIC TRIGGERS. players may still use these effects on each other, but may not use them against the agents.
CONDITIONAL ANNOUNCE: The Reaper is an EPIC ALLY!
COMBAT: Theocracy Agents, Reaper (CONDITIONAL: Use Golem Card; EPIC ALLY)


After combat, if Weylyn is present, read the final narration to him. Whether he reveals anything to the others is up to him. Weylyn gains the GLESMYREAN RING OF DESPAIR.

GLESMYREAN RING OF DESPAIR: A ring crafted in Glesmyr. Tests suggest it was crafted in the last several decades. It gives off a strong pit and necromantic aura. Once placed on a hand a ring cannot be removed until the person is dead. It pulls power from a wearer who is both innocent and distressed. While the ring grants a wearer power, research on what those powers may be is inconclusive.
LORE: ACTIVE RESEARCH. Informant pending.

Continue to the next scene.
*The Decade Solstice is the creation of Rachel Webb.
Narrative Effects
Dispel (Medium): You dispel the barrier around the reaper. [Read the 2nd narration]
Inspect Aura (Automatic): You are overwhelmed with despair. ["Fear"]
Inspect Magic (Easy): The ring gives off strong pit and necromantic magic.
Search the Area (Hard): The Sardians have made a mess of the place, but you find some notes pertaining to the ring after some searching. [Read the LORE]

1.4 – Origin of the Species [MALKONIUS]

Narrative
Continuing farther, you see paintings hanging from the wall. They depict a city like none you have ever seen, surrounded by the sea. You aren't even sure where it is; while there are several paintings, the geography doesn't seem familiar at all. Another shows a catastrophe; fires and earthquakes seem to have destroyed this city, the sea pouring in as the ground gives way.
Up ahead, near an ancient statue, another group of Sardians is currently rifling through books, magic items, and relics; one takes a large metal plate and stows it away, grabbing a bag from the table as well. They haven't noticed you yet.

[AFTER SEVERAL WAVES]
The Sardian who took the plate and bag stumbles over a desk, several small beads falling out of the bag. Looking to the beads, then to the ancient statue, the soldier grabs a handful and begins shoving them in the statue's mouth. The statue slowly starts to move; looking at the Sardian, who's attempting to issue it orders, pointing to you. Without warning the statue knocks him off his feet, trampling him underfoot as it turns to the next closest person!

[TO MALKONIUS]
Quickly surveying the damage caused by the Sardians, something catches your eye: several small, brasslike beads, leading to the trampled Sardian; the large metal plate he had is unharmed.
Scene Notes
ANNOUNCE: The Theocracy Agents are IMMUNE TO SPELL, SIGN, AND MAGIC TRIGGERS. players may still use these effects on each other, but may not use them against the agents.
COMBAT: Theocracy Agents


After several waves, read the 2nd narration.

ANNOUNCE: The Theocracy Agents are IMMUNE TO SPELL, SIGN, AND MAGIC TRIGGERS. players may still use these effects on each other, but may not use them against the agents.
ANNOUNCE: The ancient statue is an EPIC MONSTER!
COMBAT: Theocracy Agents, Ancient Statue (Golem, EPIC)
NOT THE MAKER: The Ancient Statue is "Always Frenzied"; it will attack whoever is closest, Sardian or Jastreyan.


After combat, if Malkonius is present, read the final narration to him. Whether he reveals anything to the others is up to him. Malkonius gains the INNER REALM PLATE as well as a SACK OF STRANGE BEADS.

INNER REALM PLATE: A large plate made of the same metal as the beads; measuring about 12 inches in diameter. Along the edge of one surface is etched a series of ideograms representing the three Inner Realms: Mortal, Prime, and Nether. There are several pictograms around the edge as well. It is not magical.
LORE: The plate is made of a metal the Alaquad called orichalcum. Though it gives off a faint magical aura, it is not enchanted in any way, nor does it contain any dormant spell. Along the outer edge, several ideograms and pictograms are etched; representing the three Inner Realms: Mortal, Prime, and Nether, as well as various heavenly bodies.

SACK OF STRANGE BEADS: This sack contains several dozen small, bronze-like beads; when exposed to strong white light, they seem to give off a more golden hue; exposure to light from a flame gives off a more copper hue.
LORE: The beads are made of a metal the Alaquad called orichalcum. Though they give off a faint magical aura, they are not enchanted in any way, nor do they contain any dormant spell.

THE CRITIAS: A tome from the Age of Ascension. It is a translation, of a translation. Written in Drakeric, it is derived from the writings of Aristocles of Alaquad. [See Appendix for more information]
LORE: The Critias, translated by Nimera DesMarta. The Critias is the 2nd work of the Aristocles of Alaquad. Having survived the destruction of the kingdom, while others worked to rebuild, Aristocles attempted to document all he could of their civilization and kingdom, lest it be lost forever. Having fled to Trinketshire, he lived out the rest of his days among the gnomes, attempting to teach them all he knew of Alaquad technology. This writing is translated to Drakeric from an earlier translation by the gnome Vaste, which was translated from the original Alaquaad language, now lost. There are some more recent notes that make mention of a 3rd work of Aristocles, the Hermocrates.



Continue to the next scene.
Narrative Effects
Inspect Magic (Easy): The beads and plate give off a faint magical aura, similar to small mana shards.
Search the Area (hard): The Sardians have made a mess of the place, but you find an old tome, as well as some notes pertaining to the items you saw after some searching. [The player may choose ONE piece of LORE; read the LORE; Malkonius gains THE CRITIAS]
This Sounds Familiar (Recitation; no check): [The paintings depict Alaquaad, and Rica, as they existed in the Age of Wonders; whoever can figure this out is welcome to expound on her if they wish.]
>> During the Age of Wonders, Rica was a single landmass extending off of Rastemier. The grand civilization of Alaquad thrived there, developing magic and technology far beyond the capabilities of the age, some even more advanced than the present day. Then a great cataclysm tore their kingdom into the islands we know today. Alaquad ruins remain scattered throughout Rica to this day, but none more so than on the northern isles, between which the capital is said to have sunken into the sea.

1.5 – Never Forgotten

Narrative
After what feels like hours, stumbling through the depths of the vault, you come across a door which bears the symbols of the realms. As you open the doors you can feel the magic emanating from the large, domed room; columns of stone, engraved with runes, slowly rotate around an intricate circle of carved runes in the center. A familiar Sandsage Kitsune stands near the center of the room, the bodies of two dozen Theocracy soldiers lay scattered around the room. As they turn, you see it's Weylyn!

[AFTER A BRIEF RP]
Davi drops the illusion, his fur turns ashen as Weylyn's garb is replaced by his own robes. His tails fan out behind him as he looks to you, impassively.

[THE 1ST TIME DAVI WOULD FALL]
Davi staggers, and the room suddenly darkens. You feel a sudden coldness wash over you, and for a brief moment you think you see a ninth, stark white tail flick from behind Davi.

[IF ALLOWED TO LEAVE/4TH REFRESH]
There's a flash of light as the portal forms. Smiling to himself, Davi blinks to it and steps though. The portal closes behind him as the runes dim and the columns grind to a halt.

[IF DAVI FALLS]
As davi sinks to his knees there's a flash of light as the portal forms. He tries to crawl to it, but it flickers out before he reaches it; the runes dim and the columns grind to a halt.

[THE END]
The room slowly returns to normal as the runes dim and the columns grind to a halt. You can find your way out of the vault and library, and back out to Jerascht. While smoke still rises from the docks, the wizard's guild has restored the golems and the magic barriers. For the time being, Jerascht has fought the Sardian fleet to a stalemate.
Scene Notes
Allow the party a moment to RP with "Weylyn". If the real Weylyn is present, or if the party calls him out on it, Davi will drop the illusion.

Davi is a Focused Kitsune, he should maintain an even, almost detached demeanor throughout.
Davi has eight tails. He should refer to Weylyn as "two tails", in an almost derogatory manner.
When the party enters, have four monsters (if available) stand behind Davi; they should fan their arms out once lay on is called to simulate davi's tails.

DAVI (RP NOTES):
You were aware of what the Theocracy planned; you would never let them take the Gateway.
You sabotaged the golems, and the walls; it was a simple matter for someone as skilled as you.
By now, the wizards should have the magic barriers up again, as well as most of the golems.
The Sardian fleet cannot take Jerascht; they only served as a means to an end.
There's no reason for us to fight; let me finish my business.


If the party actively attempts to prevent your departure, begin combat.
ANNOUNCE: Davi Sureshadow is an EPIC MONSTER!
OPTIONAL COMBAT: Davi Sureshadow (EPIC)
4TH CIRCLE: Davi is an ancient and powerful wizard, he may make use of any "Meta" effect by spending an additional spirit (i.e. "Add Gaze").


DAVI RETREAT/LEAVING:
NO COMBAT: If Davi is allowed to leave without incident, read the fourth narration.
COMBAT: The first time Davi would fall, read the third narration, announce "Field 3 Drain" and continue the fight. If he would fall again, read the fifth narration.
IF DAVI REACHES HIS 4th REFRESH: Read the fourth narration.


REGARDLESS:
Read the final narration. This ends the content.
Narrative Effects
Dispel (Impossible): Attempting to dispel the ancient gateway taxes the limits of your abilities. [FATE: FOOL (Spirit reduced by 1/3)]
Insight (Easy): Davi just wants to complete his business; he doesn't want to fight.
Inspect Aura (Easy): Focus, Dedication, Willpower.
Inspect Evil (Hard): Davi is not evil; though he is self serving.
Inspect Magic (Automatic): The ancient gateway rivals any other source of magic you've ever seen.
Locate (Very Hard): Davi was somewhere on the mortal realm, but then was in the aether.
Translate (Very Hard): PASS: Some of the runes are similar to Drakeric, but not like any Drakeric you've studied; others are completely unknown.
Use Gateway (Impossible): You have no idea where to even start. Portals normally require attunement to an extremely strong conduit to the destination, preferably lodestone; if this portal can really do what it is rumored to do, it defies all the normal laws of conjuration.

APPENDIX – The Critias

Scene Notes
"Translated by Vaste, from the 2nd work of Aristocles of Alaquaad. Some 2700 years ago, the kingdom of Alaquad ruled over the lands to the west, now known as Rica [...]"

"Gates of the kingdom opened only with the aid of special plates. At many outposts, an Inner Realm plate sufficed [...] At the Greater Colony a Lower Realm plate was also needed [...] To approach Alaquad itself an Upper Realm plate was required as well [...]

"...as the volcanic activity increased, and the waters rose around their cities, the Kings of Alaquad, one after another, sought to hold off fate. Knowing mortal men could never tame the maelstrom, they planned a huge colossus, which by use of orichalcum, thirty beads at a time, would make them like the immortals themselves. "

APPENDIX – Kitsune Bloodlines

Scene Notes
If Davi is not stopped, insert the following changes to the Kitsune Race page (keep the old page for reference).

NEW:
Sureshadow- Grey fox Kitsune are named after ‘Sureshadow’, a master wizard who used magic and focus in equal measure. Sureshadow was unusual in that he achieved the feat of gaining ten tails, after cleaving off part of his soul to make a false tail. On a bet with a now forgotten rival on who could become the first greypelt nine tails, the rival lacked the discipline or focus to match Sureshadow and attempted to cheat. Sureshadow Kitsune are focused on the gaining of their tails, knowing that pranks distract from the pursuit of knowledge required to gain true power. They use their powers for their own means but never for frivolous activities.
Muralakrum’s Touch: Founded by a forgotten Kitsune, who dedicated themselves to the service of Muralakrum through trickery and chaos. Muralakrum's Touch are a group of Kitsune that seek to bring about change for the very sake of change. Seeking to honor the one they believe to be their creator, these Kitsune are true anarchist; they’d just as likely seek to overthrow a dictator as to try and cause a volcano to erupt near a population center. So long as they can upset the status quo their goals will be met.

ORIGINAL:
Shadowpaw- Grey fox kitsune are named after ‘Shadowpaw’ a master thief who used magic and stealth in equal measure to make his most daring capers. Shadowpaw was unusual in that he only had 7 tails to begin with. On a bet with a rival on who could become the first greypelt nine tails, once his opponent gained his 8th before him, Shadowpaw snuck into The Hall of Names and evaded the Nous there to find his own book and write in his ninth tail, skipping ahead to defeat his now forgotten rival. Shadowpaw Kitsune lean more towards thievery than the other bloodlines and many tend to have at least some kleptomaniac tendency
-Muralakrum’s Touch: A group of kitsune that seek to bring about change for the very sake of change. Seeking to honor the one they believe to be their creator these kitsune are true anarchist, they’d just as likely seek to overthrow a dictator as to try and cause a volcano to erupt near a population center. So long as they can upset the status quo their goals will be met.