Ben Langstaff (leopardeternal) wrote,
Ben Langstaff

Eberron, Things won't be peaceful forever

If you remember back to an earlier Eberron post I had been working on making Travis rather paranoid. To that end I was mostly successful. Perhaps I was a little too successful. When we started the game I had mentioned that I wanted the players to have already spent some time together. I wanted the players to be able to assume that they already knew and trusted one another. My hope had been that in handing out different pieces of the game to different players, they would be able to present those pieces to each other and be able to figure out the puzzle as a group. If anything I think this was the great failure of my game.

Cass and Eric both kept their secret benefactors to themselves, even after both had received very specific instructions to acquire a journal that they later found. Tyson was understandably unwilling to admit that he was being blackmailed, after all the black mailers had already threatened him to secrecy. More and more Travis was becoming aware that there were multiple things going on under the table, and while he and Tyson were working together on Tyson's lead, Travis didn't bring the others in on the problem. It was still early in the game however, and Travis was well on his way to figuring things out, so I didn't think much of it at the time. Unfortunately Travis picked up other obligations that demanded his attentions and it was about this time that he was unable to continue playing.

Before we get to that however, the party was busy now studying the temple that they had recently uncovered. Tyson and Cass were busy helping the professor study the journal. I don't remember now if I had described it as having a magical aura, but I did later testify that this was the case. I did however make sure that due to the journals condition and age its magical aura was not strong enough to identify, but also they were more concerned with saving the journal before it fell apart and disintegrated. Eric and Travis were busy directing the porters to safely remove what relics they could from the temple. That left Rick and Joey to scout the area in order to keep the excavation safe from whatever dangers might show up.

Now Sean was using his offered amulet to scry on the party. He was very aware that they had entered the temple and were now in possession of the journal he so desperately wanted. His suggested course of action? Direct the local barbarians to raid the excavation site, they were free to take what they could find of value but he specifically wanted them to get the journal.

I figure an enterprising Rakshasa would put himself in the position to be worshiped by a local barbarian tribe as a god or something, so making use of that wouldn't be hard. Given the time the party had been there I also figured this would be a good time for the emerald claw to perhaps attempt to assassinate the professor. The Emerald claw wouldn't be good enough to really disguise their presence, and they'd be arrogant enough to think their undead company would be able to handle anything or scare it all away. That said the Barbarians were certainly aware of the undead, and as raiders they'd be more than willing to use them as a distraction, especially given their familiarity with the area.

So the way I figured it I could attack the party on two fronts, one by an undead army lead by human officers and a dark cleric. While this was happening they would be attacked from behind by the barbarians. But I didn't want them to be completely overwhelmed so I allowed that scouts from Blood Crescent would pass through reporting on the strange appearance of an undead company heading directly toward their expedition. But I also warned them that barbarians had been spotted distant, and that they were quick enough and knowledgeable enough to be able to appear wherever they wanted. I had also allowed Joey and Rick to have found a nearby oasis, giving them the option of retreating into the desert if they needed.

At this point it was up to the players to react, and they didn't disappoint. Travis asked Rick and Joey to head out with him to make contact with the Barbarians. Travis had made it a point of being able to speak just about every language possible in Eberron, so talking with them was a good option. I suggested for some reason that approaching the oasis might give them diplomacy enough to not be attacked due to a superstition of avoiding bloodshed at such locations. They took me up on this and this gave me a chance to see what Travis had in mind.

Travis actually asked the barbarians to guard his back while he and the players fended off the undead army coming his way. In return he would pay the barbarians with food and supplies, even basic repairs if they needed. The barbarians were already planning on attacking the excavation site and taking what they wanted, and these weren't good or neutral barbarians if they worshiped a deity represented by a rakshasa, so I figure they didn't consider the outsiders trustworthy, and so in return they weren't about allow the outsiders any trust. Being invited to watch their back just made sacking the camp that much easier, especially when they already considered anything they could find theirs.

I had also allowed Travis to find a suspicious porter who he caught praying to Vol. Vol in Eberron is the first vampire, who is now worshiped as a god in a cult called The Blood of Vol. It is not well known but in certain circles they suspect that the emerald claw actually works as agents for The Blood of Vol. Tyson was being used certainly, but he was not trusted, the porter was the one acting both as intermediary and in his own way in the same function as Erics amulet. That said, Travis arrested the porter and took him outside of camp, explaining that he was ill and was to be quarantined from the rest of the expedition while he recovered.

It was in this way that things were set up. The party expected the undead army to approach from the north, they expected the barbarians to watch their asses and help flank the undead as they fought, and Travis had a porter which he expected would be able to give him information once all was said and done.
Tags: campaign, eberron, gaming

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