Saturday, March 17, 2018

Massive Update on Blackstone

  Sorry for light posting, but contracting 40 hours a week plus running your own business equals looooooong weeks.

  For those of you unaware, I have been running an AD&D 2e Skills & Powers campaign called Blackstone for about a decade with the same very dedicated players. Despite my dedication to jazz band adventuring Blackstone has 4 distinct adventuring groups that have never directly interacted. The 4 groups range from 3rd level to well inside the domain game.

  For the entire decade of gaming the parties have grown aware of multiple Big Arcs floating around. With some subtle maneuvering and the willing by-in and actions of the players we had a massive crossover recently! Essentially, the various parties' investigations finally intersected forcing the parties to meet.

BIG Spoilers, so no players read below

The plots that crossed include:

She Who Waits- A massive push to learn of the First Lich revealed three critical pieces of information: she is trapped underneath an island in the Southern Sea (the location is a profoundly guarded secret); she is prevented from becoming a demi-lich by the patronage of her Master, a demon prince; and she is not a mage, but a cleric of at least 19th level. They believe her prison has only a single intact seal remaining. Prophecies state that if she is freed she will either rule or destroy the world.

The Broken Man- The loyal servant of She Who Waits, burned at the stake of hideous crimes by the last ruler of the Emerald Empire. Four of his five canopic jars are held by one party, the fifth is in the vaults of the Vatican. Since he is prophesied to be the man who frees She Who Waits preventing evil from gathering the jars and allowing him to regenerate (if gathered together, he can regenerate from anything) has driven the campaign for 6 years. The party hopes to scatter the other 4 so as to delay the prophecy indefinitely. Other parties disagree....

The Undying Witch-King- From the Obsidian Fastness his Scarlet Mages rule the Empire of Zingara with an iron fist. Every attempt to kill him has failed utterly. Unbeknownst to him Mournglow, Darkwalk, and Ember have learned the secret that prevents him from being killed....
His schemes, intrigues, and powerful illusions are what triggered the various parties meeting. He wants the Broken Man made whole so that he can finally meet and destroy She Who Waits before she is freed (by following The Broken Man to her tomb). The party knows he wants to save the world so that he can rule it.

The Isle of Rest- Various parties have visited the Isle of Rest in the Southern Sea, including a memorable fight against necromancer pirates. The various researchers have deduced the following: The mysterious White City on the central plateau is home to a gate to the Negative Material Plane; the central plateau is crawling with undead; the entrance to the prison-tomb of She Who Waits is somewhere in the jungles of the central plateau.
The rusting metal towers of the plateau have haunted the players for many years.

The Shadow of the City- At the very end of the Shattering War the city of Veridian, capitol of the Emerald Empire, was besieged by the renegade humanoid legions of the Empire and their Necromancer overlords, the last remnant of the core Empire not destroyed or conquered. And then the war ended; no one involved in the siege was ever heard from. In the long ages since no one that has come within sight of the walls of Veridian has been heard from again. Scrying fails within the area of Veridian. And now strange, monstrous creatures come from the 'shadow of the city'.
The group figured it out - the Imperial Arch-Mage, realizing the city would fall and driven to madness opened a gate to the Negative Material Plane, akin to  the White City.

The Seven- Long ago Melchior, creator of Artifice magic, forged 7 swords of unequaled power. One of these sword, Gatekeeper, is in the possession of Doomsman, the greatest swordsman alive. One of the powers of Gatekeeper is the ability to close open Gates....
The other known of the Seven are the Paradigm, Staredge, and the Master.

Magekiller- A powerful sword with the special purpose of killing evilly-aligned casters of arcane magic, it disguises itself as Staredge. In the possession of Doomsman its combination of powers puzzled the players until they deduced the secret of the Witch-King's immortality.

The Lost Lightouse- One of the partys has lived in a lighthouse on a small island just off the southern coast for years. One of the rooms was sealed with a powerful Wizard Lock. Essentially ignored by the party for years, the room has sat there, closed. Recently a different party learned that it contained Gorgoroth the Shatterer.

Gorgoroth the Shatterer- An insanely powerful sword forged in the Abyss, it was formerly the personal weapon of Lord Westergoth, Lord of all Death Knights. His quest to regain it was only interrupted by his quest for the canopic jars of the Broken Man and, eventually, his destruction. The sword is sealed in a scrying proof room full of brown mold, sealed inside an old lighthouse. It is capable of Disintegrating Good creatures.

Whew. That is about half of the big plot threads in the campaign, now all overlapping.

The various parties are now working together; one group will attempt to locate the entrance to the prison-tomb, another increase the wards on Gorgoroth, one attempt to confirm the source of the Shadow, and the other continue their assault on an evil temple.