Sunday, June 10, 2018

Rocking Thule #2: In Search of the Golden Disc; the Tower of Golden Scales

Whew! Honestly, I tought I'll be able to publish content more often. Even though most of the stuff is ready, translating, editing, occasionally expanding it, drawing, mapping, in addition to a satisfying but very challenging professional life, not to mention private life, well... the mix of these proved to be a more time and energy-consuming process than I've anticipated.

Nonetheless, here we are! I'll start off with some musings about my Thule campaign, then a short scenario describing the dangers of the Tower of Golden Scales (download link to the PDF version is right below, if you are interested in just that). The next one or two posts will probably also feature small locations and sidetreks that could be inserted into any party's journeys, then we'll hit on some medium-sized dungeons. 

The party returned from the Cavern of Golden Tears, just to get betrayed by their employer, Dredan Taroth, instead of being paid. (I know, fckin’ genuine, isn’t it? ;)) Since they already had quite a lot of enemies in Quodeth, they decided to get some allies for a change - and their attention turned towards the temple of Ishtar. How convenient that the archpriestess of the goddess of war, passion and love just needed able warriors for a holy quest! The party took it up on them to prove their worth for the priestesses.

The quest was simple enough. They had to find a Golden Disc - some kind of a vessel the gods use to send messages or predictions for their followers, by casting it down from the skies as a meteorite. I came up with this as an adventure hook for Night of the Yellow Moon. The players needed to escort Danakhia, Blind Oracle of Ishtar to the barbarian village of Morlun, to the ammur barbarians who found the golden disc, so she could make sure it was authentic. How a blind person would do this, you ask? Well, my players didn’t, but they’ve found the answer later anyways.

Danakhia was not blind at all. Ishtar gifted her with constant holy truesight. In exchange, Ishtar herself was gazing out of her eyes. No mortal men nor women could withstand that gaze for long without being overwhelmed by madness in a form of uncontrollable, passionate feelings of love and rage. (Mechanically: Charisma save against DC 15 each turn when there is eye contact. One may use his/her reaction to avert his/her eyes. But most people wouldn’t think of this, as Danakhia doesn’t look like a basilisk or a medusa.) Danakhia didn’t like it when people around her suddenly wanted to rape everything they could get their hands on, so she wore a blindfold instead. A fact that the party found out when Margian Crimson Slavers boarded their ship, and in the thick of the melée, Danakhia was forced to use her gaze to confuse their enemies. (Luckily, everyone got away without being raped, and the horny pirates have been defeated.)

Now, see, there are leagues inbetween Morlun and Quodeth, with a lot of sites on the map not explained by the campaign book. Even though the book suggests adventures of an episodic nature, I didn’t like the idea to just start it at the gates of Morlun. Therefore I had to fill in the gaps in case the players decided to explore some of these places. I did not want to make whole adventures out of these locations, just some encounters to show the players that Thule’s wilderness is full of unknown, yet dangerous places, and one can never be sure what he’ll stumble upon...