Minaria

Winter Carnival

A mini-summary:

Haruko tried to get her first killed in a weird frame-job to impress the princess’ chaperone (and prepared a vile concoction to heal the Graf). Cleave the Murderer slaughtered Dieter and is now the Graf’s Champion. Past that, I’m drawing some blanks in minor details.

The party trailed a drug supplier, and hit a jackpot, getting blackmail letters, a kidnapped girl (neice of a law lord), and a reasonable belief that Wasmeir is behind it all.

It’s late on the final day of the carnival; despite the dropping temperatures, the festivities have commenced and crowds are everywhere….what will the party do with this information? I suspect Talking Time is over (is that an elf cheering in the background?).

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Pre-winter Carnival

It’s the time of the pre-winter carnival, a common event in Muetar (much as many Gulf cities have a version of Mardi Gras), and amusements abound. The heroes seem to have no interest in such things, however, and immediately head to the Worshipful Guild of Legalists (p28) for advice on the taxes. They learn that the ruler of the city, Graf Todbringer, makes decisions as he will, asking whoever he wants for advice, with no particular law or rule determining if any advice is more important than others…though the Law Lords generally have a strong input, or so the Guild says. The party was going to meet Senior Clerk Wahnsinnige for further information, but got distracted.
The Komission of Elven, Dwarven, and Halfling interested is mostly dwarf-run, and is mostly angry about the new taxes. IMD noticed some elven light-singers had some bruises, and it appears they attacked by angry dwarves.
The Komission for Commerce, Trade, and Taxation was never visited, nor was the Merchant’s Guild.
The Wizard’s Guild is mostly hoping it’ll all blow over, but was kind enough to let Fiona use their library and buy supplies relatively cheaply.
Various temples have been approached. The Temple of Ulric (the primary temple of the city) is in full support of the taxes since high priest Ar-Ulric is in support of it, but the other temples clearly are not.
The carnival is a rare opportunity for the adventurers to associate with the upper class, and they’ve met a few of the many personages of the city:
Chancellor Sparsam: Not met, but supposedly has the ear of the Graf. Rumor has it he favors opera.
Dieter Schmiedehammer is the Graf’s Champion, 3 years running. Seems a nice guy and clearly is an accomplished fighter. He talks to the Graf from time to time, and says the Midden Marshals have most of the influence on the Graf. He himself supports the taxes on dwarves in a strange monotone voice, and his elven friends are loathe to press the matter.
Rallane Lafarel is the Court Minstrel, and a friend of Dieter. Rallane supports the dwarf tax, thinks the Knight Eternal is a joke (and does a funny impersonation of him), and does like to flirt with females.
“Princess” Katarina Todbringer: Cares nothing for the taxes, and is the illegitimate daughter of the Franz. Rumor has it he dotes on her, and has provided her with guards, including….
Chaperone Hildegarde ZImperlich: Protects the Princess from undesirables, and loathes Luigi Pavarotti (Cleave was nearly seduced by him, though it seems everyone has an opinion of the strange character).
The Midden Marshals (Shutzmann, Schwermutt, Von Genscher) tend to go to carnival events (and express opinions) as a group. Cleave met Shutzman, and learned that Goebbles has an evil reputation.
High Wizard Albrech Helseher: head of the wizard’s guild, though the party hasn’t talked with him. Fiona has at least heard of him, and met his deputy, Janna.
Ar-Ulric: High priest of Ulric. He’s clearly under stress, but lamely supports the taxes. He’s uncomfortable about women, and says he’s being extorted via some love letters (detailing activities only possible for those with high Dexterity scores). A woman, Frau Kaltblutig is arranging the extortion, in exchange for supporting the taxes; this was arranged at the palace..
Siegfried Prunkvoll: The Knight Eternal, always wears full plate mail, and seems knowledgeable of heraldry and familial affiliations, but otherwise a dweeb, easily fooled by the not-silver-tongued Cleave.
Allavandrel Fanmaris: Master of the Hunt. Peony got along well with him until the “double date” incident. He finds the dwarf tax hysterical, and is friends with Dieter and Rallane.
Gotthard Goebbels: The Komission Convenor, head of the Merchant’s Guild. He vaguely indicated interest in hiring Cleave for some “wet work”, just in case some nosy adventurers got in the way.
Herr Doktor Luigi Pavarotti: Bombastic caretaker of Shakin’ Stefan, the only one to seem to have any ability help the sickly lad. He says he uses some strange magical power, “hyp no tism”, although he doesn’t say where he learned it. Seems to have ready access to the inner palace, and seduced Haruko. Haruko did get to visit Stefan, and see for herself he was beyond her abilities. She also established Pararotti, for all his bluster, does have considerable Heal skill…and the stamina of three bulls. Haruko also saw that entering and leaving the palace is always noted by the guards, though.
The Law Lords: There are three. The party met Joachim Hoflich, something of a cold fish, but Astor believes him to be a fine lawyer. Wasmeier was also met, and indicated he was not in favor of the taxes (since he’s a wizard), but outvoted.

Emmanuelle Schlagen: a lady in waiting and Ar-Ulric’s affair. She appeared to be a bit on the make, but complained of advances from Pavarotti, who claimed to have drugs (little-a blue-a pills-a) that enhanced male potency; she seemed willing to talk about other personages, but the party wasn’t so interested.

Kirsten Jung: Lady in waiting, and Deitrich’s fiance. She’s hoping he stops being champion so they can get married.

Petra Liebkosen: Lady in wating, unmet.

Natasha Sinnlich: Lady in waiting. Ice blonde, seemed a bit cool.
There was also an incident in the Templar’s Arms, a small invasion of goblinoids. The party found some gold, and a note, “Help I am a prisoner of beestmen.” Following the trail led to a room in the sewers, with a secret access to a park in the wealthy part of town.
Those are most of the details, although there are certainly a few things I might have missed. Feel free to ask questions.

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Basimar
1

We need a campaign summary. I kinda stopped doing these due to lack of interest, but I reckon what’s going on in this adventure is complicated enough that some sort of summary is well advised.
I note Adrian is unlikely to attend, so I’d like some confirmations. If we have enough absences, I can do another “time travel” adventure, or whip out the ol’ boardgame selection.
Nobody’s mentioned any “wintering” rules for this campaign. It wouldn’t be tough to adapt the other rules, for what it’s worth.
Anyway, a quick summary:
The heroes have come to Basimar to sell their loot and possibly spend the winter. Unfortunately, there seems to be heavy taxes on wizards, clerics, and dwarves. Haruko takes a 700 gp hit, and the party was almost ready to go on a killing spree over it, before cooler heads prevailed.
It’s the time of the pre-winter carnival, a common event in Muetar (much as many Gulf cities have a version of Mardi Gras), and amusements abound. The heroes seem to have no interest in such things, however, and immediately head to the Worshipful Guild of Legalists (p28) for advice on the taxes. They learn that the ruler of the city, Graf Todbringer, makes decisions as he will, asking whoever he wants for advice, with no particular law or rule determining if any advice is more important than others…though the Law Lords generally have a strong input, or so the Guild says. The party was going to meet Senior Clerk Wahnsinnige for further information, but got distracted.
The Komission of Elven, Dwarven, and Halfling interested is mostly dwarf-run, and is mostly angry about the new taxes.
The Komission for Commerce, Trade, and Taxation was never visited, nor was the Merchant’s Guild.
The Wizard’s Guild is mostly hoping it’ll all blow over, but was kind enough to let Fiona use their library and buy supplies relatively cheaply.
Various temples have been approached. The Temple of Ulric (the primary temple of the city) is in full support of the taxes since high priest Ar-Ulric is in support of it, but the other temples clearly are not.
The carnival is a rare opportunity for the adventurers to associate with the upper class, and they’ve met a few of the many personages of the city:
Chancellor Sparsam: Not met, but supposedly has the ear of the Graf.
Dieter Schmiedehammer is the Graf’s Champion, 3 years running. Seems a nice guy and clearly is an accomplished fighter. He talks to the Graf from time to time, and says the Midden Marshals have most of the influence on the Graf. He himself supports the taxes in a monotone voice.
Rallane Lafarel is the Court Minstrel, and a friend of Dieter. Rallane supports the dwarf tax, thinks the Knight Eternal is a joke (and does a funny impersonation of him), and does like to flirt with females.
“Princess” Katarina Todbringer: Cares nothing for the taxes, and is the illegitimate daughter of the Franz. Rumor has it he dotes on her, and has provided her with guards, including….
Chaperone Hildegarde ZImperlich: Protects the Princess from undesirables, and loathes Luigi Pavarotti (the party has not met him except for Cleave who was nearly seduced by him, though it seems everyone has an opinion of the strange character).
The Midden Marshals (Shutzmann, Schwermutt, Von Genscher) tend to go to carnival events (and express opinions) as a group. The party hasn’t really met with them.
High Wizard Albrech Helseher: head of the wizard’s guild, though the party hasn’t talked with them. Fiona has at least heard of him.
Ar-Ulric: High priest of Ulric.
Siegfried Prunkvoll: The Knight Eternal, always wears full plate mail, and seems knowledgeable of heraldry and familial affiliations, but otherwise a dweeb.
Allavandrel Fanmaris: Master of the Hunt. Peony got along well with him until the “double date” incident. He finds the dwarf tax hysterical, and is friends with Dieter and Rallane.
Gotthard Goebbels: The Komission Convenor, head of the Merchant’s Guild.
Herr Doktor Luigi Pavarotti: Bombastic caretaker of Shakin’ Stefan, the only one to seem to have any ability help the sickly lad.
The Law Lords: There are three. The party met Joachim Hoflich, something of a cold fish, but Astor believes him to be a fine lawyer. Ehrlich and Wasmeier are unmet.
There was also an incident in the Templar’s Arms, a small invasion of goblinoids. The party found some gold, and a note, “Help I am a prisoner of beestmen.”
Those are most of the details, although there are certainly a few things I might have missed. Feel free to ask questions.

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It begins

We’re setting the campaign in Minaria again, a century past when The Party of the White Dwarf felled the Cult of the Sphincter God. Afterwards, The Party went into the excavations of the Mires of the Sinking Kind, never to be seen again (alabaster statues of the White Dwarf are present in several cities, however, and Please please please, don’t hit me with that hammer, music and lyrics by Shirt Le’Rouge, is still sung in taverns across the continent). For decades afterwards, the whole continent was subject to random attacks by dark elves and other monsters coming up from below (even during winter, the vicious bastards!). These attacks finally subsided, but only after very heavy casualties (roughly 20 soldiers for every dark elf). Minaria has been less warlike, as the nations conserve their strength in case of other attacks, but the countries are starting to regain their confidence and resume regular aggressions towards each other.

(As an aside, there are no “orcs” in Minaria, just goblins and, well, bigger goblins.“Orc” just means “bigger goblin”, with no particular rule changes).
Minaria is far more militarized than the usual GFE, with frequent wars that normally resolve before the harsh winters.
For veterans of Minaria, not that much has changed in 100 years, but here are a few highlights:

1) The dwarves have finally discovered a navigable trade route through the Eastern Mountains, and have semi-regular contact with (what they say are) the mighty nations of the East. A few brave adventurers, practicing heretofore unknown arts, have come to Minaria to seek their fortune (so you will find Samurai and such, though not in great quantity); as price of passage, the dwarves have sworn them to secrecy and not to discuss their homelands upon penalty of Particularly Horrible Death.

2) Since the collapse of the Sphincter Cult, magic has gone on a major upswing. Potions and other magic items are much more common now and manufactured. It is conjectured that this means the Sphincter God is slain, and his magic lifeblood is pouring into the world….less optimistic sorts believe that a return to the legendary magical power of the Llori empire is simply a precursor to another Cataclysm, and a powerful “Magic Atheist” cult has formed around the latter belief. Sphincter cultists are still around (though reclusive and never out in the open), and none have learned how they leverage their insanity into magical power.

3) Mivior is still a theocracy, but the Paladins of Addat have converted society into Lawful Goodness. It’s now a more orderly and regimented society, with only minimal tolerance to the few remaining practitioners of “the old ways”.

4) Muetar still has something of an evil caste to it (Falcon’s Hollow is in Muetar) but is a bit more neutral, having somewhat converted to worship of a wolf god, along with a patron saint /demigod of goblin smashing, Sigmar. Basimar is now also called The City of the White Wolf.

5) Some 30 years ago, a party of adventurers wielding the kind of magical power undreamed of by an AD&D monster, defeated the LIzard King, and the Great Southern Swamps have reverted to the Southern Wastes; the Altar of Greystaff is active again, with cultists eager to take the blood offerings that the Lizard King was claiming for himself. (The Beneficent Kingdom of the Lizard King did eventually successfully attack Shucassam, plundering Addeese by going across the lake, this happened a few years afte the fall of the Sphincter Cult).

6) Other details as needed. Demihumans aren’t as long lived in Pathfinder as in AD&D, so please don’t take me to task on possible continuity issues regarding characters/people that could reasonably be still alive. Also, I’ll be recycling the names of Kings. Deal with it.
7) The Pirates of Rombune have been very active of late, raiding up rivers and engaging in other nastiness.

8) The character leveling rules of Pathfinder are far more generous; I can modify my leveling house rules/training if you’d like (prices are likely to rise, however).

Spoilers

Spoilers, look below at your peril

Spoilers

Since the 2nd Ed campaign is basically over, I figure a few comments on “what was going on” are in order:

In the Keep on the Borderlands, there was an abandoned dwarven tunneling device (you did find a key part, which delayed the dwarves’ excavations). The dwarves actually arranged the sabotage of the Keep, offering poor Hothior a “special price” on repairs (the priest you chased was actually a spy for Muetar with nothing to do with the sabotage, but fleeing because he knew he’d be suspected of it). Once there, they recovered the device, and hauled it back to Aws Noir with none the wiser.

After it was repaired, the dwarves tunneled to the Mires of the Sinking Kind, hoping to steal valuable elven artifacts. Unfortunately, they discovered a hidden outpost of Drow, causing all sorts of problems up north.

You were dangerously close to losing all of Mivior to the Sphincter God. The only reason Colist survived is because they won a major naval battle;, temporarily breaking the siege. This battle was decided because Sahuagin reinforcements for Team Sphincter did not arrive (because The Party’s earlier actions led to the destruction of a Sahuagin stronghold)…the rewards from saving Port Lork in Hothior would not have been as good. Port Lork was about all that’s left in Hothior, since the Black Hand (pissed off at Hothior, due to what happened to his Emissary that you kind of screwed) had been cursing and picking off those few who could stand up to the Sphincter Cult.

The Troll King was being extorted into working for the Sphincter God (being not vulnerable to their stupid-powerful Charm Person ability); he needed to reactivate his insanely powerful Helm of Brilliance, powered by expensive gemstones (the Helm, an actual AD&D magic item, is a nigh-7 figure item because it has ridiculous amounts of firepower…something about being up to put up dozens of walls of fire allowed the Troll King to motivate his followers into fighting off even the Drow’s potent magic). Agents of the Sphincter cult (that narrolwly escaped The Party a few adventures earlier) managed to convince the Troll King to look in Mivior for the gems he needed, rather than in an abandoned temple not 30 miles from the “royal castle” of the Troll King.

The Zombie King was Jomballah, a revenant driven by murderous desire to avenge his death and recover the bone mace you killed him for…he was incidentally also fighting the Sphincter Cult, based on the Isle of Dread. Eventually he was going to land in Rombune…

I think that’s most of the little details you may have puzzled over, feel free to ask if I missed a story thread or two.

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