Monday, 19 January 2015

The Aielund Saga: Act Four - Part X



Heaven & Hell


Blackwood Tower


Just a quick gear jiggle - and "enchant" for Nellise - before we move on:

  • Lilura: Hood of Intellect (INT +6, Conc +10, all-Saves +1) Adamantium Helm (DR 10/+7, True Seeing), Fortified Shield of Endurance (DR 15/+6, CON +4) Lesser Force Shield of the Ancients +8 (25% resist bludg/pierce/slash, on-hit 2% Chaos Shield lvl3), Ring of Protection +5 Ring of Protection +7.
  • Robert: Razor's Edge +5 (Keen, Mass crits 1d10, on-hit DC-14 Greater Dispelling, +1d10 piercing [2]) Sightblinder +5 bastard sword (+5 piercing dmg, Keen, on-hit DC-26 Blindness, 2d6 mass crits) Ring of Resistance +3 Ring of the Phoenix (Regen +4, Resurrection [13]), Hellfire Shield +5 (SR 22, Regenerate [13] 1/day) Fortified Shield of Endurance (DR 15/+6 CON +4). 
  • Nellise: Mighty Crossbow of Speed +5 +10 (-150,000 GP).

Terinus tells us where to find uber-loot for use against the Saqaarin: the plane of Twilight and The Border Ethereal. He then opens a planar gate to an "extra-dimensional space" called The Hall of Worlds. 

We step into it..



The Hall of Worlds


Now here's something you don't see everyday. - Robert Black.

Wonders never cease. I've never imagined anything like this place. - Nellise.

This great circular Hall is lined with eight doors leading to the planes of Abraxus, Assumption, The Abyss, The Nine Hells, Acheron, The Border Ethereal and Twilight. 


I open the door leading to The Abyss. How appropriate: an Abyssal Nightmare pops out which just keeps on respawning until I listen to Terinus.

Close the door! - Terinus.

I slam it shut.



Mmm... another door, this one leading to Assumption.. this one doesn't sound like a threatening plane... 

We enter...


Assumption - The Blessed Vale


A choir can be heard, sort of like Gregorian chant, I guess - very relaxing..

Contemplative Heavenly Souls and eager-to-help Archon Lanterns peacefully inhabit this place, with Angels patrolling the lower reaches of the Vale.

This place is more beautiful than I have ever dreamed! - Nellise.


May the peace of Assumption be upon thee, traveler. - Heavenly Soul.

Thou arrival has been anticipated traveller. Proceed forthwith to the Cathedral of the Seraphim, there ye shall find the answers ye seek. - Angel. 

It's a bit bright for my taste. I mean, glowing angels, beautiful skies, inner peace - who needs all that stuff. - Robert Black.


In the southeast of the Vale stands the Contemplative, Aoipe. She is not an angel, but a muse (ie, "a source of inspiration"). She's also a bard. I attempt to tell her my tale, but my performance is rather poor (+1000 EXP).


Humbled by the muse, we make our way north and then east into...



The Isle of Light


The radiant Cathedral of the Seraphim rises up majestically over the Isle.


Two bear-headed Celestial Avengers guard the bridge across a holy stream.

The avenger gazes at you with eyes filled with resilience and benevolence. - DM.


Holy water springs up from the fountains, soothing and healing us.


We ascend the slope..

Ok, now that's impressive. - Robert.


With reverence we enter the cathedral...


Cathedral of the Seraphim 


Three Utopian beings stand before us: Archangel Benedictum (the right hand of God), Veritas (Defender of the Faith & Sword of Aeladin) and Serenity.


A rather lengthy discussion now unfolds, but the short of it is that Benedictum will aid us against the Saqaarin after we aid him against the demon lord Abaddon in the plane of Acheron (we have to pass through Archeron eventually, anyway - and without the aid of the Utopians and their "Tempest", we'd stand no chance against Abaddon..). Now, in order for the angels and heroes to even enter Acheron, we first must travel to The Nine Hells to procure from the devil, Insidiae, a talisman. We are promised material rewards of divine epicness should we be successful in delivering the talisman to the Archangel.




A revealing flavor convo between Nellise and Veritas:


We now take our leave, backtrack through the Vale and out to the Halls, then take the door to the The Nine Hells.


Mount Erebus


Mount Erebus is a volcano. Avoiding the lava flows is paramount as they inflict epic fire damage. Worse than that, being part of The Nine Hells, Erebus is swarming with devils ("baatezu").

We are set upon a most perilous course. Keep your mind focused on our goal, and we will walk out of here alive. - Nellise.

It's just like I always pictured it. Let's get this over with, I don't fancy being a prisoner here for the next thousand years. - Robert.

Get away from me! I *deserve* to be here! - Tortured Soul.


Three Elite Cornugons or "horned devils" whip us with fire as we head eastward, winding our way around the bubbling lava flows (+1680 EXP ea).



Having wound our way to the central north, three death-attacking Greater Osyluth or "bone devils" claw at us with blinding speed (+910 EXP ea).


Now in the far west, three roguish Erinyes Matriarchs troll us with their Epic Dodge and sneak attacks (+910 EXP ea).


Get around the side, try to outflank them. - Robert.

We tried, but flying enemies are difficult to outflank.


Foolish mortals... you will rue the day you came here. - Pit Fiend.

Guarding the eastern exit of Erebus is a Pit Fiend (+1386 EXP, HelBlade +6 greatsword [+2d10 fire, vamp-regen +3]) and a few flanking cornugons. 



The Fields of Torment


Five more Greater Osyluths are dispatched here upon our arrival. 

Level Up to 32!

(Epic Characters)

Lilura: Champion of Torm (16) / Paladin (12)/ Fighter (4), STR +1
Nellise: Cleric (30) / Paladin (2), WIS +1
Robert: Fighter (32), STR +1
Terinus: Wizard (30)

We cross a gated bridge leading over a river of fire..


.. and are mobbed on the other side by four more Greater Osyluths, three Erinyes Matriarchs and a second Pit Fiend, this one wielding the Felreiver +7 battleaxe (+2d10 neg-en, Keen, Mass crits 2d10, vorpal DC-14). I tried to bottleneck them on the bridge, but the Osyluths simply walked through the lava flow and the Erinyes took to the skies, landing to flank us.


We spy a cave entrance in the far east leading to Hammerheim..

Fort Insidiae


One Archdevil and an uber Pit Fiend and Erinyes stand before us.

From left to right: Errath, Insidiae and Jezelle

You shall listen to me. - Archduke Insidiae.

I listen up to a point, as Robert is funny and you can ally with the devils if you like. But, as a Paladin, it just wouldn't make sense, so the inevitable battle begins!

 

As you can see from the feedback window, Jezelle neglecting to throw up Epic Warding meant she wasn't gonna be in this for the long haul. This gives us a huge advantage.


Furious at Jezelle's premature departure, the Archduke casts Greater Dispelling followed by Greater Ruin and Mestil's Acid Sheath as Robert and I pummel the enraged General Errath (and Nellise stings Errath with armor-piercing bolts from safe distance).


Errath is repeatedly stung by Nellise and can't tank for long the mighty blows inflicted upon his thick hide by Robert and I, falling humiliatingly early in the bout just like Jezelle.


Everyone now focuses on Insidiae, who staunchly endures the relentless assault by the four heroes...


.. but eventually falls to a Robert Black critical. However, it isn't over..

Even Terinus landed a melee blow!
I am not as easy to destroy as you might think, fool. - Archduke Insidiae.

Insidiae rises from the ashes and is as butthurt as ever!


A second ass-kicking is administered, and from this one the Archduke has no comeback.



We relieve the devils' corpses of some wicked items:  

  • Archduke Insidiae: +1470 EXP, Helstaff +7 (+2d10 fire, charges: Firebrand, Fire Storm, Flame Strike, Epic Spell: Hellball), Talisman of the Tempest.
  • Jezelle: +1190 EXP, Diabolic Armor +9 (Divine resist 40/-, CON +4, STR +4, Haste, Imm: Death Magic, Evil/Neutral only), The Scourge +7 whip (+2d10 acid, Keen, Mass crits 20, Bonus feat: Disarm [whip], on-hit DC-20 Demon Fever disease) Infernal Shield of the Lower Planes +8 (DR 15/+7, Fire resist 30/-, Elemental Shield [12] 5/day, Fire Storm [18] 1/day).
  • General Errath: +1330 EXP, Destroyer +7 bastard sword (+2d10 fire, Fire imm bonus 75%, Fire Storm [18] 2/day).

Satisfied with this haul, we take our leave of the fort.

Backtracking through the Fields of Torment, five more Greater Osyluths fall to our righteous wrath; and as we wind our way back through Mount Erebus, three more Greater Osyluths and four Elite Cornugons are kicked to the curb.

We now exit to the Halls, and back into Assumption, through the Blessed Vale and Isle of Light to again reach the towering...


Cathedral of the Seraphim


The Talisman of the Tempest is now returned to the Archangel, Benedictum.


+10,000 EXP.

Before fluttering away, Benedictum hands us the Key to Acheron. He promises the angels will meet us in Archeron to aid us against Abaddon and secure a gateway that will take us to the Saqaarin citadel.

 

Serenity now rewards us: +2500 EXP, Nightbane +7 longsword (+2d10 divine dmg, on-hit DC-16 Dispel, on-hit DC-14 slay evil), Angelic Hood (+10 AC vs. Chaotic Evil, CHA +4 , WIS +4 , Imm: Level/Ability drain, Regen +1), Angelic Shield +8 (DR 20/+7, CHA +4, Regen +2), Angelic Armor +9 (Neg-en resist 30/-, CHA +4, STR +4, Haste, Imm: Death Magic/Knockdown, Good only), Arrows of Divinity (+2d12 divine, on-hit DC-14 slay evil [396]).

Veritas now imparts to Nellise the gift of Ascendence, which as far as I can tell adds three effects (damage resistance, damage immunity increase [negative] and regenerating [not sure of exact numbers]) and +stats (STR +6, WIS +2). She also sprouts wings!



Level Up to 33!

(Epic Characters)

Lilura: Champion of Torm (17) / Paladin (12)/ Fighter (4), Great Strength IV
Nellise: Cleric (30) / Paladin (2) - Nellise has stopped leveling
Robert: Fighter (33)
Terinus: Wizard (30)

Vanity shot:

We lookin' good!
Nellise has wings! I'm so jelly..

Unicorns! But we would have preferred pegasi..
I know what you're thinking.. so what's the angels' loot like?
  • Aoipe: +1680 EXP, Shield of Cosmic Might +8 (Elect resist 40/-, on-hit ILMS [15], Cloak of the Muse (Bonus Bard slot 4/5/6, CHA +8, all-saves +5, Perform +50), Belt of Agility +8 (DEX +8, Freedom).

lol
  • Archangel Benedictum: +1470 EXP, Nightbane +7 longsword (+2d10 divine, on-hit DC-16 Dispel, on-hit DC-14 slay evil), Archangel's Armor +8 (Neg-en resist 30/-, CHA +4, STR +4, Haste, Imm: Death Magic, Good only), Sphere of the Hellion (quest item for Insidiae), Monk's Hood of Nirvana (WIS +4, Imm: crit hits/sneak attacks, all Saves +5, True Seeing).
  • Veritas: +1050 EXP, Angelic Blade +5 falchion (+2d6 divine, Keen), Angelic Armor +9 (Neg-en resist 30/-, CHA +4, STR +4, Haste, Imm: Death Magic/Knockdown, Good only).
  • Serenity: +1190 EXP, Paragon of Virtue +7 scimitar (+2d10 divine, Keen), Angelic Armor +9 (Neg-en resist 30/-, CHA +4, STR +4, Haste, Imm: Death Magic/Knockdown, Good only), Sacred Aegis +8 (Neg-en resist 40/-, on-hit Searing Light [15], Heal [11] 2/day). 

Satisfied with our treasures we gate back to Blackwood Tower in preparation for the next planar assault.



The Border Ethereal!

7 comments:

  1. The hall of worlds was a tip of my hat to R.E. Feist's magician series (basically I stole the idea lol). I also added a touch of that white hallway from the 2nd matrix movie. Doors to everywhere :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The doors-to-planes thing reminded me of Planescape: Torment's Sigil (City of Doors), but in that game the "doors" (portals) would only appear if you had an item in your possession (like a finger bone or even a piece of junk). PS:T was truly one of the great RPGs for all these unique features, up there with Fallout 1, Arcanum (and Aielund Saga) ;-)

      Delete
  2. If you ask Terinus and Nellise to step out of the party and then rejoin, that should "jolt" them into leveling properly, I think. Not sure what causes that issue from time to time.

    I also find it funny that you did the hardest plane there first!

    "Jezelle neglecting to throw up Epic Warding meant she wasn't gonna be in this for the long haul. This gives us a huge advantage."

    She does have the spell, not sure why she didn't use it. Probably because you piled on her immediately or something, normally she tries to cast it first.

    "I know what you're thinking, so what's the angels' loot like?"

    Sigh.

    Look, I'll admit I was curious enough one time to see the same thing. But I didn't think of even murdering poor Aoipe too! You scare me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was a level up dialogue option with Nellise, but it just came back with a script blueprint error or something. Kicking them out of the party and bringing them back in works, which is good. Terinus jumped up like 5 lvls all by himself, though (at lvlup). I guess it hardly matters at this stage of the Saga if they're a few lvls behind..

      For clarity: I did reload after slaying the angels. I suspect on-hit Searing Light and ILMS are highly effective..?

      Delete
    2. Well, Terinus gets a major bonus to his spells at level 33 so that's nice. Also adds some more BAB at a minimum.

      Regarding the on-hit stuff...well, theoretically you're not getting hit that much...

      ...but if you are then the ILMS isn't bad, I think that reflect 35 damage divided among nearby enemies. Searing Light probably isn't much, though.

      Delete
  3. The level up bug can also hit Robert Black as well. It seems to affect the last one or two characters in the group

    ReplyDelete
  4. «[…] She's also a bard. I attempt to tell her my tale, but my performance is rather poor (+1000 EXP). This dialogue made me SO wish I was a bard.»

    *equips Banshee's Robe (CHA+4), Nymph Cloak +6, activates Pink and Green Ioun Stone, equips Heavenly Harp (perform +50) and succeed the check. UMD ftw*

    ReplyDelete

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