15#: Princes of the Apocalypse, part #6
In this article I am going to cover the last four sessions of Princes of the Apocalypse that Twenty Sided Store ran for D&D Encounters. The goal for the season finale was to wrap up the events on the surface of the Desserin Valley before delving below to the Dwarven stronghold of Tyr-Besil. I wanted to create a build up to a conclusion that give my players accomplishment and resolution in what they had done so far. I also wanted to set up for the sequel by realizing that the conclusion to this adventure was only the beginning to a much larger adventure that can be played with the Hard Cover Princes of the Apocalypse – either in store as a continued mini-campaign, or at home as a private campaign.
In my last article, I covered sessions 8 & 9, Riverguard Keep. The players secured the Keep and collected the Dwarven Books. Grimjaw escaped below, closing off any possible entrances for the players to follow, and Larrakh got away.
Session #10 – Visit to Beliard
The players received a summons from their Faction Contacts. When the Adventurers got to Beliard there was a small market with booths selling goods. This was the first market in several months. News of the Adventurers taking Riverguard keep and opening up the trade route travelled fast in the Desserin Valley. When the Adventurers arrived in Beliard, everyone wanted to talk to the heroes. Many claimed to have information on the Mirabar Delegation and where they were last seen before they disappeared.
We ran this session as a Group RP, each table was set up as a booth where players could buy goods or barter for information. This created some good interaction between players and developed the strengths of the party dynamic.
End – After the players had a chance to spend some downtime, the players met with their faction contacts and had a chance to share what they learned. Faction Contacts were able to confirm information, which lead players to Summit Hall and Sacred Stone Monastery.
Session #10 Beat
- Adventurers receive a Summons from their Factions Contacts to meet in Beliard.
- They arrive in Beliard before their Faction Contacts.
- Players spend Downtime and gold to purchase items in the market.
- Players meet townsfolk who have heard of the Adventurer’s heroic deeds in restoring safe trade on the Desserin River and can provide information on the Delegation who was last seen in this town.
What Was Covered
- Urgent Summons (pg. 75)
- Beliard (pg. 33 & 42)
Session #11 – Summit Hall & Sacred Stone Monastery
We put Summit Hall on the path to Sacred Stone Monastery so we could combine these two locations into one session and create a stronger build up for our story. The players had an opportunity to follow the trail of the Mirabar Delegation and find the location where they were captured.
The adventurers then continued on to Summit Hall to ask Ushien Stormbanner some questions. The Players learned the exact location of the Sacred Stone Monastery and that, in order to get in and out of the Monastery alive, they would have to pretend to be new recruits.
End – Players rescue Bruldenthar and escape from the Monastery. They learn that Deseyna Norveael was rescued by a Feathergale Knight and the other two delegates were taken below.
Session #11 Beat
- Leave Beliard, follow the path the Delegation was last seen taking.
- Find the location where the Earth Cult captured three members of the Delegation.
- Learn that there was a struggle at this location (with the Air Cult) – evidence of an aerial assault on the Earth Cult which resulted in one of the Delegation members being taken by the air attackers.
- Act as new recruits and enter Sacred Stone Monastery to find Bruldenthar and rescue him.
- Escape alive and head back to Red Larch.
What Was Covered
- The Dessarin Road (pg. 62-63)
- Summit Hall (pg. 63)
- Sacred Stone Monastery (pg 59-69)
Session #12 – Feathergale Spire
When the players go back to Red Larch they learn that the Feathergale Knights have been extorting the town for protection. Construction on the Adventurers Union Guild Hall has slowed because of this and the players are asked to visit Savra Belaranta to negotiate – at this point the players do not know that the Howling Hatred has brainwashed the Feathergale Knights. When the players arrive Savra tells the players to speak with Thurl Merosska. About to go on a Manticore Hunt, Thurl encourages the Adventurers to join him and discuss business at the feast afterwards.
The players are befriended by the Aarakocra who inform them that they were double crossed by the air cultists who lured the Adventurers out of Red Larch so they wouldn’t interfere with an attack that was planned on the town.
End – If the players survive the manticore hunt, they look out the spire towards Red Larch, and see airships and air cultist flying vultures moving in with great storms.
Session #12 Beat
- Adventurers arrive in Red Larch and are asked to Negotiate with the Feathergale Knights to stop taxing the townsfolk.
- When they get to Feathergale Spire, they are welcomed and invited on a manticore hunt.
- Players are aided by the Aarakocra and find out that Thurl, a member of the Howling Hatred, has double crossed them and brainwashed the Feathergale Knights into the air cult.
- Players rescue Deseyna Norveael.
- Players must get back to Red Larch before it is too late.
What Was Covered
- Feathergale Spire (pg.46 -52)
Session #13 – Return to Red larch
When the players approach Red Larch, forces in the air are doubled by an army of Orcs on the ground. Larrakh has created an Orb of Destruction and the Princess of the Apocalypse wants it. Aerisi Kalinoth, informed by her follower, Thurl, is aware of how badly Larrakh wants revenge on Red Larch and has a plan to lure him into the fray. She promised Larrakh a war so she could steal the Orb of Destruction and power it once and for all.
At the table players had an opportunity to interact and influence different parts of the assault. They could get as many people as possible to the Tomb of Moving Stones for protection, hack and slash the Orc Army, or fly with wingwear and take down the air ships.
End – When the players catch up to Larrakh, he is in a brawl with Aerisi over the Orb. Aerisi gets the Orb and the players follow her as she tries to escape through the passage in the quarry. Once in the tunnels leading to Tyr-Besil the players realize they are too late. Aerisi has already unleashed the Orb of Destruction on the surface of Red Larch.
Session #13 Beat
- Adventurers arrive in Red Larch.
- The attacks have already devastated most of the town.
- Save the townsfolk by getting them below ground to safety.
- Stop Orc Army.
- Crash the Airships.
- Aerisi steals the Orb of Destruction from Larrakh, charges it, and detonates it on Red Larch.
- Players underground are alive, everything on the surface is destroyed.
What Was Covered
- Red Larch People and Places
- Devastation Orb (pg. 222)
- Windharrow & Aerisi Kalinoth (pg. 192 – 193)
- Mellikho Stoneworks – entrance to Tyar-Besil (pg. 28)
- Aerisi Kalinoth (pg.11)
Session #14 – Attack on Red Larch
We gather all the tables together for Group RP. Adventurers continue towards Tyr-Besil and find themselves at a gate to the Duergar City of Zortagra. The Duergar invite the Adventurers in offer to help. Adventurers tell the Duergar how they escaped and the Duergar inform them of the real threat below and the beginning of an Elemental Apocalypse that only they can stop.
End – Players Choice Awards Ceremony. At the end of every season players vote on the Golden Hero, The Adventurer, and the Fellowship Leader for the season and Relentless Devotion is awarded to those with never missed a session.
Session #14 Beat
- Players tell the tale of where their characters were when the Bomb went off on Red Larch.
- Underground, Duegar offer players help and information.
- Players Choice Awards Ceremony
What Was Covered
- The Elder Elemental Eye (pg. 214)
- Relevant information on Tyar-Besil, the ancient dwarven kingdom, and Vizeran DeVire, the Drow who started all this (pg. 180)
- Adventure Synopsis (pg. 6)
- Adventure Background (pg. 5)
End – Continued play with Princes of Apocalypse will take the players on a journey to Tyar-Besil and the Fane of the Eye to stop Elemental Evil and send them back to the Plane from which they came.
Players who start up the new season of Out of the Abyss will begin their adventure in the hands of the Drow who started all this.
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