Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday Recap: Campaign of Chaos
You heard the lizard-man
I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I would be starting a new campaign soon. Well... here it is. This one is going to require some explanation...

Basically, at the end of my last big campaign, one of the characters got a powerful magic item: the Deck of Many Things. The character, one Daardendrian Krivxeros (aka Mr. Lizard the Chaos Wizard), immediately drew a bunch of cards. He changed to an evil alignment, lost many of his magic items, and gained a couple wishes. Fortunately for the world, he immediately hit the 33% chance of never casting Wish again (PHB pg. 289).

However, in his travels he had come across a tome of eldritch knowledge: how to use the power of the Gods to bring the Outer Plane of Limbo into the Inner Elemental Planes. Basically, it would create a fifth element: chaos. The multiverse would be rewritten, and the world would be plunged into chaos. Living things may not survive.

However, such a ritual was way too large and complicated for a lone evil chaos sorcerer who had recently lost all his magic items and couldn't cast wishes. So, he decided to do some recruiting, creating a group of minions similar in size to his previous adventuring squad. With their help, Mr. Lizard the Chaos Wizard hopes to kill one million mortals in the name of chaos. And then destroy all of everything. Or something like that.

This story is part 1 of a series. The campaign is complete.
Previous Campaign | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8Part 9 |

Campaign of Chaos

This story began in a prison, the Raven's Nest Asylum, to be exact. Though a plain building from the outside, it housed many of Garton's more dangerous and unusual criminals. The guards wore helms that masked their identity, carried magic swords, and weren't afraid to die to protect the prison. Magic-using criminals had their power suppressed by a powerful enchantment.

The guards brought a newcomer, Bill the Meek, to his prison cell. Bill was being jailed for a minor crime, and asked the prisoners around him what they were in for.
Shut, up, DAD
Cressen Juhl (Shannon) spoke up first. He was a Fallen Aasimar, the son of the God of Law Pholtus. However, he had rejected his dad's dogma and become a Trickery Cleric of Ralishaz, God of ill luck and insanity. He was in jail for selling fake potions on the black market, mostly in an attempt to annoy his dad.
He can shoot shinys at 50 yards

Next, a Tabaxi Rogue introduced himself, saying his name was Silent Mist of Distant Rain, though he went by Mist (Cody). He had stolen a diamond codpiece from a noble in Garton, and was captured after showing it off in a tavern the noble frequented. He loved shiny things and wanted to get out and get more of them.
Stabby stab

A Darkling named Jakky (Quinn), a small creature whose skin was burned by light, spoke from beneath his pile of cloaks and rags. He was arrested for being an assassin, using his Monk-like training to perform jobs within the city.

All hail the tentacle lords!
Next, a Kobold introduced himself as Agne (Wade). He was a Warlock servant of the Great Old Ones, who had instructed him to slaughter his tribe in exchange for power. After he did so, he moved on to the humans of Garlancia, which were near the Fractured Mountains he once called home. He was quickly arrested and jailed due to his unusual powers.
A magical life lesson will be learned today!
Before anyone could stop him, a Drow Transmutation Wizard who was named Rivrellok Nightarrow (but went by his stage name Magic Man) (Wes) launched into a gruesome story about how he had used his magic to "reward" some war heroes with gold - which filled their stomachs until they exploded. He was arrested and told to go to jail, which he voluntarily did so via teleportation.
Frankie says relax
Finally, a Yuan-Ti Pureblood named Ilsa (Cait) spoke up. She was an agent of the Yuan-Ti from the distant North, and had initially come to Garlancia to reclaim the Yuan-Ti's ancient territory. However, she had slowly become insane, and was approached by Vecna, the lich-god of evil secrets. He had granted her the powers of a Soul Knife Mystic, and whispered strange things to her. She called him Frankie.

Bill was freaked out by all these stories. He was just in here because he stole a vase and the other prisons were full.

The prisoners went about their business in the prison for a few days, and as they did so, they gathered some information. They saw a strange painting-like object covered in a sheet being moved into the prison. They heard about a strange floating castle full of giants, a volcano in the Fractured Mountains that held some powerful artifacts, and a mysterious organization known as the Black Hand that was trying to infiltrate Garton.

One day, they noticed the sky suddenly turned dark and stormy. Screams were heard form below, and then silence. A figure wearing robes and a guard's helm walked into their cell area. He took off the helm and revealed himself to be a Red Dragonborn magic-user. His name... was Mr. Lizard.

He offered them freedom if they pledged themselves to chaos and its ways. They all agreed, and he set them free using his powerful chaos sorcery.

One by one, he took their hands, blessing them with chaos magic. One guy exploded from the stress. However, they all received strange powers of foresight and chaotic knowledge.

(This is something new I'm trying to make the campaign a bit more unpredictable... each player has the ability to give me a specific piece of information about a place or NPC they meet. For example, Wes can determine an NPC's flaw. This makes the game a bit less predictable, and shares the narrative a bit more. It's a bit experimental for my playstyle, but we'll see how it goes. Needless to say, they abused it immediately in their first encounter.)

Mr. Lizard lead them past the carnage he had caused and into the guard storeroom where everyone's equipment was kept. After they had suited up, Mr. Lizard told them he was going to the zoo, and to make a diversion. As he roller-skated through the walls, they heard the sound of guards coming towards them.

The motto for this campaign
The other prisoners and the guards clashed, but the main party decided to take advantage of their new chaos powers. Cressen made them all worshippers of Illmater, god of Martyrs, and Magic Man made their flaw that they were willing to die for one another. They immediately began jumping in front of blades meant for their allies, finishing themselves off rather quickly. However, many of the prisoners were killed, leaving only a few remaining (a group which of course consists of the PCs. And Bill the Meek.). They grabbed a couple magic helmets and swords.

They went down into the prison's basement, looking for the mysterious picture frame that they had seen being brought into the facility. They eventually found it in a secluded basement, and realized it was a portal. They discovered this because a platinum-scaled dragon was poking its head out of the painting.

Cressen was nervous about trusting the dragon, since a platinum dragon would likely worship Bahamut, the God of Good Dragons, but this dragon seemed to be a defector. Ilsa mentioned that he might have been framed.

The group leapt into the painting and realized they were indeed in a magical zoo, with dozens of strange and terrifying creatures running around. Mr. Lizard was here, freeing creatures and letting them loose into other planes. The group freed the Platinum Dragon and watched it disappear into the sky.

Bill the Meek approached Mr. Lizard, meekly of course, and asked if he could go home - chaos seemed to much for him. Nearly immediately, he was eaten by a horrible monster. Mr. Lizard mentioned that he should have trusted in chaos more.

The group began helping Mr. Lizard free monsters of all kinds, while Mr. Lizard explained that this portal had once been housed at the Mage's Guild, but was moved here for safekeeping after the events of the War of Fools. He was hoping to find a suitable pet for his adventure of chaos.

Google "lizard holding staff"
He broke open a gemstone containing a sleeping man, who immediately shouted that he wasn't supposed to be awake. Sure enough, a moment later his chest exploded and a larva-like creature slithered out of it. The party captured the little beast and Mr. Lizard claimed it as his familiar. He told them it was actually a baby Slaad, a creature of pure chaos.

Having got what he came for, he released the rest of the beasts and the group began their escape. The prison was nearly empty by this point, and Mr. Lizard decided to simply walk out the front gate. Wearing his identity-masking helmet, of course.

However, as soon as they had stepped outside the prison, they were confronted by the captain of the guard, Floris, and an armed patrol of guards. However, a wave of the chaos staff by Mr. Lizard sent them scattering. One guy thought he was on fire, another guy broke down because he believed he wasn't immortal anymore, and another guy just decided he didn't really trust horses anymore.

Floris, however, got the worst of it - his arms disappeared, causing his sword to clatter to the ground. He immediately realized that this must be Mr. Lizard behind the helm of anonymity, and swore to find him. Meanwhile, Mr. Lizard and his new posse simply strode out of the city.

In the forests beyond the city walls, the group was safe - for now. Mr. Lizard decided they would need to do another trial of chaos in order to prove themselves worthy. He sent them to the ethereal plane, where they fought a series of shades with strange abilities.

They fought a couple magical foes (Cody's other character Rolen and Shannon's former character Aethryn), a thief (Wade's former character Voronion) and an archer (Wes' former character Legolad), and two barbarians, one who did backflips and one who was joined by a large animal (Quinn's former character Rank and Cait's former character Amafrey with her animal companion Hunee).

While they fought, their new chaos magic kept manifesting. Magic Man had his legs turned into trees and his skin into slime, but he seemed pretty happy about it. Jakky, on the other hand, had his skull shrunk until it killed him.

Finally, a red dragonborn bard appeared, and cast such a powerful spell that the whole chaos posse was floored. Mr. Lizard waved his staff and dismissed it, saying that he hadn't meant for that to show up.

He ended the ethereal vision, which healed the group's injuries and brought Jakky back from the dead. However, his skull was a bit smaller, and Magic Man still had a bit slimier skin.

Mr. Lizard struck his staff on the ground and it swirled into a new item - a deck of cards. He asked the group if they wanted to truly give themselves over to chaos - if so, they should draw a card from the Deck of Many Things.

Mist immediately grabbed one. It was the Fool card, which had no apparent effect. However, it did allow him to draw another card, which gave him the Key card.

Immediately, the group gained a powerful magical item each. Cressen obtained a set of Wings of Flying, Mist gained a Portable Hole, Jakky got a Cloak of Displacement, Agne received a Staff of Swarming Insects, Ilsa found a Rope of Entanglement, and Magic Man got a set of Nolzur's Marvelous Pigments.

The group pledged themselves to chaos, and the quest to upend the multiverse had begun.

Your new, monocled god
This is going to be an interesting and ambitious campaign for me, and I'm excited to give it a shot. I'm working with Cody, who actually played Mr. Lizard in the previous campaign, to get some ideas about what we can do. Of course, I'm bringing a few of my own to the table as well.

Next week, I should have an update on our next session of Maze of the Blue Medusa. After that, I might be taking a break for a bit, since the month of September is going to be very busy for a lot of my players and I don't know how much D&D we'll be able to squeeze in. The end of the year is always harder to schedule.

Thanks for reading!

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