Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Love Letter

The first job that Plane-atary Express was contracted to do was to deliver a letter on behalf of a hooded stranger.

Plane-atary Express is located just off the Great Bazaar in a small shop front in the Market Ward of Sigil. They met with the hooded stranger at the Clinking Jink tavern where he provided them with the letter and a gate key to a nearby portal. The letter was to be delivered to the being in the structure near the other end of the portal. The client also provided the players with a small gem glows brighter and brighter the closer it is to the intended recipient. While suspicious of their client, the party didn't question him further.

The party hoped through the portal and appeared, suddenly, in the Abyss. The portal had led them directly to the Plane of Infinite Portals, the first layer of the Abyss. The blasted landscape stretched out before them and the signs of battle lay before them. The bodies of both tanar'ri and baatezu litter the path before them with small skittering creatures picking over the corpses.

The party traveled forward along the path, the gem glowing brighter with each step. They approached a cross roads, the gem glowing brightest when pointed down the middle. Before them was a skull impaled on a pike which suddenly awoke and started chittering at them all barmy-like. Kale and Nearin tried to question the skull for which path was the "right" one, but it seemed to change it's mind with every sentence. The skull did tell them that one way leads to a lake and the other leads through the hills. Kale then pulled the pike out of the ground and took the skull off of it, causing the chittering skull to shutdown.

Bobby decided that he was going the way through the hills and started off on his own, his Cipher beliefs guiding his actions. The rest of the party quickly caught up and they traveled through the hills, the gem glowing more with every step.

After travelling for a while, a group of eyewings swooped down from on high and began to harass the party. Some flew low and battered the party while a few dropped their tears on them. Luckily, the entire party saved and were able to fight back against their aggressors. Kale and Norbys took a lot of damage in the fray, but with a few lucky hits from Nearin they felled the eyewings. The wizard got the most kills!

The party then approached a menacing three level tower covered in spikes. A fence surrounded the tower, gate ajar. The gem glowed with an intense brightness. Cautiously, the party approached the entrance.

The players slowly checked every room of the first level though they didn't take any of the items, even the beautiful cloaks in the entrance. Nearin kept saying, "We'll get it on the way out," which barely kept her curiosity in check. At this point, the players realized that they were in the home of a succubus. The second floor was more exciting, with rooms devoted to pain and pleasure and a library of ... exotic ... books. Both Bobby and Nearin grabbed a book or two from the library and Nearin had trouble leaving the rooms of pain and pleasure. Even with the mangled elven body chained to the wall of the room of pain.

The second and third levels of the tower were rooms circling a balcony with a large opening looking down onto the floor of the first level. On the floor was a huge mosaic of a mortal being grabbed by tanar'ri hands reaching out from the Abyss. While the players ascended the tower, they could look down and see the mosaic and with each level, the mosaic changed. On the second level, the moral was dragged into the malestrom of the Abyss and was being torn apart by the tanar'ri. On the third level, the mortal had been torn to shreds and all the remained were bits of viscera. It was really fun to describe and the players loved it.

The final level of the tower was a selection of rooms representing various fantasies: oriental, tropical, occidental, desert. A skeleton was chained to the bed of the desert chamber, biting at the air uselessly. Note: I do realized these are not PC "fantasies" to present, and they were included because they were part of the pre-written module I was running. In the final chamber, the players discovered the sleeping chamber of the succubus, Chiryn, who was sitting their waiting for them. The gem was all but exploding with how intensely it was glowing.

Chiryn accepted the letter from the players and lead them down to her writing room. She quickly penned a reply letter for them to deliver to the hooded man, Kas'rarlin. While writing, she noticed that Bobby and Nearin were holding books that belonged to her. She calmly demanded the return of her books, though there was an obvious edge to her words. After regaining her books, she sprayed the letter with her perfume and handed it to the party. Before they can say much of anything, she grabs a bauble and the party was enveloped in a series of blue rings and teleported to the exact place they had arrived at through the portal from Sigil.

The adventure concluded with the players delivering the reply letter to the hooded figure, who gladly paid them for services rendered.

This adventure was named "Love Letter" which is Chapter 3 in Well of the Worlds by Colin McComb. We ran it over two sessions, the first being character creation and then all they way till the PCs went through the portal and found themselves in the Abyss. I had never run a pre-written module before so this was a new experience for me. While aspects of the set up and certain encounter elements were changed to better suit the campaign's setup and my own desires, it was very close to as written. My idea for this campaign was to run a selection of pre-written modules and adventures I came up with, so I'm glad the first pre-written module went well.

I think it is a fantastic adventure to introduce people to Planescape because it instantly transports the players into a unique environment and situation that would be very hard to pull off in a "traditional" setting. My approach to running and writing Planescape adventures is to actively engage with the planes. This means sending first level PC to the Abyss for their first adventure. Everyone had a lot of fun and were very excited to keep coming back for more adventures.