DM Screen 46 – A Power to Rival the Sun

Although we were having fun playing around in Star Wars for this last arc, I knew that I didn’t want to have the final gem just so happen to end up in the universe that everything else was taking place in. I mean, I’m all for plot-convenient coincidences, but I did feel like that could potentially strain credulity just a tad. Additionally, I’d had the Daenerys Targaryen plot thread hanging since our heroes explored Westeros and wanted to touch on that before we wrapped up the show.

As I’ve mentioned before, I like to give my players difficult choices or dilemmas toward the end of a given story arc—this (along with the episode that follows it) is where those dilemmas started to crop up for this leg of the story. More on that later…

The five of you have appeared in a snow-covered landscape, forests and hills stretching away to mountains in the distance. Mordin, you are now sporting a gold ring with a green gemstone on one finger, and you are carrying the thick planeswalker tome under one arm. The book pointed you toward this plane as the location of the final gemstone-slash-ring you’re after, and even gave a precise location as to where it was left. There’s no telling if it’s still there after all this time, but it might at least be a place to start.

The section of the tome talking about the fifth ring indicates that it was left in a monastery at a mountain peak. The heroes can scan the jagged shapes of the mountains on the horizon until they find one that seems to match the shape of the mountain in the tome. It’s a few miles distant from where they are now.

Their walk to the mountain leads them through the wilderness. This world appears quite Earth-like, and the heroes occasionally see deer or rabbits darting through the trees. The shape of the mountain looms larger and closer when the heroes come over a low hill and see a figure a short distance below them. At this distance you can see that it’s a human male dressed in a simple tunic and trousers. He’s currently on his knees, feeding a fresh piece of firewood into a small campfire in front of him, and you can see a few large cloth sacks sitting nearby.

If the heroes approach, they can see that he’s either middle-aged or just someone who’s lived a tough life of manual labor. He has light-colored skin and his head is shaved bald but sports a thick blonde beard. He reacts differently depending on who approaches him—he’ll comment on the strangeness of any of the humans’ garb; he’ll react with visible surprise at Mordin, wondering aloud if he’s some unusual strain of elf; and to Skeletor he’ll recoil in fear, screaming about the undead and reaching frantically for a torch to defend himself with.

This is Klimmek. He’s a trader who lives in the nearby town of Ivarstead; he’s on his way out to the city of Whiterun to sell off some wares and pick up supplies. If asked, Klimmek can tell the heroes that the mountain is called the Throat of the World, and the monastery they’re seeking is called High Hrothgar, the home of the monks known as the Greybeards. He apparently takes supplies up to them from time to time. He can tell the PCs any basic info they might want to know.

Once the heroes finally reach the foot of the mountain, they find that a narrow path winds its way around the outside, slowly spiraling upward toward the monastery at the summit. The path is covered in snow, but occasionally the snow thins away enough that the heroes can see worn stone steps beneath. As they ascend, they will occasionally come across ten small shrines, each featuring a tablet featuring one part of the tale of the founding of this monastery.

Halfway up the mountain, the heroes round a bend in the path and come upon a trio of hulking creatures, at least a foot or two taller than a human male and considerably bulkier. They are covered in shaggy white fur and have an ape-like shape to their bodies, with long muscular arms, a mouth full of jagged teeth, and a third eye in the center of their forehead. If the heroes haven’t been especially stealthy in their ascent, the trolls will spot them and attack.

Frost Trolls (3)
F: Gd
A: Gd
S: Rm
E: Rm
R: Fb
I: Pr
P: Pr

Health: 80

Body Armor: Gd
Regeneration
Weakness: Takes +1 CS damage from fire

Eventually, the heroes will come to the monastery near the summit of the mountain. This is a grim and austere building of gray stone, reminding Mordin of the militaristic buildings of the Night’s Watch back in one of his earliest missions.

The PCs can ascend the stone steps up to the metal doors that lead within. Inside, the heroes find themselves in a stone chamber lit by braziers and a skylight in the roof letting in a shaft of silvery moonlight. A handful of bearded monks dressed in gray, hooded robes go about their business here, giving them a brief glance as they enter. One of them steps forward, nodding at the heroes as he does so. “Greetings, pilgrims. What brings you to High Hrothgar?”

This is Arngeir, the only one of the Greybeards that will speak directly to the heroes. He will politely play dumb at any of the PCs’ requests for a gemstone, but if shown the planeswalker tome, his eyes go wide in recognition and surprise. “You are one that walks between worlds?” he asks.

He gestures for you to follow as he leads you through the halls of the monastery. “Our written history states that our order was founded centuries ago by a chieftain who sought a place to peacefully study the secret power of the draconic language. We encourage the spread of that version of history, even writing it down on the tablets on the path leading up to this place. In truth, our order predates that chieftain—he was simply the one to discover us. Our real founder was one like you, one who walked between worlds, who warned of a threat that sought to devour planes and charged us with protecting a key to this threat’s ultimate defeat.”

At this point, Arngeir reaches and pushes open a set of heavy doors. He and the heroes step out onto a wide ledge of rock, ending at a jagged point overlooking a wide valley below. A figure stands at the edge of this cliff, heavy fur cloak whipping in the wind and hood covering their head.

“As it happens, you are not the only planeswalker to visit us recently. Not long ago, a visitor came to our doors having recently arrived on the world of Tamriel. This visitor knew nothing of the threat our founder spoke of, but this visitor was also not just a planeswalker… she was a Dovakiin. A dragonborn.”

The figure standing by the ledge turns, lowering the hood of her cloak as she does so. Long silvery hair streams out in the wind and she looks at the heroes with violet-colored eyes. “I told you, I prefer the title ‘Mother of Dragons.’”

I didn’t write down Daenerys’s backstory here because I had it in my head. The gist of it was: right as Daenerys and her followers arrived in Westeros after journeying across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys’s planeswalker spark activated and she accidentally planeswalked to Tamriel. (Right around that time, Flemeth had arrived in Westeros via a crossover event and positioned herself as the Mother of Dragons in Daenerys’s absence.) Daenerys, not knowing how to planeswalk back to her homeworld, spent some time in Tamriel, where she more or less went through most of the storyline in the video game Skyrim. That’s right—in the storyline of Extraordinary League, the hero of Skyrim is Daenerys Targeryen.

The heroes can speak to Daenerys at this point—she was given the gem (a yellow topaz) as a gift from the Greybeards when she first arrived and they identified her as a planeswalker. She had no real use for it nor any idea what it was used for, but she’s been hanging on to it just in case. She asks the PCs for their story and why they want it, but will be willing to part with it once they tell her about the threat posed by the Phyrexians. She seems especially interested in hearing about some of the worlds they’ve visited.

They don’t have terribly long to visit with Daenerys, however, before frightened cries of “Dovah!” start coming from the monastery. Looking out, you see a dark shape has flown in front of the moon and seems to be heading directly for you. The shape of the thing suggests a huge dragon, wings pumping and mouth glowing red, but the moonlight glints off of its black metallic hide and you realize that this thing is unmistakably Phyrexian. What’s more, there are a number of other shapes hanging off it: other Phyrexians being carried toward you.

The heroes may decide to retreat back to the extraction point (possibly using Skeletor’s teleportation), in which case Daenerys will look at them in disbelief. “You would abandon the Greybeards to this alien threat?” If they decide to stand and fight, they have a moment to prepare before the Phyrexians arrive in force.

Moltensteel Dragon (a huge dragon seemingly made of black metal. Its claws glow red-hot and the interior of its mouth flickers with light and heat like a furnace.)
F: Gd
A: Gd
S: Am
E: Am
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Ty

Health: 120

Body Armor: Gd
Flight: Ex
Molten Breath: Mn fire damage to one target or Am damage to one area. Requires two full rounds to recharge.

Fallen Ferromancer (4) (these figures look very much like normal humans wearing archaic metal armor. They have not undergone extensive Phyrexian reconstruction, from the looks of it, aside from their glowing eyes and gaunt, sickly facial features. The main features that set them apart are the rust-colored metallic spikes that sprout up like a crown where their hair would normally be.)
F: Gd
A: Gd
S: Ty
E: Gd
R: Ty
I: Ty
P: Gd

Health: 36

Iron Shards: Gd damage to one target
Infect: Targets damaged by the Ferromancer must make an Endurance check or lose 1 rank from one physical attribute for every 10 damage taken

Slash Panthers (2) (the shape of a predatory cat, but entirely skeletal and made from rust-red metal. Their claws are terrifyingly long and their ribcages contain a large crystal glowing with a fiery light.)
F: Ex
A: Ex
S: Ex
E: Ex
R: Fb
I: Gd
P: Fb

Health: 80

Haste: Always act in the surprise round
Claws: Ex damage, ignores one rank of Body Armor

Daenerys Targaryen, Dragonborn
F: Ex
A: Ex
S: Ty
E: Gd
R: Ex
I: Ex
P: Rm

Health: 56            Karma: 70

Sword: Str+10 damage
Animal Allegiance (Raan-Mir-Tah): Summons and commands any nearby animals for 10 rounds
Aura Whisper (Laas-Yah-Nir): In ability to detect the presence of creatures nearby
Become Ethereal (Feim-Zii-Gron): You gain Rm intangibility for one round
Bend Will (Gol-Hah-Dov): Rm mind control
Call Dragon (Od-Ah-Ving): Summons a dragon for the encounter
Clear Skies (Lok-Vah-Koor): Clears weather conditions from the area, including rain and snow
Disarm (Zun-Haal-Viik): All enemies in one area have their weapons torn from them and thrown into an adjacent area
Dismay (Faas-Ru-Maar): All enemies in one area must make a Psyche check or flee in terror
Dragon Aspect (Mul-Qah-Diiv): Your Strength increases to In and you gain Ex Body Armor and Am fire and cold resistance for the encounter. You may use this Shout once per day.
Elemental Fury (Su-Grah-Dun): Target weapon can be used twice per attack. This lasts until the end of the encounter.
Fire Breath (Yol-Toor-Shul): Am fire damage to one target, or Rm to all targets in one area
Frost Breath (Fo-Krah-Diin): Am cold damage to one target, or Rm to all targets in one area
Ice Form (Iiz-Slen-Nus): Target must make an Endurance check or take In cold damage and be frozen
Storm Call (Strun-Bah-Qo): Creates a storm in your vicinity. One random target (excluding you) is hit by a lightning bolt every round for In damage.
Throw Voice (Zul-Mey-Gut): In a non-combat situation, all targets in one area must make an Intuition check or begin to investigate an area of your choosing
Unrelating Force (Fus-Ro-Dah): All targets in one area must make Endurance check at -2 CS vs. Slam
Whirlwind Sprint (Wuld-Nah-Kest): You gain Rm Speed and Leaping for 1 minute

If the heroes proceed back to the extraction point, whether they fight the Phyrexians at High Hrothgar or not, the following occurs:

You see the extraction point a few hundred feet ahead, an otherwise unremarkable spot in this snowy, forested landscape. Just then you see a flash of red and you feel your stomach drop. Stepping out from behind a tree, standing directly on top of the extraction point, is a young dark-haired woman wearing black armor over red clothing. You recognize her as the Red Phyrexian Praetor, Azula. “Fancy meeting you here,” she says.

Azula
F: Am
A: In
S: Ex
E: Ex
R: In
I: Ex
P: In

Health: 130         Karma: 100

Firebending: Am, can be used for a variety of effects including blasts, weapons, fast movement/flight, and shields—effects can be spread out, reducing to In rank if affecting one area, and -1 rank for every subsequent area
Lightning: Mn damage, can make a Fighting check to ignore electrical damage (or redirect an incoming electrical attack on a Yellow or better result)

Azula the Unforgiving
F: Un
A: Mn
S: In
E: ShZ
R: In
I: Ex
P: Mn

Health: 710         Karma: 100

Lightning Speed: Azula can make two actions every round. When combat begins, Azula the Unforgiving automatically gets a round during which only she and her allies can act.
Firebending: Un, can be used for a variety of effects including blasts, weapons, fast movement/flight, and shields—effects can be spread out, reducing to Mn rank if affecting one area, and -1 rank for every subsequent area
Lightning: ShX damage, can make a Fighting check to ignore electrical damage (or redirect an incoming electrical attack on a Yellow or better result)

The idea here was that the heroes could fight Azula (a very dangerous proposition) to try and get to the extraction point that she was protecting, or Mordin and Daenerys, as planeswalkers, could have simply left the plane and returned to the Star Wars universe—although this would involve abandoning the other League members to probable death at Azula’s hands. During the actual game, the PCs opted to fight Azula, and thanks to some Sombra shenanigans, they actually managed to defeat, cure, and capture her! This was not a possibility I had seriously considered, but I felt like they earned it and was happy to give them their first definitive victory over a Praetor.

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