The World Of Khoras - DM Tools - Campaigns - The Warriors of the Mark
From the Shard Wastelands to Arcanum is an even longer journey. Lots of opportunities for side adventures along the way. Even with the flying "sky ship" it'll take a couple of days to get there. With horses it'll take a couple of weeks.
Feel free to give them all kinds of trouble about the sky ship. If they don't want to attract attention, they will have to fly far from major roads and towns, skirting low over forest canopies and such. They can sleep on the ship as it flies (assuming they take turns piloting). However, they are going to have to figure out what to do with the ship when they reach Arcanum. If they simply fly into the city, they will attract a lot of attention. Now, Arcanum has many wizards and the citizenry are not unfamiliar with mighty feats of magic (such as a flying ship). However, landing a flying ship in the city will definitely generate a lot of interest from many wizards in the city and is not a discreet way to begin.
Assuming that the party has Jhentarr the Hooded with them, they will know exactly where in the city the Thought Shard is. It's held in the Arcanum Tower of Knowledge, which is a type of museum run by a wizard named Grandok.
Grandok's tower is a well known establishment with strong ties to the church. It serves as museum, archive, store house and place of historical learning. It houses some of the most holy relics of this religion, artifacts of pagan religions (as curiosities only), magic items from centuries past, pre- Sundering relics and more. The nobles and elite of the city often entertain guests and foreigners here, to show off the glory and beauty of the followers' proud traditions.
The building itself is a squat, eight story tower fashioned of dark grey stone. The outer walls are punctuated by balconies and gargoyles and steep tiled gables. It is known for having very tight security. More than just thick doors and iron locks protect the treasures within. Grandok is an accomplished wizard and has a number of magical protections as well. It is a place which should be very difficult to rob.
If the players make inquiries about the city with the idea of simply asking for the Thought Shard, they will find that the city and Grandok will not wish to part with it. Furthermore, they will find that even just an interest in a pagan relic will draw unwanted attention from the church authorities. It should quickly become clear that the only way to obtain this crystal is going to be to steal it.
The players are going to have to plan out and execute a very bold theft from one of the most secure places in Arcanum. It should not be easy. Luckily, the player characters have their special abilities which may help. They may also have Jhentarr with them who can help.
I don't have the original notes for this place. However, feel free to design it yourself. It's a multi-story museum with alarms and magical defenses. Grandok lives here in the tower and his private chambers are one floor (probably the top floor). If the players are smart, they will plan the theft for an evening when Grandok is away. The place is laid out like a museum - display cases and theme rooms and such. It's designed for visitors and guests.
Keep in mind that if the players are discovered at some point, Grandok (or possibly some sort of automated magical alarm) could call the city guards who would come running. And in Arcanum, the officers leading the city guards have some magical ability. The flying ship could be used to make a rapid escape, which could make all the difference if the city guards are chasing them.
Once the Thought Shard is obtained, the group and Jhentarr are going to have to figure out how to control it. Jhentarr (and literature obtained from Valdorumal) will help. But it'll take some time. It could take hours or days, depending on how you want to play it.
There are a number of ways that the campaign could be concluded:
The characters and Jhentarr simply combine all three crystals, figure out how to control it and successfully use it to "cure" themselves. Jhentarr separates into his two constituent parts - the ogre/mandalar hybrid and the evil military officer. Either one of them might leave or join the party. The PCs then can use the Crystal to purge the spirits possessing them - either sending the spirits on to the next plane of existence or resurrecting the Warriors of the Mark.
It's possible that Vellok's field team could show up before the PCs have managed to figure out all the functions of the combined Crystal. Maybe they've figured out enough functions that it might be useful in combat, but not enough to cure themselves. There could be a climactic battle to wrap things up. It's even possible that Vellok would be leading them.
This page last updated Wednesday, December 24, 2008. Copyright 1990-2009 David M. Roomes.