Some spoilers ahead!
I'm in the midst of running my campaign. The group has departed Kaer Ardanyan. We are almost done mists of betrayal and then I plan on running the following:
Terror in the Skies
A Message to Vivane
The Vanishing Scholar
Prelude to War
Barsaive at War
I'll probably slot in a few other smaller stories in between, which brings me to the Pilgrimage Walk. I'm hoping to pick the brains of other GM's to help flesh out events on this framework. I'll give a bit of background on what is currently happening in our campaign and what I've planned so far.
I am currently building a strong rapport between the PCs and the Kingdom of Throal; specifically Varulus, Neden, the rest of the royal family and other important political figures. Chancellor Wishten has been the go to guy between the royal family and the adepts for now.
One of the plans I have is to have the PCs partake in the Pilgrimage Walk (probably slotted in between a message to Vivane and the vanishing scholar adventures), but not just on their own; They will be accompanied by king Varulus III and his entourage which includes his wife, Queen Dollas, his son, Prince Neden, Chancellor Wishten, courtier Kelassa, and courtier Tholon. The king insisted on making this a low key, personal journey without all the royal pomp and circumstance and wanted to just hire a small team of adepts for security. However, General Foellerian, who was strongly opposed to the idea, negotiated the presence of 12 royal guardsmen to also accompany them.
Joining the king on the walk is Omasu, the obsidiman merchant, and K'senkt Aberius V'strimon, the V’strimon representative in Throal. K’senkt has been trying to convince Varulus for years to take the Pilgrimage route and when the king finally agreed, K’senkt insisted on being the tour guide. Both Varulus and K’senkt asked Omasu to accompanying them as well in an effort to bolster an alliance between Throal, V’strimon and the Overland Trading Company (although Omasu will still remain neutral despite their best efforts).
The main purpose of this adventure is to further strengthen The PCs bond with Throal and to showcase how importance Ayodhya and the Pilgrimage walk is to obsidimen, t'skrang, and Barsaive in general. This will hopefully result in the behemoth's landing and Varulus' death having an even bigger impact on the players. I'll also use it to foreshadow future events that are still to come.
I've read over the info on the walk provided in the Serpent River source book and I'm just looking to flesh out some of the ideas there. I want to incorporate all the main, sacred places on the walk in this adventure. Not all need to have major plot point occurring at them. Key parts of the adventure, I believe, should occur at:
1) The Floating City at Lake Ban. I am thinking perhaps having some K'tenshin agents make an appearance in the city. Spying on the king and his movements? The PC's discover them and a chase through the canals ensues. Any thoughts on fleshing this out or completely different encounters to be had here?
2)The Grove of Memory. This might be of particular interest to the PC's if they want to enter the grove to learn some key knowledge's. But what is in the grove that would challenge the PCs? A spirit? Thoughts?
3) The cave of the Four Founders. I'm leaning towards planting an item in one of the adventures before this one occurs. The magic item will be something (jewelry, a statue?) whittled down from one of the opals that sat in the eyes. Unbeknownst to the character, when they pass under the Four Founders, the item is imbued with a special power that the character can tap into. They won't immediately know where this power has come from, but many will believe that the legends of the worthy pilgrim has been fulfilled. Thoughts on what power the PC can gain or other encounters that can be had here?
4) Stone bridge at Alidar River. I've asked my PCs to provide me their characters biggest fears, so naturally, I will use those here.
5) At the end of the route, they will be granted an audience with the Shivalahala Syrtis. I'll ask the players to write down their question at the end of the session and I'll work in some cryptic answer that will foreshadow future events as best I can, depending on what they ask. Of course, Varulus will also ask his question and storm out in a rage upon hearing her answer. I'll also likely have the players around Omasu in the Cliff City where he will be beckoned to come at once to see the Shivalahala regarding something about "impending doom."
I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on how I can flesh out these encounters or utilize aspects of the Pilgrimage Walk in this adventure.
Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
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