Final Fantasy D20

Draining Dreams

PCs involved: Donry, Herron, Livia, Nymphadora

The adventure began with Livia being escorted to her new life at the Orlandian Combat Academy, sitting in the back of a wagon being driven by Donry and Herron. Travelling north along the road toward the Academy they came across a merchant being attacked by bandits. The players assisted the merchant who introduced himself as Jerob and offered a reward if they would see him safely the rest of the way to the Academy (his guards having been dispatched by the bandits).

A few hours later the group arrive safely at the Academy. Donry and Herron are surprised to find the middle of campus looking like the sight of a battle…

Meanwhile…
Nymphadora wakes up from a long nights’ sleep featuring a particularly vivid dream. Shortly thereafter Mara Foxwald arrives at Nymphadora’s room and requests that she join Isaac in the infirmary.
/end(Meanwhile)

On the way to see Isaac, Nymphadora is also surprised by the war-torn state of the Academy Quad. The events of the preceding day and the slake spider attack are explained to all of the players (Nymphadora somehow managed to sleep right through the whole ordeal). The players decide to all go and see Isaac for more details and to see if they could be of any assistance.

They find Isaac tired and distressed over the fate of his fellow Instructor, Brie. She was drained by one of the spiders and nobody can figure out how to heal her. Isaac says that he wants a cure found quickly, the lives of Brie and several others hang in the balance. Mara suggests that the players investigate the corpse of the one spider that fell during the attack and that they check in with Omar, who has been up all night in the library researching the strange creatures. Isaac would not normally ask students to perform such tasks but the majority of the Academy’s HEROs are currently out on contract (several noble houses are gearing up to fight one another).

From the slake spider corpse the players learn that the beasts do not exist wholly in the same dimension as themselves. Attempts to conduct an autopsy fail as the spider’s constant switching between different existences makes it almost impossible to leave any lasting impression on the body. Mara hits upon the idea of modifying a Protect spell to fix the beast in place. The players consult the White Mage Instructor, Danforth and he and Mara set about performing the task (though it will take some time).

In the library Omar is exhausted but thinks he may be onto something. He witnessed first-hand the slake spiders draining the life out of people. He believes that whatever they did may be related to the spell Drain. Unfortunately that spell is blood magic and thus forbidden in the Academy. The players consult the Black Mage Instructor Isla who teaches Nymphadora Fortify to protect against blood magic but that is all she knows. It is suggested by Omar that he’d be able to learn the spell if he could just see it being cast. To this end the players head off towards a forest north of the Academy where there’s known to be plenty of Bitebugs which use the ability.

Heading along the north road the players arrive at their destination and come across tracks leading into the forest. The tracks lead towards a pool of green liquid at the bottom of a tree. The green liquid leaves a trail heading deeper into the wood to an abandoned Goblin campsite. The players loot the campsite then decide to lure out the Bitebugs rather than run around looking for them. They fill a flask with some of Donry’s blood and wait. Shortly a loud buzzing noise fills the air and several large blue Bitebugs appear, accompanied by an even larger red Bitebug.

The players defeat the bugs and Omar (who had totally been with them all along and hadn’t at all been forgotten about at the Academy*) has successfully learned Drain. Though he is not strong enough to cast it so he teaches it to Nymphadora.

*Don’t drink and DM.

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Ravenloft!..Well, not quite!

PCs involved: Giganticus, Dan Leonheart, Hector, Rob M. Blind, Monk-E-Dunk

After Irontooths demise, the players decided that it could be fortuitous to explore the rest of the cave and see if they had missed anything.
After heading back through the cave and heading down a different path than where they came from, they found their path blocked. A gap was seen in the top which would be big enough for them to crawl through, even for Giganticus! They squeezed through the gap and, true to form, Dan stumbled on the stairs that led down and took Giganticus and Hector with him!
They brushed themselves down and gazed upon their surroundings, a narrow pathway which led into an open circular shaped cavern.
They edged towards the room, Rob M Blind tentatively edging forwards with Dan and Hector behind. Giganticus alongside Rob stepped forward and the ground began to shake. A spirit arose from a sarcophagus, he was wielding a menacing Scythe that went by the name of Brabo!
The players fought valiantly and brushed aside the spirit, looting the corpse they gained 180 Gil and took the ghosts prize possession, Brabo!
The players decided that they had spent far too much time in here and quickly hurried towards the caves exit. As they neared the exit to the cave, they heard rustling and mumbling in the bushes, Giganticus stepped forward and yelled various statements of profanity towards whatever it was that was lurking there.
The mumbling came to stop and the players were nearing the exit to the cave, the shadows formed on the exit to the cave and the goblin that the players thought had met its untimely demise had returned and he’d bought friends!
Quickly the numbers started turning against the players and they soon looked outnumbered. Giganticus was quickly surrounded by scurries of goblins and he was soon cornered just outside the cave. The goblins began closing in on the rest of the team..then, in the distance, a group of 4 could be seen hurrying towards the aid of the players. They soon rushed to the aid of Giganticus, 2 people wielding axes, 1 a bow and 1 a staff. They fought the goblins of Giganticus and a renewed hope seemed to bestow upon the players as they fought off the goblins. All the goblins fell, a massacre outside the cave only heightened by Hector shooting the goblin several more times to make sure that he was, in fact, dead this time.
The new found friends introduced themselves as Monk-E-Dunk of House Banyan and “The Expendables” who had travelled with him who went by the name of Gustav, Arnold and Lance. They were travelling to the Academy in search of Egraine Foxwald. The players agreed that they could join their party and promptly returned to the academy.
They returned to the academy tired, but swiftly went to Egraine Foxwald to tell him of their exploits.
Monk-E-Dunk requested to see him first and explained his business there. The village of Barovia (which is under the protection of House Banyan) has not been heard from in two weeks. It is not a place of great concern but two messengers sent a few days apart had not returned and with the current tension between the great houses of Orlandes, Lord Renwald wants to get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately the currents tensions also mean that it wouldn’t be wise to move many troops away from their posts (and indeed movement of large numbers could be seen as a potentially aggressive act itself). Lord Renwald Banyan had sent Monk-E-Dunk and the expendables to attain HERO’s from the academy and investigate Barovia.
Egraine Foxwald explained that all HERO’s were already hired out, but the students he had travelled with had proved their worth and were not just ordinary students. He would demand 2000 Gil for their services. Monk-E-Dunk paid 1000 Gil and the rest would be sorted at a later date.
The students were called in by Egraine Foxwald with Monk-E-Dunk waiting outside and it was explained that news of the academies security breach should not be spread.
All players rested at the academy and set off for Barovia the next day, which was half a day’s travel.
Hector shared tales of his experiences of Zombies and Vampires on the way to Barovia whilst Gustav (One of the expendables) shared stories of his childhood.
Zombies
They arrived at the village, thick fog had blinded their path most of the way and it only thickened over the village with visibility down to no more than a couple of dozen feet. A small town awaited, many houses barricaded shut or windows broke with a hay cart blocking the players way. A groan could be heard from the other side “urrrrggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh”
ZOMBIES!
A voice resonated from above “Take off the head or destroy the brain”.
The players soon swept aside their foe, not before Rob M Blind being bitten by one and getting infected.
The chaos had obviously disrupted this party’s once calm nature, as talk of burning the town to the ground was only halted due to Monk-E-Dunk’s mission to investigate Barovia and find out what happened!
They slowly made their way into the village, taking the right as they heard screaming from a house. An old man could be seen lying on the ground with 4 zombies attempting to get into this house, the screams continued “Help us!” the people cried.
Gustav volunteered to go and investigate the body on the floor; he began to jump up and down repeatedly on the old man’s head, remembering that an infection could lead to becoming a zombie himself! This repeated stamping had alerted the zombies near the house. They were quickly brushed aside and discussion began as to what would be done with the villagers inside. Again, many cries to burn the house and rape the daughters came from Hector and Gustav..Monk-E-Dunk calmed these venomous cries and Rob M Blind and Lance (One of the expendables) were issued to stand by the house and guard until help arrived. The family explained that a few weeks ago, these creatures had begun to roam the town and most of the villagers had managed to get to safety in the town square. Arnold (another one of the expendables) was sent back to the academy to tell them of his findings and gain the antidotes and potions that had been forgotten.

A ghoul appeared at the end of the road, he was quickly polished off and the players hurried on towards the town square. The town square resembled many a market town, houses, stalls and a tavern (Gustav approves of the tavern and its many wenches).
But it no longer resembled a market town, zombies everywhere and a woman on top of a hay cart who looked in trouble! The players soon came to the decision to fight their way. Several rounds of battle followed, Giganticus and Gustav lead the way using brute force to use the zombie’s heads as bowling balls. Hector and Dan stayed in the back firing arrows from afar and firing holy bolts when needed. Monk-E-Dunk lead the charge towards the hay cart where the woman stood atop, with zombies attempting to climb the hay cart, her power seemed unmatched, firing off spells and keeping the zombies at bay. The players were victorious and the woman introduced herself as Ashlyn, she was part of a group that found and fought the undead and was on her way to Ravenloft when she stumbled across Barovia and learned of its demise. She explained many people had taken refuge in the tavern and that she had been fighting there single headedly for almost two week now. She explained that the villagers her said the priest had been acting weird these past few weeks and wouldn’t come out of the church; they questioned his involvement with strange occurrence. Ashlyn rushed off to Rob M Blind and Lances aid to help bring the family trapped to safety and restore Rob and Lance with the party. The players moved on, without Rob and Lance for now, onto the church where the priest, Aldric, was said to be dwelling.
The players came to the church and Aldric came bursting out of the door “What do you want!” Hector and Monk-E-Dunk began questioning him and why he had not been helping his people, Dan and Giganticus echoed these thoughts and also wondered why the priest had locked himself in the church.
2 Skeletons rose from the ground, Aldric’s intentions were there for all to see. Giganticus and Gustav charged towards the priest. Dan, Hector and Monk-E-Dunk dealt with the skeletons. Aldric summoned several foul waves of skeletons and Aldric summoned the spirit that was seen in the caves earlier on to cast DOOM on Giganticus, the only way to cure this was to defeat Aldric within an allotted time! Aldrics strength was tough to match, several instances of dark magic were used on the players and they became weak, Dan had run dry of MP and the players looked tired. A fatal blow was dealt to Gustav, a true, brave warrior slain doing what he did best! This seemed to rein vigour the players as they unloaded everything they had on the priest, Hector noticeable shooting an arrow straight through Aldrics lung which pinned him to the church door landing a fatal blow, Aldric muttered the words “Strahd will kill you all!!”. Gustavs body arose, he had been bitten before his death and became a Zombie. Monk-E-Dunk’s love for Gustav could not be hidden but he knew what he had to do, he smashed Gustav head clean off his block and piled the body infront of the priests lifeless body, still pinned upon the church door. The players dealt with the skeletons and Monk-E-Dunk’s last action was to somersault and kick both Gustav and the Priest into the church before the players burnt the church down…just to be sure!
The adventure ended with the players making their way back to the tavern for some much needed rest!

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Awakening
Story development ahoy!

PCs involved: Giganticus, Dan Leonheart, Hector, Rob M. Blind

Spiders!

Having passed through ‘The Reaper’, the players found themselves back at the Academy. After wandering around collecting a few small tasks from various people it was time to assemble in the quad for the unveiling of the test scores. Isaac arrived and posted the results up on the noticeboard, and as the players looked over them shit hit the fan.

A black portal crackling with purple energy opened at the opposite end of the quad and a horde of large spiders poured out. The players, academy guards, instructors and students fought desperately against these strange foes. It was hard to land strikes effectively as the slake spiders are not natives to the world of Vellenor, but the players managed to bring one of the vicious beasts down. In the meantime more and more spiders rushed out of the portal, paralysing, draining and killing almost at will.

The odds seemed overwhelming until suddenly the large red crystal floating in the centre of the quad came to life. A protective shield of warm, red light spread outwards from the crystal, forcing the spiders back through their portal. Then the players found themselves floating in a void centred around a small creature.

Carbuncle.jpg

The creature spoke to them, identifying itself as an aeon named Carbuncle. Carbuncle revealed to the players that they are Crystari, possessed of the now rare ability to communicate and interact with crystals. It also told the players that the crystals are now awakening (ahhh that’s the title of the adventure!) after many years, as there is some kind of a great threat to the world coming; though it did not know what form the danger would take.

As suddenly as they’d disappeared the players found themselves back in the quad, surrounded by the aftermath of the slake spider attack (and with Dan holding a red sphere capable of summoning Carbuncle once per day). Isaac wept furiously over the drained body of his fellow instructor Brie and several others lay dead or drained of energy (including another initiate known to the players Hernandez).

Shortly thereafter a guard came and took the players to see the Head of the Academy, Lord Egraine Foxwald. Egraine questioned the players about their interaction with Carbuncle but harboured doubts as to whether they were all truly Crystari. He proposed that they journey to the next nearest crystal to test the validity of Carbuncle’s claim (he mentioned believing that Carbuncle may well have gone mad having been confined inside a crystal for so long).

Cave, crystal and Kobolds

After resting overnight the players set out along the road heading north, towards a nearby cave that Egraine believed contained a crystal. Along the way they encountered some suspicious tracks leading away from the road into a small forest. After following the tracks for a while Hector lost the trail as it became confused with the footprints of several other creatures. As he tried to make sense of the tracks a voice addressed the players from up in the trees. It turned out to be a goblin who asked the players to come with him and meet his leader. Hector promptly shot him and the players continued along the road north.

Soon they arrived at the cave and headed inside. After an incident with Giganticus falling into a concealed pit the players took the right-hand path further into the cave. Along this tunnel was a barricade with another concealed pit in front of it (which everybody managed to avoid) and several kobolds armed with crossbows hiding behind it (who were very much aware of the player’s approach thanks to the noise from the first pit trap). Shortly the kobolds were overcome and the players proceeded to the end of the tunnel.

At the end of the tunnel, Hector discovered (by falling into it) a 40ft deep hole leading down into the earth. Giganticus followed him down using a rope to provide backup and they scouted along a tunnel. During this exploratory mission Giganticus managed to step into a rusty bear trap that had been repurposed by the kobolds. Having heard this noise from their lair up ahead the kobolds came to investigate and set about trying to kill Giganticus and Hector.

Rob made his way quickly down the rope to help fight the oncoming kobolds. Dan preferred the slow and steady approach, eventually making his way down to the fight after several rounds had already passed and most of the kobolds were dead. As the fight neared an end the kobold’s leader, the stronger, more heavily armoured Irontooth got involved. Eventually Irontooth was also slain, cut down as he reached out towards a purple crystal which was sticking out of the wall of their cave lair (the kobolds had been worshipping the crystal).

Much looting of corpses was had and then the players decided to approach the crystal. The closer they got the more light it shone into the cavern. One of the players worked up the nerve to touch the crystal. Their hand slipped inside the solid crystal into an odd warm, liquidy sensation. A solid sphere formed in their hand and when removed it was discovered that the crystal had bestowed the player with a piece of materia. Each Crystari was able to gather a single piece of materia from the crystal. Here the adventure ended with the players still inside the kobold lair.

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The Reaper
The dramatically named introductory adventure.

Having been accepted into the Orlandian Combat Academy and spent a week getting settled in and undergoing some basic training; the players were required to undergo the Academy’s initiation exam.

This exam took the form of a series of trials within a forest near the Academy, informally known as ‘The Reaper’ because you either reap what you’ve sown or the reaper’ll come for you! The players were lead out to the forest by Instructor Isaac Toro in groups of three. The trials consisted of questions about the Academy and its history, a short puzzle/teamwork exercise and combat against monsters such as wolves, boars and funguars. The final test was taking down the giant boar, Zaghnol.

Having completed the test the groups were told that they should go clean themselves up and have a rest before their scores would be posted on the noticeboard in the quad later that day.

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